Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

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Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I have I think almost all of the Sega-CD/Mega-CD games in ISO+WAV format, which unless I'm mistaken should be completely lossless. When I play some games in Kega Fusion, though (like Cosmic Fantasy Stories), the sound synching is completely off. Is this a problem with the CUE file?

I mounted the image in Daemon Tools and extracted it to BIN+CUE format with Isobuster. I tried playing that and the synching is much closer, but still a little off.


I'm not sure why one would be working better than the other (though neither one is quite on the mark). It must have something to do with the CUE files, right?

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Segaholic2 »

I highly doubt it's the cue sheet. First of all, ISOs shouldn't need one.

Are you sure it's not an emulation issue? Are you using the correct BIOS file? Have you tried a different emulator? I don't actually know what the popularly accepted "best" Genesis emulator is anymore.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Neo »

Fusion is the most accurate, but Gens is still popular with speedrunners because it's open source and has a rerecording branch.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

First of all, ISOs shouldn't need one.
Really? I tried loading the ISO and BIN directly, but there's no sound at all when I do that.

Even if it is an emulation issue, why would it read the game differently when I load it from ISO+WAV than when I load it from a BIN extracted from the same ISO+WAV set? That's what's confusing me.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

If anyone wants to try it themselves, you can get the ISO here: http://planetemu.net/index.php?section=roms&dat=707 I'm playing it on Fusion 3.64.

One other thing I should mention - when I run it from the ISO+WAV set, the sound comes in about 2 seconds after the picture. When I run it from the BIN+CUE, the sound comes in about 3/4 of a second before the picture.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Not that I think anyone here has any special concern about my quest to play Cosmic Fantasy Stories, BUT.


I thought it might've been a bad dump (most of the ones floating around the internet are TOSEC dumps, which are reputedly not always accurate), so I found a Redump.org dump (which are reputedly as accurate as is humanly possible). Unfortunately, I got the exact same results. So, rather than loading the CUE file directly, I tried mounting it in Daemon Tools and booting it like that. When I do it that way, I get the same sound sync as when I loaded the BIN+CUE directly - that is, it's about 3/4 of a second early.

I guess it's just a problem with the emulation, but you'd think someone somewhere would say as much. I've googled up and down the internet and everytime someone brings up the issue, all the responses either ramble about pregaps and CUE sheets or brush it off as a bad dump. Nowhere has the issue ever been resolved. Can't someone just say, "Yeah, that's just a problem the emulation. Deal with it."

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Segaholic2 »

I haven't downloaded the ISO so I can't say from personal experience, but I'm going to guess that you are correct in your guess that it is an emulation issue. Maybe this particular game has some weird exception that isn't accounted for in the emulator and the authors are either unaware of the issue or simply don't care enough to rectify it.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by G.Silver »

I think I can confirm that it's an emulation error. I just booted up my CD copy of Cosmic Fantasy Stories and the audio appears out of synch for me as well, it's about 3/4 a second early, like you described. Strangely, the audio seemed in synch for the opening, but once the game started, the cut scene audio is clearly out of synch. The game locked up as soon as I got to the overworld, and when I restarted it wouldn't go any further than the new game/load screens. Does the game run well for you otherwise?

I actually am sort of curious about the details of your quest to play it! I'm surprised you aren't playing on the real hardware--I don't know if the game is hard to come by but I only paid 300 yen for mine (admittedly that was 10 years ago) so I assumed it was pretty common. It always looked interesting to me but after picking up a copy I never actually bothered to try it out (I see now I might not have been able to play it anyway). Besides being anime-styled and having a lot of cats in it, the only other thing I really recall about it is that EGM included it in a "hottest game babes" list from 1993.. Apparently there's some partial nudity?

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Popcorn »

Do any of you boring bastards know how to pirate Dreamcast games? I'm trying to show Jet Set Radio to a friend I'm staying with. We burned through five discs and finally managed to create one that got to the first loading screen and then died. Then we managed to create one that loaded the tutorial but no further, and then we gave up.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Can you burn a Dreamcast game on a normal CD or DVD? They were in a special format, weren't they?


Anyway, regarding Kega Fusion, it is definitely an emulation issue because it happens with almost every game. Exact same timing problem every time, about 3/4 of a second - just enough to be really annoying. Except for that, they all run perfectly for me... did you turn on "Perfect Sync" in the Fusion options? I have no idea what it is, but alot of Mega-CD games lock up in the loading or title screens unless Perfect Synch is enabled.

I actually don't have a Japanese Mega-CD - I've only ever seen one in the field, but even if I did have one, I'd much sooner play the games on an emulator than the actual hardware, which basically can't be replaced anymore. I'd be scared to death of wearing out the innards, though maybe that's a ridiculous fear.

Incidentally, the Cosmic Fantasy games on PCE do have lots of gratuitous boobies (which was pretty common on PCE), but I'm pretty sure there's no nipple in the Mega-CD version because it was against Sega's policies. I guess that's why NEC scored the otaku crowd.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Segaholic2 »

Yes, you can burn Dreamcast games onto CD-Rs. Warez groups would compress music or textures or rip out FMV cutscenes to get the file sizes down to 700MB instead of the 1.2GB per disc of Dreamcast games that were too big for CDs. Skies of Arcadia was a big example of this, with the warez group that released it doing some crazy hoop-jumping to make each disc fit down to 700MB. I think they even changed the way music was streamed in that game if I recall correctly.

How old is your Dreamcast model? From what I recall, Sega got wise and modified the Dreamcast hardware so later revisions can't play burned discs unmodified. Launch models and other early revisions can play CD-Rs fine, but be warned that it is much more taxing on the laser than a legit GD-ROM.

Somewhat related (but tangential to your question) is that burning Dreamcast games was so easy that a lot of people attribute the system's failure in large part to piracy. Very early Dreamcast piracy required a simple "boot disc" to load CD-Rs, though pirates soon figured out how to integrate it into the actual ISOs and thus self-booting CD-Rs became commonplace. Even the original PlayStation couldn't play burned discs without a mod chip, and the Saturn required a goofy hardware hack to allow disc swapping if you didn't want to shell out for a mod chip. This was also an advantage for importers, as you could play legitimate foreign Dreamcast titles on an unmodded system by simply using the boot disc.

Also, I seem to remember JSR being one of the games that had a lot of compromises made to fit it onto CD-Rs. (Yes, I own a legitimate copy.)

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Neo »

Popcorn wrote:Do any of you boring bastards know how to pirate Dreamcast games? I'm trying to show Jet Set Radio to a friend I'm staying with. We burned through five discs and finally managed to create one that got to the first loading screen and then died. Then we managed to create one that loaded the tutorial but no further, and then we gave up.
Well, what rip are you using? I recommend looking for the De La Jet Set Radio rip made by this guy Pavlik. It has the Japanese voices and no death metal, but only has English text. (It will crash on any other setting because the files are missing.) Not that that affects me in any way. I think this is a legit link, but if it's not just try googling around. It should unpack into a 763 MB NRG image file. Make sure to use the overburn option, and I'm not sure if you need to use an extended 90 minute (790 MB) CD-R, it's what I used.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Popcorn »

I do remember DC piracy being an 'issue' back in the day. Someone handed me a CD-R with Sonic Shuffle burned onto it back in school and I was amazed to find it just worked. (Sure am glad I never paid for that game. Sheesh.)

I don't know how old the Dreamcast is - we got it second-hand from somewhere in NYC. I guess I could check the serial numbers and find out, but the fact that it boots JSR at all suggests to me it isn't a pirate-proof model... it also loads the boot disc we made (but which doesn't help with JSR). We've tried two different JSR rips but neither of them completely work. I'll try this one Neo recommends, but what do you mean by 'overburn'? I've been using Discjuggler to burn the discs since that's what all the tutorials recommend; is that an option in there?

I can't wait for everything to go completely digital. I own this game, goddamnit.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Popcorn »

Well, waddya know. We tried burning that rip and it worked first time. Thanks!

My only concern is that it might not have the extra USA levels. Does it?

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Neo »

Overburn is in fact an option in most disc mastering software, DiscJuggler included. It allows burning beyond the actual physical limitation of the disc. It makes no sense to use it if you're making a brand new compilation, but is adequate for when you're burning an image file, which has already set where everything goes on the disc anyway.

Glad to hear it worked! Yes, De La has the extra levels and characters (Potts the dog and Gouji Rokakku), with the added benefit of the original Japanese voice for the main characters as well as Captain Onishima. (The latter two chapters in the game are redubbed, though. Found them! Found them! OVER THERE.)

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Popcorn »

Japanese Gum seems not as cool as American Gum.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Locit »

But... she's still super cool though, r-right!? Does it have to do with her VA's voice, or is her Japanese way too polite or something like that? I've actually found it increasingly hard to enjoy certain Japanese games where characters who are supposed to be rebellious or rude use standard, polite Japanese. It's really bad for female characters. Nier in particular is vastly superior in English, even cathartic, I'd say, simply because everyone (female lead included) swears like real human beings. Thinking back to the DC era I'm pretty sure I preferred the original Japanese VAs from the ODCM demo at the time. I wonder if that holds up.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Popcorn »

It's just her VA. She does a kawaii "helloooo!". It's no "hey you!"

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Neo »

Onishima more than makes up for it, right? ZAIGATCHOU!

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by CM August »

Ah, pirated Dreamcast shit. I was still in school back then, but dearly wanted to get it and the shiny new Sonic game. Dad was kind of a cheapskate, so a second-hand Dreamcast (which suffered spontaneous resets later on) and some burned games he acquired somewhere are all the experience I've had from the system apart from rentals. I can't really blame him though since it cost about $500. To say the console bombed hard in Australia would be an understatement.

Only Sonic Adventure 2 really suffered from the CD downgrade, with compressed FMVs and an English-only language track, although Shenmue had some problems too. I still wish I got to own the real thing.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I was working at LameStop at the time and I remember people coming in selling off their entire Dreamcast collections while proudly proclaiming that they could get them all for free. This was almost a daily thing. I remember recommending Dreamcast games and hearing, "Ah, no thanks. I can download those." It completely infuriated me at the time, and still does. That happy horseshit should not have happened.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by G.Silver »

Did you or anyone at Gamestop ever tell people that what they were doing was stealing? I am really curious how people would react to that.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by MiraiTails »

Someone please reassure me that DC stuff hasn't really gone up in value. I had a pretty nice collection that included some less common items like Headhunter and the European version of Shenmue II. Oh I also had Power Stone 2.
I justified selling it off because almost all DC games were available for PS2 or 360.

I knew someone in college who seemed to pirate DC games because they were mad at Sega for stopping support of the DC.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Segaholic2 »

Last I checked (granted this was several years ago), certain DC games commanded quite a premium on the secondary market. Power Stone 2 was worth $70 - $80 at the time.

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Re: Incredibly mundane technical question, ver.2

Post by Green Gibbon! »

G.Silver wrote:Did you or anyone at Gamestop ever tell people that what they were doing was stealing?
Hard to make an argument for that when the entire second-hand market, GameStop's primary business, is basically stealing.

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