Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:37 pm

Yeah, I kinda wanna keep goin' (off course!) but I'm trying to figure out if it's even working correctly; like I said, none of the graphics upgrades are working like they're supposed to. (I think the audio upgrade is working, but it's hard to tell; the music sounds like crap but I think that's because I've only been able to play it on an old laptop with tinny speakers.) I think I may have a copy of the old, pre-Steam version of the game around here somewhere; I wonder if that might work better.

Also, as I've often said, I just don't have the patience for random encounters that I used to. I think Steam has a way to turn them off but I'm not sure if it works with the patch. I should double check the docs and see if there's a way to do it in Reunion. Not like I'm getting much translation nuance out of combat; some enemy names and move names are different but it's not like that's going to have a major impact on my play experience.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:00 pm

Recent interview with Woolsey about FF6. Not really any new information, but it hits the major bullet points.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:01 pm

I've been playing more of the FF7 "Beacause" translation and it's really growing on me. For the most part, it hasn't really called attention to itself, but on balance I think that's a good thing.

I don't have FF7 memorized like I do 6 or CT, so specific changes only really jump out at me if it's a memorable line ("gold shiny wire of hope" was something close but not quite that; can't find it right now). But it's certainly smoother and less typo-ridden than the Baskett translation. Barrett's dialect is still the most distracting thing; nobody else talks like him and, so far (I'm up to Shinra Tower or Shin-Ra Tower or whatever the hell I'm supposed to call it), the only other character who has a noticeable dialect at all is Reno/Leno, who ends sentences with "yeh". (Apparently Cait Sith has a Scottish accent, but I haven't gotten that far yet.)

Probably most notably, the foreshadowing, flashbacks, and voice in Cloud's head are clearer and easier to follow. I'm sure part of that is because I know where the story's going, but I've also played through the game a half-dozen times before this and the breadcrumbs never seemed quite so clear before.

It really is impressive work and I'm sure I'll have more to say about it.

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 14812
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:16 pm

Thad wrote:the only other character who has a noticeable dialect at all is Reno/Leno, who ends sentences with "yeh".


This reminds me of the parallel between Canadians ending sentences with 'eh', and Singaporeans ending sentences with 'lah', both with a nearly identical and universal function (except Singaporeans do 'lah' a lot more frequently than Canadians actually say 'eh'... but we do both do this!)
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:57 pm

Finished the Midgar portion of the game. I'll share some various thoughts but first I'll get some credits and nomenclature out of the way.

"Reunion" is a blanket name for multiple FF7 mods managed by Daniel Burke (DLPB). Here's a listing of the ones that are fully functional as of the current version:

1. Beacause - Final Fantasy VII Retranslation
by DLPB, Luksy, and Charlie Beer.

2. Menu Enhancement
by DLPB and Kranmer.

3. Audio Replacement
by DLPB.

[...]

5. Model Overhaul
by Kaldarasha, SquallFF8, PRP, and Grimmy.

6. 60fps Battles
by DLPB, NFITC1, and Obesebear.


It's still a work in progress. There are a couple of major mods that aren't ready* but the ones listed above are mature enough to use.

* The #4 that I dotdotdotted over is a mod called "Weapon" that seeks to rebalance the entire game but as of right now just tweaks a couple of the Gold Saucer minigames, and I cut the list off before #7, Soldier Quest, which I believe will be an Easter Egg hunt with Soldier figurines hidden throughout the world. Also I remember at one point there was talk of replacing Cait Sith with a new character because the stuffed cat isn't grim-'n'-gritty enough for certain segments of FF7 fandom, though that's not mentioned anywhere in the docs that come bundled with Reunion so I'm not sure if it's still planned.

So, to start with: I haven't been able to get it to run under Wine/Proton, at all. FF7 runs fine under Steam Play, but even if I run the patch using Proton in FF7's Proton prefix, the game always launches in its unmodified vanilla state.

But it works fine in Windows with the Steam version of the game. When I said earlier that the graphical modifications weren't working, that's because the Model Overhaul isn't actually enabled by default, it's a toggle in an INI file, and aside from that there aren't any high-quality field graphics until you hit the overworld (which has hi-res textures and looks quite nice).

Now, earlier when I said I hated the new models, I was being hasty; now that I've spent some time with them I think I love them. Clearly a lot of care went into them and they look good. I still think they're a fundamentally wrongheaded idea; none of the emotes have been changed, everybody still leaps around like a cartoon character, and a realistically-proportioned Don Corneo thrusting his hips while making squeaky noises is just as horrifying as I anticipated. Plus there's some real inconsistency to the level of detail; Cloud's more detailed than the rest of the party, they're more detailed than the unique NPC's, and they're more detailed than the cookie-cutter characters. But still, warts and all I like the way it came out; Cloud's model in particular looks great and a lot like he looks in the original cutscenes. (Well, the ones where they don't turn into chibis. It's extra-funny now to see the characters occasionally turn into chibis for a cutscene.)

Battle models haven't been changed much. Cloud's got some kind of brown thing over the left side of his chest now that's kind of distracting because I'm not used to seeing it. I haven't noticed any other significant changes to the battle models, either on the party side or the enemy side.

Field graphics are just the old bitmaps scaled up and badly aliased. (I wonder if anybody's tried feeding them through one of those AI upscalers. That seems like a pretty obvious mod at this point.) I haven't noticed any new textures in the battle backgrounds, either, just the overworld map.

I don't have anything to add about the new translation other than what I've already said: it doesn't call attention to itself and it seems clearer than the old translation. I don't think DLPB succeeds in his goal of making Barrett sound less like a stereotype, but on the whole I've been impressed with it. It's really well-thought-out, its changes are subtle but help to clarify the story and its nuances, and despite DLPB's strongly-stated opinions about the correct Romanization of names like Leno and Yrena, he doesn't fall into the trap I thought he would of an overly-literal translation like Sky Render's FF6 translation.

Which is good, because (or should I say Beacause!) the retranslation is the entire reason I'm playing this thing in the first place and, for that matter, the reason the FF7 modding community put up with DLPB for years despite his belligerence and abuse. He is, from all I can observe, not a very nice person, but he's done some really impressive work here; he's put a lot of time and effort into it and it shows in the result. Why'd he get a free pass for so long on the qhimm forums? Beacause.

And on that dad joke, I'll leave it there. I'm sure I'll have more to say, because I think I'll probably play through the whole thing sooner or later. It's grabbed my interest. And I'm particularly interested in the big third-act revelations about who Cloud really is, whose voice he keeps hearing, and what really happened in Nibelheim. (Niblheim? I think it might be Niblheim in this version.)

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 4170
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:08 pm

I'm glad you stuck with it, and am looking forward to hearing more.
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:26 am

Also the other thing I forgot to mention about the new models is that they really call attention to the inconsistent scale.

When you're a chibi it's easy for your brain to understand that this is all abstract and not think about the size of your avatar relative to all the other shit on the screen.

When your avatar is realistically-proportioned, that doesn't happen, at least for me; it's much more noticeable that, for example, sometimes Cloud is 1/6 the size of a church and other times he's only half the height of the back of a troop transport truck.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:07 am

Also, like I said, it really calls attention to the silly cartoony emotes. There's a bit in the Kalm/Niblheim flashback where Tifa's just lying with the top half of her body facedown on a rock and swinging her arm back and forth. My wife saw that and asked "Why is she doing that?"

Then later I was doing an exercise where I lean on a table and swing my arm back and forth (because my latest case of painful decrepitude is that my left shoulder is in constant pain, and this is supposed to help) and she asked if I got that from my game.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:57 am

So now that I've made it to Corel my take on Barrett is a little more nuanced. Because once you get to his hometown, there are other people who talk like him. I think DLPB probably intended to code him as "lower-class/rural", not "black" (and since DLPB is British, he probably hears a different accent in his head when Barrett speaks than I do).

The trouble is that for the first ten hours of the game, there's nobody else who talks like Barrett, and it's extremely easy to mistake his "rural" dialect as "stereotypical Black man from the South in the US".

(Also, there's a small chance this might be my fault. I once responded to something DLPB said about how Barrett should sound educated; I replied that "educated" is probably the wrong word, as Barrett's a poor coal miner; he's smart but it seems reasonable to assume that he hasn't had a lot of formal schooling. So as far as the idea that people from Corel should speak in a way that emphasizes they're lower-class compared to other characters, there's a possibility I may have put that idea in his head.)

There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of Corel having a regional dialect, but one of the other problems is I really haven't noticed any other regional dialects up to this point -- and, to be fair, that's an extremely hard problem; it's hard to introduce regional dialects subtly (read: not using outrageous Dragon Quest accents) in a text-only format. And of course that's complicated by the first six hours or so of FF7 taking place in a big city -- hypothetically, there should be a couple of dominant accents but every region in the world should be represented. That's a daunting task and I can understand why the only obvious dialects that shone through are Barrett's and Leno's.

(While I'm just spitballing here: I think it would be a great touch if, for example, Tifa and other people from Niblheim spoke with a noticeable Niblheim dialect, Cloud spoke like somebody from Midgar, but the voice in Cloud's head had the Niblheim dialect.)

Anyhow, all that to say, while I think there are definitely some unfortunate issues with Barrett's accent in presentation, I also think that now that I've made it to Corel I've got a little more understanding and appreciation of what DLPB was trying to do.

In the near future, I should be adding Yuffie to my party; we'll see if Wutai has an accent. And then there's Cait Sith, who, as I mentioned above, has a Scottish accent in this version, though that's supposed to be an affectation; the idea is that Reeve is faking an accent to disguise his voice.

User avatar
Brentai
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:40 pm

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:19 pm

Cloud and Tifa are supposed to be backwater mountain folk too, though.
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:35 pm

Right, I alluded to that a bit in my post; if Corel has an accent, Niblheim should have one too and really everywhere else should.

I wouldn't expect people in Niblheim to have the same dialect as Corel; they're both rural but there's a whole lot of world map in between them. And there are probably some interesting class differences you could explore; Niblheim is out-of-the-way but it seems like a pretty well-to-do little town (aside from the giant abandoned mansion, Tifa lives in a multistory house and owns a piano). We don't know what Corel used to look like before the disaster but it seems like it was probably a lot more working-class than Niblheim even before it blew up.

And I do like the idea of everybody from Niblheim sharing an accent/dialect except Cloud.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1567
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby François » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:13 pm

Niblheim always felt to me like more of an Aspen or Banff than some hick mountain town, like you'd have at least middle class permanent residents who would have been there to attend to the ridiculously wealthy visitors throwing excessive amounts of money around.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:44 pm

I think that's largely right, though you get the actual ski resort town a little bit later.

User avatar
pacobird
Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby pacobird » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:11 pm

This is the only place in my life I feel safe pointing out that Nibelheim being the total boonies is canon, per Zack and Cloud's introductory conversation outside Modeoheim in Crisis Core.
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:44 pm

Fair, but bringing that up in the context of a fan localization of the original game opens up a whole other can of worms -- should a fan localization take the various sequels, prequels, and spinoffs into account at all, or ignore them entirely, even as background context, and treat the original game as if it exists in isolation, as it did when it was released?

User avatar
Brentai
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:40 pm

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:58 pm

François wrote:Niblheim always felt to me like more of an Aspen or Banff than some hick mountain town, like you'd have at least middle class permanent residents who would have been there to attend to the ridiculously wealthy visitors throwing excessive amounts of money around.


Thad wrote:And there are probably some interesting class differences you could explore; Niblheim is out-of-the-way but it seems like a pretty well-to-do little town (aside from the giant abandoned mansion, Tifa lives in a multistory house and owns a piano).


Cloud's house, meanwhile, doesn't even have a separate bedroom.

I think there's an interesting little story wrinkle in there that didn't really make it into the text of the original game. Tifa and her father - a family of two - not only own the biggest and most elaborate house in the city (six, count 'em, six pipes!), but Tifa is getting not only piano lessons but also personal instruction from a world-famous martial arts teacher. And they're very explicitly the town's representatives when Shinra rolls in.

As for the rest of the townsfolk? Tifa mentions "all" of the village's boys are leaving - implying that whatever sustainable economy Nibelheim once had, the reactor's presence pretty much put a cap on it. If Shinra hadn't literally burned the place down through corporate malfeasance, they would have slowly destroyed it with rural blight.

So it really seems like Shinra's presence in such a remote village benefited the population very unevenly, with Tifa and her father being among the main, if not the only beneficiaries (and Cloud and his mother getting... pretty much a stove). We might see a little expansion of this idea when the Remakes finally get around to really exploring that period, since this would put Tifa in much the same position as Barrett and Jessie - driven as much by a sense of betrayal as they are by their ideals.
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:17 am

Fair points.

And part of me is really impressed by just how much subtext there is to mine just from the environments, though part of me can't help wondering how much was just "this would look cool here" and "Tifa was trained by the world's greatest martial artist because the monk in the last game was too."

User avatar
Brentai
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:40 pm

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Brentai » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:21 am

Oh, all of it I'm sure. That's why you kill the author as quickly as possible and be done with it.

(Although I'm willing to hang my hat on Tifa's comment that all the boys are taking a ticket out of dodge, and several characters describing the Nibelheim reactor as outdated, and the very fact that the mansion is there because nobody cares enough to investigate it, all being OG indicators that any glamour Nibelheim might have had was already a thing of the past by the time of the incident.)
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:58 am

Man I always knew Barrett's tragic origin story didn't make any sense but it's only really hitting me on this playthrough how little sense Red's makes.

Okay, for Barrett's...everybody in North Corel hates him because he helped convince everybody to make a deal with Shinra to build a mako reactor. And then even though they cooperated, Shinra killed everybody and burned their town to the ground anyway, because we haven't had a flashback where the bad guys burn down the hero's hometown for a few hours. And...I guess we're meant to infer that all the survivors in North Corel are people who weren't actually there when it happened and so they buy Shinra's excuse that a mako reactor explosion did it? Because that at least would explain why they blame Barrett. Because it's not like telling Shinra to fuck off would have decreased the chances they'd burn the town to the ground.

What kills me is that I can think of two completely trivial rewrites where the whole thing makes a lot more sense.

1. It was actually a reactor explosion. No cackling Scarlet directing troops to murder people with machine guns and burn the town down; just reactors are dangerous, Shinra is negligent, and the town blows up. Barrett and Dyne lose their arms in the explosion.

-or-

2. Okay keep the "Shinra burned the town down on purpose" part but instead of them doing it for no reason except they're cackling supervillains, just flip Barrett's role in the script: he convinces everyone in Corel to oppose the reactor, and so Shinra comes in and kills them all. You lose out on the reversal where Barrett was originally pro-reactor, but it still winds up hanging together a lot better.

As for Red, it's "Oh, yeah, actually your father was a hero who saved the town, but we never told you or anybody else because your parents felt it was better that everyone just forget about these caves, by which I mean these caves that are a completely undefended backdoor into our town and which our enemies definitely know about and have already tried to invade once, but it's cool, I put a big steel door there; problem solved."

(Also, a storytelling-through-gameplay note: given that we learn Seto was turned to stone by Gi arrows, shouldn't, like, the Gi ghosts you fight in the caves fire arrows at you? And those arrows cause Petrify? You've already got enemies that cast Death Sentence, for Christ's sake; whose idea was it to go with that instead of Petrify?)

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 8308
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Final fucking fantasy 22 3/4

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:22 pm

Thad wrote:Field graphics are just the old bitmaps scaled up and badly aliased. (I wonder if anybody's tried feeding them through one of those AI upscalers. That seems like a pretty obvious mod at this point.)

Somebody has for FF9:



So yeah I bet there's a similar mod for FF7 out there. But even if there is, it's probably incompatible with Reunion.

ETA Okay yeah, there is one, the SYW upscale, and apparently it is compatible with Reunion.

Dang, wish I'd known that before I got 18 hours into the game.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest