Author Topic: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7  (Read 44941 times)

Kudistos Megistos

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I was reading through some tech support posts by newcomers recently when I was struck by how out-of-date some of the information on this site is. A newbie could come here, read all of the stickies and FAQs on how to play the game, and be completely misled, installing patches and whatnot that are no longer needed and for which there are simpler, more elegant and less buggy replacements. With this in mind, I think it would be a good idea for us to come up with a complete guide on how to get the game working and what patches to avoid. Moreover, this guide should be in a very prominent position so that newcomers can find it easily. At the moment, advice on how best to play the game in 2010 is harder to find than advice on how best to play the game in 2006, and the latter is often stickied or otherwise made to look more authoritative. I'll make a start and hopefully other people can chime in with corrections and additions.

_________________________________________________________________________

What you will need

The game discs OR .iso images of the game discs (of course, these images should be ones that you made, not downloaded from The Pirate Bay ;-) )

The 1.02 patch (which can be found here: English | French | German; Titeguy3's 1.03 Spanish patch is here).

And Aali's custom graphics driver, which can be found here.

NB: version 0.7.8b of the driver closes when non-essential files such as ff7input.cfg and the save files are missing. If you're using this version of the driver, make sure you have the .cfg file and save files 00 - 09

_________________________________________________________________________

Windows users

One should start by replacing the ff7.exe file with the 1.02 patched version. People using Vista or Windows 7 may need to allow administrator privileges. When that is done, the custom graphics driver should be used; instructions on how to use it are included in each new release post by Aali. Once again, one may have to allow administrator privileges.

If all goes to plan, these are the only things you will need if you want to play the game from start to finish. The custom graphics driver also allows the game to be played in whatever resolution one chooses (amongst other things). There is no need to install Truemotion codecs.

Linux and Mac users

With the release of the graphics driver, FF7 can now be played in Linux with WINE. I don't know whether it can be played with WINE on a Mac, and any Mac users who have time on their hands may wish to try it out :P.

sithlord48 has a guide to playing FF7 with WINE on Kubuntu 9.04. This guide should work for people using any *buntu distro and most other Debian-based distros; in fact, it will probably work on most Linux distros. At some point during the next decade, I may get around to trying out FF7 on Fedora and write a guide for that.

It's worth noting that some modding programs might not work with WINE. Problems have been noted with Wall Market and Proud Clod, although some users have had some functionality with them.

Laptop users

If your keyboard does not have a numberpad, and you are want to use the keyboard rather than a gamepad when playing the game, there is a laptop keyboard patch.

_________________________________________________________________________

Obsolete patches

The following patches have been made obsolete and should not be installed; the graphics driver can do all of their jobs and allows greater compatibility with other mods that one may wish to make:

Chocobo patch

Hi-res patch

Battle-swirl patch

Upside-down movies patch

Minigame/frame limiter patch

and probably several more...

DO NOT USE THESE:

UItima edition

Animevamp 1.4/XP patch

The UItima edition is a pirate edition of the game, so it goes without saying that it can not be supported here. However, that it not why it is in this part of the guide. In the past, it may have been easier to for people to get their game working on a modern Windows operating system by downloading the UItima edition, not bothering with CDs and maybe using any patches that came pre-installed. Thanks to the work done on these forums, the full version of the game is now fully compatible with modern operating systems and there is no reason to use the UItima edition. Even people who don't want to bother fiddling with CDs don't need it any more; .iso images can be mounted with daemon tools, getting rid of the need for no-CD cracks. Furthermore, there seems to be a great deal of disagreement on what the UItima edition is. One person's "UItima edition" may have very few differences from the normal game beyond an installer and a modified ff7.exe file, and be compatible with this guide if modifications are made. Another person's "UItima edition" might not have any CD images and be completely incompatible. In any case, I must advise against using it; getting hold of a clean, unmodified version of the game is the best way to avoid any problems.

The animevamp patch is a knock off of a patch which is no longer needed and deletes important system files without telling the user. It should never be used and it would be better if it disappeared from the Internet completely.

_________________________________________________________________________

Modding Tools

Modding battle scenes: Hojo and Proud Clod are the only tools that you will need; they allow one to modify nealy every single byte in the battle scenes with relatively easy-to-use GUIs, and will soon allow everything to be modded. Both programs work with both the PSX and PC versions of the game. Proud Clod might not work in WINE.

Wallmarket (PSX and PC) can edit everything in the kernel.bin file (including, but certainly not limited to, weapon, magic, armour, materia and item data, as well as characters' stat growth, starting equipment and AI). Might not work in WINE.

White Choco (PSX and PC) can edit much of the shop data.

LIBRE (PSX and PC) can edit limit break data.

Palmer allows one to edit the backgrounds in the field scenes. As far as I know, this is the latest release.

Biturn, Kimera and PCreator will be necessary for editing things like battle and field models and textures. Note that these tools are for things like extraction and conversion to and from formats the game recognises. The actual modding should be done with tools such as Photoshop and Gimp (for textures) and 3DSMax and Blender (for models), with the models and textures then converted for use in the game. Please see the threads for these tools for information on using them.

More coming soon

Obsolete modding tools

Scenester and SceneEdit have been made obsolete by Hojo and Proud Clod, and SceneReader will be obsolete after the next Proud Clod release.

_________________________________________________________________________

Miscellaneous

Here is a very useful save game compilation with almost 150 saves; one for each save point and a few bonus saves as well.

Playing Movies from the hard drive

Although there is no option to do so by default, registry editing lets you play the movies from the hard drive:

# Create a folder called C:\Program Files\Square Soft, Inc\Final Fantasy VII\movies
# Insert Final Fantasy VII CD1, copy all files from the movie folder to C:\Program Files\Square Soft, Inc\Final Fantasy VII\movies
# repeat for each disk, so all movies from all disks are on your hard drive in the same movies folder
# Click Start, Run, type regedit, push OK
# Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Square Soft, Inc.\Final Fantasy VII
# Double-click on MoviePath and change it from "d:\FF7\Movies\" to C:\Program Files\Square Soft, Inc\Final Fantasy VII\movies\
# Push OK and close regedit
« Last Edit: 2011-06-18 22:15:32 by Bosola »

Cloud1000

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This is really great for newbies should be stickied.

Here is a good easy to use remix patcher by  titeguy3

People who dont know how to install a mod or are lazy. Can just use this

http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=8915.0
It contains several mods. It's a bit outdated but still better than for a newbie to try install all mods seperatly.


Covarr

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I was reading through some tech support posts by newcomers recently when I was struck by how out-of-date some of the information on this site is. A newbie could come here, read all of the stickies and FAQs on how to play the game, and be completely misled, installing patches and whatnot that are no longer needed and for which there are simpler, more elegant and less buggy replacements.
Yeah, just look at the stickied FF7Music thread. Somebody who follows that tutorial exactly, but who happens to be using Windows Vista or 7 (or XP 64-bit) is going to run into problems.

titeguy3

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I agree, some of the stickies should be updated/replaced/aggregated. Moreover, the wiki should definitely be updated. There are a lot more tools/mods/known information about the game that hasn't been documented.

It should also be stressed that the FF7Config.exe from Aali's Driver should be used and not the one from the 1.02 patch. Also, the transparent dialogs YAMP is now obsolete thanks to the latest version of Aali's Driver.

BTW, I've found that the most stable version of Aali's driver is 0.7.3b. The later ones tend to have complications (I have trouble getting some stock FMV's to play properly with 0.7.6b).
« Last Edit: 2010-03-27 23:24:02 by titeguy3 »

Cloud1000

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BTW, I've found that the most stable version of Aali's driver is 0.7.3b. The later ones tend to have complications (I have trouble getting some stock FMV's to play properly with 0.7.6b).

Oh I thought I was the only one with this problem. But not only doesnt it play stock FMV's but it doesnt play the higher resolution FMV's that is in your mod. Screen just goes black when its FMV time  :roll:

obesebear

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The wiki needs to be updated badly, and also more promoted around here so newbies have knowledge of its existence.  All programs should also be backed up on a dedicated server.

I agree that almost every sticky needs to be removed, and if there is still pertinent information in it, to combine them all into 1 or 2.

sithlord48

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i started a guide for setting up FF7 in wine, if you want i can donate it to ur cause, i just have to finish a few parts of it that i was revamping due my use of confusing wording.

Kudistos Megistos

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i started a guide for setting up FF7 in wine, if you want i can donate it to ur cause, i just have to finish a few parts of it that i was revamping due my use of confusing wording.


Sure, why not? :)

I bet most people don't even know you can play FF7 in WINE.

BTW, the WINE database suggests there are still quite a few problems playing it with WINE. Have they been fixed

sithlord48

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the game kinda requires, aali's driver to work right w/ wine.. i should update that appdb. page...
give me a few get the info cleaned up and then i can pm . or just post it let me know

Prince Lex

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This is an excellent idea Kudistos, maybe include an "optional" section at the bottom of your post to outline the enhancements one can have.

sithlord48

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kudoistos megistos np. its a bit vauge on somethings. if you use kubuntu check out www.kubuntuforums.net for help if u get stuck w/ ur video driver or timidy . or come to the qhimm irc im there enuff

Kudistos Megistos

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kudoistos megistos np. its a bit vauge on somethings. if you use kubuntu check out www.kubuntuforums.net for help if u get stuck w/ ur video driver or timidy . or come to the qhimm irc im there enuff

I have Fedora, but I haven't installed WINE yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get things working ;)

Back on topic.  I've seen "Hey, use LGPTools" thrown around a couple of times lately.  LGP Tools should never be used anymore.  Aali's LGP / UnLGP is the only one that correctly compiles all of the files.  I think this should be put in the guide as well.

Noted. I'm going to make a list of good tools. I'll start off with Loveless, Hojo 1.1, Wall Market, Proud Clod, White Chocobo, Palmer and LiBre, since I'm sure they're the best way to mod the things they mod; I'll also add a note for which programs have been made obsolete. Do add other modding tools; I'm not au fait with which are the best for dealing with models and textures and the like.
« Last Edit: 2010-06-16 03:23:51 by obesebear »

Timber

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:D

May want to add the Saints High Res patch to the obsolete list, many people still try to use that, there are outside links to it i believe.
Also I suggest moving the obsolete patches into the DO NOT USE section, kinda looks like they are under the 'What you will need' bit.

EDIT: Oh wait it's already there as high-res patch. :P
« Last Edit: 2010-03-28 18:20:43 by Timber »

Kudistos Megistos

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I've made the "obsolete patches" section a little clearer. I decided to separate them from the do not use section because they used to be thoroughly recommendable. It would also be unfair to the creators to put something like the Hi res patch in the same class as an illegal version of the game or animevamp's malware.

Kudistos Megistos

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I've made a couple of minor updates, including a few sentences on playing the game on non-windows operating systems. The project is still very much alive; I'm just lazy :P

If anyone could give me some info on the most up-to-date tools for making graphics mods, it would be very helpful ;)

idl12

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well if you're talking about the tools needed for making new models/ textures, it can be done freely with blender, kimera, bitturn pcreator and gimp

titeguy3

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and then there's palmer...

Kudistos Megistos

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well if you're talking about the tools needed for making new models/ textures, it can be done freely with blender, kimera, bitturn pcreator and gimp

Now included ;)

and then there's palmer...

That was already in the guide :P

titeguy3

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Biturn, omega, leviathan?

titeguy3

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #19 on: 2010-04-05 04:12:52 »
Awesome, now about that wiki...?

Threesixty

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #20 on: 2010-04-13 18:20:32 »
That's not why the Ultima version isn't supported here. It isn't supported because it used Jedwin's chocobo patch and gave no credit to him. It also isn't supported, because of the forced midi sound fonts it loads on your PC. I don't remember the details, but I believe Qhimm discovered that it modifies Window's system files, without warning you. It's not a critical file just the MIDI's, but it still does that without a warning. Hardly any game used midi anymore, but those that do, most likely, won't sound the same as before installing that patch.

As for the obsolete list, I don't understand that.... I haven't visited or posted on this forum for about 5 years (or maybe more...), and I haven't played FF7PC for even longer. But, the Chocobo patch was made because FF7 used a memory range that was reserved for windows use. 95/98/ME kernel had no problem, because those OS's didn't make use of that reserved memory range. But, when the NT kernel took over for WinXP and above that memory range was being used by the OS. So, when that chocobo race minigame would start, the game would crash. The Chocobo patch moved the memory range of the minigame out of OS reserved space, thus removing the crash. Some guy by the name of Jedwin (http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?action=profile;u=363) gave us the patch, and Qhimm started hosted it. Eidos even posted a link to Qhimm's site, as I recall; without his permission, but he let it slide....

So what changed? Why is the Chocobo patch now considered obsolete and no longer needed? Reason I ask is, because, that patch has nothing to do with the video driver. It's was a software glitch coded into the game, itself.
« Last Edit: 2010-04-13 18:36:57 by Threesixty »

obesebear

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #21 on: 2010-04-13 18:32:37 »
So what changed? Why is the Chocobo patch now considered obsolete and no longer needed? Reason I ask is, because, that patch has nothing to do with the video driver. It's was a software, glitch coded into the game, itself.
The new Custom Driver allows the Chocobo races to be completed without a crash.  So really, there's no use for the individual Chocobo patch anymore...

NFITC1

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #22 on: 2010-04-13 21:08:00 »
Quote
Modding Tools

Modding battle scenes: Hojo and Proud Clod are the only tools that you will need; as far as I know, they allow one to modify every single byte in the battle scenes with relatively easy-to-use GUIs. Both programs work with both the PSX and PC versions of the game.

...

Obsolete modding tools

Scene Reader, Scenester and SceneEdit have been made obsolete by Hojo and Proud Clod.

Probably not necessary to mention it, but SceneReader isn't 100% obsoleted yet. There are still 512 bytes per scene that aren't editable in the current version. The next version of PrC will indeed make SceneReader obsolete, which will even have the feature of splitting and loading individual (or all) scene files.
Another point is that PrC and WM can't be run outside of Windows. They require the .NET 3.5 framework

Kranmer

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #23 on: 2010-04-14 00:59:58 »
Quote
Modding Tools

Modding battle scenes: Hojo and Proud Clod are the only tools that you will need; as far as I know, they allow one to modify every single byte in the battle scenes with relatively easy-to-use GUIs. Both programs work with both the PSX and PC versions of the game.

...

Obsolete modding tools

Scene Reader, Scenester and SceneEdit have been made obsolete by Hojo and Proud Clod.

Probably not necessary to mention it, but SceneReader isn't 100% obsoleted yet. There are still 512 bytes per scene that aren't editable in the current version. The next version of PrC will indeed make SceneReader obsolete, which will even have the feature of splitting and loading individual (or all) scene files.
Another point is that PrC and WM can't be run outside of Windows. They require the .NET 3.5 framework

i just want to point out you actually can run WM on Ubuntu with wine (not perfect but it runs) here is a video if you want.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm9VmQkvgSs
(i also had to use framework 2.0 rather then 3.5 which could be the reason for the error msg you see in that video)

NFITC1

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Re: STICKY: An up-to-date guide for newbies on playing FF7
« Reply #24 on: 2010-04-14 12:01:55 »
Quote
Modding Tools

Modding battle scenes: Hojo and Proud Clod are the only tools that you will need; as far as I know, they allow one to modify every single byte in the battle scenes with relatively easy-to-use GUIs. Both programs work with both the PSX and PC versions of the game.

...

Obsolete modding tools

Scene Reader, Scenester and SceneEdit have been made obsolete by Hojo and Proud Clod.

Probably not necessary to mention it, but SceneReader isn't 100% obsoleted yet. There are still 512 bytes per scene that aren't editable in the current version. The next version of PrC will indeed make SceneReader obsolete, which will even have the feature of splitting and loading individual (or all) scene files.
Another point is that PrC and WM can't be run outside of Windows. They require the .NET 3.5 framework

i just want to point out you actually can run WM on Ubuntu with wine (not perfect but it runs) here is a video if you want.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm9VmQkvgSs
(i also had to use framework 2.0 rather then 3.5 which could be the reason for the error msg you see in that video)

:o  Wow!! O_O!  I had no idea! I see that SuspendLayout and ResumeLayout seem to mean nothing to WINE. :) I'm assuming that's why it takes so long for all those controls to display. Also, that error was a value overload error. It's trying to convert a value over 2^32 into a 32 bit int. That's strange. The 2.0 framework might account for that, I'm not sure. Maybe both of those problems are just a WINE thing. ;)