I was reading through some tech support posts by newcomers recently when I was struck by how out-of-date some of the information on this site is.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
; 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
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
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
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:
Upside-down movies patch
Minigame/frame limiter patch
and probably several more...DO NOT USE THESE:
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 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
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 soonObsolete 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.
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