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IMDB Review - X-Men Days of Future Past 6/10

Unless you are one of these people still dazzled by fight scenes and graphics, this film will be very average for you. 7/10 is about the most I would expect any sane person to bestow upon this (and IMDb has proved yet again that there are far more stupid people about than intelligent ones).

Firstly, when going into a film based on a comic book, you have to extend your suspension of disbelief. If I came into this review lambasting the far fetched powers, then that would be rather silly. Although X-Men is based in our world, being a comic book, it is afforded some leeway. Even so, I would just like to point out that much of what goes on in the X-Men is scientifically impossible, so I don't rate it as a sci-fi... more a sci-fantasy.

I won't go into a big review with this film, because I don't think it really deserves that much attention. Instead, I will summarize: The Good: 1. The film is mostly well paced (apart from that stupid video game sequence at the start).

2. The acting is good.

3. The visuals are good. One scene in particular, which is in slow motion (you will know what I mean when you see it), is pretty cool and well made.

4. The characters are likable.

The Bad: 1. The X-Men's abilities are far too powerful, especially Magneto's. Not only does it come across as laughable, some of the things they achieve, but more importantly, it breaks the tension. Instead of fearing the worst for our heroes and for their future, we are constantly allowing for an 'anything can happen' scenario. There is one part of the movie where Magneto lifts a giant structure (no spoilers) off the ground like it is a piece of play-doh. That's all well and good, but without a shred of believability (even for X-Men) and without seeing some sort of limit to these powers, there is no dramatic tension. The movie does at least place limits on some of the other characters... for a time.

2. The plot is very basic. When I found out this film had a time travel element, I was interested. Unfortunately, that potential is wasted here, so don't go into this movie expecting some really well written time travel stuff. The way in which the time travel works in this film is not original either (despite some claims), and has been done countless times before- for example in Babylon 5 (my favourite show, and infinitely better written than this). The general plot is way too simplistic. The pacing may be decent, but the story just plods along. No decent twists or parts where you have to engage your brain. It's just auto-pilot storytelling.

3. JFK was killed by Oswald. I am sick and tired of seeing conspiracy garbage portrayed as reality. If you are a logical person, and have done proper research, you will come to the sane conclusion that Oswald did it. The odds on it not being him are astronomical, based on the wealth of evidence that exists. The film does include a twist in this regard, but it's an absolutely absurd twist.

4. Evolution does not work like this film supposes. There are too many writers out there that have no idea how it works, or how science in general works. When dealing with a film like the X-Men, you'd think they would hire proper advisers.

Overall, I was disappointed with the film, but it was still worth the watch, and the day out to the cinema.

Completely Unrelated / Windows 8
« on: 2014-06-03 23:14:41 »
Just a quick note... I checked Win 8 out (Comp came with try out version) and I didn't like it.  At all. The GUI is the reason, as I am sure most of you know.  What I didn't know at the time was that

This little program sorts it all out.  Don't even bother waiting for MS to do it, they'll only fuck it up more.

I've downloaded Classic Shell for Windows 7 too, and gone back to XP's menu system :)  Works a treat.

PS, didn't like the added bloat that Win 8 also has.

Completely Unrelated / Yo. Help needed.
« on: 2014-04-25 18:08:06 »
Firstly, let's proceed with the premise that I have not been an idiot and been faked.  That's unlikely since the amazon seller has good ratings, and the price was right.

Here is the issue:

I have to remove my USB stick and pop it back in every time I start the comp.  Or I get "Please insert a disk into the drive" 

I am using XP.  After I have done that, the stick (Sony Microvault) works just fine. 

I did delete the "lower filters" at some point a while back, so maybe that's doing it?  My other Kingston stick does not have this issue.



Born from an egg on a mountain top
The punkiest monkey that ever popped

Graphical / [WIP] Goblins Bar (FMV Project)
« on: 2014-03-19 19:52:50 »
This will be my second and final attempt at updating the Final Fantasy VII videos.  I believe I can do this justice now I have learned a few things since last time.  The colour, sound, and overall quality should be an improvement on 2012 videos.

Completed: 6 of 103.

Codec: x264 + AAC 192
Using: Sony Vegas, Neat Video, FF7 Toshiba DVD, PSX videos.

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Fun FF7 Text
« on: 2014-02-25 14:26:28 »
I was just messing about wondering why when you save an exe file you've opened in notepad, it won't work anymore.  Turns out I wasn't thinking... it's just that it turns hex 00 into hex 20 (ansi space).  That's the only reason.

Anyway, as FF7.exe was open in notepad, I had a little look down the code and came across some fun text:

great special thanx to you, ARIKO       from your husband, HIDEJI

I wonder what else lies in here?  I'm gonna strip out 7f-FF (and others) and see what I find.

Troubleshooting / FMV Brightness
« on: 2014-01-12 18:54:10 »
As of Aali's latest driver, FMV (Steam versions) seem to be way too bright.  I vaguely remember some sort of fix for the shaders that sorted this.  But I can't find it.  Anyone?

Read the whole post below or your query may not be answered.
Do not report bugs here if they are caused by a mod you have added.


The Reunion is compatible with the English 1998 executable (1.02) and the English Steam version of Final Fantasy VII. The Reunion is a complete modding framework, specifically designed so that the game can be modified to use a different language or translation.

All information below, including related posts, are relevant to R06 and above. Releases prior to R06 are now unsupported.

Please copy the below template when providing a bug report - it really does help me:

0. Before posting 1-9, Check The Reunion Database - Especially Reunion Bugs tab.  You can hit CTRL+H to find words.
Also make sure you are using the latest release.

1. An explanation of the bug
2. Does the bug happen at same point more than once?
3. App.log (found in root folder)
4. Reunion.log (found in The_Reunion folder)
5. crash.dmp (found in root folder if the game crashed)
6. Your save file from just before the crash or hang
7. Audio.log (found in The_Reunion folder)

[if this is a performance issue]
8. Your CPU spec
9. Your operating system

If this is not done, you may end up being ignored.

R06f is HERE
Mirror is []Not available at moment[/url]

The Playstation version of the retranslation project is HERE

Donate HERE


The Reunion is a collection of 7 optional mods for Final Fantasy VII (1998 English 1.02 and English Steam release).  I strongly suggest that you click on the links below and learn about each before using the installer.  The help document (Reunion-help.rtf) also contains valuable information.  The 7 mods are:



Q. 7th Heaven doesn't work with this mod.
A. This is true. The two mods are completely incompatible.  Whenever you want to use 7th Heaven, please disable The Reunion from Options.ini [see The Reunion - Help.rtf].

Q.  It isn't installing.
A.  Make sure you have administrator privileges (right click- "run as admin" in later versions of Windows), and also make sure that your ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE IS DISABLED.

Q. There is a problem with X.
A.  Make sure that this problem is exclusive to this mod. If you get the same error when Disable_The_Reunion = y is set in Options.ini (again found in The_Reunion folder), do NOT post a bug report here, as it clearly has NOTHING to do with this project.  If there is a bug that's exclusive to The Reunion, see the bug report template at the top of this post.

Q. What if I'm using the Square Enix version of the game?
A. You can use this

Q. Will The Reunion work with X?
A. I don't take any interest in other mods, so I don't know.

Q. Why aren't achievements working?
A. The Reunion bypasses Steam code and anything Steam related is removed.  This is not something that can be resolved.

Q. I use 7th Heaven, and I have this problem...
A. 7th Heaven issues don't belong here.

Q. I liked R03's old Menu Overhaul mod.  Can you reinstate it?
A. I may re-include the Menu Overhaul mod as an option for R07 or R08.

Q. Can I use the Menu Enhancement as a separate mod?
A. No. The only way to do this is to manual add the original files into your own custom mod folder.

Q. Can you add the following....
A. I don't take requests.  R06 is a framework, which includes my own mods.  Others will need to create additional mods.


DLPB: Installer, TextMod, ddraw.dll, modifications to Aali's DLL.

Aali: Aali.dll, lgp/unlgp
Luksy: touphScript, modifications to Aali's DLL.
              Update to lgp/unlgp

Myst6re: Makou Reactor

NFITC1: Wallmarket
                 Proud Clod

Maki: Updated movie code in Aali's DLL and various other fixes there.

For testing

Sithlord: Black Chocobo

DLPB: Ochu

The Japanese doesn't seem to be able to help.  So, are they villages or towns?

I am trying to centre the description texts in the menus (at the moment they all have fixed X position).  I have created some code to do this job (and a function already exists to count the width of all letters in a string).  So the original code is this:

Code: [Select]
Push 2D [X Position of the description text string.  This is the value the new code will change]
call 006F5B03
add esp,14

Code: [Select]
and the new is this:

call 00914237 [Jump to a blank area that I can add my own code to
The 2 instructions below (call 006F5B03 and add esp,14 ) are now nopped]

Code: [Select]
and at 00914237:

push ebp
mov ebp,esp
mov eax,009A7FF0
push eax [Push string address]
call 006F54A2 [Adds all character widths in string]
add esp,04
sub eax,edx
sar eax,1
mov edx,00000140
sub edx,eax
push edx [pushes new X position of the string]
call 006F5B03 [and now we are back to the original code]
add esp,14
mov esp,ebp
pop ebp

This simply doesn't work (because I lack knowledge on how the stack works), so I am doing something very wrong.  It returns to the completely wrong address.


1. When making a call, do you always need to use push ebp mov ebp,esp / mov esp,ebp pop ebp ?

2. Is there a better way of doing the above

3. How do I ensure this call will jump back to the correct address?

Completely Unrelated / Botched Releases
« on: 2013-11-28 15:30:38 »


This one just now.  We all know FF14 was a disaster...

So post yours.  Which games were released in a bad or unfinished state?

Completely Unrelated / Blaustein and Shenmue
« on: 2013-10-20 21:56:03 »
So most of you will know this guy did the localization for Metal Gear Solid (and imho it's the best one ever done on a game, that I've heard and read anyway), but here he explains why another game he was involved with, Shenmue, ended up a total disaster in the translation and voice acting department.  This really does make you wonder wtf some people are on.  All that money, and bad management/silly supervisor cocked it right up.


Of all the games Blaustein has been involved with, it’s Shenmue which is likely to generate the most interest among fans – even more so than Metal Gear Solid.

As Blaustein explains, “It was a weird time. I think if you look up Shenmue you’ll see that it was localised by IMagic. I was one of three company owners at IMagic, and I’ve got interesting anecdotes. Shenmue was such a problematic project, you could write a whole book about how messed up things got. You know what the budget on that thing was? $70 million dollars I’m told. And I don’t know what its sales were like, but it didn’t even come out on hardware that sold well. So how much of a disaster was this? This is like the videogame equivalent of that famous western movie, Heaven’s Gate.”

“Suzuki was coming off of huge past successes, and he was the man. And so this was going be THE thing. And surrounding us at the initial meeting were, of course, people from Sega, but also all sorts of outsourcers: localisers and sound people and recording studio people. People to make this, and people to do that. And everyone wanted a piece of that $70 million, you know? And of course that’s like the worst thing you could do, is to start out a project saying we’ve got all this money, and then just keep throwing more money at it.”

“I’ll never forget the meeting for this, it was the oddest thing. I was at the meeting – the let’s kick it all off meeting. And what IMagic did for Shenmue was, we were hired to handle the voice acting... Now, of course with games there’s the localisation itself, and then there’s the voices. The localisation is what we’d normally do, along with the voices, but we didn’t get the initial localisation work.”

Blaustein was reluctant to give specifics, but speculation at the time was that Yu Suzuki gave the text translation to a family member, possibly his brother-in-law, who owned a translation company. This left the voice work to go to a separate company. Unfortunately there was the added burden that Suzuki insisted that all voice acting, including the English, had to be recorded in Japan.

“The reason we did it in Japan by the way, was because Mr Suzuki wanted access to it while it was being done. He probably thought that if he could go and quality control it himself it would be better. Or I dunno, maybe he just wanted to leave his desk and go see how things were going. It was done around his schedule. It wasn’t done because it was the best thing to have done. It wasn’t done because we didn’t have the money to do it in New York. It was simply done because that was his decision. Nobody that was doing that thought it was a good decision. And clearly it wasn’t. Add that to my regrets, that we could have done a great job. It’s like, if we had gone to New York or LA and did it, they’d all have been great actors. We could have had a great script and... Let me ask you and the readers, would Shenmue have done better if it’d had better actors, or wouldn’t it have made a difference?”

“I don’t remember how many characters were in that game, but it’s hundreds. And there simply weren’t enough English-speaking voice actors. In Japan you already don’t have the cream of the best actors, what you have are people who were models who turned into actors, and people who were teachers who turned into actors, or people who were actors and couldn’t hack it as actors in the West and so left to become actors in Japan – and those are the best actors in Japan. So the best ones you have are the ones who failed in America and went to Japan. So it was such a stupid proposition to do it there.”

“The auditions go ahead, we hire basically every single person that exists and calls themselves a voice actor. The people that are doing the translation are late, and I remember it was such a messed up situation, it was so bad that stuff was going directly from the translators, without being checked, faxed to the studio and having actors just read the stuff. That’s how slapdash it all became. And there were actors that had no place at all doing the acting. There was no time for direction – it was like, get it done! When you’re doing it right, like with Metal Gear Solid or something like that, you set up the situation – you’re not doing anything by the seat of your pants.”

“I didn’t direct it, but I’m sure the director was having one cut for everything: OK here’s a line, read it! OK, next. It wasn’t ‘let’s get the best performance for this line’, it was just a massively messed up situation, and the end results wound up being what they are. So, play the game, listen to it, and you’ll know exactly why it got that way.”

Of course Blaustein wasn’t at all happy with the actor situation, so in a desperate attempt to salvage the project and find talent who could fulfil their needs, he flew back to America to round up some voice actors and then fly them back to Japan specifically for the job – something which was unprecedented in the localisation industry.

“And here’s a thing about Shenmue that made it even more complicated, and I can’t recall why this was the case, but for some reason we were also looking for voice actors who would physically look like the characters. I think Suzuki was planning to do some kind of non-videogame media thing. Like there’s that guy Corey Marshall, who played Ryo. And Debora Rabbai too. I hired these people. I came back to America, right, and I found some unknowns and some knowns. There weren’t enough actors in Japan and it was the case that Mr Suzuki wanted a good looking, young unknown. Like an actor. Not even an actor, a young newbie... I don’t know what he was thinking, actually, because if you look at the page of actors on Shenmue Dojo, they’re all good looking people. And Deborah Rabbai, I remember interviewing her in America, she’d had a lot of experience working with animes. Look at these people, these are voice actors that were hired partially because of their looks. Doesn’t that seem strange to you?”

“The one thing you can do to make hiring a voice acting cast even more difficult, you can add this condition: they have to be good looking. So here we are with this ridiculous thing added on top of it. But we weren’t going to say no. So I went back to America, I put out advertisements and I got a couple of people. And the people I got were Deborah Rabbai, and certainly Corey Marshall. And he did martial arts, that’s one of the reasons why he got the job. So I wrote contracts and sent them back to Japan. Corey had never been to Japan, he’d never done acting. We were doing some weird stuff, and that’s just how weird a project Shenmue was. Nobody else was doing anything like that – flying actors from one country to another.”

Despite all the hard work that went into finding Corey, the end result was not without irony, as Blaustein notes. “Now, let me recap. We’ve done a worldwide search for this guy, we find a complete amateur, not hugely talented but good looking enough to be called good looking. He did martial arts so we could say he did them. He satisfied a lot of the checkmarks, and then they changed his voice electronically at the end of all this, to make him sound younger! Isn’t that ironic? Isn’t that hilarious, that after all that work they change his voice?”

“I’ve done a lot of these projects, and a lot of the times we’ve talked about my past work I’ve complained about how the budgets are low, and there isn’t enough money, and here’s a case where they made so many mistakes in the opposite direction. There was poor management and too much money thrown at it. It was rushed, and I know enough about games to know you’re unlikely to get a consistent product. You have bits of it that were translated well, but there were probably 20 translators touching it, would be my guess. And with that many translators, working on that many characters, with a story that diffuse, you’re going to have huge problems with consistency, huge problems with the story, huge problems with characters speaking.”

As Blaustein recollects, no amount of budget could save Shenmue. “Thinking that more money would solve the problem of doing it in Japan, was a mistake. I was not exaggerating when I said it could be an outstanding metaphor for the excesses that videogames reached. The last thing I’d say about it is this: its development is a fascinating story. It’s one of a kind. It may be much more of a disaster than even you know. Didn’t it deplete most of Sega’s finances? What a story!”

Yes, I could keep this to the Reunion thread but then none of you buggers would see it!

The issue is this.  Reno (or Leno if you want it proper) has a quirk with his speech.  Quirks like it were used in the other titles and localised accordingly (Wakka uses "Ya", Raijin uses "Ya know" for example).

Reno uses something like "Yo" "to" and  "zo"  which doesn't mean anything, it is just a quirk.  Now, I need to localise this into some form of quirk that will work with a western audience.

I chose

Yeh (yeah)
Eh (as in What do you want, eh?)
and Heh.

However, Covarr tells me that "Eh" is not really used all that much in America and is seen as Canadian.  If this is the case, perhaps we need a rethink on how best to add this quirk to FF7.

Let's look at a few:

“Never mind.
  C'mon, back to work,
  back to work, eh.”

“Don't trample on
  the flowers… yeh?”

“Drink up, Rude! How long
  have we been a team, eh?”
“Being a Turk's tough at times,
  but after all's said and done,
  I'm glad to be one.”
“And I got to meet a bunch
  of weirdos like you, heh.”

The speech quirk does not need 3 variants, but I would go with 2 to mix it up.  Or, do you think the current way works fine.

Let me know, and give me some ideas.

Working with NFITC1 to make these 2 games (Submarine should be dead easy), use frame based timers, and get rid of timegettime altogether.  Problem with the timers as they are is that they work in realtime.  If you get any changes in frame rate in play, it doesn't affect the timer, leading to unfair times.

There are 4 main ways to address the snowboard timer:

1. Change the calculation to use floating point addition for the counter (+16.66667)
2. Make it so the millisecond display is actually a frame counter (I have done this below to some extent)
3. Instead of conventional time, make the timer based entirely on frame count with 5 digits.
4. Add on 16, 16, 18 in repeating pattern.  I decided to go with this one in the end.

NFITC1 was just in the process of explaining how number 3 would work...

This is where I am with number 2.


{in play time format
9568A0 = 00 00 1A 00 00 1B 00 00 00
{time format
9568B0 = 1F 1F 1A 1F 1F 1B 1F 1F 00
{best format
9568D0 = 2D 2D 27 2D 2D 22 2D 2D 00

{Increment by 1
72D11D = BA 01 00 00 00 90

{time calcs
72D4D8 = B9 3C 00 00 00
72D495 = B9 10 0E 00 00
72D4C6 = 6B C9 3C 90 90 90
72D50B = 6B C9 3C 90 90 90
72D51E = 6B C9 3C 90 90 90

{write to 1st/2nd digit
72D458 = 88 4A 06
72D473 = 88 50 07

When heading to the pub in Junon you can speak to the NPC and Rude at the table.   You can just about speak to the man in the bottom right (with white bandana) if you go round the bottom of the map, but the black man with sun-glasses is impossible to reach, and he does have dialogue.  I localised it as:

“Rude's the life and soul of the
  party… When he ain't here,it's
  like a bottle without booze.”

May be worth someone looking at that and coming up with a fix.

Completely Unrelated / [Rel] M3UtoFile 1.0
« on: 2013-08-23 01:26:23 »
Download Here

A quick program I've written which copies the files listed in a M3U playlist to a destination folder.  Not sure many of you will need this, but I did  ;D

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Fade in / Fade out
« on: 2013-08-13 21:51:31 »
When I was looking for a value I could use to know a screen had been refreshed, I looked into the fade in and fade out of field screens.  Seems that the fade out is longer than the fade in... (and maybe people will want to speed it up?)...  Not to worry, though, I've found where the main values can be changed. 


0xCC0DD6:  This seems to be a placement for the fading value. 
If you see what writes to it, you can see the area of code for Fade in/out.

Fade in uses value at 0xCC0DD8.  It is written to from 0x63BEC4

Fade out:  Set 0x63BA48 to add ax,0002 to double the speed.

These values are to do with the field.  World Map will probably use different area.  Maybe someone else could look through this and see if they can expand on it?

FF7 Tools / [PC] Position/resize textboxes - BoxFF7 (3.0)
« on: 2013-07-11 06:39:37 »
Download HERE.

This program will only work with the English 1.02 executable or the Steam English executable. When using The Reunion (R06 and above), you can use this tool to aid you even with non-English languages.

In order to complete my own retranslation project I've had to create BoxFF7.  This tool will tell you the X and Y positions of the dialogue boxes and allow you to move their positions in real-time; this means you can correct the box positions as you play the game. BoxFF7 will also allow you to change the dialogue itself, and it can autosize the boxes at the click of a button.

How to use

1. Open FF7.
2. Play the game (preferably at a resolution of 960*720 or 1280*960) with BoxFF7 running nearby.
3. Move the boxes to where you want them to go.
   You can use the mouse to drag and drop, or use the arrow keys, for fine tuning.
   When using the mouse, BoxFF7 will ensure that the boxes stay within the correct borders.
   When using the arrow keys, you are permitted to move the boxes to the outer edge.

It is recommended that you disable any field centring mod before using this program to ensure the correct coordinates are being reported.

Key short-cuts

F1: Centre Horizontally.
F2. Centre vertically
F5: Autosize box (you can also double click on a box)
F9: Open current map text file (inside the "FF7_Text" folder).
Ctrl-T: Place box top centre.
Ctrl-B: Place box bottom centre.
Ctrl-L: Place box left centre.
Ctrl-R: Place box right centre.

Special text markers

{MAX} Characters will be spaced equally.  To end, use another {MAX}.
{FLASH} Text will flash. To end, use another {FLASH}.
{RAINBOW} Text will have rainbow colours.  To end, use another {RAINBOW}.

Colours: {WHITE}, {GRAY}, {RED}, {BLUE}, {PURPLE}, {YELLOW}, {GREEN}, {CYAN}

{CHOICE} Use in places where there are choices.

The Reunion joypad default tags: {U}, {D}, {L}, {R}, {X}, {C}, {T}, {S}, {L1}, {R1}, {L2}, {R2}, {SEL}, {STA}
These can be changed in the UTF8 external font character file (found in the Font folder).


The box X, Y, Height, and Width values are displayed on the main form caption.

By right clicking on a box in the main window, the X and Y coordinates will be saved to the clipboard in touphscript format (#xy 126 22, for example).  If you have a "ff7_text" folder in the same place as BoxFF7, any touphscript text file inside it will be automatically edited with this information, saving you the need to copy and paste.  Please note, when this is in operation, the boxes will flash 3 colours:

Green: Change was made
Yellow: Change has already been made before, and has been added again.
Red: Change was not made (usually because text does not match).

Latest Changes (3.0)
  • UTF8 support added
  • Font characters are now found in an external UTF8 file you can edit. One for the original game, and one for The Reunion.
  • Ctrl-B, Ctrl-L, Ctrl-R added
  • Reunion R06 detection has been added
  • Font spacing data (224 entries) is automatically retrieved from the game's memory (this is 0x99DDA8)
  • Default corner offsets are now 8 pixels instead of 6.
  • The default snap location of the two bottom corners are now offset within the effective screen area
  • Some internal bug fixes that may stop a crash/hang or two from occurring.
  • Custom tags (like {H1} for a heart symbol) can be made inside the external UTF8 file.
  • Alt codes will be reflected in the dialogue box immediately (for example, hold ALT and press 0151 for the Em Dash —).
  • The input text folder is now FF7_Text and not Text
  • The correct Windows installation folder is found (BoxFF7 no longer assumes c:\windows).
  • Some extra data is logged on main screen
  • Character spacing data and text code data are displayed

Scripting and Reverse Engineering / Chocobo Stats
« on: 2013-04-24 14:14:15 »
I have no idea what is going on here.  Any help appreciated.  See savemap for more information.

Sprint Speed
Max Sprint Speed
Max Speed
Pcount (?)

Stamina (further down savemap and not part of main chocobo table)

Firstly the limits.  The game seems to limit Stamina to 9999.  The other 2 byte stats above never come close to 9999 in game, and there is some sort of limit there too.  Cooperation, Intelligence, PCount are limited in game to 100.   Acceleration seems limited to 80 by the game.  Why?  I have no idea.

Onto problems:

I have no idea what Pcount and Personality do. When I caught a chocobo it was given initial values of 2 for personality, and 0 for Pcount.  When feeding, the Personality ended up at 0 (and all my chocobos reared are 0), and Pcount now sits at 100.  My other chocobos from my old psx save fully fed are on 0). 

It is quite likely Personality is not used.  Not sure about Pcount. 

Acceleration is not part of the script programming, so even if you have not attained 80, the game will still say "no improvement"

I don't understand the limits the game has placed on these values either... some 9999, some 100, one 80.  Keep you posted, because I might go into this more.  For now, this is out there as a "what's going on" thread.

Also, 4 of the 6 Chocobo Tables are higher up the savemap.  I guess at a later point in development, they realised they needed 6 stables?

I have been busy with the trainer.  One thing I have already added is the ability to increase the speed much further than usual.  The default speed values are 1 2 3 4.  However, with simple hex change, this can be made up to 7F (although there is no speed increase beyond a much lower value for some reason).  The speed doesn't work as I expected though.  1 2 3 4 all have distinct speed ups. But later on, there is a higher ump at around 1A.  The comparison to change is at 005FE608.

Anyone shed light on how this value decides game speed?  I will add this tweak to my trainer, but knowing how it all works properly would help also.  I am a little busy to go into it in detail.

FF7 Tools / [PC] Trainer and Debug Tool - Ochu (3.4)
« on: 2013-04-15 03:16:50 »
Download HERE.

Donate HERE

Ochu is an FF7 trainer and debug tool.  It is compatible with the English game, both the original 1998 release (1.02 only) and 2012/2013 re-releases.  Ochu has an easy GUI which you can use to view and change game values, such as stats, high scores, and character coordinates.  The key features are:

Ability to view/edit:

- Main game values (Game progress, gil GP, time etc).
- Major stats and names for all characters.
- Main stats for all enemies (as well as a damage inflicted indicator).
- All chocobo stats and names.
- All mini-game scores.
- Game frame rate for battle, field and world map.
- Field and World Map model coordinates.


- Add all items to your inventory (and allow you to remove Level 4 limit break items).
- Add all materia to your inventory.
- Allow all characters to be viewed/used in PHS.
- Allow any character to be placed in party.
- Fill all characters' Limit gauge.
- Force battle to end.
- Force game over from battle or field.
- Teleport to a number of battles, and field/world map locations.  Other teleport options also exist.


Create and load save-states on Field or World Map.
Be careful.  Certain places were never designed for saving
and may crash the game when loaded.


- Save/PHS anywhere.
- Default Run (Character runs instead of walks as default).
- No battles field/world map.
- Max battles field/world map.
- Lucky Tifa (Tifa slots always display "yeah!")
- Condor Speed (The max limit for the Fort Condor mini-game speed is increased).
- Faster Animation (Battle model animation 2x faster.  Not related to FPS).
- Increase Sense (Sense will work up to 65535HP).
- Lock Inventory (Items will not deplete when you use them).
- No Dialogue Box (Dialogue will not have its box).
- Freeze EXP (All characters cannot gain EXP).
- Max materia slots: All weapons and armours will have 8 linked slots.
- Lock battle ally HP: Ally HP not deplete in battle.
- Lock battle MP: Ally and enemy MP not deplete in battle.
- Faster Death (Enemy death animation will be faster).
- Faster Numbers (Battle numbers such as damage disappear from view quicker).
- Gypt (Skip FMV).

- Gain AP: 1x, 2x, or 3x AP will be gained after battle. This means 9x AP for a triple growth slot.
- Enemy MaxHP: Enemy HP will be multiplied to a maximum of 10x.
- Enemy Level: Enemy level will be increased up to + 50. The final option (=99) will force the enemy to have a level of 99. -
- The enemy level is used in many damage and healing calculations.


- Invincible (Characters will not lose HP/MP and will be completely invincible).
- Control Sephiroth (If Sephiroth is in the party, you will be able to control him in battle).


- Save Map and Temp Bank logger.
- Ability to change Save Map and Temp Bank in realtime.

You can load/save data tables.  All checkbox options will be saved and loaded into memory automatically for your convenience.  To edit, simply enter edit mode with F1 or double click a blank area, then right click a table or section and select update.  See help.rtf for more information.


Always run as admin


Main Code and Options
   Daniel L.P. Burke
Teleporter/SavePHS/General Help/Testing

Gypt/Lucky Tifa/Default Run/No Dialogue Box



This is actually what brought me to Qhimm's in the first place.   :P  Back when I had no idea about assembly or FF7 code or anything really.  Kranmer was the first person to help me here.  I Still havent done my story walkthrough for Youtube haha, because I am still waiting for finished retranslation.

For my trainer, I needed to go into this a bit more.  I took Kranmer's values and did a bit of tracing to see how it all works.  I didn't go detailed, because I only needed to do 2 things a. disable battles in world and field and b. Make battles happen all time in world and field.  Obviously enemy away and enemy lure are part of the calculations.  I haven't bothered going into that.


The World map allows you to walk for a certain distance before the random battles are able to be called.  This is presumably so that you don't get random battles anywhere between instant and 10 seconds etc.  The distance you can walk before random battles are able to be called is set at 00767518

Code: [Select]
mov [00E3A87C],ffffff74
When 00E3A87C (4 bytes) is 10h (through walking, because 00E3A87C is added to by 1 as you walk from 007675F4 ), the random battle function (call 00767641) is allowed.  You can see at 007675FC the comparison to 10.  Once 00E3A87C is 10h, the counter comes into play.  The random battle function is only called when 00E3A87C is equal to 10h, and each time it reaches that there is a CHANCE of a random battle.  00E3A87C is returned to 0 at 00767601 and the cycle repeats until you eventually get a battle. 

If you set 007675F4 to add eax,00, you essentially terminate the counter, and thus stop any ability for the random battle function to be called (At least, I think.  There are some other places that write to 00E3A87C, but we will see).

A random battle will occur if a. The initial movement requirement has been met and b. When random battle function has been called, edx is greater or equal to eax at 00767786.  Directly above this, you can see how a further counter of your movement is always increasing your chance of a battle.  In other words, eventually it is inevitable that you will have a battle, even though sheer luck plays a part.


It is a similar story for field really. The movement counter is found at 00CC1668.  And this again increases the chance of your battle at the comparison at 0060B408.

For reference, each area has a value that affects the chance.  The higher the value, the higher the chance of battle. This seems to be found at 00DBCAD8.  00DBCAD9 is also factored into the calculations, and is increased/decreased by enemy lure/enemy away.

I have done a very rough outline here, but if anyone wants to pick it up from here and do a better reversal, feel free to.

I have done what I needed to do for my trainer.

This program has been removed.  The coordinate locator is now part of
Otyugh found HERE

Placing objects into field locations wasn't as easy as X Y Z.  But now it is! At least... it's as easy as X Y Z T.  FF7 field locations are dependent on their X Y Z and Triangle location.  Without these coordinates, you will never get your object in the right place.  When I wanted to make a side quest that was placement heavy, I realised I couldn't.  I am not sure if Myst6re ever intends to update Makou Reactor with some sort of easy locator  (like clicking on the background), if at all possible, but until that happens, here is the next best thing.

FF7Coords is not here.

FF7Coords will tell you where Cloud is stood.  All you do then is copy the values.  Simple.

I need people to test that this works properly. Also, any messages from virus scanners are false positives caused by the use of UPX.

This program will tell you:

Your X, Y, Z and T location on field.
The direction you are facing on field.
The field ID.
Your X, Y, Z location on world map.

Just open program and run FF7.  Note, you can click the labels and then paste the data anywhere. One left click on a label adds the data to the clipboard.

I am creating a program that will tell you your X Y Z and Triangle position.

The X Y and Triangle ID are updated to their correct save values every time you open a menu (the correct values are placed starting at 00DC08D2).  So, if I wanted to do this a nice basic way, I would stand where I want the object, open menu, and record the X Y T. 

See post 2.

There has to be an easier way to correctly place objects, surely?

General Discussion / How To Improve Final Fantasy VII
« on: 2013-04-08 01:01:28 »
If a remake ever did get made, I feel sure it would address some of these points, but sadly, ignore many others, and change too much of the original game.  My time here has mainly been spent trying to change FF7 for the better, while still maintaining the original feel of the game.  In other words, you don't see me plastering Advent Children material or other spin off material into FF7.  Any changes or additions that I do make are generally geared to providing a faithful update to the game.

This post is here to provide my own opinion on what I feel needs to change in Final Fantasy VII to make it a better game. Obviously, some of these changes are already in motion by myself and others.  Still, it would be nice to see an OFFICIAL FF7 that incorporated some/all of these changes. 

1.  Retranslation/Relocalisation.  Only when you go through this game after seeing how the dialogue was supposed to look/sound do you really realise how much better the translation of FF7 could have been.  At first, I was a little disrespectful to the sole localiser Michael Baskett.  I assumed he had just done an incompetent job.  I did not realise that Japanese is fundamentally different to English.  I naively thought that you could simply translate it like most latin-based languages.  Unfortunately, Japanese is a lot more difficult than that.  In many cases, there simply is no way to accurately translate unless you have the original writers tell you what they intended.  It is clear Baskett did not have this.  It appears very likely he was rushed to do a job with very little context available to him, and almost no involvement from the original staff.  This is why we ended up with Zack, Aeris, Elena and not Zax, Aerith and Yrena.  But it isn't just spellings that suffer, it is the dialogue too.

Japanese can have many interpretations of the same symbol or Kana, and context is king with that language in particular. Without the context, you are often completely fucked.  One example of this is how Tifa states she will fill "the shop" with flowers, instead of "the bar".  Baskett could not have known this without someone telling him, or without playing the game himself.  If you add in time constraints, you get what FF7 ended up with.  Actually, given all of the problems that must have faced him, Baskett did a decent job.  He got most characters reasonably accurate, and got the "feel" correct.  I am not kidding when I say FF7's translation could have been an absolute disaster.

But that aside, there is no denying that FF7 has a complicated story that needs a very competent translation.  Most games could probably get away with some inaccuracies, but this game is not like most.  The main story and background conversations only add to the game when they are better translated/localised.  Instead of your brain constantly going "huh?", you settle down and accept the world and the characters all the more.  There are too many instances of the dialogue either sounding completely unnatural, or else being plain wrong.  The best example of this is the following dialogue:

Code: [Select]
“Are you waiting for {CLOUD}?”{NEW}
“He's flying right now, so you can't get him.”{NEW}
“Were you going to force me
   into the submarine right now?”{NEW}
“Quit it!
   If you want to go, then just leave me behind.”{NEW}
   What're you talking about? I…”

which should be more like this:

Code: [Select]
   Have you decided
   where we're goin' yet?”{NEW}
“Come on!
   I can't take much more of this!”{NEW}
“Hey! You're not thinkin' of shovin'
   me in that crappy sub,are you!?”{NEW}
“I won't go! Never!
   Leave me here,
   leave me here!”{NEW}
   What am I saying…?”

So, number 1 on my list has always been the translation.  One of FF7's key appeals is its story, and it is criminal that we were short changed the first time round (and with all the re-releases).

2. So if Story is one of the key appeals of FF7, the other must be its gameplay.  Unlike most people (perhaps? Let's have a vote), I like turn based battles.  The reason I like turn based battles is because they give humans the time to THINK, and to PLAN, and to EXECUTE.  Strategy should be one of the main staples of a game like FF7.  Unfortunately, with more modern games (not just FF games), we now have a situation where flashy visuals are seen as more important; you have numbers flashing on the screen faster than you can even tell what is going on, moves being executed in real time, running about hacking and slashing with no thought whatsoever being placed into most actions. FF7 is not like that, luckily-  it is a game that affords you the courtesy of being able to engage your brain.  But... it is not without its faults.

The big problem with FF7 is... it is too damn easy.  People keep making the mistake of believing that FF7's battle system is too easy because it is a basic turn-based battle system.  This is not the case.  On the contrary, FF7's battle system and its game system (Materia etc) are really well designed. The problem is, they (especially the battle system) are badly IMPLEMENTED.  The implementation is poor for 3 reasons:

a. They have been implemented in a way that makes FF7 easy for most gamers. From a designers point of view, this is obviously beneficial in terms of making the game appeal to more people.  If a game is too hard, a lot of people may stop playing, and thus the products appeal, longevity, and ultimately financial success will suffer.

b. Laziness.  A lot more could have been done to make FF7 maintain its easy playthrough, while making the gamer use his brain more.  Too often in FF7, a player can just press attack over and over.  While you still get the choice to mix it up (and that is very important), it still doesn't change the fact that you can often forgo using any kind of tactical approach.  They could have added a difficulty option.

c. Time constraints.  Obviously they were on a deadline.  They didn't have an endless amount of time like we seem to here at Qhimm forum.  I have no doubt that had FF7 been given 6 months more in production, it would have been an even better game.  The Submarine minigame in the Gold Saucer is totally unfinished, for example. There was also supposed to be additional side quests in the game, like the Kalm letter quest.

So what can make FF7 better in the gameplay department? Here are my changes:

  • The first thing that all FF games need is a difficulty option. Normal and Hard would suffice.
  • Stop endless hack and slash tactics.  For example, force the player to recognise that a mechanical enemy will not be "hurt" by a normal weapon, and is better defeated by lightning. Making weapons very weak against mechanical enemies is one example (of many) of simple changes that make a big difference. 
  • Make enemy AI more difficult.  FF7 AI is rather basic, let's face it.  The enemies fast become obvious, and players usually have no trouble out manoeuvering them.  The only challenge for most players is when the enemy does a strong/fast attack that they don't have the HP to deal with.  This is not clever gameplay, it is just cheap.
  • Make acquisition of items harder.  Make the currency matter.  In FF7, it becomes too easy to acquire and sell goods.  The result is that a player goes to a shop, buys what he wants, and progresses, with absolutely no thought of whether they should have waited, or whether the transaction was smart.  There's simply no brain power going into decisions; it is too simplistic.  The problem is far worse near the end of the game, where gil is more abundant than Sephiroth's megalomania.
  • Make weapons/armours/accessories matter more.  I've already touched upon the fact that enemies need to exploit gaps in a player's tactics, and this is somewhat related.  Again, in FF7, I feel confident that a lot of the time, I can just do without goods.  It should be the case that a player constantly feels pressure to do something, or make better decisions.  Not just "Ah, it will do".  FF7 has a brilliant system that is not being exploited to its fullest.  Small changes in what a player has equipped could have very different effect on a character's stats, for example.
  • Weapons and armours should have a health rating, and depending on use, should degrade.  Their stats should degrade until eventually they are worthless.  You would need to buy new armour/weapons.
  • Make levelling up and increasing character stats easier near end of the game.  I am sick to death of games that deliberately make the end-game a nasty, annoying grind (to artificially add game time and thus make the game appear like it is longer).  Before I went into programming FF7, there was an illusion I can't describe properly... I would kind of feel like I was accomplishing something with these endless grinds.  Today, I see things in terms of bytes.  I change 1 byte and Cloud becomes an unstoppable demon.  So today, I see grinding as an unnecessary part of FF7... for the most part.  Sure, I still think there should be some challenge in acquiring the highest stats, but definitely not the time waste that FF games bask in.  It is too easy for a programmer to make a stat-increase hard to come by, or have an enemy with an annoying drop rate. The balance needs correcting.
  • Tweak stats for player/enemy/items etc until the game flows properly.
  • Add more puzzles (like Breath of Fire III) into the game and/or story.  Cloister of Trials in FF10 was a breath of f...resh air.

Obviously, with all of these changes, a balance has to be reached.  It is no good making the game TOO involving so that the game feels like a micromanaged chore, but certainly, the balance in FF7 as it stands originally is lop-sided to the easy side of things.

3. Add more minigames, tweak existing minigames, and add more prizes.  The Gold Saucer is one of the most awesome places to be.  I remember the first time I got there in January 1998.  The Gold Saucer allows a player to take a break from the ordinary game, and instead play a game within a game.  The ability to play snowboarding, submarine and bike minigames within the main game, is an excellent design choice.  It promotes longevity, makes a game have more than 1 dimension to it, and allows the player to take a break from the both the story and ordinary game play.  The minigames of FF7 are still fun to this day.  The best thing to do is to add even more 2D games to the gold saucer.  That would definitely be a good move.  The kind of 2D minigames that need adding is up for debate.  The Gold Saucer also needs an auction event (Cloudiar came up with this idea, and it works a charm).

The existing minigames need a tweak.  The Coaster game has a bug where the boat rotor gives you a load of points, and the submarine game was left unfinished. When I went into the submarine game I noticed that the 5 levels have no real difference in difficulty.  The programming did exist once to give each level its own time limit and attributes, but none of this has been used or implemented. I have had to reprogram the game myself, and even though I am limited in what I can do working with assembly, I have still made it much more fun/challenging.  The submarine game is by far the worst programmed thing I have seen in FF7;  the code is all over the place, and there is no real structure to the difficulty or AI or anything. Best guess... bad programming and there was no time left to complete the game.  The 3D-Battler has no real strategy; winning or losing is based entirely on luck and is literally a rock, paper, scissors. I can accept it for this game. The problem is the original programmer made a critical error in the understanding of how probability works, and so the odds of winning this game are 3709-1, instead of the 300-1 he was likely aiming for.  Because these odds were so high, evidently no tester was able to confirm the game worked and so a bug also exists when you have beaten the last opponent.  I and Luksy have corrected this problem already.   It is another example of how FF7 was likely on a deadline that expired. [Quick note... I finally defeated the 3rd opponent the other day for the first time in my whole life.  And that isn't even the final opponent]

Lastly, the prizes given out for the minigames are rather basic and uninvolved.  For example, there aren't many prizes for different scores in the G-Bike game.  More prizes need to be given out for each of the minigames; the submarine game could also give out prizes for high scores (and submarine high scores saved also).

In other words, the minigames needed more time to be perfected.  And with a little more time, and better design, they would be even more fun to play.  The minigames could also do with a small graphical update.  I personally don't mind if the 2D games stay the same graphically, simply because it gives them a classical feel.

5. Get Rid of Cait Sith.  Yup, I have been talking about it a while, but haven't got round to doing it yet.  An option would be nice since that would stop so many fanboys from writing death threats to Nomura. Cait Sith, imho, is the one big chink in FF7's story.  He has been shoehorned into the story, probably late in development.  The whole concept of a talking robot toy mounted on top of a stuffed white toy, controlled by Reeve is nonsense.  It really is nonsense.  I can't suspend my disbelief to it, and any scene Cait is in detaches me from the story.  I try to avoid him whenever I can. A viable story could easily be made where a human spy joined your party, perhaps in a much more plausible way than "I'm coming with you no matter WHAT you say".  Cait is badly written and needs to go.

6. Graphics Update.   I don't consider graphics that high up the list of how to improve FF7 in terms of "being a game", but it is clearly something that needs to be addressed.  In 1997, FF7 was revolutionary and new, but even as early as FF8 the blocky character models had become dated. When people think of "graphical update" they start to fantasize about 1080p, realtime hack-slash, and 3D field environments.  I don't.  I think a good trade off would be to update FF7 based on the original game.  In other words, the FMV would be updated, the field graphics would still be pre-rendered from a 3D source, and the battle graphics and world map would be updated.  There would be no changing of the actual structure of how the original game worked. It would be literally a graphics update to the original game and not an overhaul of the entire design.  720p would more than suffice.  This approach would also mean less money and time would be needed in development.

7.  Add more side-quests.  One of my early ideas was to add a "1:35 Soldier" quest, where you found 50 (or maybe 99) of the items around the game, much like the parcels in GTA.  I can now start adding this quest, since I understand Makou Reactor and scripting a whole lot more.  This is one idea of many that simply add more to do without interrupting the gameplay/story balance that the original game got right. 

8. Add optional orchestra music (for as many as possible).

That's it off the top of my head.  I may return to this at intervals to add more.

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