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Any PAL version for GEX?
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Narann
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Any PAL version for GEX? Reply with quote Back to top

Hi GEX community.

First: Thanks for GEX even if I haven't been able to play it yet. ^^'

I have a simple question: I'm in Europe and have a PAL TV. I have a Neo Myth 64 flash card and it work well for PAL games (and NTSC too but my TV is unable to display them correctly).

Is there any way to apply the GEX patch to a PAL game? Have you any plan to provide a GEX patch for PAL roms? Is it hard to do?

Thanks in advance. Smile

A frustrated user-with-a-PAL-tv.
 
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry NTSC only. And paladin didn't appear to work on GE X. There are a decent amount of pal tvs that supports NTSC. Unfortunately that's your best option.
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Narann
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Arf. That's sad. Sad

Thank you very much for the answer anyway. Smile
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Although as someone who works in the Television industry...I'd have suggested nothing but PAL years and years ago (as it's just a nicer CRT system to work with!) hehehehe
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Are they..?

I don't think I could bear the 10 framerate drop quality image or not :\

Narann surely if you don't have televisions to support NTSC you can emulate with Project64
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Dragonsbrethren
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Really, I don't think you'd notice it once you were used to it. It's not like GoldenEye/Perfect Dark even hit 60 fps (on N64 hardware) anyway. If you watched it at 50 and 60 Hz side-by-side, yeah, NTSC would look smoother, but without that comparison you'd get used to 50 almost instantly.

I mean, movies are shot at 24 fps and no one really complains about that. They don't look choppy in the theater, do they? Your brain's pretty good at handling this stuff.
 
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Narann
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

@mistamontiel
Thanks for the link but I intent to use GEX on a real N64 in my lounge, not my computer.

And I don't really like emulators, I prefer reel hardware. Cool

@Dragonsbrethren
Yeah, N64 actually has a low framerate so there is few situations where you will really feel the difference. Smile
 
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Kerr Avon
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 PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My own (LCD) TV is a Samsung PAL, which are apparently notorious for being temperamental where NTSC is concerned - using an Everdrive 64* to play NTSC N64 games I can play most OK, but a few only give me a black screen (I think the TV can't handle the special low res. modes these games put out). Offhand, the only three I can remember are;

1. Perfect Dark - fortunately this is only at the boot up screen (the copyright message, then the rotating N64 to PD animation). The screen is black whilst all that goes on, then (thankfully!) the TV starts showing everything from the select profile screen onwards, the menus, the game, etc. It's only on the boot up screen that the TV can't cope, after that everything else is as it should be - playing the game is no problem at all. The same applies to Goldeneye X, since Goldneye X is basically Perfect Dark NTSC only with different data, so Goldeneye X also just gives me a black screen for the boot screen, but after that the TV displays everything no problem (from the select profile screen onwards). And I am *so* glad, as PD is not only my favourite game, but I bought the Everdrive 64 to play Goldeneye X.


2. Stunt Racer 64 - same as PD (above), the boot up screen just shows up as black, then the game works fine.


3. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine - this game does not work at all on my TV. The sound plays OK, but the picture is black, even if I (blindly) start to play the game. It works OK if I plug the N64 into the other TV in the house, but the Samsung can't display the game at all, which is a pity as this game is supposed to be good, and it was never released in PAL so I can't play this game at all on my TV.

Every PAL N64 game I have works fine on my TV, and as far as I can remember every other NTSC N64 game works too. I also have other things connected to my TV (an original XBox, and Xbox 360, a PS2, a PS3 (all consoles are PAL) and a laptop) and they all work fine. Only the N64 has problems, and only with some NTSC games.

Another thing about LCDs, as you probably know, is that they sometimes look bad when displaying old consoles. The only machine I have that this is true for on the TV is (again) the N64, though it doesn't look too bad, just rougher than it does on a CRT (on some TVs an older console can look awful). Something else to think about if you choose to buy a new TV. If you decide to buy a new TV then it would be a good idea to post on an N64 (or equally old/older machine's) forums asking for advice on what TVs work well, or pick up a CRT TV. I don't know if CRTs are still made, but lots of people are giving their old ones away for next to nothing or even for free, as they upgrade to LCD.

Or if you buy an Everdrive 64 (or similar), then when you go to a TV shop you could take the N64, and ask if you can test the N64 with a TV (and try Indiana Jones to see if you get a picture).



* an N64 addon that allows you to play game rom files as though they are cartridges, it's really excellent, for a review see: http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7360089/1/#new




Narann wrote:
@mistamontiel
Thanks for the link but I intent to use GEX on a real N64 in my lounge, not my computer.

And I don't really like emulators, I prefer reel hardware. Cool


I'm sort of the same. I do like emulators, but I think you don't get the same feel as on the original hardware. But in the N64's case it's pretty much irrelevant at the moment, as no emulator is accurate enough to run all (or most) games properly. N64 emulation is very hit and miss, but fortunately there are two emulators in development that aim at total compatibility; the MESS version, and Cen64 (http://cen64.com/), though both will probably have very high system requirements since they do so much work to ensure near total accuracy.


@Dragonsbrethren
Yeah, N64 actually has a low framerate so there is few situations where you will really feel the difference. Smile[/quote]

I don't know if Perfect Dark has a better frame rate in the NTSC version as opposed to the PAL version. Early N64 games did run 17% or so faster on NTSC than PAL (the four I seem to remember being Super Mario 64, Pilot Wings 64, Wave Race 64, and Mario Kart 64), but after that PAL games (on the N64) started getting 1:1 ports, as far as I know. I can't think of any N64 game other than the four I mention that do have inferior frame-rates in PAL, though admittedly I might be hugely wrong as I've not played many N64 games in NTSC.

Is there a list of PAL vs NTSC N64 game speeds, on the 'net, please?
 
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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

From an industry standard PAL is 25fps and NTSC is 30 - but the real killer is the overheat issues on pure colors that NTSC suffers from meaning that PAL could deliver a richer color experience. Then there's the conversion methods which basically involved dropping/duplicating frames procedurally and tweaking the audio to pitch the running speed meaning that PAL is generally quarter of a pitch out - long story short: nobody **** up like the Television Industry. Fortunately with the emergence of the "geek world" there's been a drive toward more suitable products...something all console manufacturers seemed to have missed this time around. Anyway, back to topic...

I like both the emulator and the original actually - the Logitech controllers work wonderfully with GE and other analogue games plus being able to map Super Smash Brothers onto a d-pad is a blessing! Still, if given a choice I'll sit there and play it on the console Smile

And I can't get GEX running either as my gear is PAL, although given that I generally find PDs framerate too low I'll stick to emulator on this one also. Shame they didn't have a "turn extra stuff off" option in the settings menu for when you've got 4 players and bots...
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SilenceHarmsYourEars
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hello I'd like more input on this topic and a couple questions about Goldeneye X in general.

I am also in Europe so, Pal TV. From the above info I gather their is perhaps a 50/50 chance that it will work on an Everdrive 64? And that their are some Pal TVs that "support NTSC." How do I know if my TV supports NTSC?

So main questions are:

1) Any chance of making it 100% Pal N64 working ?

2) Is their any of the multiplayer LAG still present, specifically with explosions? Or have the modders improved it with this Goldeneye X? I have already been informed you've taken the stupid 20-second stun effect off which is good, but I am referring specifically to general lag in Perfect Dark multiplayer? It was far too much to make it playable with more than perhaps 3 players and 3 bots.

3) Have the graphics been "improved" at all? Goldeneye had superior graphics to Perfect Dark on the N64, hands down. Has anything been done to make it more like Goldeneye in that respect?

Hope someone can answer, thanks.
 
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Trevor
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Here is my experiance with NTSC/PAL
I have a Sharp TV and its PAL.
NTSC works flawlessly on it as well as an old CRT in my room.

Technichaly PAL is better in that it has a higher resolution than NTSC however this does not fit true with PD

Reasons:
In another thread somewhere here it was noted that PAL PD used
320x260 & 448x268
However NTSC used
320x222 & 640x222

http://fgfc.ddns.net/PerfectGold/GoldenEye/PD%20FrameBufferRes%20Comparison%2Ebmp

so, while in Lo-res PAL is better, However NTSC hi-res is way better.



"How do I know if my TV supports NTSC"
Simple, switch it on and see.
If no support you should see a black & White image with or without a flicker.

" Any chance of making it 100% Pal N64 working ? "
Not Likley

"Is their any of the multiplayer LAG still present"
This is an N64, that wont change. The more on-screen the longer it takes to process.
Personally I liked the stun, just not the effect after death.

"Have the graphics been "improved" at all? Goldeneye "
read resolution above.
As to improvements other than resolution, no, its all original GE files.
So all the BG and objects are just as good as GE. The bodies in PD were superior, however the GE ones have been used.

At a future date I plan to release some improvements I have made.
There is little point in doing it now since it would require re-patching every new release.



"TV can't handle the special low res. modes these games put out"
You then refrence PD and Indy, I think you mean High Resolution since both these titles use Hi res intros.
Indy does look nice, the controls arnt great though.



Trev
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zoinkity
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The PAL version of PD, unlike some N64 titles that letterbox, draws the full size of the screen. It's slightly larger, and as a result completely clobbers all the rdram addresses. It also uses a slightly different codebase requiring rewriting all the custom code used in GE:X.

Although it's possible to force most NTSC games to display PAL, this would not be a trivial hack in this case. In addition, you'd be forced to letterbox the output.

The address differences are the reason the editor doesn't properly support PAL yet. However, when the final version of GE:X is released it could be ported. Keeping two parallel codebases though development would be murder for the team.

Also, to answer the graphics issue...
GoldenEye and Perfect Dark both use custom graphics microcodes but are based on different base microcodes.
GE is closer to the microcode found in Mario; it's slower but vastly more accurate. This is most noticable when looking at reflections and metalics.
PD is closer to the microcode found in Zelda; it's by far faster but at the cost of inaccuracy. Reflections and metalics aren't anywhere near as clear but it has the capacity to do realtime lighting effects without a serious hit to gameplay.
Although it's possible to port microcodes, in this case it would be a serious hit to gameplay. PD has much more background activity and many effects rely on the newer microcode's speed. For comparison, the earliest microcodes were easily half as slow as the final versions and in applications like realtime lighting much, much slower.
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SilenceHarmsYourEars
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for answering my questions and the detailed replies folks!

zoinkity wrote:
The address differences are the reason the editor doesn't properly support PAL yet. However, when the final version of GE:X is released it could be ported. Keeping two parallel codebases though development would be murder for the team.

Understood.

How about a half-way development dedicated PAL version celebration then? Razz

zoinkity wrote:
Although it's possible to port microcodes, in this case it would be a serious hit to gameplay. PD has much more background activity and many effects rely on the newer microcode's speed.

Is it too difficult to disable the background activity? I don't recall the background action being significantly different - at least not on the Multiplayer levels that were like Goldeneye.

Perhaps this game is better titled Perfect Dark X.

Whether I will be able to tolerate it for Multiplayer is yet to be determined - as I am quite fussy with my games and demanding excellence. If not, I shall just have to hope and wait for Goldfinger to challenge the excellence of Goldeneye.

The inferior graphics and the excess lag (especially multi-player) of Perfect Dark were about the sole reasons why I refused to give the original PD much attention - as I more of a social / Multi-player person, and whilst Perfect Dark had lots of brilliant guns, gadgets and scenarios - the quality of gameplay was not up to par with the original Goldeneye title, specifically on multi-player. I just couldn't tolerate the lag and stun-effect nonsense. And their was much more lag than on Goldeneye.

I think it would have made more sense to work from the Goldeneye model and turn THAT more like Perfect Dark as best can be. Not sure if that would have been harder or what but, who knows. Looks like people are giving a try with this Goldfinger game so - just hope that works for N64 console. Anyhow, I'm thinking to try getting it working PAL and who knows, my opinions may be changed.

Trevor wrote:
"How do I know if my TV supports NTSC"
Simple, switch it on and see.
If no support you should see a black & White image with or without a flicker.

This would be fine, if not for the fact that an EverDrive 64 is quite an expensive bit of kit for the average person. Especially when I would be buying it mainly to test this game, as I more or less have all the best N64 Multiplayer games in original real carts.

So that's a hell of risk to go spending that money for a "it might work" if you see what I mean.

Trevor wrote:
""Is their any of the multiplayer LAG still present"
This is an N64, that wont change. The more on-screen the longer it takes to process.

Sure but - their was a hell of a difference between lag on Goldeneye and Perfect Dark.

Goldeneye was done in a 100% professional manner. None of the "lag" on it could even really be described as lag. The only time it ever really lagged on Goldeneye on the N64 was during massive multiplayer using lots of explosives, and even then it was only for a very short few seconds. And the way it was done felt almost "natural", as you'd obviously be stunned and out your mind in real if that happened. It always felt professional and never frustrating.

Perfect Dark was another bag altogether. Unprofessional. The lag (at least for multiplayer) was annoying, excessive, and combined with the inferior graphics and stupid 10-20 second stun effect, made the multi-player significantly inferior, and even un-professional in my view.

Please try bear in mind I am talking about both these games mainly from a local Multi-player split-screen perspective. Although from experience even the 1st player on Goldeneye is superior.

Thanks for the replies people.
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"The PAL version of PD, unlike some N64 titles that letterbox, draws the full size of the screen. It's slightly larger, and as a result completely clobbers all the rdram addresses."

The same is true for GE, It draws full height (though both games stretch the View Vertically in PAL)

Although, as can be seen in my image, Hi-Res NTSC uses more memory than PAL.

I love the resolution but I can now see why so many complained about PD's framefrate. PAL is not so slow in Hi-res.


"GE is closer to the microcode found in Mario; it's slower but vastly more accurate. This is most noticable when looking at reflections and metalics.
PD is closer to the microcode found in Zelda; it's by far faster but at the cost of inaccuracy. Reflections and metalics aren't anywhere near as clear but it has the capacity to do realtime lighting effects without a serious hit to gameplay.
"

Now, while doing the blender multiplexor stuff I found the changelog and while Mario is Fast3D, I would have said that GE would be using F3DEX Version 1.
F3DEX1 is an extension to and compatable with Fast3D.
F3DEX1* was released before GE (but after Mario)
To Use F3DEX1 all Rare would need to do is compile their source after updating GCCEXE

* Specifically
10/15/96:
Release 1.00
* Add header files for Ultra 64 Development Environment
release 2.0g.
* Supports L3DEX ucode which can accept 32 vertices cache.

Your ucode05.txt refrences Microcode05 - RSP SW 2.0G - GE/PD

PD would most likly be using F3DEX2 as base and I did find similar binary differences in ucode that matched your findings.
eg [taken from your ucode05.txt Updated by myself]
Code:
B7   rsp_uc05_setgeometrymode

when following bitflags set, attributes applied to surfaces

F3DEX   lower word   
1   0x00800000   clipping   (Perfect Dark only)
2   0x00000000   clipping2
1/2   0x00000001   depth buffer
1   0x00000002   texture enable   Microcode Use Only
2    0x00000000   texture enable2 Ignored
1   0x00001000   cull front
2   0x00000200   cull front2
1   0x00002000   cull back
2   0x00000400   cull back2

Actually, this example is not good as PD uses a F3DEX1 binary not a 2 one...
Ok... actually... I just searched for PD only stuff and I now cant find any...
There were some in the Blender and Combiner but those have now been proven wrong and not related to UCode Version.
hmm... Prahaps PD does not use F3DEX2, maybe its still F3DEX?


Your comparison of Environment Mapping is odd, PD used more than GE hehehe. Do you mean though that PD did not use Sub-Pixel Calculations?

Thats the only quality difference I can find documented between F3DEX and F3DEX2, and its optional at that.

F3DEX2 claimes compared with F3DEX series, F3DEX2 series can reduce the process time by 5 - 70%. Since switching F3DEX to F3DEX2 has the largest effect of reduction, there is a possibility that the calculation speed of RSP may improve dramtically by this change.


F3DEX1/2 allowed a greater Vertex cache over Fast3D (32 over 16), but with Tri4 its limited to 16 anyway...?

Smile comments?

Trev
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was making a generalization based on the two big series divisions. The difference in the microcodes isn't really the RSP command format but the code interpreting it. The pre-Zelda microcodes favored quality and accuracy over speed.

In this case accuracy would be measured the way you measure the accuracy of, say, sine; basically it's the time required for the number of iterations required to get to the degree of accuracy you want. The time required to find sin within a thousandth versus hundred thousanths, for instance, is quite noticeable on an N64.

It might be simple to recompile when you're working with source code but doing it with binary releases is an entirely different matter.

Background Activity
PD has much more code running at any given time than GE did. Viewports are not as simple. GE basically was just a camera; PD initially captures the scene, then applies viewpoint-specific overlays and lighting effects.

PD does a different, more accurate calculation of a player's location. Clipping--a layer that defines what is floor and the "lighting" on players--is much simpler in GE. It's continuous, you can not move beyond it, and to simplify calculations characters are forced down to it's level. This is why a player on a ladder will appear either at the top or bottom, but never in the middle.
PD uses a series of unconnected platforms. Characters are in a constant state of falling and these platforms support them. A player's position is accurate--no fudging y--and they appear exactly where their viewport specifies.

GE did not have "lighting". What we now call vertex color was originally dubbed "precalculated lighting", so the surface always appeared lit by a static source despite no lighting calculations being done. A good example would be the red and blue hallways in Complex.
With the faster microcodes it became possible to do realtime lighting in PD. Shooting out lights affects the nearby surfaces. Where this causes problems though is with the sprite-like explosions. Explosion code wasn't especially updated between the games, though the explosions themselves weren't the big issue. Smoke generated from explosions and bullet holes is a major and nasty hit to the CPU, explosions second. With PD the CPU-generated effect also acts as a point-generated light source. So, both combined slow down both processors for 15-20 seconds.

That's just baseline PvP MP. Adding in AI adds a huge impact. The higher poly counts for both stages and characters adds to it. 1st person animations certainly do. Thankfully no MP stages used mp3s and just stuck to the midi stuff.

That though leads to the biggie: Perfect Dark did not strip down MP stages or limit effects like GoldenEye did. GoldenEye does not apply smoke, scorch overlays, never had an MP stage with monitor animations, had lower poly counts in MP stages, removed any sprite overlays like lamps from MP stages, did not use AI or even include path networks in MP-specific stages, and oftentimes altered environmental data (fog, view distance, etc.) to suit MP.

They were also very selective about what appeared in MP. Blackouts aside, framerates suffer in solo stages converted to MP. One of the best examples is the dam portion of Dam. The cliffs in the distance, even when they aren't visible, cause serious and noticeable frameskipping. Frigate, Silo, and Depot are nearly unplayable. Monitors have to be excluded from Aztec, and controlling what parts of the stage are available prevents most framedrop.
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