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VIP 4 2018 - That was fun

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This Eye o' Mine
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VIP 4 2018 - That was fun

Postby This Eye o' Mine » 5 months ago

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Boon's back! raocow's finally redoing VIP4 after nine years. From the impressions I got playing some of the VIPs recently, I think this entry is definitely more approachable than the earlier ones, because it doesn't rely as much on obscure and obtuse features of the engine. This is all relative of course; there's still quite a few stinkers in there. It is a VIP game after all.

Historically, this game is (or should be) significant to long-time rao watchers for a number of things. His playthrough nine years ago made the game into a pretty large influence on the development of ASMT for instance, and it marked the point where he started attempting to finish games without using save-states, a venture that in that particular instance did not make it to the end of the LP, for better or for worse. As far as I can tell it also marks the first appearance of PPR, who was born from audio-recording kerfuffles in one particular episode. Finally, it's the latest VIP that was out at the time, with VIP5 coming out roughly two years later, and VIP6 still being in the works to this day. That makes this the final chapter of the redo quadrilogy. (Unless raocow decides to redo VIP5 for some reason)

As for the localization of the ROM, there's been a change in staff since VIP3. This time an awesome dude named 'lion' did the brunt work in providing a translation of the entire game, as well as a list of most of the references it makes to other popular works. I joined the team about two months ago now, and put my Japanese language skills to use in order to give it a second coating of translation. Ryrir and I then spent some time figuring out context, and bouncing back-and-forth ideas on how to make all of the text work in a way that makes sense. Our aim has been to let English-speaking players understand the original intentions of the authors as accurately as possible, while also providing a pleasant and (hopefully) amusing reading experience befitting the tone of the game.

Enough rambling about my work! Tech-wise, Super Maks 64 has worked hard to fix the old addmusic issues that have previously confined this hack, like many others, to inaccurate emulators like ZSNES. He has also written a patch that will significantly reduce sprite-related lag, and some ASM that made our job easier by allowing the translation to take up more space text-wise, as well as by making the translator notes less intrusive into the gameplay experience. You'll recognize these when they come up!

That's basically my two cents about this project. Having become intimately familiar with the game's text and the jokes within it over the past couple of weeks, I will be making regular posts explaining the process and logic behind some of the translation decisions we made. We've tried not to go overboard with textdumps in the ROM explaining every detail of the memes, so if anybody has any questions regarding the text or what it was trying to say, or just about something VIP related you would like to know, please feel free to post it, and I will answer it if possible. Any criticisms too would be appreciated, if it's constructive.

Well then, I hope you all enjoy the work we've put into this, as well as the game on its own merits.
(That last one's optional though)

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1 - chi's sweet home
2 - switch
3 - h2o: footprints in the sand
4 - black butler
5 - kitarō of the graveyard
6 - neo angelique abyss
7 - hell girl: three vessels
8 - astro fighter sunred
9 - michiko & hatchin
10 - birdy the mighty: decode
11 - chaos;head
12 - da capo II: second season
13 - someday's dreamers: summer skies
14 - web ghosts pipopa
15 - black tomb
16 - green vs. red
17 - mnemosyne
18 - rosario + vampire
19 - yes precure 5 gogo!
20 - penguin girl heart
21 - a penguin's troubles
22 - detroit metal city
23 - my guardian characters
24 - yatterman
25 - shigofumi: letters from the departed
26 - blassreiter
27 - soul eater
28 - they are my noble masters
29 - our home's fox deity
30 - ultraviolet: code 044
31 - blue dragon: trials of the seven shadows
32 - please my melody
33 - to love-ru
34 - battle spirits: boy breakthrough bashin
35 - library war
36 - corpse princess
37 - mission-e
38 - major s4
39 - the masked maid guy
40 - persona: trinity soul
41 - psychic squad
42 - (vulgar) goodbye mr. despair
43 - kite liberator
43b - special a
44 - toradora!
FINAL - 45 - tales of the abyss

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If you want to play along, here's the as-of-yet incomplete version 0.99 patch:
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 082018.bps
NOTE: We forgot to set the checksum on this release by accident. This won't impact the way the game functions at all, but if you're trying to play this on ZSNES then it might complain briefly about a 'bad rom', before running it anyway.

Changelog:

v0.9 (11/08/2018):
- First release

v0.99 (17/08/2018):
- Numerous translation fixes and tweaks
- Fixed some music bugs that occurred in the late-game
- Improved FastROM patch (though not finished yet)
- Fixed some missing or messed-up translations in the graphics
Last edited by This Eye o' Mine on 25 Sep 2018, 13:27, edited 55 times in total.
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GlitchMr
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - ...so why isn't Horse here?

Postby GlitchMr » 5 months ago

This Eye o' Mine wrote: (Unless raocow decides to redo VIP5 for some reason)
I sorta wonder what would need to happen for this to occur. Although I suppose raocow did play VIP1/2/3 thrice (the first run being on Google Video).

I sorta hope this thread gets closed after 1000 replies. It's VIP after all.

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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - ...so why isn't Horse here?

Postby Ryrir » 5 months ago

I'm really looking forward to this.

raocow's previous Vip4 LP in 2009 was one I rewatched pretty often and I would consider it to be one of his "classics" (alongside ASMT or AUS). Looking at how much experience he's gained since then, I'm sure that he'll make it through this time around without resorting to tools.

Even though the game certainly has its flaws, I feel like there's always something about the level design that's really engaging and fun. Yeah, it has its low points and I certainly expect some amount of frustration, but I'm confident that the overall experience is going to be great!

Welp! Here's to VIP QUALITY!
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - ...so why isn't Horse here?

Postby Zach808 » 5 months ago

Oh man, the youtube comments are gonna be fun.

Anyways, man, this hack. It was the shit when I first played it. Not my first Raocow LP (that was VIP1 thanks to ProtonJon), but it's the VIP I probably played the most. Of course, I sucked balls at it, so I was stuck at Bowser's Castle until I replayed the game a couple months ago. I have no idea how the dragon coins are gonna go. If you can't do them without it interfering horribly with the LP (because sometimes they're basically golden strawberry levels of ridiculous), might want to just skip them.

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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - ...so why isn't Horse here?

Postby raocow » 5 months ago

look, there is a circle for the coins
I need to fill in these circles.
I *need* to.
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - ...so why isn't Horse here?

Postby Leet » 5 months ago

I'm gonna play along!!!!! I love VIP and successfully completed Vip 1 toolless (not 100 percent). Vip 2 frustrated me so I didn't play much, and I got pretty far in Vip 3 but didn't beat it. But I love all the games in terms of "watching raocow play them" at least. Ultra classics
ImageWell it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby This Eye o' Mine » 5 months ago

And he's off! Horse death count: 1
...and 2, and 3.
Good start.

Just a couple notes before we start. In light of people saying they want to play along, we've decided to upload the patch already. You can find it in the starting post. Keep in mind though, there's still some minor hardware inaccuracy bugs in the end game that we are expecting to fix long before the LP gets to that point, and we're still tweaking some very nitpicky design and translation choices. The patch that is up at the time of this writing is therefore NOT the final version. Though since we're not screwing with the way saveRAM is handled, game saves (not savestates) will be fully compatible between updates, so don't worry about losing progress (besides life count and score) in the long run. You can just rename your existing saveRAM file to the filename of the new ROM file when you update.

Actually, be sure to check the OP anyway even if you're not interested in playing, because of another thing I just uploaded.

Translator's note:
Right off the bat, the first localization thing, and even though it's a case where we actually didn't change anything it's still a pretty significant one!
The fire flower replacement has apparently been a mystery to everybody since the VIPs were first played in front of an English-speaking audience. People have seen it as some kind of soda, or maybe a lucky charm. When time came to translate the previous VIPs, the translator Horikawa saw the writing on there as a variety of things, ultimately settling on 敬具, which means "torture device", and which she adapted into the text "pain" written on it.

Spending a while googling stuff like "fire flower VIP MIX" in Japanese led me to this:

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They're Frisk brand mints.
Boon is shooting fresh breath out of his hands!
And it burns!
Science!

These things are pretty popular in Japan, but not unique to there, originally coming from Belgium. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen this exact box design for sale at some point myself. How did this slip by all of us for ten years?

So anyway, we debated replacing it with a more recognizable mint brand, since I'm almost completely sure there's no big meme to it other than perhaps that the person who did the graphic swap liked Frisk. In the end though, we asked around a bit and figured out people would appreciate a major graphic like this the way it was originally. At least we managed to close the book on this one once and for all.

Here's some pictures of the design we considered:
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby jayScribble » 5 months ago

A little bit in me misses the old Charlie replacements in the previous VIPs with his """baseball bat""" and """shovel tail""".

And yeah, the secret exit of "Para-panic" was certainly a thing of expertise needed to clear it.
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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Nao » 5 months ago

Still can't decide which one is my favourite VIP game (4 or 5), regardless though this LP is going to be awesome! I'm impressed by the translation already, good job guys!

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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Zach808 » 5 months ago

The beginning of this hack seems a bit out of character for this series. Right off the bat, we’re actually getting some decent levels rather than the typical Youtube junk from the other Vips, even 5. The switch changing the first half of Para Panic was quite clever, and the first 2 levels are a fun romp overall.

Also, be prepared for pretty much no difficulty curve whatsoever other than the crazy endgame. Para Panic is crazy hard for world 1 (despite Raocow making me look like a complete noob at it, as usual), and there are some levels even in worlds 6 and 7 that are easier than it.

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Re: VIP 4 Redo (Prelude) - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Nao » 5 months ago

Zach808 wrote: The beginning of this hack seems a bit out of character for this series. Right off the bat, we’re actually getting some decent levels rather than the typical Youtube junk from the other Vips, even 5. The switch changing the first half of Para Panic was quite clever, and the first 2 levels are a fun romp overall.
The junk levels are located in the second half of World 1 and especially in World 2 instead :D

Also I think the difficulty curve in this game (and I'd say the same for VIP 3, 5 & 6) is actually pretty good. It's not a constantly increasing one, but it's one that keeps the balance between hard and easy levels in each world relatively well without putting too many hard levels after each other, and I'd say it does increase overall from world to world. There are a couple difficulty spikes like the secret exit of Para Panic, but they usually aren't required to progress forward in the game.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby GlitchMr » 5 months ago

raocow proves once again he is really good at Super Mario World. I suppose he played so many ROM hacks it's to be expected.

Like, I kept dying a lot in Horse's Rescue Drama, and it took me about 5 attempts to do Pata-Panic. I consider Horse's Rescue Drama to be harder than Pata-Panic secret myself, actually.

That said, I should have known, like raocow died like 7 times in my smwhosmw 11 level. I usually die more than this, and I am the level author, like come on.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Lostsoldier20 » 5 months ago

Oh man, it's the return to VIP 4. The playthrough that introduced me to raocow and kept me watching for the last.... holy hell it's been that long?!

Either way, you can hear the genuine joy raocow feels playing VIP again. We'll see what happens later when we get to THAT level
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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby GlitchMr » 5 months ago

Lostsoldier20 wrote: Either way, you can hear the genuine joy raocow feels playing VIP again. We'll see what happens later when we get to THAT level
I'm sorta curious what is the level you are talking of. There are many levels in VIP4 that could possibly be called "THAT level". I'm guessing you meant Moving On to an Unreasonable Tomorrow - which honestly I'm not too worried about myself, raocow did beat the much harder sequel to this level in VIP5 while getting all Dragon Coins.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby WYE » 5 months ago

This Eye o' Mine wrote: He has also written a patch that will significantly reduce sprite-related lag
I have no right to be so curious, but... care to elaborate? That sounds pretty intriguing!
I take it it's something other than the SA-1 patch? Is it a private thing tailored to VIP4, or is it something other hacks could benefit from?

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Zach808 » 5 months ago

I thought the sprite lag was due to ZSNES having crappy default settings. My latest playthrough was done with a higher execution cap, and that fixed it for me.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby simfan96 » 5 months ago

I'm amazed by all the hard work you've done to fix and translate my favorite of the VIP games, could not imagine how long and how hard of work that took. Now you give me a good reason to replay it! Also, love the addition of the translation notes that were added in the overworld too! Looking forward to seeing more future work of your's!

Keep up the amazing work!

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby This Eye o' Mine » 5 months ago

WYE wrote:
This Eye o' Mine wrote: He has also written a patch that will significantly reduce sprite-related lag
I have no right to be so curious, but... care to elaborate? That sounds pretty intriguing!
I take it it's something other than the SA-1 patch? Is it a private thing tailored to VIP4, or is it something other hacks could benefit from?
It's actually completely different from the SA-1 patch. My knowledge on this is still pretty limited, since I've only just started learning about how the SNES and SMW work on a technical level since about a month ago, but from my understanding asking Super Maks 64 about this, the SNES CPU is able to run at 2 different speeds: 2.68Mhz and 3.58Mhz. Don't ask me the details about why it doesn't always just run at 3.58Mhz (let's all agree that the SNES is a Well-Built Consoletm), but by default, SMW runs at the lower speed. The patch I was talking about is known as a FastROM patch, and through a couple of relatively simple tricks that involve [technobabble]making the code run through a mirror section of the ROM data mapped on the address space[/technobabble], as well as simply setting the clock speed register's value to '1', you can make the SNES run at the faster speed. The reason I mentioned that it was 'sprite related' is maybe a bit misleading, because I just meant that more sprites on screen equals more processing time required, which is the most typical cause of slowdown.

This can and is being applied to more hacks. There's a standard patch for vanilla game functions, and applying it to a hack is a matter of seeing on an invidual basis whether it conflicts with any custom programming and data. We're working on fixing up the other VIPs some more, and we'll definitely be applying it there!
Zach808 wrote: I thought the sprite lag was due to ZSNES having crappy default settings. My latest playthrough was done with a higher execution cap, and that fixed it for me.
Haven't checked on this personally, but that's most likely an overclocking feature of ZSNES specifically, and it definitely wouldn't be possible at all on original hardware. If anything, the default ZSNES settings would be more accurate to reality in this regard. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong about that though.

Also, stay tuned for some more translation notes on things that appeared in today's video. I feel like I've already been explaining way too much in one go, and am therefore hesitant to just dump everything here on the first day.
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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Lockirby2 » 5 months ago

You didn't sandpaper anyone's liver in this video! I am unsubscribing from this filthy liar.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby LunarRainbowShyGuy » 5 months ago

Oh hey, raocow's playing VIP 4. I don't have much to say about the game here, but I think I'll play along with raocow so that I will have things to say in the future. Plus, I had a lot of fun playing along with raocow in Mega Man Zero. Though I don't have much experience playing Mario romhacks, and I know that the VIP games can get pretty difficult so... I guess I'll see how much fun I end up having. (Also, I don't remember if I watched raocow's first playthrough of this game. I feel like I have some extremely vague memories of these levels, but for the most part I don't remember any of this game at all.) Anyway, I think I'll go try to remember how to connect a Wii remote to my computer so I can play with a SNES Classic controller.

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby FourteenthOrder » 5 months ago

Seeing how excited raocow is to be playing this again makes me so happy.
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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby gbreeze » 5 months ago

Oh man :D

Also really amazing job to all the people who put this together. Thanks for your hard work!

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Ashan » 5 months ago

Woo, I've been waiting for this one since the beginning of the VIP redos.

VIP4 is like one of the 2 single stand-out romhacks I really got invested into and have some great memories with (the other being ASMT). It's probably the hardest game I've ever done "savestateless" (inspired by MoltovMarioWorld, savestating as soon as you load into a level, both at level entrance and after dying after getting a midpoint -- so it's basically savestateless but makes it so you never have to grind lives).
I've never even considered myself any better than raocow at SMW, and at this point he's probably not only better but more patient than I ever was. I don't think there's much to worry about with getting through this savestateless; some of the stuff he did in like, YUMP and Hyper VI are harder than anything in this game in my opinion (though I really don't know much about it, I just know I beat it all and I don't think I could do some of the stuff raocow pulled off in those and other games).

Also huge kudos to the team who put together this translated ROM, I wish I had this back when I was playing the Japanese version with a notepad translation document.
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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby alleightbits » 5 months ago

After the flawless autoscroll section, I expected raocow to miss the keyhole and go through the Goal Gate, forcing him to start over.
but that didn't happen

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Re: VIP 4 2018 - The Horse's fate is to be thrown down pits

Postby Bluster Kerfuffle » 5 months ago

It's been nine years? Makes sense I don't remember nothing!

I think I started watching raocow's stuff around youtube vip3? But anyways this is very nostalgic even though I remember exactly nothing about the details of this hack. And it made me so happy when raocow verbally smiled at the end there!

this will be good times


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