Update 10 for Dreamcast Conversion is now available!
I'm happy to present you another major update for Dreamcast Conversion.
This update uses the latest Mod Loader functionality, so make sure you update SADX Mod Loader as well!
Here's a list of ways you can get the update:
- If you update through the Mod Loader, you already have it!
- You can use the installer, which will set everything up for you automatically.
- If you want to set up the mods manually you can download the package for manual install.
- If you want an alternative download for manual install, you can also use this link to get the latest development build* of Dreamcast Conversion (other mods not included).
*The development builds are usually the same as the builds you get through the Mod Loader, but sometimes they get updated slightly faster because they rebuild automatically every time I push changes to the source code.
This update was long overdue so it's quite massive. Here's a list of major things that happened to the mod since Update 9 (see the changelog for more details):
- All PVM and PVR files in the mod are now PRS compressed, which reduces the base mod size from ~400MB to ~250MB! This was made possible thanks to recent additions to the Mod Loader by SonicFreak94. I've also reworked the mod to optimize texture usage and make it compatible with most PRS files from the original Dreamcast game. In addition, I've reworked the "SADX Style Water" system to reduce the size of the mod even further and make it easier to edit SADX style water textures.
- If you've read this post on Dreamcastify you know that the enhancements introduced in SADX - namely 60 FPS and skippable cutscenes - are somewhat broken and brought a few problems that didn't exist in the original game. I did my best to fix all of these problems. Post-cutscene camera transitions have been restored, and there's now an optional fade to black to make cutscene skipping smoother. The fade to black also works for skipping videos.
- Together with Sonikko we went through the entire game multiple times and fixed an enormous number of things that were incorrectly sped up due to their code not being adjusted for the increased framerate in SADX. This affects a lot of things - from Tails' tails and the tornado in Windy Valley to special effects, animals and badniks. During the hunt for sped up objects we also compared the game side by side with a lossless recording of the Dreamcast version, which helped spot a few bugs and inaccuracies (such as this, this and this) that are now fixed.
- The E101R and ZERO boss fights are a bit special in both versions of the game because they use external models in .NB files, and the Dreamcast version also uses textures in non-standard .PB archives. I reverse engineered the .PB format and extracted those textures, so now ZERO and E101R use higher quality textures from the Dreamcast version. I've also fixed a lot of visual issues and restored several transparency effects for both bosses, which now look much better than before.
- Some progress on Chao stuff has been made. The mod now restores models for Chao eggs (the ones that existed in SA1) and optionally replaces some fruit models with models from SA1. The common fruit now uses all of the textures meant for different stages of its growth. I've also restored some objects in Chao Race.
- The subtitle font has been restored, including both Impress for English and Comic Sans for other European languages. I've also disabled the fake font smoothing that made the subtitles look washed out in comparison to the original game. Note that the font is still going to look jagged because of the way the font system works in SADX - we can't "HDify" the subtitle font yet.
- Recently we found out that the intro movie in SADX, despite being higher quality than the SA1 intro, is actually based on an unfinished version of the intro similar to the one used in the "Autodemo" prototype! But thanks to the efforts of McAleeCh, who recreated the entire intro using multiple sources, you can enjoy the original Dreamcast intro in the highest quality possible. If you want to go 100% accurate, you can also use the original (lower quality) Dreamcast intro converted from SA1 SFD files without recompression.
- Several new mod config options were added, such as the ability to select different title screen layouts, optional window title change etc.
- Some other additions include more accurate credit screens (with company logos), 1:1 recreation of all original SA1 tutorial screens as well as various minor accuracy tweaks, such as the color of the FMVs.
I had no idea that there would be an Update 10 for Dreamcast Conversion. As of now, I feel like the main work on the mod is done. But, as MainMemory said, even if the game is already 99% accurate to the Dreamcast version there's always a way to make it 99.99%. So I don't know whether this is really the last update for the mod, or it's only the beginning of something new. Maybe the latter, because there's been some exciting development going on in other projects lately. At some point we may be able to enjoy SADX without transparency issues. Someday we might also be able to recreate the lighting 100% accurately (it's already 99%). Perhaps someday the original Chao system will be reintroduced in SADX. Until then, I'll keep maintaining the mod and looking for things to fix or restore.
In the meantime, enjoy the update!