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PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync
http://forums.junkerhq.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3057
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Author:  SnatcherMkII [ Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync



Quote from the uploader:
karlr42 wrote:
Just to show how the lip animations in Policenauts for the PC-9821 are meant to look. Unfortunately no emulator seems to support them properly. The key seems to be to use version 3.10 rev 1.00 of the MS-DOS sound driver AVSDRV.SYS. I believe it came with MS-DOS 5.00A. However none of the emulators I tried could use this driver without the horrible stutterring heard here. This was with Neko Project II 0.83k8/fmgem using the PC-9801-86 sound card(no other ones worked with this driver).


I'm pretty sure Marc can confirm this. This makes me wonder how come we don't have a cycle-accurate PC-98 emulator. The PC-98 emulation scene is so messy, even more so than the Nintendo 64 emulation scene.

Author:  TechNoir [ Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Most probably, because PC-98 is not so popular in the emulation community.

Author:  LambertAdams [ Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Hi, I'm actually the original uploader of that video. I've kind of taken an interest in the PC-98 scene recently. The emulator scene is definitely weaker than for other systems, but I think what's important to remember is that it's not like emulating a console, it's just a mostly normal PC running mostly normal MS-DOS. As I understand it much of the problem is in emulating the custom hardware. For this lip animation issue, it's down to not emulating the proprietary sound boards the PC-98s used correctly, I would imagine. Finding information on the actual specs of those boards and the interface needed between it and the MS-DOS sound drivers would be extremely difficult. If you look at bsnes, which aims to be cycle-accurate, for example, they were able to take advantage of the fact that people have actually microscopically analysed the physical silicon pathways in SNES chips to figure out exactly what they do on a logic gate level. That was ridiculously expensive, and PC-98 is just not popular enough for anyone to stump up the cash for that kind of work.

Another problem is how fractured the emulators are. np2 is by far the best in my opinion, but the major problem is that the actively developed fork with the best compatibility and features, the fmgen build I used in my videos, is closed-source! That means that no one can really work on or help with its development, which is demoralising when it is far and away the best emulator and the one it makes sense to focus efforts on. As an example, it's the fmgen build that adds the CD support that makes it possible to play Policenauts- you don't get that with the other builds of np2. It also has better CD support than the other two emus, Anex86 and TNext, since it can use the actual NEC CD drivers that you can rip from real MS-DOS floppies, while the others require special drivers written specifically for the emu itself. TNext for me can't get past the end of the opening scene of Policenauts and I've managed to bork my Anex86 setup so it can't even load the CD anymore. np2/fmgen works out of the box as long as you have a copy of MS-DOS with the CD drivers, you can just stick the Policenauts floppy into the emulator, run the installer to create a boot disk, restart the emulator with the boot disk inserted and boom, you're playing.

Another thing to watch is that the guys over at ShrineMaiden are working on translations of the PC-98 Touhou games. For that they made their own fork of np2 withe added debug features, which I played around with and is very cool. But because the CD support is locked away in the closed source fmgen fork, it's useless for Policenauts.

I'll also mention that I've played through all of Policenauts with np2/fmgen since making those videos. Emulation is perfect for the whole thing except for the lip animations, and during the bomb disposal scene the mouse pointer was incredibly jerky which made the game of "Operation" very difficult. I think that was my fault though, I should have set the CPU multiplier higher. An interesting thing is that once you complete the game once, you unlock a new mode with no voice acting, but with subtitles instead! So you can just click through all the cutscenes while all the voiced dialogue is replaced with subtitles(and I think the portraits disappear as well). Seems cool, and the subtitles opens up the possibility of translation, but I doubt there would be anyway to enable them in the voiced mode and also sync them to the dialogue. There's no point just translating the voiceless mode of the game in my opinion.

Author:  TechNoir [ Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Thanks for the info. Too bad fmgen fork isn't open-source, otherwise someone would someday fix the lip animation issue.

Author:  SnatcherMkII [ Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Ya, know. I wonder if it's possible to rip the sprites from this version off of it's file? I'm only asking because I've seen some tile rippers and shit from Romhacking.net, I'm not too sure if someone over at the PC-98 community ever made one.

Oh, and BTW, there's a source code for Neko Project II, and fmgen is based on NP2, so there's that.

Author:  Jexis Lexington [ Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Oooh, I would kill for good sprite rips of PC-98 Policenauts. The art in it is so good. If there's anything I can do to help this cause, I will.

Author:  AwesomeBrand [ Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

someone ripped the head graphics from the PC version, that's how Tech and I got our glorious mane man faces

Author:  Jexis Lexington [ Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Oh my god, where? I need them all for reaction image purposes. I was wondering why so many people had Ingram's glorious PC-98 face as their icon, I mean, aside from the fact that he's adorable and has epic hair.

Author:  AwesomeBrand [ Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

I used to have them on my harddrive but that was on my old PC and didn't save them on a drive. I got them from a topic on these boards but from what I remember the links were probably dead.

Author:  GirianSeed573 [ Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?103yc4nfynjlna7

Author:  SnatcherMkII [ Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Yes, I still have those, but I feel they're not fully complete due to said issues. It would've been best if we had some way of ripping those sprites off of those files instead of just taking pictures the ol' fashion way.

Also, this trailer:


I know one of you guys have seen it. If you guys have beaten this version via emulation, then you should confirm that PC-98 emulators do have a hard time trying to emulate semi-animated cutscenes and character portraits.

Author:  AwesomeBrand [ Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

SnatcherMkII wrote:
Yes, I still have those, but I feel they're not fully complete due to said issues. It would've been best if we had some way of ripping those sprites off of those files instead of just taking pictures the ol' fashion way.

Also, this trailer:


I know one of you guys have seen it. If you guys have beaten this version via emulation, then you should confirm that PC-98 emulators do have a hard time trying to emulate semi-animated cutscenes and character portraits.

Fix'd

Author:  SnatcherMkII [ Thu May 18, 2017 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PC-9821 Policenauts Emulation Lip Animations/Sync

Years have passed, posts from after-2014 are lost due to technical problems on this forum, and a new emulator has risen. It is called SL9821. Video by Karlr42.


Description wrote:
All credit to the wonderful people at Tokugawa forums(http://fullmotionvideo.free.fr/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=16407&sid=3233a09674b0ded7136da5991ad3647c#p16407) and the creator of the SL9821 emulator, Satotomi(?)

Recently, a brand new PC-98 emulator has been released, and notable it is the only one that can properly emulate the lip animations in Policenauts! This video shows some examples of those animations in game. Really cool to see this. It really gives the game a different atmosphere.

For actually playing the game I would still stick to Neko Project, since SL9821 is still very much in beta, it crashes often, is a bit difficult to get running(absolutely all credit goes to kobushi on Tokugawa forums for graciously sharing info) and has some text errors in this game. Still, it is exciting to see a new emulator and I look forward to seeing how it progresses.


For those who wanna see the game played on an (allegedly) actual PC-98 with direct feed, here's a playlist from a Japanese player.



This took me several times to post this.

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