Community The Emulation Thread - When That PC Port Just Ain't Happening

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Thanks, that’s the one I used but I wasn’t too hot on the music in Metroid Zero Mission.
Maybe it’s just that I dislike it.

And the Deck can’t come soon enough, I love my pixels and my crt shader, but I just get the weirdest feeling when playing the game. Too much screen.
 

Knurek

OG old coot
Oct 16, 2018
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Thanks, that’s the one I used but I wasn’t too hot on the music in Metroid Zero Mission.
Maybe it’s just that I dislike it.
GBA didn't have a dedicated sound chip (bar the backwards compatible GB one), so most of the music on the system sucks.
 

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Mmh, seriously thinking about upgrading my Ryzen 2600x to brute force switch emulation.
 

Tizoc

Retired, but still Enabling
Oct 11, 2018
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For those that want to play the HD versions of the PS2 and PSP God of War games, I recommend enabling these options at least:
In CPU tab, set 'Disable TSX'

Put a frame limit of 60

This should stop it from freezing during cutscenes and avoid some glitches.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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What's the difference b/w Ryujinx and Yuzu so far?
Hmm, they are both needed at the moment unfortunately.
In my limited experience, Yuzu is better with shader cache and general performance, but Ryujinx has some impressive outliers and can upscale, for the games that run well on it. I prefer Ryujinx UI when it comes to mods etc, but that's a detail.
 

Arulan

Lizardman
Dec 7, 2018
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I was wondering which thread we used for used for FPGA devices...

Analogue OS looks pretty great. With how popular I suspect the Pocket to be (relative to their previous releases), this is a good move. I wonder if it requires the second FPGA to use, which would dictate whether it could be back-ported to the Super Nt and Mega Sg.

For some time now I've stopped using portable systems. The DS & PSP were the last ones I bought. And the big reason is more or less why I stopped buying consoles too -- closed-platforms are frustrating, limiting, and expensive. Between the Analogue Pocket and the Steam Deck, I think I'll have found what I'm looking for in a portable system. I'm really excited to see what the community can do with the Pocket.
 

beep boop

boo
Dec 6, 2018
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Anyone have ideas as to how I would go about running N64 games in Retroarch in their original 20 fps glory? These games run too well, I think. I've got it set that they're at their "original" frame rate, but it seems too smooth still.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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What games are you trying? Some were pretty smooth. Enabled the fps overlay (although it might not actually show the internal framerate of the game still)?

I doubt they're running higher than normal. What core are you using? Parellel something is the go to iirc. Tbh even setting full fps doesn't fix N64 drops for me.

Edit: oh, maybe enable vsync in the main RA settings (and make sure it's applied by exiting and starting it again). I know it shouldn't matter but does sometimes.
 
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beep boop

boo
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What games are you trying? Some were pretty smooth. Enabled the fps overlay (although it might not actually show the internal framerate of the game still)?

I doubt they're running higher than normal. What core are you using? Parellel something is the go to iirc. Tbh even setting full fps doesn't fix N64 drops for me.

Edit: oh, maybe enable vsync in the main RA settings (and make sure it's applied by exiting and starting it again). I know it shouldn't matter but does sometimes.
So far it's been Star Fox and OoT mostly. I tried using frame rate counters to see what's going on, but they don't seem to report the internal frame rate accurately, like you said. Even the one included in Retroarch. Maybe it's just my memory playing tricks on me. I remember Ocarina being decidedly more "cinematic" than this, but perhaps something about the emulation is just masking that rather than it being faster.

I did try using Parallel RDP, and while it looks exactly how I want the games to look (like wow!), I can't run it at anything over 1x scaling on my poopy laptop because of emulator slowdown. That's kinda hard on the eyes, so I'm stuck using GlideN64 for now. At least I have another thing to look forward to and an excuse to replay some of my favorites once I rebuild my PC!
 
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beep boop

boo
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Starfox is smooth enough but OoT should defo be ~20fps. Maybe you just got used to it. It does play sublimely still. What amazing pioneering gameplay design.
I think you're right. And yeah, while it's dated in spots, Ocarina is surprisingly easy to sink back into after all this time!

Edit: Found a really weird way to make ParaLLEl work better on my system? I read that disabling vsync gets rid of some of the slowdown, so I had already tried that. Unfortunately Ocarina would still occasionally experience slowdown. I don't know why, but I decided to try capping the game at 30, which is what the frame counter shows it seemingly targeting when vsync's off in Parallel, even though the game is actually running at less than that.

Having done that, it now runs without any slowdown. No idea why that would have worked, but it did and I'm glad! Looks really good even at only 2x scaling. Only issue with it so far is that now when switching games I need to restart Retroarch or it'll crash, and I need to manually go in and out of RTSS to enable/disable it (don't think there's a built-in frame limiter in RA?)
 
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beep boop

boo
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I’m shocked at how much I’m enjoying Star Fox 64. Last I played it was probably like 20 years ago (good lord), and I recall liking it but not loving it. Now, I’m way more into it for some reason. What a good ass game.
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
Do Pro Action Replay codes work in RetroArch and how do I apply them?
Basically, it works the same way as creating an override for your cores, or for a specific ROM.

You can either use the built-in editor in RetroArch, or do it manually using a text editor. Personally, I used a text editor since it's faster. As you might already know, RetroArch UI is ... unintuitive at worst and a work in progress at best. So instead of drilling down 5 layers of menu options, text editor is more convenient for me.

First, create a .cht file to create your cheat codes in the cheats directory. Use the same filename as your ROM. For example:

D:\Games\steamapps\common\RetroArch\cheats\Beetle PSX HW\Suikoden (USA).cht

The directory structure should be self-explanatory, but you might have to create one if it doesn't exist yet.

Inside the .cht file, the configuration should look similar to this:

Code:
cheat0_code = "801B9792+FFFF"
cheat0_desc = "Exp Modifier"
cheat0_enable = "true"
cheats = "1"
The cheat code here is a Game Shark code, for Action Replay codes, the format will look slightly different (they uses colon ( : ) or dashes(-) for digit separator). You might have to check Libretro's documentation for the exact format.

If you have multiple cheat codes, create another index for subsequent cheats:

Code:
cheat0_code = "801B9792+FFFF"
cheat0_desc = "Exp Modifier"
cheat0_enable = "true"

cheat1_code = "301B9798+00C0"
cheat1_desc = "Max MGC"
cheat1_enable = "true"

cheats = "2"
If you don't want the codes to be enabled automatically upon booting the ROM, simply edit the cheatN_enable line to false

A notification about the state of the cheat codes will pop up once the ROM is loaded.
 

Cacher

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New batch of Retrotink 5x is available for order.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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Earlier discussion made me play OoT again. Just got to Jabu Jabu. Idk, it's mind boggling to think when it came out and under what circumstances. So many well thought out mechanics and systems, such good design and they basically had nothing to copy from, no standards to adhere to and it's the first 3D Zelda?! Not to mention the overall feeling of adventure it inspires. I think it's as good today as it was back then. Not that it's perfect (what is?) but overall, wow. How can we get games with janky ass mechanics in 2021 when OoT did so much so good in 1998? Sure, it was a huge production then, but nowhere near today's AAA bs (and once again back then I was a SEGA kid and I only played this game emulated way past its prime, it's got nothing to do with nostalgia and stuff like that).
 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
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Earlier discussion made me play OoT again. Just got to Jabu Jabu. Idk, it's mind boggling to think when it came out and under what circumstances. So many well thought out mechanics and systems, such good design and they basically had nothing to copy from, no standards to adhere to and it's the first 3D Zelda?! Not to mention the overall feeling of adventure it inspires. I think it's as good today as it was back then. Not that it's perfect (what is?) but overall, wow. How can we get games with janky ass mechanics in 2021 when OoT did so much so good in 1998? Sure, it was a huge production then, but nowhere near today's AAA bs (and once again back then I was a SEGA kid and I only played this game emulated way past its prime, it's got nothing to do with nostalgia and stuff like that).
Yeah, OOT is so ahead of its time. Can't believe that they designed so many mechanics in their first try. The design of Water Temple is particularly impressive. Changing water levels to discover new paths, or grappling hook to navigate in a 3D space... Simply mind-boggling.
 
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Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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Even just the way you use items with the c-buttons, it all works so good. Despite being so linear it almost feels less scripted and more systemic than even later Zeldas, the way you put shit in bottles or whatever similar items you then have to use while talking to the relevant person (or just use the items for yourself if it makes sense to). Or even the very first item you get, the deku stick, which naturally can catch fire, and then you also use that fire in puzzles, but not only with the magical light all the torches to progress triggers but also ways that make sense, like burning the cobwebs, and then you don't just have the cobwebs in front of you to burn as you walk but also the one on the floor which, naturally, you can roll while holding the stick to burn rather than just press action in front of it and have a sequence with Link burning it, it just uses your standard controls in ways that make sense in that world rather than just automatically progress after obtaining the needed item.. And the Ocarina so that you don't merely just get keys and unlock doors but also use this password system in all kinds of ways. It just all makes it feel so grand and immersing even if it's basically a fancy skin for shit you'd do in other games. How did they come up with all these things?! I got stuck after the first Jabu Jabu boss because I expected something more gamey to progress (find the princess again and put her on that switch, I was looking all over and naturally she's nowhere) when the solution was just to use the damn breakable box from nearby now that the pathway is connected in this way, lol.
 
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Alextended

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I think I was using the Parallel core wrong. I think (and if I'm wrong someone correct me please, I want to get the "optimal" setup) you're supposed to go to the settings and change the gfx and sound plugins to parallel and the others are just back up plugins (angryllion is what parallel is based on but the former runs on software and can be very slow and the latter on the GPU so that it's playable). It was jarring at first but I think games look waaaaaaay more faithful to the N64 with this change. No clue which plugin it was defaulting to before when set to auto. The downside is I can't seem to be able to run several games full speed with that. Stuff like Mario 64 and Kart and even OoT are fine but it starts getting occasional hitches in games like GoldenEye (very mild, others fare worse), evident by the audio distortions more than anything (the games ran badly anyway, heh, I thought Perfect Dark also had issues in spots, for example it stalls when switching weapons and the fancy hud changes the ammo counter, but realized the audio stayed proper so that's probably legit). Weirdly my CPU and GPU usage remain quite low so I don't know if I can maybe improve the performance on it somehow or not (or if some setting would do this with no issues).

Some comparison shots with and without the mattias CRT shader on top. In order from top to bottom they go, auto, parallel (without mattias), auto, parallel (with mattias). Ignore the side borders, afterburner (or is it rivatuner?) for some reason only captures them when using the parallel plugin.
 
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MegaApple

Just another Video Game Enthusiast
Sep 20, 2018
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I've yet to try properly setting up a n64 emu (or core in RA), but has anyone tried emulating the Wii VC version of OoT?
Alextended
 

beep boop

boo
Dec 6, 2018
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I think I was using the Parallel core wrong. I think (and if I'm wrong someone correct me please, I want to get the "optimal" setup) you're supposed to go to the settings and change the gfx and sound plugins to parallel and the others are just back up plugins (angryllion is what parallel is based on but the former runs on software and can be very slow and the latter on the GPU so that it's playable). It was jarring at first but I think games look waaaaaaay more faithful to the N64 with this change. No clue which plugin it was defaulting to before when set to auto. The downside is I can't seem to be able to run several games full speed with that. Stuff like Mario 64 and Kart and even OoT are fine but it starts getting occasional hitches in games like GoldenEye (very mild, others fare worse), evident by the audio distortions more than anything (the games ran badly anyway, heh, I thought Perfect Dark also had issues in spots, for example it stalls when switching weapons and the fancy hud changes the ammo counter, but realized the audio stayed proper so that's probably legit). Weirdly my CPU and GPU usage remain quite low so I don't know if I can maybe improve the performance on it somehow or not (or if some setting would do this with no issues).
I agree that it looks much better than the alternatives, even when running at low resolution. It fixes weird graphical glitches like the terrain clipping in Hyryle Field and generally has a pleasantly soft quality to it that's reminiscent of how I remember N64 games looking on a TV. Unfortunately that weird boss room artifact in the top left when playing Ocarina is still present. I wonder when that'll finally be fixed!

So, from what I messed around with it and read about it, you would want to select Parallel for both the RDP and RSP plugins, Dynarec for CPU core and disable vsync. That last one is optional but it did improve performance for me. Then, when you go to modify settings for Parallel, you can find two interesting modifiers: upscale factor and downsampling factor. Upscaling kind of speaks for itself, but it's the downsampling that's real magic because it applies a very pleasant anti-aliasing layer that cleans the image up a lot even though you'd think it would make the image quality significantly worse. Doesn't seem to have a noticeable performance cost (or improvement) either. Definitely try it out. You do need to first upscale to be able to downsample of course, and you can only downsample as much as you upscale (i.e. 2x up allows 1/2 down, 4x up allows 1/2 down and 1/4 down, etc.).

If you're having trouble with playing games at full speed, I would suggest disabling rewind if you have it on. This has a major impact on performance just as a thing running in the background. Also, as I wrote in my earlier post there, when you have vsync disabled the core seems to aim for 30 fps and hard capping the frame rate with something like RTSS may improve frame rate stability. Maybe with vsync on capping it at your monitor’s refresh rate will also help. Frame duplication hasn't had any noticeable effect on perceived smoothness from my experience, but maybe worth toggling on and off. I haven't messed around much with other settings, but these seemed to be the most significant so far. Let me know if you find anything else that's useful!

Also, I think the auto settings are GlideN64 for RDP, HLE for RSP, Dynarec for CPU.

Some interesting reading if you haven't come across it yet:
ParaLLEl – Libretro
 
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Alextended

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Yeah, I guess that confirms it's real performance issues on some games for me, since upscaling even to 2x makes them worse in those instances (yet in other games it suffers if I go to 8x, anything less they're good). I don't really care to use graphics enhancements outside CRT shaders but nice to know all that about what each setting does, AA and all that stuff. Oh well, maybe they'll improve, or I'll get to upgrade. Conker so far is the worst performing game and it even froze (not RA, just the game) during the intro. I also notice some glitches in GoldenEye, the snow level with the radar, there's some weird clipping with the mountain background visible through some of the tower rails and similar. I dunno if that's the emulation or the game. There was also a spot in OoT around the Death Mountain Trail where the floor became invisible and through that it looked like no-clipping but that was before I switched to the correct plugin so I dunno.

Edit: wops, vsync off (I thought maybe it's different for me cos I've been using g-sync-c) and framerate set to original appears to have fixed performance in N64 games, I can even increase upscaling in most (though again I don't really care about that stuff, in Perfect Dark it still has performance issues above 1x when using the night vision, spy camera etc. with the high-res mode). Conker still froze after a while of playing though (and what a horrid framerate it has natively).

This kinda sucks because (in my setup?) vsync needs to be on, otherwise games that run at 60fps, even though the emulation speed is correct, the audio doesn't distort, etc., they look 30fps visually. Setting it to off as a core override for Parallel alone doesn't actually work properly either, so just for this core I have to set the global vsync to off, then set core overrides for all the others with it set to on. I also can't switch between other cores and Parallel during gameplay or the global setting still doesn't apply right for it, I have to first close the other core's game I'm playing (thankfully not all of RA) then load a Parallel game.

The existence of 60fps N64 games like F-Zero X complicates this further. Thankfully at least that game (I don't know about the other 60fps N64 games yet) doesn't actually get performance issues with vsync on like the games I mentioned earlier so I can turn it on for it. Given the peculiar behavior where changes to vsync settings don't apply quite right in Parallel a game specific override doesn't let it work in this case either however. So the process I found that works is to basically first load F-Zero X with the same global vsync off setting, then manually change it to on and it does apply and the game looks/plays all proper, then before closing the game I have to manually change the vsync back to maintain the above behaviours as without functional overrides it's the global setting.

Oh well, figured out all (?) the quirks at last, hopefully core/RA updates get rid of all these things though, vsync shouldn't have such an effect on any of these!
I've yet to try properly setting up a n64 emu (or core in RA), but has anyone tried emulating the Wii VC version of OoT?
Alextended
I've not tried but they should all work fine. I've tried an arcade VC rom before (Wonder Boy in Monster Land for its English text) in FBNeo and it worked normally.
 
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Alextended

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No idea what the new auto frame delay setting is meant for, I just know I have to have it off in Beetle Saturn and Beetle PSX HW otherwise performance is weird. Even though in the other tweet about they actually include a Saturn Sega Rally Championship picture so presumably it's one of the games it's meant to work for.
 
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beep boop

boo
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No idea what the new auto frame delay setting is meant for, I just know I have to have it off in Beetle Saturn and Beetle PSX HW otherwise performance is weird. Even though in the other tweet about they actually include a Saturn Sega Rally Championship picture so presumably it's one of the games it's meant to work for.
It might not be what’s causing your issues, but did you swap your audio driver over to XAudio? Patch notes recommended doing so on Windows (for now), otherwise automatic frame delay behaves oddly.
 
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beep boop

boo
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Does anyone know which retro console games on Steam or GOG are sold packaged with ROMs or know of a site that lists them? I know Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics does it (somewhat inconsistently). I want to say I read that some Neo Geo bundle also did the same...
 

Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
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Downunder.
Does anyone know which retro console games on Steam or GOG are sold packaged with ROMs or know of a site that lists them?
On the top of my head, Contra and Castlevania Anniversary collections and Collection of SaGa. You might have to do a bit of research on how to extract the ROMs from the anniversary collections, but for SaGa in particular, you need to unpack the bundle files using UABE and rename the ROM files extension from .bytes to .gb. You should then be able to run it in RetroArch.
 
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beep boop

boo
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On the top of my head, Contra and Castlevania Anniversary collections and Collection of SaGa. You might have to do a bit of research on how to extract the ROMs from the anniversary collections, but for SaGa in particular, you need to unpack the bundle files using UABE and rename the ROM files extension from .bytes to .gb. You should then be able to run it in RetroArch.
Thanks! I searched around a bit and it doesn’t seem overly common. Too bad.

Also, a bunch of new cores have been added to the Steam release:
  • BlastEm (Genesis)
  • Snes9x (SNES)
  • Desmume (DS)
  • Nestopia (NES)
  • Flycast (DC)
  • PPSSPP (PSP)
I'll have to give PSP a go. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge Racer here I come!
 
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Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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Flycast latest updates fix a regression that had Project Justice glitch out with full color screens hiding the action or blinking character parts and stuff. But it now also crashes every time if you try to use it after first playing games on other cores or even the same core if you try to switch games (regardless of method). At least I don't think it's my settings causing that, I tried going to defaults and all and messing around with the vsync overrides again. Oh well. Flycast has been finnicky on that front for a while now, not loading more than once properly, but at least it didn't crash all of RA so you could play other cores in the session.
 

beep boop

boo
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Flycast latest updates fix a regression that had Project Justice glitch out with full color screens hiding the action or blinking character parts and stuff. But it now also crashes every time if you try to use it after first playing games on other cores or even the same core if you try to switch games (regardless of method). At least I don't think it's my settings causing that, I tried going to defaults and all and messing around with the vsync overrides again. Oh well.
I have the same crashing problem with Mupen64Plus when using ParaLLEl. Occasionally also PCSX Rearmed. Kinda annoying. Tried manually closing a game and pre-loading just the core itself before swapping, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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I use Beetle PSX HW and Parallel core with the behaviour in my earlier posts, I don't use others. Also not sure if this is a Flycast glitch in F355 or just how the game was. The reflective effect not being on the car but slightly above. Both in native settings and in higher resolution mode. It's not noticable in gameplay.
 
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beep boop

boo
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By the way, I was looking at the Flycast page on Libretro and it says "Changing games without closing and reloading RetroArch often leads to RetroArch crashing." So I guess it's a known issue with that core. Having messed around a bit with it, I've also found that it's a bit less crash prone on my end under OpenGL compared to Vulkan.

Not sure what the deal is with F355 there. (Can't even see what you're referring to tbh, but I'm not familiar with the game.) Are using a DC BIOS when running it or HLE? Maybe that's a factor.
 
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Alextended

Segata's Disciple
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Yeah but it's finnicky for ages on that front, it just got worse. Hopefully when they get to they fix it completely this time. Bios (doesn't make a difference though).

It looks like that's just how the game was & I never noticed. It's only noticable in that part of the intro and maybe one or two more brief shots so it makes sense.

It's in the PS2 version despite the changes too. It's even more pronounced on it in other scenes (but maybe PS2 keeps the reflection effects where DC doesn't).
 
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beep boop

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I have to say, RetroArch really is a great piece of software combined with Steam’s cloud sync. Having a pleasant unified interface and backups of your save and configuration data is amazing. It does pretty much everything I’ve wanted from an emulation setup. It's still a little finicky here and there, but the overall ease of use factor is way beyond anything I expected to be possible today.
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
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Downunder.
Now that SMT V is releasing tomorrow, maybe it's time to resurrect my SMT IV playthrough. :flare_think: