Monday, June 7, 2010

Emulating Xenogears

A note to the particularly dense: This is not a post about Square-Enix's flagship franchise's first MMORPG. So, if the title wasn't enough to tip you off to that and an old PSX RPG isn't something you're interested in stop reading now. Don't leave stupid fucking comments that I'm only going to delete because I don't allow anon flaming here. The Pie Blog™ welcomes many things, but anon flaming, spam, and racist shit are not included among them.

Now that we have that out of the way... Over at Lusipurr.com they're doing the Summer of X. Which was for about a week a Staff Playthrough of FFX. Then FFX-2. Then some X³ game I've never heard of. And finally Mega Man X4.

In the Autumn, there's going to be a Xenogears Staff Playthrough. There's a variety of ways to play old PSX games, but I think the best is through an emulator on a PC. It's true that you can easily illegally copy games via emulator, but that's not what this is about. Emulators allow players to have virtually unlimited memory card space. They're small files on huge HDDs. There's also Save States. Playing and far from a Save Point? Use a Save State and go do whatever you need to do. Do you like your 3D graphics to have texture filtering and antialiasing? Even Intel integrated graphics can make PSX games look better than a PSX can.

So without further ado here's a few tips on playing Xenogears on your PC. First, grab the emulator of choice, ePSXe.

Then head over to Pete's Plugin site and grab the OpenGL2 graphics plugin. The other included Plugins with ePSXe all work fine for most people, so you'll just need the one for your GPU.

Now's the hard part. You'll need a PSX BIOS file dump. Because it's copyrighted property of Sony Corporation, you can't legally distribute it. There are pre-dumped copies floating around on the 'net named things like "scph1001.bin" though. For instructions how to dump the BIOS, check here.

Now decompress the ePSXe.ZIP or .RAR file. Copy the Pete's OpenGL2 plugin to the 'plugins' directory. The BIOS dump to the 'bios' directory. Fire up ePSXe and point it to the BIOS file, ePSXe sound plugin, configure your the controller/keyboard, and select Pete's OpenGL2 plugin. For the graphics plugin, I recommend these settings.The Texture Filtering setting halfway down is of particular interest. Smoothing without sprites will leave text dialog boxes and menus unfiltered. The reason I prefer that over smoothing them is that the corners tend to be somewhat broken looking if you smooth the dialog boxes.

Filtering textures on the environment and higher resolutions can make a PS1 game look like a simple PS2 game.

The 'use pixel shader for psx texture window' is kind of a comprimise between filtering and not filtering the sprites. It smooths them and causes some graphical glitching, but less than the dropdown box's filtering does. You'll see this in the screenshots below. Decide for yourself whether you want to enable it or not.I use a fullscreen resolution of 1280x1024 because that's my monitor's native resolution. Adjust that accordingly to your own display's res. Pressing Alt+Enter will switch between the fullscreen and windowed resolutions.

So that's pretty much it.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. It was helpful!

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  2. Thank you so much, good Sir! Works like a charm! You are a gentleman and a scholar!

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  3. instructions on how to dump the bios is no longer available :(

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  4. derp how do i get BIOS

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  5. It's usually called scph1001.bin a torrent site will have it probably.

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