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Thread: Magic Knight Rayearth (Saturn)

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Saturn Magic Knight Rayearth (Saturn)

    One of the first games announced for the Saturn ending up being its swan song in North America. U.S. fans waited anxiously for the beautiful action/RPG that never seemed to arrive. In the end, they got a solid title that missed its window to really impress but was still a solid entry in the Saturn's library. Read our full review for more details.

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    Genesis Knight's Avatar
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    I had totally forgotten about the loss of source code.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    The article isn't quite right about the source code, though. It says:

    Well, if the manual is to be believed, during the localization progress a hardware failure caused the loss of most of the source code for the game, resulting in Working Designs basically having to recreate a lionís share of the data from scratch.
    But you can read what the manual actually says here:

    https://segaretro.org/Magic_Knight_Rayearth_(Saturn)

    The short of it: Some data was lost from the Japanese version due to a hard drive crash before Working Designs took on the project, but they didn't think it would be too big a hurdle to rebuild it.

    What data?

    Working Designs programmer Tim Trzepacz actually mentions it on his website here:

    http://www.softegg.com/Resume/TimTrz...Experience.php

    "Salvaging Magic Knight Rayearth's lost video files by creating tools to insert frames and replace Japanese audio in compressed Cinepak data files without decompressing the data."

    So the source video files were lost and they had to come up with a workaround for inserting the audio.

    Trzepacz also mentions the other programming hurtles that slowed the project down (syncing mouth movements to audio and restructuring the maps to reduce slowdown), so that website is worth a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    The article isn't quite right about the source code, though. It says:



    But you can read what the manual actually says here:

    https://segaretro.org/Magic_Knight_Rayearth_(Saturn)

    The short of it: Some data was lost from the Japanese version due to a hard drive crash before Working Designs took on the project, but they didn't think it would be too big a hurdle to rebuild it.

    What data?

    Working Designs programmer Tim Trzepacz actually mentions it on his website here:

    http://www.softegg.com/Resume/TimTrz...Experience.php

    "Salvaging Magic Knight Rayearth's lost video files by creating tools to insert frames and replace Japanese audio in compressed Cinepak data files without decompressing the data."

    So the source video files were lost and they had to come up with a workaround for inserting the audio.

    Trzepacz also mentions the other programming hurtles that slowed the project down (syncing mouth movements to audio and restructuring the maps to reduce slowdown), so that website is worth a look.
    Thanks for shedding some light on that, I didn't have that detail. I mostly went by what it said in the Translation Notes from the manual itself:

    "We were warned that a hard disk crash had wiped out some data after the Japanese version was finished, but we were confident the data could be rebuilt.

    Fast forward almost 30 months. It took us the bulk of this time to overcome problems with approval for the English version's names (Which are very close to the tralsliterated Japanese names in most cases), data that was missing from the hard disk crash, and various programming and version problems that became apparent in the course of conversion. For these and other reasons, this has been, without a doubt or question, the most grueling conversion we have ever attempted.
    "

    So yeah, "data loss" and "source code loss" is not quite the same, I agree, so apologies for the incorrect terminology on my part. Still, this quote from the manual (which also goes into more deatil about rights/naming issues and such - really this seemet like a translation job from hell), combined with the fact that there was some pretty notable retooling of a few mechanics that go beyond minor tweaks (like the changes to the save system or adding an entirely new diary/log feature, aside from fixing the map/performance issues) as well as the fact that most video sequences (aside from a few renders) are lifted directly from the Anime itself still lead me to believe that the issue runs significantly deeper than "just" finding a workaround solution for lost video files. After all, the same link you provided also state that they had to come up with their own map editor to restructure the map files.
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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    Nice review, if only a bit harsh. This, together with Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3, is my favorite RPG on the system, and one of the best overall from its era.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert MushaAleste's Avatar
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    Magic knight rayearth is a 10/10 game, and easily in the top 10 SS games. Also best opening tune ever.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MushaAleste View Post
    Magic knight rayearth is a 10/10 game, and easily in the top 10 SS games. Also best opening tune ever.
    I quite agree it's a 'magical' RPG from start to finish. I wish WD kept all the voice in mind, it really was quite something to hear almost every character speak in a RPG. I know the likes of Popful Mail did it, but there were tons of speaking parts in the Japanese version.
    The game looked really good too with some stunning 2D Art, I wished the FMV was better mind it wasn't the best quality and should have been better on SEGA's part and full screen (like Astal)
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Presented for your pleasure

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    The Future is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingESWAT Veteran Leynos's Avatar
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    Quite enjoyed this game.

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