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Tales of the Abyss: Character Sprites Sometimes Invisible / Occasional Loading Errors
I am playing Tales of the Abyss. I am experiencing two problems.

1. Sometimes character sprites are, or become, invisible. Three examples.
First, there is a screen on which there is a gardener. When I am close to him, his sprite becomes invisible. When I move away from him, it becomes visible again. Once, I entered the screen and he did not become invisible.

Second, I spoke to a character who was visible. When I spoke with the person, the camera perspective changed. At that point, the NPC was invisible. The NPC became visible once the dialogue ended and the camera returned to its normal position.

Third, I entered an interactive cut-scene (by which I mean, I can press the dialogue button to progress the text) in a forest area. The sprites of Luke and Tear (the main character and a party member) are invisible during the cut scene, except for Luke's sword's sheath.

2. In one instance so far, the game failed to load an interactive cut-scene. The main character, Luke, enters the battle screen; and does a tutorial. The battle screen then gives way to an interactive cut-scene. The loading bar displays on the bottom right of the screen. The loading bar froze, and - after waiting a minute - I had to reset because it clearly was not going to progress. I reloaded a standard save, got back to that point, and it loaded just fine.

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Are you using any speedhack ?
CPU : I7 2600K Oc'ed @ 4.2Ghz
Mobo : Intel P67 southbridge
GPU : NVIDIA Geforce GTX 750 Ti
RAM : 6 Go
Another instance of problem "1" has occurred.
Fourth, when the characters win a battle, the camera pans around them, showing them off. It shows Luke's sprite, but Tear is invisible (except for her weapon). Both characters are visible during the battle itself.

Yes, I do have a speedhack active; in that I have my "preset" on the speedhacks tab set to "4 - aggressive".

I also have MTVU (under microVU Hacks) active.
First thing I'd do is default the preset, you can enable mVU Flag Hack, MTVU, INTC Speed Detection and Wait Loop Detection without problems, try not to use any stealing of any sort.

2nd thing I would do is download the linked version of GSDX specifically made for Tales of the Abyss by KrossX (I'm unsure if the developers ever implemented the patch into GSDX itself).

Link here for .dll - You'll want to put it into the plugins folder.
Thank you. I put it on "1 - Safest", and then activated the speedhacks you recommended. I also downloaded that plugin. The invisibility issues is resolved; and I have not had any more loading problems.

What is the best way to increase my resolution? Should I use Scaling? I increased it to Scaling x2, which does look nicer, but now has a "ghosting" effect. My understanding is that I can fix that by manipulating a .ini of the plugin; but the plugin is a .dll.
Hm, the .dll is supposed to fix the blur/ghosting effect, that was the entire reason for it's conception I believe. Are you sure PCSX2 is using the special plugin? I've beaten the game and don't remember any ghosting when I used the plugin. Also scaling is the best way to increase resolution. If you have a good processor and GPU you can go to x3/x4 which is essentially 1080p.

Edit: To use the plugin, in PCSX2 go to Config - Plugin/BIOS Selector, then in GS make sure you selected GSdx 5412m (MSVC 16.00, SSE2) 0.1.16 [gsdx32-sse2-abyss] and the hit apply/okay.

Edit #2: I forgot something, in Config - Video(GS) - Plugin Settings, tick the Enable HW Hacks box, then click configure, make sure Alpha and Half-pixel Offset are ticked off, they fix shadow and blur issues I believe. (Sorry it's been a while since I've played)
I took your recommendation. That solved the ghosting issue. Thank you for the help.

A few follow-up questions/comments.

1. I notice a border along the left and top side of the screen; it's a thin line, perhaps one pixel wide; parts of it will flicker, and the border is different colors. The parts that flicker, and the coloration of different parts of the border, change. The border is especially annoying because it flickers in places. How can I get rid of that border?

2. I notice an occasional slowdown when loading a screen, causing the game to drop to about 40 FPS for a second. It causes music and voices to distort. It's not a big deal, but I'd like to get rid of it if I could. I suspect it's caused by increasing the native resolution to x4 Scaling; but the scaling looks so nice that I'd gladly suffer the occasional minor slow-down in exchange for the impressive improvement in graphical quality.

3. Does it matter whether I keep those same HW Hacks enabled if I'm playing another game?
#1. Dunno

#2. If you are playing from a disc, rip it to an ISO with imgburn. The slowdown is caused by accessing data. If you are already using an ISO there is nothing you can do. If you want the music to not slow down during those parts though, go config->audio->plugin settings and change timestretch to async mix. This will cause the audio to play at normal speed regardless of game speed.

#3. Yes it matters. For other games, put the HW hacks back to default unless you discover you need some
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PCSX2 General Troubleshooting FAQ
Agreed with Blyss, the hacks and plugin I gave you are specific for Tales of the Abyss only, you'll have to change them out to default for other games.

For the pixel thin line, I'm not sure because I don't remember seeing that when I played, but try toggling F9, as in hit it once and then hit it again, might help?

Also, 3X is pretty good for scaling too, if it'll make a difference. (That's what I use)
Thanks for the advice.

Pressing F9 does get rid of the pixel line temporarily. It returns eventually, after shifting a random number of screens.

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