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Xenosaga I - Tips to users / Questions to devs
#1
So I'm playing Xenosaga I on my vacation FINALLY (I've been waiting since like... ever! Works so much so never had the time Sad )

Anyway, while I'm playing, I noticed 2 interesting things that I wanna discuss here. If some developer could show up in the thread to answer the 2 questions, it would be very helpfull.

One thing is the issue with the "Shion's Dream Scenes", the ones that playback in black and white and have that little girl on it (not gonna mention her name 'cos its a spoiler). In normal conditions, PCSX2 does not play the scenes correctly, just shows a black screen instead but the sound plays in the background as stated in this thread page 3 and 4.

Solution: I managed to be able to see the refered scenes. The scene plays in colors, not in black and white, and there is a black box at the top left of the screen, but its watchable. CHECK PAGE 2 FOR A WORKAROUND

Question 1: Does that means an Alpha layer issue? Is it a known issue? Why does that happens in technical terms?

Second thing is about the scenes with too many A.W.G.S. units at the same time on the screen and low FPS. It's a known case that in scenes like this, the game causes massive slowdowns while playing. I reached a scene like this where my FPS droped to around 15-20. Changing to native does not solve the problem. And, of course, I was running in DX10/11 mode 'cos it's the only way to play this game at acceptable speeds.

Solution: I changed to Software mode and could ran the scene even faster then normal speed (almost 80 FPS if I remember).

Question 2: Why Software mode is faster then Hardware mode, even in native resolution in cases like this? Too much polygons? Too many DX3d Calls that GPU can't process fast enough?

The third tip is: if anybody reaches a scene like i.e. this one with Junior when he enters a door at Wolglinde that requires a keycard and, after entering, you just see nothing but a gray screen but you still can walk and hear the sounds, the solution is: Change Clamp mode (both EE's and VU's) to normal.

By the way, to play specifically Xenosaga I, I'm using the r1888 beta 'cos the custom frameskip is better compared to the new one in new betas. And it's faster too. Xenosaga is pretty CPU hungry. Tongue
.rar   6D1276AB.part1.rar (Size: 6,68 MB / Downloads: 180)
.rar   6D1276AB.part2.rar (Size: 1,84 MB / Downloads: 130)
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Pentium Dual Core E5300@4GHz by AKASA Nero
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Sorry for my bad english.

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#2
Okay, you're not supposed to change the round mode unless you get issues, so that clears #3.
You guessed spot on right with your other 2 explanations. The game indeed causes too many D3D
draw calls (the DirectX api runs on your CPU), causing that massive slowdown. DirectX wasn't meant
to be used like we do, it seems Tongue2
And thanks for figuring the dream scene thing out. Yea, GSdx sometimes has issues like that..
#3
rama, I didn't figured out the dream scene thing. I updated my post to reflect that. I managed to watch the scene using a save state right after the start of one of those. I tried to reproduce it by playing the game from a memory card save and the black screen issue it's there, using the alphahack or not., unfortunelly. I'm trying to attach the save state 'cos may be usefull for something. I just do'nt know what happens here.

EDIT: forgot to add the config I used. Its needed for loading the save state I guess (in some cases). And Thank you for the reply Smile


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_____________________________________
Pentium Dual Core E5300@4GHz by AKASA Nero
Nvidia 9600GT XFX stock
3GB DDR2 800MHz

Sorry for my bad english.
#4
Uh, savestates suck big time for this kinda job. I'd prefer a memory card save, if possible.
But it's not like I could help anyway!
The fix to most of these issues requires a GSdx redesign which will take a while yet.
#5
Are there any additional tips for improving your FPS if AGWS/Mechs are involved? Currently I am fighting a mech boss, which is accompanied by 2 other robots and of course this means massive slowdown...Software mode increases the FPS noticable, but it's still low and annoying to play. I'm using the latest Beta.
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#6
@Rama

Oh, sorry. I suspected that save states was not the best way to reproduce the issue, but the memory card save is useless IMHO in the case because I couldn't reproduce the solution I thought I had solved. Anyway, I'm glad you replied. But I'll keep trying just for fun. And gonna upload the memory card anyways, so maybe you can try it out for your self. Smile

If you don't mind, I would like to know in a more specifically way of words: How is that way of PCSX2 uses DirectX that my CPU can handle much much better the same thing that my GPU almost die to do? I'm talking about the AGWS thing. Because it's hard to visualise that. I mean... Software rendering was always much much slower in pc history. I know emulation is a total diferent animal. That's the reason I ask. Out of curiosity. And thank you again for your patience with such questions. ^^''

@SamSoNight

Well, I played just just a little before the scene when the Elsa is leaving the Dock where Cherenkov was attacked by a group of people in the non-welcome-milatary place (the place abandoned by the governament). And I'm not using the latest beta. So I think the only thing you can do is set the new beta's inferior frameskiper to always skip 2 frames and draw 2. The odd new frameskiper will unfortunelly skip frames of the cutscenes that are not rendered in real time. One thing you can do is disable Effects processing in SPU2-X plugin 'cos it eats some CPU power. The game will sound a little less pleasent, but it's not a big deal.

If something else comes into my mind, I keep you informed, ok? Sorry for not been so helpfull. But if you want to play with better speed, I sugest that you take your memory card files from the new beta and use then with the r1888 beta, and play using the the "save anywhere" pnach to overcome the bugged save spots, and you can set your PCSX2 as I did. I use both MC save and Save states to play. And the custom frameskip helps a lot. If you have trouble configuring it, I can help you with that.

Edit: Just to clarify. My system just drops from 55 fps a few times when there is a LOT of things highpoly in the screen. So thats why I don't mind about using the frameskiper.
_____________________________________
Pentium Dual Core E5300@4GHz by AKASA Nero
Nvidia 9600GT XFX stock
3GB DDR2 800MHz

Sorry for my bad english.
#7
For some reason, checking constant frameskipping (values 2/2), it doesn't do ANYTHING. The game runs just as if it not skipped.
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#8
You have to press shift+F4 I think so.^^ Or you can enable it permanently via editing the ini file. Your choice.
_____________________________________
Pentium Dual Core E5300@4GHz by AKASA Nero
Nvidia 9600GT XFX stock
3GB DDR2 800MHz

Sorry for my bad english.
#9
Hm well it does virtually nothing but messing up the game, freezing the image, make it flicker etc...
Intel i5 3450
AsRock B75-Pro3-M
Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X OC
8GB DDR3-1333 RAM
Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB
Seagate 7200.14 1TB x2
Enermax Triathlor 450W PSU
#10
Do have in mind you are SKIPPING frames Wink AND the frameskipper of the new beta is crap 'cos it always skip or don't skip at all. The FS from the r1888 beta only skips IF the framerate goes down a certain number (55 fps in my case). That's the difference.

And well, sometimes you have to do the math. Think with me: for each 2 frames you're skiping 2. Xenosaga is 60 fps interlaced (not progressive). So you can't skip 2 frames and draw 2 because the frames will get desync and you'll get flicker and other bizarre behaviors. You saw mine config, right? I skip 3 frames after each 2 only if it goes below 55fps because my CPU can handle more then 55fps most of the time. That's the math. Basically, the sum of the 2 variables must match the math. Or in that case, they must be odd. I'll give you some numbers to try:

draw 2 skip 3 (it gives you 24 frames motion feel)
draw 1 skip 2 (it gives you 20 frames motion feel)
draw 3 skip 2 (it gives you 36 )
draw 2 skip 1 (gives 40)

Just one thing more: trying this numbers with the new frameskipper instead of the old one WILL give you headaches. I mess with the custom frameskipper since the very first time it was implemented, so Xenosaga numbers are the ones above. But I can not guarantee that you will be satisfied, specially if you're trying out with the frameskipper from the new UI. Also, as I already stated above, the new frameskipper does skip frames form movieclips where the old one just plays the damn thing like it should. Keep that in mind before jumping to conclusions. And 90% of people here, including the devs DON'T LIKE the frameskip at all because they think the game runs slower, when in fact the game is just... well... skipping frames to achieve a 60fps motion/time feel. If a scene that normally last 1 minute to play plays in 1 minute, the game is in sync with time. otherwise, if the same 1 minute scene lasts 2 minutes to end, the game is running at 1/2 of the time it should be doing.

So, in the exemple "always skip 1 and draw 2", if your CPU can handle the load, the game will be running at less RENDERED frames per second (40fps) but the 1 minute scene will not last more than 1 minute to ends.

Most people just don't get the concept and after trying ramdom combinations and after too much frustration, they end giving up and blaming the framskipper and calling PCSX2 a crap. I hope you can understand my little extense explanation and don't do that. ^^

I hopes it may be helpfull to you and maybe other people with troubles likes this. Tongue
_____________________________________
Pentium Dual Core E5300@4GHz by AKASA Nero
Nvidia 9600GT XFX stock
3GB DDR2 800MHz

Sorry for my bad english.




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