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30th September 2019: Resident Evil Maps

<Old Stuff>

By far the most popular things on my old site were all of the Resident Evil game maps that I made. My Resident Evil 1 Directors Cut maps were made in August 2011, which was a few months before I started doing my original computer gaming blog, and therefore they were never included in it.

It makes sense that they are the first things I bring back as part of my <Old Stuff> series of blog entries.

I got the Director's Cut of the original Resident Evil for the PS1 back in the 90s, but back then I only got to the underground section, and never actually finished the game. For some reason in mid 2011, I made up my mind that I was finally gonna get through it. And not only that, I was gonna make some detailed maps as I went on the adventure.
I started with Jill in normal mode, as that's what I tried way back then...

These maps were used by JPTR when making their Resident Evil mod for Skyrim called "The Evil Mansion", which can be found on Nexusmods and Steam Workshop. You should check it out. It looks freakin' awesome.

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Jill standard mode, courtyard

Jill standard mode, courtyard

Jill standard mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Jill standard mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Jill standard mode, guardhouse basement

Jill standard mode, guardhouse basement

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Jill standard mode, mansion basement

Jill standard mode, mansion basement

Jill standard mode, underground

Jill standard mode, underground

Jill standard mode, lab B1 & B2

Jill standard mode, lab B1 & B2

Jill standard mode, lab B3 & B4

Jill standard mode, lab B3 & B4

After going through Jill's normal mission, I decided to go through the Chris advanced mission, just for shits and giggles. Though it was more challenging (yes I'm talking to you, Hunters!) I much prefer this mode as it forces you to go to a lot of the parts of the mansion you could just skip passed during normal mode.

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 1st visit

Chris advanced mode, courtyard

Chris advanced mode, courtyard

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse 1st floor

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse basement

Chris advanced mode, guardhouse basement

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 1st floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion 2nd floor, 2nd visit

Chris advanced mode, mansion basement

Chris advanced mode, mansion basement

Chris advanced mode, underground

Chris advanced mode, underground

Chris advanced mode, lab B1 & B2

Chris advanced mode, lab B1 & B2

Chris advanced mode, lab B3 & B4

Chris advanced mode, lab B3 & B4

10th March 2019: Ain't That Grand

I only have three PS1 games that I never finished, and about 6 months ago I had a look at trying to do just that with one of them, which was the very first Grand Theft Auto. When I first picked it up in the late 90s, I had a few weeks when I played it quite a lot, but I never tried to finish it. I just spent time driving round, being an idiot and getting into trouble. I think I only remember getting on to the second map once, and didn't like it as I was so used to the first one, so never bothered getting any further.

Fast forward to last year, and I booted it up on my PS3 to give it a long due proper attempt, but I just couldn't play it. The frame rate was so low, and its weird constant zooming in and out style just made me feel so sick.
A few weeks back I had the plan of trying the PC version, so again got a cheap copy from ebay, and installed it using DOSBox. While it's a little better, it still has all the same issues sadly. I think most of the slow down and jankinees is because of the zooming in and out, and while I found a cheat that let me zoom in and out manually, it only seemed to work while I was stationary, and when I started to move, the game resumed the auto zooming.
Also, for some weird reason, the game (or DOSBox) pays no attention when I try to limit the frame rate, which I tried to do just to try and smooth it out a bit.

Oh well. Whatever. It's not like I haven't got dozens of other games to try and finish instead.

Drivin' around town

Drivin' around town

Getting decked by some random dude on the street

Getting decked by some random dude on the street

Continuing with this trend of emulators, I thought about a PS1 emulator, so maybe I could get that version of GTA running better as well. I discovered RetroArch, which not only emulates the PS1, but can also do so for loads of old consoles. However, it was the PS1 I was interested in.

This one was a bit more awkward to set up than the very simple PCSX2, but I got GTA working on it eventually. Unfortunately, the game was no better on this either, so I just gave up on it entirely.

While I had got the emulator downloaded and running, I decided to try another one of my old PS games that I never finished, being Gran Turismo. In fact, I barely touched this back in the day, which is kinda weird as I used to be really into racing games.
I got this one booted up and had a few simple races, before starting to tweak it a bit. Like PCSX2, it's possible to turn up the graphics, but it only seems to be able to go a little way before the sound craps out and the game starts to lag. Still, it's better than its default appearance, and it might be something I try to complete at some point in the next few weeks or months.

Default graphics

Default graphics

Slightly better graphics

Slightly better graphics

Over the last couple of years I've picked up a few fighting games from places like Humble and GOG, but I've never gotten around to giving them a go yet. The only time of my life I ever really bothered with fighting games was back in my early-mid teen years, and I didn't really play a whole lot even then. The most popular game of the genre for me was Tekken 2, by a long way, but it's not the only PS1 fighting game I own.

As it is my intention to at least try and get back into the genre, even if just a little bit, I decided on trying Dead Or Alive on the emulator as well. This game never got much traction with me back then, so I thought it deserved another chance. Also, who knew, a bit of a punching-and-jiggling combo may have really got me back in the mood for it.

Like Smackdown on the PS2 emulator, this thing threw out some serious ghosting, but added in a whole lot of interlaced lines into the mix as well. Unfortunately, there's no way of turning off deinterlacing in this emulator like there is in PCSX2, so I couldn't get rid of the effect. There are some de-interlacing shaders that are available, but they only seemed to slightly reduce the lines, and did nothing for the weird motion blur going on.
In addition, this game did not allow me to crank up the graphics even a little bit, as when I tried, it just pasted a thick black band of more obvious lines across the middle of the screen.

Nah, I don't think this game will ever get much more time out of me, but it was worth trying it again, just in case. I guess.

Blurry line punch attack!

Blurry line punch attack!

What the?

What the?

4th July 2014: The Final Fantasy, Perhaps?

After the debacle of the Playstation Network getting hacked back in 2011 I never saw it fit to give Sony my card details. So when I wanted to buy Resident Evil 2 a couple of years back I did so using a PSN card. However this gave me extra funds in my account that I didn't really know how to spend. It was quite a while ago, May 2013 in fact, that I decided to use up the funds by grabbing Final Fantasy 6 and Final Fantasy 9, as I'd never played 6, and had never owned 9.

I've never owned any Nintendo console, so my first Final Fantasy was 7 on the PS1, which I really loved at the time. However, it's number 6 that's widely regarded to be the best Final Fantasy game ever made, and back in March I finally began my journey through its madness. I know. I don't work very fast.

Before playing this I was well aware my tastes have changed since 1998. I haven't played FF7 in well over a decade, and though I consider it my fave game of all time for its story, I have long believed I would struggle to play it again due to its mechanics and random encounters. That belief has certainly been reinforced while playing through FF6.

Very much a game of two halves, it started out very much reminding me of number 7, being fairly linear and story driven. However, unlike 7, you very quickly get to explore the places of the world, and fairly quickly gain an airship to travel around. Still, during this time, the game makes it clear where you've got to go and what you've got to do, but allows you to fly around and do your own thing if you wish.
In contrast, the second half of the game is weird. You get absolutely no story or instructions to guide you, other than it's your task to kill the final boss, Kefka. At that point in the game though, the low levels of your characters dictate that such an attempt would be pointless. It's up to you where to go, what to explore and how much to level up before going into Kefka's tower.

Instead, the game is laden with secret little things to find and do. Number 7 had a few hidden cut scenes, like when visiting the Shinra Mansion basement or Lucrecia's cave, but in this game there were loads of little scenes that flashed up out of nowhere, and entire side missions that would become available, depending on what I was doing or which characters were in my party. I can't even begin to imagine how many things I missed, and it's left me with a feeling that I learned very little about the characters, meaning I don't really care for any of them. Some people probably enjoy that there are so many things to find and do, but for me I'd rather at least all the big back story scenes be mandatory.

Sabin wants food...

Sabin wants food...

...and gets fed by a ghost?

...and gets fed by a ghost?

Then he goes and punches another ghost in the face

Then he goes and punches another ghost in the face

#suplexthetrain

#suplexthetrain

Gau annoys me

Gau annoys me

Kefka also annoys me...

Kefka also annoys me...

...so I got Edgar to shoot him with some green shit

...so I got Edgar to shoot him with some green shit

Terra turns into a pink thing and forgets how to speak

Terra turns into a pink thing and forgets how to speak

Siren is quite the cheeky esper

Siren is quite the cheeky esper

This conductor is awesome

This conductor is awesome

No Ultros, I did not

No Ultros, I did not

Gots me an airship I has

Gots me an airship I has

The lack of story and focus was not the only problem with the later sections of the game. I certainly did not enjoy the required grind to level up enough of the characters and have them learn enough magic to be useful going into the final confrontations. Number 8 had a lot of grinding in order to draw magics, but I don't remember anything of the sort necessary in 7 or 9, unless you wanted to fight the WEAPONs. Maybe it's an even number thing. It's just not something I care for.

But by far the main issues were down to the downright pathetic attempt at porting this old Nintendo game to the Playstation platform. I've seen footage of the original Nintento version on Youtube, and it has none of the issues this version has. Incredibly slow load speeds in between battles and sections, battle menu freezes, and sluggish controller response times plagued me every step of the way. Also, in the iconic opera scene, there's some very strange video/audio sync issues which made the whole section really hard to get passed as correct timing is necessary.
The other issue which also annoyed me, which was not port-related, was the fact that you can not see your character's MP or max HP when you're in a battle. I'm so glad they made that info available in later games, because there's no excuse for it not to be there.

For all its bad points though, the game was still playable. It says something about how bad 13 was if I've managed to get through this game with all its Playstation issues, when I couldn't face 13 for more than a few hours.

As far as number 9 is concerned, I struggled to get through it the first time when I borrowed it from Scoob. After this experience it's unlikely I'll play it, or any Final Fantasy, ever again.

This kid is just creepy

This kid is just creepy

Surrounded by Espers

Surrounded by Espers

Burn bitch!

Burn bitch!

Kefka decimates the world

Kefka decimates the world

Chocobo!

Chocobo!

Not so sure I wanna use that technique

Not so sure I wanna use that technique

Terra seems able to piss stars

Terra seems able to piss stars

Rise of Phoenix

Rise of Phoenix

Erm what?

Erm what?

Terra freaks out when she learns she is in Cyan's soul

Terra freaks out when she learns she is in Cyan's soul

Cyan's soul is a weird place

Cyan's soul is a weird place

Celes kicking butt

Celes kicking butt

Time to finish this

Time to finish this

Kefka is such a dick

Kefka is such a dick

Kefka's final moments

Kefka's final moments

Bad guy dead, time to take a nap

Bad guy dead, time to take a nap

29th December 2012: Recounting The Fantasies

For many months I've been meaning to waffle on about my travels through the different Final Fantasy games I've played over the years, much like I did with WoW a while ago. And finally, I've got my ass together and sorted it out. For no reason whatsoever. Don't ask how I remember all this shit.

I originally got Final Fantasy VII for Christmas 1997 from my folks. They had originally bought me Soulblade, but a few days before Christmas they discovered I'd already got that one, and FF7 was their last minute replacement on the advice of someone who worked in the store. Good on that bloke, whoever it was.
Now at the time I knew absolutely nothing about Final Fantasy. I'd never even heard the name. All previous games had been on Nintendo, and back then, much like now, I felt (somewhat irrational I'll admit) hatred towards those consoles. I always felt their marketing strategy and their games were skewed too young for me.
The first time I tried to play it I got to the first scorpion boss and got slaughtered. I had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on. A few days later when the whole Christmas stuff had stopped stuffing, I gave it another go and soon got quite into it.

In February my work mate had a week off and finished the game. When he came back he proceeded to give me loads of spoilers. Twat. Learning these spoilers did not help me at all, as my attention was already waning as I tried to get through the bloody annoying Northern continent, which I hated that first time through. I pretty much went off the game until another workmate picked it up a while later. The guy who'd finished it reckoned this other guy would finish it before me, so I got stuck back in. I finally made it passed that icy wasteland and wouldn't you know, I started liking it again. Maybe it was because Aerith was no longer in it (she annoyed me back then, even though I find her quite adorable now). Even after that, it took me quite a while to finish it. But it was ace to play, and I absolutely loved the story. Still do.

I remember it was about 2am when I first finished it. I intended to get near the end and save it, but I went a bit too far and stumbled into the very long end fight, leaving me no choice but to push through it or I'd lose a lot of work I'd already done. Was a bit tired.

In July 99 I started playing it again after buying the big strategy book. I got through it loads faster and easier and really enjoyed the game and story even more, and did loads of work on the mini games in the Gold Saucer picking up extra shite.

In Feb 2000 I ventured into my 2nd Final Fantasy game when I bought #8 for the PC. I guess like any game there were some things that were better than the one before and some things that were worse. I liked being able to junction different GFs (summons) on different characters to create different combos, but I hated having to draw magics and the boost system was a bore. Story wise it was ok, but I generally dislike anything that deals with any kind of time travel. And this game was full of it, in its own way.

I remember I got to the fight with Adel on disc 4, but couldn't beat her due to not having enough magic drawn and being a little underlevelled. So in August I started again with more determination, and finished it pretty easily in October. Really got a good feeling at the end.

In Jan 2001 I picked up FF7 again, this time for the PC. It was so much better going through it this time, with better graphics and much faster load times. Though I remember there was a weird upside-down graphics bug that needed fixing first. Odd. I was intending to really build up the characters to try a pop at one or both of the big two WEAPONs, but like a tit I missed the vital ribbon from the Temple Of The Ancients, so I never really tried the WEAPON fights and just finished it again.

I decided not to get FF9 as it was not going to be released on PC, and I had enjoyed 7 & 8 so much more on PC than on the PS1. However, in May 2002 I borrowed it from the Scoob. It took a lot of getting into and I struggled through disc 1. This game started toying with what seems to be the current trend of completely limiting what you can do in the game compared to 7 & 8. In this one, they stopped you from customising the party magics and summons the way you could before, as only certain spells and summons could be used by certain characters, and I didn't really like that. Still, it's nowhere near as restrictive as the current games.

I didn't touch it again til early 03 when I started to get into it a bit more. As I was nearing the end of this game in March I got into a chat with Mr. Krig about number 8, as he could remember all the weird names I'd called my GFs. I couldn't help but reload my #8 late game save and finish it again.

In April I finished number 9, not long after finally starting to get really into it. The ending was pretty cool and long, but I would have liked to have seen more of it fully rendered rather than with in game graphics. I did not however grasp the point of Necron's arrival out of the blue at the end. Sure, why not just throw in a big bad guy who up to that point had had absolutely no mention in the entire rest of the game? Sounds like a completely obvious plan. Not. I also didn't like how getting onto the last disc stopped you from going into all the towns around the world for some reason. Strange decisions.

At some point in late 2004 I once more started playing number 8, again with the intent of taking on the big bad WEAPON. I'd got all my junctions worked out in advance and was gonna level up to full, draw all the magics in the world, and nail that big bastard. I think I'd just got onto disc 2 when I had to reformat my computer for some reason. I don't know why, but I've never re-installed the game. I still have the saves, but just have not touched them since. I'm weird.

Over the next couple of years I borrowed number 10 from the Scoob twice, but both times I only played it for about 20 mins. I just did not like it at all for some reason.

I did not touch the franchise again until Jan 2011 when I bought number 13 dirt cheap. I played this for a while, until the point where I escaped Cocoon and made it down to the other planet. It was at this time I decided to throw the damn thing out of the window. The game up to that point had been extremely linear, and I'd been hoping the new planet would bring more freedom, exploration, and a world map or something, but I got none of that. I just didn't like it at all. Other problems were the paradigm system, which pissed me off no end, having to constantly switch just to throw a couple of heals in, and the fact you had to build up the chain bar thing, in order to stagger an enemy and do any real damage. Switching paradigms would often upset your rhythm as you tried to build that gauge, making battles last loads longer than necessary. Also, you couldn't select or even control your whole party. Fracking rediculous. It's just too far removed from the first couple of games I played and really liked.
I watched the rest of the story on the Youtubes, and pretty much gave up on the series.

7th August 2012: Actually, It Is Over Leon

Resi 2 all done, and my maps done as far as I'm gonna do them. There are a few things that I haven't fully discovered, but I'm not gonna play the game through a bunch of other times just to figure out one or two things that don't really matter.

NOTE: The maps definitely aren't final yet. You are welcome to send me corrections to the maps if I've made errors, and I will fix them. The things I do not know 100% are:

City Area, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

City Area, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

RPD 1st Floor, Both Characters, Scenario A

RPD 1st Floor, Both Characters, Scenario A

RPD 2nd Floor, Claire, Scenario A

RPD 2nd Floor, Claire, Scenario A

RPD 2nd Floor, Leon, Scenario A

RPD 2nd Floor, Leon, Scenario A

RPD 3rd Floor & 4th Floor, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

RPD 3rd Floor & 4th Floor, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

RPD Basement, Both Characters, Scenario A

RPD Basement, Both Characters, Scenario A

Sewage Disposal & Sewers B1, Both Characters, Scenario A

Sewage Disposal & Sewers B1, Both Characters, Scenario A

Sewers B2, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

Sewers B2, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

Vacant Factory, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

Vacant Factory, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

Laboratory B4, Both Characters, Scenario A

Laboratory B4, Both Characters, Scenario A

Laboratory B5, Both Characters, Scenario A

Laboratory B5, Both Characters, Scenario A

RPD 2nd Floor, Claire, Scenario B

RPD 2nd Floor, Claire, Scenario B

RPD 2nd Floor, Leon, Scenario B

RPD 2nd Floor, Leon, Scenario B

RPD 1st Floor, Both Characters, Scenario B

RPD 1st Floor, Both Characters, Scenario B

RPD Basement, Both Characters, Scenario B

RPD Basement, Both Characters, Scenario B

Sewage Disposal & Sewers B1, Both Characters, Scenario B

Sewage Disposal & Sewers B1, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B1, B2 & B3, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B1, B2 & B3, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B4, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B4, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B5, Both Characters, Scenario B

Laboratory B5, Both Characters, Scenario B

Platform, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

Platform, Both Characters, Both Scenarios

15th May 2012: Resident Evil Update

Even though I'm not fully done with Resident Evil 2 yet, I've already bought Resident Evil 3 and have got stuck into that. This time however, I decided to buy it on the PC, thinking that using a keyboard would make movement much easier than the awkward d-pad on the Playstation controllers. This has turned out to be true, though unfortunately it has also made the fighting parts more difficult, especially as RE3 is more fast paced than the first two. So I've downloaded some nifty bit of software so I can use the PS3 controller on my laptop for the next time I play it, and hopefully that will be a bit better. Bloody Nemesis. Unlike the first 2 though, I have no current plans to make mega maps for this one. I'm just playing it to get it done.

16th April 2012: Tales Of An Island's Evil Resident Monkey

A couple weeks back I had the plan of going through (and mapping) an old Amiga game called Obitus that I used to play as a kid, but never really got very far. However, I couldn't get it to work on the emulator, so instead plumped for doing the same thing with Resident Evil 2.

Resident Evil 2 was another one of those games that I'd played many years ago and never finished. Bit of a shame, as me and a few friends had played this while on holiday in Cornwall over a decade ago. It was a lot of fun to get in at night after whatever grooviness we'd been doing that day and sit in the dark trying to fight our way through the zombie hordes. I can't fully remember, but I think we played as Leon and got all the way through to the end, but could not defeat Birkin's bull-like form as we had completely run out of ammo. It wasn't until much later I learned there is a Scenario A and B for each character, so we never did get as close to the end as we had thought. Oh well.

And so for the last week or so I have been busy studying and playing the game and have started to produce maps to match those I did for the original Resident Evil last year. This game is much more confusing as I'm trying to map both scenarios for both characters, combining them onto one map wherever possible.