Want to say Hello

Sylverant is a homebrew open source server for Phantasy Star Online. Dreamcast users still play PSO online with this server even today! This is the official forum for both the online game server as well as the open source project itself. Feel free to post and get a gathering started online! We can also show you how to get connected!

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bhd1223
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Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:47 am

Hello folks!

So I have an itch to get back to this game. Spent many hours back in the day on the Dreamcast playing when I should have been sleeping. Oh those dial up modems...

Anyways, after losing a couple characters to that weird character conversion virus thing or whatever it was I quit. When EP 1&2 came out on GC I had to buy it. Started all over, no idea how far I played it but did so co-op with a friend for a bit. May have pushed it farther solo. Still have a GC somewhere but the Wii is more readily available and internet capable if my memory recalls.

So this weekend I'm heading to my parents for holiday festivities and such. I tend to leave a bunch of stuff there in "storage." I'll be picking up a hopefully working Wii, getting it functioning, "hacking" it, and trying to get the emulation working to play online. With any luck it should go great. Hopefully in January or before I'll be popping in to say hello. No idea what characters I have saved and I may end up wiping a few to start new

Oh, I did play a little recently. Using Dolphin Emulator on PC I was playing the GC game just to see if I still enjoyed it. Made the 3 characters I "want." Enjoy it I did. It would be awesome if a "new" version came out that bypassed the need the emulate a bba and it didn't have to get scaled up via analog imputs. I actually had it working pretty well on a PS3 controller via PC. No online capability there though.

Once I get this situated I shall update this with character names and try to get some GC teaming going.

P.S. Will I have any issues regarding serial number, etc. emulating an iso of my actual game disk on a Wii? I imagine the key wouldn't be an issue but the SN might. Should I try to find my old GC and use that SN?

EDIT: Okay, not too concerned about the SN and Key as I should still have the game box somewhere near the Wii.
Last edited by bhd1223 on Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Sir Rappington » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:35 pm

I don't know if you're aware, but Dolphin is entirely capable of connecting to Sylverant. AleronIves and myself both use Dolphin for GC. You just need the OpenVPN TAP adapter and bridge it with your LAN connection. There's a couple of threads about it around here somewhere.

However, you might have a problem if you're using Windows 10. My Win7 machine connects fine, but I think Win10 blocks some functions of the TAP adapter at present.

EDIT: Try this thread for a general guide on Dolphin connections. There's also this one in which I ask a few questions about the same topic.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by BlueCrab » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:45 pm

Using a Wii works pretty well for getting online. It can get a little bit laggy depending on where you're connecting from and how many other people are trying to use a Wii to get online, but it works nicely. Plus, then you have the ability to use your normal Gamecube controllers and such.

You will need a valid serial number/access key to register your copy to play on the server, but you can share them between multiple consoles and/or PCs using Dolphin. Personally, I'd recommend using an actual console when possible, but that's because you can never count on emulation being "perfect". :wink:
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:47 pm

Thanks for that. I wasn't aware you could. Sadly I've had a few crashes in just the few hours I spent on it. I'd rather have the "real thing" since it should have less issue. Assuming I can't get the "legitimate" way working I may just try off the PC then.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Sir Rappington » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:57 pm

BlueCrab wrote:Using a Wii works pretty well for getting online. It can get a little bit laggy depending on where you're connecting from and how many other people are trying to use a Wii to get online, but it works nicely. Plus, then you have the ability to use your normal Gamecube controllers and such.

You will need a valid serial number/access key to register your copy to play on the server, but you can share them between multiple consoles and/or PCs using Dolphin. Personally, I'd recommend using an actual console when possible, but that's because you can never count on emulation being "perfect". :wink:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Wii basically emulate GC games anyway? :P The only glitches I really get on Dolphin are minor graphical ones that have been fixed in builds later than the one I use.

As far as controllers go... I use this. It became really popular for awhile due to the lack of official Nintendo-made ones for Smash Bros, but this one comes with the added ability to be used on PC. Cheaper than keyboard adapters for GC were back in the day. And I notice virtually no input lag at all.
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Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
Tin Can Dan (RAcast) // OliverLeo (HUmar) // Winterleaf (FOmarl)
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Aleron Ives » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:11 pm

The Wii doesn't emulate GC; it runs GC games natively, because the Wii is just overclocked GC hardware with waggle support.

I find that Dolphin crashes a lot more than real hardware does, but it's better than nothing, and it looks way better than real hardware, at least.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:12 pm

I'll need to emulate GC on Wii for the network support. Not an issue at all since it's not "really" emulating the game, though I guess it actually is. Honestly, I may try and salvage a GC while I'm there too, just in case. If I didn't buy the BBA back in the day I'm sure I could still find one, somewhere, though at a bit steeper price than I want to put into this project.

Regarding controllers, I'm good with a PS3 controller on PC. I have plenty of GC controllers with the Wii/GC so they'll be coming back with me. I think the tricky part will be determining what other games and peripherals I may want to bring back. Hoping to have the Wii "hacked" on the first night I'm back.

I've been so pumped about this I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. Haha. Been researching like crazy. I can't believe this might actually be feasible. My only real concern is getting back here and having to run through a vga or dvi input on my monitor. Seems like it'll be a craps shoot on if it'll work without a "converter/scaler." Worst case I'll throw a little more money at monoprice or one of the VGA output cables. The goal is to get this working with less than $20, though I'm willing to go higher if necessary.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Aleron Ives » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:30 am

If you go the Wii route, you may be able to get it working with < $30. Wii systems are dirt cheap compared to GC systems and accessories, since the Wii was way more popular.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Sir Rappington » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:00 am

If you're worried about the price, the Dolphin route might be your best choice. Assuming you have at least one GC controller already, that Mayflash adapter will only set you back $15.

Failing that, I don't think it'd be hard to find a GC for $30 or cheaper as well. There's really no reason to own one anymore unless you want to use a BBA-enabled game, and currently a BBA will set you back about $40. You'd need a keyboard adapter as well.
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Capt.Durple (RAmar) // LaserLemon (HUnewearl) // Dr. NOPE (FOnewm)
Tin Can Dan (RAcast) // OliverLeo (HUmar) // Winterleaf (FOmarl)
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by al281442 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:14 pm

40$ for a BBA? It's 80€ in Germany :o

I just bought and hacked an old Wii for a friend of mine. For running PSO I intended to use Devolution.
Do you have any opinions about that? Establishing the connection was very easy. So far it seems to be a viable solution to me.

Personally I don't have a Wii and I will stick to the Gamecube.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:17 am

Well I made it to my parents home. Found the Wii and GC. GC already has the BBA. Have 4 GC controllers. Currently working on getting PSO running with Devolution.

One problem. It seems I put all my GC games in one of those mini disk holders. I can't find the case for it. Is there any way to recover the SN and Key from the GC I played it on or the Wii I played it on? Would these be in the save file or something? I didn't notice anything on the disk that would help so if I can't find the case I think I'm SOL.

Edit 1: I now have an ISO of my own game, working on devolution. Apparently I have 7 characters between my two memory cards. Going to do some housecleaning and reset a couple. Saving all that equipment though. Haha.

Edit 2: Found the case, Have SN and Key. Now to see about getting online and things.

Edit 3: Successfully connected to the server. Played a new character up to lvl 5 online. Working on housecleaning between the 2 cards and now 8 characters, one of which was reset after being cleaned out. Also, I'm able to make raw copies of my cards for backup/use in emulation with Dolphin. My current quest is now to find a vga output for the Wii.

Edit 4: Sourced VGA cable and it should be here in a couple days. I'll get this working here and then hopefully everything shall continue to work once I get back to my home.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:21 pm

Another problem popped up prior to my sleep. Tried to connect via old Netflix app and then WiFi went all to hell. Couldn't get it working again so took a nap having only slept a couple hours in the car during the drive and having been up almost 12 hours since then.

Now I need to get the dang Wii wifi working. Grumble grumble.

Edit 1: Problem solved. Seemed like it was too close to the router to keep a reliable signal. Reset everything, moved it a bit away, deleted Netflix, setup from scratch. Worked, connection seems stable, was able to download a bunch of stuff no worries. Looks like so far so good. Now I just have to wait for the VGA cable to come in and see if I can get that setup to function properly. For now, time to update some PC games on the old desktop here.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:58 pm

So here are the 4 characters I plan on keeping, just because. That may change. Two are old, two are pretty much brand new as of today. I have thoughts of deleting the other 4 and maybe making 1 or 2 new ones, but so much equipment to deal with. I'd rather focus on the two new ones to start since that is where a lot of the equipment transfer will take place. The goal is to get all the "new" characters on the same card which so far seems very possible. It looks like it will be a lengthy process regarding EVERYTHING, but that's all good.

Old characters:
TRUNKSGETA HUmar/Redria LV79
BALTHASAR FOmar/Yellowboze LV50

New characters:
DemonSlash HUnewearl/Redria LV5
MASTERBLAST RAcast/Purplenum LV5


The 4 other characters currently holding places/equipment are two HUcast, one RAcast, and one FOnewearl. I have to check the Section ID on the LV2 HUcast to see if it's worth keeping but if not it doesn't matter much at that level. The other casts and the FO have garbage IDs, casts at LV28 and 29, FO at lvl 14.

My two other "new" characters would likely end up a FOnewearl but with a better ID and stuff. The other maybe a RAmarl, with keeping or remaking the low level HUcast, to pay homage to my original DC character. Not certain about making the FOnewearl having that FOmar, but I guess both are a bit different. Kind of the same feeling with the HUnewearl and having the HUmar but I know I used all sorts of unknown mats on the HUmar, would rather do things "right" as far as stat growth on the new characters.

Edit: Upon further inspection it seems the FOnewearl at LV14 is Pinkal, the LV2 HUcast is Redria. Having 3 Redria, 1 Purplenum, 1 Pinkal and 1 Yellowboze for 6 characters shouldn't be terrible. Would there be any reason to throw a different ID on another character I make? I never realized how they affected what you have access to until recently reading back up on the game. Funny how I always had the Redria preference before I knew, with both (DC/GC) mains names set to get it.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:26 pm

Well I was able to get it up and running here at home with just the vga cable but it looks like trash. I ended up ordering an external composite to hdmi upscaler which according to some internet reading creates quite a better image. Thankfully it wasn't too expensive, all I want to get rid of is some of the "fuzzyness" that doesn't seem to go away regardless of settings. Should be here sometime this week. I can handle this for a few days I think.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by Aleron Ives » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:54 am

You're running in progressive mode, right? Hold B when the game boots to get the 480p prompt for NTSC-U and NTSC-J copies. Any cable will look like trash on an HDTV if you're using 480i.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by tueidj » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:34 am

Progressive mode requires a component cable, not composite. I'm afraid composite to HDMI will be a complete waste of money.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by bhd1223 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:46 pm

It is progressive though the vga. The issue is my cheap monitor is trying to scale the 480 to 1080. It's not so much the composite to HDMI I care about, that just happens to be the output of the external upscaler I purchased which should, and has for many people, provided a much sharper image. I'm not looking for anything magical, and it will cut down on cable clutter.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by byte.me » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:07 am

If your VGA cable doesn't connect to your GameCube's Digital AV Out port, it's definitely rendering in 480i. Only the digital port grants 480p support. Also, you must hold down the B button as your game boots up the first time you set it to 480p. A prompt should then appear and ask if you want to run the game in progressive scan. The prompt should automatically appear every time you boot a 480p-capable game after that. Choosing "No" at the prompt resets it to default until you hold down the B button again during game start-up.

I'm using the D-terminal cable (which operates through the same YPbPr signal as the RCA variant) on a 42" LCD TV, and PSO is one of the cleanest-looking games rendered by the 'Cube. It doesn't seem to use a blur filter, like some of the other games (RE4 and MGS: The Twin Snakes). The quality is even on par with Dolphin, granted that the game is being rendered in native resolution. Personally, I don't see a massive difference between 480i and 480p until there are lots of horizontal motion in the game, where interlacing artifacts become obvious. The only way you'd get 480p through VGA on the 'Cube is via a modded YPbPr/D-terminal cable.
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Metatron (HUcast, SKYLY) - Lv 80
Shaider (RAmar, PURPLENUM) - Lv 91

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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by tueidj » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:33 am

There's a few different filters involved in the GC's video output but the one you're probably noticing is the horizontal scaler; PSO renders using a width of 640 so no scaling is used, while RE4 uses a width of 512 and MGS (IIRC) uses around 608 which both get bilinearly resized (blurred) to a width of 640 pixels.
There's also a deflicker filter that is used for interlaced output only (disabled for progressive) that slightly blurs adjacent vertical lines, which makes progressive mode a bit clearer.
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Re: Want to say Hello

Post by byte.me » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:03 am

^ Cool. I didn't know that. RE4 looked like it was connected through the PS2's YPbPr cable, though. Hehe. Where'd you get the resolution data? I'm curious to find out which games are actually rendered below their expected resolutions. SSBM has deflicker set on by default, even in progressive. But you can manually turn it off from the options menu.
My Hunters:
Chadha Birdy (RAcast, ORAN - Main) - Lv 140
Metatron (HUcast, SKYLY) - Lv 80
Shaider (RAmar, PURPLENUM) - Lv 91

Steam, XBL, PSN - bytemedeep
Skype - johann.bird
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