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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some researching, i have discovered that WE cannot fix the graphics corruption, its a fault in the game itself, and occurs on the GBA hardware

I decided to run a few tests and hardware versus emulation comparissons to get a better idea of where and how some of the game's bugs and various other problems are occuring. I found some really interesting problems, some of which are not apparent due to being intentionally (or coincidentally) masked. Other problems are very much apparent, as already pointed out by player criticisms.

First off, I want to say that the game definitely does not clock well on actual GBA hardware. The code cycles through so much junk at once that the game actually does not run at full frame rate, even on real GBA hardware. Mode-7 is inherently broken. Any sequence involving airships pushes the CPU beyond its limits, and then some. I suspect this has to do with the addition of fog and other special effects.

Map navigation (not involving Mode-7) appears to work fine. No apparent problems here.

Battle sequences bring up more clocking issues. If even more than a couple of effects are taking place simultaneously in battle mode, the frame rate slows down and the command engine misses commands, slows down input / scroll response, or both. It is normal for some games (mainly NES era) to experience slow-down due to a strain on CPU resources, HOWEVER, a game should never, ever become unresponsive. This indicates a problem with the coding itself, and not the CPU. The battle engine also suffers several bugs that seem to have carried over from the original SNES release. Possibly, the developers did a quick copy-paste with the code and just built around it. These bugs have already been discussed many times. I think they can be safely attributed to the game's SNES predecessor.

Dialogue windows display minor displacement and garbled data when a character portrait is super-imposed. However, this issue seems to be concealed by the frame rate problem mentioned above. If the game were running at full speed, you would theoretically see a lot of garbage data appearing on the screen during conversations. I believe this has to do with a faulty implementation of character portraits in dialogue windows.

The algorithm that generates random integers appears to be broken, or intentionally mangled. Encounter rates are mainly affected, as the game does not generate them fairly, or in a manner that is normally consistent. (according to what they were always represented as in previous incarnations of the game)

The EU version has optimized a few small areas of code, but nothing to ensure a significant performance increase. Frame rate issues are still very obvious in all aspects of the game.

To simplify the overall problem: Final Fantasy IV Advance was not accurately designed for GBA hardware. It's like trying to run Oblivion on a PC without a powerful enough video card. With console games, there are very strict specifications that developers must follow to ensure their games operate at peak efficiency. In the case of this game, there are simply too many filters and special effects boggling down the GBA's CPU. The only way to remedy the problem would require a redesign - remove several elements such as the Mode-7 fog, or alter max sprite limits to accomodate less items on screen simultaneously.

From the looks of it, the game didn't recieve much (or any) testing. That, or the coders did not have sufficient time to complete their tasks. But according to how many things operate, I wouldn't doubt the code is just downright sloppy. Oh, well. Chock it up to rushed development.
Further more, The performance issues on FF4 and FF6 are accurate to the GBA itself, and maintaining accuracy would keep it that way.

However, i can talk to the others and see about implementing a Game specific override which increases the Core/Gfx emulation speed (inaccurate emulation).
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