My December

This is my December, this is my time of the year. This is my December, this is me alone, this is me pretending this is all I need. Just wish that I didn’t feel like there was something I missed. And I’d take back all the things I said to make you feel like that. And I’d give it all away just to have somewhere to go to… give it all away, to have someone to come home to…

Year after year.

Win7 (x64) & FF8

Windows 7 (x64) and Final Fantasy VIII: A Flawless Victory!

A little time ago I decided to play again my so beloved FF8, which is the first game of the saga I ever played. But this time, since my girlfriend owns the PC version, I decided to give it a try and to use the graphics improvements that are available around the net, and I am thus writing a little howto to both help you out with this task should you ever need it, and to help myself remember this little steps in case I forget. And I forget quickly, so…

In order to start this, I’m assuming you have the following:

  • All the original 5 CDs of FF8
  • The Eidos patch for FF8 (1.02)
  • FF8 Launcher (1.31)
  • Griever
  • Windows 7 (64 bit)

About Win7, I only tested it (as clearly stated by now) on a Windows 7 box running a 64 version of it. Which means some of the registry keys will be slightly different. I have no doubt that by running a simple registry search you can find the appropriate one, however I did not delve into it, and thus I’m not reporting about it. Also, while FF8 Launcher IS needed in order to run the game on a higher resolution, Griever is just a MemoryCard Modifier, but I considered I should mention it anyway.

But let’s the fun begin. After installing FF8, the 1.02 patch, and after copying both the launcher and Griever into the game directory, let’s hack with it. The first thing you will want to do is run FF8Config.exe in order to set minor settings up.

Final Fantasy VIII Graphics Configuration

As highlighted in the screenshot, you need to set up the Movie Resolution to High, and Use High Res Fonts up. In order to do this you might need to set the display resolution to 640x480x16, but don’t be fooled by this as the resolution will be set externally. Once the graphics have been set up, the next pass is to set up the keyboard/controller.

Final Fantasy VIII Input Configuration

I’ve uploaded a screenshot with the original PSX bindings on it. This will let you understand easily how to remap the keyboard and/or your joypad assuming that, just like me, you haven’t played in a while and don’t actually remember everything. It’s worth mentioning though that you may want to swap Triangle with Circle: this will allow a way more “natural” style of playing with menus, which is the same as most FF, including the most recent Dissidia for PSP, but it’s really up to your likings.

FF8 Launcher Setup

Getting back to the graphics, the launcher is where you are really going to set it up. After selecting your Display Mode, you should enable the Expert mode.

FF8 running with some artifacts

The expert mode will allow you to modify the way the screen is shown, in order to correct graphical problems ingame. This is done using “<Ctrl>+,” “<Ctrl>+.” “<Alt>+,” “<Alt>+.”, as you can see in the README. While in-game, with those commands you will be able to fix some artefacts you may encounter. I strongly recommend to use those only after loading the game, as it’s easier to find them and fix them.

FF8 running with no artifacts

After you’ve done so, you should be fully able to run the game. And if so, start playing and have fun!

You may though encounter in some sort of registry errors. I’ve been notified for example that some people might not be able to run the game and load the game CDs if FF8 is not started in administration mode. This obviously sucks big time, I myself would never want it to run with admin rights, even though it’s not really much harm it can do, so I started some research on my box. What I found is that there are, at least on Win7 and I believe the same applies to Vista too, where some different user privileges redirects the user to a different location in the registry. After a little delving and fiddling I found out that the settings for the user mode are stored here:

HKCU\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Square Soft, Inc\FINAL FANTASY VIII\1.00

Usermode registry settings of Final Fantasy VIII

I’m fairly sure that if the CD error appears to you, the DataDrive will be something like C:. In this case is enough to change it into your CD drive and the issue should be resolved.

This is all there is to it. If you encounter some other problems feel free to notify me.

See you around, SeeDs!

Life and Point of Views

A teacher, before the beginning of his philosophy lesson, put a few objects in front of him, upon the desk. Without saying a word, when the lesson began, he took a big empty mayonnaise jar and he filled it up with golf balls. He then asked to his students if the jar was full, and they said it was.

The teacher then spilled in the jar a box of pebbles, mildly shaking it. The pebbles filled up the space between the balls. He then asked again to his students if the jar was full, and they said it was.

Then the teacher spilled inside the jar a box of sand. Naturally, the sand filled up all the empty spaces. He then asked once again to his students if the jar was full, and they all said unanimously it was.

The teacher took out from beneath his desk two glasses of red wine, and he spilled them inside the jar, filling up all the empty spaces beneath the grains of sand. The students laughed!

«Now», said the teacher when the laughter was over, «I wish you’d considerate this jar your life. Golf balls are the most important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends and the things you like the most; the things that, even if everything else is lost, will still fill up your existence».

«The pebbles are the other things that count, like your job, your home, your car. The sand is all the rest, the little things».

«If you spill the sand first in the jar», he continued, «there wouldn’t be space left for the pebbles and the balls. Same happens for your lives. If you use all your time and your energies for the little things, you will never be able to spend enough time with the things that are really important».

«Take care of the things that are fundamental for your happiness. Play with your children, watch your health carefully. Take your partner out for dinner. Play another 18 holes. Do another slide on your skies! There’s always time to fix up your home and to throw away the trash. Dedicate yourselves to the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Define your priorities, all the rest is just sand».

A student raised her hand and asked what did the wine mean. The teacher smiled. «I’m happy you asked me about it. It was just to prove that no matter how full the life can seem: there is always some space for a couple glasses of wine with a friend».

Run, Wolf Warrior, Run

Run, wolf warrior, to ends eternal
Through the wreckage of the death of the day
Scent of silence under starlight spinning
A captured beast within a human skin

Are you searching for long lost landscapes
Lit by flowers and crystal cascades?
Where the lamb lies down with the lion
Where the wolf is one with the wild

Run, wolf warrior, through kingdoms’ chaos
Senseless cities and ghost towns towering
Howl, o’ hunter, though few know you’re crying
Face upturned into that midnight moon

Are you hunting for mystic mountains
Where the air is like liquid laughter?
Where the beasts inherit the earth
Where the last again will be first

Run, wolf warrior, to hide your hunger
The rain will wash away the pains of the day
In your eyes there are cold fires burning
Tongues of flame that can never be tamed

Are you running from Man’s delusion
Majestic madness and your exclusion
To where the lamb lies down with the lion?

Are you running down ancient pathways
Through this dark and deserted land
To where man is once more a child?

Are you running to freedom’s fortress
By the side of wide open seas
Where the wolf is one with the wild?

Run, run, run…

Run, run, run, run, run, run on, run on through the rain…

It might sound stupid, but you’ll actually never know why I start crying when I hear this song. Facing the moon aswell. And I wish I was kidding.

R.I.P. Carradine

Today David Carradine was found dead hanged in his hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand. You probably have seen him as Bill, in the Kill Bill series by Quentin Tarantino.

Some say he committed suicide, his manager said it was evident “accidental hanging”. A lot of people commented his death along the lines of “rofl, they killed Bill”.

The only thing I want to say is that I loved this man as both an actor and a martial artist.

May your soul rest in peace.