Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Another PlayStation to PC Port - Resident Evil

Title Screen
Resident Evil for the PC came as something as a rage for PC ports of Sony PlayStation games.  Unusually for its time, it required a 3D accelerator.  Like Tomb Raider, it was originally released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn.

In-game Screenshot - Direct3D 640x480
The PC port is memorable because it is the only English version with fully uncensored FMVs.  All non-Japanese PlayStation versions have an opening FMV edited and in B&W, and the FMV where the zombie is shown eating Joseph is also cut to remove Joseph's severed head falling to the floor.  In the PC port, the intro FMV is in full color, and both FMVs are uncut.  However, if you are seeking a pristine original PlayStation experience, note that in Jill's game there is unlimited saving (no typewriter ribbons are available) and Chris finds three typewriter ribbons in the PC version as opposed to two in the PlayStation version each time he finds them.

The PC port requires Windows 95 or better, and all sound is digitized.  Input will work with any gamepad that can report the number of buttons to windows and the buttons are freely assignable.  Since almost the entire game can be installed to a hard drive, loading times can be kept to the absolute minimum.

Polygon Detail Comparison - Direct3D 320x240
The PC port supports Direct 3D and requires that the accelerator support DirectX 3.0.  The selections for the Voodoo cards only work with a Voodoo Graphics card like the Diamond Monster Sound 3D and Orchid Righteous 3D, similar to Tomb Raider.  There is also a selection for the Matrox Mystique and three Rendition cards, the Canopus Total 3D, Creative 3D Blaster and the Intergraph Intense 3D.  Ironically, it is the Rendition selections that work with later Voodoo cards and other 3D accelerators from nVidia and ATi.  There was a separately released version with support for PowerVR cards in the U.K. and Japan.  It supports an 800x600 resolution and doesn't suffer from speed issues like the more common non-PowerVR version.  Here is a video comparing the Direct3D and PowerVR versions with the (emulated) PlayStation version : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2LVfam6w1o&index=8&list=PL2DC6912FD577F199

Polygon Detail Comparison - Direct3D 640x480
Graphics resolutions of 320x240 and 640x480 are supported, and can be run only in full-screen mode with the U.S. CD.  Regardless of selected resolution, all the 2-D backgrounds and FMVs use an effective 320x240 resolution.  Only the 3D polygon graphics will show quality improvements.  There is a European patch that will allow systems without a supported 3D accelerator to play the game, but the results are neither pretty nor fast at the high resolution on 1997-1998-vintage systems.  However, it will allow you to run the game in a window. It supports 320x240 and 640x480 in either full screen or window mode, or 640x480 full screen with 320x240 resolution polygons.  There is also a Voodoo 2 patch, but I am not sure if it is necessary to use it at all, unless you have a Voodoo 2 card.

Polygon Detail Comparison - Software 640x480
This game was intended for Pentium CPUs, and can have two speed issues with machines that are in the fast Pentium II range or better.  First, the characters may act in the cutscenes too fast and lose sync with their dialog.  The solution is to slow your machine down or simply put up with it.  There is a slowdown program called Throttle/Winthrottle which works for me.  Throttle is for DOS/Win9x, WinThrottle is for NT/2K/XP.  It is available here : http://www.oldskool.org/pc/throttle/DOS/

The second issue is a crash bug just after Jill encounters the first zombie.  When she returns to Barry, the game will freeze after Barry kills the zombie.  One way around this is to use a slowdown utility like Throttle/Winthrottle.  Another may be this method : http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9978&hilit=resident+evil+crash.  I have a save game that I found a long time ago where Jill saves just after the next cutscene with Barry (in the main hall).

For my Win 9x system, which is a Pentium III 600E, I set the CPU speed to 400MHz by using a 66MHz FSB.  (6 x 66 = 400).  Then I use Throttle to reduce the speed by 50%, and the cutscenes are in sync and no crash bug.

Resident Evil will save screenshots by pressing the Print Screen key to its own directory, no need to paste in Paint with Ctrl + V unless you are using a software mode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI, I just completed Resident Evil PC on my old Windows 98SE box and had no speed or crash issues.

Pentium 4 1.8GHz Processor
512MB RAM
Geforce 4 MX 420 Video Card


I installed everything allowable with the included setup exe and ran the rest from the CD. I wonder if the speed issue people have is due to them mounting a CD image with Daemon or whatever.