Sonic R Updater

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by CheatFreak, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Sonic R, introducing...

    Sonic R Updater

    [​IMG]

    Sonic R Updater is a patch for the PC ports of Sonic R. This patch will update any version of the game to the much more friendly 2004 port, with the Sonic R Mod Loader included, along with a few helpful mods for it.

    The old 1998 port of Sonic R is notable for being difficult to run on modern hardware and up to date Windows installations due to well, mostly just how software has changed over time since '98.

    A bit later, the game got a new port made in around 2004 sometime, and released nearly silently, to the point where it wasn't really known to exist up until a just a couple years ago. Being made in 2004, it was made with Windows XP in mind- which is one of the best supported Windows OS's to date. This means that even modern Windows OS's with modern hardware can run this game rather well with little in the way of actual work needing done. The port is so good that MainMemory put together Sonic R Mod Loader for it that makes the game even better.

    As mentioned above, the 2004 port is rather difficult to come across, especially in the US, since it was never released there; So that's where Sonic R Updater sees it's main use; Making the best port of Sonic R accessible, and including the Sonic R Mod Loader and a couple mods as a pack-in.

    Sonic R Updater has been tested with the following prints of Sonic R and is confirmed fully working for them, with automatic install detection.
    Tested & Known Working:
    • Sonic R (1998) - Expert Software - USA
    • Sonic R (1998) - Expert Software (Bad Print w/o Music) - USA
    • Sonic R (1998) - Activision (Sonic Action 4 Pack, Twin 2 Pack) - USA
    • Sonic R (1998) - Empire Interactive / Grabit / Xplosiv (All Variants) - UK
    • Sonic R (2004) - GSP White Label (Double Pack w/ Sonic 3D Blast) - UK
    • Sonic R (2004) - Valusoft - AU
    If you have a copy not listed here, let me know!
    Features:
    • Can Install on top of the extremely common (and cheap) 1998 port of Sonic R, providing wider accessibility to the 2004 PC version of the game.
    • Runs perfectly on modern Windows installations, with little to no configuration required.
    • Installs the Sonic R Mod Loader into the game, allowing for robust modding support, as well as several additional features:
      • Removes the need for a disc to be inserted.
      • bass_vgmstream audio support with looping and pausing.
      • custom resolution with proper widescreen support.
      • properly bordered windowed mode with custom window size options.
      • better borderless windowed mode support.
      • improved game framerate stability for modern hardware.
      • an array of interesting cheat codes.
      • maybe even more as the mod loader is in active development.
    • Downloads the latest version of the Sonic R Mod Loader if possible during installation to make sure you're up to date at the time of install.
    • Includes RemoveStrays, a mod to fix various stray pixels in the Menu and HUD throughout the game.
    • Includes ADX Music, a mod that changes out the 2004 port's default '.son` files for much more space efficient '.ADX` format audio that even loops in some cases when appropriate.
    • Includes Saturn Style Colors, a mod that improves the lighting of the game to further match the Sega Saturn original and makes Radiant Emerald semi-transparent again.
    • Includes EggRobo Texture Fix, a mod that fixes a minor bug involving the texture of EggRobo.

    Instructions:
    1. Install Sonic R from your retail disc or an ISO image on your PC wherever you'd like. (I recommend 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Sega\SonicR', personally.)
    2. Do not install DirectX 6 when prompted, and ignore any errors that appear after the installation completes from it trying to open the 1998 game. Ignore this step if you by some chance actually have the 2004 port, which also works.
    3. Download the latest Sonic R Updater and run it.
    4. It should auto-detect the installed location of Sonic R, simply click next or browse to the correct location in the event that it was unable to find the correct path.
    5. Proceed with the installation. Leave the box checked if you'd like to get familiar with the Sonic R Mod Manager right away.
    6. Shortcuts to 'Sonic R', 'Sonic R Mod Manager', and 'Sonic R Help` are all added to your Windows Start Menu, use the shortcuts there to play the game.

    Download:
    GitHub (Source)
    Mega
    Google Drive
    GameBanana
     
  2. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    Of course no release can be perfect, just spotted a minor error in the ADX Music mod- the menu music has the wrong loop end point.
    1.0.1 incoming in a couple minutes.

    Pushed it. OK, now we're all set. (probably)
     
  3. Strife

    Strife

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    Considering how rare the 2004 version is, a BetterSADX-like conversion tool is a blessing. Thanks a bunch!
     
  4. Overlord

    Overlord

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    Indeed, good work.
     
  5. RibShark

    RibShark

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    Nice job! However, for lazy people that only own the 2004 version (such as myself) would it be possible to make the installer work on that version too to save having to obtain all the mods separately?
     
  6. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    Sure, It probably wouldn't be too hard, I'll see about doing that later today.
    Though, if I do, I don't think a new release will be pushed until another release for the Sonic R Mod Loader is as well. Still waiting on InvisibleUp to add widescreen to the Mod Loader. :P

    I also updated the PCGamingWiki with some links and fixes, and split the 1998 and 2004 pages apart like they should be.

    Sonic R (1998)
    Sonic R (2004)
     
  7. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    BetterSADX Patch
    Updated to 1.0.2!

    Changes from 1.0.1
    • RemoveStrays Update (1.2)
    • Added code to Installer to support existing 2004 installs
    • Added code to prevent trying to install while Sonic R is open
    • Added code to allow people to simply run the updater again to update the mod loader
    • Removed "Uninstall Sonic R" shortcut.

    Did it.
     
  8. JamesO

    JamesO

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    I'm trying to create a sound effects mod, and no matter what I do the WAV files don't seem to replace the originals in "sound\sfx" folder. If I alter any of the BIN or RAW files for a mod, this does seem to work. As well as replacing the original WAV files (without mod loader).

    I checked the log files for both Sonic R and the Mod Loader. In the mod loader log file, it seems to load every BIN, GRD, etc file individually in the log. But for sound effects, all it says is: "Loaded all sound effects" which is not very descriptive. I'm wondering if the problem is a glitch in the mod loader, or due to a specific way that Sonic R loads sound effect files.

    In the SonicR.log file, it seems like Sonic R pre-caches the sound effect files (and assigns them a number) before it attempts to even start the game. Is this why any sound effect mods aren't working? Or is the mod loader skipping over the "sound/sfx" folder?
     
  9. Ace Croft

    Ace Croft

    Goodbye *Mwah* AND GOODNIGHT Member
    Just tested my copy of Sonic R Grab it UK release and it works perfectly on my laptop with the mod loader. Genuinely happy this works on my laptop after years of struggling to play the game :thumbsup: thanks!
     
  10. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    Thanks, added it to confirmed working. :ssh:/>
    Sounds like a bug to me, told MainMemory on #x-hax and it'll probably be fixed.
    Edit: a fix has been committed to the repo, but not built into any release yet, so either build it yourself or wait a while.
     
  11. So this rules, was able to get it running like a charm and it's great to have Sonic R running so fast and looking fantastic in 1080p (even if the menus and some textures look bad since they were never intended to be stretched like this.) Only question, do you know or have anyway that the Mod Loader could incorporate easier joystick support/configuration? Namely X-Input since I haven't had any luck getting the game to recognize it natively. Keep the good work up!
     
  12. Okamikurainya

    Okamikurainya

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    Please make sure to list near the download that it requires 64-bit Windows. :(

    Is there a 32-bit version? Been wanting to play Sonic R for a long time and Every option I've found so far just won't work.

    For reference, the error I get with this updater is:

    "Runtime error (at 93:1204)

    Internal error: Cannot access 64-bit registry keys on this version of Windows."
     
  13. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    Now this I did not know about, I will have to double check my code for checking the Windows Registry to see where to suppress this error.

    Is that so? All my gamepads work fine, and I've tried a few- though the Xinput standard ones have non-functioning triggers in all these old games due to not being able to map an axis change as a button.

    Regardless, I did poke at Morph about maybe doing a port/version of the fantastic input-mod he did for SADX.
     
  14. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    I was able to locate the error and I'm releasing an update to fix it in about 10 to 15 minutes or so.
    Edit: Pushed it, 1.0.4 is now public.
    This was the result of a typo, heh.

    As a bonus thank you for reporting this bug, here's a picture of the software running in Windows 98 (via KernelEx) with install location detection working.

    [​IMG]
    (Note that Sonic R Updater does not actually work in Windows 98, this was just the only 32 bit VM I had so I figured I'd use it to test)
     
  15. Okamikurainya

    Okamikurainya

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    Ah, that was great, I haven't been able to play Sonic R in years. I see all of its' flaws but I love it still to this day. Thanks for fixing the bug and thus enabling me to play this again. ^_^
     
  16. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    I notice a volume balance issue between some sound effects.

    Some are last modified "1998-10-04 17:30:46" and others "2004-08-11 14:35:24".
     
  17. CheatFreak

    CheatFreak

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    That's just how the 2004 port's sound effect are. Some of them were changed slightly in the 2004 port from the 1998 port to fix them or improve them I suppose.
    The included sound effects are untouched from a clean 2004 port install, as intended.
     
  18. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    A sound effects mod could probably help fix that. Thanks for clarifying.

    I like the 2004 port better than the 1998 port after playing both today and the mod launcher letting me run at 1440 x 1080 looks nice on my 1080p monitor although I miss the DirectDraw's dramatic lighting effects. Running 1920 x 1080 broke all the menus and static image screens (either stretched or some other weird effect), courses looked great, though. Hopefully we'll see a mod that ports the DirectDraw lighting effects (would look like a massive upgrade) and that brings 4:3 menus and 16:9 courses.
     

  19. Ah that makes a lot of sense. Dunno why I can't get it running on my end, might need to poke around the drivers, though I have no problems with normal Steam games. Would love to have a mod that lets the triggers work as well as they do on the Gems Collection.
    QFT, the game looks fantastic in 4:3 but I love me some 16:9 that doesn't totally bork the menus.

     
  20. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Finally installed the updater and so fun to finally play Sonic R on a PC again, loving some of the bells and whistles that come with it too.