[8-Bit] Dialga’s Fight to the Finish | Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky



I dedicate this fideo to my beloved brother Phoenixgamer, who is my (second) best friend, (only) favourite sibling and (almost) like a son to me at the same time. His birthday was last Friday but unfortunately, it took me another week to get the song and drawing he requested done because I sux. Thanks for giving me company on this weird journey called life and know that I will always be there for you. Happy (belated) birthday!

Finding fitting bpm settings was again easy thanks to Amarizo’s tool, but unfortunately, the only possible speed was 1. Which is very fast, as you can probably tell. The good thing is that it’s running at 60 hz which means it could be perfectly smooth in a 60 fps fideo. But it’s not at all because the OBS recordings are terrible for some reason, the majority of frames are skipped or doubled. If only I knew how to fix that.

Working at speed 1 is quite interesting. It gives tick-perfect control in the pattern editor, as every row corresponds to 1 tick. But it also makes things very confusing and annoying as there are so many rows and also frames since the amount of rows per frame is limited. I had to use two frames for every part due to the limit which made it even more difficult. Another annoying thing is that the primary row highlight and secondary row highlight are both limited to 32 frames. I set the primary one to one beat, as usual, but that’s 24, so I couldn’t set the secondary one to 48 or something. So I used note stops and releases in the empty DPCM channel as markers every 6 and every 48 frames instead. I could and probably should just have lowered the primary highlight to 6, but then I could and should have used ‎additional DPCM markers for larger intervals like 48 to make the very long frames more managable, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

There is a lot of stuff playing at the same time in the original song, for the first time not just a little but a lot more than could fit even with the VRC6 expansion channels. But the limited amount of channels is one of the challenges of making 8-bit music. Some of the primary voice’s notes are so high that it hurts, but apparently it’s just as bad or even worse in the original song, so I guess it’s OK. It’s still an incredible song.

The short repeating parts in pulse 3 have their first and last notes overlapping a lot, so I omitted the last notes to squeeze them in one channel. For the first of the two versions that plays, the jittery one, I used a maximum speed pulse width arpeggio that starts at frame 4. I think I’ve never used one before but it sounds quite interesting and almost exactly like in the original. The plucked violin arpeggios sound good, I think. I first made plucked violins like this in Dragonspiral Tower and wasn’t satisfied with how they turned out, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now.

The part where the two members of the coconut, I mean violence, family dance around each other sounds incredible in the original. Unfortunately, there is no panning on the NES and without panning in two channels, it sounds very boring in comparison. And I only had one channel left anyway, so I also stuffed both of them in one channel, omitting the last or lower notes. Starting at frame 19, dichords are used for the main voice but there are again two alternating instruments that play their first and last notes at the same time, sometimes even more if I recall correctly. To fit all of that into the two main remaining channels, I played the higher note of each chord at the same time at a slightly higher volume. That way, both instruments are heard at the same time and because each instrument uses dichords for all other notes, it sounds like they are in those cases as well.

The harpsichord/guitar or whatever that is chords that play almost durin the entire song were perfect candidates for accompanying arpeggios, I thought. And I love accompanying arpeggios. Unfortunately, all channels were already occupied. Triangle -> bass, p4 saw -> accompanying chords, p3 -> those two short melodies that play all the time and p1 p2 for main stuff. I really wanted to get those arpeggios in there as they sound quite important in the original and, as I said, I want lots of accompanying arpeggios. At first, I tried to remove an entire chord channel, making the chords that have three notes originally have only one note. However, I couldn’t get the arpeggios to sound different enough from the stuff in p3 and when the pluck violence played at the same time, it sounded horrible. Then I tried filling the remaining spaces in p3 with those arpeggios, but they again sounded way too similar to pluck violence and made the proper p3 stuff stand out much less, so I had to scrap that idea as well. There was just one option left: Putting the arpeggios in frames 0F to 16 where p3 was still empty. So I did that.

Cynthia already had a pretty low speed that enabled me to simply put multiple simultaneously playing drums in subsequent rows, hoping to make it sound like they play at the same time like arpeggios. It sounded alright, but very noticeably delayed. Here, I used speed 1, so, since there are many different percussion elements playing at the same time and some of them, namely cymbals and bass drums, being very defining, I tried “percussion arpeggios” again. Bass drums are very short anyway and I found out that even reducing them to one frame by putting the cymbal right into the next frame leaves it audible enough and makes it sound like both play at the same time, especially since the cymbal has a very slow and soft attack. These two factors combined make it work really well, I think.

I have lots of different intermediate versions of the song saved from when I tried stuff out like having the dancing violence in one or two channels, the whole arpeggio stuff and lots of other things that I don’t even remember or know what the file names are supposed to mean. That way I could try stuff out and revert it easily if it doesn’t end up working. ‎Unfortunately, probably because I haven’t used fibrati in a very long time, they turned out very bad and I had to redo every single fibrato effect number I think two times which took a long time and was very annoying. I’m still not satisfied with them, but they at least don’t sound disgusting anymore.

In respect of the integration of the drawing, I of course used Phoenixgamer’s team. It was interesting to draw some other Pokémon for a change. I used half the usual resolution again and the “new” lineless style, but this time I shaded for the first time in a long time as it did look rather plain and boring otherwise. I’m again surprised by how well the Pokémon turned out and I again feel like they look too good to be made by me, so I feel like I didn’t make them. The clouds were very simply made but I guess the “trick” of w-lines with three different colours makes it look acceptable somehow. Like Bob Ross had tricks to simply make things that look way more complicated than they actually are. The floor was the biggest problem as there isn’t really another colour that could be used for shading or cracks or any other sort of detail, the same problem I have with sand. I used dark gray for the shadows as that was the best I could do. I also tried brick outlines and cracks, but they looked horrible and so I left them out.

I’m not sure if the Roar of Time stuff is good. It certainly turned out unexpectedly interesting, but it also obstructs a lot of stuff like Dialga and the thing on top of the stairs. Though, I guess that kind of fits to an action-packed fight. I will post alternate versions of the drawing with an expanded view and less clutter soon.

As you probably noticed, I removed the intro. This is because, as I said last time, I’m again not satisfied with the new intro and intros in general, especially for music fideos, are more of a nuisance. It’s unfortunate since I liked the idea of different intro song versions for different series and having something before a fideo that is unique and somehow symbolises what I’m doing. I actually got a comment below Halloween asking for a version without the intro and outro and that amplified my thought of just completely removing the intro. The outro is no problem anymore since it’s seamlessly and unannoyingly integrated, although not very creative and unique. Maybe I should just remove all intros and old outros from music fideos since they probably are very annoying when one just wants to listen to music in playlists, as I imagine. Though, I personally don’t listen to music on Youtube, I usually listen to downloaded files and Spotify. Do you think I should remove them?

As you additionally might have noticed, I streamed one day of covering and one day of drawing. It was certainly an interesting experience, although very physically exhausting since I’m the most introverted introvert to ever introvert. And talking my thought processes out loud is something I’m very unfamiliar with, as I barely ever talk. And that’s the primary reason why I want to stream: to get more used to talking. And to stop thinking all the time as thinking is bad and slows me down a lot. Streaming should hopefully make me more productive as well. I’d love to stream in English of course, but I’m not at all used to talking in English, so I want to learn how to talk at all first, so I‎’ll be talking in German for now, but if you’re watching, you’re of course welcome to chat in English. I only streamed when I was almost ready with the song and drawing so that people wouldn’t see the bad stuff in the beginning but I want to stream almost everything for the next song, except for song analysing, reference gathering and sketching. And hopefully keep going like that.

By the way, today I noticed that the first stream recording was set to public on YouTube until I changed it today. The plan is to have them unlisted and automatically added to the stream playlist in the 2fideo section on my channel’s home tab. That way they are accessible but don’t clutter the space for proper fideos. But apparently, I have to manually set the recording to unlisted after every stream. Sorry for having it public, I was wondering why the recording received multiple views. Then again, so did yesterday’s. Why do fideos hidden in a hidden playlist in a hidden category get viewed but nobody cares about public Jeff fideos that take years to make? Good question.

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8-BIT AUDIO PRODUCTION: FAMITRACKER http://famitracker.com/
PIXEL ART: ASEPRITE https://www.aseprite.org/
FIDEO EDITING: DAVINCI RESOLVE https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
EXTRACTING SMD FILES FROM GAME: TINKE https://github.com/pleonex/tinke/releases
CONVERTING SMD FILES TO MIDI: SMD2MID https://github.com/ipatix/smd2mid
SCREEN RECORDING: OBS STUDIO https://obsproject.com/