Opened 8 years ago

Last modified 23 months ago

#9591 new defect

SCUMM: Zak McKracken (FM-Towns) - Intro animation runs faster than intro music

Reported by: Nukkus Owned by:
Priority: normal Component: Engine: SCUMM
Version: Keywords: FM Towns, soundtrack
Cc: Game: Zak McKracken


Zak McKracken FM Towns (GoG release)
FM Towns Version
Win32 Platform

So the problem is the intro(and the game itself) is running faster than the original did on actual FM Towns hardware, resulting in the intro being cut off. The animation ends long before the music has completed.

Here is an example of the game being played on original hardware:

And an example of SCUMMVM, with the intro ending before the music concludes:

Change History (5)

comment:1 by Laylia27, 7 years ago

This isn't just a bug with the GoG release. This has been a problem ever since ScummVM started supporting the FM-Towns version of Zak. It would definitely be nice if someone could fix it.

comment:2 by csnover, 7 years ago

Keywords: FM Towns removed

comment:3 by Nukkus, 7 years ago

Keywords: FM Towns soundtrack added

comment:4 by raziel-, 4 years ago

Summary: Zak McKracken FM Towns Intro runs too fastSCUMM: Zak McKracken (FM-Towns) - Intro animation runs faster than intro music

ScummVM 2.2.0git (Jul 15 2020 10:24:49)
Features compiled in: Vorbis FLAC MP3 RGB zLib MPEG2 Theora AAC A/52 FreeType2 FriBiDi JPEG PNG cloud (servers, local)

This issue stems from the fact that the developers used the (CD) loading times (and the slow graphics chip) from the original FM-Towns console to sync the music with the running intro animation (whether they revised it for the FM-Towns version by checking against the actual speed, or simply went with the floppy loading times and hoped the best, is beyond me though).

If you watch the first YT video you can clearly see that the objects "pop" in place, due to them being loaded from CD on the run and probably because the graphics chip isn't the strongest either.
That leads to the animation running slower than it does on fast CD/HDD drives with stronger graphic chips.

Also take a look here:
It features a similar problem and maybe a probable fix.

Maybe a delay between scene changes (where the screen goes black) would be sufficient?

I own the original FM-Towns release and was able to stopwatch playing the intro from HDD and CD, and CD (without the music) was roughly a second slower already.

Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (FM-TOWNS/English)

AmigaOS4 - PPC - BE - SDL

comment:5 by LukasThyWalls, 23 months ago


This is something that bothered me from long time ago, because it's very noticeable but at the same time is hard to make it work well, because like Raziel said, it looks like in the original system the intro music is matched to how it runs the intro itself and that's is hard to match in ScummVM.

The first time i tried DREAMM, what also supports this version, i was thinking it should play better the intro but it doesn't. It's not accurate enough for that and it does the same as ScummVM. That leads me to play it in a FM-Towns emulator (Tsugaru), but any option i tried to speed down the emulation doesn't match the intro itself.

For sure in an original hardware it plays differently. This youtube video footage of a real FM-Towns shows the intro played perfectly synced . Like Raziel said, the speed and, for sure, the transitions are different, they take more time than any emulator can do.

I did something different instead: If there is no information of how to play intro with the music synced, I tried to look how to change the intro to fit the music better. With that i did this
The only things are:

  • The video is played at 83,33% of original speed in ScummVM 2.5.1, so instead of the recorded 30 fps, it is at 25 fps.
  • The track begins 28 frames after the Zak McKracken logo appears. With that, the music ends perfectly in the intro end. The original recorded intro are 30 fps, but with the speed changed to 25 fps, it is 1.1 seconds after the Zak logo.

With those things, the music almost match parts of the intro (when it enters in the "cloud/dream part", when objects appear in screen, when the floating hat and glasses appear...) but others not as perfectly (the zoom to the Mars map).

Without a better video or information to look for time sync, and without adding according transition time (original loading times) to the intro, it can't be done anything better I think.


Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.