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General The general chatting goes on in here. That means talk about the LBA games and its world.

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  #1  
Old 2021-05-31, 01:15
UltimateWalrus UltimateWalrus is offline
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Twinsen Have you played the best version of LBA2? (PROBABLY NOT!)

Hi all,

I haven't seen too much talk about this (besides the odd Steam review that's like "This depresses me because the soundtrack is not trimmed like in the CD"). Maybe I'm just out of the loop. But the version of LBA2 that GOG and Steam are offering is not the best version!!

It probably hasn't been discussed until recently, because before GOG and Steam put their versions up, there wasn't much incentive for one person to play both LBA2 and Twinsen's Odyssey; the assumption was that they were the same game, but they aren't!

I would strongly argue that Twinsen's Odyssey is the best version. This is actually great news If you grew up playing LBA2 instead of Twinsen's odyssey (a lot of you I'm guessing), because you have yet to experience the version that I would argue has practically DOUBLE the emotional impact of LBA2!

How is it possible? Vastly better sound design. When they made the "Twinsen's Odyssey" version, they took a second pass at the sound design, and made the music usage more minimal, and MUCH more emotionally powerful. All of the music is still in there, but it's generally in smaller segments that fade to ambiance, rather than repeating over and over. The result is that every burst of music is much more moving, and when you're left with ambiance, you become truly immersed.

If you don't believe me, watch the video I made today:

How can you play Twinsen's Odyssey? I asked GOG to put it up, but they ignored me. So for now, I saved it off a CD, and I'm hosting it on my site, in a passworded archive that can only be opened if you already have a legitimate copy first. I hope you'll download, if only to help me preserve it! It would suck if the best version of the best game got lost to the sands of time.

Link to my Twinsen's Odyssey download page

(note: this is my flashy indie games website. If your computer is too old to run it try the barebones page here)
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Twinsen's Odyssey is the way better version!! Info and where to get it here
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  #2  
Old 2021-05-31, 15:39
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leoboe leoboe is offline
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Wow, that is indeed strange.
The music playing in the GOG-Version is not even the correct music for that part of citadel Island but seems to be the Menu-Music.
I remember playing the german Version (titled LBA2 with the blue disc) like your first part with minimal music (only starting when you enter a certain area) and much more ambiance. I'm eager to know if it really is like that in the original LBA2 or if it's a bug/decision for the GOG/Steam-Version.
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  #3  
Old 2021-05-31, 17:21
UltimateWalrus UltimateWalrus is offline
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Interesting! I’ve been saying it’s Twinsen’s Odyssey vs. LBA2, but maybe the improvements were made while it was still called LBA2, and there are better and worse versions of LBA2. Whatever the case, GOG and Steam are offering the worse version (“better” and “worse” are in my subjective opinion. Obviously you’re allowed to like the music-heavy earlier version, wouldn’t want to start a flame war lol, to me personally the newer version is just worlds better ).

And nowadays, as far as I know, the only way to be sure you have the newer version is to just get a copy of Twinsen’s Odyssey. Or play the version you have and see if the music ever freaking stops. I thought I was going crazy the first time I played the GOG version.

That would be very odd indeed if GOG decided to “improve” on the game by hacking in constant music (and then have Steam copy their version). Seems like it would be needless effort, and counter to their whole purported goal of preservation, but who knows.
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Twinsen's Odyssey is the way better version!! Info and where to get it here

Last edited by UltimateWalrus; 2021-05-31 at 17:27.
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  #4  
Old 2021-05-31, 22:59
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xesf xesf is offline
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I wonder if this was a bug or a last minute change post LBA2 release.

The music implementation is indeed implemented slightly different because of the fact that the TO version does not have CD Tracks. It only contains 1 single track, instead of LBA2 which has various tracks replacing the shorter WAV versions.

The engine actually looks for CD Tracks to play while loading a scene or scene fragment (sections of the Island), but that is only done for the full music CD tracks.
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  #5  
Old 2021-06-01, 11:11
Phreak Phreak is offline
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Yes I've played LBA1
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  #6  
Old 2021-06-01, 17:42
UltimateWalrus UltimateWalrus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak View Post
Yes I've played LBA1
Ooh controversial, haha . I will say LBA1 starts a hell of a lot stronger than LBA2. LBA1 starts the way a game should, by throwing you in the deep end and gripping you from the very start with raw action.
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Twinsen's Odyssey is the way better version!! Info and where to get it here
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  #7  
Old 2021-06-01, 20:37
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for me Twinsen's Odyssey was always a lot better than LBA2, since the beginning. First version I ever played was TO, then when I switched to LBA2 later on it never had the same impact.
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  #8  
Old 2021-06-01, 22:41
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Battler Battler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xesf
The music implementation is indeed implemented slightly different because of the fact that the TO version does not have CD Tracks. It only contains 1 single track, instead of LBA2 which has various tracks replacing the shorter WAV versions.
It's the other way around - it's the TO version that has all the CD tracks, while the LBA 2 version does not, and the reason is simple - the data portion of the CD takes more space due to the French and German voices that are absent in the TO versions.

Edit: That TO must be one of those period Warez scene releases which lacked the CD tracks, which would explain why it has less music than the GoG version. The latter is based on the European release which had the full tracks as .WAV files instead.

Edit #2: It's not even that - it's just the files of the US version, with TWINSEN.EXE renamed to LBA2.EXE. LBA2.CFG has Version set to 1, which is the US version, which will make the game look for the CD Audio tracks that are not there (the CD check is most likely cracked out). Hence why it has less music than the GoG version which, being based on the European release, looks for the .WAV files in MUSIC\ instead. This also explains why I don't recall any music difference between any of the 4 original versions I played (US, Brazilian, European, and Asian English).
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Last edited by Battler; 2021-06-01 at 22:49.
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  #9  
Old 2021-06-02, 01:29
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Polaris Polaris is offline
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Your knowledge of the different versions always impressed me Battler

There has been an Asian release of LBA2 ? What languages were included in it ?
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  #10  
Old 2021-06-02, 01:59
UltimateWalrus UltimateWalrus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battler View Post
It's the other way around - it's the TO version that has all the CD tracks, while the LBA 2 version does not, and the reason is simple - the data portion of the CD takes more space due to the French and German voices that are absent in the TO versions.

Edit: That TO must be one of those period Warez scene releases which lacked the CD tracks, which would explain why it has less music than the GoG version. The latter is based on the European release which had the full tracks as .WAV files instead.

Edit #2: It's not even that - it's just the files of the US version, with TWINSEN.EXE renamed to LBA2.EXE. LBA2.CFG has Version set to 1, which is the US version, which will make the game look for the CD Audio tracks that are not there (the CD check is most likely cracked out). Hence why it has less music than the GoG version which, being based on the European release, looks for the .WAV files in MUSIC\ instead. This also explains why I don't recall any music difference between any of the 4 original versions I played (US, Brazilian, European, and Asian English).
I'm impressed by your knowledge of the different versions! All I can say is that I got this data directly off a legitimate Twinsen's Odyssey CD, then intermixed it with some GOG emulation files to get it running better (never could get it emulating quite perfect by myself). It's not a "warez" or pirated version. I'm not the only one who noticed the audio difference, as there are Steam reviewers disappointed with the audio in that version (thankfully proving I'm not crazy ).

Honestly though I don't remember to what degree I intermixed the files from my CD with the GOG stuff to get it to work, and how it gets around the "CD check." I set these files up years ago so I could play Twinsen's Odyssey, and I've played through the whole thing. It's as I remember it.

Regardless of the reason, when I played it off the CD as a child, the music was far more restrained than the heavy-handed score of the more popular versions... and I feel strongly that it was a better game for it. Who knows, maybe our CD drive was just malfunctioning, but if so then it'd be a glitch that genuinely improved the game. I'd recommend trying it for yourself!

Of course nostalgia plays a part, but since I grew up on games like TO and Knytt, "music in moderation" is one of the core tenets of my game design philosophy now, for games that I want to feel atmospheric and immersive.
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Twinsen's Odyssey is the way better version!! Info and where to get it here

Last edited by UltimateWalrus; 2021-06-02 at 02:10.
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  #11  
Old 2021-06-02, 18:43
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Battler Battler is offline
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Well, it had to be a CD drive glitch, there's no other explanation, because to play music where there was none before, GoG would have had to actually modify the game files, and there's no indication that they did.

Quote:
All I can say is that I got this data directly off a legitimate Twinsen's Odyssey CD,
Then you must have renamed the executable to LBA2.EXE to make it work with the GoG files, which would mean the GoG scripts also load LBA2.GOG, which is basically a cut down CD image of the European version, which would therefore be missing most CD Audio tracks, which would explain why there is suddenly less music.

Another thing that could be causing the "less music" thing is FunnyFrog's patch which is (or was before GoG) commonly used to make the game work on some graphics cards from the 2000's, and its author put his new code into a seemingly blank area of the executable, which was however an area used for game data. Known side-effects of that are the car getting stuck and the wizards already being freed when you enter that scene. This could be another one.
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  #12  
Old 2021-06-02, 20:56
rob_c rob_c is offline
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Interesting! I didn't know that the two versions differ in any way.
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  #13  
Old 2021-06-03, 22:28
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Battler Battler is offline
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I just remembered another possible explanation for this - if your version of Twinsen's Odyssey was one of those CD's that came with Creative Labs sound cards, those are poorly mastered and lack the first CD Audio track (which is I believe Song of Gabriel, ie. the LBA 2 intro track), as a result of which, all other tracks are off by one, which would cause the game to play the wrong music, or in case of the LBA 2 Theme (which is exactly what's played in the above segment), nothing because there would be no track with that number.

I think I have both of these as well, both the US and Brazilian versions.
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  #14  
Old 2021-06-04, 04:27
UltimateWalrus UltimateWalrus is offline
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Whew, alright, I think I am definitely going to have to dig up the raw data from a Twinsen’s Odyssey CD (ideally MY CD if I can find it) at some point to get to the bottom of this. When I played TO off the CD as a kid in the 2000’s, it definitely did not have music blaring constantly, I’m 100% sure of that. And I’m not the only one either so something is definitely going on here. Mysterious...
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Twinsen's Odyssey is the way better version!! Info and where to get it here
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Old 2021-06-07, 19:33
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elmuerte elmuerte is offline
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I just did a quick test with my TO copy (Virgin release), and the music keeps going on Citadel Island. It does play the full track from the CD, and not the 30 second long clip. Note that I tried the Windows version which does not work well in Windows 10.
The version you posted is the Activision release of TO.

Your copy: LBA2 "Twinsen's Odyssey" (Jun 12 1997 / 21:23:25)
My copy: LBA2 "Twinsen's Odyssey" (Jun 26 1997 / 10:02:27)


CD content of my copy:
FILE "Twinsen's Odyssey.img" BINARY
TRACK 1 MODE1/2352
INDEX 1 00:00:00
TRACK 2 AUDIO
INDEX 1 42:08:58
TRACK 3 AUDIO
INDEX 1 46:05:06
TRACK 4 AUDIO
INDEX 1 49:52:51
TRACK 5 AUDIO
INDEX 1 53:08:63
TRACK 6 AUDIO
INDEX 1 56:40:39
TRACK 7 AUDIO
INDEX 1 60:22:68
TRACK 8 AUDIO
INDEX 1 61:14:70


CD content of your copy:
FILE "TWINSEN.BIN" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
TRACK 02 AUDIO
INDEX 01 46:06:63
TRACK 03 AUDIO
INDEX 01 49:52:63
TRACK 04 AUDIO
INDEX 01 53:04:26
TRACK 05 AUDIO
INDEX 01 56:37:26
TRACK 06 AUDIO
INDEX 01 60:19:26
TRACK 07 AUDIO
INDEX 01 61:13:26
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  #16  
Old 2021-06-07, 23:08
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Battler Battler is offline
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That TWINSEN.BIN definitely looks like one of the Creative versions of it, that has one track left.

Also, the track time discrepancies are interesting. For one it looks like the second to last track is a few seconds shorter.
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Old 2021-09-13, 22:18
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Arlowa Arlowa is offline
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Well dang, this actually fixes the super loud track problem I was having with the main theme! I had to keep reloading to get it to STOP doing playing it because it was just so loud. I miss the menu music though.
Seems like now the jukebox music isn't correct. It doesn't play the "Honey Bee" track or the LBA2 theme at all.
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Old 2021-09-15, 13:17
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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So, all in all, is there really such a thing as different games (LBA2 ≠ Twinsen's Odyssey) or was it all a misunderstanding?
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