In an alternate universe not entirely dissimilar to our own the Super Nintendo got a CD add-on made by Sony, much like the Mega Drive's Mega CD. This would bring full motion video and Redbook audio to the SNES games you know and love. In fact, some games would have been completely different in that universe. Secret of Mana was supposed to be Squaresoft's first game for the system, had things not got so sour so fast between Nintendo and Sony. The game you know and love today as a 16 megabit cartridge was initially designed as a much ambitious offering, with huge chunks of content cut from the final version in order to fit it onto cartridge.
So in our version of reality, we were restricted to imagine and speculate how Super Nintendo games would look and sound with the capabilities of CD-Rom support… or so it would seem. Enter prolific coder byuu and the MSU1 chip, a custom add-on chip not unlike the Super FX or the DSP chips found inside some Super Nintendo cartridges. The MSU1 allows up to four gigabytes of streaming data to be called during play on demand, be it either video or digital audio. One of the best early demonstrations of what the MSU1 could do is the full conversion of Mega CD's Road Blaster running natively on the Super Nintendo hardware.
As more time has passed, more hackers have turned to the possibilities of the MSU1. Some of them even managed to sneak a full motion video intro and digital audio to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Yes, it is indeed very shocking to witness a talking Link, but it is not so farfetched to believe this would be the version of the game Nintendo would have released on SNES CD.
Retro gamers and hardcore SNES fans have been very excited about these projects for the past few years. As you might imagine, the very best JRPG is something most people have been hoping and requesting to get done, Squaresoft's Super Nintendo magnum opus, the timeless (no pun intended… maybe) Chrono Trigger. One of the most active hackers working on bringing MSU1 support to several games already is DarkShock. His latest offering brings Blake Robinson's fantastic orchestration The Chrono Trigger Symphony into Chrono's adventure, replacing the regular SPC music in the whole game! You can check the results in the video below.
Everyone can dream, but the effort and dedication to make those dreams a reality - namely everyone who worked to make this enhancement reality - is something we must salute. We can but imagine what future projects and possibilities the MSU1 will bring to the stellar Super Nintendo library.
That video doesn't seem to be working, and I am definitely interested here.
Well thanks for that lightbulb moment reminding me that I actually own the Chrono Cross music CD that I don't think I've listened to in 15 years. It's only 15 minutes and 5 tracks long, but there's some nice stuff on here.
People who've played the PS disc version always hate on it because of the loading times it introduced. I wonder if a SNES CD version would've been much better than that.
@SuperWiiU Among other factors it depends on how fast the data could be streamed to the RAM. I will bet it was gonna be a single speed CD, and those could be hideous. Think Neo Geo CD (the original one) loading times and you're there.
@SuperWiiU Another patch has inserted the Playstation game anime cutscenes into the game already. A merger of both patches could be in the horizon.
I want this so bad!
Oh the CLARITY! That opening theme has never sounded so good and clear!
I REALLY need to play Chrono Trigger, got the DS version so must give it a go because I know I'm missing out on one of the best games of all time!
I'm not a fan of unofficial enhancements. Usually they are in fact not.
It would be interesting if Square Enix could find the lost content and release a new version themselves though. But that doesn't seem likely at all.
This article made me google secret of mana on my iphone. Low and behold its on the App Store! Bought! I loved that game.
This makes me long even more for a remake of this game, and I wouldn't say that for any other game
This seems reminiscent of what the Sega CD and PC-Engine CD did back in the day. Yes, their best soundtracks really did sound this good or even better. This does sound like it's just an orchestrated soundtrack superimposed in, because if the original soundtrack really was intended be orchestrated for a SNES CD, it would have probably blown this out of the water. It probably would have had some more Enix influences, too. Even just thinking about that makes me excited... And reminds how much of a genius Yasunori Mitsuda is.
This makes me want to somehow combine the Level Zero hack, Chrono Compendium's Retranslation patch and this orchestral soundtrack for a fully fledged remake experience! (It can't be done automatically right now, only manually using the Temporal Flux editor.)
Another thing that needs to be noted here is that one must purchase Blake Robinson's CT orchestrated soundtrack in FLAC format for this hack to function properly (and as legally as possible). One must also have access to a proper emulator or flashcart which supports the MSU1 coding.
@PlywoodStick I should have clarified that point, thanks.
The Super metered one is amazing.
Metroid even lol
This takes away from the game imo, if you're gonna play chrono trigger do so with the original soundtrack.
In some moments sounds better than original snes version, in some worse.
I have never played snes version but have watched like Essentia played it on Summer Games Done Quick. I have got DS version.
Back in the early ninties it's debatable how well the super NES CD would have done given that the extra expense would have given CD quality audio and some FMV cutscenes. For load times that aren't horrendous it would have needed a 4 speed CD drive and some decent ram would have been needed but that would have been really pricey for a home console peripheral back in the nineties.
Having said all that better audio does make for a richer experience and I would love to see square enix do a rerelease that gives this sort of enhanced experience. No need to 3D up the graphics unless it would have the 2D pixel art on the bottom screen like DQ XI on 3DS.
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