Numerous songs and other audio tracks fail to play properly in Suikoden II
. This is likely due to some sort of glitch when the master image was created at the end of development. All of the audio tracks are present on the disc, and are even in the expected locations, but in some tracks the sector headers appear to be incorrect. This causes playback to halt after an error condition is raised in all observed cases. Even if some of the incorrectly encoded tracks can technically stream without error, the result is still silence. A list of tracks that fail to play follows, but it is not exhaustive.
Annallee's Song (Orrizante)
During your attempt to recruit Annallee in South Window, she is supposed to sing a shortened cut of her song Orrizante
for you. In the affected versions of the game, she only mouths soundlessly. In other versions, this bug was either fixed (Europe) or not present in the first place (Japan), and the song streams properly.
You can rip both the full version and the shortened cut of Orrizante from the disc, so obviously the song is there. The song's location on disc is retrieved from an array of CD info that includes an integer value that can be used to compute a physical seek location, and the channel needed to filter the CD-XA data. The full cut of the song is at the 12th index (starting from zero), while the shortened cut used during the recruitment event is the 11th index (see Causes).
Chant is a song that is intended to play during the game's Best Ending. In between duels, there is a span of silence in affected versions that should be filled with solemn chanting.
Dancing With Karen
A short song that should loop during your dance contests with Karen. Instead, you dance to silence in affected copies of the game.
I Hear Footprints (Richmond's Midnight Arrival)
This is a sound effect track that really has no name. After meeting Richmond, he will come to find you at the Inn during the dark of night. With a bugged copy of the game, the screen simply goes black for several moments accompanied by silence, followed by the sound of a match and a glow of flame. The interval is long enough that you might mistakenly assume your game has crashed. The silence should actually be filled with Richmond's footsteps on the stairs, and the opening of the door to your party's room.
La Passione Commuove la Storia
This song was intended to play over the "Stars Roll" during the ending. Since the track is glitched, the music simply cuts out midway when We Will Always Be
War Theme #1 and #3
In affected versions of Suikoden II
, several of the Major Battles take place in silence. There are actually three musical compositions that Konami intended to play during these battles. The first song goes by the title War Theme #2 - Battlefield Without Light
, and is familiar to anyone who has played any version of the game. The second is War Theme #1
, which is never played nor is War Theme #3 - Decisive Battle
ever heard in affected versions.
All song issues fixed so far have been due to the track data in the game's executable not matching what was encoded into the sector headers on the disc. The actual error was in mastering the disc, and not in the listing compiled into the game, as the fixed versions have track listings in their executables that are identical to the listing on bugged discs. Somehow, when Konami was creating the master image, the CD-XA headers were mangled in such way that playback of certain tracks is impossible.
Below is the track data for Annallee's Song. This example is representative of all the song bugs, but obviously the specific data is different in each case.
0x800ECFE0 93 68 00 03 A3 89 00 02 00 5F 00 00 #Annallee's song
0x800ECFEC 05 00 00 05 25 53 00 01 00 78 00 00 #Orrizante
The first three bytes of each track descriptor is the location integer. The eighth byte is the channel number. Annallee is silent because her song was packed onto the CD with a different channel (01) in the header than what was in the CD info file compiled into the executable (02). When the hardware attempts to stream the audio, it finds no sectors in the given location with a matching channel filter, and playback is halted.
The tracks for each version are identical, so it is possible to copy BGM.XA from a working version and replace the file in a bugged image. This method can work for individuals who have access to both files. However, the file is rather large, subject to copyrights, and contains a large number of works that can be individually copyrighted. Therefore the safest way for an automated patch to fix the issue is to use a difference patch, e.g., something like the PPF format, to repair the broken data.