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Old 22nd April 2015, 05:33 AM
regifang regifang is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 4
Default Star Fox gamma issue solved (ie Dark Fox) StarFox 64 Project64 Emulation

Recently I tried out N64 emulation after a long vacation. Eager to try out StarFox 64, I became frustrated as the game appeared too dark--almost pitch black in the Sector Y level (hard path unlocked after accomplishing certain tasks in the first level).

No solution online was found, although I did see other posts about this very issue with no positive resolution. I went through multiple drivers (glide, jabo, gl64, special customs--you name it), but nothing changed, although I did notice Glide64 and its wrapper got rid of some polygon edges separating.

Dumb luck--I fixed the problem! I hope this works for others as well.

I always ran in windowed mode using various Project64 versions. After switching to full screen mode with the Glide64 Final plugin selected (wrapper file placed in emulator directory, default options set), the gamma issue disappeared. Objects were no longer in shadow. Textures and level backgrounds were clear. Switching back to windowed mode made the problem come back.

Even more interestingly, I switched to the Jabo Direct3D8 1.7.057-ver5 graphics plugin in my Project64 2.2 setup, and the problem mostly disappeared as well. I changed no settings at all. I state mostly fixed as the gamma is bright but still wrong. Glide64 with its wrapper give spot on graphics. Using Jabo in both windowed and fullscreen had no issue any longer besides the too bright or wrong gamma being applied; however, I could actually see my enemies!

This windowed-mode gamma issue and its fix may have been known to others; however, no amount of searching emulator forums for posts relating to Star Fox 64 and dark visuals led me to an answer, thus I created this post.

To sum up things:
1. Use Glide64 Final (May 8, 2012) graphics plugin in Project64 and place its wrapper file (glide3x.dll) in the emulator main directory
2. Run Star Fox 64. Once open, switch to full screen.
3. Quit the game
4. Continue using Glide64 in fullscreen or use Jabo's graphics plugin if you desire in window or full screen. Though the gamma is still off, it is brighter and much closer to the correct values.

My system:
Windows 7 64-bit
Nvidia GeForce GTX 650
Using Project64 2.2

If I were to guess, I would suspect my operating system gamma setting are overriding the windowed application' settings (Project64, Mupen, etc.). There probably is a setting that needs to be flipped, though I am not an expert at any of these emulator nor their graphics plugins' source code.

I was really bummed out when I started out using N64 emulators again. I believed that almost twenty years went by and still no one figured out decent emulation--I mean, for Star Fox at least, the game was unplayable in space levels.

Next up on the plate: a 64-bit Adaptoid driver would be great. The Xbox 360 controller is really a pain for C-button access, plus I want accurate rumble.

Last edited by regifang; 22nd April 2015 at 05:38 AM. Reason: Bolded some things for those who are too eager
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n64, pj64, project64, star fox, starfox

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