The FFVII Toshiba DVD

#1
From DVD Review said:
To showcase the splendor of the brand new DVD format, and to take advantage of the ubiquitous FFVII hype at the time, the Toshiba Corporation released the “Vision Connect P130″ home computer along with the ”FINAL FANTASY VII” Original DVD High Quality CG Collection in June 1997.

...

The existence of this DVD has largely gone by even the most hardcore FFVII fans and collectors. I write this review now after having spent $1,499.95 to acquire it and in the hopes of making this a more well known item.
- Review: The FFVII Toshiba DVD

- PlayStation versus Toshiba DVD: FMV Analysis


I could wait no longer with posting these. Posting it early also so that the forum members can contribute and solve the mysteries of the various symbols and boards analysed at the end of the FMV Analysis article.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#2
This is where I confess to having known for a long while that Shademp had this DVD (and had spent a small fortune on it). :monster:

This level of dedication, not just in purchasing the thing, but in analyzing its details so thoroughly, is one of the many reasons I nominated this remarkable young man for both Member of the Year and Biggest Final Fantasy Wonk in the TLS Awards '12. I had to wait until now like the rest of you to see most of this material, though.

Just a really, really interesting set of analysis and information here; stuff that the average fan, as well as the not-so-average fan (such as myself and many of us on this board), would be highly unlikely to know. And, certainly, we would have never known otherwise.

It's hard to be surprised by something FFVII related anymore, but Shademp, you crazy mofo, you have delivered the goods yet again. Thank you for sharing this with your fellow FFVII fans.
 

Cthulhu

Administrator
AKA
Yop
#3
You and your secret projects Shademp, :monster:. We'd better promote the shit out of this article - who has access to the FB and Twitter accounts? Also, we should send this article to the other FF fansites out there.

There's about 1.2 GB of raw DVD MPG files we're offering up for download here; are you okay with it if people download them and re-post them up on their own sites? They may not credit you / TLS with it if they're dicks.

Edit: Oh also, could you include a link to the forums at the bottom of the articles?
 
#4
We'd better promote the shit out of this article - who has access to the FB and Twitter accounts? Also, we should send this article to the other FF fansites out there.
I agree but I thought it would be nice to tidy things up a bit before starting the super-promotion. I haven't actually had anyone proofread the articles and point out mistakes yet. Would be great to have a slightly more filled list of the goldsaucer1 boards and symbols too (see end of FMV Analysis article).

EDIT: Oh and I'm still waiting for Ryu to translate the PerfecTV clip. Ideally, we can provide a subtitles file alongside the video.

There's about 1.2 GB of raw DVD MPG files we're offering up for download here; are you okay with it if people download them and re-post them up on their own sites? They may not credit you / TLS with it if they're dicks.
Even if they don't credit us then there might still be ways to confirm that we posted the files first, yes? Nobody I've asked has been able to find these files on the interwebs so afaik we are the first to provide them. Anyway, let people re-post and re-link all they want. We will always know that we were first.

Edit: Oh also, could you include a link to the forums at the bottom of the articles?
Sure.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#5
Wow, that is so amazing. You are...definitely the head collector of FFVII here. :monster:

Fucking awesome. Thank you oh so much for sharing this with us. Seriously.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#6
Holy Sh...ademp. I'm amazed that you spent so much of your own money on the DVD. That's a whole new level of dedication.

Yop, I've got the keys to our Facebook page at the moment, and I'll definitely be promoting this. Are we going to make a front page article about it first? Shademp, you're in charge here, you should dictate exactly what happens and when. In the meantime I don't mind proof-reading your posts.
 
#7
You outdid yourself with that joke. Well done. *applauds*


Are we going to make a front page article about it first? Shademp, you're in charge here, you should dictate exactly what happens and when.
There are two things I'd like to see checked before a front page article happens.
1) How soon can Ryu deliver a translation of the PerfecTV video. If very soon, then the front page feature can wait.

2) If anyone can confirm Luksy's musings about the Japanese-versus-US currency and the price of computers. I tried finding currency converters that adjust for inflation but found nothing (which may just be because I suck). Sent a message to Luksy asking him about this but no response as of yet. Maybe you can check this out Flintlock?


Once we've cleared the above two points then a front page article can happen, immediately followed by a facebook update about both articles. Maybe some of the new readers can help make the goldsaucer1 analysis more complete.

The next step after this might be to post about the DVD on reddit (assuming nobody gets there before us:P). That should give us some traffic. I feel better with this promotion the more clean and complete the articles are.

In the meantime I don't mind proof-reading your posts.
Go right ahead.
 

Lex

Administrator
#8
Yay it's finally out of the closet! I may or may not have known about this too.

Well done Shad, I can't wait to sink my teeth into this. Shademp for president!

Also, I have a rotten suggestion. An almost iron-clad way of making sure people don't "steal" the material - you could add a watermark to the files. It's slightly evil and I hate when people do this on YouTube, but it may be the best option if you're concerned with credit.
 

Flintlock

Pro Adventurer
#9
2) If anyone can confirm Luksy's musings about the Japanese-versus-US currency and the price of computers. I tried finding currency converters that adjust for inflation but found nothing (which may just be because I suck). Sent a message to Luksy asking him about this but no response as of yet. Maybe you can check this out Flintlock?
I've never done such a calculation before, but here's my best guess:

According to XE, 1 JPY was worth 0.0088941787 USD on the 10th of June, 1997. So 248,000 JPY was the equivalent of 2205.76 USD on that date.

I fed that into this US inflation calculator and got 3180.24 USD, but I wasn't satisfied with that, as the calculator doesn't allow months in its input, only complete years. So I looked up the raw data and did the calculation myself, coming up with a final value of 3184.20 USD.

luksy used 1998 as the base year for his calculations, which is why he got a different result. I tried it with January 1998 and came up with 2721.06 USD, not far off his estimation of 2400 USD. It seems like the Yen got considerably weaker against the Dollar around that time.

These things are never an exact science, so it's up to you which figure you want to take. It might be better to use an approximation (e.g. "about $3000") than an exact figure with two decimal places :)

I opened the "analysis" article in Wordpress so I could copy it into a text editor, and even though I didn't make any changes, Wordpress decided to make an autosave with my name on it. So don't be alarmed if it says there is a more recent version than the published article. If I make any changes, I'll run them by you first.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#10
Proofread of first article:

-It also features interviews with the creators behind FFVII, taken from the “Making of FFVII” tv spot that was aired on PerfecTV! in Japan on January 24th 1997 ...

Capitalize "tv."

-In 1997, Toshiba began marketing their new home computer Vision Connect P130 which would be their first PC to include a DVD-ROM.

Comma after "P130."

-Among other things this package included:

Drop the periods after each item in this list.

-The Vision Connect P130 hit the Japanese market on June 10 1997 ...

Comma after "10."

-If anybody knows applications for checking currency, inflation and computer prices please let us know in the forum thread.

Comma after "prices."

-So if you were to buy the Vision Connect P130 with its entire package you’d have to spend approximately $2,400 in 2012′s money.

Comma after "package." The contraction "you'd" is, strictly speaking, an invalid construction -- but if this is how you naturally speak, keep it (I often do).

-Due to none of the additional items ever being intended to be sold separately (The FFVII DVD cover even has the label “Not For Sale”) we can only roughly estimate the price at which the DVD should be sold at.

Lose the capital "T" in "The FFVII." Comma after the parentheses close.

-Most estimates will bring the tag to above $1,000 though, by subtracting ...

Comma after "$1,000."

-Among the FFVII fan community both this computer and the DVD that came along with it has remained largely unknown. My friend Kusabi who has spent over a decade browsing both Japanese and English FFVII forums claims to not have seen even a single mention of the high quality CG collection during this time.

Commas after "community" and "forums."


More later. Going to see "Wreck-It Ralph" now. :monster:
 
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#11
Finishing up with the first article.

One poster in this thread claimed that the FFVII DVD was only for the first 500 buyers of the Vision Connect but this has not been confirmed elsewhere and is so far only a rumor.
Comma after "Connect."

On June 9th 2011 the item appeared on eBay with the price tag of $1,499.95, by seller qualitydisc. Bidding was closed and opened multiple times in a short period, until it finally closed later that summer. The item article still remained though and when Qhimm forum member SpooX stumbled upon it in early January 2012 he made a thread about it on Qhimm.
Comma after "9th," and one on both sides of "though." Another after "2012."

I was linked to the topic and was overwhelmed by both the very existence of this collectible and its steep price. It took a week of pondering before I made the decision to contact qualitydisc and place a bet on this item which was in fact not officially listed. I paid full price and got the DVD in my hands on February 9th.
Commas after "topic" and "item," and on either side of "in fact."

At the end of the DVD special thanks is extended to DigiCube, AFRICA COMPANY and Square. DigiCube was at the time Square’s marketer and distributor for the company’s video games and game-related merchandise so their presence here is no surprise. I have not managed to find any solid info about this “AFRICA COMPANY”.
Commas after "DVD," "was," "time" and "merchandise." I would also recommend specifying that DigiCube was a Square-owned subsidiary that served as their marketing/merchandising side until the merger with Enix.

Modern DVDs usually have a storage capacity of 4.7GB or higher, but the FFVII DVD shows its age by having a 2GB storage limitation which it fills completely. It cointains about 15-17 complete FMVs (depending on how you count) plus a dozen smaller excerpts. This is only a moderate selection compared to the total of 98 FMVs found among the three discs of the PlayStation game.
Commas after "limitation" and the closing parentheses. "Cointains" contains (:awesome:) a typo with an extra "i."

The standard DVD resolution is 720×480 but the FMVs have not been fully forced to adapt to this resolution. There is a heavy use of black borders to fill out the space that the FMVs do not. In all but two cases, you would get an image size of 640×448 if you cut the black borders. Note that the PSX FMVs played at a resolution of 320×224 which which makes them “half” the quality of border-less DVD FMVs.
Commas after "480" and "224." Typo with "which" in there twice. Consider recasting the last sentence as " ... quality of DVD FMVs without borders." The hyphenated construction here is not technically incorrect, but would probably be avoided in news writing if possible.

The FFVII opening FMV and the PerfecTV feature are the two videos where the black borders are much smaller. A snapshot from the opening video but with no black walls would be roughly 717×456 image. With no video segments being cut off it makes you wonder why black borders were used so heavily for the other videos.
The second sentence seems to be missing an "a" before "roughly." Comma after "off."

The saturation appears to have been slightly increased but the most apparent change, aside from sheer quality, is that the DVD shifts the color tone strongly towards green.
Comma after "increased."

Adding more green creates differents effects for every color such as in the GELNICA sequence where we see increases in yellow.
Commas after "color" and "sequence." Typo with "s" in "differents."

-The PSX FMVs suffers from ghosting as a result of poor video practices. Each frame will have the ghost of its previous frame no matter what.

"Suffer" instead of "suffers." Comma after "frame."

This issue does not exist with the DVD clips and though the ghosting is an issue that would go unnoticed to most people playing the game this improvement is most welcome.
Commas after "clips" and "game."

In summary there have been improvements in picture quality but odd choices were made such as overusing black walls and adding more green to every clip. For perfectionists who wish to make an FFVII mod with high quality CG scenes this DVD is unlikely to have anything to offer.
Commas after "summary," "quality," "made" and "scenes."

Upon inserting the DVD we are treated to the Toshiba and Squaresoft logos. The opening FMV sequence of FFVII follows, coupled with the opening music theme, with only one second of the “star sweep” sequence left in. For some reason Aerith’s footsteps are muted but all other sound effects are preserved. The posters and writings on the wall are much clearer and previously indiscernable text is now readable. When the camera zooms back and the FFVII logo appeared it is then followed by the subtitle, “Original DVD High Quality CG Collection”. When we zoom in on the train station the scene fades out in white before the train makes a full stop. After this we are finally treated to the menus.
This is an overly large, somewhat clunky paragraph. I recommend breaking it up into a bullet list, probably after the second sentence.

That second sentence also reads as a bit of a breathless mouthful. Either begin a third sentence after "theme" or add an "and" before "with." The former seems the better route to me.

When you get to the list, preface it with a line such as "Other differences:" or something to that effect. Decide what sounds good to you.

Other comments:
-Typos: "indiscernable" needs to have its "a" replaced with an "i"; "appears" instead of "appeared"
-Commas after "DVD," reason," "muted," "clearer," "appears," "station" and "this"

The menus do not loop, so after sixty seconds in the main menu it will begin playing “CG MOVIE”.
Commas after "so" and "main menu." Alternately, you could recast the sentence as "The menus do not loop, so it will begin playing 'CG MOVIE' after sixty seconds in the main menu."

A 4 min 41 second feature with a number of FMVs randomly edited together. The music track “Bombing Mission” first plays in the background and is then followed by the “One-Winged Angel” theme.
Add a dot after "min," or expand the word to "minute." Since you're using it like an adjective, hyphenate the length of time -- i.e. "4-minute-41-second feature. Comma after "background." Put "plays" before "first."

Only in a few cases are FMVs played in their entirety and these are sequences that can be viewed in the CG CLIP section anyway. 2 min 8 sec, less than half of the entire montage, are devoted to special footage that is not seen elsewhere on the DVD.
Give "min" the same dot or expanded treatment you did before -- but make it "minutes" here if you do the expansion. Commas after "entirety" and "min."/"minutes". For clarity and aesthetics' sake, I would make the punctuation on either side of "less than half of the entire montage" be dashes.

Junon Doctor’s office ...
I'm assuming "Doctor's" being capitalized is a typo.

Rufus in his office while the energy projectiles from Diamond Weapon flies by.
"Fly" instead of "flies."

NRCRL is one of the closest to being a complete FMV but lacks just above half a second of its intro.
Comma after "FMV."

HWINDJET is also close to being complete but four seconds at the end are missing.
Comma after "complete."

After the montage is over the DVD immediately jumps to the next chapter.
Comma after "over."

A date is also included but the DVD doesn’t state what it represents. Perhaps this states when the FMV file was last tampered with?
Comma after "included."

Just like in the montage the native audio of the sequences have been muted and instead excerpts from the game’s soundtrack are played
Comma after "montage." "Instead" relocated to end of sentence.

Like the table above mentions there are differences to be spotted between the FMVs of the final game and those in the DVD.
Comma after "mentions."

While these FMVs are a joy for the eye to watch an eyebrow is raised at the sudden appearance of gameplay recordings with boogsar and weapon1~5 at the end. Not only are the FMVs directly recorded from a game session but the intermediate non-FMV sequences are also shown. This means that there is in fact no increase in quality whatsoever and it boggles the mind why this made it into the DVD’s production as all it does is fill space.
Commas after "watch," "session," "is," "fact" and "production." Last sentence is a run-on and should be separated into two sentence, with "and" becoming a period.

Even the final title card is lying: What we get to see is a brief look at weapon0 (again!) then weapon2 & weapon3.
Comma after the closing parentheses.

After the gameplay recording of Sapphire Weapon crashing into Junon ends the DVD jumps directly to its next segment.
Comma after "ends."

This tv spot was aired on the PerfecTV! channel in Japan, January 24th 1997. The roster of FFVII staff interviewed are: - Hironobu Sakaguchi: Producer. - Yoshinori Kitase: Director. - Kazushige Nojima: Planner. - Ken Narita: Programmer. - Kazuyuki Hashimoto: CG Supervisor. - Nobuo Uematsu: Music Composer.
Capitalize "TV," place a comma after "24th" (replace the comma after "Japan" with "on" if you're concerned about clustering commas here), and drop the periods from after the staff members' names.

While this Making of FFVII feature is a great addition to the DVD it is only just below five minutes long which dwarfs it in comparison to the almost twelve minutes of interview material in the Squaresoft Collector’s Video VHS which indeed covers more ground. Fortunately the DVD version has camera shots of the staff and pre-release footage that the VHS tape does not have and vice versa. This appears to tell us that the DVD supplies us with only a fraction of what was aired on PerfecTV! and that somewhere out there is a “Master Version” of these filmed interviews.
The first sentence is far too long; consider placing a period somewhere or recasting the sentence. I recommend, "While this Making of FFVII feature is a great addition to the DVD, it is only just below five minutes long. It is, therefore, dwarfed by the almost twelve minutes of interview material ...." Commas after "DVD," "long" (if you don't go with the sentence break I recommended), "which," "Fortunately," "have" and "PerfecTV!."

The FFVII Original DVD High Quality CG Collection succeeds in showcasing the DVD format’s power and it is pure eye candy for anyone who wants to explore FFVII’s CG environments to find details that were previously indistinguishable. To someone like me who both likes to collect and analyse I gain a lot from this DVD since I am able to make commentaries on the making of the FMVs and the various aberrations with the final game. The enjoyability is also greatly increased with the PerfecTV! clip which truly seals the deal for me.
Commas after "power," me," "analyse," "DVD" and "clip."

The DVD fails with its waste of disc space though. The desperate use of in-game recordings and the repeated footage between the montage and the titled FMVs prevents this collectible from truly achieving greatness. But then again the DVD was not made as an effort to archive the game’s sequences but as a prompt for people to purchase the Vision Connect when Japan was in the middle of its FFVII fever. The interview feature, while technically it can be considered a “waste” of space as well, was probably added as another way to draw the PC enthusiast to the PlayStation console and its new Final Fantasy title.
Commas after "space," "again" and "sequences." The last sentence should be recast as something like "While the interview feature could be considered a 'waste' of space as well, it was probably added as another way ...."

The green shift was unnecessary and so was the presence of the huge black walls.
Comma after "unnecessary."

I will not sell the DVD for any price nor will I share the original files. It is my hope that with this review the FFVII High Quality CG Collection will become part of the common knowledge of the FFVII fan community and that more collectors will be able to get their hands on it.
Commas after "price," "review" and "community."

If you’ve read this far into the review then congratulations! Your reward is to experience the DVD’s main features directly. You can watch the all the clips in succession in this YouTube playlist with the option to watch each clip in HD if you like.
Commas after "review" and "playlist."
 
#12
Thank you Tres. The changes have now been made.

Not sure if this restructured part is correct though:
A 4-minute-41-second feature with a number of FMVs randomly edited together. The music track "<i>Bombing Mission</i>" plays first in the background, and is then followed by the "<i>One-Winged Angel</i>" theme.

Only in a few cases are FMVs played in their entirety, and these are sequences that can be viewed in the CG CLIP section anyway. 2-minutes-8-second - less than half of the entire montage - are devoted to special footage that is not seen elsewhere on the DVD.

It's funny. I used a lot of commas in early articles because GlitterBerri told me so. Then another person, one who is very obsessed with grammar and such, looked at my text and wondered WTF I was doing with this orgy of commas. So I followed that advice and restricted myself from commas. :P

But since you, Tres, is the one who has studied journalism I will trust your word.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
#13
this shit is bananas

L7: JET represents the Speed Square. The first Speed Square area is called “JET” in the game files, while the area where you pay for the roller coaster ride is called “JETIN1“.
In Japanese, roller coasters are 'jet coasters' ('roller coaster' exists but Google gives over tens times as many hits for 'jet'). That the files are named 'JET' is no doubt due to you riding a roller coaster.

R1: Weird pink thing with an A on it. Symbols mean ???.
It's looks like 三海 ('three seas'), but I'm not sure what that's on about.

R7: The figure is reminiscent of characters like the Japanese superhero “Kamen Rider”. Upper right symbol is either “day” or “white”.
It looks like 'day' to me (日), but surprisingly pressing my face against the screen doesn't make the rest more readable.
 
#14
Thanks Hito. I went ahead and added your observations to the article. Do tell if there is anything more you can figure out. I believe you might be able to make out more details if you download the goldsaucer7 video and frame-advance that final segment.


R1 is complicated because there appears to be a lot of stuff behind the big A-thing. =/
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
#15
I was having a little break from other stuff so only briefly read through it, but I will try to take another look over the next week or so.
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#19
Shademp youve done it again you magnificent bastard! :awesome:


Also I could be wrong but isnt L3 on the gold saucer sign boards a shot from the ' shinra motor mobiles' video a at shinra hq? Thats how it looks to me, or at least something similar, it kind of looks like the 'midgal' truck...
 
#20
Also I could be wrong but isnt L3 on the gold saucer sign boards a shot from the ' shinra motor mobiles' video a at shinra hq? Thats how it looks to me, or at least something similar, it kind of looks like the 'midgal' truck...
Good guess but I checked the FMV and can't find anything that matches.


Added two notes about goldsaucer1.
R1: Weird pink thing with an A on it. A small, oddly shaped H is written to the left. Top symbols appear to be &#19977;&#28023; (&#8216;three seas&#8217;). What is that relevant to?
R2: The resolution is in fact too low but I have one guess: Flying saucer next to left portion of golden square.

I decided to go overboard with the meteosky analysis. I also added a picture-orgy to the Opening FMV analysis so check both of those out.
 
#21
Prince Lex made a newspost about this. Thanks again Lex. =)

I added Flintlock's inflation-and-currency calculation into the review, alongside Luksy's estimate, just to show that calculating these values is not an exact science.

Tres is credited as the proofreader in both the review and the analysis.

To gain more attention I made a post on reddit, but for some reason it doesn't show up on the r/FinalFantasy feed. =/

I have no idea why.

EDIT: After mailing a moderator, the item is now fully visible FF subreddit. BTW, PLEASE UPVOTE.
 
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Fangu

Great Old One
#22
Without this great piece of work there might not be a new front page either, since knowing Shademp sat on this DVD was a major kick in the butt for me to keep working. We owe you a lot of thanks Demps :joy:
 

JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
#24
R1 -- Is it just me or does the pink thing look like a skull? And then that made me think of AVALANCHE which has a skull with an A written on it as its logo, but that wouldn't make sense at the Gold Saucer.

But if it is a skull then maybe "three seas" makes slightly more sense. Maybe.
 

SeraphSephiroth

Lv. 25 Adventurer
#25
Wow this is incredible! Shademp, I know this is asking a lot, considering all of the trouble you've gone through and all of the money you spent on the DVD, but is there a possibility that you would be able to make an ISO? Or, if you prefer, may I buy a copy from you. I have nowhere near enough money to buy the actual DVD unfortunately... If you can't that's fine. I just thought I'd ask.

Thank you for your great work~
 
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