Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact WIDESCREEN

so everyone knows about SF3, and SF3 Third Strike is the only game in the series that got a serious competitive scene, etc. BUT. there is one amazing tidbit about the second game of the SF3 series that just blows me away 24/7: it was programmed with a widescreen mode built in!

this isn't just an aesthetic change, oh no. the playfield actually becomes that much wider. it could potentially have a big benefit to zoners/fireball characters - who knows??

note that this setting is available in the big SF compilation that was released for consoles a few years ago.

does anyone else share this obsession?

edit: oh my a team spooky 2i tournament from a year ago. sadly, not in ws

@bankbank#3823 I beliiiiieve we included the wide-screen mode in the street fighter 30th anniversary collection, but I'll admit I never really messed with 2i other than to make sure that worked… I should get into it a bit more I guess! I really only played 3s!

[edit] I guess we did include it because there it is in the video above ha ha

Wait so are you saying that they put widescreen mode into 2i, but then took it out of 3s?

That's not just one but two bonkers decisions! Gotta love late-90s Capcom.

Yeah, they created 16:9 backgrounds for 2i, but probably realized most people couldn't even experience it and it generated almost no buzz… So for 3s, they went back to good ole 4:3

was this shown at AOU or something…? Might be something to research, I've never seen this at a game center, even back in the early 00s…

I can‘t recall seeing it either, and despite wikipedia saying it was released with a 496 x 224 display, I can’t find an image of it. Hmm!!

also I should know about that because of working on that collection. OOPS. maybe I knew more about it three years ago!?

@bankbank#3823 WHAT THE HECK!!! Thanks for bringing this up!! I also wonder if it had gameplay repercussions like Tatsunoko vs Capcom, where it literally changed the game balance for zoners lol

I‘m realizing they’d have had to change the health bars and how they deplete too - why do this for 2i and not keep it going for 3rd strike!? must've either been a lot of work or impossible to balance (or both).

I find sf3 2i ws such a beautiful magical experience because it is something retro and amazing that can be experienced better now than when it was created. it seems like so little in retro is like that, think about the endless consternation over CRTs.

FWIW zoning play is ass in the SF3 series anyway because of parry so that wouldn't be heavily affected. I could see some Makoto and Urien combos getting broken by the change though.

What if I really enjoy SF3, but am super bad at it to the point that Makoto's wall bounce distance does not enter my play under any circumstances?! :laughing:

What's the likelihood that the SF Collection will "just work" under PS5 backward compatibility?

I guess we‘re all gonna find out together!! my guess is they won’t really be building backward compatibility too strongly at first - something about the way they said that starting in July-ish, all new games must be compatible with both makes me think that there's something you have to do to make it work.

A year later, I can confirm that this Just Works on the PlayStation 5. And I cross-posted about it in the Fighting Game thread.

This thread has reminded me that my favorite port of 3rd Strike, the 360's Online Edition, isn't backwards compatible with the Series X! What a crime that is. Gorgeous port.

bumping this thread with a wee bit o' news: I was working on, and then abandoned, a hack of SF3: 3rd Strike which implements the 2i widescreen in that game.

if anyone is interested in playing it send me a PM on discord ( bankbank#7159 ). the gameplay works perfectly fine, it's just that the HUD is messed up - the life bars are really janked out at least for player 2 and depending on super art selection / how long the meter bar is, that bar might be messed up as well. and there's some pop-in/pop-out in some stages. and on the far edges of some stages there's graphical defects. but anyway the gameplay is all there, in 16:9 glory.

@“Syzygy”#p53351 sure, I can post it here. I was just thinking maybe “da mods” wouldn‘t be into ROMs being posted here, that’s why I mentioned discord.
also you must put this 1kb file "eeprom" in mamedirectory\nvram\sfiii3nr1
this save file stores the byte that toggles widescreen ON (it's the same byte saved as when you turn on widescreen in 2i's service menu). if you do not place this file in the nvram dir for the game, you will not get widescreen.

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note that CPS3 binaries are interleaved amongst 4 ROM files (simm 1.0 through 1.3). and the date on the simm files is november of last year instead of 1996.

I made a custom build of MAME to run this but I suspect that isn't necessary. to run a modified ROM in MAME you **MUST** run it from the command line, so for example "mame sfiii3nr1" or "mame sfiii3nr1 -debug". if you try to run a modified ROM in MAME from the GUI, it'll tell you it's not the right ROM.

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then, once you're inside MAME, you need to go to video settings and turn 'Maintain Aspect Ratio' to 'Off' and then drag and resize the window. or you can launch MAME using a window size parameter, for example "mame sfiii3nr1 -cheat -nofilter -resolution0 990x448". your MAME won't have the "Wide (16:9)" option present, that's an option in MAME for 2i, I built MAME with that option enabled for 3s. I can send you that MAME build if you want, but it's like 100MB.

if you don't change the aspect ratio setting, it will look like this:

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you'll know you're running the modified ROM if the HUD looks all jacked up like in the screenshot above. note that if you use an installation of MAME that has previously run sfiii3nr1, you will probably need to go into nvram/sfiii3nr1 and delete *.simm. this is because MAME will keep the old copy of the previously decrypted ROM and run that instead of the contents of the zip file you have placed.

it's also possible to run it in FBNeo, I can explain how if anyone cares. basically the reason why I dropped this project is (as detailed in the video above) that after doing the mvc2 and kof98 hacks it seems like the "retro fgc" just isn't all that interested in playing modified versions. messing with the HUD tiles is really tedious and time consuming and complicated, we're talking potentially another 50 or 100 hours of work, and romhacking doesn't allow posting of arcade games, and fightcade still didn't post my kof98 hack even after fbneo added it, so if I'm gonna put it in a ton of time and then it's just gonna fall into the void well phooey! but anyway pls enjoy.

it‘s a hack, I think it’s fine!

@“Syzygy”#p53392 ok - I‘ll detail how to run the mod in FBNeo

so in the MAME example I gave, ONLY had 5 files - the 4 interleaved simm files for the binary, and then the u2 file (which I guess is the encryption key?)

to get it working in FBNeo I did a different setup - I combined all of the necessary ROMs for sfiii3nr1 into the one, it looks like this:

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so this is I guess some combination of sfiii3, sfiii3n, and sfiii3nr1. using the CRC32 you should be able to assemble the same thing with stock ROMs - now replace the 4 “sfiii3-simm1.X” 0 through 3 files from the mediafire link above.

then, you need to fiddle with settings in not dipswitch menu but ’Map Game Inputs‘, I think you change region from 0x0? to 0x8? or 0x9?. there’s a hack in FBNeo whereby when it reads this input it will restart the game in 16:9 mode.

You might be able to place this sfiii3nr1.fs file in fbneo\config\games and have it start up in 16:9 without needing to mess with any menus, I‘m not 100% sure.

and here’s my INI file from the same directory just in case that helps as well:

if it worked, you should see gameplay that looks like this:
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I think the HUD looks cleaner in this version than in the screenshot I posted above from MAME cus they're two different versions of the hack. this one uses code to move HUD elements rightward, so it looks proper, however once p2 starts losing HP it goes out of wack, so I had to scrap this method and go back to basics of individually figuring out how to move the tiles one-by-one.
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yeah, see Oro's HP? that's after like 5 HK from Hugo, so it's all messed up.

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you can see the kind of analysis required to figure out these so-called "SS RAM" tiles. not fun!

@“Syzygy”#p53459 my pleasure! please let me know if you have any questions or want me to explain anything about the hacking process etc. I‘d also love to hear your feedback on the mod - if you get it running you’ll probably be only the 3rd person on earth (aside from maybe capcom devs) to play 3s in 16:9.

picked this project back up and making steady progress in fixing up the HUD

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here's someone's mockup that I'm using as the target:

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