This blog is entirely dedicated, and completely sourced from, the hard work and penchant desire to finally get some Chinese RPG goodness up in our studying by @benjarmyn (is this the proper way to cite Twitter folk? I don’t know.. seems a bit silly). The following entry will be rather long, as it collects information, data, instructions, etc. from a variety of sources and attempts to put everything together in one easy reference guide. That said, let’s start this off with some eye candy (the first image is my own, the latter two are not):
And more after the break!
What you’ll need:
- A computer. It doesn’t matter, any kind. As long as it is running, or is able to run, Windows 95+. Yes, Windows 95. I mean, just look at these requirements!
- Final Fantasy VII requires an IBM PC or 100% compatible computer. The minimum CPU speed required is a Pentium 166MHz without a 3D accelerator or a Pentium 133MHz with a recommended 3D accelerator. Your computer must have at least 32MB of RAM.
- Operating System
- You must have Windows 95 installed in your system.
- I’m pretty confident your computer will be able to handle this game.
- Final Fantasy VII—get the original version, not all those funky remakes they came out with later. Just pure, unadulterated Final Fantasy VII for the PC.
- A codec to run the thing—especially important in Windows Vista and 7.
- The Chinese language pack installer.
- This comes in two flavors: Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. While I am not sure if you can install both at the same time, and while the way it installs is a separate .exe file for the game, I did not want to experiment or take the risk of having to do it all over again. I installed the Traditional version and it works fine.
That said, I’ll focus on the the most important aspects of this: the codec, installing FFVII, and the Chinese language pack installer.
Before you install FFVII, you’ll want to install this codec, as described from a post on this forum:
First of all, Windows 7 does not have the TrueMotion 2.0 codec, which is used to run the in-game movies. Without this, you will not be able to start the game because the game can’t play the Eidos Interactive Presents movie. To download the codec, visit this site:
The post goes on to mention things like patches and whatnot, but it seemed to work fine without those, besides it was a dead link anyway as that site seems to no longer exist. Unless I run into problems, I assume we’ll never know. If someone knows where to get them, be sure to drop a line in the comments below!
This has its own heading so you know this is important!
From the get-go, make sure you go with the “Maximum” installation, otherwise the Chinese language pack installer won’t work properly.
I also installed all the other little bits like the movie player, DirectX and the Yamaha Software Synthesizer. Does it make a difference either way? While very likely not, I wanted to be safe.
Also: I did this on an English, North American distribution of the game for the PC. I don’t know if this will work for other languages/regions, but if you happen to try, let me know in the comments.
The Chinese Language Pack Installer
Next, you’ll want to get yourself to this website (Chinese only) and scroll down about halfway through the top post until you get to this section:
I highlighted the area you need to go to in the image. Select one of the three sites below and download the file!
This is for traditional. Simplified is just as easy and is only a quick scroll below this section. Same set-up, just make sure you go to the second option not the GoGoBox path.
Once you download and run the installer, this little set of instructions pops up:
1.安裝 FF7 PC 版時，必須選擇 Maximum Install (最大安裝)
2.複製光碟 Disc1,2,3的「Movies」資料夾到 FF7 安裝位置
預設是：C:\Program Files\Square Soft, Inc\Final Fantasy VII
3.複製光碟 Disc1,2,3的「Movies」資料夾到 FF7 安裝位置時
5.第一次進入遊戲必須設定 FF7 Configuration
請選擇「軟體著色」和「640 x 480(全螢幕) 」
1. When installing, you must select Maximum install (hopefully you did so already!)
2. Take the “movies” folder from disks 1, 2, and 3 and copy it to the installation folder of FFVII (In my case, this is C:/Program Files/Square Soft, Inc/Final Fantasy VII/movies [the ‘movies’ folder you need to create yourself]).
3. When copying, you have to select “copy and replace”, as some movies overlap. Make sure the movie files from each disk end up in the same movies folder in the install directory mentioned above. That is, don’t make a moviesdisk1 folder and separate them.
4. Finally, run the installer.
5. Go into FF7 Configuration and you have to set the parameters to “軟體著色” and “640 x 480”, otherwise it’s possible the font will get messy!!
And that’s it! Just let the installer do its thing!
When you’re finished, navigate to the start menu, find the Final Fantasy VII folder and it should look like this:
Note the FF7 Configuration file you need to open to make the changes listed in number five above.
Some (potential) drawbacks:
- This is obviously a game of a much simpler time before Windows XP and laptops that could actually be carried. As such, the controls are (until you can actually get into the game enough to edit the things), set to either an external game controller, or to a full-sized keyboard. The controls are set to the numeric keypad (way before WASD was even a concept). So, for me right now, I can’t actually play the game yet (though I can get KIND of far with the NUM-LK engaged, but it’s still a very aggravating process).
- I ran this on a computer that has Windows 7 Traditional Chinese (zh-TW) edition on it. I don’t know if running this on an English version of Windows will cause text or display issues inside the game. If so, a potential solution for you may be Vistalizator, which will let you change the OS language.
Anyway—that’s the sum of it! Good luck and I hope you enjoy the game!