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Two days ago marked the 19th anniversary of the original Kingdom Hearts game's release in North America. And with fortuitous, only slightly delayed timing, I just finished my most recent project: Kingdom Hearts Final Mix cutscenes in 4K! Just like our recent 358/2 Days and ReCoded releases, they have some really cool features: no subtitles, and an additional audio track that has the background music turned off, so you can isolate the dialog/sound effects.
And since this was captured from the PC release I took advantage of a couple texture mods. I used the HD Textures mod by TieuLink to make things look even crisper, and the Vanilla Heartless mod by DaniZaya to restore the Heartless to their original, non-Final Mix color palette. Also of note, the music toggle was made possible by TopazTK's Re-Fixed mod by allowing the game's volume sliders to fully mute the BGM when set to 1). And I personally created a mod to Disable Subtitles.
And finally, the pre-rendered Opening, Ending, and Secret Endings have all been upscaled to 4K using machine learning software (Topaz A.I. Gigapixel V3.1.1). Meaning the overall quality should be higher than in the actual game!
Due to the larger file size of these vids, we couldn't include the option to download all of them at once. You will have to download each individually. Apologies for the inconvenience, but I promise they're worth it ;) You can download these absolutely stunning scenes here:
Kingdom Hearts Cutscenes (4K)(no subtitles)(music toggle)
I'm particularly excited about this release as it's a bit of a turning point for us. From here on, our focus is on high-end videos with the absolute clearest quality. 4K resolution is a huge part of that, but we've also moved on to a new video codec. The H265 codec uses a more complex form of compression, which gives us a massive boost in quality without having unreasonably large files (though don't get me wrong: they're still 3-4 times larger than our 1080p vids).
Unfortunately this makes them a bit less compatible. I highly recommend using VLC Player for viewing purposes. If your video editing software is on the older side (more than 5 years old) it may not support them. If this is the case you'd either need to upgrade your software, find a plug-in that fixes it, or re-encode the videos to H264. If you go with the latter, Handbrake is an amazing video encoder (in fact it's what I used for these cutscenes). It can even preserve multiple audio tracks (which most/all future videos will have, in the form of the music toggle). Just go to the Audio tab in Handbrake and click Add Track>Add All Remaining Tracks for each vid.
Had a lot to cover there lol The next announcement will be more brief.
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Square-Enix today released a patch (Version 188.8.131.52) for the PC version of 'Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 HD ReMix' via the Epic Games Store, with the size of the patch being roughly 8 GB. As for the contents of this patch, Square-Enix support indicates that the patch fixes a bug in 'Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix', improving stability.
We've updated the Cutscene Archive with new versions of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded scenes. They're direct rips from 1.5/2.5, which means no subtitles. But cooler than that, these scenes have multiple audio tracks: one normal, and one that has sound effects and voices, but no background music! This is a first for us, and I'm sure editors will love it. It's definitely extra work muting the sound in-game then re-adding it manually in Premiere. But I really like the end result.
If you just plan on watching them, I recommend VLC Player since it always defaults to the standard track, whereas other players will sometimes default to the music-less version (though if that happens you can always go to the Audio section of your video player and manually switch it). Unfortunately YouTube doesn't appear to have multi-track audio support (at least for normal users), so these will probably stay download-only for the time being. Here they are, by the way:
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (No Subtitles)(Music Toggle)
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded (No Subtitles)(Music Toggle)
Quick note, Re:Coded still has quite a few scenes with baked-in music that I couldn't remove (all ones from the old DS game, and a handful that are new to 2.5). 358/2 Days thankfully only has one scene with this issue (the Xion fight that was absent from the original PS3 release).
In the future I'd like to give this BGM treatment to all the games (perhaps in 4k *hmm*), but that'll take a little while.
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