Author Topic: Original sound effects  (Read 555 times)

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
    • View Profile
Original sound effects
« on: October 28, 2018, 10:07:41 am »
I've heard it discussed a bit in the past that the sound effects were changed for X-Com UFO Defense at some point, but I don't remember much of the details and it's very difficult to track down. I originally owned an earlier copy which had all of the original sound effects, and so it was very jarring to switch to the final version and hear such major differences. Even after all these years I still remember the original effects, and hearing the new ones just makes me long for the old. The "new" ones really sound a lot lower quality to me, it's not entirely nostalgia.

It's difficult to track down examples of these sound effects, since the original audio formats sounded different on every sound card. To date I've managed to find several example videos, only one or two of which were definitely what I heard in my original gameplay.

I made this thread to ask a few questions:
 * Why were the sound effects changed?
 * Does anyone have a source containing the originals?
 * I had a SoundBlaster card. Does anyone else remember the original sound effects on a different card? Have you felt the same way about them as I did?
 * Did any of you play the game originally (on DOS) with the new sound effects?

This thread is for any and all discussion relating to the change in sound effects which happened in the early days of X-Com: UFO Defense/UFO: Enemy Unknown.

Here's a video of the intro which sounds exactly as it did on my computer back in the day:
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 10:11:09 am by The Reaver of Darkness »

Offline Meridian

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 5222
  • Aaand we're back!
    • View Profile
    • My Wiki
Re: Original sound effects
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 10:13:53 am »
They were changed, because the old ones sound low quality.
Both are still available in the newer distributions.
In OpenXcom, just go to Options>Audio>SFX Format and select 1.0 for the old ones, 1.4 for the new ones.

EDIT: the video doesn't have sounds effects, but music... did you want to ask about music instead?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 10:16:17 am by Meridian »

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
    • View Profile
Re: Original sound effects
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 10:40:50 am »
Only the...collector's edition, I think...intro didn't have sound effects. The original had the sound effects you hear in the video I linked. A common newer version had the sound effects replaced with their new variants, but several were missing and others were delayed so they played late, and the laser was replaced with plasma but on delay.

I've listened to several copies of either old or new sound effects and I just can't feel like the new ones are higher quality. They really sound bad. The old sound effects included several stock sounds you commonly hear in films or other games, such as the ethereal death using an effect commonly used for dragon cries.


edit: I tried changing to 1.0 sound effects. Interesting, I didn't know this option existed! However some of them are definitely different from the original, such as the laser in the intro having the plasma sound. They are definitely (far) lower quality, however I have trouble believing that the original sounded that bad--not because my memory is definitely impeccable or anything, but because I have heard recordings recently (today, even) which don't sound even close to that bad. They sound better than the new stuff. The only thing low quality about these 1.0 sound effects is all the static playing over the top of them.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 10:50:59 am by The Reaver of Darkness »