Little King’s Story was an unlikely port that nonetheless made its way over to the PC in August 2016, courtesy of XSEED. Getting the quirky Wii title on our platform was welcome, but the port itself had a number of underlying issues which, as XSEED themselves admitted, proved difficult to address.
At some point in that patching process, XSEED’s Ken Barry made a call to Peter ‘Durante’ Thoman. Most PC players will know Thoman as the man behind the essential ‘DSFix’ patch for the PC version of Dark Souls, and he has also done his best to provide fixes for other dubious PC ports like Deadly Premonition.
In this in-depth post on the XSEED tumblr, Thoman explains some of the processes behind getting Little King’s Story into better shape. As the company had previously indicated, this sounds like a tricky port to handle. Thoman writes: “Little King’s Story was built on a custom engine designed from the ground up for this particular game, and its particular original target platform (the Wii). Clearly, during its development, it was seen as a one-off project that would be done once it ships, and portability or maintainability were secondary concerns.”
After what appears to have been a great deal of work, he was able to improve overall performance (originally heavily CPU bound), largely fix up intermittent stuttering (a comparison video is available here), and make the 60fps mode work as well as possible. His initial stated goal was an unlocked frame-rate, but Little King Story’s code base made this an “infeasible” option.
Thanks to his work, 60fps mode should now be playable. However, players should be aware that “the custom scripting system used for some boss battles and scripted scenes … still prevents the 60 FPS mode from being perfect throughout the game.” Specifically, some boss battles will play at double speed (and their attacks will be twice as fast), likely making them impossible. To work around this, the game now has a quick toggle (F1) for 30/60fps mode.
In addition to all of that, Thoman added “multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA), anisotropic filtering, transparency supersampling and a few other minor tweaks” and a proper graphics launcher. The game now also has support for “analog directional controls for Xinput controllers”.
The title is effectively being relaunched on PC today, with a 40% sale on Steam right now. Here’s a summarised list of the latest patch changes.
– A variety of optimizations for overall performance improvements.
– Added multisampling anti-aliasing, transparency supersampling anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options.
– Implemented analog controls for Xinput-compatible gamepads.
– Improved 60 FPS mode by fixing simulation time progression rate, speed of many effects and object animations, and the movement speed of NPCs and animals. However, some scripted movements during boss battles might still be sped up or broken, so added a workaround where you can press “F1” to enable a temporary 30 FPS lock in 60 FPS mode.
– Replaced the game launcher with a new version with many usability improvements.
– Fixed save game playtime being calculated incorrectly.