It all started in 2009 when the P4 ER was just starting. I watched about 30 episodes before I decided that I wanted to play P4 for myself and then did so. Flash forward earlier this year in 2012, I found myself wanting to revisit P4 and thought, what better way to do it then watching the P4 ER!
I got a few episodes in before I asked myself this question; wouldn’t it be awesome to have a physical copy of this? You know, for when the zombie apocalypse comes and all cloud storage as we know it is gone!? Although I don’t see how having the P4 ER on Blu-ray would help me in that situation... That’s not the point! Right, the point is I have always had a soft spot for physical media and I thought doing this would be a fun side project. Also once I start something, it must be finished… it must.
I present to you the Persona 4: Endurance Run Blu-ray set!
Now to talk more about the technical stuff, stop reading here if you’re not interested.
So I took all 155 episodes and put them on 5 Verbatim inkjet printable Blu-ray discs. The first 4 are 50 gig dual layered while the last is a standard 25 gig disc. Most of my original content was done in the first week. Accurate calendar intro's for each episode, unique outro's for each disc, Blu-ray menu, disc and case art. What took the most amount of time was downloading all the episodes (at the best quality GB offers) and having to go through each one, formatting them with new borders to retain their original aspect ratio (640x360) to be displayed in 720 x 480. I then had to batch convert them all to H.264 Blu-ray standard to burn.
For those wondering “Why didn’t you make em 1080p brah!” I did try to convert them to higher aspect ratios and tested them out on some bd-re’s, but I realized that they looked like crap, so I decided to keep the original aspect ratio. The very beginning intro and outro's to each disc are presented in 1080p, as burning with Toast allows you to have different video formats that can play continuously on a disc. I was originally going to leave the little calendar intro's for each episode in their native 1920x1080 resolution but, realized that Toast 11 only allows 99 tracks per disc. So i had to bake them in to each episode as I was giving them new borders.
I had originally intended to make the Blu-ray menus much more complex with moving graphics and such, but after much research I found out the software today to do this is either very limited, or very very expensive. Adobe Encore was the cheapest I could find that offered more complex Blu-ray menus, but it is not sold as a standalone product. Paying $800 for the entire Adobe Premiere Pro suite for one program just didn’t seem like a good idea. So good ol’ Toast 11 it was.
I am happy with how it turned out. The Blu-ray disc images are big, like almost 48 gigs each. Maybe if Giant Bomb ever got some licensing deals sorted out with Atlus they could offer them to the GB fans, but I highly doubt that would ever happen...
INVESTIGATION TEAM GO!