The final update for Fez on PC and Mac is a doozy


Speedrun mode and a bunch of performance improvements

One of these days, I need to play Fez again. It’s been long enough that, aside from a couple of area themes like the “Virtual Boy red and black”-looking sewers and the Disasterpeace soundtrack, I don’t really remember anything concrete about the perspective-flipping platform adventure. The PC version is a safe bet, thanks to the latest (and final) round of bug fixes and a new speedrun mode.

Fez programmer Renaud Bédard, who now works at Square Enix Montréal, has issued the game’s last update on Windows, Mac, and Linux. “Since I shipped FEZ 1.11 I had little intention of making additional fixes or features to the game because I simply don’t have the time with a kid and a fulltime job… and working on FEZ is getting old after 9 years. So I did want to address problems that people have with the game, but I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life … So I didn’t announce anything, I didn’t announce a date, and I slowly chipped away at making this humongous update to FEZ.”

On his blog, Bédard gets technical about the behind-the-scenes work what went into this patch, but the gist of it is that Fez should look, play, and run better. Here are the (comparatively) abbreviated notes:

Major Features

– Switched to FNA/SDL2 from MonoGame, which removes dependencies to OpenTK, and should result in better compatibility – Switched to libvorbisfile (instead of NVorbis) for music decoding, which results in better CPU performance of music decoding – Music files are precached in RAM instead of streamed from HDD, to avoid disk thrashing which caused cuts and skips – Game controller remapping has been rehauled and consolidated, now uniquely using SDL2’s GameController API – Native support for any refresh rate, and lower CPU usage when using V-Sync, thereby removing the need for related launch options – Fully smooth rendering for any refresh rate, by using a mixture of variable timestep (for the camera and some entities) and fixed timestep interpolation (for Gomez) – Scale mode options (full aspect, pixel-perfect or supersampling from nearest multiple of 720p) – No more letterboxing or pillarboxing (black bars), unless omitting them would cause an aspect ratio mismatch for the screen/internal resolution combo

Minor Features

– Map previews in save menu – Speedrun mode (–gotta-gomez-fast) – OpenGL calls are now done on a single thread to avoid driver-specific issues and crashes during loading – Added support for hardware geometry instancing for better rendering performance – Button icons match PS3 and PS4 controller face buttons when connected – Added PS4 light bar support for Linux – VSync, lighting, Steamworks support, single-threaded mode, controller deadzone and no-pause-on-lost-focus can be customized from in-game menu instead of launch options – Clouds fade during rotations in industrial world instead of popping in/out – Gomez walks to NPCs when talking to them instead of warping at their position – Talk animation for NPCs does not restart on successive dialogue lines – Some scenes of the 32-cube end cutscene have received minor polishing touches – Alt+Enter toggles fullscreen – MSAA (multisample anti-aliasing) is tentatively supported, but hidden behind the –msaa-option launch option (because it generates some artifacts and blurriness in-game) – Logger creates a new file for each run of the game, archives day-old (or more) logs to a zip file and cleans up month-old logs – Change to view rotation limits : there’s a limit to how fast you can rotate after 2 successive rotations, but you don’t have to wait until the last rotation is completely finished

Bug Fixes

– Scripting fixes in 3D village to avoid a possible soft-lock – Fix to handling of the waterfall code entry, which should be a lot more consistent now – Fixes to the behavior of grabbing corner ledges, which prevents Gomez from clipping out of interior rooms – Finishing the game with all cubes found unlocks all abilities – Geezer will stand at the right spot in the 2D village no matter how fast you find him – Glow-bit planes fade out on secret passage doors instead of Gomez clipping through them – Zoom-through-the-sky level transitions with water are a bit less jarring – “Solved puzzle” jingle no longer cuts off in the crypt level – Fixed boiler room double-trigger of the secret resolved sound effect, and the camera becoming unconstrained – Fixed wall village floating planes, NPCs and art objects – Fixed that quick pause-unpause stopped music – Fixed secret passage doors checking for input in the pause menu – Fixed velocity lingering on as you attach to ladders, which made you attach too high on them – Fixed that vines made Gomez hug walls while moving (climbing) – Fixed issues with “impassable vines” where Gomez would clamp to them while trying to jump through vines – Fixed the DOT dialogue soft-lock when getting the achievement cube in Gomez’s house – Fixed single-frame ground alignment vs. camera follow issue when landing and rotating at the same time – Ladder and vine grab behavior is now smoother, no more timer that prevented jump-grab-jump movement chains – Fixed activation of small warpgates, where it would falsely trigger when collecting 8 cube-bits nearby – Fixed one-frame disappearance of vertically looping levels when rotating – Changed how NPC rotation is handled so that they can never moonwalk – Fix to collision tiles for windmill level – Fixed culling issue with rotating level elements that caused disappearing vines – Fixed issues with yaw-rotating spinblocks and ledge-grab actions – Block puzzles no longer auto-solve themselves after changing save slots – Security question and unfold puzzles will detect the solution without having to rotate one more time – Removed check to collect cubes while in a warp gate transition to prevent cube duplication – Fixed that DOT speech doesn’t lock the player when she speaks right as you come from a pan-down “continue game” transition – Nullified horizontal velocity when starting the “lower to straight ledge” action so you can’t slide to the side and hold to thin air – Fixed Gomez alignment when coming out of the sewer pipe – Fixed the achievement (or map QR) anti-cube from short-circuiting level scripts that spawn and detect collection of anti-cubes based on input codes – Fixed boiler room out-of-bounds – Fixed issue with vibrating moving platforms and spawn points which made Gomez fall sometimes in the weightswitch puzzle room – Slowed down thumbstick movement in world map – Fixed areas where Gomez could fall forever in looping level – Removed explosive block that would reappear after reentering mine level – Fix for visual issue in industrial city star layers – Fix for crash in world map on Iris Pro GPUs – Water-level-changing sound now triggers on the first rotation of a water-raising/lowering valve – Allow stereoscopy on all saves if one save has it – Fix for ghosts objects (e.g. duplicated moving platforms) when closing the map and after rotations – Fixes to visual clarity in QUANTUM level (cleaner radius around Gomez) – Fixed puzzle skip for the tombstone puzzle and the 4-side puzzle – Fixed chest anticube duplication exploit – Fixed water height inconsistencies – Removed floating invisible block in QUANTUM level – Fixed camera unlocking issue in zu school – Fixed spacing around numbers in french localization text – Fixed water first-person transition glitches – Disabled achievement option if overlay is disabled – Fixed possible soft-lock when changing to first-person view in front of a tombstone, valve or timeswitch – Desktop display resolution used on first run instead of imposing 720p – Sound muted when “pause on lost focus” option is on, and focus is lost – Fixed alignment of Gomez’s sprite when jumping with a bomb – Fix for falling through platforms in background mode – Grabbing to push crates no longer allowed when in background mode, since it causes weird visual issues – Fixed clipping through bombs in background mode – Entering “tunnels” by pressing up in a tunnel opening can no longer be triggered when Gomez is in background mode – Fixed a bug on respawn where the player would be appear to float in mid-air after rotating – Gomez’s Z position is now more stable/predictable when he is sandwiched between two walls – Fixed situtations where Gomez would end up in the background after being adjusted to a ground position when rotating while overlapping a wall in an alcove (that’s a mouthful) – Fixed situations where Gomez could wrap around ledges that weren’t visible from the camera – Fixed respawn glitch that occured when last safe position was a ledge grab, and could cause Gomez to warp behind objects

Known Issues

– Some Intel integrated GPU/drivers have an issue maintaining 60fps when VSync is enabled and might fall back to 30fps after moving from one area to another. The workaround is to disable VSync, or try updating to a newer driver (see : – Since the game now uses SDL 2.0’s DESKTOP_FULLSCREEN mode, there is no exclusive fullscreen mode supported and the game always assumes a presentation buffer that matches the screen’s native resolution. This means that screenshots and video capture will use the screen’s native resolution, whichever internal resolution the game is set to with video settings. (this is more of a “heads-up” than an issue since it will not be addressed) – PS3 controller not natively supported under Windows, unless you use 3rd party drivers and then you’re on your own

FEZ 1.12 [Steam]