I don't know why, but recently I've concentrated most of my efforts on speeding up the loading process. Although with my Athlon 1.4ghz Kyodai doesn't take more than two seconds (4 seconds if I enable Midi music) to load, it's still annoying to see that some parts of the program take too long to load when compared with the rest. Most of my work is focused on the music loading which takes about 2 seconds on my machine. I've noticed that "The Sad Song" takes a lot more time to load than Midi files with more simple samples, but I love that song too much, so my only solution was to implement DirectMusic again (I had made some unsuccessful tests with it during the 11.00 beta sessions). While there's still a lot of work to do before I can say the DirectMusic code is final, I've already been able to calculate the time taken by the music loading process now : 0.4 seconds at first launch (when DirectMusic needs to download sound samples), and 0.07 seconds when you relaunch Kyodai. Which is quite nice. The reason why I'd given up on DirectMusic last year was that it had a tendency to distort the songs, but the bug was fixed in DirectX 8.0, so if you have it installed, you'll be better off with DirectMusic enabled. I'm going to do this, at least !