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Cosmo Police Galivan

23 April 2000 - Reflection by Jair


This was another of those Famicom treasures I found in a Vertigo rom pack. I thought it looked nice the first time I played it, but got stuck in the second screen because I wasn’t paying attention to any dialogue messages. ^_^ So I set it aside, hoping it would see a translation someday. That day came after we finished DoaE-II, I relaxed, my mind recovered from the stress of tracing and reprogramming ASM code that made absolutely no sense and was rearranged in absolutely no logical order with


Er, like I was saying, after I started feeling like working on translation projects again, I decided to tackle Galivan. It seemed like it would be a simple, short project. Problem was, I’d gotten stuck in area 4 the first time I tried to play it, but I started a new game and eventually found that @%$@#! second secret ocean passage and finished it.

This game posed no problems at first. I easily found and translated all three types of text. I ran into two bugs I hadn’t expected, though. For one thing, the finding-an-item “te ni ireta” string didn’t appear to actually exist anywhere, not as text data, not as hard-coded loads, nothing. I still haven’t found that string. I eventually rearranged the font so that those 5 tiles were F, o, u, n, and d. Luckily, this approach worked, sparing me the dilemma of releasing a flawed patch or wandering aimlessly through the game’s ASM code. The other problem was a hard-coded “bu” showing up on the subscreen, meant to change “KOSUMOPA-TSU” to “KOSUMOBU-TSU.” This was easy enough to find and change to a hard-coded “Boo.” (”Cosmo Parts” to “Cosmo Boots,” if you didn’t know.)

I had to cut the script down to about half its rough size, but am actually fairly pleased with how it came out. Most of my cuts fell on the monster dialogue and were harmless, and sometimes even a good thing. (Like changing, “If so, then you certainly are a fool! Die here, then!” to, “Fool!”)

I’m not really satisfied with the messages for finding items. Not only is it stuck with an unpunctuated “Found” (see above) floating in the margin, but the item names were limited to 10 tiles. I had to use a lot of abbreviations, which are always kinda blah. But they’re all readable and OK, I suppose. And it’s not like those messages are on-screen for more than 20 seconds total. It certainly wasn’t worth hours of frustrating ASM work to improve.

I’m very happy with how the subscreen came out. Thank Nihon Bussan for hiring dumb programmers who stored the subscreen as huge strings of tile data, meaning I could put any letters anywhere I wanted and get that nice two-line, full-name effect.

I wanted a small, easy project, and that’s what I had. More importantly, I found a small, easy game that was also pretty darn cool. I’m pleased with how the translation came out and I hope everyone enjoys it.