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Romhacking => Personal Projects => Topic started by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 01:38:36 pm

Title: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 01:38:36 pm
Posting this thread to accommodate discussion about the multilingual enhancement project of Simon's Quest that I released in late 2012.
These two come from the same hack & source tree, so it is natural to discuss them together.

Translation homepage and patch vending machine:
-- http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/

Subprojects:
-- Finnish translation
-- English re-translation
-- Japanese port
-- French translation (contributed by Bruno Poiraud)
-- Tagalog translation (contributed by Zynk Oxhyde)

Project goals:
-- In translation, to be as faithful as possible to the original Japanese design and content of the game
-- To provide as clear, natural and understandable dialog as possible within faithfulness to the original game
-- To improve the game with extra features and bugfixes that enhance the playing experience without compromising the game's design

Key features of my translation:
-- Professional quality. No silly graveyard ducks. Loyal to original Japanese text, with minor improvements.
-- Serif font as evidently intended by original development team
-- Increased dialog box size / density allows for better text
-- Multitarget
---- NTSC and PAL can both be patched
---- Mapper support: MMC1, VRC6, MMC3, MMC4, MMC5 and UNROM. Game is changed accordingly. MMC4 recommended, but other options are provided for hardware testing on various donor PCBs. Support for changing to use VRAM instead of VROM.
-- Individual patch features can be changed
---- The in-game map
---- Dialog extensions
---- Password extensions
---- Ending and intro screen extensions
---- Saving/loading of game state
---- Much more

Demo video (Finnish version 1.0.0): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xv2Z0PQgR4

Version history:
-- 0.8.0 : 2012-03-08 (fully translated, no map, endings unchanged)
-- 0.8.1 : 2012-11-19 (+map)
-- 0.8.5 : 2012-11-20 (map no longer slows down the music)
-- 0.9.0 : 2012-11-21 (bringing up the map no longer stuns select actors)
-- 0.9.5 : 2012-11-21 (+endings)
-- 0.9.7 : 2012-11-21 (+toast (first ending extension))
-- 1.0.0 : 2012-11-21 ("100%" release)
-- 1.0.1 : 2012-11-23 (+English retranslation and multilingual development environment)
-- 1.1 : 2012-11-24 (+staff credits (second ending extension))
-- 1.1.1 : 2012-11-24 (+game statistics on staff credits screen)
-- 1.1.2 : 2012-11-26 (fix garbage that remained on some screens after exiting map)
-- 1.1.3 : 2012-11-30 (change staff credits screen song #)
-- 1.2 : 2012-12-02 (+MMC3 support)
-- 1.2.1 : 2012-12-02 (fix map font problem in English retranslation)
-- 1.2.2 : 2012-12-02 (extended context-sensitive dialog support)
-- 1.2.3 : 2012-12-07 (misc. text improvements)
-- 1.2.4 : 2012-12-08 (minor bugfixes)
-- 1.2.5 : 2012-12-19 (context dialog improvement; improve MMC3 support; optimizations)
-- 1.2.6 : 2012-12-19 (fix password screen, dialog wrapping)
-- 1.2.7 : 2012-12-19 (fix dialog compression bug)
-- 1.3.0 : 2012-12-20 (enable DMC samples on map)
-- 1.3.1 : 2012-12-20 (moved map a few pixels up to reduce lag, shuffled some tiles around)
-- 1.3.2 : 2012-12-21 (map lag is almost extinct now)
-- 1.3.3 : 2012-12-21 (improved the wording on a few clues; minor optimize VROM usage on map)
-- 1.3.4 : 2012-12-21 (replace broken files accidentally installed for version 1.3.3)
-- 1.3.5 : 2012-12-21 (use hand icon for map, fix unrolling bug)
-- 1.3.6 : 2012-12-22 (move silk bag on the status screen to uncover longer whip names)
-- 1.3.7 : 2012-12-22 (move rosary instead; map cursor is now a circle, again)
-- 1.3.8 : 2012-12-23 (rewrite menu code, do work during map rendering)
-- 1.4.0 : 2012-12-27 (now using compression for added graphics data; minor dialog fixes)
-- 1.4.0.1 : 2013-01-04 (changed map initialization routine in such manner that it doesn't conflict with Bregalad's HPbar patch)
-- 1.4.1 : 2013-01-08 (signposts now use arrows rather than "left", "right"; music volume change on map screen)
-- 1.4.1.1 : 2013-01-09 (bugfixes to the signpost formatting)
-- 1.4.1.2 : 2013-01-15 (fix crash regression on VRC6 map screen)
-- 1.4.2 : 2013-01-17 (fix crash in PAL ending)
-- 2.0.0 : 2013-01-18 (SRAM save/load support. Minor bugfixes)
-- 2.0.1 : 2013-01-20 (add MMC4 support; fix crash in ending credits screen)
-- 2.0.2 : 2013-01-20 (add MMC5 support; add more guards against broken save files. I don't want my hack to open a way to execute arbitrary code (http://tasvideos.org/2187M.html) :-))
-- 2.1.0 : 2013-01-21 (add lowercase font; no longer hide all actors when a dialog box appears; fixed the original game's PAL password cursor bug)
-- 2.1.1 : 2013-01-22 (fix crash on MMC1 exit from in-game save screen, present since version 2.0.0)
-- 2.2.0 : 2013-01-23 (add VRAM support)
-- 2.2.1 : 2013-01-24 (fix error in OAM build process; fix VRAM for MMC1 and PAL; fix crash bug in dialog extension for string 77, present since version 1.2.3)
-- 2.2.2 : 2013-01-29 (fix spelling in some dialog lines)
-- 2.2.3 : 2013-02-04 (fortify stack in SRAM reader; fix dialog_ext bug)
-- 2.2.4 : 2013-02-06 (fortify sprite0-hit wait loops; fortify more RAM addresses in SRAM reader)
-- 2.2.4.1 : 2013-02-06 (adjust sprite0-hit wait loop on map screen)
-- 2.2.5 : 2013-02-07 (minor fixes, all SRAM related)
-- 2.2.6 : 2013-02-09 (MMC1 related fixes; also fix a bug in SRAM save validator)
-- 2.2.7 : 2013-02-09 (the patch without SRAM support no longer crashes when selecting SAVE or LOAD; title screen version number wrap fix)
-- 2.2.8 : 2013-02-10 (work-around for MMC1 and MMC3 map NMI-re-entrancy crashes)
-- 2.2.9 : 2013-02-15 (add cleared blocks into save; misc. dialog_ext improvements)
-- 2.2.9.1 : 2013-02-15 (fix bug: If you make a save with just 1 hitpoint remaining, the hitpoints will be rendered wrong on the save screen.)
-- 2.3.0 : 2013-02-20 (added translation credits NPC in the game)
-- 2.3.1 : 2013-02-25 (usability improvements in the password entry screen)
-- 2.3.2 : 2013-03-03 (minor stylistic & usability improvements)
-- 2.3.3 : 2013-03-07 (add some new lines of dialog for the ferryman)
-- 2.3.4 : 2013-03-08 (fix bug where disabling dialog_ext would also disable italic font)
-- 2.4.0 : 2013-03-09 (the A button can now be used to turbo-read dialog)
-- 2.4.0.1 : 2013-03-09 (a bugfix to the above)
-- 2.4.0.2 : 2013-03-10 (fix crash on PAL title screen, introduced in version 2.3.4)
-- 2.5.0 : 2013-03-12 (adds support for multiple whips and for recalling clues)
-- 2.5.1 : 2013-03-13 (fix garlic&laurel vendors; switch to consistent 1-line spacing in dialog)
-- 2.5.2 : 2013-03-15 (dialog fixes)
-- 2.5.3 : 2013-03-30 (fix townsign hitbox placement and size; add Simon blinking feature)
-- 2.6.0 : 2013-04-05 (palette fader feature (optional); fix townsign bug on day/night transition)
-- 2.6.1 : 2013-04-05 (palette fader improvements)
-- 2.6.2 : 2013-04-09 (a few assorted improvements)
-- 2.6.3 : 2013-04-10 (dropping down from stairs using down+A; renamed some locations)
-- 2.9.8 : 2013-04-29 (cinematic intro beta)
-- 2.9.8.1 : 2013-04-29 (prologue tweaks)
-- 2.9.8.2 : 2013-05-02 (password feature is now optional)
-- 2.9.8.3 : 2013-05-07 (prologue tweaks)
-- 2.9.8.4 : 2013-05-15 (prologue crash workaround)
-- 2.9.8.5 : 2013-06-09 (prologue tweaks, tidy up title screen)
-- 2.9.8.6 : 2013-09-09 (attempt to fix Finnish release, unsuccessfully)
-- 2.9.8.7 : 2013-10-28 (fixed Finnish release, added Japanese release)
-- 2.9.8.8 : 2013-11-18 (a few small fixes to the Japanese version)
-- 2.9.8.9 : 2014-01-31 (the map in the CHR-RAM version no longer looks ugly)
-- 2.9.8.10 : 2014-03-10 (fix PAL-specific bugs)
-- 2.9.8.11 : 2014-03-12 (added French version contributed by Bruno Poiraud)
-- 2.9.8.12 : 2014-03-13 (minor bugfixes)
-- 2.9.8.13 : 2014-03-14 (fixed the wrong icons on PAL SRAM screen)
-- 2.9.8.14 : 2014-04-26 (added Tagalog version contributed by Zynk Oxhyde)
-- 2.9.8.15 : 2014-08-30 (some fixes in the Japanese script and SRAM bugfix; thanks to g ponys)
-- 2.9.8.16 : 2015-04-05 (some fixes in the Finnish script)
-- 2.9.8.17 : 2015-04-26 (many small fixes, see release announcement (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.msg277050.html#msg277050))
-- 2.9.8.18 : 2016-03-02 (dialog updates, performance upgrades)
-- 2.9.8.19 : 2016-03-11 (fixed crash & data corruption bugs)

Known general bugs (as of version 2.9.8.19):
-- Nothing known

Known target-specific bugs (as of version 2.9.8.19):
-- PAL-specific: Nothing known
-- NTSC-specific: Nothing known
-- VRC6-specific: Nothing known
-- MMC1-specific: Nothing known
-- MMC3-specific: Nothing known
-- MMC4-specific: Nothing known
-- MMC5-specific: Map is not available
-- VRAM-specific: Visible sprite-0 sprite on map screen, flashes in certain situations (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_vramflashes.gif))

Known feature-specific bugs (as of version 2.9.8.19):
-- In some situations, zombies can appear in towns before the townspeople have done disappearing [If palette fader enabled] (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_monstersintown.gif))
-- If you die while the day/night transition is in progress, the new music starts playing while Simon is dead [If palette fader enabled]

Known language-specific bugs (as of version 2.9.8.19):
-- [Japanese]The prologue is in English (both versions).
-- [Japanese]The ending is in English.
-- [Japanese]The password screen is in English.

Original game bugs that have been fixed:
-- The underline on password screen was in wrong position in PAL version. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_palpasswordcursor.gif))
-- Missing graphics pieces on the title screen. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_titlescreen.gif))
-- Wrong hitboxes for signposts in some towns.
-- Status screen cursor stopping over lines that contain no items, causing a lost cursor phenomenon.
-- Not being able to spawn water or dagger if there's some other weapon in object slot #3 on screen, such as garlic.

Known bugs from the original game still remaining:
-- When holding a morning star or a chain whip, in one of the animation poses Simon's hand is flashing along with the whip. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_flashingarm.gif))
-- Simon can fall through floors by using a weapon at the right time when falling from two-brick ledge. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_floordrop.gif))
-- Simon can jump up three-brick tall obstacles by using a weapon at the right time. [Not present in FDS version] (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_jumpbug.gif))
-- When returning to the gameover screen from the password screen, the palette for the heart icon is wrong. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_gameover.gif))
-- The ferryman does not stop at the opposite shore. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_ferry.gif))
-- Open doors in towns do not close at nights, though you cannot enter them. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_doorsnight.gif))
-- Orbs in mansions reappear even if you have collected them once.
-- Cluebooks reappear even if you have collected them once.
-- Gift-giving NPCs happily give you the same item twice, even if it is a non-consumable item.
-- Town signposts become disabled when day/night changes. [Fixed if you enable palette-fader]
-- If you fall from a great height and then jump to the screen's edge, so that the scene changes before the screen has fully scrolled vertically, you may end up inside a wall or under the floor. (image (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2bug_scrolladjustment.gif))
-- If you do not have any items in some category, the cursor on the status screen can disappear and be tricky to locate.
-- When entering the castle ruins, the screen scrolls down even before you have broke the bricks at the right side of the screen. Architecture of this scene suggests that this is not intentional. It was meant to use the "only scroll down when Simon hits the bottom of the screen" trick that is also found in those houses that have secret vendors.

Complete list of features, some of which are optional:
-- See here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#features

Detailed analysis of the game script and version differences for translators and enthusiasists:
-- See here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff (warning: HEAVY SPOILERS)

RHDN links (not always up-to-date‼):
-- English retranslation: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1032/
-- Finnish translation: http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1778/

This enhancement patch is multilingual. It is completely provided in the following languages: Finnish, English, French, Japanese, Tagalog/Filipino.
-- If you want to contribute a new language, contact me!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 19, 2012, 03:57:58 pm
I just finished the game using this patch at the instant, and it's very well done.

HOWEVER there is quite a few glitches. The password screen is glitchy, and some texboxes leaves attribute clashes after they are closed. This is especially noticeable when talking to your "friends" when they "refuse" to exchange their crystals -- or rather, in this version, gemstones --- with yours.

I used the patch which is on RHDN.

The map is a cool feature it's sad that it's somewhat glitchy, but it looks cool anyways and is a great addition to the game.

Also, it's hard to know how hard it would have been to beat the game with the "clues" as they are in, because once you know how to beat the game, you can't forget. I just vaguely remember the first time I played it I was raging and had no idea where to go to continue. I guess I was stuck at the part where you have to show the heart to the ferryman, since there is no clue to this.
I was hoping to meet this stupid girl at midnight... man I was being tricked.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 04:15:55 pm
Thanks for the testing Bregalad!
- Confirmed the problem with "your password is" screen in English version. Fixed in version 1.2.6!
- Can you elaborate on the glitches of the map? Which version did you use, including the chipset? The patch on RHDN was updated at a point. You can see the version on the title screen. The VRC6 version should be completely artifactless for what I know. Which emulator did you use?
- Can you provide examples of the attribute clashes? I have never seen such a glitch in this. Now there was a problem with the crystal trader's dialog, namely a line was one character too long, but it did not overflow into background scene, and it was now fixed in version 1.2.6.
- Now about the "clues"... Well, I went through all the clues in the game and have verified that every secret is at least somehow hinted in the original game's dialog, and I carried that fact into the translation too. The ferryman one may be the most difficult one, but it is hinted to in two NPC dialog pieces and two distinct clues. You must piece it together. Compared to e.g. the whirlwind which is stated straight in one of the clues, or the deal with the lakes which is similarly explained in one of the clues.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 19, 2012, 04:25:41 pm
I used the very first patch that was uploaded here. If it was updated since, all what I said might have been fixed. The mapper is still MMC1 like the original. I use Nestopia.
The music is glitchy, and the graphics too, sometimes the screen flickers and shows apparent garbage for a frame when scrolling.

Since then NES doesn't have enough tiles to show on the screen at once I guess you had to do some advanced trick to switch CHR-ROM banks midframe, and this could be where the glitches are from.
However, if there is a single split point, it could be done without glitches quite easily with a single sprite zero hit. Also has the advantage to work on both NTSC and PAL without code changes, and the DMC-DMA would not mess the timing.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 19, 2012, 04:54:27 pm
Since you have perfect english you should have a english version of your webpage. I thought I saw something about a SRAM option but I'm not sure. A english version of your page would be a great help.

Great translation/hack btw.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 04:58:14 pm
The map screen is split in five pieces, with four CHR-ROM banks being used for the screen, plus a few sprites in the adjacent bank to complement some colors.
- First piece: Title. Scrolling is fixed. CHR mappings $34000, $36000.
- Second piece: Scrolling enabled. CHR mappings unchanged.
- Third piece: CHR mappings $36000, $34000. (Done by simply writing to $2000)
- Fourth piece: CHR mappings $35000, $37000.
- Fifth piece: CHR mappings $37000, $35000. (Done by simply writing to $2000) $37000 also includes the map screen font.

I have not been able to get sprite zero hit testing working for some reason, so I just use cycle-precise loops, that are timed separately for all the different chipset&variant options.
Any flickering & garbage issues are caused by situations where NMI occurs during mapper reprogramming. While VRC6 can be reprogrammed in a nearly atomic manner, MMC1 and MMC3 cannot. Both require a separate write for command and data. It is not a problem in most of the game, because when an NMI is entered during NMI, some part of the code is just skipped. In the map however, if the rendering is skipped during NMI re-entry, it will cause other kinds of visual problems. Every frame must be rendered. So far I do not know a workaround to this problem.

DMC is disabled at the beginning of each NMI in order to minimize how much it messes up with the timing loops. Small pieces of DMC samples still leak through, and this is fine. This effect reminds me of the pause screen in Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA). Aside from disabling DMC, there should not be any glitch to the music. Was this the only thing you were referring to?

There is also a slight error in the sprites on the map screen which are updated at one frame delay compared to the screen scrolling. This is minor enough that unless it becomes incredibly convenient to fix, I will let it be.


December 19, 2012, 05:04:13 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Since you have perfect english you should have a english version of your webpage. A english version of your page would be a great help.
I know. It's on my TODO list. Thanks for the suggestion, and for the feedback!

Quote
I thought I saw something about a SRAM option but I'm not sure.
Maybe you saw it here (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/735/) (not mine) :-)
I considered it at some point, but nah. It is not a priority.

EDIT: Your automerge bot seems to produce spurious backslashes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 19, 2012, 05:30:09 pm
That's a lot of splits, but now that I think the map is full screen, and even more than that since it can be scrolled, it can't be avoided.
I'd do it all with mapper switch (instead of mixing up mapper switches and writes to $2000) just for consistency though. Just a matter of personal opinion.

I don't think it's OK to keep the music as it's now. It really sounds strange and buggy. You should either properly disable DMC, or leave it completely enabled.

It is not easy but possible to have a timing loop that works even when DMC is enabled. For that you need to determine whether DMC is enabled by reading $4015, and kill some extra cycles if it's disabled, to compensate for this fact. However to get it right you'd probably need a lot of trial and error - just to say this is perfectly possible without a mapper IRQ.

I understand how the glitches works - of course you can't forget to "render" the map or it'll be glitchy. The only solution is to make sure that it never lags, that is the calculations are always finished before the frame.
Of course you can only do the calculations during the "fifth piece", which makes it very challenging. You should probably just optimize the assembly code that does the logic, etc... to take minimal time. You could do it in the other pieces if the calculation time is constant, but then it will be incompatible with the DMC compensation.

It's weird you didn't get sprite zero working, especially if sprites work. You should make sure a non-transparent sprite pixel collide with a non-transparent BG pixel, and not on the right-most pixel of the screen.

Anyways, this map is great and is a cool addition to the game. It's just a shame it looks so buggy right now.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 05:48:18 pm
It is not easy but possible to have a timing loop that works even when DMC is enabled. For that you need to determine whether DMC is enabled by reading $4015, and kill some extra cycles if it's disabled, to compensate for this fact. However to get it right you'd probably need a lot of trial and error - just to say this is perfectly possible without a mapper IRQ.
My delay code in fact checks a RAM variable set by the music engine to indicate the presence of an active DMC sample. The problem was it was not fine-grained enough. The actual amount how much the DMC slows down the code depends on e.g. sample length and pitch, which cannot be easily accounted for.

I should however check the possibility of using MMC3 scanline counter on MMC3... Which would require me to hook the IRQ though.

Quote
The only solution is to make sure that it never lags, that is the calculations are always finished before the frame.
Of course you can only do the calculations during the "fifth piece", which makes it very challenging. You should probably just optimize the assembly code that does the logic, etc... to take minimal time. You could do it in the other pieces if the calculation time is constant, but then it will be incompatible with the DMC compensation.
Yeah, the input handler should be optimizable a bit, and the part that offsets the sprites horizontally.
I don't know how long a timeslice the music engine requires.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 19, 2012, 05:53:46 pm
You're right, Simon's Quest only have 2 DMC samples but both aren't at the same rate... you could either hack them so they're at the same rate but the music would sound different, or have a way to know which sample is playing and have 2 different compensations for that... which would not be easy I admit.
It is fine-grained enough if you check for $4015 regularly, like every scan line or so. Of course it takes 100% of the CPU time.

Usually music engines are designed to be fast.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 19, 2012, 06:04:12 pm
No, that's not where I saw it. When I machine translated your webpage I thought it might have been talking about that but wasn't sure.

Anyway, I don't know if you are gonna add scrolling to the map screen but that would be a nice addition. Another good addition would be either to have a moving cursor, or be able to use the dpad to move the position and see where everything is at. Say moving left highlights the location to the left such as a town or forrest. Then it'd show the name and you'd know how to get there. You could move all over the map to see where something is and you wouldnt have to walk somewhere to know where a location is.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 06:59:50 pm
Anyway, I don't know if you are gonna add scrolling to the map screen but that would be a nice addition. Another good addition would be either to have a moving cursor, or be able to use the dpad to move the position and see where everything is at. Say moving left highlights the location to the left such as a town or forrest. Then it'd show the name and you'd know how to get there. You could move all over the map to see where something is and you wouldnt have to walk somewhere to know where a location is.
Huh? It already has a cursor that you can move around, and you can scroll the view even without moving the cursor. You just don't quite see that in the still screenshots.

Bregalad, do you have idea how large a slowdown I should be expecting from the DMC? Even better if there is an accurate calculation. As in, from 10000 cycles by average 200 cycles are eaten by DMC.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 19, 2012, 08:17:14 pm
If you have the available colors you should really turn those dots red or some other prominent color. The color you are using don't stand out at all. If you have the available tiles add a box around where the cursor is right then too. Also red.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 08:32:35 pm
If you have the available colors you should really turn those dots red or some other prominent color. The color you are using don't stand out at all. If you have the available tiles add a box around where the cursor is right then too. Also red.
I experimented with different colors from the available selection when I designed this, and came to the conclusion that it is good if the little dots don't stand that much. There is very little information value to them after all. But for the cursor, the problem is real.
I don't have any spare colors, so I am just using whatever happens to be the most striking palette and going with it. I agree the cursor could be larger. There are really no spare tiles, but the algorithm can be worked to generate graphics on any number of tiles, so technically it could be done. I will have to research the cursors in different games and see what might work best on this background.

On the topic of DMC and delays, here is what I have figured so far.
Code: [Select]
        ; Sound_PCMsampleActive may be:
        ;      #$00 = no PCM sound
        ;      #$5D = something   0E 7F F3 17  WaveLength=71 or 65, Count=$7F, Addr=$FCC0, Len=369 (ends at $FE31)
        ;      #$5E = something   0F 00 F0 0B  WaveLength=53 or 49, Count=$00, Addr=$FC00, Len=177 (ends at $FCB1)
        ;      #$5F = something   0F 00 F9 0A  WaveLength=53 or 49, Count=$00, Addr=$FE40, Len=161 (ends at $FEE1)

If the sample # is $5D, the DMA will steal 4 cycles every 8*71 cycles (1 per 142). Right?
Otherwise, it will steal 4 cycles every 8*53 cycles (1 per 106).
This means that in order to delay 142 cycles, I actually need to delay 141 cycles (when sample $5D is playing). This is what I am trying now, but the results are not what I hoped they would be. The timings are off. Can someone point out what I may be missing?

The source code of the delay routine is at: http://pastebin.com/BPp259KN
EDIT: Cycle counting failure. Found the bugs. It starts looking quite nice...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on December 19, 2012, 09:34:01 pm
Awesome game improvements you made. Quite inspiring.

And it's a great feeling when you've found a bug in the code.

Something that struck me when playing.  The signs in town read "Left" to here and "Right" to there.  It would make more since if these read "West" and "East".  Especially since the new map also follows these directions.

It's great to see your ironing out the wrinkles.

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 19, 2012, 10:09:18 pm
Something that struck me when playing.  The signs in town read "Left" to here and "Right" to there.  It would make more since if these read "West" and "East".  Especially since the new map also follows these directions.
The thing is, West and East are not the same as Left and Right. In some towns (on the south of the map), west is on the left. In others (on the north of the map), it is on the right.
When you look at a sign, you want to know immediately which direction to head to, without having to also consult a compass or a GPS.


December 20, 2012, 12:27:05 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

It appears that the primary cause of the lag is the music engine. The last split point is so low on the screen, that the music code that is processed after it cannot entirely finish before new NMI occurs. Even if I replace all the input & scrolling handling with a mere "rts", fceux still registers lag at a pace that matches the music.
EDIT: Well, that, or the sprite update code :-) Anyone have ideas how to make this faster?
Code: [Select]
map_graphics_update:
; Called (almost) every frame to update graphics
ldx cursor_y
lda cursor_x
sec
sbc xscroll
sta $203+CURSOR_INDEX    ; X coordinate for cursor sprite

lda cursor_x_hi
sbc #0
bne @hide
bcs :+

@hide: ldx #$F8
: stx $200+CURSOR_INDEX    ; Y coordinate for cursor

ldx #(CURSOR_INDEX+4)

@oam_set_loop:
    .repeat 1
lda map_oam+3,x ; X coordinate
sec
sbc xscroll
sta $0203,x ; Set X coordinate

; Read bit7 from oam[2]
lda map_oam+2,x
bcs :+
; If X coordinate overflow, flip bit7
eor #$80
:
; Transfer bit7 into carry
rol a

lda map_oam,  x ; Y coordinate
; If carry was set, hide this sprite
bcc :+
lda #$F8
    :
; No "sta_0200_subroutine" here. We want this code to be fast.
sta $0200,x ; Set Y coordinate
inx
inx
inx
inx
    .endrepeat
cpx #(MAP_SPRITEDATA_SIZE&$FF)
bne @oam_set_loop

;jmp map_symbol_blink
;map_symbol_blink:
lda map_blink_counter
clc
adc #14
sta map_blink_counter
bcc @done

lda $202+CURSOR_INDEX
eor #2
sta $202+CURSOR_INDEX

ldx #(map_oam_symbols - map_oam)
@loop:
    .repeat 1
inx
lda $200,x
eor #2
sta $200,x
inx
inx
inx
    .endrepeat
cpx #(MAP_SPRITEDATA_SIZE&$FF)
bne @loop

@done: rts
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on December 20, 2012, 02:25:04 am
As someone with multiple major products involving the CV2 engine, I could make use of these adjustments. I remember finding and debugging a glitch that made the game display the incorrect colors at times, but I lost my notes on it in a flash drive failure before I enacted on it, and started avoiding the glitch by avoiding certain palette patterns (which is apparently something the designers of the game did when making CV2).

The game slows a lot while scrolling and a bunch of sprites are on screen, but this could be like any normal NES game's problem. But also likely, I'm adding a crap load of code that slows down the game.

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 02:41:48 am
As someone with multiple major products involving the CV2 engine, I could make use of these adjustments. I remember finding and debugging a glitch that made the game display the incorrect colors at times, but I lost my notes on it in a flash drive failure before I enacted on it, and started avoiding the glitch by avoiding certain palette patterns (which is apparently something the designers of the game did when making CV2).

The game slows a lot while scrolling and a bunch of sprites are on screen, but this could be like any normal NES game's problem. But also likely, I'm adding a crap load of code that slows down the game.
Ah. Sounds like you utilized the PPU transfer queue mechanism built into the game. Yes, there is a certain protocol in that array. I am skipping all of that and basically reimplementing the wheel, using my own PPU transfer routines etc. in the map viewer.

So you reverse engineered the level data. I tried that, but gave up soon. You don't happen to have the music data format also reverse engineered? I have it disassembled (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/cv2_sound.txt), but it has way too many "ifs" that control how the data is interpreted...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 20, 2012, 06:35:44 am
I think you got the calculations quite right, but for NTSC I get the preriods 72 and 54 from here : http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/APU_DMC. I don't know why you substracted them with 1. (not saying it's incorrect).
For PAL it will be 66 and 50 respectively.
I don't know if you got this working, but if you did it's really great. Keep in mind most emus will be inaccurate and will not simulate the DMC stealing cycles to the CPU. Only Nestopia and Nintendulator might emulate this correctly. I'm even pretty sure they only emulate NTSC correctly and have off-timings for PAL. I can always test whatever with my powerpak, as I have both a NTSC and PAL console, if this can be handy.

Of those 3 samples, one is probably the "dog barking" noise that Simon makes when he's hurt, so only 2 of them, kick and snare, are used for music.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 20, 2012, 09:02:08 am
awesome work Bisqwit , this goes way beyond a simple translation hack... once the remaining bugs get sorted it will be the ultimate CV2 version IMHO   :woot!:

I just finished building a mmc-3 based test cart with sockets  ;D made a mistake on the prg pins 30-31-32 but I was too bored atm to fix it, for now I just burned 1.27 and got it working just fine with some quick'n'dirty soldering :)

(http://i48.tinypic.com/1sm92o.jpg)

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 12:28:14 pm
I don't know if you got this working, but if you did it's really great. Keep in mind most emus will be inaccurate and will not simulate the DMC stealing cycles to the CPU. Only Nestopia and Nintendulator might emulate this correctly. I'm even pretty sure they only emulate NTSC correctly and have off-timings for PAL. I can always test whatever with my powerpak, as I have both a NTSC and PAL console, if this can be handy.

The current progress is that I am seriously considering which one is a lesser evil: Graphical artifacts or audio artifacts.
I managed to get the DMC-aware delay code right, but there's still some jitter of 12 cycles or so at some point. It doesn't help that the bank switching itself takes 76 cycles on VRC6, 72 cycles on MMC1 and 96 cycles on MMC3. The h-blank just isn't long enough to hide the whole switch, especially if there is a rocking of even 8 cycles back & forth -- which does happen because the bankswitching delay is not DMC-compensated for, and even in the delay loop the DMC can steal an unpredictable number of cycles depending on whether it hits store instructions or other instructions, and then a sprite-0-hit test is only accurate to 7 cycles granularity... Right, I also managed to get sprite-zero-hit working, which helps a lot at some point. I will post when there are news.

I just finished building a mmc-3 based test cart with sockets  ;D made a mistake on the prg pins 30-31-32 but I was too bored atm to fix it, for now I just burned 1.27 and got it working just fine with some quick'n'dirty soldering :)

Very cool!

EDIT: Okay. Released version 1.3.0. Please report to me what new problems it caused. The map now has DMC samples enabled on all mappers.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 20, 2012, 01:07:09 pm
those audio or gfx artifacts that are discussed here only affect the map screen right?

edit: just saw the 1.30 release, I will try it tomorrow since I don't have my soldering equipment at home atm , are both CHR and PGR data modified? or can I get away with just re-flashing the PGR rom?

 edit2: on nestopia I can see now severe artifacts on the map screen (mmc3) , seems some tiles are misplaced

WOW! 1.31 is up!  :woot!:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 20, 2012, 03:26:30 pm
Quote
I managed to get the DMC-aware delay code right, but there's still some jitter of 12 cycles or so at some point. It doesn't help that the bank switching itself takes 76 cycles on VRC6, 72 cycles on MMC1 and 96 cycles on MMC3. The h-blank just isn't long enough to hide the whole switch, especially if there is a rocking of even 8 cycles back & forth
Put the MMC1 in 8kb CHR mode, and the whole switch happen in a single cycle. Only the last of the MMC1 register writes actually takes effect. 12 cycles of jittering is no problem you can hide it in hblank. Problem solved. I don't see why you would need MMC3 or VRC6, but if you use those, you'd want to forget about cycle counting completely and use their respective IRQ features so that you can get no visual artifact and no sound artifacts.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 03:35:28 pm
are both CHR and PGR data modified? or can I get away with just re-flashing the PGR rom?

Both 1.3.0 and 1.3.1 change both.
I moved the map screen a bit up, trying to relieve as many scanlines worth of work from the bottom as possible.


Quote
edit2: on nestopia I can see now severe artifacts on the map screen (mmc3) , seems some tiles are misplaced

There was such a problem at one point. In 1.3.1. none of the variants seem to produce that error.


Put the MMC1 in 8kb CHR mode, and the whole switch happen in a single cycle. Only the last of the MMC1 register writes actually takes effect.

Ah, I didn't realize that only the last write is significant. Then it is no problem for timing. It is still a serious problem for the NMI-during mapper-reprogramming situation.

Technically I could mitigate the lag by doing some of the work during the scanline wait loops, but due to ROM organization problems (the rendering loop has to fit in the common bank, which has quite little room), I haven't been able to do that.

Quote
I don't see why you would need MMC3 or VRC6

I offered MMC3 option, because it is one of the most common chips that has the necessary features for this game.
And VRC6 is the one that has a very fast PRG switch (there are several PRG switches each frame) and that has atomic mapper writes (no separate command & data writes that can be intervened with), making it the recommended option.
Yes, could use their IRQ features, but that would require some significant rewrites that I am not prepared for.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 20, 2012, 03:58:09 pm
Mmh, so the only remaining problem is the lagging problem.
I think we must find a solution to it so it would make that version of the game perfect.

You should try to disable the music or disable sprites, and see if it still lags (in both cases).

If it stops lagging with both hacks (I mean not both at the same time, but both separately) then you should optimize your sprite routine somehow to be faster.

If it still lag in either case then you'll have no choice other than dramatically reduce the number of sprites or to shut the music off on the map.

In all cases, mapping all 64 sprites is slow on the NES. Even if you only update their X position, it's still a lot of work for poor little 6502 at 1.79 MHz to handle. So if you reduce it to less sprite it could perhaps get faster.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 04:57:40 pm
I could make the sprite update code slightly faster, if I updated only the X coordinate instead of the X and the Y coordinate.
Y coordinate updates are needed in order to hide sprites.
Now, to hide a sprite, which manner is recommended?
A) Put it in coordinate 255. 1 pixel of garbage will be seen in the right of the screen.
B) Put it in coordinate 0, and enable the 8-pixel margin in the left of the screen. 8 pixels of blank will be shown in the left of the screen.
X) Put it vertically outside the screen. This is what I did previously.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 20, 2012, 05:44:10 pm
X) is the best, but if it is too slow you could try A) or B) or even better, just use less sprites.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 20, 2012, 05:59:06 pm
Don't know if it's a stupid idea or not, but wouldn't making the map 1 screen only (without scrolling) help?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 06:05:31 pm
Don't know if it's a stupid idea or not, but wouldn't making the map 1 screen only (without scrolling) help?

But I like a large map! :-)

EDIT: Release 1.3.2 is out. Lag is almost gone now. I split the sprite updates across two frames, and in general do them only when needed.
Sprites are now hidden for 8 leftmost pixels, background is still visible.
Found also a bug in my emulator in the process: the edge clearing bits in $2001 really are supposed to affect the left edge only; not the right and the left.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 20, 2012, 08:44:15 pm
Fantastic work on this. I'm looking forward to playing CV2 again for the first time in a decade.
I was wondering, though. Since there's a VRC6 version of the patch, does that mean that one could upgrade the game's music to the standard of Akumajou Densetsu?

This really is the coming close to being the ultimate version of CV2. The only thing it needs is candles & a larger and more challenging selection of bosses.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 20, 2012, 08:50:11 pm
Thank you.

I was wondering, though. Since there's a VRC6 version of the patch, does that mean that one could upgrade the game's music to the standard of Akumajou Densetsu?

One could, if one could make heads or tails about the music engine (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/cv2_sound.txt). It seems like a lengthy effort.
(And, of course, if one could compose something worthwhile for the VRC6.)

Quote
This really is the coming close to being the ultimate version of CV2. The only thing it needs is candles & a larger and more challenging selection of bosses.

Haha don't give me ideas! :-)
No, seriously one thing I am considering is adding myself as an NPC in a particular location in the game. Just need to figure out the map data format first. If optomon could help…
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 21, 2012, 04:56:50 am
I just tried the last version, the map itself works wonders as there is no glitch in the sound nor graphics, I really congratulate you for this.

However, when the map is supposed to scroll only the sprites scrolls, and the BG remains static. It probably needs yet another little update... and it'll be perfect.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on December 21, 2012, 05:31:05 am
Fantastic work on this. I'm looking forward to playing CV2 again for the first time in a decade.
seconded. i'd been feeling the urge to begin with, but this? yeah, i'm excited to try it out this weekend!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 05:38:49 am
I just tried the last version, the map itself works wonders as there is no glitch in the sound nor graphics, I really congratulate you for this.

However, when the map is supposed to scroll only the sprites scrolls, and the BG remains static. It probably needs yet another little update... and it'll be perfect.

hmmm and I was thinking my mmc3 pcb developed a fault... I have triple-checked my connections and triple-verified my eproms, I get this result on my famicom:

(http://i47.tinypic.com/104oyoh.jpg)

The map is garbled and static and the sprites move. The rest of the game is fine but there is a chance after you exit the map the game graphics become garbled too... sprites are OK but tiles are replaced with others.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 06:03:28 am
However, when the map is supposed to scroll only the sprites scrolls, and the BG remains static.
...What.

You are right. It happens on the vending machine version, and not in my local dev version. Which files did I forget to update? I have to check. Sorry about that.
keropi, your circuit is not to blame; it was my installation that was broken.

1.3.4 released addressing this problem alone; verified to be ok.

I think you got the calculations quite right, but for NTSC I get the preriods 72 and 54 from here : http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/APU_DMC. I don't know why you substracted them with 1. (not saying it's incorrect).
For PAL it will be 66 and 50 respectively.
I don't know if you got this working, but if you did it's really great. Keep in mind most emus will be inaccurate and will not simulate the DMC stealing cycles to the CPU. Only Nestopia and Nintendulator might emulate this correctly. I'm even pretty sure they only emulate NTSC correctly and have off-timings for PAL. I can always test whatever with my powerpak, as I have both a NTSC and PAL console, if this can be handy.

Testing on PAL console, that would be great.
I'm not sure why I subtracted the 1, either. I did it because my emulator does that. :-) If it turns out to be incorrect in the end, I will have to fix it.
Most emulators that I have tested do the DMC cycle stealing at a constant 4 cycles. I think Nestopia attempts varying amounts depending on what action the DMC interrupts.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 06:17:49 am
time to test  ;D
both prg/chr were updated this time or only prg?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 21, 2012, 06:26:03 am
I have not yet tested on hardware but apparently with the 1.3.4 version there is a garbage sprite on the top of the screen after you close the map. Fixing that would be great.

Also you said the lag is almost gone. This means it's not completely gone ? If you have the room in ROM, do more unrolling of the loop that does your sprite, that should do the trick.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 06:35:15 am
yes, I see this on Nestopia, on both upper left+right corners... and I was about to burn eproms  ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 06:54:04 am
Also you said the lag is almost gone. This means it's not completely gone ? If you have the room in ROM, do more unrolling of the loop that does your sprite, that should do the trick.
It is not completely gone, yes. If you put fceux on turbo and flail the cursor wildly around on the map, you get a lag frame once every second or two.
Unrolling the loop to the full extent allowed by ROM space does not seem to help.

Both chr/prg were updated in 1.3.4. 1.3.5 (when I figure out the remaining bits of lag and that odd sprite) is expected to update only prg, unless I update the map crosshair also.

EDIT: Could someone contribute a nice 16x16, 4-color (3+transparency) skeleton pointing hand icon for use as the map crosshair?
I tried a larger crosshair as requested by someone, but somehow this doesn't fit in the game's style.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2map_circlecrosshair.gif) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2map_circlecrosshair2.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 08:03:37 am
allright! I have left it testing for ~40mins now and there is no gfx corruption except the 2 artifacts on the top...  :thumbsup:

damn, I get random wrong tiles after ~50mins... maybe there is something wrong with my cart ... I need to power cycle to get rid of them, a reset does not help... if there was a bug somewhere then the reset would clear it , right?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 08:22:32 am
damn, I get random wrong tiles after ~50mins... maybe there is something wrong with my cart ... I need to power cycle to get rid of them, a reset does not help... if there was a bug somewhere then the reset would clear it , right?
Yes, a reset should clear errors.

At least I am in the understanding that a reset signal is also carried over to the MMC3 chip. I will verify though whether there are settings I somehow fail to reset.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 21, 2012, 09:55:24 am
The blinking cursors is just as good as coloring them red. Good addition.

Edit: Why not a white glove in the design of Simons sprite? That'd also make more sense than a skeloton helping Simon out.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 10:18:27 am
The blinking cursors is just as good as coloring them red. Good addition.

It was blinking before, too.
Here's what it looked like before.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2map_circlecrosshair3.gif)


Quote
Edit: Why not a white glove in the design of Simons sprite? That'd also make more sense than a skeloton helping Simon out.

Hmm, well, if you consider it representing Simon's hand, then that might make sense.
I was thinking of the game's theme...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 11:35:42 am
the glowing circle works for me, the current cursor is not so easy to spot on a tv btw (using composite...)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 21, 2012, 11:46:00 am
If it is of any relevance, CV3 uses a safety pin to show your position on the map, and CV-SOTN and upper uses a glowing circle which diameter's varies during time.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 21, 2012, 12:10:42 pm
Wow, I didn't know what those sparkles were before. How about leaving the cursor for current location, or making it a much bigger X, then using the glove or circle to show which location you want to go to next. While I like the idea of simons glove on the map, the circle is easier to see and understand.

You might also wanna add that info to the RHDN site, your readme, and your website. I totaly didn't know what those sparkles were.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 01:24:20 pm
I've actually been putting off playing Castlavania II until someone decided to re-translate it. From what I researched about the official translation, the script contained blatant errors, and the good and bad endings were even mixed up.

Looks like I finally get a chance to experience this game :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 02:38:27 pm
If it is of any relevance, CV3 uses a safety pin to show your position on the map, and CV-SOTN and upper uses a glowing circle which diameter's varies during time.

Thanks. I went with the Final Fantasy III hand now. A safety pin is not a good symbol for something that moves, unless you have clear actions for detaching and attaching it...

Release version 1.3.5 is out. Changes include: The hand cursor symbol, and fix for the object table corruption caused by careless loop unrolling. There is still a small lag.


and the good and bad endings were even mixed up.

It is a bit confusing.
There are three endings in this game, listed here (abridged).

Quickest:
Original English = Peace and serenity. Simon will be remembered kindly.
Original Japanese = Blood and sweat enter ground. Happiness next spring. Toast!
Finnish = Peace and calm. Name of hero is Simon Belmont, that is you.  Toast!
Retranslation = Peace and serenity. Simon will be remembered kindly. Toast!

Average:
Original English = Although encounter ended, Simon did not survive. Transylvania's only hope is a new hero.
Original Japanese = Battle ended. But Simon passed away. Transylvanians keep praying for a new hero to appear. Toast!
Finnish = Battle ended. But Simon passed away. Transylvanians keep praying for a new hero to appear. Toast!
Retranslation = Battle ended. But Simon passed away. Transylvanians keep praying for a new hero to appear. Toast!

Slowest:
Original English = Blood and sweat enter ground. Bring magic & happiness.
Original Japanese = Peace and calm. Name of hero is Simmon Belmont, that is you. Toast!
Finnish = Blood and sweat enter ground. Happiness next spring. Toast!
Retranslation = Blood and sweat enter ground. Bring magic & happiness. Toast!

The story is that Simon is suffering from a curse, and the longer it takes for him to finish Dracula, the less likely he is to survive alive (think cancer).

I can't quite point out which version of the ending texts has it wrong. I did not re-translate the slowest and the quickest endings, but for the average ending I took the Japanese text, because it does not have so strong "you accomplished nothing" connotation as the English one had. In the Finnish version, I translated the Japanese texts except swapped them for the slowest and quickest endings.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 02:40:48 pm
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I think I encountered a bug. One of the NPCs in Jova (or whatever the second village is called) says something along the lines of, "You look pale..." followed by a bunch of garbage data that runs off the dialog box. I think I might be using an earlier patch version, though. I think it's something like 1.2.x
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 02:44:55 pm
I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I think I encountered a bug. One of the NPCs in Jova (or whatever the second village is called) says something along the lines of, "You look pale..." followed by a bunch of garbage data that runs off the dialog box. I think I might be using an earlier patch version, though. I think it's something like 1.2.x

Already reported and fixed in version 1.2.7 yesterday. Thanks anyway :-)

P.S. Looks like the game works even on Nesticle (in MMC1 version), even the map. Just two scanlines of garbage there, but they don't blink and the screen doesn't shake or anything. Quite surprising. On iNES 3.6, there's one blinking line of garbage.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 21, 2012, 05:22:13 pm
OK I tested this versaion with both consoles (PAL and NTSC).

The map looks great on both, however there is still the occasional missed frame problem.

I had a crash that occurred on my NTSC console but I'm pretty sure this was due to a hardware problem because the game didn't work when I pressed reset, I had to power cycle it. If it was the software that crashed, a simple reset would have restarted the game.

I think it's not so surprising it works on Nesticle. Many games does switch the CHR-ROM mid-frame, and also toggles the BG's pattern table midframe, and Nesticle, as inaccurate as it is, emulate this. It does so with very approximative timing, therefore the few lines of garbage (where the CHR-ROM is wrong).

PS : Oh and did you convert the map's graphics with some tool ? It has this "converted" look to me, although I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 05:51:42 pm
the game didn't work when I pressed reset, I had to power cycle it. If it was the software that crashed, a simple reset would have restarted the game.

I think I will have to check on how the mapper is reset at reset, since this is the second report of that kind.
EDIT: At MMC3 reset the game puts $00 into $8000.
At VRC6 reset, the game puts $00 into $B003.
At MMC1 reset, the game first does an INC $FFFF (puts $C0 into $FFFF, then puts $C1 into $FFFF); and soon later puts $1E into $8000 one bit at time LSB-first in 5 writes.
This appear to the best I can do.

Quote
PS : Oh and did you convert the map's graphics with some tool ? It has this "converted" look to me, although I could be wrong.

Of course I use tools. It is the same program I used in test_ppu_read_buffer (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/nes_tests/ppu_read_buffer.zip) emulator accuracy test (composite NTSC filter recommended!).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 05:53:06 pm
I found a typo. One of the clue books hidden in the second castle reads "CRUSE" instead of "CURSE."
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 05:55:37 pm
I found a typo. One of the clue books hidden in the second castle reads "CRUSE" instead of "CURSE."
Correct. Already fixed in 1.3.5 :-) Thanks for the report.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 21, 2012, 06:02:24 pm
Quote
composite NTSC filter recommended
Oh this just remembered me, I wanted to mention it in my previous post but forgot :
The added text on the title screen is illegible on a real NES with the composite artefacts, especially on PAL.

PS : Aren't you thefox from Nesdev by any chance ?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 06:24:44 pm
Oh this just remembered me, I wanted to mention it in my previous post but forgot :
The added text on the title screen is illegible on a real NES with the composite artefacts, especially on PAL.

Yeah, well there is a reason why they used two-pixel wide vertical lines in fonts that day. That is unfortunately not an option for that infobox, because of the amount of text crammed into it. Well, I could make them all white color, which would somewhat improve readability, but that'd completely blow them out of proportion visually compared to the rest of the title screen. Is it really more illegible than this image? This image was captured in my emulator, which does the most severe NTSC filter of all emulators I know having this feature.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2map_titlentsc.gif)

On NESDev I use this same nickname, and I have posted several NTSC related articles there.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 21, 2012, 06:38:33 pm
great news, thanks for the update Bisqwit  :thumbsup:

@Bregalad:

what donor cart are you using? a mmc-3? I can't test it atm because I forgot my cart at my office  :-[ but what happens if you leave the game powered on for ~1hr? I just put Simon on the upper left ledge at the starting town (so ghouls can't reach him at night) and see if the game behaves fine after that time... at ~50mins mark on my case I had some random tiles replacing the background. Ofcourse Bisqwit might have fixed that but it would be nice to verify this on another hardware combo. Once this corruption starts I had to power-cycle my famicom to get rid of that , it looked like this:

(http://i46.tinypic.com/x4ek94.jpg)

(http://i49.tinypic.com/2m47ux3.jpg)

personally I like the red circle more than the FF hand on the map , IMHO the hand is too cartoonish :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 06:48:17 pm
I'm running a crash test now, on the MMC3 version. Running it at 240% turbo in Nestopia, leaving Simon standing in the spot you mentioned, running now. In another window, running at 240% speed idle at map screen.
EDIT: After 30 minutes (corresponding to 2 hours, or 20 in-game days), neither instance has suffered a glitch of any kind.

personally I like the red circle more than the FF hand on the map , IMHO the hand is too cartoonish :)

Anyone else with an opinion?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 07:05:39 pm
Another text issue: When you collect both the morningstar and the laurel pouch, the R in the morningstar string gets cut off. (because the pouch icon is encroaching on it)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 07:06:25 pm
Another text issue: When you collect both the morningstar and the laurel pouch, the R in the morningstar string gets cut off. (because the pouch icon is encroaching on it)

Known problem. Category: Won't-fix. Thanks anyway for reporting it.
Same goes for most of the whip names in the Finnish translation.
EDIT: Well, technically I could try moving the silk bag next to the crystal, since the special item number 7 is unused in the game and does not exist...
EDIT: Done, and it will be included in next version (1.3.6).
EDIT: Actually, on second thought, I'll move the rosary instead of the bag. Incidentally, you now have one more selectable item! (Which does nothing, but in any case.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 07:40:01 pm
A minor grammatical issue: One of the townspersons says, "YOU AGAIN!! LAST YEAR I WAS HOPING TO NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN."

The infinite is split (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive). It should be, "LAST YEAR I WAS HOPING NEVER TO SEE YOU AGAIN."

I suppose most people don't care. (much less notice) Still, I think avoiding split infinitives polishes the script somewhat.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 07:59:47 pm
I suppose most people don't care. (much less notice) Still, I think avoiding split infinitives polishes the script somewhat.

Yeah, it's not like people ever use split infinitives in real life!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 08:43:49 pm
I don't. :P Still, no harm in mentioning it, in case it's something you want to consider in the next version. I've been trying to test everything and leave no stone unturned.

I was also thinking, a possible compromise with the morningstar string would be to break the string down into squishy tiles, if there's enough free space left in the ROM. The early Final Fantasy games did this with the battle commands, where strings like "FIGHT" would be squished to fit into a 4-character space. It didn't really look unusual. I actually didn't notice until I cracked open the ROM one day.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 21, 2012, 08:51:59 pm
I think you should use the circle also. It's shows up better I think. Also yeah, the FF hand is cartoonish. When do you see someone wearing a glove like that in Castlevania?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 09:15:11 pm
I think you should use the circle also. It's shows up better I think. Also yeah, the FF hand is cartoonish. When do you see someone wearing a glove like that in Castlevania?
Very well.
Version 1.3.7 released...
-- The rosary is now a selectable item. It affects certain dialogue (if dialog extensions are enabled), but not muching else.
-- The cut whip-name problem is resolved.
-- The map cursor is now a circle.
And I changed the split infinitive since nobody seemed to object to it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on December 21, 2012, 09:45:00 pm
Awesome. :beer:

I just now beat the game for the first time. It was a pretty interesting experience. Not really my favorite Castlevania, (Belmont's Revenge gets my vote) but still fun and innovative.

Thanks for re-translating it. I was reluctant to play it before due to all the criticism directed at the official localization.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 10:11:12 pm
There is a peculiar unused tile in Simon's Quest item selection.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2_unknownitem.png)

Anyone can guess what this might have been? (Shown above right next to the text "AAMUTÄHTI".)
It exists also in the Japanese FDS game. There is no code in any version of the game that would ever render that tile.

EDIT: Thanks for testing, granz!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on December 21, 2012, 10:19:13 pm
Yes!! This is the first time I've seen it but I know exactly what this is.

Those are Dracula's Fangs. 

In SOTN they have the Fangs and Nail as a relic. 

They must've planned to have both in CVII but they only went with the Nail.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 21, 2012, 10:34:49 pm
In SOTN they have the Fangs and Nail as a relic.

At least this page only lists the same five relics as in CV2. http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/psx/castlevsn/relics.shtml
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on December 21, 2012, 10:53:19 pm
My mistake, I was thinking of Harmony of Dissonance.

http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/cotm/hod/items.htm
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 22, 2012, 04:40:40 am
[...]

Thanks for re-translating it. I was reluctant to play it before due to all the criticism directed at the official localization.

Same here, never actually played it because of the same  reasons plus there was no famicom cart. I just could not justify putting the official version on eproms. But now Bisqwit worked on it, and not only provided a way better translation but improved in both content and hardware support. For emulation people the mmc1/3/vrc6 support might sound uninteresting but for hardware folks it's just pure awesomeness !  :woot!:

and yes, I am a castlevania fan : I have been buying systems when a castlevania game got released for them (most notably psx , ps2 and psp)  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 22, 2012, 04:57:26 am
Quote
what donor cart are you using? a mmc-3?
I did not test with a donor cart but with a power pak.

Oh and I still have a destroyed Simon's Quest cart somewhere in my house so if this would be necessary I could burn 2 EPROMs back and test with a real MMC1 chip but I don't think it makes much of a difference.

Also the crash you mention is definitely a hardware fault. I had these glitches happen all the time with my front loader (PAL) NES. Thanks god they are mostly gone with a top loader (NTSC) NES, but importing it from USA was expensive.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 22, 2012, 05:11:32 am
ah, so noone except me actually tested on real hardware.... the powerpak is still emulation of some sorts... that corruption shown I only get after some time, at first I thought it was the CHR eprom and got it replaced. But upon verifying the old one I found it 100% ok. I had an eprom failure before but it would just blank the screen and after a while it would crash the famicom.
I still haven't tested the latest versions that got released, once I do and I get the same bug I will look on replacing the donor pcb
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 22, 2012, 05:23:41 am
ah, so noone except me actually tested on real hardware.... the powerpak is still emulation of some sorts...
Absolutely not, what makes you say this ?

Only the mapper is "emulated" but the MMC1 has been completely reverse engineered and is emulated cycle-accurately so I'm pretty sure this makes no difference.

Oh and about the legibility, it looks about the same as this picture on NTSC, but looks worse on PAL.
Also my PAL TV is a CRT while my universal one I use for NTSC is a modern LCD, this might affect the legibility as well.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 22, 2012, 06:06:38 am
^ Sorry mate, it's a long discussion but a reversed engineered mmc1 does not mean it's the same as the real deal. It's the fpga that runs the mmc1 code and said code could behave differently in some cases. It's like early emus like Nesticle that was mentioned before - games run on it but it's still a very hacky job.
The only flashcart that can actually claim it's 99% close to original hardware is ikari_01's SD2SNES, it actually runs games like their real counterpart - something that the mainstream emus cannot achieve.
Take for example rockman X2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zpZbI6yS54 , sure it runs on emus and does not crash ever, but is it accurate?

I am not defending my soldering skillz or my famicom - not by a long shot - but testing on a fpga device is not a way of being 100% sure about something. It's very close to it but not 100% .
Your idea of testing on your real mmc1 cart is a great one btw, eventually you'll have to burn those eproms to bring it back to life with this awesome hack and have a nice original-looking cart  :beer: :beer: :beer:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 22, 2012, 06:13:49 am
Yes I should just find two 27C010 (or whathever it is) and burn them once a "final" revision is released.

And you're technically right that the FPGA is not like a real mapper, but it's pretty damn close. I mean the MMC1 is internally simple to emulate and I'm pretty sure there is no differences.
However for other mappers, for example the MMC3, there might be differencies when it comes to tricky stuff about the internal workings of the scanline counter, so yeah I would not count on the power pak for this. But for the MMC1 and discrete logic mappers it's safe to say there is 100% accuracy.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 22, 2012, 06:49:29 am
Yep, 27C010 is what you need, they are 128kbyte each. You can use larger eproms too if you find them easily, you just have to burn the same data multiple times in them. And you need a little rewiring to put them instead on the original mask roms  ;)

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 22, 2012, 10:01:51 am
Thank you but I already knew. It's just much less conveninent to have to order EPROMs, wait for them to arrive at my home, find my (E)EPROM programmer under a pile of dust, install it again to my PC, program the ROM and solder/socket them on the board (assuming the rewiring is already done) than to simply take the CF cart out of my PowerPak, copy a new file to it and place it back in the power pak to test.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 22, 2012, 07:09:49 pm
I see your other translations were added to the site Bisqwit. I meant to do it but forgot about it. Anyway, it's done so that's good.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 22, 2012, 08:47:10 pm
I see your other translations were added to the site Bisqwit. I meant to do it but forgot about it. Anyway, it's done so that's good.

Yeah. Unfortunately those ones do not have much value to non-Finnish folks. Though you an always download Chronotools and start translating Chrono Trigger to your favourite language :-) (I began the project before Temporal Flux and other related projects by Geiger existed, and haven't been keeping track.)

Re: Castlevania II, I'm still working on the lag reduction. I managed to move the sprite update code to be done during the upper part of the frame rendering, and now I am struggling to compensate for the DMC effects during that chunk of time (about 3000 cycles).
EDIT: Ack. Now I ran out of space in the last ROM bank (problem for MMC3 because it has a huge bankswitch routine). I will have to find code that I can evict into another bank...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 22, 2012, 10:57:08 pm
Even if I knew the CRC, which I don't know how to find. You can't exactly google for a CRC can you? You still have to find the right site the ROM is at anyway. All the Sonic hacks I submitted were made from the same ROM tho so once you find it all the hacks should be usable.

Edit: Oops, wrong thread.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 23, 2012, 05:46:02 am
Version 1.3.8 is out now.
Lag is still not gone entirely, even though I moved 3000 cycles of stuff worth out from the screen bottom into the middle of the frame. This was a fun undertaking.

You get some source code:
-- http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-inline_delay-keepy.inc (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-inline_delay.inc) :: Need a macro that produces code that generates precisely N cycles of delay, where N is a compile-time constant? This macro does so and produces incredibly small code. Improvement ideas are welcome!  Preserves Y, overwrites A, X, C, Z&N, D&V.
-- Untested variants for keepy will be up later: keep{a,}{x,}{y,}{c,}{zn,}{dv,}
-- http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-inline_dmc_delay_compensation.inc (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-inline_dmc_delay_compensation.inc) :: Did you just run a ton of code, and you have DMC samples playing, and you need that code to be profiled in a cycle-precise manner? Apply this macro to your needs. With it you can ensure that your code took a precise same number of cycles regardless of whether DMC was active or not. You do need to have means of knowing the pitch of the DMC sample that is playing.
-- http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-pcmaware-delay.inc (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/6502-pcmaware-delay.inc) :: A runtime-specified version of above. Give number of cycles in X:A, and it produces that number of delay, regardless of whether DMC is playing or not.

I also had to move the main menu and the gameover menu out from the common bank to a relatively vacant bank, which basically meant rewriting the code for those menus. You may notice some difference if you look/listen carefully.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 23, 2012, 01:56:37 pm
OK This may be strange I ask this but I am making a hack for CV2 which makes a better looking life bar.
However for this I need the tiles that were unused before, that is tiles $20-$38.

Apparently you use them in your hack for an italic font. However since it's not very important to have both a normal and italic font, could you make a version of your hack which does not have this italic font, so that it is compatible with my hack (I mean it will be possible to apply both patches to the ROM at the same time).
It would be nice.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 23, 2012, 11:12:42 pm
OK This may be strange I ask this but I am making a hack for CV2 which makes a better looking life bar.
However for this I need the tiles that were unused before, that is tiles $20-$38.
Huh. What do you need that many for?

Quote
Apparently you use them in your hack for an italic font. However since it's not very important to have both a normal and italic font, could you make a version of your hack which does not have this italic font, so that it is compatible with my hack (I mean it will be possible to apply both patches to the ROM at the same time).
It would be nice.
Unfortunately that's one of the parts that is not so easy to make conditional...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 24, 2012, 04:09:47 am
OK, a link is worth a thousand words :
http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1074/ (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1074/)

I'm sorry to highack your thread with self-propaganda.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 24, 2012, 10:36:48 am
Today I made extensive testing with version 1.3.8
I played for about ~40mins, got to the 2nd town and farmed to get daggers/holy water/chain whip/white crystal. I saw no problems. Got my password fine after a suicide and I left Simon on the top-left ledge at the 1st town. After ~10mins I got the tiles corruption but this time the corruption was static. Tiles got replaced but they did not change randomly when moving. In the previous tests when I was moving the wrong tiles always changed.
At this point I do not know if my mmc3 donor cart is problematic or mmc3 is being a tough fellow. I need to get another donor cart to test apparently...?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 24, 2012, 04:08:54 pm
I have a question that's more about general CV2 hacking, but I figure you fellows are probably more intimately familiar with the inner workings of the ROM than I. One of the 'holy grails' in CV2 hacking is putting in actual boss battles that must be won in order to progress. To that end, if one were knowledgeable enough to program new bosses, is there space to actually do such a thing? can the engine even support more objects?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 24, 2012, 04:54:00 pm
I have a question that's more about general CV2 hacking, but I figure you fellows are probably more intimately familiar with the inner workings of the ROM than I. One of the 'holy grails' in CV2 hacking is putting in actual boss battles that must be won in order to progress. To that end, if one were knowledgeable enough to program new bosses, is there space to actually do such a thing? can the engine even support more objects?
There is ample space in CV2 for almost any kind of expansion.
However, there is only a fixed number of objects in many tables, including the table of distint actors (objects). To extend the table, one would need to relocate the table, which is not really hard if you have the right set of tools. Personally the core of my ROM hacking projects is always a relocating linker which can relocate and assign any piece of data a location within certain constraints, and it automatically fixes all pointers/references to the location.
You can find the one I am using in Simon's Quest here (written in PHP): http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/romlinker_php.zip
Since Castlevania II uses VROM (not VRAM), the toughest problem, after programming and stuff, is in organizing the sprites in a tilemap in a manner that doesn't break anything... I may be wrong though; I have never added new actors to a NES/SNES game.
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/cv2u.txt -- here's my disassembly of the entire game, as well. Not all locations have been assigned a name and meaning yet.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 24, 2012, 07:43:33 pm
I don't think tougher bosses would make the game better. The point of getting Simon stronger is so things would get easier. If anything, instead of making them tougher you should make it so they don't respawn. They are fun to fight and all but why would they keep respawning if they were just gonna get their ass kicked?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 24, 2012, 11:55:36 pm
@MathUser2929: I agree they shouldn't respawn. However, you've got to admit they are pathetic in comparison to any of the bosses in the first game. Plus, if they aren't tougher, then you run into the same problem as most of the Metroidvanias where the bosses end up being a formality if you get too strong. When I get around to designing new bosses for CV2 one of my ideas is to have their difficulty scale with Simon's level some what so they'll always be a bit of a challenge at least. The the more important problem is forcing the player to fight them instead of just traipsing through the room and back. That was a very poor design choice.

@Bisqwit: Thanks a lot for the resources these will help a lot. And thanks for all the hard work on the translation patch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 25, 2012, 12:05:17 am
The the more important problem forcing the player to fight them instead of just traipsing through the room and back. That was a very poor design choice.

Actually it makes sense. This game is all about making choices and understanding the relevance thereof. You are supposed to learn from the guy in Doina that it is a paramount that you do fight Carmilla and acquire the Rosary, and you are supposed to learn from a cluebook in Debious Woods that if you do fight Death, you will net an awesome weapon. You are completely free to skip either battle. It is just one part of the "Dracula's riddle" that you need to figure out what you need, what you don't need, and what you want anyway.
But I do agree that Death should be made as difficult as it was in Castlevania, and Dracula even harder.
And the Diamond should be made useful. There's just about no place at all in the game where it can be reasonably used.

(Any opinions on the fact that the game robs you of all garlic when you enter Dracula's room (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eh98y70NQ4)?)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 25, 2012, 01:40:44 am
I see where you're coming from, they're kinda like the optional bosses in most Final Fantasy games, just not very super. I still think there should be some sort of a challenge to getting Dracula's parts other than the stage itself. It's not nearly as fun without there being a cool boss to look forward to. Honestly, what's the point of getting awesome weapons if there's no one worth fighting? The enemies alone aren't enough. They're mostly boring and the ones that do anything interesting are placed in ways that make them as annoying as possible. Plus the lack of at least candles to interact with diminishes some of the fun factor too.

Hmmm... interesting about the garlic. I never noticed until now. I see why they did that, though. It takes forever for Drac to die and it's an even more pathetic death than using the Sacred Flame. They really should just have programmed Drac to not get stunned so severely. Which brings me to your point about improving the Diamond/Crystal/Whatever. Another thing I'd like to do the game is fix the weapons. They are all either nearly useless, or ridiculously overpowered. Was there really a need to have 3 knives? The diamond is practically useless for a game that mostly takes place outdoors. Why not keep more of the classic weapons which are all much more utilitarian? And the one that really nags me to death. Why in the world did they use hearts for money AND ammo for some of the sub-weapons? They were already using money bags in every other CV game they made before.

And, I just thought of something. If Carmilla and Death are optional, why put them directly in your path? Wouldn't it have been more fun and interesting to put them in out of the way places that you needed clues to find. For example that underground area where you get the flame whip power up. The whole top half of that area is a complete waste. There's literally nothing of interest there. While I understand having some dead end places that are just there because every place in the game can't hold a secret, it seems pointless to waste a unique tile set & rooms on something empty.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 25, 2012, 02:35:33 am
Was there really a need to have 3 knives? The diamond is practically useless for a game that mostly takes place outdoors. Why not keep more of the classic weapons which are all much more utilitarian?

On the other hand, they did allow you to keep all your weapons, instead of doing the silly thing where you discard your previous weapon whenever you acquire a new one.
The three knives thing was probably because of size limits on the FDS. They utilize a lot of common code. And when they ported the game to a cartridge, pretty much the only thing they changed to take advantage of the increased space was to put in a more advanced music engine -- and even that was probably forced, because the NES does not have the FDS sound channel, and they had to request that change specifically from the headquarters who did have the expertise and motivation to Do Things Well. They also added beefed up graphics for the password and mainmenu screen, because those also had to be requested from the headquarters (no FDS saving features). For anything else, they just went where the fence was lowest, i.e. they did not change absolutely anything. Dialog length limits and dialog text table, the world layout, weapons, sprites... Even the gameover screen. Everything was kept the same. They really weren't expecting the game to any popular, or some other reason caused them to go by the minimum possible budget, i.e. if it aint broken, don't fix it. The theme really seems to be that if something needed changing (the game would not work without the change), it was changed and done really well. Otherwise it was not changed at all. A striking exception to the "done really well" is the changing of katakana into latin alphabet. They used the sans-serif Nintendo standard font for no reason at all, even though the game already contained a beautiful serif font, and though there was indication in the game that the game's preferred font style is serif. This suggests that a font change was something they were able to do in the localization end without having to consult the people who actually cared for their creation.

Hmm... It should not be too difficult to replace the diamond with the fabled cross boomerang, if one wanted to do that kind of thing. You would need just two extra tiles and the rest would be simply a matter of programming. And you would probably want to add a new sound effect as well. Or you could replace the silver knife instead, but then you would need four extra tiles instead of two.


Quote
And the one that really nags me to death. Why in the world did they use hearts for money AND ammo for some of the sub-weapons? They were already using money bags in every other CV game they made before.

But money bags were part of the treasure hunter trope. In Castlevania II there is a thing that does not exist in the other games: A society. And that society is piss-poor. It would have been unrealistic for money bags and crowns and jewels to be abundant like they were in Castlevania. It was excusable in Castlevania and Akumajou Densetsu because there was no tie in to the universe. It was strictly a game-thing, for the player's score: Nothing that affects in any way how the game world is interacted with.

Quote
And, I just thought of something. If Carmilla and Death are optional, why put them directly in your path? Wouldn't it have been more fun and interesting to put them in out of the way places that you needed clues to find. For example that underground area where you get the flame whip power up. The whole top half of that area is a complete waste. There's literally nothing of interest there. While I understand having some dead end places that are just there because every place in the game can't hold a secret, it seems pointless to waste a unique tile set & rooms on something empty.

Good point. There are quite a few scenes in that game that exist for no purpose at all. Such as Denis Marsh. A graphically really cool scene, that is a complete dead end and that offers nothing whatsoever (except, possibly such experience points that are not available in the adjacent Dora Woods).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 25, 2012, 06:05:35 am
I don't think the knifes should be removed, if you need the space have a subemu pop up when you select the knife where you can pick any knife. I dunno about adding new stuff to the hack tho. It's supposed to be  a translation. The map was part of the purchase when buying the japanese version so I can understand it's inclusion on the game. Plus the game is already hard to navigate so it's inclusion is somewhat a nessesity.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on December 25, 2012, 06:43:27 am
Quote
Any opinions on the fact that the game robs you of all garlic when you enter Dracula's room?
The original japanese FDS game actually don't remove the garlic, and you can do exactly what you do in this video, but without cheating.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on December 25, 2012, 01:52:27 pm
When I needed more space in the rom for additional enemies/bosses in Pyron, I moved the enemy placement code and data to another bank. It was not too difficult. Eventually, other data code could be moved to another bank, and the enemy/items table should be easy to expand (the one starting at x41E3).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 25, 2012, 02:35:24 pm
I dunno about adding new stuff to the hack tho. It's supposed to be  a translation. The map was part of the purchase when buying the japanese version so I can understand it's inclusion on the game. Plus the game is already hard to navigate so it's inclusion is somewhat a nessesity.
You are right about the scope of the hack.
But I was thinking about a separate improvement hack, considering I have the framework through which to apply arbitrary patches... (Which removes the usual patch applying conflict that different patches have different ideas which areas of the ROM are free, and often target the same spots.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on December 25, 2012, 02:40:24 pm
It would have been unrealistic for money bags and crowns and jewels to be abundant like they were in Castlevania. It was excusable in Castlevania and Akumajou Densetsu because there was no tie in to the universe. It was strictly a game-thing, for the player's score: Nothing that affects in any way how the game world is interacted with.
But it's just stupid to use hearts as currency. Is Simon a murderer who harvests the organs of his victims as trade to get his powerups on the black market?
(considering he gets them from cloaked men who often hide in secret rooms, maybe he is? :P )
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on December 25, 2012, 03:40:44 pm
I have confirmed the fault on my mmc-3 donor cart ... it's CHR related apparently, I have tested various games.  :banghead:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 25, 2012, 07:33:25 pm
Hmm... It should not be too difficult to replace the diamond with the fabled cross boomerang, if one wanted to do that kind of thing. You would need just two extra tiles and the rest would be simply a matter of programming. And you would probably want to add a new sound effect as well. Or you could replace the silver knife instead, but then you would need four extra tiles instead of two.

Here's what I was thinking:
(Disclaimer: This is my ideal, not necessarily what I think can be done.)
Knife - Make it like the original. Same speed and distance. Shouldn't go through multiple enemies. Cost 1 heart. It'll still be a viable weapon earlier in the game. The extended range will extend it's utility farther into the game.
Silver Knife -  Replace with a new Diamond. Make it smaller (8x8), faster, and change it to a wider angle so it's slightly more useful out doors. Cost 1 heart. This'll be the only weapon that you can throw 3 of at once.
Golden Knife - Replace with a new weapon, Death Sickle. Creates a single sickle that slowly homes in on the nearest enemy. Cost 5 hearts, high damage. Would make more sense as Death's item drop.
Holy Water - Just make this like the original. Make the flame it produces be the ONLY thing that stuns enemies. Given the shorter time this flame lasts it won't be as ridiculous as the sacred flame. Cost 2 hearts.
Sacred Fire - This is waaay too over powered. Replace this with the Battle Axe. Cost 1 heart.
Diamond - Replace it with the Cross. Much more useful. Costs 2 hearts. Max distance should be 1/2 screen length so it doesn't take away too much from the Knife.
Oak Stake - For the love of all that is holy and good DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM YOUR INVENTORY UNLESS IT IS USED ON AN ORB. Should function exactly like old CV2 Knife otherwise.
Laurels - Make these work like all the other sub-weapons. They can cost 50 hearts to use.
Garlic - Also convert into a sub-weapon. 1 heart to use.

I think all the weapons and sub-weapons (except Laurels & Garlic) should be able to break blocks. Making the Holy Water the only sub-weapon that stuns enemies will preserve it's uniqueness if the block breaking is extended to all weapons. Also, by converting the Laurels & Garlic into sub-weapons you free up their RAM values for use as the money variable. Which brings me to the next point.

But money bags were part of the treasure hunter trope. In Castlevania II there is a thing that does not exist in the other games: A society. And that society is piss-poor. It would have been unrealistic for money bags and crowns and jewels to be abundant like they were in Castlevania. It was excusable in Castlevania and Akumajou Densetsu because there was no tie in to the universe. It was strictly a game-thing, for the player's score: Nothing that affects in any way how the game world is interacted with.

Isn't the poor state of the people in the game exactly the reason for there being money? If you're piss poor the most precious thing to you is either food or money to buy food. What are they gaining by getting magical hearts as payment? Unless being an alchemist that can conjure food with magic hearts is a common thing then it doesn't make sense for hearts to be currency. I agree money bags shouldn't be as wide spread as in CV1 where they drop outta candle and are carried by zombies, but they should at least be there occasionally. Even better use the coin items from the more recent games. Monsters can rarely drop a copper or a silver coin. but the real action can be in the mansions. Put some hidden money bags in chests or breakable blocks. Implement a CV1 style hidden treasure in each mansion too. This would give the player more to do in the game than just memorize clues.

Good point. There are quite a few scenes in that game that exist for no purpose at all. Such as Denis Marsh. A graphically really cool scene, that is a complete dead end and that offers nothing whatsoever (except, possibly such experience points that are not available in the adjacent Dora Woods).

You know, I always thought it would have made sense for there to be a secret exit in Denis Marsh that leads to Berkeley Mansion.

When I needed more space in the rom for additional enemies/bosses in Pyron, I moved the enemy placement code and data to another bank. It was not too difficult. Eventually, other data code could be moved to another bank, and the enemy/items table should be easy to expand (the one starting at x41E3).

That's good to know.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on December 25, 2012, 08:07:26 pm
It makes sense in the time period CV2 is set in for hearts to be used in exchange for items. Back then you could exhange things to get other things. Not everyone used money all the time. Also, remember that the crystal traders are examples of exchanging items for other items. Besides, is using hearts as currency as less sensical as enemies dropping money? A werewolf and merman dropping money?

Also, don't nerf all the weapons. If you have to add a flame to the holy water that would be alright with me.

Also, if hearts were exchanged for money as currency wouldn't you wind up accumulating too much of that once you buy what you need? Also, 255 max for hearts could destroy the balance of the game if hearts are only used for weapons.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on December 26, 2012, 12:11:26 am
I have confirmed the fault on my mmc-3 donor cart ... it's CHR related apparently, I have tested various games.  :banghead:

That's too bad. Thanks for letting me know! So I won't be looking for an error that doesn't exist :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on December 26, 2012, 12:51:23 am
It makes sense in the time period CV2 is set in for hearts to be used in exchange for items. Back then you could exhange things to get other things. Not everyone used money all the time. Also, remember that the crystal traders are examples of exchanging items for other items. Besides, is using hearts as currency as less sensical as enemies dropping money? A werewolf and merman dropping money?

Also, don't nerf all the weapons. If you have to add a flame to the holy water that would be alright with me.

Also, if hearts were exchanged for money as currency wouldn't you wind up accumulating too much of that once you buy what you need? Also, 255 max for hearts could destroy the balance of the game if hearts are only used for weapons.

It's called the barter system, and while it's true enough for the time period, in the game it doesn't make nearly as much sense because there's nothing else to barter with and more over bartering also involves haggling. There are are no set prices in a barter system and CV2 definitely does. The hearts are used as currency regardless of how you rationalize that use.

Monsters dropping money makes no sense in any game ever for the most part, but they do in every other game in the series. If you wanted to make it more realistic you could have them drop various things such as fur, fangs, and scales. Those could then be used in a more robust barter system. However, the game is already tedious enough with all the clues, lies, and backtracking. No one is going to want to waste even more time figuring out how many medusa fangs is a fair price for a head of garlic.

I'm not suggesting nerfing all the weapons, only the ones that make the 'bosses' a complete joke.

As for accumulating too much money... That's what happens in all the metroidvanias and RPGs ever made once you're in the end game. But besides that I think the simple thing is just to make money a lot more rare than hearts when you're out at large. That was my thought behind only having enemies drop small denominations of coins rarely and leaving the money bags and treasures hidden in the mansions.

The maximum number of hearts can easily be changed.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 03, 2013, 05:48:00 am
How about adding achievements?

I thought of sixteen achievements that could be added without too much stretching it. There are several unused RAM bytes that can be used to store the data.

Code: [Select]
; Achievement unlocked! Unwelcome visitor          (activate dialog 094): Get an aggravated response from a townsman
; Achievement unlocked! Nonstandard bridge exit    (drown in scene 2/0/1, 2/8/0 or 2/9/1): Dip in the Uta lake
; Achievement unlocked! Sewer explorer             (drown in scene 0/*/*): Dip in city sewers
; Achievement unlocked! Successful barter          (swap crystal): Trade crystals
; Achievement unlocked! Cuisine express            (activate dialog 150): Act based on a rumor
; Achievement unlocked! Death is no match          (Death dies): Kill Death
; Achievement unlocked! Unsuccessful date          (activate dialog 093): Get a blunt response from a lady
; Achievement unlocked! Duck hunt                  (activate dialog 015): Talk to a stranger
; Achievement unlocked! Fully grown warrior        (reach level 6): Accumulate 350 exp
; Achievement unlocked! Angular mastery            (kill 10 enemies with weapon 4)
; Achievement unlocked! Because it is a bit cold   (kill 10 enemies with weapon 5)
; Achievement unlocked! Toss and miss              (miss with weapon 6)
; Achievement unlocked! Collector of sharp things  (acquired weapons 0, 1, 2)
; Achievement unlocked! Extended welcome           (activate dialog 120 twice): Abuse the free gift
; Achievement unlocked! By willpower alone         (activate dialog 116): Talk to ladies when death by curse is inevitable
; Achievement unlocked! No stone unturned          (reach the end of scene 2/9/2): Explore a dead end

I know it's a modern day gaming fad, but it could motivate some players to spend more time exploring the game world.

In addition, I considered adding** minimalist achievements (such as reaching the castle ruins still using the leather whip), but it gets pointless, because you can only get achievements from one playthrough.*
Well, there's one that could be done: Blind faith = acquire the bodypart from Berkeley mansion without having the item that makes the floating platform visible. Not having the water (for probing the floor) might also be a requirement.
*) If SRAM saving was added, then things might be different in that regard.
**) No achievements have been implemented yet.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 04, 2013, 01:39:23 am
That's actually a good idea. Trying to attain achievements can be fun for a lot of players. (Not me so much, but meh, this isn't about me.) I see it as a natural extension of the "Hi-Score" phenomenon from the early days of video games. Hell some publishing mediums even require achievements to be implemented.

Also, SRAM would be fantastic if it could be implemented. However, I've noted in the past that it isn't an easy thing to implement as it would basically require a save system to be created from scratch even if all it does is save the last password.

BTW, what's new in version 1.4 of the patch?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 04, 2013, 04:17:13 am
Also, SRAM would be fantastic if it could be implemented. However, I've noted in the past that it isn't an easy thing to implement as it would basically require a save system to be created from scratch even if all it does is save the last password.

True, but that is not something I can't do.


Quote
BTW, what's new in version 1.4 of the patch?

Version 1.4.0: now using compression for added graphics data; minor dialog fixes. For example, Vlad Graveyard was previously listed on the map as "Vlad Gravehard". The compression decreases the size of the patch, and opens the way for adding even more context sensitive dialog in the future. It may also save a frame or two in the opening of the map in some situations because the number of memory accesses was decreased.

Version 1.4.0.1: Decreased dependencies on game's functions to increase patch compatibility with other patches.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on January 04, 2013, 05:14:19 am
SRAM has already be done several years ago (just seach the hacks of this site). However, I haven't tested if it is compatible with the retranslation.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 04, 2013, 08:44:11 am
SRAM has already be done several years ago (just seach the hacks of this site). However, I haven't tested if it is compatible with the retranslation.

Me neither, but it only saves the same data as the password, and I have no intention on stopping there, if I ever get to making the SRAM hack.
You don't need many bytes to add the current scene and player's position, and there's plenty more room in SRAM even if it's just 2 kB, my smallest SRAM chip (isn't it 4 kB normally in NES cartridges?) -- and I already researched the resuming of the game when I added the map feature (must resume the game successfully when exiting the map screen).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on January 04, 2013, 08:46:50 am
At least the password saves the amount of garlic and laurels you're carrying. In the original FDS version, those are lost if you save the game and resume later.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 04, 2013, 02:35:33 pm
Good lord, that's terrible. Loosing inventory if you save and restart? Damn.

@Bisqwit: If you can add a proper save function that would be a great addition to the patch. Hmmm... Feeling inspired.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on January 06, 2013, 10:07:09 pm
(isn't it 4 kB normally in NES cartridges?)
8KB typically.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on January 07, 2013, 08:38:07 am
I wouldn't waste time adding achievements, here is what should be added instead.

There is one scene where Simon waits by the cliff-side and a whirlwind carries him off to a mansion.  In this mansion, Simon should "prossess" a special item that, when used, can summon the Whirl Wind at any time.  Now that you have the Map, you should be brought to the map screen in which you can choose your destination.  Then the Whirlwind drops you off there. 

That would be my next priority if I were working on this hack.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Triupulent on January 07, 2013, 10:44:34 am
I think this patch should be split in two. This one should be renamed something like "Simon's Quest Improved", and there should be a separate patch under the translation sections that is simply a better translation and localization of the game. That patch would be the retranslation + the missing text and features from the Japanese version.

Next, then work on re-translating the Japanese manual. It's superior to the English manual, includes a prologue, a map, and color illustrations. Then bundle that with the translation patch. The idea would be that the patch would be the localization that the game should have gotten without adding anything. The player would be given all the same tools that Japanese players were given. Nothing more, or less. There are likely already translations of the prologue from the manual already somewhere on the internet. Are there any legal reasons why the manual couldn't be bundled along with the patch? A scan can be found here:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/NewCV/manual-jcv2.htm

For the "Simon's Quest Improved" patch. I have a few suggestions:

- One thing I liked about Redacted is that it added arrows to the town signs to make them concise.
- SRAM saving would be nice.
- I am not fond of the FDS music at all, and find the current Western arrangement superior
- "Achievements" are usually kind of annoying, so they shouldn't be included. 
- I don't think it should include a warp system
- Bosses should vanish once defeated
- Game is too easy. Taking a cue from Zelda II, you could have the game warp you to the first town once you run out of lives. That might then mean you have to re-balance things further.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 07, 2013, 01:49:26 pm
I think this patch should be split in two. This one should be renamed something like "Simon's Quest Improved", and there should be a separate patch under the translation sections that is simply a better translation and localization of the game. That patch would be the retranslation + the missing text and features from the Japanese version.

You can already do that at the main site for the patch as it allows you to pick and choose what features you want.


- I am not fond of the FDS music at all, and find the current Western arrangement superior

Not an issue since this isn't a hack of the FDS version.


- Game is too easy. Taking a cue from Zelda II, you could have the game warp you to the first town once you run out of lives. That might then mean you have to re-balance things further.

That's a horrible cue. That is the single worst feature of Zelda II and the main reason I never bothered revisiting Zelda II. Furthermore, forcing the player to retread the same stages over and over as a penalty is a terrible design choice. This is especial so in a game that already makes you go back and fourth through the same areas quite a bit.

A far better solution to increasing the challenge is improving the enemy ai and adding actual bosses.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Triupulent on January 07, 2013, 01:50:49 pm
You can already do that at the main site for the patch as it allows you to pick and choose what features you want.

I meant at the romhacking.net site itself. There's no guarantee people will even visit his personal site or follow the instructions.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 07, 2013, 02:25:27 pm
You could always go download the version with the options you mentioned and submit it yourself.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 08, 2013, 08:11:01 am
I meant at the romhacking.net site itself. There's no guarantee people will even visit his personal site or follow the instructions.

That's an issue with the Romhacking.net site then, and it is not my problem.

Now, to reply to a couple of points.

― I also like the arrows in the signs in Redaction. I have considered adding it, but scarcity of free tiles has held me back... Note that the cursive typeface is also being used for the clues. But I guess I could take $41 and $76. $76 is used for stuff in forests, but it is not used for anything in towns. There's also $72..$75, but it's used for stairs.  (Oddly, duplicated at $F1..$F4.) DONE in release version 1.4.1.

― Re: Game is too easy, personally I hate "make game more difficult" type of hacks. Not going to do.

― The whirlwind is a special event confined to a particular location. It may be explainable by geography: The cliff face causes circular winds to occur naturally, and the crystal held by Simon focuses the rays of sun in such way that it heats the pyroxenite within the cliff floor, and causes a particular mixture of cold and hot air to develop rapidly, that it produces the minuature tornado suddenly to occur. It's not that Simon has the forces of nature in his control in general. No, I am not going to make the whirlwind into a Pidgey that you can Fly at any time you want. In addition, the game's world is so small that you can travel a full circle in under 10 minutes of real time (2 or 3 days of game time).  Furthermore, changing the travel mechanics in the game also would change the expectancy for the in-game time that it takes to complete the game. As the endings are tightly tied into the time it takes to complete the game, changing the time would also require changing the endings. It is an avalanche I am not willing to unravel.

― I think achievements are rather a transparent feature. You are free to ignore them if you don't like them. I have hard time seeing how they can be annoying in general. I can see how they could be annoying in Simon's Quest though, if they use the same dialog box format as used by the night/day time messages.

― Working on SRAM saving now. I am going for two goals: 1) read-compatibility with saves made by Matrixz's SRAM patch  2) game state is fully saved except for non-Simon actors (monsters, projectiles and other weapon objects) and some minor bits. In addition, there will be multiple save slots. If achievements are made, they will be saved also, but they are global (but resettable) and not tied to a particular save.

― There is no FDS music in a game targetting the cartridge format, including my patch. I was considering for a long time to put back the FDS ending music into the game, to accommodate a longer ending, but in the end I did it a bit differently.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 08, 2013, 10:54:58 am
― The whirlwind is a special event confined to a particular location. It may be explainable by geography: The cliff face causes circular winds to occur naturally, and the crystal held by Simon focuses the rays of sun in such way that it heats the pyroxenite within the cliff floor, and causes a particular mixture of cold and hot air to develop rapidly, that it produces the minuature tornado suddenly to occur. It's not that Simon has the forces of nature in his control in general. No, I am not going to make the whirlwind into a Pidgey that you can Fly at any time you want. In addition, the game's world is so small that you can travel a full circle in under 10 minutes of real time (2 or 3 days of game time).  Furthermore, changing the travel mechanics in the game also would change the expectancy for the in-game time that it takes to complete the game. As the endings are tightly tied into the time it takes to complete the game, changing the time would also require changing the endings. It is an avalanche I am not willing to unravel.

I never liked that whirlwind thing. It has always seemed terribly out of place to me. I dunno. When I get around to remaking CV2 as a fan game I'm definitely taking it out in favor of a new area that leads through the underground instead of a *magic tornado*. I can totally see why you'd prefer not to touch that beast, though. I'm sure the code around it is a mess.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 08, 2013, 01:07:09 pm
I can totally see why you'd prefer not to touch that beast, though. I'm the code around it is a mess.

Grammar error aside, no it's not. It is really rather straightforward.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 08, 2013, 08:05:15 pm
Does it take up much space?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 09, 2013, 06:33:20 am
Next, then work on re-translating the Japanese manual. It's superior to the English manual, includes a prologue, a map, and color illustrations. Then bundle that with the translation patch. The idea would be that the patch would be the localization that the game should have gotten without adding anything. The player would be given all the same tools that Japanese players were given. Nothing more, or less. There are likely already translations of the prologue from the manual already somewhere on the internet. Are there any legal reasons why the manual couldn't be bundled along with the patch? A scan can be found here:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/NewCV/manual-jcv2.htm

Wow. That is fantastic. It even tells that the "where" that the ferryman takes you, depends on which Dracula's body part you are carrying.
But even though I do know some Japanese, I feel that a manual of that size is a bit too much work and effort to translate... Especially given that it would have to be done in an image editing program. And it would require some image substitutions, as the FDS-specific screens no longer apply on the cartridge version. And e.g. replace the screenshot with buggy floating zombies.
There might also be some nasty copyright missiles hiding somewhere waiting to be launched.

I did write a tiny manual of my own, which is at http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#use (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#use) and doesn't really compare to the Japanese manual, but it contains the basics. It is still only in Finnish though.*


Does take up much space?

Not that either. Relatively speaking.



*) Translated below.
Background: Your player character is called Simon Belmont. In the previous game, Castlevania, Simon Belmont fought and defeated Count Dracula. But something went wrong, and Simon was caught under a curse, which will consume his health and sooner or later claim his life, unless he travels through Transylvania, collects Dracula's body parts from the mansions in which they have been deposited, and gathers them and burns them on an altar in the ruins of Dracula's castle. Not only Simon, but the entire Transylvania is suffering from the curse, with trees withering and demons roaming the lands, and many people accuse Simon of what has happened. It is therefore desirable that Simon finds Dracula's bodyparts and burns them the soonest possible. It is not easy though. Throughout his adventure, Simon encounters many problems to solve...

The buttons in a normal game situation:
B = Use weapon, talk with NPCs, end discussion or answer a question
A = Jump
Up+B = Use special weapon (choose on the status screen)
Start = Open the status screen
Select = Open the map
Directional buttons = Move, and climb stairs
Up = Go through an open door
Down = Duck

The buttons on the status screen:
Directional buttons = Move the cursor, with which you can choose a maximum of two items (one from the upper compartment and one from the lower one). The items in the upper compartment will include Dracula's body parts as you collect them, and other talismans. You can't really "use" them; instead, you just hold them. What you are holding affect certain situations in the game. Talk to people in Transylvania's towns, and you will learn how to use each item. The items in the lower compartment (mostly special weapons) are used by holding the "up" button and pressing the B button.
Start = Close the status screen

The buttons on the map screen:
A, B = Scroll the scroll horizontally
Directional buttons = Move the cursor, with which you can inspect different places on the map
Start/Select = Close the map

You will acquire special weapons in different ways. Some of them are hidden in the game realm, and can be discovered, when you know where to look (townspeople will provide hints), and some of them you can buy from merchants. This also goes for the whips, that are Simon's primary weapon.
There is also an experience points system in the game. You will accumulate experience points by killing demons and collecting their hearts. The game tracks hearts and experience points separately. You can read them on the status screen. As Simon acquires more experience, he will become a stronger fighter. The game begins at level 0. The maximum level is 6.

When you kill demons, sometimes a heart is produced, which you can collect. The hearts act as merchandise or currency in this game. Additionally, they double as fuel for most special weapons. If you lose all three extra lives that Simon has, you will get another set of three if you Continue, but you will lose all the collected hearts. When Simon loses all extra lives you can also choose to save a password, with which you can continue the game at another time. Do note though, that when you resume a game through a password, the player character is returned back to the first town, Jova.

In the game there is a clock, which accumulates a minute of time approximately every 4 seconds. The clock includes the number of days since the game began, and the hours and the minutes. Between 06:00:00—17:59:59 the game has a "day" time and between 18:00:00—05:59:59 there is "night". In the night time, the demons are twice as strong as at day time, but they also often produce a larger heart when killed at night time. In the towns, all citizens retreat indoors and lock their doors at night time. Simon's chances to survive the curse decrease by every minute, and it is thus imperative to complete the game in as few days as possible.

Not everyone in the towns are happy about Simon's vampyre hunter hobby. Some of them lie to his face. Some of them are not interested at all, and they speak whatever is on their mind. But most Transylvanians really wish for the curse to end, and they help Simon in whatever ways they can, according to their knowledge. But it is the Middle Ages, and there are all sorts of rumors. Even those, who really wish to help Simon from the bottom of their hearts, do not always know all the details. The player really must invest effort in finding the truth behind a mistaken hint given in good faith. Usually the truth is revealed by interviewing as many people as possible, and trying subtle variations to the hint.

As a translator, I believe I have done the best I can to ensure, that the player never needs to go find a walkthrough in the Internet, if they really do speak with every NPC in the game. Among other things, I have made sure there are no confusing mistranslations that the official English release unfortunately was all too saturated of. In this spirit, I have lengthened the dialog texts to become even twice as long as the original ones, to make them natural and helpful.
But it is still the nature of the game that the player must solve the curse and the riddle, and it must require some brain work, and I have retained this principle in my translation.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 09, 2013, 09:58:05 am
Wow. That is fantastic. It even tells that the "where" that the ferryman takes you, depends on which Dracula's body part you are carrying.
But even though I do know some Japanese, I feel that a manual of that size is a bit too much work and effort to translate... Especially given that it would have to be done in an image editing program. And it would require some image substitutions, as the FDS-specific screens no longer apply on the cartridge version. And e.g. replace the screenshot with buggy floating zombies.
There might also be some nasty copyright missiles hiding somewhere waiting to be launched.

Actually part of that manual has already been translated on this very site. There was some interest over Castlevania Dungeon Forums about the *true* back stories behind the early games without the often silly choices made by Konami US back in the day. Asking the guys in the translation forum tackle the rest of the manual wouldn't be a problem, I'm sure.

I don't really see how translating the manual is any more of a copyright issue than the re-translation of the ROM itself. But regardless, I think I'll take on this task myself.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Triupulent on January 09, 2013, 12:56:09 pm
Wow. That is fantastic. It even tells that the "where" that the ferryman takes you, depends on which Dracula's body part you are carrying.
But even though I do know some Japanese, I feel that a manual of that size is a bit too much work and effort to translate... Especially given that it would have to be done in an image editing program. And it would require some image substitutions, as the FDS-specific screens no longer apply on the cartridge version. And e.g. replace the screenshot with buggy floating zombies.
There might also be some nasty copyright missiles hiding somewhere waiting to be launched.

As I suspected, there are translations of the prologue that already exist:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/documents/CV2J.txt

I found another page nitpicking a few translations in that:
http://www.oocities.org/nec43xkq3/diinfmst.html

Other than the obvious things, I don't know how it differs from the American manual. Which can be found here:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/manual-cv2.htm

Translating the manual can be a group project as mentioned before. Even if there are copyright issues, and can't be hosted on the romhacking site, I think it should be done.

I've read online that a direct translation of "Dracula II: Noroi no Fuiin" is  "Dracula 2: The Accursed Seal". That kind of sounds cooler than "Simon's Quest". Could that be used as the name of the hack, and the game? The title screen could be changed to reflect this.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: xttx on January 12, 2013, 02:03:47 am
great work! The newest version cpu jams nestopia when you try to load the map with the select button.  :-[
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 15, 2013, 01:56:06 pm
great work! The newest version cpu jams nestopia when you try to load the map with the select button.  :-[

Thanks for the report. I will investigate it. EDIT: Problem fixed in version 1.4.1.2, just released. I had accidentally enabled for VRC6 some code which was only meant for MMC1. Interestingly enough, this had been going on since version 1.2.1 and it did not cause problems then. Probably mad luck.

I have the SRAM saving feature work in progress. It is going well.

January 16, 2013, 02:03:55 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Teaser screenshot (actual emulator capture):

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/cv2u-sram-wip1.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: xttx on January 16, 2013, 06:16:04 pm
great work and thanks for the response. This is definitely top notch work and is a blast to play. The way the game should have been to begin with. Looking forward to seeing what you can do next!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 17, 2013, 12:24:31 am
Sweet! Coming along great!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 18, 2013, 07:40:59 am
I have released version 2.0.0 of the translation patch now.

You can download it at:  http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/

Major features:
-- SRAM saving support.
Minor changes:
-- Exiting the map screen no longer allows escaping the battle with Dracula.

Load/save options have been added in the main menu and the gameover menu respectively.
In addition, you can save the game at any time during the game by pressing select on the status screen.
Seven save slots are offered currently.

Please report to me any errors and weirdness you encounter in this patch!

Screenshots:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1b.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1c.png)

I retained the password feature in the game, because I like it.
Incidentally, I discovered that FCEUX does not support the de-emphasis bits when its NTSC filter is enabled... Bummer.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on January 18, 2013, 02:35:05 pm
Looks amazing - I can't way to try it out.

Two aesthetic points: Any reason why certain text is using the vanilla sans-serif font? Also, "Select Slot" or "Select Save" may be slightly less awkward than "Please Choose" and not require custom tiles to fit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 18, 2013, 07:05:59 pm
Two aesthetic points: Any reason why certain text is using the vanilla sans-serif font? Also, "Select Slot" or "Select Save" may be slightly less awkward than "Please Choose" and not require custom tiles to fit.

From the original features of the game, I left the vanilla sans-serif font in the main menu and in the password screen, because of a somewhat arbitrary reasoning: They are sort of technical aspects, meta, not a part of the actual game. It is an oversight and inconsistency that I did not do that also in the gameover screen.
Because of that same principle I decided to use the sans-serif font also on the save/load screen.

As for particular texts and labels, I am open for suggestions to improve them. "Please choose" was what I thought is unspecific enough that it works for both loading and saving.

Re: Custom tiles, this is a multilanguage translation system. My design choices were primarily guided by making the same code and data as much possible usable in all supported languages (currently English and Finnish). In Finnish, the label is considerably longer (16 letters), but still must fit in those 12 tiles. I did a considerable amount of text as pre-rendered text. It also nets me a nice VWF. Incidentally, the North-American game also did this. The "YOUR" text on the password screen was prerendered in the NTSC version (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff).

January 19, 2013, 12:19:11 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I enabled the font artist mode in me for a bit. Improvement or not? (Not in a release yet.) When compared to the third picture:

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-serif1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-serif2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1.png)
The same in Finnish:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-serif1fin.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-serif2fin.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1fin.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on January 19, 2013, 12:35:16 am
"Improvement" is too conservative a term. Looks fantastic!

Devil's advocate time - will the presence of lower-case text in the main menu emphasize the lack of such in the game at large?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 19, 2013, 01:03:26 am
Thank you. Then I will add it in the next release.

Devil's advocate time - will the presence of lower-case text in the main menu emphasize the lack of such in the game at large?

That is a good question. A better question is: Which pair of images would be nicer to see in the game?

Left: Talking with a NPC. Right: Reading a hidden clue.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-dialog1a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-dialog1b.png)

Or the same set of images, but using upper+lowercase characters, but in same font in both, without italic? I don't know if there are enough tiles for all the required uppercase+lowercase characters, but there most definitely are not enough tiles to have uppercase+lowercase in two fonts. Even uppercase only in two fonts is stretching it.
EDIT: Humm... There are plenty of free VROM pages. There still seems to be a way! This would further decrease the patch's compatibility with other patches, but it's possible. In short, swap VROM page depending on whether cursive or normal font is needed. Yeah, that would work...

So... Lowercase font for dialog text, or not? Do note that it would still be monospaced, as opposed to the "Are you sure?" text above which is not.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on January 19, 2013, 12:10:04 pm
The text is fairly dense as-is; adding italics without lowercase makes it take even more effort to read. Using mixed-case will add a little bit of vertical whitespace between lines of text, aiding legibility.

Also, a side-benefit of the serif font you're using is a reduction in the perceived gaps between monospaced letters - since even "i" and "l" are wider than they would be in a sans-serif font.

That being said, nice italic font! I hope other people who'd like to use 8x8 serif fonts take notice.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 19, 2013, 12:49:23 pm
I agree. The lower case will be an improvement.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: burn_654 on January 19, 2013, 01:54:26 pm
I'd love to make a repro with saving support and all these additional tweaks/features...what mapper cartridge should I be looking at? This is an excellent project!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 19, 2013, 05:29:08 pm
I'd love to make a repro with saving support and all these additional tweaks/features...what mapper cartridge should I be looking at? This is an excellent project!  :thumbsup:

Thanks!
What you need is either MMC1, MMC3, MMC4, MMC5, or VRC6 boards that has 128 kB of ROM, 128 kB of VROM, and optionally that 2~8 kB of battery-backed RAM if you want to use the save feature. SKROM and TKROM cartridges are recommended for SRAM users, SLROM and TSROM otherwise.

Board names:
-- MMC1-based: SKROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=SKROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (example: Zelda II), SLROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=SLROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no SRAM) (example: Simon's Quest), SL1ROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=SL1ROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no SRAM) (example: Demon Sword),
-- MMC3-based: TKROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=TKROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (examples: Shadowgate, Uninvited), TKSROM (example: YS III), TLSROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb=TLSROM&region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no SRAM) (example: Pro Sport Hocket), TSROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb=TSROM&region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no battery saving) (examples: Super Mario Bros. 2, Tetris 2)
-- MMC4-based: FKROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb=FKROM&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (example: Fire Emblem Gaiden)
-- MMC5-based (if you don't use map feature): EKROM (example: Gemfire), ELROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=ELROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no SRAM) (examples: Castlevania III, Laser Invasion), ETROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?region_op=%3D%60%40%60&region=USA&pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=ETROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=0&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (example: L'Empereur), EWROM (example: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II)
-- VRC6-based: VRC6a (example: Akumajou Densetsu) (ask me if you have VRC6b-- examples: Madara, Esper Dream 2)

EDIT: I also added MMC4 and partial MMC5 support.
MMC2 unfortunately is not doable, because Simon's Quest requires 16 kB ROM bankswitching, and MMC2 only provides it for 8 kB.

You could also implement a mapper for this game in discrete logic. I searched the mapper documentation at NESDev (http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/Category:Discrete_logic_mappers) to see which mapper would be a good candidate for a "standard" discrete logic mapper for this game, and the one that comes closest is mapper #72. It however has a nasty "latch" mechanism for activating the bank selection, which is why I am not jumping the chance to implement it. All the others have varying problems: Either no bankswitching, or bankswitching is only provided for 32 kB of ROM at time, or 8 kB of ROM at time, or only for half of the CHR space.
If you wanted to implement a mapper in discrete logic, you could go with MMC4 compatibility and ignore the tile number latch specifics. It would probably be the simplest one to do. Or then MMC1.

January 20, 2013, 01:05:10 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
First batch of samples:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a3.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a4.png)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a5.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a6.png)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a2b.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a5b.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a6b.png)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a7a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-lcase-a7b.png)

What is the common opinion?


Vaguely related: It would be nice if dialog boxes didn't hide people... These screenshots all look rather deserted, heh. But I can guess why they did that: It may be a bit difficult to decide which actors exactly to hide to avoid them appearing on top of the dialog box.  Battle of Olympus and Zelda II solved this by making sure that there is no situation where dialog boxes can appear while there are actors in the middle of the screen. They are always on the bottom of the screen. SMB3 didn't mind. And Final Fantasy uses split-screen. In Faxanadu the actors are hidden, but there is a character portrait which reduces the impact.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on January 20, 2013, 02:23:12 am
The only MMC4 games are Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Gaiden and Famicom Wars. Would be sad to see those used as donors. :(

I guess it wouldn't be as simple as replacing the call to remove all sprites to only remove sprites with X/Y values within (or close to) the window dimensions?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 20, 2013, 02:26:14 am
The only MMC4 games are Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Gaiden and Famicom Wars. Would be sad to see those used as donors. :(

Yup. Though then again, if you replace the ROMs with EPROMs, you can always reprogram the original game in. Depends really on the collector value of those games. In my opinion it is sad whenever any of those old cartridges is destroyed or damaged, even if it's a game that was manufactured in millions. It's a sentimental thing over anything. I went by the C programmer principle here: I give you gun. I take no responsibility over what you do with it.


Quote
I guess it wouldn't be as simple as replacing the call to remove all sprites to only remove sprites with X/Y values within (or close to) the window dimensions?

Maybe computing the window's location on the screen from its coordinates in the nametables is not the easiest possible thing. I don't know. Maybe there's some other reason.
EDIT 2: Here is what it would look like, if the actors were not hidden during dialog! http://youtu.be/RzEmjx7Pfsc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzEmjx7Pfsc)
EDIT 3: Here is what it looks like, if only select actors are hidden, as suggested by KingMike: http://youtu.be/IeMCZPgAD5I (http://youtube.com/watch?v=IeMCZPgAD5I)

EDIT 1: Added partial MMC5 support. Game runs, but map graphics are broken.

Feedback, please! (On the number of things posted here recently.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on January 20, 2013, 07:42:41 am
Quote
Vaguely related: It would be nice if dialog boxes didn't hide people... These screenshots all look rather deserted, heh. But I can guess why they did that: It may be a bit difficult to decide which actors exactly to hide to avoid them appearing on top of the dialog box.  Battle of Olympus and Zelda II solved this by making sure that there is no situation where dialog boxes can appear while there are actors in the middle of the screen. They are always on the bottom of the screen. SMB3 didn't mind. And Final Fantasy uses split-screen. In Faxanadu the actors are hidden, but there is a character portrait which reduces the impact.
This is actually not too hard to do, although I don't know how hard it would be to hack this into Simon's Quest. It is like a collision detection, if both the X and Y coordinates are within a certain range, the sprite should be hidden.

Final Fantasy 1 does not do this by split screen (the split screen only display the text box itself), it does to by software, and hide sprites by OR-ing their status with $20 (set the sprite behind the BG) instead of completely masking them by setting their Y coordinate to a value greater than $ef.
The game also only check the Y coordinate for hiding, not X, therefore if you have a NPC on the leftmost or rightmost tile while you open a textbox it will appear behind the background. It's a funny bug.
Final Fantasy 2 and 3 does this correctly by sofware and by completely disabling the sprites, though.

I have a routine that does this in my game. It does it for each individual sprite, so if a character is made of multiple sprites, the game will individually check on each sprite if it should be hidden or not.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on January 20, 2013, 11:49:49 am
Lowercase and selective sprite hiding look great!

"Morning Star" is two words in English, although I don't know if it would look OK that way with the silk bag in the adjacent tile.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 20, 2013, 09:12:43 pm
I have released version 2.1.0. It includes the lowercase font. The cursive font is still supported, too.
The font is now serif in all places except the password screen. The password screen has only one font. It is not possible to change the font for the prompts but not change it for the input.
It also includes the feature which only hides those actors that would be obscuring the dialog box. Please report to me if there are any problems with it.

Also, I changed the "Morningstar" on the status screen into "MorningStar".

Please report to me if you see something that should be capitalized and is not, or vice versa.

January 23, 2013, 03:55:38 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Released version 2.2.0. It includes support for boards that have only VRAM, no VROM!

As of such, the game can now ALSO be installed on the following types of CHR-ROM-less donor boards:

-- 74161-based: UOROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?keywords=&ines=2&ines_op==`@`&vram=8&vram_op==`@`&field=26&order=desc) (no SRAM) (example: Paper Boy 2)
-- MMC1-based: SNROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?pcb_op=LIKE+%60%25%40%25%60&pcb=SNROM&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=8&chipsize_op=%3D%60%40%60&chipsize=256&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (examples: Final Fantasy, Maniac Mansion)
-- MMC3-based: TNROM (example: Final Fantasy III), TGROM (http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/search.php?ines_op=%3D%60%40%60&ines=4&vram_op=%3D%60%40%60&vram=8&field=2&order=asc&rfa=1+2+11+3+9+20+41+53+16+26+18) (no SRAM) (example: Mega Man 4)

However, there are a few limitations to the VRAM version:
-- Crappy map screen, because of inavailability of fast CHR switch.
-- Brief 1-frame blink when walking past town signs. Constant blinking if a NPC walks by the sign at the same time.
-- Requires 256 kB of PRG-ROM instead of 128 kB of PRG-ROM (only 168 kB is utilized, though).
-- PAL VRAM versions do not work properly yet for some reason.

Note that in the patch vending machine, choosing an UNROM mapper without VRAM will make a broken game, because the UNROM board does not have CHR-ROM page switching circuitry.

I did this mostly just as a technical exercise.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on January 23, 2013, 04:35:10 am
holy cr*p! this project evolved so much! I was waiting for new donor cards but now I've changed my mind about mmc1, will use a new MMC3 TKROM for save support, good thing I got one too! Awesome work Bisqwit !!!
Will burn and make the cart now, hope I don't have to desolder the eproms soon to try a new awesome update!  ;D
I will be using this donor btw: http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=3991
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 23, 2013, 05:23:09 am
Use sockets for the chips to avoid having to solder and desolder :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on January 23, 2013, 05:54:06 am
I did try that in the previous cart that turned out to be problematic, the problem is that with sockets you can't put the pcb in a shell and the height is too much so it goes in an angle when inserted in the famicom slot...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 23, 2013, 06:59:49 am
I did try that in the previous cart that turned out to be problematic, the problem is that with sockets you can't put the pcb in a shell and the height is too much so it goes in an angle when inserted in the famicom slot...
Ok.
If you wish to burn the image soon and don't want to replace it quickly, I suggest you go with version 2.1.1 than 2.2.0.
Version 2.2.0 is more likely to have regression errors than 2.1.1 did, due to some fundamental changes required to add the VRAM support.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on January 23, 2013, 01:18:07 pm
Ok.
If you wish to burn the image soon and don't want to replace it quickly, I suggest you go with version 2.1.1 than 2.2.0.
Version 2.2.0 is more likely to have regression errors than 2.1.1 did, due to some fundamental changes required to add the VRAM support.

thanks for the tip!  ;D I might end up doing the socket thing temporarily , with your awesome advancements it's either sockets or wait for a final version  ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on January 23, 2013, 03:49:33 pm
Thanks for this amazing work ! Really impressive.

I've tested version NTSC 2.2.0 on MMC1, it jams Nestopia when you navigate on the map, after pressing Select.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on January 24, 2013, 03:15:44 am
I've tested version NTSC 2.2.0 on MMC1, it jams Nestopia when you navigate on the map, after pressing Select.

You are right. This bug is attributed to the build-process which did not use different filenames for different versions for the OAM tables. I will have fixed this in release 2.2.1. In the meantime, version 2.1.1 is available in the vending machine.

EDIT: Version 2.2.1 released. It fixes the aforementioned problem, as well as VRAM mapping for MMC1 and PAL. A crashing bug in a certain dialog bit was also fixed, present since version 1.2.3. In addition, I finetuned some font characters and fixed a typo in a certain dialog piece.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KillerBob on January 26, 2013, 02:58:34 am
I had to register just in order to thank you for this awesome re-translation patch, Bisqwit. Thank you so much for doing this! Didn't think there was enough love for this old game to ever see this happen. It's a flawed game and haven't aged that well but some of the things they tried with this title back then was ahead of its time. I have a lot of nostalgia attached to it and can still remember the days of anticipation before its original release, very happy to see this done. :) An underrated gem...
I've read online that a direct translation of "Dracula II: Noroi no Fuiin" is  "Dracula 2: The Accursed Seal". That kind of sounds cooler than "Simon's Quest". Could that be used as the name of the hack, and the game? The title screen could be changed to reflect this.
Ironically, Castlevania II: Dracula's Curse would IMO been a perfect title whereas something like The Legend of Castlevania or Castlevania Legend would've been more fitting names for Castlevania III, I actually think Castlevania is a brilliant localization name for the series, especially fitting for the first game. But it's a little odd and interesting they went with the international name of the series for the in-game map in the Japanese original of Dracula's Curse (Akumajou Densetsu).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on January 26, 2013, 07:58:51 am
Ironically, Castlevania II: Dracula's Curse would IMO been a perfect title whereas something like The Legend of Castlevania or Castlevania Legend would've been more fitting names for Castlevania III, I actually think Castlevania is a brilliant localization name for the series, especially fitting for the first game. But it's a little odd and interesting they went with the international name of the series for the in-game map in the Japanese original of Dracula's Curse (Akumajou Densetsu).

I've had similar thoughts in the past and totally agree especially when one considers that CV2 is actually about a specific curse where as CV3 never mentions a curse of any sort and was the first attempt by Konami to create an origin story for CV.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on February 02, 2013, 01:37:53 pm
I've tested today the 2.2.2 patch on a MMC1 SKROM Cart.

The game plays fine, but the SRAM feature don't work, it gives me a black screen when I press "Load Game" in the menu.

When I try to save, the game freezes very often.

I also noticed that the backup slots are marked "damaged" instead of "void".

Any idea of the problem ?
Someone tested it on real hardware ?

Edit : Just tested with MMC3 TKROM cart, same problem.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 04, 2013, 06:29:42 am
The text "damaged" is given when the SRAM contents in that slot (256 bytes each) are neither valid data nor blank (fully 00000000b or fully 11111111b).
There is currently no way to blank a slot, but if you save over a damaged slot, the damaged data will be replaced with valid data.

Unfortunately I have no way of testing the game on a real cartridge currently -- batterybacked / SRAM-equipped or not.
I have also done my best to ensure that no matter what kind of garbage there is in the SRAM, the game won't crash trying to read it. It is theoretically possible that it still does (if there is an oversight in the code), but I have not been able to produce such a situation.

EDIT: I managed to reproduce a predictable crash situation. There was a vulnerability in which the range checker allowed writing into random memory locations, including the stack.
There was also another error related to the dialog_ext bug that was fixed in version 2.2.1.
I have released version 2.2.3 addressing these two problems.
Note that this release does not fix any random crashes. It only fixes predictable crashes.

Thank you for reporting the problems!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on February 04, 2013, 08:02:38 am
Thank you! I will test this new version as soon as possible.

I will refer here the result.

February 04, 2013, 05:32:53 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I tested version 2.2.3 on a MMC1 cart.
Unfortunately, the game often crashes when I try to save the game, and also when I select "load game".

I replaced damaged data with valid data, but no improvement.
However, the game plays perfectly.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 05, 2013, 03:56:42 pm
If the crash cannot be reproduced in Nintendulator or FCEUX, I don't know how to fix the problem.
(I would add Nestopia, but Nestopia doesn't have a disassembler/tracer.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 05, 2013, 07:12:50 pm
hopefully my new eproms will arrive soon so I can test on a mmc3 saver cart... I only have SLROM mmc1 carts with no sram ...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 06, 2013, 05:07:47 pm
I have confirmed two predictable crashes: One on PAL map screen, and one on SRAM screen given garbage SRAM data (found in randomized tests).
I have released version 2.2.4, and later 2.2.4.1, addressing these problems.

All sprite-0-hit wait loops (those are found on the credits screen, on SRAM screen and on the map screen) are now equipped with a timeout counter to ensure that the game won't crash even if a sprite-0 hit is missed for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on February 06, 2013, 06:11:22 pm
A report on the new 2.2.4 version: it works!  :thumbsup:

No crashes or freezes on SRAM screen, on my MMC1 SKROM cart.
Once again, congratulations to all this work. This is really impressive !
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 07, 2013, 09:31:03 am
That's nice to hear!

By the way, in case someone is interested, here is the save data format:

Code: [Select]
; First: sixteen 4-bit bytes raw password (for compatibility with matrixz's SRAM hack).
;   Followed by checksum (16-bit)
;      If 0, record ends here. (For compatibility, again.)
;   Followed by records:
;      header (16-bit), and data (1-n bytes)
;      header is: nnnnnaaa aaaaaaaa
;        n = number of bytes-1 (0-31, coding for 1-32 bytes)
;        a = RAM address ($000-$7FF. Further restrictions to acceptable addresses apply; for example you can't write into stack.)
;      header word $0000 = end of records. (There's no way to write 1 byte at $00.)
;   For up to 192 bytes. (Current size, as of version 2.2.9: 105 bytes). Aligned into 256 bytes.
;   Blank slot = begins with 16 bytes of $00 or 16 bytes of $FF.
The checksum is formed from data bytes and headers using a mixture of CRC-16 and simple checksumming. If the calculation yields 16-bit zero, 1 is subtracted from it.
The raw password includes its own integrity check.

This design is chosen with forward-compatibility in mind. If there arises a need / desire to save new bits of game state, any patch version can still load such saves.

Save slot #x (begins from 0) occupies the SRAM address $xx00-$xxBF. The bytes $xxC0-$xxFF are reserved for future expansion for other purposes (such as achievements).
The SRAM size detection also permits putting the game on a homebrew cartridge that only has 2 kilobytes of SRAM instead of the full 8. If you have 2 kB of SRAM, you have 8 slots. If you have 4 kB of SRAM, you have 16 slots. If you have 8 kB of SRAM, you have 32 slots. If you have patch version < 2.2.5, you have 7 slots.
You can use this knowledge to avoid writing into areas of SRAM that you want to protect, e.g. if you they contain data from other games.

Bytes in SRAM addresses $07E0-$07E2 are used in a read-write test for verifying whether SRAM exists in the first place, and whether it can be reliably accessed. If the game detects that SRAM is faulty, all SRAM entry routes will produce the buzzer sound effect and not enter the SRAM screen. In addition, $07F0-$07F2, $17E0-$17E2 and $1FE0-$1FE2 are used for SRAM size detection. The game strives to restore these bytes to their original values after the test.
You can use the cheat code 67E0:01 to simulate a cartridge that has no SRAM.

There is still a certain shortcoming: Valid SRAM slots are identified by extracting data from them, and bailing out on the first sign of error. Sometimes, the first sign of error is that the checksum fails, and by that moment, all kinds of RAM addresses have already been clobbered. In random tests I found a SRAM configuration that (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/savebomb.zip), when exists, and you enter the SRAM screen while in town Jova, when you exit the screen, you are suddenly in battle with Dracula -- in middle of town of Jova -- without having loaded a save.
The obvious way to inhibit this would be to first verify the SRAM checksum and then extract data, but that would be slower and laggier. I will have to see what to do about that.
EDIT: In that thought, I released version 2.2.5 which should fix the less-than hypothetical problem I explained above, in addition to a few other problems. It also does another minor but obvious SRAM-related change related to the above explanation.

EDIT: The http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/ page now automatically switches language of the page when you switch the language of the patch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on February 08, 2013, 02:11:42 pm
I noticed that saving in Belasco Marsh makes a damaged save. Is it normal ?

In addition, I discovered a strange thing : if I open the map in Belasco Marsh and stay in without activity, the game freezes after one minute, like this :

(http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/668364IMG0898.jpg) (http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=668364IMG0898.jpg)

This phenomenon does not occur if I do the same thing in Town Of Jova, for example.
This is on real cart (MMC1), and unfortunately, I have not been able to reproduce this bug on emulator.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 08, 2013, 04:33:39 pm
I noticed that saving in Belasco Marsh makes a damaged save. Is it normal ?

It is not. I have confirmed your report on FCEUX. I will investigate it. Thank you for the report.
EDIT: I discovered the cause. Your save is fine. But there is an error in the validity checker.


Quote
if I open the map <...> the game freezes after one minute

I have received other reports like this, as well. These reports were the cause for releases 2.2.4 and 2.2.4.1.
I have no idea why it happens. The map screen should be robust against NMI re-entrancy. In addition, it should be robust against uninvited PRG ROM page switches caused by NMI re-entrancy. In addition, the game uses sprite-0-hit there; it should now also be robust against failing to meet a sprite-0-hit for whatever unknown reason.
But I am investigating it.
EDIT: It seems to happen when an NMI occurs during mapper reprogramming. Which is a problem I have already invested number of hours trying to mitigate. CURSED BE MMC1 and its non-atomic reprogramming.
EDIT: Discovered the root cause. At some point, I had accidentally changed the part that resets MMC1 to be activated only on NROM (i.e. never), mistaking MMC1 mapper number which is 1, for 0. I have released version 2.2.6 addressing all the aforementioned problems.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: kwik on February 09, 2013, 02:40:57 am
I confirm that everything is fine in 2.2.6 version, on MMC1 cart.
That's great !
I think I will do my definitive cart with that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 09, 2013, 04:32:26 pm
I confirm that everything is fine in 2.2.6 version, on MMC1 cart.
That is very nice to hear!

Still, I just added a release version 2.2.7 for two reasons:
― If one chooses a patch without SRAM support, and the cartridge does contain SRAM, selecting SAVE/LOAD on a menu crashed the game. That is no longer the case. This change does not affect you, unless you used the without-SRAM-support patch.
― The version number string on the title screen was one pixel too wide in English NTSC version, causing it to wrap and look bad. The version number 2.2.7 is one pixel narrower due to kerning, and thus does not suffer from that problem. This change does not affect you unless you used the NTSC version of the English retranslation.

Yes, this was a meta reason for a version bump!

EDIT: I just received a report that there are still some crashes on PAL, MMC1 and MMC3 map screens. I'll take a break from this. Sorry.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 10, 2013, 11:34:10 am
[...]

EDIT: I just received a report that there are still some crashes on PAL, MMC1 and MMC3 map screens. I'll take a break from this. Sorry.

does this affect only PAL mmc1/mmc3 versions or NTSC as well?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on February 10, 2013, 11:38:49 am
A simple list of compatible MMCs would do the job too. People could simply avoid incompatible ones ;)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 10, 2013, 11:52:49 am
does this affect only PAL mmc1/mmc3 versions or NTSC as well?
The report was about PAL. Nobody has reported to me of crashes with the latest NTSC versions.

EDIT: Version 2.2.8 released. No crash detected in my own tests either on PAL or NTSC, on MMC1 or MMC3, in any of the scenes nearby town of Jova at the start of the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 11, 2013, 03:35:31 pm
awesome job Bisqwit !!! thanks!  :thumbsup: :beer:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 15, 2013, 02:18:07 am
I found two save related shortcomings:
- Save does not include cleared evil walls. Therefore, if you make a save inside some rooms guarded by disposable blocks in the floor (such as the garlic vendor in Aljiba), when loading the save, you will be permanently trapped in the room.
- Upon loading a save made in a house, the screen refuses to scroll up where it should. This can also lead you into being trapped in the bottom of room. Scrolling down works and clears the problem, but it is no help, if the screen is already at the bottom.

EDIT: Version 2.2.9 released! Addressing these two problems. It also includes a minor dialog improvement for the hermit.
This brings the save size up from the previously mentioned 83 bytes into 105 bytes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on February 15, 2013, 08:19:53 am
Have you expand the ROM at all?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 15, 2013, 12:22:02 pm
Have you expand the ROM at all?

No. Except in the VRAM version (for UOROM boards), where I had to double the PRG-ROM size, because I could not fit all the CHR-data in the unused PRG regions, along with the added features, despite compression. (It wasn't short by much, meaning almost half of the expanded PRG-ROM is completely blank.)

EDIT: Released version 2.2.9.1. Fixes the hitpoint display bug on SRAM screen that occurs when hitpoints remaining=1.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 16, 2013, 07:10:37 am
Bisqwit , what is your opinion on using Madara ( http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=1784 ) as a donor for your hack? Should be the best donor as far as I understand, right?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 16, 2013, 09:58:15 am
Bisqwit , what is your opinion on using Madara ( http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=1784 ) as a donor for your hack? Should be the best donor as far as I understand, right?
Aside from the sentimental points, yeah, it should be the most robust choice, along with MMC4, because those chipsets have atomic mapper reprogramming (no separate command & data writes, or multiple writes per one data item, that can be interrupted by an NMI).
I now added support for both variants of VRC6. Akumajou Densetsu = VRC6a, Madara & Esper Dreams = VRC6b. They have slightly different wiring.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the odd thing that in half of the game's scenes (such as mansions, cemeteries, and wastelands), the italic colon character, :, that shows up only on the status screen, appears with a shadow, and in the other half (such as towns, forests, and caves), it does not? This inconsistency did not exist in the original Japanese FDS version, but was present in both NAR and PAL cartridge releases of the game. I kept it in this patch. Should I change it?
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2j-orig-ccem.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-orig-ccem.png)
The original Japanese version also does not have the little glitch that allows a skillful player to cross the Carmilla Cemetary three-block obstacle the wrong way, or to make a shortcut in the stairs when returning from under a lake. It exists only in the cartridge versions (both NAR and PAL) for some reason.
All versions, however, do have the falling through floors glitch.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/3blockjump.gif) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/fallglitch.gif)
P.S. It's the first time that I notice that the water is different in towns and in wilderness.
P.P.S. These animations are not from an experimental multiplayer hack. It is simply an animation that was looped into itself (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/source/animmerger.html).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 16, 2013, 11:56:21 am
Aside from the sentimental points, yeah, it should be the most robust choice, along with MMC4, because those chipsets have atomic mapper reprogramming (no separate command & data writes, or multiple writes per one data item, that can be interrupted by an NMI).
I now added support for both variants of VRC6. Akumajou Densetsu = VRC6a, Madara & Esper Dreams = VRC6b. They have slightly different wiring.

awesome!  :woot!: :woot!: :thumbsup: thanks!!!
but slightly different wiring? I was to use the Akumajou Densetsu wiring tbh... got any link handy with the wiring Bisqwit ? can't seem to find "good" info on this...

As for the other stuff you mention, never noticed them or even knew of these glitches  ::) :laugh:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 16, 2013, 11:59:36 am
but slightly different wiring? I was to use the Akumajou Densetsu wiring tbh... got any link handy with the wiring Bisqwit ? can't seem to find "good" info on this...
It is internal into the board. The A0 and A1 lines coming into the VRC6 chip are swapped in Madara & Esper Dreams. Nothing you can do about or really even need to worry about. Or then I misunderstand, in which case I am sorry. In any case, it is documented e.g. at NESDev Wiki (http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/VRC6).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on February 19, 2013, 06:15:12 am
NO ! DO NOT DO THAT !
All 3 VRC6 games are rare you should not destroy them under any circumstances ! Seriously. Especially to put Simon's Quest on it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on February 19, 2013, 07:29:10 am
NO ! DO NOT DO THAT !
All 3 VRC6 games are rare you should not destroy them under any circumstances ! Seriously. Especially to put Simon's Quest on it.

madara is rare?  :huh:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on February 19, 2013, 07:46:14 am
By rare I mean, if you go to your local garage sales and have no chances to see the game then it's rare enough so that it should not be destroyed.

In my opinion only games which are really bad or which are really common should be destroyed. For anything else, use a power pak.
Since this hack apparently supports so many mappers there is probably a million of options to get it to run without destroying a rare game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 19, 2013, 08:37:50 am
By rare I mean, if you go to your local garage sales and have no chances to see the game then it's rare enough so that it should not be destroyed.

I would think that chances of authentic Famicom cartridges to pop up in European garage sales are neglible in general.

EDIT: Released version 2.3.0. I added an extra NPC in the game in a fairly insignificant location. This should be the final release, unless a need for additional bugfixes arises, or I get a sudden inspiration for adding the achievements support.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on February 21, 2013, 12:36:37 pm
Fantastic hack Bisqwit.
There is something that has always bugged me about Castlevania 2 that maybe you would be interested in changing.
On the inventory screen it has 4 digits for hearts, but you can only hold 256.
Maybe change it so that you can hold more than 256 or else make it have only 3 digits.
(http://i.imgur.com/A5r4c7z.gif)
I think it looks better this way, how about you?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on February 21, 2013, 12:49:57 pm
No. Except in the VRAM version (for UOROM boards), where I had to double the PRG-ROM size, because I could not fit all the CHR-data in the unused PRG regions, along with the added features, despite compression. (It wasn't short by much, meaning almost half of the expanded PRG-ROM is completely blank.)

What about space for new graphics and meta-tiles? The original seems lacking in space for these.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 21, 2013, 01:10:43 pm
There is something that has always bugged me about Castlevania 2 that maybe you would be interested in changing.
On the inventory screen it has 4 digits for hearts, but you can only hold 256.
Maybe change it so that you can hold more than 256 or else make it have only 3 digits.
(http://i.imgur.com/A5r4c7z.gif)
I think it looks better this way, how about you?

I agree that the 256 hearts limit is stupid, and there is really no in-game reason for the limit, considering that the number is stored in BCD, and never converted into binary. It would be trivial to increase the limit to an arbitrary new value (though if the lower two digits of the limit are ≥ 94, the code must be relocated). Does someone have a suggestion and rationale for a new limit?

However, for rendering the hearts count in 3 decimals rather than 4...  The game actually contains code only for rendering two digits at once, and not for rendering one digit. Four digits are rendered in sets of two two digits. That is why the herbs are also rendered in two digits each, even though the maximum for both is 8. Not an insurpassable problem, but also not something worth expending effort over.

February 21, 2013, 01:23:32 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
What about space for new graphics and meta-tiles? The original seems lacking in space for these.

I'm not sure whether the game actually uses meta-tiles or not.

If one actually utilized a particular mapper efficiently, you could get a much higher mileage out of the VROM space.
- MMC1 (the game originally): Can swap 4 kB VROM pages. (Whole pages of 256 tiles must be swapped at once)
- VRC6: Can swap 1 kB VROM pages. (64 tiles can be swapped at once)
- MMC3: Can swap 2 kB VROM pages for background graphics and 1 kB VROM pages for actors.
- MMC4: As in MMC1
- MMC5: As in MMC1, but also can do as in VRC6.
- VRAM: Arbitrary.
Because of the 4 kB VROM granularity of MMC1, many of the VROM pages in Castlevania II are mostly similar with only small changes, repeating the same data over and over again, wasting space.

I am not willing to sacrifice the multi-mapper support though.

But as for new graphics, even after the cursive font support that I added, the game still has a few unused VROM pages that technically could be used for new graphics. E.g. you could have three different tilesets for different mansions instead of having them all use the same tileset. But I'm not enough a graphics artist to do something like that, and such graphics changes are beyond the scope of this project in any case.

One thing that I could consider, though, is to add an escape button to the password entry screen. It has been in the designs (thanks to Bob Forgan) for quite some time, but I have not gotten around to doing it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on February 21, 2013, 03:02:52 pm
Why not just increase the limit to 999 like what is common in many games. It'll probably break balance a little bit but I figure many people won't care about that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on February 23, 2013, 05:00:29 pm
One thing that I could consider, though, is to add an escape button to the password entry screen. It has been in the designs (thanks to Bob Forgan) for quite some time, but I have not gotten around to doing it.

OMG! YES! PLEASE DO!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on February 24, 2013, 06:29:14 pm
You can now possess version 2.3.1.

Changes:
-- The limit of carried hearts is now increased from 256. Find out what's the new limit!
-- The cursor on the password entry screen is now a lot more responsive. It no longer limits the input to once per every 8 frames.
-- The password entry screen can now be exited.
-- You also now get to fix your typo in a password a bit faster after the error nag.

Making it possible to exit the password entry screen involved surprisingly much work. In fact, it took me over 8 hours to write. To make it happen, I had to rewrite the PPU whole-screen graphics transfer mechanism, and the associated compression method, in order to fit another screenful of data in PRG-ROM bank 4. And I had to split the decompressor (123 bytes without split) in two pieces (89 and 42 bytes), because the largest contiguous free block in the common ROM bank was not large enough, even with my dynamic linker that is a standard part of the translation tool suite. There's just a lot of code that wants to be in the common ROM bank, and I have to always consider the most crowded option (which happens to be VRAM + NTSC + MMC3 + all toys and trinkets). And NTSC and PAL have different ROM addresses, but some of the modules still must be placed in the same address in both versions, because either they are allergic to page-crossings, or I'm stingy with adding new files... It gets complicated.

In comparison, making the password screen cursor slicker to handle took about 10 minutes.

The PPU whole-screen graphics transfer mechanism is used in the ending, in screen blanks, in the title screen, and in the password screens, so report to me if you notice any new oddities in any of these. In addition, the decompressor is and has been used in all the additional screens that I have added (credits, map, SRAM-save).

Hit the "END" label to exit the password screen. It brings up a menu from which you can select whether you want to continue trying to input a password, or if you want to exit to the main menu. I'm not much a graphics artist, so I did what I could: Some bricks and some snakes, again.

The compression format, basically RLE with tweaks, is documented below:
Code: [Select]
        ; LIT: Input byte c = 0..3F:
        ;        Put next c+0x01 bytes verbatim, except BACKWARDS
        ; END: Input byte c = 40:
        ;        End stream
        ; SEQ: Input byte c = 41..7F:
        ;        Read byte b, put byte b
        ;        Put next c-0x40 bytes increasing b by 1 before every write
        ; DBL: Input byte c = 80..9F:
        ;        Read byte b1
        ;        Read byte b2
        ;        Put b1, (c-0x7D) times; swap b2 and b1 after each iteration
        ; RUN: Input byte c = A0..FF:
        ;        Read byte b
        ;        Put b, (0x101-c) times
The target memory address is hardcoded as $2000. (Map etc. use other addresses as well.)
In versions 1.3.8 through 2.3.0, the compression format was similar, but with RUN indicated by 80..FF and DBL not being implemented. This decompressor (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/nes-ppu_rleinc.inc) weighed 92 bytes. These versions used this decompressor only for the new screens that I added, and the game's original method was used for the other screens I listed earlier.

What the game originally had was:
Code: [Select]
# Direct PPU data format (Konami's format):
#  First, 2 bytes PPU memory offset (little-endian)
#   $00-$7E = RLE: byte to be sent N times will follow. $00 is interpreted as $100.
#   $7F     = goto beginning (2 bytes PPU offset will follow)
#   $80-$FE = put next N bytes verbatim, where N = (this byte - $80).
#   $FF     = end of data
(For 106 bytes of code.)

EDIT: Just for fun, I tried out and compared a few compression methods using the actual data from this translation project.
The methods listed in the bottom of this table are from Bregalad's CompressionTools (http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/882/) version 1.1. The others are Konami's format (original compressor and my compressor), and the version numbers stand for the compressors in specified Retranslation versions.
Code: [Select]
FILE#:          0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       9       10      11      13      14      15
FILE:           blank   title   ending  passwd  passwd2 menu    crPalFI crNtaFI crNtaEN srPalFI srNtaFI srNtaEN mapPAL  mapNTA  TOTAL:
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------
Uncompressed:   2048    2048    1024    2048    1024    1016    32      1024    1024    32      2048    2048    32      2048    17496
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------
Konami:         40      -       532     -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -
Konami+improve: 17      799     532     1524    706     546     -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -       -
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------
2.3.0:          65      700     472     1491    613     486     34      618     627     33      880     879     34      533     7465
2.3.0+fix:      33      679     467     1487    613     484     34      616     625     33      880     879     34      525     7389
2.3.1:          45      377     467     1168    532     311     21      616     625     33      870     869     34      525     6493
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------
RLE:            32      802     531     1524    705     545     33      635     644     32      920     919     33      1266    8621
BitpackRLE:     16      -       -       -       -       -       32      -       -       27      -       -       32      -       -   
EscapeRLE:      24      ERROR   547     1530    709     549     32      640     649     32      922     921     32      1266    -
BytePair:       1026    -       685     1275    662     632     23      681     690     31      1247    1247    31      1585    -
RecBytePair:    22      -       469     865     386     344     21      464     484     31      682     682     31      1294    -
TinyHuff:       520     949     610     1409    536     567     23      621     630     27      1155    1155    29      1476    9707 
TinyHuffFixed:  514     985     612     1449    575     577     18      682     691     24      1293    1292    26      1486    10224
Huffman:        -       1070    799     1450    717     734     67      721     731     53      1185    1184    56      1686    -
ROM_LZ77:       128     772     690     1148    542     619     32      648     669     34      1040    1036    34      923     8315 
ROM_7bit_LZ77   68      -       -       -       -       -       28      -       -       32      -       -       32      -       -   
RAM_LZ77:       34      554     557     728     410     395     26      555     572     34      704     703     34      808     6114
StaticDic:      145     -       524     943     500     428     24      550     565     32      799     799     32      1191    -
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------
Deflate:        16      435     418     468     324     259     20      384     397     32      492     491     703     435     4523
--------------- --------------------------------------------    ----------------------- ----------------------- --------------  ------

(crPalFI & crNtaFI = credits palette & nametables for Finnish. Similarly sr stands for SRAM-save engine.)

Deflate is provided for curiosity only. Like RAM_LZ77, it is way too complex to be implemented on NES.

As such, it appears that my compressor is not too bad general-purpose compressor. From the CompressTools selection, there were quite a few codecs that failed to apply to one or more files, and as such they cannot be said to be general-purpose. And EscapeRLE got a "verify error" for file 1.
If you wish to perform independent tests, you can download the files I used for testing here (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/compressor_tests.zip).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on February 25, 2013, 11:20:18 am
One thing that I could consider, though, is to add an escape button to the password entry screen. It has been in the designs (thanks to Bob Forgan) for quite some time, but I have not gotten around to doing it.

:D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheWhipperSnapper on February 28, 2013, 06:59:38 pm
I would like to offer help in your project but I need to learn how to use debuggers and hex editors semi efficiently and hopefully learn how to do dissassembly and programming. I am glad to see that there are people working on Simon's Quest. Just to show you that I am not blowing smoke I will post some images on rough hacks I am working on currently. Unfortunately I am using a library computer so my ability to post replies is limited. I will check up regularly on this site via my android.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 01, 2013, 01:39:57 pm
Here's an idea. How about adding a level up message when the level goes up? Apparently there's unused text for it but it's never triggered in game:

http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/game-castlevaniasq.htm
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 01, 2013, 03:16:25 pm
Here's an idea. How about adding a level up message when the level goes up? Apparently there's unused text for it but it's never triggered in game: http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/game-castlevaniasq.htm

They indeed planned the messages for up to level 7 (level 6 is the maximum possible in the game), but in my opinion they made the right choice in not actually implementing the dialog box. Especially if the same dialogbox engine is used as for everything else. You don't want more letter-by-letter delays in the middle of your gameplay, given that the HP refilling also incurs a pixel by pixel delay.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 01, 2013, 03:53:08 pm
The later games have Level up simply appear on screen if you don't wanna bring up a whole dialogue box.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 02, 2013, 12:26:48 am
The later games have Level up simply appear on screen if you don't wanna bring up a whole dialogue box.
Unfortunately that is not possible on NES, due to its lack of layers.
The text could be implemented with sprites instead, but there's no room in the tilemaps for ~16 new 8x8 tiles (eight 8x16 sprites) in every possible scene that monsters can appear in.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheWhipperSnapper on March 02, 2013, 10:55:56 am
Is there a way to change the scrolling so that when you go up/down the stairs you can actually go into another screen. I had a code like that somewhere but I lost it and it was too gltichy. Also is there a way to fix the knock back gravity and jump descent? As promised my proof of work

 (http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab332/DaReppResents/th_14.png?t=1362238992)
(http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab332/DaReppResents/th_6.png?t=1362238949)
(http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab332/DaReppResents/th_9.png?t=1362238979)
(http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab332/DaReppResents/th_5.png?t=1362238945)
(http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab332/DaReppResents/th_2.png?t=1362238935)

I have a pic of the castle alter but I am only gonna submit that upon request (spoilers).
The hacks are slight modifications of redacted and moody I think. I basically did a lot of editing the platforms and enemy placement to make it more challenging but it's still not where I wish it was at. Also a FCUEX win was used as well as CursEd. My wish is to incorporate some of the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde graphics as they are in the wrong game. Other than that I want to learn more about making codes that have no glitches or bugs and make a superb hack.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 02, 2013, 11:42:07 am
Is there a way to change the scrolling so that when you go up/down the stairs you can actually go into another screen.

You mean for romhack purposes, to make it possible for some stairs to work like they do in Castlevania 1, such as in its first scene where you encounter the mermen?
Sure, but it would involve quite a bit of research. Most significantly, Simon's Quest can only do scene transitions at the left & right edges of the screen. And at doors. This is probably also codified into the level data format.
There is no need for this research in the Retranslation patch, so you should not expect it from me.


Quote
Also is there a way to fix the knock back gravity and jump descent?

What do you mean by "fix"? These things are characteristic to how physics works in Simon's Quest. It was somewhat changed from Castlevania 1, i.e. now when you fall off an edge, you don't immediately plummet at terminal velocity, but accelerate the same way as when you jump. As far as I know, the knock-back also obeys the same gravity rules. It is therefore consistent in all situations.


Quote
I basically did a lot of editing the platforms and enemy placement

Heh. I still haven't figured out the platform/levelmap data. I only recently understood the enemy/object tables.


Now technically, your post was in a wrong thread. None of what you wrote concerned my retranslation patch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheWhipperSnapper on March 02, 2013, 01:35:02 pm
Yeah, sorry  post  to the wrong thread. I played your translation and I was impressed with
the work you did on the map. Considering what you've done, it should be possible to hack the game extensively. In any case how can I help?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on March 02, 2013, 01:42:55 pm
Unless you know 6502 real well I don't think you'll be of any use to Bisquit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: granz on March 03, 2013, 01:15:44 pm
Wow. This hack has certainly grown quite a bit. I especially like the new SRAM feature. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 03, 2013, 04:52:50 pm
Thanks.
I just released version 2.3.2. This one has just a few minor stylistic fixes.
For instance I reintroduced the "YOUR" font hack (from the original NAR release) for the NTSC password screen. It no longer looks ugly. I also removed the irregular shadowing from the status screen colon character that I pondered aloud here a few posts earlier, and fixed a bug in the password input slickness from the previous release.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 03, 2013, 05:45:05 pm
You should work the max heart increase into a patch soon.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 03, 2013, 08:43:27 pm
You should work the max heart increase into a patch soon.
It was already in 2.3.1.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: PhyChris on March 04, 2013, 12:28:57 am
I just had to post to say thank you on this excellent work on my favorite Castlevania game! keep it up,
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 06, 2013, 11:33:59 pm
Been waiting 20+ years to play through this, and your patch was enough to get it out of my backlog.  The map and improved translations were a big help in figuring this game out.  Are you still making additions and updates to the patch?  I found a few spelling and grammar errors if you are still making changes.  Like in the 12 day ending I got, it says COES where I believe it should say COMES.  Also in English using "gift" as a verb is awkward and uncommon.  Some minor things like that.

The kneeling on the cliff with the red crystal was something I never would have figured out, but it got spoiled for me a few years ago and I remembered it when I hit the dead end.  Maybe change the relevant clue to "Kneeling in prayer at Debra's Cliff with the red crystall will blah blah blah" if you want a little more clarity.  And maybe a "If you show the ferryman pieces of Dracula, he will help you on your quest."  Some of the stuff is really obscure, I probably could have done the trial-and-error thing when I was 10, but gaming has come a long way since then!

Thanks for the great patch, really enjoyed playing through this, and I've completed almost every home console Castlevania release now as a result.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 02:16:03 am
I have slated the fix for "COES" for the next release. Thank you for that. If you have more -- typos or odd wordings -- I would appreciate receiving more error reports.

Using the word "gift"as a verb may be rare, but it is found in Merriam-Webster dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gift), so I used it. Other users of this verb include the popular website Reddit (http://reddit.com/), which says e.g. "A redditor has gifted reddit gold to xx for this comment".

The Japanese version of this game has a lot of odd language, and the English version could in fact use a lot more. But I am not good at ye olde english (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe), so in using arhaic expressions I went by a relatively tempered or conservative route.

Maybe change the relevant clue to "Kneeling in prayer at Debra's Cliff with the red crystall will blah blah blah" if you want a little more clarity.
The current version of string 36 (clue 10 @ Brahm's mansion) is "Press a ruby against the Deborah cliff, kneel, and wait for a whirlwind.", which is both an accurate translation of the original text and very clear explanation of what you are expected to do.
(The original game does use the term "red crystal" rather than "ruby", but I added the gemstone meanings to make the traders' lines a bit more interesting, and used them consistently.)

Quote
And maybe a "If you show the ferryman pieces of Dracula, he will help you on your quest."  Some of the stuff is really obscure, I probably could have done the trial-and-error thing when I was 10, but gaming has come a long way since then!
The ferryman thing admittedly has a touch of Nintendo-hardness (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NintendoHard) to it, but all the pieces to the puzzle are there (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff).  I can see what the original authors of the game were thinking, and I do not see a reason to compromise my translations here. I did add him a special response if you happen to act upon the townsman's tip in Jova.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 07, 2013, 04:17:07 am
1. I'll play through again getting the good ending and see if I find anything.  I'll take some notes this time as I go.

2. Any time I've heard it used it would be like "gift TO you" or "gifted to him/her" when used as a verb, instead of "gift you" if that makes sense.  The "gift" thing kind of came across as engrish to me, but its not terribly out of place or anything among the verbose Olde English that is thrown around.  "To you, I gift this silk bag" would fit how it is used when I've heard it, but I'm no expert on Ye Olde English to be sure.

3. Also, I wasn't clear about the whirlwind in my post.  YOUR translation of the red ruby clue would certainly have showed me what to do.  But the original would not have.  Sorry about that, yours is a welcome and very clear clue.  My actual thought was maybe to add a little flavor to make it fit the setting a little more.  Not for clarity on what to do, your clue covers that, but an explanation of why it happens.  Probably too much to ask from a single dialogue box anyway.

4. I think my confusion about the heart thing is that you have to use it from the correct side, and there isn't an indication that he's taking you some place because its the heart.  Probably minor nitpicks, your changes make the game a LOT more playable than the original English translation.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 10:45:59 am
I have just released version 2.3.3. This fixes the ending text typo reported by Rhetorical and adds a few lines of extra dialog to the ferryman, displayed in different situations. The italic capital "Y" character was also tweaked a little (but nothing will break even if you don't update your VROM).

In order to preserve the faithfulness of the translation, the "main" dialog given by a character in normal gameplay is never* changed from the spirit and meaning of the original Japanese text. All my extensions touch the characters' dialog in unexpected situations, such as when you talk to them multiple times, or you are carrying a certain item, or when the in-game clock matches certain conditions. There are currently eighteen of these added dialog items.
*) More often true than not.

EDIT: In the English retranslation, I have not changed the prologue text (on title screen part 2) in any way. Does someone have an idea of how, if any, it should be changed? The text is in fact exactly the same as in the original Japanese version. The NAR localizers did not change it, and it's a bit Engrishy in my opinion -- but I don't have an inspiration on how exactly to change it.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/comparative_screenshots/title_pal.png)
Above: Original PAL version. Below: Original FDS version.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/comparative_screenshots/title_ja.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 07, 2013, 02:43:34 pm
Can you perhaps, have the dialogue box have a different color border for new text? It'd be nice to know what is retranslation and what is text inserted by the hack author.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on March 07, 2013, 02:45:33 pm
I say keep it original
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 03:08:22 pm
Can you perhaps, have the dialogue box have a different color border for new text? It'd be nice to know what is retranslation and what is text inserted by the hack author.

I think such an artificial distinction would be detracting from the gameplay.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on March 07, 2013, 03:20:30 pm
I am the only one who think the game is now hacked so much it does not seems much like Castlevania II any longer ? I don't know whether this is good or bad though.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on March 07, 2013, 04:22:28 pm
I am the only one who think the game is now hacked so much it does not seems much like Castlevania II any longer ? I don't know whether this is good or bad though.

there is always the original game if this seems odd ;)

@Bisqwit:

regarding title screen, maybe this?

"You've arrived back at Transylvania with one purpose: to destroy forever the curse of the evil Count Dracula. "

I can't think something atm for the 1st sentence...

I'm glad I waited and did not build the cart yet, I have all the parts but the updates keep coming  ;D

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on March 07, 2013, 04:41:09 pm
First sentence kombined with kerobi's idea (switched some words around, though):
"Stepping into the shadows of the House of Hell, you've arrived back at Transylvania with only one purpose:
To destroy the curse of the evil Count Dracula once and forever."
(edit: not sure about the "once and" because you have already tried it one time, any thoughts of that? I think it sounds nice and athmospheric)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 07, 2013, 04:57:04 pm
He is starting to stray really far from a retranslation now. Most of the changes make the game better. But adding extra dialogue that isn't part of the original game? "Retranslating" already in english text?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 05:18:05 pm
He is starting to stray really far from a retranslation now. Most of the changes make the game better. But adding extra dialogue that isn't part of the original game? "Retranslating" already in english text?
Or adding game features that did not exist originally?

The idea with "'retranslating' text that already was in English" is to improve the localization of the game. Localization and translation are related topics that go hand-in-hand. In this case, it would be about making the game sit easier in the reader's mind.

However, as far as localization goes, there is no right way to do it. There are always different opinions.

For the subject of extra dialogue, the point is in localizing the game for the target platform, by breaking free from the constraints imposed by the FDS platform that were unnecessarily translated into the cartridge platform, carrying forward with the spirit of the original design, and the goal is in increasing the fluency of the game, by making the different actors more aware of what is happening in the game.  Chances are, if I did not specifically advertise this fact, you wouldn't have even noticed. (Which makes the question of "does not seems much like Castlevania II any longer" moot.)

Personally, I'm kind of torn on whether it was the right call to increase the hearts limit. I did it based on feedback, as was also the case for the SRAM engine.

Again, your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on March 07, 2013, 05:27:21 pm
The SRAM engine is awesome, don't have second thoughts on that!  :)
Also I can't understand why the complains: this is a "personal project" that evolved from a simple translation to making the game better. Even on the 1st version the game featured a map that was nowhere to be found in the game.
There is always the original game for those that don't like all the fancy stuff , not to mention the awesome patch vending system that allows you to enable/disable certain features...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 07, 2013, 06:01:03 pm
Well, if you won't add something to differenciate normal dialogue from added dialogue, at least add something to the vending system so we can choose to not use the extra dialogue.

Edit: I think you do actually after checking the page. But since it's in finnish it's not easy to tell without using google translate on the page.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 06:10:37 pm
Well, if you won't add something to differenciate normal dialogue from added dialogue, at least add something to the vending system so we can choose to not use the extra dialogue.

It is already there, and has been there for about 13 months.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/vendsnap1.png)

(Also, 2.3.4. released, changelog message shown in the above screenshot.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 07, 2013, 06:13:16 pm
If you're not sure about the heart max increasing, then you could  make that a option on the vending system too. I think that's a good change myself.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 07, 2013, 06:21:06 pm
Technically the maximum number of hearts is already a parameter to the patch vending machine. An integer parameter. There are a several dynamically configurable settings that the insertor supports, but which I have kept out and hidden from the form, in order to impose at least some limit to how many different patches there are potentially being distributed.

I may soon potentially also remove the "extra password features" section for this reason (and because the default option is entirely reasonable).

Edit: I think you do actually after checking the page. But since it's in finnish it's not easy to tell without using google translate on the page.

The page automatically switches language when you hit the "change page language" button located in the first paragraph of the page in a distinct bright color. It also switches language when you toggle the patch language by clicking "Retranslated English".
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 08, 2013, 12:00:21 am
I have just released version 2.3.3. This fixes the ending text typo reported by Rhetorical and adds a few lines of extra dialog to the ferryman, displayed in different situations. The italic capital "Y" character was also tweaked a little (but nothing will break even if you don't update your VROM).

Awesome, what a fast update!

If you're taking suggestions for the prologue, I'd prefer something like "Since Dracula's death a year ago, a strange curse has fallen over the land. Simon is growing weaker by the day, and he knows his only chance of survival is to quickly gather the five remaining relics of Dracula, and confront him in his manor once again!"

Ties into the goal of the game, and references the subtitle (Simon's Curse), both things that seem to be missing from in the game.  Also adds some urgency to the fact that you'll die if you don't do it fast enough.

I'd cut the "PROLOGUE" line if you need more space.

I am the only one who think the game is now hacked so much it does not seems much like Castlevania II any longer ? I don't know whether this is good or bad though.

Only if you consider broken clues and a bad translation to be part of the game.  You could possibly quibble over the heart capacity change, but everything else seems very true to the original developer's intent.  A translation project like this isn't an exact science.

He is starting to stray really far from a retranslation now. Most of the changes make the game better. But adding extra dialogue that isn't part of the original game? "Retranslating" already in english text?

Many times a direct translation doesn't directly translate anything.  Things like duck/soul didn't really transfer, and many things were poorly worded even in their original form.

Absolutely nothing wrong with fixing some bad text, bad translations, and bad Engrish!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 08, 2013, 12:24:55 am
I have an idea for the prologue. My reasoning is the same as the point of adding the map feature. It was to include something from the manual that was an essential part of the original experience. Why not include the original story too? The original prologue text is pretty much superfluous and adds nothing to the experience. It would be nice for the game to include SOMETHING about the mysterious chick that tells Simon to go on this quest to begin with. I think this would make the game more complete and is the best way to do it short of implementing a cut scene.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 08, 2013, 01:46:26 am
Additional question: Any chance we can get a fast text speed so it matches how fast the Japanese version is?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on March 08, 2013, 02:53:44 am
If you're taking suggestions for the prologue, I'd prefer something like "Since Dracula's death a year ago, a strange curse has fallen over the land. Simon is growing weaker by the day, and he knows his only chance of survival is to quickly gather the five remaining relics of Dracula, and confront him in his manor once again!"

Ties into the goal of the game, and references the subtitle (Simon's Curse), both things that seem to be missing from in the game.  Also adds some urgency to the fact that you'll die if you don't do it fast enough.

I'd cut the "PROLOGUE" line if you need more space.

I like the prologue Rhetorical wrote, but it should be cleaned up a little. Maybe change a word or two or something, but the message is defiantly a "to the point" message that sets the story and tells you whats going on before the game even begins, which is what it should have done in the first place.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 08, 2013, 06:44:35 am
Additional question: Any chance we can get a fast text speed so it matches how fast the Japanese version is?
The text speed is already matched to the Japanese version.
You can see a comparison here:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/comparative_screenshots/dialog_speed.gif)
and another here:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/comparative_screenshots/shop_speed.gif)
It is taken from Finnish version 0.9 or something like that, but this has not been changed since then.
The new Finnish and English dialog is a little longer text than the original, though, and thus still takes longer time. The original did not have a "You know the ferryman, at the dead river?" part, for instance. It just dived right into it, "The dead river ferryman loves garlic most, I've heard."


Why not include the original story too? The original prologue text is pretty much superfluous and adds nothing to the experience. It would be nice for the game to include SOMETHING about the mysterious chick that tells Simon to go on this quest to begin with. I think this would make the game more complete and is the best way to do it short of implementing a cut scene.

I like your idea.

If you're taking suggestions for the prologue, I'd prefer something like "Since Dracula's death a year ago, a strange curse has fallen over the land. Simon is growing weaker by the day, and he knows his only chance of survival is to quickly gather the five remaining relics of Dracula, and confront him in his manor once again!"

Ties into the goal of the game, and references the subtitle (Simon's Curse), both things that seem to be missing from in the game.  Also adds some urgency to the fact that you'll die if you don't do it fast enough.

And I like yours too.

I will have to check what the original manual says about the backstory. The USA manual seems to have some kind of an abridged version thereof.


March 08, 2013, 09:28:25 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Here is my translation of the Japanese prologue from the manual.

> ドラキュラⅡ プロローグ

Dracula II [Simon's Quest] -- Prologue

> "悪魔城ドラキュウラ"… あの衝撃のラストシーンから、7年の歳月が過ぎた。

"Akumajou Dracula [Castlevania]"... It has been 7 years since the last scene where the castle collapsed.

> そして、舞台は再びここ、トランシルバニアの方田舎へと戻ってきた……。

And once again, this stage has been set in the countryside of Transylvania...

> 英雄・シモン=ベルモンドは、ドラキュラを倒し、その肉体を100年の永い眠りにつけた。

When the hero, Simon Belmont, defeated Dracula, the body fell into a long 100-year sleep.

> だが、彼は自分自身の肉体を犠牲にして戦っていたのだ。

However, that battle happened at the cost of the sacrifice of his own body.

> ドラキュラとの死闘でうけた背中の傷が、日ましに彼の肉体をむしばみ、 そして彼は自分の死期が近づいているのを感じだ。

The wounds, that he contracted during the battle against Dracula, have been eating his body away little by little every day, and he has a feeling of impending death.

> あの時、シモンはベルモンド一族の眠る、天使の丘の墓の前にきた。 そして自分自身の生涯をふりかえっていた。

One day, Simon was dreaming about the family of Belmont, and he came in front of a grave of height of an angel.
[Or: He came to the front of his family grave in the Hill of Angels]

And he looked upon his entire life so far.

> その時、シモンは背中に気配を感じ、ふりむくと、
> 朝もやの中に、1人の女性が立っていた。
> 女性はシモンに話しかけてきた。

At that moment, he felt a presence behind his back, and he turned back to see,
and behold, there was a a woman standing, in the morning mist.
The woman approached and talked to Simon.


>「あなたの生命は、邪悪な呪いに左右されています。このままでは危険です。

“Your life is dominated by an evil curse. At this rate, you are in danger.

> しかし、もし今もあなたの心が、邪悪に対し、 生命を賭けて立ちむかう勇気を持っているなら、 神はあなたに力をさずけるでしょう。

However, if you can put your heart into it and face the evil again, and if you are willing to risk your life and you possess the courage, God will surely grant you the necessary strength.

> 邪悪の呪いの力が再び年月をおって蓄積され、 その力が頂点に達したとき、ドラキュラは再び復活するのです。

The power of the evil curse has once again accumulated for years and months, and if the power is allowed to accumulate beyond a certain point, Dracula will certainly revive again.

> 永久にその肉体を消滅させる方法は1つしかありません。

There is only one way that that body can ever be destroyed.

> ドラキュラの肉体は、粉砕されてから7年目の今日、復活をはじめます。

In the seven years that have transpired since the body of Dracula was pulverized, it has already began resurrecting itself.

> つまり、肉体の5つの部品が地上に姿を現すのです。

In other words, the 5 parts of the body are making an apperance above the ground.

> この肉体を、呪いの力が弱いうちに見つけだし、 牙城であるドラキュラ城で焼きはらい、封印してしまうのです。 この封印により、ドラキュラ伝説にも終止符が打たれることでしょう。

While the power of the curse is still weak, you must find these body parts,  bring them into Dracula's castle, and purify them by burning them, thereby sealing them. Through this seal, the legend of Dracula will be stricken with a definite ending.

> そして、あなたの背中の傷も、呪いから開放され癒えるでしょう。

And when the curse is lifted, your body will begin to heal, as well.

> この方法でしか、ドラキュラを永久に消滅させることはできません」

There is no other way to eliminate Dracula once and for all.”

> この言葉を最後に、女性は朝もやのむこうへと消えていった。

After these words, the woman disappeared beyond the morning mist.

> そして、英雄・シモン=ベルモンドは再び新たなる決意で旅だつのであった。

And so, the hero, Simon Belmont, went to a new journey with newfound determination.

> もうあなたの後に道はない! 戦えシモン!

There is no other path in ahead of you! Fight, Simon!

> Please.Remember Bitter Memories In TRANSILVANIA!

Monkey Furnace Carbonator! Brickbat Lingerie!

---
Seven years, huh. I wonder what is the "last year I saw you" dialog in Doina about, then.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on March 08, 2013, 11:51:22 am
I just noticed this on the site, on the pcb donors part:

Quote
MMC3-based: TKROM (examples: Shadowgate, Uninvited), TKSROM (example: YS III)

Now, because I actually made a translated YsIII cart for famicom (don't know if NES is different in that aspect) TKROM and TKSROM are different. If you put a TKSROM game on a TKROM board you will have weird scrolling issues.
You must convert the TKROM to TKSROM for YsIII to work (TKROM->TKSROM involves rewiring CIRAM A10 from mmc3_pin#10 to mmc3_pin#12).

I don't know if cv2 can detect this or not or just works, but having the wrong CIRAM A10 line leads to stuff like this: video of YsIII running on TKROM -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrZxbZ6oKsI
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 08, 2013, 12:10:29 pm
Retranslating the already in english text for the intro was kinda a bad idea I think. But that manual story would probably be a good addition. I don't think Simons curse was actually mentioned in game so this would make the subtitle make more sense. Hopefully you can rewrite that translation to not sound so dry tho, cause it is alot of words.

Edit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 08, 2013, 03:56:36 pm
Retranslating the already in english text for the intro was kinda a bad idea I think. But that manual story would probably be a good addition. I don't think Simons curse was actually mentioned in game so this would make the subtitle make more sense. Hopefully you can rewrite that translation to not sound so dry tho, cause it is alot of words.

Edit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.

The whole game was already in English, and he retranslated that.

Why is the terribly worded intro a sacred cow now?  I thought that was the whole point!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on March 08, 2013, 04:50:48 pm
If you want to argue about scared cows and not altering stuff, he should've kept the "WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE". That's like the most famous line from the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 08, 2013, 06:39:32 pm
Edit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.
I do not wish to spoil the novelty of the added text lines for first time players of that patch.
If you must know, then read the dissection page (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff) and play the game. Any line that appears in the game and does not appear in that page is added by me.
The patching page already has sufficient info about the added lines. It says, "Small changes that improve the gaming experience without changing its nature". Take it or leave it. You've got the choice.

As for the topic of the English text in the intro. Let me explain you one thing: The Japanese use English for style purposes only, because it "sounds" foreign and is therefore cool. Japanese pop songs are littered with Engrish words and phrases, because English is perceived as cool. Whether the text actually makes sense grammatically or otherwise is a secondary priority. This is why I mock-translated the last line of the manual text above as "monkey furnace carbonator, brickbat lingerie", because that is basically the effect and purpose of the line.

If you wanted to translate this purpose of the prologue text on the intro screen, you might put celtic runes there instead, or perhaps a church ornament of some kind. Another language doesn't quite work, because English is the de-facto international video gaming language. Keeping the intro as-is is simply misunderstanding the purpose of the intro that was in the Japanese version in the first place. Now out of laziness, and because it might be awesome and improve the value of the game, I am thinking about rewriting the intro into providing a better backstory for the players, rather than thinking an artistic representation of a stylistic foreign-language prologue.

TKROM and TKSROM are different. If you put a TKSROM game on a TKROM board you will have weird scrolling issues.  You must convert the TKROM to TKSROM for YsIII to work (TKROM->TKSROM involves rewiring CIRAM A10 from mmc3_pin#10 to mmc3_pin#12).
That is an interesting point I did not know about. Sounds like a mirroring issue. Well, I guess TKSROM users must simply be aware of this.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on March 08, 2013, 06:51:39 pm
^ exactly, it's the mirroring that is different  ;)
Also I like the idea of changing the intro to something more meaningful  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 08, 2013, 08:14:45 pm
The whole game was already in English, and he retranslated that.

Why is the terribly worded intro a sacred cow now?  I thought that was the whole point!

He retranslated the Japanese from the Japanese version. He didn't "retranslate" the english. He just used the US ROM. He actually was considering "retranslating" english for the intro but it sounds like he is more into including the story from the Japanese manual, which is a better idea.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 08, 2013, 11:03:31 pm
I've read online that a direct translation of "Dracula II: Noroi no Fuiin" is  "Dracula 2: The Accursed Seal". That kind of sounds cooler than "Simon's Quest". Could that be used as the name of the hack, and the game? The title screen could be changed to reflect this.
It would indeed sound cool, but the problem is that Castlevania III was subtitled "Dracula's Curse" in the USA release. There is some redundancy and confusion that can arise if both titles have the word "curse" in them.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on March 08, 2013, 11:09:58 pm
I find it kind of ironic that Castlevania 3 has "Curse" in the subtitle, yet there's no mention of a curse in the game afaik. If anything, "Dracula's Curse" fits Castlevania 2 better than 3.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 09, 2013, 12:25:02 am
That is ironic and correct. CV2 is about a curse, but it isn't mentioned. CV3 has no specific curse mentioned in it at all in any version. Also, let's not forget the original titles of the two games.
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest ---> Dracula II: The Accursed Seal
Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse --> Demon Castle Legend
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 09, 2013, 04:07:45 am
If you want to argue about scared cows and not altering stuff, he should've kept the "WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE". That's like the most famous line from the game.

It is by far the most famous. (http://www.zazzle.com/what+a+horrible+night+to+have+a+curse+tshirts) However, I don't think he was going for a retro-themed, nostalgia driven translation, I think he was going for a more correct localization for first time players, more akin to how modern games are translated where publishers care a bit more about gameplay and accessibility.  He succeeded on all counts if that was his aim, in my opinion.  Redoing the useless intro goes well with these goals in mind.

I'd argue getting rid of "false clues/lies" and speeding up the text to make it more accessable (especially for people who are talking to every NPC looking for engrish and typos!) would also be in line with these goals, but I digress  ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 09, 2013, 12:00:09 pm
I'd argue getting rid of "false clues/lies" and speeding up the text to make it more accessable (especially for people who are talking to every NPC looking for engrish and typos!) would also be in line with these goals, but I digress  ;D
The text is already sped up to match the Japanese speed according to visual comparison between Japanese text and the equivalent Finnish dialog box.

However, let us verify the case mathematically. For these calculations, I am ignoring spaces and punctuation, considering alphabetic/syllable characters only.

In Japanese, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.8 phonemes by average (1.625 if dakutens are separate like in Castlevania II).*
In Finnish, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.0 phonemes by average.**
In English, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.9 phonemes by average.***
This suggests that to preserve the same dictation speed as in the original game, the Finnish version should be sped up by a factor of 1.625 and the English version should be sped up by a factor of 1.8.

However, the number of phonemes is not an accurate indication of the duration it takes speak a given sentence. In English, the length of a sentence is mostly dominated by its number of syllables. Like in Chinese, syllables mostly take an equal length of time to say, regardless of the number of phonemes in the syllable. Japanese also has this trait.
In Finnish, the length is predominantly determined by the number of vowel phonemes: a syllable having two vowels is longer than one having just one. The consonants also add time, if there is one at the end of the syllable. In other words, the length is determined predominantly by the number of phonemes, excluding syllable-initial consonants.

In Japanese, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.0 syllables by average (0.9 if dakutens are separate like in Castlevania II).
In Finnish, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.333 syllables by average.
In English, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.3 syllables by average.
This would suggest that the English version should be sped by a factor of 3 compared to the Japanese one to maintain the same prosody.
But English syllables are longer than Japanese syllables, for a ratio of 3 to 2 phonemes, (compare "beating" and "hito", both two syllables), so the real ratio for English should be less than 3.0; probably somewhere around 2.0 or 2.5.
For Finnish, the true factor should probably be somewhere between these two factors of 1.625 and 2.7, producing about 2.2.

What I have done so far for Finnish and English both, is to change the original delay of 6 frames per character into 4 frames per character (speed by a factor of 1.5), plus add a few extra delays and zero-delays for punctuation.

Now reviewing this data, I decided to decrease the delay into 3 frames per character (for a speedup factor of 2.0).
I tried also decreasing the delay into 2 frames per character (speedup factor 3.0), but the dialog cursor sound effect starts to sound like a machine gun, and it has a feeling of the text appearing too quickly.
I will also add a feature in which holding A button will force the dialog to be displayed at a significantly increased speed. As far as I know, no dialog box currently uses the A button for anything, so it is free for taking.

*) Assuming no kanji is used. I verified this by calculating it using the game's entire dialog data.
**) Finnish alphabet is almost identical to IPA for Finnish, with only a few exceptions (such as glottal stops not indicated in text).
***) Determined statistically by converting a few lines from the game dialog into IPA and comparing the lengths.


As for the "false clues/lies", there are no false clues in this game. Every one of the thirteen clue scrolls is absolutely true, even if somewhat cryptic (now that they are properly translated).
The NPCs however...  Well, you can find my analysis here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff#truth (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff#truth)
The retranslation follows the truth table of the Japanese version. This is something I cannot change and still remain faithful to the original.
(Well, it is mostly faithful in truthfulness / usefulness. A few dialog lines became slightly more helpful than the original in the retranslation due to added verbosity or by doing away with obscure slang terms (such as あひる, "duck", which means a slowly patrolling man in Japanese).)

EDIT: Released version 2.4.0. Contains these dialog speed updates. You can now hold A button to turbo-render dialog.
EDIT: Also version 2.4.0.1. Fixed a bug where the turbo-rendered dialog would be rendered in wrong nametable when the line spans across two nametables.
EDIT: Also version 2.4.0.2. I had accidentally broken the PAL title screen in release version 2.3.4. This fixes it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 10, 2013, 04:05:50 am
Cool beans. All this talk of dialogue reminded me about the clue books in the mansions. Is it still possible to skip them entirely by pressing the cancel button by mistake? If so, is there any way to prevent that? Also, this is beyond the scope of the hack, but is there a way to make the clues accessible through a custom menu similar to the new map screen?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 10, 2013, 09:05:49 am
Cool beans. All this talk of dialogue reminded me about the clue books in the mansions. Is it still possible to skip them entirely by pressing the cancel button by mistake? If so, is there any way to prevent that? Also, this is beyond the scope of the hack, but is there a way to make the clues accessible through a custom menu similar to the new map screen?
Yes, it is. That sounds like a good idea. Would require new RAM variables, though. Hmm... I will consider it.
Do note though, that the clues respawn when you enter the same scene again.

Another thing that bothers me is that you can buy a weaker whip replacing a stronger one, and you can accidentally buy the same item twice (such as holy water). The latter should be prevented, and for the former there should be a collection of whips that you possess, that you can switch on the status screen. If you buy a thorn whip when you already have a morning star, so be it, but at least make it so that you don't throw away the morning star permanently.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on March 10, 2013, 10:07:03 am
there should be a collection of whips that you possess, that you can switch on the status screen. If you buy a thorn whip when you already have a morning star, so be it, but at least make it so that you don't throw away the morning star permanently.
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheWhipperSnapper on March 10, 2013, 12:20:20 pm
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?
They should keep the flame whip as it could have the ability to burn brush. Each should have its own attributes. Maybe the first whip does nothing but the second  is little stronger.  The third one let you swing across pits while fourth one gives you multi direction as a sub weapon.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on March 10, 2013, 12:23:28 pm
@snapper:
This sounds a little bit like desperately forcing more action-adventure into the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 10, 2013, 12:35:36 pm
Equippable whips would be kinda metroidvania like, but it could be a nice change. If you can find room for all the whips on the pause screen. Flame whip should be seperate from the Morning Star I think. Also, yeah, disabling rebuying the same item would be good.

All these changes you are making aren't properly collected anywhere. Not on the patching page, not on the RHDN page. You should write up a readme with what changes are made in each version so people don't have to read through the topic to know what changes there are.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 10, 2013, 07:44:38 pm
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?
Good point. Technically, it should replace. However, what happens if you then buy another morning star, without the fire power?
Should be allowed, I guess.
I have now finished creating this, and it is slated for the upcoming release version 2.5.0. You can now switch between different whips on the status screen. (When the release happens. I would have released it already, but I want to have the clue browser in it, too.)
In addition, at merchants, you are no longer allowed to buy an item that you already own (with exception for the consumables).
You can own a morning star and a firewhip separately, but the hermit will convert your morningstar into a firewhip, meaning that you lose the morningstar. This feature is just provided for the convenience and realism. Naturally nobody would ever have a reason to switch to a weaker weapon in terms of gameplay.
This feature is now a new configurable option in the vending machine.

All these changes you are making aren't properly collected anywhere. Not on the patching page, not on the RHDN page. You should write up a readme with what changes are made in each version so people don't have to read through the topic to know what changes there are.
They are all listed in this forum thread, though. Sorry, your idea is good but I am feeling too lazy to write up such a listing currently.


As for the clues feature!

I need opinions. Please review these four screenshots, and comment.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_status_clues2.png) <- This is what we have now. NAR original: (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u_status_clues0.png)

Here are three possible arrangements for the clue reviewer (actual emulator screenshots). Though it would be well possible to do, I do not want to make the status box any taller than it already is.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_status_clues1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_status_clues3.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_status_clues4.png)

The number at the bottom lists the number of clues you have collected. Pressing <some button> while the clue compartment is selected will give you a listing of the clues (replacing the same window), from which you can select which clue you want to read.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on March 10, 2013, 08:50:54 pm
I like the one on the left.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Trivial man on March 10, 2013, 09:16:57 pm
I prefer the one on the right with the clock separated with a line. Something about segmenting it away from the game variables you actually control seems right.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 10, 2013, 09:28:29 pm
And I prefer the middle one! :-)
The blank line reduces the cramped feeling of the clump of numbers that is in the leftside one. Then the rightside one is too compartmentalized in my opinion.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on March 10, 2013, 11:41:49 pm
I agree with Bisqwit on the right one, too many sections. The middle one is nice, but it might not be immediately apparently that the symbol is a clock, so the player might not understand. I do see the point of the blank line, and I do agree that it reduces the cramping, but I still like the left one best.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 10, 2013, 11:43:09 pm
Modern Castlevania games don't have limited continues. Why don't you remove the continue limit? Kinda sucks to have progress lost when you run out of them.

Edit: Maybe you should change L to Lv. To make space for it you could remove one of the digits on the counter since the Level don't go past 6 anyway. L isn't really clear as to what it stands for. And since there's no indicator of the level going up L could be confusing. I don't remember knowing what L stood for when I was younger. I also wondered what happened when the player would stop and his health would suddenly go up.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 10, 2013, 11:47:57 pm
Modern Castlevania games don't have limited continues. Why don't you remove the continue limit? Kinda sucks to have progress lost when you run out of them.
There is no limit.


(If this board had mood-avatars, I would use the tired one for this post. MathUser2929 has been making quite a few posts that contain complaints that are based on his own unfounded haphazard assumptions.)


Re: L or Lv, my retranslation is multilingual and I don't want to make decisions that only work in one language and not in another. I can see how Lv would be clearer in the case of English though. But then again, if Pokémon gets away with L, so does Simon's Quest.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 10, 2013, 11:51:12 pm
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-sram-release1c.png)

This is what threw me off. Number of continues used. I thought there was a limit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MegaManJuno on March 11, 2013, 01:31:27 am
I think I'd vote for the right pic. Something about the line looks better to me than just the blank space, but middle would be my 2nd choice.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 11, 2013, 02:07:45 am
I like the middle one.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on March 11, 2013, 02:13:50 am
Id say middle or right. Mostly middle due to the same reasons as Bisqwit has mentioned.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 11, 2013, 03:20:17 am
I like the middle or right one. I think the clock icon is pretty obvious even if it could be improved slightly.

I have another idea. This would alter game play a bit so I'm not sure it really falls into focus. About the Level attribute. It's pretty basic and could be improved. All it does is increase HP 6 times. How about tying it to more attributes? For example, each level adds an extra life to your stock before you get currency raped? Speaking of hearts, you could have the heart limit increase each time you level up. I think this would alleviate some of the most annoying aspects of this game.

EDIT: Hmmm... sidebar: Wouldn't it be cool if the enemy layout were different based on which direction you're coming from? This would facilitate enemy layouts that are more thought out as they were in CV1. And to add more of an RPG feel how about having multiple sets of layouts for each room? Or even keeping rooms clear for a set time so it seems like monsters have to repopulate instead of appearing out of nowhere? I need to post these ideas at CV dungeon.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Gedankenschild on March 11, 2013, 09:58:20 am
I prefer the one in the middle, too. The clock symbol does make the whole thing less cramped.
A great project, by the way! I'm really impressed with all these deep changes.  :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 11, 2013, 12:55:41 pm
Thanks everyone!

I have another idea. This would alter game play a bit so I'm not sure it really falls into focus. About the Level attribute. It's pretty basic and could be improved. All it does is increase HP 6 times. How about tying it to more attributes? For example, each level adds an extra life to your stock before you get currency raped? Speaking of hearts, you could have the heart limit increase each time you level up. I think this would alleviate some of the most annoying aspects of this game.

Adding an extra life with a level-up would be rather fair in my opinion, but it still falls into the realm of disputable changes.
Extending the heart limit per each level-up would be a cool alternative to outright changing it like I have already done, but I cannot think of a way it would make sense gameplaywise. And unless the limit on level 0 was 200, such change would also affect speedrun strategies, which I do not see as a positive thing.
Also, the level does not just change the HP. It also decreases the damage you take.  At level 6, you can actually cross the whole Joma swamp without laurels, if you jump all the time, or exit the Laruba mansion that is in the middle to either edge of the swamp without jumping (and without dying).
At level 0, all damage you take is multiplied by 4. At level 6, all damage is divided by 4. The difference is 16-fold. (The factors for the other levels are the obvious steps in between.)

Quote
Wouldn't it be cool if the enemy layout were different based on which direction you're coming from? This would facilitate enemy layouts that are more thought out as they were in CV1. And to add more of an RPG feel how about having multiple sets of layouts for each room? Or even keeping rooms clear for a set time so it seems like monsters have to repopulate instead of appearing out of nowhere? I need to post these ideas at CV dungeon.

Changing enemy layouts is definitely beyond the scope of this hack. Not going to do, at least for the regular enemies. Enemy and platform placements are in my opinion one of the fundamental tenets that define the game, and changing them makes it a different game in my opinion.
The bosses, however, are different in this regard, one because they are in isolated rooms and two because they are laughably bad in this game. I would like to make the boss battles into serious challenges, but for now it is not on table yet. I don't currently feel comfortable changing the AI.


Again about the continue counter: I only added the continue counter on the game-over screen, because I noticed that the game already counts them. Why count something and then never display the number? Notice that the number counts upwards -- it increases every time you take the "continue" option. It does not decrease. It is an "used" count, not a "remaining" counter. This is obvious even in the screenshot.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on March 11, 2013, 03:02:29 pm
Modern Castlevania games don't have limited continues. Why don't you remove the continue limit? Kinda sucks to have progress lost when you run out of them.

Isn't the only Castlevania that ever limited continues Haunted Castle (and that being because it was an arcade game)?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 11, 2013, 03:59:42 pm
Changing enemy layouts is definitely beyond the scope of this hack. Not going to do, at least for the regular enemies. Enemy and platform placements are in my opinion one of the fundamental tenets that define the game, and changing them makes it a different game in my opinion.
The bosses, however, are different in this regard, one because they are in isolated rooms and two because they are laughably bad in this game. I would like to make the boss battles into serious challenges, but for now it is not on table yet. I don't currently feel comfortable changing the AI.

I know. It was just a speculation about the game in general outside the scope of your project. You have to admit the enemy layouts are one of the game's weakest points in comparison to CV1 & CV3. Also, I agree that the bosses are pathetic. I wouldn't bother with changing them, though. Not unless you're ready to change the scope of the project. However, I recommend not doing that. See the project through until you're satisfied with it's completion within it's scope. Anything else that impacts game play should be left for another project.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 12, 2013, 03:07:01 am
Version 2.5.0 released.
Changes include:
- Multiple whips can now be carried. Buying a new one no longer throws your existing one away. You can switch whips on the status screen. This only applies to whips you collect after this patch is applied.
- Simon now remembers the clues he collects. You can review clues on the status screen. This only applies to clues you collect after this patch is applied.
- It is no longer possible to accidentally buy the same non-consumable item (such as holy water) twice. This feature is dependent on the multi-whip patch option, so disabling the multi-whip patch option also enables accidental repurchases.
- Bugfix: Saving the game is now possible in the castle ruins (but it is still intentionally prevented in the altar room).
- Some very minor dialog changes may have been done. These are not yet listed on the translation differences page.

Because of the pervasiveness of the code changes that were required in order for these features to be added, there may be new bugs in unexpected situations in the game even if you disable this patch option either partially or fully. I would appreciate reports of any bugs you find!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 12, 2013, 04:10:21 am
(http://i.imgur.com/am1V6Vg.gif)
I'm wondering why some dialogue boxes have black lines inbetween the lines and others don't. I think it would look better if it were more consistant. I say get rid of the black lines on all dialogue boxes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 12, 2013, 07:04:01 am
Boxes that have five or fewer lines of dialog have sparse lines, like in the original game.
I thought it looks nicer if the dialog box is not half empty.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on March 12, 2013, 08:29:16 am
(http://i.imgur.com/am1V6Vg.gif)
I'm wondering why some dialogue boxes have black lines inbetween the lines and others don't. I think it would look better if it were more consistant. I say get rid of the black lines on all dialogue boxes.

Boxes that have five or fewer lines of dialog have sparse lines, like in the original game.
I thought it looks nicer if the dialog box is not half empty.

Maybe, on the second image, you can remove the black lines and put all the text in the middle of the box.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 12, 2013, 09:02:25 am
Some characters say very little and the dialogue box is mostly empty anyway.
The box being half empty wouldn't bother me a bit, in fact, the consistency would please me indeed, like a good back rub.
Title: Partial source code
Post by: Bisqwit on March 12, 2013, 11:42:31 am
For added curiosity, here is a partial snapshot of the insertor code behind this project.
Here is how I do all the vending machine configurability.

This particular piece deals with changing how the status screen works, how merchant dialog boxes are resized and with how all dialog is rendered.

http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_statscreen_2_5_0.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_statscreen_2_5_0.png) (as image, in the color scheme of my editor)
http://pastebin.com/XWnaAias (http://pastebin.com/XWnaAias) (as text)
Title: Re: Partial source code
Post by: Da_GPer on March 13, 2013, 02:34:38 am
For added curiosity, here is a partial snapshot of the insertor code behind this project.
Here is how I do all the vending machine configurability.

This particular piece deals with changing how the status screen works, how merchant dialog boxes are resized and with how all dialog is rendered.

http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_statscreen_2_5_0.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2fin_statscreen_2_5_0.png) (as image, in the color scheme of my editor)
http://pastebin.com/XWnaAias (http://pastebin.com/XWnaAias) (as text)

Wow! All that code looks confusing..... I bet to someone who actually can read and write code, it make a lot of sense. :o On the bright side though, it does give up a peek at how much hard work someone goes through just to improve a game. I bow to you, Bisqwit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 03:24:24 am
Thank you Da_GPer.

As an aside, I now added the feature list, requested by mr. Mathuser, on the page at: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#features . Did I forget anything?
If someone wants to update the RHDN patch page with this information, then please go ahead.

No feedback yet on the usability of the status screen updates I did in version 2.5.0?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 04:10:05 am
I would like to double the amount of hearts I get from enemies so that I can better test your updates and also speedrun through the game without grinding.
Do you know the address in the rom where that data is?
(I could just change memory addresses 48/49 for my hearts, but that's no fun!)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 04:40:09 am
I would like to double the amount of hearts I get from enemies so that I can better test your updates and also speedrun through the game without grinding.
Do you know the address in the rom where that data is?
(I could just change memory addresses 48/49 for my hearts, but that's no fun!)

You will be looking at these three pieces of code in bank 1. (Subtract $3FF0 to get a ROM file offset.)
Code: [Select]
PickupSmallHeart
        $873E  A9 02:       lda #$02
        $8740  A0 01:       ldy #$01
        $8742  D0 18:       bne IncreaseHeartsCounter
<snip>
PickupHalfHeart
        $874B  A9 04:       lda #$04
        $874D  A0 03:       ldy #$03
        $874F  D0 0B:       bne IncreaseHeartsCounter
<snip>
PickupFullHeart
        $8758  A9 06:       lda #$06
        $875A  A0 05:       ldy #$05
A = number of hearts to give, Y = number of experience points to give.

EDIT: In case you don't know 6502 ASM, here is an alternative answer:
ROM file offset 474F = hearts increment given by small heart
ROM file offset 475D = hearts increment given by half heart
ROM file offset 476A = hearts increment given by full heart.
Add +2 to each file offset to get the location of the corresponding exp. increment.
The increments are expressed in BCD, I think.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 06:16:52 am
So I had the Holy Water and the Sacred Flame, I ran and jumped and pressed Up + B twice (using the subweapon twice) and this happened.
http://i.imgur.com/ACFHUh8.gif
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 07:00:10 am
So I had the Holy Water and the Sacred Flame, I ran and jumped and pressed Up + B twice (using the subweapon twice) and this happened. http://i.imgur.com/ACFHUh8.gif

How did you use two subweapons at the same time?

And as for using the same subweapon multiple times, for the water, there is a limit of 1 object at the same time. For the flame, the limit is 3.
I tried using both, but I could not reproduce this incident. Is this with the ROM that you patched the hearts increment into?
Did you enter this scene by loading a saved game? Any cheatcodes that were active?
Which patch version did you use? The last download from an IP address that might be yours is to a version 2.4.0.2, but I could not reproduce the problem with 2.4.0.2 either.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 07:37:59 am
I had a dagger, holy water, and the sacred flame. I simply used the Holy Water twice.
The patch I used is called "cv2eng-2_5_0-ntsc-stm10mwmrp4.ups"
I did not alter the rom myself. I will see if I can reproduce it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 13, 2013, 08:12:51 am
Some characters say very little and the dialogue box is mostly empty anyway.
The box being half empty wouldn't bother me a bit, in fact, the consistency would please me indeed, like a good back rub.

I agree. More uniform dialogue looks nicer.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 09:02:12 am
Very well. I will change it.

Also, I have confirmed the bug reported by Turambar (though not in its exact form). I am investigating its cause now.
It seems to be related to the whip update. Somehow certain vendors have the power to replace and substitute Simon's whip with an error.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 09:39:50 am
I now know what I did. I bought garlic from the dude that sells it and that is what screwed everything up for me.
Now there is something else that I noticed. When you screen transition from a higher up place to a screen with only a lower place it dumps you out in mid-air.
Is that supposed to happen?
(http://i.imgur.com/sHgujOq.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 10:09:57 am
When you screen transition from a higher up place to a screen with only a lower place it dumps you out in mid-air.
Is that supposed to happen?
Yes, it is. In fact, there is actually a bug in the game where if your screen is vertically scrolled far enough and you transition to the next screen, you may be teleported into a wall or under the ground. Fixing these is not high on my priority list, as I have not created these bugs in the first place...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: hossbags2 on March 13, 2013, 11:08:18 am
Can you remove the false floors from the game so we don't need to use holy water all the time in the middle of fighting enemies. Also, can you have the box that pops up that says "Horrible Night" either only come up the first time you play then is removed from the duration of the game or have it removed completely.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 11:32:40 am
Can you remove the false floors from the game so we don't need to use holy water all the time in the middle of fighting enemies.
I wouldn't be interested in that, personally.

Also, can you have the box that pops up that says "Horrible Night" either only come up the first time you play then is removed from the duration of the game or have it removed completely.
I would be interested in doing that though. I wouldn't expect it from Bisqwit's hack, but I may do it myself for my own enjoyment. I guess one could alter the routine that causes the text box to pop up and make it jump directly to the color fading sequence.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 12:07:55 pm
Can you remove the false floors from the game so we don't need to use holy water all the time in the middle of fighting enemies.

Sorry, in my books that would count as changing the nature of the game (changing the level design). Not in the scope of this hack.


Quote
Also, can you have the box that pops up that says "Horrible Night" either only come up the first time you play then is removed from the duration of the game or have it removed completely.

Since version 2.5.0, you can now turbo through the text by holding A button, somewhat mitigating the problem.
But one thing I have been planning to do, is making a smooth crossfade between the two palettes.
You can see an example of my plans from May 2012 here:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_fade_multi2c.gif)

It is algorithmically a bit difficult. Three algorithms shown above. There is a reason why the game does the fades through black. It is so much simpler.
This plan has not much progressed though.

EDIT: There is another benefit to doing it through black. In towns, the townspeople disappear at night and zombies disappear at morning. Making them disappear without blanking the screen would involve some rather awkward solutions.

EDIT: Released version 2.5.1. This fixes the garlic & laurel vendors (bug reported by Turambar), and also changes the dialog line spacing to a consistent tight spacing. (Status windows, such as "you now possess" or the night message, still use 2-line spacing.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 13, 2013, 01:36:22 pm
Wow, that looks really fantastic, Bisqwit. It would add so much to the atmosphere of the game if it just silently turned to night like that without a text box.
And it would be even better if you could make it do that without even pausing the game. So awesome.
If you were to use a fading system like that, I suppose the solution for the townsfolk would be to make them fade to black and disappear, and if one of them happened to share the same palette as Simon you would probably have to alter that person's palette, because you wouldn't want Simon to fade to black or a townsperson not fade to black.
The first picture is probably the best overall algorithm, but the ground stones look psychedelic when they change, so for that particular scene I think the second picture is best.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 13, 2013, 02:30:13 pm
They all look a little wierd with the NES's limited palette. But then again the game's original palettes also suck which doesn't make your job any easier. However a more gradual palette transition with the dialogue only showing up when the enemies actually appear would be a big improvement.
Oh, and if you do go through with this I will definitely be making changes to the palettes for my personal version. Those green high lights on the blocks at night have to go. Totally screws up the transition.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on March 13, 2013, 02:46:39 pm
EDIT: There is another benefit to doing it through black. In towns, the townspeople disappear at night and zombies disappear at morning. Making them disappear without blanking the screen would involve some rather awkward solutions.

You can use the "Ocarina of Time-solution" for this. Time doesn't change in towns
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 13, 2013, 10:23:01 pm
Personally I think in that particular scene the green highlight works rather nicely.
Whatever little light there is, it mostly comes reflected from surrounding scene, which is the trees, and is thus green. The effect is called radiosity.

The algorithms shown above:
1. Simple angular interpolation. Works nicely for most cases, but not when white/gray tones are involved. The transition of the ground from red to blue through violet is also disputable.
2. Precalculated table of 64x32x8 tones. The table would take up 16 kilobytes of ROM space. The table is precalculated according to sophisticated color-distance formulas taking NTSC color encoding into account. It works for all cases, including where grayscale tones are involved. It also determined that the violet was indeed disputable and chose an alternative route through gray.
3. In method 2, the transitions between some colors are rather sudden, because there are no intermediate colors. For example, the transition between the blue and the green of the tree leaves. Method 3 mitigates this problem by calculating an optimal pair of colors for each transition phase, and flashes them at 60 FPS. Though it does not look very nice in GIF due to many browser issues, it might look better on the real console and vsynced emulators. I think this uses 32 kilobytes of ROM space (two pages) for the lookup tables.

And yes, I would also like this to happen without pausing the gameplay. Music fadeout would occur synced to the palette fade, and new music would come in (possibly faded, don't know if the engine can support it).
But like I said, this has been in the planning for almost a year and not much progress has happened. It is a bit difficult to do, in different ways than the other extensions I have done so far.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 14, 2013, 02:44:15 pm
I've been playing this hack and while the re-translation is excellent and I know that the dialogue is supposed to be intentionally silly and unhelpful at times, I feel that some of the dialogue is a little bit unnatural sounding at times. I have made a list of changes to the dialogue that I think improve the flow of it while still remaining faithful to the original. I suggest that anybody else who is interested in this re-translation check out my changes and see if you think I've done well.
http://pastebin.com/5GpZiYMz
Also, I'm wondering about the use of the word "rosary" instead of "crucifix" or "cross." In order for something to be a rosary, doesn't it have to have beads and a string in addition to a crucifix? When a rosary is mentioned in the text, does it not refer to a simple crucifix and not a rosary?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 14, 2013, 03:05:06 pm
Some of those are good changes. Some of them seem to change the meaning a little bit. Such as adding Luxurious to the silk bag description.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 14, 2013, 03:20:41 pm
The Japanese original calls it rosary, and the name rosary appears frequently in Castlevania franchise. Somehow, the North American localization of Castlevania II was hit with weird rules that religion was bad, but magic was O.K. Thus, there were weird lines such as "Believe in magic, and you'll be saved" (Japanese original spoke explicitly of a God), and the rosary became a magic cross.

It is for these reasons that I called the item a rosary.

I appreciate your review of the dialog text, Turambar, especially if English is your native language.* These are very well welcome ideas, and I will see which ones I will use. The English re-translation was created in just a few hours based on my notes for the Finnish translation (which was months of work), and I have since been doing fixes to it, but most of the English lines still come from that rushed job.

*) There is a user at TASVideos called Turambar, and he is from Finland. I initially assumed you to be him, but that does not seem to be the case.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 14, 2013, 03:35:32 pm
Some of those are good changes. Some of them seem to change the meaning a little bit. Such as adding Luxurious to the silk bag description.
I know what you mean, I just thought that simply calling it a silk bag sounded kind of plain.

I appreciate your review of the dialog text, Turambar, especially if English is your native language.* These are very well welcome ideas, and I will see which ones I will use. The English re-translation was created in just a few hours based on my notes for the Finnish translation (which was months of work), and I have since been doing fixes to it, but most of the English lines still come from that rushed job.

*) There is a user at TASVideos called Turambar, and he is from Finland. I initially assumed you to be him, but that does not seem to be the case.
Yeah, I'm a native speaker of English. I'm not on TASVideos under this name, although I have an account on there that I haven't used in years.
I've been following the TAS community since that Japanese guy did that TAS of Mario 3 that got really popular because everybody though it was done in real time.
I guess it was, uh, 2007 or something.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Gedankenschild on March 14, 2013, 06:45:57 pm
I've been playing this hack and while the re-translation is excellent and I know that the dialogue is supposed to be intentionally silly and unhelpful at times, I feel that some of the dialogue is a little bit unnatural sounding at times. I have made a list of changes to the dialogue that I think improve the flow of it while still remaining faithful to the original. I suggest that anybody else who is interested in this re-translation check out my changes and see if you think I've done well.

I read your changes and I think they're really good! :) Just two parts caught my attention:


"The fastest way to learn how to fight is to fight in places that are unfamiliar to you."

The double usage of the word fight seems a bit inelegant, I think.

"Can't you see that the places reeks of death?"

That should probably be place, right?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 14, 2013, 07:25:37 pm
Also, the Doina guy used to say, "to never see you again", but someone (granz (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.40.html)) complained about the split infinitive, so I changed it to "never to see you again" based on their request.

I am not sure about the "reeks of death" part. By "radiates death" I meant that the spirit/curse emanating from the castle causes all things in its vicinity, really within a quite large radius, to wither and die. I do not get the same gist from the suggested wording. (This is one of the added lines by the way, so there is no Japanese original to compare to.)

You also changed the other Doina guy's dialog to use contractions. Not sure of whether the change is for the good.
This is perhaps because I have found myself using contractions way, way too often, and I have consciously tried to steer my own writing towards fewer contractions.

For the patrolling man tip, "you will surely live longer" might indeed be a more fluent wording, and an acceptable change in terms of localization. The original Japanese text incidentally could also be literally translated as "When you receive a silk bag from <...>, take a long breath", which would actually make sense in conjunction with clue 9, "when you wrap them in a silk bag, a soul/spirit will be blown into your laurels". The Japanese language is really quite ambiguous at times -- what with omitting the subject and/or the object in the sentence being considered practically a virtue for fluent speech.
EDIT: Disregard the above paragraph. I misread the Japanese text when I was writing this post.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 14, 2013, 08:21:47 pm
"The fastest way to learn how to fight is to fight in places that are unfamiliar to you."

The double usage of the word fight seems a bit inelegant, I think.
I agree, but I can't think of anything better.

"Can't you see that the places reeks of death?"

That should probably be place, right?
Yeah.

I am not sure about the "reeks of death" part. By "radiates death" I meant that the spirit/curse emanating from the castle causes all things in its vicinity, really within a quite large radius, to wither and die. I do not get the same gist from the suggested wording. (This is one of the added lines by the way, so there is no Japanese original to compare to.)
I used "reeks of death" because I thought it sounded pretty cool that way.  8) "Radiates death" sounds a little weird. How about "Are you really going to the ruins of the castle? Can you not feel death emanating from there?"

You also changed the other Doina guy's dialog to use contractions. Not sure of whether the change is for the good.
This is perhaps because I have found myself using contractions way, way too often, and I have consciously tried to steer my own writing towards fewer contractions.
I'm not sure which one you mean, do you mean "It's your fault that it's not safe around here anymore. Please, just leave and never return."? A key change is the addition of "that." I think it sounds way smoother with the contractions.

I fixed the typo that Gedankenschild pointed out and refined the silk bag text.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 14, 2013, 09:02:15 pm
"The fastest way to learn how to fight is to fight in places that are unfamiliar to you."
The double usage of the word fight seems a bit inelegant, I think.
I agree, but I can't think of anything better.
The fastest way to learn to fight is to fight your fights in places where you haven't fought before? ;)

Allright, thanks for the other (and updated) suggestions.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 14, 2013, 09:12:37 pm
"Rumor has it that digging up graves in Strigoi Cemetery will yield a giant diamond!"
I noticed that "cemetery" was spelled wrong. I don't know if it's spelled like that in the game or if I just made a typo, I fixed it on the pastebin though. Also, I removed the unnecessary comma after "cemetery."

And another thing, a new suggestion fer fightin'.
"Wanna learn how to fight? Then you should fight in more unfamiliar places."
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Gedankenschild on March 14, 2013, 10:30:01 pm
Maybe something with battle/war/combat?

"The fastest way to learn how to fight is to seek combat in places that are unfamiliar to you."

Or:
The fighter's way to learn to fight is to fight your fights in fighting arenas where few fighters have fought before!

Forge your skills as a fighter by seeking combat with strong foes in unseen territories... Too much?  ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 14, 2013, 11:57:14 pm
These are supposed to be medieval villagers, right? Wouldn't it be more consistent if most of them don't necessarily speak properly or even intelligently?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 15, 2013, 04:43:22 am
These are supposed to be medieval villagers, right? Wouldn't it be more consistent if most of them don't necessarily speak properly or even intelligently?
Only if that were the case in the Japanese version, and I don't think it is.

I updated the pastebin with what should be my final suggestions or alternate possibilities.
http://pastebin.com/5GpZiYMz



Another little thing that I'm wondering about that is not necessarily a suggestion...
In your original version, the two parts of this were seperated by a black line. Maybe the new version should have a black line as well? I'm not sure which one looks better. I generally think that it's better to not use the last line of the box if possible. Or maybe there shouldn't be a blank space after die and it should just continue right away.
Code: [Select]
    Original          My revision         Alternate 1         Alternate 2
----------------    ----------------    ----------------    ----------------
|              |    |              |    |              |    |              |
| Put garlic   |    | Put garlic   |    | Put garlic   |    | Put garlic   |
| in cemetery  |    | on cemetery  |    | on cemetery  |    | on cemetery  |
| ground, and  |    | ground, and  |    | ground, and  |    | ground, and  |
| demons die.  | -> | demons will  |    | demons will  |    | demons will  |
|              |    | die.         |    | die.         |    | die. You may |
| You may also |    | You may also |    |              |    | also meet    |
| meet someone |    | meet someone |    | You may also |    | someone      |
| awaiting you.|    | awaiting you.|    | meet someone |    | awaiting you.|
|              |    |              |    | awaiting you.|    |              |
----------------    ----------------    ----------------    ----------------

Also, I think this might sound more natural. Not really a critical change though.
I just thought it sounded more like something that a person would say in real life.
It seems like people are more likely to use brag in this context, instead of boast.
Code: [Select]
----------------    ----------------    ----------------
|              |    |              |    |              |
| I'm not      |    | I'm not      |    | Not to       |
| boasting,    |    | boasting,    |    | brag, but    |
| but when I   |    | but when I   |    | but when I   |
| was your age | -> | was your age | -> | was your age |
| I was really |    | I was really |    | I was really |
| popular with |    | popular with |    | popular with |
| women.       |    | the ladies.  |    | the ladies.  |
|              |    |              |    |              |
|              |    |              |    |              |
----------------    ----------------    ----------------
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 15, 2013, 10:45:25 am
"I sell holy water. Buy, and you will not regret." -

              Kind of Engrishy.  A native english speaker would say "you will not regret it." but you might be able to find something a little more olde english to replace it, or just add "it" to the sentence.


"The encounter is terminated." - engrish 

              Could be replaced with "Battle is finished" or a dozen other things.

"his blood and sweat have penetrated the earth" -

              Engrish. Blood has been spilled would be the most direct translation.

I found the bit to stop time, I've been meaning to make a pass through the game where I stop at every town and talk to every person to take some more notes on awkward lines of dialogue but I've been quite busy lately.  I'll get to it and report back, but most of the dialogue is pretty clean and a high quality 80's translation.

Also, I think when standing on debrah cliff the map says Northern Jam Wasteland, I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.  I didn't make a note of the area so I might be thinking of the wrong area.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 15, 2013, 05:44:45 pm
Also, I think when standing on debrah cliff the map says Northern Jam Wasteland, I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.  I didn't make a note of the area so I might be thinking of the wrong area.

I am aware of this problem. The Deborah Cliff / Jam Wasteland sections (there are two of each) are partially joined. The same scene has Deborah cliff in the left edge and the wasteland in the right edge. The scene is so long that I decided that it is better to call it the wasteland rather than the cliff. It is not possible to differentiate the parts thereof with the current way that the map is implemented.

I'm not sure about the blood and sweat part. I'm also refusing the "to never see" change, on the grounds that it has already once been changed based on someone's opinions about split infinitives.
I think all the others are now incorporated in version 2.5.2, just released. This version only adds dialog text fixes in both languages.
Thanks to everybody who contributed dialog change suggestions. (You can contribute more, though!)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 15, 2013, 06:48:58 pm
So, when are you making a patch with the Japanese manual story? Think that is the next big update.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 17, 2013, 01:16:50 pm
Some things!

On the save screen there is no text showing up for the cursor options.
(http://i.imgur.com/08HPmYV.png)
I'm using cv2eng-2_5_2-ntsc-stm10mwmrp4.bps

When you exit out of the save screen it causes Simon to jump, which isn't really desirable behavior.

In the dialogue about "a patrolling man" I think it should be "the patrolling man" because saying "a" implies that there is more than one guy and there isn't.

I'm thinking that Sadam should be Saddam, since it must be a reference to Saddam Hussein. It's also possible that Ondol is meant to be Ondor, a reference to Gondor. Konami has been known to make Tolkien references. In Symphony of the Night there are references to Tulkas, Varda, Mablung, Feanor, Gurthang, and the Nauglamir. Those names are exclusive to the book The Silmarillion, so it's no coincidence.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 17, 2013, 09:34:09 pm
On the save screen there is no text showing up for the cursor options.
(http://i.imgur.com/08HPmYV.png)
I'm using cv2eng-2_5_2-ntsc-stm10mwmrp4.bps

I could not confirm this problem. What are the circumstances for that happening? Did you accidentally switch to PAL emulation?
Was the patch applied cleanly? Did Beat complain about a checksum error? (It should not.)


Quote
When you exit out of the save screen it causes Simon to jump, which isn't really desirable behavior.
Will keep that in mind, thanks. In the meantime, activate the options on the save/load screen by using Start instead of A.


Quote
In the dialogue about "a patrolling man" I think it should be "the patrolling man" because saying "a" implies that there is more than one guy and there isn't.

According to my understanding, dialog 102 conveys a rumor about a patrolling man, in a typical superstition style expressed in the game. The person does not know this man, and may not even be sure that he really exists. Using "the" would only make sense if he knew about the particular person or believed that the man exists, and was talking about that one person.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Quote
It's possible that Ondol is meant to be Ondor, a reference to Gondor. Konami has been known to make Tolkien references. In Symphony of the Night there are references to Tulkas, Varda, Mablung, Feanor, Gurthang, and the Nauglamir. Those names are exclusive to the book The Silmarillion, so it's no coincidence.

Possible. But unless this connection is proven (and fits in light of the other town names), I see no reason to change it.


Quote
I'm thinking that Sadam should be Saddam, since it must be a reference to Saddam Hussein.

I think it is neither an obvious nor a reasonable assumption that it is a reference to Saddam Hussein.
One of the reasons I can think offhand is that Saddam is written サッダーム in Japanese, whereas the name of this forest is ザダム, which could just as well be a reference to Khazad-dum (since you brought Tolkien up).


So, when are you making a patch with the Japanese manual story? Think that is the next big update.

I don't think I have time very soon to plan it forward.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 18, 2013, 05:42:05 am
I could not confirm this problem. What are the circumstances for that happening? Did you accidentally switch to PAL emulation?
Was the patch applied cleanly? Did Beat complain about a checksum error? (It should not.)
The circumstances are that I go to the screen and the text is not there. The text doesn't work in FCEUX, but it does work in Nestopia. I don't know what in FCEUX that would mess it up. I fiddled with the settings and nothing fixes it.

Will keep that in mind, thanks. In the meantime, activate the options on the save/load screen by using Start instead of A.
I actually tried pressing Start, but only A was working at the time. I tried it again just now and Start is working now, strangely.


According to my understanding, dialog 102 conveys a rumor about a patrolling man, in a typical superstition style expressed in the game. The person does not know this man, and may not even be sure that he really exists. Using "the" would only make sense if he knew about the particular person or believed that the man exists, and was talking about that one person.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
If it is supposed to sound superstitious then "a" would work fine if the sentence was started with "they say" like "they say that there is a patrolling man in the cemetery." I guess there is not enough room to fully convey the message.

Possible. But unless this connection is proven (and fits in light of the other town names), I see no reason to change it.
Seems like either Ondol or Ondor could work just because of the L and R situation with Japanese. Is there a reason to prefer Ondol? I mean, "Vlad" was "Vrad."


I think it is neither an obvious nor a reasonable assumption that it is a reference to Saddam Hussein.
One of the reasons I can think offhand is that Saddam is written サッダーム in Japanese, whereas the name of this forest is ザダム, which could just as well be a reference to Khazad-dum (since you brought Tolkien up).
Well, they used random names like "Deborah" and "Denis" (which are names related to religion) so I think it's reasonable that they would throw a mention of Saddam in there because, well, he is an evil guy. I mean, they threw Vlad in there and the Dracula in Castlevania is not referred to as Vlad. Sadam could also have been Sodom (another reference to religion). Japanese has limited syllables, so sometimes they can only approximate it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 18, 2013, 09:35:35 am
Well, they used random names like "Deborah" and "Denis" (which are names related to religion) so I think it's reasonable that they would throw a mention of Saddam in there because, well, he is an evil guy. I mean, they threw Vlad in there and the Dracula in Castlevania is not referred to as Vlad. Sadam could also have been Sodom (another reference to religion). Japanese has limited syllables, so sometimes they can only approximate it.

You're not taking into consideration that Saddam Hussein wasn't a widely known world figure back in 1987. I've looked into the names of the towns in CV2 and from what I can see many of them are actually influenced by real place names in Romania. At least when I looked at a map of Romania I saw lots of names that are at least partially similar and could have simply been corrupted during the translation process.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 18, 2013, 09:46:09 am
You're not taking into consideration that Saddam Hussein wasn't a widely known world figure back in 1987. I've looked into the names of the towns in CV2 and from what I can see many of them are actually influenced by real place names in Romania. At least when I looked at a map of Romania I saw lots of names that are at least partially similar and could have simply been corrupted during the translation process.
Yeah, I guess he wasn't that well known at the time. I should look into the Romania thing.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 18, 2013, 10:07:17 am
Be warned, Romanian is pretty dissimilar to Japanese so things might not seem so obvious at first.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 18, 2013, 08:27:41 pm
Here's a couple requests. It would be useful if when buying items it would show your current amount of hearts. I believe later Metroidvania games did this. Also, either a optional patch, or even just a cheat code to keep current hearts after dying. My younger brother is trying to get into this game and it seems like a deterrent to playing to lose all your hearts when you die. The game don't punish you by removing experience, HP, and levels when you game over. So I don't see why hearts have to be affected. He quit playing when he realized all his hearts were gone. If you are worried about affecting balance simply make it a patching option.

Edit:Also, I don't know if you can fit this, but how about adding "next:0000" to show how much more experience you need to level up? Either show how much experience the next level is achieved at.

Or perhaps to save space you could add experience remaining until the next level. For example if you have 51 experience, and the next level is at 100, the number in the counter would be 49. That would show how much experience you need to reach the next level. You might be able to use less digits this way too.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 19, 2013, 09:11:16 am
Here's a couple requests. It would be useful if when buying items it would show your current amount of hearts. I believe later Metroidvania games did this. Also, either a optional patch, or even just a cheat code to keep current hearts after dying. My younger brother is trying to get into this game and it seems like a deterrent to playing to lose all your hearts when you die. The game don't punish you by removing experience, HP, and levels when you game over. So I don't see why hearts have to be affected. He quit playing when he realized all his hearts were gone. If you are worried about affecting balance simply make it a patching option.

You can do this yourself by putting in an infinite lives code.  Google should turn one up, if not you can easily make one with FCEU.

Asking Bisqwit to add an infinite lives cheat code to an already easy game probably isn't going to happen.

Quote
Edit:Also, I don't know if you can fit this, but how about adding "next:0000" to show how much more experience you need to level up? Either show how much experience the next level is achieved at.

Or perhaps to save space you could add experience remaining until the next level. For example if you have 51 experience, and the next level is at 100, the number in the counter would be 49. That would show how much experience you need to reach the next level. You might be able to use less digits this way too.

If we're tweaking the experience system, I wouldn't object.  I always seem to finish the game at level 4, because I don't usually grind each area, and end up in the "Zero Experience" status at an inopportune time.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 19, 2013, 11:24:36 am
Seems like either Ondol or Ondor could work just because of the L and R situation with Japanese. Is there a reason to prefer Ondol? I mean, "Vlad" was "Vrad."

Vlad rather obviously refers to Vlad the Impaler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler), one of the inspirations behind the story of Dracula. It is indisputable.
There is however no indisputable evidence of the Ondol/Ondor rationale.


Quote
Sadam could also have been Sodom (another reference to religion). Japanese has limited syllables, so sometimes they can only approximate it.

No. Japanese does have the distinction between S and Z, and they do not mix it.
And Japanese does have sufficient vowels to distinguish A and O.
Now I quietly wonder why they did not localize the forest as Zadam forest, because that would be a more accurate romanization.


Here's a couple requests. It would be useful if when buying items it would show your current amount of hearts. I believe later Metroidvania games did this.

I agree that this would be useful. I will keep it in mind, but I am not making a promise.


Quote
I don't know if you can fit this, but how about adding "next:0000" to show how much more experience you need to level up? Either show how much experience the next level is achieved at.
Or perhaps to save space you could add experience remaining until the next level. For example if you have 51 experience, and the next level is at 100, the number in the counter would be 49. That would show how much experience you need to reach the next level. You might be able to use less digits this way too.

This would also be a nice addition, but I do not see an obvious way to do it without the dialog box becoming even more confusing.

As for changing what is retained and lost when you die or gameover, I do not want to take drastic measures.
Theoretically, I could go the Battle of Olympus route and cut the number of hearts in half at every death, including gameover, though. But even then I do not think it is a justifiable change.


I always seem to finish the game at level 4, because I don't usually grind each area, and end up in the "Zero Experience" status at an inopportune time.

I believe level 4 is about the right level, too. If you are too high-leveled, the clues about laurels for example no longer apply to you, because you can cross the Joma swamp even almost without laurels.

For each distinct scene in the game (every scene that has a distinct automatic cursor location in the map), the game has a maximum player level that the game can grant you experience.  I believe they designed it so that if you go through the game in their intended order, you are always getting experience from the next place and never stuck in an e-point valley, unless you backtrack and run in circles. But I cannot confirm it, having done relatively quite little playtesting.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 19, 2013, 11:46:51 am
Dragon Warrior halfs your GP at death. I think it would be acceptable if CV2 did the same thing. But not with death tho since there are lives. Halving the Hearts at gameover would be better. If you dont want to do that can you make a game genie code we can use in a emulator? I don't want to use a infinite hearts code. I want to earn the hearts still.

Also, halving the hearts is kinda a good idea cause when you max out your hearts then die, you can recollect them, giving you something to do still if you maxed everything else out.

Edit: I didn't ask for a Infinite lives cheat. Even metroidvania games have gameovers, but they don't remove your currency after death. I was hoping for something more like that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on March 19, 2013, 12:31:13 pm
Vlad rather obviously refers to Vlad the Impaler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler), one of the inspirations behind the story of Dracula. It is indisputable.
There is however no indisputable evidence of the Ondol/Ondor rationale.
I know that Vlad refers to Vlad the Impaler, but if they spelled Vlad as Vrad then that shows that the guy in charge of writing the text didn't know what he was doing and that Ondol could have been Ondor, or any other L and R in any of the names could have been swapped.. There is no indisputable rationale to prefer Ondol over Ondor. Are you going to hold the guy at Konami who did the original English text as some kind of authority? I think that guy's work speaks for itself.

No. Japanese does have the distinction between S and Z, and they do not mix it.
And Japanese does have sufficient vowels to distinguish A and O.
Now I quietly wonder why they did not localize the forest as Zadam forest, because that would be a more accurate romanization.
they do not mix it
they mixed it
If they don't mix it then why did they mix it? Why didn't you make it Zadam then? Wasn't the whole point to retranslate?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 19, 2013, 12:45:32 pm
I believe level 4 is about the right level, too. If you are too high-leveled, the clues about laurels for example no longer apply to you, because you can cross the Joma swamp even almost without laurels.

For each distinct scene in the game (every scene that has a distinct automatic cursor location in the map), the game has a maximum player level that the game can grant you experience.  I believe they designed it so that if you go through the game in their intended order, you are always getting experience from the next place and never stuck in an e-point valley, unless you backtrack and run in circles. But I cannot confirm it, having done relatively quite little playtesting.

Ah, I see.  I was unsure how the system worked, I thought that if you gained a level in that area, you could no longer get XP there.  I couldn't find anything definitive online describing how it worked.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on March 19, 2013, 01:39:20 pm
Quote
Edit: I didn't ask for a Infinite lives cheat.
Indirectly, you did.
When you die, your hearths are preserved. When you get a game over, your hearts go aways. So yes you were (and are still) asking an infinite lives cheat.
Those already exists and have nothing to do with re-translation nor improvement of the game, it's not up to bigswit to do this. (in fact I already thing he did too many changes but that's another story).

PS : As a better alternative you can use the already existing "double heart" patch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 19, 2013, 02:04:29 pm
There is no indisputable rationale to prefer Ondol over Ondor. Are you going to hold the guy at Konami who did the original English text as some kind of authority? I think that guy's work speaks for itself.

In case of no preference either way, yes, I am honoring North-American Konami's official translation in the role of the tie breaker.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 19, 2013, 02:06:32 pm
Edit: I didn't ask for a Infinite lives cheat. Even metroidvania games have gameovers, but they don't remove your currency after death. I was hoping for something more like that.

What you asked for is an infinite lives cheat.  When you lose your 3 lives, you lose your hearts/xp.  That is the death penalty.  If you take that away, you essentially have infinite lives.

Are we misunderstanding your request?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 19, 2013, 02:19:39 pm
If you have a infinite lives cheat you can't get your password, should you need one. You can't quit either then load a different file if you don't get a game over. Also, the purpose of getting hearts halved is more reasonable than removing all hearts. What RPG removes all your currency when you die? Especially nowdays. I thought the point of many of these changes is to make the game more like a traditional rpg. I don't want to use a double heart code because I'd rather see how many hearts I can get on my own, legit. If I wanted to get lots of hearts without earning them I could use a infinite hearts cheat.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 19, 2013, 02:41:02 pm
If you have a infinite lives cheat you can't get your password, should you need one. You can't quit either then load a different file if you don't get a game over. Also, the purpose of getting hearts halved is more reasonable than removing all hearts. What RPG removes all your currency when you die? Especially nowdays. I thought the point of many of these changes is to make the game more like a traditional rpg. I don't want to use a double heart code because I'd rather see how many hearts I can get on my own, legit. If I wanted to get lots of hearts without earning them I could use a infinite hearts cheat.

You can turn it off if you want your password.  An infinite lives cheat goes does everything you want.  Enjoy, you don't need anyone to hack it for you :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 19, 2013, 08:35:50 pm
I think you missed the part where I don't want to use a infinite lives cheat code.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on March 20, 2013, 08:07:41 am
You you want infinite lives, but you don't want it to be a code ? Fine, but once again that's not the purpose of this hack.

Of course you keep all your money in Aria of Sorrow or any other modern CV game when you die, but Simon's Quest is not Aria of Sorrow. It has been designed this way. The saving system is completely different too, you don't restart just where you died when you die in Aria of Sorrow
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 20, 2013, 08:23:35 am
You you want infinite lives, but you don't want it to be a code ? Fine, but once again that's not the purpose of this hack.

Of course you keep all your money in Aria of Sorrow or any other modern CV game when you die, but Simon's Quest is not Aria of Sorrow. It has been designed this way. The saving system is completely different too, you don't restart just where you died when you die in Aria of Sorrow

I don't know how many times I have to say I don't want infinite lives. I'd be fine with halving the hearts at death. Simon's Quest isn't Aria of Sorrow, but the game has been slowy evolving into a modern metroidvania. The map, the saving, whip inventory, heart max increasing on level up. Saving is different, yes. Probably cause he didn't want to redesign levels to have save points. Redesigning the levels to have save points probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyway.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 20, 2013, 08:56:43 am
heart max increasing on level up.

ENOENT: No such file or directory

Quote
Probably cause he didn't want to redesign levels to have save points.

And save points are stupid, in my opinion*. They are a fine tool to reduce the save size, or to ensure that a save is safe to resume from, but this is no problem for Simon's Quest. Simon's Quest solves the latter in a very elegant manner.

*) Except when they're incorporated into the plot, like in Chrono Cross.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 20, 2013, 09:27:13 am
Well, I assumed you were still gonna increase Heart max at level up in a later patch. You sounded interested in it anyway. Anyway, 255 hearts is kind of a lot of hearts to lose by dying. Imagine losing 999 of them. All that work, lost.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 21, 2013, 12:45:00 am
I don't know how many times I have to say I don't want infinite lives. I'd be fine with halving the hearts at death. Simon's Quest isn't Aria of Sorrow, but the game has been slowy evolving into a modern metroidvania. The map, the saving, whip inventory, heart max increasing on level up. Saving is different, yes. Probably cause he didn't want to redesign levels to have save points. Redesigning the levels to have save points probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyway.

Well, what you're asking for is infinite lives.  The death penalty is losing your lives.  If you take away the penalty, you effectively have infinite lives.

I if you want to halve your hearts upon death, just change the hearts to half upon your death with FCEU.  Easy fix.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 21, 2013, 12:50:06 am
That's not an easy fix. You'd have to calculate what your hearts are in hex. Then determine what half of it is in hex. Then alter your code each time. And then when I do that, I have to disable the code so I don't have infinite hearts. Besides that. I don't plan on playing the hack on a PC emulator. So I can't change the code every time I want.

Stop being an ass about someones request. I've said multiple times I don't want an infinite lives code yet you keep coming up to it. You've probably spent 6 of your 12 posts in here trying to be the biggest ass you can. Quit it already.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on March 21, 2013, 01:24:57 am
I think it would be good for everyone to not get into an argument over this lives/hearts issue. :police:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 21, 2013, 01:53:37 am
That's not an easy fix. You'd have to calculate what your hearts are in hex. Then determine what half of it is in hex. Then alter your code each time. And then when I do that, I have to disable the code so I don't have infinite hearts. Besides that. I don't plan on playing the hack on a PC emulator. So I can't change the code every time I want.

Stop being an ass about someones request. I've said multiple times I don't want an infinite lives code yet you keep coming up to it. You've probably spent 6 of your 12 posts in here trying to be the biggest ass you can. Quit it already.

That's all very easy to do in FCEU.  You can keep windows calculator open at the same time to do the hex conversion for you.  Takes less than 10 seconds to type in and change each time you do it.  You don't have to alter the code, just type the new value into the window.  I can provide more thorough instructions if you want.  You've been asking for infinite lives the whole time (essentially) and only recently changed your wish to losing half hearts upon death.  The only one being an ass is you, although a more apt description would be obtuse.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 21, 2013, 01:58:23 am
That's all very easy to do in FCEU.  You can keep windows calculator open at the same time to do the hex conversion for you.  Takes less than 10 seconds to type in and change each time you do it.  You don't have to alter the code, just type the new value into the window.  I can provide more thorough instructions if you want.  You've been asking for infinite lives the whole time (essentially) and only recently changed your wish to losing half hearts upon death.  The only one being an ass is you, although a more apt description would be obtuse.

Dude. Seriously, just drop it already. I understand exactly what he's asking for and why and it isn't infinite live, essentially or otherwise. If you want to continue the debate I suggest doing it via PM and not on here.


Now. On to the actual topic of the patch.
@Bisqwit: I'm curious about how the game handles the password/save feature since you went as far as calling it elegant.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 21, 2013, 09:28:45 am
Dude. Seriously, just drop it already. I understand exactly what he's asking for and why and it isn't infinite live, essentially or otherwise. If you want to continue the debate I suggest doing it via PM and not on here.

Obviously, you DON'T understand what he's asking for.  I'm assuming you haven't played the game, because when you continue, you continue exactly where you left off.  If you take away the penalty (losing your hearts), then you have infinite lives.  I don't get what is so hard to understand about this concept, but I assume you aren't familiar with the game.  Cutting your hearts in half would be a slightly different take on the death penalty, and would NOT be infinite lives per se.

Since you say you understand why it isn't infinite lives, can you explain it to us?  You can do it in PM if you must.

Since he's asking for changes to the mod, I think the discussion belongs here unless he reverts to stomping his feet, sticking out his tongue, and telling everyone who corrects him "NUH UH" without anything to back up his position.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 21, 2013, 10:45:16 am
There was never any ban on request for changes to the hack. And since you aren't RHDN staff or the hack author you don't get to dictate which requests are fulfilled. So you can quit arguing against it cause you don't make the decision anyway.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 21, 2013, 01:48:12 pm
Since you say you understand why it isn't infinite lives, can you explain it to us?  You can do it in PM if you must.

Since he's asking for changes to the mod, I think the discussion belongs here unless he reverts to stomping his feet, sticking out his tongue, and telling everyone who corrects him "NUH UH" without anything to back up his position.

You got your PM.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on March 21, 2013, 06:05:43 pm
This tread becomes ridiculous, but for information, hearts, experience, time and all this stuff is stored in BCD in Castlevania games (and not just Castlevania II). So no hex conversion necessary for cheat codes.

Also if you want to play simon's quest without loosing just force a nonzero value at address $40 (which is current HP), and there you are. I just thought I'd mention that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on March 22, 2013, 12:37:51 am
Lets get this topic back on track, ya know, having it be about the project itself and not about hearts.....
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 22, 2013, 01:35:12 am
I'm curious about how the game handles the password/save feature since you went as far as calling it elegant.

Passwords are different, because the player is always returned to the starting location in Jova upstairs.
But the death-resume, and by extension, SRAM-resume, use the following measures to elegantly ensure that Simon is never spawned in a dangerous spot:
-- Every frame, the game keeps track of last safe spot where Simon is in. The spot is Simon's current loation, except if he is airborne, or if he is in the stairs, or if he is on a floating platform or on a ferry, in which case the safe spot is not overwritten. Thus, at death-resume, and by extension SRAM-resume, Simon is always returned to a spot where he can stand safely. He is never respawned on a moving platform that might no longer be there.
-- At death-resume, and by extension SRAM-resume, Simon is given a few frames (128 if I recall right, about two seconds) of invulnerability. He can walk through enemies without getting harmed. This ensures that even if Simon is spawned on a small platform that has a skeleton to his company, he can enough time to react and move to safety without getting hurt.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 22, 2013, 08:53:12 am
This tread becomes ridiculous, but for information, hearts, experience, time and all this stuff is stored in BCD in Castlevania games (and not just Castlevania II). So no hex conversion necessary for cheat codes.

Also if you want to play simon's quest without loosing just force a nonzero value at address $40 (which is current HP), and there you are. I just thought I'd mention that.

When I opened CV II in a hex editor the value was already at a non zero value: e7. I changed it to 01 anyway I didn't get to keep hearts after death either.

When I added a cheat 0044:01 in FCEUX 2.20 I didn't get keep hearts after death either.

Can someone make a patch for this then instead? I'd settle for that if the hack author don't want to half hearts after death, which I still think is a great idea.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on March 22, 2013, 11:42:14 am
Bragalad is either using a different version or got the address wrong.
This is the US version.
RAM $80 = current HP
RAM $46-47 = EXP, RAM $48-49 = hearts

Knowing that, let me tell you how you could find the code yourself easily with FCEUX. :)

In FCEU debugger, set breakpoint for writes to RAM $0048-0049.
Purposely get game over.
Choose Continue.
Debugger window opens on function $C419 (zeroes EXP and hearts).
Checking the Stack, we can see it was called by $C314 (look at the first two bytes under Stack. They are C316, the address at the end of the instruction that called it. Subtract 2 to get the first byte of the instruction).
If you know the mapper (http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/INES_Mapper_001), you know $C000-FFFF = last bank of PRG ROM, and so that maps to ROM address $1C324.
NOP the JSR $C419 (changes the 3 bytes at $1C324 to EA)
(the part to be interested in in the mapper doc is PRG Setup. I know MMC1 has two modes, one where $8000-BFFF is always ROM bank 0 and $C000-FFFF is swappable, and the other where $8000-BFFF is swappable and $C000-FFFF is always the last ROM bank. Given a choice, NES games will almost always keep the end of the memory map a fixed bank.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on March 22, 2013, 01:05:07 pm
Sorry I mixed up $40 with $80. I remembered it was a value with only one bit set, but I didn't remember which bit ^^
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 22, 2013, 02:23:35 pm
Passwords are different, because the player is always returned to the starting location in Jova upstairs.
But the death-resume, and by extension, SRAM-resume, use the following measures to elegantly ensure that Simon is never spawned in a dangerous spot:
-- Every frame, the game keeps track of last safe spot where Simon is in. The spot is Simon's current loation, except if he is airborne, or if he is in the stairs, or if he is on a floating platform or on a ferry, in which case the safe spot is not overwritten. Thus, at death-resume, and by extension SRAM-resume, Simon is always returned to a spot where he can stand safely. He is never respawned on a moving platform that might no longer be there.
-- At death-resume, and by extension SRAM-resume, Simon is given a few frames (128 if I recall right, about two seconds) of invulnerability. He can walk through enemies without getting harmed. This ensures that even if Simon is spawned on a small platform that has a skeleton to his company, he can enough time to react and move to safety without getting hurt.

Interesting and elegant indeed.


*The following is an analysis of the lives and continue system in CV2. They are not to be construed as suggestions for this patch as some of my ideas would go beyond the scope of the project. Just think of it as food for thought.

About the death penalties in the 3 NES games; I think the CV2 one is quite the oddball, but with good reason. It's a bit of a complex issue when you delve into it. Comparing CV2 to CV1 &3 reveals a lot of complicating issues with the CV2 set up has.

Here's what happens when you die:
*CV1&3 - Loose all upgrades, health refilled, hearts reset to 5, you get placed back at the entrance to the current sub-stage, and the sub-stage is reset.
*CV2 - Health refilled, and the sub-stage is reset.

The reasons for this is that in CV1&3 the upgrades are plentiful and easy to get back. This, BTW, shows the game's arcade inspired heritage. In contrast the upgrades in CV2 are all permanent and take considerable effort to find. So they can't take them away anymore because they're no longer easy to retrieve because the candles are gone. They tried to off set this by increasing the value of hearts and making enemies drop them more often. However this poses problems of it's own. First off, this made the game itself more boring visually and interactively. Having removed all item drops except hearts is also a factor that adds to the monotonous nature of the game play. This set up literally makes lives nearly pointless. They could have tripled your HP and gone straight to the continue screen and it would have made no difference at all. So lives in CV2 serve no purpose except to preserve tradition and waste your time.

Here are some ideas on how to fix this. If you want the game to resemble it's action brethren then keep the lives, but place the player back at the last town they visited if they are on the "OW". Dying in a mansion could place the player back at the entrance. Dying in a town could place them just outside the town. That would create an actual reason to have lives at all. One could also consider adding some way of gaining extra lives. Getting an extra life when leveling up might work. Or making an extra life item that can be hidden in breakable walls would be nice if a bit more complex to execute. If you wanted to be a bastard you could also add an extra penalty for dying at night. Dying at night could advance the clock to morning. That would be a real penalty for a game that has endings dependent on a timer. If hearts were just ammo instead of also being currency I'd suggest resetting them back to 5 when you die too.

What happens when you continue:
CV1&3 - Same as when you die, except your lives are also reset to the initial stock and you restart the level from the beginning.
CV2 - Same as when you die, except your lives are also reset to the initial stock, and your hearts/exp are reset to 0.

Here's where people think CV2 is too harsh. Loosing all your ammo AND currency when you game over in a game where getting hearts is a chore "no es bueno". Let's face it that's a huge hassle. The ammo part of the equation isn't so bad because most of your weapons don't use hearts anyway. That, in and of itself is a big change from CV1, but I won't get into it. The problem here is that loosing all your currency is a huge hassle. The easy solution is the RPG one that has been suggested. Game over, get your hearts cut in half. Exp shouldn't even be touched, IMO. But this changes the flow of the game because it cuts down on the time it takes to continue on your quest, thus making getting the better endings easier.  The cooler more complex solution is to have hearts and gold as separate entities and put the candles back in the game. Removing the candle was the most block-headed thing they could have done in the first place. They are important because they give the player something to do besides murdering the same enemies over and over. You could even take things further by having lanterns in town and braziers outdoors that are off during the day and only give items at night. Along with this is to make all the sub-weapons cost hearts again. However, this would require that the horrible fake floor gimmick be modified. If your holy water costs hearts to use then you're not going to want to waste them on finding illusory blocks in the floor. And furthermore, if the holy water costs hears, it would probably be better if it burst into flames once again. But if it does, then the Sacred Flame needs to be re-purposed too. (But it was over powered anyway.) So might as well bring back the axe and the holy cross while we're at it. No need for 3 knives after all. Oh, and bring back the wall chicken. Having to always trek back to a church is a pain in the ass sometimes.

In closing the entire issue of the hearts and how to treat them in CV2 is complex because of all of the other changes that were implemented around them. You can't really change one aspect of the hearts without opening a can of worms that effects a ton of other aspects of the game. So really, in the end making hearts into currency was the single worst decision the designers of CV2 made and fixing it in a meaningful way would be no easy task.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 22, 2013, 03:01:00 pm
Thanks for the info on how to stop heart loss. I'll try it out later. Vanya has some interesting ideas on how to make the game more like a traditional CV game, but I dont know if I'd like to have to restart at the beginning of levels after every death. Maybe just at game overs. I think some of these changes would be good in a seperate hack that tries to add classic elements to the game. You don't need that much currency in the game cause there isn't much stuff to buy, but bringing back money backs could be interesting. If you really wanted to rebalance the game, and have continues take you back to the previous town visited. You could possibly open a door that you could go in, and have a save point there. Then when you die you will be taken back to that point. Again, this should be in a seperate hack, not the retranslation. But the seperate hack should be compatible with the retranslation. If you'd really want to implent all this stuff on the existing hack, then you could add it as a patching option. I think bringing back currency could be good if you have a real high max. That way you can collect more money as you replay the game to give you more motivation to replay. Also, using hearts again for weapons could be good. I don't miss the CV1 weapons aside from the boomerang, but they could always be brought back in the rebalancing patch. whippable candles, maybe only in mansions would add variety to the game. I know some of this stuff such as money wouldn't be savable with a password without expanding them which would suck. You might need a seperate holy water or something you can throw at the ground that don't harm things and don't cost hearts for use with locating fake floors if you want holy water to cost hearts again.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Rhetorical on March 22, 2013, 03:04:50 pm
There was never any ban on request for changes to the hack. And since you aren't RHDN staff or the hack author you don't get to dictate which requests are fulfilled. So you can quit arguing against it cause you don't make the decision anyway.

No one said anything about a ban on requests or changes to the hack.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that's what this topic is for!

And I don't need to argue against it or make the decision, if you read the thread I was trying to help you get what you wanted WITHOUT the author needing to do anything to his mod before you became antagonistic.

Anyway:

As for changing what is retained and lost when you die or gameover, I do not want to take drastic measures.
Theoretically, I could go the Battle of Olympus route and cut the number of hearts in half at every death, including gameover, though. But even then I do not think it is a justifiable change.

(posting this quote is in no way me saying you can't continue to ask for your requested changes, but it seems the mod author has already decided which way to go with this issue, and I think we should respect that)

-----

I'd LOVE a separate currency and hearts change to the game.  Seems like a ton of work editing the drop tables of enemies and finding places to store it, finding room for all the code in the tiny blocks available.  But a very cool addition.

Bisqwit, at what point did you realize that this was not just a re-translation and has become something much bigger and better?  :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 22, 2013, 07:39:40 pm
I could see candles re-added in the ruins (because it is basically Castlevania's scenes 7 years later), and possibly the towns (because it might make sense for townspeople to put them there, especially for the night-time). Incidentally, these scenes are the only ones that consistently have enough free PPU tilespace for adding the candles and also the bonus drops. It is still hardly in the scope of this hack (and I know you Vanya said so), but I might see the interest and rationale in adding them.

But what would those bonuses be? In Castlevania 1 & 3, there is score. Castlevania 2 does not have a score. The only point of those bonus drops was to add score. Well, there were the multipliers, and extra weapons. Multipliers would be doable in Castlevania 2, but not the extra weapons without very radical changes. (I have previously written that it might be possible to replace e.g. dagger with the cross boomerang without requiring radical changes, but it would still change the game's NPCs and require some work on the status screen.)
It would be very difficult to settle these questions and still keep Castlevania II as Castlevania II.

Extra lifes would be nice. And the chunks of chicken in walls, heh. It is a bit letdown that the only way to heal without dying is in the church, or by leveling up.  Then again, without a really strong reason I see no reason to do something about it. Others complain that Simon's Quest is too easy.

As for losing hearts and experience at gameover... Well, losing experience is on par with D&D style MUD games, where praying gets you back into the game, but you lose all unspent experience. (Those games let you keep a portion of your experience if a priest casts a resurrect/raise dead type spell to bring you back into the game.)
For currency & weapon power? Well.

I could make halving the hearts at gameover an optional patch as a public service, but for simplicity's sake, so far I have held into the principle that all of the patches in my vending machine are part of the official patch. I am not ready to make this kind of feature into the official patch.

Currency & weapon power as distinct measures? Well.

Bisqwit, at what point did you realize that this was not just a re-translation and has become something much bigger and better?  :)

I think I began with this project in July 2011. That's when I dumped most of the text from the NTSC ROM as a HTML page. You can find the source code of that program here (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-dump-minimal.php.txt) (warning: ridiculously simple code). I began with the insertor in February 2012,  and April 2012 was the earliest I find work on the map renderer (which was the first improvement). Adding the map was greatly spearheaded by previous progress I had made with autoconverting truecolor images into NES graphics, such as in my ppu_read_buffer (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/nes_tests/ppu_read_buffer) NES emulator accuracy test module (includes source code, screenshot in figure 1 below), and the dithering algorithms (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/story/howto/dither/jy/) workbench of animmerger (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/source/animmerger.html) I had developed even earlier.

Then again, I had already in February 2012 changed the dialog rendering pace, adding pauses for commas and full stops and the such.
It has been an ongoing process. Basically, the entire game is up for me to rewrite as I please, but I want to keep it as agreeably Castlevania II. Programmingwise, the only limits are those imposed by the hardware. The boundary of what I can do and still keep it as Castlevania II is thin and subject to opinion and dispute, and I try to tread carefully and hold my excitement over creation, in order to keep the patch as an acceptable translation and localization of the original Japanese game's spirit and content on the cartridge media. I can be swayed, and I do appreciate all discussion and ideas. I already declared a past version of this patch to the final one, but we all saw how well that went.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/ppu_read_buffer.gif)
Fig 1: ppu_read_buffer as rendered by nesemu1, using its built-in NTSC modem. The picture represents one of the paintings by the late Thomas Kinkade, probably my favourite painter.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 22, 2013, 09:36:14 pm
I don't miss most of the CV1 weapons myself, but always liked the boomerang. I think most CV players enjoy that weapon. So restoring it would be good. I dunno what you would do with the extra space, but you could bring the dagger icons down to one. Then select one and maybe a arrow or new window opens, from there press right or left to select a different dagger. That way no dagger HAS to be removed. I dunno if you are worried about tile space, but you could perhaps have lanterns instead of candles and they dont have to animate. The light can change color. So you wouldn't need extra space for the flame animation. Maybe the towns could have lanterns anyway, makes the most sense. I think getting money would be enough incentive to wanting to get the money bags. Cause as you progress you can accumulate the money and watch it go up. After you complete everything it would give you something to do. It was one of the few things to do in a Richter game in SOTN after you beat it. It isn't THAT much an incentive, but in the  end you could still watch your money go up over time. So there's a little purpose to replay.

I don't miss the II and III multipliers, never really liked having to get those and usually auto having the III multiplier is one of the cheats I have on. Bringing back potroast would be a good idea too. Perhaps one per mansion. Also, extra lives would be good too.

If you do add back money, and have the VRAM space. You should consider adding other bonus money items for varieties sake. They don't have to be common, but it might be nice to find other treasures on ocassion. But don't bring back secret treasures ala ducking in a certain spot. It is rewarding to find one accidentally, but I always thought it wasted time ducking all over trying to find them.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on March 22, 2013, 10:27:21 pm
I dunno what you would do with the extra space, but you could bring the dagger icons down to one. Then select one and maybe a arrow or new window opens, from there press right or left to select a different dagger. That way no dagger HAS to be removed.
Or how about just replacing the old dagger when you get the new one? Unless I'm mistaken, it's a pure upgrade (adds rapid-fire), so I see no point in using the old one once you get the new one.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 23, 2013, 01:51:10 am
That's what happened with the whip too, yet the hack author saw fit to make the whips selectable. I don't see why he would go the opposite direction for the knifes.

Here's an idea. If you bring back the money why not come up with other things you can buy when you get LOT's of money. Such as Heart max increases, laurel max increases, garlic max increases, oak stake increases. Heart max increase might be a better idea than giving a higher heart max outright.  I kind of wish the Oak stake could be used for something cause I like throwing it. I guess it can cause more damage to Dracula, but he's already too easy. Can't think of other stuff to add to buy at the moment. I know SOTN has boss tactics but that ain't really neccesarry. Could make extra lives buyable for those that want a save with max lives. Something else to work on maxing out on a save file.

As for making a optional patch for retaining hearts at gameover. I suggest have 3 options. Lose all hearts. Hearts halved. Keep all hearts. I'd probably use the hearts halved patch.

Also, not sure if you are considering save points, but instead of making another room where you save. Why not have the priest ask you if you want to save? That's how save points work in the metroidvania games. You get healed and then you can save.
Also, if you wanna go all out hacking. How about making a beastiary, or sound test?

Also, if you must bring back the II and III items, I suggest making them buyable items that you keep after game over. I'd rather get them and keep them then be forced to refind them again.

Making the bosses tougher was a suggestion made earlier. If you want to keep hacking the game it would make a good optional patch too. Keep it optional and submit only change patches which don't drastically alter the game to RHDN. Then note the optional patches on the RHDN page so people interested in those pages will go to your page for the extra patching options if they want the changes.

If you were to make the bosses tougher, and Dracula tougher, than having the oak stake do more damage on him would make sense. Perhaps he could have a 2nd form of some type, even if it's just a small face change ala SCV IV.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on March 23, 2013, 02:34:29 am
If you want to make Dracula harder, make him invincible until after he fully forms. The reason he is so easy is because you can kill him before he even forms.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 23, 2013, 06:32:33 am
Thinking of SCV IV, it'd be easy to give Dracula new attacks without needing much VRAM. He could simply spawn fire and stuff like he did on SCV IV. You could even use the existing flame sprites from the Sacred Fire subweapon.

Many classic Castlevania games give the bosses a lifebar, something you could consider. It could be a bar like Simons but on the right side of the screen.

If you were to add more stuff to buy with money, then that may make people play longer, which could  be problematic to driving people to get the best ending by beating it fast. Not sure how to address that unless you change the requirements for getting the best endings. Of course you could make the new purchasables appear after beating the game. Dunno if that is a good idea either.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on March 23, 2013, 06:39:50 am
What would be cool is if you made Dracula Castle look more like the first level of  part 1 i think the scenery would add to the anticipation as you are making your way to Dracula's crypt
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 23, 2013, 07:52:04 am
What would be cool is if you made Dracula Castle look more like the first level of  part 1 i think the scenery would add to the anticipation as you are making your way to Dracula's crypt

True. Then again, level design = part of the game's identity. But certainly something to contemplate.


If you want to make Dracula harder, make him invincible until after he fully forms. The reason he is so easy is because you can kill him before he even forms.

I don't think that being able to kill him before he fully forms is particularly a strong factor. After all, any damage still stuns him. If you have weapons that are strong enough to kill him before he fully forms, you have weapons strong enough to kill him without him getting much chance to hurt you even if he launches into action.

Also, if you wanna go all out hacking. How about making a beastiary, or sound test?

I have had this kind of ideas for the ending credits, but haven't gotten around to it.
There's also the fact that so far this game does not use the well-known Konami Code.


Quote
If you were to make the bosses tougher, and Dracula tougher, than having the oak stake do more damage on him would make sense.

That's a funny idea. Currently the oak stage is currently dummied out in anything except mansions, and even then it does not hit any enemy.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 23, 2013, 08:31:46 am
Remember as mentioned in SOTN, Dracula's castle is a creature of chaos. It may take many incarnations. The only time any level looks exactly the same is in remakes. This is a sequel, not a remake, so the level design shouldn't be the same as CV1 as dictated by the Alucard comment.

As for different money objects, you could simply use a coin. Ala CV Adventure, or the smaller coin in CV SOTN.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on March 23, 2013, 09:59:43 am
Buuuuuut.... The castle only changes when Dracula is revived otherwise it would stay the same(albeit in ruins), and since dracula is not revived yet we can allow ourselves a nostalgia flashback to part 1. Errrr... That is, should Bisquit decide to go that route.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 23, 2013, 12:08:58 pm
I think in SOTN Dracula wasn't ressurected until Shaft ressurected him after Alucard defeated him, yet the castle was different from ROB. Also, I think in HOD GBA, the Castle was different from any time known before it, yet Dracula only partially ressurected at the end of it too.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on March 23, 2013, 01:33:47 pm
Well, let's come to an agreement then. If Bisquit does decide to implement a Castlevania 1 look in Dracula's crypt it still wouldn't be same because remaking the first board probably wouldn't be feasible. But, maybe he can expand the crypt area a little so it has more of a castle feel since the castle can look like whatever it wants(chaos) then graphics from part 1 or maybe 3 are ok!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 23, 2013, 01:45:23 pm
I guess this is kinda similar to what that guy earlier said, but it would be easy to recreate what you want in the Stake editor for CV1. Just remove the candles and enemies. Especially since you want to use CV1 graphics. Unlike what the guy earlier said, you'd only have to edit it once and you can save the results to make a custom ROM, not constantly edit the RAM each time you game over and toggle the code on, return to the game, go to the cheat menu again, turn off the code, and resume the game. Editing the palette of Simon's sprite would be easy, maybe not so easy would be editing the graphics. But even if you didn't edit the palette and sprite, it would still feel the same. CV1 and 2 play the same for the most part.

They don't have the same items and weapons, sure. But in a enemyless level, they aren't that neccesarry.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 23, 2013, 01:52:44 pm
Regardless of what the decision will be about what should be done and what should not be done about level layouts, changing them is not about to happen quickly, because so far I have not yet managed to completely reverse engineer the level format. Leveldatawise I know about the actors, and about palettes, and about the max-levelups, but not about solids, exits and background graphics. (I know where all the tables are, just not what is the meaning of all data within them.) Granted, I have not spent nearly as much effort in it as I did in some other parts of the code.

Also, I am beginning to lose track of what has been suggested so far.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on March 23, 2013, 08:07:28 pm
I've reverse engineered all of it. Maybe we should share some data.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 24, 2013, 03:49:03 am
I've reverse engineered all of it. Maybe we should share some data.
That would be nice!

You can find my comprehensive disassembly of the ROM at: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/dasm.zip (mods, feel free to delete this link if it defies ROM distribution policies, as it's technically possible to reconstruct the ROM from this disassembly).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on March 24, 2013, 03:26:39 pm
Registered here just to say thanks for this amazing hack. Simon's Quest is one of my favorite games of all time, and this patch smooths out the rough spots and lets what's good about this game shine through. The map and sram saving in particular are such a natural fit, it really feels like they should have been there all along.

I definitely appreciate the patch's goal of staying faithful to the original concept of the game, so I thought I'd throw out some minor suggestions that wouldn't affect the game overmuch, but still make the experience a bit more pleasant:

* A 30hz strobe on Simon's sprite while he's invulnerable. All the other CV games do this, as well as most NES games in general, and its absence always felt like an oversight to me.

* The "activation area" of many of the signposts in the towns is off-center. Standing on the right half of the sign doesn't trigger it, while standing far to its left still can. This can easily trick people into thinking the sign is just decorative if they're not standing far enough to the left to read it. This would likely require level edits, but it sounds like that information is forthcoming.

* This one is pretty minor, but perhaps moving the "garlic" display to the left by 1 tile, and having the silk bag appear to its right when you obtain it, since the bag relates directly to the herbs, rather than the whip area where it's always been.

* Direct crossfade between night/day. This one has been discussed already, but it really would be an amazing effect I think, if it can be pulled off. The fade to black was always really jarring. Sprites that need to disappear could just fade to black and vanish. A bit awkward, but what's gained in atmosphere outweighs it I think.

* Finally, perhaps doing something with that unused enemy sprite (http://bmf.rustedmagick.com/cr/castlevania2.htm). It probably has no code or palette data associated with it, but having it appear somewhere even as an easter-egg would be cool.

Anyway, thanks again.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 24, 2013, 08:05:56 pm
I don't think you should add new enemies, even if you are adding one with a pre-existing sprite. Try to keep the level layout roughly the same.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 24, 2013, 08:09:39 pm
What would be cool is if you made Dracula Castle look more like the first level of  part 1 i think the scenery would add to the anticipation as you are making your way to Dracula's crypt

That could be accomplished with a simple palette change so it at least resembles the CV1 stage even if the graphics are a little different.
Edit: Actually the lay out of the 'crypt' is pretty close to the first room of stage 1 after the outside part. If I were going to do anything to it at all really is add 2 rooms before the 'crypt'. First I'd add a mansion front modified to look like the intro of CV1 but without the castle silhouette since it got flattened. This takes you to a ruined courtyard that then leads to the 'crypt'.

Remember as mentioned in SOTN, Dracula's castle is a creature of chaos. It may take many incarnations. The only time any level looks exactly the same is in remakes. This is a sequel, not a remake, so the level design shouldn't be the same as CV1 as dictated by the Alucard comment.

As for different money objects, you could simply use a coin. Ala CV Adventure, or the smaller coin in CV SOTN.

But also, as a direct sequel without a Dracula resurrection (the last boss is Dracula's Wraith, not a new body) the part of the castle you're seeing is the dead husk of the previous Castlevania, so it should look alike which it does save for the palette.


I don't think you should add new enemies, even if you are adding one with a pre-existing sprite. Try to keep the level layout roughly the same.

But having just one appear as an easter egg would be pure awesome. For example"
Spoiler:
Perhaps put it in a very out of the way area that otherwise has no purpose.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 24, 2013, 10:56:38 pm
Putting the enemy as a easter egg would probably be ok, it won't drastically change the game.

Also, remember, Chaos is an actual being. Probably the one that changes the castle. You fight it at the end of AOS. So it would probably be around to change the castle in CV2. Besides, redesigning the level would be retconning pretty much. Retranslation isn't retconning, it's simply bringing the text closer to the japanese text.

Does it say anywhere that Dracula is the one changing the castle? Cause I thought since the Chaos comment in SOTN it's been implied that it was Chaos that was changing the castle. AOS confirmed Chaos was an actual being.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 26, 2013, 02:30:59 am
The only info on the nature of the castle is that Alucard calls it a "creature of chaos" in SotN to explain to Maria (and indirectly to the player) why the castle looks completely different to the last time she was there. I don't know if that is an accurate translation of the Japanese script though. Generally speaking the term "creature of chaos" in literature means that the nature of the 'creature' is chaotic, not that it's literally a creature controlled by a being called "Chaos".

There is no evidence that the embodiment of chaos that Soma fights has any direct control of anything, not to mention that he didn't exist in the series until AoS. Actually he's little more than a plot device.

Also, let's not forget that in CoD there is an "Abandoned Castle" that is a previous version of "Dracula's Castle". Furthermore, the first stage of Bloodlines is a ruined Castlevania and that there is a new Castlevania in England at the end of the game. So it's pretty clear that not only does the castle take on new incarnations, but that it leaves it's remains behind when it appears in a new location.

Finally, it's pretty obvious that the designers of CV2 intended the "crypt" to be the ruins of the castle from 7 years previous. Adding a little more to it in a way that jives with what is already known is hardly a retcon. They don't show you exactly how that bridge connects to the shoreline of the island the castle ruins are on, but you know it's got to be there. Common sense should tell your imagination that there has to be some sort of shoreline and some distance from the bridge to the actual ruins for there to be a forest full of trees surrounding them as the background shows.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 26, 2013, 04:27:45 am
That would be taking quite a liberty to assume the creators of CV 2 meant to recreate the layout of the CV 1 level. Also, I dunno how closely the level layout of the CV1 level in Bloodlines is, but I'm sure it had entirely new graphics, as in Dracula or Chaos rebuilt it with a similar design but with different looking material.

Been a while since I played all the way through CV II. But if the courtyard isn't exactly the same as CV 1, layout wise, then that'd mean that Simon went in a different way. That would explain the different layout.

Also note that Castlevania 1 took place in 1691 and Castlevania Bloodlines took place in 1917. There were 8 games in between it. If the CV Bloodlines level is the ruins of Castlevania then wouldn't it look like the CV 64 level as that is how it last looked before it was destroyed? How is CV Bloodlines castle supposed to be the ruins of the CV 1 level? If you are saying the CV1 castle is in a different location than the one in the games preceeding it and that the Belmonts avoided the castle until CV Bloodlines in 1917, well, that's alot of time for the Belmonts to avoid that castle. Especially since it is obviously still populated by enemies.

And if CV Bloodlines castle is the ruins of the CV 1 castle and it has almost the same layout as CV1, then that means that Simon didn't go there in CV 2, cause of the different look and layout. That or Dracula or Chaos remade the level in CV 2 to have a way different layout with different material. Then Chaos or Dracula changed it back sometime after that to have a similar layout to CV 1, but with different material. It would be kind of odd for it to redo the castle to use a similar layout to one it used before. I can't understand why Chaos or Dracula would do that. I guess it does kind of do that in SOTN, but the resemblance between CV SOTN levels and CV ROB levels is pretty small. I hear the clock tower in SOTN has a similar layout to ROB's clock tower but I'd still say they look pretty different.

Anyway, I'm against retconning the final level. At least not by a fan. Usually, re-translations are attempts at bringing the game closer to the developers original intentions. Redesigning levels isn't one of the things that does that.

If you were to redesign the level to have the same layout as CV 1, which we've already seen countless times, where do you plan on having the Dracula battle? In the Merman area? Are you sure adding pits during a Dracula battle is a good idea? Remember the Dracula battle in Dracula X for SNES. If you want to have Simon fight Dracula where the Giant bat is, I don't know if that's a good replacement either. Not sure the layout is fitting for the battle. If you want to change the layout to accomodate the battle then that goes against your wish to have the level exactly like CV1. If you plan to have a new area created to fight Dracula, then I don't see why the level couldn't be left alone in the first place as adding a new area still goes against the idea of making the level exactly like CV1. Also, if you were to create a new area to fight Dracula, how would you explain it got there if you don't believe Chaos alters the castle? Adding stairs to lead to a new area to fight Dracula would again go against the idea of having the level exactly like CV1. And if new stairs were added then you would have to explain them appearing, which would be difficult if you don't believe Chaos changes the castle. You could possibly have a item that cause a new room to appear, but that could create confusion, unless there's a clue added somewhere that is archivable. If this were done I'm sure there'd still be people that don't get the clue and thus make the game unfinishable to them. There's also the chance that people might miss the clue. Especially if it is a new clue in a new location that noone was expecting.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 26, 2013, 09:17:59 pm
That would be taking quite a liberty to assume the creators of CV 2 meant to recreate the layout of the CV 1 level. Also, I dunno how closely the level layout of the CV1 level in Bloodlines is, but I'm sure it had entirely new graphics, as in Dracula or Chaos rebuilt it with a similar design but with different looking material.

I have to disagree. You can lay them over each other and they fit quite nicely. Plus remember that at this point there was only CV1/VK and CV2. There was nothing to indicate they intended anything that came later. All there was was an ending where the castle crumbles and a sequel where you go back to the same castle.


Been a while since I played all the way through CV II. But if the courtyard isn't exactly the same as CV 1, layout wise, then that'd mean that Simon went in a different way. That would explain the different layout.

It's not that the courtyard is different. They bypassed it completely. The part of the castle you do get to see has the same types of tiles as in CV1, but with redrawn graphics. The palette are very similar, too.

Also note that Castlevania 1 took place in 1691 and Castlevania Bloodlines took place in 1917. There were 8 games in between it. If the CV Bloodlines level is the ruins of Castlevania then wouldn't it look like the CV 64 level as that is how it last looked before it was destroyed? How is CV Bloodlines castle supposed to be the ruins of the CV 1 level? If you are saying the CV1 castle is in a different location than the one in the games preceeding it and that the Belmonts avoided the castle until CV Bloodlines in 1917, well, that's alot of time for the Belmonts to avoid that castle. Especially since it is obviously still populated by enemies.

And if CV Bloodlines castle is the ruins of the CV 1 castle and it has almost the same layout as CV1, then that means that Simon didn't go there in CV 2, cause of the different look and layout. That or Dracula or Chaos remade the level in CV 2 to have a way different layout with different material. Then Chaos or Dracula changed it back sometime after that to have a similar layout to CV 1, but with different material. It would be kind of odd for it to redo the castle to use a similar layout to one it used before. I can't understand why Chaos or Dracula would do that. I guess it does kind of do that in SOTN, but the resemblance between CV SOTN levels and CV ROB levels is pretty small. I hear the clock tower in SOTN has a similar layout to ROB's clock tower but I'd still say they look pretty different.

I didn't mean to say that the Bloodlines ruins are the CV1 ruins. I was simply using it as an example of a game where the ruins of an incarnation of the castle leaves behind remains and a new incarnation appears in a new location.


Anyway, I'm against retconning the final level. At least not by a fan. Usually, re-translations are attempts at bringing the game closer to the developers original intentions. Redesigning levels isn't one of the things that does that.

If you were to redesign the level to have the same layout as CV 1, which we've already seen countless times, where do you plan on having the Dracula battle? In the Merman area? Are you sure adding pits during a Dracula battle is a good idea? Remember the Dracula battle in Dracula X for SNES. If you want to have Simon fight Dracula where the Giant bat is, I don't know if that's a good replacement either. Not sure the layout is fitting for the battle. If you want to change the layout to accomodate the battle then that goes against your wish to have the level exactly like CV1. If you plan to have a new area created to fight Dracula, then I don't see why the level couldn't be left alone in the first place as adding a new area still goes against the idea of making the level exactly like CV1. Also, if you were to create a new area to fight Dracula, how would you explain it got there if you don't believe Chaos alters the castle? Adding stairs to lead to a new area to fight Dracula would again go against the idea of having the level exactly like CV1. And if new stairs were added then you would have to explain them appearing, which would be difficult if you don't believe Chaos changes the castle. You could possibly have a item that cause a new room to appear, but that could create confusion, unless there's a clue added somewhere that is archivable. If this were done I'm sure there'd still be people that don't get the clue and thus make the game unfinishable to them. There's also the chance that people might miss the clue. Especially if it is a new clue in a new location that noone was expecting.

Well, I wasn't suggesting it be done at all. It's just an idea I had that I would do if I was in charge. And to be clear I didn't ever suggest a complete redesign of the layout. I only thought it might be interesting to add the parts that seem to me to be skipped. The 'crypt' would stay the same structurally. I'd just add two rooms between the abrupt cutoff from the bridge to match CV1 a little better. Maybe an illustration would be better...

Here's some reference pics:

CV1
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwhwacxpr5yhx3n/CV1%20Entrance%20Example.png (https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwhwacxpr5yhx3n/CV1%20Entrance%20Example.png)

CV2
https://www.dropbox.com/s/797e6o6xhk2gdq6/CV2%20Entrance%20Example.png (https://www.dropbox.com/s/797e6o6xhk2gdq6/CV2%20Entrance%20Example.png)

And here's my idea:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kd5sz484k5wx8nc/CV2%20-%20Expansion%20Idea.png (https://www.dropbox.com/s/kd5sz484k5wx8nc/CV2%20-%20Expansion%20Idea.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on March 27, 2013, 01:42:35 am
Is that green stuff in the Castle Ruins leaves from trees? If so that means the roof collapsed. The front wall would need to be redrawn probably to reflect that walls and ceilings are crumbling. Funny that there's no rubble even when the roof has caved in.

I don't think the main level should be redesigned, but going from that bridge to the Castle Entrance level is kind of jarring. Restoring the courtyard and entering through the front door could help the transition. I dunno about showing a cutscene of Simon looking at the faroff castle, but perhaps a wall illustrating the front gate of the Castle walls would probably make sense. I think the Castle Entrance interior should be left alone tho.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on March 27, 2013, 07:30:14 pm
Is that green stuff in the Castle Ruins leaves from trees? If so that means the roof collapsed. The front wall would need to be redrawn probably to reflect that walls and ceilings are crumbling. Funny that there's no rubble even when the roof has caved in.

Yeah. Those are trees showing over the collapsed wall. I didn't redraw everything because I had to go do some real world stuff and it's just supposed to be an example anyway.


I don't think the main level should be redesigned, but going from that bridge to the Castle Entrance level is kind of jarring. Restoring the courtyard and entering through the front door could help the transition. I dunno about showing a cutscene of Simon looking at the faroff castle, but perhaps a wall illustrating the front gate of the Castle walls would probably make sense. I think the Castle Entrance interior should be left alone tho.

Yeah, there wouldn't be a cutscene like CV1. And I'd only change the palette from purple to the original orange.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 27, 2013, 09:02:42 pm
A 30hz strobe on Simon's sprite while he's invulnerable. All the other CV games do this, as well as most NES games in general, and its absence always felt like an oversight to me.

That is a good idea. I will add it one day.


Quote
The "activation area" of many of the signposts in the towns is off-center. Standing on the right half of the sign doesn't trigger it, while standing far to its left still can. This can easily trick people into thinking the sign is just decorative if they're not standing far enough to the left to read it. This would likely require level edits, but it sounds like that information is forthcoming.

That is also very true. I will try to resize the hitbox for the signposts. Shouldn't be too difficult. I wonder though why they left it like that.

There is another signpost related bug, by the way.
When the morning comes and the zombies are vanquished, or when the night comes and the townsfolk are vanquished, the signpost responder is also vanquished along with everyone else. You can't read the sign right after sunrise / sunset, unless you scroll it out from the screen and back again. For now, I am not planning to fix it.


Quote
This one is pretty minor, but perhaps moving the "garlic" display to the left by 1 tile, and having the silk bag appear to its right when you obtain it, since the bag relates directly to the herbs, rather than the whip area where it's always been.

It would break a symmetry and the margins. Sorry.


Quote
Direct crossfade between night/day. This one has been discussed already, but it really would be an amazing effect I think, if it can be pulled off. The fade to black was always really jarring. Sprites that need to disappear could just fade to black and vanish. A bit awkward, but what's gained in atmosphere outweighs it I think.

I will still keep that in mind. Thanks for the feedback.


Quote
Finally, perhaps doing something with that unused enemy sprite (http://bmf.rustedmagick.com/cr/castlevania2.htm). It probably has no code or palette data associated with it, but having it appear somewhere even as an easter-egg would be cool.

It can only be placed in Laruba mansion (without VROM rewrites), in a town (with VROM redesign), or in the castle ruins (with VROM redesign). There appears to be palette data associated with this object (at least I can't find anything else that uses it); however, it is simply a duplicate of the fishman monster from other screens, and as such it appears like this. http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2unknownmonster.png
I can't find code that activates those sprites, and thus how that monster might have behaved is up to anyone's guess. My guess is it was the related to the previous boss of Laruba's mansion before they went with Carmilla. The fact that it can be placed only in those particular scenes strictly limits its usefulness as a secret though. As a general principle, I think I'm going to leave the resurrecting of unused levels/graphics/objects to other hackers. It's a fairly common theme in hacks, and I don't think it would particularly improve Castlevania II.


Is that green stuff in the Castle Ruins leaves from trees? If so that means the roof collapsed.

Yes, the roof has collapsed, and you'd know it, if you did ever watch the ending of Castlevania 1. The green stuff looks quite similar as the green stuff in the castle's courtyard in Castlevania 1. It might be foliage or it might be slime, does not really matter in my opinion. The artistic style is a match.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on March 28, 2013, 11:01:40 am



It can only be placed in Laruba mansion (without VROM rewrites), in a town (with VROM redesign), or in the castle ruins (with VROM redesign). There appears to be palette data associated with this object (at least I can't find anything else that uses it); however, it is simply a duplicate of the fishman monster from other screens, and as such it appears like this. http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2unknownmonster.png
I can't find code that activates those sprites, and thus how that monster might have behaved is up to anyone's guess. My guess is it was the related to the previous boss of Laruba's mansion before they went with Carmilla. The fact that it can be placed only in those particular scenes strictly limits its usefulness as a secret though. As a general principle, I think I'm going to leave the resurrecting of unused levels/graphics/objects to other hackers. It's a fairly common theme in hacks, and I don't think it would particularly improve Castlevania II.


Behavior code for this enemy exists. The index number for its AI is 0B, but the pointer was removed from the AI table (x41E3) for some reason. I implemented it's behavior once and it can only be placed in the Laruba mansion. Shouldn't take too long to find it again...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on March 28, 2013, 11:49:43 am
Behavior code for this enemy exists. The index number for its AI is 0B, but the pointer was removed from the AI table (x41E3) for some reason. I implemented it's behavior once and it can only be placed in the Laruba mansion. Shouldn't take too long to find it again...
Yes, 0B is null. Hmm...
There are several unused AI functions.
$A558 is the best candidate probably. It is almost an exact duplicate of the AI for the flaming man found in Debious Woods; wandering around, throwing a gravity-obeying rolling fireball once in a while and turning around to do that. But there are small differences that I have not yet analyzed. It uses the flaming man's sprite (or the skeleton's, depending on the VROM page. In the mansion, it is the skeleton.)
There is also $A3BE, but that one does not move. It appears to deal with the mudman's sprites.
$A5C7 is also unused, but it's a stationary fireball that may shoot upwards under certain conditions.
$92F4 is unused, but it is something that simply devolves into Dracula's explosion.
Within the unused AI functions there was none that uses sprites 19/1A, that is the candidate for this apparition.

The object number could also have been $23, for that one is also assigned to nothing at all. That is hardly relevant though.

EDIT: Actually, I found the sprite number table... Object 14 uses sprite index 09 which refers to sprites 19/1A :o
So, object 14 actually produces this enemy. However, it is not likely to be the correct one, because it acts like a bunny rabbit. Bouncing like the werewolf, except with much more vigor. It is not behavior that fits this sprite. I can't find any references to object 14 in the maps, though.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on March 28, 2013, 01:38:47 pm
Ahh... it is 14, not 0B sorry. I mislabled it in my notes. And that sounds like the behaviour that is associated with it.
Title: Sprite VROM map
Post by: Bisqwit on March 28, 2013, 03:33:13 pm
I played through the game quickly using a few select cheats and emulator patches and produced this map. It shows every actor / sprite that was encountered during the playthrough, in the real game palette. Background graphics are not colored, sorry. Everything that is in dark purple colors is something that was never rendered as a sprite, either because the actor never assumed that pose, or there was no actor that could ever assume that pose.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans_vrom.png)

Each line is a separate VROM page. Those tiles that are in same horizontal position on different lines have the same tile number.
It is not possible to swap smaller units of VROM data in this game (MMC1) than the entire 4 kB page (one horizontal line in this map). That is why a lot of graphics is duplicated on different pages.

There are a few sprites that never appeared during this play. Though some of them are due to my style of play (such as not discovering all cluebooks), but there are genuinely some unused graphics. For example, what's that on the right side of Carmilla?

EDIT: I also made similar pictures from a few other games. Here I just used a select TASes (a few of which desynced) instead of comprehensively looking for every possible animation.
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mario2.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mario2.png) -- Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA)
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mario3.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mario3.png) -- Super Mario Bros. 3
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_batman.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_batman.png) -- Batman
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_kirbyadv.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_kirbyadv.png) -- Kirby's Adventure
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_tmnt.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_tmnt.png) -- TMNT
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm3.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm3.png) -- Mega Man 3
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm5.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm5.png) -- Mega Man 5

March 30, 2013, 09:43:16 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
The "activation area" of many of the signposts in the towns is off-center. Standing on the right half of the sign doesn't trigger it, while standing far to its left still can.
I will try to resize the hitbox for the signposts. Shouldn't be too difficult. I wonder though why they left it like that.

In doing what I wrote, I just noticed that A) the hitbox is not of wrong size; rather, it is misplaced in some towns, and B) you said so, and I did not read you correctly the first time.

In Veros, the sign is placed properly. You can stand on either side of the sign and activate it properly. But in all other towns, it is off by one tile to the left. So, to fix this problem, I need to edit the maps after all. This is even easier. I reverse engineered the hitboxes for nothing :) Mmh. I will make them larger anyway.

I released version 2.5.3 containing the Simon blinking feature, and the fix for the townsigns.
The blinking feature is disabled by default! You will have to enable it in the patch machine. I will make it enabled by default if enough people agree it's a good idea.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on March 30, 2013, 06:20:23 pm
Awesome! Thanks for fixing the signpost thing. That always drove me crazy. When I first played the game as a kid, I didn't know you could read the signs cause I wasn't standing in the right spot. I think this will definitely help anyone who plays the game for the first time.

Also loving the invulnerability strobe; it makes the game feel more polished.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on April 02, 2013, 04:56:22 am
blinking is a very nice addition IMHO  ;D makes the game more polished
Title: Re: Sprite VROM map
Post by: Zynk on April 03, 2013, 11:30:08 pm
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm3.png (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/nes_vrom_sprites_mm3.png) -- Mega Man 3

Heys, Bisqwit! I noticed Megaman has A LOT of sprites of himself in MM3! Does that mean that I can (theoretically) make individual sprites from those, like Megaman in Snakeman mode?
Title: Re: Sprite VROM map
Post by: Bisqwit on April 04, 2013, 09:56:33 am
Heys, Bisqwit! I noticed Megaman has A LOT of sprites of himself in MM3! Does that mean that I can (theoretically) make individual sprites from those, like Megaman in Snakeman mode?
I am not sure what exactly you are asking.
In Megaman3, there are two 64-tile pages reserved for Megaman alone. While the top page always stays the same when Megaman is visible (it's swapped out only when e.g. bringing up the status screen), the bottom page is different for each subweapon that Megaman can use. Even in the bottom page, only the bottom 16 tiles are different for each subweapon.  This matches the behavior of Megaman1 and 2, where the same was implemented with VRAM rewrites: 16 tiles were rewritten whenever a subweapon was switched.
So in Megaman3, when Megaman has the SN weapon, pages 0 and 1 are selected.
When he has the GE weapon, pages 0 and 2 are selected. HA or RJ? 0 and 3. RC? 0 and 4. SP and SH? 0 and 6. And so on.
EDIT: Actually there's a third page which has Megaman's graphics. It has the tiles for his hand, jumping, and climb-shooting. While the tiles are always the same, the rest of the page differs depending on the enemies in the stage. For example, page 12 is the page that appears in Topman's stage. So when Megaman is in Topman's stage and has SH weapon equipped, the pages from which Megaman's graphics are fetched at that moment are 0, 6 and 12.
Megaman4 is essentially the same, but went back to the VRAM route.

In Megaman5, fewer pages of Megaman's tiles are mapped simultaneously. Instead, the pages are switched whenever Megaman does some action. This allows more tiles for other actors, and also for Megaman's weapons. This however meant that a Megaman clone enemy could no longer be trivially written into the game, because the clone would need to share Megaman's graphics, even though Megaman himself has a complete monopoly over them. In my opinion, this was the cleverest and most optimal of the solutions in this NES series. (The clone could however have a copy of Megaman's graphics. They did not do it.)

In Megaman6, they went back to VRAM again.


The reason why scrolling was slow in Megaman1 and 2 was that a lot of PPU writes had to happen during the scrolling. New VRAM tiles would have to be written for the following screen, and two entire screens of nametables&attributes would be rewritten. The game would use horizontal mirroring and always maintain a buffer of at 0.5 screens in either direction. Rewriting those screens would happen during the vertical scrolling. And it was slow. In Megaman3, they swap between horizontal mirroring and vertical mirroring, depending on scrolling, essentially always using just a single screen. They would not use a buffer. They would always write stuff right next to the current screen only as needed. This reduced the number of PPU writes by half, and then using VROM instead of VRAM meant that you no longer need to write into VRAM either. Scrolling could be really fast.
In Megaman4, they used VRAM again, but they retained the nametable technique, which meant that although scrolling could not be exactly as fast as in Megaman3, it could still be a lot faster than in Megaman1 and 2. This alternated between Megaman5 and Megaman6, as well.

April 04, 2013, 04:30:36 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Back to the topic of Castlevania II, I am still working on that palette fade problem.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_fade_multi5thu.png)
(Click to enlarge. GIF size is 1.1 megabytes, which is why I only inlined a snapshot here.) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_fade_multi5.gif)

Here are a couple of different fading algorithms. I am trying to find an algorithm that could possibly be done in real time and not require 32 kilobytes of storage.
From top left:

1. Angular interpolation. It simply uses the NES color index and interpolates that using angular mathematics. An exception is added where one of the colors is without chroma component.
Pros: Requires no additional storage space, and it could be done really fast.
Cons: It only looks nice when fading between similar colors. It has problems with fading through very different colors (such as from blue to red on the ground), or from a gray color to a colored one such as from white to purple.

2. Precalculated interpolation using 16 steps. This is theoretically optimal.
Pros: It looks as good as it can get, and thanks to consisting of only table lookups, there is no question of whether this can be done in real time.
Cons: It requires 64*32*16 bytes, i.e. 32 kilobytes of ROM storage just for the tables. Even though my ROM budget may allow it, it is painful in principle to dedicate such a huge percentual amount of ROM for such a miniscule feature.

3. Precalculated interpolation with temporal dithering. This attempts to solve the problem where the NES palette simply does not have the right color, by blinking through two different colors where the mixture of those two matches the intended color.
Pros: It produces a smoother fade than algorithm 2, especially when rendered on a CRT. It may not look so nice in the web browser, because of issues in rendering high-framerate GIFs.
Cons: It requires twice as much ROM space as algorithm 2; 64 kilobytes in this case.

4. The NES colors are stored in a sorted array according to their green RGB component. The closest match is looked up from that table using just the green component using binary search. Then a few nearby elements (5) in the table are tested using their whole RGB value, and the closest one is used.
Pros: It requires 3*64 bytes for NES palette colors and 128 bytes for the green-sorted array, 256 bytes total. Acceptable. It may be simple enough to do it in real time, or at least in 2 frames per fade-iteration.
Cons: It does not look very nice.

5. The NES colors are put in seven categories depending on which RGB channels have the maximum value. Each of those categories is sorted by luma. The closest match is looked up from the right table using binary search according to the luma value alone (using the television industry standard formula where Y = R*0.299 + G*0.587 + B*0.114).
Pros: It requires 7*64*2 bytes of space, which translates into 896 bytes. Acceptable. It is likely doable in real time. It should be a bit faster than method 4.
Cons: It looks kind of odd.

6. This method attempts to do exactly the same as algorithm 2, except without precalculation. To make it a bit more doable in real time, color resolution is sacrificed: Each RGB component is saved in just 4 bits (12 bits RGB). The colors are looked up using a linear search, or a kd-tree.
Pros: It is kind of there. It requires 128 bytes of storage for palette data, 56 bytes for candidate color table, a few other small tables, and 432 bytes more if a Kd-tree is used. The total is way within acceptable limits.
Cons: Some flashing occurs, and I am not sure why. Also, using a linear search, it still requires 7700 cycles minimum, 9500 cycles maximum, to calculate one palette value. This means it is still way too slow. I am trying to see what a Kd-tree could do to it... It should go somewhere around 900 cycles per palette entry, which means that one fading iteration for 23 colors should be possible to calculate in about two frames. It may still be too costly.

EDIT: I have managed to reduce the data size enough.  Algorithm 2 is now doable.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 04, 2013, 05:20:42 pm
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_fade_multi5thu.png)
(Click to enlarge. GIF size is 1.1 megabytes, which is why I only inlined a snapshot here.) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_fade_multi5.gif)

I actually like the first one the best.
You are trying to get it to change in real time without pausing the game, right?
I have a cool idea about how to deal with the zombies in town if you do this transition stuff without pausing the game.
How about when you're in town at night and it starts to become daytime the zombies in town became paler or blacker or redder (depending on which one looks better) and then on the final transition frame it destroys them as if you've whipped them (sets them on fire), as if it was the sunlight that set them on fire and the sun indeed vanquished the horrible night.
And when it becomes nighttime the townspeople could just fade to black and disappear and the zombies would start spawning.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 05, 2013, 12:13:36 am
I have released the retranslation version 2.6.0. Get it at: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#now (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#now)

This adds support for the palette fader option. If something is a holy cow to Simon's Quest fans, it is the "the morning sun has vanquished the horrible night" messages, and this patch does away with them completely. As such, the feature is disabled by default. You will have to enable it in the patch vending machine to get it. The day and night do still change normally, but it is no longer accompanied with an obtrusive dialog box. The palette just fades smoothly to a new set of colors and the music changes, without interrupting the game.
As a bonus incentive, this patch also fixes the game's original bug where the townsigns would become unresponsive when day/night changes. The bugfix depends on the palette fading patch.
Video demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCfnehhRBsk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCfnehhRBsk)

I did not implement Turambar's suggestion on the zombies turning into fire or something like that when the morning comes, but the townfolks do fade to black, and it looks quite cool. (Ladies are exempt. Could not be helped, because they share palette with Simon.)

The Simon blinking feature is still an optional and default-disabled one. I wish to hear more feedback about it before changing its status.

As always, if you encounter new weird bugs with the game, please don't hesitate to report them here.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 05, 2013, 01:27:02 am
I love seeing this with my own eyes. It's so awesome. This is easily romhack of the year and it's only April.
I don't think it would be blasphemy to change the woman in red to be the rustier brown shade of the other townsfolk so that she fades the same as the others.
I would love to see the zombies get owned by the sunlight though.
The destroy monster sound effect, the fire, the multiple zombies dying all at once. That would be quite amusing and awesome to see.
It would be as awesome as in Half-Life 2 when you can pick up an enemy's grenade with the gravity gun and throw back in his face and watch him ragdoll away.
Let's all use peer-pressure on Bisqwit until he puts it in. Or money! That would probably work.
If that feature gets put in then the romhack is done and can't possibly get any better.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 05, 2013, 02:13:08 am
I don't think it would be blasphemy to change the woman in red to be the rustier brown shade of the other townsfolk so that she fades the same as the others.
She would have to be changed permanently, which I don't like as an idea. It is not possible to change it just for the fades, because the colors in her sprites are in a different order (black, red, white -- as opposed to the other palette which is brown, white, black).
Well... You could reorder palette 2, and change the sprites of the monk and the boy to use the reordered palette. This would work. Then you could change the lady (and the sitter, if he/she was outdoors) temporarily to palette 2 for the fading. Hmh. I'll leave it as an idea for now.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 05, 2013, 03:01:00 am
It occurred to me that if Simon and the woman in red shared the same palette and laurels cause you to flash that maybe the woman in red flashed too because I figured the shared palette would just rapidly change, but that's not the case. How is it that just Simon flashes and not the woman? I wish I could make the woman flash, if you know what I mean. ;)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on April 05, 2013, 03:05:40 am
o.O
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 05, 2013, 03:51:55 am
It occurred to me that if Simon and the woman in red shared the same palette and laurels cause you to flash that maybe the woman in red flashed too because I figured the shared palette would just rapidly change, but that's not the case. How is it that just Simon flashes and not the woman? I wish I could make the woman flash, if you know what I mean. ;)

The game cycles Simon's sprite through the four different palettes.
I.e. it uses Simon's palette, then it uses hearts and fire palette, then it uses actor 1's palette, then it uses actor 2's palette, and back to Simon's palette again. It is not that Simon's palette, as in the list of colors, is rewritten.
The strangers in the graveyards, the bodypart bags, the chain of the morning star, and the golden knife all flash using this same manner. The palette index for the object is rotated, rather than the palette data itself.

So, there's now a 2.6.1. It includes palettefade related updates discussed earlier.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 05, 2013, 05:38:22 am
Things are looking more and more awesome with each update! Cheers!

On the Subject of the zombies in the morning. While it would be cool to see all the zombies combust in the morning, it really wouldn't fit in with zombie lore. However, what would be nearly as cool is if you could give them the "diving back into the ground" animation similar to the animation used by the zombies in CV3 use to emerge from the ground.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: hossbags2 on April 05, 2013, 06:00:27 am
Is it possible to make Simon Belmont's palette look like the way he does in original Castlevania. Sometimes he blends in to much with the scenery in the background like where you very first start the game at. Also, can you make the health bar look any better?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 05, 2013, 06:27:39 am
Is it possible to make Simon Belmont's palette look like the way he does in original Castlevania. Sometimes he blends in to much with the scenery in the background like where you very first start the game at. Also, can you make the health bar look any better?
I released a hack that does exactly that in January.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 05, 2013, 08:20:48 am
I like the CV II Simon Belmont. Since it depicts him with this pallette in artwork I don't think it should be retconned out. Also, digging in and out of the ground would be cool and all, but wouldn't work unless they were on the ground. If they were on stone platforms they'd be digging and rising into the stones. Stones that probably don't have room for the zombies to fit in.

I hope you didn't change the pallette of those villagers. I liked the pallette. Hate to see them switched to a more bland pallette.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 05, 2013, 08:23:46 am
You are the man, Bisqwit!
You should have seen the epic conga line I made trying to fry as many zombies at once as possible.

(http://i.imgur.com/pNOYYYM.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 05, 2013, 12:01:05 pm
I also wish to point out that zombies are not the only enemies encountered in towns.

It would be possible to change Simon's palette without it affecting the palette for the half and full hearts, by using the same trick that I did for the townsfolk in 2.6.1. But I see no reason to do such a change. Similarly for the HP bar.

Bregalad, if you want to do it, just redraw the half-heart sprite in VROM pages 1,3,5,7,9,10 and 12: Swap colors 2 and 3 in each pixel, and change the sprite descriptors for heart2 and heart3 to use palette 1. The data is in bank 0:
Code: [Select]
$B368 SpriteData_Pose8C_Heart2   .byte $01, $E8,$57,$00,$FC
$B36D SpriteData_Pose8D_Heart3   .byte $02, $F0,$57,$00,$F8, $F0,$57,$40,$00
You will have to add +1 to the third byte on both rows and the seventh byte on the second row. This will fix the problem for your patch. (If you need ROM file offsets for the above memory offsets, they are $3378 and $337D respectively.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on April 05, 2013, 12:05:15 pm
There are no words for how awesome this is. Not only does the crossfade look great, but it doesn't even PAUSE THE GAME. Mind blown. The zombies dying in fire is hilarious, too. If the game were actually like this when it was released, I think it would be regarded quite differently than it is today.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 05, 2013, 10:27:24 pm
Also, digging in and out of the ground would be cool and all, but wouldn't work unless they were on the ground. If they were on stone platforms they'd be digging and rising into the stones. Stones that probably don't have room for the zombies to fit in.

The zombies in SotN didn't have any problem digging into the castle's stone floors. Also, with an animation like the one used in CV3 the zombie graphics don't have to fit in the floor anyway. Either way, I think the fade out in the original game is good enough. I just see it as a gaming idiosyncrasy.


I also wish to point out that zombies are not the only enemies encountered in towns.

The other enemies that appear in towns are crows (and maybe bats?), right? They can just fly away.
(Also, they aren't affected by daylight in a supernatural way, either.)


Now, more importantly, I have a small dialogue edit to suggest.
The Priests say this:
"Rest here
for a while.
In the name
of Father,
Son and
Holy Spirit,
amen."

I think he should say this:
"Rest here
for a while.
In the name
of the
Father, the
Son, and the
Holy Spirit,
amen."

This would be closer to the proper usage of the bible quote that a Priest of the period would use:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitarian_formula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitarian_formula)
The main point being that each component of the trinity is conceptually a singular and unique entity in all of creation.

EDIT:

When I exit from saving, Simon jumps when I return to the game.
Also, shouldn't the actors and Simon not be displayed when they are in front of the dialogue box? Because sometimes they're in the way.

My observations while playing:

*In towns at night it would be a nice touch to make the open doors close so they don't look like you can enter them. perhaps bank swapping could be used to accomplish this.

*This might alter game play, but I really think it would be better if you gained experience from destroying enemies instead of from collecting hearts. Since you kill enemies a lot more often you'd need to either reduce the amount of exp enemies give, increase the exp needed to level up, or both.

*For initiating dialogue, maybe put in a check to see if the up button is being pressed so that dialogue doesn't interrupt my searching for breakable blocks with my holy water or my general dicking around with sub-weapons.

*In the status dialogue use a whip icon instead of writing out the word like how you did on the save screen. It's more consistent and looks better than abbreviating words. "@ Leather" > "Leath.Whip".

*Activating the clues menu with the left and right arrows seems a little counter intuitive. Consider using the B button instead. I imagine this might trigger a whip attack upon exit like the issue with the save menu. Also, consider change the clue activation button from start to B as well. This is even more counter intuitive. Same for the save screen, and everywhere else really. B button should be confirm, and A should be cancel as a rule of thumb.

*This is definitely a game play change, and nothing more than a pet peeve of mine, but... The bone chucking skeletons... Don't like 'em. First off, the bones burst into flames like the holy water should be doing. Remove this. Let them go through solid blocks like in CV1. This would make them more dangerous when they are above you. Also, remove the shield. The bone chucking skeletons in other games never use shields. Furthermore, the Skeleton Soldiers should have more HP than the bone chucking skeletons since they are less dangerous and have armor.

*Another optional enhancement might be to give town interiors a different tile set so it looks different from the outside.

*To fix the issue with skipping the clue book dialogues the simplest thing would be to change the behavior of the text scroll. Right now pressing B cancels out of the dialogue box. Most games have this functionality, but with an extra layer of protection. The way I think it should work is that pressing the B button should instantly fill out all the text and and not cancel the dialogue ever. This would prevent accidentally skipping any text when you just want it to appear quicker. Cancelling the dialogue should be a function of the A button.

*Consider changing the dialogue for the gypsy people that appear and give you stuff after they give it to you. This chick in Carmilla Cemetery keeps giving me Silver Knives when I talk to her, but I only have one. :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 05, 2013, 11:42:36 pm
B button should be confirm, and A should be cancel as a rule of thumb.
I don't know where you got that crazy idea. That should be switched around, A should be confirm and B should be cancel. It really bugs me when they are switched.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 12:56:55 am
Thank you Vanya for your valuable out-of-box thoughts.

> crows (and maybe bats?), right? They can just fly away.
Hmm, true. But now I made them just burn away like the zombies do. Saved me from having to write new AI code. :-)

> The Priests say this:
There were several situations where I tried to avoid excessively using the word "the" even if it is with the cost of technical correctness. This is one of them. I wanted to keep the text more fluent, and not have the 50% of the lines consisting of the same preposition repeated (exaggerated). I will change it if people agree it should be done though.

> When I exit from saving, Simon jumps when I return to the game.
Use the start button rather than the A button to select the Cancel option. I will fix it some day when I stumble upon the right way to do it.

> In towns at night it would be a nice touch to make the open doors close so they don't look
> like you can enter them. perhaps bank swapping could be used to accomplish this.

That's an idea I agree with. I'm not sure if I can pull it off, though. I'll leave it late in the checklist, since it requires in-depth study of the level data.

> experience from destroying enemies instead of from collecting hearts.
I agree with this in principle, but it's just how the game happens to work. For now I don't think I will act on this idea.
Also, re: game balance, changing this would double or triple the rate at which Simon will receive level-ups, potentially breaking the game balance. Since the minimum exp. increment is already 1, you can't reduce the amount of experience given per kill, either. You would need to increase the thresholds for level-up, and that is an uncomfortable idea.

> if the up button is being pressed so that dialogue doesn't interrupt
Minor, too specific nuisance, in my opinion. Probably harmless to change though.

> In the status dialogue use a whip icon instead of writing out the word like how you did on the save screen.
I did it in the credits and in the save screen for space reasons, and I still had to use VWF and custom tiles to pull it off. In the status screen, the space is enough, except for leather whip. I don't think I am going to change it for now.

> Activating the clues menu with the left and right arrows seems a little counter intuitive. Consider using the B button instead.
The reason why it works like that is because the status screen does not capture the A or B buttons, and I was too lazy to rewrite the surrounding code to do so. I did the best that I could with arrow keys and the start button.

> skeletons
Yeah, not going to touch them. It's a bit too holy-cowey to me.

> to give town interiors a different tile set
Perhaps. But I am not feeling graphics artisty enough. If someone is, I am open for contributions (but I do not promise to approve them).

> change the behavior of the text scroll
Will have to think about this. Thank you for your valuable input.

> Consider changing the dialogue for the gypsy people that appear [...] keeps giving
This is indeed on my TODO list. It is exactly the sort of stuff that the "dialog extensions" is about. I already did it for the fire hermit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 06, 2013, 04:34:10 am
I don't know where you got that crazy idea. That should be switched around, A should be confirm and B should be cancel. It really bugs me when they are switched.

Many decades of playing games where B is the primary button used to do your main attack. B is the aggressive button used to take offensive action. A is the passive button used to retreat by jumping away. Even in SMB where jumping is your main attack, you still spend most of your time interacting with the B button by holding down to run. And in CV2 B is the main action button used to attack, throw sub-weapons and  initiate dialogue.


Thank you Vanya for your valuable out-of-box thoughts.

My pleasure. You can expect more as I play through the game.

As a matter of fact I just thought about something I took for granted while I was working on my CV1 fan game. The body parts and crystals are basically relics like in the metroidvanias. So wouldn't it be nice if you could just turn them on and off? It is a bit of an unnecessary hassle to have to be switching between them. They probably aren't coded to allow their effects to overlap, but it could be an interesting challenge to get them to do so.


> When I exit from saving, Simon jumps when I return to the game.
Use the start button rather than the A button to select the Cancel option. I will fix it some day when I stumble upon the right way to do it.

This I'm curious about. Would changing it to B result in Simon whipping when I exit? Come to think of it this might be the reason why they didn't use B & A button inputs on the status menu.


> skeletons
Yeah, not going to touch them. It's a bit too holy-cowey to me.

I might do it just to see if I can figure it out. At the very least I'd prefer to have the bones not burst into flames.


> to give town interiors a different tile set
Perhaps. But I am not feeling graphics artisty enough. If someone is, I am open for contributions (but I do not promise to approve them).

I'll do it. I'm in the mood since I've been making new 8-bit graphics for my Eggerland remake lately. Plus at the very least I'll use them myself for my personal version of the patch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 06, 2013, 04:42:23 am
I don't think there should be drastic changes to the graphics. It might make sense to some people to add sheetrock to the walls or whatever (if that existed back then), but that would probably lead to redesigning the mansions, maybe adding chandeliers and other luxury items like vases to try to make the level make more sense in the real world. That might lead to readding the cv1 castle entrance graphics back to draculas castle to create a blah moment where you've already seen those graphics many, many times replaying cv1 on NES and GBA.

I see what is being said when B should be confirm and A cancel. In the US on Playstation games, this is what is done for the most part. In JP it is common to have Circle (A) confirm and X (B) cancel. But in US X is usually confirm and Circle is usually cancel. It can be confusing on some localized US games that don't switch the buttons. For a while you might be pressing the wrong button to confirm and cancel until you've played the game a while. Dunno why it was decided to make it different in different regions.

To fix the not enough room for all the whip icons problem. Simply add a arrow at the left and right side of the whip selection screen. Then when the player reaches the left or right most side of the screen you can scroll further left or right to find the rest of the whips. Or you could have just one whip on the screen at the time with the icon on the left and a abbreviation of the name on the right. Then pressing left or right will change the whips.

Any reason why the B button has to exit the menu? You could disable that. It'd be consistant with other Castlevania games. In other Castlevania games you expect for Start button to be the only button to enter and exit the menu. The same could be done for the map if you allow B button to exit them too.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 06, 2013, 06:10:04 am
Nope. No sheetrock back then. Stucco, plaster, stuff like that, yes. Hell even mud. I don't see why the interiors looking not exactly like exteriors in towns has to necessarily lead to any other graphical changes. But it IS outside the main focus of this project. But I think it's clear that I have no qualms about those sorts of changes anyway.

I thought of something a minute ago and was the reason I'm posting in the first place.
Since the "Horrible night" and "Vanquishing sun" dialogs are gone and the were intended to be in the game...
Are they going to appear anywhere else? Maybe as part of the extended dialogue portion of the patch?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 06, 2013, 09:17:29 am
I'd probably click the option to restore the day/night transition dialogue if one were offered. Funny that the hack is a retranslation, yet dialogue is being removed.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 10:09:17 am
Since the "Horrible night" and "Vanquishing sun" dialogs are gone and the were intended to be in the game...
Are they going to appear anywhere else? Maybe as part of the extended dialogue portion of the patch?
No, they do not appear at all (well, one of them does appear if you somehow get a clue #14 and read it on the status screen; this would involve a glitch / RAM hack though).

I'd probably click the option to restore the day/night transition dialogue if one were offered. Funny that the hack is a retranslation, yet dialogue is being removed.
Thou art given ye choice.
I'm not a purist on definitions of words here.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 06, 2013, 10:27:17 am
So far, the removal of the day/night transition text doesn't seem to be popular:

http://castlevaniadungeon.net/forums/index.php?topic=5519.30

I think it was an oversight to not include text when leveling up. It was obviously intented to be there going by the unused leveling up text. I think having no text indicating that night is changing to morning and day is turning to night could be seen as an oversight if the original game didn't have the transitional text. That transitional text marked the time of day. You can't really tell what time of day it is going by the ingame clock I think. It just keeps going up and up, it don't reset when 24 hours pass. Newcomers could get confused. Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal and later games, do have a AM/PM indicator on the clock I think, so when the palette changes at least the clock will tell you that it's nighttime or morning. If you really must remove the text for the day/night transitions, could you add a day counter and have the timer reset when 24 hours pass? If need be you could maybe press a button when you highlight the timer to show accumulated time.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 10:45:30 am
So far, the removal of the day/night transition text doesn't seem to be popular:
http://castlevaniadungeon.net/forums/index.php?topic=5519.30

I don't know, the response so far in this RHDN thread has been quite good. But then again, since you've got the choice, what are you sulking about? P.S. When was the last time you actually tried this patch? You seem to complain a lot of things based on what you've just read.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 06, 2013, 11:21:16 am
Many decades of playing games where B is the primary button used to do your main attack. B is the aggressive button used to take offensive action. A is the passive button used to retreat by jumping away. Even in SMB where jumping is your main attack, you still spend most of your time interacting with the B button by holding down to run. And in CV2 B is the main action button used to attack, throw sub-weapons and  initiate dialogue.
I see your point. I guess it's just this psychological thing for me, whenever I see a B Button I immediately assume that it's used as a Cancel button and A as the Confirm button.

It might also be because of the games I've played. EarthBound, Chrono Trigger (the controls are customizable though, so the point is kinda flat on this game), the Final Fantasy games (at least the SNES ones, I haven't played any other than DoS, 3-6, and 8 ), most of the Zelda games (barring the original, which had Attack on A and Items on B, which bugs me even more), etc., just to name some.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on April 06, 2013, 11:46:49 am
I see what is being said when B should be confirm and A cancel. In the US on Playstation games, this is what is done for the most part. In JP it is common to have Circle (A) confirm and X (B) cancel. But in US X is usually confirm and Circle is usually cancel. It can be confusing on some localized US games that don't switch the buttons. For a while you might be pressing the wrong button to confirm and cancel until you've played the game a while. Dunno why it was decided to make it different in different regions.
I don't why Sony was (supposedly) insistent on changing it for the west. The Circle and X were chosen BECAUSE those symbols mean success (right) and failure (wrong) in Japanese. (they also said the Square was meant to be a document (menu) button and Triangle a camera button.)
Despite that Triangle is the same place as the SNES X button, which was a menu button in most RPGs following the Final Fantasy menu style (primary action button is talk/search) over the Dragon Quest style (using a menu even to talk/search).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on April 06, 2013, 12:16:41 pm
Quick question since you know the game's code inside and out by now. I used to speedrun this game years ago, and always wondered about the heart drop algorithm. While practicing in an emulator I noticed that whether or not an enemy drops a heart is related to controller input, but couldn't glean any more than that. I'm curious if there's a weakness in the algorithm that could be exploited to increase the odds of a heart drop without requiring TAS-like precision.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 12:42:35 pm
Quick question since you know the game's code inside and out by now. I used to speedrun this game years ago, and always wondered about the heart drop algorithm. While practicing in an emulator I noticed that whether or not an enemy drops a heart is related to controller input, but couldn't glean any more than that. I'm curious if there's a weakness in the algorithm that could be exploited to increase the odds of a heart drop without requiring TAS-like precision.

When an enemy dies, it turns into object $36 (burning flame), unless it's a special soulless creature which simply erases itself. After 24 frames of burning, object $36 turns into object $37.
Object $37 samples RandomSeed (RAM $2E). If the value is even (bit 0 is clear), the object erases itself. Otherwise (bit 0 is set), the object assumes the appearance of a heart, and goes on to idle for 240 frames before erasing itself. The type of heart is identified by sprite number, which is $8B, $8C or $8D depending on heart size. The heart size is assigned by reading an array which defines the heart class depending on enemy type and whether it is night (or a mansion).

RandomSeed (RAM $2E) is permutated in the game's main loop at maximum speed using the following formula: RandomSeed += FrameCounter (RAM $1D).

Given the RandomSeed value within a NMI, the value of RandomSeed at the beginning of next NMI will be approximately (RandomSeed + FrameCounter * n) % 256, where n is the number of clockcycles remaining before next NMI, divided by 14.
I say approximately, because the NMI may occur at any point within the permutation loop, including after the ADC and before the STA, meaning it may still do one addition with the old FrameCounter value before using the new one.

FrameCounter (RAM $1D) is incremented by 1 every non-lag-frame.

A particular consequence of this design is that nearly anything you do, including holding down buttons that do not do anything but are nonetheless checked for, will affect the RandomSeed, because it affects how many cycles are spent in the NMI. It also means that when FrameCounter is EVEN, chances are that nothing you do will change the fact of whether a heart is generated on the next frame or not.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 06, 2013, 12:58:35 pm
Oh, I see that you added the option to have the day/night transitional text on your website. Good. Usually I only play incomplete hacks when it's obvious the author abandoned the hack and no future revisions will be released. Since there are frequent updates to this hack, I'll probably hold off on it. I like to hear what is added tho, so I'll know what to look for when I do play it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 06, 2013, 04:01:21 pm
Another thought. One of the things that makes platforming in CV2 more of a hassle than it should be is the fact that Simon collides with overhead block when he jumps. The problem with that is that the designers didn't really compensate for this as much as they should have. This causes certain jumps to be a pain in the ass where in CV1/CV3 they pose no problem at all. Perhaps an option to use CV1/CV3 style collision detection is in order? Presumably the simple thing would be to branch passed the block collision code if there is not solid object directly over Simon's head.

EDIT: It's a minor thing, but maybe the orbs in the mansions shouldn't reappear after I get the body part.

EDIT2: Maybe make the Ferryman stop when he reaches the opposite shore? To bock just talk to him again. Presumably the way he works is that when you talk to him he changes into a different object or switches to a mode where he ignores button input. So when the opposite shore is reached just change him into the appropriate object or switch modes or whatever.

EDIT3: If there were more space in the status menu I'd say that a possible alternative to changing the purpose of money might be to change all the sub-weapons to use individual inventories like the laurels and garlic. This would extend the lives the merchants that sell sub-weapons. Of course the sub-weapons that consume hearts might be a complication. They could be kept as a set of true sub-weapons, their heart use could be removed and secret merchants just for their inventory could be added, or simply more of them could be hidden in more locations. Either way this would greatly impact game play, and would depend on being able to expand the status menu anyway.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 05:30:52 pm
Another thought. One of the things that makes platforming in CV2 more of a hassle than it should be is the fact that Simon collides with overhead block when he jumps. The problem with that is that the designers didn't really compensate for this as much as they should have. This causes certain jumps to be a pain in the ass where in CV1/CV3 they pose no problem at all. Perhaps an option to use CV1/CV3 style collision detection is in order? Presumably the simple thing would be to branch passed the block collision code if there is not solid object directly over Simon's head.
Doing that would allow for some, hum, creative shortcuts.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2-ceiling.gif)


> maybe the orbs in the mansions shouldn't reappear after I get the body part.
True.

> Maybe make the Ferryman stop when he reaches the opposite shore? To bock just talk to him again.
A reasonable request. I'll keep this in mind if I some day stumble upon the convenient solution to doing that. Then again, there's some recognizable nostalgia in having to jump off at the shore as it is now :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 06, 2013, 05:39:21 pm
The problem I see is that despite that I picked a "no save game" feature patch, I still have the save option show up (even if it can't be used).

Thanks god the old versions of the patche are still there :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 06, 2013, 06:32:07 pm
Is it good or bad that the life bar disappears during the day/night transition?
Is it possible to create an exception for the life bar during transition?
I don't see much point for it to disappear.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 06, 2013, 07:03:29 pm
The problem I see is that despite that I picked a "no save game" feature patch, I still have the save option show up (even if it can't be used).
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/kala/snap/excitebike-dummymenu.png)

If Excitebike can get away with that, so can Simon's Quest. (With the difference being that Simon's Quest doesn't crash when the feature is not available.)

(It is too much trouble to change it, for reasons related to the internal design of the patcher.)


Is it good or bad that the life bar disappears during the day/night transition?
Is it possible to create an exception for the life bar during transition?
I don't see much point for it to disappear.

There are a few things that you cannot do during the transition. You cannot talk to people, you cannot bring up the map, and you cannot enter the status screen. These are probably mandatory. This is also signified by the life bar disappearing. There is no real obligation for the life bar to disappear though, and I might in fact bring it back. (Its disappearing was not planned to begin with: the manner in which the game calls the render-HPbar function reeks of bad coding and hindsight (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,14700.msg240246.html#msg240246), which I had not accounted for.)


Oh, I see that you added the option to have the day/night transitional text on your website.

It was there already in the very moment I released the palettefade patch. Please, stop making stupid accusations based on your own willingful ignorance. This is not the first time I say this to you.
Also, if you indeed plan to withhold yourself the trying out of this patch until it is "finished", you are up for a long wait. This patch was already finished months ago. Things are added to it, because of how development goes. Pet projects are never finished. There is no goal line. Attention to them usually just eventually and gradually diminishes. If you plan never to play this patch, there is not much point to argue about it based on your own ideas on what it should or should not be.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 06, 2013, 07:17:34 pm
Beta testing hacks can be appealing sometime if there are features that you really want to try out right away. I beta tested Sonic Classic Heroes before release cause I wanted to try Sonic, Tails, Knuckles as a team with Sonic 1 + 2 levels. The currently released version only had Sonic 2 levels. Anyway, I'm gonna hold off testing this hack probably, at least till the JP instruction manual story is inserted.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 06, 2013, 10:16:29 pm
Doing that would allow for some, hum, creative shortcuts.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2-ceiling.gif)

Make spikes kill? :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 06, 2013, 11:26:08 pm
Doing that would allow for some, hum, creative shortcuts.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2-ceiling.gif)
I fail to see how climbing up those spikes is a shortcut.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 06, 2013, 11:58:57 pm
I made a map from the in-game map.
(http://i.imgur.com/4UllN5I.gif)

I fail to see how climbing up those spikes is a shortcut.
It's a TAS style shortcut that saves a few seconds. Not the kind of thing you do in real time.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 07, 2013, 07:08:47 am
I made a map from the in-game map.
Only wish you used the correct palette...
The map is designed to be rendered with NTSC filtering on. This will make its color look right.
With the FCEU palette it looks bleh, yellowish and all.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2map_nestopia_thu.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2map_nestopia.png)

I fail to see how climbing up those spikes is a shortcut.
If Simon was able to jump through the ceiling as suggested by Vanya, he could shortcut to the upper right corner of the image several seconds faster than by climbing slowly the stairs that even go to the opposite direction. The reason it doesn't work now is, as shown in the picture, because he can't jump through a ceiling.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 07, 2013, 02:27:52 pm
If Simon was able to jump through the ceiling as suggested by Vanya, he could shortcut to the upper right corner of the image several seconds faster than by climbing slowly the stairs that even go to the opposite direction. The reason it doesn't work now is, as shown in the picture, because he can't jump through a ceiling.
Oh, my bad. I thought that coding was already implemented in that slideshow (I guess that's what you'd call it? it's like an animated GIF or something, right?). I see what you mean.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 07, 2013, 05:22:14 pm
Only wish you used the correct palette...
The map is designed to be rendered with NTSC filtering on. This will make its color look right.
With the FCEU palette it looks bleh, yellowish and all.

I can't tell much difference in the palette and the NTSC filtering just makes it look blurry. I prefer pixelated or hqx.
If people don't like the different colors for the branching lines I can try something else, like white lines with black strokes.

If you fix the palette of this image..
(http://i.imgur.com/Dfq493q.gif)
or this image..
(http://i.imgur.com/O9j8G6f.gif)
to your liking I will put the other stuff on top of it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 07, 2013, 11:07:22 pm
RHDN doesn't allow filtered game screenshots, so if you submitted that map to the site with the filtering on, then it would probably be rejected if the staff notice the filter on it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 07, 2013, 11:44:40 pm
It's not a screenshot, it's a composited image and I didn't know that this site even accepted that sort of thing.
I also have no interest in filtering it and said so.
So I don't understand any of your points.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 08, 2013, 08:00:10 pm
I just released version 2.6.2. Grab it at: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#now

The changes include:
-- [Palette fader feature] The HP bar no longer disappears during the night/day transition.
-- [SRAM feature] Cancelling the in-game Save screen with A button will no longer cause Simon to jump.
-- Using Up+B will no longer initiate chat with NPCs the way that simply pressing B does.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 08, 2013, 08:05:59 pm
Excellent fixes!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 09, 2013, 02:35:03 am
Sweet! No a can screw around with my sub-weapons all I want in towns! :D

EDIT:

The fluid day/night transition is looking awesome! A massive improvement over the original. Very neat and trim.

More Observations:
*On the subject of making Ferryman stop at the shore's edge and immediately switch to the corresponding Ferryman object for the current screen. I noticed something. As soon as you reach the edge of the screen he reappears. So maybe he wasn't supposed to keep moving? It does look kinda sloppy on Konami's part. Maybe it was a loose end they didn't get to before deadline? Just sayin'.

*In merchant dialogues, Have the 'A' button do two things. 1) If cursor is on "Buy" move it to "Refuse". 2) If cursor is on "Refuse" cancel out of the dialogue.

*NPC's seem to be ignorant of some of the laws of physics. In Ondol, I just witnessed a man walk right through a platform. Maybe augment the NPC AI with horizontal collision detection like most of the other objects in the game.

*Would it drastically change game play to implement pressing Down+'B' to jump down off stairs?  I can imaging if it were implemented it might have some issues with Simon's head being inside a block when you switch to a falling state.

*The Vampire Killer is supposed to be this awesome alchemically enhanced magical artifact, right? So what's the deal with buying all these other presumably also magical whips? Why the hell do so many people have alchemy whips? Maybe it would make more sense if what the merchants are selling is 'alchemy crests'? They could look like the standard CV3 power up. And if you wanted to take it a step further, have them all sell the same item and instead of basing which whips you can use based on the ones you've bought, make it based on the number of crests you have. That way you can't skip any, but also don't have to buy them in a specific order.

*Ha! I found you!

*How about giving the merchants that sell unique items an alternate text saying they already sold you the item? And the merchants that sell consumables only have the text if you inventory is maxed. Actually, the simplest thing would be to give them all the condition of full inventory. Just, all the unique items count as having a max inventory of 1.

*Any way to let the merchants that sell consumables allow you to buy more than one pair at a time?

*I think there should be a secret way to go from Denis Marsh Pit to Berkeley Mansion. Maybe give the stupid whirlwind another use?

*Addressing one of the fundamental issues with the game: tediousness. One of the problems is that fighting monsters becomes really boring once you get stronger weapons and they die in one hit. What's worse is that the sub-weapons don't get any stronger so they have the opposite issue, most monsters still take a bunch of hits to kill with most sub-weapons so you can't even offset the tediousness with an alternate way to attack. To solve the problem with the whip maybe have alternate AI for the enemies that makes them more interesting to fight once they can be killed in one hit. For example, the medusa heads home right in on you normally. But once their alternate AI trigger, have them use their old sine wave schtick. Or How about actually having the mermen ait *AT* you? As for the sub-weapons, maybe their damage should increase with level up?

*This is nothing new, but... the bosses all suck balls!. Their AI is pathetic, they get stunned by everything, they have no invincibility time, and there are only 3. Boo! :P

*The game's palette suck, too. There is already a palette hack for the base game, but it could be better. If this were done as an optional patch it would have the double benefit of both improving the game's visuals without moving a single pixel and they could be optimized to play nicer with the day/night transition.

*An optional palette for Simon might not be such a bad idea, but instead of using his CV1 colors, like has been suggested, just swap his black color with the darkest grey which would have minimal impact on his appearance, but still make him pop out from the backgrounds better.

*Even if they are not interactive, having animated lanterns in the towns at night would be pretty cool. If you could make it happen I'd be happy to provide some matching graphics to go along with it.

*And if you ever figure out the background animation thing for the Open doors and lanterns in towns, consider an animation for the waterfalls in the Uta Lower Road.

*Speaking of which, why Uta Wasteland? Isn't it an underground mountain pass? Also, Why "Larubs's Mansion" and not just "Laruba Mansion"?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 09, 2013, 04:49:46 am
Map version 2.

(http://i.imgur.com/MnTGEam.gif)

Anybody know the rom address for starting hearts?
I think the game would be better without the initial grind, maybe start with 100 hearts.
Also, has anybody timed how long it is until the first night in real time?
How long is a full day/night in real time?
Hmm, doesn't the game gimp you the first day?
It would be cool to start the game at morning instead of noon.
Anybody know the address for starting time?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 09, 2013, 05:58:56 am
Nice map.

*Bodley Mansion =  バドリーの館 = Badorī no yakata = Mansion of Bathory, as in Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. Who, BTW, should be the boss of this stage.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 09, 2013, 07:04:36 am
Down + B to get off stairs is a good suggestion. Many later CV games allow that.

Mortal Kombat II for SNES has a trigger that makes the AI ridiculously hard when you enter a button code to increase damage. I don't think that is really a good feature cause it kinda beats the point of using the code. That's pretty much what you are suggesting by making the game harder as you gain more whips. If the game isn't hard enough for you, simply equip another whip. The hack allows you to keep all the whips you've acquired thus far. Just use a weaker whip when you want more of a challenge, then switch back to the more powerful whip if you need it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Carnivol on April 09, 2013, 07:18:36 am
Why down + B? Isn't that Crouch + Attack (Yeah, yeah, you can't crouch on stairs), wouldn't crouch + A (Jump) be the norm for "drop" commands like this?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 09, 2013, 08:56:50 am
*Bodley Mansion =  バドリーの館 = Badorī no yakata = Mansion of Bathory, as in Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. Who, BTW, should be the boss of this stage.

Bathory? I did not know that. Maybe I should change the name.

① Anybody know the rom address for starting hearts?
I think the game would be better without the initial grind, maybe start with 100 hearts.
② Also, has anybody timed how long it is until the first night in real time?
③ How long is a full day/night in real time?
Hmm, doesn't the game gimp you the first day?
It would be cool to start the game at morning instead of noon.
④ Anybody know the address for starting time?

① $C55A (ROM file offset $1C56A) (note: this is BCD, and thus the maximum is 99)
You also have $C283 (ROM file offset $1C293), which sets the number of hearts you are given if you die in the ruins.

③ The clock increments by 1 minute every 15 frames. At 60.0988 FPS, this translates to one hour of game-time passing in 14.97534 seconds. 12 hours (i.e. the length of a day or the length of a night) is 179.704 seconds, or 2.995 minutes.

④ The starting hour of the game is defined at $C56F (ROM file offset $1C57F). This is also the hour that you are given when decoding a password. The value defaults to 12 (in BCD). Note that if you set this to a night hour, the game will still begin at daytime, and a morning will actually bring forth a night.

② It follows from these that the first day is 6 hours long (18-12). From the player's perspective, this is 89.852 seconds.


Down + B to get off stairs is a good suggestion. Many later CV games allow that.

I think down+A would make more sense. However, one of the games that allows that is not Akumajou Densetsu, i.e. Castlevania III.


The fluid day/night transition is looking awesome! A massive improvement over the original. Very neat and trim.

Thanks!

> On the subject of making Ferryman stop at the shore's edge and immediately switch to the
> corresponding Ferryman object for the current screen. I noticed something.
> As soon as you reach the edge of the screen he reappears. So maybe he wasn't supposed to
> keep moving? It does look kinda sloppy on Konami's part.


Maybe.


> In merchant dialogues, Have the 'A' button do two things. 1) If cursor is on "Buy" move
> it to "Refuse". 2) If cursor is on "Refuse" cancel out of the dialogue.


This would give the A button two different meanings depending on type of dialog box. I am rejecting this suggestion.


> NPC's seem to be ignorant of some of the laws of physics. In Ondol, I just witnessed a man
> walk right through a platform. Maybe augment the NPC AI with horizontal collision detection
> like most of the other objects in the game.


The boy, right? Hmm. Seems minor enough. Also, adding collision checking into them for the upper part of their body would increase the lagginess of the game for no practical benefit.


> The Vampire Killer is supposed to be this awesome alchemically enhanced magical artifact, right?
> So what's the deal with buying all these other presumably also magical whips? Why the hell
> do so many people have alchemy whips? Maybe it would make more sense if what the
> merchants are selling is 'alchemy crests'? They could look like the standard CV3 power up.
> And if you wanted to take it a step further, have them all sell the same item and instead of
> basing which whips you can use based on the ones you've bought, make it based on the
> number of crests you have. That way you can't skip any, but also don't have to buy them
> in a specific order.


What "Vampire Killer"? I have no idea what you are talking about. I thought these are just normal whips. Makes perfect sense for people to have and make whips of ordinary materials.


> Any way to let the merchants that sell consumables allow you to buy more than one pair at a time?

That would be nice, I agree.


> I think there should be a secret way to go from Denis Marsh Pit to Berkeley Mansion.

I agree. And the secret staircase in that map looks like an accident from the designers.


> What's worse is that the sub-weapons don't get any stronger[...]
> As for the sub-weapons, maybe their damage should increase with level up?


It could be reasonable to powerup the weaker subweapons, like the bottle or the diamond, as Simon levels up. Maybe the others as well.


> How about actually having the mermen ait *AT* you?

They actually do aim at you... They just miscalculate your position a bit :-)


> The game's palette suck, too. There is already a palette hack for the base game, but it could be better.

For the most part, I like the game's palette.


> Even if they are not interactive, having animated lanterns in the towns at night would be pretty cool.

Or indeed those chandeliers.

See the lanterns above or in the vicinity of most doors? I think it could be reasonable to add a fire into them at nights.


> And if you ever figure out the background animation thing for the Open doors and lanterns
> in towns, consider an animation for the waterfalls in the Uta Lower Road.


That would pretty much have to be done as an MMC3 exclusive feature. You can only practically do such waterfall tricks by VROM bank switches. On MMC1, the VROM swap granularity is too high, and the cost would be too great (you would need to double the VROM size, and that's not something I am willing to do very lightly). On MMC3 it would actually be possible to swap much smaller regions of the VROM at time.

The open door thing is by far the most difficult of these suggestions, by the way. It is not the matter of just swapping some VROM banks. The open doors literally contain just a blank tile repeated several times. You cannot make it look like a closed door by just swapping the blank tile (which is also used in windows and many other things) for something else. You would need level editing. And there is the issue that the background tile bank contains absolutely no free space for ~8 unique tiles that would be look like blank tiles at day and closed-door-tiles at night.


> Speaking of which, why Uta Wasteland? Isn't it an underground mountain pass?

Hmm, it should actually be called Uta Lower Road. I am not sure why I called it like that. Any suggestions for the new name? I am willing to change it.


> Also, Why "Laruba's Mansion" and not just "Laruba Mansion"?

Why Brahm's Mansion?

What is the rationale behind sometimes using 's and sometimes not? This boggles me. Could someone explain it?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 09, 2013, 10:31:59 am
Well, I meant Down + Jump, I forgot that B was attack.

The vampire killer is the name of the  Belmonts starting whip I think. It gains strength as powerups are collected in the old school games. I don't know if the vampire killer is in CV II or not. I don't remember when the name was first mentioned.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 09, 2013, 12:19:01 pm
Mortal Kombat II for SNES has a trigger that makes the AI ridiculously hard when you enter a button code to increase damage. I don't think that is really a good feature cause it kinda beats the point of using the code. That's pretty much what you are suggesting by making the game harder as you gain more whips. If the game isn't hard enough for you, simply equip another whip. The hack allows you to keep all the whips you've acquired thus far. Just use a weaker whip when you want more of a challenge, then switch back to the more powerful whip if you need it.

It's not the difficulty or challenge I'm addressing with this suggestion, it's the boring and repetitive nature of just walking around whacking enemies with one hit. They wouldn't even need a drastic change in AI, just some variety to make things a little more interesting as you progress.


Why down + B? Isn't that Crouch + Attack (Yeah, yeah, you can't crouch on stairs), wouldn't crouch + A (Jump) be the norm for "drop" commands like this?

Typo, I meant 'Down + A', too.


> In merchant dialogues, Have the 'A' button do two things. 1) If cursor is on "Buy" move
> it to "Refuse". 2) If cursor is on "Refuse" cancel out of the dialogue.


This would give the A button two different meanings depending on type of dialog box. I am rejecting this suggestion.

Didn't I suggest 'A' for cancelling regular dialogues too? Aren't the two kinds of dialogues already handles differently? The reason for this suggestion is for consistency with the shop menus in most other games. You could always go the simpler route and have 'A' cancel out of the shop dialogue regardless of the cursor position which many games do as well.


> NPC's seem to be ignorant of some of the laws of physics. In Ondol, I just witnessed a man
> walk right through a platform. Maybe augment the NPC AI with horizontal collision detection
> like most of the other objects in the game.


The boy, right? Hmm. Seems minor enough. Also, adding collision checking into them for the upper part of their body would increase the lagginess of the game for no practical benefit.

True. You could always just remove the blocs from underneath the platform. It wouldn't affect game play at all, and it would a trivial solution for a trivial problem.


> The Vampire Killer is supposed to be this awesome alchemically enhanced magical artifact, right?
> So what's the deal with buying all these other presumably also magical whips? Why the hell
> do so many people have alchemy whips? Maybe it would make more sense if what the
> merchants are selling is 'alchemy crests'? They could look like the standard CV3 power up.
> And if you wanted to take it a step further, have them all sell the same item and instead of
> basing which whips you can use based on the ones you've bought, make it based on the
> number of crests you have. That way you can't skip any, but also don't have to buy them
> in a specific order.


What "Vampire Killer"? I have no idea what you are talking about. I thought these are just normal whips. Makes perfect sense for people to have and make whips of ordinary materials.

Are you being facetious?


> The game's palette suck, too. There is already a palette hack for the base game, but it could be better.

For the most part, I like the game's palette.

o_O
http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/CastlevaniaII-Simon%27sQuest-TownOfYomi.png (http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/CastlevaniaII-Simon%27sQuest-TownOfYomi.png)

And this one hurts my vision:
http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/CastlevaniaII-Simon%27sQuest-LarubaMansion.png (http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/CastlevaniaII-Simon%27sQuest-LarubaMansion.png)


The open door thing is by far the most difficult of these suggestions, by the way. It is not the matter of just swapping some VROM banks. The open doors literally contain just a blank tile repeated several times. You cannot make it look like a closed door by just swapping the blank tile (which is also used in windows and many other things) for something else. You would need level editing. And there is the issue that the background tile bank contains absolutely no free space for ~8 unique tiles that would be look like blank tiles at day and closed-door-tiles at night.

What about simply changing those specific TSA blocks with the ones for the closed doors? The system already rewrites tiles to execute the menu and dialogue boxes, right?


> Speaking of which, why Uta Wasteland? Isn't it an underground mountain pass?

Hmm, it should actually be called Uta Lower Road. I am not sure why I called it like that. Any suggestions for the new name? I am willing to change it.

I never had any issues with "Uta Lower Road".


> Also, Why "Laruba's Mansion" and not just "Laruba Mansion"?

Why Brahm's Mansion?

What is the rationale behind sometimes using 's and sometimes not? This boggles me. Could someone explain it?

Well, that's a good question. First let me get this out of the way. Brahm's Mansion is supposed to be named for Bram Stoker, the author of the novel, "Dracula". So you can throw out that wierd 'h' right there. Now, the mansion names are "X no yakata" which in Japanese signifies ownership so I could understand the 's as it's common to use it when you are stating a thing belongs to a specific person. However, in English when an estate carries a family name the ownership is implicitly understood normally. So all the 's are superfluous. Although, I have to admit Brams Mansion has a better ring to it than Bram Mansion.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 09, 2013, 01:52:48 pm
Are you being facetious?

Let me google this word...

No, I am being entirely serious. There is nothing in the game to suggest that those whips are in any manner special. They are simply functional objects capable of delivering devastating physical force.
Even if the hero has nicknamed a whip by some particular name -- a concept which I do not see references to in the game.


Quote
o_O  And this one hurts my vision:

I see no problem here whatsoever.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/larupal.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/yomipal.png)

Except of course if you use horrific emulator palettes.


Quote
What about simply changing those specific TSA blocks with the ones for the closed doors? The system already rewrites tiles to execute the menu and dialogue boxes, right?
Reverse-mapping the on-PPU graphics into in-game level data, or selectively doing vice versa, is a really complex undertaking that I don't think I am wiling to take.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 09, 2013, 02:16:43 pm
Let me google this word...

No, I am being entirely serious. There is nothing in the game to suggest that those whips are in any manner special. They are simply functional objects capable of delivering devastating physical force.
Even if the hero has nicknamed a whip by some particular name -- a concept which I do not see references to in the game.

I don't know if the vampire killer is in CV II or not. I don't remember when the name was first mentioned.

The earliest game I can think of that actually calls it "Vampire Killer" is Bloodlines, but from the very first game it was always described as a magical family heirloom. I don't know what crack they were smoking when they were making CV2, but CV1 is pretty clear that not just any old whip can take out Dracula and the one Simon has isn't ordinary. Not to mention it just seems wierd to go around killing supernatural monsters with just a normal whip which is most definitely not an effective combat weapon.

EDIT: This one is just a personal preference of mine. Could you add an optional patch to disable access to the password feature and remove it from the start menu? I just think it would look neater especially since I don't intend to ever use the god-awful password system ever again.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 09, 2013, 06:11:41 pm
Down + A to drop off stairs? Yes please.
"Sometimes I don't feel like going down the stairs just to get down to ground level.
I mean, there's no reason I should have to do that when I can just take a shortcut and jump down.
But oops, I shouldn't do that. There might be water down there."
From the legendary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4we8iFk-fY

If you can get the doors in town to be closed at night, that would be great. It would also make more sense.

Bathory? I did not know that. Maybe I should change the name.
Seems like a good change.

> I think there should be a secret way to go from Denis Marsh Pit to Berkeley Mansion.

I agree. And the secret staircase in that map looks like an accident from the designers.
I don't think it was an accident by the developers, I think that they just wanted a secret way for you to get back safely without having to cross the damaging floor. I think it would be cool though if it did connect to the Berkeley Mansion. For example, you could have an invisible platform that moves left and right that you can't see unless you have the crystal selected (or maybe Dracula's Ring). It allows you to be able to make it to the right wall, which you can pass through at the top.

(http://i.imgur.com/QDw5P2D.gif)


> What's worse is that the sub-weapons don't get any stronger[...]
> As for the sub-weapons, maybe their damage should increase with level up?


It could be reasonable to powerup the weaker subweapons, like the bottle or the diamond, as Simon levels up. Maybe the others as well.
Increasing the damage of the subweapons as you level is a good idea. The holy water does the damage of your first whip. It's so crap.

> Even if they are not interactive, having animated lanterns in the towns at night would be pretty cool.

Or indeed those chandeliers.

See the lanterns above or in the vicinity of most doors? I think it could be reasonable to add a fire into them at nights.
Animated lanterns would be sweet. It would be cool if you could whip them like in Rondo of Blood.

(http://i.imgur.com/87luQjB.gif)

> And if you ever figure out the background animation thing for the Open doors and lanterns
> in towns, consider an animation for the waterfalls in the Uta Lower Road.


That would pretty much have to be done as an MMC3 exclusive feature. You can only practically do such waterfall tricks by VROM bank switches. On MMC1, the VROM swap granularity is too high, and the cost would be too great (you would need to double the VROM size, and that's not something I am willing to do very lightly). On MMC3 it would actually be possible to swap much smaller regions of the VROM at time.
Animated waterfalls? Awesomesauce.

> Speaking of which, why Uta Wasteland? Isn't it an underground mountain pass?

Hmm, it should actually be called Uta Lower Road. I am not sure why I called it like that. Any suggestions for the new name? I am willing to change it.
Uta's Defile sounds pretty awesome.
http://thesaurus.yourdictionary.com/pass

> Also, Why "Laruba's Mansion" and not just "Laruba Mansion"?

Why Brahm's Mansion?

What is the rationale behind sometimes using 's and sometimes not? This boggles me. Could someone explain it?
The name of the mansion is generally named after a person or family, rather than being currently possessed by a particular person.
It's the difference between "the Tolkien Estate" and "J.R.R. Tolkien's estate."
I think that Brahm should be Bram, because of Bram Stoker.

Didn't I suggest 'A' for cancelling regular dialogues too? Aren't the two kinds of dialogues already handles differently? The reason for this suggestion is for consistency with the shop menus in most other games. You could always go the simpler route and have 'A' cancel out of the shop dialogue regardless of the cursor position which many games do as well.
On NES and SNES games, B is usually cancel and A is usually accept. Pressing B to cancel out of menus seems like a good idea.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 09, 2013, 08:18:21 pm
I successfully implemented the Down-A to drop off stairs support... It is not released yet.

But what do you guys think, should it be an optional feature? I think this would be one of those things that e.g. Bregalad would roll his eyes at, just what kind of "retranslation" is that.

But as for the patch vending machine, its usability suffers when there are too many choices to choose from.


This one is just a personal preference of mine. Could you add an optional patch to disable access to the password feature and remove it from the start menu? I just think it would look neater especially since I don't intend to ever use the god-awful password system ever again.
In my patch system it is not currently possible to customize the menu screens for different patch options, without awkward hacks. The screens are stored in the text translation file, which does not know about patch options. In addition, the cursor positions must be indicated in the assembler code that deals with processing the UI for that menu, which also has a limited number of variants.
This is why the Load Game option stays in the menu even if SRAM is disabled. This would also go for the password feature.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on April 09, 2013, 09:12:04 pm
Sounds like a very good improvement!
Maybe you should consider to forge all control fixes to one option in the patching screen.
Improved controls Yes/No
This would fix the issue with too many choices ;)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 09, 2013, 09:12:51 pm
I think that adding the ability to drop off stairs wouldn't be that big of a deal.
It's sort of like using a Doom source port like ZDOOM that adds looking up and down, you don't have to actually do it if you don't want to.
Also, I noticed that when you use an oak stake on an orb it makes your life bar disappear.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 10, 2013, 01:00:11 am
Maybe you should consider to forge all control fixes to one option in the patching screen.
Improved controls Yes/No
This would fix the issue with too many choices ;)
But there are no other changes of that sort.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: M-Tee on April 10, 2013, 01:54:51 am
Honestly, I think all the options are unnecessary. I would put everything below "chipset" on your vending machine in one group called "improvements." It shows confidence in your choices, allows an unaltered option for purists, and still has the regional and chipset options for compatability.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 10, 2013, 02:07:46 am
I always pick yes on everything because they are all things that make the game better and that's why I'm playing it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 10, 2013, 02:30:18 am
Down + A to drop off stairs? Yes please.
"Sometimes I don't feel like going down the stairs just to get down to ground level.
I mean, there's no reason I should have to do that when I can just take a shortcut and jump down.
But oops, I shouldn't do that. There might be water down there."
From the legendary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4we8iFk-fY

To be honest I'd remove the pit falls in all the towns except the first one. (for nostalgia)
You shouldn't otherwise be able to die like that in towns. Everywhere else? Well if you leap without looking out in the world and you get killed, then that's your own damn fault. :P


I don't think it was an accident by the developers, I think that they just wanted a secret way for you to get back safely without having to cross the damaging floor. I think it would be cool though if it did connect to the Berkeley Mansion. For example, you could have an invisible platform that moves left and right that you can't see unless you have the crystal selected (or maybe Dracula's Ring). It allows you to be able to make it to the right wall, which you can pass through at the top.

(http://i.imgur.com/QDw5P2D.gif)

I was thinking more along the lines of a duplicate of Deborah Cliff that takes you to a different location.


Increasing the damage of the subweapons as you level is a good idea. The holy water does the damage of your first whip. It's so crap.

I know, right?! I tried to take out a merman on one of the bridges near Yomi and I hit it 19 time with Holy water and it ended up getting bored and then it jumped back in the water.


I successfully implemented the Down-A to drop off stairs support... It is not released yet.

But what do you guys think, should it be an optional feature? I think this would be one of those things that e.g. Bregalad would roll his eyes at, just what kind of "retranslation" is that.

But as for the patch vending machine, its usability suffers when there are too many choices to choose from.

Honestly, I think all the options are unnecessary. I would put everything below "chipset" on your vending machine in one group called "improvements." It shows confidence in your choices, allows an unaltered option for purists, and still has the regional and chipset options for compatability.

I agree. Have a pure retranslation patch, and an optional enhancement patch that includes all the enhancements. If someone feels so strongly about removing a single enhancement then they can use a hex editor to disable it in the ASM code. And you wanted to be a cool guy you could give out the addresses of the individual enhancements so people have a place to start from. ;)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 10, 2013, 05:18:54 am
Thanks. I should certainly consider that venue.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on April 10, 2013, 05:45:56 am
I think pressing down + jump to get off stairs was a good improvement to the series. A seperate patching option for that probably shouldn't be nessesary. It don't drastically change the gameplay and using it is optional anyway since it requires a button combo to use.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 10, 2013, 05:51:54 am
Shouldn't "Debious Woods" be "Devious Woods"?

Is it possible that Jova was meant to be Joba/Job, as in this guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_%28biblical_figure%29)?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 10, 2013, 07:19:32 am
Shouldn't "Debious Woods" be "Devious Woods"?
Yes. I have been conservative at changing those because they are referred to wikis and walkthroughs.


Quote
Is it possible that Jova was meant to be Joba/Job, as in this guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_%28biblical_figure%29)?
Job would be written as ヨブ in Japanese. Whereas Jova was originally ヨーバ. Quite different. It could be e.g Yourba, if that made any sense.


I will rename Debious as Devious, Bodley as Bathory and Uta Wasteland as Uta Cavern. Some sources refer to it originally as Uta Lower Road; but I have previously changed Aljiba Lower Road into Aljiba Cavern.
To that end, there is now a release version 2.6.3.
The jump-from-stairs feature is now tied into Simon's blinking on the download form.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 10, 2013, 09:31:36 am
Awesomeness!

Debious Woods = Jibiasu no Mori = Forset of Jibius =Devious Woods

It could be Devious since this is an older game and the katakana combinations for the dee and vee sounds are not commonly used in NES era games. However, that doesn't explain why the manual doesn't use them other than that sometime foreign words that use these sounds are often "Nopponized". At the very least I can say with certainty that it isn't supposed to be a deh sound in the first syllable.

Before deciding on Uta Cavern, I'd just like to point out that the background consists of stone blocks and metal grates. So I'm pretty sure it isn't technically a cavern. And more importantly this:

ユタの地下道 = YUTA no chikadō = Utah (i'm not kidding, that's the katakana for the state of Utah) of underground road = Uta Underground Road

So my best suggestion for that one is Uta Tunnel.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 10, 2013, 09:51:42 am
Debious Woods = Jibiasu no Mori = Forset of Jibius =Devious Woods

It could be Devious since this is an older game and the katakana combinations for the dee and vee sounds are not commonly used in NES era games.
The Japanese printed manual calls it デビアズ (debiazu). The name does not occur in the game. There is no J / dʒ sound there.


Quote
ユタの地下道 = YUTA no chikadō
Where does that occur? It does not occur in the game, and it does not occur in the map in the Japanese printed manual either.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 10, 2013, 09:59:40 am
The Japanese printed manual calls it デビアズ (debiazu). The name does not occur in the game. There is no J / dʒ sound there.

Where does that occur? It does not occur in the game, and it does not occur in the map in the Japanese printed manual either.

You're right about the "De" my bad. But both the manual scans and the guide book on Mr.P's site show it as デビアス. Either way, I agree the correct translation is "Devious" however dubious that might be for the name of a forest in Romania.

The YUTA no chikadou is from the official guide and is listed as such on the wikia page.
http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Uta_Lower_Road (http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Uta_Lower_Road)

http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/guide-fridayspecial.htm (http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/guide-fridayspecial.htm)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 10, 2013, 03:49:10 pm
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/guide-fridayspecial.htm (http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv2/guide-fridayspecial.htm)
Page 54 - 55. Check that out. It looks like the developer's internal map creation tool.
Imagine being able to see the tools that these people used back in the 80's.

Quote
Utah's Cavern and shi'
I thought that Uta's Defile was pretty cool and I also don't think that it's just a cavern because that sounds too natural and the area doesn't look natural.
Uta's Delve could work, I guess.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/cavern
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 10, 2013, 04:23:56 pm
Interesting. In that Friday Special you also have some names you don't see elsewhere, such as Vlad Mountain, and Borgia Mountain Range.
Why does it call Brahm's Mansion as Dim Mansion, though?


Re: Defile and Delve, I don't know, both of them sound too esoteric words to me to be used. Does some other game use them that way? Also, their meanings at
http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/defile
http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/delve
do no quite match the intention. Neither does cavern, I admit.

And yes, my mistake about ズ/ス. It was not really clear in the manual scan so I just presumed that it is ズ.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 10, 2013, 04:36:14 pm
With defile and delve, both the noun and the verb version of the words are mostly relevant to this kind of area.
Uta's Burrow or Uta's Den are possibilities.
Den is used often with this sort of thing, like in the phrase "den of evil."
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 11, 2013, 03:46:02 am
I still think Tunnel is sufficient and expresses the authors' original intent. It's clearly not any kind of natural formation at all. As for Dim Mansion, I'm guessing it was an earlier name they were considering.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 11, 2013, 04:51:09 am
It doesn't really look like a tunnel. I actually think the best sounding name is probably Uta Pass.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 11, 2013, 10:57:13 am
Do you mean the graphics or the layout? Remember the literal translation is subterranean road. That sounds like a tunnel to me. Now if I had been in charge of designing that layout, I would have made it half as tall and twice as wide. That way it would give more of an impression of an actual tunnel and not a big ass dungeon.

Observation:
*Looking at the animation of the different whips I think there a bug for the chain whip & morning star. Here's the thing. It looks like when you whip part of Simon's arm is blinking too. The two arm tiles should be changed to not cycle through the palettes, or if that isn't possible the whole chain whip & morningstar stick to one palette.
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-1_zps613e6335.png)

*Also, the first frame of the chain whip animation reuses the tip from the leather & thorn whip animation. This is probably a bug and it looks like crap. I suggest changing it for the tip tile in it's second frame. That tile matches up pretty well. Alternatively, the chain whip and the morningstar have a duplicate tile in their animations in the second frame. It could be used to make a new tile for the tip of the chain whip.

*The Rib Shield should be a pixel lower, maaaybe two pixels. Just to male it look like Simon can see over it's top edge.

*Is there a way to set Simon's idle frame to the third one in his walk animation instead of the third? I think that third frame is more appropriate for a 'ready' stance than the first one. Plus the third frame looks more like it's holding a shield.

*Wow. The Health meter is all kinds of messed up. What the hell were they thinking when they programmed it? Why the hell does it use palette swapping or vertical flipping at all? I only noticed because I drew a new meter graphic and noticed it's wierd behavior.
Edit: Never mind.
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-0_zpsb63cdeee.png)


I fixed the wierd flipping tiles by simply flipping the graphic tiles in the ROM. However, for when it displays 1 full bar and 3 empty ones it displays the tiles for 1 empty bar and 3 full ones flipped over and in a different palette. Seems a little convoluted when there there is already a combination of tiles that can do the job without any unnecessary flipping and palette swapping. Not to mention that 4 out of the 6 tiles used for the meter are identical.


On a side note I did this & I like how it turned out:
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-2_zps097e5f93.png)
Just wanted to see How the game feels with Zombies in place of the over abundant Skeletons.

EDIT:

Way back when someone mentioned moving the silk bag icon to make room for the "Leather Whip" text. I actually thought that was a good idea. I know it was rejected, but for what it's worth, this is what the menu would look like.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/CastlevaniaII-SimonsQuestT-1_zps7237f47a.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 11, 2013, 11:04:16 am
Quote
Wow. The Health meter is all kinds of messed up. What the hell were they thinking when they programmed it? Why the hell does it use palette swapping or vertical flipping at all? I only noticed because I drew a new meter graphic and noticed it's wierd behavior.
They did this to minimize the # of different tiles it takes to display it. However I was able to hack a much better one with only one single additional tile (see my hack released in January).

Quote
Not to mention that 4 out of the 6 tiles used for the meter are identical.
No there is only 3 tiles. Remember this game uses 8x16 sprites.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 11, 2013, 12:04:01 pm
They did this to minimize the # of different tiles it takes to display it. However I was able to hack a much better one with only one single additional tile (see my hack released in January).

Damn. Forgot about 8x16 sprite mode. Fortunately, I think if I were to remap the tiles on the Bone Pillar / White Dragon enemy I think I could add the 4 tiles that would be needed to completely avoid having to flip or palette swap.

No there is only 3 tiles. Remember this game uses 8x16 sprites.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are still technically 6 tiles but since each sprite automatically displays two consecutive tiles there are only 3 writes to OAM needed to display all 6, no?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 11, 2013, 01:10:41 pm
Mmh, I think it depends what you call a tile.

You could see a 8x16 sprte as two stacked consecutive tiles, or as a single 8x16 tile.

I think the latter is more correct, as if you use vertical flipping, the entiere 8x16 tile is flipped (there is not two individual 8x8 tiles flipped upside down). In all other cases, it doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 11, 2013, 01:35:31 pm
Mmh, I think it depends what you call a tile.

You could see a 8x16 sprte as two stacked consecutive tiles, or as a single 8x16 tile.

I think the latter is more correct, as if you use vertical flipping, the entiere 8x16 tile is flipped (there is not two individual 8x8 tiles flipped upside down). In all other cases, it doesn't matter.

In effect, that is true, but what happens if you call the tile that is the bottom of another tile? Doesn't display that tile on top and the next tile as the bottom?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 11, 2013, 08:08:26 pm
Decided to play through the patch a bit and I have to say that I'm amazed at how fluid the day-to-night transition is. I expected the game to stop while the palettes change, but no, the game doesn't stop at all.

So far, the patch is great. I haven't played much of the game in all honesty; maybe up to like the second or third mansion, but so far the patch makes the game much more enjoyable!

I do have one issue with the game that probably wouldn't be practical to fix, and that's when I'm in a town during nighttime. There's nothing to do except walk around and kill zombies, and it seems to take forever for dawn to come, especially if it just turned night. Nothing to do with the patch, just a personal peeve I have with the game.

EDIT: I've found a bug with the jumping down stairs thing. If you hold A and Down at the top of stairs, Simon spazzes out continuously until you let go of one of the buttons. Not game-breaking as far as I can tell, just a little weird bug I noticed.

EDIT2: Also, disregard my statement about replacing the knife with the silver knife once you get it, I just now realized that it costs hearts to use, like the arrows do in Zelda.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 12, 2013, 04:09:38 am
Quote
In effect, that is true, but what happens if you call the tile that is the bottom of another tile? Doesn't display that tile on top and the next tile as the bottom?
Nope, when using 8x16 sprites on the NES, the LSB becomes pattern table selection bit.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 12, 2013, 05:18:32 am
Interesting. Obviously the tradeoff here is the potential for wasted 8x8 tile-space, but what are the benefits?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 12, 2013, 06:03:26 am
Interesting. Obviously the tradeoff here is the potential for wasted 8x8 tile-space, but what are the benefits?

The benefit is that to produce a 16×32 pixel character such as Super Mario or standing Simon, if you use 8×8 sprites, you need 8 sprites to construct it. If you use 8×16 sprites, you only need only 4 of them. Maintaining all those sprite entries ― 4 bytes each ― in the sprite array can be so much faster, since you only need half as many.

Additionally, since the hardware limit is 64 sprites per screen, the table does not become full so soon, allowing you to draw larger (especially taller) actors than in 8×8 mode, without blinking.
(There is still the hardware limit of 8 sprites per scanline, which is why the horizontal is a different issue altogether.)

Furthermore, the total coverage on screen with 64 × 8×16 pixels is larger than with 64 × 8×8 pixels, which is why I use 8×16 sprites for color correction on the map screen as well.

Finally, if you use 8×8 sprites, you can only select them from one of the $1000 byte pages, just as you can only select background tiles from one of the $1000 byte pages. Typically, you use one page for the background and the other page for the sprites. If you use 8×16 sprites, you can choose sprites from both pages at the same time, since the LSB of the sprite index is now dedicated for choosing the sprite page.
E.g. in 8×8 mode:
$00 chooses sprite graphics from $x000-$x00F (8×8×2 bits = 128 bits = 16 bytes)
$01 chooses sprite graphics from $x010-$x01F
$02 chooses sprite graphics from $x020-$x02F
$FE chooses sprite graphics from $xFE0-$xFEF
$FF chooses sprite graphics from $xFEF-$xFFF where x = sprite page selection bit in I/O register $2000
But in 8×16 mode:
$00 chooses sprite graphics from $0000-$001F (8×16×2 bits = 256 bits = 32 bytes)
$01 chooses sprite graphics from $1000-$101F
$02 chooses sprite graphics from $0020-$003F
$FE chooses sprite graphics from $0FE0-$0FFF
$FF chooses sprite graphics from $1FE0-$1FFF where the sprite page selection bit in I/O register $2000 is ignored.

And the tradeoff obviously is that there are fewer opportunities to reuse the same graphics in distinct actor/object poses than with 8×8 sprites. Also, if your actor is not exactly a multiple of 16 pixels tall, you may end up needing to waste space in the tile map, such as what with the small heart, the garlic, the water bottle and the fireball in Simon's Quest. Each of their 8×16 tile is half blank. This blank room is unavailable to the background graphics.
But as a plus side, the same icon may be reused as both an actor and a background tile (if it is in the background graphics page), and it was indeed done as such for the heart, the garlic and the water bottle. It is a background tile in the status screen and in merchant boxes.

Similarly, the floating bricks, which are sprites, can reuse the same graphics as the standard bricks that make up the platforms. In 8x8 mode, such reuse would not be possible.  (Oddly enough, the 16x16 brick graphics seems to be duplicated in the background tile pages for some reason, as are the stairs. I don't know why is this.)


I've found a bug with the jumping down stairs thing. If you hold A and Down at the top of stairs, Simon spazzes out continuously until you let go of one of the buttons. Not game-breaking as far as I can tell, just a little weird bug I noticed.
Thanks. I wouldn't have noticed it by myself. It's a funny low-priority bug.

<whip-related observations>

Most if not all of what they did re: whips is because of limited space in the tile page for distinct whip graphics. Remember the nice graphics sheet (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans_vrom.png) that I posted earlier? You'll notice that any and all graphics that Simon and whips and weapons can show at any time in the game, have to be repeated on every page of actors, and there's a limit to how much room they can take. The same goes for the hitpoint bars, obviously. I don't believe there's much I can do to help it.
The hand blinking bug doesn't seem to be necessary given these conditions, but it may be difficult to fix it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on April 12, 2013, 01:29:01 pm
Quote
Oddly enough, the 16x16 brick graphics seems to be duplicated in the background tile pages for some reason, as are the stairs.
I'm pretty sure the "invisible holes" in the floor uses different tiles, but with the same graphics.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 12, 2013, 03:02:14 pm
I'm pretty sure the "invisible holes" in the floor uses different tiles, but with the same graphics.

I can verify this. All the Mansion pages have 3 sets of those tiles. 1 for the sprites, one for the fake blocks and one for the solid & breakable blocks.


Most if not all of what they did re: whips is because of limited space in the tile page for distinct whip graphics. Remember the nice graphics sheet (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans_vrom.png) that I posted earlier? You'll notice that any and all graphics that Simon and whips and weapons can show at any time in the game, have to be repeated on every page of actors, and there's a limit to how much room they can take. The same goes for the hitpoint bars, obviously. I don't believe there's much I can do to help it.
The hand blinking bug doesn't seem to be necessary given these conditions, but it may be difficult to fix it.

The funny thing is CV1 has a similar bug, but with the third frame with the arm extended flashing colors. CV3 doesn't have any issues with the Vampire Killer's palette cycling.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 12, 2013, 10:29:25 pm
I'm pretty sure the "invisible holes" in the floor uses different tiles, but with the same graphics.
I can verify this. All the Mansion pages have 3 sets of those tiles. 1 for the sprites, one for the fake blocks and one for the solid & breakable blocks.

Wow, that's wasteful... I'm sure it was a limitation in their toolset. I am interested to check whether there is anything in the compiled ROM that prevents changing that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: M-Tee on April 12, 2013, 10:57:41 pm
That's one of the major limitations with Pyron as well. Since all of the ground tiles need to be in x3, there's not enough space for variation in say, walking surfaces, etc.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 13, 2013, 02:55:11 am
IIRC the reason for this is that they hardcoded some (maybe all?) block attributes to their tile locations instead of having them as a separate system. It's a bit of a pain to deal with.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 16, 2013, 04:52:35 am
For anyone possibly interested, I have updated the game disassembly at http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/cv2u.txt (ini file at http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/cv2u.ini). It is now a bit more thorough in uncovering all the pointers in level data, and more locations have been assigned descriptive names than it was 4 months ago when I last updated that URL.
It is automatically generated using my tool, "clever-disasm", included in my open-source assembler tool, nescom (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/source/nescom.html).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 16, 2013, 08:12:58 am
Interesting stuff! Looks really useful.

EDIT:

Question~ Where in the following code does the bone turn into the flame sprite? Also, what part is the  collision with the floor blocks?

Code: [Select]
;------------------------------------------
ObjectAI_object0D_ThrownBone
$9622  86 10:       stx Unknown10_CollisionAndScrollingTemp
$9624  BD D8 03:    lda ObjectCurrentActionType,x
$9627  D0 0D:       bne + ; $9636
$9629  A9 01:       lda #$01
$962B  9D 12 03:    sta ObjectPaletteIndex,x
$962E  20 CA DE:    jsr Object_SetCurrentActionType_to_01
$9631  A9 05:       lda #$05
$9633  4C D8 DE:    jmp SetObjectIndexToAutomaticSpriteDataTable_to_A_and_PaletteIndexTo0_and_RefreshSprite

+ $9636  FE D4 04:    inc ObjectDialogTextIndex,x
$9639  BD D4 04:    lda ObjectDialogTextIndex,x
$963C  C9 40:       cmp #$40
$963E  D0 16:       bne + ; $9656
$9640  A9 00:       lda #$00
$9642  9D D4 04:    sta ObjectDialogTextIndex,x
$9645  BD C6 03:    lda ObjectDialogStatusFlag,x
$9648  D0 0C:       bne + ; $9656
$964A  20 B3 DF:    jsr _func_1DFB3
$964D  B0 07:       bcs + ; $9656
$964F  A4 10:       ldy Unknown10_CollisionAndScrollingTemp
$9651  A9 0C:       lda #$0C
$9653  4C 7B DE:    jmp _func_1DE7B

+ $9656  A6 10:       ldx Unknown10_CollisionAndScrollingTemp
$9658  20 2A DD:    jsr ObjectLoadAutomaticSpriteNumber
$965B  BD 44 04:    lda ObjectUnknown444,x
$965E  20 BB C5:    jsr JumpWithParams
ObjectAI_object0D_actions
$9661  67 96:       .word (ObjectAI_object0D_actions_5667) ;9667 (5667) ()
$9663  72 96:       .word (ObjectAI_object0D_actions_5672) ;9672 (5672) ()
$9665  AA 96:       .word (ObjectAI_object0D_actions_56AA) ;96AA (56AA) ()
ObjectAI_object0D_actions_5667
$9667  A9 C0:       lda #$C0
$9669  20 6F DE:    jsr _func_1DE6F
$966C  FE 44 04:    inc ObjectUnknown444,x
$966F  4C 8A DF:    jmp Object_SetYVelocity16bit_ToZero
;------------------------------------------
ObjectAI_object0D_actions_5672
$9672  20 F4 E0:    jsr _func_1E0F4
$9675  BD 56 04:    lda ObjectMonsterID,x
$9678  C9 40:       cmp #$40
$967A  D0 03:       bne + ; $967F
$967C  4C AD DF:    jmp _func_1DFAD

+ $967F  BD 48 03:    lda ObjectScreenXCoord,x
$9682  38:          sec
$9683  ED 48 03:    sbc ObjectScreenXCoord
$9686  B0 03:       bcs + ; $968B
$9688  20 B7 DE:    jsr Math_NegateA
+ $968B  C9 28:       cmp #$28
$968D  B0 15:       bcs + ; $96A4
$968F  20 10 E0:    jsr Object_SetFacing_FaceTowardsSimon
$9692  A9 FF:       lda #$FF
$9694  A0 00:       ldy #$00
$9696  20 4F E0:    jsr Object_SetXVelocity16bit_from_AY_invert_if_ObjectFacingLeft_set
$9699  A9 FE:       lda #$FE
$969B  A0 00:       ldy #$00
$969D  20 76 E0:    jsr Object_SetYVelocity16bit_from_AY
$96A0  FE 44 04:    inc ObjectUnknown444,x
$96A3  60:          rts

+ $96A4  20 8B DE:    jsr _func_1DE8B
$96A7  4C A1 DE:    jmp _func_1DEA1
;------------------------------------------
ObjectAI_object0D_actions_56AA
$96AA  A9 10:       lda #$10
$96AC  85 08:       sta TempPtr08_lo
$96AE  20 E4 DF:    jsr Object_GravityAccelerateBy_Var08
$96B1  BD 90 03:    lda ObjectXSpeed,x
$96B4  30 04:       bmi + ; $96BA
$96B6  A9 06:       lda #$06
$96B8  D0 02:       bne ++ ; $96BC

+ $96BA  A9 FA:       lda #$FA
++ $96BC  A0 00:       ldy #$00
$96BE  20 A2 E2:    jsr _func_1E2A2
$96C1  B0 03:       bcs + ; $96C6
$96C3  20 27 E0:    jsr Object_SetXVelocity16bit_InvertCurrent
+ $96C6  BD 6C 03:    lda ObjectYSpeed,x
$96C9  30 09:       bmi + ; $96D4 -> _func_1E0F4
$96CB  A9 00:       lda #$00
$96CD  A0 10:       ldy #$10
$96CF  20 A2 E2:    jsr _func_1E2A2
$96D2  90 03:       bcc ++ ; $96D7
+ $96D4  4C F4 E0:    jmp _func_1E0F4

++ $96D7  20 62 DE:    jsr _func_1DE62
$96DA  20 A8 DF:    jsr _func_1DFA8
$96DD  4C 82 DF:    jmp Object_SetXandYVelocity16bit_ToZero
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 16, 2013, 09:59:05 am
Question~ Where in the following code does the bone turn into the flame sprite? Also, what part is the  collision with the floor blocks?

There was an error there. Sorry about that. Object 0D is the guy who throws bones. Object 0C is the bone. They were indicated vice versa.
Action 2, at $9601 in bank 1, is the bone's action when it has landed.
You can see there that it broods for 48 frames (counted using $0456,x) until it erases itself. The bone's appearance as a fire was probably set in the end of action 1, or in the beginning of action 2.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 16, 2013, 11:36:54 am
Thanks! If it works out, then no more exploding bones for my ROM. This document is awesomeness.

EDIT: LOL! I NOP'd the whole algorithm at $9601 and now the bones don't turn into fire, but the land on the floor and stay there spinning. I created death-trap Skeletons. Hahaha.

EDIT2: NOP the code from $95d4 to $95df and the Skeleton will lay the bones in mid air like floating calcium mines.

EDIT3: It occurs to me that I may be able to hardcode certain behaviors to specific mansions by referencing the location. For example in one mansion they can be regular old bone chuckers by disabling the block collision and sprite change. And in another mansion I can redraw it into an evil priest, the bones into bottles, and not disable any code. And in yet another place I can disable the throwing code and redraw it the skeleton into a demon and the bones into flames. That would bring in some variety.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 16, 2013, 01:00:11 pm
LOL! I NOP'd the whole algorithm at $9601 and now the bones don't turn into fire, but the land on the floor and stay there spinning. I created death-trap Skeletons. Hahaha.
Yep, the bones' self-destruction is part of that code. Delete the code, and they do not self-destruct.

Quote
It occurs to me that I may be able to hardcode certain behaviors to specific mansions by referencing the location. For example in one mansion they can be regular old bone chuckers by disabling the block collision and sprite change. And in another mansion I can redraw it into an evil priest, the bones into bottles, and not disable any code. And in yet another place I can disable the throwing code and redraw it the skeleton into a demon and the bones into flames. That would bring in some variety.
Yup. Beware that if you plan to add your patch atop my patch, what may seem like free space (for the purposes of adding your own program code that does not fit in the old code's space) may be non-free space in any random version. Your best bet is to optimize existing code to make room, and put your own code in the room thus relieved. :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 16, 2013, 02:33:50 pm
Always good advise.
I've been meaning to ask, what's the difference between VRC6a & VRC6b?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 16, 2013, 02:40:56 pm
I've been meaning to ask, what's the difference between VRC6a & VRC6b?
VRC6a is for the board of Akumajou Densetsu, and VRC6b is for the boards of Madara and Esper Dream 2.
The differences are explained here: http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/VRC6
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 16, 2013, 03:12:38 pm
One last thing. Even if I have the VRC6 version of the patch as my base the sound system is still the same as the original, right? So if I wanted to upgrade to VRC6 style music I'd have to give the sound code an overhaul, no?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 16, 2013, 03:49:11 pm
One last thing. Even if I have the VRC6 version of the patch as my base the sound system is still the same as the original, right? So if I wanted to upgrade to VRC6 style music I'd have to give the sound code an overhaul, no?
The sound engine in the game would still be the same. To utilize the VRC6 channels you would have to insert code that writes into the VRC6 soundchip's I/O ports. Upgrading the sound engine to do that is an infeasible undertaking, I'm afraid.
You could consider it in custom cutscenes or such, where you might skip the game's sound engine alltogether and use a homebrew one instead.

EDIT: I found the Berkeley Mansion! ;-)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/berkeleymansion_in_jeevesandwooster.jpg)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 16, 2013, 07:37:57 pm
It would be cool if the other two NES Castlevania games could be disassembled and the boss code copied over to Castlevania 2 and the mansions altered slightly so that there were bosses in each mansion. To put the question out there, what bosses from 1 and 3 would be the best to bring over if it were possible?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 17, 2013, 10:21:40 am
To be honest, I'd prefer new bosses for the mansions. If the boss code from the other two games could be used I'd only use them as a base for the most part. And actually what I'd be more interested in is porting over some of the regular enemies.

The first thing I'd do, though, is begin by improving the existing bosses. Each boss should be hidden somewhere in their mansion and defeating them should be required to access the room with the body part. I'd separate the Orb object from the body part and create a door object that is impassable until you get the orb from the boss. This promotes exploration and frees the Oak stake to be an actual weapon. So now when you clear the boss you can enter the part room and it'll just be there on the pedestal.

Individual improvements: Carmila needs a couple more attacks and maybe a more varied flight path. I'd port Death from CV1, keep his sickle throw attack, and make sure he can't be stunned by 'sacred' attacks. Also, I'd move him to the room right before the last boss. Which brings me to Dracula. He's just as pathetic as the rest of them. He needs a new sprite, looks too much like Death. Hell this Dracula should be Death's second form. Dracula's Ghost should be a lot harder to hit and more over you should have to do something special to take him out in order to lift the curse. As a matter of fact, I think the 13 clues should be a riddle that tells you what you need to do instead of being tips. And if you don't do this thing to lift the curse you always get the bad ending. (On a side note an interesting hack would be to start Simon off with the max amount of health and the longer you take to beat the game the smaller your meter becomes.) Now as to the last boss, what would be cool is if he has a different form based on each body part and you have to beat them all to win.

Now to fill in the roster of mansions that are left over...

Berkeley Mansion - This is almost always the first mansion players tackle so it needs a fairly easy boss. How about a Ghul? You hardly ever see those and never as a boss. And if you notice the spelling, I do mean the original Arabic version of it. It should be fast and have a simple clawing attack

Rover Mansion - A merman boss. The Creature from the Black Lagoon should have been in CV1, so let's put him here. He should be based on the basic AI of the normal mermen, but with more attacks and able to jump in and out of the water or even attack from the water. Make him a fireball spitter with different attacks depending on whether he's on land or in the water. Add a close quarters claw swipe and you're done.

Bram Mansion - Need a new boss to replace Death. Let's see... The White Wurm! A white snake-like dragon boss. Maybe do it like the dragon boss in Belmont's Revenge and have it shoot through holes in the room and occasionally pop out and attack. Bram Mansion - Lair of the White Worm... see what I did there. ;)

Bodley/Bathory Mansion - Elizabeth Bartley/ Erzebeth Bathory should be this stage's boss hands down. Just the name of the place demands it have it's vampire master present. She could have a human form to start and then a second form based on the Leviathan/Lesser Demon from CV3.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 17, 2013, 10:55:09 am
This promotes exploration and frees the Oak stake to be an actual weapon.
It could be used for the finishing blow against Dracula. You get Dracula into a stunned position and finish him off with the oak stake Ganon style.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 17, 2013, 11:33:39 am
It could be used for the finishing blow against Dracula. You get Dracula into a stunned position and finish him off with the oak stake Ganon style.

Exactly, and I was thinking a little while ago, that part of the procedure should be figuring out which specific sub-weapons you need to finish off each of Drac's forms. And to make it more interesting, during the fight instead of fighting the forms in sequence he'll switch forms to a random one based on two factors. Normally he'll switch forms after a certain amount of time passes during the battle, but if you take 1/5th of his HP it removes the current form from the random choice and forces a random form change. Also, maybe require the player to take out the different forms in a specific order. This could lead to a very long and epic battle.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Slime on April 21, 2013, 01:21:38 pm
Great improvement hack! One of the best! The great thing about your hack is the choice for the changes to be optional.

Pretty much all NES games have design flaws; comes with territory, but Castlevania II's are many.

One of my least favorite things about CII is having to wait for day to speak with the citizens of the town. Can you make it optional to have them still there during the night? Warping among towns would be a nice feature, as well.

There's probably more changes I'd like to see with the game, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on April 21, 2013, 03:42:03 pm
Great improvement hack! One of the best! The great thing about your hack is the choice for the changes to be optional.

Pretty much all NES games have design flaws; comes with territory, but Castlevania II's are many.

One of my least favorite things about CII is having to wait for day to speak with the citizens of the town. Can you make it optional to have them still there during the night? Warping among towns would be a nice feature, as well.

There's probably more changes I'd like to see with the game, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment.

Having the people around in towns during the night would make the game too easy. Same for warping around in towns.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 21, 2013, 04:02:10 pm
Having the people around in towns during the night would make the game too easy. Same for warping around in towns.
Respectfully I have to agree with this sentiment.
The latter would be useful for debugging though. (But still not a difficulty on emulators where you can fastforward and have savestates to all select few locations in the game, like I do.)

It would be cool if the other two NES Castlevania games could be disassembled and the boss code copied over to Castlevania 2 <...>
I have disassemblies of both games in progress from 2006-2012. So far they are very rudimentary though; not much effort is spent in them. I did reverse engineer a bit of Dracula's AI in Castlevania though, and the bonus drop mechanisms, for TAS purposes.
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/castleva_disasm.zip You can download them here.


April 25, 2013, 06:30:51 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Teaser screenshots of an upcoming feature:

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser3.png)

Still lots of work to do, and bugs to kill. Also, I may eventually need someone else to contribute a music score. The intro is cinematic and consistently timed, so a music score would and should match the events presented in theme and mood, like a movie soundtrack.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on April 25, 2013, 10:37:32 am
Teaser screenshots of an upcoming feature:

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser3.png)

Still lots of work to do, and bugs to kill. Also, I may eventually need someone else to contribute a music score. The intro is cinematic and consistently timed, so a music score would and should match the events presented in theme and mood, like a movie soundtrack.

The message you have written in the new prologue makes it sound less like a story being told to you and more like a movie script. Yes, Im aware that its suppose to look like a movie due to the film reel, but wouldnt it look better if its written like someone, maybe Simon himself, is telling you the story as if you were there in person?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on April 25, 2013, 11:30:50 am
It is looking so beautiful, sir!  I honestly cannot wait to see on what comes next!   ;D


Will there be any 'extra' rooms added or anything new added to Dracula's Castle ruins?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 25, 2013, 06:34:13 pm
Woohoo! That looks fantastic already. And I hope you keep the graphics from the CV1 ending for the prologue. That alone will go very far in creating a sense of cohesion between the two games.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Neil on April 27, 2013, 10:48:31 am
Teaser screenshots of an upcoming feature:

Still lots of work to do, and bugs to kill. Also, I may eventually need someone else to contribute a music score. The intro is cinematic and consistently timed, so a music score would and should match the events presented in theme and mood, like a movie soundtrack.

I too would echo the concerns of Da_GPer. While it's an interesting concept, the text should probably be more like the prologue to a tome or a 1930s news film than a cinematic intro. I would also avoid using phrasing like "the stage is set." Best, in my opinion, to lay it out like real events. It's been seven years since the events that occurred in Castlevania....
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 27, 2013, 11:22:08 am
Yeah, the feature is pretty neat, but I don't really like it referring to "ending scenes" and talking about it like it's a movie.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 27, 2013, 12:35:32 pm
Yeah, the feature is pretty neat, but I don't really like it referring to "ending scenes" and talking about it like it's a movie.

That's what the Japanese manual did, though.
Additionally, the whole series on NES has had this cinematic theme to it going on, what with the filmroll motifs in the intro of each game and arguably in the endings, as well (with e.g. the player characters in Akumajou Densetsu presented as playing a role with a title).
This also extends into the narrative dialogs in Castlevania II ("and thus descended the horrible night").

I appreciate these concerns, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

As for actual progress with this, this is quite a daunting amount of work, and it seems I'm going to nearly run out of free ROM space, as well. Most of the work indeed seems to go into compressing the data... But I'd say I'm 70 % done.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 27, 2013, 12:37:58 pm
Well, you can keep working on it and maybe we'll think differently when we see it in action.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 27, 2013, 07:02:51 pm
I for one am always on the side of accuracy over localization unless absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on April 27, 2013, 08:24:02 pm
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser3.png)
Evil Demonking? Are you kidding me? Dark Lord is used for Dracula.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: TheZunar123 on April 27, 2013, 11:36:51 pm
I thought the Dark Lord was Voldemort.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 28, 2013, 07:36:19 am
Another teaser screenshot:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser4.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser5.png)

Still working on compression. This prologue feature along with all its animation data is somewhat larger than the entire game of Super Mario Bros, and I really do not wish to increase the ROM size by a factor of two. Coding the sprite positions (and sprites) for each frame hogs bytes really quickly.
EDIT: I resolved the space problems, though if a soundtrack is later added, it will pose some special challenge...

Evil Demonking? Are you kidding me? Dark Lord is used for Dracula.
Thank you for the matter-of-factly opinion from heavens.

I do appreciate good arguments about reasonable translations, and I do intent to submit the prologue script for community review along with the beta release of this feature. I wrote it as a movie transcript to begin with. What was seen in my earlier post (image 2) was the conversion of the script into a machine-parseable format, which is further then converted into assembly language by one my of tools.

I am painfully aware that using advanced graphics from Castlevania III in Castlevania II which has somewhat bland palettes and restricted graphics and all, makes the contrast starker...
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on April 28, 2013, 02:09:50 pm
.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 28, 2013, 02:47:19 pm
Thank you.

No boss or level edits so far.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 28, 2013, 02:50:04 pm
Another teaser screenshot:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser4.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_teaser5.png)

Still working on compression. This prologue feature along with all its animation data is somewhat larger than the entire game of Super Mario Bros, and I really do not wish to increase the ROM size by a factor of two. Coding the sprite positions (and sprites) for each frame hogs bytes really quickly.
EDIT: I resolved the space problems, though if a soundtrack is later added, it will pose some special challenge...
Thank you for the matter-of-factly opinion from heavens.

I do appreciate good arguments about reasonable translations, and I do intent to submit the prologue script for community review along with the beta release of this feature. I wrote it as a movie transcript to begin with. What was seen in my earlier post (image 2) was the conversion of the script into a machine-parseable format, which is further then converted into assembly language by one my of tools.

I am painfully aware that using advanced graphics from Castlevania III in Castlevania II which has somewhat bland palettes and restricted graphics and all, makes the contrast starker...


Animation? I thought it would just be mostly still images, This is really ambitious. It's probably redundant to say so at this point, but not having animation other than scrolling the scene like in CV3 would probably save a ton of space.

As for the graphics in that particular scene, It would probably be best to adapt existing graphics from the game then use those from CV3. They definitely look out of place. Can't wait to see the WIP version in action, though.

EDIT:

Speaking of bosses. Here's an interesting video I found. It's all Lua script but...

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Za7nepSOBZQ?rel=0 (http://www.youtube.com/embed/Za7nepSOBZQ?rel=0)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on April 28, 2013, 04:03:10 pm
It looks neat! Only complain: the woman-npc uses too bright colors compared to the usual graphic style of the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 28, 2013, 05:07:59 pm
Version 2.9.8 released!

This release adds the cinematic intro sequence BETA (no sound yet).

Download at:
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#now

Intro transcript (which I wrote before I added a single line of code):
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-2.9.8.txt

Video only (5 MB): http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-2.9.8.mp4
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 28, 2013, 06:25:17 pm
Here's what I have to report:
[Using the VRC6a version with all options active, played on FCEUX 2.2.0]

*After the first sprite in the intro is displayed and I go to the start menu (Choose Game Start, Continue, Password) the cursor doesn't appear.

*In the second Dracula battle sequence when Simon jumps and get's hit, he doesn't turn around when he jumps.

*I think it should stay on the title screen a little longer in between showings of the intro sequence. Or alternatively do it like CV3 where it doesn't go back to the title screen ever and instead it starts of with a nice big fancy title logo and ends the sequence with some empty frames before it starts over again.

*The film sprocket holes are moving way too fast. See CV3 for a nicer looking speed. They move at a rate of 3 pixels per frame.

*About the film sprocket borders. Right now they are all at different positions on the title screen, the start menu, and the intro. It would all look a lot better if they were more uniform. Having them all different looks a little sloppy to be honest.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 28, 2013, 06:50:53 pm
*After the first sprite in the intro is displayed and I go to the start menu (Choose Game Start, Continue, Password) the cursor doesn't appear.
Bug confirmed (and was actually more serious than that). Will be fixed in the next release.

> *In the second Dracula battle sequence when Simon jumps
> and get's hit, he doesn't turn around when he jumps.


Not a bug. Backwards jumps were quite possible to do in original Castlevania.

> *I think it should stay on the title screen a little longer in
> between showings of the intro sequence.


Maybe...

> *The film sprocket holes are moving way too fast. See CV3 for a
> nicer looking speed. They move at a rate of 3 pixels per frame.


I originally had it at 3 pixels per frame...  But I changed it because I felt that there is a dissonance between having the filmroll move slowly yet fully fluent animation being seen. For the record, it moves 4½ pixels per frame here.

> *About the film sprocket borders. Right now they are all at different
> positions on the title screen, the start menu, and the intro. It would
> all look a lot better if they were more uniform. Having them all different
> looks a little sloppy to be honest.


All there for good reasons (such as not daring to touch the Konami logo). This was the case in the original NAR game as well (not in the Japanese though).
But I will add 8 pixels of black on the top and the bottom of that intro filmroll. Can't believe I didn't notice it until now.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 28, 2013, 07:07:56 pm
It would be neat if after the intro sequence it went back to the title screen and then into one of those classic 10-20 second demos where the player plays really badly and dies, or maybe even a minor TAS.

I noticed that the topmost line of pixels of the prologue text starts out fine and then starts to flicker at some point.
It happens in FCEUX and Nestopia.

Time to nitpick the text a little!

Quote
When the hero, Simon Belmont,
defeated the dark lord,
count Dracula, the body
succumbed to a long sleep.

I think it should be "Count Dracula" instead of "count Dracula."

Quote
His health has been slowly
deteriorating, and he is
beginning to feel that
the death looms near.

I think it should be "death looms near" instead of "the death looms near."

Quote
An evil curse has befallen
upon you. Your life is
in danger.

I'm thinking that "befallen you" sounds better than "befallen upon you."
Or maybe phrase it another way.

Quote
In other words, the five
parts of his body are
already making an appearance
above the ground.

I think it should be "above ground" instead of "above the ground."

Quote
Once the curse is sealed,
the legend of Dracula is
finally terminated for ever.

Although "for ever" can be used, I think it's better to just say "forever."
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 28, 2013, 08:05:12 pm
Not a bug. Backwards jumps were quite possible to do in original Castlevania.

Ah, a little nod to the original. Nice.


> *The film sprocket holes are moving way too fast. See CV3 for a
> nicer looking speed. They move at a rate of 3 pixels per frame.


I originally had it at 3 pixels per frame...  But I changed it because I felt that there is a dissonance between having the filmroll move slowly yet fully fluent animation being seen. For the record, it moves 4½ pixels per frame here.

When you look at real film it doesn't match the speed of the animation in the frames. In other words, it should be dissonant.



*That first centered text in yellow (Simon's Quest, Castlevania II, Seal of the Curse, Prologue) is off center by 16 pixels on the right, meaning it's shifted towards the left.

*Suggested Text Edit & Sequence Change

BLANK SCREEN

FOOTAGE--FADE IN FANCY CV2 TITLE LOGO

[Begin music. Text is centered.]

            -Prologue-

[Wait for a little bit & Fade out title logo]
[Fade in. Text is left-aligned and white.]

FOOTAGE--SIMON FIGHTS DRACULA

[Simon is seen jumping and blasting Dracula's head off with his whip.]

   When the hero, Simon Belmont,
   defeated Count Dracula,
   the dark lord's body
   succumbed to a long sleep.

[Jump forward to a later moment in the battle,
 when Simon deals the last blows to Dracula's demonic form.
 Use the footage from the TAS 901M where the last
 blow to the demon form is Simon's body himself.]

   However, the cost of that
   battle was Simon's
   own body.
   
[Scene ends with Dracula burning in fire,
 just as in Castlevania.]

FOOTAGE--CASTLE COLLAPSING

[Use the castle collapsing scene from Castlevania.]

   It has been 7 years since
   Simon's victory in Castlevania.
   Once again, the stage is
   set in Transylvania...

EXT--MISTY GRAVEYARD

[Fade in.
 Simon stands beside a particularly large grave.
 Grave is on the left side of the frame. There is a large cross
 on the grave. Part of the frame is obscured by bushes and mist.
 The mist is continually floating and shifting around.

 Artistic inspiration:
   BLK 3-01 in Castlevania III for trees and ground
   BLK 3-02 in Castlevania III for fog
]

   His health has been slowly
   deteriorating, and he is
   beginning to feel that
   death looms near.

   One morning Simon was
   visiting the graves of
   his ancestors, on the
   Hill of Angels.

[Simon kneels by the grave.]

   As he contemplated his life,
   a woman suddenly appeared
[A woman appears in the right side of the frame.
 The woman has long blonde-gray hair and a long dress that leaves the arms bare.
 Simon stands and turns.]
   standing silently behind him
   in the morning mist.

[The woman walks closer to Simon.]

   The woman approached Simon,
   and began to speak.

[The woman's dialog is rendered in pink.]

   "An evil curse has fallen
   upon you. Your life is
   in danger.
   
   However, if you still
   possess the courage and the
   will to face the forces
   of evil once again,

   God will surely grant you
   the power that you need.

[The woman turns back, pauses, walks a short distance away,
 and stops, still facing away.
 Simon follows her with a bit of delay, but he stops a moment
 after the woman does, and the distance remains greater than
 it was before.
 The woman keeps talking during this choreography.]

   In the last seven years,
   since Dracula was destroyed,
   the demonic curse released
   from within his body
   
   has been brooding, growing
   stronger, and Dracula's body
   has already begun
   resurrecting itself.

[The woman turns and faces Simon again.]

   Thus far, five parts of his
   body have appeared
   throughout the land, each
   strengthening the curse.

INT--BERKELEY MANSION

[Slow pan across a scene that shows a crystal ball
 in some mansion and a skeleton patrolling. The
 skeleton is walking left, and camera pans right.]

   There is only one way to
   end this curse.
   
   While the power of the curse
   is still weak, you must find
   these five body parts,

INT--ALTAR ROOM IN THE RUINS

   bring them into what
   remains of Dracula's castle,

   and purify them by
   burning them on a hidden altar,
   thereby sealing the curse.
   
EXT--MISTY GRAVEYARD

   Once the curse is sealed,
   the legend of Dracula will
   finally be ended forever.

(Retcon:)
(   Once the curse is sealed,)
(   Dracula's influence will finally)
(   be cleansed from Transylvania.)

   With the curse gone your
   body will begin to heal, too.

[The woman walks closer to Simon again and stops in front of him.]

   There is no other way to
   eliminate Dracula once
   and for all."

(Retcon:)
(   There is no other way to
(   eliminate the vile curse
(   that plagues this land.

[The woman disappears. Simon turns left,
 turns right, as if to see where the woman went.
 Narration text is rendered again in white.]

   After speaking these words,
   the woman disappeared
   beyond the morning mist.

[Simon begins walking. Scene scrolls.]

   And so, the hero, Simon
   Belmont, began a new
   journey with newfound
   determination.
   
   There is no other path!!
   Fight, Simon!!
   Save Transylvania!!

[Fade out]


*Title Screen thingy:

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-1_zpsdae8470a.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-1_zpsdae8470a.png.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png.html)

Just sayin'.

Hmmm... I wonder how hard it would be to add a Konami Logo screen before the title like in the 16-bit era games?

Something like this:
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/NewKonamiLogo1_zps9f67d9c9.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/NewKonamiLogo1_zps9f67d9c9.png.html) --> (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/NewKonamiLogo2_zps4bb03fa1.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/NewKonamiLogo2_zps4bb03fa1.png.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen2_zps4b9e7bbf.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen2_zps4b9e7bbf.png.html)

Wouldn't that be cool?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on April 29, 2013, 12:10:00 am
Wow. That intro is really amazing. I was expecting a slideshow, but it was fully animated. Having this really completes the game I think, since this should really be the last "missing piece" from the manual that wasn't included in the actual game.

My one suggestion, as weird as it may sound, is to NOT use the graphics from cv3 for the forest scene, and instead use graphics from the game itself. Granted they're not as high quality, but the stylistic consistency would enhance it I think. What's more, it would continue to allow this hack to feel like it could have been the REAL version of the game. Using assets from later games feels anachronistic to me, and reminds me that "this is a romhack." Could be just me though; others may feel differently. Either way, this feature rules.

Also, I second the vote for changing the title screen to make the film strip width consistent with the intro. Vanya's mockups look really good.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 29, 2013, 02:45:48 am
I have a question. What song are you planning to use for the intro? None of the songs in the game seem to fit very well and are already used for something anyway.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on April 29, 2013, 03:11:35 am
For my part, after watching it a few times, I think it actually works quite well silent. cv1 and cv2 always had silent title screens, including the "hell house" flavor text. If a song IS used, it should probably be an original composition that can sync with the events of the intro. Failing that though, I really do think just leaving it silent gives it a solemnity that befits this game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on April 29, 2013, 12:47:11 pm
Awesome intro!

And now onto a segment called "Things I would change".

1: When Simon is talking to the woman in the woods, have him wearing his CV2 costume.  That could be the outfit he chooses when visiting grave sites, and the same ones he continues to wear when his adventure starts.

2: Before the woman disappears, have Simon turn his back to her and take a couple steps towards the grave "deep in thought", then she disappears before he turns around to give her an answer.  Then when he sees that she is not there, he looks left and right "searching".

3: I am also for the Title screen to be formatted the same way as the prologue, the way Vanya demonstrated looks very effective.

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 29, 2013, 02:39:37 pm
I also agree that it works well as a silent intro. It is part of my ambitiousness to have an actual soundtrack for the intro, an original one composed in the same style of existing Castlevania soundtrack, possibly retconning motifs from later Castlevania games into it, but I don't think I am up for delivering that. Everything sounds better in my head than it does when it comes out from my keyboard or other instruments :-)
If someone submits a soundtrack for it (in some machine-processible format; MIDI probably works best), I promise to at least try to fulfill making the sound engine able to deliver the soundtrack, assuming the soundtrack passes a set of arbitrary and whimsical quality criteria subject to change any day. Dealing with NES-style soundtracks is the single task in which I have probably spent most of my programming energy since 1992, so I still would like to tackle that challenge.


Hmmm... I wonder how hard it would be to add a Konami Logo screen before the title like in the 16-bit era games? Wouldn't that be cool?

I hate separate company title screens (à la Capcom in Mega Man 4), so I really don't want to put such thing into Castlevania II either. My personal opinion.

Now, if the title screen was changed, what I would do is I would take the Japanese title screen and artsy-edit it into saying "Castlevania II -- Seal of the Curse" in the same text style but in latin letters (including the bleeding effect), with a small subtitle of "Simon's Quest", and work from that into adding the version information and other edits.
Hmm, should it actually be Sealing the Curse? That would certainly fit the task described in the intro.


1: When Simon is talking to the woman in the woods, have him wearing his CV2 costume.  That could be the outfit he chooses when visiting grave sites, and the same ones he continues to wear when his adventure starts.

He wears the CV1 costume (with CV2 palette) there for two reasons. One (which is before I discovered the second reason) was because it happens in between of those two games, and I figured that Simon would possibly wear different clothes for visiting a grave. Secondly, it is because of VROM space limitations. The latter is also why I retconned the floor tiles in Dracula's battle into CV2 style. It wasn't short by much, but it was short in any case.


Quote
2: Before the woman disappears, have Simon turn his back to her and take a couple steps towards the grave "deep in thought", then she disappears before he turns around to give her an answer.  Then when he sees that she is not there, he looks left and right "searching".

Let me ponder this for a bit.


My one suggestion, as weird as it may sound, is to NOT use the graphics from cv3 for the forest scene, and instead use graphics from the game itself. Granted they're not as high quality, but the stylistic consistency would enhance it I think.

As much as it pains me to hear that, I think you are right. I should keep a backup though, in case someone eventually goes ahead and upgrades the graphics for the rest of the game.


On the topic of text suggestions, I have incorporated all the text changes suggested by Turambar, with the exception for the "for ever". As for Vanya's suggestion, I have corrected the text centering, but the rest remain. At least those changes that I spotted (they were not indicated!) are nice suggestions that make a cool story, but it is not a translation.


It would be neat if after the intro sequence it went back to the title screen and then into one of those classic 10-20 second demos where the player plays really badly and dies, or maybe even a minor TAS.

I agree. I may do this in a later release, if I figure out a neat way to do it.


Quote
I noticed that the topmost line of pixels of the prologue text starts out fine and then starts to flicker at some point.
It happens in FCEUX and Nestopia.

Correct. I haven't yet spent the effort finetuning the delays. Thank you for the report anyway.


EDIT: Released version 2.9.8.1 addressing the cursor bug reported earlier and the text changes I wrote above that I did. I also fixed the off-by-one-pixel position of the crystal ball.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keithisgood on April 29, 2013, 04:50:02 pm
Just wanted to pop in and say this is friggin epic. Played through the previous patch and loved the changes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 29, 2013, 05:16:57 pm
I hate separate company title screens (à la Capcom in Mega Man 4), so I really don't want to put such thing into Castlevania II either. My personal opinion.

Now, if the title screen was changed, what I would do is I would take the Japanese title screen and artsy-edit it into saying "Castlevania II -- Seal of the Curse" in the same text style but in latin letters (including the bleeding effect), with a small subtitle of "Simon's Quest", and work from that into adding the version information and other edits.
Hmm, should it actually be Sealing the Curse? That would certainly fit the task described in the intro.

I think the problem is that the Title screen is currently too cluttered. I honestly, don't particularly like the Japanese version of the title screen.
I personally wouldn't change the title graphics unless it is to make it match CV1 & CV3 more closely.
The bleeding effect in the original FDS version is kinda half-assed, and if you implement it I suggest doing on your own from scratch. Oh, and if you were to add the title screen part to the intro that would be a great place to do the bleeding animation instead of on the actual title screen.

 呪いの封印 = Noroi no Fūin = "curse, spell, malediction" of "seal, stamp / to stamp; to affix a seal; to seal up; to seal off".
Traditionally it's been translated as "The Accursed Seal" which match the more common use of the word seal in Japan as a noun as apposed to a verb.

Edit: BTW, I don't think you can copyright the retranslation itself since the original text belongs to Konami. You might wanna change that (c) into "by".


He wears the CV1 costume (with CV2 palette) there for two reasons. One (which is before I discovered the second reason) was because it happens in between of those two games, and I figured that Simon would possibly wear different clothes for visiting a grave. Secondly, it is because of VROM space limitations. The latter is also why I retconned the floor tiles in Dracula's battle into CV2 style. It wasn't short by much, but it was short in any case.

If you ever figure out a way to have him use a different set of graphics for that scene I suggest a custom one to match his artwork in the manual.


On the topic of text suggestions, I have incorporated all the text changes suggested by Turambar, with the exception for the "for ever". As for Vanya's suggestion, I have corrected the text centering, but the rest remain. At least those changes that I spotted (they were not indicated!) are nice suggestions that make a cool story, but it is not a translation.

Revision. Yes, quite a bit of this is localization and not translation. But it's the best I could to to convey a smoother story with the same gist that doesn't sound as Old-Englishy. I felt that having the ending scene displayed before the battle scenes is kind of wierd and disjointed. It changes the flow of the story text a bit, but I think it looks better that way.
 
*Suggested Text Edit & Sequence Change
(new stuff in yellow)
(new scene in red)
(moved scene in green)
(omissions in strike through)

BLANK SCREEN

FOOTAGE--FADE IN FANCY CV2 TITLE LOGO
[Begin music. Text is centered.]

          Simon's Quest
         Castlevania II
        Seal of the Curse
            -Prologue-

[Wait for a little bit & Fade out title logo]
[Fade in. Text is left-aligned and white.]

FOOTAGE--SIMON FIGHTS DRACULA

[Simon is seen jumping and blasting Dracula's head off with his whip.]

   When the hero, Simon Belmont,
   defeated Count Dracula,
   the dark lord's
body
   succumbed to a long sleep.

[Jump forward to a later moment in the battle,
 when Simon deals the last blows to Dracula's demonic form.
 Use the footage from the TAS 901M where the last
 blow to the demon form is Simon's body himself.]

   However, the cost of that
   battle was that of Simon's
   own body.
   
[Scene ends with Dracula burning in fire,
 just as in Castlevania.]

FOOTAGE--CASTLE COLLAPSING

[Use the castle collapsing scene from Castlevania.]

   It has been 7 years since
   Simon's victory in Castlevania.
   Once again, the stage is
   set in Transylvania...

EXT--MISTY GRAVEYARD

[Fade in.
 Simon stands beside a particularly large grave.
 Grave is on the left side of the frame. There is a large cross
 on the grave. Part of the frame is obscured by bushes and mist.
 The mist is continually floating and shifting around.

 Artistic inspiration:
   BLK 3-01 in Castlevania III for trees and ground
   BLK 3-02 in Castlevania III for fog
]

   His health has been slowly
   deteriorating, and he is
   beginning to feel that
   the death looms near.

   One morning Simon was
   visiting the graves of
   his ancestors
, on the
   Hill of Angels.

[Simon kneels by the grave.]

   As he contemplated his life,
   behold, a woman suddenly appeared
[A woman appears in the right side of the frame.
 The woman has long blonde-gray hair and a long dress that leaves the arms bare.
 Simon stands and turns.]
   standing silently behind him
   in the morning mist.

[The woman walks closer to Simon.]

   The woman approached Simon,
   and began to speak.

[The woman's dialog is rendered in pink.]

   "An evil curse has fallen
   upon you. Your life is
   in danger.
   
   However, if you still
   possess the courage and the
   will to face the forces
   of
evil once again,

   God will surely grant you
   the power that you need.

[The woman turns back, pauses, walks a short distance away,
 and stops, still facing away.
 Simon follows her with a bit of delay, but he stops a moment
 after the woman does, and the distance remains greater than
 it was before.
 The woman keeps talking during this choreography.]

   In the last seven years,
   since Dracula was destroyed,
   the demonic curse released
   from within his body
   
   has been brooding, growing
   stronger, and Dracula's body
   has already begun
   resurrecting itself.

[The woman turns and faces Simon again.]

   Thus far, the five parts of his
   body have appeared
   throughout the land, each
   strengthening the curse.


INT--BERKELEY MANSION

[Slow pan across a scene that shows a crystal ball
 in some mansion and a skeleton patrolling. The
 skeleton is walking left, and camera pans right.]

   There is only one way to
   end this curse.
   
   While the power of the curse
   is still weak, you must find
   these five body parts,

INT--ALTAR ROOM IN THE RUINS

   bring them into what
   remains of Dracula's castle,

   and purify them by
   burning them on a hidden altar,
   thereby sealing the curse.
   
EXT--MISTY GRAVEYARD

   Once the curse is sealed,
   the legend of Dracula will
   finally be ended forever.

(Alternative Retcon: )
(   Once the curse is sealed,)
(   Dracula's influence will finally)
(   be cleansed from Transylvania.)


   With the curse gone, your
   body will begin to heal, too.

[The woman walks closer to Simon again and stops in front of him.]

   There is no other way to
   eliminate Dracula once
   and for all."

(Alternative Retcon: )
(   There is no other way to
(   eliminate the vile curse
(   that plagues this land.


[The woman disappears. Simon turns left,
 turns right, as if to see where the woman went.
 Narration text is rendered again in white.]

   After speaking these words,
   the woman disappeared
   beyond the morning mist.

[Simon begins walking. Scene scrolls.]

   And so, the hero, Simon
   Belmont, began a new
   journey with newfound
   determination.
   
   There is no other path!!
   Fight, Simon!!
   Save Transylvania!!

[Fade out]
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on April 29, 2013, 07:04:29 pm
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png.html)

I like this!

I also agree that it works well as a silent intro. It is part of my ambitiousness to have an actual soundtrack for the intro, an original one composed in the same style of existing Castlevania soundtrack, possibly retconning motifs from later Castlevania games into it, but I don't think I am up for delivering that. Everything sounds better in my head than it does when it comes out from my keyboard or other instruments :-)
If someone submits a soundtrack for it (in some machine-processible format; MIDI probably works best), I promise to at least try to fulfill making the sound engine able to deliver the soundtrack, assuming the soundtrack passes a set of arbitrary and whimsical quality criteria subject to change any day. Dealing with NES-style soundtracks is the single task in which I have probably spent most of my programming energy since 1992, so I still would like to tackle that challenge.

If you're looking for musicians, you should post about it on the FamiTracker (http://www.famitracker.com/forum/index.php) forum.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 29, 2013, 08:35:51 pm
Optomon has experience with the CV2 sound engine too.

EDIT: What about an alternate Konami logo to save some space?

This is a title screen mock up for the CV3 retranslation I'm working on.
Check out the logo on the top. I basically combined the Logo into the copyright line.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/NES%20Graphic%20Edits/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-mock-4.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/NES%20Graphic%20Edits/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-mock-4.png.html)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 30, 2013, 04:35:07 am
Edit: BTW, I don't think you can copyright the retranslation itself since the original text belongs to Konami. You might wanna change that (c) into "by".
My work is my work, and the retranslation covers not only the ~800 lines of script text (some of which is original), but over 10000 lines of assembler code and 18000 lines of PHP code.

Re: "Accursed Seal", I understand that it's a valid translation for "Noroi no Fuuin", but so is "Seal of the Curse", and the latter actually fits the task of the game, whereas the former does not. The game is about sealing the curse, not about some seal that has been cursed.

EDIT: I took a couple of your text suggestions -- thank you --, but I can't decide to change the order of the first lines. The paragraph about seven years since serves as an introductory paragraph. The one in the fight is not.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on April 30, 2013, 11:44:01 am
My work is my work, and the retranslation covers not only the ~800 lines of script text (some of which is original), but over 10000 lines of assembler code and 18000 lines of PHP code.

I get that, but you still hacked Konami's IP. That makes placing a (C) in there irrelevant from a legal stand point. Anyone could use your work without crediting you and you really wouldn't be able to do anything about it.


Re: "Accursed Seal", I understand that it's a valid translation for "Noroi no Fuuin", but so is "Seal of the Curse", and the latter actually fits the task of the game, whereas the former does not. The game is about sealing the curse, not about some seal that has been cursed.

Let me elaborate, in Japan the term 'seal' is often interchangeable with a spell or a curse itself. Like the 'curse marks' in Naruto. If it were meant to mean the action of sealing a curse it would have been written like this: 呪いを封印 = noroi o fuuin. Noroi no fuuin simply isn't how you express an action happening to a thing in Japanese.
'No' is the possessive particle; A of B.  Watashi no hon = I of book; my book. Hagane no ken = sword of steel; steel sword.
'O' is the objective particle; A is B. Hambaagaa o tabemashita = hamburger is ate; ate a hamburger. Noroi o moru =  seal is leak; to seal a leak.

While "Seal of the Curse" matches the plot of the game better, the actual text meant to just identify that there is a curse at all. It sounds a bit forced to me. If I had been in charge of localizing it back in the day I would have used "The Accursed Seal" or even "Dracula's Curse". Just my two cents. It's not that important in the long run.


EDIT: I took a couple of your text suggestions -- thank you --, but I can't decide to change the order of the first lines. The paragraph about seven years since serves as an introductory paragraph. The one in the fight is not.

Cool. You're welcome.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on April 30, 2013, 05:38:41 pm
I get that, but you still hacked Konami's IP. That makes placing a (C) in there irrelevant from a legal stand point. Anyone could use your work without crediting you and you really wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

I'm not a lawyer, and I realize that ROM hackers generally do what they please, but from what I understand in copyright, everything that I create is my copyright, and I am not voluntarily forfeiting that right. And I did create quite a bit here, even if my creation is inserted in someone else's work. In fact, in some legislations it is impossible to forfeit copyright. The concept of "public domain" only exists after the expiration of the copyright.
Now what is there to be attained by this debate? Probably nothing.

Thank you for the explanation about the の and を particles. It makes sense. Nevertheless, I'd avoid "Dracula's Curse" or something similar because it's already the subtitle for Castlevania III, and I would like to see a subtitle that actually matches the purpose and idea of the game and that still is not a complete pull-from-nowhere :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keithisgood on May 01, 2013, 08:20:08 am
You are right that anything you create and publish literally anywhere becomes your legally-recognized intellectual property.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: LostTemplar on May 01, 2013, 09:49:49 am
Let me elaborate, in Japan the term 'seal' is often interchangeable with a spell or a curse itself. Like the 'curse marks' in Naruto. If it were meant to mean the action of sealing a curse it would have been written like this: 呪いを封印 = noroi o fuuin. Noroi no fuuin simply isn't how you express an action happening to a thing in Japanese.
'No' is the possessive particle; A of B.  Watashi no hon = I of book; my book. Hagane no ken = sword of steel; steel sword.
'O' is the objective particle; A is B. Hambaagaa o tabemashita = hamburger is ate; ate a hamburger. Noroi o moru =  seal is leak; to seal a leak.

That's not true. You can use の to express the object/subject of an action if it's nominalized. 呪いを封印 can also be used, but it sounds a lot like a headline in the newspaper, rather than a subtitle for a game (because it's an ellipse - the する is missing), which would be a good reason to go with の instead.

So that means the phrase IS ambiguous and can mean both things, but I myself can't tell which one is the intended meaning because I don't know the game very well.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on May 02, 2013, 05:44:43 am
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen_zps7e566baf.png.html)
I like this!

me too! I was busy with real-life and was pleasantly surprised to see an intro added!
AWESOME idea and work Bisqwit !!!  :beer: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :beer: :thumbsup: :beer:

I now have an everdrive to test stuff, so building a real cart is postponed until this project is finished  ;D the game deserves a real cart!  ;D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: ChronoMoogle on May 02, 2013, 07:54:26 am
The titlescreen is a little bit too full of information but overall ok.
I would move the "Castlevania II" and the Version information more to the left to make it look more centered though.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 02, 2013, 08:21:14 am
Today I have released version 2.9.8.2.
Get it here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/

What's new:
- It is now possible to remove the password feature, if one chooses to. This was requested by someone a few months ago. Doing so gives you about 1-3 kilobytes of free ROM space in bank 4 depending on circumstances.
- If one chooses to remove either the password or the SRAM feature, the corresponding options no longer appear in the main menu screen and in the game over screen.
- There may also be small text changes into the prologue that weren't in 2.9.8.1. I failed to commit the 2.9.8.1 version when I released it, so I am not exactly sure.

EDIT: Updated the 2.9.8.2 release. There was a bug in it. The passwords were always disabled.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on May 02, 2013, 11:39:27 am
Quote
- If one chooses to remove either the password or the SRAM feature, the corresponding options no longer appear in the main menu screen and in the game over screen.
Yeah, thanks a lot for this one. Finally I can have passwords only like it was always supposed to.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 02, 2013, 07:00:00 pm
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-before.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-after.png)

I tried converting the family grave scene into Castlevania II graphics in order to lessen the artistic dissonance between the prologue and the actual game. Here's the "before" and "after" shots.
Opinions?


I retained the fence because it was so cool and the rose bushes because I couldn't think of anything better to put there.
I wanted to put a line of tree trunks on the background, to represent a forest, but I couldn't make it work and look nice. There's still quite a few free tiles (this use fewer tiles than the CV3 graphics did), so there's room for additional graphics on the background of that scene, such as dither-dimmed trees, but so far I couldn't make it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 02, 2013, 08:18:14 pm
Nice work! I really like it. Definitely captures a more CV2 feel.

I agree that the fence adds a nice touch to the scene. I'm pretty sure there are fence graphics somewhere in cv2 though, but I can't remember which area it's in. In the graveyards maybe?

One thing that struck me after watching it a few times though is that, while the dialog refers to "morning mist" the scene is actually quite dark. Perhaps finding a way to have some pinkish-orange dawn light coming through the trees in the background would make it feel less like night time, plus help fill in the emptiness.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 02, 2013, 09:00:22 pm
One thing that struck me after watching it a few times though is that, while the dialog refers to "morning mist" the scene is actually quite dark. Perhaps finding a way to have some pinkish-orange dawn light coming through the trees in the background would make it feel less like night time, plus help fill in the emptiness.

I share the sentiment, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it misty in terms of NES graphics :-/
Anyone feeling graphics-artisty? There is still 13 unused tiles.

Oh, and I know CV2 has plenty of fences, but I liked this one from CV3 particularly much.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on May 03, 2013, 07:01:59 am
hmmm... what about moving those rose bushes on the background (where the big black empty space is now) and put on the right part of the screen a praying statue or something?
Just a thought, don't know if it would look good ...  :)
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on May 03, 2013, 10:21:18 pm
.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 05:56:20 am
I'd like to point out that in Castlevania III Simon's boots are red. In Castlevania II his boots are white.

The red palette for the ground really stands out, make it the green color of the trees. Also I don't know why there is some purple in the trees.

Also have some bushes behind the grave. I realize the NES's limitations on colors. You can't have purple with the graves palette, but you can still have the bush behind it but without the roses. Or you could make the grave a sprite and have background  behind it.

As written before, Simon uses the Castlevania sprite here with a red palette due to VROM limitations. I can't change the color of his boots without also changing the color of his coat. And coloring his pants black would make his face black, too. I can't change him into Castlevania II sprite without also retconning his appearance in the Dracula fight. I could use the Castlevania palette for him here, but I want there to be a feeling of time passing, and of this event being closer to Castlevania II than it is to Castlevania.
It is not unreasonable think that Simon may have sets of different clothes, and that he might have worn something different for graveside.

I removed the purple dots from the tree tops, and added bushes behind the grave as you suggested. I also changed the ground color.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip501.png)
Is this what you thought about? How does it look?

I would like to have some counterpart in the scene to the green color though.
In the Castlevania III tree version, I used the purple in the trees to convey morning sun shining at them. (Red didn't quite work.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on May 04, 2013, 06:30:57 am
Quote
I'd like to point out that in Castlevania III Simon's boots are red. In Castlevania II his boots are white.
I'd like to point out that the hero of Castlevania III is NOT Simon.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: PresidentLeever on May 04, 2013, 08:10:42 am
I finished the game (for the first time) today and just wanted to say great job on this, the intro and map are awesome. I think I missed a clue (the fourth one) but apparently it wasn't needed. Didn't have any problems in fceux 2.1.3 except for the spaz out thing at the top of stairs.

While I wouldn't say the game is actually good now compared to most other Castlevania titles (or some other platform adventures like Wonder Boy III), it's definitely less confusing and cumbersome to play through.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 08:28:55 am
I finished the game (for the first time) today and just wanted to say great job on this, the intro and map are awesome. I think I missed a clue (the fourth one) but apparently it wasn't needed. Didn't have any problems in fceux 2.1.3 except for the spaz out thing at the top of stairs.

While I wouldn't say the game is actually good now compared to most other Castlevania titles (or some other platform adventures like Wonder Boy III), it's definitely less confusing and cumbersome to play through.

Thanks!
Clue 4 is found in
Spoiler:
Berkeley Mansion, and it speaks of the flame
. You do not need the clues for anything but for your own aid.

I have committed a fix for the stairs-top-spazzing bug and it will be in the next release.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: PresidentLeever on May 04, 2013, 09:31:14 am
Thanks, it was actually the one in Aljiba Town (it just shows up as the fourth in the list of clues if you missed it and grabbed all the other ones). Yeah, some of them are pretty obvious but still better than in the original.

Edit:
^Turns out I had missed a couple more (the other one in a town as well as #5 and #13 in forests), thought all of those were fake clues after not finding the first one. They would've taken hours of holy watering everywhere to find, but since I had seen AVGN's review before it wasn't too hard to figure out the blue crystal's use on my own.

In case you or someone else plans to hack the game further, I thought I'd add some of the major things which I think could be improved with the game:

- The bosses: Too few, so-so patterns, easy to exploit (flame/golden knife) and they are poorly presented as well having no music themes and letting the player move right past them if he/she pleases. It's also anticlimactic when they respawn like regular enemies.
- Day/night cycle: Add ability to enter houses during night time/make the night period shorter. I realise this screws with the multiple ending challenge, but it would be much more fun to play the game. They also create pretty big difficulty spikes at some points (such as around spiders, flying enemies and slimes). Another idea would be to add some chicken in a few of the...
- Multiple dead ends: I mean wow. There is a lot of unnecessary/unrewarding exploration in this game when you add it all up. I think Braham mansion was one of the worst examples.
- Change a couple of the clues to be a bit more specific and/or useful. I didn't really need to know about the gypsy, or the flame's location. I did need to know what the the blue crystal did without watering an entire forest with spider enemies, or to save the stake for further into the mansion rather than to simply strike it at... something.
- Change up which enemies are where and some of their placements. The game starts to drag a bit by the fourth mansion when you know what to expect from them. Regarding placement, there are points where you need to memorize spawn points so as not to get hit, and points where you need to wait around on stairs for enemies to move away because you can't attack them from below (changing the diamond's firing angle would be an easy fix, but the infinite ammo is problematic). There are also points where the opposition is harmless such as the boat ride, or the falling boulders in one of the mansions. Feels sloppy.
- Expensive items/weapons: More of an issue early on, but it really takes away from the initial excitement of an adventure when you have to start off with grinding.
- The stake salesman: Change it so that you can only buy one stake from each one; this way searching for him/her in each mansion isn't made redundant.
- Backtracking out of every mansion, it's a chore unless you're close to a level up.
- Sloppy hit detection around spikes (very noticeable in the second mansion).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 12:46:44 pm
Clue #2 explains the stake.
Clue #5 explains the blue crystal.
And you get to see the cluebooks without using the bottles, if you possess Dracula's eye... which you get from Brahm's Mansion -- which you can only access if you have Dracula's heart, which you get from Rover Mansion, which you can only access by using the Blue Crystal.
So there. :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 01:04:02 pm
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip501.png)

Looks nice with the grass by the grave. It needs some trees in the big empty black area though.
Couldn't we do something like this?

(http://i.imgur.com/Me7WYFY.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 02:05:55 pm
Couldn't we do something like this?
(http://i.imgur.com/Me7WYFY.png)
Out of free palettes.

Ground = palette 1 (olive and nuclear green, plus black, which is invisible but is used for sprite-0-hit in the bottom of the ground tiles)
Trees, bushes and fences = palette 2 (olive, dark green and magenta)
Rose bushes and grave = palette 3 (green, gray and pink yellow)

Palette 0 is for the frame edges (cyan) and the dialog text (varies).  It has one unused color, but this palette cannot be used for background graphics, because it would be immune to the fade-ins and fade-outs that happen when the scene changes. The rest of the scene would fade but the trees would always be rendered at full brightness.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 02:16:32 pm
What's wrong with using the same palette as the fence?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 02:19:10 pm
What's wrong with using the same palette as the fence?

The "trees, bushes and fences" palette does not contain a blue tone that is seen in your trees.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 02:27:35 pm
Well, I just pasted the trees in there and Photoshop automatically converted the colors to colors available in the png, I didn't actually pick them.
I just put the trees in to show what it might look like. You could use green instead of blue.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 04, 2013, 02:29:07 pm
How about doing a negative-space thing where there are black silhouetted trees in the background, behind which you see magenta sky peeking through. This would allow the use of the same palette, plus allow you to see the sky, better establishing what time of day it is.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 03:05:19 pm
How about doing a negative-space thing where there are black silhouetted trees in the background, behind which you see magenta sky peeking through. This would allow the use of the same palette, plus allow you to see the sky, better establishing what time of day it is.
I am afraid I fail at the art... of drawing that sort of scene.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 03:24:15 pm
If you use the trees like in my screenshot, you should know that they are actually in the rom already, they are the trees in Carmilla Cemetery.
I don't know if the palette will share properly between the trees and the fences, so you make have to make duplicates or shift the palettes in the tiles themselves.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 03:27:44 pm
If you use the trees like in my screenshot, you should know that they are actually in the rom already, they are the trees in Carmilla Cemetery.
Yeah, I noticed. Thanks for telling in any case.

Quote
I don't know if the palette will share properly between the trees and the fences, so you make have to make duplicates or shift the palettes in the tiles themselves.
I'll try.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 03:47:03 pm
I would like to point out that Simon's Castlevania 1 sprite has always had a 1 pixel mistake on his foot in one of the frames of his walking animation.

Also, listening to this music made me think of how cool the prologue music could be.
Start the video as the prologue starts, it looks pretty neat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9PwGfFDNrk
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 04:03:54 pm
I would like to point out that Simon's Castlevania 1 sprite has always had a 1 pixel mistake on his foot in one of the frames of his walking animation.
That white pixel? Hmm. It is slightly more noticeable here than it was in Castlevania. I wonder if I should keep it. It would retcon into the Dracula battle as well.


Quote
Also, listening to this music made me think of how cool the prologue music could be.
Start the video as the prologue starts, it looks pretty neat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9PwGfFDNrk
Wow, that music is annoying. :-)


So here's some alternatives... I did some dithering to get a sort of dimmer tone of trees.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-wip505.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-wip506.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-wip507.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-wip509.png)
EDIT: Oh, the ground color changed. Feel free to point out it's bad.
EDIT: One more.

If someone can show how the silhouette suggestion by Fes would actually work and look like, I'm willing to try that as well.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 04:11:19 pm
Wow, that music is annoying. :-)
More like SUPER AWESOME!

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-wip505.png)
That one. Although the fence on the right is turning grey from the grave.

Imagine if the prologue was like this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sME5_tyRbkg
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 04, 2013, 04:38:52 pm
Let's talk about palettes, then.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip601.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip602.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip603.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip604.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip605.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip600.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip606.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip607.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip608.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip609.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip702.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip700.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip701.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2retrans-prologue-graveyard-wip703.png)

EDIT: Added a version with contiguous fence.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 04, 2013, 04:46:07 pm
I like the second one, but I like the brown ground of the first one, or since your edit, the 6th one.
Also, the grave in the second one looks pretty clean considering how mossy everything else looks. Maybe dirty up the grave slightly?
Is it possible to make the fence go all the way across without breaks, or make the trees go all the way up into the canopy?
They just kind of end in black as it is.

Do these colors work?
(http://i.imgur.com/SdwvaYj.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 05, 2013, 02:38:33 am
I like 603, 605, 701, and 703. It's hard to pick one definitive choice, but the four I listed seem to me to have a good "early morning light" feel to them.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 05, 2013, 08:33:45 am
How 'bout dis?
(http://i.imgur.com/qEAe20Q.gif) (http://i.imgur.com/eG71W3A.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 05, 2013, 01:00:11 pm
I don't like the scene becoming too monochromatic.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 05, 2013, 01:30:33 pm
After thinking about it more, if I had to pick just one from the original set, it would be 603. That bright color really does feel like the sun coming in low and hitting everything. Turambar's one on the right does a good job of this too though.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 05, 2013, 02:08:28 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/27W7pIz.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 05, 2013, 03:05:17 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/27W7pIz.gif)
You didn't write anything... Was there a purpose to this?
Sorry if I posted in an impolite tone my previous post; it was not intended as such.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 05, 2013, 03:12:08 pm
Fes mentioned the images that he liked, so I made an animation so people can compare more easily.
I would like to mention that although it is supposed to be morning it is also supposed to be misty, so it actually shouldn't be too bright.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 05, 2013, 09:55:24 pm
Also, listening to this music made me think of how cool the prologue music could be.
Start the video as the prologue starts, it looks pretty neat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9PwGfFDNrk

I'd rather not use the Dracula X intro song for this. It feels a bit too lazy to me. My vote goes to a new composition in the style of CV2. Plenty of people on the Famitracker forums are capable of this.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 05, 2013, 10:06:32 pm
I wasn't suggesting that we use that song specifically, since it obviously doesn't entirely fit, I just said that the song made me think of how cool and epic the prologue could be with good music and maybe if the pace was a little quicker.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 05, 2013, 10:14:34 pm
I wasn't suggesting that we use that song specifically, since it obviously doesn't entirely fit, I just said that the song made me think of how cool and epic the prologue could be with good music and maybe if the pace was a little quicker.

Ah. Well then, never mind.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: PhyChris on May 07, 2013, 08:17:21 am
This was one of my Favorite NES games and my Favorite Castlevania game second only too Castlevania SotN(PSX) great work! keep it up!

smoked some bowls, had a few beers, then showed my friends your version of this game that we used to play the shit out of when we were younger. they loved it! 
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 07, 2013, 09:40:43 am
Version 2.9.8.3 released. I think it contains just tweaks to the prologue scene. There are also a number of internal changes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 07, 2013, 11:39:30 am
It says
Simon's Quest
Castlevania II
Seal of the Curse
Prologue
and then crashes.
(http://i.imgur.com/0MVMBd3.png)
I used cv2eng-2_9_8_3-ntsc-stm10mwfmFrup4.bps.
It happens on FCEUX and Nestopia, the rest of the game works.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 07, 2013, 01:21:25 pm
Again, when you are using BPS patches, please do not ignore the patcher's warnings that you've got the wrong ROM that you are applying that patch to. BPS patches rely on existing content in the ROM even if that particular content is not being patched.

EDIT: I have confirmed the problem, and it is not caused by wrong ROM. There has got to be some file I have forgot to install to the vending machine, but I can't figure out which. In any case, it causes broken data, in a way that did not happen in my development environment. Trying to figure it out.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 07, 2013, 01:29:51 pm
If it gave me warnings I would have noticed it. "Patch application was successful!" is all I get.
I'm doing the same thing that I've been doing all the other times that I've patched it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 11, 2013, 01:35:43 am
Here's another couple of Title Screen mock ups just cause I was bored.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3_zps58ecadff.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3_zps58ecadff.png.html)

And if there was an option to NOT include the version info it would look like this:

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png.html)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on May 11, 2013, 02:02:57 am
Here's another couple of Title Screen mock ups just cause I was bored.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3_zps58ecadff.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3_zps58ecadff.png.html)

And if there was an option to NOT include the version info it would look like this:

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png.html)

Both look awesome! That should be the title screen, but may I suggest that if its used, to have the film part moving, to make it match and fit in with the new prologue.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 11, 2013, 02:43:00 am
Here's that negative color effect thingy someone mentioned earlier applied to the "family graveyard" scene:

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png.html)

It works better with a 3 color gradient, but I did this in a few minutes without taking the exsisting palette much into account. The colors can of course be altered to give it more of a morning effect.
(Actually looking at the palettes you mentioned before what could be done is change the "Trees, bushes, and fence" palette to dark green, magenta, and a light magenta, and simply have the tree trunks use the ground palette.)

Here's an actual photo of morning light coming through the trees of a forest for comparison:
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/morningoaks_zpse2062964.jpg) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/morningoaks_zpse2062964.jpg.html)

Edit: If these tilesets haven't been deleted and I can get permission to use them they will be the basis for a graphics overhaul once the retranslation patch is finalized:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W1lUDEJceM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LbsUShkSo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7mBZ4R4k3Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3xEdXOieTQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYNC3crMBv8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZD9utTPIJY

Actually, I'd like to use the music too.

Edit2: Here's an idea for the transition from the Title to the prologue. Can you fade out all the colors except the boarder like you do in the prologue? That will look a lot cleaner.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on May 11, 2013, 10:21:59 am


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W1lUDEJceM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7LbsUShkSo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7mBZ4R4k3Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3xEdXOieTQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYNC3crMBv8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZD9utTPIJY

Actually, I'd like to use the music too.


That would be wonderful and awesome to see!  What would also be wonderful is to combine those with Mr. Bisqwit's hack if there's room on the ROM, sadly I haven't downloaded his hack yet to look at on what was all done to it along with the size.  I'm too lazy these days lol :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 11, 2013, 11:32:32 am
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/MockupTitleScreen3a_zpsfdd4a3ec.png.html)
If you were to play on a CRT TV it would probably cut off the top and bottom. I'm thinking that maybe on the "final" version of the hack it could have less version info, or none.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png.html)
Very nice! Hope there is enough tiles/palettes. I tried my hand at the silhouette thing and it looked really bad.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 11, 2013, 03:18:49 pm
Yeah, I didn't do a tile count or anything like that. It would probably need to be simplified a little.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 11, 2013, 04:38:43 pm
Here is a thought: instead of having version info/credits on the title screen, why not have an option on the "Game Start/Password/Load Game" menu that leads to a full screen detailed page with the website, version number, and all that, and all that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 11, 2013, 05:55:11 pm
Here's that negative color effect thingy someone mentioned earlier applied to the "family graveyard" scene:

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/HillofAngelsExample_zps67b587e0.png.html)

Yeah, that's basically exactly what I was talking about. That looks fantastic.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 11, 2013, 10:03:54 pm
Thanks.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 12, 2013, 12:51:36 pm
The thing about those title screen modifications is that the consistent style needs to carry to three things:
- Title screen
- Prologue
- Main menu screen

Now, for the main menu screen, there are three different versions. One with "game start", "password" and "load game"; one with "game start" and "password", and one with "game start" and "load game". Technically there's a fourth one with just one option, but this one is not offered in the vending machine. The one with three options has different geometry from the one with two options.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp3.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp4.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp5.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_comp6.png)

The vending machine option that gives you the updated prologue is a separate one from the one that chooses which options you want in your main menu.

People may want these different options for different reasons. Some may want them for puritan reasons ("don't you dare to touch the game as I remember it! None of that extension crap for me, thanks"); some may be putting the game on cartridge that does not have the hardware for SRAM support, or they may want to remove the password feature because they feel it's redundant with the SRAM being there.

It is because of this that I cannot make an all-empassing change that affects everything at once. And if I add another selective special case there, the number of files I have to maintain for all the different options increases once more. For instance, for the main menu & title & gameover screen options alone, I now have a total of 12 text files (these files also contain the nametables & attributetables for those menu screens):
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/pwd_title_options.png)
For the map renderer assembler module, there are 28 different builds (selected by -D options in assembler):
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/maprender_options.png)
And the menu handlers' assembler code exists in 24 different variants (selected by -D options in assembler):
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/mnmenu_options.png)
I'm really wary at adding anything that increases the number of any of these files. Some types of changes, such as whether to use a consistent style for these three screens, would practically double the number of existing files.

Currently I don't need to have different files for the different title screens, because there's only one title screen for each language.


Also, I really like to keep the version number on the title screen. It is easy to read from there, not bothering much, well, technically. Now, artistically, I would like it laid out horizontally somewhere, but the reason why I put the text in a rectangle formation like that was to save VROM space. When you're using a 5-pixel tall font, you can fit much more text per N tiles of text when you lay it out in lines than when you waste the bottom 3 pixels of every single tile contributing to the text. The "Simon's Quest" title is HUGE, and does not leave many spare tiles. I'm currently using all spare tiles that there are in that page.

In comparison, here's another one of my translations that includes the version number and the URL on the title screen:
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/topfin/dev/top-title.png)
Admittedly, in ToP it can be much briefer, because there the version number does not need to convey a list of patch options...

So yeah... These are the downsides to trying to please everyone.


Also, personally, I really do not like the black inset for the title screen, but I realize that nobody else has voiced this kind of opinion.


In other news, I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong with the last release. It is some kind of random bug with the sprite renderer, and I haven't discovered its source yet. I have seen signs of such a random bug once in a while in the form of random (compile-time random) artifacts on the screen, but this is the first time it becomes a showstopper.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 13, 2013, 05:20:05 am
That is a conundrum. Question. The data for the title screen tile layout; does it ever get shifted around? Same for the menu screen. If they don't get moved around then the title screen/menu screen edit can be an addendum patch. Lots of re/translation patches have title screen patches so people would be used to it, too.

On a side note, when the patch is finalized, I'm going to black out the tiles for the version number and patch options on my personal copy. Honestly, I already know the options I picked, so in the end I'm not going to care about that info. So what I'm saying is, it'll be a moot point in the end so don't even worry about it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on May 13, 2013, 09:17:49 am
That is a conundrum. Question. The data for the title screen tile layout; does it ever get shifted around? Same for the menu screen. If they don't get moved around then the title screen/menu screen edit can be an addendum patch. Lots of re/translation patches have title screen patches so people would be used to it, too.

On a side note, when the patch is finalized, I'm going to black out the tiles for the version number and patch options on my personal copy. Honestly, I already know the options I picked, so in the end I'm not going to care about that info. So what I'm saying is, it'll be a moot point in the end so don't even worry about it.

I agree on both. Maybe giving the person a choice if they want the original title screen or a new one would be a nice option. Also, when you finally reach the end of this project, having an option to not have the version number and choices on the title screen would be nice too, seeing as there would be no more reason to have them on there anyways.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 13, 2013, 12:21:37 pm
If putting a Credits option on the menu is not an option, how about pressing Select on the title screen takes you to the Credits screen?
Sounds even easier than a menu option, really.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: PhyChris on May 14, 2013, 03:49:30 pm
I liked the hack and author info on the title screen. At the very least put it on the Password/Save/Load screen.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on May 14, 2013, 04:09:53 pm
Too much information, like the Bahamut Lagoon (http://www.romhacking.net/translations/280/) translation title screen, which I always thought looked bad.
The multiple translation logos take one's attention away from the title itself.
Either a separate splash screen (I think that was possible in 2002?) or smaller text credits (like the Square logo) would've given it a much more professional look. And probably without URLs (can't I say I can remember many pro games that put their URL on the title. Possibly as that can become outdated, ruining the beauty of the title a bit?)
(I hope Tomato or Neill doesn't take my criticism personally. :) )
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on May 14, 2013, 04:43:36 pm
Splash screens have been possible since the ninties i saw them on some early genesis dumps. It was a dude holding a gun with a white background
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 14, 2013, 04:52:20 pm
I don't like the idea of a splash screen before the title screen, but pressing Select to view a Credits screen seems like a compromise that wouldn't make the purists too angry.
Also, I think that the prologue appears a little too quickly and should be delayed by a few more seconds.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: LostTemplar on May 14, 2013, 04:57:50 pm
Too much information, like the Bahamut Lagoon (http://www.romhacking.net/translations/280/) translation title screen, which I always thought looked bad.

Wow, that looks horrendous! It would look better if there was at least some structure to it. As it is it just looks slapped on...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 14, 2013, 07:08:27 pm
Thank you for the discussion re: the title screen. I have decided to agree that the amount of stuff on the title screen must be reduced.

I don't like the idea of a splash screen before the title screen, but pressing Select to view a Credits screen seems like a compromise that wouldn't make the purists too angry.

I agree with this idea. But I would add it on the title screen rather than on the main menu screen. Whether it's a scroll-down to view the version information; whether it shows/hides the version information on the same screen; whether it brings another screen totally; that is up to more planning. I do not like splash screens, so a mandatory splash screen will never happen with this patch.


The purpose of the listing of the patch options along with the version number is twofold:
-- When given a bug report, provide a possibility to identify the exact version with which the bug happens.
-- To avoid the problem of someone passing a stripped-down or otherwise encumbered version as "the" translation release.


The data for the title screen tile layout; does it ever get shifted around? Same for the menu screen.

You probably are referring to the tiles, i.e. VROM content for those particular screens.
They might, but if that happens, it is very rarely. I don't think I'm going to move the Konami logo and the game title graphics around within those VROM pages, but the alphabet may be subject to some rearrangements. The version number string just uses whatever tiles remain otherwise unused. The list of tiles used by the version box is currently hardcoded as this:
Code: [Select]
  $tiles = Array(
    Array(0xEB,0xEC,0xED,0xEE,0x1F,0x20,0xEF,0xF0,0x73,0xB0),
    Array(0xF1,0xF2,0xF3,0xF4,0xF5,0xF6,0xF7,0xF8,0xF9,0xFA),
    Array(0xFB,0xFC,0xFD,0xFE,0xFF,0x36,0x39,0x3A,0x3B,0x3C));
Although, if I change the version information to a hotkey-only display, this is going to change in some ways that I haven't decided yet.

As for the nametable/attribute/palette data for the title screen -- yes, that is subject to random placement within the ROM. It can be placed anywhere in the allowed banks by the linker. You cannot rely on it being at some particular location. It is not intentionally randomized, but the binpacking algorithm can put it anywhere within the constraints of bank numbers. Any time the number of blobs changes or the length of any of them changes, the binpacker can produce a totally different organization for them. You can only know the location of some particular blob by reading the pointers that refer to it. IIRC the location of those pointers is constant (but still different for NTSC versus PAL).
This is the theme for all the data that I modify. Instead of modifying the data in place, I capture the entire data, remember where it is referred from, mark its old location as "free space", and at link-time, place the (now possibly modified) data in some free nook, and update the pointers to the data. Some of those pointers can even be within blobs that are themselves relocated.


By the way, a reminder, even though I haven't so far released the full insertor nor the patch source code, if anyone has questions on its implementation, I will gladly answer any well-defined questions and can also share parts of the source code.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 14, 2013, 07:53:51 pm
I agree with this idea. But I would add it on the title screen rather than on the main menu screen.
That is actually what I was suggesting.

Whether it's a scroll-down to view the version information; whether it shows/hides the version information on the same screen; whether it brings another screen totally; that is up to more planning. I do not like splash screens, so a mandatory splash screen will never happen with this patch.
I suggest that it switches to another full screen page that looks nice and fancy.
Maybe show off your skills with one of those demoscene style demos with music and everything.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 14, 2013, 08:08:49 pm
I suggest that it switches to another full screen page that looks nice and fancy.
Maybe show off your skills with one of those demoscene style demos with music and everything.

Thanks to the prologue sequence hogging up my free space, I don't think I have much room for showing off anymore :P
Let's see...
Code: [Select]
Space after      : 1EA0+1, 386C+1892 - total: 1893
Space after      : 4707+ 3, 4C78+18, 6154+49, 779D+355, 7AF2+14, 7D41+655 - total: 1094
Space (unchanged): BEE2+238 - total: 238
Space after      : EFDE+1058 - total: 1058
Space after      : 10305+  7, 129DD+  3, 13AFD+1235, 13FF9+1 - total: 1246
Space (unchanged): 1596E+658, 16B31+335, 17FC6+10 - total: 1003
Space (unchanged): 1BD80+592 - total: 592
Space after      : 1C317+3, 1C4AE+ 1, 1C4F2+2, 1C9CC+ 1, 1CF1F+  1, 1E08A+2, 1ED8D+3, 1EF08+  2, 1EF79+ 1, 1EFBB+2, 1EFF3+1, 1F067+2, 1F0C2+2, 1F15D+ 1, 1F1BB+ 2, 1F706+  2, 1FCBE+ 2, 1FEE1+1, 1FF6E+2, 1FF89+3 - total: 36
Total after: 7163

It's rather difficult to do meaningful code when your space is split across different banks. Trans-bank calls are expensive, and even more so if you need to access data that is in a different bank.

For comparison, the summary without extended prologue support:
Code: [Select]
Space after      : 1EA0+1, 386C+1892 - total: 1893
Space after      : 4707+ 3, 4C78+18, 6154+49, 779D+355, 7AF2+14, 7D41+655 - total: 1094
Space (unchanged): BEE2+238 - total: 238
Space after      : EFD6+1066 - total: 1066
Space after      : 127AC+  5, 1295C+132, 13C5E+ 882, 13FF9+1 - total: 1020
Space (unchanged): 15967+4889, 17FC6+10 - total: 4899
Space (unchanged): 18008+16328 - total: 16328
Space after      : 1C317+3, 1C4AE+ 1, 1C4F2+2, 1C9CC+ 1, 1CF1F+  1, 1E08A+2, 1ED8D+3, 1EF08+  2, 1EF79+ 1, 1EFBB+2, 1EFF3+1, 1F067+2, 1F0C2+2, 1F15D+ 1, 1F1BB+ 2, 1F706+  2, 1FCBE+ 2, 1FEE1+1, 1FF6E+2, 1FF89+3 - total: 36
Total after: 26561
For curiosity, here's the space, if I remove all optional features (except password support):
Code: [Select]
Space after      : 1EA0+1, 386C+1892 - total: 1893
Space after      : 46F4+22, 4C79+17, 7719+487, 7A9D+ 99, 7C5F+881 - total: 1506
Space (unchanged): BEE2+238 - total: 238
Space after      : E394+ 7228 - total: 7228
Space after      : 127AA+  7, 1294C+148, 13C31+ 927, 13FF2+ 8 - total: 1090
Space (unchanged): 14008+16328 - total: 16328
Space (unchanged): 18008+16328 - total: 16328
Space after      : 1C155+ 1, 1C408+  1, 1C4F2+2, 1C9CC+ 1, 1EF09+  1, 1EFBB+2, 1F067+2, 1F0C2+2, 1F15D+ 1, 1FBFD+ 3 - total: 16
Total after: 44627
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 14, 2013, 08:55:53 pm
That first one is really getting tight. Would you gain back a significant amount of free space if you used just still screens for the prologue?

Also, I had an idea. I'm wondering if the first couple of scenes of the prologue would look cool in an all sepia palette?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Pikachumanson on May 14, 2013, 08:59:39 pm
Nah leave them in color. It looks cooler.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 14, 2013, 09:30:38 pm
I'm going to see for myself anyway. :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 14, 2013, 09:33:48 pm
That first one is really getting tight. Would you gain back a significant amount of free space if you used just still screens for the prologue?
Most definitely. Don't want to though.
All the sprite motion data takes up tons of space. It's at least 3 bytes for each frame where something changes on the screen (i.e. 180 bytes per second if something changes every frame), plus 3 * number of actors + 1 bytes for each different frame, plus all the metasprite data, and some more for more data that I can't figure out how to summarize in a single sentence. :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 15, 2013, 05:31:32 am
Once this is done, I have a feeling  there will have to be a ROM expansion in order to make the additions I want.

Hey, wait a minute. Why not just make the new title screen part of the new intro patch? I mean if people are such purists as to not want a new title screen they probably won't want the intro either. That way you wouldn't need any new files, right?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on May 15, 2013, 09:13:18 am
Once this is done, I have a feeling  there will have to be a ROM expansion in order to make the additions I want.

Hey, wait a minute. Why not just make the new title screen part of the new intro patch? I mean if people are such purists as to not want a new title screen they probably won't want the intro either. That way you wouldn't need any new files, right?

I already mentioned that earlier.

I agree on both. Maybe giving the person a choice if they want the original title screen or a new one would be a nice option. Also, when you finally reach the end of this project, having an option to not have the version number and choices on the title screen would be nice too, seeing as there would be no more reason to have them on there anyways.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Tater Bear on May 15, 2013, 09:48:19 am
Hey, wait a minute. Why not just make the new title screen part of the new intro patch? I mean if people are such purists as to not want a new title screen they probably won't want the intro either.

I was thinking the same thing!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: keropi on May 15, 2013, 02:56:04 pm
I hope the crash bug gets squashed soon, just tried the last version and backtracked posts to find about it  :laugh:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 15, 2013, 05:01:33 pm
Version 2.9.8.4 released. The crash bug should be gone now. I think it was caused by an unfortunate coincidence of loading a new scene coinciding with existing scene replay not having finished.

In addition, I rewrote the castle collapse scene as assembler code rather than as a movie replay; this gave me about 1 kilobyte of additional free space. Not much, relatively speaking. There is a small visual difference that this entailed, but only the most obsessive fans will notice :-)

There are no other changes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 15, 2013, 10:39:03 pm
-Bug seems to be gone.
-The misty woman still says "Dracula's body has began to regenerate". Should be "begun".
-Also, "the curse will be finally ended for ever." Sounds awkward, how about; "the curse will finally be ended forever."

Other than that looking good.
Is it just me or did you expand the intro's boarder to the full height of the screen?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on May 16, 2013, 01:41:48 am
I'll second those.
I think "for ever" is bad spelling, and "has began" sounds like bad grammar. "began" (without has) or "had begun" sound more correct.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on May 16, 2013, 01:51:48 am
“For ever” as two words is not incorrect here, particularly if you want to evoke a more archaic use of English. For example, this is from Dracula (1897):

“This then was the Undead home of the King Vampire, to whom so many more were due. Its emptiness spoke eloquent to make certain what I knew. Before I began to restore these women to their dead selves through my awful work, I laid in Dracula's tomb some of the Wafer, and so banished him from it, Undead, for ever.”
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 16, 2013, 02:49:23 am
Will fix "begun".
Will not change "will be finally ended" to "will finally be ended", or there will be another guy demanding reverting the change because of split infinitives.
Will not change "for ever", for stylistic reasons.

Is it just me or did you expand the intro's boarder to the full height of the screen?

Just you :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 16, 2013, 05:59:49 am
“For ever” as two words is not incorrect here, particularly if you want to evoke a more archaic use of English. For example, this is from Dracula (1897):

“This then was the Undead home of the King Vampire, to whom so many more were due. Its emptiness spoke eloquent to make certain what I knew. Before I began to restore these women to their dead selves through my awful work, I laid in Dracula's tomb some of the Wafer, and so banished him from it, Undead, for ever.”

Actually, I wouldn't call it archaic. If anything my research shows that it's just a more common way to use it in non-American English. Where as "forever" is more common in the US. I don't see the point in using this styling given that the rest of the retranslation text doesn't use it as far as I've seen.


Will fix "begun".
Will not change "will be finally ended" to "will finally be ended", or there will be another guy demanding reverting the change because of split infinitives.
Will not change "for ever", for stylistic reasons.

Just you :-)

Ok. I'll just put them on my list of changes for my personal version.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on May 16, 2013, 08:35:09 am
Actually, I wouldn't call it archaic. If anything my research shows that it's just a more common way to use it in non-American English. Where as "forever" is more common in the US. I don't see the point in using this styling given that the rest of the retranslation text doesn't use it as far as I've seen.
It has been slowly but reliably going out of style in the UK, the most major holdout for the two word version (for example, out of the so-called “quality press”, only the Times seems to have a preference for keeping it two words). In the US, it is definitely archaic, to the point where many people even think it is a mistake (a clear sign of widespread membership in the Illiterati). This practically puts it in the same boat as “is n’t” and “to-morrow”, which are only mistakes if you try them now.

As for the style, I’ll direct your attention here (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.msg237729.html#msg237729), in which skimming the thread over the past few days is the only point I recall the intended style being mentioned.

(also there was that split infinitive thing but that was just, uh... granz has funny ideas about grammar, I’ll put it that way)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 16, 2013, 10:02:43 am
Hey, wait a minute. Why not just make the new title screen part of the new intro patch? I mean if people are such purists as to not want a new title screen they probably won't want the intro either. That way you wouldn't need any new files, right?
That is certainly a possibility. I was expressing facts about making those three screens mutually consistent.

For now, what I will do is remove the version information from all versions of the title screen and figure out a way to show it when some particular button is pressed. I am not going to redesign the title screen entirely, unless someone shows a design I really like and/or I come up with the inspiration and design myself and people like it.

I would also like to put a smaller version of the game's title on the first screen of the prologue, but I have not yet come up with a design that is not just a clone of the main title screen. To that end, the Konami logo has already been in the tile set used on the first screen of the prologue for the past few versions...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 16, 2013, 03:18:00 pm
Quote
For now, what I will do is remove the version information from all versions of the title screen and figure out a way to show it when some particular button is pressed.

How about just doing a simple palette swap? Start all black & hold the button to switch to the appropriate colors. That way you don't have to mess with what you already have.


Quote
I am not going to redesign the title screen entirely, unless someone shows a design I really like and/or I come up with the inspiration and design myself and people like it.

That's why I kept it simple. My main purpose was to use the same border as the intro to make it flow nicely.


Quote
I would also like to put a smaller version of the game's title on the first screen of the prologue, but I have not yet come up with a design that is not just a clone of the main title screen. To that end, the Konami logo has already been in the tile set used on the first screen of the prologue for the past few versions...

With all due respect, what for? You already see the title screen at full size when the game starts. Seems kinda redundant to have a smaller version of the same thing.
Actually, one of the ideas I originally had, and the reason I went for a black background, was so you could start off the intro with the full title graphic and fade it out as a nice transition. The idea is to make it look like the title is the first cell in the film and that it just starts rolling to show the intro.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on May 19, 2013, 10:05:03 am
I would also like to put a smaller version of the game's title on the first screen of the prologue, but I have not yet come up with a design that is not just a clone of the main title screen. To that end, the Konami logo has already been in the tile set used on the first screen of the prologue for the past few versions...

Eh, I wouldn't.  Might be best to put more art there or at least something different than seeing the title again for as they say "Once can be enough!"  ;)

Could always put your game version there as if a type of 'surprise' to the player on seeing which version they are playing  :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 20, 2013, 10:00:50 pm
How about just doing a simple palette swap? Start all black & hold the button to switch to the appropriate colors. That way you don't have to mess with what you already have.

Where am I going to credit the testers and people who gave me feedback and ideas then? :-)
Sure, I could probably rewrite the after-ending screen (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-afterendingscreen.png) now that I have more experience about doing that sort of thing... But I may not want to spend effort in redesigning it.


Quote
I would also like to put a smaller version of the game's title on the first screen of the prologue, but I have not yet come up with a design that is not just a clone of the main title screen. To that end, the Konami logo has already been in the tile set used on the first screen of the prologue for the past few versions...
With all due respect, what for? You already see the title screen at full size when the game starts. Seems kinda redundant to have a smaller version of the same thing.
Actually, one of the ideas I originally had, and the reason I went for a black background, was so you could start off the intro with the full title graphic and fade it out as a nice transition. The idea is to make it look like the title is the first cell in the film and that it just starts rolling to show the intro.

Maybe I then misunderstood what you wrote in a previous post:
*Suggested Text Edit & Sequence Change
BLANK SCREEN
FOOTAGE--FADE IN FANCY CV2 TITLE LOGO
[Begin music. Text is centered.]
            -Prologue-
[Wait for a little bit & Fade out title logo]

I happened to like this idea...  Also, I think the main title screen logo is a disproportionately big honking one compared to the smaller window on the prologue...

You can see the game already has several different title banner designs (the Japanese one included for reference):
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample4a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample0a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample2a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample1a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample3a.png)

It is not like the prologue screen could not thus use another one -- or one of those.

What I was thinking was along the lines of redesigning the main title screen in the style of the Japanese one (possibly keeping the USA style background palette though; blood effect debatable).
Possibly taking the "Castlevania" logo from USA Castlevania (seen below), adding II in it, and shrinking the outcome to the same proportion of the ドラキュラⅡ text in the Japanese version, possibly removing the plaque background, and adding either "Simon's Quest" or "Seal of the Curse", or both, as a subtitle in a TBD style (noting this part would be translated to other languages as well*), and adding the bats.
The USA style logo might then be used in the prologue, perhaps slightly scaled down.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv1j-logosample0a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv1u-logosample0a.png)

Oh, and one thing specially worth mentioning: I would not touch the Konami logo. Even though game companies may turn a blind eye for ROM hacks in general, from first-hand experience I know that they are quite touchy about how their trademarks and logos are used. Logos are Serious Business, especially company logos. The right colors and proportions of the company logo are very important. As such I will likely never use the 8x8 Konami logo that was seen in some suggestion screenshot before.
(I am aware this statement falls flat a little, because the four games pictured above had all different colors for the Konami logo.)

EDIT: For completenesses sake, Castlevania III logos are shown below.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv3j-logosample0a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv3u-logosample0a.png)

Here's an idea for the transition from the Title to the prologue. Can you fade out all the colors except the border like you do in the prologue? That will look a lot cleaner.

It's a bit of a problem to do because of technical reasons. Those two screens use different VROM pages, different palettes and different organization of tiles within... Most importantly, the title screen does not have the necessary tiles for implementing the graphics of the prologue screen (the two 8x8 half-faded film edge tiles, the four 8x8 half-faded film corner tiles and the one 16x8 half-faded edge tile (when used as a sprite); and/or two more 8x8 half-faded edge tiles (when used as background).) Adding those tiles would require, once again, changing the version information blob, because it currently uses all remaining free tiles. I can't even change the year 2012 into 2013, because there's no room for the glyph of "3" in the VROM bank :-)


*) My toolset allows the adding of new languages with a reasonable effort, without need for extra ROM hacking. If someone wants to collaborate with me to provide a translation to another language, this is negotiable. The additional language versions would be provided using the same vending machine as is already used for the Finnish and English versions. You are expected to know some basic linguistic details of your language, such as the alphabet and hyphenation rules. (Use a private message or e-mail.)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 20, 2013, 10:52:00 pm
Do you want it to look something like this? (A quick mockup)

(http://i.imgur.com/j7W8eD0.gif)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 20, 2013, 11:10:26 pm
Quick mockups are quick mockups, but putting the Simon's Quest placque underneath just looks stupid :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Turambar on May 20, 2013, 11:12:19 pm
Well thanks!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 21, 2013, 12:10:04 am
Well thanks!
Sorry about that.  It just looked to me like you were mocking my idea. (I know that a mock-up means a quick illustration; it was not a language problem.)

Here's my quick illustration. Mind you, I'm no graphics artist, which should be obvious. The palette is not important; I just did the rainbow because I wanted to see what it would look like. It would probably be infeasible on the NES. Similarly, fonts and practically everything can be changed, and the design must be finetuned, assuming something like this was chosen, until it requires no more than an allowable number of distinct 8x8 tiles. The focus is on the large "Castlevania II" title (which might need to be smaller than that), with "Simon's Quest" and/or "Seal of the Curse" as subtitles, and the bats (if allowed by tile budget).

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_mockup.png)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on May 21, 2013, 08:16:07 am
Where am I going to credit the testers and people who gave me feedback and ideas then? :-)
Sure, I could probably rewrite the after-ending screen (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-afterendingscreen.png) now that I have more experience about doing that sort of thing... But I may not want to spend effort in redesigning it.
for the English translation, at least, the list should be shifted one tile to the right (notice that you have a 0 tile margin on the left, but 2 tiles to the right of the longest item, "INVINCIBILITY")
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 21, 2013, 09:08:51 am
for the English translation, at least, the list should be shifted one tile to the right (notice that you have a 0 tile margin on the left, but 2 tiles to the right of the longest item, "INVINCIBILITY")

Thanks, but I know. For the Finnish translation this is not an option, because the screen contains much longer words. Even though the different languages have the text in different files, the X coordinates are in the PHP code that is shared by both.
It's a minor problem I may "fix" some day.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on May 21, 2013, 11:02:12 am
How do you edit the palettes on the title screen? More particularly, what is the format?

(and why is this the one thing I can't figure out...)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 21, 2013, 11:51:52 am
How do you edit the palettes on the title screen? More particularly, what is the format?

The palettes are stored in the game as data packets that are written into the queue that is processed by the NMI.
The data packets are all listed in the table that begins at $C895 (ROM file offset 1C8A5). Each item in the table is a pointer to the data.
The data format depends on the invocation: Some of the items include a 2-byte PPU memory offset in the beginning, some don't.
$FE = Terminates the string and the PPU write packet.
$FF = Terminates the string, but does not terminate the PPU write packet.
$FD = Terminates the string and the PPU write packet, but also begins a new PPU write packet. (The new packet data is not included.)
String $06 (pointer at $C8A1, data at $CAB7; ROM file offsets 1C8B1 and 1CAC7 respectively) is the title screen palette. That one does include the PPU memory offset (3F00) in the beginning. Thus, ignore the first two bytes. The actual palette data begins from the byte that is $0F (black, i.e. background color).
Almost all of the packets in this table are palettes, but some of them are used for some other purposes, such as for placing the "Entry completed" text on the password screen (string $5A) or for rendering the game over screen (string $07).

The format of the actual palette data is the same as in the PPU memory at 3F00-3F1F.


Quote
(and why is this the one thing I can't figure out...)

Impressive. Could you share your notes about the music engine of the game? :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Fes on May 21, 2013, 01:03:29 pm
Thanks, but I know. For the Finnish translation this is not an option, because the screen contains much longer words. Even though the different languages have the text in different files, the X coordinates are in the PHP code that is shared by both.
It's a minor problem I may "fix" some day.

Could a cheap quick fix for this be to simply add a space to the beginning of all the english strings on that screen? As a programmer I feel somewhat ashamed even suggesting that, but sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 21, 2013, 01:11:05 pm
Could a cheap quick fix for this be to simply add a space to the beginning of all the english strings on that screen? As a programmer I feel somewhat ashamed even suggesting that, but sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks :)

No, because the two spaces in between are in a fixed place and not part of the configuration file. The credit items themselves are expressed in an associative array: name => role. You could add two spaces in the front of each role, but that wouldn't be nice.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 21, 2013, 02:05:34 pm
Where am I going to credit the testers and people who gave me feedback and ideas then? :-)
Sure, I could probably rewrite the after-ending screen (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-afterendingscreen.png) now that I have more experience about doing that sort of thing... But I may not want to spend effort in redesigning it.

In a read-me like everybody else does. But if you CAN extend that after-credits screen then by all means that would be a great place for it all. ;)


Maybe I then misunderstood what you wrote in a previous post:
I happened to like this idea...  Also, I think the main title screen logo is a disproportionately big honking one compared to the smaller window on the prologue...

Derp!! Memory lapse!!


You can see the game already has several different title banner designs (the Japanese one included for reference):
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample4a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample0a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample2a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample1a.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-logosample3a.png)

It is not like the prologue screen could not thus use another one -- or one of those.

I like that smaller version of the "~<Simon's Quest>~" logo.



What I was thinking was along the lines of redesigning the main title screen in the style of the Japanese one (possibly keeping the USA style background palette though; blood effect debatable).
Possibly taking the "Castlevania" logo from USA Castlevania (seen below), adding II in it, and shrinking the outcome to the same proportion of the ドラキュラⅡ text in the Japanese version, possibly removing the plaque background, and adding either "Simon's Quest" or "Seal of the Curse", or both, as a subtitle in a TBD style (noting this part would be translated to other languages as well*), and adding the bats.
The USA style logo might then be used in the prologue, perhaps slightly scaled down.

Kinda like I did here for the Japanese CV3 retranslation but with the back part?
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/FinalMockup_zps54d60344.gif) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/FinalMockup_zps54d60344.gif.html)
EDIT- This is what I actually accomplished in game the last time I worked on it:
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-7_zps84d01555.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-7_zps84d01555.png.html)



Oh, and one thing specially worth mentioning: I would not touch the Konami logo. Even though game companies may turn a blind eye for ROM hacks in general, from first-hand experience I know that they are quite touchy about how their trademarks and logos are used. Logos are Serious Business, especially company logos. The right colors and proportions of the company logo are very important. As such I will likely never use the 8x8 Konami logo that was seen in some suggestion screenshot before.
(I am aware this statement falls flat a little, because the four games pictured above had all different colors for the Konami logo.)

I have to say you do seem to be putting too much stock in the preservation of the logo. Especially considering that we're talking about a ROM hack that is in some ways and points of view intrinsically illegal. Believe me if you caught Konami's attention with this it wouldn't be for modifying the logo graphics. The part you should worry about is preserving their copyright info. Removing or modifying that information is what would get you in trouble. Not the logo.


Here's my quick illustration. Mind you, I'm no graphics artist, which should be obvious. The palette is not important; I just did the rainbow because I wanted to see what it would look like. It would probably be infeasible on the NES. Similarly, fonts and practically everything can be changed, and the design must be finetuned, assuming something like this was chosen, until it requires no more than an allowable number of distinct 8x8 tiles. The focus is on the large "Castlevania II" title (which might need to be smaller than that), with "Simon's Quest" and/or "Seal of the Curse" as subtitles, and the bats (if allowed by tile budget).

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_mockup.png)

I think you need to decide whether to keep the English subtitle or the original Japanese one. Having them both just doesn't look or sound right. And since this is supposed to be a retranslation hack I'd go for the original subtitle, screw the original localization.

PS- Don't like the positioning of the bats. I understand why they did it in the original, but honestly, it made the original look awkward and it shouldn't be reproduced.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on May 21, 2013, 02:39:11 pm
Those title screens really does look amazing ! I hope they will be feasible on NES.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 21, 2013, 02:44:10 pm
It's a bit of a problem to do because of technical reasons. Those two screens use different VROM pages, different palettes and different organization of tiles within... Most importantly, the title screen does not have the necessary tiles for implementing the graphics of the prologue screen (the two 8x8 half-faded film edge tiles, the four 8x8 half-faded film corner tiles and the one 16x8 half-faded edge tile (when used as a sprite); and/or two more 8x8 half-faded edge tiles (when used as background).) Adding those tiles would require, once again, changing the version information blob, because it currently uses all remaining free tiles. I can't even change the year 2012 into 2013, because there's no room for the glyph of "3" in the VROM bank :-)

The VROM might indeed be an issue, but you're going to have redo all the tiles anyway. This would give you leeway in designing the screen however you want as long as you don't use too many times. Also, I would seriously consider using the smaller version of the Konami logo in combination with text tiles in order to make more space for the new game logo.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on May 21, 2013, 02:56:09 pm
Quote
I can't even change the year 2012 into 2013, because there's no room for the glyph of "3" in the VROM bank :-)
Oh I had a similar problem with Dragon Skill's title screen (my NES homebrew project).
Note that 2013 is the first year since 1987 which does have 4 distinct numbers in it ! And we will only have such years until 2020.... so we are doomed to wait 2020 to release my game and your restranslation :D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 22, 2013, 07:30:26 pm
In a read-me like everybody else does. But if you CAN extend that after-credits screen then by all means that would be a great place for it all. ;)

Nobody reads READMEs or manuals anymore! That's why all content must be put into the game itself…

Quote
Kinda like I did here for the Japanese CV3 retranslation but with the back part?

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/FinalMockup_zps54d60344.gif) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/FinalMockup_zps54d60344.gif.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Stuff/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-7_zps84d01555.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Stuff/CastlevaniaIII-DemonCastleLegendTNewTitle-7_zps84d01555.png.html)

Yep, very muchly so. Kind of a compromise between the USA Castlevania II style and the USA Castlevania III style, with elements from the Japanese Castlevania II. The vertical film layout is distinctly CV3, so it cannot be used.


Quote
I have to say you do seem to be putting too much stock in the preservation of the logo. Especially considering that we're talking about a ROM hack that is in some ways and points of view intrinsically illegal. Believe me if you caught Konami's attention with this it wouldn't be for modifying the logo graphics. The part you should worry about is preserving their copyright info. Removing or modifying that information is what would get you in trouble. Not the logo.
Nevertheless, knowing companies can be touchy about their logos, out of honor I think I don't want to touch it.


Quote
I think you need to decide whether to keep the English subtitle or the original Japanese one. Having them both just doesn't look or sound right. And since this is supposed to be a retranslation hack I'd go for the original subtitle, screw the original localization.

I would agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that this game is well known as Simon's Quest.  Additionally, the name Simon's Quest appears in those other banners within the game as you saw before. They would have to be changed, too.
My compromise between these worlds would involve sort of making the Japanese subtitle the official subtitle, but then adding the English subtitle as "oh, and the game is also known as ____".


Quote
PS- Don't like the positioning of the bats. I understand why they did it in the original, but honestly, it made the original look awkward and it shouldn't be reproduced.

You may be right. But I would like to include at least some Castlevania'y motif there, and putting the bats in would be a way to honor the original Japanese game. After all, this is a retranslation…
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on May 24, 2013, 12:35:54 pm
1) Nobody reads READMEs or manuals anymore! That's why all content must be put into the game itself…

2) Yep, very muchly so. Kind of a compromise between the USA Castlevania II style and the USA Castlevania III style, with elements from the Japanese Castlevania II. The vertical film layout is distinctly CV3, so it cannot be used.

3) Nevertheless, knowing companies can be touchy about their logos, out of honor I think I don't want to touch it.


4) I would agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that this game is well known as Simon's Quest.  Additionally, the name Simon's Quest appears in those other banners within the game as you saw before. They would have to be changed, too.
My compromise between these worlds would involve sort of making the Japanese subtitle the official subtitle, but then adding the English subtitle as "oh, and the game is also known as ____".


5) You may be right. But I would like to include at least some Castlevania'y motif there, and putting the bats in would be a way to honor the original Japanese game. After all, this is a retranslation…

1) I do. And most patches have read me's and most patches have the credits there and not in the game.

2) No. I wouldn't use the CV3 style file strip. Didn't mean referring to the title graphic.

3) As you wish. All I'm saying is I really don't think it matters all that much or else tons of other hacks wouldn't do it and I've never heard of a patch author getting in trouble for it.

4) Precisely because the US/EU title is so well know is why it isn't necessary to keep it. The other banners can be changed for consistency or they can be left alone as a compromise. The main title just, honestly would look stupid and confusing with both sub titles and is cluttered and busy enough with out the extra text. No offense.

5) Don't get me wrong. I like the bats, I just don't like their positioning. Let me whip something up.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on May 31, 2013, 01:53:16 am
I havent heard any new info in a little bit now. I hope the project is still going on....
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on May 31, 2013, 01:56:04 pm
Sorry, been busy with things.
What I did find is that there is still some unresolved bug with the prologue engine, put into spotlight as I devised a new scheme to compress the animation data. It prevents making a new release until it is fixed. Also, I'm not sure what exactly to do with the title screen thing now...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on May 31, 2013, 08:28:12 pm
I guess either simons quest or the JP name would work. Use Castlevania instead of akumajo dracula tho. Add the bats back if you want. I'm still waiting on the version that changes the intro text to the JP instruction manual story. Then I might play through the hack.
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on June 01, 2013, 02:30:08 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 02, 2013, 09:36:49 pm
I guess either simons quest or the JP name would work. Use Castlevania instead of akumajo dracula tho. Add the bats back if you want. I'm still waiting on the version that changes the intro text to the JP instruction manual story. Then I might play through the hack.

The new intro is in beta testing already. I doubt the old intro text will be changed since the intro from the manual is waaay longer than the amount of space available in the old intro screen.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on June 06, 2013, 01:12:28 pm
How is the progress coming along with this project?  Have things slowed down or still busy pacing along with the edits?  :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 07, 2013, 06:05:54 pm
Thanks for asking, Craftvania.
Sorry, I've been busy with jobhunting, updating some Portal 2 maps (http://steamcommunity.com/id/bisqwit/myworkshopfiles/?appid=620), and stuff like that.

Hey, I heard you needed someone to make the intro music, right? Well I am a composer myself. Here is a sample of some of my songs on FamiTracker in the form of .nsf files:

Thanks for volunteering in principle.

What I would need is a song that works nicely as the background for the cinematic prologue sequence. Ideally it would be timed and themed to work together with the on-screen choreography, but not too tightly, so that the small changes to the text and timings can be done later, such as translations to different languages, which inherently have different length texts and thus different timings, without making the song appear off. It should be in the same musical style of the existing soundtracks of that game, so as to not feel out-of-place with the game.
Additionally I would envision the background music of the first few scenes, where actual content from Castlevania 1 is shown, to be somehow reminiscent of the actual music of those events in that game, even if not straightforward a copy thereof.

Furthermore there are a few technical limitations:

You cannot define any new PCM samples. There is no room for them. PCM samples can only be placed in the common ROM bank ($C000-$FFFF), and it is already full of the game's code. This means "no" to the massive bass chords you were using in your sample tracks. The only PCM samples you can use are the drum samples that already exist in CV2.

As I have not yet reverse engineered the sound engine of the game, and I have failed to reach and get a response from anyone who has, I would have to write a new music engine just for the prologue. Not a problem; I think I can do that. I just don't know how much space it requires from the ROM.
The largest contiguous block currently available in the ROM is about 6000 bytes ($1770) long. This would have to fit the engine and the music. This probably is enough. In comparison, Capcom's sound engines used in Rockman 1, 2 and 3 are each about 2800 bytes long (excluding SFX & music). Simon's Quest own sound engine (excluding SFX & music data) is about 2400 bytes long.
I would probably like to keep a portion of that reserved for future features such as achievements or gameplay demos.
There are furthermore some restrictions on the RAM addresses that the player can use. The prologue animator engine uses almost all of the available RAM for stuff like decompressed animation data. I envision I can probably make available some 256 bytes, split between two or three distinct memory regions.

That said, I don't know how much space Famitracker's engine requires and how well its data is compressed, and which RAM addresses it uses. I am working with the assumption that I do indeed have to write a new sound engine and associated compression method for the music data. This means that any contribution I receive should be in a format that includes the minimal amount of decoration/spices (such as pitch bends, vibratos, volume tremolo, arpeggio, playing with different dutycycles etc.) possible: a S3M or MOD would probably work best, followed by MIDI, because I've got plenty of experience of dealing with those formats. (Dealing with MIDI, S3M and NES music has been my largest target of effort in hobbyist programming for 20 years.) Any spices would have to be added afterward, or included as command+infobytes in S3M. To reiterate, I cannot currently use a NSF file or a Famitracker's .ftm file. Furthermore, this would make the song partially dependent on my artistical work as I fit it for the music engine in the making.

If I indeed have to write a new sound engine, the composition does not need to include the instrument gimmicks that Simon's Quest uses (such as driving the first frame of each note an octave lower); that's the sound engine's job.

I fear that these facts may drive away any potential music contributors. As such, I do not dare to ask straight for anyone's contribution, out of fear that the contributor would be upset at me if the released outcome is different than what they contributed.

Of course, someone else could write the music engine just as well. It would need to include an entrypoint for "stop song", "start song", and "periodic callback" but otherwise be entirely self-contained. Bonus if it can read its music data from another memory bank through a callback.


The current version of the prologue can be seen here. It is an animated 640x480 20fps GIF rendered with nesemu1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y71lli8MS8s), but the timings are correct for the English version.
It also includes the glitches I'm trying to figure out, but these do not affect timings.
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_gif_large.gif (13 MB)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: odditude on June 08, 2013, 11:56:25 am
the intro looks great! i'm kind of late to the party with this one, but i have a minor suggestion for the dialogue at the end:

Code: [Select]
Once the curse is sealed,
the legend of Dracula will
finally be ended forever.

With the curse gone, your
body will begin to heal, too.

There is no other way to
eliminate Dracula once
and for all."

given how knowledgeable the apparition is, she also would likely be fully aware that Drac isn't going to be put down for good by this. how about:

Code: [Select]
Once the curse is sealed,
Dracula's power will be
shattered.

The land, and your body,
will finally begin to heal.

There is no other way to
save this land from eternal
ruin."
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on June 09, 2013, 01:13:06 am
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 09, 2013, 04:06:42 am
I'm going to be busy next week but I'll work on the song when I can in the free time I have. This is the song I have so far in the FamiTracker file format. Click here. (http://www.mediafire.com/download/f5ucxv8m2x3vxqp/Castlevania+II+Intro+Unfinished.ftm) Remember it is NOT done yet.

Thank you Chpexo. There is potential in this.

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Things you wanted:
*No extra DPCM samples
*1st scene reminiscent from Castlevania I

Among other things I listed, such as that I cannot currenly deal with FTM files (more below about this).  The reminiscent parts were just thoughts I expressed, but the technical limitations are fixed.


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It is kinda hard to time the scene well and NOT make it tight. My suggestion for you is to not have the text type out, but just make it appear and fade out at a specific time.

That is a valid point. I will see if I can set the timing of the intro in stone. Currently the timing is driven by the text. The intro is based on an event stream, where text characters are also events. When it runs out of text characters, the next event is e.g. pause for N frames, or fadeout, or whatever.


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I have the final boss song in the triangle channel in the second part of the song. Is this necessary?

Only the technical requirements are "necessary". Anything else is just artistic direction which you are free to ignore if you see it wise (based on your experience as a composer and as a soundscape artist).


Here's an intro of a different game that works for that game nicely musically in my opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rU577pEx0M&t=5m30s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rU577pEx0M&t=5m30s)
See 5:30 onwards. You may skip from 6:10 to 8:15, as it just plays one (good) song in that period. Pay attention to how the song that plays from 8:20 to 9:25 on is well timed to the events on screen.


*) If you do submit your song in FTM format, I may need to do a manual conversion of it. This may not be as large a problem as I made it appear, but it does mean it will sound a little different in the game than in Famitracker. I look toward the conversion work.
P.S. I confirmed that the Famitracker NSF player engine is way too huge to be used. It weighs about 6000 bytes; using all the remaining space alone. An independent player engine must indeed be created.


Given how knowledgeable the apparition is, she also would likely be fully aware that Drac isn't going to be put down for good by this.

The text is a translation of the story from the Japanese manual. As such, I cannot agree with changing it. There is also a difference in game's tone by what you suggest. The mission does not seem as promising, important and accomplishing as much, if what you suggest is changed.

How I interpret this, is that the game makers intended it to be a total surprise for the player, that Dracula actually spawns as a ghost from the body parts when it is burned, possibly as a consequence of the curse left unattended for just a bit too long. It was to be a *spoilers* *wham* moment when Dracula suddenly spawns from the ashes. Every indication in the game and the prologue is that once the bodyparts are burned, that's it. End of story. The lady probably did not know this either, or neglected to mention the possibility [of Dracula's vengeful ghost] out of sheer hope that it will not be not too late.
Of course, genre-savvy people know to expect a final boss in an adventure game, but how genre-savvy were people in 1987 about adventure games?

EDIT: [video]http://youtu.be/tjOEpFVI6mY (http://youtu.be/tjOEpFVI6mY)[/video]
Here is the prologue sequence with language-invariant timings. I added onscreen annotations for timings in various manners of counting. Let me know if I can help you more.
Please do not pay attention to visual glitches in this video. This is not a release version.
You will see the English and Finnish versions deviate in timing at points due to text length differences, but they always resync immediately in the next screen.
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Post by: Chpexo on June 09, 2013, 10:49:28 am
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 09, 2013, 11:38:23 am
I guess you envisioned more of an action-y sounding intro right? Well it's not really logical to have action music when it's a flashback. The events of Dracula being killed are not currently happening in the game thus there is no reason to have suspenseful music. I chose calm music because the past is unmoving.

Well, the events shown in the Tales of Phantasia intro are also "ten years ago"... (Not so clear here since I linked to the Finnish translated version.)
But I did not mean to voice an opinion about the style of music. I linked to it as an example of a music that goes thematically hand in hand with onscreen events especially from 8:20 onward.

June 09, 2013, 06:19:12 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I have now released version 2.9.8.5.

It features numerous internal changes. Many of the animations in the prologue were rewritten as assembler subprograms. This gave the additional 6000-byte free space I mentioned earlier. The compression format for the animation data itself was rewritten.
Minor changes to the title screen, that are only seen when rewritten prologue is enabled. There are no new hotkeys on the titlescreen yet.
Some typos were fixed in the Finnish translation. And one "began" -> "begun" in the English one as well.


Please let me know if you still get a crash in the prologue in any version, or if you come across a combination of patch options that does not work and is not documented as broken.  (Using UOROM mapper without VROM is broken, for instance.)
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on June 09, 2013, 09:00:52 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 10, 2013, 01:46:47 am
Nice! That has a lot of potential, and hearing it while the intro was doing it's things looked, sounded and felt "right". This has a lot of potential!

@Bisqwit: If you end up going to the trouble of making a new sound engine will it completely replace the old one? If so I'll throw in a request for it to be VRC6 compatible, please. :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 10, 2013, 06:19:14 am
@Bisqwit: If you end up going to the trouble of making a new sound engine will it completely replace the old one? If so I'll throw in a request for it to be VRC6 compatible, please. :)
No, it cannot replace the old one, because that would involve having to recreate all the existing songs and sound effects using the new engine.

About this song, I have some critique though.
-- I don't like the part of melody that goes in patterns 4 and 5 at rows 00-0F. There's something wrong with it, but I can't quite name it. It sounds like the type of music you would hear if you played a track backwards. In addition, pattern 3 (which is really cool) seems to build into something great and then we get this wet fish instead...
-- The chord progressions are awful at times. The F + F# dischord in patterns 8 and 9 (,I think) row 1C doesn't seem to serve any purpose, and it hurts the ear.  The B-A and A-G dischords in pattern 2 rows 02-08 are fine because they serve as anticipation... I don't have music education, so I lack the terminology to discuss these things, but there's just something wrong with the progression of chords and not just some individual odd chords...
-- Patterns 0A and 0B has this same kind of backwards style to it...

I don't know whether I should have said this though. Some people might react and say "%&@! you, do it yourself if you're so full of it". I'm just saying what I honestly think when listening to it, and I'm bad at giving truly constructive feedback.

EDIT: I just noticed that the USA and PAL releases of this game had an error in the title screen. Left: Original error. Right: Fixed in next release. Look at the top of the big "S" letter.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_sletter_bug.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_sletter_bug_fixed.png)
The missing piece of graphics was indeed in the CHR-ROM, but they did not use it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 10, 2013, 09:41:54 am
No, it cannot replace the old one, because that would involve having to recreate all the existing songs and sound effects using the new engine.

There is a version of FamiTracker that can import nsf files. That would make it fairly easy to convert them to the new format.

EDIT: I just noticed that the USA and PAL releases of this game had an error in the title screen. Left: Original error. Right: Fixed in next release. Look at the top of the big "S" letter.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_sletter_bug.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/title_sletter_bug_fixed.png)
The missing piece of graphics was indeed in the CHR-ROM, but they did not use it.

I was wondering about that when I did my mock ups. Good catch.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 10, 2013, 09:56:12 am
There is a version of FamiTracker that can import nsf files. That would make it fairly easy to convert them to the new format.
The conversion would still mean that something within them would change; if not when importing into FamiTracker, at least when converting again for the new music engine's format. I don't know how clever the NSF reader plugin is, but I've done plenty of work in this area for as long as I have been programming, and I know it is not trivial to recreate the instruments and ADSR curves from the momentary volume & pitch data from the soundchip (which is what the NSF reader has to work with). At worst, you just have 60 frames per second of arbitrary pitches and volumes and dutycycles. This kind of stuff does not compress well; it would have to be converted somehow such that instruments and notes are separated. This involves a lot of manual work, and if you can't just grasp the original idea in the instruments, you get a lossy encoding when you attempt to save space, and people do hear that. If something is, the music is a sacred cow.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 10, 2013, 02:24:58 pm
I've converted several nsf and they've always sounded identical to me. The only other alternatives you have are to either get the sound engine to work in your custom intro or leave the music out. I don't think there will be much support for leaving the music out.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 10, 2013, 03:48:21 pm
I've converted several nsf and they've always sounded identical to me.
The problem is you don't get the music in same size (as original) once you convert it into Famitracker format. It's like comparing a cake recipe to a list of atoms in the baked cake.
That's why I can't replace the music engine without first reverse engineering the existing music engine entirely; and even then the job would be too large. I will just add a separate music engine for the prologue.
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on June 10, 2013, 05:57:44 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 11, 2013, 03:54:07 am
The problem is you don't get the music in same size (as original) once you convert it into Famitracker format. It's like comparing a cake recipe to a list of atoms in the baked cake.
That's why I can't replace the music engine without first reverse engineering the existing music engine entirely; and even then the job would be too large. I will just add a separate music engine for the prologue.

Really? I never looked into the size differences. I wouldn't have imagined it would be that different, especially with Famitracker's ability to remove duplicate patterns. But I suppose it makes sense the engine itself might be large since it's not really intended to be part of a game.
You know, I'm really surprised no one has ever fully documented CV2's sound engine.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: optomon on June 11, 2013, 11:57:33 pm
I'm surprised no one has held me at gun point and forced me to do it yet. I should get crackin' on it by now.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 12, 2013, 08:26:13 am
I'm surprised no one has held me at gun point and forced me to do it yet. I should get crackin' on it by now.

Generally I would presume that a private message suffices :-)
But either I am just imagining, or you never sent me a reply to the second message in which I asked about the sound data.


I admit the "atoms constituting the cake" metaphor was a bit flawed. It would be a more apt description of an MP3/WAV recording of the song. But still, what a NSF player sees is in that general direction comparing to the original data which is comparable to a cake recipe.

I just did a quick check on the NSF importer. Just what I thought: It creates a row for every single frame of the song. No instruments, no effects, no envelopes, no nothing. Just raw frequency & duty & volume data, i.e. exactly what the soundchip receives as the song plays.
It is basically exactly the same thing what I did in 1996 with NESMusa ([1] (https://www.google.fi/search?q=nesmusa+s3m+site:modarchive.org), [2] (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/nesmpaku.bas), [3] (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/nesmusa728_binary_8bitbubsy.zip)), except that I didn't know about dutycycles back then and the S3M format I was generating could not reproduce pitch variations in cents, and the iNES SND files I was converting didn't record DPCM samples.

You could have a NSF file that contains an infite loop that simply plays two tones in repeating sequence with a piano-type envelope for 2 minutes. This would fit in about 30 bytes of assembler code in total (of course the NSF file would be padded to 16384 bytes or so, but that is irrelevant). Then you import it into Famitracker, and you get 56 patterns of rows: a note every 16 rows and a volume change every 2 rows. Lots and lots of data.
To give you an idea what's going on.


Are you talking about the G-3 and F-2 chord. Even if you're not, I tend to put in some sharps or "sour" notes when it deals with a creepy atmosphere, in this case Simon is in a graveyard. It would help if you point the place specifically.

Pattern 8, row 1C is what I mostly meant.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on June 12, 2013, 09:04:40 am
I'm surprised no one has held me at gun point and forced me to do it yet. I should get crackin' on it by now.

I've message spammed you too much already on things similar LOL!  Yeah, sorry about that   :crazy:



@ Bisqwit

I've been meaning to ask as I didn't see it anywhere though a lot of pages have accumulated on this post...too much back tracking lol!  Anyway, you're hack patches will work for the U.S version correct?  I haven't tried it yet since I've been chained by the ankle to real life...haven't had much time to look at you're work let alone try to transcribe on what you do so I can understand of how things work so I can move ahead on my projects lol  :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on June 12, 2013, 09:09:52 am
Anyway, you're hack patches will work for the U.S version correct?  I haven't tried it yet since [...]

The patch is provided for both the NAR (USA NTSC) and PAL versions as seen on the actual patch vending machine page (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#now).

P.S. Twice in your post you used "you're" which is an abbreviation for "you are".
"haven't had much time to look at you are work".
Just thought I should point this out because such a consistent misuse may imply misunderstanding. The word you are looking for is "your".
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on June 12, 2013, 12:01:36 pm
Speed typing and not proof reading is what I do a lot.  I'm guilty to the hilt on doing that kind of stuff lol  :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on June 12, 2013, 02:51:49 pm
I just did a quick check on the NSF importer. Just what I thought: It creates a row for every single frame of the song. No instruments, no effects, no envelopes, no nothing. Just raw frequency & duty & volume data, i.e. exactly what the soundchip receives as the song plays.

So... is that... good or bad?


You could have a NSF file that contains an infite loop that simply plays two tones in repeating sequence with a piano-type envelope for 2 minutes. This would fit in about 30 bytes of assembler code in total (of course the NSF file would be padded to 16384 bytes or so, but that is irrelevant). Then you import it into Famitracker, and you get 56 patterns of rows: a note every 16 rows and a volume change every 2 rows. Lots and lots of data.


And using the built in duplicate pattern removal doesn't reduce the size of the file?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on June 12, 2013, 06:15:56 pm
So... is that... good or bad?
Very bad. You might be able to fit it back into an NES game in theory, but you wouldn’t want to try.

Computers are notoriously bad at finding musical patterns and reducing them to something readably meaningful. It’s not just hard. It’s NP-hard. probably
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on June 20, 2013, 01:36:15 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on July 05, 2013, 08:49:05 pm
Please, I hope this project isnt dead.....
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 06, 2013, 08:51:48 am
Thanks DaGper. While I haven't worked on it since version 2.9.8.5 from 26 days ago (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.msg243919.html#msg243919), the project is not abandoned.

Things I still hope to do:
-- Add a credits screen behind the title screen on a hotkey¹
-- Add music to the prologue, if I get a good song to use in it*
-- Achievements²
-- Maybe some other things that I have probably completely forgotten about, but might be found by reading this entire thread...

Which brings me to the *music. Thanks Chpexo, I noticed your update when you posted about it. I had not yet posted a reply to it, because ... I haven't been able to decide what to say. Shortly, I don't like it. This is my honest opinion, however blunt it might be. And because it is a faux pas to say something like that to someone who has invested creative effort in it, and I have absolutely no idea how to sugarcoat it, nor how to offer constructive suggestions, I have not posted anything. Well, there we go.

And now about the ¹credits feature. It is fairly low priority, so I have been postponing it until I can work on something more interesting. Actually the same goes for ²achievements. Nobody has really supported the idea -- though not vehemently objecting against either --, so it is quite low priority. Maybe I have just been slacking. Been concentrating a lot on Portal 2 lately. That's why nothing has been happening here... Sorry about that!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on July 06, 2013, 09:08:25 am
No need to be sorry. Everyone deserves to take a break every now and then otherwise youll go crazy. Go have fun, but please, dont forget to come back. We will cry if you dont.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on July 06, 2013, 01:18:10 pm
I have some project I have not worked on them for 2+ years and they're not abandoned ^^
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Post by: Chpexo on July 06, 2013, 08:02:14 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: M-Tee on July 07, 2013, 11:54:58 pm
...You should work with what you get...

Allow me to say that I disagree with this statement and support your decision, Bisqwit, not to compromise your vision by settling for "anything you can get."
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on July 08, 2013, 01:14:07 am
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 09, 2013, 07:52:34 pm
Chpexo, you complained about me having no clear idea what I have want.

Allow me to heed your feedback. Here's an explanation of what I have in mind. Click to zoom.
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-intro-music_plan-thumbnail.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-intro-music_plan.svg)
If SVG does not work, click here (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2u-intro-music_plan.png) for PNG version.

I guess the biggest problem with your previous demo was the remix of the Castlevania II song. It felt like a cheap version of the original, and unfortunately my QA trigger fired there. My recommendation is to avoid doing remixes, because the moment you do, you get compared to the original. The part in the beginning was good, though.
I did tell you in the beginning [1] (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.msg241562.html#msg241562) that I cannot promise to take your contribution, and I have no intention of getting whatever I can get. If I can't get a song that feels right -- the fact that nobody else commented about it in any way didn't help -- I will do without. Again, sorry about that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 10, 2013, 03:28:23 am
Just a thought. But maybe it would be better to not try to create such a complex composition.

Here's the thing. Having the music match everything that is going on during the sequence is a very modern thing. Games from the CV2 era had fairly simple music a cut scenes had a single song, the endings had single pieces. They rarely had complex movements with multiple themes and melodies. Having an overly complex score for the intro might come off as jarring and out of place as using a remix.

It might be better to limit it to a theme for the flashback, and one for the encounter in the woods with a transition between them and a definite closing at the end.
Remember that space was a big issue back then and songs were always kept as relatively short loops. Personally, I think the most important thing will be to keep the intro song as close in style as possible to the rest of the CV2 soundtrack so that it doesn't feel out of place. Plus keeping it simple will make it easier and faster to produce.

Just my two cents as always.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 11, 2013, 01:00:53 am
That is a valid and good opinion.
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on July 16, 2013, 02:48:35 pm
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on July 16, 2013, 05:55:49 pm
Another attempt. This time with the VRC6 chip.

Famitracker File (http://www.mediafire.com/download/ko6axkwv908xxip/cii_intro_v.15.ftm)

Listen Online (http://www.mediafire.com/listen/pazj26tjmquj4xj/cii_intro_v.15(2).wav)

That sounded so awesome! I should have listened to it while watching the intro though.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 17, 2013, 06:38:48 am
Another attempt. This time with the VRC6 chip.
It was rather good. However, a few concerns:
-- How will this music fare without VRC6? Are there author's recommendations re: converting it for just 2C02?
-- It sounds so much like a Castlevania III remix. Previously I had to remove Castlevania III art elements from the intro because it felt off-place and use Castlevania II art elements instead. Opinions?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: elbobelo on July 17, 2013, 09:13:15 am
While I thought it fit well when synching it with the intro.  I thought the beginning sounded too much like CV3.  And after listening to the end song from CV1 afterwards I thought 'Wow, why not just use this song instead'.  So maybe I'd like to hear a remixed or reprised CV1 ending song that blends with the CV2 intro song.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Sinis on July 17, 2013, 11:00:36 am
Another attempt. This time with the VRC6 chip.

Listen Online (http://www.mediafire.com/listen/pazj26tjmquj4xj/cii_intro_v.15(2).wav)


That's actually pretty good for an intro!  For my opinion, sounds kinda close to the Japanese version.  Perhaps a little more Simon's Quest related maybe the Japanese sound tweaked a little for the extra VRC6 instruments?  Again it's just my opinion but awesomely done  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 17, 2013, 01:05:37 pm
Not bad, doesn't flow as nicely as say the CV3 intro songs, but that's because of it having too many themes like I mentioned in my earlier post.

My 2 cents after watching the intro with music synced:

*The whole "Previously on Castlevania" scenes should use an arrangement of "Voyager" from the CV1 ending and credits. Using "Prelude" CV3 sounds nice (esp. in VRC6), but it is a little out of place as Bisqwit mentioned.
The battle theme you used I think should be expanded upon and saved for use as a real boss battle theme in the future should anyone ever figure out how to make them happen.

*As far as the intro itself, I still think all the recap scenes should use a sepia palette to separate them from the rest of the intro story.

*I really like the main intro theme that plays during the encounter with the mysterious woman (listening to it synched up). There seems to be a stray note at the very end (frame 1d line 14)... in fact I just deleted it and it sounds better without it, I think.

*I like the arrangement of the CV1 "Prologue" at the very end.

Personally, I love VRC6 and I'd love to convert the game's whole soundtrack to it, but I do think the patch will need the song to be converted
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 17, 2013, 08:02:42 pm
 :cookie:
*As far as the intro itself, I still think all the recap scenes should use a sepia palette to separate them from the rest of the intro story.
Well, I could change it into a 4-color version, but that would be boring in my opinion.

With only de-emphasis bits I can bring the following eight variations to the color palette (the first one is the normal one). It also changes the film color, and this is unavoidable.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test0.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test1.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test2.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test3.jpg)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test4.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test5.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test6.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test7.jpg)

By the "recap scenes" I presume you mean the castle collapsing and the Dracula battles. Because everything after that is happening "now". Anyway, I'm not convinced of this idea. Not the least because there's so few colors on the NES to choose from if one wants to monochromatize the scene. Past is not always monochrome (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MonochromePast).


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*I like the arrangement of the CV1 "Prologue" at the very end.

I also liked the CV1 Prologue rearrangement, though it kind of lacked the oomph I was hoping for the encouraging part :-)


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but I do think the patch will need the song to be converted

That is not a matter of opinion. If I want the patch to work on other chips besides VRC6 -- and I do -- it must also work and be meaningful on non-VRC6. That doesn't mean that VRC6 can't bring extra content, but it means it has to be done by the same rules as usability in the web. Make it scalable. Make it look and sound good regardless of device limits. Famicom Gimmick! did this very well.
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on July 18, 2013, 02:56:30 am
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Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 18, 2013, 01:35:04 pm
:cookie:Well, I could change it into a 4-color version, but that would be boring in my opinion.

With only de-emphasis bits I can bring the following eight variations to the color palette (the first one is the normal one). It also changes the film color, and this is unavoidable.

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test0.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test1.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test2.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test3.jpg)
(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test4.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test5.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test6.jpg) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2_prologue_deemphasis_test7.jpg)

By the "recap scenes" I presume you mean the castle collapsing and the Dracula battles. Because everything after that is happening "now". Anyway, I'm not convinced of this idea. Not the least because there's so few colors on the NES to choose from if one wants to monochromatize the scene. Past is not always monochrome (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MonochromePast).

I think the monochrome works very well with the film strip motif.
The Castlevania the Adventure ReBirth did it:

http://youtu.be/D087UxYhHWE?t=40s

Also, it's a recap. It's supposed to be boring! :P

EDIT:
(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-1_zps5f9946af.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-1_zps5f9946af.png.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-0_zps0fa0eedd.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-0_zps0fa0eedd.png.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-3_zpsc9939fce.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-3_zpsc9939fce.png.html) (http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh189/koala_knight/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-4_zpsdf1fdd49.png) (http://s256.photobucket.com/user/koala_knight/media/Castlevania%20The%20Demon%20Castle/Castlevania2-SimonsQuestT-4_zpsdf1fdd49.png.html)
Made these right quick.



The theme for the reacap. No expansion chips for this one.

Famitracker File (http://www.mediafire.com/download/d90hmthcrlqpzb2/cII_intro_2_v.12_-_The_Past.ftm)

Listen Online (http://www.mediafire.com/listen/44gdtcueygmsuxe/cII_intro_the_past_1.wav)

The original Castlevania credits theme (http://youtu.be/7Vhm8YX4cQ8?t=2m59s)

That's kinda what I'm talkin' about right there.
But, oh!! Try syncing the original song with the intro! It's almost perfectly synched as is. And the part of Voyager that pics up the pace happens right during the battle and ends with enough time for a series of closing notes before getting to the "Lady in the Mist" scenes.

I dunno, maybe try another arrangement that mostly just uses the CV2 instruments and see how that turns out?
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on July 19, 2013, 04:51:53 pm
.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on July 20, 2013, 02:05:16 am
This one uses the CV2 instruments.

Famitracker File (http://www.mediafire.com/download/r79tq73xszolo99/recap_v.3.ftm)

Listen Online (http://www.mediafire.com/listen/9qwpz1gvzjrhgtp/recap_v.3_1.wav)

I dont know..... It sorta sounds...... sad.  :(
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Neil on July 20, 2013, 07:32:32 am
I dont know..... It sorta sounds...... sad.  :(

As opposed to:

Quote
   His health has been slowly
   deteriorating, and he is
   beginning to feel that
   death looms near.

   One morning Simon was
   visiting the graves of
   his ancestors, on the
   Hill of Angels.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 20, 2013, 02:17:21 pm
This one uses the CV2 instruments.

Famitracker File (http://www.mediafire.com/download/r79tq73xszolo99/recap_v.3.ftm)

Listen Online (http://www.mediafire.com/listen/9qwpz1gvzjrhgtp/recap_v.3_1.wav)

Is that supposed to be Voyager or is it an original composition?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on July 20, 2013, 05:38:58 pm
The intro looks great, but the text is waaaaay too fast. For a non native english reader like me it should be about 2x slower to be readable without pausing the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on July 20, 2013, 08:57:45 pm
The intro looks great, but the text is waaaaay too fast. For a non native english reader like me it should be about 2x slower to be readable without pausing the game.
Your mileage may vary.

For me, it's rather too slow... And the intro is already 2 minutes long.
Though, with good music it might not be boring even if the text was stretched a bit.

Anyone else's opinions?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: safaribans on July 21, 2013, 07:15:31 am
I haven't posted in ages, but this project is too amazing that even someone lazy feels the motivation.

I'm a big fan of your work Bisqwit, and have enjoyed your youtube live programming and TAS stuff (way over my head, I stick to bash scripting nowadays, and just writing for humans :) )

With that gushing out of the way, here is my opinion / mini-rant:
----------------

I'm not sure there is a clear answer on this.

Personally, the faster the better.

It takes practice to read quickly (I thank IRC and subtitles) whether in your native language or others (I can't comment on languages that do not use the roman alphabet, for me, if it's letters and roman numerals, I can read it just fine, accents or not. Whether I fully understand something depends if I'm fluent in the language, my vocabulary, familiarity with the culture, idiomatic expressions, and of course inter-comprehension due to similarities with the languages I know.)

I think making it slower (or i.e. talking slowly and loudly) won't help, and frankly is annoying. Try it, speak to someone really slowly and see what the reaction is, same for reading out loud.

I am impatient (sometimes, or maybe all the time) If something is too slow, I tap the "A" button, end up missing the intro, and find myself stuck on the title screen, with a manual reset if I wish to 'try again' (or give it a few seconds to see if the intro will play again.) Or, thanks to emulation, I watch it "fast-forward" (with the music sounding like a cassette just got eaten) just to get it over with.

The thing is, when I want to play a game, I play the game.

Is there a reason that one couldn't pause the text somehow? (I mean within an emulator this is all trivial,) what about something like hold select, to pause the scene? There are times where I do like to admire the artwork, for example the trees and mountains in Castlevania II are my all time favorites- I still remember when I got the cartridge as a birthday present. Throw in the sound track, the ambiance, how easy it is to get lost and it's a true gem (yes, I also like Faxanadu, Zelda II, and Super Mario Bros. 2, the most popular  ;) )

Keeping in mind the flexibility of emulation (and with stuff like Retroarch with the amazing Braid style rewind, this all seems moot. Of course if you are targeting people playing it on authentic 30+ year old hardware, that's another matter...)

Whatever you decide, just keep up the amazing work.

Thanks to those who managed to get through my rant..

tl;dr
Fast is good. Learn to read faster, or use "pause"  :thumbsup:

Ninja EDIT:
Well the problem is that the intro is completely missable. Under emulation I can pause the emulator and read the damn text, but if I put the rom on my powerpak, then I'd just miss it. I hate being stressed like this when reading.

This kind of remembers me the intro of Deadly Towers who scrolls so fast it's impossible to read it.

To me this is a win. Know why? You now have a reason to watch the intro over again. And maybe again. From the author's perspective, I'd go with 'fast'.

Besides, as Bisqwit mentioned, your mileage may vary. "Slow" is still going to be "too fast" for some, and "Fast" is going to be "too slow" for others.

Maybe the best solution is offer a few suggestions of some NES era games that had an intro speed that you felt was "just right"?

EDIT2: P.S. Bregalad, loved your work on the ff gba games soundtracks. :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on July 21, 2013, 07:21:22 am
Well the problem is that the intro is completely missable. Under emulation I can pause the emulator and read the damn text, but if I put the rom on my powerpak, then I'd just miss it. I hate being stressed like this when reading.

This kind of remembers me the intro of Deadly Towers who scrolls so fast it's impossible to read it.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on July 21, 2013, 04:52:30 pm
As opposed to:

Quote
His health has been slowly
deteriorating, and he is
beginning to feel that
death looms near.

One morning Simon was
visiting the graves of
his ancestors, on the
Hill of Angels.


OK. I didnt think about that when listening. Point taken.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on July 21, 2013, 05:21:56 pm
I seem to recall that in filmmaking, there is a general rule of thumb that you don’t really want (English) text—that you intend people to read without pausing anything—to slip by faster than one word every 2/3 second. That’s only a little bit slower than the average person reads; you probably want to go slower than that. (And if that seems so slow it’s ruining the pace of the film, you probably shouldn’t have that much text.) The reason they need this guideline, of course, is that you can read text much faster if you already know what it says.

So while I don’t have the set up right now to even check the speed of the intro, that should tell you what a reasonable expectation of speed is in a cutscene.

In gameplay, however, you have a responsibility to not annoy fast readers and people who accidentally hit the “talk” option again, too. It’s not an easy battle to win.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 21, 2013, 07:34:42 pm
Your mileage may vary.

For me, it's rather too slow... And the intro is already 2 minutes long.
Though, with good music it might not be boring even if the text was stretched a bit.

Anyone else's opinions?

Seems fine to me the way it is.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on July 23, 2013, 03:22:49 pm
Adding music to the intro would definately make it better. Dunno what music track you should use tho. You could make a 8bit version of the SOTN file select music.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 23, 2013, 07:11:03 pm
The actual track to be used is already being worked on. Check the last couple of pages for samples.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on July 24, 2013, 07:26:32 am
Well, I've been away from the internet for 1 1/2 months so I'm way behind on this topic. This is the update Ive been waiting for tho. Might play through cv 2 after the intro patch is released.
Title: .
Post by: Chpexo on July 25, 2013, 06:22:51 pm
.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on July 25, 2013, 09:26:48 pm
Not bad! With a little arrangement that could be perfect! At least I think so.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on July 26, 2013, 03:03:06 pm
That sounds pretty good. Go with that.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: arromdee on August 02, 2013, 07:32:52 pm
Is there a source for the graveyard duck translation?

I found a site http://legendsoflocalization.com/digging-up-castlevania-iis-graveyard-duck/ that claims that
1) Japanese players consider it an example of the villagers lying, and never think that "ahiru" means anything other than a literal bird, and
2) Ducks are a running gag within the series.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on August 03, 2013, 02:25:53 am
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff

Look at entry 102.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: arromdee on August 03, 2013, 12:11:11 pm
The problem with that is that sitting here on the Internet, I have no way to reconcile the conflict.  All I see is one person saying one thing and one person saying another.  I have no way to figure out which one of them to believe.  Is there a slang dictionary somewhere which references the term?  Is there a Japanese forum where someone says "oh, yeah, you young guys don't know this but we used to call such people ducks 30 years ago"?  Is there some official Japanese guide which gives a screenshot of the man and says that it's what the phrase refers to?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on August 03, 2013, 10:16:48 pm
Tomato (on Legends of Localization) says he can’t find anything to corroborate the hypothesis that the “duck” does anything but quack like one and walk like one. He is translator from Japanese who has done professional work and would know how to look for most of these things.

I’m a translator from Japanese as well, though not quite as expert. Doing the same sort of research (in my case, doing a ton of dictionary, encyclopedia, and Google searches), I can’t find any evidence to support that, either.

While a lack of evidence doesn’t prove anything, I think it’s safe to say that if the term would be understood to mean anything besides a waterfowl, something plausible would have turned up from one of these sources.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 04, 2013, 08:34:38 am
http://www.languagerealm.com/japanese/japaneseslang.php
Here is one of the sources I found regarding the "ahiru" word. It must be a quite obscure, localized or obsolescent slang word, considering how rarely it is found in dictionaries and slang lists.
But it was by-far the most makes-sense interpretation that I could ever find for that line. (It existed before I used it; it has not been added after I mentioned it.)

In my opinion, there is no reason to assume that they would not have used (or resorted to) obscure slang words, especially considering how difficult it is to fit a message in such a small dialog box (and that they were also starved for room in the game diskette).

But considering the general difficulty in understanding of the clues'&villagers' terse and ambiguous words, which did not use any kanji to disambiguate homophones (which are abundant in Japanese), and that some of the villagers do in fact lie (but not nearly as many as in the USA translation), it makes sense that even some of the native people would assume that this was just another lie.

As for the game makers' statement, in my view they went for the typical for Japanese overly apologetic tangent, and just blanket said that everyone lies in this game. Which is not true.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on August 04, 2013, 10:58:40 am
It’s all about context; it just doesn’t strike me that this particular slang usage is a fit.

The “police” definition seems to have arisen among lowlifes in the early 20th century, perhaps earlier, apparently mocking the appearance of a uniformed policeman’s gait (what with them having sabers and all). Definitely not a compliment at the time. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten 2nd ed. [2000] (someone dumped its entry here (http://club.ap.teacup.com/hagi/1014.html) if you don’t want to pay the ¥1575 monthly subscription for the online version) lists, along with a number of other definitions (plus some stabs at connotations, some etymology, regional variations...), gives attestations from 1915 and c. 1960.

I’m not finding much in the way of authentic examples, but in more modern times it seems to have become police jargon; e.g. it was shown in a 2003 TV show (http://meichiku-mill.fruitblog.net/?44e3de2cd47e4), but it had to be explained to viewers and being in a TV show is no sign of authenticity anyway. It refers to a uniformed officer in that usage, too. A few explanations of this on the Internet even claim that it is not a well known definition (few hundred Google hits for “アヒル "制服巡査"”, though, and Ingo Daijiten [2000] lists it a number of times (http://www.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%82%E3%81%B2%E3%82%8B?dictCode=INGDJ); can’t be that obscure).

Other slangy references to a duck’s walk look to be quite obsolete (though Daijirin seems content to list one of them as a secondary definition for some reason... I have reasons to doubt this remains popular usage). What it boils down to, though, is it has nothing to do with patrolling, but waddling or having a large bottom.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on August 05, 2013, 08:32:04 am
Nevertheless taking it as a literal translation makes no sense even in comparison to the other instances of lies in the game. It's just completely wierd if taken as anything other than some sort of slang. According to Thesaurus.com a synonym for patrolman is bear which could make a good localization as it would be equally obscure. Unless there some sort of "Donkey Kong" sort of situation going on. If that were the case maybe they meant duck as in to duck responsibility. Which might make sense given that the person in the graveyard is hidden.

This is my translation.

sutorigoi bochi  de ahiru kara kinu no fukuro o morau to naga iki suru

strigoi graveyard at domestic duck from bag of silk a receive and long living do

Get a silk bag from the duck at Strigoi Graveyard to live long.

You could pretty much replace "the duck" with anything to make more sense of it.

Going with a police reference: Get a silk bag from the pig at Strigoi Graveyard to live long.
Dropping the slang: Get a silk bag from the patrol at Strigoi Graveyard to live long.
Using an alternate slang: Get a silk bag from the odd duck at Strigoi Graveyard to live long.
Taking it to mean ducking responsibility: Get a silk bag from the dodger at Strigoi Graveyard to live long.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on August 05, 2013, 02:51:23 pm
You could pretty much replace "the duck" with anything to make more sense of it.
Which is exactly the problem; it’s not how you do a serious interpretation of anything (http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=164). Since you seem willing to give “duck responsibility” a shot, I feel I must inform you that exactly zero Japanese players have ever read it that way. That ambiguity comes from English and would just never occur to a Japanese reader reading Japanese.

Literally any slang term listed in one of the dictionaries I linked to would be a candidate by that logic, and that includes the “warboat”, as well as (excuse my language) “dumpy broad” and “red light district in Tsukudajima” definitions. Fact is, none of them really match the proper diction for a person in this game to be speaking; they’re either too early, too recent, or too specialized to a particular walk of life not reasonable to expect from the game’s NPCs. The only ones that even come close to describing who’s really there are a rare Meiji/Taishō era reference to a drifter, and another rarely attested term thieves used sometime prior to 1992 to call diss on each other.

The existence of ducks as a sort of in-joke in other entries (including a short message from character designer Yada Bon in a little-known readme on the X68k port of the first game about fearing ducks more than he fears Dracula) is sufficient evidence to establish that a literal duck is a reasonable interpretation. And this game is from the 1980s “the player is the designer’s enemy” school of game design. If they didn’t mean for you to go on a bit of a fool’s errand, they wouldn’t have said what they said.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on August 06, 2013, 03:18:04 am
I don't know but what if アヒル was in fact a load word, or a proper noun ? Has this way been explored ?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 06, 2013, 07:23:16 am
I don't know but what if アヒル was in fact a load word, or a proper noun ? Has this way been explored ?

There just doesn't seem to be any English word that would be read in that manner, nor in Swedish, German nor Spanish. I don't know about other languages though.

I agree with BRPXQZME that "to duck responsibility" is a wrong tangent to go with the interpretation. アヒル does not mean crouching or evading. These different meanings of the word "duck" only exist in English, and this is Japanese we are translating from.


As for ducks as an in-joke in Konami games (which I have never heard of before), I do not want to make this a literal translation. The primary reason is that it is by far the most criticized line of the English translation, and one that was understood by about zero players as an in-joke. Leaving it as-is would serve no purpose, and would be perceived as a detrimental factor to the quality of the retranslation, even if it were a literal translation of the original line both in letter and in spirit. Changing it into some better understandable in-joke would work, but the fact is that there is still an in-game clue in this dialog text. It is difficult to change it in such manner that it does not seem forced, while still containing a relevant clue.

The holy flame being in the top of the 6th tree of the Denis forest, I left as a literal translation, despite it seeming like a production team in-joke (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff#t77), because nothing is lost in translation. And if I can figure out its reasoning, so can someone else.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: BRPXQZME on August 06, 2013, 08:06:00 am
That’s fine; I just don’t want anyone to get the impression that that’s a reasonable interpretation of the Japanese line. People are already beginning to cite you as if it’s authoritative.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on August 06, 2013, 06:10:48 pm
Which is exactly the problem; it’s not how you do a serious interpretation of anything (http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=164). Since you seem willing to give “duck responsibility” a shot, I feel I must inform you that exactly zero Japanese players have ever read it that way. That ambiguity comes from English and would just never occur to a Japanese reader reading Japanese.

Literally any slang term listed in one of the dictionaries I linked to would be a candidate by that logic, and that includes the “warboat”, as well as (excuse my language) “dumpy broad” and “red light district in Tsukudajima” definitions. Fact is, none of them really match the proper diction for a person in this game to be speaking; they’re either too early, too recent, or too specialized to a particular walk of life not reasonable to expect from the game’s NPCs. The only ones that even come close to describing who’s really there are a rare Meiji/Taishō era reference to a drifter, and another rarely attested term thieves used sometime prior to 1992 to call diss on each other.

The existence of ducks as a sort of in-joke in other entries (including a short message from character designer Yada Bon in a little-known readme on the X68k port of the first game about fearing ducks more than he fears Dracula) is sufficient evidence to establish that a literal duck is a reasonable interpretation. And this game is from the 1980s “the player is the designer’s enemy” school of game design. If they didn’t mean for you to go on a bit of a fool’s errand, they wouldn’t have said what they said.

Well, I was just throwing around ideas. After all, I'm no jedi translator. My main point is that if it isn't slang it doesn't make sense as there is no context for a duck being in this otherwise helpful clue. I've never heard of this duck in-joke either. And if it were I'd expect it to be in a more out of the way spot than in a clue about a major item.
Maybe that rare drifter or thief reference might be right on the money and the writer was just trying to use an obscure term on a whim. It's hard to say because there is nothing but this one string of text to go on. There's nothing about the character sprite that helps contextually other than that the npc is hidden.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 06, 2013, 06:42:30 pm
That’s fine; I just don’t want anyone to get the impression that that’s a reasonable interpretation of the Japanese line. People are already beginning to cite you as if it’s authoritative.
Fair enough. I added a few words about the subject in the translation document.

http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff#t102
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on August 07, 2013, 03:57:19 am
Quote
There just doesn't seem to be any English word that would be read in that manner, nor in Swedish, German nor Spanish. I don't know about other languages though.
Technically considering there exists thousands of languages in the world, and that technique to transcribe loan words in katakana is very open to interpretation, there exists almost infinite possibilities.
However, if nobody uses a word, there is no reason to ever use it, as nobody will understand.

I don't know how it works in japanese, but it could be some kind of nickname for the guy who gives you the silk bag. For example, let's assume this guy is in english nicknamed "The graveyard duck", and that he's commonly referred that way by townspeople. It's not uncommon to get nicknames that starts with "the" I think (I'm not too sure about other countries but here it's very common in villages that everyone has such a nickname, and popular people are more often referred by their nickname than their actual name).

In this context, the sentence "Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer" makes perfect sense. The only reason it doesn't make sense is that the player don't know that "the graveyard duck" is actually a guy's nickname.

I don't know if such a thing is possible in japanese.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 07, 2013, 05:42:22 pm
In this context, the sentence "Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer" makes perfect sense. The only reason it doesn't make sense is that the player don't know that "the graveyard duck" is actually a guy's nickname.

I don't know if such a thing is possible in japanese.

Well, in this case the words "graveyard" and "duck" were not adjacent words in the Japanese original, and do not form a compound.

A literal word-order preserving translation was posted by Vanya earlier. Paraphrasing with small edits (note that in Japanese "prepositions" are actually postpositions, i.e. "from x" is written "x-from" in this paraphrasing):

> sutorigoi bochi de   ahiru kara   kinu no fukuro o   morau to   naga iki suru
>
> Strigoi-graveyard-at   domestic-duck-from   silk-of   bag-object   receive-when   long living do

Literal translation, without preserving word-order (added words in parenthesis):
> At (the) strigoi graveyard, when (one) receives (a) bag (made) of silk from (a) domestic duck, (one) lives long.

Ahiru, "duck", could certainly be a nickname in this context. Whether that was the purpose originally, I don't know. As I wrote earlier, even risking translation inaccuracy I'm not going to translate it literally as a "duck", because that would be perceived as a detrimental quality to the re-translation. Another nickname might work, but in my opinion the "patrolling man" meaning is currently the best offered solution, offering both least translation inaccuracy and least attention towards the translation rather than towards the game.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Cleaver on August 08, 2013, 09:13:19 am
Been lurking a long time...
First off, Bisqwit, I'm glad there are people like you in the world.  The watered down translations for some of the best games/artworks from the 80s-90s were horrid, and it makes them unplayable for me.  And I believe the translators just wanted to avoid any kind of bullshit coming from ESRB, or whatever the equivalent was back then but I know developers would censor anything that could've possibly been seen as a little bit controversial.  As a result, the translation suffers tremendously.  That, and the space limitation. 

Right and I don't know anything about the Nintendo or its Cartridges but since 99% of us are going to be playing these games through an emulator why not just make them as big as you want? 

I love your attention to detail.  Don't settle for anything man.

Ah one more thing, what is up with the first Legend of Zelda?  Sorry don't mean to get off topic but that is the worst translation ever, and being as it is one of the most popular games of all time I'm surprised no one has done anything about that.  I'd do it myself, the translations already written out, well.  It just needs to be put into the game.  Maybe I'll learn how, or it'd be cool if there was some kind of editor but anyway,

Second, Chpexo,
Your last upload was absolutely beautiful.  Did you write that?  Or is it a piece from something else?  If you wrote it, please finish it.  Like I said it is beautiful, especially played over something that doesn't sound like a Nintendo chiptune.

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on August 08, 2013, 09:29:51 am
The ESRB became operational in late 1994, though the ESRB wasn't the one censoring games. It was other factors like predicted consumer reaction, or stores refusing to sell games with content they didn't like.
It was Nintendo that censored NES games. Nintendo required third-parties to send their games to NoA, and let NoA go through the games and demand anything they didn't like be changed and then resubmitted. Since that took time and could delay a release, some companies would pre-emptively censor their games to please NoA.
It was the home release of Mortal Kombat in 1993 that caused enough of a controversy to make the feds demand a rating system be created, and also the extreme negative reaction to the censored SNES version that made Nintendo begin to change their ways.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on August 08, 2013, 10:24:29 am
Been lurking a long time...
First off, Bisqwit, I'm glad there are people like you in the world.  The watered down translations for some of the best games/artworks from the 80s-90s were horrid, and it makes them unplayable for me.  And I believe the translators just wanted to avoid any kind of bullshit coming from ESRB, or whatever the equivalent was back then but I know developers would censor anything that could've possibly been seen as a little bit controversial.  As a result, the translation suffers tremendously.  That, and the space limitation. 

Right and I don't know anything about the Nintendo or its Cartridges but since 99% of us are going to be playing these games through an emulator why not just make them as big as you want? 

I love your attention to detail.  Don't settle for anything man.

Ah one more thing, what is up with the first Legend of Zelda?  Sorry don't mean to get off topic but that is the worst translation ever, and being as it is one of the most popular games of all time I'm surprised no one has done anything about that.  I'd do it myself, the translations already written out, well.  It just needs to be put into the game.  Maybe I'll learn how, or it'd be cool if there was some kind of editor but anyway,

Second, Chpexo,
Your last upload was absolutely beautiful.  Did you write that?  Or is it a piece from something else?  If you wrote it, please finish it.  Like I said it is beautiful, especially played over something that doesn't sound like a Nintendo chiptune.

There are people who do play homebrew ROMs on a real NES using either a PowerPak or other means like making there own cartridges. Also, most people who deal with making NES games or translating them try to make sure to keep it able to fit or work on a real NES, for the same reason I said earlier. As for Zelda, there are editors that can edit the text as well as the game itself.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 08, 2013, 10:34:49 am
Been lurking a long time...
First off, Bisqwit, I'm glad there are people like you in the world.  The watered down translations for some of the best games/artworks from the 80s-90s were horrid, and it makes them unplayable for me.  And I believe the translators just wanted to avoid any kind of bullshit coming from ESRB, or whatever the equivalent was back then but I know developers would censor anything that could've possibly been seen as a little bit controversial.  As a result, the translation suffers tremendously.  That, and the space limitation. 

Right and I don't know anything about the Nintendo or its Cartridges but since 99% of us are going to be playing these games through an emulator why not just make them as big as you want?

Thank you for your feedback Cleaver!

The reason why I am reluctant at growing the ROM size, even if it means doing considerably more work and/or sacrificing some planned features, is two-fold (plus some).
-- Emulator-only ROM patches are considered bad style.
-- There is a nonzero number of people who do play these games on the real console. They do have the equipment to burn homebrew games on real cartridges, and very few worthwhile opportunities to use that equipment. I wish to cater to that audience. I envision being one of them one day, too. The smaller the ROM size is, the larger is the set of cartridges that can host the game.
-- Consider this: 99 % of gamers don't play older-generation games at all, emulator or otherwise. Should I use the same principle, go by the majority, and not make this hack at all? No. Also, I'm not a proponent of democracy :-)
-- The additional puzzle challenge of compressing data down to ROM size limits is fun. This is a hobby, and a hobby must contain fun to be a hobby.

Ah one more thing, what is up with the first Legend of Zelda?  Sorry don't mean to get off topic but that is the worst translation ever, and being as it is one of the most popular games of all time I'm surprised no one has done anything about that.

The point you made about Legend of Zelda is interesting. I should check out the Japanese version. I have never seen it before. I took a quick look at it, and the original text is indeed very, very terse. There's barely any material to make a translation from. Exhibit 1:
> ヒトリデハキケンジャ
> コレヲ サズケヨウ
(Sort of) literal translation with word order:
> Alone (it is) dangerous, man!
> This, (you can) have  (or: will be given as a gift, same expression as in CV2)
Officially translated as:
> IT IS DANGEROUS TO GO
> ALONE! TAKE THIS.

Exhibit 2:
> ナンカコウテクレヤ
I can't even make a literal translation, because it is so abbreviated slangy expression. It is something that might come out from a competition to express this idea in the fewest letters possible. (Here, nine, the same as the length of the word "something".) The best I can make is something like "sumthin' let's-buy you-should-do (+various auxiliary words/particles)"
Officially translated as (rather accurate):
> BUY SOMETHIN' WILL YA!

Exhibit 3:
> コレヲ オバアサンニ
> ミセテゴラン
Literal translation:
> This, to (the) old woman (or: old women)
> show, have a look/try it (polite)
Official translation:
> SHOW THIS TO THE
> OLD WOMAN.

Exhibit 4:
> オカネヲフヤス
> ゲームラスルカイ
Literal translation:
> Money increasing
> games do, okay? (masc.)
Official translation:
> LET'S PLAY MONEY
> MAKING GAME.

Based on these four exhibits, I cannot really say that the problem with LoZ is with the translation. Sure, you could put longer lines in it with more emotion and expression in them, but it would venture a bit on the remake territory rather than on the retranslation one (not that I haven't stepped into that direction with my CV2 retranslation).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KingMike on August 08, 2013, 11:39:22 am
The only major problem I've heard of with the LoZ translation is that the manual says that Pols Voice hates loud noises, which was a hint to the Famicom microphone (and thus not applicable to the NES) but most people incorrectly thought it referred to the whistle (even though it's a simple theory to disprove :P ).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on August 08, 2013, 04:06:19 pm
How can you say it's the worst translation ever ? Just the idea to came up with "BUY SOMETHING' WILL YA !" makes this the best translation ever. And both tomato and bisqwit says it's accurate so I'll belive them.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Cleaver on August 12, 2013, 01:08:52 am
Had a little bit of....something that night and completely forgot about this.
Either it's mostly nostalgia or there was something truly special about the arcade up to the N64.  My favorite game franchises began and everything seemed so much more fresh and ingenuitive.  Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Castlevania, Metroid, Splatterhouse, Zelda, Final Fantasy etc.

About the first Zelda, I was too young actually.  A Link to the Past is where I started.  That night I saw this,
http://www.glitterberri.com/the-legend-of-zelda/retranslation-redux/
and more specifically this, in hindsight should have said Zelda II
http://www.glitterberri.com/adventure-of-link/retranslation/
I was surprised that no one took the opportunity to put these into a hack.  They're much better in the way that first time players won't get completely lost.  They're much more coherent.  "How could you say something like it's the worst?  It introduced..." It's nostalgic for you right?
Anyway I opened my mouth here for whatever reason, maybe because I have a lot of respect for this one in particular.  Down to the last detail, you're a perfectionist.  I like that.
I can't fully appreciate a game if I know it's watered down or censored.  Like watching a good movie on basic cable.  It's either learn Japanese or wait for fantastic translations like these.
I started one myself because I couldn't play the American FFVI. 
My hack removed most of the bugs and was completely uncensored.  Very adult.  It was also well written because I kind of stole bits and pieces from literal translations and the GBA version.  I got very far and my computer crashed, then something very horrible happened in my life and I never finished it.
So someone else took the idea or came up with it themselves.
Sorry to get so offtopic I know you guys hate that.  But I wanted to share these with you in case you didn't know about them, it's almost like giving back.
Just to name a few:
Final Fantasy (Grond)
FFVI (http://slickproductions.org/forum/index.php?topic=1115.0)
Castlevania III (Vice Translations)
Clock Tower (http://agtp.romhack.net/projects.php)
A Link to the Past (ALttP SNES New Translation V1.1)-Sorry don't have his name...
Silent Hill (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=488899)
Resident Evil 1.5 (http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBZork/videos)
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, I'm sorry usually I don't even post.  Not going to happen again, promise. 

Anyway, Bisqwit, you are awesome, please keep them coming!  I respect the fact that you want to reach the purists and understand it's bad form to go big.
And to everyone else: if you know of any amazing hacks, translations, or a revolution in emulation (PCSXR-Widescreen!)please send me a message/email if you have time.  Or if you want to trash me for making a post like this.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: KillerBob on August 12, 2013, 05:44:29 am
I've been working on cleaning up the first Zelda for some time, it's basically done. Haven't started a thread for it yet but I guess I will do soon enough as I'd like to get some feedback on various things.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on August 12, 2013, 03:01:20 pm
Quote
It's nostalgic for you right?
Nope, I was born 3 years after the release of Zelda, and have not gotten interest into retro video games until much much later (at the age of 14), so nope this is not nostalgic for me.

And I'm not any Zelda fan, I haven't gone more far than the first 2 dungeons or so of the original Zelda and Zelda III, which are the two games of the series I played the most.

I just find the sentece "Buy somethin will ya!" to be particularly amazing and fun to read. It's only old video games which have such memorable quotes, you don't find them in modern games any longer. Also they both says the original is some funky dialect / non standard japanese, so translating into "Buy somethin will ya!" was correct.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on August 12, 2013, 11:31:59 pm
It's only old video games which have such memorable quotes, you don't find them in modern games any longer.
How about:
-- "The cake is a lie!" from Portal (or: pretty much anything GLaDOS says)
-- "Spy's Sappin' Mah Sentry" from Team Fortress 2
-- "I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee" from Skyrim

Of course one can say these are so new that it's hard to tell how memorable they are exactly -- only time will tell -- but I would argue that your point was still proven wrong. :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: qao on August 13, 2013, 02:43:38 pm
How time flies, half a year ago I made a post (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15899.msg235056.html) in the newbie forum asking about the possibility of getting the Family Disk System version of the first Zelda getting translated with a bit of info and highlighting its added benefits over the cart version but it seems that didn't get enough traction. :-[


Now I have to say I'm absolutely blown away with the level of attention to detail and a whole multitude of options offered to the user with Bisqwit's translation.
If this Zelda project could finally get started with experienced translators and get the same amount of loving as CV2 I would be so happy. :crazy:

And thanks to Krikzz (http://krikzz.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59) I would be playing it on the real thing (famicom) as well!

Tattista! :beer:
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on September 13, 2013, 11:16:10 am
Bisqwit! Someone on the Castlevania forums mentioned an interesting possibility. It may be that visuals and text from the middle and best endings may have been mistakenly inverted. Given the finality of the events associated with the best ending it really doesn't make sense for Dracula to be shown reaching up out of his grave. I think it's an interesting theory with merit. Also take into consideration that after CV2 Konami purposefully dives into the past instead of the future. They even mention Christopher in the original manuals of CV1/Vampire Killer.
It's also possible that Trevor/Ralph C. Belmont and Christopher were originally meant to be the same character with the disparity between CVA and CVIII being due to simultaneous development by separate studios.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on September 13, 2013, 05:47:36 pm
Bisqwit! Someone on the Castlevania forums mentioned an interesting possibility. It may be that visuals and text from the middle and best endings may have been mistakenly inverted. Given the finality of the events associated with the best ending it really doesn't make sense for Dracula to be shown reaching up out of his grave.
Even in the Japanese original? That is an interesting theory, yes.

Code: [Select]
        $A3D8  AD 7B 04:    lda Ending_TypeDependingOnDays
        $A3DB  C9 02:       cmp #$02
        $A3DD  D0 07:       bne +               ; $A3E6
        $A3DF  20 FC A3:    jsr Ending_PlayDraculaHandScene
        $A3E2  EE 7A 04:    inc Ending_PrimaryActionIndex
        $A3E5  60:          rts

+       
They may have accidentally put "bne" where they meant "beq". But this is just a theory. There doesn't seem to be any actual proof either way.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on September 17, 2013, 12:15:06 pm
would that one change reverse the endings?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on September 18, 2013, 01:26:25 am
would that one change reverse the endings?
As-is, the hand scene is only given for the best ending. Inverting it would give it for all endings but the best one.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Vanya on September 19, 2013, 05:21:00 pm
Interesting.

EDIT: Any progress on the intro music?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Easy on October 25, 2013, 07:10:29 pm
Wanna play this in Japanese taxt. Is it possible to add japanese version?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on October 26, 2013, 02:23:15 am
Im more curious if this project is still being worked on. I hope it is.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on October 26, 2013, 07:30:20 am
I doubt it. Too bad. We never got the version with the new intro story.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on October 26, 2013, 07:39:05 am
Hi! Sorry, no progress on the intro music for a month or two unfortunately. I have wanted to try my own hand at composing the music (so I would at least have options to compare against), but I haven't quite had the time to commit for such an undertaking either.

There is a fatal problem currently: The Finnish translation somehow produces a broken patch when downloaded from the patch vending machine. The last working version in that regard is 2.9.8.2. I am at loss what causes it. It is my highest priority TODO item at the moment. The English version is unaffected.

Re: Adding Japanese version -- That would be interesting! I could relatively easily add in the original Japanese text, and possibly also translate endings and stuff into Japanese. I will consider it. As for enhancing the Japanese text to take advantage of the added room... I am not that good in Japanese unfortunately. But I could indeed use the original text.

I doubt it. Too bad. We never got the version with the new intro story.

Would you please quit talking from your ass. The intro version has been available for more than half a year already.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on October 26, 2013, 09:42:39 am
Yeah, I haven't been following the thread like I used to. I downloaded the patch a little after I said that and saw the intro. It's very well done.

If there's no further releases then this'd be good enough to call it a final version for me.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on October 26, 2013, 10:15:05 pm
Wanna play this in Japanese taxt. Is it possible to add japanese version?
Something like this perhaps?

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-3.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-4.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-5.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-6.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-7.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-8.png)

Actual in-game screenshots from a WIP version. Because of VROM constraints, most screens, including the in-game dialog, only use the katakana lettering style. I planned to use katakana+hiragana, but I had to scrap hiragana and use katakana-only. Then I also had to scrap handakuten&dakuten versions of glyphs and instead use the separate ゛ and ゜ glyphs, just like the original game, for pretty much the same reasons. There just weren't enough unused syllables to spare.
The mapping system resorts to rōmaji because the number of glyphs required by katakana (70-80) would be significantly higher than the number of glyphs required by alphabet (~20), and the more tiles there are available for the map graphics, the better it looks. Conversely, compared to the original game, I changed the title screen & menus into kana; they were originally in English.
Line spacing was put as two-lines because so far, all dialog lines (all the original dialog plus the few added lines) fit in five lines.
There is still a lot of work to do before a Japanese version could be released.
- The text typing speed must be changed
- The intro must be translated
- The endings must be translated
- Numerous bugfixes
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Da_GPer on October 27, 2013, 03:10:10 am
Glad to see this project continue. :D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
Post by: Easy on October 27, 2013, 06:55:58 pm
Something like this perhaps?

(http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-1.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-2.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-3.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-4.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-5.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-6.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-7.png) (http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/cv2jre-8.png)

Actual in-game screenshots from a WIP version. Because of VROM constraints, most screens, including the in-game dialog, only use the katakana lettering style. I planned to use katakana+hiragana, but I had to scrap hiragana and use katakana-only. Then I also had to scrap handakuten&dakuten versions of glyphs and instead use the separate ゛ and ゜ glyphs, just like the original game, for pretty much the same reasons. There just weren't enough unused syllables to spare.
The mapping system resorts to rōmaji because the number of glyphs required by katakana (70-80) would be significantly higher than the number of glyphs required by alphabet (~20), and the more tiles there are available for the map graphics, the better it looks. Conversely, compared to the original game, I changed the title screen & menus into kana; they were originally in English.
Line spacing was put as two-lines because so far, all dialog lines (all the original dialog plus the few added lines) fit in five lines.
There is still a lot of work to do before a Japanese version could be released.
- The text typing speed must be changed
- The intro must be translated
- The endings must be translated
- Numerous bugfixes


Yes Yes Yes  That so cool.  :crazy: :crazy: Don't forget to change title screen form Castlevania II Simon's Quest  to  ドラキュラⅡ呪いの封印.
Maybe I can help you about translate to Japanese text conversation.
 
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on October 28, 2013, 02:59:49 pm
I have now released version 2.9.8.7.

Compared to 2.9.8.5 (and the no-changes 2.9.8.6 release), this release adds the following new features:

-- There was another missing tile on the title screen, a bug from the original game (the tail of the "Q" letter in "Quest"). I have fixed this bug.
-- If you die right after walking past a road-sign, the gameover screen is no longer mistakenly rendered in oblique font.
-- A Japanese untranslation was added! See below on the features of the Japanese version.
-- The Finnish release is no longer broken.

Japanese version contains all features from the English re-translation, except:
-- The password screen is in English (except for the "end" icon, "おわり")
-- The added intro is in English.
-- The no-added-intro version (i.e. scrolling title screen) is probably very broken.
-- The ending texts are in English (they were so in the original Japanese version too, but this is actually just a TODO)
-- The original game's dialog is always used where applicable, without any changes.
-- There are a few extended dialog lines that have not yet been translated into proper Japanese. A short placeholder text can be seen instead.

The title screen graphics were as not changed into Japanese for the Japanese version. I feel that I am not qualified to touch those logos.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on October 28, 2013, 03:30:45 pm
Quote
日本語 re-translation
I think it's about time you stop calling this complete hack a "re-translation"...
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on October 28, 2013, 04:02:28 pm
I think it's about time you stop calling this complete hack a "re-translation"...

So I fix a bug in the game and add an extra language, and you think the appropriate response is to bitch about the project being pointless. Good going sir.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: MathUser2929 on October 28, 2013, 10:42:02 pm
It is a re-translation. On the patch page you must select a translation as part of the patch. The extra stuff is optional.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: Bregalad on October 29, 2013, 05:18:06 am
Quote
So I fix a bug in the game and add an extra language, and you think the appropriate response is to bitch about the project being pointless. Good going sir.
Just to clear it up, no that's absolutely not, not what I said !
I am interested into this project and I find it very interesting, not pointless at all. If I thought it was pointless I wouldn't have posted anything in the 1st place. Why did you think I was so negative about it ? This is a misunderstanding.

It just is more a complete hack than a retranslation. The language changes is now about 20% of the changes you made on the project at the very most, and you add as an option to not re-translate it. So this is not (only) a retranslation. It does of course not means it is bad or whatever, on the contrary.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: tryphon on October 29, 2013, 06:38:47 am
I agree with Bregalad. It's so much more than a retranslation now... One of the most breathtaking work I've seen on this board!
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: Bisqwit on October 29, 2013, 10:02:05 am
Thank you for the clarification.

What do you suggest for the project name then?

October 29, 2013, 10:42:33 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Maybe I can help you about translate to Japanese text conversation.
I sent you a private message :-)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: keropi on November 06, 2013, 02:17:19 pm
great! nice to see you Bisqwit not forgetting this project!
Now with the ED it's a piece of cake to try new versions  ;D
 :woot!: :woot!: :woot!:

Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: Bregalad on November 06, 2013, 03:11:48 pm
I'm surprised you transcribed "Password" using パスヲード
I've read that ヲ was reserved for the grammar particle and was "forbidden" for foregin transcription. I suck at japanese so I might be completely wrong, but that's was I saw.

Google translate (worst reference ever, I know) gives me パスワード
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: KingMike on November 06, 2013, 03:16:40 pm
Indeed password is "wa". Correct. I don't think "wo" is ever used except as a grammer particle (and as such, katakana wo is never used except for katakana-only video games, and maybe robot-speak).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish, English & 日本語 re-translations
Post by: Bisqwit on November 06, 2013, 04:57:30 pm
Indeed password is "wa". Correct. I don't think "wo" is ever used except as a grammer particle (and as such, katakana wo is never used except for katakana-only video games, and maybe robot-speak).

Thanks for the information, Bregalad and KingMike. I will correct the use of "wo" into "wa" in this context. I was simply going by how I pronounce those words.

I am currently waiting for feedback from Easy with regards to the other translations, especially the secret lines (which I sent by private message).
(Is there anyone else who would like to help, in case I never hear from Easy?)

How about the project title?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: TheZunar123 on November 06, 2013, 09:06:50 pm
I like the title, but maybe "enhancement" would be a better term than "completization"? It's not like the game was unfinished when it was released, y'know. :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual completization
Post by: Bisqwit on November 08, 2013, 09:02:31 pm
Ok. I changed it into "enhancement" in this thread then. I also edited the first post of this thread today and added some information about the project's goals, among other things.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Vanya on November 09, 2013, 09:04:37 am
Groovie.
Out of curiosity, ant word on the state of the new intro?
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 09, 2013, 11:21:45 pm
Out of curiosity, ant word on the state of the new intro?

Well, the new intro is already there. As I don't remember there being important bugs in it that require solving, for all intents and purposes it's final.

With the exception of the audio that is.

I planned to set the version number milestone of 3.0 to when the music is added to the intro.  But so far, there is no music that I have been completely satisfied with for the intro, which is why I have been procrastinating on the issue, and therefore working with that narrow and cumbersome 2.9.8.x version window.

EDIT: Just for fun, I added some images illustrating the bugs listed in the first post of this thread (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,15524.html).
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: TheZunar123 on November 10, 2013, 09:49:19 pm
Something you might want to fix regarding the patch vending machine: When I downloaded the most recent version of the patch, it gave me two very similarly named IPS patches in the ZIP file, and I was confused on which one to use. The only difference in the name was that one letter was capitalized on one patch and wasn't in the other. I went with the capitalized one since that letter was capitalized in the ZIP file name, but you should probably fix that to prevent further confusion.

For reference, it was the English patch, NTSC Version 2.9.8.7, IPS packed in a ZIP, MMC4 chipset, Additional dialog, Map, SRAM - remove passwords, Whips and clue browser, and the rest all Yes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Vanya on November 11, 2013, 02:13:00 pm
But so far, there is no music that I have been completely satisfied with for the intro, which is why I have been procrastinating on the issue, and therefore working with that narrow and cumbersome 2.9.8.x version window.

Maybe you should consider just using a single looping track with a simple beginning middle and end instead of trying to match up every single scene. Most of the games in the series have fairly simple pieces of music for their intros. I suggest going on youtube and watching all the intros and requiring any composer that wants to tackle the job do the same.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 11, 2013, 02:28:18 pm
Something you might want to fix regarding the patch vending machine: When I downloaded the most recent version of the patch, it gave me two very similarly named IPS patches in the ZIP file, and I was confused on which one to use. The only difference in the name was that one letter was capitalized on one patch and wasn't in the other. I went with the capitalized one since that letter was capitalized in the ZIP file name, but you should probably fix that to prevent further confusion.

For reference, it was the English patch, NTSC Version 2.9.8.7, IPS packed in a ZIP, MMC4 chipset, Additional dialog, Map, SRAM - remove passwords, Whips and clue browser, and the rest all Yes.

This should not happen. I think it's something how kzip (http://advsys.net/ken/utils.htm) works. Give a filename to kzip to put into zip, and it puts all files matching that name, case-insensitive, into the zip, even when running on Linux.
Thanks for the report. I confirmed the problem. I'll see how to fix it.
There does not seem to be a commandline option in kzip to turn this misfeature off... Which is sad because on unix systems, a program has to go out of their way to do something like this. The normal action (open file) just opens literally the desired file, and that's it. I'll switch to infozip for now.

November 18, 2013, 10:37:10 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Version 2.9.8.8 released.

It includes the following changes:

-- [Japanese version] Fixed a misplaced colon on the status screen.
-- [Japanese version] Fixed switching whips causing leftover kana on the status screen. [If whip_ext enabled]
-- [All versions] The status screen cursor will no longer stop over those lines that contain no items, mitigating the lost cursor phenomenon a little.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: TimeCop on November 21, 2013, 06:44:53 am
This is like the best romhack ever. I have always loved Simon's Quest but didn't like the localization. Some ideas:

1. Prologue might make more sense to be simply text. Old games may times would do that, such as Zelda II.

2. Speaking of, I really like how in that game it warped you back to the beginning. Would you be interested in adding that as an option at least? I know a lot of people didn't like that, but I love that as a feature in ZII. Or maybe it's something I could do.

3. Could you have it so that sprites go back to disappearing during text? Or at least make it optional? I don't think its the worst thing in the original, and it might be way more work than its worth to have an alternate solution.

4. Would you also be interested in giving the same treatment to CV1 and 3? 1 originally had saving in the FDS version, but not in the NTSC version. Saving in 3 would be nice in 3 too. Plus being able to press down and jump to fall down on stairs would be nice in both of them.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 21, 2013, 07:42:35 am
Thanks for your feedback!

To answer the points you made:

1. Prologue might make more sense to be simply text. Old games may times would do that, such as Zelda II.

Old games did that because it was cheapest in terms of ROM space and effort. I had the budget (and ambition) to go for this kind of feature, so I did.
Dracula II originally had a text-only prologue screen, but this was because there was little room in the FDS diskette for anything else. Simon's Quest did not change it in any manner, because they made the NES port of the game through the venue of least effort. They even copied inefficient stock I/O routines into the game to replace the FDS BIOS routines instead of creating optimized ones.


Quote
2. Speaking of, I really like how in that game it warped you back to the beginning. Would you be interested in adding that as an option at least? I know a lot of people didn't like that, but I love that as a feature in ZII. Or maybe it's something I could do.

I will keep that in mind. I don't personally see a good reason to add such an aggravating feature, considering how often deaths are caused by menial things like the water pits in towns.


Quote
3. Could you have it so that sprites go back to disappearing during text? Or at least make it optional? I don't think its the worst thing in the original, and it might be way more work than its worth to have an alternate solution.

It is an option already, but not provided in the vending machine. To get a custom ROM with this feature disabled, add &hideactors=1 to the vending machine URL that you get when the form is submitted.


Quote
4. Would you also be interested in giving the same treatment to CV1 and 3? 1 originally had saving in the FDS version, but not in the NTSC version. Saving in 3 would be nice in 3 too. Plus being able to press down and jump to fall down on stairs would be nice in both of them.

I have been considering Castlevania III, i.e. Akumajou Densetsu. But not Castlevania, because it does not have almost any dialog and I want to focus on translation patches. In any case, it is a lot of work to make something like this, so don't hold your breath. Might never happen.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: TimeCop on November 25, 2013, 12:25:27 pm
Quote
I want to focus on translation patches.

Well, there's CV4 which I don't think has had a translation patch yet. There is not much text to translate as well (prologue mostly). The JP version is superior with the ENG version having a lot of silly or stupid changes. See here for details:
http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Super_Castlevania_IV#North_American_version
http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Super_Castlevania_IV#Regional_variations
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: NES Boy on November 25, 2013, 01:20:06 pm
I have been considering Castlevania III, i.e. Akumajou Densetsu. But not Castlevania, because it does not have almost any dialog and I want to focus on translation patches. In any case, it is a lot of work to make something like this, so don't hold your breath. Might never happen.
About the original Castlevania, here's a few suggestions from the hack ideas thread. (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,3282.msg241512.html#msg241512)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Vanya on November 25, 2013, 08:57:48 pm
Quote
a few suggestions from the hack ideas thread. (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,3282.msg241512.html#msg241512)

:D I totally agree with that insane poster. :P
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: knighTeen87 on November 26, 2013, 11:03:53 am
Can I contribute to your project with a Turkish translation? :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 26, 2013, 01:23:53 pm
Can I contribute to your project with a Turkish translation? :)

Yes, you can!  The translation involves text files with a specific format.
You will need:
-- A text editor that supports monospaced text, such as Notepad+ and can deal with 8-bit text (not UTF-8) encoded in... well, your case, ISO-8859-9 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8859-9).
-- Some rudimentary understanding about markup in general (the text contains e.g. newlines indicated with [nl] and comments indicated with semicolon, and some configuration files contain JSON)

I have a syntax highlighting file designed for these files, in use with the Joe editor (http://joe-editor.sourceforge.net/), but hardly anyone uses Joe other than me, so that is probably not useful for you.

Here is a small snippet of the translation material: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/translation_snippet.html It has colors from my editor; you can disregard the colors. Just copypaste the content into a new text file and get started.

Be sure to preserve any indentation.
Please contact me with a private message or email (bisqwit@iki.fi) when you are done with that part, and we'll see about continuing with the full translation with you :-)

I can take care about the necessary font changes.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: knighTeen87 on November 27, 2013, 07:21:30 am
Yes, you can!  The translation involves text files with a specific format.
You will need:
-- A text editor that supports monospaced text, such as Notepad+ and can deal with 8-bit text (not UTF-8) encoded in... well, your case, ISO-8859-9 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_8859-9).
-- Some rudimentary understanding about markup in general (the text contains e.g. newlines indicated with [nl] and comments indicated with semicolon, and some configuration files contain JSON)

I have a syntax highlighting file designed for these files, in use with the Joe editor (http://joe-editor.sourceforge.net/), but hardly anyone uses Joe other than me, so that is probably not useful for you.

Here is a small snippet of the translation material: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/translation_snippet.html It has colors from my editor; you can disregard the colors. Just copypaste the content into a new text file and get started.

Be sure to preserve any indentation.
Please contact me with a private message or email (bisqwit@iki.fi) when you are done with that part, and we'll see about continuing with the full translation with you :-)

I can take care about the necessary font changes.

To be honest man, I don't have that hacking knowledge. I'm just an amateur rom hacker with basic skills :) So all i can do for you is I can just send you the turkish translations of the texts in the game :)
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Hielkenator on November 27, 2013, 10:39:52 am
Hello,

Castlevania 2 will always hold a special place in my heart.
It was one of the few games I finished as a child, despite of the horrible dialog.
Lately I spoke of this game with my old time friends. ( pushing 40 now...)
Big impression this game left in our brain...

I was doing a full translation in proper Dutch for the original ntsc version.
Had huge trouble getting the proloque right....
I also did some minor sprite editing..
But then I stumbled upon your version!
Wich is a HELL of a LOT BETTER!!!!
It feels polished and complete.

Awesome job!
I would love to do a proper dutch translation of your work.
I suspect you used compression methods in your patch?

Please let me know what you think.

Kind regards,
Hielkenator
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 27, 2013, 07:19:30 pm
Thanks Hielkenator! I received your email and will check it in a few days and get back to you. Tentatively though, I see you did not change the whole file. I'd like you to implement changes to all the texts (including the clue names and the merchant/dialogbox lines) before continuing.
Dutch only uses A-Z, right? Nice, though there may be a problem if it uses all of those letters in both uppercase and lowercase, because my patch does not have the full set of the alphabet in both sizes. It can only produce mixed-case text because the text does not use all capital letters (and not even all lowercase letters).
(This of course applies to any other language as well. If this ends up being a problem, it's usually only when all dialog has been translated, and some lines have to be changed to avoid introducing unique letters.)

Yes, I used a compression method or two. :-) For the dialog, I only used methods that already existed in the game (but which were unused in the NES version). You may nevertheless find it difficult to locate the text in the ROM, because I scrambled the alphabet, and I use a linker which places each data item in any free hole instead of in its original location.

>knighTeen87

I await seeing your results. Let's talk after that whether you have the necessary skills or not.
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: BRPXQZME on November 29, 2013, 05:04:01 am
Dutch also has that fun ij thing :D
Title: Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
Post by: Bisqwit on November 29, 2013, 06:06:13 am
Dutch also has that fun ij thing :D