Romhacking => Newcomer's Board => Topic started by: Bismarck on July 31, 2021, 08:02:50 pm

Title: How do you search for game-related stuff on the japanese web?
Post by: Bismarck on July 31, 2021, 08:02:50 pm
This may seem like a weird request, but I've been learning japanese for a few months now, and I started a project to catalogue obscure games. Usually mecha-related games, but anything that piques my interest is valid. However, I hit a snag on the road. It seems a lot of games have no information, even in japanese! I was researching about Assault Suit Leynos 2 (Sega Saturn) in hopes of translating it in the future, and came upon this thread on GameFAQs:
In that thread, they say that they've never managed to find anything like a list of secrets on the japanese web, and the game may not even have a printed guide. It seems there's an undiscoved secret to gain all weapons, like in Leynos 1 and Valken 1. More than 2 decades later, no one has discovered it yet.

I know how to search for guides (kouryaku) and cheats (urawaza), but there's no comprehensive resource like GameFAQs on the japanese web. Everything is scattered all over the place. The most you get is a minor "tips & tricks" on some forgotten blog or a post on 2ch/5ch.

Anyway, now to relate this to romhacking. I've started playing Hero Senki - Project Olympus, which was translated by TheMajinZenki, Gideon Zhi and co. After finishing it, I saw single video where Cybuster is in the final party, while every other video has F91 in that slot. I saw mentioned on a few japanese blogs that you can also get the Granzon on this final party, but I've never managed to find how you do it. Is there some sort of  (translated) script dump of this game that may offer some clues?

Thanks for any help you can provide. I'll leave a cool site here:
It's a very large database of cheats in japanese, from the NES to present-generation consoles. Some of this stuff you can even consider "lost media" - the Playstation 1 section for example, has a lot of cheats that you can not find anywhere else on the web.
Title: Re: How do you search for game-related stuff on the japanese web?
Post by: MysticLord on August 01, 2021, 02:16:51 am
DeepL is the best auto-translator out there.

It might improve your search results on Google and other search engines.
Title: Re: How do you search for game-related stuff on the japanese web?
Post by: Bismarck on August 01, 2021, 11:11:00 am
I already know how to search the stuff - the thing is that I feel like I'm missing a huge part of the internet by just limiting it to google searches.
I made a thread on 5ch a few days ago asking for some help, and most people told me the japanese don't have the habit of transcribing stuff they have on magazines or making guides (like the ones on GameFAQs). Their approach for preservation of media is different from ours. Some of them suggested I just buy the guides on auction sites and transcribe them myself. I know there's the ubiquitous Ultimania guides, but trying to look for more specific stuff has been pretty hard so far.
Title: Re: How do you search for game-related stuff on the japanese web?
Post by: FAST6191 on August 01, 2021, 02:37:06 pm
I faced similar problems trying to follow/cover Japanese DS homebrew back when the DS was current, and to this day following ROM hacking (though the bizarre appreciation for copyright law there does make things a bit harder for that one, and to a lesser extent then homebrew). Heavy recursive searching for things that did filter their way down to me, things that were mentioned on blogs of creators of such things, seeing what sources/links were given by the few in English speaking game coverage that knew Japanese (most links seldom being that great or active long term). Actually got quite a bit from the Chinese side of things there, though that has seemingly since died off. To that end spend some time going broader to try to build up a base of things.

For ROM hacking and exploring old games when running things up for translation or history of franchise I have never found a particularly good centralised anything really, never mind vintage. Game collection being what it is in Japan also gets in the way of some things; not all of the time but enough I have run into the air of exclusivity some try to cultivate (and I don't even cover the MSX or PC-88 in my usual travels where that gets really fun) that it makes life harder than it might be.

You might also wish to note what directors, voice actors, producers and similar were in the game and go that way as I did find such things more followed there than they have been outside Japan (ignoring Japanese people name me 10 game directors) in recent years where a handful have become somewhat recognised for vaguely positive reasons .

There have been some interesting things on nicovideo where youtube might have failed me or come up short, however bring a proxy/vpn at times (youtube-dl did also work for it last time I checked which makes life a bit easier).

Amazon Japan is also not necessarily the cess pool it is elsewhere, not sure what the current popular Japanese auction sites are but I usually grab all the images I can from them if something vaguely interesting crosses my path there as things tend not to hang around.
Title: Re: How do you search for game-related stuff on the japanese web?
Post by: Bismarck on August 01, 2021, 04:10:36 pm
I guess I'll try that approach, then. I'm limiting myself to only two games at once (so I don't get bored with only one game and also don't overstretch my attention), so I'm buying the guides for two games: Gunbuster (PS2) and VOTOMS Berserga Monogatari (PSX). This last one piqued my interest because although it's an arcade Virtual On clone, it has a rather extensive story mode with two routes. I only managed to finish one route back when I played it, and I thought that was it.

Another thing that really caught my interest was that I saw pictures of the ATs (the mechs in the game) using parts that made them look like Kinnikuman characters. They didn't look fake, so I guess they're unlocked with a special save game - another thing I didn't even know existed until 4 days ago. Did you know that some magazines in Japan released CDs with 200+ saved games, and continued to do so until the PS2 days? Those aren't very hard to find online, you just need to know the name of the magazine.

I started this topic with the Assault Suits series - something that came up when I was researching it: I didn't know the main character from Valken (called Jake) appeared as a playable ally in Valken 2. Actually, there's barely any info about Valken 2 on the net.