it's been a couple of years since I started learning Japanese and a couple of weeks since I started with ROM hacking. Because things went smoother than expected, I've started working on Nora. I've always been interested in this game since its fun, cute and has an awesome soundtrack from Wild ARMs composer Michiko Naruke. Text extraction and insertion is also mostly relatively easy.
About The Game
Noora to Toki no Koubou: Kiri no Mori no Majo, as the game is called in Japanese, is a collaboration work from Atlus and Gust. While the game's art style is reminiscent of Etrian Odyssey, its gameplay is very Atelier-like. A girl called Nora has to live in the forest for three years in order to master something I call "Chrono Magic" in my translation, which is basically a different term for "Alchemy" with a focus on the time aspect of changing and transforming things. Nora has to collect ingredients and use her skills in order to help and win the trust of the people in a nearby town.
The game is very short – probably 10-15 hours per playthrough – and features multiple endings, one for each character and one true ending, which increases the game's replay value. Apart from the item collecting and creating part, it also features a turn-based battle systems, though overall battles are not as important for the gameplay as in other RPGs. There are less then 50 enemies, but more than 500 items.
The game has 1,615 text files that contain the entire main scenario dialogues and NPC conversations.
Add a huge amount of text for 500+ lexicon entries (items, monsters, ...) and character descriptions plus some system text you basically have all the game's text.
I've written a basic text extractor and inserter that works for all the main text and, with some modifications, for a huge chunk of the system text / additonal text, but not yet for lexicon entries.
Main Text: 318/1615 files (19,7%)
- The system text is stored in individual files, some of them are a bit more difficult to extract and insert. I've not yet managed to successfully insert lexicon entries and character descriptions.
- Some hacking is required to increase the windows size of some text boxes.
- The game offers alphabetical ordering for lexicon entries. It probably requires some additional programming to change this feature in a way that it works for English characters.
- The DeSmuME won't play Nora, not even the unmodified version. The No$gba crashes occasionally.
Right now it's just me. ^^
- an editor to look over the text (not required yet)
- testers (not required yet) who check the game for bugs, typos etc.
- a more experienced hacker to look into some of the trickier problems (though, honestly, the game doesn't look so diffucult at all)
- a graphic hacker / editor
- more translators are always welcome!