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Topics - goldenband

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Over at the 3DO boards, poster and native speaker FUJISAN was kind enough to agree to transcribe the dialogue from some of the FMVs in the Japanese-exclusive 3DO game Wacky Races 2: In Space (aka Chiki-Chiki Machine Mou Race 2: In Space, or チキチキマシン猛レース 2 イン スペース).

Here's his transcription of villain Dick Dastardly's opening speech:


そう、ブラック大魔王様だよ! ハハハハハ!

前回の作戦は「T-BONE WREX」とかいう骨骨野郎に、ぶっ潰されてしまったが、








ナハハハハ !

I've made the following very rough attempt at translation, with my very poor Japanese-language skills, some help from FUJISAN, and good ol' Google Translate:

Gentlemen! I've been waiting! Do you remember me?

Yes, it's me, Mr. Dick Dastardly! Ha ha ha ha!

Last time, my plans were foiled by that jerk "T-BONE WREX", but this time I won't let that happen!

Let me introduce you to my latest grand strategy: the Black Sky Fortress #2!

Soon, my fortress of evil will be complete. And to prove its invincible, destructive power, my "Hopping Bomber" will be loaded with weapons.

It will be impossible to even get near it! And I have one more secret up my sleeve...

...Hey, you! Yeah, funny-looking, I mean you!

If you want to know who my trump card is, prove yourself by reaching my fortress!

I won't be expecting you! Muah-ha-ha-ha-hah!

However, I'm quite sure this isn't 100% accurate, especially the middle part.  Suggestions for improvement?

Right now this isn't a candidate for any kind of script insertion or dub, but if I ever figure out how to add subtitles to FMVs, you never know...

Programming / What triggers the red text in Marvel's X-Men (NES)?
« on: November 05, 2012, 12:30:10 pm »
Ah, the notorious Marvel's X-Men (aka Uncanny X-Men) for NES.  One of its many quirks is that, in order to access the final stage vs. Magneto, you have to use a special code (Up + B + Select).  Part of the code is printed on the game's label, but it's not complete -- it omits the part about Select, because you're supposed to glean additional info through gameplay.

At the end of each stage, you get a page of text.  The way it's supposed to work is that some of the text is highlighted in red, and those parts were clues; put all the red text together, and you get the extra info you need.  You can see doctored screenshots at The Cutting Room Floor of what it's supposed to look like, but the problem is that the text usually fails to show up in red.

Some sites claim that it never does, but that's not true; when I played through and beat the game yesterday, I got red text once on the "ABEL" screen, and not on other occasions.  Same for when I almost beat the game in the mid-1990s -- I know I got at least some of the red text.

There's a vague consensus that it's a bug, and Wikipedia claims that it was corrected in the PAL version, but I'm unable to find a non-US copy and I suspect that claim is bogus.  I think it also could be intentional; maybe one needs to trigger something in the game, or meet a scoring threshold, etc.

Does anyone have any insights into this?  Any suggestions on how to figure it out, or has anyone delved into this game before?  Unfortunately I'm still on an old Mac and a lot of the best debugging tools aren't available to me, but honestly I wouldn't quite know where to start even if I had the right tools.

Programming / Sega 32X ending questions (Cosmic Carnage, Metal Head)
« on: September 21, 2012, 12:01:53 pm »
When I read Pluvius's answer to a mystery in the game Dirty Pair, it reminded me of a couple unsolved mysteries in Sega 32X games:

Cosmic Carnage - in order to get the best ending, you have to beat the game under a certain time limit, but it's not clear what the exact time limit is or whether it's affected by losses.

Metal Head - during the credits, you get an array of medals, but it's not clear what they mean (they're not mentioned in the manual) or how they're earned.  I've gotten five, but there appears to be space for a sixth.

Can anyone shed any light on either of these?  As far as I can tell, neither issue is documented on the English-language web.  I'd love to try to figure them out myself but (a) unfortunately I can't run a 32X emulator on my aging hardware, and (b) I wouldn't know where to start with that tricky architecture.  But a quantitative inspection of RAM/ROM seems like the answer here, since it's definitely not obvious during normal gameplay.

(Apologies if this question is in the wrong place, but Programming seemed like the best fit.)

Having a weird issue here and wondering if anyone can help.  I'm not an experienced hacker but I've done translation hacks for a couple of SG-1000 games, one of which is posted on RHDN.  This is my first Famicom/NES hack.  Anyway, here goes:

Family Tennis (Namco) may be the best 8-bit tennis game I've played, and certainly is the best one I've seen on the NES/Famicom.  It uses a bunch of real players from the 1980s, though I'm not sure it's officially licensed -- some of the players' names are given in phonetic transcription in hiragana, while others use nicknames.

Anyway, I thought it would be a fun project to replace the hiragana names with their given names in Latin characters.  Using a relative search engine and a tile editor, it wasn't difficult to find the ROM locations for the names on the character selection screen -- for instance, Edberg (えどまえ) is at 0x8644, hex code C3 D3 F4 DE C3 28 where the last character is a blank space.  I also had no problem swapping in the Latin characters (0E 0D 0B 0E 1B 10).  So far, so good.

But I got about halfway through fixing up the character selection screen when I discovered that the main gameplay screen had become corrupt, so that the left half of the screen had been replaced by audience graphics that would normally be offscreen until the ball went into that area.  Here's a screenshot:

When the character names are displayed, the audience members become garbage characters; once they disappear, they turn into people.

"OK," I figured, "there must be a problem with using the Latin characters during that screen.  Since I don't really understand the NES hardware, maybe I'm exceeding some sort of tile memory allocation.  I'll just replace some of the hiragana character set with the Latin characters, and that way I won't be asking it to access any ROM locations beyond the expected range."  Nope, same problem.  And then I discovered something stranger: it seemed like any change I made to the ROM, at least in the vicinity of the entries for the character name tables, would cause the primary gameplay screen to become corrupt.

Here's what's even stranger: I'm using Nestopia, which emulates the original Family Tennis ROM fine.  But this graphic corruption seems to be the default behavior in every other emulator I've tried, even with an untouched ROM.  I'm on a PPC Mac, so I don't have a lot of emulation options, but I've tried FCE Ultra, iNES, RockNES, and NesterDC for Dreamcast.  All of them have this problem with Family Tennis, whereas Nestopia only throws an issue if I change the ROM.  (I'm using the No-Intro dump, BTW, so it should be clean.)

So here are my theories:

1) Nestopia is using some kind of weird workaround for this particular ROM, and it uses a checksum to identify the ROM.  When I make changes, it defeats that process, and so the workaround isn't triggered.

2) The ROM has some kind of copy protection/anti-piracy code that causes the graphics to become corrupted if it's been changed.  (This could relate to #1 -- maybe Nestopia has to do something special to handle this.)

3) I'm clueless and don't know what I'm doing.  (This one's almost certainly accurate.)

Any ideas?  Thanks!

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