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Messages - filler

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1
I know it may seem more complicated than relative searching, but trust me: once you get the hang of it, relative searching will seem like caveman stuff. :D

It's definitely caveman stuff. However, it is platform agnostic. I dump the script for a PC Engine game the same way as a Game Gear game, the same way as a Famicom game. The one hacking the game should definitely approach it with more sophistication. As the translator I can get away with clubbing it with a big sick. :D

2
I recently wrote a PHP script that I call "table helper" that I talk about a little here: https://youtu.be/ThpHBoxK3Ss It's really just a time saver, but it relies on, and exposes this issue of Japanese kana and kanji order that you're talking about.

I made this because I'm working on a bunch of 8-bit games right now, mostly Game Gear, but also Famicom that I just want to dump scripts for so I can translate them. Nothing fancy. I use the following character sets:

english_upper
hiragana
hiragana_diacritic
hiragana_small
katakana
katakana_diacritic
katakana_small
numerals

You can check the video to see how I use these to save some time typing out hex values, but suffice to say these character sets cover many instances of the order of these characters, but not all. In your first Japanese class you'll learn the kana alphabet, it has an order. You'll also learn a way to help remember the order a, ka, sa, ta, na, ha, ma, ya, ra, wa.

Here is hiragana in order:
あいうえお
かきくけこ
さしすせそ
たちつてと
なにぬねの
はひふへほ
まみむめも
やゆよ
らりるれろ
わをん

No text encoding in a video game has to follow this order, and many don't. The main areas that the kana syllabary tends to differ from this order is as follows.

Sometimes there is significant difference in the last 3 characters. Most common I see is をん transposed as んを. Sometimes を is somewhere else, like at the beginning, or mixed in with other characters, so it's just わん. This order can be pretty variable.

Also the voiced characters, i.e. the ones that can have diacritics, are sometimes on their own in the encoding, and sometimes they are mixed with their unvoiced counterparts. KingMike mentioned this in the other thread. it will look as follows.

がぎぐげご
ざじずぜぞ
だぢづでど
ばびぶべぼ
ぱぴぷぺぽ

or sometimes:

かがきぎくぐけげこご
さざしじすずせぜそぞ
ただちぢつづてでとど
はばぱひびぴふぶぷへべぺほぼぽ

Also there are small kana:

ぁぃぅぇぉっゃゅょ

They are also sometimes inline with their large counterparts:

あぁいぃうぅえぇおぉ
つっ
やゃゆゅよょ

But normally they are on their own. The order can vary. I've seen:
ぁぃぅぇぉっゃゅょ
ぁぃぅぇぉゃゅょっ
ゃゅょっぁぃぅぇぉ

and other variations.

What this all means is that the "safest" kana to search for when relative searching on Japanese characters are the ones with no extra voicing, and no large/small versions.

なにぬねの
まみむめも
らりるれろ

if you can find a sequence of 3-4 of these characters in a row, your chances of a relative search hit are high. A variation in the "や" characters like やゃゆゅよょ could alter the relationship of the な and ま characters to the ら characters, so the absolute safest would be a series of 3-4 なにぬねのまみむめも characters together.

The best way to search for these that I've found is to tag their order:

00=な
01=に
02=ぬ
03=ね
04=の
05=ま
06=み
07=む
08=め
09=も

And then use TranslHextion "value scan relative" function. So a search for なにも would be "010209".

All of this is relative. I've encountered encodings where the whole alphabet is backward. I've also found ones where kana characters are simply missing. It just depends on the game and how much space they had, etc... Frequently just seeing the font stored in the ROM can help you sort this out. If there is a non-standard order, you can adjust your relative search to compensate.

With kanji, it gets more complicated, and I myself have said that there isn't necessarily an order, but I've had the chance to make a few kanji table files recently, and there is an order. A lot of characters are missing, at least in 8-bit games to save space, but when IDing the kanji, just following the JIS order can be a huge help since the games I've worked with follow this order for the kanji, but only include the kanji that they use in the game script. Therefore when IDing, you can scan the JIS kanji set and pick out the characters that you see in the font tiles. I don't know if Unicode follows the same kanji order that JIS does, but I know it has more kanji in it.

EDIT: To add a bit of a conclusion, relative searching is not going to help you find the text encoding in every instance, but it can be helpful, and there is definitely an order to Japanese kana and kanji.

3
As far as Japanese goes then Monkey Moore (a relative searcher) and Crystaltile2 (also relative search abilities among other things) is not that useful -- English has the defined ABCD... order which most things follow, and thus makes relative search a super powerful tool, where Japanese does not officially or unofficially have much of anything.

This isn't especially accurate. There is the potential for a lot of variance in how a Japanese alphabet is stored in a game, but I've used relative searches to dump at least a dozen scripts for the Game Gear in the past 12 months or so. If you're trying to figure out a text encoding, relative searching is far from worthless. It just depends on the situation.

4
Thanks! I'm glad to see some of these Game Gear games getting released translation patches. I think 2019 will see more such releases.

5
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Let's Translate Every Game Gear Game
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:59:16 am »
Man, congrats, Godzilla just hit the translated list.
Thanks! Though the real congrats go to Supper, cccmar, and TheMajinZenki of course. I have to say, it feels good to have another game off the list, and a fun first English language patch released in 2019.

Shanghai on the Master System which only released in the west has that in Japanese too,  I'd suggest intentionally to emphasise the eastern nature of the game. So it should probably be left how it is on Shanghai II.

Sounds good to me. I can go either way on it honestly. I'll re-categorize that game for now.

6
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Yearly Translation Patch Data Thread
« on: January 03, 2019, 04:56:29 pm »
Also, it would be interesting to check how many of these were made by older groups/individuals that are still active, and how many were made by the newcomers to the scene (though that might be a bit more involving).

I don't see myself going too crazy researching those demographics, but at one point a couple months ago I did attempt to figure out how many folks worked on English language translation projects during the year-to-date.

I seem to remember that it was around 100 individual users who were credited on released patches. The break-down of roles was roughly 1/3 hackers, 1/3 translators, and 1/3 other roles like graphics or script editing.

It's a relatively small group, but somehow I find it encouraging that there are around 33 active hackers working with around 33 translators, and approximately 33 others supported them in releasing nearly 100 patches this year.

7
I believe the patch is larger than 30MB which is due in part to the intro video being reencoded.
Ah, yes. The Promise of Haruhi Suzumiya for the PSP had the same problem.

You know, we are paying for this site now. Perhaps that money could go toward hosting larger patches for disc based systems like these.

8
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Yearly Translation Patch Data Thread
« on: January 02, 2019, 05:34:26 pm »
Nice graphs, but what percentage of those numbers are updates? As more first-time patches get released, the chance of updates increases and they might even start to outnumber first-time patches. For all I know the peaks and recent growth could all be due to updates.

I don't believe RHDN tracks those data. Each submitted patch is treated as a new patch. The only patches that I know were updates were Jonny's updates to, Kouryuu no Mimi, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibouken, Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3, and Sassou Shounen Eiyuuden: Coca-Cola Kid. So that's 4 that I know of.

When you find some way to differentiate updates from new patches let me know.

EDIT: I did notice there is a "release date" and a "last modified" date for each translation patch when you drill down to the individual project page. If you check each of the translation pages individually you can check to see which were updates and which were first time releases.

9
ROM Hacking Discussion / Yearly Translation Patch Data Thread
« on: January 02, 2019, 04:20:37 pm »
Once again, I'd like to highlight the English language translation patches released in the previous year (2018 this time) via some charts. This is just something I like to do and it's not something endorsed by the mods. This year I've named the thread more generally so it can be used again next year if that seems appropriate. Let's get started!

For starters, here are the English language translation patches released by year. Note: These are fully-playable patches only, and includes updates as well as first-time releases.



This was again the year with the greatest number of English language translation patches for what should be the 5th year running. Total patches were 98 in number compared to 89 last year, an increase by 9 patches.

Here is a high-level view by system.



And here is the raw data for the peanut gallery.



Though they were both outliers last year, FDS and PC-98 saw a sharp drop from 10 and 6 released patches last year, to 2 and 1 this year respectively. Famicom (NES) patches saw a slight drop from 34 to 30, but it's maintaining its general trend.

The most significant increases this year were in Game Gear, and Super Famicom (SNES) patches. The Game Gear saw 4 new, and 1 updated patch released for a total of 5 released patches, an all-time high for the system. The real shocker was the sheer number of Super Famicom patches released this year, a whopping 34 patches! This matched the most English language patches released for any system along with the Famicom that also saw 34 releases last year. It also marks the 5th time that Super Famicom releases have exceeded Famicom releases.

As usual, I'd like to congratulate everyone on all the great work this year, not only on English language translation patches, but many other language patches as well. Here's to another record breaking year of patch releases. :beer:

10
Agreed it's criminally overlooked. David Shadoff is still working on Dead of the Brain. https://twitter.com/Shadoff_d/status/1045825936849960960?s=09

11
Gaming Discussion / Re: Just got a my first PSP, recommended games?
« on: December 29, 2018, 06:36:21 pm »
There are a lot of cool looking games on the system, but I haven't played most of them. The exception is Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos which I loved. It's in Japanese, but you can check out some videos I made years ago explaining the menus and how to play. It's a tactical RPG like Super Robot Wars, but with the ladies of Queen's Blade.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8174C10E8CDDA779

12
I have four videos ready to go, so I think I'll get going with that in the New Year.

Looking forward to that!

13
Awesome! I've only checked it out a bit but it looks great so far. Nice job getting all the little graphics here and there.

NOTE: One correction which was my fault. In the description for the bonus game I made a mistake. After playing it and checking the line, バケツをとるとみずをいっぱつだけうつことができるぞ。 it should be:

"When you pick up a bucket you're able to make just one shot of water."

For some reason I was convinced that picking up a bucket would allow you to defeat your enemy in a single attack, but that was clearly wrong. I'll let you know if I seen anything else odd.

14
Gaming Discussion / Re: Our translations were used in a museum
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:34:28 pm »
That was nice of them to acknowledge us.

15
Newcomer's Board / Re: How to post pictures in forum posts
« on: December 16, 2018, 04:56:34 pm »
I've never used Imgur in my life, but I just went there and looked at one of the images on the main page.

On Windows:
Right-click -> Copy Image Location

Then on the forum post I clicked the image icon which made these:
Code: [Select]
[img][/img]
Then I pasted the URL in-between the tags:
Code: [Select]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/DQUfpgL.jpg[/img]
This is the result.


16
Newcomer's Board / Re: How to post pictures in forum posts
« on: December 15, 2018, 07:28:31 pm »
FYI: I'm old fashioned, but I still think it's worth shelling out for your own web hosting account.

It's literally $2-$3/per month, plus a domain name for like $10-$15 per year. You get your own email accounts, and your own web space where you can post as many pages and images as you want. You're spending like $35-$50/per year and you only need to learn a little bit about setting up your own email accounts, and FTPing files. Free stuff like Gmail, and Imgur take the place of it well enough I suppose, but they always seem shady and limited compared to just rolling your own stuff on a normal webhost, but maybe that's just me.

17
Well, there's a certain NES game that I was working on that you translated, and I never got round to finishing it, so... :)

:woot!: That Zoids game was another fun one to translate. I just like how goofy and low budget the whole thing is. Plus I think the gallery shooting random battles are kind of fun. Granted, I never got too far in the game, but let me know if you need someone to playtest. I might be up for it.

Now I'm curious to know what this 3DO thing is...



It's a thing of beauty... 8)

If only you guys knew how many hours of painstaking work went into this, just because it uses a rather ingenious compression scheme that only now I fully understand. It's not totally finished, though: there's still the two secret screens that need their graphics tweaked to fit the new title screen, but now that I understand how it all works, it won't be a big deal, and the big work is done.

There's just a few things to fix up before I can release, so it's coming soon. :)

Can't wait! :)

Incidentally I wonder if developers took these contract projects as a way to R&D some techniques for other projects. Nice job on getting it all figured out at any rate.

18
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Let's Translate Every Game Gear Game
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:09:24 pm »
Summary of the most recent updates:
  • I translated the (very short) script for Doraemon - Noranosuke no Yabou.
  • Crayon Shin-chan - Taiketsu! Kantam Panic!! is being hacked by Psyklax and is nearly finished.
  • I made a table file for the intro text for From TV Animation - Slam Dunk - Shouri e no Starting 5.
  • At some point I dumped a partial script for Godzilla and passed it to TheMajinZenki. This project is likely being hacked by Supper.
  • I dumped a script for Taisen Mahjong HaoPai 2.
  • At some point I dumped a partial script for Torarete Tamaruka.
  • I completed the table file for the 12x16 text in World Derby.
  • Supper found a complete script dump for Eternal Legend made by a Japanese hacker.

19
Mini-update, to bump the thread a bit. :)

I got FlashPV's title screen which they shared on Twitter, and painstakingly redrew it into Tile Molester - I did have a PNG, but there were one or two colours that were not in the palette, so I figured it was safer to just redraw the whole thing. Plus, the tile order is a little jumbled in the ROM so I wanted to make sure it was a like-for-like replacement.

I'm nearly finished redrawing, just need to do the game's subtitle. Then it's a case of compressing the graphics and pasting them into the ROM, and the game will be 99% complete. This hack has been more work than I expected, but I'm glad the end is in sight, and I can get back to my own hacking. :D

If I haven't already said it, thanks for taking on this project. A lot of these Game Gear translation projects aren't going to ignite a huge fan response, but they are an important part of the system's library and I love seeing them hacked and translated. I can't wait to see this one finished and I'm glad to hear it's nearing completion. Speaking of your own hacking, any hints on what you may be getting back to? More Time Stranger?

20
Personal Projects / Re: Translations of early Famicom games
« on: December 09, 2018, 12:37:46 am »
Hey there everyone, a teeny tiny update from me.

While working on Crayon Shin-chan for the Game Gear, I got a PM from Guyver regarding Sherlock Holmes, because he noticed that the most vital clue in the game was wrong! Filler missed a zero, I noticed it, but somehow I put the original translation in the game. So, we both messed up a little there. :D So anyway, I've submitted version 1.1 to the database, because we agreed that a new version is required here. After reading this thread again, I also noticed that I'd made two minor errors... but I'd forgotten about them, and I'm not resubmitting it. :)

So, that's all for now, just a very minor fix. Once I finish on Shin-chan, I really ought to finish off Zoids as well - I'd made good progress there...

 :thumbsup:

BTW: If we're resurrecting this thread, I'll mention that I took a serious swing at translating Mezase Pachi Pro Pachio-kun just a little while ago. I managed to translate more of the script than I thought I would, though I wouldn't say it's more than 50% done. Looking up pachinko terms was even kind of interesting. There's surprisingly little English language information out there about it. I'd like to play the game for a bit more context, so expect the project to be set back a few years. ;) Still, that may be one more script from that time period translated at some point.

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