« on: May 20, 2010, 04:52:55 pm »
It sounds like you guys are still in the early stages of the hack. Just to tell you, I have some experience in hacking RPGs. You're more than likely going to find that several pieces of text using different display routines and using different banks. For example, the items may have a couple routines, the dialog text may use different code routines. You may find yourself redoing the hack again later on unless you get a good grasp of the location of text blocks and assembly code routines, and making a solid plan to accommodate all the English text based on the limited space that you have.
DTE would be fine for item names, weapons, armor, etc. You can also use the current Dakuten/Handukuten code for the DTE code. Try not to use the free space at the end of the fixed bank. You need it for a possible MTE table for the dialog. As far as the space is concerned for the item names, try to use that space instead. You can possibly fit it all in there with DTE.
MTE would be fine for the dialog. Preferably one byte entry because you can also use DTE. The advantages of using two byte entry is that you can have a much larger table for MTE, it's disadvantages is that you can only use 3 or more letter pairs with it. You can place the table in the hardwired bank along with the pointer table to the MTE table. There is also another alternative; if you have dialog in several banks, you can place each small MTE table at the end of the bank (if you have enough space) or where the text currently is. However, the drawback to that is that to be efficient, you need the text in each bank to be nearly at the same address range.
Huffman would even be good for the dialog. That compression is really not for a beginner though.
All in all, I can't really say exactly what to do. Just that you need to plan and be clever about how to get all the text in there or you're going to find yourself between a rock and a hard place later on. If I were you guys, I'd try to avoid ROM expansion unless there is no other choice. And even then, ROM expansion may not help you if the text you want to move already takes up most of the bank it already exists in. Also, in ROM expansion, you can run into other issues with interrupts and other odd glitches and sometimes you can crash the game by loading the wrong bank, or returning the wrong bank.
You guys decide what you want to do and then have fun. I'm sure you'll learn something as you go a long in the project.