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Messages - Lindblum

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News Submissions / Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« on: December 24, 2008, 10:53:10 pm »
It's a warm feeling to see familiar avatars, talk directly to the names behind the game hacks and translations that brought me joy, and to share and learn with vets and noobs.  It's not just an archive, it's not just a forum, it's a community.  (Was that too mushy?)

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: December 24, 2008, 06:22:44 pm »
Thank you, Pennywise.
The original ROM writes each fighter's current command over their MaxHP.  It's unusual, but it's not a bug.  I just didn't see a big reason to change it.  I fully intend to host the patch on the site when I feel it is complete.  The spell graphics will have to be changed around, certain character avatars too, the mechanics will need more work, and I need more playthrough to find the context of improvised translations.  What makes no sense is that they removed a lot of lines from the 1st bar scene when the text already exists in the ROM.  What I really think should be done to make it more playable is to increase the speed of the game.  Yes, an emulator can speed it up, but I hope to make it real.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: December 24, 2008, 04:17:10 pm »
97% Translation & Improvement Patch
World Map
The long wait for the new patch is finally over!  I don't have everything I want finished complete yet, but I'm so much closer:
* 4-line text
* Dialog encoded more efficiently, so text is more comprehensive
* Tweaked dialog to address that Scarlet and Palmer have been revisioned into one female character (Pretend her name is Scarlet Palmer)
* Improved battle menu command names
* Improved equipment names and use small icons
* Modified elemental and equipment class icons
* Fixed animated backgrounds
* Changed battle BG from trees to generic horizontal lines
* Reduced item prices
* Reduced Exp needed to gain character levels
* Reduced Exp needed to gain weapon levels
* Reduced Exp needed to gain materia levels
* Reduced Exp needed to gain spell levels
* Increased status bonuses for level-ups
* Increased initial Potion and Phoenix inventory
* Rearranged spell inventory to be more orderly
* Adjusted all enemy attack patterns to incorporate the new spell inventory
* Battle PPU engine has not been improved yet.  Still liable to display enemies incorrectly on occasion.

As I come to the final stages your thoughts will be most appreciated.

Edit: I just replaced the file with a better version where I decrease random encounter rate (12/24/08 5:48PM EST)
Edit: Fixed the world map file (12/16/08 12:42PM EST)

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: December 22, 2008, 01:10:22 pm »
I haven't got a chance to run it yet but it's encouraging that the rom's in there intact. But won't your completed translation make the file size bigger, thus breaking the GBA version? The way you were talking about lines and stuff seemed to suggest that
It will be the exact same size.  The memory issues I mentioned were not about file size, but bank size.  The dialog is broken into 32kB memory banks, so after I translate I have to make sure that the data fits properly into its own bank.  That's not much of a problem now, except for the bank that stores text AND animated BG graphics.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: December 22, 2008, 11:11:43 am »
Can't you even manage a 99 potions cheat?  :)that would at least get me past the first mission lol  :)
"Cheat" is not in my vocabulary.  I could change the initial inventory to 20 and haggle down the store price.

(later edit) after trying the links you listed, I ran into an error page in Chinese. For a bit I thought the links had expired but then, using Google Translate, I found out that the developers of that dude's file server were stupid enough to only design for (lame) Internet Explorer and don't support the awesomest browser in the world: FireFox.
I remember that error page.  IE sucks FF's balls.  I keep IE as a secondary browser for these things. 
Now I've got it but that doesn't help much because I don't know how they did it and I will need to know that in order to get your patches running as GBA roms :)
If I recall, they only give you the Chinese GBA file (if it's still there), and not the patcher to make the NES into a GBA.  Fret not, for I hypothesize that the entire NES ROM should exist inside the GBA unbroken.  I took a quick peek inside the GBA file and found that it exists at 0x30910.  In theory you can take a patched version of the NES file, remove the 16-byte header to leave you with the ROM, and copy it directly onto the GBA at 0x30910.  Caveat: I've run the GBA in VisualBoyAdvance, and the emulation was terrible (did you have the same experience?).  Still, I'm curious on what a portable GBA emulator can do.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: December 20, 2008, 09:38:36 pm »
Nerd42 ,
Nestopia and FCEU support the NANJING mapper, but not much else does, though I don't know any portable emulators that can.  I read that someone got it to work as a GBA ROM, and it's possible a portable GBA emulator could do the trick:
Baidu (Google Translated)
As for the translation, to answer your question, 85% of the game's text is copied from transcripts of the North American release of the PSX game.  That saved a lot of unnecessary translation work, but I still had to do some of my own translation and improvisation. 
As I said in the other thread, the next patch is delayed while I debug the revised text engine.

If it freshens your day, here's a raw FF7NES world map I've created.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: November 12, 2008, 01:13:51 pm »
It was a hell of a challenge, but I believe I have 4-line text in working order!  By this weekend I'd like to let all ye faithful audit a new patch.  It will contain the improved text engine, improved equipment names, some restored text, partial fixing of animated backgrounds, and even gameplay rebalancing.   :angel:
Also, most lines start with a 4-byte avatar header.  I was easily able to retune them to use 2-bytes, so memory is becoming less and less of an issue.  Still deciding about putting in the time to fix the battle graphics bug, which is just a matter of economizing the PPU.  Best case, all I'd have to do is omit a bitshift.

Edit - It was kind of a busy weekend.  Relax, I haven't forgotten the people heroically waiting for this patch.
Edit - Current delays are due to a bug found in the revised text engine at certain parts of the game.

News Submissions / Re: Translations: MOTHER 3 Fan Translation Complete
« on: November 05, 2008, 08:56:45 am »
In other words, when put in perspective, EarthBound is a cult classic rather than a juggernaut.  No matter, call me an Insane Cultist any day.  Thanks again for this translation (I can't wait to ever have time for it). 

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 26, 2008, 06:18:24 am »
The text IS 8x16.  I'm working on removing the blank tiles as a step towards 4-line text.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 24, 2008, 11:18:48 am »
I'm really getting the hang of assembly hacking, but it's frustrating as hell. In order to insert code there's an elegant song & dance to do:
Code: [Select]
Native block
$XXX0:BLA  ->  $XXX0:BLA
$XXX2:BLA  ->  $XXX2:BLA
$XXX4:BLA  ->  $XXX4:BLA
$XXX6:FOO  ->  $XXX6:JMP $YYY0 #JMP to Free space
$XXX8:BAR  ->  $XXX9:NOP       #Fill in extra byte
$XXXA:BLA  ->  $XXXA:BLA       #Return here later
Free space!
$YYY0:BRK  ->  $YYY0:FOO       #Execute FOO I removed to make room for JMP
$YYY2:BRK  ->  $YYY2:BAR       #Execute BAR I removed to make room for JMP
$YYY4:BRK  ->  $YYY4:YAY       #Do
$YYY6:BRK  ->  $YYY6:NEW       #My
$YYY8:BRK  ->  $YYY8:FNC       #Thang
$YYYA:BRK  ->  $YYYA:JMP $XXXA #Return to native block

That's no big deal as long as I can find free memory.  The horsekick comes when my new code needs to use bank-switching to pull a value from another location, and instead pull the rug out from under myself by bank-switching the code I'm running! 

Code: [Select]
$YYY4:YAY       -> $YYY4:YAY
$YYY6:NEW       -> $YYY6:NEW
$YYY8:FNC       -> $YYY8:FNC
$YYYF:MOR       -> $YYYF:ASS
$YYZ1:RAD       -> $YYZ1:FUK
$YYZ3:STF       -> $YYZ3:OMG
$XXXA:BLA       -> $YYZ7:WHR
$XXXC:BLA       -> $YYZ9:AMI
$XXXE:BLA       -> $YYZB:HLP

Why must it be so hard to find a safe free memory block?

Never mind, I've found a workaround that obviates the need for bank-switching.  The next patch is going to be awesome, you'll see...

Efforts in assembly are paying off in bulk. The backslash is never used, so I blanked out the tile and taught the text reader to treat it essentially as a new-line character.  Not only is this more memory-efficient than the system of dashes and padding-spaces I've been using before, it looks much better!  Making sure to cash in on this good fortune I've restored most (but not all) of the text I omitted for these space constraints.  I've backed up my work, cuz the next step looks harder -- 4-line text.

News Submissions / Re: Translations: MOTHER 3 Fan Translation Complete
« on: October 22, 2008, 09:40:45 am »
Hearing this is a great way for my day to start.  I'm sure it must have been challenging to translate it while keeping the EarthBound flavor intact.  Fan translation is a labor of love!

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 14, 2008, 10:58:02 am »
InVerse, Darkdata, Vanya,
Thanks for the thoughts. 
Right now I'm learning to use FCEUX's debugging features to track down data to make an easytype patch (the one I said I wouldn't do, but progress encourages me), which is also preparing me to use Dwedit's input to help me to mod the dialog text engine.  I think it currently implements dual-tile loading so that English characters are padded from 8x8 to 8x16 (using a blank tile) to match the height of Chinese characters.  I aim to make it single-tile load, so I can fit 3 or 4 lines into a window, but may cost my ability to load 16x16 icons from the Chinese tilespace.  I only have a limited number of spare 8x8 tiles left to use, but the possibilities with the extended tilespace are enormous.  This is gonna be a risky and tricky job.  I need to find out if using 4-line dialog will corrupt the text engine in menus and battle, where I will need those 16x16 icons.  With those icons I can either use the icons sampled above, or scrunched-text icons.  I probably won't make a verdict until I've made those changes. 
As far as Icons vs Scrunch vs Trunc goes, Icons is in the lead.  Icons (16x16) vs Scrunch (24x16) both employ 16x16 icons which takes care of the display bug when a command appears over MaxHP.  Trunc, the last resort, is if 4-line text works but ruins everything else, which I wouldn't settle for unless I was evil. 
My imagination is starting to get ambitious, but first I have to see what I can do...

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 11, 2008, 08:25:55 pm »
Yay, 3000 reads, and I recently became a Full Member!

Okay, with the exception of a few icons, there should be no more Chinese text left in the ROM, although it will take some time to tell whether some of the English makes any more sense!  I've updated weapons and armor to small icons and squeezed more letters into their names.  Keeping up the pace.

Say, would you rather I leave the battle menu as...
...or use icons?

Actually, even with the PPU issue, I may have enough spare tiles to fake it up to say "Fight" and "Magic".

I forgot to mention that I still haven't figured out what to do for 16x16 icons for Cloth/Leather/Mail/Plate classes.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 08, 2008, 10:19:27 pm »
Okay, I saw it happen while fighting Scorpion with the PPU viewer open.  I think when a battle text string is long enough it overflows into the enemy's PPU data.  This might happen if the enemy has a name at maximum length (8 chars) or when long words like "Recovered" are used.  Calling Mag or Item invokes a menu screen, which refreshes the PPU table when you return to the battle screen.  I'd have to find myself a live sample of the extreme case, where it overwrites the entire enemy's graphics, but I think I've found the true nature of the bug!  Too bad there aren't many things I can do about it besides shortening strings.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 08, 2008, 09:44:16 pm »
You're welcome.  That's what I get for not running the patch through the usual diagnostic battery before posting it up.  The problem happened often with the Lizalfos and Pteragons and Mandrakes, and I mentioned it in passing pages ago.  It hasn't been this bad before.  I can *maybe* track it down. 
I tried to push "Atk " and "Mag " out to 5 chars ("Fight" and "Magic"), bit that made it much worse, and if I use 4 chars and the last isn't a space it looks like crap when event text runsthewordstogether.  I'm trying the patch and several tweaked builds, but I don't see your error come up when I run this particular patch.  I've tried Nestopia, FCEUX, with and without PPU viewer.
The Chinese can build entire sentences with only a few symbols and no spaces.  I am in envy.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 08, 2008, 12:55:48 am »
"Glove", "Gauntlet", it doesn't matter which is shorter because I use an icon in place of the word, and I'm imagining something more like a wristguard.  Besides, the glove icon () will probably be used for Tifa weapon names.  The best prospect for now is the Ring icon from FF3j ().  I could never even tell it was a ring until I saw the walkthroughs. 

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 07, 2008, 02:08:23 pm »
My life finally has meaning :D

I believe I might have figured out what may be screwing up the animated BGs.  The 6th Dialog block starts at 0x79011. 
In the original file it ends at 0x7EF7C.  With my patch, since English eats more script space, it ends at 0x7FF31. 
The limit is the start of a graphics block at 0x7FFD0. 
It turns out there was a block hiding from 0x7F110-0x7F724.  This is bad, but the consequences have been mercifully minor. 
I could move some text to the empty space after the block, but even ignoring it I am tight on space (and there are still a few lines left to translate there). 
Should I find myself unable to compress the text to these constraints, I may have to get greedy and corrupt that block. 

About the 4 armor categories, the original translates to Helmet/Armor/Shinguards/Cape.  Since this is unfaithful to the PSX game, I have no need to be faithful to this. 
I settled for translating it to Helmet/Armor/Shinguards/Gauntlet (with icons), since Gauntlets best substitute for Bangles from the PSX game.  I'll probably change it around to Helmet/Armor/Gauntlet/Cape in light of new information on Plate/Mail/Leather/Cloth classes. 

Though it pains me to give up the 16x16 icons, I plan to trade them in for the classic 8x8 icons, which will allow me to fit one more letter into Weapon/Armor/Spell names. 

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: October 06, 2008, 01:03:19 pm »
In case anyone was worried that I stopped working on this, well you're just crazy.
The new patch includes armor names, spell names, more text, improved text-wrapping, and...I forget what else.
I translated the armor as best I could, yet I defend the stranger translations such as the Cortex Gauntlet, the Puppet Shinguards, and the Shroom Armor.  (The Gauntlets are supposed to be Capes, but who wears a cape other than Seph (or Vincent (who isn't in this game))? Maybe CaitSith.  Yeah, no one is supposed to wear helmets.  Let it go!)

It's on MediaFire...

If you have any intel to contribute, the easytype patch project is on this thread:,7137.0.html

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: September 07, 2008, 03:55:31 pm »
Thank you Psychlonic, but I also said that getting to a complete translation will take time, and that graphics, music, and battle improvements use different memory areas, so the world doesn't have to wait for me.  My unfinished patch can be used to help them in the meantime, as long as the romhacker knows how to isolate their changes from my translation in their patch releases.  It still stands that 90% of the main text is translated, but 5% of that is omitted.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: FF7 NES Chinese Translation
« on: September 05, 2008, 10:21:06 pm »
I don't think I'm going to get involved in a graphics patch.  The memory is retarded in how it has the same tilesets appear 20 times throughout the ROM.  Annoyance.  I might do some kind of battle improvement, for my own sake at least.  Even though most of the text is translated, I'm not so close to being finished.  I have to study and alter the text engine before I can make this patch become what it's supposed to be.  I have much to learn, and I simply haven't had so much time for that lately. 

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