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Author Topic: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report  (Read 17313 times)

Ryusui

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Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« on: June 25, 2012, 03:33:42 am »
With DSwizzy145's thread closed, I thought I might as well post my findings.

First, the good news. The game's font and script are completely uncompressed - the former starts at file address 120000; the latter starts at file address 1C0000. Theoretically, there's nothing stopping a determined newcomer from hacking the daylights out of this game - the biggest hurdle to overcome is the well-established volume of each. Which brings us to the bad news. The game's kanji font includes around 2,500 symbols, as I mentioned before, and the script runs to 20 banks of text - yes, everything from 1C0000 onward in the ROM is text. Out of the 3MB comprising the game ROM, 1.25MB are dedicated to the game's script. To call this a "huge project" would be a dramatic understatement.

Nonetheless, I am sincerely considering moving forward at least as far as making it possible to dump and insert the script. Yes, I'm talking about tackling that monster of a kanji table. Though I do have ideas. For one thing, it's extraordinarily unlikely that the game uses all 2,500 kanji stored in its font - the joyo list consists of "only" 2,136, and I find it doubtful that even a lengthy literary work like the one stored in the game's ROM would even come close to using them all (consider, for comparison, a book that uses over half the words in your favorite dictionary). In other words, all we really need to do is identify the kanji that the game does use.

While my efforts on the GBA game Wan Wan Meitantei (or "Sherlock Puppies," as I intend to call it) have stalled for some time, I did develop a tool for the express purpose of identifying all the kanji in the game's script. The method is simple: recreate the game's text engine, have it display a side-by-side comparison with the script data as rendered using the table, and insert any missing characters manually. Further refinements could simplify the process: I don't remember whether I set it up to flag lines that had missing characters, for one. While the workload will still be significant, having context for characters should dramatically aid identification.

Of course, translating the script is still the same onerous task - it's an enormous amount of text, and I suspect testing the end result will be an utter nightmare. Still, it's by a famous Japanese author, so it must be worth the effort, right? ^_^;

EDIT: And I have just cut the labor in half. A careful examination reveals that the "second half" of the script (26000-end) is actually the first half of the script, with a couple of banks jumbled up (and broken in the process, so it's just padding instead of an alternate script). So double good news: the script is actually only half the size I estimated (a bit under 640KB), and the English script can be up to 2.25MB without compression (don't forget, it's a 3MB ROM - it can be expanded to 4MB if necessary, and the game uses bank pointers!)

EDIT #2: I haven't looked deeper into the matter yet but holy crap the game's got the fixings for a VWF already baked in. I noticed something funny when my mock-up screens were matching up with the genuine article linebreak for linebreak (the game, and hence my mock-up engine, handles them automatically) even though I hadn't been trying to. I realized there was no way it was fitting 16 characters per line and still having margins on the left and right unless it was squishing them together; lo and behold, it does. So maybe I can take advantage of this black magic.

EDIT #3: So I turn on the fast forward and autofire to get a feel for how long this game's supposed to be. Disadvantage: no way of choosing paths. Other disadvantage: holy crap I did not need that late at night. Now I'm gonna have to go stare into Ike's eyes to detox. You're welcome.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 06:07:14 am by Ryusui »
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LostTemplar

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 08:38:46 am »
Just noticed this thread, so just ignore my PM. (Your inbox is full btw)

The kanjis shouldn't be the problem, I think. If you find five people and everybody does 500 of them it's a very doable task. I identified ~1500 for Far East of Eden Zero, so even doing them alone should be feasible in my opinion. Of course finding out which kanjis the game actually uses might cut the number down quite a bit, but considering it's a one-time task...

Edit: Here, I mapped it out for you. There are a few "?" (about 3-5) where I couldn't recognize the character.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 12:25:22 pm by LostTemplar »

Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 02:39:47 pm »
Edit: Here, I mapped it out for you. There are a few "?" (about 3-5) where I couldn't recognize the character.

O_O

Man that was fast. Well...now to convert it all into a table so that I can dump/reinsert this sucker. Insertion should be doable with plain ol' Atlas, but I plan on making a custom dumper to catch all (all!) the pointers scattered throughout the script. Atlas can insert those, but formatting them will be a hideous hunt-and-peck affair unless I can format them automatically. (For the record, I have experience with the "hideous hunt-and-peck" method, and five-and-a-half years later, I still haven't gotten back to finishing debugging Sylvanian Families.)

EDIT: The very last question mark is 楓. The rest, I'm just as stumped as you are (apart from that hiragana ヴ, which appears to be untypeable). Hopefully they're not, you know, used.

Also, I'd like your opinion on something. There are a few more names to be concerned about, but the two big players (apart from the protagonist) appear to be 角田, the local Big Man in Town, and 多江, the "Mysterious Girl"...

Spoiler:

...who happens to be a freaking VAMPIRE!

Would I be correct to render those as Tsunoda and Tae? Because for the life of me I can't find any source that lists their intended readings.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 03:14:50 pm by Ryusui »
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LostTemplar

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 03:04:07 pm »
As I said in the PM, it's basically just Shift JIS with some characters missing, so fortunately it wasn't as time-consuming as having to manually write every character.

If you really want it in table form, I'd suggest converting it programmatically, that's probably faster and less error-prone.

Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 03:15:13 pm »
That's the plan. Also, check my previous post - I made some edits.
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LostTemplar

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 03:24:10 pm »
Tsunoda and Tae should be correct. I found a few videos on nicodou referring to her as タエちゃん, if that's any indication.

Here: ゔ. I thought it was this, too, but couldn't type it, just like you. But then I checked the Windows Character Map and it was actually there - I knew I had seen this before. So it might actually be used in the game, especially considering the last few lines in the font don't follow the Shift JIS order and thus probably were inserted afterwards.

DarknessSavior

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 03:58:34 pm »
Just in case you should ever run across name kanji again, here's a site I like to use to help with that:

http://kanji.reader.bz/

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Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 05:31:19 pm »
Okay. So I'm currently on my fourth mad dash through and each subsequent playthrough unlocks new dialogue paths.

Spoiler:
On your first playthrough, the only option that affects your ending, as far as I can tell, is whether you choose to trust Tae or the villagers. Trust Tae and she leads you off into the woods, where she reveals she really is a vampire ("GIVE...ME...YOUR...BLOOD!") and turns you. Trust the villagers, and Tae freaks out, reveals herself as a vampire, and you take her down with an ofuda charm you found earlier. The second playthrough onward, however, adds a third option: you can "think about it," and if you stall for long enough, Tae flips out, bites you, and beats the crap out of the villagers before Tsunoda tells you to use the ofuda. Even though you've taken out Tae, though, you've been bitten, and the villagers kill you before you can turn.

Third and fourth thus far have been odd. The third adds a sequence where, as far as I can tell, you're choosing who you want to go out on a date with before the fateful "Help me...I'm going to die" phone call comes in, and the fourth - while I didn't quite catch the context - adds a quiz (and the second question is none other than the Riddle of the Sphinx XD).

So yeah. The game's not long, but it still has room for a lot of extra text - and I have no idea how many permutations are added on multiple playthroughs. This bears further research.

EDIT: Okay, what the hell?

http://newfami.com/atoz/ma/majonemuri.html

Can anyone help me make full sense of this review? I don't remember a bomb being in the game, and that Flash-based "scary scene compilation" has a couple things I don't recognize - the ghost coming at you and FACE O' DOOM!, yeah, but what's with the axe and the thing after that? Best I can tell, it's saying there are actually two stories in there and I haven't unlocked the second...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 05:59:17 pm by Ryusui »
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DSwizzy145

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 05:55:07 pm »
wow by just reading the playthough of the game it already sounds very intresting :D sorry about the script dump, i was installing a kanji dictionary for translation purposes and as for the script dump sorry about that, i was still looking for the script scattered in the rom (unless you've found them already) btw is the vampire on the pic you posted is actually on the game? :)

Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 06:11:30 pm »
Yes.

I suppose there's no point in hiding spoilers in this thread. The big twist at the end is, no, the villagers aren't crazy; yes, the "Valley-Dwellers" do exist; extra yes, the villagers have the right idea trying to kill them, because they are vampires of the "suck your blood and turn you into one of them" variety. Tae, the "Mysterious Girl" who's apparently trying to help you escape the villagers when they turn on you, is actually one of the Valley-Dwellers and hence a vampire; when you're cornered by the villagers at the end and they tell you the whole story, you have the option of trusting Tae (which gets you dragged off into the forest and turned), trusting the villagers (Good End!), or (on playthroughs after the first) "thinking about it," which results in a nasty ending where Tae bites you, you take down Tae with your ofuda talisman as per the Good End, and the villagers kill you brutally (you even catch a glimpse of your own headless corpse) before you turn.

Anyway, the script is in one big chunk, from 1C000 to 25ACF. Formatting it to the point where it can be translated will be a pain, though. The game's almost as bad as Sylvanian Families with regards to script codes and pointers. Fortunately, I've had six years of (off-and-on) experience since then - I'm familiar with making my own tools. Ideally, once I'm done, it'll be possible to dump the game's script in such a way that it can be translated and reinserted using Atlas with no problem. Of course, there's still the matter of hacking the game to display a proportional font (aka VWF), not to mention other tweaks.

Just so I know, by the way, what got you interested in this game in the first place?
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BRPXQZME

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 06:19:48 pm »
So yeah. The game's not long, but it still has room for a lot of extra text - and I have no idea how many permutations are added on multiple playthroughs. This bears further research.
I looked at a strategy guide, and it turns out it’s complicated enough that you’re going to want the strategy guide.
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Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 06:24:16 pm »
I could use the strategy guide. Where can I get the strategy guide?
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Eien Ni Hen

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 07:23:34 pm »
Wow, it's nice to see work being done on this game. I'd love to play it in English someday.

So... Any idea on who will be handling the translation? (Not it.)
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LostTemplar

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 07:30:55 pm »
If I had the time, I'd totally translate it to German. But the script certainly seems humongous, so let's see how much it actually is when it is dumped.

Not that I would have the time then.

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 08:06:25 pm »
@Ryusui that a very good question indeed as a matter a fact, if i can recall the reason im intrested was because, im very hooked into more adventure point & click/text (thus not much into text adventure games besides this one being the acception) lol also is how much detail and scenery being added to a much realistic perspective and very decent horror story to go with each picture and scene :D and thats my reason ;) and thanks to everyone in this forum for contributing to this project and time mostly in due respect.

Ryusui

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 08:20:12 pm »
try this one on for size

Sweet catch!

...Okay, what. If my eyes aren't on the fritz, it's way more than that final ending that hinges on what choices you make throughout the course of the game. There are twenty-six endings, for one, and unlocking them all is necessary to view Chapter 3 (which appears to be just a bonus menu). Sweet genius, and I thought 999 and Corpse Party were tough on completionists.

Reading it carefully, apparently the entire second half of the game changes depending on which event flags you trigger. Thus far, I haven't actually even reached Chapter 2 - I've inadvertently skipped through the choice that would normally lead me there. ^_^; More importantly, there are four versions of Chapter 2: "Resurrection of Witches," "Immortality," "Gold Nugget," and "Forgotten Valley," each of which have endings to unlock.

I wonder how tough it'd be to implement a 999-like feature where you can skip through dialogue you've seen before? Or implement a dedicated "skip dialogue" button? 'Cause I gotta admit, that's one thing that annoyed me about Corpse Party.

Wow, it's nice to see work being done on this game. I'd love to play it in English someday.

So... Any idea on who will be handling the translation? (Not it.)

Heh. Well, whoever does it, I fully intend to provide writing/localization support. My Japanese is good enough to get the gist of things, but I have to look up way too many kanji to make reasonably fast progress.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 08:38:13 pm by Ryusui »
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KingMike

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 08:30:41 pm »
EDIT: And I have just cut the labor in half. A careful examination reveals that the "second half" of the script (26000-end) is actually the first half of the script, with a couple of banks jumbled up (and broken in the process, so it's just padding instead of an alternate script). So double good news: the script is actually only half the size I estimated (a bit under 640KB), and the English script can be up to 2.25MB without compression (don't forget, it's a 3MB ROM - it can be expanded to 4MB if necessary, and the game uses bank pointers!)
Just a thought. Could it possibly be a 2.5MB game overdumped to 3MB?
There have been a few such games, and one was a project I looked at. (where the last MB was actually 512KB repeated twice)
(try dumping 200000-27FFFF and 280000-2FFFFF into separate files and see if they match?)

Checking the ROM in a hex editor: no, doesn't look an overdump. Strange.
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BRPXQZME

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2012, 08:55:38 pm »
I wonder how tough it'd be to implement a 999-like feature where you can skip through dialogue you've seen before? Or implement a dedicated "skip dialogue" button? 'Cause I gotta admit, that's one thing that annoyed me about Corpse Party.
Conceptually, you’ll probably only need two components (depends on how the engine is and your system limitations):
1) your fast-forwarding / skip method (or both)
2) a data structure (refer to your Funnyuncle) for what’s been seen before

If #2 is properly designed and the engine is friendly about it, you can even potentially implement a complete or partial ability to review something you accidentally skipped over (a la the rollback feature in Ren'Py or the “script” feature of L.A. Noire), but that’s icing on the cake.

Because the SNES doesn’t have all that much memory, this may still prove to be more trouble than it’s worth, but then again, you could save a lot of memory for such a feature if you did it (for example) section by section instead of line by line.
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Eien Ni Hen

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Re: Jiro Akagawa's "The Sleep of Witches" Situation Report
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2012, 08:57:33 pm »
Edit: Never mind. Nothing to see here.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 11:41:42 am by Eien Ni Hen »
Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space. But Jimmy has fancy plans... and pants to match. The monkey clown horrible karate round and yummy like cute small baby chick would beat the donkey.