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Author Topic: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement  (Read 428734 times)

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #600 on: May 21, 2013, 02:44:10 pm »
It's a bit of a problem to do because of technical reasons. Those two screens use different VROM pages, different palettes and different organization of tiles within... Most importantly, the title screen does not have the necessary tiles for implementing the graphics of the prologue screen (the two 8x8 half-faded film edge tiles, the four 8x8 half-faded film corner tiles and the one 16x8 half-faded edge tile (when used as a sprite); and/or two more 8x8 half-faded edge tiles (when used as background).) Adding those tiles would require, once again, changing the version information blob, because it currently uses all remaining free tiles. I can't even change the year 2012 into 2013, because there's no room for the glyph of "3" in the VROM bank :-)

The VROM might indeed be an issue, but you're going to have redo all the tiles anyway. This would give you leeway in designing the screen however you want as long as you don't use too many times. Also, I would seriously consider using the smaller version of the Konami logo in combination with text tiles in order to make more space for the new game logo.

Bregalad

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #601 on: May 21, 2013, 02:56:09 pm »
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I can't even change the year 2012 into 2013, because there's no room for the glyph of "3" in the VROM bank :-)
Oh I had a similar problem with Dragon Skill's title screen (my NES homebrew project).
Note that 2013 is the first year since 1987 which does have 4 distinct numbers in it ! And we will only have such years until 2020.... so we are doomed to wait 2020 to release my game and your restranslation :D

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #602 on: May 22, 2013, 07:30:26 pm »
In a read-me like everybody else does. But if you CAN extend that after-credits screen then by all means that would be a great place for it all. ;)

Nobody reads READMEs or manuals anymore! That's why all content must be put into the game itself…

Quote
Kinda like I did here for the Japanese CV3 retranslation but with the back part?


Yep, very muchly so. Kind of a compromise between the USA Castlevania II style and the USA Castlevania III style, with elements from the Japanese Castlevania II. The vertical film layout is distinctly CV3, so it cannot be used.


Quote
I have to say you do seem to be putting too much stock in the preservation of the logo. Especially considering that we're talking about a ROM hack that is in some ways and points of view intrinsically illegal. Believe me if you caught Konami's attention with this it wouldn't be for modifying the logo graphics. The part you should worry about is preserving their copyright info. Removing or modifying that information is what would get you in trouble. Not the logo.
Nevertheless, knowing companies can be touchy about their logos, out of honor I think I don't want to touch it.


Quote
I think you need to decide whether to keep the English subtitle or the original Japanese one. Having them both just doesn't look or sound right. And since this is supposed to be a retranslation hack I'd go for the original subtitle, screw the original localization.

I would agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that this game is well known as Simon's Quest.  Additionally, the name Simon's Quest appears in those other banners within the game as you saw before. They would have to be changed, too.
My compromise between these worlds would involve sort of making the Japanese subtitle the official subtitle, but then adding the English subtitle as "oh, and the game is also known as ____".


Quote
PS- Don't like the positioning of the bats. I understand why they did it in the original, but honestly, it made the original look awkward and it shouldn't be reproduced.

You may be right. But I would like to include at least some Castlevania'y motif there, and putting the bats in would be a way to honor the original Japanese game. After all, this is a retranslation…

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #603 on: May 24, 2013, 12:35:54 pm »
1) Nobody reads READMEs or manuals anymore! That's why all content must be put into the game itself…

2) Yep, very muchly so. Kind of a compromise between the USA Castlevania II style and the USA Castlevania III style, with elements from the Japanese Castlevania II. The vertical film layout is distinctly CV3, so it cannot be used.

3) Nevertheless, knowing companies can be touchy about their logos, out of honor I think I don't want to touch it.


4) I would agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that this game is well known as Simon's Quest.  Additionally, the name Simon's Quest appears in those other banners within the game as you saw before. They would have to be changed, too.
My compromise between these worlds would involve sort of making the Japanese subtitle the official subtitle, but then adding the English subtitle as "oh, and the game is also known as ____".


5) You may be right. But I would like to include at least some Castlevania'y motif there, and putting the bats in would be a way to honor the original Japanese game. After all, this is a retranslation…

1) I do. And most patches have read me's and most patches have the credits there and not in the game.

2) No. I wouldn't use the CV3 style file strip. Didn't mean referring to the title graphic.

3) As you wish. All I'm saying is I really don't think it matters all that much or else tons of other hacks wouldn't do it and I've never heard of a patch author getting in trouble for it.

4) Precisely because the US/EU title is so well know is why it isn't necessary to keep it. The other banners can be changed for consistency or they can be left alone as a compromise. The main title just, honestly would look stupid and confusing with both sub titles and is cluttered and busy enough with out the extra text. No offense.

5) Don't get me wrong. I like the bats, I just don't like their positioning. Let me whip something up.

Da_GPer

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #604 on: May 31, 2013, 01:53:16 am »
I havent heard any new info in a little bit now. I hope the project is still going on....

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #605 on: May 31, 2013, 01:56:04 pm »
Sorry, been busy with things.
What I did find is that there is still some unresolved bug with the prologue engine, put into spotlight as I devised a new scheme to compress the animation data. It prevents making a new release until it is fixed. Also, I'm not sure what exactly to do with the title screen thing now...

MathUser2929

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #606 on: May 31, 2013, 08:28:12 pm »
I guess either simons quest or the JP name would work. Use Castlevania instead of akumajo dracula tho. Add the bats back if you want. I'm still waiting on the version that changes the intro text to the JP instruction manual story. Then I might play through the hack.

Chpexo

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« Reply #607 on: June 01, 2013, 02:30:08 pm »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:37:20 am by Chpexo »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #608 on: June 02, 2013, 09:36:49 pm »
I guess either simons quest or the JP name would work. Use Castlevania instead of akumajo dracula tho. Add the bats back if you want. I'm still waiting on the version that changes the intro text to the JP instruction manual story. Then I might play through the hack.

The new intro is in beta testing already. I doubt the old intro text will be changed since the intro from the manual is waaay longer than the amount of space available in the old intro screen.

Sinis

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #609 on: June 06, 2013, 01:12:28 pm »
How is the progress coming along with this project?  Have things slowed down or still busy pacing along with the edits?  :P

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #610 on: June 07, 2013, 06:05:54 pm »
Thanks for asking, Craftvania.
Sorry, I've been busy with jobhunting, updating some Portal 2 maps, and stuff like that.

Hey, I heard you needed someone to make the intro music, right? Well I am a composer myself. Here is a sample of some of my songs on FamiTracker in the form of .nsf files:

Thanks for volunteering in principle.

What I would need is a song that works nicely as the background for the cinematic prologue sequence. Ideally it would be timed and themed to work together with the on-screen choreography, but not too tightly, so that the small changes to the text and timings can be done later, such as translations to different languages, which inherently have different length texts and thus different timings, without making the song appear off. It should be in the same musical style of the existing soundtracks of that game, so as to not feel out-of-place with the game.
Additionally I would envision the background music of the first few scenes, where actual content from Castlevania 1 is shown, to be somehow reminiscent of the actual music of those events in that game, even if not straightforward a copy thereof.

Furthermore there are a few technical limitations:

You cannot define any new PCM samples. There is no room for them. PCM samples can only be placed in the common ROM bank ($C000-$FFFF), and it is already full of the game's code. This means "no" to the massive bass chords you were using in your sample tracks. The only PCM samples you can use are the drum samples that already exist in CV2.

As I have not yet reverse engineered the sound engine of the game, and I have failed to reach and get a response from anyone who has, I would have to write a new music engine just for the prologue. Not a problem; I think I can do that. I just don't know how much space it requires from the ROM.
The largest contiguous block currently available in the ROM is about 6000 bytes ($1770) long. This would have to fit the engine and the music. This probably is enough. In comparison, Capcom's sound engines used in Rockman 1, 2 and 3 are each about 2800 bytes long (excluding SFX & music). Simon's Quest own sound engine (excluding SFX & music data) is about 2400 bytes long.
I would probably like to keep a portion of that reserved for future features such as achievements or gameplay demos.
There are furthermore some restrictions on the RAM addresses that the player can use. The prologue animator engine uses almost all of the available RAM for stuff like decompressed animation data. I envision I can probably make available some 256 bytes, split between two or three distinct memory regions.

That said, I don't know how much space Famitracker's engine requires and how well its data is compressed, and which RAM addresses it uses. I am working with the assumption that I do indeed have to write a new sound engine and associated compression method for the music data. This means that any contribution I receive should be in a format that includes the minimal amount of decoration/spices (such as pitch bends, vibratos, volume tremolo, arpeggio, playing with different dutycycles etc.) possible: a S3M or MOD would probably work best, followed by MIDI, because I've got plenty of experience of dealing with those formats. (Dealing with MIDI, S3M and NES music has been my largest target of effort in hobbyist programming for 20 years.) Any spices would have to be added afterward, or included as command+infobytes in S3M. To reiterate, I cannot currently use a NSF file or a Famitracker's .ftm file. Furthermore, this would make the song partially dependent on my artistical work as I fit it for the music engine in the making.

If I indeed have to write a new sound engine, the composition does not need to include the instrument gimmicks that Simon's Quest uses (such as driving the first frame of each note an octave lower); that's the sound engine's job.

I fear that these facts may drive away any potential music contributors. As such, I do not dare to ask straight for anyone's contribution, out of fear that the contributor would be upset at me if the released outcome is different than what they contributed.

Of course, someone else could write the music engine just as well. It would need to include an entrypoint for "stop song", "start song", and "periodic callback" but otherwise be entirely self-contained. Bonus if it can read its music data from another memory bank through a callback.


The current version of the prologue can be seen here. It is an animated 640x480 20fps GIF rendered with nesemu1, but the timings are correct for the English version.
It also includes the glitches I'm trying to figure out, but these do not affect timings.
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/dev/prologue_gif_large.gif (13 MB)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 07:13:04 pm by Bisqwit »

odditude

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #611 on: June 08, 2013, 11:56:25 am »
the intro looks great! i'm kind of late to the party with this one, but i have a minor suggestion for the dialogue at the end:

Code: [Select]
Once the curse is sealed,
the legend of Dracula will
finally be ended forever.

With the curse gone, your
body will begin to heal, too.

There is no other way to
eliminate Dracula once
and for all."

given how knowledgeable the apparition is, she also would likely be fully aware that Drac isn't going to be put down for good by this. how about:

Code: [Select]
Once the curse is sealed,
Dracula's power will be
shattered.

The land, and your body,
will finally begin to heal.

There is no other way to
save this land from eternal
ruin."

Chpexo

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« Reply #612 on: June 09, 2013, 01:13:06 am »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:36:55 am by Chpexo »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #613 on: June 09, 2013, 04:06:42 am »
I'm going to be busy next week but I'll work on the song when I can in the free time I have. This is the song I have so far in the FamiTracker file format. Click here. Remember it is NOT done yet.

Thank you Chpexo. There is potential in this.

Quote
Things you wanted:
*No extra DPCM samples
*1st scene reminiscent from Castlevania I

Among other things I listed, such as that I cannot currenly deal with FTM files (more below about this).  The reminiscent parts were just thoughts I expressed, but the technical limitations are fixed.


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It is kinda hard to time the scene well and NOT make it tight. My suggestion for you is to not have the text type out, but just make it appear and fade out at a specific time.

That is a valid point. I will see if I can set the timing of the intro in stone. Currently the timing is driven by the text. The intro is based on an event stream, where text characters are also events. When it runs out of text characters, the next event is e.g. pause for N frames, or fadeout, or whatever.


Quote
I have the final boss song in the triangle channel in the second part of the song. Is this necessary?

Only the technical requirements are "necessary". Anything else is just artistic direction which you are free to ignore if you see it wise (based on your experience as a composer and as a soundscape artist).


Here's an intro of a different game that works for that game nicely musically in my opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rU577pEx0M&t=5m30s
See 5:30 onwards. You may skip from 6:10 to 8:15, as it just plays one (good) song in that period. Pay attention to how the song that plays from 8:20 to 9:25 on is well timed to the events on screen.


*) If you do submit your song in FTM format, I may need to do a manual conversion of it. This may not be as large a problem as I made it appear, but it does mean it will sound a little different in the game than in Famitracker. I look toward the conversion work.
P.S. I confirmed that the Famitracker NSF player engine is way too huge to be used. It weighs about 6000 bytes; using all the remaining space alone. An independent player engine must indeed be created.


Given how knowledgeable the apparition is, she also would likely be fully aware that Drac isn't going to be put down for good by this.

The text is a translation of the story from the Japanese manual. As such, I cannot agree with changing it. There is also a difference in game's tone by what you suggest. The mission does not seem as promising, important and accomplishing as much, if what you suggest is changed.

How I interpret this, is that the game makers intended it to be a total surprise for the player, that Dracula actually spawns as a ghost from the body parts when it is burned, possibly as a consequence of the curse left unattended for just a bit too long. It was to be a *spoilers* *wham* moment when Dracula suddenly spawns from the ashes. Every indication in the game and the prologue is that once the bodyparts are burned, that's it. End of story. The lady probably did not know this either, or neglected to mention the possibility [of Dracula's vengeful ghost] out of sheer hope that it will not be not too late.
Of course, genre-savvy people know to expect a final boss in an adventure game, but how genre-savvy were people in 1987 about adventure games?

EDIT: [video]http://youtu.be/tjOEpFVI6mY[/video]
Here is the prologue sequence with language-invariant timings. I added onscreen annotations for timings in various manners of counting. Let me know if I can help you more.
Please do not pay attention to visual glitches in this video. This is not a release version.
You will see the English and Finnish versions deviate in timing at points due to text length differences, but they always resync immediately in the next screen.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 09:41:23 am by Bisqwit »

Chpexo

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« Reply #614 on: June 09, 2013, 10:49:28 am »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:36:40 am by Chpexo »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon\'s Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #615 on: June 09, 2013, 11:38:23 am »
I guess you envisioned more of an action-y sounding intro right? Well it's not really logical to have action music when it's a flashback. The events of Dracula being killed are not currently happening in the game thus there is no reason to have suspenseful music. I chose calm music because the past is unmoving.

Well, the events shown in the Tales of Phantasia intro are also "ten years ago"... (Not so clear here since I linked to the Finnish translated version.)
But I did not mean to voice an opinion about the style of music. I linked to it as an example of a music that goes thematically hand in hand with onscreen events especially from 8:20 onward.

June 09, 2013, 06:19:12 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I have now released version 2.9.8.5.

It features numerous internal changes. Many of the animations in the prologue were rewritten as assembler subprograms. This gave the additional 6000-byte free space I mentioned earlier. The compression format for the animation data itself was rewritten.
Minor changes to the title screen, that are only seen when rewritten prologue is enabled. There are no new hotkeys on the titlescreen yet.
Some typos were fixed in the Finnish translation. And one "began" -> "begun" in the English one as well.


Please let me know if you still get a crash in the prologue in any version, or if you come across a combination of patch options that does not work and is not documented as broken.  (Using UOROM mapper without VROM is broken, for instance.)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 06:19:12 pm by Bisqwit »

Chpexo

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« Reply #616 on: June 09, 2013, 09:00:52 pm »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:36:27 am by Chpexo »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #617 on: June 10, 2013, 01:46:47 am »
Nice! That has a lot of potential, and hearing it while the intro was doing it's things looked, sounded and felt "right". This has a lot of potential!

@Bisqwit: If you end up going to the trouble of making a new sound engine will it completely replace the old one? If so I'll throw in a request for it to be VRC6 compatible, please. :)

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #618 on: June 10, 2013, 06:19:14 am »
@Bisqwit: If you end up going to the trouble of making a new sound engine will it completely replace the old one? If so I'll throw in a request for it to be VRC6 compatible, please. :)
No, it cannot replace the old one, because that would involve having to recreate all the existing songs and sound effects using the new engine.

About this song, I have some critique though.
-- I don't like the part of melody that goes in patterns 4 and 5 at rows 00-0F. There's something wrong with it, but I can't quite name it. It sounds like the type of music you would hear if you played a track backwards. In addition, pattern 3 (which is really cool) seems to build into something great and then we get this wet fish instead...
-- The chord progressions are awful at times. The F + F# dischord in patterns 8 and 9 (,I think) row 1C doesn't seem to serve any purpose, and it hurts the ear.  The B-A and A-G dischords in pattern 2 rows 02-08 are fine because they serve as anticipation... I don't have music education, so I lack the terminology to discuss these things, but there's just something wrong with the progression of chords and not just some individual odd chords...
-- Patterns 0A and 0B has this same kind of backwards style to it...

I don't know whether I should have said this though. Some people might react and say "%&@! you, do it yourself if you're so full of it". I'm just saying what I honestly think when listening to it, and I'm bad at giving truly constructive feedback.

EDIT: I just noticed that the USA and PAL releases of this game had an error in the title screen. Left: Original error. Right: Fixed in next release. Look at the top of the big "S" letter.

The missing piece of graphics was indeed in the CHR-ROM, but they did not use it.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 09:21:12 am by Bisqwit »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #619 on: June 10, 2013, 09:41:54 am »
No, it cannot replace the old one, because that would involve having to recreate all the existing songs and sound effects using the new engine.

There is a version of FamiTracker that can import nsf files. That would make it fairly easy to convert them to the new format.

EDIT: I just noticed that the USA and PAL releases of this game had an error in the title screen. Left: Original error. Right: Fixed in next release. Look at the top of the big "S" letter.

The missing piece of graphics was indeed in the CHR-ROM, but they did not use it.

I was wondering about that when I did my mock ups. Good catch.