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Author Topic: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)  (Read 13746 times)

RHDNBot

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Update By: SamIAm

One of only three respectable action games on the Japan-exclusive PC-FX console, "God-Fighter Zeroigar" is a 2D vertical scrolling shooter that came out this very week back in 1997. Rather than an arcade-style high score challenge, it is a console-style epic, sporting a unique level-up system and a highly developed story told through in-game events and roughly 16 minutes of high-quality hand-drawn anime FMV.

The game’s complex game system and deep story have made Zeroigar highly inaccessible to non-Japanese speakers in the 18 years since its release. As of today, however, there is a patch that eliminates this problem completely.

You’ll see that the title screen menu, the complex level-up/repair screen, the in-game icons and dialogue text, and even the credits are now in English. What you might be surprised to see in addition is that the FMVs are fully subtitled with no loss to the original image.

This was only possible because of three things: the nature of the PC-FX FMV playback chip, the windowed original video giving us room to put subtitles in their own black space, and there being just enough bandwidth in the data stream to fit them.

Zeroigar’s story is both a throwback to classic 1970s robot anime and something quite unique. An evil empire is taking over the galaxy, but one of their scientists escapes with the plans for their ultimate weapon and flees far away…to Earth in 1945, where she encounters a Japanese pilot just returning from the war who might be able to help her.

Give this game a try in Mednafen, the only emulator that fully supports it, or enjoy it on your real PC-FX system. Elmer and SamIAm, respectively the hacker and translator of the project, and many others who helped along the way all think you'll love it.

...and would you believe that the patch is only 1.3MB!

Just remember to put the Mode 1 switch on your controller to B to toggle autofire. :)

Visit https://youtu.be/GnUtZkT7pVM for a preview!

RHDN Project Page

Relevant Link: (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,20071.0.html)

Wendell

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 11:25:56 am »
This is awesome!
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magictrufflez

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 01:08:59 pm »
I really like the look of this...but are all the enemies in that youtube preview SUPPOSED to be walking into your gun's firing path?  :o

elmer

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 01:25:54 pm »
I really like the look of this...but are all the enemies in that youtube preview SUPPOSED to be walking into your gun's firing path?  :o

They're not very smart, are they?  :laugh:

That's the 1st Zone, an easy introduction before the Raimei (the Zero fighter) links up to the rest of Zeroigar and gets some good weapons.

You won't find things so easy on the 2nd Zone.

If you are someone that often finds shoot-em-ups a little too difficult, you can "grind" on the 1st Zone for a while to build up your "Experience Points" and so get a few easy "Level Ups" before you tackle the 2nd Zone.

If you really want a challenge from the start, just change the difficulty to "Hard".   :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 03:27:08 pm by elmer »

BlackDog61

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 02:43:47 pm »
Nice! Thanks.  :thumbsup:
Some nit-picking questions, since this seems to be coming to a PC near me ;)
- Any chance for the screen displayed at 0:15 to be translated?
- In the teaser video, the sub says "The galaxy lay int he shadow of death." Shouldn't it use "lays"?

I'll be playin' around!!!  ;D

elmer

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 05:23:40 pm »
Some nit-picking questions, since this seems to be coming to a PC near me ;)
- Any chance for the screen displayed at 0:15 to be translated?

That's the logo for "Sugeiya, Ltd".

Nobody in the test group ever even suggested that the logo should be subtitled.  :huh:

It's easy enough to do, and there's plenty of space to do it.


Quote
- In the teaser video, the sub says "The galaxy lay in the shadow of death." Shouldn't it use "lays"?

That's one for SamIAm to comment on.


Thanks for the suggestions!  :)

getter77

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 05:38:16 pm »
Definite a surprise of a release---nice work!

Synnae

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 06:06:09 pm »
Wow. I wasn't expecting this.

I don't think knowing Japanese is obligatory to play Zeroigar though as it's pretty English speaker-friendly (it's a shmup). There are other PC-FX games that more deserving of a translation, but hey, it's always nice to see English translations coming. Thank you very much. ;)

SamIAm

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 06:29:56 pm »
Nice! Thanks.  :thumbsup:
Some nit-picking questions, since this seems to be coming to a PC near me ;)

- In the teaser video, the sub says "The galaxy lay int he shadow of death." Shouldn't it use "lays"?

It's the old transitive vs. intransitive verb problem.

"Lays" with an "s" can only exist as the present tense, third person singular conjugation of the transitive verb "lay".
"She lays an egg every day."

However, the intransitive verb "lie" has a plain past tense form that is identical to its transitive cousin's present tense, ie "lay".

So in other words, that word in the subtitle is not the present tense of the transitive "lay", but the past tense of the intransitive "lie".

Granted, so many people use "laid" as the past tense of the intransitive "lie" that you could say it's also grammatically correct. But strictly speaking, and for a narration it's good to be strict, it's supposed to be "lay".

Ever watch the movie Yellow Submarine? This reminds me of the opening narration there (which can't be found on youtube, otherwise I'd link it).

"Once upon a time...or maybe twice...there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. 80,000 leagues beneath the sea it lay...or lie...I'm not too sure."

----------------

Anyway, thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy the game!!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 06:44:52 pm by SamIAm »

BlackDog61

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 07:47:59 pm »
Thanks, that clarifies. I agree with "lay", indeed. I had forgotten about that tense.

trumisery

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 07:55:27 pm »
Awesome!  It is nice to know what everyone is saying!

Thanks for the effort and time you guys put into this translation!  Gives me a reason to fire up my pcfx... it has been sitting dormant for too long...

KaioShin

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 09:09:21 am »
Translations on undervalued systems are always fantastic. Great job  :beer:
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

KiddoCabbusses

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 09:02:23 pm »
Wow. I wasn't expecting this.

I don't think knowing Japanese is obligatory to play Zeroigar though as it's pretty English speaker-friendly (it's a shmup). There are other PC-FX games that more deserving of a translation, but hey, it's always nice to see English translations coming. Thank you very much. ;)

While I mostly agree on the surface level, the quality of the hacking required to get this fan-translation as good-looking as it got (The subtitles layed below the lossless video is something I wish could've been done for some parts of the Pia Carrot PC-FX fan translation, and something I hope will be the approach for future ones.) makes it exceptional regardless.

Not to mention, any PC-FX fan translation is nice, since as far as I know this is only the second one that ever got "complete".

elmer

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 09:56:42 pm »
I don't think knowing Japanese is obligatory to play Zeroigar though as it's pretty English speaker-friendly (it's a shmup).

As a shmup ... you can certain force yourself to play through Zeroigar without understanding the story, not knowing the weapon names, and not having much of a clue about the Experience/Level system ... but it's a pretty hollow experience.

At least, it was for me when I tried it and gave it up as something not worth the effort.

I can only think of it as if you were playing the game deaf and color-blind ... you're missing a lot.

But once you can actually understand these things ... and enjoy the story that the developers created, and why you're actually fighting ... then I think that this might be the most-enjoyable shmup that I've ever played.

It's not the most challenging, it's not the most beautiful, it's not the most technically accomplished ... those particular honors can go to other games.

But, to me, it is quite possibly the most enjoyable.

When I could actually see SamIAm's translation and understand the story, I grew to love the game.

I've not, personally, played another shmup that's anything quite like it.

To then complete it, and so to unlock the delightfully strange Sakuraigar Mode, and to get a brilliantly different take on the story ... was magical.

(BTW, we translated that, too, hacking in a complete soft-subtitling system where none had existed before.)

I do hope that you'll find a lot more enjoyment in the game, now that you can understand it.  :thumbsup:

August 10, 2015, 10:20:45 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
While I mostly agree on the surface level, the quality of the hacking required to get this fan-translation as good-looking as it got (The subtitles layed below the lossless video is something I wish could've been done for some parts of the Pia Carrot PC-FX fan translation, and something I hope will be the approach for future ones.) makes it exceptional regardless.

We were getting a small, but noticable, quality loss when we recompressed the video with the subtitles, and we were also getting occasional noisy artefacts on the subtitles themselves.

Those videos were also really straining the limits of the CDs bandwidth.

It was necessary to understand the compressed mjpeg video down to the level of the individual  matrix components in order to losslessly rearrange the existing video without any recompression, and to then add on the subtitle data.

That wouldn't have been possible without the work done by David Michel in creating the Magic Engine FX emulator, and his generously passing that knowledge on to Rypheca for Mednafen.

Even though there is no standardized container format for the video on the PC-FX, and so games have subtle or major differences in how they store their video, I believe that the basic knowledge, tools and techniques are now there to extract and hard-sub almost any PC-FX video.

That doesn't mean that it will be easy ... or that it will be easy to rewrite a game's CD to put it back afterwards. But it should be possible.

I certainly do hope that people who don't understand Japanese, will someday have the opportunity to understand the stories of a few more PC-FX games.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 10:20:45 pm by elmer »

VicVergil

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2015, 11:53:19 pm »
I certainly do hope that people who don't understand Japanese, will someday have the opportunity to understand the stories of a few more PC-FX games.

Do you recommend some more PC-FX games?
The Zenki one is somewhat underwhelming (compared to the Super Famicom games for that franchise), and the original third main Tengai Makyou game got cancelled with even the prototypes lost - and only a shitty FMV game got released of that.

Synnae

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2015, 11:00:20 am »
As a shmup ... you can certain force yourself to play through Zeroigar without understanding the story, not knowing the weapon names, and not having much of a clue about the Experience/Level system ... but it's a pretty hollow experience.

At least, it was for me when I tried it and gave it up as something not worth the effort.

I can only think of it as if you were playing the game deaf and color-blind ... you're missing a lot.

You just defined my childhood. :P

That's exactly how I used to play games when I was younger. I'm from Brazil, so Portuguese is my native language, not English. Back when I was younger there were no Portuguese romhack translations, so I had to play the games in raw English. It took me many years to learn English as my secondary language, so until then I could never make sense of what was going on in the story of the games. Despite of that, I still managed to beat several RPG's like ALttP, SMRPG and FFVI. It was a "hollow experience" as you said, yes. But at least I still had fun with the games regardless. That's probably one of the reasons I don't mind playing games in Japanese as long as they are "English-speaker friendly" I'm just too used to this sort of "hollow experience" stuff, lol.

Anyway, when my English got good, I played through all of those games again and had a much better experience. ^^ My English may still not be perfect, but I like to think it's good enough. :)

elmer

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2015, 01:13:31 pm »
Do you recommend some more PC-FX games?

I'm sorry, but I haven't played enough of them to be able to recommend anything.

Personally, I need understand a game in order to enjoy it, and there's only one other translated  game on the PX-FX ... and it's not one that I'm interested in playing.

There are a few games that people are working on translating, like Team Innocent and Miraculum, and so I hope that I'll get to play some more PC-FX games in English at some point.

If you haven't already seen it, Game Sack does a pretty good job of giving an overview of the PC-FX and its library.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7qGy1jxsM0

The PC-FX doesn't get a lot of love or attention compared to the PlayStation or the Saturn, but I think that a game like Zeroigar shows that it had some interesting things to offer.

FMV and multi-media were really popular in the mid 1990s with games like Myst, and I'm guessing that NEC really hoped that the video playback side of the PC-FX would make it sell well enough to last until the 3D upgrade chip that they designed was ready to sell as an add-on upgrade.

The PC-FX has a slot for it, and the chip was released in the PC-FXGA cards for the PC98/IBM, but the upgrade for the console was never released.

Lentfilms

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2015, 04:16:44 pm »
Congrats on finishing this project everyone, it is really awesome to finally see it completed after being in the works for so long. Other people seem to be appreciating your hard work as well. Todd Ciolek from Anime News Network wrote about Zeroigar's translation in his weekly gaming column, X-Button. Pretty cool stuff.  :)

elmer

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2015, 09:12:44 pm »
Anyway, when my English got good, I played through all of those games again and had a much better experience. ^^ My English may still not be perfect, but I like to think it's good enough.

Your English is excellent ... and far better than my Portuguese!

I hope that you enjoy Zeroigar's story now that you have a change to actually understand it.

If you take a look at the patch files that we've distributed, all of the actual in-game text is included as plain-text files.

If you edit those files, you can start creating your own Portuguese version of Zeroigar, and see it running in the game.

There's just about enough free memory left in the patch for me to extend the in-game font to the full Windows codepage-1252 glyph set ... if anyone is actually interested in translating the patch into other languages.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 01:27:20 am by elmer »

SamIAm

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Re: Translations: Translation Release: God-Fighter Zeroigar (PC-FX)
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2015, 10:30:45 pm »
Hey, did anyone have trouble getting Mednafen to work with this game?

elmer and I just realized that we should have put some info in the readme about configuring the PC-FX BIOS, which you will have to obtain separately from the emulator.

Ahem...should you go searching the internet for BIOS dumps in order to compare for accuracy your own legally produced backup that you've dumped from your own PC-FX system...then you're going to want the one with [a] in the title. The one without it won't work.

Rename the BIOS to "pcfx.rom" and put it in Mednafen's root directory.

That's all!