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Author Topic: Final Fantasy II: Refurbished  (Read 28980 times)

Chaos Rush

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Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« on: September 18, 2015, 01:46:49 am »
First things first, to avoid confusion: This is a hack of Final Fantasy II for the NES, the second Final Fantasy game, not Final Fantasy IV for the SNES.

Brief history of FFII (skip if you already know):
Spoiler:
As we all may or may not know, this game was first released only in Japan for the Famicom (Japan's equivalent of the NES). It was meant to be released in the US and Square began work on translating it, but ultimately scrapped it, and the US didn't get another Final Fantasy game until Final Fantasy IV. Anyhow there exists a prototype of Square's English Final Fantasy II for the NES with a very broken translation (Hilda: "How is he MingWu?", MingWu:"Yes..I sense great vitality", Hilda: "Oh please"). In the late 90's, Neo Demiforce made their own translation of Final Fantasy II for the NES, and it was rather decent for its time, though it has its issues, which I will get into later. In 2002 Square released the Final Fantasy Origins compilation in the US for the PS1, which is the first time the US got an official release of Final Fantasy II. An updated port for the GBA was released in 2003, and all subsequent ports on the PSP and mobile devices are based off the GBA release.

Anyhow, despite all these fancy updated ports we now have, some people like me want to play the original with 8-bit graphics, but at the same time would like an updated translation as well as modern item and spell names used by Square Enix, but for Final Fantasy II there really aren't any options. The prototype ROM has laughable grammar, and the Neo Demiforce translation, while great for its time, has a lot of mistranslated lines and names inconsistent with the official releases.

Because the Key Terms in FFII can be referenced in FFII's text with just two bytes, and because the names of FFII's items/characters/key terms differ between the Neo Demiforce translation and Square Enix's modern releases, I can't simply change the respective names in the text to the modern ones, as the lengths are different, which means a lot of reformatting and repointing would have to be done. Not to mention, the translation itself has some inaccuracies here and there and rather than combing through the entire script searching for them, it's just better to redo it completely. So I have decided to redo the entire script altogether. And thus, I present to you, Final Fantasy II: Refurbished.

As of January 16th, 2016, this project is complete!

* All characters, items, enemies, location names, and key terms are the same as they are in the GBA/PSP/mobile versions of Final Fantasy II (with some abbreviations)

* completely new script made using the GBA version (Dawn of Souls) as a guide. However, Dawn of Souls contained extra lines of text that weren't in the original, and this was not the translators adding stuff for fun, but rather these extra lines were in the Japanese Dawn of Souls as well (which is why Square didn't use the PS1 script for DoS, since DoS added new lines). These extra lines are not included in FFII: Refurbished, and the only text content in the game will be the content that was present in the original Famicom release (and I guess the PS1 release, since the PS1's text content is identical to the original as well. The new stuff wasn't added until the GBA version). So basically what I'm doing is, look at the GBA script, compare it to the PS1 script, and also look at the original Japanese script (I'm not fluent enough to actually translate on my own but I do know a little Japanese, which helps somewhat) to decipher what was added in Dawn of Souls, and remove that line. Then I paraphrase wherever possible just to save space (for instance, "I'm Gordon" instead of, "My name is Gordon"). To insert the text, I have developed a new FF2 text editor specifically for this game that allows for dynamic text compiling.

* better use of icon text. The Diamond Armor and the Diamond Cuirass will actually be distinguishable.

* I wrote a new text editing tool specifically for this project (in fact I wrote two, but I've abandoned the former as the second one I wrote is a lot more versatile). My tool, CastleFynn, is capable of dynamic text recompiling, which means that it can recompile all the text at once so that they're all packed together and will handle the repointing for me. This ensures that I will have the most efficient use of space in the ROM.

Screenshots:
 



Progress:
NPC & cutscene text - 100%
Item names - 100% (expanded to nine characters)
Enemy names - 100%
Key terms - 100%
Battle text - 100%

Tools used:
* GoldFinger Hex Editor
* Free Space Finder (even though it's meant for GBA lol)
* TileMolester Alternate
* CastleFynn (FF2 Text editor made by me)

Credits:
* Square Enix - for making this game and remaking this game
* NeoDemiforce - for translating this game in 1998
* HackMew - for making Free Space Finder
* whoever made TileMolester
* whoever made TileMolester Alternate
* Vanya - stat name suggestions
* Rodimus Primal - intro text and general support
* vivify93 - formatting inspiration, as well as some item name suggestions
* SpiderDave - B-button dash

Q&A:
Q: Which translation is this based off of?
A: The GBA FF2 translation (Dawn of Souls), but any lines that weren't present in the original Famicom version are removed, and then the text is further paraphrased for space reasons. Any lines that were in the Famicom version but were changed in the GBA version, I am retranslating from scratch (as I know enough Japanese to translate simple lines, and I double and triple check to make sure they're the correct meaning).

Q: When do you think you will be finished with this?
A: I have no idea. I have a busy life. It's finished now :)

Q: Will you do the same for Final Fantasy I?
A: No lol, cause there's already plenty of definitive Final Fantasy I hacks for the NES, such as Final Fantasy Restored, or Grond's Final Fantasy.

Q: Will you do the same for Final Fantasy III?
A: Maybe... Yes, and here is the FFIII project thread: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,22231.0.html

Q: Why don't you just play the GBA/PSP/iOS version?
A: shut up lol

Q: Do you know any Japanese?
A: Yes. I was born in Japan but have lived in America since 2001. I am not fluent in Japanese, but I went to Japan's equivalent of pre-school/kindergarten (called 'youchien') in Japan, so I can read hiragana and katakana perfectly and I understand basic Japanese sentence structure. However, my vocabulary is very limited (it is the same as that of a Japanese pre-schooler), but I am working to improve it. Knowing Japanese does help with figuring out the differences between FF2j's text and FF2GBAj's text.

Q: When will you release your FF2 text editors?
A: CastleFynn can be downloaded here: http://www.romhacking.net/translations/2656/

Q: Will there be any gameplay enhancements?
A: Yes, but as a separate patch. Coming someday...

===============================

RELEASE PAGE:
http://www.romhacking.net/translations/2656/

The entire game is playable from start to finish. This is not a gameplay alteration patch, this patch acts purely as a translation/localization of the original game. (However, a B-Button dash has been added)

Patch this to a CLEAN, UNMODIFIED, JAPANESE Final Fantasy II ROM.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 12:45:12 am by Chaos Rush »

direwolf

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2015, 05:02:31 am »
 :thumbsup: All my respect to you mate! Great choice and it's looking great.

Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2015, 11:28:44 am »
Awesome news! This has been a project I've wanted to see happen ever since I first played through the Neo DemiForce translation back in the day! I attempted this myself, but Jade's bugginess screw over my work. I commend you for being dedicated to it and I'll give any input I can that might be of help to you. I'm sure you've seen quite a bit so far, so I'm eagar for this to be completed!

Also, from your last picture with the non-squish tile spells. Using li il and ll will help and will not look terrible at least for the time being.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 11:36:16 am by Rodimus Primal »

Chaos Rush

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2015, 12:07:24 pm »
Awesome news! This has been a project I've wanted to see happen ever since I first played through the Neo DemiForce translation back in the day! I attempted this myself, but Jade's bugginess screw over my work. I commend you for being dedicated to it and I'll give any input I can that might be of help to you. I'm sure you've seen quite a bit so far, so I'm eagar for this to be completed!

Also, from your last picture with the non-squish tile spells. Using li il and ll will help and will not look terrible at least for the time being.
I would definitely like a beta tester of sorts. While I don't want to release any patch until the main translation is done, it would be nice to have someone to check through the script and make suggestions as the project is being worked on, besides me. Would you like to be a beta tester?

Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2015, 12:08:47 pm »
Sure thing. Anything I can to help out. Work and real life make it tough but I'll do what I can.

kain611

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2015, 06:06:09 pm »
I would definitely like a beta tester of sorts. While I don't want to release any patch until the main translation is done, it would be nice to have someone to check through the script and make suggestions as the project is being worked on, besides me. Would you like to be a beta tester?


I also would be willing to beta test. Final Fantasy II on the NES is one of my favorite games. The early beginning of the SaGa series ;)

Panzer88

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 03:26:07 pm »
I'm really happy to see someone taking this project on. Kudos. Has anyone done anything similar to this with FF1? I know it's less pressing as we already have an english version, just a thought.
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Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 04:09:46 pm »
I'm really happy to see someone taking this project on. Kudos. Has anyone done anything similar to this with FF1? I know it's less pressing as we already have an english version, just a thought.

There are two that I can think of. Final Fantasy Restored and Grond's Final Fantasy.

I hated the font they used and prefer the original font so I made an Original Font Patch.

I'm looking forward to what Chaos Rush does with this game, starting of course with the translation.

Chaos Rush

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 01:32:59 am »
Good news: I have figured out how to alter the size of the menu boxes in-battle:

The bad news is that I haven't figured out how to adjust the text wrapping after altering the menu box sizes.

The menus are going to have to overlap by the edges, which I don't think is that bad. The payoff is that there will be enough tile space for enemy names to have 10 characters as opposed to 8. Even more would be nice of course, but that would require figuring out how to control how many horizontal tiles the menus can slide around. If I find a way to do that, then I'll try to allow space for 12 characters.

Bregalad

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 04:31:32 am »
Will this fix the incredibly messed up battle system ? If so, I can't wait to try it out.

Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 09:19:10 am »
I think Chaos Rush said in the FAQ that if he does it will be in the form of optional patches so those of us who don't mind the game's funky battle system can play it like it was.

Chaos Rush

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 10:45:14 am »
Will this fix the incredibly messed up battle system ? If so, I can't wait to try it out.
Right now my focus is on inserting the updated script and adjusting menus to fit longer item/enemy/spell names. Bugfix stuff will come later, and if they come they'll be optional since the main goal of this project is making a modern localization (but without censorship) of the original Famicom game. I've never actually played through the NES FF2 (but I've beaten the GBA version) so I don't know of all the glitches but I have heard that Basuna (or Esuna?) apparently does nothing and Ultima is broken.

Bregalad

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2015, 06:10:30 am »
Quote
I've never actually played through the NES FF2 (but I've beaten the GBA version) so I don't know of all the glitches but I have heard that Basuna (or Esuna?) apparently does nothing and Ultima is broken.
Actually the entire game is broken, but that's another topic. You cannot have an idea how much the NES game is broken if you played only the GBA. It has already been discussed several times here, and I belive there is at least one hack which already (at least partially) fixes it. It's fine if this is not the scope of your project.

Chaos Rush

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2015, 10:13:58 am »
Actually the entire game is broken, but that's another topic. You cannot have an idea how much the NES game is broken if you played only the GBA. It has already been discussed several times here, and I belive there is at least one hack which already (at least partially) fixes it. It's fine if this is not the scope of your project.
Can you elaborate on how it's broken? I believe you of course; I genuinely want to know how it's broken.

KingMike

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2015, 10:55:27 am »
Well, the most famous glitch is that you can farm weapon/magic EXP by simply inputting commands and then cancel.
You can also attack your own team to grind HP-up, but that's a bit more debatable whether that's a glitch. I've not played the GBA version but I heard that one had its stat gains modified a bit, including giving your team periodic HP increases to prevent a team member (particularly Maria, in my experience) from getting too far dangerously behind in max HP.
(It's happened before that I've gotten through that waterfall cave with Firion and Guy at 100-200 HP but Maria still behind at 30)

Esuna definitely works and I presume Basuna does as well, but they each only heal one status and you have to grind them to make them heal more. Could that be why people say it doesn't work?
Did they do anything to address that in the remakes? Because that's pretty dumb you have to grind it just to make it properly functional. :P
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 11:00:29 am by KingMike »
Quote
Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, on Christmas sales of the PS3:
"It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."

Bregalad

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2015, 01:00:09 pm »
Can you elaborate on how it's broken? I believe you of course; I genuinely want to know how it's broken.
Sure, please read my game review of Final Fantasy II on Moby Games.

KingMike

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 04:03:08 pm »
I have finished the NES version without cheating (that is, without using cheat codes), including without intentional abuse of the cancel glitch, so it's doable. It was frustrating and indeed I have to grind (of course by grinding, you have to do it balance of what you want your characters to be). I think MP gain is also caused by losing MP, so as you use spells it increases the chain of gaining MP.
The worst part I remember being one island with enemies that (seemed?) they could only be damaged with magic, so I had to grind magic EXP for everyone. But that made me strong enough to finish the rest of the game.

I think Ultima was confirmed broken. We had a discussion about that quite some time ago, about a rumor the programmer Nasir left it broken and when director Sakaguchi asked him to fix it or at least give him the code, it's said he refused and made up a logic explanation for why it should stay unfixed. Something like because it's been sealed and forgotten so long no person could recall how to incite it at its full power.

Again, Esuna/Basuna not really broken as much as badly designed (unless I am missing something). I recall from reading the manuals to the remakes, you have to grind them to about level 6 for them to unlock the full effect (all possible statuses can be cured). At least you can still use them in battle to get the magic EXP even if they don't do anything. I suppose if one wanted to improve that, they could find the code and hack it so they don't require higher levels to heal more status. Another thing is the Exit spell. Though it does what it's supposed to, it also takes away the caster's HP for no real reason. They expect you to grind it so the HP penalty is reduced.

Maybe information was in the manual on that, but maybe it wasn't explained so good in earlier versions.

But if Bregalad needs to use cheat codes to be able to finish the game and is not able to enjoy the game without them, then that's fine for him. If he doesn't find fun in the game as it was designed, then he shouldn't have to play it that way.
Quote
Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, on Christmas sales of the PS3:
"It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."

Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2015, 04:29:09 pm »
I think this link might be informative about how Ultima's code is buggy. http://www.siliconera.com/2014/10/20/final-fantasys-first-ultima-spell-useless/


How far along in the dialogue have you got Chaos Rush?

Chaos Rush

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2015, 04:43:33 pm »
How far along in the dialogue have you got Chaos Rush?
To the point where you deliver Scott's ring back to Hilda and then she tells you about the Dreadnought and Josef. I haven't done any dialogue insertion in the past few days because I've been trying to mess with the battle menu sizes and positions (and I'm also busy with school and stuff).

To be honest though, after reading Bregalad's review of FF2, I'm really questioning why I'm doing this. I also don't like the fact that yesterday I wasted four hours trying to figure out how to fix the text wrapping issue when you expand the enemy name box. When you literally waste four hours of your life and gain nothing from it, it really really demotivates you - which is why I called it quits on Pokemon ROM hacking because I was wasting too many hours of my life with it. (If I decide to call it quits with this I'll release everything I have including my text editor). Not to mention this game is stupidly coded; for instance, the bytes that control the coordinates of the (in-battle) enemy box, main stats box, and command box are at x31136, x31153, and x31193, respectively. The format is [X][Y][LENGTH][HEIGHT]. But the length and height values aren't actual length and height values, they act more like "extend the box until it reaches this coordinate on the bottom layer"; I mean that's just fucking stupid programming.

Rodimus Primal

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Re: (WIP) Final Fantasy II: Refurbished
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2015, 08:10:40 pm »
I wouldn't give up so soon. You've already done a great deal simply by making a better text editor. The game needs an over haul sure, but by at least getting the translation to a better place would pave the way for others to actually fix the game.