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Author Topic: FFIII NES translation question  (Read 3849 times)

Chaos Rush

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FFIII NES translation question
« on: January 08, 2016, 04:47:43 pm »
Hi, I have a question for people that have played one or more of the various versions of Final Fantasy III.

Particularly, how good does the text in one version read compared to another? Are the AJW and ad0220 versions decent translations (or at least feel like it when compared to the DS/PSP version)? Are either one of the scripts usable for a "definitive" NES version, or do people feel a translation overhaul is required?
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vivify93

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 05:27:41 pm »
I feel like both AWJ and ad0220's translations are fine as they are, with ad's translation probably being more robust and wordy thanks to the expanded ROM size and extra room he added to the dialogue box.
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aspiringnobody

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 06:27:33 pm »
The biggest difference for me is that AD0220's patch includes a B button dash, and the Alex Jackson one doesn't.

KillerBob

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 10:03:10 pm »
I guess you'll need to know Japanese and have actually compared the various scripts to give a real answer to the question. I have only played the AJW translation of this game and while they did an incredible job with it back then, it definitely have some issues. The severe limit of space in the rom is probably what influenced their script in many ways. I think the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. I would say it's functional nothing more, but that was more than welcome at the time.

I would love to see you or someone else treat it the same way as your FFII Refurbished project.

Chaos Rush

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 12:01:44 am »
I guess you'll need to know Japanese and have actually compared the various scripts to give a real answer to the question. I have only played the AJW translation of this game and while they did an incredible job with it back then, it definitely have some issues. The severe limit of space in the rom is probably what influenced their script in many ways. I think the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. I would say it's functional nothing more, but that was more than welcome at the time.

I would love to see you or someone else treat it the same way as your FFII Refurbished project.
What issues did you have with the presentation? I've never played either one of the translations (only played the DS remake), so I wouldn't know what they are.

I'm definitely considering doing a FFIII: Refurbished. If I knew the language well enough to retranslate the whole script from scratch, then I would, but I don't. I'm wondering if either one of the existing translations could be salvageable for a definitive English FFIII on NES type thing, going through the script and comparing it with the DS translation and making small adjustments (obviously the DS game changed a bunch of stuff, but I'm willing to bet that there's more than a few random insignificant NPC's that have the exact same dialogue between the original Japanese FFIII and the Japanese DS script). In fact I've already started preliminary work (inserting English text graphics and replacing some menu text), but I would like to hear from others which of the two fan-translations would be preferable to polish. (Also consider that I realllly don't want to expand the ROM size)
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aspiringnobody

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 12:34:23 am »
I'm not a native speaker but I'm decent.  My opinion is that the ad0220 translation is passable.  The AWJ translation makes some serious compromises due to the necessities of space.  I don't see a fresh look being able to avoid making the same compromises due to the extreme space restrictions.

The ad0220 translation could certainly use some sprucing up.  But it's really decent.  By comparing it with the DS remake you could come up with a good script.  you'd still have to cut it to hell to make it fit in the 512kb restriction unless you did some gnarly hacking/compression/etc.

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What issues did you have with the presentation? I've never played either one of the translations (only played the DS remake), so I wouldn't know what they are.

I'm definitely considering doing a FFIII: Refurbished. If I knew the language well enough to retranslate the whole script from scratch, then I would, but I don't. I'm wondering if either one of the existing translations could be salvageable for a definitive English FFIII on NES type thing, going through the script and comparing it with the DS translation and making small adjustments (obviously the DS game changed a bunch of stuff, but I'm willing to bet that there's more than a few random insignificant NPC's that have the exact same dialogue between the original Japanese FFIII and the Japanese DS script). In fact I've already started preliminary work (inserting English text graphics and replacing some menu text), but I would like to hear from others which of the two fan-translations would be preferable to polish. (Also consider that I realllly don't want to expand the ROM size)

KillerBob

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 04:37:12 am »
What issues did you have with the presentation? I've never played either one of the translations (only played the DS remake), so I wouldn't know what they are.
See this thread: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,20878.0.html
Paar has fixed some of them and is working on others.

I'm definitely considering doing a FFIII: Refurbished. If I knew the language well enough to retranslate the whole script from scratch, then I would, but I don't. I'm wondering if either one of the existing translations could be salvageable for a definitive English FFIII on NES type thing, going through the script and comparing it with the DS translation and making small adjustments (obviously the DS game changed a bunch of stuff, but I'm willing to bet that there's more than a few random insignificant NPC's that have the exact same dialogue between the original Japanese FFIII and the Japanese DS script). In fact I've already started preliminary work (inserting English text graphics and replacing some menu text), but I would like to hear from others which of the two fan-translations would be preferable to polish. (Also consider that I realllly don't want to expand the ROM size)
From a quick look it appears the ROM size is already expanded in the ad0220 translation. Also, the battle menus doesn't seem to be TV-safe in it.

Chaos Rush

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 04:55:42 am »
@aspiringnobody: I'll take a look at both translations, but I'll "trust" the ad0220 translation more.

@KillerBob: Well, unlike my FF2 project, I'm not planning on using an existing translation ROM as a base. I'm planning on doing the work from scratch on a vanilla Japanese ROM, and I'll rip the scripts from the AWJ and ad0220 translations (since I can write programs to do that for me like I did for FF2 :P). I think what I'll do is come up with a new script that's like a Frankenstein of the AWJ, ad0220, and DS scripts and somehow shove it down to 512kb... I hope. If someone wants to convince me to expand to 1mb go ahead, but I don't want to piss off people using NES flashcarts.

Also I found this: http://ximwix.net/mirrors/rhdn/index.php@topic=5782.30.html where ad0220 implied that he didn't use DTE at all. Which could mean that his script *might* be able to fit in a 512kb ROM with proper DTE. I haven't actually looked at his script yet though (I can't even download the file because Norton Antivirus thinks that the patcher ad0220 included is a virus)

What I'm also wondering though, for NES games is it possible for more advanced forms of text compression than DTE?
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aspiringnobody

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 06:39:29 am »
@aspiringnobody: I'll take a look at both translations, but I'll "trust" the ad0220 translation more.

@KillerBob: Well, unlike my FF2 project, I'm not planning on using an existing translation ROM as a base. I'm planning on doing the work from scratch on a vanilla Japanese ROM, and I'll rip the scripts from the AWJ and ad0220 translations (since I can write programs to do that for me like I did for FF2 :P). I think what I'll do is come up with a new script that's like a Frankenstein of the AWJ, ad0220, and DS scripts and somehow shove it down to 512kb... I hope. If someone wants to convince me to expand to 1mb go ahead, but I don't want to piss off people using NES flashcarts.

Also I found this: http://ximwix.net/mirrors/rhdn/index.php@topic=5782.30.html where ad0220 implied that he didn't use DTE at all. Which could mean that his script *might* be able to fit in a 512kb ROM with proper DTE. I haven't actually looked at his script yet though (I can't even download the file because Norton Antivirus thinks that the patcher ad0220 included is a virus)

What I'm also wondering though, for NES games is it possible for more advanced forms of text compression than DTE?

Not without lots of nasty ASM hacking.

vivify93

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 11:25:47 am »
I can confirm that ad0220 didn't use any DTE whatsoever.
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Bregalad

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2016, 03:05:18 pm »
The biggest difference for me is that AD0220's patch includes a B button dash, and the Alex Jackson one doesn't.
Then AD0220's patch is not only a translation but a translation/hack. Chaging anything that is not japanese text is in my opinion unacceptable for something labeled "a translation".

aspiringnobody

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 03:22:37 pm »
Then AD0220's patch is not only a translation but a translation/hack. Chaging anything that is not japanese text is in my opinion unacceptable for something labeled "a translation".

While I'd normally tend to agree with you, I think in this case it's acceptable.  It's the only "change" and is SORELY needed by this game.  There is so much backtracking in this game as is.  It's needed here.  Unfortunately, because of how this patch is applied (custom exe) and the fact that it doubles the rom size (IPS patching likely wouldn't work) it's not like you could apply the patch after the fact.  Someone would have to make a b-button dash hack for this game in the first place before it's even worth having the conversation.

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Chaos Rush

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2016, 03:32:58 pm »
I have an idea for super-text compression:

Instead of treating a whole byte as a letter, read one bit at a time. Now, bits can only go from 0-F, so a "switch" system could be used. The first bit of any dialogue string will be either a 0 or 1 or 2 (or however many is needed, but 2 should be the maximum), if it's 0 then the following bit(s) would be from A-M assigned to bits 3-F, until it encounters a 0/1/2 bit, in which the letters following would be from N-Z (plus lowercase) also assigned from 3-F, and so on until every letter has an assigned bit and an assigned 'bit bank' (0, 1, or 2). Obviously this would require ASM but I'm up for the challenge.

It would essentially be 1 byte=two characters, but then hopefully it could be further compressed with DTE so that 1 byte could potentially be four characters.
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Bregalad

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2016, 03:55:19 pm »
@Chaos Rush : Recursive DTE is extremely simple in concept and can usually compress English text down to 25% of it's original size (so it crushes 75% of the data). As opposed to non-recursive DTE which only crunshes down to 50-60% of the original size.

The concept is also extremely simple, one of the two bytes of the DTE can also be a DTE itself. Decoding it in 6502 ASM is trivial (it just needs a DTE routine that calls itself when needed), and making a program that encode this optimally isn't very hard either.

Chaos Rush

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2016, 08:10:04 pm »
@Chaos Rush : Recursive DTE is extremely simple in concept and can usually compress English text down to 25% of it's original size (so it crushes 75% of the data). As opposed to non-recursive DTE which only crunshes down to 50-60% of the original size.

The concept is also extremely simple, one of the two bytes of the DTE can also be a DTE itself. Decoding it in 6502 ASM is trivial (it just needs a DTE routine that calls itself when needed), and making a program that encode this optimally isn't very hard either.
One potential problem I see with that though is that there only so many byte values - just 00 to FF, and at least 50 of them are already reserved for non-DTE values. If we wanted a huge DTE table and a "DTE-for-DTE" table, would you suggest using a switch byte indicator (to tell the game to start reading from a different table of the next letter isn't part of the current table) utilizing multiple character/DTE tables? Or would those just add up? Or should the DTE table(s) remain part of the regular text table?
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KingMike

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2016, 10:15:12 pm »
@Chaos Rush : Recursive DTE is extremely simple in concept and can usually compress English text down to 25% of it's original size (so it crushes 75% of the data). As opposed to non-recursive DTE which only crunshes down to 50-60% of the original size.

The concept is also extremely simple, one of the two bytes of the DTE can also be a DTE itself. Decoding it in 6502 ASM is trivial (it just needs a DTE routine that calls itself when needed), and making a program that encode this optimally isn't very hard either.
Isn't that basically just a wacky-coded dictionary compression?
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Disch

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2016, 11:05:01 pm »
More people need to learn Huffman.    :laugh:

Bregalad

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2016, 04:33:22 am »
Quote
If we wanted a huge DTE table and a "DTE-for-DTE" table, would you suggest using a switch byte indicator (to tell the game to start reading from a different table of the next letter isn't part of the current table) utilizing multiple character/DTE tables?
No. It's much simpler. In your case where 50 non DTE character are used, there would be two 205 character tables, one for the left character and one for the right. It's exactly like regular DTE. The only difference is that those tables are allowed to reference themselves, hence my term for "recursive" DTE.

Quote
Isn't that basically just a wacky-coded dictionary compression?
Indeed.
Quote
More people need to learn Huffman.
My claim that it is the most efficient does not come unsourced. I have written a tool that performs many different compression algorithm to the same data, and I just noticed that for text, most of the time recursive DTE was the most efficient.

I really wish my great efforts to implement more advanced algorithm like Huffman and LZ77 weren't wasted, but really, recursive DTE is more effective. Huffman often comes 2nd for text data. The large size of the Huffman table, as well as Huffman's inability to compress words that comes really often, is probably why it doesn't perform as good as expected. Huffman can only encode on symbol probability, however in text, the order of letters appearing is as important than the letters themselves when it comes to redundancy.

That and Huffman is much more complex to code, needs more RAM, etc, etc....

Reiska

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Re: FFIII NES translation question
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2016, 01:30:15 pm »
Hi, I have a question for people that have played one or more of the various versions of Final Fantasy III.

Particularly, how good does the text in one version read compared to another? Are the AJW and ad0220 versions decent translations (or at least feel like it when compared to the DS/PSP version)? Are either one of the scripts usable for a "definitive" NES version, or do people feel a translation overhaul is required?

If you're looking for a project, which is what this sounds like, converting ad0220's translation to MMC5 would certainly be a worthy one so that it can be played on modern (accurate) emulators.  On most modern emulators, it either fails to boot entirely, or boots but has massive glitches (like battles no longer working past a certain point of the game) due to the fact that the real MMC3 didn't support an 8 Mbit ROM size.

That said, both scripts are pretty competent, although I dislike the AWJ translation's use of squishy tiles.