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Author Topic: Final Fantasy III English Translation for NES (FFIII: Refurbished)  (Read 56047 times)

Chaos Rush

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I have decided to take it upon myself to make a new English translation of Final Fantasy III for the NES, in what I hope becomes the definitive version of Final Fantasy III. Now, what is the point of doing this? Well, there was never any official English translation of the original Final Fantasy III for the NES, only its DS remake and subsequent ports were localized. While there are a couple existing fan translations, I have heard of problems with both, with one's script suffering from a severe lack of free space, and another using 1mb ROM space on a mapper that doesn't actually support it.

FFIII Refurbished will feature:
* Usage of Kea's MMC5 mapper patch, which gives me 1 whole megabyte of total space to work with (meaning an extra 512kb that weren't there originally, which is more than enough for English text)

* A new English script based heavily off of the DS translation. How I will approach this is that I will compare the scripts between the original Japanese Famicom version and the official DS remake. The text from the DS version will be used ONLY IF THE LINE WAS FROM THE ORIGINAL FAMICOM VERSION, and if not, then the lines will be retranslated myself. However, in instances where I use the DS remake's line, if the line features censorship (such as small references to religion that were removed from the DS localization), then I will uncensor those lines. Ultimately, the new script will be an accurate translation of the original Final Fantasy III for the Famicom/NES, and since I'm using Kea's MMC5 mapper patch, I won't have to worry about free space at all, so I can make the text as wordy and meaningful as possible.

* Likewise, all character names, item names, enemy names, terminology, etc., will be as they are in the DS remake. So you won't see stuff like "Fire1", "Fire2" or "Fire3", instead it will be, "Fire", "Fira, "Firaga", etc.

* 10-character item names. Item names will be as close to the DS remake as possible.

* 12-character job titles. Job titles will be named exactly as they are in the DS remake, except for the "Magic Knight" job because the DS remake changed it to "Dark Knight" while in the original they were called "Magic Knights" (Dark Knights weren't actually introduced in the series until Final Fantasy IV)

* 11-character enemy names. Enemy names will be as close to the DS remake as possible.

* 6-character spell names. Spell names will be as close to the DS remake as possible (squish tiles will be used)

I have also written a new text editing tool in Java that allows me to view the original Japanese script while I work on the new English script, and allows mass recompiling of the text, so I don't have to do any repointing myself. It is called, "Onion Text". I have not yet publicly released Onion Text, and I don't expect I will for a while. The reason why is because as I work on FFIII:R, I will also continue to make small adjustments to Onion Text. When this project nears completion, I will then release Onion Text, with the hope that other people use it to make their own translations of FFIII into other languages.

Screenshots:



Overall progress:
* Menu size adjustments: 100% done
* Enemy names: 100% done
* Item names: 100% done
* Dialogue: 100% done

Tools used:
* GoldFinger - hex editor
* FCEUX - debugger & PPU viewer
* ASM6 - ASM compiler
* OnionText - text compiler that I made specifically for this project (coded in Java)

Credits:
* Me - project leader and translation of lines that aren't in the DS remake
* Kea - MMC5 mapper patch
* Square Enix - for making this game and remaking this game and localizing the remake
* whoever made TileMolester (God, that's a horrible name)
* whoever made TileMolester Alternate
* whoever made GoldFinger
* whoever made HxD
* whoever made FCEUX
* whoever made ASM6

The patch can be downloaded here:
http://www.romhacking.net/translations/2701/
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 09:42:27 am by Chaos Rush »

Pennywise

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I will say that a lot of the older translations leave something to be desired. It's not that the initial translations were bad, it seemed like they were limited by space constraints. It also probably didn't help that the scripts were probably edited by a bunch of juvenile teenagers.

Anyhow, the expanded ROM will definitely help, but I'd probably redo most of the menus/interfaces too. Most NES RPGs need ~12-16 characters for item names so you don't have to resort to abbreviations and awkward squishy tiles. Instead of having 2 items per row, you could do 1 item per row.

Rodimus Primal

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To say the least, I'm excited. The work looks great so far and I'm sure you'll be able to do it with the added space. Are you also going to add a B Button dash?

Chaos Rush

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I will say that a lot of the older translations leave something to be desired. It's not that the initial translations were bad, it seemed like they were limited by space constraints. It also probably didn't help that the scripts were probably edited by a bunch of juvenile teenagers.

Anyhow, the expanded ROM will definitely help, but I'd probably redo most of the menus/interfaces too. Most NES RPGs need ~12-16 characters for item names so you don't have to resort to abbreviations and awkward squishy tiles. Instead of having 2 items per row, you could do 1 item per row.
I've actually already adjusted the sizes of nearly all of the menus, as shown in the screenshots. I did think about having 1-item per row, but then there's also the in-battle item menu, which I'm trying to expand. Currently the in-battle item menu is still restricted to 8-character item names, so I have the in-battle item menu use a separate set of strings and use an ellipsis for longer item names:

Not the most attractive solution, but it'll do until I can figure out how to expand that particular menu.

To say the least, I'm excited. The work looks great so far and I'm sure you'll be able to do it with the added space. Are you also going to add a B Button dash?
Good question. I mean, since FF Restored has it, and since FFII Refurbished has it, then it would be a good idea for FFIII Refurbished to have it too. However, FFIII has characters following you at certain points in the game. So at some point I'll definitely look into adding a B-Button dash (I'll just port over SpiderDave's routine that he made me for FFII over to FFIII), hopefully it won't cause any problems with additional characters that are following.

John Enigma

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Nice. Translating from scratch one of the most peculiar Final Fantasy games Square(-Enix) has ever made.

That being said, I hope that someday, someone does a a remake-port of Final Fantasy III to GBA using either the Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls game engine or the Final Fantasy IV Advance game engine (or by GBA homebrew, if possible), and uses this translation.

Good luck with the translation, Chaos Rush-san.

A.D.R.I.A.N

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Wow, this sounds pretty neat. I used to know that the Alex W. Jackson translation was good, until i heard of the ad0220 translation, which was WAY better than the AWJ one.
I wish you good luck with this, hopefully this will be the definitive version of FFIII NES.
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Midna

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It also probably didn't help that the scripts were probably edited by a bunch of juvenile teenagers.

That actually game up in the FFII Refurbished topic. Apparently, in the Demiforce fan translation of the game, one random villager's dialogue references the ubiquitous "Restore the Power of the ORBS!" message from the first game. Which is funny, but it's not what they were saying in the Japanese version at all. (And apparently that's not the only liberty taken with the original script.)

With a few exceptions, I tend not to like translations that rewrite serious dialogue into unrelated wackiness unless it fits with the tone of the scene or the game in general. The J2e take on FFIV is particularly bad in this regard. Even the lead scriptwriter for the project admits it these days.

Chaos Rush

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Nice. Translating from scratch one of the most peculiar Final Fantasy games Square(-Enix) has ever made.

That being said, I hope that someday, someone does a a remake-port of Final Fantasy III to GBA using either the Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls game engine or the Final Fantasy IV Advance game engine (or by GBA homebrew, if possible), and uses this translation.

Good luck with the translation, Chaos Rush-san.
Thank you. Allow me to point out though, that I'm not translating the entire game from scratch, as probably about 75%~80% will be identical to the DS remake. I am however, going to compare every line of text in the game between the Famicom version and the DS remake (since I'm uncensoring the DS remake's text in instances where Square Enix censored it), so while this isn't quite like doing a translation from scratch, I think this is an appropriate project for my current level of Japanese knowledge.

Wow, this sounds pretty neat. I used to know that the Alex W. Jackson translation was good, until i heard of the ad0220 translation, which was WAY better than the AWJ one.
I wish you good luck with this, hopefully this will be the definitive version of FFIII NES.
Thanks! Personally, I'm going to avoid looking at either one of the existing translations because I want this to have a "fresh" feel. I also think it's important to translate the stuff that's not present in the DS remake myself, since I have to make the newly translated stuff fit in tone-wise with the material that I'm using from the DS remake. In addition to that, I feel that doing my own translation helps me improve my Japanese vocabulary. I want to assure everyone that whatever lines I translate will be accurate, because if I encounter a word that is not yet part of my Japanese vocabulary, I analyze and research the crap out of it.

That actually game up in the FFII Refurbished topic. Apparently, in the Demiforce fan translation of the game, one random villager's dialogue references the ubiquitous "Restore the Power of the ORBS!" message from the first game. Which is funny, but it's not what they were saying in the Japanese version at all. (And apparently that's not the only liberty taken with the original script.)

With a few exceptions, I tend not to like translations that rewrite serious dialogue into unrelated wackiness unless it fits with the tone of the scene or the game in general. The J2e take on FFIV is particularly bad in this regard. Even the lead scriptwriter for the project admits it these days.
Yeah the Demiforce FFII translation is pretty bad. For instance, in the Japanese version of FFII, there's an old man in the rebel hideout who says early in the game, "I knew the task would be too tough/heavy for you guys to handle", which the Demiforce translation somehow turned into, "I want to move out of the empire but my luggage is too heavy". Seems they understood one word (heavy/おもい) and then made up an entirely new sentence using that word. (If you wanna see more examples, just use my FFII text editor - CastleFynn - to compare the scripts between FF2R, FF2J, and FF2Demi. The tool is on the RHDN website)

I will say that I will not be inserting any jokes, references, memes, etc.; though I may reword things to make it sound less awkward given the context. For instance, during the opening cave scene in FFIII, one of the Onion Knights says, "おい! けんかしてるひまがあったら でぐちを さがせ!" (English: "Oi! If you've got the time to argue then find the exit!"). I reworded it to, "Hey! There's no time to argue right now! We need to find a way out of here!" because I just thought mentioning whether or not they have the time to argue is just rather weird. In general, when I translate I keep in mind that someday Tomato might look at it and critique it on Legends of Localization.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 11:11:11 pm by Chaos Rush »

KillerBob

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Wow, nice way of handling the limited space on the Job Menu.  :thumbsup: Personally I would use the Japanese classname Dragon Knight instead of Dragoon. Dragoons originally referred to soldiers intended to deploy by horse and fight on foot, and the modern usage refers to mounted regiments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragoon

I hope you don't follow the DS terminology too religiously just for it being official, because there are errors in it as well as some renamings to erase any use of Dungeons & Dragons monster names IIRC.

Sephirous

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I have a thought/question/idea/suggestion/thing...

I think something cool for this patch could be a Title Screen?
Like the one that was created for Final Fantasy II Nes.

I never understood why the Nes Games aside from II didn't have Title Screens.
Yeah there is the Prologue one, but after you play past the prologue it never comes back again.

Just a thought.  :thumbsup:
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Asaki

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* Usage of Kea's MMC5 mapper patch, which gives me 1 whole megabyte of total space to work with (meaning an extra 512kb that weren't there originally, which is more than enough for English text)

So that means, like the ad0220 translation, we won't be able to play it on real hardware =(

Burnt Lasagna

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Chaos Rush, I love you.
Refurbished Onion Knights on NES would be the cat's pajamas!

Chronosplit

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Awesome!  I was hoping you'd do this after II!

Wow, nice way of handling the limited space on the Job Menu.  :thumbsup: Personally I would use the Japanese classname Dragon Knight instead of Dragoon. Dragoons originally referred to soldiers intended to deploy by horse and fight on foot, and the modern usage refers to mounted regiments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragoon

I hope you don't follow the DS terminology too religiously just for it being official, because there are errors in it as well as some renamings to erase any use of Dungeons & Dragons monster names IIRC.
As far as Jobs go I'd rather they be recognizable to most players.  Localization keeps them that way because of "we've always done it like this."  I could make an argument for Devout being Seer, but they're both used equally in the series.

Chaos Rush

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Wow, nice way of handling the limited space on the Job Menu.  :thumbsup: Personally I would use the Japanese classname Dragon Knight instead of Dragoon. Dragoons originally referred to soldiers intended to deploy by horse and fight on foot, and the modern usage refers to mounted regiments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragoon

I hope you don't follow the DS terminology too religiously just for it being official, because there are errors in it as well as some renamings to erase any use of Dungeons & Dragons monster names IIRC.
Well, I hope you respect my decision but I am indeed going to follow Square Enix terminology religiously just for the sake of having this fit-in with the official games, in addition to fitting-in with AstralEsper's FFI Restored, my FFII Refurbished, and Rodimus Primal's FFIV Namingway Edition. However, when this project is done I will release my text editing tool that I've prepared for it, and it will be incredibly easy to change the names to whatever you'd like :) I have no problem with people making addendum patches either, if say someone doesn't like the official names, the font, etc.

So that means, like the ad0220 translation, we won't be able to play it on real hardware =(
May I ask why not? Do NES flashcarts not support 1mb ROMs? I thought the reason why the ad0220 translation was unusable because it used a 1mb ROM while running the MMC3 mapper. My project uses Kea's MMC5 mapper patch, and the MMC5 mapper is a legal way to have 1mb PRG on the NES. Either way, this project would be impossible without it, and and extra PRG banks is the only way to give FFIII's script a proper translation.

KillerBob

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As far as Jobs go I'd rather they be recognizable to most players.  Localization keeps them that way because of "we've always done it like this."  I could make an argument for Devout being Seer, but they're both used equally in the series.
Sure, you're making a valid point. But as he was aiming for source accuracy when it came to Magic Knight, I didn't think my suggestion was anything out of the ordinary. But as it is, Dragon Knight will not fit within the 12 character limit anyway.

Pennywise

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To my knowledge, no flash carts or physical boards support 1MB PRG-ROM yet... They only go up to 512kb.

I see that as a good thing though. If people start releasing hacks and translations that use 1MB PRG-ROM for the MMC5, then there will be demand for a 1MB PRG-ROM flash cart.

Another benefit is that no one would be able to easily make a repro of your work.

Anyhow, you're gonna get people whining about how they won't be able to play it on their NES, but just tell them to whine to that Everdrive guy and Powerpak people.

KillerBob

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Well, I hope you respect my decision but I am indeed going to follow Square Enix terminology religiously just for the sake of having this fit-in with the official games, in addition to fitting-in with AstralEsper's FFI Restored, my FFII Refurbished, and Rodimus Primal's FFIV Namingway Edition.
Of course I do, I'm absolutely sure your work will be fantastic. The translation work alone is a huge undertaking. I only thought I would let you know just in case, no big deal. Keep up the great work!  :)

Chronosplit

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Sure, you're making a valid point. But as he was aiming for source accuracy when it came to Magic Knight, I didn't think my suggestion was anything out of the ordinary. But as it is, Dragon Knight will not fit within the 12 character limit anyway.
That's true, it wasn't out of place or anything.  Magic Knight though I think is one of those things the DS version changed completely, like the Terrain abilities which are completely different.  If I were doing it I'd probably keep with Magic Knight either way, as it's a Job specific to the NES version.

Speaking of which... Chaos Rush, how are you going to handle Terrain?  The DS ones I don't think are going to match up, but I'm pretty sure they're referenced in FFV and/or FFT at least.

Chaos Rush

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Sure, you're making a valid point. But as he was aiming for source accuracy when it came to Magic Knight, I didn't think my suggestion was anything out of the ordinary. But as it is, Dragon Knight will not fit within the 12 character limit anyway.
Magic Knight is a bit of a weird case. In the original FFIII, they could use low level White Magic. In the remake, Square Enix turned them into full-on Dark Knights (like Cecil from FFIV) and even gave them the Souleater/Darkness ability that was original introduced in FFIV, and named them as such in the localization. However, the term they use for that class in the Japanese remake is the same as the original (まけんし) at least according to this page, while only the localization of the DS version calls them "Dark Knight"s. The Japanese term for the Dark Knight class used in FFIV is あんこくきし (literal: Darkness Knight), which is different from the term they use for the class in FFIII, まけんし (literal: Magic Swordsman).

Ultimately, I felt it would be misleading to call them Dark Knights in this translation because they lack the Souleater/Darkness ability and can use low-level White Magic, so I went with "Magic Knight".

Chronosplit

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Oh, I see!  So it was another case of localization being weird.  Though given the DS game's use of Magic Knight being almost the exact same as FFIV's Dark Knight, I can see the logic behind that change.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 12:10:14 pm by Chronosplit »