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Author Topic: Un-Worked Designs: Working Designs minus bullshit difficulty (Latest: Lunar 2)  (Read 97976 times)

butane bob

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Exile patch is out, but first let me address this:

It's not a problem with your ISO, it means I screwed up editing the script.

Man, that's ok. It's just good to know it wasn't something on my end. Thanks for the update. :)

ze10

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Wasn't Exile for TGCD that one almost impossible game because the stats of enemies later in the game scaled up ridiculously because they didn't test the game before releasing it?

Magma Dragoon

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Wasn't Exile for TGCD that one almost impossible game because the stats of enemies later in the game scaled up ridiculously because they didn't test the game before releasing it?

Nope, that was Exile: Wicked Phenomenon, which is a sequel to this game.

noneother

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Wait, is that a patch for the first Exile? Cause that game was totally fine, what everybody was asking about was Exile 2 (aka Wicked Phenomenon) ;D  It was destroyed by the stat changes in a way that rendered it almost literally unplayable. And no offense either, but you're wrong about it, it's totally awesome, including (and especially) the RPG parts.

Someone asked about Arc the Lad: I get the feeling few changes were made with that trilogy. Working Designs had pretty much learned from their mistakes by the 32-bit era and did pretty damn good work generally. Growlanser Generations' a great example of that. They did jazz up Albert Odyssey on the Sega Saturn, but in this case I would argue it helped. The jokes made sense within the game world rather than, say, reference Bill Clinton or Rush Limbaugh, and I remember greatly enjoying what could have been a mediocre gaiden.

Supper

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Wait, is that a patch for the first Exile? Cause that game was totally fine, what everybody was asking about was Exile 2 (aka Wicked Phenomenon) ;D  It was destroyed by the stat changes in a way that rendered it almost literally unplayable. And no offense either, but you're wrong about it, it's totally awesome, including (and especially) the RPG parts.

We'll have to agree to disagree there (honestly, I think I'm losing the patience for video games in general), but never mind that!

Exile II / Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (PC Engine CD/TurboGrafx-CD) -- patch v0 (1/31/17)

Tested all the way through, hopefully problem-free.
Changes:
Spoiler:
* All enemies have their stats restored to what they were in the Japanese version.

This one was a lot trickier to do than the first Exile. Instead of using stat tables, this game uses a bizarre combination of direct manipulations in code with occasional tables specific to certain enemies. I used some simple heuristic methods to make the vast majority of the changes automatically, then did the rest by hand. I got it done it under three days, so I guess it wasn't too bad.

This was one of the most frequently requested patches, so hopefully you'll all enjoy it. And it'll work right. But man, are the stat changes ridiculous in this one. Here's a random example, not even one of the worst:

Code: [Select]
Entry b7: c02576 / c02576
atk:  47 -> 125
def:  1 -> 35
hp:   108 -> 190
exp:  35 -> 38
gold: 30 -> 40

"Mmm, this'll work fine, right? OK, let's ship it."

I've started testing Eternal Blue and found out some of the multiple-choice prompts got broken (not in a game-ending way) because of how I used line breaks to pad out the inserted lines. Whenever I manage to get through a full run, I'll upload a new version fixing that and any other outstanding issues I find. If anyone comes across any more stuff that prevents the game from being completed, let me know and I'll fix it ASAP.

Haven't decided what I'll work on in the meantime.

GHANMI

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Thanks a lot for your hard work, Supper.
Wrecking Designs really mangled lots of games (Silhouette Mirage, Alundra, ...) and it's sad that other companies wanted to emulate their less savory practices (like ill-timed real life preaching and memes, or Atlus making all bosses in Thousand Arms as bullet sponges in the US version).

Do you think restoring the subtitles for the cutscenes in Lunar 1 is possible, assuming you did look at it before? I fear they cut the entire programming for that one.

SCD

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I forgot they butchered Alundra, that's another game that should get fix.

Spooniest

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CRAPTON OF WORK DONE

Take a day off I'd say. You've been working really hard on this and you said somewhere your patience is getting thin. Don't burn yourself out man...

elmer

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Take a day off I'd say. You've been working really hard on this and you said somewhere your patience is getting thin. Don't burn yourself out man...

Yeah, you've done an AMAZING amount in work in a really short space of time.

I have no idea what's driving you so hard, but this is all "volunteer" work, it should be "fun". Nobody is going to fault you for taking some time off to relax.

Heck, if you never, ever, make another patch ... what you've done in the last few weeks is already a huge contribution to gaming.

Whether some folks feel that changes are needed or not, you've given the people that do the chance to see what it would have been like if WD hadn't made those changes. That's brilliant!  ;D

Kallisto

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I forgot they butchered Alundra, that's another game that should get fix.

Okay now that surprises me..that game even got it's script effed with?

Synnae

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I've not played all games published by Working Designs yet, but I did play Popful Mail all the way to the end, then did the same to the Japanese version, and I can safely say the difficulty of the former is retarded. It's true that the JP version is too easy, but I'd still rather play it over the localized version any day of the week.

Thank you for all your contributions, Supper. You worked hard and deserve a trophy for all your efforts. :)

Supper

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Thanks a lot for your hard work, Supper.
Wrecking Designs really mangled lots of games (Silhouette Mirage, Alundra, ...) and it's sad that other companies wanted to emulate their less savory practices (like ill-timed real life preaching and memes, or Atlus making all bosses in Thousand Arms as bullet sponges in the US version).

Do you think restoring the subtitles for the cutscenes in Lunar 1 is possible, assuming you did look at it before? I fear they cut the entire programming for that one.

Thanks. I haven't looked at the cutscene formats yet, mostly because they're necessarily complex and will probably require a lot of work to edit, but I'd hope that the changes essentially amount to removing some "display text" operations from the cutscene script (as opposed to commenting out the display routine entirely). No telling at this point, though.

Take a day off I'd say. You've been working really hard on this and you said somewhere your patience is getting thin. Don't burn yourself out man...
Yeah, you've done an AMAZING amount in work in a really short space of time.

I have no idea what's driving you so hard, but this is all "volunteer" work, it should be "fun". Nobody is going to fault you for taking some time off to relax.

Heck, if you never, ever, make another patch ... what you've done in the last few weeks is already a huge contribution to gaming.

Whether some folks feel that changes are needed or not, you've given the people that do the chance to see what it would have been like if WD hadn't made those changes. That's brilliant!  ;D

Heh. Thanks, but don't stroke my ego too much, that never ends well ;)

My comment about losing patience was referring to playing the games rather than making the hacks -- I wouldn't be making these if I wasn't enjoying it! -- but thanks for the concern. I don't expect to keep this pace up long-term, and really, after spending so long on Eternal Blue I wasn't expecting these other games to go so quickly.

It's best for me to keep busy one way or the other, though. If I drop a project for too long, I rarely get back to it. On that note, I think I might actually take a little time off of this to put the finishing touches on Layla: The Iris Missions, since it's been a month now since the last release.

Okay now that surprises me..that game even got it's script effed with?

I haven't played their later games, but from what I've heard they were doing rewrites (with varying degrees of severity) up to at least Silhouette Mirage. Guess I'll find out if I ever work on those.

I've not played all games published by Working Designs yet, but I did play Popful Mail all the way to the end, then did the same to the Japanese version, and I can safely say the difficulty of the former is retarded. It's true that the JP version is too easy, but I'd still rather play it over the localized version any day of the week.

Thank you for all your contributions, Supper. You worked hard and deserve a trophy for all your efforts. :)

Thanks! Yeah, I feel like WD butchered the difficulty even worse than usual for side-scrolling RPGs like Popful Mail and Exile. It's especially bad in Popful Mail, where you can't grind for higher stats to try to make up for the difficulty.

noneother

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I forgot they butchered Alundra, that's another game that should get fix.

Wait, what they did they do to "butcher" Alundra? That's one of my favorite games. Combat wasn't hard so I doubt they messed with it, I don't recall any glaring issue with the text either...

Supper-Awesome! I'll finally get to play Exile 2. And yeah, there are claims the game is literally unbeatable in the official release because they just made those changes so haphazardly.

thainferno305

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popmail patch v2 is having patching problems

Midna

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popmail patch v2 is having patching problems

What problems specifically. You have been told, multiple times, that we cannot help you unless you specify what the problem is.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 08:13:06 pm by Midna »

schtolteheim

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About Alundra. I read that one of the miners was named Jaylen supposedly in reference to Jay Leno (the char's portrait somewhat looks like him), which falls in line with what WD is known for.

Real_Character

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Sounds like a good project, but it's not accurate to pin this on Working Designs. It's highly unlikely that Working Designs just arbitrarily pulled out difficulty edits out of their ass. If you know about that part of gaming history, very often the Japanese licensers compelled the localizations for the US (and perhaps even Europe) to ramp up the difficulty as a strike against rentals. The Japanese game industry lobbyists failed to ban game rentals in the US as they did in Japan, so the difficulty screwups were an attempt to combat game rentals. Sega was particularly bad in this respect (just look at what they did to Streets of Rage 3), but not the only one. Look it up if you don't believe me.

As far as the goofy dialogue, I think it's an improvement as an English localization. If you think the original games contain no goofy humor or pop culture references, you are not very informed. But it's not funny at all if you don't get the humor or references, so might as well change things. Re-translations can go too far the other way with literal translations that make no sense, or just pretentious BS like calling General Leo "Shogun Leo", as in the patch of FFVI I slammed. Also, the difficulty in these Working Designs games was high but not unplayable. NES games were tougher. You might argue the Japanese originals were too easy, but they had more money to burn on a ton of games at the time, or more willing to, similar to how today's games are easy to the point where they have a tutorial to teach you how to move.

But as I said, these patches are still a worthy project for those interested.

Supper

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Sounds like a good project, but it's not accurate to pin this on Working Designs. It's highly unlikely that Working Designs just arbitrarily pulled out difficulty edits out of their ass. If you know about that part of gaming history, very often the Japanese licensers compelled the localizations for the US (and perhaps even Europe) to ramp up the difficulty as a strike against rentals. The Japanese game industry lobbyists failed to ban game rentals in the US as they did in Japan, so the difficulty screwups were an attempt to combat game rentals. Sega was particularly bad in this respect (just look at what they did to Streets of Rage 3), but not the only one. Look it up if you don't believe me.

As far as the goofy dialogue, I think it's an improvement as an English localization. If you think the original games contain no goofy humor or pop culture references, you are not very informed. But it's not funny at all if you don't get the humor or references, so might as well change things. Re-translations can go too far the other way with literal translations that make no sense, or just pretentious BS like calling General Leo "Shogun Leo", as in the patch of FFVI I slammed. Also, the difficulty in these Working Designs games was high but not unplayable. NES games were tougher. You might argue the Japanese originals were too easy, but they had more money to burn on a ton of games at the time, or more willing to, similar to how today's games are easy to the point where they have a tutorial to teach you how to move.

But as I said, these patches are still a worthy project for those interested.

Well, the story I've heard mentioned a couple of times is that according to the "official" WD explanation, the increased difficulty was designed to prevent people from beating the games "too quickly", being dissatisfied, and returning them to the store. I haven't seen a source for that, so I'd appreciate it if anyone can link me to wherever Vic (presumably) said it. In any case, they kept doing the difficulty changes very consistently, for many years, for games licensed from many different publishers, so I doubt it was just due to their hands being contractually tied.

I didn't know about rental games being banned in Japan, though -- that's really nuts. Seems like Japanese law is way too corporate-friendly, at least when it comes to games. There's that, the Tokimeki Memorial memory card case, the DS flashcard ban, and probably more stuff I haven't heard of.

As for Lunar... well, I can and have said a lot about the script rewrites and don't care to again, especially since I don't seem to be changing any minds, but I'll specifically cover one of the points you raised. Of course the original game has jokes in it, like virtually any JRPG. Working Designs certainly didn't invent Mystere, the Bunny Karate stuff, etc. But to say that all or even most of the jokes in the US version are "localizations" of the Japanese ones is simply not right. Here's a book you can read in Dalton:

Quote
「おいしい魚料理」

だれにでも かんたんにできる
とってもヘルシーな
魚料理です‥‥

Ruby:
わぁ! ヒイロぉ
この本 ほしいよぉ!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that translates as:

Quote
"Delicious Fish Dishes"

These are very healthy fish dishes anyone can easily make...

Ruby:
Wow! Hirooo, I want this book!

The "joke" is that Ruby loves fish, see? Not very funny, I'll grant you (though it does help set up a much later scene). Here's what the line becomes in the US version:

Quote
   ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT
        VOLUME 1
 FERAL FLATULENCE CONTROL

Ruby:
HIRO! I THINK GRANDPA NEEDS
THIS BOOK!

Now, I don't know more than the absolute rudiments of Japanese, but I can certainly tell you that there's no secret hidden cultural reference in the original text that the US version is trying to convey the spirit of here. The new joke is just there to "make it funnier". Depending on your sense of humor, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but that's not the point. Regardless of whether it's "better" or not, it simply doesn't match the original dialogue by any stretch of the imagination, and I can tell you from having looked that the majority of the jokes in the US version are "made up" in this fashion.

I really, really don't want to derail this thread into an argument over Lunar's script, so I'll stop myself here before I can go on about the rewrites to non-throwaway dialogue. If anyone is interested in comparing the JP/EN scripts for themself, I can upload my dialogue extraction tools.

Anyhow, thanks for your support. Just trying to give people more options here.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 05:14:41 pm by Supper »

cj iwakura

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Vic actually posts pretty often in the Gaijinworks MB, could always ask him directly.

His thoughts on some of the jokes:
Quote
But the games take place in our future or an alternate timeline of our future, so those things COULD easily apply. People never really consider that. Shigema wussed out in making the connection more obvious (apologizing for it at dinner one night in Japan), though, with the name of the first Dragonmaster in the legend. You can figure out the intent if you think about it, but the name was originally something else.




I really can't be mad at a line like that, though.

蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past

Recapnation

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If lines like that don't go against the player's immersion, what does.

I know shit about hacking or coding, but I'd like to join the thanksgiving bunch, since this can't be an easy task -- otherwise we would have had this like ten years ago at least.

Even though it's true some times the changes were made by the Japanese studios themselves under licensees' petition (and some times even the games were made with the US market in mind first and foremost, hence poorly-balanced pieces like Gaiares or Actraiser 2), Japanese just didn't give a shit about licensees' or daughters' bastardizations. They didn't even consider them the same games, since they indeed weren't. And those licensees simply didn't have a clue on game design even though they thought they did. Anyway, the rental thingie sounds like a good reason to be afraid and I agree that the original games were, many times, too easy or just didn't explain themselves too well (how many people in this day and age do still press "continue" in arcade-style games after a "game over" only because the option is there), but the appreciation (respect) for the game and its authors should always prevail, and rarely did, particulary in WD's offerings, though sadly there are many more. This thread is a good show and his author is the best thing the subject got after all these years. So thanks again.

(I'd like to also throw in a mention/suggestion for Sega Saturn titles -- Magic Knight Rayearth, Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean, not sure if something else, which seem sadly forgotten here I guess for being on a not-too-popular system.)

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 05:10:19 am by Recapnation »