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Author Topic: Un-Worked Designs: Working Designs minus bullshit difficulty (Latest: Lunar 2)  (Read 39138 times)

Supper

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Awesome as always, Supper.
By any chance, do you mind elaborating on those removed random dialogues? Seems like quite the serious cut and now it really begs my curiosity.

It's not like anyone else online is documenting these changes that much, as much as passionate people trying to convince others it's actually a completely accurate translation ("did you know Quark says my poop/washi no unko in the Japanese version" or stuff). That would be really lovely. Your digests of the major changes for each game are always a treat to read and have new trivia not found anywhere else, but on the other hand I can see the romhacking work is already draining (dropping that many hacks for CD-based consoles casually is no small effort).

I'm referring to the changes listed in section 7 of this page. You can see that for the most part, the US version moved the bromides from Ramus' store to various other locations throughout the game. Similarly, the "Rememberizer" is a free gift in the Japanese version, and you can still get it for free in the US version if you visit Ramus at a certain time, but otherwise you have to buy it from him during the epilogue for 65000s. I haven't investigated closely, but I'm pretty sure the original dialogue Ramus had relating to these situations was replaced or removed in the US version, so it would have to be retranslated from the Japanese version.

Basically, while it's not a "big deal" compared to the difficulty edits, it's a tangled mess that'll take a lot of careful checking, testing, and script replacement to sort out, which is part of the reason I didn't try to do anything about it.

I'll put a full list of all the changed stats and so on on TCRF later, as I've been doing -- I doubt most people care to that extent, but I want to make sure anyone who wants to can find out what they're getting beyond "the stats are different". I usually make a patch for one game, write up the changes for the game I did before that, then make a patch for a new game and repeat; it provides a nice way to double-check my work with a fresh mindset. Currently, I'm due to write the Cosmic Fantasy 2 page, and I'll put together the SSSC page after I make the patch for my next project.

You did a great job on this patch Supper, keep up the great work.

Thank you. Haven't decided what to work on next yet (maybe Eternal Blue remake, maybe not).

Also, fun fact, Silver Star Story uses the same compressed format for its executable file as Elemental Gearbolt due to Gearbolt and the PS port of SSS both being developed by Alfa System. I had to write de/recompressors for the format in order to make this patch (I added them to the wdtools repo on Github, if anyone cares), so I guess I have a head start on that game if I ever I decide to do it.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 05:02:14 pm by Supper »

Special T

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I tested the popful mail patch on the PC and I'm not experiencing the issue so it must be a lag issue isolated to the sega cd emulator on the raspberry pi. Luckily it's something I can easily ignore  :)

Thanks again for all the work you've put into these games!

Supper

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Sorry for the long delay -- I've been pretty busy lately. Here's Lunar 2.

Lunar 2 - Eternal Blue Complete (PlayStation) -- patch v0 (5/5/17)

Tested all the way through, should work fine.
Changes:
Spoiler:
* Holding down the X button will now continuously advance the dialogue, as in the Japanese version.
* In the Japanese version, the White Tower uses the same background track as the other Pentagulia towers, and White Mask Funk plays below the decks of the Destiny after acquiring it from Leo. The US version shuffles this around so that White Mask Funk plays in the White Tower, and the Destiny uses the world map theme. This has been reverted.
* The Serak Palace now charges the original 100 Silver instead of the US version's 666 Silver.

As you can see, that's a very short changelog. As it turns out, the US version of Lunar 2 did not, as far as I can tell, have its difficulty altered in any meaningful way -- enemy stats, item prices, spell costs, etc. are all the same. Honestly, I wouldn't have bothered making this patch at all if I hadn't already done all the other games in the series, but here it is for completion's sake.

I'm quite surprised the difficulty was left untouched, considering every other game by this company that I've looked at had some kind of changes, and I have to wonder what happened. Apparently, there was some internal tumult going on at Working Designs during the production of this game (Vic made a comment somewhere about having to take over writing duties after the original guy started behaving erratically, and called it "a really terrible last quarter of a project"), and since they were also in the process of replacing their programmer at the time, I'd guess things got chaotic enough that they simply ran out of time to mess with the difficulty.

Anyway, I'm going to take a break from doing any more of these patches, at least for now. With a dozen of these in the bag, I've put a decent dent in the Working Designs catalog, and frankly I've gotten pretty sick of the obnoxious, abrasive, and arrogant culture surrounding the company. I may tie up some loose ends that have been pending for a while (that dialogue overflow in TSS vivify told me about ages ago, nudity in Vay, etc.), but I'm not planning on starting work on any new games for now. I don't know if or when I'll get back to this, but thank you to everyone who's supported me the last few months. I hope you enjoy these games more than I can, because this project has made me lose what little taste I had for the English versions of them.

darthvaderx

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Anyway, I'm going to take a break from doing any more of these patches, at least for now. With a dozen of these in the bag, I've put a decent dent in the Working Designs catalog, and frankly I've gotten pretty sick of the obnoxious, abrasive, and arrogant culture surrounding the company. I may tie up some loose ends that have been pending for a while (that dialogue overflow in TSS vivify told me about ages ago, nudity in Vay, etc.), but I'm not planning on starting work on any new games for now. I don't know if or when I'll get back to this, but thank you to everyone who's supported me the last few months. I hope you enjoy these games more than I can, because this project has made me lose what little taste I had for the English versions of them.

That is:

Working Designs = George Lucas ...

patuli

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I know that this thread is about working designs, but would you ever consider fixing other games, from a different company?

TRIFORCE89

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Excellent work on all of this Supper! Thank you. Always happy to see these kind of improvement or definitive version patches.

Before you hang up your hat though, could you please submit these patches to the RHDN directory before they get lost to the eventual MediaFire broken link netherverse?

Chronosplit

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Before you hang up your hat though, could you please submit these patches to the RHDN directory before they get lost to the eventual MediaFire broken link netherverse?
I've been wondering why they haven't been uploaded yet tbh.

Supper

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I know that this thread is about working designs, but would you ever consider fixing other games, from a different company?

Perhaps. In fact, there's one game in particular that I'm taking a look at right now, though no promises yet.

Excellent work on all of this Supper! Thank you. Always happy to see these kind of improvement or definitive version patches.

Before you hang up your hat though, could you please submit these patches to the RHDN directory before they get lost to the eventual MediaFire broken link netherverse?

Thanks. These are hardly "definitive versions", but given the improbability of retranslations for any of these games, they'll have to do. And yeah, I meant to mention I'll submit these once I've got the remaining odds and ends taken care of.

Kallisto

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Vay had nudity? I'm kind of surprised at that..well maybe not since that was common for SEGA CD games.

Supper

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Vay had nudity? I'm kind of surprised at that..well maybe not since that was common for SEGA CD games.

Just some harpy enemy that got a bikini top in the US version. I don't really care, but no one else is ever going to bother hacking the game, so I might as well take care of everything I can.

elmer

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Anyway, I'm going to take a break from doing any more of these patches, at least for now.

Thanks for all of your hard work on these!

I, for one, really appreciate the work that you've done here in turning back the silly-changes that WD made to those games.

For all the wonderful thing that they did in actually making those Japan-only games available to a Western audience, the way that they went about it has always annoyed me.

butane bob

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Thanks for these patches Supper.

Blackiris

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Thank you for all your work, Supper (especially on the Lunar games)! Very much appreciated!  :)

darthvaderx

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Supper, thank you for all your hard work and I'm sorry for WD to have such a distorted view of the gaming world ("Our games go to 11 !!!"), so I quoted "Working Designs = George Lucas" (that guy who created one of the biggest franchises of all time and at the same time almost ruined it completely by making completely wrong decisions).

Finally I only regret not having a revised version of "Arc The Lad Collection", but everything is fine, I will enjoy your hacks very well ... :thumbsup:

(I'm using Google translator in some parts, I hope to be transmitting correctly what I mean ...)

chrisw80

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Sorry for the long delay -- I've been pretty busy lately. Here's Lunar 2.

Lunar 2 - Eternal Blue Complete (PlayStation) -- patch v0 (5/5/17)

Tested all the way through, should work fine.
Changes:
Spoiler:
* Holding down the X button will now continuously advance the dialogue, as in the Japanese version.
* In the Japanese version, the White Tower uses the same background track as the other Pentagulia towers, and White Mask Funk plays below the decks of the Destiny after acquiring it from Leo. The US version shuffles this around so that White Mask Funk plays in the White Tower, and the Destiny uses the world map theme. This has been reverted.
* The Serak Palace now charges the original 100 Silver instead of the US version's 666 Silver.

As you can see, that's a very short changelog. As it turns out, the US version of Lunar 2 did not, as far as I can tell, have its difficulty altered in any meaningful way -- enemy stats, item prices, spell costs, etc. are all the same. Honestly, I wouldn't have bothered making this patch at all if I hadn't already done all the other games in the series, but here it is for completion's sake.

I'm quite surprised the difficulty was left untouched, considering every other game by this company that I've looked at had some kind of changes, and I have to wonder what happened. Apparently, there was some internal tumult going on at Working Designs during the production of this game (Vic made a comment somewhere about having to take over writing duties after the original guy started behaving erratically, and called it "a really terrible last quarter of a project"), and since they were also in the process of replacing their programmer at the time, I'd guess things got chaotic enough that they simply ran out of time to mess with the difficulty.

Anyway, I'm going to take a break from doing any more of these patches, at least for now. With a dozen of these in the bag, I've put a decent dent in the Working Designs catalog, and frankly I've gotten pretty sick of the obnoxious, abrasive, and arrogant culture surrounding the company. I may tie up some loose ends that have been pending for a while (that dialogue overflow in TSS vivify told me about ages ago, nudity in Vay, etc.), but I'm not planning on starting work on any new games for now. I don't know if or when I'll get back to this, but thank you to everyone who's supported me the last few months. I hope you enjoy these games more than I can, because this project has made me lose what little taste I had for the English versions of them.

Been awhile since I last tried any of these patches on real hardware but Lunar 2 patch for psx is freezing at this point.
https://ibb.co/eDgN5v

Tried it with both a boot disc and the gameshark exploit.

Lunar SSSC psx appears to be working fine in both cases tho. Will test the others sometime this week. Thanks again

KingMike

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Supper, thank you for all your hard work and I'm sorry for WD to have such a distorted view of the gaming world ("Our games go to 11 !!!"), so I quoted "Working Designs = George Lucas" (that guy who created one of the biggest franchises of all time and at the same time almost ruined it completely by making completely wrong decisions).
I'd say there's a little difference in that at least George was altering his OWN creation. :P
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."

GHANMI

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Didn't see the recent updates, guess I'm late to the party.
Really good job you've done for all of these games, Supper. Considering how these games are too obscure to have someone else retranslate properly this might be their best shot at a presentation closer to the original experience.

Thanks a lot for everything you did so far.
Having these fixes and the enjoyable insights into the game's regional changes forever would be like a dream coming true, but not realistic, certainly not if the cost is a headache to the modder because of the "subculture" around these changes (if Xseed's handling of the PSP version of Lunar is too much for them, and they're the best in the business, what chance does someone bugfixing the old releases have?), or the novelty factor wearing thin and your interest fading.

Supper

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Sorry for the late reply -- been a bit busy with other projects, but I'm slowly adding the remaining fixes I mentioned. Most recently, I copied over the original enemy graphics from the Japanese version of Vay. Looks like about five enemies were changed due to nudity (maybe -- hard to tell from the raw tiles alone). Vay really has an absurdly disproportionate number of changes for how low-profile a release it was.

Been awhile since I last tried any of these patches on real hardware but Lunar 2 patch for psx is freezing at this point.
https://ibb.co/eDgN5v

Tried it with both a boot disc and the gameshark exploit.

Lunar SSSC psx appears to be working fine in both cases tho. Will test the others sometime this week. Thanks again

Hmm, that's pretty strange, since I barely touched anything in Lunar 2 and it works fine on emulators. I think that's the first point where the game plays regular music, so maybe I messed something up when I NOPed out the hack that swaps the White Tower and Destiny themes. Sorry, and I'll see if I can fix it. Thanks again for testing these on hardware!

Didn't see the recent updates, guess I'm late to the party.
Really good job you've done for all of these games, Supper. Considering how these games are too obscure to have someone else retranslate properly this might be their best shot at a presentation closer to the original experience.

Thanks a lot for everything you did so far.
Having these fixes and the enjoyable insights into the game's regional changes forever would be like a dream coming true, but not realistic, certainly not if the cost is a headache to the modder because of the "subculture" around these changes (if Xseed's handling of the PSP version of Lunar is too much for them, and they're the best in the business, what chance does someone bugfixing the old releases have?), or the novelty factor wearing thin and your interest fading.

Thanks. This project has certainly jaded me on Western releases of Japanese games. Working Designs is probably the nastiest of the lot as far as rewriting dialogue goes, but every time I play a game now, I find myself wondering how much of the English text was simply made up in order to "sound better". It all just drives home the degree to which video games are viewed, by publishers and many consumers, as commercial products to be freely "improved" rather than works worth preserving in translation. That sentiment, as much as anything else, has soured me on the whole thing lately.

On a side note, I played the Lunar Walking School fan translation recently -- neat little game, and I can't tell you how nice it is to have a Lunar game that isn't infected by Working Designs. Props to everyone involved! Maybe I'll finish the Saturn remake someday, if I ever get around to making a code to deal with the absurd encounter rates...

illuminerdi

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I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks, Supper. I am a HUGE fan of Working Designs, however I definitely agree that you're doing the right thing fixing the asinine changes they made to the difficulty of their games.

Also I wanted to take a moment to explain why I'm a fan of WD. Their translations have aged terribly, and they did butcher the script of many games they worked on.

BUT - I'm 35. In the late 80s and through about 2000 there really weren't anyone localizing games like these. Many of these games *WERE* niche, and gaming itself was still pretty niche back then. If it wasn't for WD I have no doubt that most/all of these games would have never been released in English before the days of fan translations. Since fan translations weren't even a thin until the late 90s, and emulation of systems like the PSX wasn't really viable until the mid 2000s, many of us would have missed out on ever playing these games at all.

I don't think hating on you is at all fair, but do try to understand that many of us love WD because of what they did, not because of HOW they did it.

Still though, I think changing the difficulty was a completely stupid thing to do, and in some cases (Exile 2) it completely broke the game. There was no good reason to do that, and thank you again for what you're doing.

Perhaps you could take a break from WD games and look into doing fixes for other games? I'm sure WD wasn't the only company monkeying with game balance when bringing games overseas (Squaresoft circa 1992 I'm looking at YOU), so perhaps there are other games that could use some fixing?

(And yes I know that FFIV has already been fixed, I'm just pointing to that as an example).

Magma Dragoon

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You know, I've been wondering if WD made any significant changes on the shooters they ported (Elemental Gearbolt, RayStorm, RayCrisis, Thunder Force V).