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Author Topic: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?  (Read 4539 times)

Kallisto

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BlackDog61

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 04:47:54 am »
I've only ever officially participated in one. I'm still going ape craze from time to time about it. It's been running for 3 years.

EDIT: making that a more useful answer...
The game used direct access to files from the disk without using file structure info, which caused all sorts of problems to be handled. Once that was out of the way (i.e. 5 months later), there needed to be a variable-width font support, support for ASCII instead of "SJIS + sometimes ASCII" (and like other people, I've seen multiple functions implementing strlen in various ways).
I've replaced the original font which looked "sorta OK" (but mostly crappy) and used more horizontal space than I wanted it to. (I've had multiple request from my favourite translator to have a more squeezed font, but have pushed back because of my own personal taste.  8) )
Then of course, like others, I realized this completely messed up text in all menus, because text alignment didn't take into account the VWF pixel width, the texts were longer, some text alignments weren't done properly in Japanese anyway, some screens just had to be shuffled around because they wouldn't fit otherwise, some texts were located thanks to knowing a space is the same width as a character in Japanese, etc.
There was also the need to interpret data structures for menu text, because we needed to have the ability to add more lines to encyclopedia descriptions, and those are in a table of indexes to a table of pointers to a table of texts. And we got many of these...
I've had to interpret the data structures for story text, so that we could add more dialog boxes (even from a different character that the one originally speaking, if needs be.)
Text spoken during battle animations followed a different structure, so those had to be understood too.
Other stray texts dwelled in the main executable itself, so that took some more asm changes (easier done with the use of armips).
Graphics were not all stored in the same way or place, thus I've had to edit 4bpp and 8bpp graphics (after finding them), as well as some compressed graphics.
I've had to design a logo, because the existing SRW ones were either in Japanese or lower resolution.
I've had to design an editor that would help translators and editors by auto-wrapping lines, in a way everyone likes, applying a set of (in the end) 6 rules o decide where to wrap and where to create new dialog boxes. And we discussed some more enhancements, of course. The tool also had to warn us when lines are actually "weird" (ex: new dialog box created with a single word).
We ran out of RAM at some point, but a good suggestion to "cut" unused font memory solved that.
Luckily, I didn't have to deal with several compression levels, many many files, and such.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 07:44:55 am by BlackDog61 »

MathUser2929

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 05:43:56 am »
I never heard of a translation that made a game harder. But it seems like almost all the level hacks I've tried make the game much harder than the original. If the graphics are good I forgive it sometimes but I hate if I have to spam savestates too much to beat it.

Synnae

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 06:01:20 am »
I never heard of a translation that made a game harder. But it seems like almost all the level hacks I've tried make the game much harder than the original. If the graphics are good I forgive it sometimes but I hate if I have to spam savestates too much to beat it.

I think they meant the one that gave you the most trouble to hack, not the most difficult you played.

FAST6191

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 06:54:51 am »
Like most things I do it would probably become a protracted session of "if only I knew then what I know now". Even without that I mainly hack for the puzzle rather than the result.

One time I foolishly accepted just files from someone rather than looking at the whole game (at first anyway) so they had not known about the pointer index in a separate (but similarly named) file.

mz

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 08:15:01 am »
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere...

Not really difficult, but it was such a huge game... And I was asked to hack it and translate it in 2 months or less.

Off the top of my head, it has:
* 1547 maps, with ~500 of them having text.
* Its own interpreted language with the text within in it, so you have to reverse engineer everything and then make a disassembler and an assembler for it.
* 19 mini games with their own help pages, text within the games, after the games, before the games, etc.
* 725 items with their 2-line descriptions and an extra page of information (like "Restores 25% HP").
* 127 monsters with their 4-line descriptions.
* 12 playable characters with their own endings and whatnot, and their profiles are almost 1000 lines of text in total.
* 3 cutscenes.
* an oracle with 1000 lines of text (hints and other useless crap).
* a couple of characters have some functions called Dungeon Hints and Room Analysis, with almost 2500 lines of text.
* almost 500 killer techniques, field actions, strategies, skills, specialties, field actions, etc. with up to 4-line descriptions...
* a ton of other crap, like menus, battles, shops... Even the 12 playable characters say several random lines every time they enter or finish a battle.
* it also uses several different text printing routines, even though they all look exactly the same. They probably got many different programmers working on different parts of the game...

So yeah, my advice would be to never work on Star Ocean for the GBC with unrealistic deadlines.
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BlackDog61

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 12:13:32 pm »
my advice would be to never work on Star Ocean for the GBC with unrealistic deadlines.
How come you have deadlines? Isn't this a hobby?

mz

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 12:44:36 pm »
Well, you kind of have deadlines when you work with other people and you agree beforehand about timelines. :P
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MathUser2929

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 02:25:49 pm »
In that case I think the hardest hack I ever worked on was my CVIV CV1 icons and HUD hack. I was learning something new at the time and one palette just escaped me. I couldn't find it anywhere and I had to post a thread about it. Thankfully someone found the palette for me and I got it changed.

Gemini

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 02:53:35 pm »
The SOTN Italian translation. Just implementing all proportionalness hacks required several overlays to be individually remangled, which counts around 30 copies of the same code for 8x8 vwf and about half as many similar hacks for dialog. Space contrains were also a pain in the butt, and on top of that the absurd bytecode scripting used for dialog.
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 06:02:08 pm »
And I was asked to hack it and translate it in 2 months or less.

Wait, what?

SleepyFist

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 06:33:54 pm »
Between Captain Rainbow and Shindou Mario 64, neither of which I finished or made great progress on, Id say that CR was easier because the text is stored uncompressed and using a character set that is both Japanese and English, also technically the script was already done, I was just trying to insert.

Mario 64 was the hardest because of the damn mio0 compression, and the fact that none of the tools for the US version work on it.
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Chronosplit

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2017, 07:56:33 pm »
I vaguely remember Pokemon Emerald giving me hell before I could identify what was actually freespace near the end of the ROM.  I say vaguely because I attempt to block that all out. :laugh:

I never heard of a translation that made a game harder. But it seems like almost all the level hacks I've tried make the game much harder than the original. If the graphics are good I forgive it sometimes but I hate if I have to spam savestates too much to beat it.
Tales of Phantasia's newer PS1 translation adds in two new difficulties, both harder.

mz

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 07:58:51 pm »
Wait, what?
I had finished Detective Conan 2 (GBC) and Fullmetal Alchemist (GBA) in 2 months before, so I thought "Sure, how hard could it be another tiny Game Boy game that even runs on the monochrome Game Boy? I'll probably finish it in a few weeks."

In the end, my translated scripts of Conan and FMA had around 15000 lines of text each. Star Ocean had almost 50000...

At least the hacking was easier this time, since I was able to reuse most of the code I had written for the custom bytecode scripting of Fullmetal Alchemist.

I never heard of a translation that made a game harder.
See this thread: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,23436.0.html :P
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SunGodPortal

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 08:17:49 pm »
I never heard of a translation that made a game harder.

7th Saga for SNES comes to mind.
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Isao Kronos

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2017, 09:29:44 pm »
dealt with in terms of hacking it? LOLOLOLOLOLOL UR FUNNY

dealt with in terms of playing it? Pokemon Vega by far.

Kallisto

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2017, 11:27:46 pm »
dealt with in terms of hacking it? LOLOLOLOLOLOL UR FUNNY

dealt with in terms of playing it? Pokemon Vega by far.

When hacking a game.

Isao Kronos

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2017, 11:30:25 pm »
well then this thread is useless to me

Kallisto

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2017, 11:34:35 pm »
well then this thread is useless to me

Just curious, but are you Tettsui by chance? You two have the same typing mannerisms.

Isao Kronos

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Re: What was the most difficult game translation/hack you ever dealt with?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2017, 11:56:18 pm »
who?