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Author Topic: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released  (Read 1152 times)

RHDNBot

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Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« on: November 01, 2017, 08:05:26 am »

Update By: Helsionium

More than 19 years after the release of the original, a complete German translation of Xenogears has been released by Helsionium, a long-time fan of the Xeno series, as evidenced by his YouTube channel.

Xenogears is a RPG by Tetsuya Takahashi, the founder of Monolith Soft who would continue to work on the Xeno series under Bandai Namco and now Nintendo. A lot of this game's staff was also involved with the timeless RPG classics Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Cross.

Despite one serious shortcoming - the game being rushed, especially towards the end - it is well-renowned, especially because of its intricate plot that touches upon complex subjects such as the positive and negative aspects of religion, bioengineering and nanotechnology, Gnostic and Kabbalistic philosophy and more.

Xenogears' official English translation suffered from tight time constraints and understaffing, naturally resulting in a somewhat lower quality than what could have been achieved with the proper resources. The goal of this German translation was to improve upon the English version by correcting its mistakes by working with both the English and the original Japanese text.

This is the author's first ever release and a solo project no less, despite the large scale of the project - so it might not be completely devoid of errors, especially minor ones. The translation has been thoroughly tested on ePSXe only, but in theory, there should be nothing to prevent it from working on other emulators and real hardware (cursory tests confirm this).

More information on the RHDN project page or the project website (German)

RHDN Project Page

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MetroidFantasy

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 10:44:36 am »
This looks absolutely amazing. It must have been a massive undertaking to translate this considering the breadth of the game and the fact that it was by one person. Great job!

Bregalad

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 02:28:36 pm »
Wow I never thought that a japanese game would cite the apocalypse.

Helsionium

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 04:17:27 pm »
Wow I never thought that a japanese game would cite the apocalypse.

There's also a direct quote from Genesis ("You shall be as gods") as well as a very similar creation myth
(compare this to Genesis: "Then one day, the humans ate a forbidden fruit which gave them incredible wisdom. But god drove mankind from the paradise for their sin.")

Kallisto

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 04:38:49 pm »
I hope this kind of project proves that nothing is impossible to translate, especially a PSX game no less.

Draken

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 11:09:12 am »
Congrats on the German release!

One day, I still hold out hope that someone will be able to edit this game in such a fashion that they are able to re-create disc 2 in a format more similar to disc 1... I'm picturing more of a Crimson Echoes style hack, but it would certainly be quite the endeavor.

Almagest

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 11:35:31 am »
Didn't know there was someone besides me hacking Xenogears these days. Nice! :thumbsup:

One day, I still hold out hope that someone will be able to edit this game in such a fashion that they are able to re-create disc 2 in a format more similar to disc 1... I'm picturing more of a Crimson Echoes style hack, but it would certainly be quite the endeavor.
I think that's nearly impossible. It's a great idea, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how much content can still be added to the second disc. Creating new dungeons from scratch, adding new textures for Gears, enemies and scenario, creating new 3D models, creating more lines of dialogue... That would take a lot of space in the CD, wouldn't it? Maybe the game would need a third disc. Unlike FF7, Xenogears almost has no dummied content to remove.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 11:47:12 am by Almagest »
Currently working on: Xenogears Script Revision + Term Corrections
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Helsionium

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 12:00:15 pm »
I think that's nearly impossible. It's a great idea, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how much content can still be added to the second disc. Creating new dungeons from scratch, adding new textures for Gears, enemies and scenario, creating new 3D models, creating more lines of dialogue... That would take a lot of space in the CD, wouldn't it?

In fact, the second disc (of the original) is about 30 MB smaller than the first disc and even the first disc has some spare space left. The more serious problem is that the file formats aren't very well understood according to my information.

RetroHelix

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 01:21:20 am »
Didn't know there was someone besides me hacking Xenogears these days. Nice! :thumbsup:
As I understand he 'only' translated the game by using the tools from the https://www.sadnescity.it/traduzioni/xeno/xeno.php translation. So no one is hacking the game at the moment.

Almagest

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 08:35:46 am »
As I understand he 'only' translated the game by using the tools from the https://www.sadnescity.it/traduzioni/xeno/xeno.php translation. So no one is hacking the game at the moment.
Define "hacking", please.

And no, it doesn't look like he used only the tools provided by the SadNES cITy Translations team. I took a quick look at the screenshots in his page, and he apparently did a little something many people can't do, which is assembly hacking. It looks like he expanded the character/Gear names by at least 1 character. This may seem insignificant and stupid, but as a matter of fact, it's necessary in order to have all Gears with their complete names.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 08:44:28 am by Almagest »
Currently working on: Xenogears Script Revision + Term Corrections
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Helsionium

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 08:59:37 am »
There was no "assembly hacking" necessary, but I couldn't use the Italian tools for everything, either. The closest I got to "hacking" was modifying executable and other binary files using a hex editor and programs I had written myself.

The names that exceed the character limitations were made with the use of a "compressed font". Xenogears uses half-width characters (5px width) for the regular characters and full-width characters (11px width) for special characters. So I was able to easily pack two regular characters and a space of 1px into one full-width character. The English version of Xenogears supports a font with up to 237 printable characters (255 minus various control characters). Since I needed only 120-130 of these, I had over 100 free spaces in the font bitmap. I decided to use this so I could print some of the longer names I wasn't able to use beforehand.

Draken

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 11:13:29 am »
I think that's nearly impossible. It's a great idea, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how much content can still be added to the second disc. Creating new dungeons from scratch, adding new textures for Gears, enemies and scenario, creating new 3D models, creating more lines of dialogue... That would take a lot of space in the CD, wouldn't it? Maybe the game would need a third disc. Unlike FF7, Xenogears almost has no dummied content to remove.

Yeah, I know... But it's maybe not as much of a long shot as, say, a remake/remaster :P

thepatrickinator

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 10:16:55 pm »
It is said that Nintendo owns the rights to Monolith Soft instead of Bandai Namco.

Gi Nattak

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2017, 10:20:48 pm »
I'm curious to see how the line
FEI: "My father? You mean my dad? You know my father!?"
turned out in German :D

Actually there's a bunch of notorious horribly translated dialog in the game that I'm curious if you took the liberty to attempt to improve upon. I cannot speak German to find out. :-[
The end comes...beyond darkness.

Bregalad

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 02:58:28 am »
I'm curious to see how the line
FEI: "My father? You mean my dad? You know my father!?"
turned out in German :D
Not native speakere here, but the word "Vater" exist for official purposes and the diminutives "Vati" and "Papa" for everyday speech, so translating this is no problem.

Gi Nattak

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 01:01:07 pm »
Not native speakere here, but the word "Vater" exist for official purposes and the diminutives "Vati" and "Papa" for everyday speech, so translating this is no problem.

Ah true, I suppose what I was getting at more is how it sounds so dumb in the first place, and then if he was planning on changing up some of those notoriously bad or badly translated (from Japanese) dialogue. I mean, I'm not 100% in Japan it doesn't say the same thing, but I sure hope not.
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Helsionium

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Re: Translations: German Translation of Xenogears Released
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2017, 02:07:34 pm »
I'm curious to see how the line
FEI: "My father? You mean my dad? You know my father!?"
turned out in German :D

Actually there's a bunch of notorious horribly translated dialog in the game that I'm curious if you took the liberty to attempt to improve upon. I cannot speak German to find out. :-[

Actually, that line turned out a bit bland in my translation, but not without reason:
„Du... kennst meinen Vater?!“ ("You... know my father?!"), with almost one second delay after the ellipsis.

At that point, Fei has no memory of his father, so I didn't want him to use the more affectionate „Papa“ ("dad"), but rather the formal „Vater“ ("father").
So I decided to avoid the duplication entirely. He uses „Papa“ after he regains his memory.

However, I don't remember exactly why I left out the "My father?" part here. I certainly translated it during my initial run but probably dropped it after testing because I somehow didn't particularly like the way it sounded. Maybe I'll re-add „Mein(em) Vater...?“ in a future revision.

In other news, my debugging assistant and I continue to spot a few typos that escaped my two rounds of proofreading (3 typos up to the start of Nortune/Nóatún so far) and a relatively minor bug involving the result display of one of the minigames in Bledavik/Breidablik. I will document these and any errors reported to me on my website and will fix them in my next (hopefully final) revision. So far, I don't think there is any reason not to use the current version, though.