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Author Topic: Final Fantasy IV Prettified  (Read 5494 times)

Gemini

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Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« on: November 24, 2017, 10:04:10 pm »
It's about time I stop spamming this into the screenshots thread and move it to a separate discussion. So, what is FF4 Prettified? Like the name suggests, it's an embellished version of Final Fantasy IV with full proportional font (VWF) implemented to make it more pleasing to the eye.

The idea behind this hack comes from some old tutorial byuu published years ago on his website (which can be currently found here) involving prerendered tiles and DMA transfers to avoid actually drawing anything other than pre-built sets of tiles for almost everything. This handy trick allows proportional fonts with almost no lag whatsoever and it can be applied pretty much to any game in need.

Most of the text used in this hack is either lifted from FFIV: Complete Collection, tweaked from there, or quickly translated from the original messages. So, in a manner of speaking, it can't be considered a real retranslation, even if it's based on a vanilla ROM of Final Fantasy IV (J). I'm not sure myself if this should be posted, when completed, to the hack section or as a translation; feedback on this would be appreciated. :P

The project is completely open source and can be modified by anyone who would like to either improve it or use it for a derivative translation / hack. You can find sources compatible with xkas plus here: https://github.com/Gemini-Loboto3/prettify

For the moment it covers mostly in-game menus, shops, and Namingway screens, but I'm planning on expanding it to dialog and battles. It also includes a nice expansion to player names, now supporting 8 characters instead of 6. I already have a full disassembly of the ROM ready to roll and I have located most of the stuff that needs to be changed, meaning it's a matter of time and brainstorming. :thumbsup:

Screenshots:


Old videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6lEC8zBP-Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R2vrqmKU1Y
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 12:09:30 pm by Gemini »
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chillyfeez

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 11:24:19 pm »
I'm not sure what ever happened with it, but Gedankenschild was working on a FFIV hack that changed all of the monsters, battle backgrounds and (I think) location graphics to 4BPP. Seems like this would work well in conjunction with that. As I recall he was using FFIIUS as the base, but IIRC he seemed to think it would patch easily onto a JP version - image data are all in the same place I think.
But I honestly don't know if he ever finished it, and if not, whether he's still working on it.
Ongoing project: "Final Fantasy IV: A Threat From Within"

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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 07:54:39 pm »
As long as hacked sections don't overlap, both should mix well.

Meanwhile I've got to work something I wanted implemented for a while:


For those who don't get the difference, it's something already done in the J2E retranslation and on FF4 Advance: all items now have a description, instead of a restricted range. Took me a while to wrap together some code that actually saves on graphics storage this time. :(
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Chronosplit

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 08:26:07 pm »
Wow.  I'll tell you one thing, that looks amazing in the menus.

I'd say that if most of this is prettifying it should be in Improvement.  IIRC the FFV script port went there too.

chillyfeez

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 03:19:52 am »
The original-font numbers look a bit odd alongside the new alphabet font. Possibly accentuated by the VWF. Are you planning on changing them, too?
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KingMike

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 10:14:47 pm »
Maybe not so bad on the SNES, but I LIKED that the GBA version of FF6 used the original number font on the battle HUD. If because it was a portable screen so that was less strain to read compared to other GBA FF games that used super-tiny fonts. (at least FF4A, as I recall)
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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 06:36:07 am »
The original-font numbers look a bit odd alongside the new alphabet font. Possibly accentuated by the VWF. Are you planning on changing them, too?
I tried reducing them a bit while keeping the original look almost intact because there's no room to render digits variable too:

Any better this way?

Meanwhile I tried extracting again the FF4A script and it turns out many things are out of the original order (i.e. a quick copy and paste won't do it). I guess I'll have to resort to the PlayStation localization and tweak that a bit, since it's what was used in the GBA and PSP ports.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 12:15:37 pm »
Yeah, this is an issue with FFIV advance at least and not just in the script.  Somehow a lot of data is jumbled around in general.

GBA/PSP is based quite a lot on the PS1 script.  Some actually find it better due to a couple of changes (might want to look up what Legends of Localization says about the Magnetic Cave events or old internet jokes, for example).
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 12:13:35 am by Chronosplit »

Bregalad

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 12:57:50 pm »
This (along with the similar FF5 patch) would probably be great bases for translations in other language where the text is typically much longer than English (such as my native language, French).

Prince Valmont

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 01:11:17 pm »
Aw man. If this VWF were to ever be combined with the complete Namingway edition hack for dialog... it would be the ultimate Final Fantasy IV for SNES.

vivify93

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 06:26:38 pm »
Not gonna lie there, I was thinking of porting Project II's script (Which Namingway Edition uses) to this project when it was all done... but remember that both Namingway Edition and Project II make numerous bug fixes and gameplay enhancements, which we'd need to figure out how to do in the Japanese version. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable using my script in the vanilla, unaltered edition with all its flaws.

But that's not to discuss here--when Gemini releases this is when we can talk about that.
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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 06:48:10 pm »
GBA/PSP is based quite a lot on the PS1 script.  Some actually find it better due to a couple of changes (might want to look up what Legends of Localization says about the Magnetic Cave events or old internet jokes, for example).
I should give it a better look, to catch if there are any major issues in need of a quick fix.

This (along with the similar FF5 patch) would probably be great bases for translations in other language where the text is typically much longer than English (such as my native language, French).
That should be no problem, the project is open source and for anybody to tweak it.

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable using my script in the vanilla, unaltered edition with all its flaws.
I guess you'd have to tweak it quite a lot, since this project changes one small detail about how script formatting works, making it more similar to the GBA/PSP versions. Have a look at the current script and how it's formatted: https://github.com/Gemini-Loboto3/prettify/tree/master/script
Briefly, the game is going to support automatic line wraps and includes a "<New>" tag to separate pages. You'll have to do quite a lot or reformatting to make the inserter compatible with it. By the way, most of the script formatting has been done automatically (minor tweaks are manual work) and the code to do so is in my sources, so it could be adapted to work on any script.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 07:00:48 pm by Gemini »
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Rodimus Primal

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 10:42:18 pm »
Not gonna lie there, I was thinking of porting Project II's script (Which Namingway Edition uses) to this project when it was all done... but remember that both Namingway Edition and Project II make numerous bug fixes and gameplay enhancements, which we'd need to figure out how to do in the Japanese version. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable using my script in the vanilla, unaltered edition with all its flaws.

But that's not to discuss here--when Gemini releases this is when we can talk about that.

Namingway's script has a few lines changed from Project II. Not many but enough that it also meant changing the old Training Room to the original smaller one and the Developer's Room as well. They for the most part would need some tweaking since the new text allows for more space but I think it would be great if it was applied the the Japanese version.

chillyfeez

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 10:44:53 pm »
Yeah, I doubt it would be as easy as just applying Gemini's patch, Vivi. If it was just a text patch, that'd be one thing, but since it tweaks assembly (even just a bit) it probably wouldn't patch right over FFIIUS.
Most likely you'd have to first copy Gemini's assembly hack, then reformat the text... Which would have to be done in a hex editor because the new format won't be FF4kster-compatible.
Not impossible, but it'd be a lot of work.
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vivify93

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 03:13:09 am »
Yeah, I doubt it would be as easy as just applying Gemini's patch, Vivi. If it was just a text patch, that'd be one thing, but since it tweaks assembly (even just a bit) it probably wouldn't patch right over FFIIUS.
Most likely you'd have to first copy Gemini's assembly hack, then reformat the text... Which would have to be done in a hex editor because the new format won't be FF4kster-compatible.
Not impossible, but it'd be a lot of work.
I said I thought it'd be cool to port Project II's script to this project, not apply Gemini's patch on top of Project II.

Then I went onto say that I wasn't sure if it was right to port Project II's script to this patch without all the numerous enhancements Project II has--Sealed Cave skip fix, Adamant Armor fixes, enhanced Pray, Cry, Salve, Goblin summon enhancement, Yang's HP fixed... etc. Meaning, we'd have to port those fixes to the Japanese version of FFIV.

 :huh:
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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 08:44:31 am »
Most likely you'd have to first copy Gemini's assembly hack, then reformat the text... Which would have to be done in a hex editor because the new format won't be FF4kster-compatible.
No need for hex editors do to that. Prettified's rebuilder works from straight TXT, XML, and PNG files, so whoever wants to make changes simply needs to run a compile.bat to have it all reinserted.

Then I went onto say that I wasn't sure if it was right to port Project II's script to this patch without all the numerous enhancements Project II has--Sealed Cave skip fix, Adamant Armor fixes, enhanced Pray, Cry, Salve, Goblin summon enhancement, Yang's HP fixed... etc. Meaning, we'd have to port those fixes to the Japanese version of FFIV.
It depends heavily on where the expanded code for those patches is placed. You can probably integrate it all into subscripts and reassemble to make sure patched segments don't overlap. At the moment there are more than 700 KB free to use, along with over 16 KB free to inject any expanded text. Technically text can go even beyond those available 16 KB, since pointers are now 24 bits and can address data anywhere in the ROM.
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chillyfeez

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 11:44:21 am »
Ahaha - I clearly was not paying very close attention. In my mind this project was "just a patch,"  but now I see that it is considerably more than that.
 :-[
I'm gonna go crawl back into my hole again now.
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Spooniest

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 11:54:10 am »
Looks neat, you said you are using the Complete Collection script with some several changes, I'm going to assume for space's sake? Or why are you making them? I mean, dish about the script a bit?

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 12:08:33 pm »
Awesome work.

Technically you are translating the Japanese ROM into English, so it's a translation and should go in the translation section.

Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 01:29:11 pm »
Looks neat, you said you are using the Complete Collection script with some several changes, I'm going to assume for space's sake? Or why are you making them? I mean, dish about the script a bit?
Currently it's more like I'm using part of the nomenclature from Complete Collection, since that script can't be used as-is without any actual string reordering (too much work for a "quick" project like this). I'm using the PlayStation script tweaked with said nomenclature and I'm making a few changes to the formatting because I want to shape the SNES version in a flavor similar to FF4A and FF4CC. As for space limitations to the script, there are none: it can be expanded until the ROM explodes. :laugh:

Technically you are translating the Japanese ROM into English, so it's a translation and should go in the translation section.
The thing is tho: it's based on existing translations and I'm making a few changes to modernize part of the UI, so I wouldn't call it exactly a translation hack.
I am the lord, you all know my name, now. I got it all: cash, money, and fame.