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Author Topic: Walk me through please (GBC)  (Read 528 times)

Brightness

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Walk me through please (GBC)
« on: December 15, 2018, 06:30:57 am »
Hello everyone, newbie here. I've read the starter pack for romhacking and translating. I want to focus on translating but I still don't get it, the tutorial isn't specific enough on its instructions that I cannot follow.

Anyone knows how to translate gbc roms? I want to be fully educated (Note that I have no knowledge with me in translating but i'm a fast learner).

Thank you for the ones who'll help me and understanding this post.

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USC

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 10:17:31 am »
What part(s) of the tutorials have you confused? I can describe my process, if that's helpful to you.

1) I usually start by finding the game's font using a graphics editor (Like Tile Layer Pro or YY-Char.net). This helps me guess what encoding the game might use (E.g. if there's less than 256 characters and symbols, it likely only uses a single value per "letter"; if it has a full kanji table, it likely uses 2 values like Shift JIS).

2) I then try to figure out the character table (E.g. A = 6C, B = 6D, etc). The smartest way is to study the text routine using the emulator's debugger, but you can brute force it as well - for instance, you can use tools with Relative Search to guess the encoding pattern.

3) Once you've found a dialogue string in the ROM, you need to find the pointer tables. If you're lucky, the pointer tables are two bytes long and at the beginning of the 0x4000 block (E.g. If your string starts at 0x1D2743, the pointer table starts at 0x1D0000). There's an excellent document on GB Pointers here.

4) With that, you should have enough to plug into the Cartographer and Atlas script extraction and insertion utilities. Once you've done that, you can start translating.

Hope that helps in some way.

Psyklax

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 11:37:50 am »
Welcome to the forum! :)

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you start on the forum saying "please walk me through what to do", you might not have the right attitude for a ROM hacker. :) People do this hobby because they are curious about things and want to learn more, rather than have people walk them through it.

On the other hand, I know myself that getting that vital start can push you in the right direction. It was thanks to a small suggestion from a forum member that I became very proficient in ROM hacking. The first game I translated was a GBC game, in fact (my avatar is a clue to which one) and I'd say it's a good system to start with, for various reasons.

In fact, as a way of helping you or anyone else, I think I'll provide you with something to get you started. :) I made a zip file with the 'source' of my first ever hack. It's basically the table files I used, plus lots of text files relating to where things are in the ROM and how things work. Bear in mind that I didn't understand assembly at all when I did this: I just figured this out from trying it myself. If you look at the game (Meitantei Conan: Karakuri Jiin Satsujin Jiken) and then look at my patched version, and all this documentation, hopefully you'll be able to piece together how I figured it out.

So, in other words, I'm giving you the starting point and the final destination, but it's up to you to figure out how I got there. :D

http://s346165667.websitehome.co.uk/psyktrans/c1-source.zip

Brightness

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 09:03:00 pm »
Thank for the replies, it straightened my thinking a bit. I was having a hard time starting out so I made this thread. It wasn't as efficient and as productive as I thought if I'd just read random documents. I appreciate the help very much.

Psyklax

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 01:32:16 am »
A little explanation of my source because it might not be clear: the table files. I have three, j e and t. J is the Japanese characters (in Romaji because at the time I used Thingy, which I DO NOT recommend now, WH32EX is a better option, with Shift JIS); e is the English characters that are found in the ROM already, although I think it's just uppercase; t is what I decided to use for the translation (pasting characters over the top of the Japanese).

Hopefully that clears up any confusion. I'd recommend having the original game and my patched one to compare against.

Brightness

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 01:42:50 am »
Oh, Thingy is not recommended? But it's still alright to use it, right?

Thank, I was confused what role they have, I'll try applying what I learned so far now.

Orochi Kusanagi

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Re: Walk me through please (GBC)
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 01:52:11 am »
I'm not the OP, but I just want to give a big thanks USC and Psyklax for the stuff on pointers and Cartographer/Atlas in this thread. I have been tinkering with a Japanese gameboy game in my spare time between projects, and feel like I have a better understanding now.