I have the foundation work for six-letter names done. Editing them works perfectly on the naming screen, and they save properly. No patch yet because every other screen that displays names shows garbled nonsense at the moment, but this was the major hurdle. I'm fairly confident now that I can make it work. Just giving a little update.
Any chance you could share notes and compression tools that made this possible, to help the chances of other translations happening? The 8x16 font that's now included is one such major hurdle.
My personal notes are an absolute mess. Think randomly scribbling things on a napkin, but in text file form. I don't think they would be very useful to anyone.
The compression tools (exhal/inhal) already existed and are freely available. They're more general purpose tools for Hal games.
Then there's the game-specific tools that Dana was using for ripping/inserting the "script". Those are also freely available. The thing about the "script" though is that it isn't really a script in the traditional sense. I think the tutorial text might actually be stored as strings (I haven't looked at it at all) but pretty much everything else is stored as background tile maps. If you look back at some of the snippets of "script" that have been posted in this thread you'll see that each letter is broken into multiple parts (A1, A2, etc.) interspersed with hex values in brackets. The letter parts are references to a table file full of tile IDs, and the hex values in brackets are the tile attribute data (palette, x-flip, etc.). The script dumping/insertion tools just make the tile maps a little more human-readable. Personally I found it a little cumbersome and did most of my editing in a hex editor.
Edit: My point with all that stuff about the script being tile maps is that there isn't actually anything special about the 8x16 font. It's literally just a matter of placing two tiles in the tile map instead of four. No crazy ASM or anything. What I'm doing now with the names is a different story though.