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Author Topic: Translations: Half-game, half-manual: Mega Drive strategy game Bahamut Senki translated  (Read 3494 times)

RHDNBot

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Update By: Supper

An English translation for Sega's 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis strategy game Bahamut Senki – and its accompanying 112-page instruction manuals – has been released!

For 2,000 years did the peace brought to Bahamut by the royal line of Pholia last; but no more. The skies darken, the evil powers once banished return, calamities tear the land itself asunder – and the "Age of Darkness" is at hand. As the world crumbles, eight rulers raise armies and war amongst themselves to decide the fate of the continent. None can say when or how the Age of Darkness will end, but amidst the chaos, there is one certainty: that the conflict can be done only when one Master stands alone above them all...

Bahamut Senki (Record of the Bahamut War) is a 1991 turn-based strategy game by Sega for the Mega Drive. In it, up to four players take control of one of eight rulers in the fantasy realm of Bahamut, raise armies, and battle AI opponents and each other until one faction emerges victorious. It's a very complex and advanced game for its time, featuring three rulesets of varying depth, adjustable difficulty, and three different levels of simulation: high-level political management, tactical battles (in both hex-based and simplified variants), and real-time action-based combat between individual units.

While the game itself contains only a moderate amount of text, it's a complex simulation game from an era where in-game help and tutorials were rare. Instead, most information on how the game actually works is found only in its 64-page instruction manual and accompanying 48-page supplement. Since the game is nearly impossible to understand without them, the translation team has additionally translated both manuals and formatted them as web pages, including translated reproductions of all charts and graphs, for convenience. They are included in the patch download, and can also be read online on the patch's support site: http://stargood.org/trans/bahamut.php

The game also has a few unusual secrets for a strategy game of this type. Since some of them are extremely well hidden, and in some cases had never been documented in English, the patch download also includes instructions on how to find them.

This release was the work of TheMajinZenki (translation), Supper (hacking and manual digitization), cccmar (editing and testing), Xanathis (testing), and Oddoai-sama (testing). Special thanks to filler, who initially worked on the translation, and to Sega wiki Sega Retro for providing the user manual scans.

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Special

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So what took you longer to translate? the Game or the Manual? (Things massive.)

Supper

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So what took you longer to translate? the Game or the Manual? (Things massive.)

I'm pretty sure the ratio of effort that went into the project was about 1/3 game, 2/3 manual. We'd probably have had the whole thing done in under a month if it had been the game alone. I mean, the hacking certainly had its challenges -- those damn advisor messages! -- but having to replicate the manual's layout, retake the screenshots, reproduce the arrow diagrams, etc. etc. etc. was all considerably more draining. To say nothing of the work it took Zenki to translate it in the first place...

I think the single most intensive thing I did for the project was clean and typeset the world map at the back of the manual, which took probably 6-7 hours by itself. Exhausting and thankless work. I have no idea how people in scanslation groups can stand to do it over and over again.

But I think it actually ended up being kind of a fun project just because the experience of putting together the manual was so different from a typical hacking project, where all the focus is on the game itself. I don't know that I'd want to do it again right away, but it was actually a nice change of pace. Plus the game is actually pretty fun once you understand how to play it, so the whole thing was pretty satisfying for me. Hope a few people will be willing to give it a shot.

Special

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which took probably 6-7 hours by itself. Exhausting and thankless work.

Oof, well let me be the first to say thanks, no idea when I'll have the time to play this translation, but I will always appreciate a good manual/guide/etc. getting translated alone side projects like these. They're honestly my favorite part actually, more then the games... And this one is so well done and put together, it's even giving me the manual smell from back in 80-90's when game manuals meant something.

Malias

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Awesome work.  One small thing I noticed though: in the Character catalog, you've mislabeled Archdemon as Imp
The great achievement is to lose one's reason for no reason, and to let my lady know that if I can do this without cause, what should I do if there were cause?
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Supper

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Awesome work.  One small thing I noticed though: in the Character catalog, you've mislabeled Archdemon as Imp

Ah, sorry, that was a copy-paste error on my part -- fixed. Thanks for the notice. I double-checked the rest of the names and stats and they all seem to be fine, but let me know if anything else seems off.

kaiisen

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This is so sweet!

In times like these, thank you for making the moments at home more cozy :cookie::beer:

You're awesome!

@Special I know what you mean, I remember back when I was a kid and used to look at manuals from games like Super Mario World, and admire the drawings, imagining there was a whole world behind it.

Be safe all you.

EDIT: just noticed the unintended pun there :laugh:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 03:08:34 am by kaiisen »

Nosuch

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While I don't have the time or patience for an RPG these days (which is too bad because I used to love strategy ones in particular), I at least want to say I appreciate the effort that was put into translating the manual and character guide as well. I love reading supplemental materials like that.
Well, he's just this guy, you know?

SkywardShadow

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This is amazing, thank you! I live for these types of games, and I can't believe I didn't even know about this one.

cccmar

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We tend to forget sometimes that this used to be the norm back in the '90s in particular. In Japan they also had massive guide books on top of manuals and other stuff like that, with tons of strategies, secrets and whatnot. I'd say this makes the project more complete, but sadly this can't be done every time due to (un)availabilty of such resources. In this case it's certainly very helpful though, seeing that there's no in-game tutorial, even though it sure could have used one.

Pennywise

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What will next month's release be?  ;D

Props for all the effort that went into the manual. I prefer the scanlation method because all I have to do at most is acquire the game and scan the manual. The problem has always been being able to find someone to photoshop the translation in on a consistent basis.

fran

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thanks for all your hard work , always nice to see a new translated MD game

was expecting a fire emblem clone but it's more similar to stuff like langrisser (just played for a couple minutes so far though)

as a final note,there's another really cool,neglected game called ninja burai densetsu in case you guys want to tackle a similar game

Dezmancer

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Wow, this is amazing guys! I came across this game a year or so ago and had looked for an English translation, figured it was never to get one with as obscure a title as it is and being that the Genesis has never been as popular as the SNES for this kind of work. You all rock, incredible work!

mikeprado30

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Huge props to the team involved on this amazing, really AMAZING undertaking :beer: I'll be testing it this weekend without doubt.  Wow, why always the games with Bahamut on its name look so tempting?  :)

BabaJeanmel

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Congrats for nailing this one. :beer:

Pender666

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Awesome work!!!!! I love this game!!!! Thank you!!!!
+1 for Ninja burai densetsu.
There's another strategy game very good too called NHK Taiga Drama - Taiheiki with a mix of playbility like Bahamut Senki.

Rightling

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This might not be the best place to ask but I'm having a strange issue. While playing as Sieg, Klimit invaded a territory I was delegating. It got stuck on a screen that says "The enemy is invading!" The music is still going and everything seems fine but no matter what button I press nothing happens. Am I missing something?

Supper

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This might not be the best place to ask but I'm having a strange issue. While playing as Sieg, Klimit invaded a territory I was delegating. It got stuck on a screen that says "The enemy is invading!" The music is still going and everything seems fine but no matter what button I press nothing happens. Am I missing something?

Yeah, this is a weird thing the game does. I actually put a note about it in both the readme and the manual to try to head off complaints, though I can't fault you for not reading through the whole thing:

Quote
The original manual does not mention this, but since it can be very confusing, the translation team would like to make a point of it: if the game has been configured to use the "2 CONTROL PADS" option on the title screen menu, which is the default when it detects that two Pads are plugged in, you must use the Player 2 Control Pad to control this menu, even in a one-player game. In most cases, the Player 1 Control Pad will not respond to input, making it seem as if the game has "frozen".

The logic here seems to be a carryover from the multiplayer mode: since up to four players are supported but a standard Mega Drive has only two controllers, the game expects that Controller 1 will be passed around to each player as they take their turn, with a player who gets invaded picking up the unoccupied controller. Why this remains the case in single-player mode, we can't tell you.

So you have to use the Player 2 controller. To "fix" this, save the game, restart, and make sure you go into the Controller menu on the title screen and pick "1 Control Pad" before you reload.

Rightling

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Yeah, this is a weird thing the game does. I actually put a note about it in both the readme and the manual to try to head off complaints, though I can't fault you for not reading through the whole thing:

So you have to use the Player 2 controller. To "fix" this, save the game, restart, and make sure you go into the Controller menu on the title screen and pick "1 Control Pad" before you reload.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I was too busy reading the manual to learn to play the game, I missed that part.