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Author Topic: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)  (Read 1742 times)

abishur

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Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
« on: September 24, 2020, 04:14:05 pm »
I have added these labels to help aid anyone curious about the project in case this post gets too long:
    [PROGRESS] - The current progress of different areas I'm working
    [HELP] - Want to help out?  Look here for things I know I'm lacking
    [FIXES] - Places that have errors and need to be fixed.  If you find one please tell me in this thread so I can add it to the list  ;)
    [OLD REVISIONS] - Old Revisions of the patch files.

    EDIT 2020/10/12 - Rev 1.0a Release Candidate. Fixed error resulting in wrong items being given.  At some point from the very beginning a random hex address was changed resulting in the wrong item being given for the communicator.  Went through restoring changes until it began working again.  Also found some logic (possibly related) in the text block 2 area that was missing a single byte.  Added in missing byte and confirmed no more errors in text areas.  Will need to go through game and confirm this fix didn't break anything that was already fixed.

    In most places I have replaced Gojulas (the name of your Zoid) with your character's name.  It saved space and it makes more sense for English speakers.  Please let me know if you catch any other typos or errors!

    Enter Matt as your name and start the game with all upgrades, great for testing or just having fun.

    Thank you to Filler for providing the translation I use to make my sentences
    Thank you to cccmar for doing the initial play through and finding most (all?) the mistakes so no one else had to see that mess!

    [OLD REVISIONS]
    Rev 0.9c Release Candidate. Fixed broken text associated with dialog "Brr it's cold". Password system works, though I wish it were a bit cleaner. 
    Rev 0.9b Same as Rev 0.9c except there is an error with the Zoid who says "Brr it's cold." Page end character had been left out so the following sentence (a yes/no sentence) appeared on screen along with the correct sentence.
    Revision 0.7a - Provides partial fix to password system.  Passwords now generate correctly. Removes " over the A in BAK on the name screen.  Adjusted some text to fit better in dialog boxes.
    0.1a Initial release of translation Known issue - Passwords incorrectly generated.
    0.0a Patch recieved from filler.  Provides English text characters and title screen.

    I've picked up the work that another user, Filler, started on translating Zoids: Battle of the Central Continent.  I've broken the project down into what I think are reasonable categories and how far along I am in each one.

    [PROGRESS]
    • Get script areas - 100%? (Thanks to Filler for doing this)
    • Translate script - 100%? (Thanks to Filler for doing this)
    • Edit Translation for grammar and space - 100%?
    • Enter New Translation into game - 100%?
    • Update Pointer Table to use New Locations - 100%?
    • Test game - 90%

    [HELP]
    Things that I may need help on for anyone who'd like to see it completed:
    • Double check translation of script.  Filler did a good job, but if someone wanted to double check to make sure some tweaks I've made fit intent that'd be great
    • Menu Entries - I've been able to edit them in a limited fashion.  I can show Data only as DAT.  If someone could help me find out how to add in the missing letter that would be great
    • Zoids Statistics - There are some custom screens showing Zoid information, it draws on Text areas below x1000 so I'm not certain how to edit them yet
    • Testing - Once the script is done if people could try playing the game and make sure it behaves correctly that'd be great!
    • Edit title screen credits to include translation credits?
    [li]Edit continue system to save password to memory and have it autoload into the continue screen.  Only would work until you hit the reset button or powered off, but it would be great for not having to input log passwords each time you died.
    [/li][/list]

    Here are some screen shots showing how its going.

    In game Menu (Note the SPK and DAT instead of TALK and DATA)



    1st Screen Dialog (Character is named 0)


    2nd Screen Dialog (Yes/No is working correctly)




    [FIXES]
    ***MAJOR ISSUES*** (Issues that crash the game or prevent normal gameplay)
    [PARTIAL FIX] Password system is cumbersome.  Due to the way the password screen is displayed in Japanese they are able to use 2 modifiers and 41 characters to generate 72 options.  By using my characters and leaving the modifiers in place... well it works.  Not sure how to go about getting it more refined, this may be the limit of my abilities, but if someone who knows 6502 code wanted to take a look at my notes we might be able to figure it out!


    ***MINOR ISSUES*** (Cosmetic Issues, such as text displaying incorrectly)
    [FIXED]Star Menu Screen - " over the "A" in "BAK" will be removed once I take the " accent mark (Hex code 57) and make it a black square in the tile editor I need the " symbol to make the password system work at this time.  0x1C701 was the byte that drew the " over the A.  Changed it to FF.
    [IGNORED]Continue Screen - Missing text at the top of the screen (The entry for "Name" on the Start screen and "Continue" on the continue screen are right next to each other.  The way the pointers in this area work prevent me from using a small scrap of spare space I had in a different location.  I've chosen to display "Name" and forgo "Continue")
    [FIXED]Continue Screen - Incorrect Password doesn't show
    [FIXED]Data Menu Entry - Missing all numbers for Data.
    [FIXED]New Republic City, Outside Left Snake - "Z" appears after name (It's loaded after the name, and before the item to indicate 's, but I'm not sure where that character is stored yet)
    [FIXED]New Republic City, Outside Left Barrigator - It stops mid sentence in English and Japanese, rest of sentence should be "Only slow you down" there is an "F3" hex character where the text stops.

    ***A NOTE ABOUT THIS TRANSLATION***
    I have created a spreadsheet showing pointer locations, original text, original translation, and translation I used located here.  It may be a good reference for anyone who want to see how I did things or confirm dialog boxes match the original game.

    I can't say this enough, but without the work of the user "Filler" this translation would be impossible!  I wish I could have used his translation word for word, but Zoids BotCC has almost NO SPARE SPACE.  A mere 1133 extra characters was all I could squeeze out which sounds like a lot until you see how quickly it disappears.  As a result I've have done my best to shorten the sentences to their shortest meanings where required and kept some sentences unaltered even though they were long.

    For instance I've shortened the sentence: "Welcome, [NAME]. I'm counting on your strength to save our Republic from this crisis" to "Welcome, [NAME]. I'm counting on you to save us."

    But I left "It's foretold that when a true warrior appears at the promised land the great power will be restored." complete because I really liked the way that prophecy sounded.

    When all was said and done I had about 20 characters to spare which I'm keeping in reserve in case I've missed something or have to move some sentences around while fixing errors.

    I've also done my best to reuse where possible, such as using "Locked stairs" to also provide the text for "stairs" or reusing similar sounding sentences instead of using 2 unique entries (i.e. "Oh, that's too bad" and "I see.  That's too bad").

    All that said, I do have some spare space so if you look at Filler's original text and see one line you REALLY want unaltered please let me know, if enough people want the same things I'll see what I can do to make that change

    For each screen I'm taking a picture of the original text and what I've translated it to.  I can post all those pictures here if that's allowed so you can see how it's going, but until I hear if that's okay or not I've created a google drive document that anyone can view for offering feedback.

    ***END OF NOTE***
    « Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 09:42:07 pm by abishur »

    cccmar

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #1 on: September 25, 2020, 02:18:56 am »
    If you end up needing testers for the text, let me know. I looked through the script once already for Filler years back, so I could do the testing of the full game as well to check everything in context additionally when all the text is in. For the menu entries you will probably need some ASM magic, so maybe Pennywise or Danke could tell you more about that. As for the credits, personally I'd put them at the end of the game somewhere, in the actual ending credits roll (I find that to be the best place for those), but that's just me.

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #2 on: September 27, 2020, 02:41:54 am »
    If you end up needing testers for the text, let me know. I looked through the script once already for Filler years back, so I could do the testing of the full game as well to check everything in context additionally when all the text is in. For the menu entries you will probably need some ASM magic, so maybe Pennywise or Danke could tell you more about that. As for the credits, personally I'd put them at the end of the game somewhere, in the actual ending credits roll (I find that to be the best place for those), but that's just me.

    Oh cool!  I don't suppose you remember anything about text stuff from back then?  I've gotten the main chunk of text worked out, now I just need to track down some last tricky ones that appear to be referenced in an unusual manner.

    September 28, 2020, 12:58:27 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
    So as I make progress here and people want to test it out, how do I go about sharing my ips patch file?
    « Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 12:58:27 pm by abishur »

    cccmar

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #3 on: September 29, 2020, 02:22:00 pm »
    So, I don't really remember the details on it, maybe Filler could help with that, since he dumped and translated this script, but if not you can always ask in the Help Wanted section. As for the patch, any file upload link should work, megaupload and things like that. I don't think this is forbidden here, as long as it's just an IPS patch. You can also do that in a private message if you want, but if you do it here everyone will be able to see it right away. :)

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 07:12:17 pm »
    I have updated the main post to include the initial release of the translation.  I've only checked the first few screens so far so I expect a fair amount of mistakes.  If you find any please let me know where they appear and I'll see if I can get it fixed!

    Again a major thanks to Filler for doing the initial text dump and translation of the script.  Without that I never would have bothered to learn any of this and been left with a famicom game I couldn't barely play.

    September 30, 2020, 01:50:17 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
    One the last big hurdles I'm facing is the Continue system.  I've figured out most of the issue.  There was a section of code I had deleted because it looked like an unused alphabet in the middle of nowhere.  Turns out that area was the table the game pulled from to generate a password  :-[

    So I moved the text around, got the alphabet back in place, went to the continue screen and realized I'm fairly screwed, lol.

    In the Japanese version of the game they use 46 characters on screen, but add a " and a ° modifier to give you 71 total characters to choose from for the password

    So here you can see I used the same base character, but the second modified with the " is the difference between the hex 2A and the hex 5B



    The equivalent letters for how I've set up my english table would be g and g"



    But that's unreasonable to expect people to know the if the symbol $ comes up they need to enter g" for the symbol associated with my 5B.

    I plan to do a trace of when the password is actually generated to see if I can get any insight into the area that does the generation to see if I can't limit it to 0-9, A-Z
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 11:30:42 am by abishur »

    mikeprado30

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 01:57:25 am »
    Great news, bro!  Thanks for your work on this game.  I hope to try it this week :thumbsup:

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 10:01:56 pm »
    Great news, bro!  Thanks for your work on this game.  I hope to try it this week :thumbsup:

    You may want to wait a day or two if you haven't started yet cccmar did a play through and gave me some good notes on areas that needed fixing I hope to have those places fixed up quickly.

    FCandChill

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 01:59:46 pm »
    I did some preliminary research into the menu. Here's my notes:

    Code: [Select]
    ***DAT***
    Loading places from RAM differ. I suggest breakpointing at a controller register after a button input first and making a savestate, to make debugging easier.

    PPU Write Breakpoint
     07:C138: BD 00 07  LDA $0700,X @ $0799 = #$0D
    >07:C13B: 8D 07 20  STA PPU_DATA = #$00

     07:C138: BD 00 07  LDA $0700,X @ $07A2 = #$0A
    >07:C13B: 8D 07 20  STA PPU_DATA = #$00

     07:C138: BD 00 07  LDA $0700,X @ $07A3 = #$1D
    >07:C13B: 8D 07 20  STA PPU_DATA = #$00



    =========
    RAM write

     07:CC75: A1 1E     LDA ($1E,X) @ $B85D = #$0D
    >07:CC77: 99 00 07  STA $0700,Y @ $0799 = #$7E

     07:CC75: A1 1E     LDA ($1E,X) @ $B860 = #$0A
    >07:CC77: 99 00 07  STA $0700,Y @ $07A2 = #$02

     07:CC75: A1 1E     LDA ($1E,X) @ $B861 = #$1D
    >07:CC77: 99 00 07  STA $0700,Y @ $07A3 = #$7E

    ROM Address of "DAT":
    0x1b86d

    =========
    Pointer calculations


     07:D829: B1 53     LDA ($53),Y @ $9B2A = #$B7
     07:D82B: 18        CLC
     07:D82C: 65 1C     ADC $1C = #$A6
     07:D82E: 85 1E     STA $1E = #$5D

     07:D800: 65 1F     ADC $1F = #$B8
     07:D802: 85 1F     STA $1F = #$B8
     
     07:CC87: A9 20     LDA #$20
     07:CC89: 18        CLC
     07:CC8A: 65 1C     ADC $1C = #$86
     07:CC8C: 85 1C     STA $1C = #$A6
     
     
    Termination for pointer?
    >07:CCAF: C6 1A     DEC $1A = #$02
     07:CCB1: D0 AA     BNE $CC5D
     
     ;load as a constant. Not sure how "LOOK" is handled.
     07:D804: A9 02     LDA #$02
     07:D806: 85 1B     STA $1B = #$02
     07:D808: 85 1A     STA $1A = #$02

    Takeaways:
    * Pointers are programmatically generated.
    * Length of string probably loaded into A from "LDA #$02". Not sure how "LOOK" is handled.

    With this, I'll say expanding the menu will be a pain in the butt. The code is kind of hard to follow too. Doesn't help that each menu entry's pointer is programmatically calculated.

    I suggest just removing the dakuten support. This will prevent you from having to move stuff around.

    Also, I would suggest expanding the rom instead of sacrificing the script. How are you inserting the script? Can you provide the Japanese and English table files?
    « Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 03:00:50 pm by FCandChill »

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #8 on: October 06, 2020, 12:03:13 am »
    Takeaways:
    * Pointers are programmatically generated.
    * Length of string probably loaded into A from "LDA #$02". Not sure how "LOOK" is handled.

    With this, I'll say expanding the menu will be a pain in the butt. The code is kind of hard to follow too. Doesn't help that each menu entry's pointer is programmatically calculated.

    I suggest just removing the dakuten support. This will prevent you from having to move stuff around.

    Also, I would suggest expanding the rom instead of sacrificing the script. How are you inserting the script? Can you provide the Japanese and English table files?

    Turning Data into DAT is how I decided to leave things after doing a search through like you attached.  I hadn't thought about using breakpoints though, I'll have to keep that method in mind in the future.

    For doing the script I made an excel spreadsheet that uses VBA to take a sentence, do a VLOOKUP for each character to get it's Hex value, insert a line break when a set number of characters was reached, and insert a wait at a set number of lines, and end it with page break (the character it used to know where a set piece of dialog ended.

    After all that it added up the total number of bytes that sentence used and I figured out the best way to maximize where the sentences should go while preserving the location of some special IF operators that went with certain dialog trees.  Which ended up being another issue I ran into while doing this mod.  Not only does this rely on a pointer table, there are certain dialog statements with logic checks that MUST be at certain registers because it gets loaded in by the 6502 assembly logic and not by the pointer table.  Using the byte size and a starting address the spreadsheet automatically generated where each sentence would begin address wise and then it took that address, added in the offset and put it into the format required for the pointer table.

    I took the Hex values of the sentence and used HxD to paste the values in at the appropriate locations and finished the whole thing off by copying the hex values the spreadsheet calculated for the pointer table and pasting them in.  The spreadsheet got things about 95% right.  I had a bit of tweaking to do when it put a line break where I didn't want it or to fix an error I had made in my sentence, but it was an immense time saver.

    I thought about doing a rom expansion but 2 things made me decide to go with modifying sentences to convey meaning rather than being word perfect (well two things beyond the logic issue I mentioned above).  The first is that this is my first time doing anything like this.  2 weeks ago I knew nothing about hex editing a rom file, reading 6502 assembly language, or anything about rom hacking.  So the thought of learning how to deal with rom expansion along with basic changes seemed daunting.  The second issue is that I can easily write to a cartridge that is configured for UxROM mapper 2 (the format Zoids BotCC uses) and I decided that for this project a primary goal would be to have an end product that was faithful to the translation while at the same time could be played on the same hardware the game was initially designed for.

    With the most recent release I've attached to the first thread I believe I have hit both of those goals :) I will be fixing any dialog issues that people find from here on out (like misspellings or text that comes out wonky), but I'm not looking to make a major overhaul at this point.  Anyone who can figure out the Menu system to add in the last "A" for data or to turn "SPK" into "TALK" I will GLADLY add those additions in provided it doesn't expand the rom :)

    Edit: Oh and for the script dumps, I used the dump provided by the user Filler on this forum.  I made this spreadsheet online for testing that you're welcome to check out.  I currently have an error in my pointer table calculation that popped up after I copied it from my local computer to the google drive, but I should have that cleaned up soon.

    There is a second script area that half of it uses a second pointer table and the other half is loaded up programmatically without the use of a pointer table. 

    All the notes I've complied while working on this can be found here
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 12:25:01 am by abishur »

    FCandChill

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #9 on: October 06, 2020, 12:28:07 am »
    Yikes, it sounds like you're manually inserting dialogue into a hex editor:

    The Newbie Package of REQUIRED Material

    ROMHacking.net FAQ: You ask, we answer!
    ROMHacking.net Getting Started Section: Newbies Go HERE!
    ROMHacking.net Documents Section!
    How to ask questions the smart way.
    On the Essence of ROM Hacking
    Talk with experienced people in our IRC chat and ask specific questions there.

    For script dumping and insertion (use these instead of manually inserting):
    * https://www.romhacking.net/utilities/224/ - Atlas
    * https://www.romhacking.net/utilities/647/ - Cartographer

    Debugger -
    * https://www.romhacking.net/utilities/689/ - FCEUX

    So the thought of learning how to deal with rom expansion along with basic changes seemed daunting.  The second issue is that I can easily write to a cartridge that is configured for UxROM mapper 2 (the format Zoids BotCC uses) and I decided that for this project a primary goal would be to have an end product that was faithful to the translation while at the same time could be played on the same hardware the game was initially designed for.

    Players won't notice the mapper is different unless they check the file size. I would strongly suggest you expand the rom so the translation isn't compromised. If you have the ability to have more space, take advantage of it. You'll have a better translation as a result.

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #10 on: October 06, 2020, 12:47:24 am »
    Yikes, it sounds like you're manually inserting dialogue into a hex editor:

    It really isn't quite like that.  I've written up a program that basically does the first part of what Atlas and Cartogrpaher do, and past the text in in one giant block.  Once I got the program written I was able to input the new text and updated pointer table in a handful of minutes.  And I had written it before I knew about those other programs, lol.

    Players won't notice the mapper is different unless they check the file size. I would strongly suggest you expand the rom so the translation isn't compromised. If you have the ability to have more space, take advantage of it. You'll have a better translation as a result.

    If you look at the translation I ended up going with you can see that very little is lost.  I wish that I had had more free space to work with but I didn't.  Plus like I said above, space was only half the issue.  There were quite a few gotchas with text that ended up being loaded programmatically as opposed to using pointer tables.  And I didn't mention it, but this game also does weird things with addressing.  Areas that should have been accessible, when I put them into the pointer table ended up taking me off to who knows where.  It was a very odd game with some peculiar programming.  I might have chosen an easier game to start off with had I known!

    cccmar

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 10:26:21 am »
    Yeah, we'll need to do another run, because if you play the game legit the NPCs which give you items on the first main continent seem borked. Not sure if the same pertains to the experience system. I'll just grab the savestates before each item (the Ultrausarus' parts work fine, it's just the items for Gojulas).

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #12 on: October 06, 2020, 11:05:10 am »
    Yeah, we'll need to do another run, because if you play the game legit the NPCs which give you items on the first main continent seem borked. Not sure if the same pertains to the experience system. I'll just grab the savestates before each item (the Ultrausarus' parts work fine, it's just the items for Gojulas).

    Is it still messing up items on the latest release or are you talking about your initial test?

    cccmar

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #13 on: October 06, 2020, 11:52:04 am »
    It still is, seemingly. Like, the Communicator in the first town - it seems to be mixed up with Float, but I think the correct item appears in your inventory. This will need some more work, but other than that it's just the minor stuff left it seems. The problem is that all of those items are hidden beyond invisible stairs pretty much (pretty common design back in the 80s), but hopefully I'll get it done fairly quickly.
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 12:11:42 pm by cccmar »

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #14 on: October 06, 2020, 02:04:33 pm »
    It still is, seemingly. Like, the Communicator in the first town - it seems to be mixed up with Float, but I think the correct item appears in your inventory. This will need some more work, but other than that it's just the minor stuff left it seems. The problem is that all of those items are hidden beyond invisible stairs pretty much (pretty common design back in the 80s), but hopefully I'll get it done fairly quickly.

    Okay, that makes a lot of sense actually.  I've been focusing the most on the largest chunk of text, the one where all the dialog is located.  I haven't looked too much at the smaller dialog area yet where things like Communicator and "float" are located.

    Side note, probably going to change "float" to "boat" or "barge" as I believe the meaning of the word "float" isn't float like "I'm floating on air" but "float" as in, "A parade float".  That is, the thing you see in parades that all the people ride on.  "Barge" might fit that mental picture best, but boat is more likely to be understood by the most people.  "Ferry" might be best of all.

    As someone whose played the game front to back, which do you feel fits the best in context?

    cccmar

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #15 on: October 06, 2020, 03:49:38 pm »
    I think "barge" is closer, but it's hard to tell - it really looks like the Zoid just "floats" on water, it's not really a boat, but more of a parade float for sure. There's no boat sprite or anything of that sort in-game from what I checked. It's definitely not a "ferry" or a "boat" in the traditional sense, so I'd either keep "float" or maybe go with "barge" at most. Anyhow, so far it looks like it's mostly the items so far. Be sure to double-check the dialogues near the end of the game, since there are a couple things that might still need fixing. :) Aside from that, it's likely just the items, we'll know in a couple days!

    abishur

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    Re: Zoids Battle of the Central Continent (中央大陸の戦い)
    « Reply #16 on: October 12, 2020, 06:02:11 pm »
    Finally got a chance to go through and find out why the float was being given instead of the communicator.  It was a pain, but correct items appear to be given now.

    I ended up going with a "raft" instead of float.  I've seen that word used in other NES games that kind of do the same function and it fits with what one would expect it to do.
    « Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 09:42:33 pm by abishur »