It's back. And it's still going.FOR NEWCOMERS TO THIS PROJECT:
The Breath of Fire 2 retranslation project has been going on for several years now. It was originally started by d4s, a German programmer and a SNES hacking virtuoso. The goal of the project was to enhance the original game with several new aesthetic and useful features: VWF, gradient text boxes, a run button, and just for the hell of it, a technologically impressive (but kinda ugly IMHO) new intro movie that plays before the title screen, complete with "Owaranai Ai" ("Endless Love"), the song that was originally used in the Japanese commercial for the game (which replaces the original dramatic theme music).
After the original German version was completed in 2006, I signed on to handle the English translation. What can I say? I played BoF2 on GBA and decided "I could do a better translation than this"; it was time to put up or shut up. It's been a rough road since then: right now the project is basically in my hands, and I've made a fair number of bugfixes and improvements myself. Right now the project is bug-free as far as I know, and I'm currently working on another revision of my English script.
Let's have a little recap of where we've been and where we're headed, shall we?
1. The font went from bordered to shadowed and back again. In the process it lost the skeleton of the eye-bleeding original BoF2 FWF and became something sharper, more Courier-like. Opinions have been mixed, but it's generally agreed that bordered works better with the fancy gradients and transparency effects, and the new font overall looks better than the old one (though it's not shaded or smoothed in any way, shape or form).
2. People who know enough German to play the existing "improvement" patch (or can fake it well enough to struggle through the game) are probably aware that you can't buy stacks of items. This is because d4s disabled the counters so he could fit longer item names. With a bit of imagination and a little cheating I was able to re-
enable them, so now you can buy stacks of items once again (but the mod-happy should be warned that eternal damnation or at least unpredictable effects await those who try to give any stackable item a price higher than 999 Zenny).
3. There is a bug
in the existing patch, a game-killing freeze, that occurs if you are foolhardy enough to try opening the menu while in the hunting grounds. This happens because the decompression routine that unpacks that shiny new background graphic and its accompanying tilemap happens to stomp on data that the game stores upon entering the hunting grounds and needs to reload when exiting. This has also been fixed, by ever-so-slightly unorthodox means: said graphic is now uncompressed
(though its brother on the title screen is not, and will remain that way unless it affects anything else in ways d4s didn't predict).
4. The latest bug is actually due to a fix I made earlier. Go to the Items menu in the German patch and scroll down. Just. One. Space. Can't do it, can you? Well, that's been fixed too, but that's besides the point. Just scroll down until the up arrow displays. Now, while the up arrow is visible, scroll back up to the top
. Magic! The up arrow is glued in place! d4s disabled the routine that normally blanked out the up arrow so it wouldn't randomly delete letters in the character stats; I figured out an alternate way to pull it off, but it's triggered in places it wasn't meant to, meaning the prompt for the auto-sort function (and, as I later noticed, the scroll arrows) will not display if the last thing you did was check Key Items (a.k.a. "Specials"). So all I have to do is figure out a different place to insert my fix; perhaps the routine that actually prints
the stats would be a wise place to put it...
5. Every effort has been made to restore features cut from the "improvement" patch, such as the HP and MP counters in the battle menues. This does not, and likely will not extend to restoring the original title screen music: doing so would probably necessitate cutting out the fancy new opening movie with its nice music. Which, frankly, wouldn't bother me at all: if it were my choice I'd cut out just about all the excess gravy d4s threw in and stick with the VWF, the run button, the extended names, expanded menues, bank swapping for the text pointers, etc. I've tried twice thus far to do so, in fact, and failed miserably: the good is intertwined so inextricably with the pointless that it's just easier to grit my teeth, call it a necessary evil and soldier on. And yes, this extends to the prospect of removing the opening movie as well. So unless a significant number of people make it very clear that they're not going to play the translation unless I cut out the opening movie and restore the original title screen music, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
6. The character's full name will be given in the ending cast roll as "Linpoo 'Lin' Xiuan". First, the name is obviously supposed to be faux-Chinese in the first place, and second, while she is referred to in the rest of the game as "Lin", this allows me to state that it's a nickname and nothing else, so the foaming, raving purists *cough* will have one less excuse to split hairs with me. In a reversal, her ill-fated distaff counterpart
will be addressed in those same ending credits as "Tiga 'Tigger' Lee". Yes, "Tigger" is
supposed to be the character's proper name, but would him getting brutally murdered by Habaruk have nearly the emotional impact with a silly name like that?
7. To reiterate: beta-testing will begin after I myself have played the game from beginning to end without encountering any notable glitches. Since every attempt I have made to do so has usually run into a fresh new glitch, this project may take a while to enter beta even after I've squashed the latest bug and rewritten the script again. ^_^
So...re-discuss, re-enjoy, re-anything that comes to mind. It's good to be back.