Dreamcast - RENT-A-HERO No.1 - Translation project!

Started by VincentNL, February 15, 2021, 04:01:33 PM

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Another major breaktrough thanks to Nanashi superb skills, FONT.CG can be exported in a .png file, edited and reimported back into the game.
This will effectively allow Rent a Hero No.1 for getting translated to other languages without any compromise!

USC updated his text editor with added features, such as text limit and special value buttons. Editing text is now much easier and efficient!


VincentNL: Awesome! Now I'm curious - since it looks like the text stays a certain color until you change it with the special characters, does it reset after each dialogue?

E.g. If I add [TEXT_DARK_GREEN] to the middle of Text 1, would Text 2 still be dark green or would it reset back to white?


Yeah it does reset after every dialogue, except for a few known instances :)

A.W. Laris Borromeo

Quote from: G061 on May 17, 2021, 08:06:59 PM
The intro with vocals is straight up classic tokusentai, no way you should remove them subs or not. That's like asking to remove Goemon 64 intro.

Actually it's sung by Hironobu Kageyama, who is known for Super Sentai opening songs, prior to DBZ, and there is also a version in Fighters Megamix that was sung by Mitsuyoshi. I'd say it's best to put subs on that one rather than removing it.

As for the project itself, this is a great project and I can't wait to play the Dreamcast game with the unreleased Xbox translation.
I believe the morning sun, always gonna shine again.


Dear Heroes,

I'm very happy to share with you, I've just finished working on Multi-Tile Encoding system which is complete and extensively used in game! All thanks to USC's awesome idea!

So far only A25.SNR is slightly over the limit, but I'm sure with USC's new Text Editor and work-in-progress algorithm the percentage could improve even further!

Oh yeah and Gas-Station man is talking now!


Thanks to feedback in this thread, we improved the algorithm to get A25.SNR under the size limit. Thanks again everyone!


Edit: translated


Just breaking in with a surprise update!


Normally inaccessible from the game: "Battle Effect Set Mode" is back from the past!
I've just partly restored this one, so more debug functions / parameters still need to be located / loaded in. This game really had alot of work on debug front!
The goal is to restore "Debug Menu" code (not working atm) as it is connected to key functions of the game, perfect for translation purposes!.

On Beta Testing subject, after USC compressing scenario size and new name entry (yes it's a another surprise!), we got a few bugs to address due to chars not rendering properly and Nanashi is doing an awsome job on fixing it!


So is this a remake of the Genesis version? Or the next chapter?  The Genesis game was pretty cool, though cryptic as far as what to do, at times.


Mapped every function connected to Debug Menu and forced it to show in pause screen.
Still requires a number of manual input in RAM to work, but it's operational!

Out of the several debug screens, this one is a goldmine:

It's a hidden developer message board:

This one is from legendary Hironobu Kageyama (composer of Dragon Ball Z songs, which made RAH intro):

There's a large number of untranslated text, so if anyone want to help out with translation is more than welcome!


Wishing you all the best for your summer vacation, let's get on with latest RAH progress report!

- Nanashi have fixed Save Menu text display which were causing a number of issues breaking Data and cutting Location max size!

- I've edited and remade a number of Ending PVRs which are now translated in english, other than that it's all bound to a brand new ASM function which I want to keep for a surprise effect! ;)

- Ensoku and ONESTAR joined RAH translation party and will soon get on the few remaining parts of 1RENTA.bin chunks!

Expect detailed info regarding Beta Testing in the next progress report!


Nice. Since beating the MD game I've been curious about this one, would be cool to play it on DC where it belongs.
Mini-reviews, retro sound chip tribute, romhacks and general listage at my site: Mini-Revver.


During the hacking process to translate it, is there any possibility of fixing the absolutely godawful spaghetti code that governs the display output?

Long ago I bought a retail copy of the original Japanese version. I live in the UK, had a British PAL Dreamcast, and would boot all my imports using the ActionReplay demo disc given away with DC-UK magazine. I ran all my games, including imports, over RGB SCART to a UK CRT TV capable of handling a 60Hz NTSC signal.

I only ever had trouble with 2 import games.

The American Skies of Arcadia refused to display correctly. I think I fixed this either by switching to AV composite cable, or maybe even RF lead. It was worth the sacrifice for 60Hz, since the UK PAL version of the game was locked at 50Hz.

The other game was this, Rent-a-Hero No.1.

No matter what boot disc I tried (ActionReplay, Utopia), no matter what cable (RGB SCART, AV, RF), the screen was broken. It seemed to shift 50% to the left and 50% down, looping over the other side of the screen, and it rolled continuously. A non-stop rolling, distorted mess.

Eventually, after exhausting all options, I traded the game in at a local indie game store and bought something else.

Later I would play through the English Xbox release.

I know most people here are NTSC gamers. And I know most Dreamcast fans will be emulating or using VGA. But for the tiny percentage of us who play PAL systems and run them over RGB SCART onto a CRT TV (all three of us :laugh:), do you think you could look at the code governing screen output?

Because I never encountered this with any other Dreamcast game.


From your description it's plausible RAH is one of those games whithout RGB output support and requires a dedicate fix!

With a number of relatively cheap DCHDMI converters out there for handling VGA-->HDMI, I'd suggest you to upgrade for an increased res and image quality, but if you and your friends are really into CRT gaming then patching video mode is the only way. I could give it a go once all the other tasks are done


Quote from: VincentNL on September 04, 2021, 08:57:23 AM
With a number of relatively cheap DCHDMI converters out there for handling VGA-->HDMI, I'd suggest you to upgrade for an increased res and image quality

Tempting, but I have a fondness for the lightgun games, which can only be used on a CRT.

Anyway, I actually figured out the problem, a whole 20 years later!

I've been fiddling around with various booting solutions to correct NTSC 60Hz games which boot up in 50Hz on a PAL console (Ikaruga, Grandia II, Sega Rally 2, etc.). There's a long list of problem games which should be 60Hz but force themselves into 50Hz on PAL.

After a lot of trial and error, and discussion on the DC Talk forums, I discovered that the Code Breaker cheat disc fixes this. No other boot option seems to work, not even the 60Hz hacked Utopia disc, nor GameShark or ActionReplay, both of which purport to boot in NTSC mode.

Anyway, the problem with RAH isn't 50/60Hz, it's the display signal output.

But I tried Code Breaker anyway.

BAM! For the first time I was able to load the game in 60Hz with a clear picture over RGB SCART on a PAL console.

From what I can tell, Code Breaker does not reboot the system like other boot discs, since it skips the DC swirl and Sega splashcreen, and goes straight into a game's opening screen. So, laymen's guess here, it bypasses whatever boot-up discovery mode the system goes through to determine screen output.

Code Breaker fixes RAH1 and pretty much every single other problem game I threw at it. Apart from Coasterworks.

So, there's no need for you to attempt to fix any code.

But if anyone else has this problem, that's the quickest solution: Code Breaker.

I hope this helps.


Dear Heroes,

I'm really happy to share with you a video, the sum of our efforts, which makes Rent A Hero No.1 DC English patch an unique experience!


First of all credit goes to Egregiousguy, for the quantity and quality of his 3D models that makes the new UI look so great and Nanashi for his awesome work on Fonts.cg which allowed  new symbols and support for any language!

Coding the whole menu entry new functions took me a sheer amount of time in:

- Reversing original functions

- Get around developers messy design choices (which prevented confirmation text to be implemented in the original game!)

- Create 4 new functions  (219 lines of asm: "New confirmation text system" / "Glowing tab" / "A button" func / "Start button" func )

- Bugtesting / rewriting to ensure compability on real hardware.

There's a major unannounced feature being worked on atm, but I'll save that for next time once it properly works on real hardware!

Regarding Beta Testing:

Due to the advanced status of new asm / translation, it would serve little purpose to test now when in a few months Beta testers will be able to play the game from the beginning to the end!

For this reason, once ready I'll privately advise everyone who applied.


Well done on all that hard work. I am surprised and impressed by the improvements a group of hobbyists have achieved over the developer itself.

Quote from: VincentNL on September 22, 2021, 04:12:12 AM
There's a major unannounced feature being worked on atm, but I'll save that for next time once it properly works on real hardware!

Oh my god, is it the Mega Drive version of Rent-a-Hero as an in-game unlockable playable via the in-game Creamcast system?  :o

Also, a question:
Is the patch going to be for a CDI file or a GDI folder of files? Or both?

The reason I ask is, my workaround for the screen issues only works with a GDI set-up.



Video: https://youtu.be/nQL-WzbSR-w

It's been a colossal asm work, but I'm finally able to say it's working great!
By entering a certain button sequence, which will be revealed in late game under specific conditions, you can access a number of developer functions originally removed from the game, plus a number of new ones for your entertainment!

Here's a quick changelog:


- Secret key to enable / disable Debug Menu
- Debug Menu / Item Add menu GUI
- Ending Movie
- ONE-PUNCH Mode ( joke mode based on ONE-PUNCH MAN manga)
- Max Gold
- All items
- All Emails
- Unlock Ultimate Armour
- All Combo / Special Moves

MAIN GAME interface improvements:

- Press start any time during intro logos to skip them
- Keep start pressed when booting the game, brings you to title screen