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Romhacking => Newcomer's Board => Topic started by: jmurjeff on March 28, 2012, 11:59:31 AM

Title: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: jmurjeff on March 28, 2012, 11:59:31 AM
How difficult is it to translate games on the Mega/Sega CD? I notice that not many people work with this system. Is it that much harder to work with than let's say the Playstation?
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: SamIAm on March 28, 2012, 12:19:09 PM
This is kind of a smartass answer, but I think part of the problem is that there aren't many games on the Sega CD that demand a fan-translation. Most of the good stuff either made it over anyway, or is light enough on Japanese text that it's still playable anyway.

The PCE-CD, on the other hand...

There's also stuff like being heavily reliant on cutscenes and voiced parts that aren't very easy to deal with for totally different reasons. All in all, I have to wonder how many games on the system are even ripe for translation in the first place?
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: jmurjeff on March 28, 2012, 12:28:16 PM
I realize a lot of good ones came over but some of the translations are not really as good as they should be imo. I was playing popful mail and noticed they changed names and some other things when I started playing the Japanese version. Even the opening sequence music did not sound the same. Now is the PCE-CD ultra difficult to work with?
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: KingMike on March 28, 2012, 12:42:24 PM
Popful Mail was localized by Working Designs, infamous for changing stuff. So no surprise there. :)
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: SamIAm on March 28, 2012, 01:46:38 PM
I'm being a smartass again, but IMO the US version of Popful Mail on Sega CD is better written than the Japanese Mega CD version. That might sound absurd since the Japanese is the original, but here's the thing: the Japanese version comes across as fairly generic, while the US version is quite unique and memorable. They didn't change too terribly much, either. I believe it's one of their better pieces of work.

The real problem is that they also tweaked the gameplay, and in that area it's one of their worst ever. In the Japanese version, you can take 10-20 hits before you die. In the US version, it's 3-5. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the game isn't designed for perfect play, but rather for merely minimizing your hits. The result is that the restarting that you have to go through in the US version is terribly tedious, while the Japanese version lets you kick back and play. The Japanese version may have been a little too easy, but WD's changes way over-corrected it.

Anyway, CD hacking in general tends to be a pain regardless of what the other hardware is just because of the way the data can be split up so much. I'm working on a translation now of a CD based shooter with 7 stages, and each stage requires its own re-implementing of the hacks we're using because of the way it loads. Not all CD games will have this problem, and others will have it to different extents, but it's a common thing.

Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: Jorpho on March 28, 2012, 10:38:43 PM
Quote from: jmurjeff on March 28, 2012, 12:28:16 PMEven the opening sequence music did not sound the same.
It just so happens that the title screen (if that's what you're referring to ) has its own redbook audio track on the CD, meaning it's completely trivial to change it if you want.  Anything else, not so much.

(I remember Eye of the Beholder for Sega CD used redbook audio for all of its dialog too, for some strange reason.)
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: jmurjeff on March 29, 2012, 04:06:01 AM
Not the title screen. The opening anime sequence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtEiUe2Noio

That is the English opening and the sound is changed a bit for the music.
I am not sure why they had to do this. It just sounds really bad imo.


Here is the Japanese opening. Skip to close to 2:40 and you will hear the music in the opening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVOL6_sgfQs



Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: Jorpho on March 29, 2012, 09:17:28 AM
Quote from: jmurjeff on March 29, 2012, 04:06:01 AMI am not sure why they had to do this.
Well, probably because they had to re-record the voices and couldn't get the original music with the Japanese voices removed.
Title: Re: How difficult is translating games for the Mega/Sega CD?
Post by: goldenband on March 30, 2012, 02:24:04 AM
Quote from: SamIAm on March 28, 2012, 12:19:09 PMThis is kind of a smartass answer, but I think part of the problem is that there aren't many games on the Sega CD that demand a fan-translation. Most of the good stuff either made it over anyway, or is light enough on Japanese text that it's still playable anyway.

I suppose it depends on your definition of "demand" and "good stuff", but there are tons of untranslated RPGs on the Sega CD, especially relative to the small size of the library.

Quote from: SamIAm on March 28, 2012, 12:19:09 PMThere's also stuff like being heavily reliant on cutscenes and voiced parts that aren't very easy to deal with for totally different reasons.

One thing I've never been able to get a clear-cut answer about: how difficult is it to reauthor cutscenes to include English subtitles?  Is it asking the impossible?  I realize it depends on how the video assets are encoded, but I get the impression that the tools are out there. Subtitling the cutscenes on Earnest Evans and Anet Futatabi is a pipedream of mine.

Quote from: SamIAm on March 28, 2012, 12:19:09 PMAll in all, I have to wonder how many games on the system are even ripe for translation in the first place?

This list I compiled might be helpful. (http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?15351-Complete-annotated-list-of-JPN-Mega-CD-exclusives)  By my count there are easily 20 RPGs -- plus a bunch of graphic adventures and strategy games -- that, without Japanese-language skills, are basically unplayable until a translation comes along.

(Some of them are playable if you have a walkthrough holding your hand the whole way, but then what's the point, really?  Plus all of the plot, cutscenes, etc. are meaningless.)

Anyway, first someone should translate Sangokushi IV for 32X.  You'd be translating a console's entire library in one fell swoop.  ;D  Plus you can use the SNES game as an easy reference.