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Romhacking => ROM Hacking Discussion => Topic started by: Specialkid1337 on August 07, 2017, 03:11:12 am

Title: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Specialkid1337 on August 07, 2017, 03:11:12 am
Like I said in my introduction post, I am also one of the many poor souls who wants Star Ocean Blue Sphere translated into English, so here's a screenshot that is essentially a collage of the work that I've pulled up so far: (https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/316750439460634625/344013441951989761/Hex_Editor_Screenshot_Comparisons.PNG)

Now, I looked at the French and Chinese translations that have been successfully completed 100%. It seems the French translation seems to have replaced the font table at address 000F4000, but the Chinese translation did not touch it. Rather, the Chinese translation started their work at 0008C000 and put their own font table there. They were able to make room, as another translator, Mz, had mentioned in an earlier post.

So far, I have used SearchR3 to find the use of "star ocean" and then I made my English font table from there. So far, so good for a newbie like me  :happy: ! I double-checked that these locations were correct, and lucky me! I can now make a full table file for the entire Japanese script, and be able to manually translate it. Not very efficient, but given the current shenanigans mentioned by Mz, I might as well dig deeper into this rabbit hole. With a working table file, Hexecute can finally stop giving me garbage, and give me actual text instead of the occasional Kanji, random number/letter or two.

If you would like to give me advice, or perhaps stop me from reinventing the wheel  :crazy: , please do respond!
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: zfreeman on August 11, 2017, 11:56:45 pm
Being a layman, I have no advice that would benefit you. The only one that has released anything is lokai20. I believe he's done with his second attempt after his original progress died with his hard drive and mz's possible progress. His last video was anticipating passing on what he had to others. But he was translating as he went, as opposed to mz and Aeon Genesis/Gideon Zhi who seem to each have a completed translation. Until there's some collaboration, you might have to just reinvent that wheel.


lokai20:
http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1595/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REgGjqZqyag&t
https://www.reddit.com/r/starocean/comments/39tc04/ongoing_star_ocean_blue_sphere_fan_translation/

mz:
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=23531.0
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=23530#msg328796

Aeon Genesis/Gideon Zhi:
https://agtp.romhack.net/project.php?id=sobs
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Specialkid1337 on August 13, 2017, 04:42:20 am
Well, crap.
(http://i.imgur.com/6h70ycu.gif)

From one dude dropping his thumb drive down a street stream in the rain, to a hard drive failure with BOTH projects combined (gonna have to ask about that, after I have definitive evidence of my translation effort), and I thought Aeon Genesis' 100% announcement was referring to Mz's work but I guess he did that, too. Thanks for letting me know about their works, but I am already VERY aware of pretty much every single post and video they've made, so it's not really news to me. This game sure is cursed!  >:D

So if I DO have to reinvent the wheel, I'll just have to be a SmartyTM and actually back up my work, regardless of whether it's on a solid state drive (which it is) or not lmao. It's 2017, and there was definitive proof that we could've translated this gameboy color RPG years ago, and even within this year too! I'll just have to break the curse once for all. But, college is coming around the corner, so I'll have some update on my progress ready despite that time delay.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: zfreeman on August 13, 2017, 11:38:32 am
Just to clarify, mz's progress likely compounded lokai20's reluctance to continue his own work. Not that they were working in tandem.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: gadesx on August 15, 2017, 10:01:03 am
SE could make a remake of this game and release it before that the original
game stay translated in english xddd
All star ocean games seems hard to be translated, I tried to make something with SO2 to spanish, but nothing.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: KingMike on August 15, 2017, 11:34:38 am
I can't remember for sure but didn't they make a remake for old Japanese cellphones?
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Specialkid1337 on August 16, 2017, 09:56:36 pm
Oh yes, I looked at the cell phone remake. Too bad I can't get my hands on it. But nevermind that, it's more likely that Square Enix has moved on to greener pastures (i.e. making Final Fantasy their billion-dollar cash cow  ::) )
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Specialkid1337 on June 03, 2018, 06:56:42 am
Helloooo, I'm back. I got college out of the way, so I'm restarting this lost cause.

I'm looking at the French translation right now, and even though I hear that, and I quote, "The French translation is a huge piece of shit. They made up 99% of the text, and it's not properly hacked, so the ROM space they had was minuscule. Avoid it like the plague." Thanks, Mz.

I'm looking at these screenshots on the homepage here: https://sites.google.com/site/sobstrad/home , and translating them, and they seem to check out so, I'll double check and see if the stuff is actually a garbage fire or not.

Honestly, I'm just gonna go off the French translation and put it into English, since French is a lot easier to translate than Japanese, lol! If it really is bogus, then I'm back at square one, no biggie.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: gadesx on June 04, 2018, 12:59:22 pm
I expect to see any english translation to could play or maybe with author-permission
make a spanish translation in a future, maybe after finish Baten kaitos origins in spanish.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Tom on June 04, 2018, 01:28:26 pm
I remember seeing pictures of Blue Sphere in English a LONG time ago.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 04, 2018, 03:19:51 pm
So, Gideon Zhi posted an update today here: https://agtp.romhack.net/pantheon/index.php?topic=757

It looks like he ended up using the tiny French font like I did. :P

My translation was completely finished almost a year and a half ago, but it's garbage too (at least I would call it a translation...) and it has some bugs that I'm not interested at all in fixing at the moment.

In any case, I offered all the help I could bring to anyone interested in re-translating it (or translating it to other languages), but I've only received many messages just asking me to send them my translation and none asking for help to (re-)translate.

In short: no, I'll never release this translation. If no one else ever translates this game (unlikely), I'd like to translate everything from scratch and program a VWF instead of this 4x8 font.

If anyone is interested in my tools (or their source code) or my extremely shitty translation to translate it to another language, feel free to ask. I would only send them to someone I could trust, and someone who can show some decent language skills (that is, if you consider the French "translation" a good one, don't even bother messaging me. Sorry about that.)
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gideon Zhi on June 04, 2018, 03:40:24 pm
So, Gideon Zhi posted an update today here: https://agtp.romhack.net/pantheon/index.php?topic=757

It looks like he ended up using the tiny French font like I did. :P

Yeah, this has been on my to-post queue for the last month or two, but it's kind of languished behind the Masoukishin releases. I've been trying to make a post at least once a week, usually on a Monday or Tuesday, and this happened to be this week's. (There are only three left; one's an announcement, one's progress that I want new screenshots for, and one's, well, you'll see.)

None of my work is actually based on the French version; the 4x8 font in my screenshots is actually done programmatically (though it might be the same graphics as the french one, idk). I held out for a vwf from other people for *years* and at this point I'd rather just have the 4x8 and something releasable than nothing at all, and I'm not confident enough in my z80 skill to write an actual vwf.
(http://agtp.romhack.net/temp/sobsfont.png)

It's still a good ways off though, and I'm probably a few months away from being able to devote any meaningful time to it.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 04, 2018, 03:50:25 pm
None of my work is actually based on the French version; the 4x8 font in my screenshots is actually done programmatically (though it might be the same graphics as the french one, idk). I held out for a vwf from other people for *years* and at this point I'd rather just have the 4x8 and something releasable than nothing at all, and I'm not confident enough in my z80 skill to write an actual vwf.
I see, nice job!

Can you tell us what you've done so far? (Or what's left?)

As I said, I've already fully hacked and (poorly) translated the game, so maybe I can help you with something if you're interested.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gideon Zhi on June 04, 2018, 04:05:05 pm
Main dialog (and some of the incidental stuff) is translated and inserted. Needs to be edited. Font assembly work for main dialog *should* be done, but that hasn't touched events, battles, or menus.

Unfortunately either the emulator I was using to test was bad (very possible) or some of the scripting got broken during reinsertion. After the intro cutscene plays you end up with a ghost Precis flickering in and out of existence in the corner, and the remainder of the intro event doesn't play as it's supposed to; you can just talk to Dias, pick your party, and leave the ship. I recall this working in an earlier version though, so I'm not sure what happened. I experienced a blackscreen crash in Mile Tower as well.

Haven't touched anything beyond the dialog, though iirc I started documenting the combat text routine. I haven't looked at it much since fall. Masoukishin's text work popped while I was tinkering with this, and that took priority.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 04, 2018, 06:34:31 pm
Sounds like you still have a *lot* of work ahead of you. :D To this day I have nightmares of thousands of items, spells, monsters, descriptions, profiles, minigames... Great game, but not really fun to translate. :D

If you're interested in some PHP files (and a MySQL database) to edit the rest of the game, or even just to use as a reference (if you can manage to read tens of thousands of lines of ugly code written in a few weeks), just let me know.

(I had a lot of crashes along the way too. Most of them were bad pointers within the custom scripting engine of the game, or just bad reverse engineering of some bytecodes, sometimes overwriting other stuff accidentally... A quick look at my code seems to show there are at least 9 different bytecodes that serve as a pointer in one way or another.)
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gideon Zhi on June 05, 2018, 01:31:45 pm
I'll take anything you can offer at this point! Though again there's no immediate rush; I have a few other things on my plate that will fully occupy my time over the next several months, though I do expect to be back on Blue Sphere by fall.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gemini on June 05, 2018, 03:06:36 pm
Just how many projects exist on SOBS? :laugh: I think I still have a rom with a fully working proportional font for most stuff and dialog inserter that works like a charm and allows for event editing (some extra strings are stored in there).
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: danke on June 05, 2018, 03:14:04 pm
Just how many projects exist on SOBS? :laugh: I think I still have a rom with a fully working proportional font for most stuff and dialog inserter that works like a charm and allows for event editing (some extra strings are stored in there).

You should help out with one of the projects then.  ;)
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gideon Zhi on June 05, 2018, 03:36:51 pm
Helloooo, I'm back. I got college out of the way, so I'm restarting this lost cause.

Sent you a privmsg. Want to collaborate? My script should be accurate enough inasmuch as it conveys the meaning of the words, but it does badly needs an edit.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 05, 2018, 03:57:06 pm
Just how many projects exist on SOBS?
Quite a few, I'd say. :D At least 5, it seems. I was just organizing the files that I was going to send to Gideon Zhi.

Maybe we could join all our efforts? A VWF from there, a decent translation from there, etc. :P

I have all June free to work on anything (minus the time it takes to watch the World Cup matches :P), so maybe I can help with other stuff too.

This is what I already have: all of the text already located and editable, tested from start to finish, a shitty translation, a shitty "dual-tile" font, all the graphics localized and ready to edit and insert with a single batch (most of them already edited), 31 save files from the very beginning of the game up to the final boss... And maybe other stuff I forgot already.

Some screenshots: editor (https://i.imgur.com/CsC49WQ.png) | database behind the editor (https://i.imgur.com/ZLoYJ0e.png) | in-game (http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=23531.msg328811#msg328811)

In other words, my version mainly needs a decent translation and better ASM routines. Anyone interested in joining our works?
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: abw on June 05, 2018, 05:35:02 pm
If anyone is interested in my tools (or their source code)
+
If you're interested in some PHP files (and a MySQL database) to edit the rest of the game, or even just to use as a reference (if you can manage to read tens of thousands of lines of ugly code written in a few weeks), just let me know.

(I had a lot of crashes along the way too. Most of them were bad pointers within the custom scripting engine of the game, or just bad reverse engineering of some bytecodes, sometimes overwriting other stuff accidentally... A quick look at my code seems to show there are at least 9 different bytecodes that serve as a pointer in one way or another.)
+
This is what I already have: all of the text already located and editable
=
It sounds like the game might have an interesting text system, and I've been making something of a side-hobby of those recently, but it's pretty time-consuming work. If you're willing to share some of what you've got (even ugly PHP code :P), I'd appreciate being able to snag a copy.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 05, 2018, 06:03:38 pm
It sounds like the game might have an interesting text system, and I've been making something of a side-hobby of those recently, but it's pretty time-consuming work. If you're willing to share some of what you've got (even ugly PHP code :P), I'd appreciate being able to snag a copy.
Sure, I'll gladly send it to you. I just have to wait for the rest of the "team" to see when it's better to make it public. (By the way, most of the games I've worked so far had this kind of events with hardcoded text within them.)

SOBS may be interesting for your tool since the text has some bytes that say "switch temporarily to this other table for one byte", which I think your tool can't handle yet.

June 05, 2018, 06:17:41 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
For example, this is the debug output of map 172: https://pastebin.com/jUxjMrSF (position 0x22d43c to 0x22f7ff within the Japanese ROM.)

And these are the 3 tables I used: https://pastebin.com/DN2Kr6Fs
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Gemini on June 05, 2018, 08:37:08 pm
You should help out with one of the projects then.  ;)
Aaaand done, sent my inserter & dumper. :beer:

Maybe we could join all our efforts? A VWF from there, a decent translation from there, etc. :P
The problem with that is that the VWF code is not mine, I don't even have its sources. ev0 was the one in charge of it and you need a good summoning to lure him out of his cave nowadays.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: Specialkid1337 on June 05, 2018, 11:41:27 pm
*wakes up from Ogre Battle 64 stupor at 10:30 CST*
*sees PM from Gideon Zhi*
PogChamp PogChamp PogChamp
*sees massive amount of replies to this thread*

Alright I'm in, I can do the editing. I'll reply back to that PM right now.

"It's the fiiiinallll countdoooowwwwn..."  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: abw on June 06, 2018, 08:52:11 am
Sure, I'll gladly send it to you. I just have to wait for the rest of the "team" to see when it's better to make it public. (By the way, most of the games I've worked so far had this kind of events with hardcoded text within them.)
Thanks! There's no rush for this - I've got plenty of other things to keep me occupied :P. That said, I might start poking around your map 172 example if I have time tonight.

SOBS may be interesting for your tool since the text has some bytes that say "switch temporarily to this other table for one byte", which I think your tool can't handle yet.
Oh, abcde can definitely handle that. While extracting from and inserting into Battle of Olympus's scripting engine, I had abcde swapping between 10 different tables, sometimes as many as 5 tables deep, using a variety of rules including "switch temporarily to this other table for a specific number of bytes" (for BoO, that meant 1 or 2 bytes depending on which control code was being handled), "switch temporarily to this other table for 1.6 times the value of the first byte" (Pascal strings with the string length counted in groups of 5 bits instead of 8 bits), and "switch temporarily to this other table until you match a specific token". All of those rules were purely table file based; the only BoO-specific code I wrote was for extracting embedded pointers from its 7 different pointer-related control codes.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 06, 2018, 10:07:24 am
Oh, abcde can definitely handle that.
Ah, that's amazing. I think I missed that part when I read about your project!

Now that you made me think about it, SOBS text system is very simple, I just wasn't very smart about it when I worked on it. abcde could probably handle everything in it, even those pointer-related control codes.

I'll just send you some files later, since everyone seems to have tools for this game anyway. :P By the way, can you tell me exactly what you're looking for? I could also send you files from my other projects if they're useful to you.

EDIT: sent them via PM!
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: abw on June 06, 2018, 08:24:55 pm
I'll just send you some files later, since everyone seems to have tools for this game anyway. :P By the way, can you tell me exactly what you're looking for? I could also send you files from my other projects if they're useful to you.

EDIT: sent them via PM!
Awesome, I'll take a look! :beer:

My goal is to make the most amazing script extraction/insertion utility EVAR so that nobody will need to write their own custom script extraction/insertion utility ever again and every game will be easy to hack and lollipops will rain down from the sky whenever you want them to and attractive members of your preferred sex(es) will flock to your side whenever you enter a room. I think I'm slowly making progress on at least one of those fronts :P.

Mostly I'm looking for more games with tricky text systems to use as test cases/direction for future improvements. One problem I have is that most of the English games I've looked at use fairly simple systems; I'd like to dig into some Japanese games, but being illiterate in Japanese makes it hard for me to verify whether anything I extract is actually right or not, so it's very helpful to have a verified script dump to compare against, especially if that dump contains enough information to be re-insertable.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: mz on June 06, 2018, 09:34:52 pm
Ah, I understand now! That's a really impressive goal, I hope you succeed. :thumbsup:

Most of the other games I've translated have rather mundane text system. Fullmetal Alchemist (GBA) has something very similar to SOBS, and maybe Klonoa Heroes (GBA) with some custom compression stuff, but even those are nothing very interesting.

I think the most annoying part in most of these games has been to find all the pointers, store them in the correct format, etc. They're usually deep inside event code, and the fastest way to find them is just dump everything suspicious/probable and then remove the false positives manually.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: filler on June 06, 2018, 10:26:00 pm
My goal is to make the most amazing script extraction/insertion utility EVAR so that nobody will need to write their own custom script extraction/insertion utility ever again...

I'm happy to discuss this elsewhere since it's off topic. I feel it necessary to mention something that it seems like no one takes into consideration when dumping Japanese scripts.

Most 8-bit games that deal with Japanese voiced characters (those with diacritics), place the diacritical mark on a separate font tile. In the script, when printed with a text routine, these marks normally appear directly before the unvoiced character, or directly after. There's a really easy way to deal with this when making a table file though I've never seen anyone other than myself make their tables this way.

Example:
Code: [Select]
06=か
063A=が
07=き
073A=ぎ
08=く
083A=ぐ

The above is an example of a script that places the diacritical mark ゛, here represented with 3A, after the unvoiced character. When the script is dumped with this table file, the character appears properly as が, as opposed to か゛.

This is mostly useful in doing copy/paste dictionary look-ups, but I can't imagine even the most experienced professional translator doesn't at least occasionally need to look up vocab. The fact that voiced characters are almost never properly dumped unnecessarily wastes the time of translators IMO.

Another common instance is fixed length text that places diacritics on a preceding line.

For example:
Code: [Select]
//     ゛ ゛          
//    こですが、かいますか?   

The above text from Magic Knight Rayearth on the Game Gear is 18 characters long, and places diacritics on the line immediately preceding the unvoiced characters.

I recently wrote a dumper for Saint Tail on the Game Gear in PHP, mostly because it uses some weird padding, which I wrote to deal with these use cases, including diacritics that appear on a line 2 lines preceding the unvoiced characters as indicated below.

Code: [Select]
    ゛      
($08)($A5)($08)($BE)($00)($BF)($00)($C0)($00)($C1)($00)($C2)($00)($C3)($00)($C4)($00)($A5)
  ミニケーム 1  

It dumps the text properly as follows:
Code: [Select]
  ミニゲーム 1  [BR]

I'd expect a dumper to be able to handle these cases, and others that arise, concerning voiced characters.
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: 4l3j4ndr0 on July 31, 2018, 08:57:10 pm
Im translating this game into spanish

(https://image.ibb.co/jopv1U/Sin_t_tulo.png)
Title: Re: Star Ocean Blue Sphere Project Work & Analysis
Post by: 4l3j4ndr0 on August 08, 2018, 09:05:27 am
After analyzing the French translation I have to say that it has many problems, bugs that do not let the game continue and bad translation of the items.