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General Category => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Chaos Rush on October 22, 2020, 09:40:40 pm

Title: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chaos Rush on October 22, 2020, 09:40:40 pm
Trailer: https://youtu.be/8xNUYS-tJZQ

So Nintendo has announced that FE1 is finally officially coming to the west onto Nintendo Switch. I've already played and beaten the Japanese version so this doesn't mean much to me, but I'm interested in discussing the technical aspects of it; particularly the variable width font they're using. Since this is romhacking.net, I felt this would be an appropriate place to discuss.

As the trailer shows, they're using a VWF. In a NES game. How do you think they're achieving this? Do you think they hacked the ROM to actually support VWF? Or do you think the text is being patched onto the image on the fly? I'm assuming that they're patching it on the fly because the font doesn't seem to line-up 100% correctly with the pixels, though it's hard to say.

Regardless of how they achieved this, how do you feel about them using a VWF at all? Do you think it clashes with the NES aesthetic?

Anyways, I've played through this game twice and I really enjoyed it, and I'm glad Nintendo is revisiting old games like this.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced
Post by: EvilJagaGenius on October 22, 2020, 10:59:38 pm
Assuming they're using an emulator, would it be possible to overclock an NES emulator to give it the extra grunt needed for a VWF?  I didn't think the font looked too bad, but I didn't take a very close look.  The simple black-and-white text boxes helped.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced
Post by: tc on October 22, 2020, 11:55:14 pm
Should we give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt? They didn't claim that this translation is running on an NES, or anything remotely derived from the NES.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced
Post by: Chaos Rush on October 22, 2020, 11:58:50 pm
Should we give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt? They didn't claim that this translation is running on an NES, or anything remotely derived from the NES.
It's being emulated on the Switch. The fact that there's savestates support is especially indicative of emulation, plus the beginning of the trailer shows the Nintendo Switch logo.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: tc on October 23, 2020, 01:05:43 am
Perhaps, but I'm tired of it. Emulation being guilty until proven innocent sickens me.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: John Enigma on October 23, 2020, 08:21:35 am
Fomo bs aside, I cannot wait to see comparisons between the re-release and the fan translation (http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1593/).
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chronosplit on October 23, 2020, 10:58:36 am
Usually I buy stuff like this to extract it later for my own use on real hardware.  It's a foregone conclusion, there will be a way.  But this is uh... I'm not sure if I want to support this practice.  A limited digital release?  A collector's package that doesn't even have the physical game in it?  This isn't good in my book.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Jorpho on October 23, 2020, 11:04:47 am
It's odd that the trailer breathlessly exclaims this has never been done before when we already got FE:Shadow Dragon on the DS.  But of course that is not really the same thing.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Bregalad on October 23, 2020, 11:57:07 am
It's odd that the trailer breathlessly exclaims this has never been done before when we already got FE:Shadow Dragon on the DS.  But of course that is not really the same thing.
I was going to say the same.

As the trailer shows, they're using a VWF. In a NES game. How do you think they're achieving this? Do you think they hacked the ROM to actually support VWF? Or do you think the text is being patched onto the image on the fly? I'm assuming that they're patching it on the fly because the font doesn't seem to line-up 100% correctly with the pixels, though it's hard to say.

Regardless of how they achieved this, how do you feel about them using a VWF at all? Do you think it clashes with the NES aesthetic?
I think it works well with the aesthetic but unless the mapper is changed for a more "powerful" one it's impossible its an emulated NES game.
And I don't see why they'd even bother emulating a NES at this point. Recreating everything using the NES assets makes a lot more sense if it's going to be running on a Switch.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chaos Rush on October 23, 2020, 05:47:48 pm
I was going to say the same.
I think it works well with the aesthetic but unless the mapper is changed for a more "powerful" one it's impossible its an emulated NES game.
And I don't see why they'd even bother emulating a NES at this point. Recreating everything using the NES assets makes a lot more sense if it's going to be running on a Switch.
I wouldn’t quite rule out emulation though, as the PS1 port of Final Fantasy IV patches the VWF text onto the image on the fly just like how I described, which I suspect is how it’s being achieved here as well.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars does something related for Mario 64 where it patches in different text on the fly using Lua scripts if you’re playing a language other than Japanese; everything is patched onto the Japanese ROM on that and there’s no other language ROM in the games files.

Lots of studios have released emulated retro collections on the Switch so I don’t see what’s so strange about assuming it’s emulation (aside from the VWF in this particular case), and Nintendo already uses a NES and SNES emulator for their games offered on the NSO service.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: tc on October 23, 2020, 11:39:17 pm
I'd rather be optimistic. :angel: Presumption of guilt is a depressing life.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chaos Rush on October 23, 2020, 11:58:34 pm
I'd rather be optimistic. :angel: Presumption of guilt is a depressing life.
You make it sound like it’s a bad thing if it’s emulated. I don’t think it’s something to be “guilty” about.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chaos Rush on December 04, 2020, 08:21:32 pm
https://twitter.com/oatmealdome/status/1334933830491365377?s=21

Just like I predicted, it’s being emulated and the translation is dynamically patched at runtime (just like Super Mario 3D All Stars), so there’s not extractable English ROM.

And you guys all said I was wrong, whereas I just wanted to have a simple discussion about how the presentation looks :/
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chronosplit on December 05, 2020, 09:49:33 am
https://twitter.com/oatmealdome/status/1334933830491365377?s=21

Just like I predicted, it’s being emulated and the translation is dynamically patched at runtime (just like Super Mario 3D All Stars), so there’s not extractable English ROM.

And you guys all said I was wrong, whereas I just wanted to have a simple discussion about how the presentation looks :/
Well, nuts.  There goes any reason for me to buy it.  Not that I was really wanting to support this limited practice anyway.  Thanks for the confirmation.

The only way I could ever see this runnning outside of a switch is maybe a weird implementation of Mesen's HD Packs.  And even then, you'd need to question the amount of work involved getting everything into an acceptable format.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: ShadowOne333 on December 05, 2020, 12:43:38 pm
Have you guys tried doing RAM dumps?
Iirc I did something similar for 3DS VC titles, and doing RAM dumps could get you the patched ROM.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Vehek on December 05, 2020, 02:39:15 pm
While LuigiBlood's tweets (https://twitter.com/LuigiBlood/status/1334673225339514881) mention "native code", that might be referring to it being part of the program rather than an interpreted-at-run script like LUA, not saying they used 6502 machine code to implement the text. I.E., there might not be a resultant ROM in memory as with some of the other Virtual Console game revisions.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: tc on December 05, 2020, 06:04:08 pm
Have you guys tried doing RAM dumps?
Iirc I did something similar for 3DS VC titles, and doing RAM dumps could get you the patched ROM.

Doesn't the dialogue they used, exceed the hardware capabilities of the NES?
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: splch on December 05, 2020, 11:43:39 pm
Doesn't the dialogue they used, exceed the hardware capabilities of the NES?

I just made an account here because I want to port the official translation over to the original NES ROM... but if the dialogue exceeds the NES hardware, I can't do that. How can you tell if the dialogue they use exceeds hardware limitations?
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chronosplit on December 06, 2020, 08:59:34 am
Doesn't the dialogue they used, exceed the hardware capabilities of the NES?
That isn't necessarily true.  The text itself doesn't appear to be bigger than the ROM.  Nintendo may have simply done this as opposed to hacking the ROM.  The graphic changes for the new buttons in 3D All-Stars for example, those could've been done by hacking.

It may still be possible to "backport" the translation via hacking (though you may get in trouble), but to play the actual version obtained on the Switch another platform as-is would take some trickery either way.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: tc on December 07, 2020, 07:09:56 pm
I mean the VWF.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: ShadowOne333 on December 07, 2020, 08:53:42 pm
I mean the VWF.

VWF is nothing out of place for NES titles.
Toruzz did a VWF for Link's Awakening DX, so it's not out of the question to have a VWF on an 8bit game
For a more proper example, there's a translation for Romancia that did VWF on NES:
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=6252.0

So it's not a farfetched idea for an NES game to have VWF.
That's why I said making a RAM dump could probably give us the patched ROM with all the changes already applied.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Pennywise on December 08, 2020, 11:52:47 am
VWF is nothing out of place for NES titles.
Toruzz did a VWF for Link's Awakening DX, so it's not out of the question to have a VWF on an 8bit game
For a more proper example, there's a translation for Romancia that did VWF on NES:
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=6252.0

So it's not a farfetched idea for an NES game to have VWF.
That's why I said making a RAM dump could probably give us the patched ROM with all the changes already applied.

The Switch release doesn't use a hacked ROM for the translation. It's probably translated through emulator trickery.

While it's true that the NES can do a VWF, not all games come equipped with the necessary hardware ie VRAM to display one. Fire Emblem does not have VRAM, so a VWF is impossible.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Bregalad on December 09, 2020, 03:24:24 am
So it's not a farfetched idea for an NES game to have VWF.
That's why I said making a RAM dump could probably give us the patched ROM with all the changes already applied.
The problem is that the original Fire Emblem uses MMC4 with CHR-ROM, which makes VWF almost impossible. It could be possible if an entiere nametable was wasted and the entiere width of the screen used for this alone in addition to timed code that would crunch the nametable (advancing 8 lines every line) to appear as normal symbols. However the original Fire Emblem was not programmed with that in mind at all, and that's clearly not what is seen in the video posted by the OP.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Dzumeister on December 09, 2020, 11:51:26 am
The Switch release doesn't use a hacked ROM for the translation. It's probably translated through emulator trickery.

While it's true that the NES can do a VWF, not all games come equipped with the necessary hardware ie VRAM to display one. Fire Emblem does not have VRAM, so a VWF is impossible.

LuigiBlood has confirmed this, you're right (https://twitter.com/LuigiBlood/status/1335005518688104448?s=20)
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Baggins on December 10, 2020, 07:27:13 pm
If the script could be pulled from the emulator/software... and its too much for the current mapper... Couldn't the mapper be patched to something that's more robust, and then the rom patched further to allow for the larger script, and to take advantage of the new mapper?
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chronosplit on December 10, 2020, 10:57:18 pm
If the script could be pulled from the emulator/software... and its too much for the current mapper... Couldn't the mapper be patched to something that's more robust, and then the rom patched further to allow for the larger script, and to take advantage of the new mapper?
There are a lot of "what ifs" in that.  If the stars aligned and it was actually made for any kind of NES mapper though, converting a game to use another mapper is not new.

I really don't think this would be the case though.  This wasn't made with the intention to play it in an NES at all.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: ShadowOne333 on December 10, 2020, 11:06:07 pm
Just redo the translation without VWF.
Boom, done ;P
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Baggins on December 12, 2020, 01:59:38 am
There are a lot of "what ifs" in that.  If the stars aligned and it was actually made for any kind of NES mapper though, converting a game to use another mapper is not new.

I really don't think this would be the case though.  This wasn't made with the intention to play it in an NES at all.

I'm not going to 'state' what 'can be done' only what might possibly have to be done to start with...

1. The entire script gets pulled out seperately from whatever file its being streamed from... and put into a word document, for 'future use'/conversion. This assumes there is no 'real-time patching' going on just elements being displayed over other elements via whatever trickery the 'vessel' emulator allows. Perhaps something like Mesen does with HD Metroid mod? This of course won't work on hardware...

Example? The main menu/title screen might be a 'graphic' displayed seperately 'over' the original title screen? That would most likely require designing an entirely new title screen and animation to mimic what it does...?

2. Second issue is matter of how one opens and expands the rom to allow for improved scripting methods... The limitations may require the rom to be modified out of its original capabilities... Perhaps it would require switching to another mapper that could handle changes to how the script is handled... Also formating of the text and fonts would have to be taken into consideration (how much can be displayed on screen at one time, how is it displayed on screen); how many 'letters & numbers' can be displayed on screen at any given time? (are there any 4 letter naming convention issues in the original rom that would require to be 'expanded'?)... How are current fan translations handling the issues (and what is their lenghth and limitations on text)? If the ground work is already 'done' in the fan patches as in modifying and expanding how much text can be displayed, and how it displays... Would it work with the new translation assuming it could be 'injected' or would there not be enough space to inject it in the first place... and how much would it require to make sure each line fits where it needs to be injecte (assuming some lines go beyond the current limits even within the fan patches)?

Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Jaz on January 02, 2021, 08:00:34 am
Isn't this the same obstacle we're experiencing with dumping the translated roms from Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun Retro Brawler Bundle? There has be to be a way to have the translated roms dumped.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Chronosplit on January 02, 2021, 10:36:13 pm
Isn't this the same obstacle we're experiencing with dumping the translated roms from Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun Retro Brawler Bundle? There has be to be a way to have the translated roms dumped.
Nope.  Those games appear to be translated at the ROM level, according to reports from those looking in a hex editor.  The only problem is the emulator is in Unity with the files inside of it.

Fire Emblem on the other hand, is the opposite.  It's extractable from the get-go but the file itself was not translated, and everything else is on the outside of it.  Think of this as a CD game with multiple tracks: The game itself is on the first track, but you need all those other tracks and the .cue file to run it properly.
Title: Re: Fire Emblem 1 official localization announced for Nintendo Switch
Post by: Sara-chan on January 02, 2021, 11:16:34 pm
Isn't this the same obstacle we're experiencing with dumping the translated roms from Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun Retro Brawler Bundle? There has be to be a way to have the translated roms dumped.
Here's the deal. Effectively the emulator is live-translating a Japanese rom using techniques beyond just emulation. In a distant way it's more comparable to things like texture packs than to actual translation (and in fact on some consoles' emulators there are games you can translate using only texture packs). All of the methods for displaying the new translation are part of the emulator, so there is absolutely no way to make a rom of it, because it is doing things that aren't even actually supported by the system per se, especially not on the mapper the game uses.

From what I understand some of the games in the Retro Brawler Bundle really are similar cases, but not sure. With Fire Emblem it's definite.