Since that is how I play the game, with those 2 patches, that is a very good base to start out with, I agree 100% with that decision. Very smart, you start out with a variable-width font and everything in the correct case, but without any hacks that change things from the way the game originally was designed.
Your idea sounds pretty good. I would refer you to this unfinished project attempting a retranslation: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=19920.0 Some of the people who worked on that project might the text of their unfinished retranslation or some tools to recommend that they used, and they might be able to help you out. Apparently RedScorpion and Thanatos-Zero worked on this. Also Hiei- worked on it too but it seems his/her work was separate and not really coordinated with RedScorpion and Thanatos-Zero, from that thread. It seems RedScorpion and Thanatos-Zero never finished their project but Hiei- DID pretty much finish an English translation but never put it out because Hiei-’s work got dismissed by Thanatos-Zero because Thanatos-Zero and RedScorpion were doing their own translation, look at http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=19920.msg285004#msg285004 as well as the comment immediately following it.
My point is that Hiei- already retranslated this entire game but it kinda got discarded since it was submitted to another project that didn’t really accept it and was trying to do things differently, but you could totally use Hiei-’s work, Hiei-’s profile is here: http://www.romhacking.net/community/1586/ Maybe Hiei- still has their translation of this on their computer. My point with mentioning this is, after I discovered this while reading through the forums, I thought, well, this unreleased retranslation would be very very useful especially since its creator says it is 100% complete. Too bad it never got released as a patch.
You aren’t actually planning on doing a retranslation from what you said, only uncensoring and updating and relocalizing it, but, Hiei-’s unreleased work translates everything including the parts that were censored or left out of Ted Woolsey’s version, so if you are reinserting those parts it would come in handy.
As far as names I think generally the 3D Remake versions released earlier in 2018 for PS4, PS Vita, and MS Windows of Secret of Mana would generally have the best names for most things although I agree, you might want to keep older names for other things, I trust your judgment on this. You don’t really need a copy of the game to find names of things, you can find things like lists of weapons, armor, accessories, characters, game locations, etc. online and see what has changed between the SNES release in English and the 3D Remake in English.
There is a Secret of Mana Editor by Moppy you can use. Unfortunately Romhacking dot net doesn’t have the latest version 0213 which is at http://somedit.blogspot.com/, instead they have the older version 0204, so since I just noticed this I submitted an update to Romhacking dot net’s currently outdated page about that editor here: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/985/ That page should be updated to the latest version in a few days assuming my submission is approved. Anyway this editor may be helpful to you although from what I have read it does still have some bugs and is not entirely perfect so I would be careful with it.
No, I never retranslated the game in english. The best I did in english was just to make an uncensored version (restored the boss with the chainsaw and some other stuffs) with the original english translation, that I never published because it required some polishing (basically, to redo the line-break as the actual hack use a VWF (not FuSoYa one, Magno's) and as you said, someone else was planning to retranslate it so it seemed useless to publish it.
Secret of Mana (Uncensored+VWF-USA-100%)_banks_fixed_Misc_inserted_Battle_inserted_splash_screen_disabled.sfc
DarknessSavior had offered to translate the game from scratch, so I sent him the japanese dump and planned to take care of the hack (already done for the french retranslation) but I never heard about him since then, so he probably just gave up.
Edit : If it can help you, Timbo : http://www.hiei-tf.fr/Secret_of_Mana_(U)_-_Scripts.rar
(if you modify those scripts, I'll be able to reinsert them back in a rom with a VWF and all the uncensored stuffs. Note that you won't have any length limitations for the main script, you can make it twice bigger if you want).
Here's how look the actual hack (IPS Patch) : http://www.hiei-tf.fr/Secret%20of%20Mana%20(Uncensored+VWF-USA-100%)_banks_fixed_Misc_inserted_Battle_inserted_splash_screen_disabled.rar
The IPS patch has to be applied on the "Secret of Mana (USA).sfc" rom (from no-intro set).*
Note that the intro, the title screen, the entry-name screen and some menus are still in french because I was lazy to modify them as the hack was never released (but I can modify them pretty easily). And you can sometimes see some texts overlay (because of the length of the characters name. In my french hack, I made a test with long names for all characters to fix the line-breaks to avoid that).
Modifications are explained here (too bad, the images links are dead) : http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=15854.msg235828#msg235828
Edit 2 : https://tcrf.net/Secret_of_Mana_(SNES)#Unused_Sprites
(modifications can be found here, for the boss and the earthquake graphic)
Basically, the modifications are :
- Reinserted an unused text in the rom.
- Reinserted the original boss with chainsaws.
- Reinserted the original earthquake graphic.