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Messages - AsheManosse

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Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy NES Trilogy Translations
« on: October 01, 2020, 04:47:01 pm »
I realize that this whole thread took on more of the topic of FF1 English Translation, but I wanted to thank Chaos Rush (and anyone else who helped) for coming back to this project and reworking the FFIII English Translation to be compatible with real hardware (original MMC3 mapping, versus alternative MMC5 mapper used for the 1st pass). 

I was one of the folks who brought this issue up back in 2017, and I'm unbelievably excited to get the new version of FFIII onto a cartridge and play it on my NES!  (As soon as I figure out how to do all of that again and buy the right parts... lol.)

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WOW, I realize I am soooo far behind on this topic, but this just made 2020 a little better!

What a time warp... I started the technical conversation over "MMC3 mapping and 512KB for PRG" original hardware issue back in 2017, and now wandered my way back here to see the conversation continued a year and a half ago...  it looks like this was fixed/completed back in June 2019!

I just spent WAY too much time reading every page and update on the new thread topic where FFIII English Translation was restarted ( https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=28719.0 ) and I cannot thank Chaos Rush and any other contributors enough for making a new path forward for an excellent English translation that will work on real hardware.

...Time to "get good" again and figure out how to take the new FFIII and flash it to a real cartridge to play on my NES!

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People like to point out that they can't play 1MB ROMs on hardware, but it's not like something can't be made to support it. The MMC5 was specifically designed to handle ROM sizes up to 1MB.

The best bet is to start emailing etc those brilliant people who design flashcarts etc and let them know that there is a demand for such a product.

You speak as if it's really that simple.  To date, there are no physical NES cartridges that support 512KB on PRG (legit or not), and no NES games ever required more than this.  What incentive would there be for a flashcart designer to put effort into designing and attempting to sell a cart that may be usable for only a few games, to a very narrow audience? 

And it's not just as simple as making a cartridge support more than 512KB on the PRG-ROM chip. Does the MMC5 mapping support a CHR-RAM and W-RAM configuration (this is specific to the FF3 pcb design; Source: http://bootgod.dyndns.org:7777/profile.php?id=1507)? There can definitely be more challenges depending on the uniqueness of the original cartridge created to house a specific game.

I realize that not everybody cares about playing this game on the original hardware, but at least trying to create a product that can be played on the original hardware gives weight to the authenticity and effort you put into your work.  For this project specifically, it isn't just some balancing hack or remixed gameplay, it's much closer to the finished work of what Nintendo should have delivered to the U.S. and Europe, so that fans of the series could experience games like FF3 on it's intended console.

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@ Chaos Rush:
I have thoroughly reviewed this forum topic, and have looked into alternate translations.  After extensive research, it appears to me that the result of this project is probably the most definitive English version of the original FF3 game.  The only problem is... this project is doomed to only be playable on PC and RetroPie devices... and not on the original NES hardware......  :'(

***Issue Recap:*** This project uses a MMC5 mapper patch to increase the PRG filesize from 512KB to 1024KB to make it easier for translation.  The original FF3 Japanese game and ROM use MMC3 mapping and 512KB for PRG.  To play this ROM on the actual NES hardware, you have to venture into repro cartridge territory (via donor cartridge, INL cartridge, etc.).  The issue is... no actual NES games used more than 512KB for PRG...

Alternatives Using the Current 1024KB MMC5 Solution:
  • An excessively expensive option would be to use an Everdrive N8 cartridge, but even they only support up to 512KB for PRG (since no NES games used more than 512KB), so it is unlikely this is possible (anyone please correct me if I’m wrong; i.e. they’ve loaded the ROM onto their Everdrive N8 and tested it).
  • A poor alternative, though still worth mentioning, is that it *might* be playable on the NES Classic (if anyone has done this successfully, please let us know!).

To be clear, I am not interested in repro carts or ROM hacks for a different gameplay experience.  I am interested in making my own personal NES game cartridges for games that never existed, for games that SHOULD have existed.

On behalf of myself and other interested members of the community, we urge you to find time to converse further with Bregalad to see if it’s even possible that his compression methods are suitable to fit within the 512KB MMC3 solution.  The translation is already complete and Bregalad has already done part of the work.  With a little more involvement on your end, it may be possible to immortalize this project by making it not only the definitive English translation, but also playable on the original NES hardware. 

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