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1
Code: [Select]
ま まけた…………………………!
I-I lost!

へへ…うどいかにくん! つよくなったね…ぼくの
かんぱいだ! それじゃ やくそくどおり
ぼくの しょうたいをみせるよ………………!
Heh heh...Udoikani! You've grown strong...I tip my hat to you! Well then, as promised, I'll show you my true form...!

へへ! じつは ぼくだったのさ!
まぼろしのていおう なんて このよには いない!
そのなのとおり すべては まぼろし…
Heh heh! Actually, it was me! There's no such thing as the "Illusionary Emperor"! Just as the name suggests, it was all an "illusion"...

あたらしい らいばるを みつけるために
ぼくが しくんだ おしばい だったのさ!
ごめんよ…さいごまでかくしてて…でも
It was an act I devised in order to find a new rival! Sorry for keeping it secret to the end...But...

きみならきっと ここまでこれると しんじていたさ!
そして みごとに ぼくのきたいに こたえてくれた!
ありがとう!
I believed YOU would be able to make it all the way here! And you've met my expectations wonderfully! Thank you!

せかいじゅうには おいらたちよりも もっともっと
つよい ぎゃんぶらーがいるはず…だから
おいらのちょうせんは これからもつづくのさ! ……
There must be gamblers far, far stronger than us out there in the world...So from now on, my challenge continues!...

Yeah, nothing particularly informative there, though it suggests this guy is the main character's gambling rival/friend/friendly rival. This was originally a licensed game based on some manga, right? Presumably you're supposed to know who he is already. Obviously I haven't read it, so I'm afraid I can't help you there.

2
While I'm not personally familiar with this game or what specific technical obstacles it has -- though given the platform and the genre alone, I'd guess there are a lot -- I'd like to point out that on the PCE, adding subtitles isn't really "simpler" than dubbing. In fact, considered solely in terms of raw hacking work required, adding subtitles is much more difficult than "just" replacing the audio. Despite what the graphics might make you believe, the PCE is ultimately an 8-bit system from 1987, and it provides exactly one layer of background graphics and one layer of sprites. If you want subtitles, the only viable option in most situations is to add them in as a sprite overlay, which gets complicated very quickly: you have to find space in VRAM to load the graphics for the text, rework the sprite table generator routines so your subtitle sprites show up where needed (and appear on top of everything else in the scene), and try to achieve all this while somehow not disrupting the existing visuals. And keep in mind there's an inviolable limit of 16 sprites per line and 64 sprites total, so there are plenty of situations where you just plain can't add subtitles without destructively editing the scene in some way (e.g. letterboxing).

Of course, producing a quality dub has its own set of complications that make it at least as bad as subtitling, since on top of having to organize and direct a bunch of voice performances, you're going to need to alter the cutscenes to extend the length of certain lines, redo the lip sync, etc. But it's not like you can just magically slap subtitles on instead and call it a day. I don't know what the exact circumstances of this project are, but if a lot of work has already gone into it with the specific goal of producing a dub, trying to switch to subtitles at this point would probably mean starting almost from scratch. It's very unlikely that it would make the translation come out any faster.

I can empathize with anyone trying to put together a translation for this crazy little machine, so best of luck to everyone involved with the project. The world really needs more PCECD translations.

3
Just completed a playthrough today. It's definitely a prototype for RAD, though the story has a lot more to it in RCD. The controls were tough because my motor memory kept tripping on all those hours I've put into RAD.

There were a lot of interesting points in the story that happened because of the buildings that were and weren't destroyed in a given mission. I got a kick out of some of them.

I hit a weird point where talking to Miyuki had a "???" option that didn't seem to really do anything.

Thanks very much for translating this gem.

Thanks for playing, and I'm glad you liked it! Unfortunately, I've never had the chance to play RAD, though TheMajinZenki did. From what I've heard, they really did recycle a lot of concepts from this game for it, down to specific gags like "keep destroying a character's house over and over and they end up having to move into your base of operations". I guess with Human Entertainment defunct, Sandlot was eager to get these ideas out under a new publisher so they could earn a buck or two off them...

The "???" options are as close as the game gets to a romance subplot, i.e. not very. They're basically just one-off gags that show up after specific missions (there's a similar one for Yuko after her special mission). For better or for worse, what you saw is all there is.

4
News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: Lunar: Eternal Blue Unworked 2.0 released
« on: December 24, 2020, 12:19:04 am »
I swore I'd never open the thread I started for this project again, which I suppose is terribly irresponsible of me as the original author, but... well, frankly, I really don't want to look at or think about, much less play, the English versions of these games ever again, which sort of precludes working on these hacks. But thanks for taking the time to clean up my terrible, terrible old hacking work for people who are interested in this sort of thing. It's a miracle the original release functioned in any capacity, because I really had no idea what I was doing. I don't envy you having to pick up after the mess I made... Sorry :(

5
How the hell do you get past the 4th floor? Something thing keeps telling to to improve my level, and nothing happens.

Seems like this is a common sticking point, since I just had to answer the same question elsewhere (though maybe that was you?).

Spoiler:
You need to go to the bottom-right corner of the floor, where there's a room with a hole in the ceiling. Use a Flood Vase in that room.

Anyway, the rest of the game is generally better about telling you how to progress, so don't let this particularly obtuse puzzle put you off.

6
Congrats! Nice to have someone else do a Mega Drive translation every once in a while ;) Looks slick, so I'm glad you could finally get this released.

Incidentally, I owe some thanks to whichever of the hackers it was that, in the course of working on this, posted a topic on SpritesMind asking about the behavior of SRAM on large Mega Drive ROMs. It ended up being a very helpful reference when I was dealing with the same issue for the Madou Monogatari I translation, so thanks for the (very indirect) assist.

7
I don't think I ever finished a recently translated game this fast :laugh: it got me addicted.

Is there any replay value other than trying out other robots? (I only used Vordan, Gareth and Perseval)

There was one point where

Spoiler:
the school got destroyed(in that stage against the Gravity Cannon Enigmabot),

but I think there's no way to avoid that.

I wonder if there are any different events depending on level of destruction and approval rate(I always kept it above 70%), but this game seems to be pretty forward.

Glad you enjoyed it! One of the unfortunate things about this game is that it has quite a few events and even extra missions that you get specifically for failing in various ways, which most people will never see because they'll keep retrying until they get everything right (not to mention that it's really not that difficult a game anyway, so you probably won't fail too much in the first place). You might try the following:

  • Go bankrupt:
    • During the first half of the game (repeatedly)
    • After the mission "Movie Debut!"
    • With a deficit of more than 100 billion yen
  • Destroy Miyuki's house (repeatedly)
  • Destroy Uoyama Fish (repeatedly)
  • Destroy Fujitsu Co. (in "Castle of Evil", and whenever you get the chance thereafter)
  • Destroy the school in any mission following "Back to School" (repeatedly)
  • Deliberately tank your approval rating and keep it lowered
  • During missions in Bay Area, destroy transport ships whenever possible
  • Following Lionel's introduction, deliberately take heavy damage with it before completing a mission
  • Destroy the Iron Crab
  • Destroy the MAJIN supermarket; afterwards, either destroy it again or destroy Uoyama Fish
  • Make sure Uoyama Fish never gets destroyed
  • Achieve a 100% approval rating

There's also a small but important branch in the story based on, I believe, whether or not the Iron Crab gets destroyed in the mission "Beware the Nightlife" (chances are it got destroyed if you played it naively -- you have to gun for the enemy really aggressively or it'll get flattened before you get there). This leads to getting alternate versions of a couple of subsequent missions, and an extra bit of dialogue much later on.

8


I'd just like to note that this is my favorite graphic edit out of any game I've worked on, ever.

(It took ages, too -- they redrew the sign with a slightly different perspective in every frame, all of which had to be individually cleaned!)

9
This is a game I have a little interest in, and under different circumstances I'd probably have approached you about handling the hacking for you, but as things stand I'm committed to more projects than I'm really comfortable with already and need to finish some before I can think about taking on any more. But I'll try to at least give you what help I can.

First, I'm not quite sure what you think "dual-byte encoding" is, but I can tell you that the reason you're seeing all the text twice is that the PCECD has a BIOS feature which allows developers to store a redundant copy of the game data on the disc. If the machine tries to load data off the CD but detects that it's damaged beyond repair, it can then use the backup copy instead. Most games I've ever looked at use this feature; sometimes the backup copy will be a separate track on the disc (usually the last one, so that it's physically separated from the theoretical damage to the main data), but other times it's all part of the same track.

As far as hacking goes, under any normal circumstance, only the "main" copy will ever get used. I doubt any emulators actually emulate the CD controller accurately enough to allow the backup data to be seen, even if the disc image file was somehow corrupted. Even if someone burns a physical disc with the game and somehow damages it, they can presumably just make another one, so if you're making a hack, you might as well just get rid of the redundant data and save yourself having to deal with it. However, this requires modifications to the code to disable this BIOS feature, and while it's generally not difficult, it sounds like it might be above your skill level.

Now, as to the main problem of your text changes not showing up: I can't tell you for sure without looking at the game, but what format is your disc image in? If it's a CUE file with one BIN file per track, then IIRC the BIN files include all the CD error correction data. Normally, this is used to fix errors caused by the CD drive failing to read the disc correctly (due to disc damage or whatever). However, this also means that if you modify the disc data but don't update the error correction data, the changes you made will be interpreted as disc corruption. Real hardware and accurate emulators will they try to "correct" these "errors", and if you didn't change too much stuff, they may successfully manage to restore the original disc data, meaning your changes will be reverted. I know that Mednafen, at least, will do this if possible; no idea about RetroArch, but it may be the same deal.

For hacking purposes, what you want to do is convert the data tracks to ISO format, discarding the error correction data. You can regenerate a proper disc image at the end of development when you're actually releasing your work. (Unfortunately, that's another one of those things that requires you to know what you're doing, but given you're just starting out here, I wouldn't worry about it yet.) I don't know if there are any "easy" tools for doing this, though... I use bchunk, but if you're not used to command-line programs, you might have a hard time with that.

Of course, the problem could also be something completely different. PCECD games can get pretty bizarre. I'd have to spend some time looking at the game to know for sure, though.

To be honest, as you might have gathered from this long explanation, the PCECD really isn't a great console to be trying to hack for if you aren't going in with a lot of technical knowledge, and I get the impression you're relatively new to this. Putting together a quality hack for a machine like this one involves jumping through a lot of hoops even if you know what you're doing, and you're really going to have to learn a lot of stuff if you want to pull this off. Again, I wish I could offer you some direct help here, but I just have way too much going on already. Sorry :/

10
When I was working on the translation patch for the original Metal Max a couple years back, I was really blown away by how forward-thinking the game was. Its whole system is incredibly modern for a 1991 NES RPG. I haven't played it since the patch came out, but just off the top of my head:

  • The entire game design is pretty much what we'd now call "open world" -- once you get past the intro, you're basically given free rein to go wherever you like, with very few events strictly required to proceed. You can even "retire" at any time to receive an ending (though obviously it takes a bit more work to get the good ending).
  • In the second town, you get access to an item which allows infinite fast travel to anywhere you've already been. This always particularly impressed me, since virtually every game of this era was determined to make you hike through half the game (or the whole thing) before deigning to let you skip backtracking through trash mobs. And even then, it's usually attached to finite-use items or spells.
  • If your party gets wiped, you're revived in your hometown with no consequences beyond having to go back to wherever you were before. No losing half your money or getting kicked back to your last save from 2 hours ago.
  • You can acquire eight tanks, drive them all into a town full of NPCs, and stack them all up on a single tile, with the game handling it perfectly gracefully. (Well, it'll chug and flicker like hell, but hey, the hardware's got its limits.) It's easy to take things like this for granted, but some programmer spent a lot of time making sure that this wacky edge case you'd never see unless you were trying to worked the way it should. Did Final Fantasy ever let you park eight airships on top of each other? I think not.
  • So many cute touches and little extras that most 16-bit RPGs would be jealous: jukeboxes that let you listen to the soundtrack, vending machines with random bonus prizes, a frog racing minigame, bird droppings building up on your tanks if you abandon them outdoors for too long... It's even got useless moneysink decorations for your room like an MMO!

Considering it got ported to the SNES a few years later with only minor changes, it's pretty clear the game was way ahead of its time. It's one of the few RPGs of the era that I can unequivocally recommend, with no reservations about old-school gameplay. Seriously, just go play it, and the remake, and that Metal Max 3 translation that just came out, and if someone ever manages to actually finish a Metal Max 2 translation, go play that too. It's one of the most undeservedly underrespected series I've ever seen.

11
Assuming we're talking about translations here, the pool of games that are actually worth playing is a lot smaller than I'd like, but there are a few.

I really can't recommend the Madou Monogatari series enough (though I may be just a bit biased, as you can see from who released most of these patches). They're mostly dungeon crawlers, but if you're one of those people who reject anything first-person as an RPG on principle, the SNES game is a conventional overhead RPG. Lunar: Walking School is a nice Game Gear RPG based on the Lunar series. Royal Stone is another Game Gear game; it's an SRPG and I haven't played it personally, but it's supposed to be one of the best games on the console.

Games based on popular anime licenses sometimes had enough money put into them to result in a good game: Sailor Moon: Another Story is well regarded, as is the SNES Magic Knight Rayearth game (though the translation patch is oooold and I haven't played it personally, so I don't know how it holds up). A lesser-known title is Eien no Filena, which is actually based on a novel series IIRC. It's not as as good a game, but beggars can't be choosers.

Unfortunately, a lot of older games with female protagonists are "bishoujo games" that are just trying to use sex appeal to entice men into buying mediocre-to-bad games, which I don't much care for. Though if that's what you're looking for, you've certainly got more options...

12
This might not be the best place to ask but I'm having a strange issue. While playing as Sieg, Klimit invaded a territory I was delegating. It got stuck on a screen that says "The enemy is invading!" The music is still going and everything seems fine but no matter what button I press nothing happens. Am I missing something?

Yeah, this is a weird thing the game does. I actually put a note about it in both the readme and the manual to try to head off complaints, though I can't fault you for not reading through the whole thing:

Quote
The original manual does not mention this, but since it can be very confusing, the translation team would like to make a point of it: if the game has been configured to use the "2 CONTROL PADS" option on the title screen menu, which is the default when it detects that two Pads are plugged in, you must use the Player 2 Control Pad to control this menu, even in a one-player game. In most cases, the Player 1 Control Pad will not respond to input, making it seem as if the game has "frozen".

The logic here seems to be a carryover from the multiplayer mode: since up to four players are supported but a standard Mega Drive has only two controllers, the game expects that Controller 1 will be passed around to each player as they take their turn, with a player who gets invaded picking up the unoccupied controller. Why this remains the case in single-player mode, we can't tell you.

So you have to use the Player 2 controller. To "fix" this, save the game, restart, and make sure you go into the Controller menu on the title screen and pick "1 Control Pad" before you reload.

13
Awesome work.  One small thing I noticed though: in the Character catalog, you've mislabeled Archdemon as Imp

Ah, sorry, that was a copy-paste error on my part -- fixed. Thanks for the notice. I double-checked the rest of the names and stats and they all seem to be fine, but let me know if anything else seems off.

14
So what took you longer to translate? the Game or the Manual? (Things massive.)

I'm pretty sure the ratio of effort that went into the project was about 1/3 game, 2/3 manual. We'd probably have had the whole thing done in under a month if it had been the game alone. I mean, the hacking certainly had its challenges -- those damn advisor messages! -- but having to replicate the manual's layout, retake the screenshots, reproduce the arrow diagrams, etc. etc. etc. was all considerably more draining. To say nothing of the work it took Zenki to translate it in the first place...

I think the single most intensive thing I did for the project was clean and typeset the world map at the back of the manual, which took probably 6-7 hours by itself. Exhausting and thankless work. I have no idea how people in scanslation groups can stand to do it over and over again.

But I think it actually ended up being kind of a fun project just because the experience of putting together the manual was so different from a typical hacking project, where all the focus is on the game itself. I don't know that I'd want to do it again right away, but it was actually a nice change of pace. Plus the game is actually pretty fun once you understand how to play it, so the whole thing was pretty satisfying for me. Hope a few people will be willing to give it a shot.

15
Personal Projects / Re: My NES Translation Projects
« on: May 24, 2020, 07:06:43 pm »


So, I've been spending most of my free time on finishing up Princess Tomato and I'm at the point where the entire game is almost playable and most of the important code hacks are finished. There's still a rock, paper, scissors part that has vertical text, but I think it's more of a graphic replacement. Plus some smaller misc graphics left.

I'm probably going to look into translating PC-88 version. I'd be interested in doing the other various ports as well, but that seems to be the most convenient version to look into.

Nice work. I always thought Princess Tomato's localization was pretty good for the era, but I'm sure there's plenty of stuff I don't know about that got edited out (though I'm still surprised by some of the things they left in, like the shower scene). Always good to see even officially-translated games get a more careful modern treatment.

The computer versions use a text parser, don't they? Getting that to work in English sounds like quite the project... EDIT: Oh, haha, I looked it up and now I see -- the command inputs are in English, despite everything else being in Japanese. Wacky, but convenient.

16
Why is everything in this post and the translation ‹written› like ‹this›?
Are those symbols in the original game? What do they even mean? Some kind of unusual emphasis tags, I guess.



Like you wouldn't believe. We didn't add, or remove, any of this -- it was all like that in the original script. Seriously, TheMajinZenki deserves a lot of credit for having the patience to put up with all the ridiculous brackets in this game.

Note that there's actually a method to the madness: angle brackets are <key terms>, double angle brackets are <<character names>>, square brackets are [item/spell names], and single quotes are 'place names'. As cccmar mentioned, I'm pretty sure they wanted color-coded text but couldn't figure out a way to get all the colors they needed in the palette at once, despite using the entire screen for the dialogue window. It's really the least of the game's problems anyway... but don't get me started :(

17
Here's the belated v1.1 update I promised. It really should have been out ages ago, but things didn't quite go as planned.

Anyway, not much is different: the biggest change is that yet another bug in the original game has been fixed, where the conversation with Ms. Eve on Floor 11 would "randomly" freeze the game (more specifically, due to failing to initialize a synchronization variable, it would freeze if you'd viewed certain other arbitrary events immediately beforehand that left that variable at a particular value).

The message for eating a Dragon Tail was also changed, as promised, to something less controversial (though with perhaps a touch of irony). In the process of changing it, I also discovered that the script command to wait for the player to press a button at the end of the message was missing from the original game, so I fixed that too.

I'd still really like to know what triggers this bug where Camus somehow fails to give the compass to you on Floor 2; we encountered it exactly once during testing and never managed to reproduce it. If anyone can find a way to make that happen, you have my gratitude. Otherwise, I'm hoping this will be it for tweaks to the game.

18
I've updated the patch to v1.1. This release fixes a few minor translation errors, corrects some formatting mistakes, tweaks a few lines here and there, and adds patching support for the "split BIN" format disc image that many people seem to be trying to use.

Detailed list of changes:
Spoiler:
  - Fixed the message displayed at startup if the Backup Memory is too full to hold a save file, which had accidentally been left untranslated. Thanks to ran on the RHDN forums for reporting this.
  - Added support for the common "split BIN" format used by certain archival sites to the patching process.
  - Miniscule art touch-ups (e.g. subtitle outlines that had a few pixels missing).
  - Various small translation fixes and tweaks, courtesy of vivify93 and mzlab:
    - Corrected one of Zoisite's lines: during the scene at Naru's house, he should have referred to the Black Crystal rather than the Silver Crystal.
    - One of Queen Beryl's lines should have referred to Tuxedo Mask choosing Serenity over her; it said the opposite instead.
    - Removed a stray "onii-san" that had been mistakenly left in the no-honorifics version of the patch.
    - Changed instances of "akuryo taisan" to "evil spirit, begone" in the no-honorifics edition of the patch.
    - Changed Rika Fukami's name in the credits to "Rica Fukami", which seems to be how she styles her name in English.
    - A few extremely minor changes to wording here and there.

Most of the meaningful updates in this version are due to immensely helpful feedback by vivify93 and mzlab, either one of whom probably knows Sailor Moon better than our entire translation team combined :thumbsup: Major thanks to the both of you, and to everyone else who's played this in spite of how horrendously cumbersome it is to patch and play a PC-Engine CD game. I'm hoping that with this version, most of the disc formats in common use are now supported by the patcher. As always, let me know if anything isn't working right and I'll do my best to fix it.

19
Track 1 is, as you surmised, a dumb skit to inform you that THIS DISC WILL DESTROY YOUR CD PLAYER, DON'T PLAY IT. It's not used in the game, so we didn't bother translating it.

Track 2 is actually the message that plays when you try to run the game on the wrong System Card version (not 3.00), and is basically just an advertisement for the game. We did subtitle it, so if you're curious, try running the game on a version 2.1 or lower BIOS.

Tracks 10-14 seem to be brief "interviews" with the voice actresses for the five main characters. They don't play during the game either and are just bonuses for anyone listening to the audio tracks. I hear the issue you're talking about on track 13; as you say, this is on the Redump-verified dump, so it seems to be an editing or mastering error from the original disc.

Removing these tracks should work fine as long as you run the game correctly, though I can't absolutely guarantee it.

And if you really need to save space, you could probably cut tracks 17 and 18 down to about a minute or so. They decided to loop both of them for five full minutes, even though you'd never hear them for that long under any normal circumstances.

20
Have you looked at the other Sailor Moon game on PC-Engine CD, Supper? Would it be anymore difficult to hack than this game?

In technical terms, Sailor Moon Collection probably wouldn't be any more difficult to work with than this game. While I haven't looked at it beyond watching videos, I believe it's by the same developer and strongly suspect it runs off of the same scripting system. The real issue is that it's basically just not an interesting game. It consists of a few generic minigames that have nothing to do with Sailor Moon beyond containing pictures of the characters, with your reward for completing them being grainy GIF-quality digitized stock footage from the anime and a few random unconnected visual scenes. Whereas this game seems to have had some real work put into developing the story, music, etc., Collection is pretty much just a super-generic licensed game for kids.

Edit: Thanks for the patch! It works fine!

I just had to combine the Redump files into one bin and got it patched!

Yeah, I understand that some common distributions of Redump-verified discs use this "split BIN" format where the tracks are split up into separate files as they would be with ISO+WAV+CUE, but are all simply listed as binary files regardless of type. I may add support for this format to the patcher in the next version.

Can someone help with the installation of the game? I did everything as explained in the readme file, but Turbo Engine always freezes on this frame upon loading the patched .cue file.


Ah, oops. This is supposed to be an error message telling you the backup RAM is full. I didn't even realize this existed in the game, so it's not translated. It should say something like this:

Code: [Select]
There is nowhere to put the save data. Please delete content from the backup memory and start the game again.
In other words, you either have too many save files from other games, or the emulator isn't emulating the backup RAM correctly (or at all). I don't know anything about Turbo Engine, so see if there's anything in the settings or documentation about configuring the save data. Make sure backup RAM isn't disabled, and if it's an option, set the emulator up so that every game gets its own individual backup RAM instead of sharing it with other games.

Alternatively, you can try using Mednafen or Ootake, since we tested the game on both of those emulators and it should work fine with them out of the box.

Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. I'll fix the error message in the next version of the patch.

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