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Messages - SamIAm

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Personal Projects / Re: Princess Crown (Saturn) English Translation
« on: February 23, 2016, 07:12:18 pm »
That would be me.  8)

I've test played the game once using the old font and print routine. The translation is somewhat ironed out thanks to that. However, one big step that remains is adjusting things based on the final print routine and font. At least with the old print routine, the text boxes were pretty tight on space.

Nice work on the pics, by the way.  :laugh:

Do you still have the same email address? We should talk.

Uh, why would you want that?  :huh:

To answer your question, I'll probably release the script when the translation is done, but I'm going to want to keep it under wraps until that time.

It's actually 256x232p.  Enjoy!  :)

September 02, 2015, 07:16:53 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
One last little thing, since we're coming up on a month since release.

Here are two new youtube videos.

The first is a demonstration of the first four stages in full, including the cutscene right before the fifth stage. There are three more stages left in the game, which I don't want to spoil!

The second is the first stage of the "Sakuraigar Mode". You'll see that the enemies, the music, and the story are totally changed from the Anime Mode. It's quite a trip.

I hope this encourages more of you to try the game!

Personal Projects / Re: Princess Crown (Saturn) English Translation
« on: August 24, 2015, 06:17:06 am »
I just found out that Princess Crown was fully translated in a guide written by Andria Sang. The website is down but through it is still accessible.

With all due respect to the huge effort that must have say that that translation contains embellishments would be putting it mildly. I'll leave it at that.

Although if you're dying for a translation written in Ye Olde Englishe, you'll probably enjoy that one more.

EDIT: Heck, it says it right there on the front page.
Ahem . . ..  One thing to note is that Noopy doesn't speak Japanese fluently.  Come to think of it, I don't speak Japanese fluently either . . . how in Valendia did I manage to communicate with everyone during the game?  Anyhow, when he began the tranlsation, Anoop's Japanese really sucked.  He had to look up just about every Kanji he encountered during the game; he wrote down most of what he encountered, totalling almost 3000 (mostly repeated).   There are some parts that he had to figure out by context, so he apologizes if he got anything wrong (and he's more than willing to change something, if you'd be kind enough to e-mail any errors to him).

Hey, did anyone have trouble getting Mednafen to work with this game?

elmer and I just realized that we should have put some info in the readme about configuring the PC-FX BIOS, which you will have to obtain separately from the emulator.

Ahem...should you go searching the internet for BIOS dumps in order to compare for accuracy your own legally produced backup that you've dumped from your own PC-FX system...then you're going to want the one with [a] in the title. The one without it won't work.

Rename the BIOS to "pcfx.rom" and put it in Mednafen's root directory.

That's all!

Nice! Thanks.  :thumbsup:
Some nit-picking questions, since this seems to be coming to a PC near me ;)

- In the teaser video, the sub says "The galaxy lay int he shadow of death." Shouldn't it use "lays"?

It's the old transitive vs. intransitive verb problem.

"Lays" with an "s" can only exist as the present tense, third person singular conjugation of the transitive verb "lay".
"She lays an egg every day."

However, the intransitive verb "lie" has a plain past tense form that is identical to its transitive cousin's present tense, ie "lay".

So in other words, that word in the subtitle is not the present tense of the transitive "lay", but the past tense of the intransitive "lie".

Granted, so many people use "laid" as the past tense of the intransitive "lie" that you could say it's also grammatically correct. But strictly speaking, and for a narration it's good to be strict, it's supposed to be "lay".

Ever watch the movie Yellow Submarine? This reminds me of the opening narration there (which can't be found on youtube, otherwise I'd link it).

"Once upon a time...or maybe twice...there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. 80,000 leagues beneath the sea it lay...or lie...I'm not too sure."


Anyway, thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy the game!!

Personal Projects / Re: Zeroigar (PC-FX) - Complete English Translation
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:11:18 am »
It's finished!  :crazy:

Now we're just waiting for a file submission approval, followed by a news submission and approval.   :angel:

Here's a teaser for you.

Personal Projects / Re: Princess Crown (Saturn) English Translation
« on: August 06, 2015, 09:39:47 pm »
That is correct. This is NOT ready for play yet. The menu doesn't even work, and there are several places where the game crashes due to a script bug.

I guess what I'm saying is that before you start work on something, you need to make a conscious decision on whether you want to translate or to localize.  There's no formal distinction between the two, but the former is focused on explaining the nuances and bringing across foreign concepts (at the detriment to flow and narrative) to the viewer, while the latter is focused on bringing across the narrative itself (at the detriment to nuance being lost) to the viewer.  A good example is a joke.  If you translate it as-is, an English speaker won't laugh because the pun doesn't carry over.  If you localize it, you would simply write a new joke to make the viewer laugh.  So was your objective to explain the words of the joke, or to make a person laugh?

That's a very nice explanation.

I've always thought that translation is a lot like projecting a 2D map of the earth: it's impossible to do it perfectly, and every approach has deep flaws. It's up to you to balance what you think looks nice and what gets across the information that you think is important...and what your audience is going to receive well.

FYI, I am definitely going for a "localized" approach with Zeroigar. My philosophy is, if I can't imagine a native English speaker ever saying it, I won't translate it that way.

I've always been fascinated by other cultures so to me, my goal in general is to translate, rather than localize.

Personally, I think that "localizing" is doing a greater service to foreign cultures than straight "translating" because it gives the new audience a better chance to relate to the characters as real people, and anything less than that is, at worst, dehumanizing. Even if Japanese speakers often word things differently, I think that the emotions they feel and the relationships they have with those close to them are 99% the same as what everyone in every other culture experiences. It's by vicariously going through those same experiences as the characters in a story that we are moved in the way that the storyteller wants us to be moved.

When people are playing Zeroigar, I want them to feel the story and the characters as deeply as possible. I don't want them getting caught up because I'm having one of the characters call her big brother "big brother" all the time.

EDIT: Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a place for introducing some "Japan-isms" in almost anything. You just have to take things on a case-by-case basis, and be careful where and how you mix them in.


Legend of the Mystical Ninja is like Persona. It leaves certain things untranslated for ambient purposes, but it translated HUD elements and everything else the player is supposed to understand.

I can assure you that everything a player is going to want to know is translated already. The things we're leaving are garnish.  :thumbsup:

@TC: Its okay if you don't want to/don't have the time/no skill to draw an English titlescreen. But would you consider if someone made an English titlescreen (better if it looks like the JP title) and use it for the game?

We're having a guy make some mockups right now, in fact.

IMO, you can have the title as "ZEROIGAR" only and ditch the "Choujin Heiki", since this is the only game that has that "Zeroigar" name.

The trouble with doing this is that so many websites already list the old translation of Choujin Heiki, which is the awful "Super God Trooper". If we don't come up with something else, we risk having that become the de facto subtitle of the game. I'd rather just come up with something else.

I still have mixed feelings about that, to be honest, but there is at least a precedence. There is a lot of old-school anime out there that follows the same (kanji word+kanji word+katakana word) pattern that this game does:

機動戦士ガンダム Mobile Suit Gundam
機動警察パトレイバー Mobile Police Patlabor
装甲騎兵ボトムズ Armored Trooper VOTOMS
聖戦士ダンバイン Aura Battler Dunbine
伝説巨神イデオン Space Runaway Ideon
魔神英雄伝ワタル (unreleased outside of Japan)
新世紀エヴァンゲリオン Neon Genesis Evangeleon

Gotta agree.. I think there are some cases where Japanese adds to the ambiance of the game. Final Fantasy VII in Midgar, for example. "Legend of the Mystical Ninja" also left some sings and scrolls with kanji, which I think drove the point home that you're in a old-Edo Japanese world.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja is actually the very game I would point to as a good example both of how Japanese Zeroigar is, and to what degree the kanji they left in don't get in the way of the player understanding what's going on.

If the sign right outside Goemon's door in stage 1 that said 江戸 (Edo) didn't bother you, then the little remaining bits of kanji in Zeroigar shouldn't bother you either.

Besides, you simply cannot please everybody with any given translation approach. That's just the way it goes.

Personal Projects / Re: Princess Crown (Saturn) English Translation
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:50:02 am »
Hooray!  :crazy:

I'm rooting for you more than anyone, CyberwarriorX! I still can't wait to do that next big playtest!  :thumbsup:

Tonight I asked my wife, who is Japanese: "You know that game I've been spending all my time working on? That one I showed you once last month?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Do you remember the title?"

"Zeroigar, right?

"It's actually called "Choujin Heiki Zeroigar. By the way, what kanji do you think they write 'Choujin' with?"

(writing on her hand) "Probably 超人."


I do actually take the fact that she couldn't remember the title other than "Zeroigar" as further evidence that we don't even need to bother with translating 超神兵器 at all, though.

Oh, OK then!

If it's using Mednafen as the core, it should work fine.  :)

Retroarch has a pc-fx core also!

It does? It doesn't seem to be listed here.

Mednafen is the only emulator that emulates this game accurately. ME-FX and XE have major problems with it, unfortunately. They're pretty much game breaking.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, everyone!  :)

First off, impressive work on this game. Ingenious work on implementing those subs.

Now, I do have on criticism that is minor in the grand scheme things. I think it's a bad idea to not translate the entire game and leave Japanese in. Sure, the origin of the game is Japanese, but I believe the goal of a translation is to make the entire game understandable for non-Japanese speaking people. That includes stuff like the title screen. I think romanizing and having a literal/clunky translation of the title are both not the best approach. Why not go with a looser translation that attempts to capture the spirit of the game? Also, even though I know we all do fan translations, but I always strive for professional quality translation. I think if a professional company like XSEED hypothetically translated the game, they would have translated the title screen.

Just my two cents.

We appreciate your comments. It's something we're talking about now.

I must confess, there is an element of compromise to leaving some things in Japanese. Changing them wouldn't just be a matter of "losing some Japanese flavor", but also a matter of being an enormous hacking ordeal.

As it stands the "Anime Mode", which is really the game's main attraction, is 100% translated. People who try this mode are going to get the full experience. Even the credits are translated.

Zeroigar has a special unlockable parody mode with slide-show style cutscenes that aren't FMV and are only voiced. Translating these would mean hacking in a print routine where there was none before. I haven't done any of the hacking, but from what elmer tells me, that would be the kind of undertaking that would take weeks and dozens of hours. Considering that few people are going to get that far in the first place, it seems acceptable to me to release a simple supplement as a PDF or web-site. I've written up a translation for the whole thing already.

As for the other bits that are untranslated in the game, we'll have another look at what we can do.

By the way, about the subtitle 超神兵器. "Super God Trooper" does not appear to be official, thank god. 兵器 doesn't mean "trooper", it means "weapon", for one thing. Also, contrary to what many English websites say, it is not "Choushin Heiki", it's "Choujin Heiki". Somebody used the wrong on-yomi there. I am positive that this is a bit of wordplay on 超人兵器, which would mean the giant humanoid robot weapon.

I'm thinking of forgoing any attempt to duplicate that pun and just going with "Divine Weapon". Let's just say that there's more than one reason to go with "divine", too.

Anyway, we'll see what we can do!

Personal Projects / Zeroigar (PC-FX) - Complete English Translation
« on: July 10, 2015, 05:46:37 am »
Zeroigar is a 2D vertical shooting game released in August 1997 for the PC-FX. In addition to its unusual RPG-style level-up system, its most outstanding characteristic is its excellent story told through anime FMV cutscenes.

The cover:

My partner elmer and I (with thanks to Esperknight) have fully subtitled all of the FMVs with hardsubs that work on real hardware, and there is zero quality lost in the image. This was possible for several reasons. The original video had 16 pixel tall black borders at the top and bottom. We essentially cropped off the top border, doubled the bottom border, and stuck the subtitles down there. Because the PC-FX's playback chip is JPEG based and can essentially display two JPEGs at once, and because there was enough bandwidth, we simply appended the subs to the original video as a separate video that plays at the same time. It looks quite nice, if I do say so myself.


Also, there are many in-game dialogues that are voiced with text. These text segments have all been converted to English, with the text color changed to yellow and timings carefully adjusted to make them easily readable.


The "level-up" screen that appears after you die or complete a stage, which contains vital information and gets in the way of non-Japanese speakers understanding the game more than anything else, is also fully translated.


Certain Japanese kanji do remain, such as in the title. We left these because we thought they were beautiful, and because the game itself is so Japanese that it's best for it to retain that aesthetic.

The title screen menus and other secondary menus have been translated.


...and there are other things in English that I'll let you find yourself.

The translation is essentially finished. We are currently working on a recreation of the manual in English, and a handful of friends are playtesting the game for us. We hope to release this on August 8th, the game's original release day. Being a week before the 70th anniversary of WWII's end is also highly appropriate as well. Can you see the bombed out ruins of Tokyo in that screenshot above?

This is a very special game, and I love it to death. We hope you'll all enjoy it when it's released!

Yes, it looks like your problem is coming from the FMVs. No patching format is going to be able to do anything about that. Since you hard coded it, you've changed nearly every frame of the video. The resulting full video will be vastly different resulting in a huge chunk of marked different data (especially if compression is involved). The reason your custom patcher is 2 megabytes is because you already know the new data ahead of time and are storing a video editing procedure to apply it. The patcher needs to reverse engineer that with only strict binary difference rules. It will never come up with the same results.

In any event, if you absolutely need hard coded subs, it probably would be more appropriate to include a utility to apply the subs to the videos.

Yep, that's all correct.

I'm just wondering if an executable file is shunned by the community. I should have been clearer about that.

It sounds like it isn't, so I think that's what we're going to go with. It will probably be a root directory with the executable, a readme, and three folders: one to put your image in, one where an output patched image is created, and one with all the data files we need.

Thank you!

My partner and I are about to release a translation of Zeroigar on the PC-FX. I'll start a project thread about it soon, but I have a specific question first.

It appears that everyone is using xdelta or PPF for CD releases, but this is not easy for us. We have hardsubbed all of the FMV, and the changes to the ISO data structure are so extensive that an xdelta patch exceeds 130 megabytes.

On the other hand, believe it or not, the all-original insertion program we've got going, which essentially applies hardsubs to the FMVs itself (it's complicated), and all the script files and everything compress down to about 2 megabytes. Needless to say, this size is vastly preferable for distribution.

However, it doesn't look like people ever really release executables for their translations. I can understand that users wouldn't want to be downloading and running programs willy-nilly, but are executables something the community actually discourages? Is it because of operating system incompatibility? We were thinking about releasing an optional xdelta patch for non-Windows users.

What do you think?

Both the hacking and the translating are finished, by the way. While a few play-testers look over the game, we're making the readme.  This project is essentially done. 8)

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