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Messages - DragonSpikeXIII

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ROM Hacking Discussion / "Damn you, Dragon!"
« on: June 06, 2018, 01:45:50 am »
I just completed my first draft of a translation that I promised last year, the one about an in-universe interview with one of the game's most important characters. I was hoping to outsource this to some kind soul so I could focus on the game but that extra bit of help never came, so you know what that means! I first meant this as a bonus feature to go along with our next release but whatever, it's done so please enjoy: No one ever cared about this little piece text but I found it to be pretty interesting. My recommendation, for what it's worth, would be to read it before playing the game or whenever you feel like it really.

With that out of the way, there's something else I feel I should talk about. This is about dishonest people who approach those working on something, in the cases that I'll mention below content creators like fan-translators, but who are really after said people's work for their own ends. I've had this happen to me before but not quite as elaborate as this attempt.

As far as I'm concerned, I knew something was off right from the start thanks to a number of factors beyond those listed, which thankfully allowed me to identify who was behind this pretty quickly. But what startled me during this episode, which I'll call the "Spies R' Us Incident", was how this person's MO reminded me of that of another group, one that actually managed to fool a fan-translation team into giving them what they wanted, which in their case was pretty much everything they had in order to supposedly continue the project in their stead. (Spoiler alert: the original team gave those guys das boot after a few months.)

So for whom it may concern:
be wary of people who pop out of nowhere with long-winded personal introductions that include phrases in the same vein as "I'm a fan of *the game/series* you're working on, just like you!", they are designed to give you an image of someone who's just like you, to make you trust them faster, thus easier for them to get what they want. Those who outright suck up to you, with unnerving frequency (nobody does this). Who ask questions you may deem as strange or unrelated to your current tasks. Who ask you to do something for them, or give them large amounts of data like entire folders or, just about everything, before they can actually do anything for you.

From my own experience, the opposite of everything above is going to be true on the vast majority of occasions. Meeting new people is normal, sharing information and work with others is also perfectly normal and must in this type of thing, but people trying to pull a fast one will always try to blatantly gain your trust. What applies to real life behavior also applies here. That includes strangely complimentary, sometimes even subservient behavior. And if the same people ask you to do strange things or give them vast amounts of material before they can do anything, well... there you have it. For this little project right here it's crisis averted (again) and business as usual (again).

But if something like this can happen to a group that's working on a game nobody cares about (I excel at self-motivating), it can happen to just about anyone. Some of this may sound obvious to some, but it wasn't to that other group, and I've seen much worse happen to others, so I wrote this post in a place where this info may be most helpful. If there's something I learned in almost 10 years on this project is that when people want something from you, they'll try anything in order to get it, even underhanded methods. So always be prepared, trust you gut, and if something feels off, turn away and don't look back.

Also, something something something next release. #stayingonbrand

Thanks for the grammar check, it was already fixed a few months ago but any feedback is welcome.

One final update that fixes such mistakes and translates what is still in Japanese in v2.0 is coming, to be released When It's Done.

Looking for help from someone who's a translator. I've made a full transcript of this interview, which I want to include with the next patch release for this game. It's not vital but it's an interesting extra for a game that has a heavy focus on story and characters. Totally worthwhile IMHO and not that long (1603 characters). A scanlation would also be nice, but not necessary.

I would do it myself, but I don't feel confident enough in handling this kind of material, and I already have my hands full with the game itself that I'm editing and making new translations for.

Here's our RHDN project page:

Yeah, I love how if you search for this exact phrase in Google this exchange from Ace Combat is the third hit. ;)

This happens more often than I like, usually it's a bad sign that means I have to keep looking for references. :banghead:

That website is what made this project feasible too btw, so it's kind of funny going from it, to the first translation, and then be taken back to the source once again.

So, I was thinking this could probably be simplified down a bit. Interestingly I found a single instance of an English translation of this line that I think corroborates our suspicions.

Thanks to this search hit ( I realized that this phrase appears in the light novel "The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya" which I happen to have translated on Kindle. I searched for the preceding line "I am here", and found our line in question as "I won't let them do as they please.".

So there we go. It seems clearly, "I won't let them do as they please/I won't let them get away with it" captures the intention here.

This is just phenomenal, I've had the luck of finding exact phrases in other works that have official translations before and it's hard to find a better kind of reference. I might change it again to what you found but regardless the line now works as intended, no doubt.


This was one of the web-quotes I mentioned. Very much agreeing with filler's take:
「アンタなんかに勝手に持ってかせるものか! 私の・・・私だけの自由だ! 誰の好きにもさせない! 誰にも・・・コイツ自身にだって許さない!」

Alright then, changes made, thank you guys!

I'm not aware of any connotations attached to this particular phrase, but I have seen これ以上 as an introduction to a 'determined oath' a few times - as in "from this day forward, I will never go hungry again!'

A search for 誰の好きにもさせない provides several contextual examples supporting the 'I' version. In the sense of 'I won't let someone do whatever they want'. I didn't see any usages referring to everyone's freedoms as in 'no one can do what they want'. You might try such a search to get more contextual usage examples.

Alright, that's a good step in the right direction, my research turned up nothing but I know enough that "I" remains very much a possibility. And thanks for the insight on the first part, that's more like I'm what I'm trying to do, dramatically speaking.

Look, I'm no expert. I've only been doing this for about 15 years as a hobby, and have only passed my N3 so far. I'm not a fan of your perspective on the literalness or non-literalness of BRPXQZME's translation. This isn't an easy language to work with.

This is an awkward wording that we would not use in English. If you want my take on the literal translation of this, it's as follows.

any further, to no matter whose liking, will not let/make/have them do.

If we look at a similar "誰の" phrase, "誰の目にも", it means "anyone can see that/it's obvious that". However, "誰の" is literally "whose", and this is like saying "to no matter whose eyes".

誰の好きにも therefore is something like "to no matter whose liking". Or, "to anyone's liking".

This sentence is missing any topic/subject indicator "wa/ga". So are the preceding sentences. This normally means the topic/subject is implied and obvious from context, but I feel like it becomes a game of find-the-topic sometimes.

Normally this means that "I" is implied. However, we did start of with "that man", and the sentences about Rena on the Night Raven, and saying they plan to sink the city seem appropriately attributed to him.

Personally, I think the implication in this sentence is:

これ以上、(私は) 誰の好きにもさせない。
"I won't let them do it anymore (I might say "won't let them get away with it"), no matter who likes it."

I feel like the original translation is more like:

これ以上、(彼は) 誰にも好きにさせない。
"From here on out, he lets no one do as they like."

Perhaps that's the implication of "これ以上、誰の好きにもさせない。" and I'm overthinking it. That's my take on it though.

Believe me, if you saw what the whole script that he made looked like, you would be critical too. And I know how hard it is to be translate from Japanese, I've been doing some fan-translation work myself for this game too, but I've always respected fan-translators even before this. He said it himself that he wasn't satisfied with his script, with many parts being only being machine translated (being too literal is only one of many possible problems). There are some brilliant moments sprinkled throughout, it's just that when it was time to finish the work he called it quits and left. I'm still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt though, that's why I was trying to stick to his stuff first.

That said, thank you for your explanation on the absence of a topic/subject marker (which I've read about in the past so I'm familiar with the concept) and for adding subjects in the right place. "dare no suki ni" makes sense to me now and I agree that the whole line doesn't sound like anything we might use.

Also, I kind of like that "I won't let them get away with it", with "him" I think it's even better, the character sounds like she's saying something like that too. My version is overwritten by comparison and having lines be quick and to the point whenever possible is always preferable to me.

The first version of this script uses "him" and it was made by a then already experienced fan-translator, so I'm leaning more towards it now, but if "dare no sukini" can mean both "...him do as he likes." or just "...anyone do as they like." then I'm gonna need some real confirmation from someone who knows Japanese, because from what I've seen "dare" does not mean "him/her" or "I" (EDIT: ignore this last part, the subject is indeed implied). It's this part that's confusing me.

So for now I'm following the original translation and looking for ways to clean or punch it up.

EDIT: going for "I" and having her say "I won't let anyone do as they like anymore." could be right too, even if way too literal, but I'm not sure I can make that call.

Anyway, here's the whole exchange, as in the video above:

(my version, where "dare" is everyone, and the subject is "him")
Dision. . . that man.
He put Rena on the Night Raven (the super weapon),
and said he’ll sink Megafloat (the floating city).
From here on (out), he's going to impose his will on everyone.  (in the original translation: From here on out, he won't let anyone do as they like.)
So, let's go find him, shall we?

(version that uses "dare" as anyone, and the subject is "I)
Dision. . . that man.
He put Rena on the Night Raven,
and said he’ll sink Megafloat.
From here on (out), I won't let anyone do as they like.
So, let's go find him, shall we?

I think both the original version and my take work, but if you change the subject to "I" the line ends up sounding a lot worse and random, does anyone know if this is actually a Japanese expression that has a nuance that you don't get if you read the text literally?

Any input is appreciated, so thanks for that. BTW here's the clip with that scene:

EDIT: I forgot to mention, the same writer Dai Sato, wrote an episode of Cowboy Bebop revolving around the same idea of a cult trying to get people to leave their bodies by transferring their consciousness to the internet. This game came out only a year later, so I view it as a prototype for this game's plot. The episode is called Brain Scratch.

The context is that the speaker has just left the man's terrorist organization, this little part is from the beginning of the mission. The speaker, she, mentions that he's preparing to use his trump card, a really powerful airplane, on this big floating city as a way to demonstrate his destructive power and that he means business.

The literal line isn't wrong but it doesn't work in context, it's a perfect example of how going literal can hurt rather than help. This man has given mankind, or at least the people of that country, two choices, to cyberize themselves or die.

Just for completion's sake, after this specific line she says to the player something like "So, let's go find him, shall we?", implying that they're going to stop him, which is indeed what we do since we've left his group by this point.

In the end what I'm looking for is a check and maybe some clarification on the "dare no sukini" part, which is kind of confusing to me, usually it has the "mo" character after it, that's everyone/anyone. And if my translation actually translates the message faithfully, I'm still learning.

Kore ijō, dare no sukini mo sasenai.

Translation by BRPXQZME, but still too literal.
From here on out, he won’t let anyone do as they like.

Here's what I know for sure, put literally:
(From now on), ???'s ??? (anymore) (won't let).

My attempt at a dramatically sound version of that, taking limitations into account:
He's going to impose his will on everyone.

Am I on the right track?

Thank you for the tip, I have just finished compressing and testing everything that's been translated up until now and there are no bugs anymore, including Search titles and that 0114/0005.ulz, so I can finally discard the option of leaving them untranslated.

Huge thanks to you and the AC3 Italian Fan-Translation team for your compressor/decompressor tool, this problem has at long last been resolved.

EDIT: I just added the tools and info needed to translate the end credits as requested by RidFin, they may be useful to you if you still need to locate and translate them.

thanks for sharing your tools, in my spare time I made a real ulz compressor, is still not efficient as the namco's one but we'll get there soon.

you need at least python 3.2

Bear in mind that even with the most efficient tool you won't get an ulz file that has the same filesize as the original. If you change something the compressor will produce a completely different file.

I tested against my own decompressor, when I have time I'll provide binaries (so you don't have to install python) and optimize the algorithm.

The compressor needs some parameter to compress files, those parameters are the ulz type and the compression level, you can get those information with the "info" command.

You can get information form iso and BPB files too, thanks to orientalcomputer_01 for that :)

I've finally run some tests with your decompressor/recompressor and I have some feedback for you.

Tests for Radio chatter and briefing TIM files went through without a hitch, the compressed file sizes were excellent and the game ran like it normally would.

However, 0114/0005.ulz and TIMs for the titles in the Search menu do not work properly after recompressing. The game still runs and does not crash, a good sign, but the graphics themselves come out garbled and with crazy colors. 0114/0005.ulz when uncompressed is a BIN or DAT file that contains several TIMs inside, the Search titles are regular TIMs with just one image, single-layer.

0114/0005.ulz is the file that has that text that is still in Japanese in the current v2.0 patches, the one that causes the inter-mission text (save game prompt and "Data Swallow" at the bottom) to go from English to Japanese at the end of every mission. This and the Search titles are the only parts still left for us to fix and make a final 100% fan-translation possible.

I'm not sure if it's just me or if you also encountered this problem, I ran extensive tests just to make sure and these are my results. The fact that the game won't lock up or crash shows you're on the right track, I just don't know what's wrong with these particular files.

Personal Projects / Re: Asuncia (PS1) project
« on: January 12, 2018, 04:47:29 pm »
Just sent you my latest feedback based on the release version, not playing the pre-release beta anymore, so that I'm up to date. This game's fun and easy to enjoy thanks to it being more about the action,  it not getting bogged down by the story really helps too, expect more from me soon :thumbsup:

I'm not going to suggest anything as far as future projects go, it's not something I would do, but I think it's worth mentioning the state that the Front Mission 2 fan-translation was left in, which is fully playable but not fully enjoyable, that is incomplete and with no audio during the cut-scenes. Front Mission 5 is what they were all about at first, just 5, and that was a great fan-translation, only one cut-scene had a problem after patching IIRC. There must have been a good reason behind not inserting the entirety of the script though, so that's one challenge, and the other one is the tools themselves: does someone know if they ever published their tools?

I don't even have a stake in this, I just thought it was worth mentioning. I started my AC3E project with the webmaster for that same FM project, Iceman-UK, and if their website is up once again, it's thanks to him, because everyone else looks to have left the scene entirely, project leader LegaiaRules included. It would be an interesting project to continue and finish, but aside from the script being done, it doesn't look easy.

Another game mentioned that I find interesting as a project to follow but that doesn't look like my cup of tea is Mizzurna Falls. Like ObiKKa said, there's already someone working on it, and everyone interested in it already knows that, so let's not pretend that they don't exist and that their work until now doesn't as well, like some people are already doing. I remember Gemini mentioning somewhere that he'd encountered some pretty bad bugs during insertion, it was either on Twitter or YouTube. But all that aside, I think one would better think twice before trying to get involved with this, some games just attract bad attention. Brigandine or Asuncia this is not!

Wow, it really happened? :o Thank you so much guys, now there's a good reason for me to play this again!


Personal Projects / Re: Asuncia (PS1) project
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:16:34 am »
Great job, weissvulf :thumbsup:

I've just sent you a PM with some feedback like we agreed, I'm sorry I couldn't do it just a few days earlier before release, fixing the script for AC3E has been very time-consuming.

Anyhow, I'll be sending you another round of notes very soon after I clear more stages. But I'm impressed so far, the presentation and translation quality are all top-notch!

Programming / Re: Any good editors that save 16bit BMPs?
« on: December 31, 2017, 01:16:52 am »
I see that GIMP has been mentioned already, and it does export images in 16-bits (R5 G6 B5, A1 R5 G5 B5 [can't pick this one though for some reason,, or X1 R5 G5 B5) as well as 24-bit and 32-bits.

I just tested it and converted a 24-bit image to 16-bit. It worked just fine but the end result was slightly darker, don't know if this is normal.

Personal Projects / Re: Asuncia (PS1) project
« on: December 28, 2017, 06:35:39 am »
I tried looking but all I could find was this cheat code list, including things such as high score and timer, plus a user-made review and a sort of blog post for it which mentions Normal/Bad ending but not in a way that explains the conditions that need to be met.

Same for video walkthroughs, though this one at least seems to show certain events and then one of the endings, but then again, you probably searched YT for clues already.

I sure hope someone can help you with that because this one looks like one obscure puppy, and I know that issue about having to playtest something specific all too well.I once had to finish the game I'm working on more than 5 times in order to get perfect ranks for every single mission (52 in total), some of which are not all that easy to ace, all so I could test a measly sub-title string for a secret weapon...

Also, it's nice to finally see this thread posted, good luck! :thumbsup: And when the time comes that you need a proofreader like you mentioned last time we spoke, you know who to ask ;)

EDIT: forgot an important "not" in there.

Great post, weissvulf. I, too, read that weird review on the thread linked in the translation's page quite a while ago and found it really unusual to see a fan-trans get criticized for censorship instead of the usual good/bad criteria, because censorship is something big companies like Nintendo do, not fans whose only interest is in simply translating the original script.

I only ever saw a few people parroting those very same comments and every time someone (including me) asked for details or examples, there was only silence. Needless to say, it sounded more and more like bullshit as time went on.

I guess it shows we should all be a little extra careful when dealing with people online, even in an innocuous scene such as romhacking.
Thank you for clearing it up, it's a shame you had to take time to do something like this, but the effort to do so is much appreciated.

Just finished editing, take a look :)

Full video:

And a screenie:

Note: "Screenplay and Conceptualization" and "Industrial Design" are original, the rest is fan-translated.

Thank you again, weissvulf! :beer:

It's one down and one to go now, finding someone who can help finish EsperKnight's work on the compression and improve our translation toolkit.

I've tried every available tool and none of them can locate these TIM files. Even jPSXdec, which will scan every uncompressed TIM in the image, can't find them. So I guess they're not standard at all, be it header or size-wise, or both.

I'll see what I can do regarding the location of one or more images, I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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