I'm Rod Mérida. Even though I knew this community since some time ago, it's the first time I write in this forum, so this is my first post.
I've been involved in ROMhacking since my teenage or so, a little after getting involved with emulation and programming. I have the intention to start publishing in this website all the translations to Spanish language I have developed this far, during next days.
I have started by King of Dragons, my most recent translation (not very long to do, though). Yesterday night I released a fully playable King of Dragons (SNES) translation to Spanish, based on the NTSC version of the ROM (also I've made PAL translation too), and this morning its submitting has been confirmed. Here is the link: http://www.romhacking.net/translations/5449/
. This was a game whose Arcade version I remember we could play in the bar of my neighbourhood when children, and I was always amazed by, with those gigantic sprites, interesting scenarios and smooth movement; but never I could understand what the spare in-game dialogs said.
For those that are not Spanish speakers probably this of translating doesn't have much purpose, though, but I think it will be highly appreciated by either Spanish speakers or those who are native in whatever language other than English and are interested to make their own translations of this game to such languages. I was surprised since the beginning there existed only one single ROMhack translation of this game to whatever language, at least in this site: it is another translation to Spanish that is unfinished, and with some lacks and mistakes. It doesn't include accents nor special symbols, like "ñ" leter, "¡", "¿", nor it translates drawn texts and banners, nor big letters at the end of stages, it doesn't use the Spanish archaic courtesy treatment "Vos" (equivalent to French "Vous") when necessary, something important in a Middle Age inspired game, and some texts could be improved.
But one problem that I found since the beginning, by translating this game, was to figure out the compression system of the graphics stored in the ROM. Nearly all the graphics of this game are compressed, they can't be accessed through a tile editor directly, they require to be extracted from the ROM and uncompressed. The problem becomes more serious when you notice this ROM, King of Dragons for SNES, is poorly documented on internet, there is no ROM map available, no information about offsets, about its compression routine and format, and nothing at all. Probably this explains why there is almost no translation done to any language of this game, and the only one that exists, is not finished, and has no special symbols.
Fortunately, I found the application made by the Brazilian ROMhacker Denim, and his group Monkey's Traduções, that provides all the graphic banks of the game already uncompressed in a folder with its offsets, and lets you re-compress and inject such banks again inside the ROM, once edited. The only problem is that it doesn't use a very efficient compression way and every bank occupies more than the original, even than the original when uncompressed. Due to this such application expands the ROM and puts the graphic banks at the end, renaming their offset references in the code. It's a master work, but it provides no kind of documentation about how this application was done, how this compression system was decyphered, and how the banks were found, extracted, and uncompressed. Its readme doesn't even mention at any moment what kind of compression system it uses, or if it has something like a name.
Expanding the original ROM from 2MB to 4MB for translating it, doesn't seem a very elegant solution to me. It's not very respectful with the original map, structure or scheme of the ROM. Actually it's a little dirty way to solve the thing. I tried to improved this a little when I noticed from those extra 2MB that the application adds to the ROM, the last one is completely empty, so it could be reduced to a total of 3MB, but still we are expanding the original ROM 1MB more. This would be no problem regarding compatibility if we want to play it with an emulator or even the physical SNES hardware, in a Chinese reproduction cartridge, but, what if we want to record the ROM in a cartridge circuit that respects the original scheme of the King of Dragons' SNES cart?
I don't even need to change many graphic banks of the game, just some little. If I could figure out the compression system and re-compress just those banks to a similar size, trying to get a size that doesn't exceed the original offsets, it would be good, I could improve my ROMhacked translation.
That's why I write this post. I want to know if someone in the whole of this forum has any kind of idea about this ROM, about what compression system it uses, or it may use, about if it has something to do with the ones used in other CAPCOM games, and any kind of clue about how it can be decyphered, or at least, how can we figure out to what is similar, what is the name of this format, if it can be alike to whatever other format existing, at least for searching utilities already made that are compatible and can cope with it.
If someone may help me, I will be pleased to listen.
March 22, 2020, 08:57:19 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Does anybody get any idea about what compression format for graphics King of Dragons for SNES may use? If someone gets or has some information or idea it would be very helpful for me, and I would be pleased to hear.