Recently I've been working on a hack for one of my favorite games from my childhood: EarthBound. I'm getting close to the point where I will feel comfortable releasing a patch of my work. This hack will be my first public release.
I think most big fans of EarthBound are already familiar with the fact that when Mother 2 was translated and localized into EarthBound, a whole bunch of changes were made. Most of the differences have been cataloged by Tomato on his website "Legends of Localization."
I love playing ROM hacks and fan translation of Super NES games, so when I read Tomato's website, my first thought was how cool it would be if someone made a ROM hack that reverts all the changes.
I did some research and found out that it would actually be a fairly easy hack to implement. I also found out that several other people have made similar hacks before. Still, I decided to create my hack because none of the others I found went far enough in reverting the changes for my taste.
In total, this hack changes more than 150 dialogues as well as a number of graphics.
This is not a complete re-translation of the game from scratch. I think the original translation is fine and certainly worth playing, but I also think the game could be improved by reversing censorship changes and fixing mistranslations along with a few minor typos and bugs. Many changes that were made during the localization process have been kept. For example, there are many puns in the game which cannot be properly translated into English, so the localization team inserted their own puns. These have generally been left unchanged.
At the moment, I have a very small number of dialogues I still need to change as well as a few graphics changes I'm still working on figuring out how to implement. After I finish with these changes, I'll release a beta version of my hack. I will then playtesting the entire hack on a SNES with a flash cart and fix any mistakes I made.
Below, I've put up a list of things I'm changing. More detailed notes about the text changes will be included when I release a patch.
- Two NPCs in Threed that were cut from the original game (English & Japanese versions) due to coding errors have been restored
- "Drug" signs and map marker restored (signs not implemented yet)
- Red Cross symbols restored (Hospital signs not implemented yet)
- "Come" truck graphics restored
- Original Runaway Five/Tonzura Brothers sprites restored
- Signage outside the Chaos Theater restored (not implemented yet)
- "Runaway Five" sign inside Chaos Theater shortened to just say "Runaway" (not implemented yet)
- Insane Cultist's original battle sprite restored
- Bar sign restored (not implemented yet)
- "Topollo" sign restored (not implemented yet)
- Nude Ness sprites restored
General text changes
- References to violence and death have been restored
- Alcohol references have been restored
- Religious references have been restored
- References to copyrighted/trademarked things have been restored
- A few references to nudity and mildly sexually suggestive lines have been restored
- Some "vulgar" language has been restored
- Many dialogues have been updated to fix translation errors or to capture nuances from the Japanese script that were lost in translation
- Some typos and grammatical errors have been fixed and the text formatting has been tweaked in a few places
- Offensive PSI powers are now "PK" powers
- Starmen no longer make clicking sounds and Starmen and robot characters now speak in all caps
- Pokey > Porky
- Runaway Five > Runaway Brothers
- Penetella Giovanni > Petenella Giovanni (typo fix)
- Poo's Master > Yi-Si-Qi
- Peaceful Rest Valley > Grateful Dead Valley
- Jackie's Cafe > Boris' Bar
- Topolla Theater > Topollo Theater
- Sky Runner > Sky Walker
- Phase Distorter > Space Tunnel
Enemy name changes
- Cave Boy > Bigfoot
- Evil Mani-Mani > Mani Mani Demon
- Master Barf > Return of Belch
- Ness's Nightmare > Ness's Demon
- Yogurt dispenser > Tofu machine
- Trout Yogurt > Strawberry tofu
Some things that were things left unchanged
- Title screens
- "Don't Care" names
- Most NPC names
- Most enemy and item names
- Town names and related graphics
- The door-knocking sound effect graphic
- "Food" map marker
- Dept. Store sign and map marker
- The Burglin Park sign
- "Runaway" signs and tour bus
- The Pencil and Eraser statue graphics
- Saturn Valley and Magicant ATMs
- Monotoli sign
And here are some screenshots
Edit: I accidentally left out the name changes when I first posted this. They are now included.