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Author Topic: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement  (Read 499857 times)

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #100 on: December 26, 2012, 12:11:26 am »
I have confirmed the fault on my mmc-3 donor cart ... it's CHR related apparently, I have tested various games.  :banghead:

That's too bad. Thanks for letting me know! So I won't be looking for an error that doesn't exist :)

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #101 on: December 26, 2012, 12:51:23 am »
It makes sense in the time period CV2 is set in for hearts to be used in exchange for items. Back then you could exhange things to get other things. Not everyone used money all the time. Also, remember that the crystal traders are examples of exchanging items for other items. Besides, is using hearts as currency as less sensical as enemies dropping money? A werewolf and merman dropping money?

Also, don't nerf all the weapons. If you have to add a flame to the holy water that would be alright with me.

Also, if hearts were exchanged for money as currency wouldn't you wind up accumulating too much of that once you buy what you need? Also, 255 max for hearts could destroy the balance of the game if hearts are only used for weapons.

It's called the barter system, and while it's true enough for the time period, in the game it doesn't make nearly as much sense because there's nothing else to barter with and more over bartering also involves haggling. There are are no set prices in a barter system and CV2 definitely does. The hearts are used as currency regardless of how you rationalize that use.

Monsters dropping money makes no sense in any game ever for the most part, but they do in every other game in the series. If you wanted to make it more realistic you could have them drop various things such as fur, fangs, and scales. Those could then be used in a more robust barter system. However, the game is already tedious enough with all the clues, lies, and backtracking. No one is going to want to waste even more time figuring out how many medusa fangs is a fair price for a head of garlic.

I'm not suggesting nerfing all the weapons, only the ones that make the 'bosses' a complete joke.

As for accumulating too much money... That's what happens in all the metroidvanias and RPGs ever made once you're in the end game. But besides that I think the simple thing is just to make money a lot more rare than hearts when you're out at large. That was my thought behind only having enemies drop small denominations of coins rarely and leaving the money bags and treasures hidden in the mansions.

The maximum number of hearts can easily be changed.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 01:31:51 am by Vanya »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #102 on: January 03, 2013, 05:48:00 am »
How about adding achievements?

I thought of sixteen achievements that could be added without too much stretching it. There are several unused RAM bytes that can be used to store the data.

Code: [Select]
; Achievement unlocked! Unwelcome visitor          (activate dialog 094): Get an aggravated response from a townsman
; Achievement unlocked! Nonstandard bridge exit    (drown in scene 2/0/1, 2/8/0 or 2/9/1): Dip in the Uta lake
; Achievement unlocked! Sewer explorer             (drown in scene 0/*/*): Dip in city sewers
; Achievement unlocked! Successful barter          (swap crystal): Trade crystals
; Achievement unlocked! Cuisine express            (activate dialog 150): Act based on a rumor
; Achievement unlocked! Death is no match          (Death dies): Kill Death
; Achievement unlocked! Unsuccessful date          (activate dialog 093): Get a blunt response from a lady
; Achievement unlocked! Duck hunt                  (activate dialog 015): Talk to a stranger
; Achievement unlocked! Fully grown warrior        (reach level 6): Accumulate 350 exp
; Achievement unlocked! Angular mastery            (kill 10 enemies with weapon 4)
; Achievement unlocked! Because it is a bit cold   (kill 10 enemies with weapon 5)
; Achievement unlocked! Toss and miss              (miss with weapon 6)
; Achievement unlocked! Collector of sharp things  (acquired weapons 0, 1, 2)
; Achievement unlocked! Extended welcome           (activate dialog 120 twice): Abuse the free gift
; Achievement unlocked! By willpower alone         (activate dialog 116): Talk to ladies when death by curse is inevitable
; Achievement unlocked! No stone unturned          (reach the end of scene 2/9/2): Explore a dead end

I know it's a modern day gaming fad, but it could motivate some players to spend more time exploring the game world.

In addition, I considered adding** minimalist achievements (such as reaching the castle ruins still using the leather whip), but it gets pointless, because you can only get achievements from one playthrough.*
Well, there's one that could be done: Blind faith = acquire the bodypart from Berkeley mansion without having the item that makes the floating platform visible. Not having the water (for probing the floor) might also be a requirement.
*) If SRAM saving was added, then things might be different in that regard.
**) No achievements have been implemented yet.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 11:44:54 am by Bisqwit »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2013, 01:39:23 am »
That's actually a good idea. Trying to attain achievements can be fun for a lot of players. (Not me so much, but meh, this isn't about me.) I see it as a natural extension of the "Hi-Score" phenomenon from the early days of video games. Hell some publishing mediums even require achievements to be implemented.

Also, SRAM would be fantastic if it could be implemented. However, I've noted in the past that it isn't an easy thing to implement as it would basically require a save system to be created from scratch even if all it does is save the last password.

BTW, what's new in version 1.4 of the patch?

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2013, 04:17:13 am »
Also, SRAM would be fantastic if it could be implemented. However, I've noted in the past that it isn't an easy thing to implement as it would basically require a save system to be created from scratch even if all it does is save the last password.

True, but that is not something I can't do.


Quote
BTW, what's new in version 1.4 of the patch?

Version 1.4.0: now using compression for added graphics data; minor dialog fixes. For example, Vlad Graveyard was previously listed on the map as "Vlad Gravehard". The compression decreases the size of the patch, and opens the way for adding even more context sensitive dialog in the future. It may also save a frame or two in the opening of the map in some situations because the number of memory accesses was decreased.

Version 1.4.0.1: Decreased dependencies on game's functions to increase patch compatibility with other patches.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 08:48:50 am by Bisqwit »

Bregalad

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #105 on: January 04, 2013, 05:14:19 am »
SRAM has already be done several years ago (just seach the hacks of this site). However, I haven't tested if it is compatible with the retranslation.

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #106 on: January 04, 2013, 08:44:11 am »
SRAM has already be done several years ago (just seach the hacks of this site). However, I haven't tested if it is compatible with the retranslation.

Me neither, but it only saves the same data as the password, and I have no intention on stopping there, if I ever get to making the SRAM hack.
You don't need many bytes to add the current scene and player's position, and there's plenty more room in SRAM even if it's just 2 kB, my smallest SRAM chip (isn't it 4 kB normally in NES cartridges?) -- and I already researched the resuming of the game when I added the map feature (must resume the game successfully when exiting the map screen).

Bregalad

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #107 on: January 04, 2013, 08:46:50 am »
At least the password saves the amount of garlic and laurels you're carrying. In the original FDS version, those are lost if you save the game and resume later.

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #108 on: January 04, 2013, 02:35:33 pm »
Good lord, that's terrible. Loosing inventory if you save and restart? Damn.

@Bisqwit: If you can add a proper save function that would be a great addition to the patch. Hmmm... Feeling inspired.

KingMike

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #109 on: January 06, 2013, 10:07:09 pm »
(isn't it 4 kB normally in NES cartridges?)
8KB typically.
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elbobelo

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2013, 08:38:07 am »
I wouldn't waste time adding achievements, here is what should be added instead.

There is one scene where Simon waits by the cliff-side and a whirlwind carries him off to a mansion.  In this mansion, Simon should "prossess" a special item that, when used, can summon the Whirl Wind at any time.  Now that you have the Map, you should be brought to the map screen in which you can choose your destination.  Then the Whirlwind drops you off there. 

That would be my next priority if I were working on this hack.

Triupulent

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #111 on: January 07, 2013, 10:44:34 am »
I think this patch should be split in two. This one should be renamed something like "Simon's Quest Improved", and there should be a separate patch under the translation sections that is simply a better translation and localization of the game. That patch would be the retranslation + the missing text and features from the Japanese version.

Next, then work on re-translating the Japanese manual. It's superior to the English manual, includes a prologue, a map, and color illustrations. Then bundle that with the translation patch. The idea would be that the patch would be the localization that the game should have gotten without adding anything. The player would be given all the same tools that Japanese players were given. Nothing more, or less. There are likely already translations of the prologue from the manual already somewhere on the internet. Are there any legal reasons why the manual couldn't be bundled along with the patch? A scan can be found here:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/NewCV/manual-jcv2.htm

For the "Simon's Quest Improved" patch. I have a few suggestions:

- One thing I liked about Redacted is that it added arrows to the town signs to make them concise.
- SRAM saving would be nice.
- I am not fond of the FDS music at all, and find the current Western arrangement superior
- "Achievements" are usually kind of annoying, so they shouldn't be included. 
- I don't think it should include a warp system
- Bosses should vanish once defeated
- Game is too easy. Taking a cue from Zelda II, you could have the game warp you to the first town once you run out of lives. That might then mean you have to re-balance things further.

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #112 on: January 07, 2013, 01:49:26 pm »
I think this patch should be split in two. This one should be renamed something like "Simon's Quest Improved", and there should be a separate patch under the translation sections that is simply a better translation and localization of the game. That patch would be the retranslation + the missing text and features from the Japanese version.

You can already do that at the main site for the patch as it allows you to pick and choose what features you want.


- I am not fond of the FDS music at all, and find the current Western arrangement superior

Not an issue since this isn't a hack of the FDS version.


- Game is too easy. Taking a cue from Zelda II, you could have the game warp you to the first town once you run out of lives. That might then mean you have to re-balance things further.

That's a horrible cue. That is the single worst feature of Zelda II and the main reason I never bothered revisiting Zelda II. Furthermore, forcing the player to retread the same stages over and over as a penalty is a terrible design choice. This is especial so in a game that already makes you go back and fourth through the same areas quite a bit.

A far better solution to increasing the challenge is improving the enemy ai and adding actual bosses.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:59:07 pm by Vanya »

Triupulent

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #113 on: January 07, 2013, 01:50:49 pm »
You can already do that at the main site for the patch as it allows you to pick and choose what features you want.

I meant at the romhacking.net site itself. There's no guarantee people will even visit his personal site or follow the instructions.

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #114 on: January 07, 2013, 02:25:27 pm »
You could always go download the version with the options you mentioned and submit it yourself.

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #115 on: January 08, 2013, 08:11:01 am »
I meant at the romhacking.net site itself. There's no guarantee people will even visit his personal site or follow the instructions.

That's an issue with the Romhacking.net site then, and it is not my problem.

Now, to reply to a couple of points.

― I also like the arrows in the signs in Redaction. I have considered adding it, but scarcity of free tiles has held me back... Note that the cursive typeface is also being used for the clues. But I guess I could take $41 and $76. $76 is used for stuff in forests, but it is not used for anything in towns. There's also $72..$75, but it's used for stairs.  (Oddly, duplicated at $F1..$F4.) DONE in release version 1.4.1.

― Re: Game is too easy, personally I hate "make game more difficult" type of hacks. Not going to do.

― The whirlwind is a special event confined to a particular location. It may be explainable by geography: The cliff face causes circular winds to occur naturally, and the crystal held by Simon focuses the rays of sun in such way that it heats the pyroxenite within the cliff floor, and causes a particular mixture of cold and hot air to develop rapidly, that it produces the minuature tornado suddenly to occur. It's not that Simon has the forces of nature in his control in general. No, I am not going to make the whirlwind into a Pidgey that you can Fly at any time you want. In addition, the game's world is so small that you can travel a full circle in under 10 minutes of real time (2 or 3 days of game time).  Furthermore, changing the travel mechanics in the game also would change the expectancy for the in-game time that it takes to complete the game. As the endings are tightly tied into the time it takes to complete the game, changing the time would also require changing the endings. It is an avalanche I am not willing to unravel.

― I think achievements are rather a transparent feature. You are free to ignore them if you don't like them. I have hard time seeing how they can be annoying in general. I can see how they could be annoying in Simon's Quest though, if they use the same dialog box format as used by the night/day time messages.

― Working on SRAM saving now. I am going for two goals: 1) read-compatibility with saves made by Matrixz's SRAM patch  2) game state is fully saved except for non-Simon actors (monsters, projectiles and other weapon objects) and some minor bits. In addition, there will be multiple save slots. If achievements are made, they will be saved also, but they are global (but resettable) and not tied to a particular save.

― There is no FDS music in a game targetting the cartridge format, including my patch. I was considering for a long time to put back the FDS ending music into the game, to accommodate a longer ending, but in the end I did it a bit differently.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 03:57:38 pm by Bisqwit »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #116 on: January 08, 2013, 10:54:58 am »
― The whirlwind is a special event confined to a particular location. It may be explainable by geography: The cliff face causes circular winds to occur naturally, and the crystal held by Simon focuses the rays of sun in such way that it heats the pyroxenite within the cliff floor, and causes a particular mixture of cold and hot air to develop rapidly, that it produces the minuature tornado suddenly to occur. It's not that Simon has the forces of nature in his control in general. No, I am not going to make the whirlwind into a Pidgey that you can Fly at any time you want. In addition, the game's world is so small that you can travel a full circle in under 10 minutes of real time (2 or 3 days of game time).  Furthermore, changing the travel mechanics in the game also would change the expectancy for the in-game time that it takes to complete the game. As the endings are tightly tied into the time it takes to complete the game, changing the time would also require changing the endings. It is an avalanche I am not willing to unravel.

I never liked that whirlwind thing. It has always seemed terribly out of place to me. I dunno. When I get around to remaking CV2 as a fan game I'm definitely taking it out in favor of a new area that leads through the underground instead of a *magic tornado*. I can totally see why you'd prefer not to touch that beast, though. I'm sure the code around it is a mess.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 08:04:11 pm by Vanya »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #117 on: January 08, 2013, 01:07:09 pm »
I can totally see why you'd prefer not to touch that beast, though. I'm the code around it is a mess.

Grammar error aside, no it's not. It is really rather straightforward.

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #118 on: January 08, 2013, 08:05:15 pm »
Does it take up much space?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 09:49:35 am by Vanya »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Finnish & English re-translations
« Reply #119 on: January 09, 2013, 06:33:20 am »
Next, then work on re-translating the Japanese manual. It's superior to the English manual, includes a prologue, a map, and color illustrations. Then bundle that with the translation patch. The idea would be that the patch would be the localization that the game should have gotten without adding anything. The player would be given all the same tools that Japanese players were given. Nothing more, or less. There are likely already translations of the prologue from the manual already somewhere on the internet. Are there any legal reasons why the manual couldn't be bundled along with the patch? A scan can be found here:
http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/NewCV/manual-jcv2.htm

Wow. That is fantastic. It even tells that the "where" that the ferryman takes you, depends on which Dracula's body part you are carrying.
But even though I do know some Japanese, I feel that a manual of that size is a bit too much work and effort to translate... Especially given that it would have to be done in an image editing program. And it would require some image substitutions, as the FDS-specific screens no longer apply on the cartridge version. And e.g. replace the screenshot with buggy floating zombies.
There might also be some nasty copyright missiles hiding somewhere waiting to be launched.

I did write a tiny manual of my own, which is at http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/#use and doesn't really compare to the Japanese manual, but it contains the basics. It is still only in Finnish though.*


Does take up much space?

Not that either. Relatively speaking.



*) Translated below.
Background: Your player character is called Simon Belmont. In the previous game, Castlevania, Simon Belmont fought and defeated Count Dracula. But something went wrong, and Simon was caught under a curse, which will consume his health and sooner or later claim his life, unless he travels through Transylvania, collects Dracula's body parts from the mansions in which they have been deposited, and gathers them and burns them on an altar in the ruins of Dracula's castle. Not only Simon, but the entire Transylvania is suffering from the curse, with trees withering and demons roaming the lands, and many people accuse Simon of what has happened. It is therefore desirable that Simon finds Dracula's bodyparts and burns them the soonest possible. It is not easy though. Throughout his adventure, Simon encounters many problems to solve...

The buttons in a normal game situation:
B = Use weapon, talk with NPCs, end discussion or answer a question
A = Jump
Up+B = Use special weapon (choose on the status screen)
Start = Open the status screen
Select = Open the map
Directional buttons = Move, and climb stairs
Up = Go through an open door
Down = Duck

The buttons on the status screen:
Directional buttons = Move the cursor, with which you can choose a maximum of two items (one from the upper compartment and one from the lower one). The items in the upper compartment will include Dracula's body parts as you collect them, and other talismans. You can't really "use" them; instead, you just hold them. What you are holding affect certain situations in the game. Talk to people in Transylvania's towns, and you will learn how to use each item. The items in the lower compartment (mostly special weapons) are used by holding the "up" button and pressing the B button.
Start = Close the status screen

The buttons on the map screen:
A, B = Scroll the scroll horizontally
Directional buttons = Move the cursor, with which you can inspect different places on the map
Start/Select = Close the map

You will acquire special weapons in different ways. Some of them are hidden in the game realm, and can be discovered, when you know where to look (townspeople will provide hints), and some of them you can buy from merchants. This also goes for the whips, that are Simon's primary weapon.
There is also an experience points system in the game. You will accumulate experience points by killing demons and collecting their hearts. The game tracks hearts and experience points separately. You can read them on the status screen. As Simon acquires more experience, he will become a stronger fighter. The game begins at level 0. The maximum level is 6.

When you kill demons, sometimes a heart is produced, which you can collect. The hearts act as merchandise or currency in this game. Additionally, they double as fuel for most special weapons. If you lose all three extra lives that Simon has, you will get another set of three if you Continue, but you will lose all the collected hearts. When Simon loses all extra lives you can also choose to save a password, with which you can continue the game at another time. Do note though, that when you resume a game through a password, the player character is returned back to the first town, Jova.

In the game there is a clock, which accumulates a minute of time approximately every 4 seconds. The clock includes the number of days since the game began, and the hours and the minutes. Between 06:00:00—17:59:59 the game has a "day" time and between 18:00:00—05:59:59 there is "night". In the night time, the demons are twice as strong as at day time, but they also often produce a larger heart when killed at night time. In the towns, all citizens retreat indoors and lock their doors at night time. Simon's chances to survive the curse decrease by every minute, and it is thus imperative to complete the game in as few days as possible.

Not everyone in the towns are happy about Simon's vampyre hunter hobby. Some of them lie to his face. Some of them are not interested at all, and they speak whatever is on their mind. But most Transylvanians really wish for the curse to end, and they help Simon in whatever ways they can, according to their knowledge. But it is the Middle Ages, and there are all sorts of rumors. Even those, who really wish to help Simon from the bottom of their hearts, do not always know all the details. The player really must invest effort in finding the truth behind a mistaken hint given in good faith. Usually the truth is revealed by interviewing as many people as possible, and trying subtle variations to the hint.

As a translator, I believe I have done the best I can to ensure, that the player never needs to go find a walkthrough in the Internet, if they really do speak with every NPC in the game. Among other things, I have made sure there are no confusing mistranslations that the official English release unfortunately was all too saturated of. In this spirit, I have lengthened the dialog texts to become even twice as long as the original ones, to make them natural and helpful.
But it is still the nature of the game that the player must solve the curse and the riddle, and it must require some brain work, and I have retained this principle in my translation.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 06:53:17 am by Bisqwit »