Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement

Started by Bisqwit, December 19, 2012, 01:38:36 PM

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MathUser2929

Retranslating the already in english text for the intro was kinda a bad idea I think. But that manual story would probably be a good addition. I don't think Simons curse was actually mentioned in game so this would make the subtitle make more sense. Hopefully you can rewrite that translation to not sound so dry tho, cause it is alot of words.

Edit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.

Rhetorical

Quote from: MathUser2929 on March 08, 2013, 12:10:29 PM
Retranslating the already in english text for the intro was kinda a bad idea I think. But that manual story would probably be a good addition. I don't think Simons curse was actually mentioned in game so this would make the subtitle make more sense. Hopefully you can rewrite that translation to not sound so dry tho, cause it is alot of words.

Edit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.

The whole game was already in English, and he retranslated that.

Why is the terribly worded intro a sacred cow now?  I thought that was the whole point!

TheZunar123

If you want to argue about scared cows and not altering stuff, he should've kept the "WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE". That's like the most famous line from the game.
Speedrunner and Let's Player.
www.youtube.com/ZunarSR

Bisqwit

Quote from: MathUser2929 on March 08, 2013, 12:10:29 PMEdit:On your patching page, why not add more info about what kind of text is added to the game with that patching option? It might encourage people whether to click yes or no on it too.
I do not wish to spoil the novelty of the added text lines for first time players of that patch.
If you must know, then read the dissection page and play the game. Any line that appears in the game and does not appear in that page is added by me.
The patching page already has sufficient info about the added lines. It says, "Small changes that improve the gaming experience without changing its nature". Take it or leave it. You've got the choice.

As for the topic of the English text in the intro. Let me explain you one thing: The Japanese use English for style purposes only, because it "sounds" foreign and is therefore cool. Japanese pop songs are littered with Engrish words and phrases, because English is perceived as cool. Whether the text actually makes sense grammatically or otherwise is a secondary priority. This is why I mock-translated the last line of the manual text above as "monkey furnace carbonator, brickbat lingerie", because that is basically the effect and purpose of the line.

If you wanted to translate this purpose of the prologue text on the intro screen, you might put celtic runes there instead, or perhaps a church ornament of some kind. Another language doesn't quite work, because English is the de-facto international video gaming language. Keeping the intro as-is is simply misunderstanding the purpose of the intro that was in the Japanese version in the first place. Now out of laziness, and because it might be awesome and improve the value of the game, I am thinking about rewriting the intro into providing a better backstory for the players, rather than thinking an artistic representation of a stylistic foreign-language prologue.

Quote from: keropi on March 08, 2013, 11:51:22 AMTKROM and TKSROM are different. If you put a TKSROM game on a TKROM board you will have weird scrolling issues.  You must convert the TKROM to TKSROM for YsIII to work (TKROM->TKSROM involves rewiring CIRAM A10 from mmc3_pin#10 to mmc3_pin#12).
That is an interesting point I did not know about. Sounds like a mirroring issue. Well, I guess TKSROM users must simply be aware of this.

keropi

^ exactly, it's the mirroring that is different  ;)
Also I like the idea of changing the intro to something more meaningful  :thumbsup:

MathUser2929

Quote from: Rhetorical on March 08, 2013, 03:56:36 PM
The whole game was already in English, and he retranslated that.

Why is the terribly worded intro a sacred cow now?  I thought that was the whole point!

He retranslated the Japanese from the Japanese version. He didn't "retranslate" the english. He just used the US ROM. He actually was considering "retranslating" english for the intro but it sounds like he is more into including the story from the Japanese manual, which is a better idea.

Bisqwit

Quote from: Triupulent on January 09, 2013, 12:56:09 PMI've read online that a direct translation of "Dracula II: Noroi no Fuiin" is  "Dracula 2: The Accursed Seal". That kind of sounds cooler than "Simon's Quest". Could that be used as the name of the hack, and the game? The title screen could be changed to reflect this.
It would indeed sound cool, but the problem is that Castlevania III was subtitled "Dracula's Curse" in the USA release. There is some redundancy and confusion that can arise if both titles have the word "curse" in them.

TheZunar123

I find it kind of ironic that Castlevania 3 has "Curse" in the subtitle, yet there's no mention of a curse in the game afaik. If anything, "Dracula's Curse" fits Castlevania 2 better than 3.
Speedrunner and Let's Player.
www.youtube.com/ZunarSR

Vanya

That is ironic and correct. CV2 is about a curse, but it isn't mentioned. CV3 has no specific curse mentioned in it at all in any version. Also, let's not forget the original titles of the two games.
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest ---> Dracula II: The Accursed Seal
Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse --> Demon Castle Legend

Rhetorical

Quote from: TheZunar123 on March 08, 2013, 04:50:48 PM
If you want to argue about scared cows and not altering stuff, he should've kept the "WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE". That's like the most famous line from the game.

It is by far the most famous. However, I don't think he was going for a retro-themed, nostalgia driven translation, I think he was going for a more correct localization for first time players, more akin to how modern games are translated where publishers care a bit more about gameplay and accessibility.  He succeeded on all counts if that was his aim, in my opinion.  Redoing the useless intro goes well with these goals in mind.

I'd argue getting rid of "false clues/lies" and speeding up the text to make it more accessable (especially for people who are talking to every NPC looking for engrish and typos!) would also be in line with these goals, but I digress  ;D

Bisqwit

Quote from: Rhetorical on March 09, 2013, 04:07:45 AMI'd argue getting rid of "false clues/lies" and speeding up the text to make it more accessable (especially for people who are talking to every NPC looking for engrish and typos!) would also be in line with these goals, but I digress  ;D
The text is already sped up to match the Japanese speed according to visual comparison between Japanese text and the equivalent Finnish dialog box.

However, let us verify the case mathematically. For these calculations, I am ignoring spaces and punctuation, considering alphabetic/syllable characters only.

In Japanese, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.8 phonemes by average (1.625 if dakutens are separate like in Castlevania II).*
In Finnish, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.0 phonemes by average.**
In English, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.9 phonemes by average.***
This suggests that to preserve the same dictation speed as in the original game, the Finnish version should be sped up by a factor of 1.625 and the English version should be sped up by a factor of 1.8.

However, the number of phonemes is not an accurate indication of the duration it takes speak a given sentence. In English, the length of a sentence is mostly dominated by its number of syllables. Like in Chinese, syllables mostly take an equal length of time to say, regardless of the number of phonemes in the syllable. Japanese also has this trait.
In Finnish, the length is predominantly determined by the number of vowel phonemes: a syllable having two vowels is longer than one having just one. The consonants also add time, if there is one at the end of the syllable. In other words, the length is determined predominantly by the number of phonemes, excluding syllable-initial consonants.

In Japanese, one letter corresponds approximately to 1.0 syllables by average (0.9 if dakutens are separate like in Castlevania II).
In Finnish, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.333 syllables by average.
In English, one letter corresponds approximately to 0.3 syllables by average.
This would suggest that the English version should be sped by a factor of 3 compared to the Japanese one to maintain the same prosody.
But English syllables are longer than Japanese syllables, for a ratio of 3 to 2 phonemes, (compare "beating" and "hito", both two syllables), so the real ratio for English should be less than 3.0; probably somewhere around 2.0 or 2.5.
For Finnish, the true factor should probably be somewhere between these two factors of 1.625 and 2.7, producing about 2.2.

What I have done so far for Finnish and English both, is to change the original delay of 6 frames per character into 4 frames per character (speed by a factor of 1.5), plus add a few extra delays and zero-delays for punctuation.

Now reviewing this data, I decided to decrease the delay into 3 frames per character (for a speedup factor of 2.0).
I tried also decreasing the delay into 2 frames per character (speedup factor 3.0), but the dialog cursor sound effect starts to sound like a machine gun, and it has a feeling of the text appearing too quickly.
I will also add a feature in which holding A button will force the dialog to be displayed at a significantly increased speed. As far as I know, no dialog box currently uses the A button for anything, so it is free for taking.

*) Assuming no kanji is used. I verified this by calculating it using the game's entire dialog data.
**) Finnish alphabet is almost identical to IPA for Finnish, with only a few exceptions (such as glottal stops not indicated in text).
***) Determined statistically by converting a few lines from the game dialog into IPA and comparing the lengths.


As for the "false clues/lies", there are no false clues in this game. Every one of the thirteen clue scrolls is absolutely true, even if somewhat cryptic (now that they are properly translated).
The NPCs however...  Well, you can find my analysis here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/diff#truth
The retranslation follows the truth table of the Japanese version. This is something I cannot change and still remain faithful to the original.
(Well, it is mostly faithful in truthfulness / usefulness. A few dialog lines became slightly more helpful than the original in the retranslation due to added verbosity or by doing away with obscure slang terms (such as あひる, "duck", which means a slowly patrolling man in Japanese).)

EDIT: Released version 2.4.0. Contains these dialog speed updates. You can now hold A button to turbo-render dialog.
EDIT: Also version 2.4.0.1. Fixed a bug where the turbo-rendered dialog would be rendered in wrong nametable when the line spans across two nametables.
EDIT: Also version 2.4.0.2. I had accidentally broken the PAL title screen in release version 2.3.4. This fixes it.

Vanya

Cool beans. All this talk of dialogue reminded me about the clue books in the mansions. Is it still possible to skip them entirely by pressing the cancel button by mistake? If so, is there any way to prevent that? Also, this is beyond the scope of the hack, but is there a way to make the clues accessible through a custom menu similar to the new map screen?

Bisqwit

Quote from: Vanya on March 10, 2013, 04:05:50 AMCool beans. All this talk of dialogue reminded me about the clue books in the mansions. Is it still possible to skip them entirely by pressing the cancel button by mistake? If so, is there any way to prevent that? Also, this is beyond the scope of the hack, but is there a way to make the clues accessible through a custom menu similar to the new map screen?
Yes, it is. That sounds like a good idea. Would require new RAM variables, though. Hmm... I will consider it.
Do note though, that the clues respawn when you enter the same scene again.

Another thing that bothers me is that you can buy a weaker whip replacing a stronger one, and you can accidentally buy the same item twice (such as holy water). The latter should be prevented, and for the former there should be a collection of whips that you possess, that you can switch on the status screen. If you buy a thorn whip when you already have a morning star, so be it, but at least make it so that you don't throw away the morning star permanently.

odditude

Quote from: Bisqwit on March 10, 2013, 09:05:49 AMthere should be a collection of whips that you possess, that you can switch on the status screen. If you buy a thorn whip when you already have a morning star, so be it, but at least make it so that you don't throw away the morning star permanently.
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?

TheWhipperSnapper

Quote from: odditude on March 10, 2013, 10:07:03 AM
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?
They should keep the flame whip as it could have the ability to burn brush. Each should have its own attributes. Maybe the first whip does nothing but the second  is little stronger.  The third one let you swing across pits while fourth one gives you multi direction as a sub weapon.

ChronoMoogle

@snapper:
This sounds a little bit like desperately forcing more action-adventure into the game.

MathUser2929

Equippable whips would be kinda metroidvania like, but it could be a nice change. If you can find room for all the whips on the pause screen. Flame whip should be seperate from the Morning Star I think. Also, yeah, disabling rebuying the same item would be good.

All these changes you are making aren't properly collected anywhere. Not on the patching page, not on the RHDN page. You should write up a readme with what changes are made in each version so people don't have to read through the topic to know what changes there are.

Bisqwit

Quote from: odditude on March 10, 2013, 10:07:03 AM
gameplay vs. story question here: should the flame whip replace the morning star, or be considered separate?
Good point. Technically, it should replace. However, what happens if you then buy another morning star, without the fire power?
Should be allowed, I guess.
I have now finished creating this, and it is slated for the upcoming release version 2.5.0. You can now switch between different whips on the status screen. (When the release happens. I would have released it already, but I want to have the clue browser in it, too.)
In addition, at merchants, you are no longer allowed to buy an item that you already own (with exception for the consumables).
You can own a morning star and a firewhip separately, but the hermit will convert your morningstar into a firewhip, meaning that you lose the morningstar. This feature is just provided for the convenience and realism. Naturally nobody would ever have a reason to switch to a weaker weapon in terms of gameplay.
This feature is now a new configurable option in the vending machine.

Quote from: MathUser2929 on March 10, 2013, 12:35:36 PMAll these changes you are making aren't properly collected anywhere. Not on the patching page, not on the RHDN page. You should write up a readme with what changes are made in each version so people don't have to read through the topic to know what changes there are.
They are all listed in this forum thread, though. Sorry, your idea is good but I am feeling too lazy to write up such a listing currently.


As for the clues feature!

I need opinions. Please review these four screenshots, and comment.
<- This is what we have now. NAR original:

Here are three possible arrangements for the clue reviewer (actual emulator screenshots). Though it would be well possible to do, I do not want to make the status box any taller than it already is.



The number at the bottom lists the number of clues you have collected. Pressing <some button> while the clue compartment is selected will give you a listing of the clues (replacing the same window), from which you can select which clue you want to read.

TheZunar123

Speedrunner and Let's Player.
www.youtube.com/ZunarSR

Trivial man

I prefer the one on the right with the clock separated with a line. Something about segmenting it away from the game variables you actually control seems right.