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Author Topic: Savage Empire - SNES translation info  (Read 8238 times)

Zwario

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Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« on: April 06, 2013, 05:18:29 pm »
Hey guys,

I have been a long time NA.com member, but fairly new here,

I would like to run this question by you guys,

Savage Empire (one of the Worlds of Ultima games):
Released initially on the PC in the USA, was also ported to the SNES only in Japan,

This was my FAVORITE game as a kid, and the first RPG I ever finished, so it holds a special place in my heart,

I am a huge SNES fan, but just found out that this game was released on the SNES, so I purchased a CIB version of the Japanese game, popped it in my SNES, and played it for a while,

The graphics aren't bad, and the music is good too, (unlike the PC version, this one is more of a Action RPG, the PC was more of a Strategy RPG with multiple characters in your party)

Anyway, the great part about this game is that it is a Prehistoric Indiana Jones type game where you talk to tons of people and build together the story of how you got here, and run errands for a bunch of Tribes to earn their trust, and in the end join all the tribes together to beat this advanced alien race, and along the way you rescue a smoking hot tribal princess, and make your own gunpowder, and advanced weapons for fighting off tons of dinosaurs!

The best part of this game is the story, and the dialogue you have with all of the natives... being that this game has no English Translation, I wanted to ask you guys, the experts,

Would it be possible for me to work with someone, (or can I do it myself?) in order to get this game translated into english??  All of the English text can be taken from the PC game, I am willing to play them side by side, and record all of the dialogue (I do not speak / read Japanese however... so this might be tricky)

This awesome game deserves a translation as it is such a great game!!

Thoughts??

Thanks in advance

Zwario


Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 06:10:17 pm »
Do you know your stuff when it comes to romhacking? Because if you are a complete beginner and ask these questions then it is much harder to get help, especially if it involves having to do asm work on the game. But the game sounds very interesting. I'd like to help if possible.
One can do this this hack all by themselves if their knowledge is sufficient but it is
more fun to work in a group if everyone is on the same page!

Zwario

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 09:13:16 pm »
Hey Pikachumanson,

Ok, truth be told, I am a Noob when it comes to ROM hacking... however, I am trying to learn, and have a few of the ROM editors from Zophar's Domain that I have been playing around with,

Basically I am willing to try and attempt this on my own, but know deep down that there is a slim chance I can make it happen on my own...

I would LOVE to work with a group, if you guys could even just instruct me on where I should start, like "hey noob, download XXXXX Rom Editing software and start translating / inserting text using xxxxx software".... even that would be helpful,

Like I said, I absolutely Love this game, and think that having a translated version would be an exceptional addition to the SNES RPG library!! I also have the PC game (even though it can be downloaded pretty much anywhere), and would be willing to get all of the english text from the PC game so Translating should be simple... I just don't know how / where to insert the new text into the SNES ROM,

Thanks for the response, what do you think?  where should I go from here?

thanks again,

Zwario

Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 10:17:42 pm »
Welp... this answer you are not gonna like it but if you want the most chance of success. I would recommend not making this your first project if you are going to attempt this alone.You will have the SNES version of ASM because it's almost guaranteed you are going to need it for either a routine to fit in more letters because Japanese words tend to be shorter than their English counterparts and also the main thing that stop most projects in their tracks, compression.

I recommend Winhex as a hex editor and you have to make a table for the values that correspond to the letters that you will be inputting into the hex editor. If you are lucky the font graphics will be viewable in a graphics editor like tile pro. Otherwise you will have to decompress those as well.

Read up on as many documents as you can then Start with small projects like simple games on the nes so you get a feel of the logic of what you are doing and then when your confidence is up, then you can attempt this hack.

The reason why I say all this is because let's say you get an experienced person or people who know their stuff. You got the script? Cool. That's the easy part, now all the hard work falls on them because you just don't have the experience to help them. Thus, it basically because their project or morale starts to wane and the project gets dropped.

It takes a long time to good at romhacking but the tradeoff is you will have the knowledge to tackle this translation. You might as well study Japanese too because most likely there will be plenty of differences in that script because it doesn't sound like it's the same game as the PC if it's more action based.

By the way, Zophar's is not so good when it comes to romhacking it's more of an Emulation place now as Inverse seems to be the only one there with a good knowledge of romhacking. All the documents you could want are on this site. Even stuff about compression.

Gideon Zhi

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 10:38:52 pm »
Welp... this answer you are not gonna like it but if you want the most chance of success. I would recommend not making this your first project if you are going to attempt this alone.You will have the SNES version of ASM because it's almost guaranteed you are going to need it for either a routine to fit in more letters because Japanese words tend to be shorter than their English counterparts and also the main thing that stop most projects in their tracks, compression.

I recommend Winhex as a hex editor and you have to make a table for the values that correspond to the letters that you will be inputting into the hex editor. If you are lucky the font graphics will be viewable in a graphics editor like tile pro. Otherwise you will have to decompress those as well.

Read up on as many documents as you can then Start with small projects like simple games on the nes so you get a feel of the logic of what you are doing and then when your confidence is up, then you can attempt this hack.

The reason why I say all this is because let's say you get an experienced person or people who know their stuff. You got the script? Cool. That's the easy part, now all the hard work falls on them because you just don't have the experience to help them. Thus, it basically because their project or morale starts to wane and the project gets dropped.

It takes a long time to good at romhacking but the tradeoff is you will have the knowledge to tackle this translation. You might as well study Japanese too because most likely there will be plenty of differences in that script because it doesn't sound like it's the same game as the PC if it's more action based.

By the way, Zophar's is not so good when it comes to romhacking it's more of an Emulation place now as Inverse seems to be the only one there with a good knowledge of romhacking. All the documents you could want are on this site. Even stuff about compression.

Your information, as usual, is half-correct and misleading. There's no reason this guy shouldn't attempt his project. It may not be an easy project, but then again, maybe it will be. You don't know until you try. You don't (usually) need ASM to change string lengths. It can be useful, but usually isn't 100% necessary. Compression is generally easy to work around and if you're lucky you won't even have to deal with it. Windhex is good but choice in hex editor is a matter of personal style. Further, notepad is more than adequate as a table editor and is arguably better/simpler than the interfaces most romhacking-specific hex editors have cobbled together, though you may want to look into TaBuLar as a step towards understanding the link between font graphics and text tables. We usually work alone, because once you get good enough you don't need help for most tasks. I've certainly been okay with pairing up though, as there are bits I'm not great at, and if I can concentrate on other project bits things can get done faster. But the more you want to see the project done the better the chances that you'll see it through, one way or another; just don't expect someone to do all the work for you. And we do have a getting started section.

Seriously, guy, get your information straight before you start pitching it to others.

Zwario, if you've got your heart set on this, just go for it. Hit up the Getting Started section, browse through the docs, start asking pointed questions about the things that confuse you. Questions are best along "Okay, I'm trying to do X. I've done A/B/C, and come up with incorrect results Q. What am I doing wrong?" lines - show us that you've made an effort and are trying to clarify things you don't get, and we're more than happy to help.

Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 11:12:19 pm »
Never said he shouldn't, just not as his first project.
As for that link you posted on the compressed font stuff. Thank you, there was alot of good info in there.


My bad Zwario. I didn't mean to discourage you.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 11:57:47 pm by Pikachumanson »

Zwario

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 01:47:13 am »
Honestly guys, I do appreciate the input!!  I'm a bit overwhelmed but not discouraged just yet,

Good points both of you guys, I will check out the getting started link, and let you guys know when I get stumped,

Thanks again guys!

Zwario

Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 02:08:21 am »
Yea I looked at the PC and Snes versions of the game, and I definitely think there's gonna be script differences there. For one thing you get a party in the PC version while on the SNES you're all by your lonesome. And the games just look totally different when you are doing a side by side comparison. But you would know better than me on that regard. The script forum here is going to be your friend and for God's Sake don't use Google translate or really any other machine translator for the Japanese! Especially for complete sentences. It will not only give you the wrong meaning most of the time but the syntax may be completely wrong as well.

Zwario

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 11:26:05 am »
I found this:
http://www.notableultima.com/collectibles/Title_WOU.html

Scroll down in the article, it does mention that the game was under translation efforts (up to 95%), by the Origin tream, and was simply canceled due to lack of interest...

So a translated version might exist?!?

Thoughts?

Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 11:41:23 am »
I took a look for it last night and the only thing i could find were the japanese and dos versions.
I figured if someone hasn't dumped it by now it's most likely collecting dust on some collectors shelf.

Have you started on the rom already?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 01:06:05 pm by Pikachumanson »

KingMike

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 09:48:16 pm »
I haven't heard of a US prototype surfacing yet.
If there is one out there, who knows. We've seen canceled games protos turn up even decades after they were canceled.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018

Zwario

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 12:21:21 am »
Ok, so here's my status update

I tried looking at the text / script using a FF6 table... with no luck?

How do I create / find a table to extract the text from my Savage Empire Rom so that i can edit it... or am i way off already??

Also, I can't seem to find any good editing programs for my MAC... are they all for PC ?

Thanks

Gideon Zhi

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 10:42:23 am »
I tried looking at the text / script using a FF6 table... with no luck?

How do I create / find a table to extract the text from my Savage Empire Rom so that i can edit it... or am i way off already??

Also, I can't seem to find any good editing programs for my MAC... are they all for PC ?

Thanks

You aren't able to find text in your game with FF6's table, because your game isn't FF6. Most old games don't use standard encoding, so most games' tables are unique. Check Getting Started on Tables and Text Editing.

And yeah, nearly all of the utilities you'll need to use are for PC. Some have source available though so you may be able to compile mac versions of them. A fair few searching and dumping utils are command-line. Not sure about hex editors though. And as much as I hate Java, Tile Molester *is* Java and is thus cross-platform.

Vehek

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 01:35:35 am »
From my preliminary investigations, relative searching and other table-making basics won't be very helpful with this game.
Text (but not really text, see below) appears to be stored in 2-byte, little-endian values. These values are not indices. They're relative offsets into a pointer table for the font character offsets. The font is the same as the Japanese version of the SNES port of Ultima VII, but I doubt anyone's bothered with that version anyway, so that detail probably won't help much.

0x110100: 3-byte pointers to font characters

I can't say yet how to change the text. At first I thought I had found the text when I figured out how it loaded font characters, but I quickly found some problems with that idea. Firstly, a section I was investigating of the apparent text didn't go in the same order as in-game. Secondly, there were no control codes except the end control code. My guess is that the game pre-loads the font characters it will use for a particular dialogue into VRAM, and the data I found is what it uses to determine which ones it will load.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 02:04:45 am by Vehek »

mrrichard999

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 09:01:02 pm »
I know it aint hacking help or info but maybe this youtube link will give you some inspiration and a few laughs :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jmgoFYt8y0

Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 03:07:54 am »
@Vehek Are the font graphics compressed and if so what type of compression do they use?

Vehek

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 03:18:44 am »
Uncompressed. 2bpp planar. The first font characters are at 0x120000.

There are well over 2000 kanji in the font, though now I think the kanji section might be in Shift JIS order.


Pikachumanson

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 03:27:11 am »
Thank you sir, you the man.

slashie

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Re: Savage Empire - SNES translation info
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2013, 12:34:09 pm »
Hello all!

Just wanted to post here to let you know some months ago I got into the project of doing this translation; we have made some advancements mostly thanks to Vehek's input (thank you!)

There is more info here: http://kyouryuuteikoku.wordpress.com/

So far we have advanced on the script extractor, however I'm running into a bit of issue to determine the termination sequences for dialogs; since the game doesn't directly store text but rather displays it programmatically on subroutines, I'm having a hard time devising what these routines do apart from text output.

I tried to use a debugger to find this out, but was unable to trigger the breakpoints into the dialogs. The idea is to find out what marks the end of each dialog, and also where the options are stored.

So, in general, just wanted to let you know about this, and I appreciate any help that can be provided. Thank you!!

PS: In the future I am also hoping to be able to hack the character display routine in order to use a single sprite instead of the 2x2 block it's currently using... but I gotta hook up with the ASM first :P