Super Robot Wars GC English translation (now with actual hacking)

Started by Dashman, August 14, 2013, 04:18:37 PM

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Dashman

UPDATE (July 20, 2014):

The project has evolved from an emulator-specific patchwork to a full-hacking attempt. This will eventually produce a patch that will make the translation work on real hardware (hopefully). Most graphics and text are available for edition via custom tools already. Once VWF is implemented, we'll try hacking the rest of the text and insert the one we already have translated (up to stage 20).

Most of the team is awfully busy or on holidays at the moment, so please be patient.

For those who want a taste of the translation, the first 20 stages are available through the old texture replacement method below. This method will be discontinued though, so don't expect more updates for it. Also, bear in mind that you'll probably want to restart your game once the final patch is out, since the texture replacement uses the main character's default name in Japanese, and once hacking is done and you resume your game you'll be stuck with a character a name in kanji...

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Well, this has been happening for the last 3 - 4 months (can't remember exactly) in 4chan's /m/ board. We recently went past stage 10b (that's the substage after stage 10) and considered it was time to gather a first official patch. In case you're wondering, that's almost 20% of the game.

Here's a little preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93IHK2DraFE

We're taking advantage of Dolphin's "load custom textures" feature to make this translation possible. It has a series of inconveniences, but saves us all the trouble of hacking the game itself.

Pretty much everything you need to know for running the translation is explained in this pastebin, along with some FAQ:

http://pastebin.com/CYDquvFD

The tools we've been using for the translation have been available in RHDN since the start of the project, although I didn't announce them at first since I considered them work in progress... then I kinda forgot (sorry).

We're releasing content publicly in a thread in /m/, where we get some feedback from other users. It's kind of an open project, although the official team working since the beginning is 4 guys: Steve, Oppai-missile, Bring Stabity and me. Feel free to give your opinion or ask any questions here or in /m/, but please read the pastebin first.

Progress has been slow lately. Personally I'm taking a break from it for at least a month due to other projects, which means at least the battle dialogue is not going to advance for a while. If anybody has free time to spare and (at least) a basic understanding of Japanese (and obviously a good level of English), we would welcome his/her help.

Metal Knuckles

Since this question had probably popped up numerous times, I'll just go ahead and get it out of the way.

It sounds from the FAQ like you're planning on taking this translation to the finishing point for all four routes at some point in the future. Are you guys open to the possibility of creating an .iso patch at some point along the way, or has it been deemed to difficult to be feasible?

Dashman

I wish. The way this translation works doesn't allow for iso patches. We're sort of "softsubbing" the game using a feature of the emulator. It's the same method that other people have used to create HD versions of games such as Ocarina of Time or Super Smash Bros Brawl: we take a texture of the game before sending it to the GPU (I think) and send one of our own instead.

The good part of this: we don't need to actually hack the game files, implement VWF or insert text.

The bad part: TONS of files, hash collisions and we'll have to play through the full game to translate everything (although this doubles as testing).

KaioShin

I'm still following the project on /m/, keep up the work. I really wouldn't worry too much about battle dialogue, IMO it's by far the most expendable text in a SRW game. Is the game voiced? If so it's even less of a concern, since from my experience, most battle text in SRW games is yelling. Menu and story translation are the important parts to get through the game.
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

Dashman

To be honest, since the beginning we considered battle dialogue a secondary thing, mostly because dumping *all* the quotes is complicated, time consuming and has a degree of uncertainty (due to their randomness). Besides, the amount of textures resulting from that is extremely impractical.

Still, I was feeling completionist and got myself into translating battle quotes. At first, most of the lines felt like standard yelling, but soon after I realized there was a lot more than that, specially when dealing with units with several pilots that can have short conversations during battle that really help fleshing out the characters. The game is voiced, but some quotes would be too much for the casual anime fan that knows a couple of Japanese expressions.

I'll try to translate as much of the battle quotes as I can (once I've got the time), but it will remain as an optional thing in case somebody doesn't need them.


Dashman

Little update on progress:

- Menus have been translated up to stage 20
- Event dialogue has been translated up to stage 12

Dashman

Small updates, but hey, it's something!

First of all, Oppai-Missile has finished the translation of stage 15!

And Dolphin 4.0 was released some days ago. Apparently, the translated textures work in that version perfectly, so there's no need to use an old version of Dolphin to play the translation anymore!

Dashman

Slowly but surely, more updates:

- Stages covered up to 17b (that's stage 17's subscenario)
- Battle text covered up to stage 13 (except for Sayla, we forgot about her)

The textures are available in the mediafire folder, if anybody wants to try them.

KaioShin

Slow and steady is better than one week burst and then losing interest :)
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

Dashman

Progress!

Stages up to stage 18 (our dumper's laptop has died repeatedly in the past months)
Menus up to stage 30
Battle up to stage 19

We've roughly covered 1/3 of the game by now.

Mew seeker

Quote from: Dashman on August 19, 2013, 07:26:28 PM
Still, I was feeling completionist and got myself into translating battle quotes. At first, most of the lines felt like standard yelling, but soon after I realized there was a lot more than that, specially when dealing with units with several pilots that can have short conversations during battle that really help fleshing out the characters. The game is voiced, but some quotes would be too much for the casual anime fan that knows a couple of Japanese expressions.

Hearing you speaking of this makes me remember some interesting dialogue from MX.
Like one of Boss's flunkies threatening the enemy only to have Boss not being happy about it (since he should be the one doing it instead)
or Kouji Kabuto asking Boss during a combo attack if he will be fine. X D
(Come on Kouji, you should know better, Boss is awesome!)
I also like when Puru call her funnels "Funnel-tachi", I can't help but find it cute. X D

Dashman

There's plenty of funny moments like those you mention during attack animations. For example, Boss takes a chance to address the "50 million Borot fans nationwide" during some of his attacks. Almost every time you use missiles with Trider, the butler from the show will call to remind the pilot that missiles are very expensive. Pretty much every super robot with more than one pilot will have a smartass who will tell the main pilot he sucks when taking hits, getting on his nerves.

These little things really add to the fun.

anito9999

sorry about this question but is mission 15 already translated just finished mission 14 and its all back to jap in game4 after that except for the menus cause i can see  stage 19 on the mediafire folders and downloaded it but after putting it on the folder nothing changes already finished mission 1-14 all in english  and 1 more thing i also experienced issues with the english patches on dolphin 4.0 so right now i am stuck using a special build of 3.0 instead will that cause some of the patches to stop loading cause 4.0 will not load any of the patches including menus was able to play mission 1-12 on it then it just stopped working did not change any settings and even redownloaded it but just wont load it still takes forever for the game to load but no changes happens at all not even the menus 3.0 was fine with mission 13-14 tho or perhaps i am just confused with the stage numbers   

Dashman

Yes, stage 15 (and up to 19) is translated. You'll notice there's a zip for stage 15 and another one for stage 15b. 15 is for the actual stage and 15b is for the subscenario that can be played (I think) after that stage.

Most probable cause for the textures not being loaded in 4.0 is the fact that (unless you change it) it loads the textures from a different folder (one in "My Documents" by default), but don't worry, there's no compatibility issues between Dolphin 3.0 and 4.0 unless you're using some revision that does funny things to the way the hashing of the textures is handled. To be on the safe side, stick to the stable releases (no SVN) and make sure you follow the instructions in the pastebin.

And don't forget the troubleshooting either! Your game takes forever to load because you've most probably got *every* translated texture in that folder. I know it's a pain, but you'll have to manage those folders if you want to have a bearable gaming experience. Make sure to read Q12 to Q15 in the "FAQ & Troubleshooting" section.

One last thing: Man, you really have to work on your punctuation. Reading your post was like listening to a person who talks without breathing in the middle of a panic attack, seriously. A couple of periods and commas here and there can really help make yourself be understood and being taken seriously, trust me.

anito9999

actually i have been following the guide as well as i can, inside User\load\Textures\GRWJD9 i always delete the texture folder and replace it with the next stage i am going to be playing, so that loading atleast be a little bit faster i think it began with stage 12 i might wrong tho. and regarding the 4.0 it was indeed on the my document \dolphin plus the same folder setup never changed any settings nor did change how put in the patch it just suddenly stop working for some reason even tried uninstalling and reinstall no go tho

and thanks for clarifying and regarding how write sorry about the coma's and dots lol even my supervisor hates me for it i work for a dell call center by the way so thanks again

Dashman

I wrote a little tool to extract textures from some of the game files:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ieom8zt68ahq5ag/SRW%20GC%20SP%20Extractor%20v1.1.7z

I was hoping to find some menu stuff among the textures, but I only got the character portraits and the decorations for dialogue windows.

Now I feel like I could push this a little further and try to decompress some files. I have a slight idea about the structure of the files I want to decompress and I've been told there's a big chance of them using LZO compression (thanks Zoinkity), but I have zero experience decompressing files. I think I can get my hands on some LZO code easily, but I have a beginner's dumb question: I only pass the encrypted data to the routine, no headers... right?

BlackDog61

Hi Dashman & team,

I just wanted to say THANKS!!!! for this translation.
I played up to mission 19 flawlessly on the female real route.

(If you are looking for small minor improvement suggestions, please let me know the most efficient way to propose them. I can probably go up to dumping textures, but I am not sure if I can easilly use the font you mention in the howto of the tools?)

Black

Dashman

Glad to see not everybody is having trouble with it :)

If you're talking about the MS UI Gothic font, I guess it's just a matter of copying the corresponding TTF file from any Windows SO into your Font folder.

I think I'm the only member of the team paying attention to the RHDN board, so the best place to make suggestions or offering to help would be our current thread in /m/ (search for "Super Robot Wars GC Translation Thread"). Feel free to drop by.

selius

I wanted to say thanks a lot for this.

I love SRT games but not a lot of them are in english.