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ChoroQ Wonderful! (4) PS1 translation project

Started by Robertmvsa, August 28, 2022, 09:09:31 AM

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Robertmvsa

Hello all, I am new to the romhacking scene, but I have a passion for Choro Q games ever since I played Road Trip Adventure on PS2. I discovered that there was a PS1 game from the same director and it has the same feel as the other game, sadly it's only in Japanese and I only speak English.

I've translated the main menu only so far, just as a test to see if I can do it:





I am using a hex editor to look inside at the game files to edit the text. I've also used tools to edit the font graphic to include lowercase English characters, because by default only capitals were available and it looked like everything was shouting.
I am creating this thread for a few reasons more than just showing it off, but since I am new to romhacking I have a few things I wanted to open a discussion about.

    First of which is what kind of translation people generally prefer. This game has a lot of NPC dialogue because it's an RPG of sorts, and I am using google translate to accomplish this, which means if I translate something like:
"壁にぶつからないように、要所要所でちゃんと、減速することだ。でないと、入賞はむつかしいぞ。"
it outputs as:
"So as not to hit the wall, properly at the key points, to slow down. Otherwise, it will be difficult to win the prize."

For English speakers, it's not phrased very well. My curiosity comes with how to re-word it. Do players generally prefer if a translation is as close to the original as possible, or if I write it as something like,
"Slow down at corners to avoid crashing, otherwise you will have a hard time."
is that acceptable? How hardcore do people like translations to be usually? How far off the cuff is too far? If I give a player a text accent like
"You best slow down or you'll wipe out on a wall."
is that sacrilegious in a sense, or are people interested in giving games extra personality?


    Secondly, for the tech-savvy people in the audience, the third screenshot I posted you can see square does "Rvr" which is supposed to be reverse, or back up. In Japanese, this is "バック." Unfortunately, since I'm using a hex editor, I can only replace the Japanese characters with English ones. So a big hurdle I've encountered is I have to somehow explain "reverse" in 3 characters.

Is this a common problem with game translations? I've tried to explore options to allow me to expand how many bites the text file has to write more and it ends up breaking the text in the following lines. I assume the game reads a specific line of data for what to display there, and by extending the file, it mucks up where the location is of all other text.
Is there a way around this that I don't know about? Or do I just have to be super clever with my thesaurus?

Once in awhile there's a few 0000 bits following text and changing those seems to have no impact on the rom thankfully, so once in awhile I get thrown a bone and can have 1-2 characters extra. It gets real dicey when the player needs instruction or gets an item, but the description barely has enough characters to explain what it does. Another road block is off-road in Japanese is only a few characters, so I had to change "Off-Road tires" to "Dirt." So any assistance on this front would be appreciated.


    Finally, if there are any fans of the series to fans of this game, I'd love to chat to you about it. I haven't beaten it because of the language barrier, so even just people that hit be up for gameplay chat would be fun. I'm open to suggestions for edits and things I can edit in. I might end up changing the textures in-game for signs that aren't in English so you can better know what a building is before entering it too, but I don't know if that would be "ruining the original experience" or not.

I hope I haven't droned on too much and I'm excited to work on this when I have time. I have work so I can't do it 24/7 and there's a lot of text here to manually hex edit translate. I will try to check this thread and update it with any breakthroughs I have.

Viewer

QuoteFirst of which is what kind of translation people generally prefer. This game has a lot of NPC dialogue because it's an RPG of sorts, and I am using google translate to accomplish this, which means if I translate something like:
"壁にぶつからないように、要所要所でちゃんと、減速することだ。でないと、入賞はむつかしいぞ。"
it outputs as:
"So as not to hit the wall, properly at the key points, to slow down. Otherwise, it will be difficult to win the prize."

For English speakers, it's not phrased very well. My curiosity comes with how to re-word it. Do players generally prefer if a translation is as close to the original as possible, or if I write it as something like,
"Slow down at corners to avoid crashing, otherwise you will have a hard time."
is that acceptable? How hardcore do people like translations to be usually? How far off the cuff is too far? If I give a player a text accent like
"You best slow down or you'll wipe out on a wall."
is that sacrilegious in a sense, or are people interested in giving games extra personality?

To answer that question, here's one in return: is the line above being spoken by someone, or is it just an instruction the game is giving you? If it's the latter, I feel it's generally best to be as straightforward as possible, without any embellishment. For example, this is fine for a generic message, from Google Translate:

"Be sure to slow down at key points so you don't hit a wall. Otherwise, it will be difficult to win."

If it was supposed to be given as advice (say, from a fellow racer or similar), I would phrase it as:

"You'll want to watch your speed when taking corners; it's hard to win if you keep smacking walls."

If it was said from an outside perspective (say, from a fan), I might use:

"I keep seeing racers wipe out 'cause they go round corners too quick - that's a formula for losing!"

niuus

Quote from: Robertmvsa on August 28, 2022, 09:09:31 AMHello all, I am new to the romhacking scene, but I have a passion for Choro Q games ever since I played Road Trip Adventure on PS2. I discovered that there was a PS1 game from the same director and it has the same feel as the other game, sadly it's only in Japanese and I only speak English.

I've translated the main menu only so far, just as a test to see if I can do it:





I am using a hex editor to look inside at the game files to edit the text. I've also used tools to edit the font graphic to include lowercase English characters, because by default only capitals were available and it looked like everything was shouting.
I am creating this thread for a few reasons more than just showing it off, but since I am new to romhacking I have a few things I wanted to open a discussion about.

    First of which is what kind of translation people generally prefer. This game has a lot of NPC dialogue because it's an RPG of sorts, and I am using google translate to accomplish this, which means if I translate something like:
"壁にぶつからないように、要所要所でちゃんと、減速することだ。でないと、入賞はむつかしいぞ。"
it outputs as:
"So as not to hit the wall, properly at the key points, to slow down. Otherwise, it will be difficult to win the prize."

For English speakers, it's not phrased very well. My curiosity comes with how to re-word it. Do players generally prefer if a translation is as close to the original as possible, or if I write it as something like,
"Slow down at corners to avoid crashing, otherwise you will have a hard time."
is that acceptable? How hardcore do people like translations to be usually? How far off the cuff is too far? If I give a player a text accent like
"You best slow down or you'll wipe out on a wall."
is that sacrilegious in a sense, or are people interested in giving games extra personality?


    Secondly, for the tech-savvy people in the audience, the third screenshot I posted you can see square does "Rvr" which is supposed to be reverse, or back up. In Japanese, this is "バック." Unfortunately, since I'm using a hex editor, I can only replace the Japanese characters with English ones. So a big hurdle I've encountered is I have to somehow explain "reverse" in 3 characters.

Is this a common problem with game translations? I've tried to explore options to allow me to expand how many bites the text file has to write more and it ends up breaking the text in the following lines. I assume the game reads a specific line of data for what to display there, and by extending the file, it mucks up where the location is of all other text.
Is there a way around this that I don't know about? Or do I just have to be super clever with my thesaurus?

Once in awhile there's a few 0000 bits following text and changing those seems to have no impact on the rom thankfully, so once in awhile I get thrown a bone and can have 1-2 characters extra. It gets real dicey when the player needs instruction or gets an item, but the description barely has enough characters to explain what it does. Another road block is off-road in Japanese is only a few characters, so I had to change "Off-Road tires" to "Dirt." So any assistance on this front would be appreciated.


    Finally, if there are any fans of the series to fans of this game, I'd love to chat to you about it. I haven't beaten it because of the language barrier, so even just people that hit be up for gameplay chat would be fun. I'm open to suggestions for edits and things I can edit in. I might end up changing the textures in-game for signs that aren't in English so you can better know what a building is before entering it too, but I don't know if that would be "ruining the original experience" or not.

I hope I haven't droned on too much and I'm excited to work on this when I have time. I have work so I can't do it 24/7 and there's a lot of text here to manually hex edit translate. I will try to check this thread and update it with any breakthroughs I have.
Nice! I hope you succeed.

KiryuRealty

Quote from: Robertmvsa on August 28, 2022, 09:09:31 AMHello all, I am new to the romhacking scene, but I have a passion for Choro Q games ever since I played Road Trip Adventure on PS2. I discovered that there was a PS1 game from the same director and it has the same feel as the other game, sadly it's only in Japanese and I only speak English.

I've translated the main menu only so far, just as a test to see if I can do it:





I am using a hex editor to look inside at the game files to edit the text. I've also used tools to edit the font graphic to include lowercase English characters, because by default only capitals were available and it looked like everything was shouting.
I am creating this thread for a few reasons more than just showing it off, but since I am new to romhacking I have a few things I wanted to open a discussion about.

    First of which is what kind of translation people generally prefer. This game has a lot of NPC dialogue because it's an RPG of sorts, and I am using google translate to accomplish this, which means if I translate something like:
"壁にぶつからないように、要所要所でちゃんと、減速することだ。でないと、入賞はむつかしいぞ。"
it outputs as:
"So as not to hit the wall, properly at the key points, to slow down. Otherwise, it will be difficult to win the prize."

For English speakers, it's not phrased very well. My curiosity comes with how to re-word it. Do players generally prefer if a translation is as close to the original as possible, or if I write it as something like,
"Slow down at corners to avoid crashing, otherwise you will have a hard time."
is that acceptable? How hardcore do people like translations to be usually? How far off the cuff is too far? If I give a player a text accent like
"You best slow down or you'll wipe out on a wall."
is that sacrilegious in a sense, or are people interested in giving games extra personality?


    Secondly, for the tech-savvy people in the audience, the third screenshot I posted you can see square does "Rvr" which is supposed to be reverse, or back up. In Japanese, this is "バック." Unfortunately, since I'm using a hex editor, I can only replace the Japanese characters with English ones. So a big hurdle I've encountered is I have to somehow explain "reverse" in 3 characters.

Is this a common problem with game translations? I've tried to explore options to allow me to expand how many bites the text file has to write more and it ends up breaking the text in the following lines. I assume the game reads a specific line of data for what to display there, and by extending the file, it mucks up where the location is of all other text.
Is there a way around this that I don't know about? Or do I just have to be super clever with my thesaurus?

Once in awhile there's a few 0000 bits following text and changing those seems to have no impact on the rom thankfully, so once in awhile I get thrown a bone and can have 1-2 characters extra. It gets real dicey when the player needs instruction or gets an item, but the description barely has enough characters to explain what it does. Another road block is off-road in Japanese is only a few characters, so I had to change "Off-Road tires" to "Dirt." So any assistance on this front would be appreciated.


    Finally, if there are any fans of the series to fans of this game, I'd love to chat to you about it. I haven't beaten it because of the language barrier, so even just people that hit be up for gameplay chat would be fun. I'm open to suggestions for edits and things I can edit in. I might end up changing the textures in-game for signs that aren't in English so you can better know what a building is before entering it too, but I don't know if that would be "ruining the original experience" or not.

I hope I haven't droned on too much and I'm excited to work on this when I have time. I have work so I can't do it 24/7 and there's a lot of text here to manually hex edit translate. I will try to check this thread and update it with any breakthroughs I have.

Both of your translations miss the most important part of the advice.

"You need to slow down at the right spot on curves, or you're going to end up hitting the wall!" would convey the critical part, that you have to brake at the right point to follow the optimum line of a turn and keep speed up coming out of the turn.

Robertmvsa

Quote from: KiryuRealty on September 01, 2022, 09:54:38 AMBoth of your translations miss the most important part of the advice.

"You need to slow down at the right spot on curves, or you're going to end up hitting the wall!" would convey the critical part, that you have to brake at the right point to follow the optimum line of a turn and keep speed up coming out of the turn.

Thanks for that actually, I'll make sure to double pay attention to what racing advice it's trying to give. I haven't actually begun translating dialogue.
My bigger question was just more so the way things are said. Based off of the text you sent,
"You need to slow down at the right spot on curves, or you're going to end up hitting the wall!"
vs
"Ya need to slow right down at the righty-righty spot on curves, or you'll be goin' right-smack into the wall!"
They both say the same thing, but one is in a 'redneck' accent. Since translating doesn't yield a lot of 'text emotion' is it preferred in the community to have everyone kind of speak the same way, or if it's a pick-up truck I can throw in 'redneck' flavour text to add to the comedy? Where's the line between original game accuracy and artistic power that most translators adhere to?

That being said, here's an update:




I've gotten to translate the main in-game shop, and translated one blob of text just as a testing ground to see how long it takes.
The issue I had mentioned above where sometimes I'm not allotted enough characters reared it's ugly head where you can see "Tire" in japanese is only 3 characters long, so I have to figure out how I want to handle that, and for now it's just "Tir." Same with "Engine" is only 5 characters in japanese so it's "Engin" for now.
I could slap in some new graphics for a "ir" letter so it's T-ir-e as 3 characters, the word would just look a little squished.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm super interested in making this good for everyone which is why I ask about how other translations usually handle things.

Felipefpl

Quote from: Robertmvsa on September 03, 2022, 01:39:07 PM

1st i wanna say: Kongrats on your project, keep up the good work.

2nd is a suggestion: you need to take care of those spaces that arent used in the dialog box. Make it filled with the words. ;)
Core i7 Celeron Sandy Bridge G460 1.8 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - Win7 x64 - Intel HD Graphics 2000


KiryuRealty

#6
Quote from: Robertmvsa on September 03, 2022, 01:39:07 PMThanks for that actually, I'll make sure to double pay attention to what racing advice it's trying to give. I haven't actually begun translating dialogue.
My bigger question was just more so the way things are said. Based off of the text you sent,
"You need to slow down at the right spot on curves, or you're going to end up hitting the wall!"
vs
"Ya need to slow right down at the righty-righty spot on curves, or you'll be goin' right-smack into the wall!"
They both say the same thing, but one is in a 'redneck' accent. Since translating doesn't yield a lot of 'text emotion' is it preferred in the community to have everyone kind of speak the same way, or if it's a pick-up truck I can throw in 'redneck' flavour text to add to the comedy? Where's the line between original game accuracy and artistic power that most translators adhere to?

That being said, here's an update:




I've gotten to translate the main in-game shop, and translated one blob of text just as a testing ground to see how long it takes.
The issue I had mentioned above where sometimes I'm not allotted enough characters reared it's ugly head where you can see "Tire" in japanese is only 3 characters long, so I have to figure out how I want to handle that, and for now it's just "Tir." Same with "Engine" is only 5 characters in japanese so it's "Engin" for now.
I could slap in some new graphics for a "ir" letter so it's T-ir-e as 3 characters, the word would just look a little squished.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm super interested in making this good for everyone which is why I ask about how other translations usually handle things.

You could always punch it up with a couple of flavour words instead of full-blown charicature, perhaps "Y'all gotta brake at the right time headin' inta the curves, or you'll smack right into them walls!"

Robertmvsa

Updates!

I've been working on more, I've mostly translated the first of 3 documents. They seem to be split up into gameplay, main dialogue, and secondary dialogue. I've come to know the hex code side of things more as I translate and recognize what causes a line break, choice popup, and such. Had a bit of fun by starting a race off of dialogue that shouldn't as a test for the hex code even.





The first image isn't a re-upload, I decided to make some Japanese characters into singular letters like "to" and "or" and in the case of only having 3 letters to describe tire, I made "ir" a single letter. It looks a little smooshed but I'll take readability over "tir."

The last image shows the stamps page and I still have a lot of work to do on those, probably the hardest part to translate. Most other lines of dialogue are set up as saying the whole phrase that I can then change. These stamp pages are set up on singular lines and because they're Japanese they're in opposite order, so I have to swip swap what lines say. I need to figure out still why there's a rogue S at the bottom there, might need to re-check all of the hex for the section.

Anyway, things are progressing, thanks for the messages people have given, the more comments the better I can make this.

EpicDave

I'm always excited for a new game to be translated from any of the awesome consoles I grew up with. Keep up the great work my dude!

LunaHydreigon

#9
Hey Robert! Keep up the good work!

Some Choro-Q fans reached out to me to contact you about the project! You might know me for the Choro-Q Works translation guide that's slowly being made on YouTube. We have some Japanese fans and faithful and passionate fans who'd like to help you out with the translations, would you like to work with everyone?
It would defo help with ye work and get more updates out here! Up to you. The link is on the Choro-Q Wiki/Fandom (https://choroq.fandom.com/wiki/Choro_Q_Wiki ) to our dedicated Choro-Q discord server. It's called Choro-Q Universe!

Let me know if you are struggling to find the link or isn't interested!
Regardless, again great work! I hope you keep going! :3