News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: Un-Worked Designs: Working Designs minus bullshit difficulty (Latest: Lunar 2)  (Read 153002 times)

Kallisto

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 476
    • View Profile
Even Thousand Arms got messed with? Now you all are really surprising me.

vivify93

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1084
  • Guardian of Mystery
    • View Profile
Gonna try to finish up with the script corrections tonight (15 maps to go), then fix the handful of remaining gameplay/graphics changes (turns out LunarNET knew a couple things I didn't). After that I'll do a quick test run through the game, and hopefully then it'll be good to go.
Sounds great, I'm excited! :) Will you be implementing the new font in Lunar 2 as well?
All my life I've tried to fight what history has given me.

Supper

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • stargood
Sounds great, I'm excited! :) Will you be implementing the new font in Lunar 2 as well?

That's the plan. It'll take a bit more work because that game uses compressed fonts, for which I've written a decompressor but not yet a recompressor. Nothing too difficult, though. There are also a few other minor changes I missed in Eternal Blue that I'll fix too (like the guy who charges you 30s for information in the JP version but 500s in the US version).

Furluge

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Furluge's Depot
I didn't know about rental games being banned in Japan, though -- that's really nuts. Seems like Japanese law is way too corporate-friendly, at least when it comes to games.

Wait you seriously are not aware of this? Yeah game rentals are still illegal in Japan. Here is an article on it.

You were aware that it was a standard industry practice for the US releases of games to be altered to be harder right? One infamous example is Battletoads, but the entire video game industry did this at the time. If you weren't aware that might explain why you think this is a WD thing. Here is a post on NeoGAF all about it.

Have you been already noticed by senpai...?

It's funny how much hate torrent is coming your way from there about being a purist weaboo not understanding the unreachable secrets of the localisation craft, despite the patches still not including translation changes, or Vic Ireland himself admitting that Exile 2 and Lunar 2's balance changes were indeed a mistake, among other similar less direct comments explaining why they had to do these changes, not that they were good or improvements in any way (about Silhouette Mirage, Popful Mail, and other games).

He is getting a "hate torrent" not for the patch itself it is what he says in his opening, notes and other posts. If he was respectful to the original producer of the translation (You know the people who put their money where their mouth is and put in the work to bring the games over and do the voice acting in a time when that was a brand new thing.) no one would complain. As the old wisdom states: "Don't start none, won't be none."

So if you haven't heard the story by now, Working Designs was an American game publisher in the '90s that specialized in licensing niche Japanese games, totally rewriting their scripts to insert crude jokes and pop culture references, completely wrecking their difficulty by jacking up all the enemies' stats and adding other cheap impediments, then releasing them in the US. (If you like the sound of that, these patches probably aren't for you.)

Most of the games they put out are sufficiently esoteric that no one's interested in doing a retranslation, so often, these butchered versions are the only way to play the games in English. That seemed like a real shame to me, so lately I've been working on this little project to restore the gameplay from the Japanese versions of these games. Since I'm not a translator, I can't do anything about the made-up dialogue, but I'm aiming to at least get the difficulty back to what it was intended to be (and for Lunar, to get the script in lower case!).

Personally I actually like the patches themselves. The sole problem is Supper's attitude coupled with what seems to be a lack of knowledge of the history of the industry at this time. I can also honestly see wanting to go back and do a more literal translation too, but you can't forget this game is over 20 years old and that the industry was different then. Shitting all over a team made up of enthusiasts who poured their soul into bringing over games they wanted to see in the US, anime games from before Pokemon made anime mainstream in the US, because they don't meet your standards 20 years later is not cool.

The funny thing is, again, Victor Ireland is not some cloistered figure in some unassailable corporate ivory tower. He just has a small team and is not hard to contact. If Supper were actually respectful he would probably be getting heartfelt support from the original translator. He could actually get some answers to his questions but since he is so focused on hating them it is never going to happen.

If the OP wasn't enough here are a few other egregious entries from the patch notes.

Quote from: Unworked Designs Popful Mail Patch v2 Notes
Other changes in the US version (e.g. the new title screen music, using C instead of Start to open the menu, the horrible horrible made-up script) have been kept.

Quote from: Unworked Designs Lunar 2 Patch v2 Notes
This is a patch that fixes many issues introduced in the US version of the Sega CD game Lunar: Eternal Blue by its publisher, Working Designs. As you're probably aware if you're reading this, the US release of the game was heavily bastardized;

...

* The opening cutscene, which was mildly censored for the US version, has been replaced with its Japanese version. This has the not-unpleasant side effect of removing the obnoxious Working Designs credits. (They're still in the ending.)(Ed: Cheering about removing the original localizers/voice actors credits from the game is kind of disrespectful. Given the tone about the removal in the opening it is ambiguous if Supper's comment about the ending credits is and admission to assure the reader that credit is given at the end, or disappointment at not being able to remove it at the end.)

Incidentally the Vay patch notes are fine. I can't find anything to complain about. I imagine Supper got more diplomatic after realizing he was upsetting a lot of people.

My main point here is that the rewritten script might be subjectively "better" or "worse" than the original, depending on your tastes, but it's just that -- rewritten. It's not presenting the Japanese more effectively, it's making up something new. And do see Vic's insane defense of the changes, as quoted above (from a Gaijinworks thread about these very hacks, I might add).

For anyone who wants some context you can read the thread yourself. (He is talking about Lunar being in our future btw, not Popful Mail.) Victor is pretty frank about the changes and why they occured. Probably the most relevant quote.

Quote from: Victor Ireland 1-3-2017
My localization philosophy has been evolving over the last 25 years! You have to remember, when I started, there were no real guidelines - you had pretty much direct translations, or...nothing. Localizing content the way I did it was pretty revolutionary, and while it was over-the-top initially (again, nothing to use as a guide in the beginning), it's evolved over time. That said, almost everyone else doing Jrpgs headed my direction to varying degrees once I laid it all down and we started releasing games localized in a very different way from what was out back then. The rep for Game Arts said it best one of the times he was visiting. He said, "For such a small company, you cast a long shadow."

LUNAR PSX translations were based on the SEGA CD version to a point. LUNAR 2 was supposed to be Zach writing it, but I ended up re-writing quite a bit of what he did, because he had just broken up with one of the other employees at WD and wrote the female characters (most notably Jessica) like total bitches and sex objects, which was wildly inappropriate. Then I had to finish what was left (while recording in the studio, too), because when the text was supposed to be done, he wasn't even close, making excuses about computer crashes, etc that were total BS. It's also the reason Nall is talking about stuff that isn't there in the PSX version of LUNAR 2 in the cave. That was copied verbatim from the SEGA CD version by Zach and missed in the rush to rewrite/finish the text by me. It was really a terrible last 1/4 of that project.

But yes, please keep insulting him by taking one quote out of a full conversation and calling him insane. That will make things better.

If anyone is interested in comparing the JP/EN scripts for themself, I can upload my dialogue extraction tools.

Or for those who do not read Japanese the Lunar changes can be found below.

Lunar The Silver Star English<>Japanese differences Compilation
Lunar Eternal Blue English<>Japanese differences Compilation
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete English<>Japanese differences Compilation
Lunar2 Eternal Blue Complete English<>Japanese differences Compilation
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 06:58:36 pm by Furluge »
----- Furluge
Trust him, has has a fancy hat

MadoKage

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Most of the patches works on Wii-Mednafen and Genesis GX Plus (Genesis Emulator for Wii)

The only problem I have is Lunar Eternal Blue, in the crystal cutscene, when the screen fades to black and shows the moon, it does some strange loop and it desyncs through the whole cutscene

this doesn't happen on Fusion

Supper

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
    • stargood
Just over a month after Eternal Blue, The Silver Star is ready to roll.

Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD) -- patch v0 (2/18/17)

Tested all the way through and should work fine. Since there's so much text, though, it's infeasible for me to check every single conversation for text box overflows and other issues. If anything goes wrong, let me know.
Changes:
Spoiler:
* All enemies have their stats restored to their original, lower amounts from the Japanese version. Note that in a rarity for a Working Designs release, only six enemies were changed, mostly bosses.
* Shrine donations were raised to 100s each in the US version; they're now 10s, as in the JP version. It still takes ten donations to get the bonus song, regardless of version.
* In the US version, donations to the shrine near the Red Dragon Cave were mistakenly made to give the player money instead of taking it away. This has been fixed.
* The US version modified the very end of the game to make Alex take extremely high damage from Luna's lightning blasts unless the player uses the Alex's Harp item. This has been restored to the Japanese behavior, where he always takes the reduced amount of damage.
* All hexagrams and pentagrams, which were removed from the US version at Sega of America's behest, have been restored. This includes the icons for the Light Barrier and Power Barrier items, as well as the various teleportation circles throughout the game.
* Xenobia's nude battle graphics have been restored.
* The brief nude shot of Luna in the ending was given a washed-out palette in the US version; it's been reverted to the original one.
* Though not technically a "restoration", all text has been converted to proper mixed case instead of all caps, and has been proofread to remove the most egregious errors.
* Related to the above, the original English font had very poor proportioning that made upper case and lower case letters look very awkward together. This patch tweaks the font to hopefully make it easier on the eyes.

In case anyone missed my earlier post, you'll notice I haven't changed the cutscene subtitles (they're still in all caps, or missing entirely in voiced scenes). Those are a major headache to edit, so I haven't bothered with them yet. I may add them in a later version of the patch.

GHANMI: I decided to go ahead and release this as-is for now. If you get the font from Grandia, please do send it my way so I can update the patch to better match it.

Most of the patches works on Wii-Mednafen and Genesis GX Plus (Genesis Emulator for Wii)

The only problem I have is Lunar Eternal Blue, in the crystal cutscene, when the screen fades to black and shows the moon, it does some strange loop and it desyncs through the whole cutscene

this doesn't happen on Fusion

Hmm. Well, I don't have a real Sega CD to test on, but in lieu of that I'd expect Fusion to be the most accurate (I know many Gens derivatives will outright freeze during some Eternal Blue cutscenes). For the intro cutscene, I really did nothing except copy over the files from the JP version, which I wouldn't expect it to cause a subtle issue like that. I don't know if I can do much about this issue, but thanks for letting me know anyways.

Midna

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 703
  • Resident Panel de Pon Nut
    • View Profile

It's possible to be appreciative and critical of someone at the same time. I understand that Panel de Pon pretty much had to be Yoshi-fied to be brought to the US at all back in the mid-'90s, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Likewise--yes, it's possible that we were only able to get Lunar internationally at all because of WD's changes, but by today's standards, the translations (more like localizations) are pretty butchered. Whether or not they're still enjoyable is a matter of taste, but in my view, the purpose of a translation is to ensure the essence of the original script is kept intact in the target language, and in that regard WD failed. Lunar has some funny moments to begin with, but it's largely a serious RPG, and lines like "gruel, gruel, the magical soup, the more you eat the more you poop" have no business being in its script. To put it in incredibly nerdy terms, Working Designs shot for Woolsey and landed in J2E.

Also, Battletoads was a Rare (based in the UK) production, and most of their works for the NES were intended for a North American audience to begin with since the NES faced much stiffer competition from home computers like the Commodore 64 and Spectrum in Europe than in the US. It was actually made easier for the Japanese release. Come back when you know what you're talking about.


Kallisto

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 476
    • View Profile
Oo..there was a female half nude monster in the SegaCD version of Lunar 1? Just how different was this game compared to the remakes!?

Piotyr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I'm useful, honest!
    • View Profile
Silver Stars plot was changed A LOT in the remake. I suggest playing the Sega CD version over the remake any day.

Digitsie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
In case anyone missed my earlier post, you'll notice I haven't changed the cutscene subtitles (they're still in all caps, or missing entirely in voiced scenes). Those are a major headache to edit, so I haven't bothered with them yet. I may add them in a later version of the patch.

Being hearing impaired, lack of subtitles in voiced scenes annoy the heck out of me too. I don't know how you're gonna add them in though.

DantzB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
-Snip-

Jesus, did really have to white knight Victor like that? *Some* of the things they did were great *at the time*, the rest have aged like milk in the sun.

If he wants to be critical of the quality of the games, he's not wrong too. A lot of the stuff Wrecking Designs did is objectively bad, thus them earning the name.

Being hearing impaired, lack of subtitles in voiced scenes annoy the heck out of me too. I don't know how you're gonna add them in though.

I'm pretty sure it's possible, a lot of translations have been able to pull it off. I don't get why they didn't do it in the first place though, with all the empty space on the screen they had to use properly. 

Piotyr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I'm useful, honest!
    • View Profile
Jesus, did really have to white knight Victor like that? *Some* of the things they did were great *at the time*, the rest have aged like milk in the sun.

If he wants to be critical of the quality of the games, he's not wrong too. A lot of the stuff Wrecking Designs did is objectively bad, thus them earning the name.

Heck that quote from Victor even says when they started it was a new thing and not everything they did was the right thing to do.

DantzB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Heck that quote from Victor even says when they started it was a new thing and not everything they did was the right thing to do.

Yeah, and they were great for taking the first steps in doing that. I dunno, the impression I've always gotten from Ireland is that he can be a pretentious wanker.

I've heard a bit of drama and stuff he's said over the years that makes him seem like that. Especially with the Silver Star remake on PSP.

The blatant white knighting is what bothers me the most though, as if Ireland is going to spontaneously burst into tears because somebody harshly criticized his work.   

Furluge

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Furluge's Depot
Also, Battletoads was a Rare (based in the UK) production.

Looking back on my exact text I realize I wasn't precise in my wording, so to be clear. Yes I know Rare is in the UK and yes the US version came out first. It would have been more correct to say it was standard industry practice to release more difficult versions to the US market than using the Japanese market than to say altered. That is not debatable. The US Battletoads is objectively harder than the JP one. The same as JP Contra Hard Crops has life bars where the US is one hit kill, Ninja Gaiden 3 JP has unlimited continues where US has 3, etc. My poor word choice doesn't change the point being made. Sorry if that made it more confusing to understand.

It's possible to be appreciative and critical of someone at the same time.

I am going to stop you right there. I know your opinion and I understand it, but go back and actually read what I am pointing out, are those the statements of someone appreciative or respectful who just doesn't think the localization meets their standards 20 years later? Should we start cursing Kensuke Tanabe, Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi for turning Doki-Doki Panic into Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US? You have to understand when you are inflammatory about something a lot of people like a lot you are going to attract negativity.

Oo..there was a female half nude monster in the SegaCD version of Lunar 1? Just how different was this game compared to the remakes!?

There are a lot of changes in the remake, IMHO for the better overall. Lunar TSS compared to EB Studio Alex really solidified the core gameplay ideas of Lunar in EB. It established the inventory and equipment system and restorative item balance and various common ranges like enemy zone spells and the different strengths of the dragon spells. These improvements carry over to SSSC. In TSS Your inventory window is Nall's inventory and carrying items into battle requires equipping them into an equipment slot but you have many many more slots and a lot more armor pieces. There are althena herbs you get for free from Ramus end game that max heal the whole party on use. The remake adds a lot more about the four heroes and Ghaleon's motives. Both are worth playing and there is no excuse not to but there is no reason to feel like you missed out with the remake vs the original. The Story in TSS is still quite good though IIRC SSSC does some editing to tighten up the narrative where I think TSS got a bit rambly at the end. Please forgive me if I do not remember as well I have not played TSS again since 1995.

The blatant white knighting is what bothers me the most though, as if Ireland is going to spontaneously burst into tears because somebody harshly criticized his work.   

Since you aren't catching the nuiance of what I have been trying to say, here is a TL;DR just for you

TL;DR: Yeah I understand why you might not like the translation 20 years later but that doesn't mean you need to be an asshole about it.

(Or I dunno DantzB, maybe you think removing stuff like credits from someone's work is cool or something?)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 05:44:19 pm by Furluge »
----- Furluge
Trust him, has has a fancy hat

Sara-chan

  • RHDN Patreon Supporter!
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 90
  • Divine Blade
    • View Profile
    • Sara's Homepage
When it comes to Lunar... I know a lot of people prefer TSS over SSSC, but I admittedly know I'd personally really love to see the Complete versions get proper treatment too. I quite like the Sega CD games, but they aren't the ones that got me into the series originally.

You know, balance changes are such an interesting topic to me in general when comparing regional versions of games. I've sometimes had suggestions made about (mostly very minor) balance changes for things I've worked on professionally, though rarely did anything make it in. When I worked on Bunny Must Die's official English PC release, though, it was really interesting because I was handed a version with way different balance and various changes compared to the version people knew to begin with, even before the localization process begin.

I wonder how many times stuff like that ended up being a case of that? It certainly has been the case many times, for games that were basically "further finished" for their overseas releases. I find it fascinating.

Edit: vvv Sort of! The PS4 version of Bunny Must Die had a lot of the changes that had been made in the version I worked on, including the Arranged Soundtrack I personally got approval for and directed! Thing is, it also had way, way more changes, too, and it didn't use the English translation I'd worked on at all, opting for a brand-new one instead that has... a much different angle to it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 05:58:22 pm by Sara-chan »
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly.
Isn't that crazy?

Piotyr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I'm useful, honest!
    • View Profile
TL;DR: Yeah I understand why you might not like the translation 20 years later but that doesn't mean you need to be an asshole about it.
Once you put something up for sale you lose any right to have your feelings protected in this sort of thing.
People paid for Lunar and got fart jokes, we are allowed to call it what it is, a bastardization. If this was a fan translation I could see how you would want us to be more respectful since it was done using someones free time but this was his job. I don't care if it was one of the first, I don't care if it paved the way for the future, in the end it is a bad translation and I will gladly call it like I see it.
I cut him some slack but I don't cut his work the same slack.

You know, balance changes are such an interesting topic to me in general when comparing regional versions of games. I've sometimes had suggestions made about (mostly very minor) balance changes for things I've worked on professionally, though rarely did anything make it in. When I worked on Bunny Must Die's official English PC release, though, it was really interesting because I was handed a version with way different balance and various changes compared to the version people knew to begin with, even before the localization process begin.

I wonder how many times stuff like that ended up being a case of that? It certainly has been the case many times, for games that were basically "further finished" for their overseas releases. I find it fascinating.

A lot of games get this but then they are back ported to the Japanese side as a "International" version or some such. Did this happen for any of your projects?

Furluge

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Furluge's Depot
Once you put something up for sale you lose any right to have your feelings protected in this sort of thing.
People paid for Lunar and got fart jokes, we are allowed to call it what it is, a bastardization. If this was a fan translation I could see how you would want us to be more respectful since it was done using someones free time but this was his job. I don't care if it was one of the first, I don't care if it paved the way for the future, in the end it is a bad translation and I will gladly call it like I see it.
I cut him some slack but I don't cut his work the same slack.

Well then if you are going to be hateful you should not be surprised when you deservedly get hate back in kind.
----- Furluge
Trust him, has has a fancy hat

Spooniest

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3133
  • Ain't got no berf cer-fi-ti-cate on me now
    • View Profile
Vic Ireland is probably glad he can safely ignore Lunar: The Silver Star at this point. If you told him this was happening, he might take issue with VA credits being removed, Furluge, however, I do not believe he would make a point of taking any kind of action or speaking on the matter at all.

To be honest with you, the VAs themselves might not mind their names being taken off of it...it is not as though it was a high-profile job.

You seem as a person who views the world through the lens of the video gaming industry a lot, if you wouldn't mind my putting so fine a point on it. The gaming industry is very ...hmm... outsider, I would call it. Like what they call "outsider art."

...I lost my train of thought again. Thanks for Lunar 1 Supper, you rule, don't cuss Vic Ireland it's upsetting Furluge
I never wanted to work in a pet shop, you know. I wanted to be...a lumberjack.

DantzB

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Since you aren't catching the nuiance of what I have been trying to say, here is a TL;DR just for you

TL;DR: Yeah I understand why you might not like the translation 20 years later but that doesn't mean you need to be an asshole about it.

(Or I dunno DantzB, maybe you think removing stuff like credits from someone's work is cool or something?)

Tl;dr, you're butthurt over something 99%, that even give a shit about this in the first place, thinks is bad. Shitty localization is shitty localization. Mario 2 = good localization, Yakuza 3 =  shitty, and various games in between with varying offences.


And about the credits, I think it's a little funky but who really cares (besides you?) People who've already played Lunar are these patches main audience and I bet most don't even give a shit in the first place.

And just skimming through the thread, I don't see the "hate" that Supper is getting, just you ranting and others discussing and disagreeing things normally.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 07:07:40 pm by DantzB »

Piotyr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I'm useful, honest!
    • View Profile
Tl;dr, you're butthurt over something 99%, that even give a shit about this in the first place, thinks is bad. Shitty localization is shitty localization. Mario 2 = good localization, Yakuza 3 =  shitty, and various games in between with varying offences.


And about the credits, I think it's a little funky but who the hell really cares (besides you?) People who've already played Lunar are these patches main audience and I bet most don't even give a shit in the first place.

No need to get rude.
Also Mario 2 is more of a remake than a localization, just like the wonderboy in monster land localization that change all the characters. Hell they ported Mario 2 back to japan as "Mario USA", not many people mention that when flaunting their knowledge of Doki Doki Panic :P.