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46 OkuMen - PC-98 Translations

Started by hollowaytape, March 08, 2017, 09:45:31 PM

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Here's the fun thing about ripping any kind of images from PC-98 games, pretty much every game from different publishers uses a different and most of the time proprietary image format. Hell, sometimes even games from the same publisher as well, so there's no great way to or single tool that will be able to get those specific files out of each game. That being said, there are some options that might help you with certain specific games/types.

I'm going to assume you know how to use EditDisk or ND to get your images off the hard disk or floppy disk image files in the first place. If not, you'll need one or both of those. Once there, you've got a couple of options to actually view those image files outside of their games.

One pretty great tool is known as MLD. It's an executable that you run in DOS in your PC-98 emulator of choice. The basic usage is "mld -c -k filename.ext". -c clears the screen before displaying the file, and -k waits for a key input before moving to the next file (hint: you can use * as a wildcard and say stuff like *.bmp to make it show all of the *.bmp files in the specific folder). There's a lot of supported files in there, so your best bet is to open up the MLDMAN.txt file and look through there. It has a list of the supported files and filetypes.

That won't show you everything, unfortunately though. Your next option is to try to find a Susie Plugin for the images/archives that games support. Most Susie Plugins are for things like VNs, I've found. They weren't super widely supported, but that didn't stop a bunch of people from writing plugins for different image formats. Basically, it defines how to view an image for a program that supports the plugin type. A number of image viewers that work on modern computers support Susie Plugins (Massigra is one to try).

As for where to find Susie Plugins, I've got a pretty huge archive of them but it's not ordered very well and I don't feel like distributing them, but you can find a lot of them on Vector, which is a treasure trove of old software.

All that to say, there's no one tool that can do that job for you on this one, really. If none of the above work you can always find out which file is the title screen and replace that with another image file from the same game and make the game display it for you instead of the title screen. We've done that for a number of games now.


Additionally, I don't have any secret internal tools for extracting images from the games we've worked on. It's a lot easier to write an image encoder than a decoder, so I've never written one. I've used the replace-the-title-screen method for any graphics I needed to extract for edits, nothing more sophisticated than that.

I'm definitely interested in seeing more Japanese PC stuff on TSR though, so I'm glad you're working on it! I have a bunch of Last Armageddon sprites extracted which I need to put in a sheet and submit one of these days...
46 OkuMen's PC-98 romhacker.
Finished: E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution | Rusty | CRW: Metal Jacket


Quote from: kuoushi on September 28, 2017, 04:12:42 PM

And here's a link to the two year anniversary blog post.

Thanks for following our progress with things, hope to have more patches out before the end of the year!

I've been reading that blog post above and I'd like to know one thing. What text/image editing software do you guys use to translate and export the PC-98 game manuals into English language files?

Addendum: Also I've found out about Crimson III and its PC-98 port after checking KingMike's recent work on Crimson I on MSX. He still needs help with the translation on that if anyone in this team wishes to look into that. Crimson III was released on MSX2 and PC-88 as well as PC-98. It looks cool as and has got those gothic monster designs going for it.
Interested in it?


The biggest roadblock to Crimson 1 is figuring out how the font gets into VRAM initially. I have documented the text print routine and see where it copies font characters from its storage in VRAM to the screen display.
(since it uses ASCII but doesn't have a full ASCII font)
I have used blueMSX but I don't think I can easily trace VRAM writes?
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018


Quote from: ObiKKa on October 04, 2017, 06:50:04 PM
What text/image editing software do you guys use to translate and export the PC-98 game manuals into English language files?

Mostly we use Photoshop. Log (who handled the manuals for CRW and Rusty, as well as some scan cleanup and layout adjustments for EVO's manual that you see in the fully finished version) and I used to do scanlation together a long time ago, so a lot of the techniques you'd use in scanlation (like fixing levels, etc) are used to clean up a lot of the images, and then the text is just typeset onto the pages after the Japanese text has been removed. Log also uses one of those fancy tablets to help with redrawing and fixing up images as well. Sometimes when the manuals are simpler, we can generally just create a page template and use that with the English text. Also, we use Google to OCR the manuals so it's easier to translate them in general. Works pretty well.

When we need color images and more complex pages done, we will generally ask SkyeWelse (who does all of our in-game graphics as well) to handle that and he's going to use Photoshop as well.

After all of that is done, we create a PDF file containing each of the pages and that's the end of the process.

Oh, and SkyeWelse usually has or obtains physical copies of the games we work on, so we get nice, high resolution scans to work from.

Quote from: ObiKKa on October 04, 2017, 06:50:04 PM
Addendum: Also I've found out about Crimson III and its PC-98 port after checking KingMike's recent work on Crimson I on MSX. He still needs help with the translation on that if anyone in this team wishes to look into that. Crimson III was released on MSX2 and PC-88 as well as PC-98. It looks cool as and has got those gothic monster designs going for it.
Interested in it?

Unfortunately we've got a lot on our plate, and when it comes to translation I'm barely keeping up with our current projects since real work has been hitting my time pretty hard lately. Can't offer much help anywhere, to be perfectly honest. I do quite like some of those designs in Crimson III though. I'll probably look into it and see if it belongs on our candidates list or not.


Quote from: ObiKKa on April 04, 2017, 04:58:38 PM
Ah, well, that takes Dragon Knight 4 (The uncensored PC-98 version) out of the pool, which is bad luck as I'm now pretty keen on the series.

We (Nebulous Translations) are working on it. Don't hold your breath yet though, it has a book-size script, so it will take a while to complete that translation, not to mention the testing process. I do believe it has more text than all the 3 earlier games combined. As you mentioned, this is the only uncensored version out there. All of the others lack hentai, and there are more differences it would seem - for instance, the PSX version is the most difficult, whereas the PC version has 3D graphics (albeit of rather poor quality).


So we're not totally dead yet. Appareden's just sucking a lot of time. We did just post a progress update on our site though so if you're interested in what we've been up to head on over here:


Excellent news for the upcoming future  :woot!:


I'm so excited to hear that you guys are working on Different Realm. Glodia games were a huge part of my childhood and I've pretty much resigned to not being able to share some of my favorite games with my English speaking friends because most of them haven't received any translations. Good luck!


Mentioned it a few times in this thread probably, but Glodia's my favorite developer on these old Japanese PC systems. Every game I've seen of theirs had a lot of care put into them for practically every facet of development you can think of, from programming to manuals and art design. Just a really solid developer who never really got a chance outside of Japan.

It's going to take us a long time to get to Different Realm out to the public though, as it has a lot of text (approximately all of our current projects combined) and we're probably going to fit in a couple of smaller projects between Appareden and it. One of the sad parts about announcing it so early, but it's good to let people know we are working on it. I wouldn't expect it for another couple of years depending on motivation and free time.

Magma MK-II

Did something happen with with official page? It's returning a 404 error.


Site seems to be working fine for me. Not sure why you're having problems.


So we've been keeping things active kind of behind the scenes. If you've been following me or hollowaytape on Twitter or you've starred our github you'll see that we've been making progress.

On the translation front: Appareden's draft is complete. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done on it, but my main goals are to do a consistency/sanity check first and make sure everything's in the right place, and then do a proofreading pass to make sure it actually sounds good. We've recently switched to a more collaborative platform than Google Sheets that's actually specifically for translating stuff called Smartcat, so we're expecting to make decent progress going forward, time permitting obviously. I still have to translate 4 poems from the game that I've been procrastinating on more than the script, but I'll get to those soon.

On the hacking front: Hollowaytape is actually narrowing in on a Pachy98 1.0 release, which will include a method of generating a config JSON as well as all of the required patch files for a given project automatically by just putting the original disk image and the patched disk image into a command-line parameter. It's not perfect and won't cover all of the cool cases that Pachy98 can support, but if you've just got a very basic patch for a PC-98 game you want to make, it should make that almost painless. For Appareden though, he just recently finished his first full playthrough of the game in English. Still a lot of small bugs to be squashed, and we even ran into an emulation bug involving NP2 FMGEN that we've managed to fix (it involves a screenshake right before the last boss), but it does work perfectly in SL9821 and NP21/W. Still confirming Anex86 and T-98 Next.

That all being said, we're hoping to fix the remaining bugs, get the rest of the text into the game, then starting our vaguely external testing (this is new for us, it was usually all internal). One of the last things that we're going to probably be dealing with is getting the images done. Manual and artbook will likely be much delayed this time around, sadly. Are we going to do it? Yep. But our image guy is pretty busy living a cool life, and that's a thing to be happy for him about.

Overall, we're pretty pleased with where the game's sitting currently, and progress is moving forward where we can make time for it. Can't give you a release date for the patch or anything, but just checking back in to give a status update.


First of all I want to thank you for Appareden project, I'm looking forward to playing it. Also thanks for considering Elmknight, Illusion City, Libros de Chilam Balam, Paracelsus no Maken, Yougekitai Jashin Koumaroku. I have few suggestions of potential projects, it would be cool if you could consider them  :)

- Giten Megami Tensei ( - it's maybe not the best game in the series but it would be great to see it translated, especially that nowadays almost every major game in the series is available in English.
- Eiyuu Shigan Gal Act Heroism ( - it looks good and it's from Micro Cabin so it should be fun to play.
- Manji Psy Yuuki ( - it looks good and gives me some Earthbound vibes.
- Hokkaidou Rensa Satsujin Jiken ( - I'm aware of your stance on adventure games but you should give it a chance. It's spiritual sequel to Portopia Serial Murder Case and second game in Yuji Horii's mystery games trilogy. It's also important from historical point of view, because it popularized command selection system which became standard gameplay mechanic in late 80s/early 90s Japanese adventure games. This Login Disk&Book Series version is remake that is exclusive for PC98 and probably best version available.

Other users mentioned Jesus 2, Makyouden and Tokyo Twilight Busters. I also would like to see them translated to English (also Misty Blue would be nice pick and tribute to early days of Enix) but as I said above, I understand your stance on adventure games. Thanks for your hard work, I hope that your group will inspire other people to search for games outside 8/16 bit systems because there is a lot of cool obscure stuff on Japanese computers and PS1/PS2 era consoles. Sometimes I feel like almost no one cares about them and I'm like the only person interested in such stuff.


Appareden patch don't work for me
i install python but it syntax error...


How about What's Michael?
From Makoto Kobayashi's manga and anime about (multiple versions of) a mischievous orange cat.


Quote from: crackwindobe on October 16, 2021, 08:55:45 AM
Appareden patch don't work for me
i install python but it syntax error...
Why don't you write what that syntax error says?
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Any plans for the action game "Edge"?