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Author Topic: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari  (Read 6866 times)

werewolfslayr925

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Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« on: May 31, 2017, 08:35:17 am »
I recently got a copy of the Japanese version of River City Ransom. I wanted to play the game with the original graphics/aesthetics, but my Japanese is elementary at best.

SO

As a pet project/dipping my toes into hacking waters, what would be the best way to go about translating the game? The actual translation of the words shouldn't be too difficult, especially considering there's already a translation off of which I can base some of the text. But what would be the best way to go about exchanging the translated text for the Japanese text already in the game?
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.

Psyklax

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 10:51:48 am »
Welcome to the forum. :) I can see you're new to this so I'll try to give a concise answer to your question.

First of all, "how do I translate a game" is a vague question with a thousand possible answers, so you're going to have start from the bottom with this one. Start from the beginners hacking guides in the database (I can't remember specific ones right now but there are a few good ones).

My first note to make: just because you want to translate a game doesn't mean it's a good one to start with. Some are relatively painless, while others can cause problems for years even for experts. Try not to be too disappointed if the game you want proves beyond your capabilities.

Second: it's a curious game choice you've made. I've not played RCR but I'm familiar with it, and the regional differences, while not small, don't seem enormous, although that's entirely up to you:
https://tcrf.net/River_City_Ransom#Regional_Differences

My question is: do you want a retranslation of the Japanese game, or is it just the graphics and esthetic, as you mentioned? It would probably be easy to just replace the costumes with those from the Japanese version, and arguably changing the translation in the US version would be easier than hacking the Japanese version.

Just a few points for you to consider there. Although people have translated games that already had a US release, the fact nobody has done it for this might make you think why. :) Again, there are perfectly good reasons why you might do it, just wondering what your goals might be. ;)

These are just my own thoughts, maybe others have their own thoughts?

werewolfslayr925

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 12:42:01 pm »
Hi, Psyklax! Thanks for the quick reply.

Quote
First of all, "how do I translate a game" is a vague question with a thousand possible answers, so you're going to have start from the bottom with this one. Start from the beginners hacking guides in the database (I can't remember specific ones right now but there are a few good ones).

And thanks for this lead! I found the resources in the "Getting Started" section of the site. Let's see if I can make heads/tails of the info there.

Quote
My first note to make: just because you want to translate a game doesn't mean it's a good one to start with. Some are relatively painless, while others can cause problems for years even for experts. Try not to be too disappointed if the game you want proves beyond your capabilities.

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to a be a bit ambitious when I start something new. I'll heed your advice and mentally prepare myself for the worst.

Quote
Second: it's a curious game choice you've made. I've not played RCR but I'm familiar with it, and the regional differences, while not small, don't seem enormous, although that's entirely up to you:
https://tcrf.net/River_City_Ransom#Regional_Differences

My question is: do you want a retranslation of the Japanese game, or is it just the graphics and esthetic, as you mentioned? It would probably be easy to just replace the costumes with those from the Japanese version, and arguably changing the translation in the US version would be easier than hacking the Japanese version.

The honest first answer as to why I picked this game is that I'm incredibly cheap, already have a copy of DNM, and don't want to pay for a copy of RCR. That might seem kinda dumb and amateurish, but it also provides an avenue to practice my Japanese, practice my translation skills (I legit enjoy studying translation and linguistics), and, again, at least get an idea of what ROM hacking is like. It would probably be easier to just change the look of certain things, yeah, but then I wouldn't have this opportunity to try something new.

Quote
Just a few points for you to consider there. Although people have translated games that already had a US release, the fact nobody has done it for this might make you think why. :) Again, there are perfectly good reasons why you might do it, just wondering what your goals might be. ;)

It makes sense that people usually steer clear of games that already have a decent/good/fun translation. I don't know if anyone would be willing to do a cosmetic change to RCR, though, so I thought "why not?"
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.

Jorpho

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 10:42:10 pm »
Would you perhaps be interested in looking at a different version of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari?

There are tools in the "Abandoned" section off to the left here for hacking the X68000 version, which is apparently substantially different.
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werewolfslayr925

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 01:15:50 pm »
In itself, I wouldn't mind once I got the hang of translation tools. However, I try not to work with games that I don't own/haven't ripped/dumped myself so that would be one hurdle. Another would be getting the tools to rip/dump the game and learning them. Again, I wouldn't mind doing the latter, but the former has too many legal bars to it. I'm sorry  :(

Edit: Okay, so I've learned a few things from this, but I can't get any hex editor to display all of the kana I typed into NJStar.  Some kana do show (mo, ya, yo, ra, ri, ru, re, and ro), but nearly all of the other kana are either punctuation or accented Roman characters. Again, this is only in various the hex editors. I'm also using the program that's supposed to enable the display of Japanese characters, but to no avail. Can anyone point me to a method to make the kana appear in a hex editor?

Edit2: So, I've tried making a table (I think) using TABlater and TAG and have tried to extract a script using textscan. The script comes out in a way that I didn't think it would (i.e. certain words I've found clearly in both the game and the hex editor do not show up in their respective lines indicated by the script). I even tried changing something in the script and reinserting it through Atlas but got some kind of error message about pointers. I don't think I'm cut out for this. Nevermind.

June 06, 2017, 10:35:10 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
*I hope I'm not breaking any rules here by double posting. I scanned the rules and, hopefully, this doesn't break the rule against thread necromancy. I do have news!*

Okay, so I got past my discouragement and feelings of defeat against this beast called ROMHacking and have been working more on the translation  ;D  I figured out that I have to change the actual images of the text in the game (had to read a few more tutorial documents before I found that out) and have successfully established an English alphabet in place of (most of) the Japanese syallabary. I'm having trouble with being able to use all of a line and am currently limiting the lines in my translation to the line lengths in the Japanese version, but perhaps I'll stumble upon a way to extend the lines beyond the text ending hex value. Even if I don't, it's something of a poetic challenge to try and make blocky English fit into the neat spaces of Japanese.

@Psyklax: Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. I remember them whenever I get stuck.

@Jorpho: I realized yesterday why you asked about the X68000 version: it's a whole lot more detailed and looks more interesting. I wish I had a copy that I could rip and work on, but it costs over $200. I'm sorry, but, unless I can get a copy for cheap, I'll have to sit that out  :(
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 10:35:10 am by werewolfslayr925 »
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.

Psyklax

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 05:04:20 am »
Games can put text in the ROM in many different ways. In text-heavy NES games it's quite common to use some kind of compression. If that's the case with DNM (I don't know, haven't checked) then you could be in for some headaches - which on your first project is something you can do without. ;)

As for viewing and editing text, I use two programs: WindHex32 EX, as it can display Shift-JIS text (good for games that use kanji, less important for kana-only games). It's great for typing in small chunks. I also use Thingy32, because WH32 seems to have trouble with writing bytes with more than one letter. Thingy is old and simple but it gets the job done - and you can select a section of the ROM to type into, so that you don't go over your limit. Also the dumping and inserting function of Thingy seems to work easier than in WH32, in my experience.

Of course neither is perfect, so I still like to use HxD, a general hex editor, as well. I probably use it more than the others, because sometimes you just need to do some hex tweaking.

Back to your project. You're entitled to your opinions, but I can't help feeling that only using ROMs you personally dumped is holding you back. I can't help feeling that for this project, simply pasting the graphics from DNM into RCR and calling it a day would suffice. Besides, if you wanted to make a retranslation, editing text that's ALREADY in English would be far easier than adapting Japanese, for a number of reasons. Again, it's all up to you. :)

tanookitoad979

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 09:39:14 pm »
Back to your project. You're entitled to your opinions, but I can't help feeling that only using ROMs you personally dumped is holding you back. I can't help feeling that for this project, simply pasting the graphics from DNM into RCR and calling it a day would suffice. Besides, if you wanted to make a retranslation, editing text that's ALREADY in English would be far easier than adapting Japanese, for a number of reasons. Again, it's all up to you. :)

Not necessarily true, as the way the U.S. version is handled, the characters pants are the wrong color and this extra palette change is shared by a majority of the characters. so copy pasting sprites while a bit more doable it's still got the issue of correcting the palette, also like mentioned before while the differences aren't THAT bad in terms of gameplay, I too wanted to approach this game since I personally can't stand the localization, especially after playing through RC:TR on 3DS

werewolfslayr925

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2017, 12:23:22 am »
Update: Still sticking with the project. It's coming along very slowly, but I chip away at it but by bit in my down time at work. The game does not use text compression—all the text is readily available in the hex code for editing—so much of it is just a matter of punching in numbers. One issue I've encountered (which, for now, I'm mostly just working around), is fitting the text in a natural way onto the screen. Sometimes a line break will be in a bit of an awkward place for English text, and I'll have to just work with it by applying muh poetry skillz. Anyone know a way to make a line longer without breaking the game/adding to its size?

Also, Psyklax, I'm not sure what the opinion of downloading ROMs is around here, but, even though it's a very off chance that I'd get in trouble, I'd prefer to stay on the right side of the law as much as possible when it comes to my games. I can legally copy games I own. I'd rather not work with a game for which I don't have a hard copy.
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.

SCO

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 01:08:34 am »
There is a version of this game on the x68k that might interest you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqvjGZlEXN0

It's supposedly a 'bit' different. More zones and some moves or something, don't remember well.

edit: https://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/563453-river-city-ransom/55515468

CapnCrunch

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 06:37:34 am »
Just curious if you're still working on this.  I was thinking about poking around in it myself to see what it would take.  I'm pretty inexperienced and it's been many years since I've done any rom hacking.  But, I was very excited about this... and I can't believe with the popularity of these games that this and the X68K versions don't yet have translations.

I am curious about one thing though - are the voiceovers displayed with text, or is it just pure voice?  I couldn't tell if the text box was ending before the characters were actually done talking or not.


werewolfslayr925

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Re: Translating Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 02:41:10 pm »
Just curious if you're still working on this.  I was thinking about poking around in it myself to see what it would take.  I'm pretty inexperienced and it's been many years since I've done any rom hacking.  But, I was very excited about this... and I can't believe with the popularity of these games that this and the X68K versions don't yet have translations.

I am curious about one thing though - are the voiceovers displayed with text, or is it just pure voice?  I couldn't tell if the text box was ending before the characters were actually done talking or not.

Yeah, my enthusiasm ran out for this one. Go ahead and take it up if you like. There are no voice-overs in the FamiCom version, though, so I'm not currently in a position to answer that question :P
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.