Turbografx rom hacking - Ninja Ryukenden (Gaiden) - font & text

Started by CapnCrunch, April 20, 2018, 09:40:58 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


It's been a LONG time since I've done any rom hacking, and even back in the day I wasn't all that great at it... but I found something interesting that I didn't think might require much work... but maybe I'm wrong about that.  I'm extremely rusty, so forgive me.

I was checking out Ninja Ryukenden (aka Ninja Gaiden) for PC Engine/Turbografx.  I found the font, but I'm not sure if it's compressed?  I assumed if it was compressed it wouldn't even be visible at all.  But it doesn't show properly in any of the formats.  You can see it the best at 1bpp 8x8.  It is stored vertically.  See it here:

You can definitely make out the English font.  After that definitely looks like the Japanese fonts, but those are 16x16 instead of 8x8 like the English is.  You can't make anything out in any other format.  Some have said PC Engine/Turbografx stored things differently and that may be why I can't see it properly.  But, YY-CHR has multiple PCE formats, none of which makes anything properly visible (in fact, not at all really).  I'm not sure if there's another program, or something that would let me see it properly?  I'm not sure if this is one of those rare fonts that's not stored in a normal size, like 7x8 or 15x16 or something like that.  Is there anything other than FEIDIAN that allows you to view unconventional tile sets? I'm in the process of getting that one set up, as it is written in PHP for whoever knows what reason (maybe there's a good reason but it seems really odd).

The interesting thing I found about this game is that it already has a complete English translation for the game included in it, uncompressed.  So I assume all it would take for this game is to add a 16x16 English font, then whatever is easiest - either repointing to the English text, or just overwriting the Japanese text.  Although, oddly, I think the Japanese text might be compressed even though the English isn't.  Unless the text is stored in a 2 byte pattern or somesuch, then I'm not sure how to even approach that.  And there might be some reformatting required to make the text fit, depending.  Obviously a 16x16 English font would look terrible, but I don't know if I have the skills to implement a 8x16 and/or VWF.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone might be able to shed some light on this since there's a lot less information on PC Engine rom hacking.  The PC Engine games I worked on back in the day didn't have any of these issues, so it is still new for me.  Ninja Gaiden was a great game series, this version is definitely better than the NES so I thought it would be cool to play it in English... even though it's not necessary.

Thanks for any help!

Well thanks to some help on the Discord, it was shared with me that there is a reason English is already in this game.  There's actually a "cheat code" to select the language.  So I guess now I might look at making a quick and dirty hack that enables English by default.  There's still the title screen and the intro screens (just showing the act name) that have Japanese graphics, but nothing really relevant.


I had a TurboGrafx but never played this particular version of the World's Greatest Game. Any chance you could hack it to remove that bizarre parallax effect in the background?


One thing I noticed last time I gave it a try...
how did I die multiple times to recoil from hitting an enemy... while having the Flame Wheel power?

EXPLAIN, Hudson Soft! :P
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018