Dragon Warrior Monsters is a game I've loved since childhood, so naturally it would be the one game I would want to use when I take my baby steps at hacking. Over the last few months I've posted some questions on the forum but now that my hack is almost ready for release - pending a playtest or two - I wanted to make a specific project thread to share it with the community.
My main goal for this hack was essentially to fix the awkward English. It started out as a wish to restore the humour of jokes that were translated too literally, and fix a sign in the early half of the game that made no sense. The little wish then evolved into an ambition to decensor the alcohol and 'Puff puff' references that the official localization covered up, as well as fix the many, many instances of poor wording and improper punctuation, and even a few typos!
My approach to editing the script of Dragon Warrior Monsters wasn't as intensive as my work with Chicken Knife on the Dragon Quest Delocalized series... mainly because I'm doing everything byte by byte in WindHex for this one! But I consistently checked the translation of each and every line in the English translation against the original Japanese to verify accuracy, and Chicken Knife helped a lot with rewriting major boss speeches and tweaking other text as well.
Here are just a few examples of things I've changed.
The weird sign - official translation (top) and my translation (bottom)
Restoration of one of many puns - official translation (top) and my translation (bottom)
Decensorship - official translation (top) and my translation (bottom)
Minor tweak to monster names - official translation (top) and my translation (bottom)
And I'll post one of my favourite boss speeches in the game, that Chicken Knife and I worked hard on getting just right.
Official:"How do you do? I am the guardian here. My name is Durran.
Hmm. You have good eyes. You're with pretty good monsters!
I see you're a somebody! I wonder if you're good enough to fight me.
Let me see how you fight. Come on out! My servants!
Here, fight to your heart's content!
Ha ha ha! You defeated them easily.
Forgive me for having you fight with weaklings.
The next one is a pretty tough one.
It's a swordman who wandered in search of the best sword in the world and..
at last came to me!
Let me introduce him to you. He's the one who dedicated his soul to me...
and he's the strongest in all the world, Terry!
Come on! Terry! Fight to your heart's content!
Show him how strong you are!
Ha ha ha! How easily you defeated such a brutal opponent!!
You're not bad! You're my kind of fighter.
To have such a fighter... so near.
...thrilling!! Want a real thrill? Fight me!
Satisfy my blood lust! Taste my steel! Fight!"
Our translation:"Pleased to meet you. I am Durran, the lord here.
Ah... What a discerning eye. Your monsters are quite impressive!
You are clearly one of great power.
Will you now fight me and show me your power?
First, let's test your skill. Come, my servants!
No need to hold back!
Muahahaha! You defeated them easily.
You must forgive me for making you fight weaklings.
Next up is a tougher foe.
A swordsman who wandered the world in search of the strongest sword...
and came at last to me.
Come, my servant!
Now, be introduced to he who offered up his soul to me.
Here is the world's strongest swordsman, Terry!
Well, Terry, no need to hold back. Show this boy your power!
Muahahaha! Another one defeated!
You bring me such delight!
Oh, how I quiver! I tremble with such a strong foe before me!
My blood boils... my body throbs...
But your blood will now gush forth. Your body will be torn asunder!"
That's all of the previews! I'm really excited about releasing this soon, and I hope this post catches some more interest as well.
I do have a few more goals for the hack that won't be included in its first publication, but will hopefully be present in future updates as I learn more and expand my skills as a hacker. Those goals are:
1) Rewriting the monster, item, and spell list to reflect Delocalized naming convention. This will be an optional patch, for those who want to play with an improved translation but retain familiar monster and spell names for ease of using guides (or for nostalgia). But maybe I'll make it default and create an optional patch to revert. Entirely depends on how satisfied I am with it, as redoing the list comes with a challenge - the monsters, spells, and item names have a character limit of 9. That may force some compromises.
2) A complete overhaul of the script, which will require me to learn and become comfortable with extraction and insertion. I haven't put in serious time to learning that yet, and won't be able to for a while as I have some other non-hacking related projects on my plate, as well as continuing to translate and play test our Delocalized games.
3) I think it would be cool to change the title screen to that of the Japanese version so that the game could be called Dragon Quest Monsters. Chicken Knife attempted this, but unfortunately didn't get anywhere with it due to complications.