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Author Topic: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects  (Read 156100 times)

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #360 on: July 03, 2021, 04:29:47 pm »
I wanted to get some input from the general public on a matter I've been thinking over for our DQI&II Super NES project: NPC dialogue formatting.

The first 4 NES dragon warrior localizations present dialogue within open and closed single quotes, which we maintained in the Delocalized versions, while the Japanese games precede the dialogue of anonymous speakers with an asterisk and a colon. For example:

*: Sample dialogue.

With more extended dialogue:

*: It tends to repeat
multiple times.
*: Even with the same
speaker.

From our understanding, this format really is a curio that's unique to Dragon Quest as far as RPG text formatting goes in Japan. I guess it just became a tradition after the first game, and we all know how Dragon Quest is with traditions.

A curious thing happened with the 1998 western localization of Dragon Warrior monsters: they included this preceding asterisk and colon in the English version. The Dragon Warrior Monsters localization struck us as fairly simplistic compared to the comprehensive approach of the previous localizations, so them preserving the *: seems to have possibly been haphazard in nature. Funnily enough, the tradition of using that format has been going on more or less ever since with western releases.

When working on our retranslation of Dragon Quest Monsters for GBC, I wasn't a fan of this format. It took a lot of space in lines of text where very little fit to begin with, and it just didn't feel like it had much of a purpose to me. There weren't necessarily any space issues as far as ROM data, but we really wanted the text fitting efficiently in boxes.

So that brings us to this next project of Dragon Quest I&II for Super NES. Here is where I'd like some input. I'm leaning toward again removing the asterisk and colons from the text, and really only designating speakers when there is dialogue between NPCs. We wouldn't announce speaker when an NPC announces who they are in their text, as the Japanese versions generally do. I like the idea of maintaining consistency with our prior releases, and I really don't like the idea of going back and changing them / dealing with space problems.

The thing that's kind of odd for us is that we have stayed pretty tight to the Japanese Dragon Quest releases in other regards, so continuing to drop the asterisk/colon seems a bit inconsistent. But to counter that, our real focus is the content of the dialogue, the namings, uncensoring graphics, etc. Having this kind of anonymous speaker designation, or differentiating text in general seems fairly pointless. If I check a cabinet, I think it's safe to assume that the cabinet isn't talking to me and I'm reading a 3rd person silent narrator. Also, the text sounds for speaking will be maintained as before.

So I thought I'd throw out this invitation to give us input as a "speak now or forever hold your peace".

Let us know your thoughts, and thank you for the support!


« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 06:21:44 pm by Chicken Knife »

lilpuddy31

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #361 on: July 03, 2021, 10:26:32 pm »
I always thought the asterisk was pointless, myself

Masaru

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #362 on: July 03, 2021, 10:53:19 pm »
If you want to be consistent with your project i don't have problem, but it's not the best idea either.

Something that you can do it's to make the asterisk and the speaker only appear once like the GBC versions of DQI&II did

Or remove it entirely but leave the speaker like the DQIII SNES translation did

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #363 on: July 04, 2021, 07:48:31 am »
If you want to be consistent with your project i don't have problem, but it's not the best idea either.
Yeah, the issue divides me too. Even if it's just a quirk, it's a Dragon Quest quirk. But going back and reworking the four previous translations would be hell. Consistency seems important here.

Or remove it entirely but leave the speaker like the DQIII SNES translation did
I'll check out their handling. But if I understand you correctly, by leaving the speaker designation in all cases, you'll end up with things like this made up example:

King of Portoga: I am the king of Portoga. Welcome!

Doesn't it seem like a redundancy when the individual's name is announced in their own text? And then we have the speaker designation appearing multiple times within groups of continuous strings even when there is no speaker change. Doesn't that seem messy?

I think the whole speaker designation idea works vastly better in later Dragon Quest games where you have the designation appearing as a fixed tab on top of the dialogue box. It stays put while the rest of the their text scrolls. Also, DQ9 for instance has a system where it appears in the text box itself, but new lines don't scroll up from the bottom like the earlier games do. Those options look more elegant, imo, but I don't see us ever getting to one of those games in the foreseeable future.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2021, 08:23:52 am by Chicken Knife »

RedDogs

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #364 on: July 07, 2021, 12:30:42 am »
After sampling some your other works, I'm super excited to see that your team is working on DQ1&2 SNES. The amount of polish you all put into your work is absolute professional quality work. Unlike that other patch recently released here.  Keep up the good work, looking forward to this

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #365 on: July 07, 2021, 09:08:48 am »
After sampling some your other works, I'm super excited to see that your team is working on DQ1&2 SNES. The amount of polish you all put into your work is absolute professional quality work. Unlike that other patch recently released here.  Keep up the good work, looking forward to this
Thank you for the kind words. I've had several people PM me lately with similar thoughts.

While others seem to prefer making superficial judgments and dismissing our translations as "vanity projects", it's nice to see that so many people are willing to get past their nostalgia and invest the time in assessing the quality of our work.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 09:16:11 am by Chicken Knife »

nejimakipiyo

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #366 on: July 07, 2021, 09:34:14 am »
After sampling some your other works, I'm super excited to see that your team is working on DQ1&2 SNES. The amount of polish you all put into your work is absolute professional quality work. Unlike that other patch recently released here.  Keep up the good work, looking forward to this

Thank you, RedDogs! We're just warming up right now, but hopefully we'll be in full swing soon and start working on this more diligently.

I wanted to get some input from the general public on a matter I've been thinking over for our DQI&II Super NES project: NPC dialogue formatting.

I may not count as general public for the purposes of this question, but since my thoughts have only been discussed with you in private I figured I may as well write it here, too.

I have nothing against the *: formatting per se, but my issue with implementing it is that doing so would create inconsistency within each game itself.

The Japanese games almost always designate a speaker. * takes the place of a name when the character's name is not known or non-existent. The *: isn't out of place when it appears in Japanese text, because players are used to seeing speaker designation.

If we were to implement the *:, but leave speaker designation out of places where you said (and I agree) it would be clunky, I think that would be messy as well. I much prefer our current method of implementing speaker designation only when it is necessary to do so, such as in multiple character dialogue that would result in confusion without speaker designation.

Unfortunately, this means passing up on a DQ quirk. But it's a small sacrifice to ultimately have better-flowing text, imo. Especially in games that have a limit of 18 characters per line.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #367 on: July 07, 2021, 09:51:09 am »
Unfortunately, this means passing up on a DQ quirk. But it's a small sacrifice to ultimately have better-flowing text, imo. Especially in games that have a limit of 18 characters per line.
That's where my head is at too. I just wanted people to have an opportunity to make some points that might influence us before we committed further to our current MO.

I had an interesting experience playing DQ9 the other day that touches on this matter. You have this prison break scene with 4 or 5 unnamed NPCs in continuous dialogue with each other, and they all were designated with *: as speaker. The only way you could sort of tell who was speaking was based on subtle camera movements, but I ended up losing track of who was saying what, as I expect most players would.

If we were retranslating DQ9 (which we probably never will), the way I would handle this would be giving general descriptions as speaker designations.

Martial Artist: sample text.
Priest: sample text.
Tough Guy: sample text.
Warrior: sample text.

I think this kind of thing would have solved the issue of players feeling lost in this dialogue. Conversely, removing speaker designation in instances where the player prompts the NPC text and the NPC announces who they are harms no one.

There are a few rare instances where we've taken a conservative approach to improving the core Japanese text (generally noted in our readme files), and I think that our approach to speaker designation is one of those improvements. Wherever there is conversational dialogue between NPCs in our existing translations, we've handled in a similar way.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 09:56:24 am by Chicken Knife »

tc

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #368 on: July 07, 2021, 11:36:48 am »
Thank you for the kind words. I've had several people PM me lately with similar thoughts.

While others seem to prefer making superficial judgments and dismissing our translations as "vanity projects", it's nice to see that so many people are willing to get past their nostalgia and invest the time in assessing the quality of our work.

It is amazing how divided the audience is. Square Enix for the most part has moved on. Modern material tends to disregard Dragon Warrior and its fans, at times simply not even acknowledging the previous translations existed.

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #369 on: July 07, 2021, 01:11:32 pm »
It is amazing how divided the audience is. Square Enix for the most part has moved on. Modern material tends to disregard Dragon Warrior and its fans, at times simply not even acknowledging the previous translations existed.
Yes, there are plenty of remaining steadfast Dragon Warrior fans, but they are in a minority. A few years ago, I was posting polls in the big Dragon Quest Facebook groups, and the majority of fans seem to be in full support of the contemporary localizations. You did have a vocal minority for the Warrior localizations. I guess the GBC localizations were their own thing as well. And now we've been introducing yet another localization approach into the mix, as we clearly didn't think that the fanbase was divided enough.  :laugh:

diversity of options > fan homogeny

Let SE go on with their current wildly adaptive approach, let our thing continue to be the tiny niche endeavor that it is. I'd rather fly under the radar than swim the sharks and get devoured.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 01:17:14 pm by Chicken Knife »

urufu

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #370 on: July 10, 2021, 01:56:44 pm »
Thank you for your great work.
I did Dragon Quest V translation many years ago and I feel always proud of what we did for DQ fans.

lilpuddy31

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #371 on: July 11, 2021, 09:10:26 pm »
If I may ask (and if this question was already answered I apologize),  but why keep the DW style title screens instead of recreating the DQ screens?

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #372 on: July 12, 2021, 09:17:49 am »
Thank you for your great work.
I did Dragon Quest V translation many years ago and I feel always proud of what we did for DQ fans.
Glad you have enjoyed our stuff. Would love to know which DQ V Translation you worked on and what your role was.

If I may ask (and if this question was already answered I apologize),  but why keep the DW style title screens instead of recreating the DQ screens?
This is a good question. Pretty sure I talked about it on one of these threads a couple years ago, but digging around for that is more effort than it's worth.

When I first started these these projects, changing the name with the original title screen was the extent of my technical ability (and I still required a fair amount of help.) At this point, if I was able to devote the requisite time and energy to swapping in the DQ1 and DQ2 Japanese title screens, I'm guessing it could be done. I think I would want these patches to always include the two options. The reason being that the western title sequence of DQ2 is a substantial upgrade to the Japanese one, and the beautiful western DQ3 title sequence compares favorably to the black screen with white text and no fanfare in the Japanese version. Since the Japanese title screen was cut due to severe space limitations, I'd probably need 3 versions with that game to satisfy everyone. Our existing modified western style version, the true black screen Japanese version, and finally something that approximates would could  have been had they done a title screen in Japan. A fair amount of work, and I'm slow with the technical stuff. Should this be a top priority item for us? Open to feedback.

At one point, I saw an image of a "might have been" Japanese DQ3 title screen made within the limitations of the NES graphics output. It looked really cool, and I've never found it again. Would love to track that down at some point.

As for DQ4, for the first time in the series, I feel like the western title screen is a major downgrade compared to the original. It's the beginning of a new trilogy, and I would *not* want to release a title screen for DQ4 in the western style.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 09:33:17 am by Chicken Knife »

lilpuddy31

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #373 on: July 12, 2021, 04:01:48 pm »
When I first started these these projects, changing the name with the original title screen was the extent of my technical ability (and I still required a fair amount of help.) At this point, if I was able to devote the requisite time and energy to swapping in the DQ1 and DQ2 Japanese title screens, I'm guessing it could be done. I think I would want these patches to always include the two options. The reason being that the western title sequence of DQ2 is a substantial upgrade to the Japanese one, and the beautiful western DQ3 title sequence compares favorably to the black screen with white text and no fanfare in the Japanese version. Since the Japanese title screen was cut due to severe space limitations, I'd probably need 3 versions with that game to satisfy everyone. Our existing modified western style version, the true black screen Japanese version, and finally something that approximates would could  have been had they done a title screen in Japan. A fair amount of work, and I'm slow with the technical stuff. Should this be a top priority item for us? Open to feedback.

At one point, I saw an image of a "might have been" Japanese DQ3 title screen made within the limitations of the NES graphics output. It looked really cool, and I've never found it again. Would love to track that down at some point.

As for DQ4, for the first time in the series, I feel like the western title screen is a major downgrade compared to the original. It's the beginning of a new trilogy, and I would *not* want to release a title screen for DQ4 in the western style.

That is all fair points, and considering these projects of yours are, for lack of a better term, a mixture of the localized and Japanese originals, I think the title screen in your releases are just fine.  I was just curious is all. I wouldn't worry about making them a priority or anything like that. Just concentrate on SNES DQ1+2  :laugh:

Choppasmith

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #374 on: July 13, 2021, 05:44:30 am »

As for DQ4, for the first time in the series, I feel like the western title screen is a major downgrade compared to the original. It's the beginning of a new trilogy, and I would *not* want to release a title screen for DQ4 in the western style.

Oh goodness yes, the DW4 title screen is awful. I don't think you'll find anyone who disagrees with you there. They must've been on some really tight constants or something.

While I think seeking out some expert help might be the only way (you could always try the help wanted forum). It COULD be just as easy, in theory, as comparing the NA and JP versions, finding where the logo graphics are relative to the castle and cloud graphics and maybe where the DQIV logo is in the JP version simply has all the tiles replaced with the DWIV logo. THEN do a trace log and find the ASM routine for the DQIV logo and replace the ASM for DWIV. That's still out if both our leagues, I fear hence why I said in theory. But then this game being so big, the graphics could be organized completely differently and could be programmed just as differently from the Japanese version as the DW1-3.

Basically what I'm saying is, it's probably the least changed title screen of the NES DQs so you have that going for you.

Edit: I was just comparing intros and they were WAYYYYY more different than I was remembering. I must've been thinking of DQV's intro with it slowly dropping in from the top. The JP intro just showed you a big sparkling IV on a black background and then cutting to the red sky with the full Dragon Quest IV logo while the US into has that ugly slab with the letters in Dragon Warrior revealing themselves before cutting to showing the TM and IV

For reference

US: https://youtu.be/yHNPFevdIUc
JP: https://youtu.be/aN9Upev4Sw8

Whoops, yeah that's much trickier than I thought. My best guess would be, assuming they're not shared with other map graphics. Remove the "slab" and have the tiles of the JP DQ logo reveal themselves than have it hard cut to showing the IV. That's my best idea.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 07:32:11 am by Choppasmith »

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #375 on: July 13, 2021, 09:09:43 am »
Whoops, yeah that's much trickier than I thought. My best guess would be, assuming they're not shared with other map graphics. Remove the "slab" and have the tiles of the JP DQ logo reveal themselves than have it hard cut to showing the IV. That's my best idea.
Would definitely seem like a lot of work since there are all these moving pieces involved and so much has to be changed. I wouldn't be happy leaving any of the inferior changes introduced in the western version. I'm particularly attached to the big, golden, sparkling IV in the J version. If we end up going with using the western version as a base, I feel like I'll need to spend ages essentially doing a light disassembly and mapping out everything related to the title sequence, and then replace all the western stuff with the Japanese stuff. Will the Japanese title sequence data fit into every place that it needs to in order to swap? Unlikely. The ROM banks in the western release of DQ4 are absolutely filled to the brim, and they are already using compression with the text.

Dracula X says he's working on a mapper conversion / expansion hack for DW4, so I'm not inclined to start pulling my hair out before he comes out with it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 02:28:12 pm by Chicken Knife »

Maidentree

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #376 on: July 13, 2021, 03:58:50 pm »
I also have a question regarding DW4; are you also gonna restore the Holy Water, the chapter title, chapter end screens and the ending cursive?

Chicken Knife

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #377 on: July 14, 2021, 07:30:33 am »
I'll try to revert as much of that stuff as I can. And using the Japanese version as a base isn't entirely off the table either.

The sheer volume of work in either case and the fact that my time is limited in general lately is what makes us prioritize something like SNES I&II instead.

I was just checking around regarding Holy Water. I'm seeing online that Torneko's wife sells it. Confusing, since I thought she only sold what you give her to sell, and then she switches up to running a vault.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 09:10:58 am by Chicken Knife »

Maidentree

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #378 on: July 14, 2021, 12:13:39 pm »
I was just checking around regarding Holy Water. I'm seeing online that Torneko's wife sells it? Confusing, since I thought she only sold what you give her to sell, and then she switches up to running a vault.

From what I can gather, Holy Water in DQIV not only damages enemies vulnerable to the Expel spell, but rather, any enemy, really.
Fairy Water in DWIV only damages enemies vulnerable to the Expel spell.

Haven't heard that about Torneko's wife selling Holy Water before (although that might be because I haven't ever finished Torneko's chapter whenever I got to it.)

jakofharts7

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Re: Dragon Quest Delocalized Projects
« Reply #379 on: July 14, 2021, 01:32:30 pm »
Chicken Kinfe and team:

I'm a looong-time lurker here (I joined this community just before Demi released the FF2j translation), and just wanted to pop out and say kudos to the masterful job you've done with the Dragon Quest 1 patch I'm playing through, and I'm looking forward to tackling 2 and 3 next. I had a question about DQ1:

The NA release of Dragon Warrior had a bug where the Fighter's Ring/Warrior Ring did nothing at all. Do you know a) if this bug was in the original Japanese release, b) is this bug present in the Delocalized DQ1, c) if so, do you have any thoughts/opinions on fixing it?

Thanks for all of the time/energy you've spent on this project!