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Author Topic: Project "RE-Quest" - Mobile Script Ports for Dragon Warrior NES and SFC Remakes  (Read 569 times)


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So I thought it was about time I brought this into the Personal Projects section.

So, what is this?

I'm a Dragon Quest fan. Yeah I played the original Dragon Warrior for NES, but it wasn't until Square-Enix's recent releases and completely overhauled localization that really made me a hardcore Dragon Quest fan. Square-Enix released some decent remakes of the Erdrick trilogy (I-III) on Mobile devices based on the Super Famicom remakes (DQ I+II getting a bit more visual polish). The upside is that these featured a lush, extravagant translation that mixed the old school Olde English dialog of the NES games with a bit more flair and charm of Modern Dragon Quest releases. These releases are also consistent with other games that reference them directly like Dragon Quest Builders. The downside to these mobile exclusives are... well, they're exclusive to mobile devices, and from a technical standpoint... they're not the best. No controller support, stuck in portrait mode! Yuck! What if I just want to play the games the good ol' fashioned way?

And this is where PROJECT RE-QUEST comes in. Inspired by the likes of 121J and Chaos Rush and recently being able to extract the scripts from the three mobile games, I now have the means to port the scripts to the three Dragon Quest games.

So are you doing Dragon WARRIOR NES or the Dragon Warrior remakes on SFC?

I plan to do BOTH. While the NES versions are certainly dated, and the scripts are based on the remakes, I want to give people options. Sometimes you just want that good old broken NES difficulty and 8 bit graphics. I'm a bit of an amateur ROM Hacker though, so don't go expecting anything miraculous. I'll probably be using this thread to ask for advice and help for those willing to follow this thread.

What about Chicken Knife's Project? Isn't he doing the same thing?

We have similar goals and enjoy helping each other out where we can, but Chicken Knife plans to decensor and delocalize Dragon Warrior, making it closer to the Japanese version. I'm simply updating the script to make it better resemble modern Dragon Quest releases and make it so you can play Builders and go straight to Dragon Warrior and not feel a jarring difference in localization.

Puff Puff?

Oh yeah! You betcha ;)

So where am I at now? Well I'm finishing Dragon Warrior 1. Script is done, and with a DTE hack by Psyklax (just need a little help getting the DTE tables setup), we'll be able to get in the much beefier script. No screens yet, but to give you an idea, here's the opening dialog from the King from both versions for comparison

Opening dialog with the King

Dragon Warrior:

Descendant of Erdrick, listen now to my words

It is told that in ages past Erdrick fought demons with a Ball of Light

Then came the Dragonlord who stole the precious globe and hid it in the darkness

Now, ь, thou must help us recover the Ball of Light and restore peace to our land

The Dragonlord must be defeated

Take now whatever thou may find in these Treasure Chests to aid thee in thy quest

Then speak with the guards, for they have much knowledge that may aid thee

May the light shine upon thee, ь

Dragon Quest Mobile (sorry a lot of messy formatting from my script rip)

King: <3F<07! Scion of the bloodline of Erdrick, hero of legend! Long have I awaited thy coming!<1A<0C
<11King: In days of yore, thy revered ancestor did receive of the Almighty Goddess the Sphere of Light.<1A<0C
<11King: By its power was our world rid of the menace which did beset it.<1A<0C
<11King: Yet, alas, some few years past, there did arise a new threat—the Dragonlord.<1A<0C
<11King: With his cunning, he did steal away the Sphere of Light from us, plunging the land into darkness once more.<1A<0C
<11King: Should this state of affairs be suffered to continue, the night must surely take unrelenting hold, and our realm perish.<1A<0C
<11King: So I say unto thee, <07 of the bloodline of heroes, vanquish the accursed Dragonlord, and reclaim the Sphere of Light!<1A<0C
<11King: In the chests o'er yonder wilt thou find items to aid thee on thy quest. Take what thou wilt, with my blessing.<1A<0C
<11King: Partake thee also of the wisdom of those loyal subjects gathered here in my throne room.<1A<0C
<11King: Doubt not but that their knowledge will serve thee as well as any shield.<1A<0C
<11King: May the Goddess guide thee to victory, and return thee unto us ere long, brave <07!<0C

I do have screens of successful Item and Monster names hacked. A HUGE thanks to abw for helping me with those.

Fun fact, in the 1.0 version of the ROM, the battle dialog would use a special byte to add or omit an S in "Hits" if the number was greater than 1, and it turns out you can use it for other things too!

Hope to get this out soon!

Chicken Knife

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Great post, my man. It's lovely to see these projects coming together.

Your description of my version has a hell of a ring to it. I might have to steal it for the actual name... Dragon Quest Delocalized  :beer:

A new era for Dragon Quest draws near. Command?

« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 08:23:35 am by Chicken Knife »


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Encouraging yours and Chicken Knife's projects both 100%.
I gotta say I'm kind of conflicted about S-E's official DQ localisations though. On the one hand I think their alteration and puns and the heavy accents are delightful, their intention to punch up some otherwise very "standard" RPGs to get new western fans attention I think has been successful because it worked on me.

However... after finishing DQ1+2 on mobile I realized something sort of worrisome. Their decision to cling to the terms and names of the original NES Dragon Warrior localisations sort of hurt some of the lore of the game for me already. I'll give the biggest example of memory;
After beating DQ1 the whole epilogue as I recall tells about how the Descendant of Erdrick or DQ1 Hero goes on to marry the King Lorik's Daughter Gwaelin and start a new kingdom in a new country, feel-good ending!
Onto Dragon Quest 2 and it's many, many years after the ending of DQ1. You play as the descendant of the DQ1 Hero, the Prince of Midenhall. It turns out Midenhall is the castle that the DQ1 Hero built with Gwaelin in the ending that DQ1 spoke of, cool!. So as I'm adventuring I encountered something a little odd; an unremarkable location that serves as a cave that connects the northern landmass to the central landmass called "Gwaelin's Gate".
Huh. So DQ1 Hero's wife got something named after her, that's cool. But it also seems random? Like, why just a cave.. because you rescued her from a cave originally? But it's Gwaelin's Gate, not Gwaelin's Cave. This is what bothered me enough to look up the original japanese names for the locations and this is where I start getting pretty conflicted.

As it turns out Midenhall in the jp Dragon Quest is called Laurasia and in the jp version Gwaelin is known as Laura. So originally, the DQ1 Hero named his entire kingdom Laurasia after his wife Lady Laura and the localization just chose ignore this in favor of keeping the old NES names and just toss in some consolation alteration to some cave for the few characters of importance in DQ1. This was a big enough change for me to almost be put off by the choices of the localization, as nitpicky as it sounds, it made a difference to me to know the hero I played as loved his wife enough to name his whole kingdom after her and that's just not there in the modern DQ2 localization. If they were okay with doing this I do wonder what else I could be missing out on?
Am I making too big a deal out of this? I dunno but I felt compelled to share.

Ideally, I'd love for your hack to apply the modern localisations while having an option of keeping the japanese DQ names in tact for this reason but I have no idea the repercussions it could have on the entire script.

Chicken Knife

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@G061, it sounds like you lean more to my school of thought on this. The version of DW1 on my decensored thread ( uses all the Japanese naming conventions and is pretty much done except for the title screen and a couple graphical quibbles I'm still working on. If you want the modern English localization of spell names instead of the Japanese style ones I can easily switch that for you.

I definitely think Choppasmith brings up a valid point about how people should be able to play the recent official releases and then go back and experience versions of the original games that sync up to those releases. As I'm playing through XI right now, I can clearly see that the flowery language, heavy accents and the naming choices that started in PS2's VIII are not going away.

For Dragon Quest 2, I'm dying to get started on the script revisions that I intend with all those beautiful original names like Laurasia. However, both Choppasmith and I are going to be facing a major issue with a unique method of text compression that Psyklax and Alchemic just confirmed in DW2. See thread on that @ Discovering this was a little infuriating because there is a ton of free space within the rom that should have rendered text compression unnecessary. Here's to hoping that we can find a practical solution to working with the text.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 08:29:23 am by Chicken Knife »