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Author Topic: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation  (Read 4462 times)

FCandChill

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[Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« on: November 15, 2018, 12:32:36 am »
I'm working on a Swiss army knife utility to do translations, and my first test subject is Metal Slader Glory DX. The game is complicated so it was an obvious first choice. My goal is to have this game translated but to also have my utility undergo a stress test.

Here's a screenshot of my script management utility. You can search by menu name, script body text, and comments. It even includes a spellchecker.



And here's some sample screenshots when I insert the script:




Technical:
Here's what's done on the technical side.
  • The entire script and dictionary has been dumped and can be inserted. It is all managed in XML. The script dumper is simple to use and only requires one click of a BAT file. Once it has finished dumping you can load it into the script manager. When you want to insert the translation, you click another BAT file, and your text is inserted. All the script insertion and dumping data is in an XML file, so you don't need any technical expertise to translate.
  • I created an advanced utility that manages the original dialogue and translation. You have then side-by-side comparison.
  • I have a preview window so you can see how it looks like in-game. It removes all the action commands so you can focus on translating the dialogue. I decided not to code a bitmap display. Games are very different in how they draw.
  • There's tons of free space, so there's no concern about expanding the ROM.


What needs to be done: on the technical side:
  • Text indenting needs to be removed. The indenting takes up a lot of screen space.
  • The debug mode to be enabled. The debug password is the same as the NES original, but it redirects to first chapter instead of the debug mode. Judging by the script dump, the debug mode is far more advanced, with graphic previews and flag modifiers.
  • The game has two identical character graphical tables. One is in 2BPP and one appears to be decompressed in memory as 4BPP for the password screen only. I either need someone to load the 2BPP instead, or reverse engineering the compression. I can handling coding the reinsertion.

Additionally, I have some dissemblies I can provide to you for the dialogue engine.

Translation side:
  • I need someone or a group of people to translate the entire game.

Basically, I need hacking help (especially the first option) before the translation even starts. If no one offers a helping hand, I'll release the utilities to the public prematurely. Hopefully someone will find the utility useful for translating.

Zanemato

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 02:44:23 am »
The Super Famicom translation of that game is something I'd like to experience someday, I am very happy to see that someone is busy with it, I hope the English translation from the Nes will be able to be inserted somehow without major issues

Thanks again

FCandChill

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 06:30:17 pm »
The Super Famicom translation of that game is something I'd like to experience someday, I am very happy to see that someone is busy with it, I hope the English translation from the Nes will be able to be inserted somehow without major issues

Thanks again

Using the English translation script sounds like a good idea which I can't believe I haven't thought of before. I hope he's willing to work on the SNES version. I'll PM him once I change the program to read the NES version's script. Looking at the translated ROM and the original ... the NES game seems to use the same pointer format as the SNES version. It's the same length and uses the same type of bitpacking. The game for some reason reserves bits for dictionary length for the dialogue, even though they're zeroed out...

Pennywise

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2018, 12:23:11 pm »
At the moment, I'm not interested in doing the SNES version and probably won't be for several more years. I don't have the time to hack and translate the game the way that I would want to.

I'm not even sure if most of the NES script can be reused because I'm sure Yoshimiru made revisions to his script and IIRC the SNES script is twice the size of the NES script. It is not an easy undertaking to say the least.

mziab

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 01:39:31 pm »
In cases like this it'd be wise to use something like OmegaT and have the original NES script as a translation memory file. When properly used, the program can automatically handle identical matches (as well as duplicates) and help deal with fuzzy matches significantly quicker as well. It does far more than that, of course. While there is a learning curve, I personally can't see myself going back to a simple text editor or spreadsheet program for my translation purposes, even for smaller projects.

FCandChill

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 09:06:08 pm »
I'm not even sure if most of the NES script can be reused because I'm sure Yoshimiru made revisions to his script and IIRC the SNES script is twice the size of the NES script. It is not an easy undertaking to say the least.

In cases like this it'd be wise to use something like OmegaT and have the original NES script as a translation memory file. When properly used, the program can automatically handle identical matches (as well as duplicates) and help deal with fuzzy matches significantly quicker as well. It does far more than that, of course. While there is a learning curve, I personally can't see myself going back to a simple text editor or spreadsheet program for my translation purposes, even for smaller projects.

Thanks for the suggestions. However, I created a utility to spot lines I can reuse. However, I contacted Pennywise's translator and got no response. I contacted Her-Saki, and got a reply a few days ago. They're interested; they worked on an NES translation as well.

As for the hacking. It's all done... except for the VWF, which is beyond my skills; I learned ASM shortly after making this post.  There's a lot of VRAM to work with so it's doable. Justin3009 might help me out here.

Aside from enabling the debug menu, I successfully increased the text speed while making the voice sound effects play every other character print. I also disabled the indenting. Additionally, the password screen now displays English characters

tl;dr I did all the hacking and got a translator. Other than VWF hacking, no further assistance is needed.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 09:19:16 pm by FCandChill »

ichidoreichan

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 08:14:07 am »
Can this tool be used on Gameboy color games?

protossevo

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 12:11:26 pm »
I just discovered the NES translation today, back in the day, the NES version appeared in a game magazine and I was blown away by the pictures of it. By doing a research of the translation and the game, I came to know about this Snes port. I'm just wondering, the project still alive? It don't seem anyone with the skills for the tool responded (at least here, in the forum). I'm super happy to finally being playing the NES version, but for sure, I intend to play again, the Snes version, when a translation is released.

FCandChill

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Re: [Technical][Translator]Metal Slader DX Translation
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2021, 12:42:36 am »
I just discovered the NES translation today, back in the day, the NES version appeared in a game magazine and I was blown away by the pictures of it. By doing a research of the translation and the game, I came to know about this Snes port. I'm just wondering, the project still alive? It don't seem anyone with the skills for the tool responded (at least here, in the forum). I'm super happy to finally being playing the NES version, but for sure, I intend to play again, the Snes version, when a translation is released.

Sorry I didn't see this until now... This isn't the place to ask for project updates but whatever, here we go...

We switched gears and did the NES version. That translation is complete and will be released on the game's anniversary. This new translation sports a different translation from the existing one, faster text speed, and a new font.

I have a utility that ported a lot of identical lines to the SNES version. The SNES port features a lot of lines that were presumably cut from the NES version due to space constraints (it is called Director's Cut after all). Currently, the SNES script is being translated. Additionally, an MSU-1 hack was finished and will be released with the translation for those who prefer the NES version's soundtrack.