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Author Topic: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation  (Read 964 times)

Psyklax

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Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« on: December 06, 2018, 04:49:34 am »
Hello there! This is a new thread of mine to replace the Help Wanted thread, which is how I got into this project in the first place:
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=27163.0
I figured Personal Projects is a better place to put this stuff.

I won't go into a great amount of detail at this stage because you can just read what I wrote in the other thread if you're interested in the work up to this point, but here's a couple of work-in-progress screenshots from that thread for you:


Now, the latest news. I was correct in my assumption that the decompression routine in the game would work in reverse if I made some minor modifications. I did a little test.

First I started the game in MEKA and left it up to the moment the first instruction in the decompression occurs, at which point I saved the state. Then I drew an 8x8 smiley face in Tile Molester and saved it as a file, then pasted the 32 bytes of the smiley face into the save state, in the position that the compressed graphics are put by the game. Then I opened MEKA again and told it to start at the end of those 32 bytes instead of the beginning. Then I just let the routine do its work and voila, I had my XORed graphics ready for compressing.

My work wasn't done, though. I had to make the four-byte header to go along with it, but fortunately it's quite simple: it's a 32-bit binary system (little-endian) that has a 0 if the byte is zero, and a 1 if it's not zero. This was as simple as making an OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet with the corresponding 32 bytes in a row, with some simple forumlae below that would be TRUE or FALSE if it's not equal to zero. Copy the results into Textpad, remove the spaces, convert the binary to hex, attach to the beginning of my 32 bytes, and finally remove all the zero bytes. At last, my 8x8 smiley face is ready!

I pasted it into the ROM in place of part of the title screen, and loaded the game. Sure enough, my smiley face looked fine. Sure, if I knew a bit about writing programs then I could write one to automate this whole process... but whatever, this works, and it's not too much effort. I'm just glad I've figured it out. Now I need to make a pretty title screen - which is not my forte at all, if you know my work. :D Anyone who wants to contribute is welcome to have a go.

So, what now? Well, I have to finish inserting all the story text that Filler translated, though I'll expand on it a little. And no, I don't need any proofreading - Filler and I are perfectly capable. ;)

The more I get into this project, the more challenges seem to emerge... but I think the end is in sight, so I'm gonna keep going. :D More news coming soon!

Orochi Kusanagi

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 06:00:38 pm »
I'm always a sucker for these mini game collection games, and it being based off of Shin-chan makes it better. Can't wait to see this one released, the work so far looks amazing.

I'm loving all the attention the game gear has been getting lately!

Psyklax

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 12:50:44 pm »
Update time. I've been moving fast on this one, and there isn't much left to do. The big thing for me was figuring out the compression. I've now translated the "Push Start" message on the title screen, which had been compressed. Aside from a couple of bits of graphical Japanese text, the final hurdle is the title screen. I've never been great at them, but I'll give it a shot and then I should be all done. I'll send the fruits of my labour over to Filler for approval first, of course. :)

I would post a screenshot... but I don't think there's much more substantial to post, really. ;)

filler

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 01:07:15 pm »
Not sure how far you are with the title screen but I heard from FlashPV on Twitter this morning that they might be up for taking a stab at it. You might want to reach out to them if you haven't heard from them already.

Also, I didn't realize but there are slightly different title screens dependent on the code you put in (I think). They're pictured at the start of this video. https://youtu.be/fE0HpNfXapk

Also, I advocate for "press start". :)

Psyklax

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 06:02:15 pm »
Not sure how far you are with the title screen but I heard from FlashPV on Twitter this morning that they might be up for taking a stab at it. You might want to reach out to them if you haven't heard from them already.

Also, I didn't realize but there are slightly different title screens dependent on the code you put in (I think). They're pictured at the start of this video. https://youtu.be/fE0HpNfXapk

You translated it, didn't you think what those secret button combos were all about...? ;)

Also, I advocate for "press start". :)

I'm sure you do, but that's one extra letter and I couldn't be bothered to get another letter out given the situation. :D If I have the inclination I might take another look and see if it's easy to do. But I haven't touched the rest of the title screen yet, so if someone (like that one you mentioned) wants to do it for me, then by all means (provided it is within the Game Gear's capabilities).

Cavery210

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 08:02:31 pm »
Any plans to make a gag dub patch where you make up the script? This IS Shin-chan after all?

filler

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 10:08:31 pm »
You translated it, didn't you think what those secret button combos were all about...? ;)

I'm (probably unsurprisingly) lazy about these things. :)

Any plans to make a gag dub patch where you make up the script? This IS Shin-chan after all?

I watched some of the dub back in the 00s when it was on Cartoon Network. Not as good as the VHS fansubs I used to watch, but still a lot of fun.

Psyklax

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 02:29:15 am »
Mini-update, to bump the thread a bit. :)

I got FlashPV's title screen which they shared on Twitter, and painstakingly redrew it into Tile Molester - I did have a PNG, but there were one or two colours that were not in the palette, so I figured it was safer to just redraw the whole thing. Plus, the tile order is a little jumbled in the ROM so I wanted to make sure it was a like-for-like replacement.

I'm nearly finished redrawing, just need to do the game's subtitle. Then it's a case of compressing the graphics and pasting them into the ROM, and the game will be 99% complete. This hack has been more work than I expected, but I'm glad the end is in sight, and I can get back to my own hacking. :D

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Re: Crayon Shin-chan Showdown! Quantum Panic!! English translation
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 07:31:45 pm »
Mini-update, to bump the thread a bit. :)

I got FlashPV's title screen which they shared on Twitter, and painstakingly redrew it into Tile Molester - I did have a PNG, but there were one or two colours that were not in the palette, so I figured it was safer to just redraw the whole thing. Plus, the tile order is a little jumbled in the ROM so I wanted to make sure it was a like-for-like replacement.

I'm nearly finished redrawing, just need to do the game's subtitle. Then it's a case of compressing the graphics and pasting them into the ROM, and the game will be 99% complete. This hack has been more work than I expected, but I'm glad the end is in sight, and I can get back to my own hacking. :D

If I haven't already said it, thanks for taking on this project. A lot of these Game Gear translation projects aren't going to ignite a huge fan response, but they are an important part of the system's library and I love seeing them hacked and translated. I can't wait to see this one finished and I'm glad to hear it's nearing completion. Speaking of your own hacking, any hints on what you may be getting back to? More Time Stranger?

Psyklax

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any hints on what you may be getting back to? More Time Stranger?

Well, there's a certain NES game that I was working on that you translated, and I never got round to finishing it, so... :) Plus I've got a fun little thing on the 3DO, which I was doing before you brought this game up. :D

Speaking of which... it's update time again, and my word, this is the game that keeps on giving...

First I thought I understood the compression with the 1bpp font. Then I thought I understood it with the title screen graphics. But the game had one last sting in the tail for me. See, I figured that I'd got things cracked: I took the new title screen tiles, went through the XOR routine that the game does, took out the zeroes, added the header, and figured that was that. But still it kept messing up, and I couldn't understand why. So I thought something else MUST be happening.

I went step by step through a trace log to see what I was missing. It turns out that there's one more step the game goes through: there are FOUR levels of compression, and there's a table with 2-bit values to tell the game which to use:

0   nothing but zeroes (LDIR blast direct to VRAM)
1   no compression (LDIR blast direct to VRAM, no 4-byte header)
2   partial compression (no XOR, only zeroes removed)
3   full compression (XOR and zeroes removed)

Now everything seems clear: not only do I have to think about using compression, but I also have to write this table as well. On the plus side, maybe I can just choose to use no compression and dump it all in there, though whether it'll actually fit is a good question. I'm not sure why the devs did this: surely all compression or no compression, but the fact that it has this system seems really quite sophisticated. But I'm very pleased that I've reverse engineered it. :)

For the last hour or so I've been going through the title screen again, this time comparing all three compression levels to see which one is best for each tile. Surprisingly it's a bit of a mix, so maybe this adaptive approach to compression isn't such a bad idea. Pity it would never work on the NES, but the SMS/GG is ideal for this. I'm most of the way down the screen and it's looking good (I'll save a screenshot for when I'm done - though it looks the same as FlashPV's picture on Twitter, so...). Not much more to do now!