News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Author Topic: Just getting started on translation: tbl files and text anomalies?  (Read 1923 times)

neobium

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I'm just getting started on fiddling with translation, and I'd like to see if I can do simple customizations to learn how it works. Of the IPS files I have tried (for games I actually have), only one had readable text in it, but it had a strange anomaly where o was rendered as x, and y's are missing.... Can anyone tell me why? Examples:

It has been half a centur
mxved tx a space cxlxn
left xn their jxurne

This is from this translation: https://www.romhacking.net/translations/3470/
Using this editor on OSX: https://ridiculousfish.com/hexfiend/

Also - I watched a video in which it was explained that it would be necessary to create a table file for translations that don't show any readable text. Googling indicated most hex editors should work with table (.tbl) files. But the above one does not appear to? Anyone know a solution I could use?


FAST6191

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Re: Just getting started on translation: tbl files and text anomalies?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 05:37:45 pm »
First it should be noted IPS is a list of differences.

[facepalm worthy line]
....
Oh man

The .... part might well remain the same between games.

Anyway two bets.

1) Compression
2) It is not actually normal text as per the decode window of whatever hex editor you are using -- the whole point of table files is that games don't have to use the ASCII or whatever common format there is, and have been repeatedly observed to do their own thing for so long that it became a fundamental aspect of ROM hacking.
As it does not know what it is then such programs tend to render out the unknown character as a space/blank, a dot or something similar.

"Googling indicated most hex editors should work with table (.tbl) files."
They might be able to open one as a file but vanishingly few will load the tbl files as used around here (though they have a few "standards") and decode the hex accordingly in their text decode section. Indeed it is pretty much only ROM hacking editors that have useful support here, a few more mainstream ones might be able to be bashed into shape using a table file but that is a different matter and is not automatic in any instance I have seen. It could be that the one linked supports it (didn't mention it but it might be a less advertised thing).
Not sure what we are suggesting if you are not doing Windows these days. ROM hacking is still pretty much a Windows only affair, though it is not a terribly computer resources intensive hobby for the basics so you can get away with a lot here as far as limited virtual machines, cheap computers or old computers.

Psyklax

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Re: Just getting started on translation: tbl files and text anomalies?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 06:12:58 pm »
Right, I'll keep this as quick and simple as possible (some of which repeats what FAST6191 said).

IPS files are files which list differences. The format is simple: "go to this address, put these bytes there. Go to this address, put these bytes there. Go to..." and so on. I wouldn't advise reading the IPS file itself as it'll be a confusing mess. You'd be better off patching the actual ROM that it applies to and examine that instead.

Table files are simple lists to convert bytes in a file to what we want them to be when we see them. See, in a plain text file, the byte $41 is the letter A, and a lot of English language games stick to that. But often, old games don't do that. Japanese games obviously don't do that, because they're not in English. :D So a $41 could be a hiragana "ka" or something. So we write a table file that says "41=ka" and when we look in an editor we can see it properly. Then we put all the other letters in it.

Most hex editors do NOT use table files. WindHex32EX is one that I use, because it does take table files. You load a ROM, load one or two table files, and it lets you see what all those hex digits actually mean.

If you look in the patched ROM and still see weird things, it could be compression, but also could be because it uses non-ASCII encoding, which is why we use a table file. As also mentioned, ROM hacking is largely a Windows thing but, as I've said to others, just pull a Dell out of a dumpster and get to work. :) You don't exactly need a gaming PC to run an emulator.

One final thing, though: I wouldn't recommend learning the ropes by looking at other people's translations. I've never once examined anyone else's hacks internally, since they are, by their nature, hack jobs, and they'll be doing things in weird non-standard ways that probably makes sense to the hacker but not really to you. Better to stick with things written by the actual original programmers. But it's up to you. :)

343

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Re: Just getting started on translation: tbl files and text anomalies?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2019, 09:30:46 pm »
I took a look at the hack you refer to see what would happen, the easy answer is that the letter "o" is in the usual position of the letter "x" that's why you read it like:

It has been half a centur
mxved tx a space cxlxn
left xn their jxurne

What you have to do is complete the list of characters that are used in the game by comparing it with the bytes that the Hexagesimal program shows you.

Like this.



This tbl I share with you is incomplete (Is what I could do in 5 min break) so you must include the missing characters. like "' : ) ! ; "....etc

DOWNLOAD .TBL

that will help you to read the text of the game and translate to your native language.

PD: I forgot the numbers, but seems they start from 30=0 to 39=9