Shounen Ninja Sasuke is a neat little Super Famicom beat 'em up by SunSoft for one or two players. It has a "quest" mode that features saving and mild RPG elements (kind of like River City Ransom). There's also an "action" mode that strips all of that out and basically makes it an arcade game.
I've been interested in this game ever since I found out about it, but my Japanese knowledge is pretty limited and the game is fairly dialogue heavy for a brawler, so until recently I had only really played around in the first couple of screens. It seemed ripe for a fan translation, but as far as I can tell nobody's working on one, so I decided to take a stab at it myself. I've mainly just been getting things set up, figuring out how things work, and "translating" some things myself as a proof of concept. Ideally I'd like to find an actual translator to work on the script.
What I've Done So Far:Inserted a complete English font.
The game already had an all caps English font (actually two, one 8x8 and one 8x16). Everything else was (8x16) hiragana. The new font is kind of a custom hybrid of the existing all caps font (shortened vertically) and lowercase letters from some old computer font I can't remember the name of, plus some modifications of my own to tie it all together. I've also used some of the extra hiragana characters for some additional graphic elements like buttons on the equip screen.Expanded some stuff.
I didn't expand the ROM. there's actually quite a bit of empty space in there already. What I've done is expanded the dialogue boxes, reduced the line spacing, raised the character limit on item names, and figured out how to repoint everything.
The dialogue boxes (the ones with borders) used to hold two lines of twenty characters, for a total of forty. Now they can hold three lines of twenty-two, for a total of sixty-six. The narration boxes (borderless) could hold two lines of thirty, or sixty total. Now it's three lines for ninety total. I can also add more boxes if needed.
Item names were nine characters max. They can now be up to twelve.Increased the number of visible items in item menu/shops.
The reduced line spacing caused all of the items to be moved closer together. At that point I had to either find a way to space them back out, or find a way to increase the number of items loaded on screen at once. I went for the latter.Moved the little Ninjutsu balls in the status menu up.
This really isn't a big deal, but I'm totally psyched that I figured out how to do it. The little Ninjutsu ball icons are normally part of the 8x8 font, and they're locked to the tile grid so no matter where I put them they were either too low or too high. I ended up using the game's control codes to switch to the 16x8 font (only in the menu) which produced blank spaces because those characters weren't meant to be used. I found where the game defines which character corresponds to which byte, overwrote the graphics for two unused hiragana characters with new two-tile ninjutsu characters, and voila! Properly aligned balls!"Translated" all of the items and main menus.
This, while technically done, is still kind of a work in progress. Especially the item names.
There are special attacks called "Jutsus" that I'm really not sure what to do with. Rather than translating them directly I've sort of been naming them based on what they do. You can see a few of them in the screenshots. The one with the little log icon, for example is called "kawarimi no jutsu". When an enemy attacks you automatically quickly jump out of the way, leaving a log in your place. It basically lets you get hit once without taking damage. I'm currently calling it "Quick Change" because that's somewhat descriptive and fits within the character limit, but I'm not sure I'm happy with it. The other jutsus are the same way.
I've translated the food items ("Rice Ball" instead of "Onigiri", etc.) but I'm half-tempted to just use the Japanese names. They're Japanese foods, and it's a very Japan-themed game, after all. This might just be my inner weeb getting the best of me though.
There's probably other stuff to mention, but I feel like I'm already writing too much.
Stuff I still need to do:Find a translator.
I have dumped the script. Despite saying it's "dialogue heavy" it's not really that long. It's no RPG.
I'm not sure if I should make a separate post in the help wanted subforum or not. I made this post first because I got excited and wanted to blab about what I'm doing. If I can't find a translator I'll try my hand at it myself, but my script probably won't be great.Figure out the graphics compression.
This is going to be a tall order for me, and any insight is appreciated. The fonts and UI graphics are uncompressed, but just about everything else is compressed as far as I can tell. I've done some (very minor) ASM stuff to get some of my modifications working so I can mostly understand what's happening in the code, but working through and understanding a decompression routine is uncharted territory for me. Not to mention figuring out how to recompress. I'd like to at least change the title screen graphic. There are also a bunch of background elements with writing on them. I'm pretty sure the end credits are compressed as well. They use a different copy of the all caps English font, mixed with a bunch of Kanji that doesn't appear anywhere else. I'd like to romanize the names, and fix some spelling errors (like "EXECTIVE" instead of "EXECUTIVE"). I think both the graphics and tile map for the credits are compressed, and I don't know if they use the same routine.
Again, there are probably other things to mention, but this wall of text is long enough.