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Author Topic: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation - v0.2.0  (Read 8624 times)

Grungi

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Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation - v0.2.0
« on: April 29, 2020, 08:39:46 am »
LATEST RELEASE : 0.2.0 - Sasuke joins the party!


If you find an issue, or have remarks, please comment on this thread, or open an issue on GitHub!

Previous releases



Hi all!

Long time lurker, first real post (outside of asking what was up with another attempt at this game in 2017 ^^; )

I have been working on and off on understanding the GameBoy RPG Jungle Wars, with the aim of finally being able to translate this game. It was one of my very first JRPGs, and beating it without understanding a word was quite the challenge at the time.

I figured a thread was in order, as I know KingMike had plans to translate the game (at the time when I asked), and so thought that posting updates could be interesting! I am not trying to step on anyone's toes, I just really want this one game translated. Also, I am not a native English speaker, nor am I good in Japanese, so for now my bar is set at "understandable meaning", but I will be looking at editing the script and polishing the translation down the line.

Anyway, on to the status of the project:
  • The ROM has been extended. This was the biggest hurdle in enabling any kind of translation, and I recently was able to replace some of the code fetching text to add custom routines that let the English script be stored in a whole bunch of extra banks.
  • An English font has been added, containing upper/lowercase and a few punctuation marks.
  • I have a dump of most, if not all of the script, stored in a YAML file, and tools to merge files in case multiple people want to contribute parts of the translation.
  • I am working through the game in order, since all pointers to the text are embedded in the code, and currently I still need to know where those pointers are to be able to change them to use in the re-pointing code.
  • Most of the first town is translated, including a bunch of UI lines, but the combat UI is still far from done, as well as items/enemy/character names.

Here are some gifs and screens of the project at time of writing (courtesy of PyBoy):

                                                           
 


My plan as far as next steps are:
  • Clean up the Git repository hosting some of my files for wider consumption.
  • Find a good way to share the translation file with any interested parties (as I reached out to at least one other Jungle Wars fan, and in the meantime you can check it out at https://github.com/grungi-ankhfire/gbromhack/blob/master/scripts/jw_translation.yaml)
  • Once there is a more sizable (~1h of gameplay give or take), start sharing patches for testing
  • Continue translation of the script
  • Investigate how to properly handle item names. If anyone has any recommendation on that, I would be very curious to discuss this.
  • Post regular updates here as a way to stay motivated as it is my first ROM hack!

Cannot wait to make progress on this!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 05:27:34 pm by Grungi »

ArkthePieKing

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2020, 05:38:23 pm »
I totally mean this as a compliment, there's no way you're not a native English speaker. Your English is *excellent*. Also this game looks cute and I look forward to a translation! Best of luck!

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 06:14:43 am »
Thank you so much, that means a lot! ^^

Pennywise

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 03:51:01 pm »
Looks good, keep it up.

One of the issues you've probably run into is space restrictions in the menus. You'll probably want to expand those menus as necessary and rework everything.



That's how I handled text with speaker names, which I think worked out well.

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 05:34:18 pm »
@Pennywise : Thanks for the encouragement! It is true that menus are by far the most complex part, I am still working on understanding the code behind them, and actually your screenshot gave me an idea to maybe help with some of the space issues: there is indeed a blank row of tile between each text (for aesthetic reasons, and apparently that is where they add the diacritic marks, I suppose it must have been pretty common in Japanese games).

So as you did with the speaker name, I might be able to fit item or enemy names on two lines... Thanks for the heads-up in any case!

PurpleFrog

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 08:37:31 pm »
Just wanted to chime in and say best of luck! It's always nice to see gameboy games being translated nowadays :)

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2020, 04:44:58 am »
Thanks a lot PurpleFrog! :)

And small status update:

I have been working on the menu system, reading the code and seeing how windows are loaded. I succeeded in repointing windows in a crude way, but it is not yet sufficient to properly rework the systems to accommodate longer names and such. But it is progress, and hopefully I am one or two breakthroughs away from figuring this out.

In the meantime, script translation has been progressing, as I also got some help from a fellow forum member. So that is good too :)

I will post some additional screenshots once I can get a cool shot of a remodeled menu or something!

cccmar

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2020, 08:58:24 am »
If you end up needing testers or additional script editing, I'd love to help. Actually, you kinda beat me and someone else to this project, since we were planning to potentially translate Jungle Wars after some other pending projects - but now that you're on it, I guess I can mostly offer that kind of help/support. :laugh:

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2020, 10:19:41 am »
@ccmar This is great to read! And sorry for beating you to the punch then ^^;

I will definitely want/need/greatly appreciate any and all help with this. While I am realizing that the technical aspect might be hard to share (I am writing a lot of relatively niche Python scripts...), I am trying to document a lot of what I am finding about the game, and I would happily share that, in addition to help on the script itself.

As I said in the original post, I am making sure at least a couple of things are fixed before I make it easy to share what I already have in a more user-friendly form, so if you have any pointers on how to do that in a way that is easy and relatively standard (do people usually just post an IPS/other patch? Something else?), I am also listening. :D

cccmar

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2020, 11:22:49 am »
Yup, usually it's an IPS/BPS (look up the "beat" patcher) patch for games from that general era, though of course it depends on the system. I'd also come up with a readme file to document some of the more interesting aspects of the translation/hacking process for sure, but it seems that you've got that covered. Not everyone reads those, but I personally like doing that. It's always interesting to see what trials and tribulations the author/s had to go through to get the game out. :D Either way, good luck to you, and if you end up needing help with what I'd mentioned I should be around here somewhere. :thumbsup:

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2020, 04:49:06 pm »
Some good news!

The script is progressing at a very good pace, and in the meantime, as I had said I am working to understand the game's UI system.

And on that front, after a breakthrough today, here are two comparison shots between the first attempt at translating some of the UI and the most recent changes. On the surface, not much difference, buuuut...





So now, the size of the boxes can be changed, it takes only a few guesses to adapt the choice cursor's position, and more text can be added to the boxes. This is all really nice to see, and only two things remain to be done, as far as I can see (aka, before some weird issue shows up):

  • As I am re-pointing all the boxes, going through the game is necessary to find a few bits and pieces to make sure everything works. Time consuming, but always neat because you see progress happen that way.
  • One piece of the puzzle I am missing relates to the clearing of boxes when they close. Interestingly, text boxes in this game are defined by a 6-byte header defining width, height (in tiles), bottom-right corner VRAM address, and top-left corner VRAM address. My guess was that these values, which are getting stored in RAM, were also used to check which parts of the screen should be cleared, but it is apparently not enough. Somehow, the game draws some garbage when clearing a box with modified dimensions. So I am still looking into that.

Even if the second issue subsist, once the main interfaces have been adapted to fit English text better, it will probably be a good time to release a first public patch to let people try the beginning of the game. Looking forward to that!

ArkthePieKing

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2020, 06:48:05 pm »
Dang, you're blazing through this! Keep up the good work!

stratoform

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2020, 06:57:15 pm »
Your self-progress is encouraging! With a good project like this one is turning out, there's always someone around to ask for help when it counts. Looking forward to the news. That's satisfying to read itself. ;)

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2020, 08:10:08 am »
@ArkthePieKing

Thanks! I do anticipate some tricky edge cases, but hopefully by that point I understand enough to solve them :D

@stratoform

Thank you as well for the kind words! Hopefully this stays entertaining, and I will definitely ask for help if I do get stumped ;)

Mattiac

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2020, 04:08:06 pm »
Great progress, Grungi-san! ^_^ There should be a comma sign after "morning" so it should read "Good morning, Boy!". Will you then translate Jungle Wars 2 for SNES?
Please translate Lady Stalker for SNES!

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2020, 04:19:15 pm »
@Mattiac Thanks! I added the comma, good catch!

As far as JW2 goes, it will be worth at least looking at what could be done, but I am still very new, so while the GameBoy, and more specifically this game are super familiar, SNES hacking would be a totally different beast. So we will see, I do really want to play the second game as well :D

i.m.gibbon

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2020, 05:25:50 pm »
Oh my goodness I own this game! It's one of a handful of RPGs done by the poorly-documented team that made Lufia: Ruins of Lore. They also did a rather interesting SFC RPG titled The Last Battle which I also own and have found basically zero info on online.

Thanks so much for translating this! I'm only just getting into romhacking myself but this was one of the titles I wanted to tackle some day and it warms my heart to see that someone else has heard of this and cares enough to work on it :D

goldenband

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2020, 09:43:25 pm »
Great to see such high-quality work, and always great to see more Game Boy hackers/localizers (I hope you keep working with the system once this is done, since there are so many intriguing games yet to be translated). Kudos!

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2020, 07:54:13 am »
@goldenband Thanks a lot! All the encouraging messages in the thread really mean a lot :) As far as continuing on with GameBoy hacking, I am not ruling anything out at this point since I am having a lot of fun. But I also managed to progress on this game based on a lot of years of picking it apart bit by bit, so I am not sure how much transferable knowledge I actually am amassing :D

Anyway, some more updates!


Since last time, I have still been mainly occupied by the UI modifications. As the game starts with you having to use most of it pretty quickly (the game starts by asking you to use your inventory, and then there is a story battle), it makes it important to get right from the get go.

The issue I mentioned in a previous post with windows not clearing their area of the screen when their dimensions had been changed, is now fixed! I figured that the code somehow checks the original data instead of the re-pointed one at some point, so the current fix is to also update the original location of the window. If someone is interested I can describe a bit more what the current modifications entails, but suffice to say that I just redirect the data reads to empty banks to have more room, and do not try to reuse the space of the original data for now.

I also had to trial-and-error my way through a few weird sorting issues (the dialog window would display behind sprites for some reason), but I can manually fix those on a case by case basis, so it is not too bad. Finally, the combat UI is almost usable now, and I need to make a second pass on the text because the game crashes in very specific circumstances. I think it happens when it tries to load some text that is not translated yet, so I will check that out. In the meantime, here are some more shots of the UI, as well as the original menu for comparison (hopefully soon I can switch back to the script for a while ^^).

Thanks everyone for your kind words and interest!


May 12, 2020, 05:45:08 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Small status update :


While this does not look much different from the previous batch of shots, this amounted to quite a bit of work. The long-form enemy names are now translatable, and can use the current maximum length of 8 characters thanks to good ol' repointing.

The plan is to check what the longest translation would be before seeing what needs to change on the UI windows front.

The combat system is proving to be the trickiest bit yet, as depending on the context the game seems to load the enemy names differently. During the resolution of combat turns for instance, it seems to pull shorter names from somewhere I still need to find. Hopefully the next two things I know can be tricky (the spell names and the various items) are less spread out...

I will report back soon, I hope with some news about the combat system working perfectly ;)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 05:45:09 pm by Grungi »

Grungi

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Re: Jungle Wars (GB) - English Translation
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2020, 05:55:08 am »
Good news!

After being sick (nothing major, at least!) for few days, and having all my time snatched away by work, here is some Progress.

I managed to fix a bunch of outstanding problems, from the hardest to the easiest :



The combat system has seen some major work, all the messages that can appear in the first "tutorial" fight are translated (including rare occurrences like dodges and critical strikes). A big part of that was locating a table with pointers to all the attack messages. Another was finding a way to extend the names of NPCs that join your party at several points in the story. This turned out to be tricky, but hopefully the method used works, even if it is a bit dirty.


There are wooden signs scattered around the world, and they use a specific text storage : they do not have a termination byte like almost all other data blocks in the game, but instead are three lines always, each prefixed by a byte telling the game how long is the text on said line. Finding that out let me finally translate these signs, which is good!


I decided to, for a first pass, translate item names in-place, which makes it hard since most items are super short in Japanese, but at least it works for now, before I can properly repoint the data to an empty memory bank...

All that brings us to a point where the first village is "fully translated", which means I feel now is a good time to release a first version of the patch if anyone is curious to try it out! I will also update the main post to put the links there.

Get the 0.1.0 patch on GitHub!

Feel free to open an issue on GitHub or post in this thread if you spot errors or find that something could be improved!


@i.m.gibbon : Sorry I missed your message earlier, but so glad you are excited by the project :D The Last Battle indeed looks interesting! Always cool to see what other games these developers made!