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Author Topic: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]  (Read 3553 times)

Avster

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Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness!

Beta release
September 7, 2020

Project page:
http://www.romhacking.net/translations/5673/


Features
  • All text, signage, and HUD elements localized from Japanese to English.
  • Expanded speech bubbles, menu windows, and cutscene text display areas.
  • Greater variation of typefaces.
  • Legacy bug fixes.
  • Completion of post-clear dialogue.


Screenshots

       

       

       

       


Legacy bug fixes

Most of the bugs that this game shipped with are graphical in nature, however there are some gameplay bugs as well. I am slowly working through fixes for all of them. Some of the more superficial issues are fixed in this Beta release.

For example, during Act 3, the dragon on the Map of Japan was obscured by the HUD:

   


Post-clear dialogue

The game's code makes it obvious that post-clear dialogue was intended for all NPCs, but the designers either ran out of time, or space, since only a handful of them have something new to say after the game has been cleared.

I struggled with how this could be completed without "making stuff up", and finally settled on having NPCs discuss the historical Japanese artwork featured throughout the game, as well as share information about the local geography. This allowed me to keep the content within the bounds of the original game, building on the game's celebration of Japanese culture while enriching the player's knowledge, rather than inventing dialogue wholesale. It was a great opportunity to educate English speaking players about content that native Japanese players would have been quite familiar with.

After adding this post-clear dialogue, the Data Bank designated for in-game text was nearly full, but I'm thinking about utilizing the remaining space by adding post-clear dialogue for the Konami characters that make cameos in the game. It might be cool to have them briefly discuss the history of their respective franchises.


Personal notes

More than 20 years after the joining The Scene, I have finally released my first project! In so doing I have at once completed my first attempt at video game graphics, published my first translation, and tackled my first ASM hack!

On January 1st of this year I stopped drinking, began learning Assembly Language and reverse engineering the game, and started sleeping just three and a half to four hours per night.

After six months of work, I am 30 pounds lighter and have become an advanced ASM hacker, but most importantly, have stuck it out and brought my project to completion. Over the years, many people have dropped by the forum to show their support for my work, give their opinions about the effort, and express excitement about its eventual release. I was incredibly grateful, wanted to make this a reality and was determined to come through for everyone that had anticipated playing my translation of this game.

One thing that I feel is crucial to mention here, however, is that although I have great personal fondness for this game, I finished this project mostly out of a desire to demonstrate several things to others. I really want to encourage members of The Scene, as well as my own children, friends, and family, by proving through my own actions that anything is possible -- that anyone can do anything -- and that if one is determined, patient, and persistent, and most of all, truly believes in themself and what they are doing, that whatever the goal is, it will be realized.

I knew absolutely nothing about Assembly Language before this. I'd attempted to study some trace logs from one of the Romancing SaGa games several years ago and at a glance the data meant nothing to me and had me feeling totally out of my depth. But now I get it. It's a matter of solving a puzzle. The pieces are there, and it's up to you to make sense of them. Anyone who remains observant through the initial confusion and refuses to abandon hope will make sense of the puzzle and find multiple ways to solve it.

Pixel art was another foreign subject to me before working on this game, but there was no way around it considering the plethora of in-game signs, HUD elements, and typefaces that the game contains. In order to do justice to the original artwork, which all appears as though hand-drawn, carved from wood, woven into tapestries, etc., I had to challenge myself time and time again, and be very critical of my own work, one revision after another. I refused to implement anything that didn't closely resemble its original counterpart both visually and stylistically. Working with pixels was just as intimidating as picking up ASM, but in both cases, a refusal to give up or lose hope gave way to continual improvement.

I see many posts from people who want to modify title screens or take on translations, and they are often told to simply "learn ASM", but I would say, more specifically, you merely need to learn how the game does what it does in that specific instance, then learn how to modify that portion using creativity and strategy. Of course ASM is going to be involved, it's how these games are modified. But you only need to know enough to tackle the immediate goal. As you take on more and go deeper, you will learn more Assembly Language by default, almost automatically, one step at a time. That's how anything happens, right?

The bottom line is that you've got to get your hands dirty, but achieving your goals is a matter of hard work while continually resisting the opposition, be it internal, external, or both. Often it will be both, and will come in droves!

At the beginning of the year, I didn't know what ASM was, but I put the effort in to study it, and now I'm in a position to release all of the many games that I've translated and graphically localized. You can place yourself in a similar position by enduring what I now refer to as 16-bit Misogi. You will suddenly find yourself hollering "Yo!" with a bottle of saké in hand while celebrating having made extensive modifications to pre-existing software from Japan. Dreams come true if you care about them enough.

This project has taken so many strange twists and turns. But I'm very tired out so rather than write the backstory down today, I'll come back for an update in the future. Meanwhile, I'll allow my work to speak for itself!

Enjoy the game!

-Avi
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 05:38:32 pm by Avster »

lastdual

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2020, 03:35:57 pm »
Glad to see you conquer it, Avi! :thumbsup:

I'll happily give this one another play-through once my currently-dwindling free time allows.

darthvaderx

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2020, 04:24:55 pm »
Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between this translation and the DDS version?

Avster

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2020, 04:59:03 pm »
Glad to see you conquer it, Avi! :thumbsup:

I'll happily give this one another play-through once my currently-dwindling free time allows.

Thanks lastdual! Nice seeing you around again.


Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between this translation and the DDS version?

In a word: Everything.

This is the original project, which I started decades ago. It was programmed, illustrated, and translated by me.

That other project began when a hacker was helping me with mine, but due to his dislike of my script, gave me the boot and brought others aboard.

The two projects are unrelated and have nothing in common.


ifightdragons

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2020, 05:44:57 pm »
Thanks lastdual! Nice seeing you around again.


In a word: Everything.

This is the original project, which I started decades ago. It was programmed, illustrated, and translated by me.

That other project began when a hacker was helping me with mine, but due to his dislike of my script, gave me the boot and brought others aboard.

The two projects are unrelated and have nothing in common.

I hear ya, but this needs some clarification.
Specifically what is different?
Why didn't he like your script?
Don't you like his script, and if so, why?

He has already released his work, and it's gotten great feedback and reviews. I have to say I think he's done an excellent job, too!

Avster

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2020, 06:54:12 pm »
I hear ya, but this needs some clarification.
Specifically what is different?
Why didn't he like your script?
Don't you like his script, and if so, why?

He has already released his work, and it's gotten great feedback and reviews. I have to say I think he's done an excellent job, too!

It has already been clarified: Everything is different; there is nothing alike between them.

To summarize the post: This is my original work, created to communicate my vision of what a faithful, professional release of the game might have looked like. Likewise it was made so that the English speaking world may share the wonderful experience that I had with the game back when it was released. It also contains legacy bug fixes and bonus content. The translation and graphics have been in the works for decades, while the programming began on January 1st of this year when I started learning ASM.

To break it down in the most granular way possible:

Initially, I translated the text and dialogue from Japanese to English, then rewrote and refined it many times over. Next, I designed the localized graphics and then brought them to life by drafting all the typefaces, signage, title cards and the like on paper with an ink brush, for reference, before clicking it all together in pixel art form. Lastly, I reverse engineered and reprogrammed the game as required, one byte at a time in a hex editor.

Therefore the two projects bear no resemblance to one another and have 0% shared DNA. They don't look or feel the same because they were created independently from one another by unrelated parties. I don't believe this can be clarified any further.

One thing is for certain though: This thread is for discussing my work on this game, so please create a new thread if you want to discuss someone else's project.

Special

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2020, 07:13:33 pm »
Nothings been clarified actually, you didn't answer any one of his points other then saying "everything is different".

He (and I) are just wondering what makes your project different from the DDS one, maybe give some dialog line comparisons or other translation examples of these "differences" and why you thought they were better then the DDS route that they took with their translation.

Avster

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2020, 07:52:34 pm »
Nothings been clarified actually, you didn't answer any one of his points other then saying "everything is different".

He (and I) are just wondering what makes your project different from the DDS one, maybe give some dialog line comparisons or other translation examples of these "differences" and why you thought they were better then the DDS route that they took with their translation.

I don't know the answers to his questions, but here are some for you:

Why are you discussing someone else's project in this thread? Why are you asking me to detail specific differences between the projects when I know absolutely nothing about the other one? Why are you behaving as though I have to pay up or somehow answer for having invested decades of my time in seeing a personal project through to the end?

If you care so much, then play them and see the differences for yourself. Obviously the two games will be completely unlike one another.

Once again, please create another thread if you want to discuss someone else's project.

niuus

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2020, 09:04:04 pm »
This is my original work, created to communicate my vision of what a faithful, professional release of the game might have looked like. Likewise it was made so that the English speaking world may share the wonderful experience that I had with the game back when it was released. It also contains legacy bug fixes and bonus content. The translation and graphics have been in the works for decades, while the programming began on January 1st of this year when I started learning ASM.

Initially, I translated the text and dialogue from Japanese to English, then rewrote and refined it many times over. Next, I designed the localized graphics and then brought them to life by drafting all the typefaces, signage, title cards and the like on paper with an ink brush, for reference, before clicking it all together in pixel art form. Lastly, I reverse engineered and reprogrammed the game as required, one byte at a time in a hex editor.

Therefore the two projects bear no resemblance to one another and have 0% shared DNA. They don't look or feel the same because they were created independently from one another by unrelated parties.
Awesome history. i'll definitely enjoy this project. We need more impassioned romhackers/translators around.  :beer:

Any other projects on your future?

ifightdragons

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2020, 08:10:19 am »
I don't know the answers to his questions, but here are some for you:

Why are you discussing someone else's project in this thread? Why are you asking me to detail specific differences between the projects when I know absolutely nothing about the other one? Why are you behaving as though I have to pay up or somehow answer for having invested decades of my time in seeing a personal project through to the end?

If you care so much, then play them and see the differences for yourself. Obviously the two games will be completely unlike one another.

Once again, please create another thread if you want to discuss someone else's project.

While I think it's fantastic you've put the time and effort into this project, and I don't at all question that you've done a great job, I don't understand the needlessly defensive attitude.

We've just asked for some good comparisons between the two, and some clear-cut examples on how the translations seem to differ.

As of right now, I've seen no good reason to not keep on enjoying the already released translation over this one. But I'm very open to actually get an explanation as to how they differ, and what makes your translation better than the other, which is already great.

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2020, 10:19:19 am »
I think a better way to put this is... What is your translation's quirk? An example of this is to contrast Ted Woolsey's translation with any other translation. Like how Ted Woolsey censored some wording with his own style which eventually achieved memetic value.

snatcher1996

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2020, 10:51:00 am »
This translation patch has a not so pleasent history behind it, that the author might not want to retell but I am sure can be found online.

I am glad the author's vision of what a Goemon 2 translation should look like exists at all and will definitely give this a playthrough!

And for the record, I like the look of this versions title screen a lot better than that of the other project!

Great work, Avicalendriya!

Goznog

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 11:00:40 am »
I really like the calligraphy on the custom graphics. very nice!

Googie

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 11:02:03 am »
I've been testing this patch, the translation is cool. I patched over the sfc and smc versions of Goemon 2 and this little graphic bugged popped up, I'm playing this game on the bsnes emulator.







And the mountain doesn't show.

If I bump into anything else through my play through, I'll give you a holler.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 11:18:53 am by Googie »

Avster

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Sh%u014Dgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2020, 11:59:23 am »
Awesome history. i'll definitely enjoy this project. We need more impassioned romhackers/translators around.  :beer:

Any other projects on your future?

Thanks! There's plenty more in the pipeline. Games that I translated years ago have been sitting around waiting to be hacked. Having learned ASM, I'm ready to release them myself. I'll keep you posted!


This translation patch has a not so pleasent history behind it, that the author might not want to retell but I am sure can be found online.

I am glad the author's vision of what a Goemon 2 translation should look nlike exists at all and will definitely give this a playthrough!

And for the record, I like the look of this versions title screen a lot better than that of the other project!

Great work, Avicalendriya!

Thank you! I stayed up all night for 6 months to get this reprogrammed, and redid the art and the script about a jillion times.

I didn't post the negative aspects of the project history because I wanted to share the good news of having completed my work and make it available for everyone to play, not to mention, that part of the project's history is irrelevant. It was a bump in the road that is over and forgotten.


I've been testing this patch, the translation is cool. I patched over the sfc and smc versions of Goemon 2 and this little graphic bugged popped up, I'm playing this game on the bsnes emulator.





If I bump into anything else through my play through, I'll give you a holler.

Thanks for checking it out Googie!

All the research, development and testing was done with Geiger's Snes9x Debugger, however since I've never seen anything like the bug you posted here, I went and checked out other emulators and was able to reproduce the bug. Holy smokes!

I'm guessing that I placed the localized sprites at an address that would be considered invalid on real hardware. Yikes!

Looks like I have some serious cleanup to do on this project, which isn't surprising, after all it is my first ASM hack. I believe that moving the graphics somewhere valid and then updating the pointers will solve the problem.

Thanks for the info! In the meantime it looks like this hack can only be played using Snes9X.

----

Edit:

Googie you're a lifesaver! I just reproduced the bugs you reported and found some much worse ones while playing through the entirety of Act 1.

I took a look at a LoROM Map and just as I suspected, I'd placed some localized graphics in areas where they have no business being.

So I moved a few things, modified some pointers, and all is well!

This is what I get for only using a single emulator throughout development...

Expect a PM with the new Alpha version later today. Meanwhile I'll do a quick playthrough to see what other disasters I've created before placing a new patch in the queue.

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 03:47:54 pm by Avster »

acediez

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2020, 04:49:11 pm »
Congratulations on finally getting this released, all while learning the skills you lacked to complete it by yourself in the first place!

The effort you went through for the graphics is really admirable, hand drawing and all. The title screen and most titles are really beautiful, and I'm happy to finally see them inserted in-game. Though as cool as most of them look, some of them are a bit hard to read, like the subtitles on the area title screens. There's some general text spacing issues too, with letter spacing being too far apart, while also being too close to the borders.

My own opinion on the extra flavour you gave to the script is that the constant "goofyness" can quickly feel forced and get tiresome. So, very respectfully of the effort you've put, I'll just say I can see where the criticism you got back when this was a collaborative project came from. I'm sorry you couldn't find a middle ground back then, as it would've potentially resulted in a better end result, and a much earlier completion, saving you a lot of frustration. All that suffering and sacrifice you keep going on about, and ultimately taking longer and working harder, doesn't necessarily result in a "better" end product. Some compromises on one's original vision are worth making. Something to consider for future projects.

But again, that's just my own opinion, meant to be constructive. More important than that, is that the project is finally released. As a romhacker who joined here as an art collaborator and eventually learned to hack himself and helm his own projects, I see a lot of parallels with what you and the others went through on these projects, and I'm very happy to see a project I've been following for years reach completion. Specially as a Goemon fan who has been lurking around hoping for translations like these for decades.

Good luck fixing those last few bugs, and I hope the future project you'll be helming with your new skillset progress smoothly.

PurpleFrog

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2020, 06:55:21 pm »
Just wanted to chime in and say that what you've done is fantastic!! Keep up the awesome work and really looking forward to your future stuff.

Avster

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Sh%u014Dgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2020, 10:04:43 pm »
Okay... yeesh... there were disastrous bugs strung all across the entire game due to my having put graphics in forbidden areas.

I fixed everything... and have never run through the game so quickly before!

New version's now available on the project page!

Many thanks to Googie for letting me know I'd released a disaster. He's a swell guy and it shows.


Congratulations on finally getting this released, all while learning the skills you lacked to complete it by yourself in the first place!

The effort you went through for the graphics is really admirable, hand drawing and all. The title screen and most titles are really beautiful, and I'm happy to finally see them inserted in-game. Though as cool as most of them look, some of them are a bit hard to read, like the subtitles on the area title screens. There's some general text spacing issues too, with letter spacing being too far apart, while also being too close to the borders.

My own opinion on the extra flavour you gave to the script is that the constant "goofyness" can quickly feel forced and get tiresome. So, very respectfully of the effort you've put, I'll just say I can see where the criticism you got back when this was a collaborative project came from. I'm sorry you couldn't find a middle ground back then, as it would've potentially resulted in a better end result, and a much earlier completion, saving you a lot of frustration. All that suffering and sacrifice you keep going on about, and ultimately taking longer and working harder, doesn't necessarily result in a "better" end product. Some compromises on one's original vision are worth making. Something to consider for future projects.

But again, that's just my own opinion, meant to be constructive. More important than that, is that the project is finally released. As a romhacker who joined here as an art collaborator and eventually learned to hack himself and helm his own projects, I see a lot of parallels with what you and the others went through on these projects, and I'm very happy to see a project I've been following for years reach completion. Specially as a Goemon fan who has been lurking around hoping for translations like these for decades.

Good luck fixing those last few bugs, and I hope the future project you'll be helming with your new skillset progress smoothly.

Thanks for coming back to reply acediez, I remember how you were following the project's development and I appreciate your feedback.

Regarding the subtitle on the Act introductions, that was a fun experiment, and it's actually supposed to look like a wildly drawn scrawl, but it's only placeholder to begin with. There's no need to have "Act One" scrawled across the screen when it's already written in the little title card up above. So I'm going to have the setting for each Act written there instead. Act One takes place in Kyushu, so that'll be written across the screen there during its introduction sequence, and so forth. All of the graphics and typefaces will eventually be redone for Version 1.

As far as spacing between letters in the cutscenes, yeah, that's unavoidable until I become a better hacker. The game uses a 16x16 font for those scenes. So until I can program a variable width font, the best I can do is make the letters a little wider, maybe by giving them a bit more flair and brush stroke action. I'll do that for the next release. Working with fixed width fonts is also why some lines of the in-game text run fairly close to the right edge of the speech bubbles. I need all the space that I can get. Every bit of ASM that I've learned has come from analyzing this game's code, and since there are no VWF's in the game, there was no example of such a thing for me to examine.

I understand how the script might not be for everyone, but it's how the Japanese game reads to me, and I struggled for years to find a tone that I felt matched the feel of the original dialogue, and this finally felt right. I mean, it is a comedy after all, and a pretty zany one at that.

In any case, after what happened with this project, I won't be working with anyone on any other games, so there will never be a need to consider a compromise.

Thanks for taking a moment to recognize the parallels too. I often consider -- during trials and tribulations -- how many others must be similarly enduring, or have similarly endured, but perhaps not spoken about it. Nonetheless, I recognize the fact that struggle is a universal thing, and I give props to anyone who can roll with the punches. It ain't easy.

Well, I just fixed a boatload of horrifying bugs, so I needed that luck!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 12:46:58 am by Avster »

boff

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 12:15:12 am »
Avi, congratulations on your commitment and willpower.

I must admit that I was emotional when reading your personal notes. I am always amazed by people who are not overwhelmed and overcome challenges.

Congratulations again.
As soon as the bugfixed version comes out, I will appreciate your work.

Big hug.  :)

Pethronos

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Re: Go for it, Goemon! Depose the Odd Shōgun McGuinness! (SNES) [Released]
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 06:58:20 am »
Absolutely beautiful work mate. Ambitious and full of personality. Congratulations and thanks very much for making public this so special achievement!