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Author Topic: Lennus (SFC)  (Read 2343 times)

kuwert

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Lennus (SFC)
« on: December 27, 2020, 12:44:20 pm »
Lennus (SFC, Japan, November 13, 1992)

Why Lennus?

I've always enjoyed this game more than any one person should, and I also enjoy giving unknown and underrated games more recognition and love.

Okay, but why does it need a retranslation?

Paladin's Quest is typically known to US audiences for having the following traits:
 - An extremely dry and literal script
 - Severely abbreviated item names
 - Difficult / grind heavy

Let me be very clear first: apart from being able to read kana, I have minimal Japanese knowledge. Having said that, playing around with the Japanese script gave me the feeling that there is a lot of unusual speech patterns throughout the game which went completely ignored. This would make sense to me, as the game's various races play a very important role in the story, and one might expect to hear different forms of speech throughout. This isn't the case in the US version, and nearly every single NPC speaks literal, proper English.

The items and menus in the game are difficult to understand without the US game manual that explains them. Modern audiences no longer have access to these materials, and a game should be playable without a reference guide being required anyway. On top of this, I get a heavy impression that many of the equippable items are either supposed to seem ridiculous or contain cultural references, which I would love to localize to ensure the intended atmosphere of the game is presented.

The last point isn't necessarily a translation issue, but a localization one. I've watched a lot of Let's Play videos and streamers who get so turned off by the HP-for-magic system that they spend the early parts of the game fighting with their equipment only, which makes the game unnecessarily difficult because your spells improve as you use them. It could be that this information just wasn't presented well in the US translation, but I don't see the harm in take a little bit of creative liberty to make sure there is dialogue enticing players to use magic in combat.

US Release:


Lennus translation (work-in-progress)


You can also see above that other minor changes will be restored, such as the original single-window level-up screen. I've also found censored graphics that aren't listed on The Cutting Room Floor article for this game, like when certain enemies blow themselves up to heal their allies (exploding in gore)

The current work in progress does not contain much in the way of ASM hacking, which is largely where I am spending most of my time right now. If this ever makes it that far, the end goal would be something more Dragon Quest-like (and more like the Lennus 2 translation) with multi-line item names, shown in a mock screenshot below. Until that happens, my preferred approach is "least amount of abbreviations possible", which means I will be trying to use single word terms for most items in the game, which is probably impossible given the amount of crazy stuff you get.


So how's the hacking going?

The easy parts are done, I've identified all (I think) of the text banks and their pointers and have written a crude .NET app for editing these, but am basically stuck until I can add a third dialogue bank and understand how to modify the NPC routines to access this. If multi-line item and monster names are added these will need to be moved as well. So to summarize, not much. I have a software dev background, but I've been focused on websites and UI and object oriented programming for a long time so this is unfamiliar territory.

Also, if anyone is secretly working on this already, I'd appreciate knowing. I'm not killing myself over trying to finish this, but I'd rather put my effort towards something more likely to come to fruition if possible :)

EvilJagaGenius

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 08:54:52 pm »
I hope I'm not doing forum necromancy here but really wanted to leave some feedback, especially since it doesn't look like anyone else has.  I haven't played Lennus before.  I'm not a big RPG player, haven't played much in the way of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, let alone all the rest of the SNES RPG library, but Lennus has always fascinated me.  It reminds me of Phantasy Star (which I have played) but dreamlike and alien.  The kind of world that would really draw me in... but I heard the writing of the US release sucked.

Let me be very clear first: apart from being able to read kana, I have minimal Japanese knowledge. Having said that, playing around with the Japanese script gave me the feeling that there is a lot of unusual speech patterns throughout the game which went completely ignored. This would make sense to me, as the game's various races play a very important role in the story, and one might expect to hear different forms of speech throughout. This isn't the case in the US version, and nearly every single NPC speaks literal, proper English.

Again, I don't know much about the game but unusual, alien speech patterns sound like the perfect fit for the alien world I keep seeing in the screenshots.  If you intend on restoring those, or heck, just give the game a better translation in general, I'd love to play it.

Anyway.  I'm not sure how to help, but I would love to see Lennus properly translated and I wish you the best of luck doing so!

Hemlock

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 10:35:42 pm »
I don't want to be THAT guy, but if it is possible to expand the character limit for characters to six, I would do that. Also, is the font variable width font? Another thing I would do is to make the title a bit more readable.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 09:55:15 am by Hemlock »

kuwert

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 02:14:00 pm »
Anyway.  I'm not sure how to help, but I would love to see Lennus properly translated and I wish you the best of luck doing so!

Thanks! I've been waiting years to see someone take on this game, and after waiting long enough this is my attempt at getting things started. At worst it's a learning opportunity, at best it would kickstart a fully realized project. My ideal scenario is that I take on a "project lead" type of role since I have a vision of the end result, but there's only so much I can do.

I don't want to be THAT guy, but if it is possible to expand the character limit for characters to six, I would do that. Also, is the font variable width font? Another thing I would do is to make the title a bit more readable.

Character names would need to be expanded to 8-10 characters to retain properly translated names. No, the font is not currently a VWF. That is beyond my abilities, and while I know that a VWF is a "de facto standard" for modern localizations, I wouldn't lose sleep over this game not ever getting one, as long as no information is lost or truncated due to the limitations of a fixed width font. I personally think the aesthetic of an 8x8 font fits the game better, but I'm weird, and I would gladly give it up for a more accurate localization.

KingMike

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 05:50:52 pm »
My ideal scenario is that I take on a "project lead" type of role since I have a vision of the end result, but there's only so much I can do.

I would continue to do as much as you can.
"Project lead" in fan translations is considered a "taking credit without doing much of the work" role, and rather frowned upon.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018

kuwert

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 08:16:53 pm »
I would continue to do as much as you can.
"Project lead" in fan translations is considered a "taking credit without doing much of the work" role, and rather frowned upon.

I totally get where you're coming from, I didn't mean it in the sense of delegating work like a manager, but more that my passion lies in user experience design and script editing/writing, which isn't one of the "big two" of hacking and translating.

Spooniest

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Re: Lennus (SFC)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2021, 06:43:31 pm »
Loved this game for years, but yes it does need a retranslation, badly.

If you would like to try and learn some Japanese as relates to RPGs, I would say an ok starting point would be watching Tim Rogers' "Let's Mosey - A Slow Translation of Final Fantasy VII" on YouTube. He's funny, and intelligent, and his voice is nice.

Other than that, yeah, the 'idea man' business isn't gonna get you any takers around here. You're gonna have to buckle down and try to learn as much Japanese as you can, yourself, before anyone is gonna feel comfy coming along to help you.

I myself can barely order sake, so all I can say is I hope you don't give up on it, and good luck; we're all counting on you.
Yamero~~!