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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!  (Read 7122 times)

RHDNBot

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Update By: CoolCatBomberMan

Ted Woolsey. For people who grew up playing SNES JRPGs, the name is synonymous with timeless narratives and rose-tinted nostalgia. However, for a certain otaku known here as "CoolCatBomberMan," the name instead brings to mind egregious translation errors, censorship and unnecessary creative liberties in regards to a game's plot. Super Mario RPG, having been translated by Woolsey, was not exempt from this mindset. The most notable difference between the game's English and Japanese scripts was the secret boss Culex, and his motivations for fighting Mario's party. Upon discovering an all-encompassing editor called Lazy Shell, CoolCatBomberMan sought to create a private hack that rewrote as many mistranslations as possible. However, the number of edits to the script such a project entailed soon warranted a public release.

The largest aspect of this hack can be found in the monsters fought throughout the game. Several enemies are actually lifted from various Mario games, such as Beezo, Cheep Cheep and Lava Bubbles (a.k.a. Podoboos), but it seems as if Woolsey was not given a master list of how these enemy names were meant to be localized, and did whatever he deemed fit best, such as naming Beezos "Shy Aways," due to their resemblance to Shy Guys. All such localizations have been reverted to their proper modern equivalents. Pop culture references in the Japanese script which were understandably mistranslated have been replaced with American pop culture references. One notable example is Belome's Psychopath quotes. Originally, he spoke in a style similar to Yamashita Kiyoshi from the Japanese drama TV series "Hadaka no Taisho Horoki." This hack instead has Belome quote the "Austin Powers" character Fat Bastard, due to his tendency to devour party members. INCOSISTENT capitalization AND ocasionall typpos have been fixed. Final Fantasy references lost in translation have been restored, and a few extra were added for flavor. Character inconsistencies have also been repaired. Before, Yaridovich claimed he could mimic a normal person's voice, but his speech patterns showed no difference upon collecting Johnny Jones' Star Piece. Now, when he ditches the act, he shifts to a Russian accent, to coincide with his Russian-inspired name.

The new v1.1 update includes further corrections in the script, an uncensored death scene, translation fixes for item names (i.e. NokNok Shell is now Koopa Shell), and a certain location's name has been changed to its proper localization as seen in other games. The hack, in its current state, is "complete;" unless a full translation of the Japanese script surfaces online, there is nothing more (to CoolCatBomberMan's knowledge) that needs to be fixed. If you have been holding out on Super Mario RPG, waiting for a Translation patch, or if you wish to revisit the game in a new light, then this patch is most definitely for you.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Knife

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 09:28:19 am »
Hello! Thanks for working on this and releasing it. The majority of the changes strike me as a positive. I have a few questions:

1. In the original release, there were some item names with a discrepancy between the text for receiving it and the name in the menus. Those instances have been corrected, right?

2. Would you mind sharing how you determined which lines needed to be retranslated? I'm curious how those revisions came about.

3. Personally, the adding of additional final fantasy references that weren't present in the Japanese makes me uncomfortable. Were those references done as a replacement for other Japanese references that wouldn't have come across in translation? Or were they simply added liberties? There are lots of different philosophies out there when it comes to translation, but if the latter is the case, my vote would be for a stricter approach.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 04:16:38 pm by Chicken Knife »

Rudy

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2021, 09:48:53 am »
Might be time for a new Mario RPG playthrough. I only finished it twice, once when I had the cart when I was a kid, and probably ten years later through emulation.

julayla

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2021, 02:52:11 pm »
It's been years since I played the original I might give this re-translation a go when I have the time. I hope to see how it improves (especially on the Magikoopa who was hypnotized at Bowser's Keep and if he's Kamek or a random Magikoopa in this translation).

CoolCatBomberMan

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2021, 02:57:39 pm »
Hello! Thanks for working on this and releasing it. The majority of the changes strike me as a positive. I have a few questions:

1. In the original release, there were some item names with a discrepancy between the text for receiving it and the name in the menus. Those instances have been corrected, right?

2. Would you mind sharing how you determined which lines needed to be retranslated? I'm curious how the those revisions came about.

3. Personally, the adding of additional final fantasy references that weren't present in the Japanese makes me uncomfortable. Were those references done as a replacement for other Japanese references that wouldn't have come across in translation? Or were they simply added liberties? There are lots of different philosophies out there when it comes to translation, but if the latter is the case, my vote would be for a stricter approach.

1. Yes, the discrepancy has been fixed.

2. I based my various retranslations primarily off Clyde Mandelin's articles, since he goes into detail regarding Culex's dialogue and various pop culture references in the JP script. Pre-existing American pop culture references in the English script that were already replacing JP references (i.e. Rat Funk) were left as-is.

3. Added FF references serve to replace ill-fitting puns/pop culture references, such as Bruce Lee. From a purist standpoint, this alone invalidates my hack, but in my defense, I don't speak Japanese, so I have no way of knowing what exactly is being said in Japanese, outside of machine translations, which I thought are against site rules?

Chicken Knife

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 04:25:40 pm »
Quote
Added FF references serve to replace ill-fitting puns/pop culture references, such as Bruce Lee. From a purist standpoint, this alone invalidates my hack, but in my defense, I don't speak Japanese, so I have no way of knowing what exactly is being said in Japanese, outside of machine translations, which I thought are against site rules?
Going with a recognizable pop culture reference instead of one that isn't generally recognizable to an English speaking audience definitely does not invalidate your hack imo. I say that in spite of the fact that my team took the alternate path of of preserving original references in our DQ translations. Nevertheless, I think your choice can be a valid one.

If you happen to want any specific lines of Japanese translated, I checked with my project partner, nejimakipiyo, and we would be happy provide you with English translations of lines in question.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 05:38:55 pm by Chicken Knife »

Tabris666

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2021, 04:37:14 pm »
While some liberties can be tolerated that doesn't mean should be accepted.
For example changing psycopath messages for the originals would be better (can be done i already did that) or for something from 1996,for example a liberty a took on my take on retranslation was using the original names of items and monsters in most cases.
The only part i was clear was in Peach XXX and put what it was other changes i made in my hack was usign the original joypad scheme and colors and bowser pose to make it more like a proper translation.

jmd6488

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 12:49:31 am »
Hi. I'm Jeff. I read the the description and I had to share this nugget of history. Back in the ancient times of the BBS, we had an AMA with Ted Woolsey regarding localizations via forum format. He was pleasant enough and answered everyone's questions, until I stepped in crap. I asked him, to paraphrase, "how much is accurately translated and how much is just made up or substituted?" I was talking with him about Final Fantasy III (before it became FF6).

His response was to blow up at me about how much work was involved in the translation process, and how stupid/ignorant I was (at age 17, btw). So yeah. That was Ted Woolsey. The man. The myth. I'm sure he was a chain smoker.

SunGodPortal

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021, 07:42:52 am »
3. Added FF references serve to replace ill-fitting puns/pop culture references, such as Bruce Lee. From a purist standpoint, this alone invalidates my hack, but in my defense, I don't speak Japanese, so I have no way of knowing what exactly is being said in Japanese, outside of machine translations, which I thought are against site rules?

 :beer:
Cheers to you for this decision. FF has at least some relation to this game via Square's involvement and the game genre, Bruce Lee does not. I always hated these sort of references myself as much of the time (depending on the game) they just shatter immersion and (usually) date things unnecessarily. We don't need references to Steve Urkel or Billie Eilish when fighting zombies or taking on an evil empire in a fictionalized universe.

Having said that, it sounds like it's time for me to play this again.
Cigarettes, ice-cream, figurines of the Virgin Mary...

nejimakipiyo

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 09:28:45 am »
I have no doubt that some of the references were put in by Woolsey, at least based on my marginal knowledge of the original. The Bruce Lee reference didn't exist in Japanese. I watched a video of that scene in Japanese and there's no reference at all. On that note, I do think it's more reasonable to swap it out for a FF6 reference - especially if you aren't working from the original Japanese text - since they are at least somewhat related material.

Woolsey's naming scheme was an entire hot mess. I can see what he was thinking with Guerilla, but Goby... really? And Noknok shell! I was so mad about that I almost ragequit, but this hack saved my playthrough. Another issue I have with the Woolsey translation is the "Fungah!" said by Bowser near the beginning. I was having trouble finding a video to confirm my suspicions, but "Fungah!" doesn't make any sense. I believe this to be a transliteration of a sound that's more like a roar.

I'm sure if I had the Japanese and English text side by side I'd be able to come up with numerous examples of odd localization choices, but they slip my mind now.

For someone who doesn't speak Japanese I think you did a fantastic job cleaning up a lot of Woolsey's crap.

butane bob

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 11:53:50 pm »
I don't speak Japanese, so I have no way of knowing what exactly is being said in Japanese
Oh Jesus lol here we go again. I knew something was wrong from reading the text in those screenshots.
What's with this modern trend in "relocalizing" old games, but just making it up as you go coz you don't know any Japanese, and thinking it sounds better? You end up with a script that's ten times worse than Woolsey/Ireland etc ever did. You're just substituing their cringeworthy jokes and translation errors for your own.

VicVergil

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2021, 01:50:00 am »
Would you be considering at the very least producing a complete Japanese dump of the game then passing it through DeepL for a complete machine-translated English script, to at least evaluate which lines from the original localization are fine to keep, and which lines are so different they warrant manual retranslation, then hopefully take Chicken Knife's offer?

Would it be too much to ask you, in the event you're taking liberties to remove, cut, or change content depending how you feel it's cool to modern American audiences unfamiliar with foreign pop culture (already smelling a disaster in the making here with the Psychopath lines), to at least maintain detailed translator notes of your initial "direct translation" draft (no matter how "uncool" or "bland" or "dry" you might think it is) followed by your own take?

Thank you very much for this romhack, and I hope it will be even more polished in future releases. I was always curious what the boss death speech in Bowser's Castle revisit was like. A lot definitively changed (Wine River, etc)

CoolCatBomberMan

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2021, 03:28:30 am »
Would you be considering at the very least producing a complete Japanese dump of the game then passing it through DeepL for a complete machine-translated English script, to at least evaluate which lines from the original localization are fine to keep, and which lines are so different they warrant manual retranslation, then hopefully take Chicken Knife's offer?

How would I even produce a Japanese dump? Just play the JP version normally, and copy all the text by hand? That would be extremely tedious, and far too easy for me to make typos big enough to completely change the meaning of whatever sentence is involved.

knight0fdragon

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2021, 09:12:25 am »
Oh Jesus lol here we go again. I knew something was wrong from reading the text in those screenshots.
What's with this modern trend in "relocalizing" old games, but just making it up as you go coz you don't know any Japanese, and thinking it sounds better? You end up with a script that's ten times worse than Woolsey/Ireland etc ever did. You're just substituing their cringeworthy jokes and translation errors for your own.

Oh Jesus lol here we go again.  I knew something was wrong from reading the comment starting with Oh Jesus.
What's with this modern trend of "bitching" about relocalizing, but having no actual intent of giving it a try.  You end up looking like an @$$hole that is ten times worse that Woosley/Irelend etc.  You are just crying about something that you are not being forced to use.

aqualung

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2021, 10:51:44 am »
Oh Jesus lol here we go again. I knew something was wrong from reading the text in those screenshots.
What's with this modern trend in "relocalizing" old games, but just making it up as you go coz you don't know any Japanese, and thinking it sounds better? You end up with a script that's ten times worse than Woolsey/Ireland etc ever did. You're just substituing their cringeworthy jokes and translation errors for your own.

Well, get used to it, man. As more and more people keep abandoning the translation scene, burned out of the usual negativity, drama and such, we'll have to rely more and more on automatic translations (I'm playing Madara 2 right now by using a real-time text extractor that I've coded myself and pasting the dialogs on DeepL and, frankly, the translations returned are coherent 90% of the time, making the game completely playable and following the plot really well. I wish I had done this much earlier).
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 11:06:36 am by aqualung »

Firionel

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2021, 09:04:11 pm »
Clyde Mandelin (a professional Japanese to English translator well known for spearheading the Mother 3 fantranslation) has translated every single Psychopath quote for an article. I'm surprised no one has brought it up so far: https://legendsoflocalization.com/the-pop-culture-obsessed-monsters-in-japanese-super-mario-rpg/


VicVergil

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2021, 09:48:50 pm »
How would I even produce a Japanese dump? Just play the JP version normally, and copy all the text by hand? That would be extremely tedious, and far too easy for me to make typos big enough to completely change the meaning of whatever sentence is involved.

...

While transcribing it is definitively an option, what you're supposed to do is to extract the Japanese graphics for the whole font, interpret that as kana and kanji, produce a text table, and extract the entire Japanese text.
I don't know whether LazyShell supports JP version roms, but it's probably not the case if you're even asking the question.

There were others who previously toyed with a complete text dump for the JP SMRPG.
A Wonderbar plugin (intercepting the text data as it's processed by the emulation) by tomato supports it, for example.
tashi attempted a script dump (from the text data) for the JP version at LLTVG, and I'm sure I remember there were various JP sites that did transcribe most of it from live playthroughs to text too (this is one copy provided by MewSeeker).

Not meaning to dwell on it any further, but this as a bare minimum should have been one of the first questions you addressed for your project. I think I'll wait for future updates for your project or other projects for this game, but I do still consider it a step in the right direction.

CoolCatBomberMan

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2021, 10:19:00 pm »
Clyde Mandelin (a professional Japanese to English translator well known for spearheading the Mother 3 fantranslation) has translated every single Psychopath quote for an article. I'm surprised no one has brought it up so far: https://legendsoflocalization.com/the-pop-culture-obsessed-monsters-in-japanese-super-mario-rpg/

Not EVERY quote, just the ones referencing Japanese pop culture. It was one of the resources I used for the hack.

Speaking of which, I have decided to completely and utterly retool the hack into a full retranslation/relocalization! I figure that the best way to handle hate from purists is to create a larger-scoped hack with alternate patches for customization purposes. That being said, I will NOT be asking for help from nejimakipiyo, or any other translator. I may not know Japanese, but I have been studying kana, Level 10 kanji, and Japanese sentence structure for the past few years, to the point where I believe I can run each individual word through various dictionaries, and understand the general gist of the sentence. I don't want to waste some poor, overworked translator's time with my technical ineptitude, after all. (I am strictly limited to Lazy Shell's capabilities).

I'm still burned out with this game, though, so I have no idea when I will even start, or how long it will be before I'm finished. Thanks to all those who have shown support for my hack in its current state! Your words mean so much to me!

...

While transcribing it is definitively an option, what you're supposed to do is to extract the Japanese graphics for the whole font, interpret that as kana and kanji, produce a text table, and extract the entire Japanese text.
I don't know whether LazyShell supports JP version roms, but it's probably not the case if you're even asking the question.

There were others who previously toyed with a complete text dump for the JP SMRPG.
A Wonderbar plugin (intercepting the text data as it's processed by the emulation) by tomato supports it, for example.
tashi attempted a script dump (from the text data) for the JP version at LLTVG, and I'm sure I remember there were various JP sites that did transcribe most of it from live playthroughs to text too (this is one copy provided by MewSeeker).

Not meaning to dwell on it any further, but this as a bare minimum should have been one of the first questions you addressed for your project. I think I'll wait for future updates for your project or other projects for this game, but I do still consider it a step in the right direction.

You posted that as I was typing this. That's definitely some good advice! I might actually be able to start right away!

EDIT: .......Whoa. I really need to get working this update. Remember Boomer's death scene? In the hack, I changed the chandelier Shy Guy's dialogue because I thought his original quote (oh, you'll be alright!) was added by Woolsey to censor the scene. Turns out, I was wrong. The Shy Guy really does say that. From what I'm reading, it seems like Boomer is talking in an overdramatic tone, kinda like Kumadori from One Piece, who constantly threatens to commit Seppuku because he's a total drama queen. Woolsey simply left out Boomer's tone, which I'm sure could've translated into English SOMEHOW. So.......yeah. I'm not a big fan of Woolsey.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 10:38:26 pm by CoolCatBomberMan »

KobaBeach

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2021, 01:34:12 am »
No offense but what is the point of a re-translation to improve upon the original translation for a more faithful rendition, if you don't even know Japanese? That defeats the purpose entirely. I'm glad you put it as improvement and not translation, but as a localization, original text and language learning enthusiast I'm confused.

I get localizing Japanese pop culture that wouldn't be understandable to most westerners but it feels very amateur, like you add FF references as a quick one size fits all fix and. I feel like you should focus on learning some Japanese before tackling a rewrite.

As much as I like his translations, I'm not saying you can't rewrite "Our Lord And Savio(u)r Theodore Woolsey"'s "hard labor", I'm just saying if you're gonna do something like this, at least understand the source language.
respectful, bad retranslation attempts, sort of japanese practice. not patch sadly.

Tomato

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Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario RPG's much-needed text edit, now updated!
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2021, 03:13:42 am »
I don't know if this was used at all, but I did a translation comparison stream of SMRPG about 4 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxo9Ve0LWW4&list=PL8fufren85t_E6vw92iocjusuqJTl03j8