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Taiko no Tatsujin Wii 1 - English Translation

Started by Aidturith, April 28, 2015, 10:38:29 AM

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Hello everyone, this my first time posting on Rom Hacking forums!
I hope I won't break any rule!


Why Taiko no Tatsujin?
I discovered this wonderful game last year, it never misses to cheer me up!
A lot a people will ask why a rhythm game when you can play the game without understanding anything.

- Nearly every opus contains a story mode.
- Having options and settings translated would ease new players in. (Sadly the international community is still nearly nonexistent)
- It is always a plus to have song titles translated, you know where the songs are coming from and it is easier to discover new artists.
- Translated lyrics really brings a new level of cheerfulness to the game.
- Many enhancements could be added to the game such as: adding more info to song titles (artists for the Anime category, etc..), adding romanization to the lyrics, tweaking (for example Hard difficulty in the first Wii game have laxer hit windows compared to other games).

Why Taiko no Tatsujin Wii 1?
This is the entry I invested the most time in. It make things easier when it comes to reverse engineering.
I would also like to translate the other four Wii games if this project is successful!

About my self
This is my first modding/translation project.
A few years ago (6 - 7 years ago?) I tweaked World of Warcraft files here and there for aesthetics and world building purposes.
This is what actually made me pursue studies in computer sciences, I got my degree and my free time back in September!


Finding a translator

I'm looking for a Japanese -> English translator.

The team is only made up of one member (my self) as I am still looking for a Japanese -> English translator.
I have every little knowledge of the Japanese language and English is not my first language. Every bits of translation I did until now would need to be double checked.

I don't mind doing all the type setting/photoshoping.


I gathered information on the track list from around the web, I got song titles, artists and sources covered.
I also did a few menu options and the whole Dojo challenge list.
Aquabluu from Taiko Time is king enough to let me use lyrics and unlockables from his website.

(If I understand the Common Creative 3 License right, you can use Anime lyric translations from Wikia pages?)

Song info [50%] : |||||
Done. Waiting for double check.

Menu [20%] :      ||
A few menu done. Waiting for a translator.

UI [40%] :        ||||
Play area nearly done. Waiting for a translator.

Lyrics [20%] :    ||
Namco Originals provided by Aquabluu. Waiting for a translator.

Dojo [20%] :      ||
Challenge titles done. Waiting for a translator.

Story [0%] :
Waiting for a translator.

Letters [0%] :
Waiting for a translator.


The series have quite a few recurring Japanese themes such as Matsuri, Oni, the Don & Kat SFX, do we need to translate everything? (Would the game loose a bit of it's Japanese feeling?)


Already done

Files Injection

I reverse engineered most of the needed formats (most of them were already documented on the net).
The game uses LZ10 and LZ11 for compression (.c* files).
It uses a slightly different implementation of the U8 format for packing files. (.awg files)
For textures the game uses TPL files and RGB5A3, RGBA32, C8 and CMPR image formats.

Not really pleased with most of the tools available on Internet, I coded my own libraries for LZ77 compression, U8 archives and TPL encoding/decoding.

I also made a program to "smart inject" files into the game.
The program accept a source folder with the modified/translated files and a destination folder with the game files.
The program automatically decompress and depack the needed files in the destination folder, inject images if needed and past other files.
It finally repack and re compress modified files.

This makes the testing much faster and easier.

Making Labels

As most of the game labels are verticals I put together an application to generate labels with the Taiko no Tatsujin font.
You can make labels horizontally or vertically, change the margin, change the font/background colour.
The labels are saved with a x4 resolution, as I find it prettier to make outlines, effects and resizing in Photoshop.
I had to make a custom vertical font. Widths and heights were not meant to be used with a vertical positioning.

There is still of bit of tweaking to be done with both applications.

UI & Text

SWG files are still looking pretty obscure to me. SWG are derived from SWF files (but Adobe documentation about the format is daunting :'( ).
I know that they contain references to other UI elements (SWG as well), images or UTF-8 lines.
The lower part of the file contains scales and positions.

SWG associated with Letters (Otegami) handle the text differently (enriched text vs plain strings?) as you can change the font size, the colour, the transparency, etc..

I wrote a basic application for UTF-8 text detection and extraction in SWG files. I guess string length would be a limitation if I can't find more about the format?

Lyrics, Story lines (Kaiwa) and Dojo descriptions have their own simple file format.


Taiko Wii 1 contains three THP videos (opening, ending and credits).
This format is well documented, it won't be hard to write an API.


I reverse engineered tabs files because why not?

Bugs and things to correct

AWG/U8 :
- AWG files in the system folder behave differently from the Namco implementation. Separators and sorting methods are different.

- TPL files in the system folder have formats not yet implemented (I4, IA4 and IA8).
- I have yet to do the encoding for image formats other than RGBA32 (it won't be needed as long as files can still fit inside the LZ77 limitations).

Hacking Progression

Compression [100%] : ||||||||||

Archives [90%] :     |||||||||

Images [70%] :       |||||||

Videos [40%] :       ||||

SWG [10%] :          |

Tools Progression

Smart Insert [80%] :    ||||||||

Labels [70%] :          |||||||

Video subtitles [20%] : ||

Text GUI? [0%] :


How do I distribute the final product?
I'm not really well documented on the patching process, stop me if I say anything wrong!
For early console systems the patching method looks pretty simple, modify your game, make a diff with the original file and distribute the diff with the patcher.
How do people do it with complex file systems such as Wii ISO?
Do users really have to extract files from the ISO, patch the resulting file system? Then they would either have to repack the ISO or use the modified files with Riivolution?

Modifying the Wii fonts
I removed every unused font files, replaced the remaining ones yet I can't locate the font used for more than half of the game.
Does the Wii use a default system font or something similar?


Thank you very much for your time!
Have a donderful day!   ;)


I imported one of the DS games (Cute pair of stylus by the way) and while I didn't get that far in the story (And by far I mean i think I never moved from the first few stages) because of the language barrier, the other modes were a blast to play, even if I messed up often and I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

I didn't know there were games of this series on the Wii!
Saddly I have no knowledge about Wii hacking or japanese...  But I wish you the best for this project!

Maybe you could ask for advice to the people that made other translations for the Wii, like Fatal Frame 4 or Fragile (Although that was into Spanish, though).

And the screenshots look pretty nice. I even remember the fish guy in one of the corners.
I'm off for some time. If for some weird, strange, and important reason, you need to talk to me, just send me a PM and probably I'll read it whenever I come back.


Hey! I made an account specifically for this...
I'm super, super interested in this, and I just wanted to know if you're still alive/still doing this patch! I'd love to help out in literally any way possible.

If you're still working on this, please let me know! Again, I'm extremely interested in this!