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Author Topic: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation  (Read 1019 times)

Prof. 9

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[NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« on: November 03, 2021, 02:49:25 pm »


Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation (ブラック・ジャック 火の鳥編 BLACK JACK Hi no Tori Hen) is a Japanese adventure game released for Nintendo DS in 2006 and is an original story based on the works of Osamu Tezuka. It features the titular Black Jack: a clandestine doctor, said to be the most skilled surgeon in the world, who can operate on just about anyone and anything. Alongside Black Jack, many different characters from Osamu Tezuka's Star System make an appearance.

The game is part visual novel, part "playable manga". You perform operations on various characters in the form of minigames where you tap and drag the stylus according to the instructions. It takes some cues from Trauma Center and Elite Beat Agents, although it's very much its own thing. The scoring is based purely on how precisely you executed the command, so it's not quite a rhythm game. You can also bring items to restore health or to make certain types of commands more forgiving. At the end of each operation, there's a special minigame which mixes up the gameplay.

I originally found out about this game after playing Astro Boy: Omega Factor. I'm not much of a manga buff, but I searched for other games featuring Osamu Tezuka characters, came across this one, and decided to start a translation project for it. But this isn't just a game translation - in a way, it's a manga translation as well. While the visual novel segments are straightforward enough, there are plenty of manga panels during the operations that have text bubbles or onomatopoeia.

Some Japanese screenshots of the game:

Spoiler:

A video showing some more gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1fe2azM7Oc

Unfortunately, I don't speak Japanese nor am I super well versed in graphics editing, so I'm looking for volunteers for the following roles (there may be some overlap). I'll be taking care of all the technical aspects and can help with editing as well.

  • Japanese -> English translator
  • Graphics artist/manga typesetter

If you'd like to help out, feel free to contact me by replying to this thread or sending a DM on RHDN/Twitter/Discord (Prof. 9#0009 on the RHDN server). I also plan to release the source code for the patch once it's done.

Current progress:

  • Image and script formats reversed
  • Image + text replacement fully working
  • Variable-width font inserted
  • Memory adjustments for expanded text boxes and text log
  • Logging file loads and heap (de)allocations

What remains to be done:

  • Translation: 374 scripts - ~780 KB of text
  • Graphics: 2285 images - ~16 MB. Though many of these are pretty simple (e.g. plain text on a transparent/solid color background).
  • UI adjustments

Here's a video showing the current progress, based on a machine translation of the intro cutscene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YRFugj2Vvs

Some screenshots:



If this belongs in Script Help and Language Discussion instead, please feel free to move this topic. Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 03:41:30 pm by Prof. 9 »

cccmar

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Re: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2021, 03:49:56 pm »
You may want to check out Anime Game Translations discord, there are lots of translators there specializing in anime/manga based games (if nobody else answers here). There are some folks from that channel here as well, so perhaps they will help out in one way or another. :)

VicVergil

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Re: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2021, 04:48:38 pm »
You may want to check out Anime Game Translations discord, there are lots of translators there specializing in anime/manga based games (if nobody else answers here). There are some folks from that channel here as well, so perhaps they will help out in one way or another. :)
No public invites exist for that discord server. Do you have any details?

PhantomandGhost

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Re: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2021, 02:20:03 pm »
Hey! I'm one of the admins at the AGT team discord (link here). There's not too much to see on the server as all of our project channels are restricted due to dealing with copyright material, but there has been some discussion of this project on there (and thanks @cccmar for thinking of us!)

It's definitely the kind of thing we'd love to lend our support to if we can. Unfortunately, I personally don't know too much about Osamu Tezuka's Star System so I feel like I wouldn't be able to do justice as a translator, but I do have experience with DS graphics and manga typesetting. The combination of the two does lead me to be nervous about the challenge of making the manga speech bubbles comfortably legible at DS size, but our server is also host to many graphics editors far more talented than me, so you're also welcome to make a 'formal' recruitment post there as well :)

Pennywise

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Re: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2021, 02:32:32 pm »
Does anyone how much this game has to do with Phoenix? I've read several of the novels in the series and they are most beautiful manga works I've ever read (but my frame of reference is rather limited). I always thought that Phoenix is nearly impossible to faithfully adapt to a video game.

Prof. 9

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Re: [NDS] Black Jack: Phoenix Compilation Translation
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2021, 04:06:08 pm »
Thanks for the tips about the Anime Games Translation Discord, I wasn't aware that was a thing. I was contacted by a translator who is a Tezuka fan, so it looks like we can proceed with the project for now. We're still in need of a typesetter/graphics editor, so I might check out the AGT Discord soon.