Magic Knight Rayearth (SNES) English Retranslation v1.02

Started by mziab, September 01, 2022, 05:51:55 AM

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mziab




Project history

This all started when I implemented a dialogue VWF and dual-line hack for the Polish translation of Rayearth back in 2013 and thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be nice to port this over to the English patch". But this idea was put on the backburner due to other projects and various circumstances.

Some years later, in 2022, after completing a few other SNES romhacking projects, I remembered this idea, but decided to dive in deeper. After dumping the Japanese menu and later dialogue, it became apparent that the text itself needed improvement. Having worked on the Sailor Moon Another Story relocalization, I thought the game could use a thorough retranslation and since the script was small and simple enough, I took a stab at retranslating it myself in July 2022.

The old script contained some obvious contextual errors. Several item, monster and spell names were mistranslated, changed or abbreviated. And while the bare meaning is mostly conveyed in the dialogue, it's not a very good read and loses much of the charm and quirks of the original Japanese, making some of the conversations and humor fall flat. While usable, the old translation is not the best representation of the original. So I went over the entire script with a fine-toothed comb, compared each line with the original and rewrote and tweaked the script until I felt it was true to the original intent and enjoyable to read. I go over my translation choices in more detail in the liner notes included with this release, so please refer to it if you want to know more.

What you have in front of you is the sum of two months of work plus code changes carried over from my earlier translation project. Over 80% of the dialogue has been retranslated or rewritten, along with over 40% of the menu text. I do think this patch is worth playing for the variable-width font alone and new English script should make it a fresh experience even if you know the game by heart. Anyway, I hope this is as fun to play for you, as making this was for me. Enjoy!


For a fairly detailed comparison between this and the old translation, click here.




Changelog

v1.02 (October 20th, 2022)

- Fixed half a dozen typos and rephrased one line reported by Felipefpl

- Moved "Gold" in menus to the left to avoid a cosmetic glitch with 100k+ Gold

v1.01 (October 1st, 2022)

- Corrected a few typos, rephrased a few lines

v1.00 (September 1st, 2022)

- Implemented VWF for dialogue text

- Implemented dual-line hack for items, spells, equipment and monster names

- Retranslated and thoroughly rewrote the dialogue (80%+ changed)

- Retranslated item/spell names and descriptions (40%+ changed)

- Replaced menu font with a Chicago variant courtesy of FlamePurge

- Implemented proper plural verbs in monster attacks/appears messages

- Translated title screen credits

- Made status ailment names consistent with menu descriptions

- Included an optional patch to reduce the grind



Credits

- mziab: Tools, reprogramming, graphical editing, translation

- blip: Text insertion tools (re-used from the Polish translation project)

- ffgriever: Kanji ID, translation support and consultation

- FlamePurge: Font editing, localization consultation

Special thanks to RPGe/LNF Translations for their translation patch, which enabled fans to play the game in English way back in 1999!

Nintenja


gnome_chomski

Thank you (and everyone else who contributed) for your work on this re-translation. I know for a lot of us who were around during the early days of romhacking, Magic Knight Rayearth was one of the first JP-only games we got to play fan-translated into English.

So, it feels very meaningful to get a refurbished and re-translated version more than two decades later. Looking forward to the next playthrough!

FlamePurge

I hope you all enjoy this. I know nothing of MKR, but it was nice to make some graphics.
Check out and discuss my projects

Pennywise

That's neat. Nice to see some new life blown into these old translations.

mziab

Quote from: gnome_chomski on September 01, 2022, 12:18:11 PMThank you (and everyone else who contributed) for your work on this re-translation. I know for a lot of us who were around during the early days of romhacking, Magic Knight Rayearth was one of the first JP-only games we got to play fan-translated into English.

So, it feels very meaningful to get a refurbished and re-translated version more than two decades later. Looking forward to the next playthrough!

Thanks! Rayearth was actually the first jRPG I've ever played, not understanding what it was at the time. This was before I discovered the English patch, so I was playing it blind basically, not knowing a lick of Japanese back then. That I was able to hack and retranslate the game over two decades later is a really special milestone to me.

Anyway, one thing I forgot to mention is save compatibility with the old version. SRM saves are guaranteed to work always,  as are emulator saves in the world map, but basically anything in the middle of cutscenes will probably glitch due to the data having been moved around a lot. But with the game being this short, starting from scratch is probably advised anyway.

julayla

Thank you for the re-translation of the classic. It was impossible for me to get through the game with the old translation, but with this? It feels a lot better in the retranslation. Thank you

mziab

Incidentally, the script seems to have some unused text that I've never seen in action.

One block seems to be an alternate version of the introduction, which is closer to the one in the manga and the Saturn game (well, at least the Japanese release, Working Designs straight-up rewrote most of the introduction). And there are extended ending/goodbye speeches from two characters.

Does anyone know anything about these? The Cutting Room Floor has no info on the SNES game.

Reiska

This looks great, and I can't wait to play it!

Incidentally, since I read your liner notes on the translation choices, I felt like giving you another data point on some of them (MKR was recently in two Super Robot Wars games that got official localizations, so I can relate how those two games handled the relevant terms).  Note that this isn't intended as a criticism of your choices in any way, just as a data point! 

Anyway the SRW official translations (for T and 30) follow most of the same choices you did; they use "Alcyone", "Cephiro" with a "ph", "Lafarga" instead of "Rafaga", "Windam" instead of "Windom", and "Rune God" over "Mashin" in most cases (there's a few diversions in SRW 30's case because the similarity between "Mashin" and "Mazin"/"Majin" (Mazinger) is invoked as a plot point.  They went with Selece for Umi's Rune God, although I agree with you that it's almost certainly *supposed* to be Ceres, and they spelled Inouva without the "u" (SRW's house style for their official localizations is *generally* to drop long vowels, but it doesn't stick to this universally, particularly when the official localizations of the source material consistently do otherwise - i.e. SRW still uses "Hououji" for Fuu's last name even though it consistently renders the Mazinger protagonist as "Koji" rather than "Kouji")

Special

Looks like things have been much improved over the original, so good job and congrats on the release!

I played a bit and aside from the patch version number appearing in the Settings menu (I always hate this sort of thing, to me these are immersive breaking), and maybe a few lines that seem like an odd phrase one would say, for example when Zagato goes "best to nip problems in the bud" vs. "pests should be taken care of", but those are just personal preferences... Other then that though, I haven't found anything technical that are issues. So again, good job.

mziab

Quote from: Reiska on September 03, 2022, 02:36:32 PMAnyway the SRW official translations (for T and 30) follow most of the same choices you did; they use "Alcyone", "Cephiro" with a "ph", "Lafarga" instead of "Rafaga", "Windam" instead of "Windom", and "Rune God" over "Mashin" in most cases (there's a few diversions in SRW 30's case because the similarity between "Mashin" and "Mazin"/"Majin" (Mazinger) is invoked as a plot point.  They went with Selece for Umi's Rune God, although I agree with you that it's almost certainly *supposed* to be Ceres, and they spelled Inouva without the "u" (SRW's house style for their official localizations is *generally* to drop long vowels, but it doesn't stick to this universally, particularly when the official localizations of the source material consistently do otherwise - i.e. SRW still uses "Hououji" for Fuu's last name even though it consistently renders the Mazinger protagonist as "Koji" rather than "Kouji")

Thanks, Reiska! It's cool to know the terminology is mostly in line with what SRW uses. And it looks like people do read those notes, after all ;)

Incidentally, when I googled selece rayearth, celes rayearh and ceres rayearth, the last one had the most hits, so that's what eventually broke the stalemate and pointed me towards a decision. Well, that and the reasons mentioned in the liner. I think we can agree Selece is a pretty unusual spelling, though. Honestly, this was probably the single most agonizing decision in the whole project.

I suppose attack names might differ more, provided there is some overlap in the move list between this and SRW.

Anyway, my liner notes omit Emeraude and Zagato, since there's not much room for debate here and I'd be writing another "it's a car reference to X". And I've only seen them called something different (Emerald and Zagat) in the Saturn localization, but that one was all over the place. I trust the SRW team didn't go the Working Designs route on this? :)

Quote from: Special on September 03, 2022, 05:43:33 PMLooks like things have been much improved over the original, so good job and congrats on the release!

I played a bit and aside from the patch version number appearing in the Settings menu (I always hate this sort of thing, to me these are immersive breaking), and maybe a few lines that seem like an odd phrase one would say, for example when Zagato goes "best to nip problems in the bud" vs. "pests should be taken care of", but those are just personal preferences... Other then that though, I haven't found anything technical that are issues. So again, good job.

Thanks, hope you enjoy!

I get what you're saying about the immersion breaking. That's precisely why I didn't add a splash screen or plaster my name on the title screen. The version number was a last-minute thing. It's more there for future-proofing, really. Supposing there might be a bugfix release in the future, having a simple way to make sure people are on the latest version is a nice thing to have. And the settings menu seemed like the least obtrusive place to put it, since you barely even see it during normal gameplay. I guess I could consider removing it if more people think it's out of place.

Having Zagato use that particular idiom felt right and in line with his charismatic, eloquent overlord persona. Zagato, Clef and to some extent Inouva are specifically written to sound elegant and proud, as they do in the original game. I used fancier phrasing for them without straying from the original Japanese, basically. But I'm always open to constructive feedback, so if anything sounds off, do not hesitate to let me know. A fresh perspective is usually a good thing.

Special

Quote from: mziab on September 04, 2022, 05:33:56 AMI get what you're saying about the immersion breaking. That's precisely why I didn't add a splash screen or plaster my name on the title screen. The version number was a last-minute thing. It's more there for future-proofing, really. Supposing there might be a bugfix release in the future, having a simple way to make sure people are on the latest version is a nice thing to have. And the settings menu seemed like the least obtrusive place to put it, since you barely even see it during normal gameplay. I guess I could consider removing it if more people think it's out of place.

Having Zagato use that particular idiom felt right and in line with his charismatic, eloquent overlord persona. Zagato, Clef and to some extent Inouva are specifically written to sound elegant and proud, as they do in the original game. I used fancier phrasing for them without straying from the original Japanese, basically. But I'm always open to constructive feedback, so if anything sounds off, do not hesitate to let me know. A fresh perspective is usually a good thing.
The version number is a super minor thing, it would hardly be worth removing honestly and as you said it can be useful for bug reports or similar to make sure everyone are on the same version numbers, not everyone can whip out a hashing tool and check that way. :P I'm not even sure why I brought it up, if you hack was out of 100.0, I would subtract 0.01 because of this. :)

About the line, I have not played this game before, I was only looking at it from a fresh perspective, I was assuming this Zagato guy is the main evil villain of the game, he certainly looks the type, "nip in the bud" to me just doesn't sound like something your typical power crazed/hungry/out to destroy/conquer the world villain would say, especially one that wants some "children" taken care of... but again I don't know enough about this guy, maybe he's not even the bad guy here, or maybe he just like gardening, so the phrase fits. :P

You have a better grasp on these character then I, so it might be the better fit for him, I was just comparing it to the original translation which had him sounding more dark, more in line what I think a typical JRPG villain would say, that's why I gravitated more towards the original line.

mziab

Quote from: Special on September 04, 2022, 06:34:13 AMAbout the line, I have not played this game before, I was only looking at it from a fresh perspective, I was assuming this Zagato guy is the main evil villain of the game, he certainly looks the type, "nip in the bud" to me just doesn't sound like something your typical power crazed/hungry/out to destroy/conquer the world villain would say, especially one that wants some "children" taken care of... but again I don't know enough about this guy, maybe he's not even the bad guy here, or maybe he just like gardening, so the phrase fits. :P

When you think about it, the "pests" line also has a gardening element to it :D

Felipefpl

I didnt play the game but i must say the new font is one of the most beautiful i ever seen (much better than the one from RPGe), all RPG games should use it. Kongrats for the re-translation and the new font.
Core i7 Celeron Sandy Bridge G460 1.8 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - Win7 x64 - Intel HD Graphics 2000


mziab

Quote from: Felipefpl on September 05, 2022, 01:01:38 PMI didnt play the game but i must say the new font is one of the most beautiful i ever seen (much better than the one from RPGe), all RPG games should use it. Kongrats for the re-translation and the new font.

Thanks, I do agree Chicago is a pretty nice font. Incidentally, it's the same exact variant that was used in Sailor Moon Another Story, with several tweaks made by FlamePurge.

mziab

It's been a month and some oversights have been brought to my attention, so I'm releasing a minor update. Nothing much, just fixing a few typos and rephrasing a line or two. You can download the patch here.

Felipefpl

QuoteIt's been a month and some oversights have been brought to my attention, so I'm releasing a minor update. Nothing much, just fixing a few typos and rephrasing a line or two. You can download the patch here.

Nice, i was wait for an update in any translation to start playing the game.  :thumbsup:

I saw something and i'm curious about it, i noticed that in the battle screen the font isnt the chicago's one, was there any reason for that like being hard/impossible to change the battle's gfx? The "thin" letters of the font arent nice to see.
Core i7 Celeron Sandy Bridge G460 1.8 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - Win7 x64 - Intel HD Graphics 2000


mziab

Which battle screen do you mean? Could you show me a screenshot? If what you're describing is what I think it is, it's usually caused by loading a savestate from the old translation.

Felipefpl

This battle screen (i talk about the letters on top and the names of the girls in the bottom right side of the screen)and i dont use save states to load a game when i play, mostly i use save states as a backup in case the normal saves are corrupted/fail and also for testing like this:



I believe it's missing the word "bring" in the conversation below with presea about the ore that is needed:



Core i7 Celeron Sandy Bridge G460 1.8 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - Win7 x64 - Intel HD Graphics 2000


mziab

Quote from: Felipefpl on October 05, 2022, 12:01:52 PMThis battle screen (i talk about the letters on top and the names of the girls in the bottom right side of the screen)and i dont use save states to load a game when i play, mostly i use save states as a backup in case the normal saves are corrupted/fail and also for testing like this:



The upper text is stored as compressed graphics and I can change it (I have for my Polish translation), but a thick font like Chicago probably wouldn't fit, as it's roughly twice as thick. To be honest, I've never had a problem with how the buttons looked, so I've kept the original style. They're like that in the original Japanese game, too.

As for the small character names in the bottom right, they're actually 4x8 pixels each. I would need to rewrite the display routine to allow for a larger font and I'm not sure it's worth the effort. I'll consider it, but it's not a high priority.

Quote from: Felipefpl on October 05, 2022, 12:01:52 PMI believe it's missing the word "bring" in the conversation below with presea about the ore that is needed:



You're right. Huh, how did I miss that? Thanks for reporting. I'll wait and see if something else crops up before releasing another update, though.