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PS2 game translation issue

Started by NarutoClassic's, May 29, 2023, 10:06:00 AM

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anyone with JP games translation knowledge?
i'm trying to translate a game named Naruto Uzumaki Ninden, but i'm facing this problem with spaced characters, does anyone ever faced this before?
any advices?


Fairly standard thing to encounter in Japanese games, some might have means to make smaller characters buy as Japanese is fixed width then it was less common to see.

Three main options are
1) Alter the font to work better with such a setup. Put a tail on the i and generally make everything as large as it can be made before it overlaps or just so it looks better. Easiest in some ways as it is mostly going to be graphics tweaking. You may find it better to do it to some Japanese characters rather than whatever it has for English.

2) Alter the game to use less distance. Hard to do on older systems but the PS2 should be fine for this. Whatever this game/the PS2 uses to handle text will have some calculation done to figure out how much further along to put the characters, most times it will be something like add 16 pixels or whatever before spitting that location to the memory location responsible for items on screen. Depending upon how the game handles new lines* it could be as easy as working backwards from a write to the memory area (background tiles on most systems but I don't know the PS2 setup/terms of choice) and changing the simple addition it does, or it could be slightly more involved.

3) Variable width font hack. Like 2) above but you include a lookup table and calculate how far between letters it needs to be. This will give the best results but obviously requires some more specialist skills. You can also go a bit further and make it so the g has a descender below the line while you are at it. has some examples for non PS2 stuff but the principles apply on most things that can handle it (really old stuff only does tile by tile, no custom sizes/overlap locations).

*three main approaches.
i) No autodetect, instead a character within the text triggers a new line. Common on older systems but was getting rarer by the PS2 where instead that might be end of section or something.
ii) Autodetect from the width value you might have edited as part of this. This is what a proper vwf hack
iii) Autodetect from a character count (after 18 characters or whatever start a new line) which might make lines look a bit short if you have it all condensed up close.


thank you for your help, but no luck so far for me...
the game has 14 font files (different kanjis i think) stored in the System file.
but whenever you put english letters on it, it sticks exclusive to just one font file, which is this one
(first texture from the file):

odly enough the credits file have a VWF inside, along with a different font file
Ninden Credits font:
Ninden Credits VWF:

this game (Naruto Uzumaki Ninden) has a US version, but it lacks of content, there's alot of cut content.
and in the US version (Naruto Uzumaki Chronicles) there's not a VWF in the system file... could it be stored in the ELF?


What a nice Japanese font (another one around here the other day was hideous), pity the provided English/Roman side of things is so unpleasant.

It uses all the different fonts normally but falls back to that one on editing? That is an odd thing, more likely it always used that one file and the others are some dev being careless with the leftover earlier versions or something (or maybe one or two used for something like said end credits, menus, debug options or the like).
That or I am not quite following what you are trying to convey when you say put English letters in -- do you mean the script itself? As in it simplifies itself if it has to display English via the stock options (some translators will alter the font itself and their insertion table or substitute terms accordingly, including for scenarios like the one you started this thread off with) but without it then it is free to do all manner of other things? Or just that using English means it does not have to fetch the other files containing all manner of other aspects (sometimes on older systems you would see separate fonts for ?kuten, or indeed one for hiragana and another for katakana and more for kanji) which would still be plausible for the PS2 (not really enough memory to be wasting with thousands of kanji you are not using, especially if it is supposed to be a shonen thing where such things are minimised to help younger/less capable readers).

Fonts are one of the things that do get changed between regions (especially still on the PS2 where Japanese devs still made games for Japan and the rest of the world/translators elsewhere were at best an afterthought if the title was not Final Fantasy*) so yeah not surprised to see the setup changed, especially if they got it to use a variable width setup instead. Roman alphabet fonts would also be small enough to be plausibly buried within the elf as some kind of incbin approach but without checking that is speculation at best.

*choice link at times like these, even if more just for a fun read than any particular relevance to this discussion, as well as the other links on that site to similar articles.

As far as vwf in the credits I am not necessarily seeing it in that image there. The odd shifts in locations being enough to make me curious, and I have certainly seen plenty of fixed in the tile viewer but changed in software for final display.


lol, forgive me i'm terrible explaining things.
the original fonts, containing just Kanji are like just one image but splited in 14 files;
but when you change the text to English letters it will just use characters from the first file. (that one that i sent before)

here's what i did so far.
i've replaced the first font texture with the english alphabet from the US version.
and of course,  translated that text part in English.

and, i was able to find by PCSX2's debbuger what appears to be the XYZ of the text.

but idk how to procced from here, appears to be very complex, and i'm very noob in MIPS;
i don't even know if a VWF like that one from the credits exists on the ELF....