The Let's Play Archive

Eien no Filena

by satsu

Part 20

satsu posted:


ROM hacking translation 101

This jumble of alphabet and Japanese is an example of what we commonly call "cavespeak". It's caused by modifying the game's font to include the alphabet and Western punctuation, overwriting the original Japanese characters in the font, as most games do not have room to add new characters, nor do most Japanese games have a full alphabet of both uppercase and lowercase letters. As a result, bits of text that are still in Japanese won't display correctly, resulting in complete gibberish, perhaps not entirely unlike the early speech of our cave-dwelling ancestors.

As I mentioned before, the way that I'm doing this translation is by editing text files produced by a tool written by Disnesquick, and then using an insertion tool by the same to get the translations back into the ROM. Under the surface, the Filena ROM is an ugly beast. The script data, unlike many SNES games, is not so much just lines and lines of text as it is text interspersed by scripting data such as character movements and the like. On top of that, the script data is also compressed. As a result, before any editing can be done, the script data needs to be compressed, and then a tool which weeds out the text strings and dumps them to a text file with a tag to identify where they belong needs to be used. To reinsert, you need to rebuild the script data with the updated text strings and then compress it again. (In this case, the data is placed at the "end" of the ROM file so as not to corrupt the original data, and the pointers to the data are updated accordingly.)
Disnesquick deserves some serious kudos for figuring out how to deal with this in record time. For reference, this kind of system is one of the things that made Bahamut Lagoon a difficult project for the team that worked on it, and is also one of the reasons Disnesquick's Energy Breaker project has been going on since 1999 or 2000. By the way, G.O.D. is also designed this way.

If you'd like to see what these script files look like, I've uploaded an example here.

EDIT: Most likely schedule for next update is Sunday-Monday: translate, Monday: update.

Velius posted:

I like reading these updates. This game is definitely quirky, but interesting. I'm hoping it bucks more stupid RPG cliches along the way. I'd love it if the main love interest isn't that stupid guy who got left for dead earlier on, too, but I'm not really holding my breath on that one.

We shall see.