Translating Grandia Digital Museum

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Some may already be aware of this but I figured I'd make a thread for this now that the main game is done. I've been snooping around Digital Museum for the past year or so now and as expected there's a lot of similarities with file formats. As a result it's not hard to adapt the tools I made for the original game to be compatible with Digital Museum, as well as make new tools for actually editing the data this time.

These new tools are required as there's no existing translation of Digital Museum to leverage this time. This will require an actual translator at some point once I get the tools all polished and figured out. My goal is to have the tools in a state where I can just give them to a translation team that can use them to work directly with the games original files to translate at their own pace. Then they can either have the tool export to the final game data format, or send me a saved JSON file I can use to export back into the games format.

So far here's what's been accomplished:
  • Item Data has been extracted into a spreadsheet and compared to the item data from the base game to eliminate already translated data.
  • Magic and Skills appear to be the same between both games, so that data can be lifted as is.
  • Field Menus have been translated.
  • An early form of a Script Editor has been created and appears to work, though there may still be bugs to iron out.
  • An tool to parse and edit the Enemy data has been started.
What still needs figured out:
  • Some graphics appear to be compressed this time that weren't previously compressed, unknown if Nanash1's tools from last time will work as is.
  • Need to reverse engineer the Mini Games to translate any Japanese in them (will likely require a graphics artist to redo their title screens)
  • Need to reverse engineer the Save Game Library. Currently I can't find where the text that describes the saves or the individual save names are stored.
  • Unknown if the Beastiary uses the info in the Battle Data files or if it's separate thing entirely.
  • Will need an actual translator to translate the script, items, enemies, etc. (have some ideas of people to ask first before I just start taking random volunteers).
There's probably more I'm forgetting at the moment, but this is still a very early project. I'd like to try and have a demo ready for this years competition, but I'm not making any promises. But for now here are some screenshots showing what I have so far.

Script Editor showing a google translate translation being injected into the game:
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Translated Menus (items, skills, etc. are still in Japanese):
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Stellar Assault SS English localization project
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Announcing an English localization of Sega Saturn 3D space combat shooter Stellar Assault SS!

Developed and published by SIMS in 1998, Stellar Assault is a remake of a 1995 Sega 32X game of the same name — although it was called Shadow Squadron in North America. It brings a Wing Commander-like experience to the Saturn with its 3D spaceship combat through 17 missions. It also has some interesting features for the Saturn, including an interlaced mode for improved resolution, a "trace" mode that lets you watch a replay of your last game, and asymmetrical co-op play.

But one of its most distinctive features is its large amount of voice acting that's found not only in the video mission briefings but also during each mission as the player character and his wingmen chat across their radios. While all of the game's text is in English (with the exception of the credits at the end) a lot is lost on English speakers who can't understand any of the Japanese voice overs. That affects gameplay, too, as the mission briefings only deliver instructions in the voice over — outside of some basic "computer terminal" animations, there is no text explaining the player's objectives.

That makes it crucial to redub this game in English. As with Bulk Slash, there is no in-game routine for displaying subtitles during gameplay, and it would be very difficult if not impossible to hack such a routine in. While we could add subtitles to the FMV mission briefings, that not only might reduce the video quality, it also would be inconsistent to leave the Japanese voice acting there while the in-game pilots are speaking in English. So just like Bulk Slash, we're dubbing the whole thing.

Lacquerware has been working for the last several months to transcribe every voice line into a script and then translate them into English. He's now about 98% finished, so it's time to edit it and recruit voice actors who are willing to volunteer their time and talent to make Stellar Assault SS accessible to English speakers for the first time.

We need five male roles and three female roles filled for Stellar Assault. The roles are:

Aya Hijikata: 32-year-old female commander of the carrier capital ship. Comprehensive operation commander for the UN Space Force. Delivers mission briefings and acts as your eye in the sky.

Edgar: Male-sounding AI unit for the player's ship. Reminiscent of Data from Star Trek and voiced by the same guy in Japanese.

Maria: Female-sounding AI unit in the Kite-3, the player ship's support device. Bubbly, cutesy, prone to mood swings. Talks like a gyaru. Equipped with an experimental "emotion circuit."

Jake MacPherson: 35-year-old male lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Hawk Squadron. Lax and irritable by turns. Prone to drastic mood swings. The player's direct commanding officer.

Brenda Bright: 23-year-old female ensign who is a pilot in Hawk Squadron. Serious and unlikely to go off-script or act without discretion. Scolds Jake.

Alan Vergil: 34-year-old lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Eagle Squadron. A little weak-willed, but smart alecky and prone to posturing.

Brad Feel: 35-year-old lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Falcon Squadron. Serious and cool-headed. A man of few words.

Pilot: An unnamed male who has a handful of lines during missions.

And here are what the characters look like in the Japanese manual, with their English names added to the photo:

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To be clear, this is an unfunded fan project and we're relying entirely on volunteers. But that also means it would be perfect for aspiring voice actors looking for more experience, or for voice actors who would love to help bring this awesome game to a wider audience.

Anyone interested in auditioning should join our Stellar Assault SS Localization Project Discord server at Join the Stellar Assault SS Localization Discord Server! or email us at StellarAssaultLocalization@gmail.com. We can be reached out to on Twitter @lacquerleaks (Lacquerware) and @Danbo_4 (me). And if you're just interested in keeping up with the project, you can feel free to join the Discord, too!

As for the already assembled team, Lacquerware is the project lead, translator and voice director. Mampfus and Shadowmask return from Bulk Slash to help with audio editing, mastering and insertion into the game with technical assistance from Trekkies. Cargodin and I will work with Lacquerware to edit the translated script.

Wish us luck, everyone! We can't wait to make another voice-heavy Japanese exclusive Saturn game more accessible to new fans.

Yumimi Mix Remix translation

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Hey, everybody. Sorry to be barging in and doing the first-post-is-a-project-plug thing, but this is pretty much the place for Saturn translations, so I figured it'd be a lot nicer to let you all know about it personally instead of leaving it to someone else to repost it...

So, I've just completed and released a translation for Yumimi Mix Remix. Download it here! Yumimi Mix Remix - stargood
The source code is available on Github, for the curious: GitHub - suppertails66/yumimiremixtools: Translation tools for Yumimi Mix Remix

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Here's a video of the start of the game, which probably explains it far better than any of my ravings:

In a town somewhere in Japan, there once lived a very average high school girl named Yumimi. Together with her best friend Sakurako and friend-cum-crush Shinichi, she enjoyed happy if very average days…until one fateful morning when, on the way to school, she witnesses a procession of ghosts(?) crossing the street before her very eyes! And then in the hallway, a girl suddenly latches on to her, tells her she has to "go stitch the holes," and – declares her love for her!? Suddenly, Yumimi's life isn't so average anymore, though she may soon be wishing it was…

For those not familiar with this game, which is probably just about everyone, it's the Saturn port of Yumimi Mix, an adventure game for the Mega-CD by Game Arts (developer of Lunar/Grandia) in collaboration with popular shoujo manga artist Izumi Takemoto. It's billed as an "interactive comic", though I think that's rather underselling it -- it's basically a multiple-choice anime, with everything fully voice-acted and no text outside of menus. The original Mega-CD game was quite a remarkable achievement technically and artistically, boasting some of the finest animation seen on the console (if you've ever played the MCD version of Lunar: Eternal Blue, Yumimi Mix's engine is what powers the cutscenes). Much of the game frankly defies explanation and has to be seen to be believed; Izumi Takemoto's sensibilities are very bizarre, and I'll just say that things get very strange very fast.

As you might imagine, the fact that the game is basically an interactive anime with tons of voice acting and almost no text made it slightly difficult from a hacking and translation perspective. I built an extensive subtitling system for it that aims to make the game look as much like a subtitled anime as possible. It even includes some extras like allowing Japanese honorifics to be disabled through an in-game menu (please make note of this before complaining it's a "weeb translation"!).

This project has technically been in the works for most of five years, though only active for a fraction of it. I intially started hacking work on the MCD version of the game back in 2017, but couldn't find a translator at the time and ultimately had to give up on it. In the end, I never could get anyone else to translate it, but after years of studying Japanese, I eventually reached the point where I felt I was capable of handling it myself. So I did! I also moved the project over to the Saturn version, since it removed almost all limiting technical factors from the equation. All in all, it was a whole lot of work, but I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

Now, this is basically a one-to-one port of a Mega-CD game, so if you go into this expecting anything jaw-dropping by Saturn standards, you'll be sorely disappointed. But the Saturn version was by far the best option for translating it, so that's what I used. Try to judge it by the standards of the previous generation...please? :(

As a final caveat: This hasn't been tested on real Saturn hardware because I don't have the ability to do so, so if you try...well, good luck, and let me know if it actually works. As noted in the readme, I also didn't region patch it, so you might have to do that yourself depending on your setup. In any case, this definitely runs fine on Mednafen and at least seems to work on Yabause, though I didn't test that thoroughly.

Well, that's all I've got. I know it's not much as a Saturn game, but I hope a few of you will give Yumimi a chance. It really is an excellently made game on every level, and an experience like no other.

NeoMania - A Rhythm Game for the Neo-Geo

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I present you NeoMania (my first 24-bit 16-bit Game).
It's a Rhythm Game for the Neo-Geo inspired a lot by StepMania and Dance Dance Revolution.:banana:

I want to thank a lot dciabrin for his awesome NGDEVKIT :bowdown: without this fabulous tool, I would certainly not have been able to embark on this project.
And also thank people like blastar, furrtek and many other from the Neo-Geo Scene for all their hacks, homebrews, explanations and documentation.:beerchug:

Besides, since there must be quite a few Neo experts here, does anyone know if there have been any rhythm games for the Neo? :cwm15:

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