J.B. Harold: Blue Chicago Blues - English Patch

J.B. Harold: Blue Chicago Blues - English Translation 1.00

Arjak

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View attachment J.B.Harold_Blue_Chicago_Blues(Win95)(Japanese)_Box-front.jpg

I am proud to announce my first ever attempt at a translation: J.B. Harold: Blue Chicago Blues!

This FMV adventure game was the last entry in Riverhill Soft's J.B. Harold series of detective mystery video games, a series which started on Japanese home computers and would later see ports to consoles. J.B. has unfortunately had a very spotty release history in the west, with only a few games receiving western ports. The first game, Murder Club, would be released in the west for DOS and the TurboGrafx CD, and the Pioneer LaserActive would receive Blue Chicago Blues and an FMV remake of Manhattan Requiem. Besides some questionable ports to modern smartphones, that's the only exposure the series has received outside of Japan.

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The Title Screen and all system menu options have been translated into English.

Blue Chicago Blues was originally released in 1994. While the live-action scenes were originally filmed in English, most versions of the game released in Japan would dub the scenes back into Japanese. The only versions to retain the English audio were the LaserActive and Windows ports. As of this time, the LaserActive has no working emulators and physical copies are extremely difficult (and pricy) to obtain. The Windows port requires effort to get running on a modern system.

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A vicious murderer is on the loose in Chicago, and only YOU can catch them!

The purpose of this project is to make the game more accessible to a wider western audience by translating the game on a platform easier to emulate or get ahold of. Upon tracking down the elusive Windows version, I was happy to discover that all the English video clips were in an easy-to-read format, making it possible to convert them to work on the Sega Saturn version. In-game text is being translated from scratch.

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Your partner for this case seems friendly enough, but can he be trusted?

As of this post, I am happy to announce that a demo patch is ready for release! This demo will translate the entirety of the prologue chapter, and will be available to download from this very website!

Can you solve the case? Stay tuned for the full version and find out!
 
Neato. Are you having any difficulty getting the PC audio to fit the cinepak clips? Hopefully it's just a straight transfer.
 
So far, I've had no issues with clips being different lengths. The Windows version has the most FMV out of any version I think, and the console ports took a lot of those clips and made them audio only. As a result, the English versions created using the Windows videos are longer than the Japanese audio. Thankfully, the game just plays the whole clip without any issues, so everything worked out pretty simple.
 
@Arjak , I can't thank you enough for this! I loved so much the PC Engine prequel!
I always wondered about this one, and I felt it wasn't worth to try the drawn mobile version.
It didn't work at the first try on Fenrir... I'm going to try iso+wav+cue, that generally does the trick!

Thanks again man!
 
Thank you! I've played a bit of the PC Engine version of Murder Club, and that was what got me interested in the series and inspired me to work on this project, so I really appreciate your support as a fellow fan.

I hope you're able to get the game working. When you do, let me know what you think. We've still got a long way to go, so keep your save files handy for the next version!
 
Thank you! I've played a bit of the PC Engine version of Murder Club, and that was what got me interested in the series and inspired me to work on this project, so I really appreciate your support as a fellow fan.

I hope you're able to get the game working. When you do, let me know what you think. We've still got a long way to go, so keep your save files handy for the next version!
Not only did I get to try the game, I'm already waiting with my saved game for you to finish the whole thing. THIS IS AMAZING! WOOO
 
Hello and congratulations for your work. I will follow all this closely and I know that it is not easy to do. We are currently finishing the translation of the game 'Phantams' on Saturn. In any case, don't let go, and I'll give you my cover for this future translated game. Good luck to you. LG30.



 
Yep! I found a new translator, and we're about to release an updated demo for the annual SegaXtreme competition. It will have an easier to read menu font, a new title screen, and improved audio/video quality.
 
Progress Report: February 3rd, 2023

It may seem like not much is going on with the project right now, but that couldn't be further from the truth. My new translator and I have been hard at work this past month, and in that time the Travel menu has been finished, and we're currently hard at work on translating the Computer Database. This is where a large amount of the game's text is, so it's taking a while. We've finished translating the menu options and the evidence entries. All that remains is the Character Dossiers and an error message, and the database will be finished and ready for testing. I'll be sure to share a few screenshots when it's done.

I've received a complaint from one of the competition judges that the video quality is not as good as the originals. I would like to ask the community to compare the video quality between the original Japanese version and the latest demo patch and give me their thoughts. If there is a consensus that the video quality of my patched version is worse than the original game, I will see if remuxing provides better results.

That's all for now. I'll be back with more news as the project progresses!
 
I got a decent comparison using an emulator. Others have a better eye for video but to me it's close with the edge going to the original. The aspect seems slightly different, too
 

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Progress Report: March 9th, 2023

I am happy to say that as of today, the Database is completely translated, at least as far as Disc 1 is concerned. It was a long haul, but we've come out the other side. I'm hoping that the rest of Chapter 1 will fall into place a bit quicker, but only time will tell. All of the Chapter 1 videos have been converted, although some edits to the audio only clips may be required for the purpose of conserving disc space and/or player sanity, as the original videos are sometimes a lot longer than the Japanese audio-only clips might suggest.

Testing new revisions can be tiring, as it already takes 30+ minutes to create a new patch in SegaSaturnPatcher. The disc images they create are also growing in size, which fills me with dread for the future. I'm starting to fear that we might run out of space on the disc before we finish. If that happens, there will likely be major trims to some of the audio-only CPKs. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a lot of dead space that might actually benefit the game from being cut, but it does mean more work.

I'll worry about crossing that bridge when we come to it, though. As for right now, the next step is to finish translating all of the dialogue trees for Chapter 1. Once that is done, we can concentrate on the rest of the more mysterious bits of text found in the files. I'm hoping that once Chapter 1 is done, we'll be able to release a new patch, allowing players to continue a little further in their investigation, as well as provide feedback.

Well, that's all I have for now. Until next time!
 
Progress Report: March 9th, 2023

I am happy to say that as of today, the Database is completely translated, at least as far as Disc 1 is concerned. It was a long haul, but we've come out the other side. I'm hoping that the rest of Chapter 1 will fall into place a bit quicker, but only time will tell. All of the Chapter 1 videos have been converted, although some edits to the audio only clips may be required for the purpose of conserving disc space and/or player sanity, as the original videos are sometimes a lot longer than the Japanese audio-only clips might suggest.

Testing new revisions can be tiring, as it already takes 30+ minutes to create a new patch in SegaSaturnPatcher. The disc images they create are also growing in size, which fills me with dread for the future. I'm starting to fear that we might run out of space on the disc before we finish. If that happens, there will likely be major trims to some of the audio-only CPKs. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a lot of dead space that might actually benefit the game from being cut, but it does mean more work.

I'll worry about crossing that bridge when we come to it, though. As for right now, the next step is to finish translating all of the dialogue trees for Chapter 1. Once that is done, we can concentrate on the rest of the more mysterious bits of text found in the files. I'm hoping that once Chapter 1 is done, we'll be able to release a new patch, allowing players to continue a little further in their investigation, as well as provide feedback.

Well, that's all I have for now. Until next time!

Perhaps you're doing this already, but in case you aren't, there's a way to add new or changed files to an existing patch so you don't have to rebuild the whole patch from scratch each time. After you've opened up the SSP utility and selected the Saturn game (in this case, JB Harold), click "Create New Patch" at the bottom, then click "Open SSP" at the upper-left. Select the patch file you want to edit, which will open the patch and show you all the files in it. Now you can drag and drop any new or changed files onto that list, and once the utility is done adding them, you can click "Create Patch" at the lower-right to make a newly updated patch.
 
Progress Report: May 22nd, 2023

Chapter 2 is almost done. With all the side stuff like the database already complete, we were able to plow through it in record time. However, while doing a final file check before creating the patch, I discovered some audio and video clips that had not been replaced yet. I don't even know if all of these clips can be heard in-game. Still, better to be safe than sorry. My translator is hard at work translating the clips so that I can find English equivalents. This isn't always easy, and in a few instances I've been forced to get creative because, strangely, there are a few clips that I can't find English versions of. Once all the clips are checked though, we should be ready to start testing the Chapter 2 patch. Then it's on to Disc 2, and then we just need to finish up some of the ending scenes that are on Disc 1 for some reason, and then we should be about done. We're almost at the halfway point! See you there!
 
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