EverDrive Forum

General => EverDrive 64 => Topic started by: ozidual on January 10, 2019, 08:16 PM

Title: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on January 10, 2019, 08:16 PM
A playtest patch is available right now.  It is NOT the final patch, just a step along the way.  We ARE planning to release a final version of the patch later this year.  The link to the patch is after this one little important piece first.  With COVID-19 out there, please remember to:

1. Wash your hands
2. Always cough/sneeze into your elbow
3. Don't touch your face
4. Stay at least 6 ft (2m) away from others (social distancing)
5. Stay at home whenever possible
6. Be kind to those around you, these are stressful times for many people
7. And if you travel, isolate yourself at least 14 days afterwards
8. Finally, reach out to someone you've been meaning to for a long time.  Now's the time to reconnect, not because you're worried about their health or your own but just to connect.

Special Thanks to Shane Battye for the 1-7.
Info about the release here: https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=8495.msg73856#msg73856
To get the patch, visit the Shiren discord here: https://discord.gg/5y7UDFc

--

I'm not updating this main post with the latest updates right now.  If you want to see the updates check out the latest posts.  The translation is moving very quickly and we hope to have it ready sometime next year (2020).

--

To access the Controller Pak Menu, hold the start button down and power on the game.  Here's a patch with (only) the Controller Pak Menu translated: Download (https://www.mediafire.com/file/41z1a7c1t4tyh6x/Shiren_2_Controller_Pak_English.zip/file)

--

If you are playing Shiren on an ED64, you will need to modify your save_db.txt file (in the ED64 folder on your cart) to include the following line (or use the save_db.txt file from here (https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=6126.msg47751#msg47751)):

SI=3      (Fushigi no Dungeon - Furai no Shiren 2 - Oni Shuurai! Shiren Jou!)

If you have a 64drive, that also does not have Shiren's save set properly.  When you choose the game, change it to 256K before Loading.

--

A translator has approached me about translating this game.  I've passed him the full text, but we're still in the early stages.

Websites:
http://roadbikebeginners.com/n64-fuurainoshiren2-cheatcode/
http://roadbikebeginners.com/n64-fuurainoshiren2-debugmode/

Master code: F1032240 2400

Enter debug mode when you enter next dungeon floor: 80142F1F 0001

A better debug mode code has been created as well, and I will post it after the translation has been out for a while.


Original text (January 10, 2019)

It's Shiren the Wanderer 2. I started working on it again recently. I don't have much time to put towards it, but Shiren doesn't demand much time.

No patches to post yet, but I thought I'd throw this up here to make note as I progress through the hack.

In the interim, go pick up the three English Shiren games out there! I've put quite a few hours into Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer for the DS. Great game.  Another one is Shiren the Wanderer (aka Shiren 3) for the Wii.  The final is Shiren the Wanderer 5 (aka The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate) for the PS Vita.

There's also the SNES Shiren the Wanderer which was translated many years ago by Aeon Genesis.  The DS game is an official remake of that.

--

Special thanks to our Shiren 2 Playtest crew:

vic
cornstarch
Mr Peck
alynne
dnaeil
Clover

and everyone else who has taken an interest!
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: ozidual on January 10, 2019, 08:17 PM
The progress so far...

Way back at the end of 2017, I did some initial work on Shiren while in the middle of another project (https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=6982.0). That first Shiren patch didn't go so well, so last summer I started over.  So far I have:

1. Ascii patch (newer, trimmer, better)
2. VWF (the game already has a VWF for Japanese and English)
3. Created a Japanese to hex table
4. Ripped a good chunk of the text in hex form
5. Started an initial run of finding Japanese in textures
6. Started comparing text from the 2 English Shiren releases to match against the text in Shiren 2.
7. Created a spreadsheet to allow me to convert text to hex and back

Shiren has the worst Japanese encoding I have ever seen.  That is to say that there is no standard encoding.  Just 1100+ characters pulled from the full Japanese characterset.  It took a few weeks to put together an encoding table, and I've already found a couple characters that need fixing.

At some point, I threw all of the text into Google translate just to see what it was like. It's not playable, but it helps me verify everything.

(https://i.imgur.com/auLefkS.png)(https://i.imgur.com/oQKSnAM.png)
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: tbpbird on January 11, 2019, 09:50 AM
looks fun, cant wait to play it.
cheers
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: Kerr Avon on January 11, 2019, 02:56 PM
This is fantastic news! And it will be great to have another RPG on the N64, a genre that's sadly almost non-existent when compared to the libraries on other consoles.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: Immorpher on January 11, 2019, 07:58 PM
Awesome, keep it up!
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: Shellshocker18 on January 15, 2019, 05:05 AM
Awesome! Remember I have completed save files and know where everything in the game and postgame is if anyone ever needs help. Gamehacking.org also has cheats your all going to need if anyone decides to play it. Without English you won't be getting through without dying until you've already beaten the game before and know what you're doing.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: ozidual on January 16, 2019, 06:01 AM
Awesome! Remember I have completed save files and know where everything in the game and postgame is if anyone ever needs help. Gamehacking.org also has cheats your all going to need if anyone decides to play it. Without English you won't be getting through without dying until you've already beaten the game before and know what you're doing.

Thanks Shellshocker18!  Those may have to wait until I get a translator, but I'll keep them in mind if I need them.

At this point I think I've found all the text, and figured out how to make more space for it (both in RAM and in ROM).   Next step is to figure out what all of the text codes mean - there appear to be quite a lot of them.   Once I get that figured out, I can start putting together a list of text to translate. 

The hacking side of things is going pretty quickly even with the little time I have to put towards it.  The translation side of things is going to take quite a lot longer.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: ozidual on January 18, 2019, 06:37 AM
Took a short break from code to fix the font.  Shiren had every letter starting at the same level, so decenders (g, j, p, q, y) were at the same level as all the other letters (note the lower case g and p in the 1st image).  It's still the exact same font, but with most characters shifted up 3 rows.

(https://i.imgur.com/oQKSnAM.png)(https://i.imgur.com/0uRkSR6.png)

Fixed that, but then found that there's still text out there that I haven't found.  It's about 50/50 whether the missed text is in the code or just a list of numbers somewhere.

(https://i.imgur.com/9kf7Rej.png)

The English characters are in two places right now - their original, unchanged place, which is encoded in 2 bytes, and their new, texture fixed place which is encoded in 1 byte.  The image above shows the old font (the numbers) next to the new font (the letters).

Remember, these are not officially translated, just machine translated to help me work on the game.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: Immorpher on January 19, 2019, 04:19 AM
Nice seeing the progress.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: ozidual on May 22, 2019, 06:35 AM
I know I said I put Shiren on hold, but...

(https://i.imgur.com/YvYINOb.png)

a translator approached me asking to work on it.  Getter Love is still my priority, but you may have noticed that the rate of hacks on GL is slowing down.  So during the down time (for me) I'm working on Shiren too.
Title: Re: Mystery Translation in Progress
Post by: Galron on May 22, 2019, 05:12 PM
Nice, having all the RPGs and Visual Novels translated is something I hope for!
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: ozidual on June 04, 2019, 10:55 PM
Normally if a game requires a solid chunk of time, I'll work on other small hacks in between (usually Zelda stuff), but right now Shiren has lots of little hacks that need work.  So with the 10 minutes here or there, I can do things like this:

(https://i.imgur.com/Tu5SeS3.png)

I figured out how to modify the window widths so we can have longer menu names.  I also made some minor changes to textures and a handful of other changes.  I also realized that I haven't modified a single line of code in Shiren.  It already has a VWF and 1-byte text, which are the two major hacks I usually need to do.  Almost all of the work was getting the non-standard alphabet figured out and sorting out textures for letters and such.  Mind you, once I finish GL hacking, there are some hacks that will need to be implemented in Shiren such as:

Adding an 's' for multiple items (check for the number and then put an s on the end if needed)
Adding 'st', 'nd', 'rd', 'th' depending on placing
Changing Item options depending on the item (e.g. inserting items into a pot vs. pouring water into a different pot)

The translation is moving along fast and is focused mostly on the dungeon/item/monster text right now.   I think the first pass on most item names and descriptions, most monster names, and things like that has already been done.  It's pretty cool to see since this is the meat of the game.  There's a delay on the game dialogue right now until I can get the text extracted in a way that is easy to update.  That text is buried in command codes and seems to use non-standard ways of doing just about everything :)
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: Galron on June 05, 2019, 05:34 AM
Yay, glad to see more work on this!
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: ozidual on August 13, 2019, 12:01 AM
I know it's been pretty quiet on both of my translations lately.  Getter Love is still moving forward - it's just such a dense wall of text :)

As for Shiren, things are picking up again now that I'm finally opast one of the largest hurdles.  There are two sections of text - the battle/dungeon/item/monster text, which you probably run into the most, and the dialogue text, which fills out the game and is quite a bit larger.  I may have mentioned that before.  Well, the dialogue text is mixed up with quite a few command characters (0x00 through 0x7F or 128 in decimal) - things like change this text to yellow or advance the movie forward or move these characters around or most importantly jump to this section if this value is true.  That last bit is very important when you change the length of dialogue by modifying it.  It took a while to identify which bytes were command characters, which bytes were modifiers, and which were text.  After that, I had to find a way to re-calculate those jumps to new sections.  I think we're finally there, and the translator is moving forward with translating that text. It's exciting to see :)

After tackling that, I decided to work on the Name Screen, and I think I finally have most of that sorted out.  It used to look like this:

(https://i.imgur.com/XXTobNJ.png)(https://i.imgur.com/FfSJ9fP.png)(https://i.imgur.com/gWSuAH7.png)

Now it looks like this:

(https://i.imgur.com/3YTghjx.png)(https://i.imgur.com/PUzkbEQ.png)

Unfortunately, the game only reserves 4 bytes in the save file for the name, so I'm going to have to dissect that a bit to find 7-8 bytes for the new name, but otherwise it appears to be done.  It's not the most exciting thing, but it's nice to finally make some visible progress on it all :)
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: daneeall on August 24, 2019, 06:23 PM
I never thought that this game will ever be translated. That's very nice news. Please go on and don't give up the project you've started. Many people are very excited about this.
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: ozidual on September 06, 2019, 06:40 PM
This may not be a problem for others, but even with the save_db.txt that's recommended out there, Shiren constantly says corrupted Journal 1 and corrupted Journal 2.  I had to add the following line to my save_db.txt:

SI=3      (Fushigi no Dungeon - Furai no Shiren 2 - Oni Shuurai! Shiren Jou!)

Now it works just fine.  I'm adding this above too.  Shiren uses a controller pak as well, though it looks like it's just for transferring your save files between carts.

If you have a 64drive, that also does not have Shiren's save set properly.  When you choose the game, change it to 256K before Loading.

The translation is going well.  We should have a 1st draft of the text (not including text in textures) before the end of the year.  It's exciting to see the game come together so quickly!  The translator is doing an awesome job! 
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: Kerr Avon on September 06, 2019, 07:39 PM
Thanks for that, I've put it in the save_db.txt thread at https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=6126.msg47751#msg47751 (https://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=6126.msg47751#msg47751)

Good to hear that the translation is coming on well!
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: nuu on September 06, 2019, 10:54 PM
Which save type is "3" and "256K" on the 64drive? I remember Shiren used to be incorrectly set to FLASH by the Everdrive 64 years ago, and all save types except SRAM and SRAM128 gave the corrupted journal error. I never knew which one was correct though, since both seemed to work.

Edit:
I guess it must be "SRAM" as it's 256kbit (32kByte) and SRAM128 is 1204kbit (128kByte).
Units like "kilobit" and "Megabit" are always causing me trouble.
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: ozidual on September 07, 2019, 03:00 AM
@Kerr Avon: Wow!  That was fast - thanks for updating that Kerr Avon!

@nuu: Yep yep.  It's still set to FLASH on the ED64.  It's just None/Controller Pak on the 64Drive.  I let Marshallh know and got a response back that he's going to update the 64drive so it correctly chooses SRAM as well.

EDIT: By the way, here are the options available when using a Controller Pak. 

(https://i.imgur.com/jPpCJL4.png)

As you can see, it's pretty much just backing up save files.  SRAM holds 2 save files and the Controller Pak can hold 3.  The rest of the space in SRAM appears to be used by the Leaderboards.
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: ozidual on September 13, 2019, 11:04 PM
It only affects a few items, but when you have multiple items now, it adds an 's' onto the end of it (e.g. 1 Voucher vs 83 Vouchers).  On paper it's a simple hack, but it took a few days to get it right. 

(https://i.imgur.com/rUhrxQR.png)

Along the way, there was a fun error that caused a random person to walk onto the location name screen.  They would walk on, reach a certain part of the screen and turn around.  Then they would wait with you for the screen to go away (it never did). 

(https://i.imgur.com/xcVhutm.png)(https://i.imgur.com/3yJM3zD.png)(https://i.imgur.com/2xntb2H.png)

Normally this is just a black screen with white text and it's up for maybe 5-10 seconds before loading the game.

Other than that, I've done some work to make sure the 6-7 character name works in as many places as possible.  There are still 1 or 2 places that will need some interesting solutions.  I've expanded a bunch of window widths.  I did some work with adding back in the Debug Menu and getting text to work better.  Next up is some more work on the text spreadsheets to make the jumps better (e.g. jump to this text or that text).

The translator is doing some amazing work.  Every day the game looks better and better.
Title: Re: Shiren 2 Translation
Post by: Galron on September 15, 2019, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the updates!
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on October 06, 2019, 11:35 PM
It's been a busy few weeks since the last update.  Here's what we've been up to:

For the few places that use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, ... 99th, I updated it to use the proper ending (st, nd, rd, th) since Japanese does not use that.

(https://i.imgur.com/ohTf21e.png)

The lower screen that shows the player's location, stats, etc. had to be expanded for the longer location names.

(https://i.imgur.com/19jSMCm.png)(https://i.imgur.com/mIGOsXO.png)

While tracking down all the game's text so he can test it, our amazing translator found a hidden room that probably very few people have seen.  He's played through the game quite a few times growing up and in the last few months but has never seen this room before.  We won't show you its location, but here's the current text for the person in it.  The sign in the back is where the real hidden text will be located...

(https://i.imgur.com/swQBjq1.png)

Finally, the translator is doing another playthrough focused on fixing text widths so everything looks better.

(https://i.imgur.com/kSvbptT.png)

I'm working on a glitch caused by the translation hack at the moment.  In Japanese a guy steps back and throws a few punches.  In English he disappears and a weapon looks like it takes a swing.  Quite a few other glitches have been fixed, but there are some persistent ones.

It's exciting but busy times :)

EDIT: Fixed the punching glitch.  My scripts accidentally identified a command variable character as a Japanese character.   A month or two ago I found out that some of the command characters don't have a fixed number of command variable characters which could lead to this problem.  I'm hoping the rest of the issues are tied to this.  I'd rather not spend the next few months tracking down all the different command characters and figuring out which variables cause them to use more variables :)  On to the next issue.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: daneeall on October 12, 2019, 09:12 AM
crawling feet in anticipation of an exciting
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on December 03, 2019, 09:12 PM
Back when I played N64 games I never really messed around with Controller Pak stuff.  At the time I didn't have my own N64 so most of my experience was late nights playing 007 or Smash with my roomates on their N64.  So I was surprised when I stumbled on the Controller Pak screen for Shiren last week.  You hold start down when you power it on and there it is.  I tried it on other games and sure enough, most of the Japanese games that use a Controller Pak (including Getter Love) have their own contrller pak screen.  It seems to be a bit rarer on US released N64 games, but that could just be the games I tried.

The controller pak has it's own character mapping that isn't ASCII:

0-9: 0x10 - 0x19
A-Z: 0x1A - 0x33

Then there's some punctuation (0x34 - 0x44) followed by Katakana characters (0x45 - 0x94)

We went ahead and translated the Shiren Controller Pak Menu:

(https://i.imgur.com/Ncky0A1.png)(https://i.imgur.com/axJLUHX.png)

and here's a patch with that translation (and nothing else): Download (https://www.mediafire.com/file/41z1a7c1t4tyh6x/Shiren_2_Controller_Pak_English.zip/file)

(https://i.imgur.com/A4WtjJq.gif)

As for the rest of the game, it is very actively being translated.  Right now the focus is on the 99 N'Dubba descriptions (I expect all of you to read every single one! :D).  We're also focusing now on text in texture format.  I got a large chunk of the textures extracted and the translator is working through those.  This includes screens with area names, characters with signs, and a few other things...

(https://i.imgur.com/o51JBUu.gif)

I also decided to try my hand at creating an Initials screen after the Name screen.  I think I mentioned it before, but Shiren originally only had 4 characters for the Name screen.  It was expanded to 6 but there was one place where this expansion didn't quite fit - the Leader Boards.  So, I added a 2nd Name screen after the 1st for a 3 letter name (your initials).  That way the Leader Boards can be like old school gaming leader boards where it lists your initials in the top 10/30.  Now you can name your character Shiren, but use your initials for the leader boards.

(https://i.imgur.com/6zppT3c.gif)(https://i.imgur.com/DAp9FhJ.gif)

Moving forward, on the hacking side of things I've caught up quite a lot.  There are some more text errors I need to work on surrounding Castle and Material building.  I have some further ideas on other areas as well.  We'll see.

(https://i.imgur.com/TQLWxXz.gif)
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: nuu on December 03, 2019, 10:56 PM
The controller pak menu is usually mentioned in the manual for games that uses controller paks, sometimes you can access the menu in-game as well.

It seems Nintendo didn't include a standard menu in their SDK because every game have their own menu, many without support for all valid characters in file names. Or maybe Nintendo uses different character mappings for different regions like on the Gamecube. Non-Japanese games often doesn't seem to support Japanese characters anyway.

I usually use Ganbare Goemon: Neo Momoyama Bakufu no Odori when managing controller paks, because Japanese characters works and you can access the menu from the options menu. I added a note about it in the compatibility list.


I checked the SDK and it says each save file have the following header:

1. Company code ( 2 bytes)
2. Game code (initial code) ( 4 bytes)
3. Note name (16 bytes)
4. Note extension ( 4 bytes)

Company and game codes are in ASCII while note name (which is the file name) "is described using the N64 font code system". This encoding seems to be converted to from JIS by some tool in the SDK.

Aha I found it!
http://n64devkit.square7.ch/pro-man/pro26/26-03.htm#05-02

(https://i.ibb.co/mSW5nH1/n64fcsystem.png) (https://imgbb.com/)

Some ASCII characters and katakana seems to be allowed. Also there are two fonts: FONTSIZE_E (roman letters only) and FONTSIZE_J (roman and katakana). That explains why some games don't support names with katakana, Nintendo allows it.
At least they don't use two different region-specific file systems for controller paks like on Gamecube memory cards.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on December 04, 2019, 12:23 AM
Good info there.  That font matches Shiren's Controller Pak font exactly.  The rest of it matches what I can see too.  I think Company code is probably the Publisher code since Shiren uses 01 - Nintendo (Zoinkity has a mostly complete list published out there).  Looking at the Controller Pak file for Shiren in 4 bytes chunks:

4E53494A
NSIJ [Shiren's Game ID]

30310005 [file 2 is 3031002D]
01 (and a pointer) [0x0005 points to 0x500 and 0x002D points to 0x2D00]
[each file in Shiren SRAM is 0x2800 long, space for 2 files and the rest is Leaderboards]
[Controller Pak can hold 0x8000 or 3 Shiren save files making 0x7800 + 0x500 header]

82030000
(Unsure, possibly has to do with the length)

11000000 [File 2 is 12000000]
(Note Extension + 0x000000) [0x11 = 1, 0x12 = 2]

6B527651 685B794F 120F893B 5F000000
フウライノシレン2-デ-タ [Shiren 2's Controller Pak Data Name]

I'm sure this sort of info is available somewhere else, but I like discovering this stuff as I go along.   Good info - thank you!
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: nuu on December 04, 2019, 02:56 PM
I guess "Leaderboards" is the data for the High Score screen.

The controller pak menu looks very nice and clean. Using the default font, I wouldn't be surprised if they are just using an example program from the SDK with no modification.
I like the simplicity of it. If only there was an option in the main menu to get to it I'd use Shiren 2 as my default controller pak browser.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on December 04, 2019, 04:55 PM
Yep yep, there is a leader board for each dungeon in the game.  I haven't traced out too much in it, but it creates a score for you whether you complete the dungeon or die in it.

Funny you should mention that - back when I first found the Controller Pak Menu, I was looking for the same thing so I tracked down the check for press start.  I haven't tested it when there is no Controller Pak inserted.  It might just crash if that's the case, but I'm hoping it has a separate check for that.

Here's a version of the patch from a few posts before that always boots to the Controller Pak Menu first: Download (https://www.mediafire.com/file/uabl16n18ll3zsa/Controller_Pak_Editor_v1.1_%28Shiren2%29.bps.zip/file)
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: johnson on December 07, 2019, 09:37 PM
wow, amazing progres with the translation :) you are great Ozi
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: butfluffy on December 08, 2019, 01:56 AM
this looks great :)
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: nuu on December 09, 2019, 05:13 PM
Funny you should mention that - back when I first found the Controller Pak Menu, I was looking for the same thing so I tracked down the check for press start.  I haven't tested it when there is no Controller Pak inserted.  It might just crash if that's the case, but I'm hoping it has a separate check for that.

Here's a version of the patch from a few posts before that always boots to the Controller Pak Menu first: Download (https://www.mediafire.com/file/uabl16n18ll3zsa/Controller_Pak_Editor_v1.1_%28Shiren2%29.bps.zip/file)
Thanks! I tried it in Project 64 and it boots up Shiren 2 if you don't have a controller pak inserted.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on December 27, 2019, 09:11 PM
A week or two ago the translator ran into an interesting bug.  With the current hack (Shiren v0.2.040DebugSaveHeaderDebug2), taking the cart to the Summit turns the Summit into a dungeon.  It's easiest to tell if you have the map up:

(https://i.imgur.com/WKFI3j1.png)(https://i.imgur.com/dpM3TlS.png)

But you'll also notice in that 2nd image above and the one below that you can fight monsters too:

(https://i.imgur.com/FEzRe5y.png)

It's equivalent to the 2nd floor of a dungeon (as you can see from the 2F along the top).  Otherwise the area acts like normal.  You can build castle parts and talk to everyone like normal.  There is no staircase that I can find and as soon as you leave the Summit it reverts back to normal (no dungeon).  Pretty cool.  It's a very huge maybe, but someday I'd love to purposely enable some of these errors and release a patch with them.

The translator has been working like crazy this month on Shiren and a Shiren related project - more on that another time.   For me December was a wasted month.  Between illness and holiday activities I got next to nothing done.  I'm hoping January will be a catch up month for me.

EDIT: Fixed it, but I also figured out how to change what floor it thinks you are on.  Fun stuff.  I'm still not 100% sure how to make it happen elsewhere, just for taking the cart to the Summit at the moment.  Here's a cool view of a Pumphantom coming after me over the water on a 85th Floor Summit dungeon:

(https://i.imgur.com/ala5xjC.png)
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: nuu on December 28, 2019, 03:04 PM
Does it happen with the translation only or with the original rom as well?
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on December 28, 2019, 05:03 PM
Good question, I should have mentioned this - no, it's entirely from the text changes.

I think I mentioned earlier that one large section of text is filled with command characters.  Well some of those command characters are used to jump to different spots in the code (like GOTO in BASIC).  Those same commands are also used to define values used by other things.  In this case, I blanket identified hundreds of these as GOTO statements when a few of them were not.  That changed the value here from 0x0B to 0x0D.  0x0D made it a Dungeon level 2.  0x11 makes it a Dungeon level 6, etc.  This has caused problems a few times before and I'm sure we'll run into more, but we're pretty good at catching them.  I think half of my fixes have been identifying these as GOTO (which may need recalculation for longer sections of text) or not GOTO (which should not be changed). 

This is the first time it's messed with Dungeon levels.  In the past it's changed the displayed image (turning characters or items into other characters or items), made characters walk across the title screen or just plain crashed the game.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on January 11, 2020, 04:20 AM
No news except that we hope to have the translation done by the end of 2020.  Everything is still progressing nicely!  This is more of a reminiscing post :)  You see, it's now officially one whole year since I made the first post in this thread.  It's also a perfect time to look back at the year in general.

(https://i.imgur.com/4gyEnBU.png)

I started the year by consolidating my previous work on Shiren and having another go at making a translation hack.  You can see the first couple posts, but Shiren had a few false starts since 2017.  The more I dug into it, the more I doubted it would ever be translated.  That was fine by me at the time.  I liked hacking Shiren!  It came with a built-in VWF, and after doing some digging with the letters, it was a very simplistic ASCII hack.  Though I knew the 2nd text section (called the "Everything Else" text) was going to be a beast to hack.  For fun I threw the 1st text section (called the "Dungeon" text) through a machine translator and learned how badly even that simple text could come out.

(https://i.imgur.com/mH2b3Z0.png)

A couple of months later I put Shiren on hold because I had a translator contact me about translating Getter Love.  By the way, GL is still being translated, just very slowly.  Life overtook the translator, but I do occasionally get updates.  Getter Love's hack was barely there so I had a lot of catchup to do on that.  It is NOT an easy game to hack.  I don't know a good way to explain it, but it's like GL has it's own game engine that takes in only command characters and spits out the game you see.  The majority of the hacks are going through the exact same loop of code over and over to trace out a byte here or a byte there that need fixing.  That was a solid few months of work on GL until May.

(https://i.imgur.com/Jh11qRE.png)

That's when Shiren's translator contacted me.  I took a little time off of GL to get Shiren's text a little more ready to translate.  My time was still mostly spent on GL trying to get the Name Screen just right (It's about 98% done right now, I just need to fix deleting on the re-name Name Screen - the max # of characters is even VWF based now).  Towards the end of the summer, the translator hit that solid wall that is real life and the translation hack itself felt pretty good.  So things shifted mostly to Shiren.

(https://i.imgur.com/hgC0Usm.png)

In late summer/fall it looks like I went from one Name Screen to the other.  I did some initial work on Shiren's Name Screen (It's currently at a good point, though I'd like to make the max # of characters VWF based as well).  I spent some time fixing the 's' for multiple items and 1'st', 2'nd', 3'rd', 4'th'.  Throughout it all I kept tweaked the "Everything Else" spreadsheets.  One of them has had 26 revisions and is currently on v3.7je, the other has had between 20 and 60 changes and is currently on 'v3.6d with 5C calcL'.  At least a few of those revisions required the translator to adjust to a new spreadsheet.  He has patiently withstood it all and for that (and many other reasons) he is amazing!  I also did more work on the Name Screen and fixed one or two minor things not related to the "Everything Else" text.  Oh, and learning all about Controller Paks and a few weeks figuring out how to decompress and dump all the textures.

(https://i.imgur.com/QlzWXEl.gif)
(https://i.imgur.com/IrLDjVD.png)

That brings us to December which pretty much brings us to today.  December was full of sickness and vacation.  I started January with a couple Shiren fixes, but the time since has been very similar to December.  In a week I hope to take things up again and get back to it all though. 

(https://i.imgur.com/3VFIOWF.png)

Throughout it all Shiren's translator has moved steadily forward, tweaking old text and translating new text with multiple playthroughs.  I knew it was going to be a beast of a translation, but even with the translator making leaps and bounds, it has been a long road.  It is all worth it though to see this game in action.  I'm really excited to share it with you all later this year.

EDIT: Added images because it's more fun than a wall of text.  Please excuse the GL images here.  I didn't want to update two threads with a review of the year, and I am very proud of the work done so far on Getter Love even if it isn't my focus.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on March 12, 2020, 09:10 PM
I thought I'd give a little peek behind the curtain of the Shiren translation today. I've been dealing with illness (not corona-related) and a busy work schedule for most of the year so not much hacking unfortunately and not much news from my side.

About a month ago I was checking out the Shiren 2 OST and I noticed that the main village was translated as Natane Village. I asked the translator about it because our translation calls it Napus Village. You see Natane means either rapeseed or rapeseed oil (called Canola Oil here in the U.S.).  In fact, if you google translate the katakana for Natane (ナタネ), it comes back with Rape. He decided Napus might be a better option since that is the name of the plant.  You can debate these kinds of changes all you want, but it's what we went with and it ended up working out well for a different reason. Napus takes up less screen space.

You see, the past few months have been spent going back through the translation and making everything fit. Especially the "dungeon text" since you get 2 lines total. In fact, one of the few hacks I did was to extend the width of that window to give us more space.  We chat in discord and the vast majority of the feed is the translator asking me about text and then a back and forth as we try to figure out text that both fits and matches the original text/intent as closely as possible. I would regularly get messages like:

Quote
42) How does this sound?

All water on this floor evaporated! (164)
Where 42) is a way to find the text later and (164) is the number of pixels the text takes up. I think we have around 174 pixels per line for this text. I have to admit that it is fun wracking my brain for synonyms and ways of rephrasing sentences so they fit one line instead of two, but it can take a lot of time. Eventually, I did another hack that removes the auto-line break. The breaks were happening somewhat randomly depending on the text, and it gave us a few extra crucial pixels.

Warning, the next section discusses male, female, and everyone in between slightly explicitly.

At the end of January the web exploded because a translator used the word "tranny" in a Goemon translation. For good or bad, I'd rather not discuss everything that happened here, but it led to Mato creating an interesting article here (https://legendsoflocalization.com/okama-in-game-translation/). At about the same time, Shiren's translator brought up that Shiren 2 uses the word Okama regularly in a section of the text and was worried about how to translate it without offense. The character in question is intersex, truly intersex in that they have both fully functioning organs. We could have used intersex, except for another Mato article here (https://legendsoflocalization.com/game-localization-and-nintendo-of-americas-content-policies-in-the-1990s/) that we try to follow as much as possible. Yes, Shiren 2 is a game from 2000, and yes Conkers was released the next year, but we wanted to stay within these guidelines to keep the game as close to what a translator might have done back then. We feel "intersex" (which I hope I read correctly as the proper term right now) which includes the word "sex" in it would not have fit in a translation done back then. Pages and pages of discussion later, we decided to keep it as "Okama". While it wasn't a term used back then, it is a term that is known now. Read the article - it's a good read. It is not just thrown into Shiren 2.  It is used purposely to tell the tale of a character who overcomes adversity not unlike many good movies.

I want to say that the okama discussion lasted a week or so with some research in between. I think we normally spend a minute or so per line and up to 30 minutes on the difficult ones. Is it perfect? No, but revision revision revision. I do hope you like it when we release it. I should mention that we also have some time consuming side projects that will tie into the release. We aren't revising all the time.

One last tale - the one that started this all. I noticed someone has some Shiren 2 merchandise on eBay right now. That led us to talking about Shiren 2's release competition (there will be more on that later), which led us to the 20th Shiren anniversary.  Incidentally the Shiren 2 OST is actually the Shiren 20th CD set.  3 CDs with multiple Shiren game soundtracks on them. At the same time, websites back then were discussing old Shiren games and I happened to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAf51-XXD_I - it's Shiren Monsters: Netsal. Basically a GameBoy Advance soccer game based on Shiren and it's monsters.  It was a fun night of chatting about random Shiren stuff.

Oh, and here's a sneak peek of the calculator we use for widths:

(https://i.imgur.com/LxOvhWq.png)
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: daneeall on March 13, 2020, 06:39 AM
So the major time at translation takes discussion?
Interesting.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: nuu on March 15, 2020, 02:23 AM
Leaving it as okama sounds like a good idea. Back then googling words you don't understand wasn't a thing yet, and it's not a word that people easily could look up in a paper dictionary either. But now googling is very easily done by anyone that aren't familiar with it. It's probably not a word that players playing the translation have strong feelings for either since it's Japanese, so I don't think there will be drama this time.

Besides leaving certain Japanese words as is, is common in translated Japanese media nowdays and often preferred by fans. It gives an exotic feel. Shiren is a game heavy on Japanese jidaigeki culture, so it makes even more sense in this game.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on March 15, 2020, 05:19 AM
Shiren is a game heavy on Japanese jidaigeki culture, so it makes even more sense in this game.

It really is.  That's why I feel so lucky to have someone who grew up in Japan playing this game as the translator. 

There have been quite a few times where I suggested alternative sentences and got pushback because it wouldn't fit the theme.  I love it when that happens!  I get to learn so much more about the game and Japanese culture then.  It also means it'll take longer to figure out a good sentence that will fit in the space provided, but totally worth it.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: Datlantis on March 31, 2020, 06:53 PM
Keep it up man, you're doing amazing work and i am looking forward to this more than any other release of 2020! Hope you are staying safe in these times as well.
Title: Re: Shiren the Wanderer 2 N64 Translation
Post by: ozidual on April 02, 2020, 06:22 AM
I thought it would be fun to pull an April Fools prank, like create a fake link to download the full complete patch and instead send everyone to be rick-rolled.  But with Covid-19 being a big bummer worldwide, April Fools pranks like that seem to be a bad idea.  Instead, lets do something fun! Let's start revealing all the secrets we've kept about Shiren.


First and most important - who is the translator?  Who is that mysterious person that was born in Japan, grew up playing Shiren, and eventually translated it!? 

The answer is... drumroll please... Sharksnack!!


Second, what are the secret projects sharksnack has been working on the past few months besides translating Shiren 2? 

The answer is.... A Full Shiren 2 wiki: https://sharksnack.github.io/shiren2/html/index.html
A subreddit for everything Shiren: https://www.reddit.com/r/ShirenTheWanderer/
A discord channel for everything Shiren: https://discord.gg/5y7UDFc


Third and the final reveal, why am I doing this reveal thing? 

The answer is.... to release a playtest patch for the Shiren 2 English Translation.


Sharksnack and I were chatting the other day.  The world pretty much sucks right now.  There's this pandemic going around and it's affected everyone's life in one way or another.  Some people are at home bored.  Some people are working around the clock.  There's also a lot of loss and sadness.  So it's no surprise that a lot of people are turning to video games to keep themselves sane. 

We wanted to release the full Shiren 2 patch in the hopes that it might bring some happiness to the madness.  I wish it could be the full patch, but that's just not possible right now.  I work in IT and supporting a remote workforce has taken all of my free time.  I have zero time for hacking until things calm down.  Instead, we decided to release what we have as a playtest patch.  We're hoping you can help us polish the text and find all the bugs, both known and unknown.  Shiren 2 is a gigantic game full of so much text and so many different combinations it's hard for two people to test it all.

Since it is a playtest, we're releasing the patch on our discord channel in the hopes that you'll join and help us out with suggestions.  I've used discord for chatting about patches since the first Zelda forums started moving to discord.  Sharksnack, a HUGE Shiren fan, already had the skeleton of a Discord to celebrate everything Shiren.  We're adding a patch feedback channel where you can post feedback on the patch and maybe help us improve on it.

We are NOT abandoning the Shiren 2 English patch.  Not by a long shot.  I have notes on hacks that need to be done, and I want to do them!  Sharksnack is still regularly making tweaks to the text.  There are more secrets to the Shiren 2 ROM that have not been revealed and if there is enough there, I hope we can reveal them.  There is more!  This is just a stepping stone on the way to it all

TL;DR: Go here: https://discord.gg/5y7UDFc to download the Shiren 2 English Translation Playtest Patch


EDIT: I should add that the Playtest patch text is 100% translated though not polished.  The textures are untranslated.  The bugs are fairly minimal in that the only game breaking ones can easily be avoided.