Author Topic: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation  (Read 4342 times)

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Offline conker

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2021, 04:10 PM »
I am glad this project is going well.
I was also wondering how you would compare this game to a sound novel ike 428 shibuya scramble if you have read it. Does yakouchuu have the same level of interactivity found in 428 or is it more linear?

Offline whowasphone

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2021, 09:41 AM »
Update 2
Screens Translated 245 / 2330
First Draft 10.5%

The main route, which was originally set out in order in the text dump is now begining to double back on itself. I think this will become very confusing later.

It is common for female characters in manga and anime to make a "Kiyya!" sound when they scream. My wife also screams like this when cicadas suddenly appear. It is interesting how certain unintentional sounds sounds are fixed by the culture we grow up in. However I worry that suddenly writing a strange expression like "Kiyya!" does not really hit western players in the right way, it's not scary to us. I wonder if writing "People screamed." would be more effective at maintaining the atmosphere.

Trying to transcribe the way a parrot sounds was also a challenge. In Japanese the parrot in the game talks in katakana, which is the script used for foreign words, to mark foreign accents in Japanese, or to make words stand out.

シヌ! シヌ! タスケテ ! タスケテ!
 "I'm dyin'! I'm dyin'! 'elp me! 'elp me!"

In this case I decided that a cockney sounding parrot might work well. Let me know what you think.

One amusing mistake in the kanji transcription is the name of the beautiful doctor Tamaki. The correct kanji in her name is 環, meaning Ring. But our text dump has assigned her the kanji 汗 meaning "sweat." So she is now Ms Sweaty in my mind.

Our last conundrum concerns the deck names of the ship. I am not sure if we should go for a direct translation or try to use more technical/correct terms. For example;

The bridge with the helm and the radio were on the third deck. The passenger cabins and pool were on the second deck. The main deck, where we were before was the first deck. Entertainment facilities, such as a theatre and library were on the first sub deck. The engine room and the hold were on the lowest deck of the ship, the second sub deck.

The protagonist is just an average Japanese teenager, so it doesn't really make sense for him to say things like Orlop deck. It may also be easier to understand for the average player as well. On the other hand, terms like "second sub deck" are really clunky and could become a problem.

Additionally the text and the images are sometimes at odds. I wanted to translate the word 操舵室 as "Wheelhouse", because it's a cool word. But during an FMV sequence you are shown the door of said room, and it is labeled "The Bridge" in English. In such cases you have to avoid the game contradicting itself.

Does yakouchuu have the same level of interactivity found in 428 or is it more linear?

Well I haven't played 428. But from what I have read on wikipedia, it is a very complicated game with multiple character perspectives which interact with each other. It also has over a hundred alternate story pathways and 87 different possible endings.
In comparison, Mareel 2 has 1 protagonist 60 choices, 3 side routes, and 19 endings. So its comparable to a SNES era visual novel at least.
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Offline Galron

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2021, 06:39 AM »
Quote
Additionally the text and the images are sometimes at odds. I wanted to translate the word 操舵室 as "Wheelhouse", because it's a cool word. But during an FMV sequence you are shown the door of said room, and it is labeled "The Bridge" in English. In such cases you have to avoid the game contradicting itself.

Wheelhouse and Bridge are interchangeable terms, or at least subsets of the same location, depending on usage, and not necessarily contradictory.

http://www.crewtoo.com/crew-life/lifestyle/room-with-a-view-the-construction-of-the-wheelhouse/

Quote
The Wheelhouse, or “bridge” of a ship is the area from which the ship can be commanded. When a ship is underway the wheelhouse is manned by an OOW (officer of the watch).

Wheelhouses were the enclosed parts of a larger “bridge” that historically held the ship’s wheel. Today, ship’s bridges do not have a separate wheelhouse; but the term wheelhouse is still acceptable.

Historically sailing ships were commanded from the quarterdeck, aft of the mainmast. With the arrival of paddle steamers, engineers required a platform from which they could inspect the paddle wheels and where the captain’s view would not be obstructed by the paddle houses. A raised walkway, literally a bridge, connecting the paddle houses was therefore provided.

When the screw propeller eventually superseded the paddle wheel, the bridge was retained – as it made an excellent position to safely oversee navigation and ships operations.

In a way its similar to "Fore/Forward and Bow (additionally: prow, forecastle) being related, or Aft/After and Stern (additionally: poop, tail, quarter)" and being related. Not necessarily all topics being directly interchangeable, but sometimes subsets of a specific topic (I.E. prow is part of the bow, as is forecastle, etc).
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 07:51 AM by Galron »

Offline conker

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2021, 12:12 AM »

In my opinion you should also write the parrot  speeches in UPPERCASE letters because this is how robot speeches usualy get translated in english which i am pretty sure is instead written in katakana in japanese.

Regarding the ship deck name i would maybe write between parenthesis the technical name e.g second sub deck ( Orlop deck).

These are just my opinions and i have zero experience in translating from japanese so they mostly come from visual novels i have read in english and I had the original script to compare it with.

Offline Galron

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2021, 01:26 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlop_deck


In my opinion you should also write the parrot  speeches in UPPERCASE letters because this is how robot speeches usualy get translated in english which i am pretty sure is instead written in katakana in japanese.

Regarding the ship deck name i would maybe write between parenthesis the technical name e.g second sub deck ( Orlop deck).

These are just my opinions and i have zero experience in translating from japanese so they mostly come from visual novels i have read in english and I had the original script to compare it with.

I like it when official third party translators/porting groups 'highlight' a hard to understand word and load up a glossary to 'click' on, that brings up a pop up that explains the meaning. But that requires adding features that didn't exist in the original versions. Probably too much work for a fan translation...
« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 02:44 AM by Galron »

Offline Hemipode

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2021, 10:11 PM »
Hey whowasphone, 
Just wanted to tell you that you're awesome for translating this obscure title.
That's pretty much it :)

Offline whowasphone

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2021, 10:34 AM »
Update 3
Screens Translated 474 / 2330
First Draft 20.3%


Just in case anyone is worried, please be assured that I will be avoiding spoilers as much as possible in these posts. If I quote any lines I will change them slightly so that they do not spoil any part of the story. As for the section I quoted from the manual earlier that part of the plot happens in the prolog. I think the writers did a good job of cutting straight to the action rather than spending an hour introducing all the characters.

This is a long post, but I hope it is not boring! I did some more research about deck names. Only Berth Deck is technically incorrect, as Berth Decks are usually below the Main Deck, not above it. How does this sound?

The radio room and the bridge and the helm were on the Bridge Deck.
The passenger cabins and pool were below that on the Berth Deck.
The hall was on the Main Deck.
Entertainment facilities, such as a theatre and library were on the Lower Deck.
The engine room and The Hold were on the lowest deck of the ship, The Engine Deck.


After read an article on Legends of Localisation, I realized I had fallen into the trap of trying to maintain the Japanese punctuation, even when it looked strange in English. ……If the game uses 6 full stops (periods / ellipses) before and after a sentence I should too……! Because Mareel II is a horror game most characters use these “pregnant pauses” every time they speak. I have decided to keep most of them, but turn them from double ellipses to single ellipses, from 6 full stops to just 3.

https://legendsoflocalization.com/qa-japanese-ellipsis-usage-and-english-translation/

Reading the amazing articles on this site also gave me the confidence to try and make the translation even more natural. Repetition of words and phrases is very common in Japanese, but English tries to avoid it as much as possible. For example there is an overuse of the phrase “XX”言いました, meaning “said”. So you have screens which translate to

Mr X said “…What……!” When Mr X said that, Mr Y said to him “…Look at this…”

A slightly less accurate but better translation would be

“What…!” said Mr X. “Look at this…” Mr Y replied.

Of course I’m trying to maintain the meaning and use the same words as much as possible. I avoid trying to rewrite the sentences in my own words or make them more flowery. But at the same time, strangely worded sentences, whilst being more accurate to the original will actually be less engaging to read, and will actually make it seem like a bad translation. Like music in films, the translation should be almost invisible.

I am also working hard to try and differentiate the way the characters speak. This is difficult in English because we do not have the same level of differentiation between genders and character types that Japanese does. For example consider the many different ways you can speak about yourself in Japanese.
https://legendsoflocalization.com/personal-pronouns-in-japanese/

There are 11 characters in the cast, and each of them should speak in a way that reflects their personality and background.

Takashi – An average teenage boy
Arisa – An average teenage girl, she is slightly refined and wants to appear cute.
Kenji – A typical cheeky 10 year old.
Professor Kunihisa – An elderly systems engineer
Officer Misaki – A young naval officer, speaks very formally.
Dr Tamaki – A young straight talking doctor
Mr Onizuka – A sarcastic reporter
Mr Yasujiro – A roughly accented 60 year old engineer (the hardest to translate!)
Mr Soejima – A middle aged timid CEO
Mr Kusakabe – A young stuck up businessman
Adelina – A posh well spoken foreigner

I'm not exactly sure how I will make Mr Onizuka and Mr Yasujiro sound more rough without alienating certain sections of the audience. It would be easy to give them regional British accents, but I will have to be careful! Mr Yasujiro would sound really good with a Fred Dibnah kind of accent though!

There are certainly some words that can be translated in many different ways in English. They present a problem because this game is a murder mystery. In order not to create red herrings that were not in the original text they have to be translated carefully. For example consider this sentence;

室を出るとき、なぜかしきりにOOさんが後ろを振り返っていた。一体何が気になるのだろう?
For some reason, Mr OO made sure to look back into the cabin after leaving. What on earth had caught his attention?

When you search for気になる in the dictionary, the first result is “to weigh on one’s mind”. But that casts a potentially unintended suspicious light on Mr OO. So the second definition of “to catch one’s attention” is more accurate in my opinion, and does not have the same suspicious nuance.

Well that’s quite a lot for one post. I hope it was interesting to read, and thank you very much for all the support!

James
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 06:36 AM by whowasphone »
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Offline Akagi

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2021, 04:17 PM »
Careful with that last sentence, しきりに means to do frequently, incessantly. Your translation makes it sound like he only looks back once. Mr. OO is repeatedly looking behind him, (back into the room, I assume, with the limited context) hence warranting a reasonable amount of suspicion from his observer.

"To catch one's attention" might be acceptable here for 気になる, but if he's frequently looking behind him, there probably is something weighing on his mind.

Offline whowasphone

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2021, 06:54 AM »
Wheelhouse and Bridge are interchangeable terms, or at least subsets of the same location, depending on usage, and not necessarily contradictory.

That's great information! Thanks for sharing that!

In my opinion you should also write the parrot  speeches in UPPERCASE letters

I think writing it's speech in capital letters is a good idea, because it's supposed to take you by surprise. Also katakana is often used to emphasize words, in the same way that we use ALL CAPS to make statements stand out.

Although it would be nice to include a glossary (especially for cultural references) I think it's implementation would a huge amount of work. Also for simplicity and readability we should try to find the absolute best words, ideally ones that requite no further explanation.

Careful with that last sentence, しきりに means to do frequently, incessantly.

Thanks for that! I misread it as しっかりに.

Just wanted to tell you that you're awesome for translating this obscure title.

Thank you very much! Like a lot of people around the world, the last couple of years have been hard for me. Doing these translations has really helped distract me from thinking about other things. So I really needed to hear that. It means a lot.
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Offline ozidual

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2021, 07:03 AM »
Popping in to let everyone know that I'm focusing on hacking YII (Yakouchuu II, YakII, Mareel 2) now.  I've mostly ignored the ED64 forums for a while now - sorry about that.  Too much happening.  I just caught up on the posts and it looks like whowasphone has been doing a great job keeping the post alive.  It's interesting to see text translation discussion posts here.

I haven't done anything since my last post, so there are quite a few things that need to be hacked at this point.  My main focus is on getting the VWF working.  That's going pretty well.  I found where the letter width is added in, and I have some ideas on how to change it from fixed width to variable width.  It's very similar to how Getter Love handled fixed width, and a lot of the same tricks should work.  Thankfully, that's where it's similarity to Getter Love ends - hacking that game was a nightmare (and will be again one day).

At this very moment, I'm working on clearing out a bunch of debug/error text/code to make room for VWF tables and whatnot.  No exciting debug stuff, just things like:

Compress Type: %s
Image width: %d

One fun error text:

Oh,No!You made the Fatality Error!

I'll need room for code, a VWF Table, and possibly a list of the letters on the screen.  We'll see. 

One snag we may have to worry about at some point is YII loads the letter textures into a list and then uses the Frame Buffer to display them.  This letter texture list appears to only be 156 letters long.  It makes sense since each line is 14 long and I believe it only gives space for 12 lines on the screen (12x14=156).  I have a few ideas about how to get around this limit.

An interesting thing I stumbled on is YII looks for the expansion pak and uses it if it's available.  I'm not sure about the exacts of this yet, but my guess is that you get higher quality images and video.

That's all I have for now.  Shiren 2 is at a good spot now with no bugs left to squash, but if something comes up I may have to change gears and work on that for a time.  Keep up the good work whowasphone and thank you everyone else for the great comments!
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Offline whowasphone

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2021, 08:31 AM »
Update 4
Screens Translated 553 / 2330
First Draft 23.7%


Aside from passing the 500 screen milestone there is not much to write about. So in this post I will explore the history of the company who developed the game, Athena.

Athena was established in July 1987. Their first game seems to be the MSX game "La Fère" (ラ・フェール) released in December 1987. According to their website, in 2005 Athena employed 40 people. Their offices were in Shinjuku Tokyo. Their longest running series were the Pro Mahjong Extreme and Dezaemon series of games. If you look at their website you can see that their sales were slowly declining as time went on;

Sales Figures

March 2000 650 million yen
March 2001 550 million yen
March 2002 590 million yen
March 2003 411 million yen
March 2004 340 million yen
March 2005 182 million yen

Capital as of March 2005 -  11.95 million yen

Since 2004 the company had been focusing on the mobile phone game market. However the company went into bankruptcy in 2013.
The last game that they released for home consoles seems to be The Legend of the Gambler: Tetsuya DIGEST for the PS2 in 2004.

Here is an archived copy of their homepage
https://web.archive.org/web/20131101193622/http://www.athena-game.co.jp/

Here is a listing of their games including Mareel II
https://web.archive.org/web/20080611092506/http://www.athena-game.co.jp/

Athena released 4 games for the N64. Please find links to my translations for 3 of the games below.

Pro Mahjong Extreme (21st of November 1997)
Part of Athena's long running series that started on the SNES. It features 16 real Pro Mahjong players.
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/n64/574528-pro-mahjong-kiwame-64/faqs/79182

Dezaemon 3D (26th June 1998)
A piece of software that allows you to create limited shmups/STGs with 3D polygons.
The game was originally planned for the 64DD to allow greater storage space and the ability to share your games over LAN net. This version was cancelled when the 64DD failed to take off. The game still recognizes the 64 DD if it is connected and lets you look at the contents of its memory.  You are also able to use the 64DD mouse with the game, if you plug it into controller port 2.
A competition was held in 1999 to make the best shmup with the game. Entrants would have to send a VHS recording of their completed shmup to Athena for evaluation. I have not been able to find out who won the competition or what their game was like sadly!
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/n64/574507-dezaemon-3d/faqs/79008

Super Bowling (26th of March 1999)
A sequel to the SNES title. The NTSC version of this game now commands high prices due to its low sales and print run.
The Japanese version on the other hand is easy to come across.

Mareel II: The Murder Line (22nd of October 1999)
The Mareel series began on the SNES. A Game Boy Color port of the original game was also released.
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/n64/576666-yakouchuu-ii-satsujin-kouro/faqs/78520

An interesting thing I stumbled on is YII looks for the expansion pak and uses it if it's available.

That's a fascinating discovery! I don't recall seeing mention of the expansion pak in the manual though. Perhaps they were testing it out as a feature and never finished its implementation?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 10:11 AM by whowasphone »
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Offline ozidual

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2021, 12:22 AM »
That's a fascinating discovery! I don't recall seeing mention of the expansion pak in the manual though. Perhaps they were testing it out as a feature and never finished its implementation?

OK, I'm going to walk back on this.  I'm not seeing it now.  I swear I saw it, but I've also been missing a lot of sleep this past week.  It doesn't appear to use the Expansion Pak RAM.  So that might be an option to help with expanding the number of letters.

On a side note, in order to play Mareel 2 on the ED64, you may need to add the following to your save.db file:

YK=1

I haven't tested saving yet, but most Japanese N64 games don't have saving supported on the ED64.  This change should work fine for the final release of this patch too when it happens. 

On a side note, holding the L button before the videos play seems to stop the game.  As soon as you release the L button, they start up.  Might be some debug stuff tied to that, but that's for another time to look that up.  My ascii controller got bumped since I last used it and the Hold L was triggered so it was blanking out after the name screen and not loading the first video.  Thankfully I loaded up the 64Drive and it errors out if L button is held which clued me into it :)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 12:29 AM by ozidual »
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Offline IRL Random Hajile

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2021, 03:25 AM »
I'm super excited about this translation! Told my older brother about this game a little while ago since he's getting back into the N64, and he's also intrigued by what I've described to him what Yakouchuu II is all about including this English translation. Been keeping an eye on this thread, seeing the progress being made here and reading what new info surfaces, which makes me want to play it all the way through even more now. Of course, I'm gonna be waiting patiently until the translation is complete first. Amazing to think that the screen translation process is almost a quarter of the way done already! You have my utmost respect and support undertaking this project. This game has become one of my biggest curiosities on the N64, and to play it through in full English is like a dream come true! ;D

On a side note, in order to play Mareel 2 on the ED64, you may need to add the following to your save.db file:

YK=1

I haven't tested saving yet, but most Japanese N64 games don't have saving supported on the ED64.  This change should work fine for the final release of this patch too when it happens. 
I've also quickly tested out the "YK=1" ROM ID for saving, as like you mentioned, most Japanese N64 games don't have their saves set properly on ED64... Yakouchuu II being another one of those games. The game when set to EEPROM4Kb successfully made a .eep file within my ED64's "SAVE" folder. As long as the English Translation patch keeps the ROM ID the same, it'll work out fine in the future.
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Offline whowasphone

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2021, 09:44 AM »
Update 4
Screens Translated 700 / 2330
First Draft 30%


The only thing that stood out in the last 200 screens was how to translate 納豆. Natto is a Japanese delicacy made from fermented soybeans. It is slimy and stringy like cobwebs and smells kind of pungent. It is both loved and hated in Japan, a bit like marmite in the UK. The story of its creation is pretty amusing. I’ll quote it from Wikipedia:

One story about the origin of nattō attributes it to the samurai Minamoto no Yoshiie (1039–1106), who was on a campaign in northeastern Japan between 1086 AD and 1088 AD. One day, his troops were attacked while boiling soybeans for their horses. They hurriedly packed up the beans, and did not open the straw bags until a few days later, by which time the beans had fermented. The soldiers ate it anyway

In the game the main character is offered some natto and he tries to pass it off onto another character because he hates it. Usually I would leave the Japanese name as it is, but in this case you can’t really get the joke unless you know what it is. So I have gone for “fermented soybeans” as a kind of direct translation which gets across the sense that it might be a bit gross. Personally it took me a while to get used to eating natto, but I eat it almost every day now, my 2 daughter also loves it. I think if you can get over the stringy slimy texture and smell it’s pretty delicious.

This month I came across a contemporary western review of the game! The French magazine X64 awarded the game ???%. They were the French language version of my favourite independent British publication N64 magazine. The magazine was very amusing and never pulled any punches when reviewing a game, and I’m sure X64 was the same. A friend who wishes to remain anonymous graciously translated it for me.

https://www.nintendo64ever.com/Tests-Nintendo-64-Game,392,Yakouchuu-2-Satsujin-Kouru,1.html

It was a foregone conclusion!

Athena isn’t the warrior goddess that you know. It’s a Japanese company that specializes in text adventure games. It’s too bad! Seriously, I’m pretty sad to tell you all that Yakouchu II: Satsujin Kouru will never see the light of day in the language of Shakespeare (and even less in ours). This discussion is far from being ironic. Nevertheless, our lord knows that I prefer (and by a long margin) good ol’ JRPGs over Carmen Sandiego. Anyway, the product that we’re interested in today is of extraordinary quality. High resolution images, high quality cutscenes and strong ambience fitting for a rock solid scenario are the ingredients that make a good text adventure. You play the role of a simple passenger on a cruise for hardened singles while the liner on which you find yourself succumbs to damage. Some explosions destroy the ship’s hull piece by piece and you are obligated to take the first rowboat to survive this disaster. Curiously, you find yourself alone aboard this lifeboat and you cut into a long drift on the misty ocean. Another boat emerges from this mist. All the lights are out. Your little boat approaches it and gives you the chance to hop aboard. This shady and lugubrious hulk mistakenly looks like a ghost ship, but it’s your only hope of getting back to shore. I will stop the description of the story there so as to not deter anybody from buying the game. Likewise, I would notify them that the text on the images is entirely in Japanese and that they’re usually composed of very complicated kanji. Amateurs beware…

VERDICT
It’s a pity that this game is entirely in Japanese as the execution is beyond reproach for the genre. It’s for Japanophones only.
+
* Cutscenes
* Terrific atmosphere!

* In Japanese
* The images do not move.
* Did I mention that it’s in Japanese?

Note: the author said ‘it was a foregone conclusion’ to make a pun. They incorrectly wrote the game’s subtitle as Satsujin Kouru, as the French phrase ‘couru d’avance’ means ‘foregone conclusion’. Perhaps this was an intentional mistake for the sake of a good pun! They amusingly got a few things wrong about the story, and perhaps did not play much past the prologue, but I think they did they best they could! The game is written with simple kanji that most high school students can read, since the game is meant to be enjoyed by anyone. But of course for a non native speaker, I would say that a Japanese level of JLPT N3 or 2 is necessary. Interestingly N64 magazine also gave the obscure dating board game Getter Love Panda Love Unit the score of ???%, for the same reason that they could not make head nor tail of the Japanese.

That’s all for this week! Thanks for reading!

,I'm gonna be waiting patiently until the translation is complete first.

Thank you for the support! I hope we can deliver a good translation!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 01:50 PM by whowasphone »
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Offline nuu

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Re: Yakouchuu II N64 Translation
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2021, 01:13 PM »
Good to hear that you don't make up a new story to avoid having to deal with natto like many official localizations do. We are long past the time when onigiri had to be pretended to be hamburgers or jelly filled donuts. Many people are aware of Japanese cuisine now and with the internet it's easy to learn about it if you don't. Natto is one of the more famous Japanese foods anyway. Oh and I also love natto!