Archive for the ‘Romhacking’ Category

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I’m alive!

September 10, 2006

I know that a lot of people are wondering about the project’s status, since I haven’t updated the site since July. Well, I gave out some tiny bits and pieces of information in the comments, but not everyone reads those.

The short answer to your questions: I haven’t made progress on the hacking-side of the project since the last news but I will take it up again soon. In the meanwhile the script has been revised again, so it will be an even better experience to play the game 😉

The long answer (filled with boring information about my life, you have been warned ;)):

During the last weeks my main problem was that my Notebook on which I am usually working (ok, always) began to drive me insane. Not only has it tons of little defects which make it unbearable to work on it (overheating -> random shut downs, just to name the worst thing) but it got slower and slower and slower. Before a romhacker, I am an avid gamer, but I could no longer play recent games as well. Just looking at the notebook annoyed the hell out of me.

So I decided to get a new PC to end the misery. I spent most of August working to get the money for it and finally ordered it two weeks ago. Since I must have the most rotten luck on this planet my order was messed up two times until the parts finally arrived this Friday. There were some problems again (one of my two RAM modules is broken -_-), but the thing is running now. So, I finally have a lightning fast computer again to work on. If anyone is interested in it here are the main specs:

  • Core 2 Duo E6600 (2x 2,40Ghz)
  • Asus P5W DH Deluxe Mainboard
  • Ati Radeon X1900XT 512MB
  • 1GB RAM (2 if one module wasn’t broken)

With that obstacle out of the way I can theoretically resume work on the project anytime now. Currently I am still a little busy though. I have to finalize some annoying paperwork for university (I am starting to study in October) and there is some trouble with my Clan. I am Co-Leader of a Dawn of War Clan, and since the game recently annoyed the hell out of us due to it’s horrible balance there were some major crisis to overcome. Right now we are reconstructing things, propably we’ll create a new Squad for the game Company of Heroes which is going to be released in one week (We all participated in the BETA test). As a leader I am pretty much occupied with that right now.

I’ll definitely let you know when things get moving once again.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who writes comments on the project, your continued support really keeps me going.

Thank You!

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Translation is done

July 15, 2006

Yeah, you read that topic right, the whole script has been translated. Everything from the story, monster names, battle dialogues, menus,etc is translated. What’s left are only a handfull of pictures in the game, like the chapter title screens.

I am now working hard on coding the insertion tool so I can get all that text in the game. I just made some good progress with it today. My tool now correctly inserts whole strings into the ROM (the tricky part was discerning text from control codes), the next step is inserting whole files at once. I want to add automatic formating to it as well sometime down the road, but right now I just want to get text in there as it is, so I can check out several things (mainly menus).

DaMarsMan a fellow staff member from romhacking.net and a very talented romhacker is going to help me with the vwf, so that should see the light sooner or later too. He just released his first completed translation himself, Glory of Herakles 3. It’s still in Beta but I really highly recommend it never the less, so check it out while you wait for Dragon Quest Monsters and give him some feedback 😉

http://www.crossfire-radio.com/kojiro/site/goh.htm

On a side note, some time ago I announced that I was going to move my site. This is till planned, but since the project got a lot of attention lately since I have a translator I just didn’t have the time to work on the new site’s design. I’ll possibly move and relaunch the site to celebrate the translation release once it’s done.

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Story translation is finished

June 26, 2006

I just got a new bunch of scriptfiles from my translator. All the story dialogue is now translated. With the overall text, we are at 50% now. What’s remaining is stuff like random townspeople dialogue, battle text and item names, etc.

Progress on my end has been unpleasantly slow. I am currently working on adding a variable-width-font to the game. The font I inserted looks good in my opinion, even in fixed width, but the menus really need a vwf. They are cramped enough as they are already, and every bit of space will help. This is my first major ASM mod (okay, the first at all), so I have to learn a lot of things, which slows down things even more, but it’s really coming along.

Inserting the text and the coding of the needed utilities will start once the vwf is finished, since I need the final width table and such stuff for autoformatting.

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Progress update

June 13, 2006

The project recently made a huge step forward. I found a translator. He wishes to stay anonymous, so all I can really say is, that he is very competent. He already translated the first two chapters of the game and all the random overworld dialog. Things are moving really well in this department.

I was held back by my last school exams which I passed today, so I am now free myself to get things moving. Since I have some translated scriptfiles now, I can start coding the inserter. To display English text though, the game needed a new font since the original one had only capital letters. I inserted a new font which looks neat in my opinion.

Here is the first screen of the new font in action and with a translated line as well:

I'll keep you posted.

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Script is finally dumped!

May 23, 2006

After several days of madness with my custom dumping tool I finally dumped the whole script of Dragon Quest Monsters. This is a huge milestone of the project. I ended up dumping every scriptblock in the game manually. The whole process took me about 3 hours. If I had continued trying to make my dumper completely automatic I would still sit at it tomorrow with no end in sight.

Now, that the script is dumped, this brings us to another very important point. I need a translator for it. There is a lot of text (~around 1MB including Monsterlists, Items, Menus and Battletext) to be translated. The size is a bit bloated since there were a lot of duplicate pointers in some files, I'll try to remove the redundant stuff from the dump, but it should be fine to just ignore it anyway. The game's text is not the most difficult, I would guess. You can make yourself a picture of the dialogue and the dump down below. If you want to translate this game for me, or if you know someone who can, do not hesitate to contact me. Knowledge of the Dragon Quest Universe is a big plus, but no must.

Scriptexcerpt

In the meanwhile I will work on the insertiontool and possible other stuff like menuhacks.

I hope to hear from some of you soon 🙂

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Grrrrrrr

May 21, 2006

Yesterday I fixed the Dakuten stuff, now the dump looks perfectly. All that's left is the dumping of the whole script instead of single blocks. But that is giving me a BIG headache. The depth of the jumps is apparently not fixed. So I have to add some detection of what's text and what's pointer. What sucks much more and makes the aforementioned detection difficult is that the jumps sometimes (often?) jump to the end or in the middle of blocks, which means that I have to scan backwards through the pointers. Now if I jump behind a block it will point to data, detection will suck. I dunno yet how I want to resolve this, maybe I'll just dump every block manually 😦

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Moving Blog soon + Dumper progress

May 13, 2006

After two, more or less, idle weeks I finally continued with the Dragon Quest Monsters Script Dumper. I successfully dumped a whole block of script this time, including all Kanji (last version could only dump 2/3 of them because the rest was stored in another table). I also added some formatting, so it doesn't look like an endless stream of letters anymore. The most annoying thing left in the formatting area are the dakuten. Dakuten are marks which are added to Japanese Kana to make them voiced. The game marks these by putting an control-code before the to be voiced Kana.

Part of the reason why I have been so slow on progress is that I am preparing to move this site. Currently I use wordpress via http://www.wordpress.com The great thing is that I have zero administrationwork to do and the page is running fine and stable. The downside is that I have also zero power over the site. I'd like to have a custom design and maybe some other gimmicks, but to do that I have to manage wordpress myself. I have now found a host for the site, so expect this blog to move sometime in the future.