Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vergil Wins with a Landslide!

Garnering 67% of 521 votes cast, it looks like Vergil has won with an outstanding margin! To put things in perspective, Vergil collected 3 times as many votes as its nearest challenger, Belves, and twice the votes of both challenges combined.

With such a landslide victory, it looks like Vergil will become the project's very first official outright name change. Goodbye, Belf, your name shall hardly be missed.

Stay tuned as we continue to ask for fan input. We've still got names to decide, so keep an eye for a new poll in the coming days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Menus


Zak and I have been working our butts off, rest assured, Zak has done an incredible job with these menus IMO, the crap he has to deal with is pretty hard but he manages fine every time. Just gotta give my props to him. :)

Just a notice, most of the team is busy due to school/college/personal issues/whatever, progress isn't going to be as fast as it was during the rest of the summer. In fact I can't think of a member who isn't busy right now so you guys are just going to have to be patient.

Oh and we are looking for an extra translator to help lighten the load of Snow, our main dialog translator. Please e-mail me directly at if you'd like to help and have plenty of experience and time, or know someone that does. Thank you.

Until next time~

EDIT: Before anyone asks again, the title text at the top of each screenshot WILL be translated, just not at the moment. We just do things as we can, so we'll get to everything when we do. The title logo on the other hand might not be translated due to various complications... can't say for sure at the moment though...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Polling for a New Name

In case you haven't noticed it yet, there's a new poll up here on the blog. We're testing opinions on the options for a renaming of this character (whose old name was a comic-book sound effect).

We're looking for what people feel is the best of the three names. The man is one of Grust's Sable Knights, a trusted ally of General Camus fighting alongside his fellow knights, Raiden and Robert. You get to let your voice be heard on this now-nameless man, so get voting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Main Menu Graphics COMPLETE!


Man, if only you guys knew how hard I worked/raged on this, you'd feel just how EPIC this breakthrough is. Now that I've FINALLY figured out all the details to these images I can FINALLY move on with getting more menus translated.

I have tested them and they all work great. I'll be slowly ripping the rest of the menu graphics now so that Zak, our awesome graphics editor, can keep up the awesome work.

Also please don't forget about the post below on transcripts V I kinda HAD to make a separate post on this leaving the other post to be unnoticed, sorry.

Transcripts Part 2


I'd like to take this opportunity to move away from the touchy subject of translation and localization and get back to stuff that will affect when you get your patch, such as transcripts.

I've added a new poll on the right. Transcripts are a pretty much straightforward issue, I want to know when to release them. We'll release the transcript at a certain time depending on your votes (and when it's done, obviously). Keep in mind that doing it before or with the patch will in fact delay the patch.

The other post on transcripts has a bit of valuable information and insight on the matter, so feel free to check that out some posts below if you want to get a grasp on the 'schools of thought' if you will.

By the way, if you aren't one of the people giving a hard time about names, don't worry about the last post. We're still sane and we're handling this translation the same way as we did--still taking suggestions, still trying to make the best decisions, and view all perspectives before doing so. I apologize to those people who just want this translation to be over with (cough, me).


Oh and to make it clear, if the poll is not decisive (one option wins by a largely significant percentage) we probably will make a decision on our own. Polls are more or less "we want to make sure we're not totally messing up here so we'll ask the fans if they think we're making decisions based by some sort of logic", not "we do whatever you say". If you guys mostly agree on one thing then that means the other options PROBABLY aren't viable options, which is why we sometimes go along with polls. :\

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Lose


Dear Whiners,

I'm changing Malliesia to Malicia, and doing whatever else I feel likeI think is a good, worthwhile improvement. And when I say "I" I'm kind of speaking on behalf of the team--especially Arch, who wants to make name improvements the most.

You failed to translate this game before us and obtain the privilege of making the decision yourself. You're now going to have to live with the result, even if that means crying over improvements to names. You don't like change? Going to keep arguing your names? Go eat a sandwich, and then look in the mirror so you can see how ridiculous some of the names you're trying to have in the game are.

We still take suggestions but once we hear them and their reasoning that's all we need to hear--if we like it, TRUST ME, we'll do something about it. You arguing just slows down this translation, wastes my time, makes me want to stop for a few months, and makes me NOT want to use your suggestion, even if it's legitimate (although we wouldn't argue in the first place if it were legitimate).

So ultimately,


EDIT: Notice how I didn't use swear words or call anyone idiots in my post, this post is not "**** YOU YOU SUCK STFU", it's "GET A SENSE OF THE SITUATION HERE AND EASE UP ON THE EGOS BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT HELPING". If you don't know me at all then you might think this post is displaying MY ego, but trust me, I hate having to do crap like this. It's only because no one else wants to be the bad guy that I have to. And I'm used to being criticized for what I do so I can handle it. :\

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Poll on Transcript ->


Someone brought up a transcript which I understood as a dump of the game's script for people to view for various reasons--whether they missed text, wanted to go back and check text without playing, go forward and read text to spoil themselves, aren't using the translation, or whatever...

Well, it's not totally out of the question for us to make one, but I wanted to know if people might use it. I'm not a fan of going out of my way to do unnecessary things but if people think an English transcript would be great, then the team could probably do something to accommodate that.

In the case that we do do it, the poll will also dictate how much of a priority it is--we may release a transcript before the final patch is released (if say, the dialog gets translated first), might do it WITH the release, or might do it AFTER the release. That kind of thing.

That's all now I feel bad for bumping Vincent's post earlier since that font thing was a major breakthrough.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dialogue issue resolved

Aveyn Knight

People not on the translation team will not be aware of this, but we faced a pretty nasty obstacle right upon starting this translation project. Something we English players normally take for granted was missing from the game, specifically lowercase English symbols during dialogue.

Those who watched the Prologue I demo video will know that lowercase symbols do appear in the dialogue, so support for lowercase symbols is definitely possible. However, what we did for the Prologue I demo was merely a lazy hack and wouldn't work for the whole game. I feel terrible for "tricking" people, but it was either that or state we had little confidence in translating the whole game.

Fast forward to today, I can now safely proclaim that all (major) issues with the lowercase symbols missing from dialogue have been fully resolved, all thanks to the expert advice of Nagato, a skilled hacker who's currently working on the Nanashi no Game fan translation.

This image probably means little, but it's a huge breakthrough for us!

What happened is that, purposely or not, there was a "bug" in one of the game's algorithms, which prevents lowercase symbols from appearing. All it took to fix this was a simple (I say "simple", but knowing what to do and where requires a lot of advanced knowledge) correction to one or two lines of the game code.

So what does this mean for the translation project? Put simply (and especially now that Blazer has got a lot of the graphic hacking worked out), there are no more major technical issues stopping this project. So hopefully you'll see progress rapidly increase from today onwards. Of course, this also depends on what the team members are busying themselves with right now. I think I might go and take a break myself!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Menu Graphics


I don't have much actual progress to show but I figure that I've worked hard so this deserves a little update of its own:

What's the significance of a ripped menu? The significance is that Zak can get started on making these look more English-like so I don't have to trial-and-error when using the main menu anymore. :D

And I guess it's foreshadowing that we'll be translating menu graphics while we're waiting for the dialog font to be fixed... which is almost done--I'll leave a status update on THAT to Vincent as soon as we finish up a couple loose ends (and when I say that, I mean, ask Nagato, this awesome guy, for help).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Custom Title Logo, Anyone?


I assure you Zak and I worked hard on this.

Well maybe not Zak, but I sure did. And I guess Arch helped by listening to me complain about hacking pains. Heheh. :) (Jk about Zak, he's been awesome)

There's video proof since with that plain of a background, it's easy to fake a screenshot. However this means graphical text should be possible... can't say how much possible though... as I mentioned before, opening scene text and moving texts won't be fun.

But for now, HUZZAH!



Writing a quick blog post to introduce myself. I am Zak, a new member of the translation team. We're now referring to ourselves as the Heroes of Shadow, for 3 reasons:

  1. The name is relevant to the Fire Emblem game we are working on
  2. It sounds cool, and not cliche, because if Fire Emblem can get away with it, so can we
  3. See reason 1 again
Anyway, I'll be working on editing graphics for the game, replacing graphical text and tidying up images and whatnot. I also created the new banner for the site, so hopefully that means I'll get a pay rise soon. I can dream, right?

That's about all, so now that I've said 'hi' I shall retreat and probably start playing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for research purposes. Yes. Research purposes...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Status Update 4

Aveyn Knight

Following the public release of the version 2.0.1 menu patch, we've received a fair amount of feedback on various aspects of our patch. Originally I naively thought that everything was more or less done and dusted with regards to the menus. However, a number of critical fans have appeared to kill this thought, which is really cool; it helps keeps us on our toes!

Anyway, here are some screenshots of our progress.

Next time, hopefully we can show some new dialogue. (Note: this is just my random thoughts, I'm not actually promising anything!)

Special thanks to DarkTwilkitri for his advice and NomadicTrooperGirl for inserting the tiles.

Sorry, no more stripping characters!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


People are about to get mad at me since I still haven't made a post on here, so I guess I better get it over with. ^.^"

Even though it's my summer break I've been running all over the place, so I haven't been around much, but a few weeks ago I translated the dialogue text for the prologue.

Recently I looked at the text in-game in the FEE3 video, and saw a lot of my text had been heavily edited in some manner or another. In particular, the sentence, "There sure are a lot of hopefuls here" seemed to stick out at me...Or should I say 'seemed to stick out and stab me'... XD I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so whenever I'm translating I try to make the best sentences that will carry across the original meaning to the reader. So seeing what I felt were 'perfectly' translated sentences so mutilated/edited left me with mixed feelings. XD

But that's what translation is, especially when dealing with translation from two languages without a common root (for example the Latin languages, such as French, Spanish, and English). There is no correct answer, no 'perfect' translation. The messy truth of translation nearly drove me to insanity, which is why I taught myself Japanese in the first place; so that I could understand what everyone was trying to tell me 'perfectly'.

Despite whatever small grumblings I had (mostly being a matter of pride), it was kind of nice to see my work on display. I have no interest in living the rest of my life out as a translator, as its imperfection would drive me insane, but as a Nintendo fan I'm glad to lend a hand to this project.

To any of you out there waiting excitedly for this translation, I would hope that if you have a similar passion as I and many do in anime, games and the like, that you would over time try to learn Japanese so that you can learn the true meaning that the game creators intended. There's also a lot of great games out there that don't get translated.

To end this, I'll leave you all with a little trivia:
Did you know, that the 'Palace of Darkness' and 'Shadow Temple' from A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time respectively actually have the same name in Japanese? In the original Japanese text, they are both named 闇の神殿->Yami no Shinden.

There's always more to the story, lost in translation.

Graphical Text Status


Graphical text... some of it is easy, some ain't. To make things simple, non-moving text is easy, I've had that figured out for a while. I can hack pretty much anything that doesn't have effects or moves.

As for the rest, well, it's a bit of an issue. And if you don't think this kind of nonsensical, mis-sized, grey piece of garbage isn't enough proof, then I don't know what is. :P

So the reason for this post is if anyone knows of anyone who knows of anyone who knows something or might know something about NDS hacking, more specifically graphic hacking, let us know. Any documentation or program suggestions are cool too (although chances are I've seen it or something already XP).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Regarding Patch Formats


Someone brought up that the patch format used for this translation isn't Mac-friendly, or multi-platform in general. I realize this is an issue and if anyone knows of an alternate patching method or some way for it to be run on other platforms WITHOUT them having to boot in Windows or whatever, please let me know.

NOTE: The following is technical information just for your knowledge and is not news regarding the translation. Thus if you have a hard time with such technical issues or do not wish to know about it, please stop reading and know that you did not miss out on much.

As for why I can't use something like NUPS (or the inferior Tsukiyomi, which also uses .UPS format), when Nintendo DS ROMs are re-assembled, their data is shifted a lot. Because the data is moved around so much, at a specific offset (offset is a place in the ROM), it is highly unlikely that the same piece of data is there as it was before.

Think of it like this: if you have a 10 floor hotel but you suddenly add a floor after floor 4 but before floor 5, well, floor 5 will become floor 6, floor 6 will become floor 7, floor 7 will become floor 8, etc...

A patch generally contains the changes between two files. UPS patches do so by recording what data is at what place, and any changes to that. Thus the problem is that if data is deleted, added, moved, etc., it thinks that the data has completely changed, and records all the data all over again. Thus if you were making a new map of the hotel after you added a floor and you were like a UPS patcher that didn't know that the other floors were just moved, you'd end up redrawing floors 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, as well as adding in the new floor 5. The patch format WE use only has the new floor--floor 5.

What's the problem with just giving the map that has floors 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11? Well, it's in-efficient--I'd be giving you a map of most of the hotel instead of just the changes. Back to the game, imagine if I had to give you half of the game in the patch when all it did was move, it wasn't even edited. It'd be like giving you the ROM, which we aren't going to do for legal and moral reasons I won't get into.

Now, that might be confusing, so I don't expect you to understand it, but that's the deal--we can't use UPS or IPS formats (IPS is even worse than UPS, let's leave it at that). However as I said, if you have any other suggestions, please go ahead and I'll look into them.