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Emerald Dragon Released!
The time for talk is over and the time for deliverance is here! Ladies and gentlemen, after over 5 years of work (periodic), the English translation of Emerald Dragon is out! At last, for better or for worse, the world has been graced with an English version of this game! It will be denied to you no more! So, cancel your plans, spread the word, and tell your friends. It’s Emerald Dragon time!
This time around, I’ve included a custom patcher, ‘TransPatch’ (Windows only), that will only allow you to patch the correct copy of the game with the correct patch. It’s about as newbie friendly as it gets. It will patch headered or non-headered games. Don’t you dare create a topic in the forums or send me an e-mail on patching help unless you’ve given this utility a try! For everybody else, you can apply the patch soft or hard, however you please.
This patch has been tested on the real hardware, so copier players rejoice! As for emulators, I’d recommend BSNES as it’s the only emulator that gets the sound right. It works OK on SNES9x and ZSNES, however notes stick in the music and sometimes instruments can be off pitch in certain songs. Otherwise it plays OK.
Please, as a personal favor to me for all my (and others) hard work, read the readme. Besides containing some important information, it contains plenty of information on the project, some of which you might find interesting, or even entertaining!
With that said, enjoy! I’m probably going on ROMhacking vacation for awhile until I feel like returning to action on Tenshi No Uta, Heracles IV, or whatever other interesting projects I may have up my sleeve!
Emerald Dragon ETA
Just a small update. Things are progressing fine. I finished all of the previously pending work. These two screenshots are from the Casino text which was the last bit of hacking work that needed to be done on the game. It really was an entirely separate mini game and required all new hacking. The original routine used a tilemap based font. The control codes were really wicked to convert into something usable with a VWF. However, I got the job done and now we have left all that behind us.
Unfortunately, only one of the beta testers have finished the game so far. Others cited delays due to December end of semester exams in their schooling. I have fixed all discovered bugs reported so far, however I’d like to wait for additional testers to finish. A final test will also be conducted on the real hardware by a special tester.
This past week, I also added my traditional Easter egg of myself in the game. I made a new custom sprite that I’m pretty proud of. It’s amazing I could produce anything resembling a person to begin with let alone something that looks half decent! ;)
In the meantime, while I wait for testing to finish up, I’ll be tinkering around with some code for the intro and a new musical composition. I eventually have to also write the dreaded readme file, which I always put off way too long. I really don’t like writing them.
So, what is the ETA of Emerald Dragon? I’m shooting for a January release, but that’s going to depend on the testers and likelihood of any additional issues being discovered by them and on the real hardware.
Be patient. The work’s all done. We’re just testing it to make sure it’s in the best condition possible. :)
Emerald Dragon Beta Testing
Here we are again with another update! Since the last update, all of the untranslated text including save game text, and ending text was translated and inserted. The Casino text was also dumped and translated, but I have yet to do the hacking work for the Casino games to handle English text. That certainly wasn’t worth holding up beta testing, so full beta testing began nearly three weeks ago.
I’d say we’re somewhere around 35% through beta testing. Beta testing has been going fairly smoothly for the most part. There have been a few significant issues reported, but otherwise reported issues have been minor ones such as text formatting issues, windows that needed expansion, and script errors. However, those issues have been enough to keep me busy.
At this point, I think I can definitely say I don’t think we’re going to make a Christmas release. I expect beta testing to last a few more weeks yet and there’s plenty of things left to do before a full public release. Everybody is working as quickly as possible, but as always, these things just take time and nothing will be rushed. I’d say a January release is probably more realistic right now. It will be worth the wait as the translation has come together nicely and I’m pretty happy with the way it has turned out.
If anybody has any artistic ability and wants to create an English title screen for the game, I will insert it into the final translation. Personally, I don’t have any artistic skills, so I can’t do it myself. If you’re interested, drop by the forum, or send me an e-mail.
With that said, I plan on updating again right around Christmas with the latest status of the project. See you all then!
The Wheel of Time
The proverbial wheel of time turns here at TransCorp and the Emerald Dragon project slowly, but surely, rolls down the road to completion. Things are proceeding according to schedule.
Since the last update, the script was inserted 100%, and all the menus and battle work that used be done were fixed and touched up to work again. So, it’s looking better than ever. I was then able to start a personal beta test.
While I was pretty happy with what I found all in all, there were several issues discovered that need to be addressed. Some untranslated text was found that was not part of the original script dump. The first is save game title text, which has since been translated and reinserted, and is now waiting for touch up in instances where it won’t fit in the window. The second is the ending text. That has since been dumped and is awaiting translation and reinsertion. These two aren’t posing any problems, but the third part of untranslated text will…
That’s the casino text. The casino mini games are practically an entirely different game and share absolutely nothing in common with the rest of the game. I will need to make a new table, new dump, insert a new font, and do a new hack to make those routines suitable for English. This will be the most time consuming task of the rest of the project. I will be able to get started on this this week.
Beyond the untranslated text, some other minor issues were found that are being taken care of such as map text that doesn’t work correctly, item description formatting, text box expansion, treasure chest text fixes, etc. Most of these are minor and I expect to have them addressed within a week or two, while anything remaining after that will be addressed during beta testing.
So, what does all this mean? What’s the next step? I’ll probably take one or two more weeks to finish addressing all currently known issues (excluding Casino Text) and then start formal beta testing. I’ve reassembled the Wozz beta team, to do the beta testing for Emerald Dragon. They did a fabulous job on Wozz and I expect the same for Emerald Dragon. The final release should be in tip top shape.
The next update will come in a few weeks, hopefully with news that all known issues have been resolved (minus the Casino text which will most likely take longer) and formal beta testing has begun.
So, let the wheel of time turn and Emerald Dragon will arrive.
Shining Like an Emerald
It looks like TransCorp kicked into high gear after sobering up from the 10th anniversary celebration! Vast amounts of progress has been made on Emerald Dragon as can be seen by those screen shots! An additional gallery of screen shots can be found on the Emerald Dragon project screen shots page. Plenty of great new eye candy from several areas of the game can be found there.
I last left off trying to better organize and rebuild the project work so far. I did just that. I redid some of the script engine hacking and took care of all the bugs that used to be there. The project was completely reorganized and is probably now my best organized project yet. Pat on the back to Nightcrawler for getting his act together!
After that, I tackled coding the inserter module for the latest generation of my personal hacking utility, which already contains a flexible dumping/insertion core and GUI shell interface to work with multiple projects. I was dreading and procrastinating this step due to the text storage of Emerald Dragon, however it turned out to be much less painful than I originally thought. I came up with a pointer relocation hack that had no observable side effects to simplify the process.
I completed the inserter and went to work inserting and testing the script. I’ve gone through and inserted about 20% so far and plan to hit 100% by the end of this coming weekend. Once I’m confident the entire script can be inserter with no issues, we’ll be good to start beta testing in this area.
In other news, I had finished all the non dialog hacking with my previously released patch. However, the latest changes made to the project has broken that work. So, I must go through and touch it up to conform to the new standards I put in place. It shouldn’t take too long, but it will delay the start of beta testing.
So, that pretty much sums it up. Things are coming along great and early game tests of the inserted script indicates a smaller number of issues, as opposed to Wozz, that will need to be looked at during beta testing. If all goes well, some rough first round beta testing by myself should be able to begin in a week or two. A full on beta test start will depend on how many obvious issues I come across during my rough run through.
However you look at it, the end of the Emerald Dragon project is in site. Keep checking back for additional information. I expect to have some mini updates in the forum soon.
TransCorp Celebrates 10 years!
It’s hard to believe, but TransCorp has been in action for over 10 years now! Above, you can see the original TransCorp logo that was there on Day 1. To celebrate, I decided to give TransCorp a little face lift and an upgrade on the back end of the site to facilitate the next 10 years! =) I have several ideas brewing in my head to revitalize things around here, but I don’t like empty promises, so I won’t mention any until I can bring them to life.
One fun idea I did start was to get all the TransCorp news into a searchable news archive. I’ve currently archived back to 2004 and I’m working back to the 2001 re-launch. I’m not sure how many news updates I still have before that point if any, but I think I can dig up a few. But, that’s the future.
Next, the present. Those of you that have been visiting over the past months have probably thought TransCorp was headed for the coffin. Not so! I haven’t updated over the past few months because in conjunction with working on a large ROMhacking.net upgraded until June, I’ve had some rough days in my personal life and have been struggling with several issues including health problems, professional problems, and other things. I don’t intend to turn my news update into an emo blog, so that’s all I have to say about that. Life happens unfortunately, but we’re still going and that’s a fact! On to the good news!
I have resumed work on Emerald Dragon. It’s certainly slower moving than I’d like it to be though. It’s become very difficult to manage projects that span several years time. I thought I had completed all non dialog work from my last Emerald Dragon patch release, however I found a few nasty bugs. One of which only appears on the real hardware and seems to fast forward through text. So, what I’ve been doing is going back through my work, and building it back up so that I can see what’s the cause of some of these issues. In the process, I’m getting reorganized with the project and reacquainted with some game code after such a long break.
I’ve been putting off tackling the inserter as I know it’s going to be a painful task due to the text storage format of this game. I would like to shoot for a Christmas beta with dialog inserted, but with big set backs going on in my personal life, it may not be achievable. I’ll know better as time goes on. TransCorp was never known for timely project releases, but the projects do get completed and released eventually which is more than can be said for all the ‘come and never finish overnight sensations’ I’ve seen in the past 10 years. =)
[headline]History of Translation Corporation[/headline]
Now since we’re working backwards in this update and have seen the future and the present, it’s only natural that we should visit the past. I thought it would be fun to write up a little history of TransCorp for those that may not know.
I may add more details and perhaps some images to this article. So, consider it a work in progress. Cheers to 10 years of TransCorp History and to at least 10 more!
Looks like Nightcrawler is back and safe from some truly amazing experiences in Africa to say the least. Climbing the tallest freestanding mountain on Earth and being mere feet away from a free roaming lion was a hell of a time! Having no hot water was not! Awesome nonetheless.
With Wozz released, I’ve been taking a break from hacking over the past few weeks. And I will probably continue with this hacking ‘down time’ for a few more. I’m always juggling more things in life than I have time for, so I will be devoting my attention to some other matters for awhile. 2007 is a new year and it’s always a good time to reorganize your thoughts and plans. As far as TransCorp goes, we have some goals established for the near future.
Work will resume on Emerald Dragon. Primarily that means script insertion time! This one is going to be a heck of a task. I’ve sort of been putting it off. Emerald Dragon’s text storage is not very hacker friendly. I will need to write some custom code to handle this insertion without breaking the game. It may throw me loopy and confuse me for awhile with all it’s nested pointers and redundant data. After putting a hole or two in the wall and recovering from a bruise or two on my head, I’m sure I will be able to work something out! Let’s look forward to some potential upcoming screenshots of that in progress!
Herakles IV is also ready for some additional dialog work. At this point we have a full script dump that we are happy with. We are accepting a translator for this project at this time. Anybody interested pop by on the board or e-mail me. While I’m in inserter writing mode with Emerald Dragon, I’ll also be taking a look at what will be necessary for insertion on Herakles IV. With a little luck, we won’t be that far away from some nice progress screenshots here as well.
In other Herc IV news, DaMarsMan has recently done some work on Herc IV to pick up my recent slack! His work includes a two line item hack, and various bits of menu work. I will be collaborating with him and we’ll put together a nice eye candy filled update for next time!
Thus far, only one single minor issue was reported. There is one untranslated battle text string with Vangas. At this point, no followup patch is scheduled. We’ll see if any other issues are discovered. Hats off to the beta testing team once again for apparently doing a wonderful job. Only one issue reported two months after release. Not half bad!
Cold weather sucks. I’m not updating again until it gets warm! Oh yeah, I think a TransCorp revamp will take place this year. I’ve had some ideas to revitalize this place for a long while, but never brought them to life. Is this one of those traditional I’m not dead posts? I’m not really sure. Did I say anything worthwhile in this update? Who knows. I just felt like an emo teen again and just had to talk to the Internet because you’re the only people who understand! :P
Christmas comes Early - Wozz 1.0 is RELEASED!
Some people claim I just may be Santa because I always deliver the goods for Christmas! This year I give to you a full English translation of Wozz! For those of you who want the big speech, oodles of information, and history, it’s all in the readme file. I recommend you all give it a read. Give me a few minutes of your time for several years of mine. Fair trade?
Christmas came early this year because I will be gone on a trip for most of December. So, catch me on the message board while you can with any issues or words of support before I go.
I really hope you’ll enjoy a culmination of 4 years worth of my passion for and dedication to this hobby and community. I freely and proudly give you the opportunity to play Wozz in English. Thank you to all who have given me words of support, all who have given a helping hand to the project, and the fans of TransCorp and our community. Take it, love it, cherish it!
The Projects that Never End
We’ve got a big round of status updates for all projects this update!
You’ve all already heard all the excuses in the book, so I’ll just keep it brief and say numerous delays and personal life have delayed Wozz’s release. I even had a code mix up and overwrote the latest version of my assembly hacks for the game. The extended delays frustrate me just as much as they do you. I’m estimating just a few more weeks. I’m not able to devote much time at all lately, so a few days worth of work gets extended to a few weeks unfortunately when striking it down one hour at a time. It will be completed this year and that’s a promise. I have never broken a hacking promise!
Over the past few months, I found some motivation in the form of DaMarsMan’s (of Herakles III fame) interest to help out with work on this game as well. I started recoding my next generation of hacking tools for this one and decompressed and redumped the script to this game in what we believe to be it’s entirety. Anybody interested in translating this one, send me an e-mail or pop by on the board.
I’m hopeful that this potential partnership doesn’t end up in disaster and a year long setback like my last one. ) Instead, I have faith that this project may pick up some steam and be completed in a timely fashion. I wouldn’t mind seeing that. The catch of course is what exactly is ‘timely fashion’? Well, to quote a famous video game ‘It’s a secret to everybody’!
I don’t think I ever announced this previously, but I did receive a completed script for this game a few months back from Eien Ni Hen. Thank you Eien! :) I’m hoping to code a module for my latest generation of hacking tools to be able to handle script insertion for Emerald Dragon. Script Insertion and some polishing is all that remains for work on Emerald Dragon.
Remember, I released a non dialog patch already that translates everything but the dialog. This one will probably be the next release after Wozz. In fact, I don’t anticipate it being too many months past Wozz before it can hit beta as there isn’t that much work left to do with it.
Tenshi No Uta
I believe I have a completed script from Liana on this game. However, she may have been working on one more edit. Nonetheless, this game is waiting on my attention to get moving. It’s ready for a script inserter module for my newest generation hacking tools that I’ve mentioned far too often in this news update!
Beyond that, I did some preliminary menu work. The menus are going to be a pain because they were stored as straight tilemaps from what I remember. Not hacker friendly. Maybe I’ll make a utility to deal with that for me, we’ll see. So, Tenshi No Uta has fallen into last place for closest to completion. I’ll have to give her some tender love and care and fix that. :)
So, there you have it. Despite sparse updates, there really is a good deal of progress that goes on behind the scenes. I’ll have you know I am busy with my hobbies every single day whether it be TransCorp projects, ROMhacking.net, or the several hobbies OFF the computer I have. I’m always active and I never quit. Don’t lose faith, because as always, in the end, I deliver.
Some Extra Polish and Fluff
The Wozz Final Beta came to a close a few weeks ago. I did hit a several week long period that I couldn’t work on anything due to a horribly stressful, overtime filled few weeks at work, but things are back on track now. A good number of bugs were discovered, but they were all fixed! The game is fully playable from start to finish. Why no release then, you ask?
It’s all about the polish and fluff. Honestly, I could release a patch right now, but I am purposely holding out for a few reasons (queue the jeers):
- Polishing. Misty, our Wozz script editor, is going to play through the game for the THIRD time, as the third character, for one more additional script edit. You can’t argue with wanting the script to be as good as it can possibly be. It will be worth the wait for a quality script. :)
- Fluff. I’m working on a little thing of two I’m quietly going to include in the final patch. After 4 years of hard work, I’m going to leave my mark on this game. I shall say no more.
- More Polishing. Due to my recent final decision to leave the items in an 8 character limit format (Another story for another time), I’m going to go through all the item names one more time to fix them up to better fit this format.
- After over 4 years of working on this game, I think I deserve to hold back release while I finally, at long last, get to play the final product from start to finish.
When this patch is released, it will be the FINAL release. I don’t ever intend on working on this game again (Bar fixing one or two potentially undetected bugs). It has taken up a much larger chunk of time in my life than it’s worth and I will be happy to finally put closure to this project and never look back.
So, be patient, it will only get BETTER…