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Tales of Forum

Posted by Cless on 12/26/2007
I figure I would make a post congratualating Absolute Zero for their release of an English translation patch for Tales of Phantasia PSX, and about the status of our own, for those who are still with us.

Yes, we were "beaten" to release, but that doesn't mean we are dropping our project. Quite the contrary. Both projects have different goals and intentions, so they should be able to stand on their own merits, and appeal to different crowds. And personally, I'm not going to throw away the thousands of hours I've put into this project off and on over the last 7+ years. Nor do I intend to have wasted the time other people have put into it as well. And we're quite far along. This was also never really a race. All things considered, it wouldn't make sense for us to drop our project.

This was the single best year ever for the project, by far and away, and I'm not disappointed in the slightest about where we are. Nearly all of the many technical hurdles we had are now behind us. The script has gone from 0% to 80% translated. My own skill at hacking assembly language has improved. How can I not be happy with that?

Since the last update, things have in fact slowed down, but stuff is still very much happening. Auto-centering of the skit subtitle lines is nearly finished. Some smaller bits of additional technical polish have been implemented and are being worked on. Other than that, all that remains on the technical front is getting the prologue battle dialogue subtitled, and getting some optimizations done on some existing hacks.

Unfortunately, the status of the script and skit translation hasn't really moved at all. Still stuck at 80%/0%. The translator I had assigned the last 20% and skits is stuck in Real Life Hell and doesn't have the time or motivation to finish it.

So basically, we're in need of a translator to complete the last of this. If you know enough Japanese to translate comfortably, are seriously interested in translating for this project, and have some time on your hands, please download this script sample, and translate it. Write your translations beneath the Japanese text and send them back to me at . We have two other potential translators at the moment already, but I'm interested in seeing the work of more before choosing.

ADDENDUM: Mere hours after posting the update, skit line centering has been implemented, and I even received a partial translation of the skit script from Cyllya. Here, pictures!


Might need a bit more editing.

Posted by Cless on 11/9/2007
Brace yourself... this is the largest update in the history of this entire website. Things have been continuing fantastically with Tales of Phantasia PSX, and the project is as strong as it's ever been. The project has never slowed since the last "big" update a couple months ago.

So, where to begin? I guess we'll start with the script. It's currently around 80% translated. Yeah, so not that much more to go. But be forewarned-- even when it hits 100%, it may take a little while longer until the release. Not only do the skits still need to be translated, but the script still needs to undergo its exstensive revision process to ensure accuracy, natural dialogue flow, and overall, an enjoyable, seamless experience. The process will go like this:

  • Script pass 1: Basic translation (80% finished)
  • Script pass 2: Quality, accurancy, and consistency check
  • Script pass 3: The chosen editor will give the script life and additional polish, as well as help adapt things and ensure that it flows naturally.
  • Script pass 4: Another quality assurance check
  • Beta testing!
  • Release!!
The Phantasian Productions team includes dedicated people who have been hardcore fans of this game (and the Tales series in general) for nearly a decade, some of whom know the story practically inside-out, and some who know facts about the game world well beyond the main story. We are highly confident in our ability to reproduce the story accurately and naturally in English. We're absolutely dedicated to putting out an extremely high-quality piece of work.

Many hacking milestones have been reached since the last major update. In the last major update, I gave a little shopping list of things that still needed to be done. Everything hacking-related on it has been dealt with since. All of it!

I also once mentioned that the first release patch may not contain subtitles. Well, cast all doubts aside, as the hacking for skit subtitling is actually close to being finished! The basic groundwork has been laid and we can now get subtitles on-screen! Check it out:

Skit Subbing
What remains is getting each line centered to the middle of the screen, so it emulates typical video subtitles much more closely.

With that out of the way, the next major thing is getting the prologue battle subtitled and that will conclude the major hacking on this project! After that, everything will rely entirely on the script. Tales of Phantasia PSX will be 100% translated day one. And if I don't stress this enough, playable on real modified PS1s and PS2s.

In regards to hacking, we've actually gone and added some small new content to the game. I also just recently completed what I'm sure is the last major pass on the menu cosmetics. The key to most of that was more attention to detail. So let's have a nice look at all the menus again, in their current form, along with the additions we made to the game:

Main Menu

Pseudo-centering effect added to the option list. Option list is also being completely rendered with actual text, not graphic tiles (biggest difference from older screens is that the font shading is now consistent with everything else). Character status area layout reworked. All Level/HP/TP/Next numbers are aligned with the statistics in the lowest row, too!

Techs


The two-column hack is in place! This hack is for the rare event that you have Cless on Auto control, as many of his technique names are very long and caused text overflow on the original three-column layout.

There are also a lot of small improvements to the overall layout of the first screen. Can you spot them? ;)

Equip

More small layout polish. Maybe the most noticeable one is the fact that Accessory no longer has a horrible-looking truncation to it.

Items/Key Items/Collector's Book



Key Items and Collector's Book menus have had their columns widened. They are now also symmetrical in available space for item names, too. This widening allows for long item names to fit, such as the Statue of Friendship or Stuffed Cless (If you rename Cless with 7 numbers or something equally long and stupid, that is).

Tactics

Party

Titles

I really like how this turned out. This menu got the largest layout overhaul. The character stats and title list was originally displayed as two columns, and has been changed to two rows. It allows for much less cramped-ness and allows us access to the unabridged name of a few titles.

Cooking

The main cooking screen is heavily rooted in Japanese grammar. It took some time to think just how to make this thing make perfect sense in English. I think we came up with a much more sensible solution than those behind the English GBA version!

Status

Older screens had the equipment designation text deleted. I figured out a new layout so that I could restore it without having long item names overlay the portrait (a no-no).

Name Entry

A favorite of mine. Habilain and I did some extensive hacking to render the letter input and the character's surname with the dialogue font. I designed the letter layout and couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I think it looks very organized and clean.

Custom

If you're familiar with the game and haven't been following the forums, you're probably looking at this and wondering just what the heck "Unknown" and "DOOM" are. Series fans will recognize "Unknown" as being a difficulty option in later Tales games.

It's true: We've added two new difficulty options to the game. We did it because we could and wasn't difficult at all. While I personally think Mania was plenty hard enough, I bet there are people who thirst for more. I think DOOM may as well be impossible without mega levels, but hey, I never claimed to be an expert at the battle system!

Note that Mania is not available until you've finished the game and written a game clear file to your memory card. As such, Unknown and DOOM will not be available until then, either (keeping with series tradition).

Monster List


A ridiculous amount of work went into this menu. We've enhanced it for English speakers, added things that weren't previously there (but probably should have been), and made bugfixes as follows...

The monsters' appearance order has been changed from the Japanese version. The reason for this is because the list was originally sorted in a Japanese phonetic order to make it easy to locate the enemy you'd like to look up. We reverse-engineered the sorting logic and proceeded to put the translated enemy names in alphabetical order. So, starting from 10000R to Zombie, it will now be very easy for you to find enemies, too!

We added all forms of the main nemesis of the game to this menu, as well. He was absent originally, for some reason. As all successive Tales games added their final bosses to the equivalent menu, we decided this idea was archaic and found a way to add him in seamlessly. This also clears up potential confusion towards Klarth earning his Monster Hunter title. It also took quite a bit of programming to make this possible, so thanks to Klarth (team member) for assistance on putting it together!

Bugfix: There's a feature where the title of this menu changes as you encounter more monsters. Generally, the idea is that the next name sounds "larger" than the last one. This has never occurred as far as I know in later Tales games, so it's a unique feature to ToP. However, the people who developed the game evidently didn't bugtest this, because it was broken. Unless you looked at exactly the right time, there are a few titles for this menu that you'd never otherwise see. I examined this bugged code, and fixed it to what I believe it was intended to be. The name of the menu will now change everytime you encounter a multiple of 34 monsters. It begins life as a piddly little Memo and ends as a full-blown Encyclopedia! I'm now debating on whether I should loosen my grip on calling it the "Monster List" (official continuity) in the item menu, but I'm not sure. Half the names of the menu are list-like and the other half are book-like. We'll see.

Finally, those elemental orbs are done. All of them are original. This was a collaborative effort between forum members. Many orb icons were created, and the ones chosen were hand-selected by me. The chosen icons were created by Demon000, Kajitani-Eizan, LenaAndreia, and Thundercles, so hats off to them! Thanks also go out to those who tried, but didn't have theirs selected.

Other changes: "Battle Rank" is now colored green. This is to make it more consisent with the other categorical text outside of the enemy stats window.

On a cold start, this menu will now open up at monster #1 (if you've encountered it). For some reason, it always started on monster #5 in the original. Most people probably haven't really noticed that or cared, but it was always one of those small, but irritating things to me.

Save/Load


Formatting the messages in this menu sure was a time-consuming pain in the neck. Also had to hack some code to make them perfect. So much time spent on something I'm sure most would take for granted. Right-column stuff has been made to be consistent with the main menu.

Shop


Battle Menus



Yup, even the battle menus have been dealt with. All finished!

The thing that kinda sucks about the battle menus is that they display in a lower resolution than the main menu. Fortunately, it didn't prove to a be problem, as even the longest stuff fits comfortably!

Of course, we fitted the computer-controlled allies' battle tech menus with the two-column layout here as well.

At any rate, any and all the text in the above screens is subject to change by the time the release is out. I don't like considering things final until we've pressed the release button.

Sorry, no new dialogue screenshots today, though. I'm awaiting the arrival of a script formatting utility, which should be in my hands by Thanksgiving. Then we'll be able to show more (of the non-final script, that is).

My hope is that this project will FINALLY be finished within the next few months. As long as this motivation keeps up as it has, I very much expect it.

Posted by Cless on 8/28/2007
I've had an incredible response from English Majors. Six of them have reached me since yesterday's massive update. It looks to be difficult to choose any single one of them. I've asked them all for samples of previous work and mentioned that I may send bits of script to edit at a later date. At any rate, I'm not accepting anymore "applications" from English majors. Sorry if you missed out!

Also, everyone can rest easy, Shinhoshi returned my email yesterday, so all's well on the translation front again!

Posted by Cless on 8/27/2007
There haven't been that many updates to the front page this year, but don't let that fool you! If you've been following the forum, you'd see there's a been a ton of progess on our Tales of Phantasia PSX project in the last several weeks. Perhaps the most done in a consecutive amount of time ever in the history of this project. The prospect of an actual release finally happening soon is better than ever.

Here's a recap of what's gone on in that time, with lots of new screenshots:



We have proper text centering! I'm proud of these hacks because they were my first experience at writing a small subroutine in assembly. Truly, final release-quality stuff!




Lots of refinement. Notice how the menu titles in the upper left are now properly centered. That's also the result of my centering hack. The green item type text in the description is now right-justified, which also recycles most of my text centering code. Quite versatile, isn't it?

The second screen in the middle shows how I re-arranged the item stats, since moving the item icon down into the window (I didn't like how the item icon went through the borders in the original, so I put in the same position as Tales of Destiny 2, Tales of Symphonia and probably most other newer Tales games). I just don't don't know what to do with those elemental orbs yet, they're the only graphics in the game that need to be edited at this point.


Never before seen shop menu! Not even on the forum. Nearly final. There's a small thing or two I want to move around (plus, be able to write out "Increase/Decrease Quantity" without abbreviating), but they still really look great as-is.

But perhaps, the most important of all:



Yes, we FINALLY have dialogue!! If you've been following the project for years, you'd probably remember that we were technically limited to only having 16 characters (including spaces) per line. With Habilain's help, we have raised the limit to 64 characters, which is absolutely plenty for our needs.

So I guess you're wondering... what's left? And here's your answer:

Dual-Tile Encoding implemented needs some bugfixes
Dual-Tile Encoding needs implementation in battle menus
Name Entry menu fix: Names are not currently aligned to the boxes
Ally Tech menus need the lists shortened to two columns rather than three
Battle menu cosmetics
Small cosmetic hacks here and there
A translated script

The first six on the list are code hacks. Between Habilain, Skeud, and myself, we should be able to get them all sorted out fairly soon. They're all quite small compared to the 64 characters/line hack. No big worries there.

But I suppose you don't care about that and are more interested about the script. Well, it's still got a ways to go, unfortunately. Our current main, signed on script translator, Shinhoshi has not responded to any of the numerous emails I've sent over the last month. She's proven to have been reliable before, and this has gotten me pretty worried. I hope nothing bad has happened to her. Perhaps my emails are suddenly being filtered by her email provider...

As it is, we've gotten a backup translation team working on the script as I type this. The translation should have been done a long time ago, and I don't want to lose anymore time on that, especially now that the technical front has reached such advanced stages. I don't wish to replace Shinhoshi with the backup team, however, so I really hope she gets back to me as soon as possible.

I am now looking for an English major with good writing skills to edit the script and lay the polish on thick. If you are, and have the time and patience to work on a script of around ~600KB in size, please get in contact with me (remove SPAMBLOCK).

I really believe now that a release within a reasonable time frame is certainly possible. The first patch will probably not contained subtitled skits or a subtitled prologue battle, as those are going to be a massive amount of work that I don't want to cause delay for the rest of the game. They are non-essential for playing the game, and probably would've been cut from the game had it come stateside anyway. But I do intend to have them translated someday.

Posted by Cless on 4/28/2007
The menu patch for ToD2 is getting pretty close to done, but we still need some holes filled and some roughness ironed out.

If you have translation and/or writing skills, you can help out by joining the forum and reading the sticky on the Community translation board.

Posted by Cless on 1/21/2007
Some quick project updates.
Tales of Destiny 2

Although slowed a bit in the last few days, the menu translation has been coming along quickly with the community involved. Things that still need working on:
  • Recipe descriptions. A portion of them are completed but still a good number remain.
  • Titles and their descriptions. These seem to be getting ignored by most, presumably to avoid spoiling themselves.
  • Enchants and their descriptions. I still think these need work despite appearing to be translated in the files.

We're still welcoming people to join the party. We could still use more editors to help polish things up!

Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon

This rather unpopular project just got a major boost. Thanks to an Anonymous Guest, we have a script dumper, a script inserter, and some assembly hacks to fit a translated script of any size back into the game. This is huge, because the script storage format was quite possibly the biggest headache the entire project faced!

There's still some more technical stuff I want done to the game before releasing a patch (if the translation is finished beforehand), but this is absolutely awesome, and amazing!

Posted by Cless on 1/6/2007
With every turn of a new year, Phantasian Productions also gains a full year on its age. Phantasian Productions is now 6 and has a new year's resolution... to actually get a patch out for a game translation project. Ever since it was established, no such thing has ever been produced, even though we've always been around... for the most part.

This year will not be the same.

We're extending the menu translation of the Tales of Destiny 2 project to the community. I want to see it out not only by the end of the year, but in relatively short order. The project is officially taking place on the forum. Get details in the official thread.

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