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Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:12 am
by Ms. Tea
After I bought a copy of Magical School Lunar! a few months ago, I was disappointed that there wasn't an English version, so I started digging into it. I've been working together with Suppertails66 (who made the "Unworked Designs" patches for the Sega CD and PS1 Lunar games), and we have pretty much all the hacking work done now! I'm still working on adding subtitles to the FMVs, but I have a full script dump and we're pretty much ready for translators. I figured this'd be the place to ask - anyone interested in helping out? :)

Here are some screenshots of our progress! The English font we're using is the same one used in Lunar 1 and 2 on Sega CD, which I think gives it a nice classic feel. The Japanese version uses the same font as the Japanese version of Eternal Blue, so it seemed appropriate. Note that the translations here are all placeholder - neither of us speaks any Japanese.

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And here's a fun bug from the first time I tried inserting the font:

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PS - I have some public notes and tools I wrote to link to. Wanted to make sure I wouldn't be breaking any rules about self-promotion before linking them here.

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:20 am
by Kizyr
So, uh, I'm gonna be honest that I'm not much of a fan of Suppertails66's reasons for the "Unworked Designs" patches (I think he goes overboard with the dislike of the localization efforts, which on the whole I found to be quite good with only a few gripes). But, I'm totally fine with the actual patching/replacing of the script, and they've got talent with the programming, so I gotta recognize that {^^}.

Anyway, that being said, I'd love to help. But given about a dozen other things going on right now, realistically I don't think I'd have the time to help anytime soon (as in, in the next year at least). For the time being though, provided I'm properly credited, y'all absolutely have my permission to use and incorporate whatever information and translations are in my FAQs on LunarNET/GameFAQs. KF

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:37 am
by Ms. Tea
Yeah, I'm not opposed to appropriate localization - I don't mind if the text drifts away from the literal meaning as long as it keeps the feel.

Thanks so much! I suspect I'll be taking advantage of that. :) I'd really love to have you work on it if the timing can work out. I'm working on translating all three Saturn Lunar games, which is a lot of work but also means I always have something to work on when I'm blocked on progress for one of the other games. [Edit: And if you're interested, I'm glad to send you the script now regardless.]

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:09 am
by Maus
We were talking about the lack of a proper translation to this game a while back... I'm so happy to have seen this post. Can't wait for it to be out! (I literally cant).

Too bad I can't offer any help, as my Japanese isn't even usable for the most part.

Thanks for the effort. Super appreciated :)

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:54 am
by Kizyr
Ms. Tea wrote:Yeah, I'm not opposed to appropriate localization - I don't mind if the text drifts away from the literal meaning as long as it keeps the feel.

Thanks so much! I suspect I'll be taking advantage of that. :) I'd really love to have you work on it if the timing can work out. I'm working on translating all three Saturn Lunar games, which is a lot of work but also means I always have something to work on when I'm blocked on progress for one of the other games. [Edit: And if you're interested, I'm glad to send you the script now regardless.]

Sure, I wouldn't mind taking a look at the script itself! You can send it to me at kizyr -at- lunar-net.com.

Is it just a raw script dump? Is there anything y'all are having to do special with regards to fitting all the text in limited space (e.g., one or two dialog boxes since that's how much the Japanese text used, whereas the translation might need three dialog boxes for the same text)? KF

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:13 pm
by Shinto-Cetra
If SuperTails66 is the same as Supper on Romhacking forums, then I must say: their romhack is technically proficient (I have not gotten their L:EB patch to work due to hash code weirdness, but their graphical uncensoring of L:TSS is great) but their seething rage against Working Designs for like no reason other than their translations are more liberal then most nowadays and they made the games harder is uncalled for. I like random pop culture jokes, and I know I'm not alone. Working Designs knew their grammar, It's better than Engrish! (e.g. FF7 is a great game IMO but terribly translated. I'm glad DLPB from Qhimm forums that I lurk on sometimes has done a retranslation of that game.) WD also knew that random pop culture jokes are more interesting than 2-3 NPCs saying the exact same thing. I know from experience in the WSL translation on Game Gear.

Anyway, I am not fluent in Japanese, but I'm ok at it, more so written than spoken, and I have taken about 4.5 years of classes total (first two yeas and second 2.5 years had a huge gap in between.) My main problem is more so deciphering pixelated fonts and how they conform to standard Japanese fonts than the language itself. I use http://jisho.org for Kanji I don't know. So it would be much easier if you could extract the text, rather than send me screenshots. I'll PM you my email. Also just so you know I do have experience in romhacking on the English translation for Phantasy star Generation 2: http://www.pscave.com/psg2/download/, I am credited under the same username there. Said translation is only playable on an emulator sadly, but I wasn't recruited for game hacking.

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:30 pm
by Ms. Tea
Don't worry - I've got a fully-extracted copy of the script. :) It's about 250,000 characters - not sure how that translates into an English word count. I really appreciate the offer of help!

And I agree with you that a translation that's fun to read is the biggest priority. A lot of 90s RPG translations were pretty stilted...

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:48 am
by Alunissage
Interesting! Man, I go offline for vacation and inertia and all sorts of cool stuff pops up.

Would you mind sending me a copy of the script also, just for my general Lunar records? My knowledge of Japanese is minimal (a little less minimal than it used to be, but still pretty much epsilon compared to fluency), but I hope to eventually gain a level or two in it.

I'm not sure what help I could be other than general Lunar lore and good proofreading/editing, but I will be very interested in following this project to the extent my ridiculous ADD allows. But allow me a moment of confusion regarding the fonts: my primary association with the SegaCD games' text is that it's all-caps, so I'm not seeing the resemblance to the screenshots you posted...?

I have long wanted to do a hack of EB fixing some of the odd creative choices and perhaps de-aging the text by removing/toning down the outdated pop refs, and am a bit disappointed, though not surprised, to find that someone else has already done so. But it sounds like that person's priorities were rather different from mine (I want to fix things like item placement in chests, which is legacy from the Japanese game, and mostly don't care about the graphics changes), and I'm not sure I'm up for finding out what their versions do. I'm pretty much of the same opinion as Kizyr and Shinto-Cetra; I may not care for all of WD's specific localization choices, but I'm generally fine with their approach.

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:19 am
by Ms. Tea
Would you mind sending me a copy of the script also, just for my general Lunar records? My knowledge of Japanese is minimal (a little less minimal than it used to be, but still pretty much epsilon compared to fluency), but I hope to eventually gain a level or two in it.


Sure thing! Just PM me your email.

But allow me a moment of confusion regarding the fonts: my primary association with the SegaCD games' text is that it's all-caps, so I'm not seeing the resemblance to the screenshots you posted...?


The font in the game's data is mixed-case, but Working Designs only used the capital letters for dialogue. (A couple of the post-battle messages were mixed-case.) I suspect the reason they did this is because they weren't doing the programming, and the font wasn't actually designed for mixed-case English to read naturally - letters take up the full height, so characters with descenders (like j) look weird. The mixed-case font is a part of a JIS X 0201 font that also includes kana and Japanese-specific punctuation and is also in the Japanese version.

The font I'm using is Supper's, which is based on the original font but adjusts the height by a few pixels to allow for a consistent baseline.

In case anyone's concerned about my approach, I did the script editing on Wozz back in 2009: http://www.romhacking.net/translations/689/ My writing's gotten better since then, but I've kept my approach on making text fun and interesting. :)

And if anyone's interested, here are my notes and the tools I've written for this project:

https://github.com/mistydemeo/magicaldata - Repository with my working notes on file formats
https://github.com/mistydemeo/fldtools - Source code to my tool for unpacking FLD files
https://github.com/mistydemeo/msl_script_tools - Source code for my script extraction tool
https://github.com/mistydemeo/cinerepak - Source code for my Cinepak dubbing tool (less useful for this project, but I plan on extending it to add subtitle support)

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:42 am
by Alunissage
Will do in a bit. Thanks! And thanks for the font explanation. I had just read that there was lower-case in TSS, since you linked TCRF, but hadn't applied it mentally.

I forgot to put in a plea for rendering the heroine's name as Elly or Elie rather than Ellie. Both of the shorter ones appear in Japanese materials, and while I don't have a specific reason to always defer to the Japanese presentations of the names (e.g., Arhes, Luhna, Nasch...), it jars me every time I see Ellie. I guess something about it just seems too prosaic to me for Lunar. Maybe I just keep thinking of the elephant in Donkey Kong Country 3. I dunno. Four-letter names when possible! (Alex, Nash, Luna, Jean, Jian, Nall, Ruby, Gwyn, Hiro, Lena...Noah? Kyle. Dyne. OK, I'll stop.)

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:53 am
by Maus
May I also get a copy of the script, for curiosity's sake? I would love to read it if that's possible (totally understandable if it is not, though).

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:00 am
by Kizyr
Uh, hey Misty -- I think you tried to send over a new version of the script (sounds like it just had control characters fixed up) but forgot to include the attachment?

BTW I will say that I rather like having the script in spreadsheet form... It'd make it easier to cross-reference and translate in the long-run. I didn't notice (maybe it's there but I just overlooked it) but are there also things like the spell/item/object/character/monster names or other technical things in your script? Or just the dialog? KF

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:09 am
by Ms. Tea
Sorry about that - sent you the fixed version!

There are two spreadsheets; one has the dialogue, and the other has all of the menu text, which includes spell/item/monster names and so on.

Re: Magical School Lunar translation [in progress!]

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:54 am
by Alunissage
I got it now too, thanks!

Kizyr wrote:BTW I will say that I rather like having the script in spreadsheet form... It'd make it easier to cross-reference and translate in the long-run.


One of my many time-consuming barely-started projects is putting the TSS script into Excel, from the text dump Artemio Urbina did so long ago, and the game file open in a hex editor to check (because sometimes his dumper missed bits of lines), and annotate with who says it and when. I wanted to see how each specific NPC's dialogue changes throughout the game. But it's a....long project. Also, I got distracted levelling up Luna in the Lighthouse.

Looking at these spreadsheets is also reminding me that I need to get my laptop touchpad looked at. It's probably not supposed to be higher than the thing it's set into.