Good news, bad news

You may have heard that Square-Enix announced that Dragon Quest Monsters will be remade for the 3DS. Isn’t that great? Now you have two versions of the game to look forward to! Naturally, we still hope that you look forward to the PSX version the most.

The announcement inspired us to work a bit on the PSX game since the last update. I’ve finished the total revamp of the menu system. There were still a few issues with background text appearing over foreground menus due to the way I initially implemented it. Now everything looks the same as before, but VRAM space is dynamically allocated and freed (and plenty of it is available, more than 3 times as much than before).

I’ve been thinking about writing a bit about the work and thought process that was involved during the creation of that menu system revamp.  It’s a very important hack which needed a lot of planning and many changes, yet it’s almost invisible to the user. It might be interesting to learn about the inner workings of a game and the hacking process. Is there any interest in such insight?

Aside from the menu stuff, monster and player names can now be 6 characters long, extending the original length of 5 characters. In order to do this, every character is encoded into 6 bits instead of the 8 of a full byte. More than this is unfortunately not possible as the saves are very tightly packed.

The biggest hurdle still left is the battle text. It’s a huge mess of variables and fragments of sentences that only really make sense in Japanese. It will have to be completely redone, and it will be a lot of work. Besides that, I think there are only a couple of menus left, a couple of graphics here and there, and probably other minor things.

Now, I will be honest. Some translations will be finished before others. Here is a small rundown of what to expect…

  • Dragon Quest Monsters 1&2 is very advanced and the most likely to be released next
  • Oriental Blue is also advanced, but still needs a lot of annoying work. It will probably follow after DQM
  • Super Robot Wars F… the translation has slowed down, and there’s a lot of editing to be done. It will still take a lot of time
  • Xenosaga 1&2 is similar, unfortunately. The translation is progressing very slowly lately, so don’t expect a release anytime soon

You might have noticed that there is one game missing from the list… and that game is Super Robot Wars D. I’m sorry to announce that, but the project is dead. It’s officially cancelled. The reasons are numerous, but largely come down to a serious lack of time of many people involved. If someone wants to continue it, I can hand him my stuff. I will, however, only give it to people who can prove their worth as hackers. Only people who can prove their experience and intention to finish it will be considered. There will be no support. Advanced low level knowledge is required.

As for the rest, time is still scarce for everyone involved. There won’t be any surprise releases in the near future, but there’s plenty to look forward to in the long term!

148 thoughts on “Good news, bad news

  1. ed

    was here the last day and was gonna write some encouragement and then didn’t so here it goes! Well done on getting the translation a little bit further:) pity its gonna be as long away as christmas but at least we have a ball park date and if its before that it will be a nice surprise:) thanks for the updates too.

    as an aside does anyone have any tips to learning japanese? i played torneko the last hope recently and it blew me away. my favourite game of all time, i spent weeks and weeks playing it. I bought torneko 3 for the ps2 thinking it might be easy enough to play with a hirogana chart but f**k that its harder than it looks. got a few words but some of them are mental how they need to be worked out

    is it better to learn like a japanese kid with simple pictures first or what? i don’t want to speak it. it really brings it home about how hard translating a game is and thats the easy bit!

  2. super duper

    Woooo!!!! Goddamn I’m incredibly pumped for this project to finish. You guys totally rock! Yeeahhhh!!

  3. Shin

    I must extend my thank you to you guys. I’ve been playing SRW Judgement for the last couple of months, I’ve been taking it slow because I almost never get the chance to play. (people). And I absolutely love the work you guys have done in it. I’ve never really heared of most of those mech animes until I’ve seen it, and it has inspired me to see them now.

    I’m certainly looking forward to your translation of F and perhaps F/Final. And thank you very much for translation of games we would most likely find interesting to play. Hope everything goes smooth for you here on. Perhaps in a couple of years likely to expect a translation of Super Robot Wars W? Heh..

    -Shin
    South Africa

  4. Michi

    Hi guys, I have a question about the game. In DWM 2 you could find a Dream Egg that you could eventually hatch into a rare monster if you were lucky, is this feature in the PSX version? Or is there something else ?

  5. Bearpowers

    I’d hate to be a pest but it’s been awfully silent around here as of recent and some news would be appreciated.

  6. Lance

    Well, they said it they were hoping it would be done by December. I’d think they’d have a status update around then. Remember, this website can go several months without an update. It doesn’t mean they aren’t working on it, they just aren’t updating the site.

  7. Bearpowers

    An occasional comment is nice though, to show they’re still alive and this site hasn’t been killed off.

  8. ed

    any newsies? have just finished my college work and lookin for something to get my gaming teeth into:)

  9. Super Slash

    Why do I get the feeling Xenosaga is next in line for a cancellation? I hope not, because that’s probably the only way I’ll ever get to understand it. =(

  10. Kingcom Post author

    There’ll be an update next month. I’ve been terribly busy with exams, so there’s no real progress to announce, but I guess it’s time to let people know we are still alive… I’ve also approved all old pending comments. Sorry that it took so long.

  11. Skelletonike

    It’s pretty exciting to know that there’ll be an update next month, although it’s pretty sad that there isn’t any major announcement, personally I can’t wait for the status of DQM and SRW F (well, even if it takes years, as long as I get a SRW game I’ll be happy for several months).

  12. Azurus

    Good to hear from you, and that’s alright.

    @Super Slash- I wonder why people wait for xenosaga 1 and 2 when there are already official english releases? I have all 3 and they never needed to wait for fan translations. Is there something I’m missing? Another series with the same name? An Extended Version? I dunno.

  13. X-nova

    @Azurus: XSI&II DS is different from the PS2 versions of XSI and XSII. In general it’s still the same story, but some things have been changed. It’s enough for Xeno-fans to get excited about seeing a translation.

  14. Azurus

    @X-nova ah, thanks for explaining, I never even knew that existed for the DS. I guess I’ll treat it like the final mixes for the Kingdom Hearts titles that never made it over here.

  15. Ed

    Aw I’m sooo looking forward to this! Thanks guys for making it possible! Best wishes from ireland!

  16. sol

    thanks for all your hard work. i hve enjoyed playing SRW J thanks to your translation. im am a little sad about SRW D but life is hard and we cant do anything about lack of time and man power. i have tried to do a few translations (mainly a rather bad zoids fuzor menu hack that i never submitted anywhere because im not happy with it) but majority of the process is way above my head so i applaud and thank everyone who is involved in translation and hacking.

  17. Ljink

    You guys really don’t know how happy you’ve made me. I played the heck out of both on GBC. Seeing them remastered in 2d will be great. I just wish we’d get DQM for 3DS. I even considered learning Japanese…

    Well, good luck. I’m pretty sure you’ve got the hottest PS1 translation on your hands:)

  18. KiTA

    Apparently there was a leaked announcement that the 3DS remake of DQM1 is getting localized, after the head of Nintendo specifically requested it get done.

  19. Chrona

    *shrugs*

    Doesn’t make a difference, that game plays an entirely different way. Odds are both this translation and the 3DS version will ramp up triple digit hours from me

  20. Trazuin

    I for one would much rather have an English translation for this PSX remaster. I never cared much for the scouting system that DQMJ uses, and they are using that in the DQM remake for 3DS.

  21. UntilDeath333

    I’m fine with the lack of updates, but when Kingcom said he really doesn’t have any notable progress for us, that concerns me a little. According to the comments above, there’s a date set close to Christmas, and that’s fine, but i’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. With no notable progress, I feel like there’s still quite a lot of work that needs done. I’m not saying it won’t happen, i’m just kinda worried. I’ve been a huge DWM fan ever since the first one released back in 2000, and you can’t even imagine how excited I am for this. Also, I can imagine you don’t want us to pay you, but I would gladly donate some money if it would help the project at all. Just keep up the good work, Kingcom. We’re still here, and we eagerly await your next update. Thank you so much.

  22. Ljink

    Maybe its just a way to build suspence. Christmas would be a great time to get it but the guy does have a life to attend to. I feel the same way with my RPG2k3 game, Dragon Quest +. I just know this game is well worth the wait.

  23. jojo

    .. been awhile since weve heard any progress. I would much rather have what theyve completed so far than to hav ethe project die and never get it at all.

  24. Bob

    Wow! Just stumbled upon this project and i’m stoked! If you somehow manage to put out this remake of DQM even within my lifetime you will be a SHINY GOLDEN GOD!!! GOD BLESS YOU HARE KRISHNA RAMA RAMA DING DONG HUZZAH!!! >:D

  25. Khad

    I’d rather play this than the N3DS version to be honest, the scouting system isn’t really my thing. I’ve always felt like the newer games we’re missing something the first ones had…like…soul, idk. I played the first one ever since it came out and I ocassionaly still do. If there’s any way we could get an update on this I’m sure me and others would really appreciate it. I’ve been waiting for this translation for years and always come here to check on some update, I hope it is still in the works. Anyways…I’ll wait as long as I have to. Good luck :).

  26. #000000

    This may not work but can’t the battle text system be taken or further understood from the gbc versions of the game?

  27. Bearpowers

    Very much no, everything is fully translated anyway from what I understand.

    It’s mostly issues with how many characters you’re allowed to use I think they’re talking about, as Japanese tends to use less character than we do to write things out.

    I might be wrong though, this is what I’ve been lead to believe.

  28. Lance

    Well, I don’t really care if they have it out this year or not anymore. I remember when they put the “end of 2012″ release goal and I thought that was really far away. Now it’s here already, so I figure I can wait even more without too much trouble. To quote Shigeru Miyamoto, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

  29. sol

    i have played around with translations mainly from Zoids fuzors for the GBA and SRW R for the GBA and from what i noticed in the japanese language (according to SRW R) armor is spelled with 2 letters where we spell it with 5 letters, others are gundam being only 3 letters in japanese. My knowlege about hacking is very small but i know enough to have located the weapons list and mecha list as well as the dialog for the opening cutscene. translating that though is the problem i am having mainly dealing with the space problem.

  30. Joe

    yeah this game basically more important then all those others. Toss the rest of them so this one gets more time. Charge a dollar or two for this patch once its done im sure everyone would pay a couple bucks to help fund it

  31. Joe

    Really translations like this should be on kickstarter since I mean its time and effort to do this it doesnt happen by itself and a lot of people would chip in to help make it easier

  32. Mario

    Any updates now? It’s been a long time since i heard or found anything on updates or completion..

  33. BlackDog61

    Hi Kingcom & team,
    Thanks for all the work and constant effort you put in these projects. I happily spent “quite a few” happy hours with SRW J!!

    I would like to know if anyone raised a hand for the SRW D handover?
    If no, could I be considered for this? I want to get the ball rolling as far as I can. I know I am not as good as you for assembly, but I can hold my own and I want to learn enough on my own to make this happen. It is clearly a multi-years project and I am happy with that.
    (How far have you gone? We saw a menu patch. I am curious to see if you have seen through the text compression and figured out which graphics are where between the ECD/IMG/SCR/… markers, and the compression of the first part of the font?)

    Thanks for reading this. Good day!

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