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!