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!

149 thoughts on “Good news, bad news

  1. Daniel

    When you guys update the SRW J patch, are you planning on putting back in all the U’s that you left out of the character names? Also, will you be changing the name of the Fury bosses’ mechs to Laftcranz, or leaving it as is? I really hope you change it to Laftcranz; it just… sounds better. Keep up the good work, and thanks for being awesome enough to translate games that otherwise wouldn’t see an English release!

  2. Chrona

    =o progress?

    I’ve already been checking this site almost daily since the project was announced, you’re going to make it hourly D:

  3. Tom

    Daily should be enough, ha ha! But Kingcom’s a little too busy for an update for the time being, so I’ll just post here for the people who read the comments and not just the updates.

    The battle text, the seemingly biggest obstacle, is working just about perfectly now. The only issues that remain are menu-related issues. There’s still quite a bit to do, but the remaining things are just minor things in comparison: monotonous, time-consuming interface things that he’ll have to slog through like egg certificates, medal prize menus, mysterious key menus, skill/item description sidebars, that sort of thing.

  4. Lance

    With the biggest obstacle out of the way, can we expect an estimated release date to be announced soon, or are we too far from the finish line to see the tape?

  5. Tom

    When you see a post that testing has begun, THEN you can probably expect it to come soon… As of now, it’s not even -fully- playable. Even once it’s fully playable, the testing of what amounts to three games should take a while on its own.

    As for the cell phone monsters, no. They are not accessible yet.

  6. ed

    thanks for the update tom:) like a previous poster i’m checking back daily too its so hard not to get excited about this! well done

  7. Colin

    Hey Tom, thank you for all of the recent updates. I may be the only one, but the project I’m looking forward to the most is actually Oriental Blue. After reading your great review of it on gamefaqs, I’ve been eagerly waiting to experience it myself.

    I know that DQM is the prime focus right now, but I was wondering if there was any news on the current progress of Ao no Tengai? It would be some of the best news I’ve had in a long while.

    Anyway, thank you for your incredible dedication to these projects. Every ounce of effort you put into them is greatly appreciated.

  8. kupo

    T__T SRW D… I was looking forward to it more then the other games… I hope someone will pick it up…

  9. Jeeg

    What about Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei, are you still working on it?

    And is there a chance that you guys will continue translating srw d, after you have finished some of the current projects?

  10. chrisis

    i am here just to inform you that there is a big forum gbatemp.net with enthusiastic people translating things too glad if you join our forums
    your work is amazing i must say as a fan of dqm series 🙂 keep on

  11. Xion

    I never knew Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai is getting a translation! I was seriously hyped for the game when it was first announced. Though I have the game, I’m not well versed in Japanese(more specifically Kanji) and have sadly stopped playing it until I saw my copy of it again recently. I thought that after all these years, this game would have an English walkthrough but alas, I can only rely on a Japanese video of a messy playthrough.. Although it saddens me that Ao no Tengai wasn’t prioritized, I feel a wee bit happier that someone’s working on this great game. More power to you guys!

  12. Rogiaeu

    Can I take you guys out to a steak dinner? It would be the least one could do.

  13. Tom

    It’s still at the same point that it was several years ago? The translation is complete. Parts of it just need to be hacked.

    Minigame text displays funky, and some menus aren’t formatted properly.
    Also, the title screen needs to be redone.

    Lots of little things like that.

    It’s playable from start to finish. It’s just not ready to be released.

  14. Dave

    Is it possible we may be able to see the finished translation for 1 & 2 by the end of this year? I know DQM 1 is coming out for 3DS at the end of this month but, not looking like there we be an English translation of it, I’m rather anticipating this instead. Not asking you guys to rush, I’d prefer it to be completely finished and bug tested first, but is there a ballpark idea of when it may be? I think it would comfort most of the awaiting players to hear it from your own words.

  15. Tom

    I wanted to get DQM 1 and 2 out before the remake… But it depends on when Kingcom is ready to work on it. I have no idea when that will be. There is absolutely nothing new to say about it at the moment, unfortunately.

  16. Chrona

    Well, I’ll continue checking every few hours until there is 😀

    //obsessed

  17. Hyde

    I just want to thank you guys for all your hard work up till now.
    I’ve been waiting for the translation for DQM 1&2 to be done.
    I am really excited about it.

  18. Azurus

    Well even if this does come out after DQM Terry’s Wonderland, I will still get this just because it will be in english and the other won’t. (atleast for awhile)

  19. Matthew

    Just found out what you guys are doing a few days ago, And have to say.. Your work is greatly appreciated.. and find myself DYING in the wait of the DQM Translation!!!!!

    Go hard

  20. MerchantGhost

    I’m so excited for DQM! The quality of your SRW J translation is amazing (I’m playing it right now), so I’m expecting the Aerie’s DQM translation to be more popular than the 3DS remake. ^_^

  21. Elinag

    Been checking this site daily for the past couple of months. Can’t wait to play DQM1+2. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  22. Genderqueen

    Gonna second the curiosity about Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei. Almost finished with SMT1 and very interested in playing MT1+2

  23. Guardian2433

    Hey. Question. May I be a betatester for the game? Also, I was just wanting to say, “THANK YOU!!!”, for bringing this to the PSX. It’s been a long wanted game for me, but not as much though almost as much as DQ4r is. When you’re done, could you tackle DQ4r? I have dreamed of that game being translated the way DQVr was.

  24. TheAnimeMan

    Just wanna say that all thew good news outways the bad. Although as a mega fan of SRW games it’s greatly saddens me. but also being the great fan I am of those games I understand the sheer amount of work those games require in both hacking and translating, especially with all the side route, menu’s, character names and so forth.

    All i can say is maybe in the future when things have cleared up with the other projects you could always revisit it. It always amases me that so many hacknig groups work on multiple projects at once.

  25. GToro

    I’ve been silently looking forward to this translation project for the most of 2 years now.

    The remake has already shipped in Japan I believe. What is the status on this translation? I’m looking much more forward to playing this translation, since I dislike the Joker-style they throw into the remake, and Dragon Quest translations have been less than stellar of late (No Squeenix, I do not need a pun slapping my face around every corner, thanks).

    Anyways, checking in for an update, since it’s been about half a year since the last, and that update left people with the general impression that it wouldn’t be too far along. Also, I’ll chime in and let you know that there are many people looking forward to this. Just because they don’t post here or on the gamefaq’s forums for updates, doesn’t mean that they aren’t checking in every single day. I should know, I am one of them.

    Best wishes, and hope to see this project fulfilled soon. Thanks for all the hard work.

  26. Kingcom Post author

    I couldn’t work on it as much as I want to, unfortunately. It’s possible that the remake will be out first in english, but that shouldn’t hamper the enjoyment of either version as they are, as you said, very different by design. I cannot say anything definite… but I would be disappointed if we couldn’t finish it this year.
    As for DQ4, there are currently no plans to start any new projects before the backlog is cleared.
    And in other news, related to Oriental Blue, Tom has recently finished the script translation for Tengai Makyou 0. Everyone should be sure to check out byuu’s site for that.

  27. GToro

    Hey Kingcom,

    Any chance we could get a nice teaser for your Dragon Quest Monsters translation on youtube? The opening is there, but what about showcasing some of the second game? Could help get fan excitement up, and I’d love to see how things are going in a video.

    Thanks!

  28. KiTA

    I’m hoping the 3DS remake makes it to the US in English, but I’m a bit worried — we didn’t get Joker 2 Professional, for example. We’ll have to see how things go.

  29. Rot1nPieces

    Is there no way to complete DQM1 and release it with the Jap version of DQM2? The first one is the only one I want (and from reading the comments, most people just want #1)

  30. Kingcom Post author

    We’ll consider releasing a DQM2 video. Releasing just the first game is not possible as it’s in reality one big game with two different game modes.

  31. Rot1nPieces

    “We’ll consider releasing a DQM2 video. Releasing just the first game is not possible as it’s in reality one big game with two different game modes.”

    From what I understand is that DQM1 is finished but not 2. Could you release #1, meaning release the game as it is now with DQM1 translated and DQM2 not translated?

  32. JP

    The translation has been done. Its the coding which is taking a long time. Something about the battle text.

  33. Lance

    The battle text was said to be either finished, or close to finished ( I can’t remember), but I remember them saying several times that they don’t like releasing games when they aren’t completely finished. As this isn’t Dragon Quest Monsters 1 and Dragon Quest Monsters 2, it’s Dragon Quest Monsters 1 + 2, they probably won’t release it until the whole game is done. I understand that the games are still separated, but the fact that its 1 .iso means its 1 game. That’s my understanding of the situation, anyway.

  34. Sam

    I only found out about this website a few days ago, and I am absolutely ELATED!!! DWM 1 was and is my absolute favorite handheld game. Every time I have played through it lately I have been wishing there was a remake of it being made, (and not one with the crummy polygon graphics that all the new DS Joker games seem to have). Your translation of PSX DQM 1 + 2 fits the bill perfectly!!! It stays true to the original content and graphics, and I am anxiously waiting your completion. 🙂

    So. Very. Happy.

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