Status: Mostly complete
Current patch: ver 0.9
This is the first project I began in earnest beginning in January of 2020. I was looking for a hobby project that wouldn't take up any space while trapped in an apartment during a global pandemic. I worked on it for about a month, researching the engine and developing tools to extract and insert the text in the script files. Once I had the whole script dumped and was confident I could insert whatever text I wanted, I ran up against the primary obstacle of translating games, I can neither speak nor read japanese! I had used Google Translate on a part of the script in order to test my tools and was toying with the idea of putting put a machine translation patch with a disclaimer that that was the case. However, the format of the text with special control characters intact, combined with formatting particulars for insertion, meant a lot of manual editting work would be required to get a translation that made enough sense to then be editted into something readable and able to be inserted. If I was going to go through all that work anyway, I at least wanted an end result that I could be reasonably sure was at least not blatantly incorrect. Figuring out how the program works and being able to manipulate that is the part I enjoy most, so even if I never released a finished patch I considered the work I had done a worthwhile endeavor for my own enjoyment. Thus, I put the project on indefinite hiatus and turned to other hobbies and interests.
I continued poking around at other games from time to time and very casually learning some japanese via Duolingo, while lurking around the translation discussion channel of a PC-98 Discord to keep an eye on what other projects were going on in the community. In April 2022, the user BabaJeanmel posted that he was looking for someone with hacking experience for his Lakers 1 project. He needed a way to adjust pointers in the script files to allow more room for the english text. This is something I had found a solution for on my project and was curious if the same methods would work for other games as well. I took a look at the game's files and code and, reasonably assured that I could adapt my tools, I reached out to offer my assistance. The project went well enough that he asked if I would be interested working on the next game in the series as well. Approaching completion of the second game, I mentioned my unfinished project to him and inquired if he would be interested in looking at it. He graciously agreed. I provided him with the script files I had extracted and he soon got back to me with the inital translation which I could edit to my satisfaction.
Part 1: Methods and Tools --under construction--
Part 2: SGS 1.00 technical data