January 25th, 2016
Enough rape still solves anything.
The continuing adventures of Darx, some 10ish or so years later, in the tradition that would be followed by its sequel, retconning the end to the previous game, and in the spirit of Softhouse Chara, containing a sex scene in the introduction that is 95% exposition and 5% actual sex. Instead of humans, this time, it's a pack of imperious angels invading/being invaded, and who doesn't love crushing angels underfoot? I do think it's much better thought out than the first, especially as a game. It's an actual dungeon crawler for one, instead of a bunch of random floors where you're shoved to do… something… until… something happens. It also trims out a lot of the awful crap (although does simplify some things a bit too much). Especially that godawful treasure chest minigame. Good god. Who could have possibly thought that was a good idea?
The BB2 patch is available from here. Please report all issues, mistakes, or whatnot there, and for god's sake, read the readme. There are some compability issues with what appears to be Windows 8/10 that I can't even begin to test myself, and I didn't feel like making my usual idiot-proof-that-never-is-and-I-always-end-up-screwing-it-up-somehow-anyway patch, opting for a more drag, drop, and rename one file approach. God willing, the worst of the bugs are already taken care of, and there were a couple weird and insidious ones. So thank you for everyone who helped with that, as well as the images, with Tolrin for being the sole suffering editor, and Nagato for solving the remaining technical issues when all others had forsaken me. It's 100% their fault if anything is broken.
It's still not a great game, and I'd put it probably around third or in the SH Chara rankings behind Suzukuri Dragon, Wizard's Climber, and maybe Ouzoku, and those are just the ones I've played. Instead of a central heroine like Shia to really anchor things, it kind of gets split up between a pair of angels and Darx's daughter, and none of them really have the same growth or personality as she did. There are also still plenty of bizarre gameplay system decisions, like hiding a ton of events with the boss characters unless you go revisit them in for absolutely no reason, repeatedly. My favorite is that you can't actually sell items, only buy negative numbers of them.
If you didn't like the first, I doubt you'll like this one. For me, it's short, easy, simple, low impact, often amusing, relatively unchallenging, and a good way to unwind before returning to the behemoth. In a medium dominated by bloated, high concept nonsense that rarely lives up to its own BS, I really appreciate the things that aren't quite so ambitious and don't fall on their faces as hard because of it. And like most SH Chara games, all the same somewhat (ironically) deeper relationships characters have where sex is just one part of their lives together, not the entire kielbasa, as it were.
As for BB3 in the future… even post-behemoth, I wouldn't hold my breath for a number of reasons. The most important one is that SH Chara's engine by default is double-width unicode, so it needs to have some… stuff… hacked to it to make it display English correctly. The hacker who did that for BB1/2 is with MangaGamer now and wasn't returning any messages for fixing the few lingering issues with BB2. I have, however, been told that MG and SHChara have been in touch with each other and they're not totally against it, but not now. Not soon. Not next month. I wouldn't even put bets on this year. But that is a possibility I've heard rumblings of in the future. The point is, until that issue is solved, I'm not going to lift a finger to work on it.
I won't lose any sleep myself if I never get to it though, same as Alternative Sphere. It's pretty gimmicky and is basically just "humans, angels, demons… and Darx has and/or is tentacles!?" Yes, is. That's its thing. Darx has a tentacle pet, that is also him, that they keep locked in a closet where it never stops raping anything that wanders or is thrown in. And the main antagonist that's not a rehash of BB2 is bureaucracy. It's not a strong end to the trilogy. But on the other hand, between BB1 and BB2, the script tool now handles Suzukuri Dragon's scripts in a sane way, and it's already had most (all?) of the work already done for English text, so it's a possibility for another one of these quick stress relief in between bigger projects things. Maybe. The behemoth is a complicated mistress.
Regarding the behemoth, after a year, Doddler came through and got me something that completely disassembles the scripts in ways that allow me to address all of the technical issues coming from the scripts themselves, leaving only I think one severe, one major, and two or three minor technical issues left. I now have to convert all of my old files into the new format though, rewrite a bunch of the python scripts I was using in my workflow to handle required editing/processing tasks, and then I can go about manually fixing the hundreds of problematic lines the new format lets me fix, before getting back to the shockingly large chunk that's left. Or not. It's honestly hard to tell because like Romanesque, there's text squirreled away goddamned everywhere.
But what's truly horrifying about this game is how bad the editing is. It's straight up appalling. It takes about 20 times as long to fix all their typoes, mistranslated terms, misunderstood references, and obvious lack of version-control than it does to just translate normally, and those things never goddamned stop. My TL note collection for it so far is a depressing array of peeks behind a curtain that should never have been tampered with. This was a game that desperately needed at least one or two more passes and some goddamned version control. And for at least one ending to be completely rewritten from scratch because it physically makes the bile rise in my gullet when I think about it with how unbelievably awful it is. Someday, I will inflict that pain on you too. Someday…
While I'm talking about projects, I guess I should say something about Seinarukana. As I mentioned in a comment a week or so back, I haven't really done anything with it for a long time. I had always known that a Steam version was possible, if just with the sex scenes yanked out like Romanesque's were, but I believe that they got the rights to the replacement content used in the Special Edition coming from the PSP version. Those CGs aren't exactly pretty in comparison to the originals, but it's better than replacing the sex with nothing at all. There's also quite a large chunk of extra text for the replacement scenes and I think maybe some extra stuff, which I got the offer to work on, but declined, so any further delays are totally all my fault. My bad, everyone.
I do have a post in my pocket about a few things in Seinarukana that I grossly mistranslated on purpose, since I enjoy talking/reading about localization stuff, especially the stuff that makes me titter like a schoolgirl, and if you're going to mistranslate something, go big or go home. I don't think too many Westerners are particularly in tune with the concepts of Mahayana Buddhism anyway, and there are Christian terms that fit the specific concepts in the game way too well to not use them, but there were also a couple other things I find interesting…ish. I'll try to fit it in some time this season since I still have absolutely no idea when the game's going to be released and they aren't majorly spoilerish (at least no more so than the Japanese home page for the game), along with getting around to writing something up on Izumo4. Someday…