Atelier Wil and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Text Files

February 20th, 2019

Aaaah, memories.

Last time on this series:
Battle Moon Wars SDK
Galaxy Angel/Moonlit Lovers SDK
Daibanchou – Big Bang Age SDK
Eternal Lovers SDK

Kamidori Scripts and Tools

I posted some minor stuff about modding graphics, music, and movies in the game on the forum long ago, so I'll just focus on the scripts here. The ugly, horrible, awful mess that are the scripts. And also, I think (but am not sure) that may only be useful for historic purposes. I know other Eushully tools have been developed, but I have yet to see many that wouldn't make me want to tear my hair out in various ways. This set includes all the PSDs too, because they're somewhat extensive and it can be fun to see how much of the ginormous sprite sheets are actually unused.

Anyway, as I mentioned on the forums/when I released this, these scripts are a special kind of hell because the tool decompiled them into matching text files, one simply a dump of all the strings, and one a collection of unreadable machine code. The machine code files we just ignore. The strings are for both the scripts and all the items, skills, names, monsters, so on and so forth. Literally everything is in the same format. The script scripts containing the actual story and whatnot are extra bad for a few reasons. The main one is that they lack things like speaker tags or really any clue as to what's going on, so if the characters don't have distinct speaking patterns (and they often don't here), then you can consider it a crash course in learning about how Japanese is a topic-prominent language that, unlike English, frequently omits subjects in sentences. There were a lot… of pretty bad translation errors in the first pass, and I consider it a miracle there weren't more in the final release.

Second, they're grouped and sorted by location, not anything sensible like chronology or related events. An event that starts in the workshop, goes to a dungeon, then back to the workshop, then to the main city screen, those four scenes will be in three different scripts. Like Daibanchou, I kept track of a lot of that just by playing through the game and marking things down in the scripts as to what lead to or from what. It did make for a fun 'game' at the end as I tried to go through the remaining untranslated text and figure out what obscure things I missed and how to trigger them, including at least one scene that was celebrating victory but was actually tied to a game over trigger.


Another fun thing about the story text is how it handles furigana/ruby text. Basically, if there's furigana, it pauses the string output, calls a different kind of string output for that word, along with another string output for the furigana itself, and then continues the line afterward. Rather than try to deal with that, furigana was just wiped out from the translation. It gets especially awful when it wants to pseudo-bold words, because it uses furigana dots to do so, resulting in short, simple lines turning into messes like this.

{{ENG|652|「That did not belong to her.」}}








The non-game scripts are a similar kind of mess, especially in regards to the furigana. Items and skills are an especially awful disaster because the thing and its description are in two different files. eg ITINIT looks like this:

{{ENG|247|Small Bookshelf}}


{{ENG|249|Large Bookshelf}}


{{ENG|251|Gorgeous Bookshelf}}


Notice that most is still untranslated, just with a slight modify to mark them as looked at. That's because those string bits are never referenced or displayed.
But the actual descriptions are over in ITMES, looking like this:







{{ENG|905|A meager shelf for your books}}

{{JPN|906| 『部屋』に配置可能な家具 知識UP}}
{{ENG|906|[ Room ] +4 Knowledge}}







{{ENG|913|A sturdy bookshelf}}

{{JPN|914| 『部屋』に配置可能な家具 知識UP}}
{{ENG|914|[ Room ] +8 Knowledge}}







{{ENG|921|A shelf for true literati}}

{{JPN|922| 『部屋』に配置可能な家具 知識UP}}
{{ENG|922|[ Room ] +12 Knowledge}}

Rather than try to work with the furigana in any way, it was always blanked and everything put on a single line. There's no reason that half of every description needed to be a pronunciation guide and repeat of the name of the thing anyway, but I've ranted about the quality of life clarifications and flavor text changes I made to make consulting wikis merely optional just to play the game enough in the past.


But wait, there's one final rub to the scripts. A couple of the scripts in the appends just straight up rejected linebreaks. I don't know why. They just didn't work. I think they might've even crashed the tool. They got relegated to a Problem File directory with their own special modified version of the tool that doesn't do any linebreaking whatsoever. Those scripts are manually spaced so that they look like they're linebroken correctly.

{{ENG|12|All information on items obtained and enemies fought will be    recorded in the dictionaries as normal.}}

{{ENG|13|Clearing these side stories will give a reward for the next timeyou begin a new game.}}

Yep. Extra spaces when a line is too short. No spaces at all when a line fills up its exact length. We'll return to that with MDKB because that's how the entire game is linebroken!

And that is the end of the tale of what I suppose remains my translation magnum opus. Something that probably should have never been, but I'm proud it came out perhaps even better than the original Japanese release.

Next week, TWilight, my favorite completely ignored and forgotten babies.

Posted in Kamidori | 2 Comments »

2 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Anonymous says:

    I really appreciate you translating this as it became my favorite game. Can’t remember how many times I’ve replayed it.