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Chrono Trigger (J)


Erdrick The Hero
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So... some of you may be the lucky owners of legal copies of the Japanese Super Famicom Chrono Trigger Rom! If you have Final Fantasy Chronicles for the PlayStation (FF4 and CT), you can put the disk into your computer and copy the ROM.BIN file to your computer. Rename it so it's an SMC file, and you can play it in an emulator without any of the crappy load times that the PlayStation disk brings... except it's the Japanese version... (Though the Japanese version of this disk read the script straight from ROM.BIN along with the sound and graphics, the english version reads the translated script from another file, but ROM.BIN is included for graphics and sound.)

 

So I must ask, are there any COMPLETE translation patches that can be applied to the Japanese version of the ROM? I've found a couple re-translations of the game, but they all need to be applied to a US ROM... (There's also a menu patch for the Japanese version, but I'd like the whole game to be in english.)

 

If not, could somebody make a patch for the Japanese version that turns it into the English version by using a patch maker (If you don't know how to do this, you aren't someone I'm asking), that would be wonderful! I'd like to play this, but I can't justify the $100+ to buy the original cartridge. (Though somehow I could justify that for any DQ game...) I also would like to play the SNES version rather than the DS remake (since I don't have a properly working DS system right now - shoulder buttons are total crap).

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There's always owning FF Chronicles, and using that as an excuse to download the SNES rom, which is already translated into English.

 

Is there a reason to do all the work involved in patching it, if an English version is available?

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Unfortunately as a game designer I've limited myself to strictly following the law here. So yes, there is a reason to do all the work involved in patching it: Keeping my integrity. (If that's the right word.)

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Ah, okay.  Yeah.  It's not impossible, but if it doesn't exist already, it sounds like a lot of work for something that isn't in high demand--most likely due to the fact that there are many alternatives out there.  Besides the DS version, which is pretty-much a straight port, with some extra content tacked onto it (I think the cut scenes from the PSX version were preserved with the DS version, but I don't really remember), the SNES version is also currently available via the Wii's Virtual Console.  This discussion is actually making me want to re-download this version if I don't have it already.

 

You mentioned a moral dilemma with playing the US SNES rom, and yet you did mention you were okay using an emulator.  Seems like there is room to bend on the integrity, given certain specific details--as long as you're comfortable with it.  That's the only reason I mentioned the alternatives, because it seems like they would be more realistic than fan translating something already available (in alternative versions) in English.

 

Either way, good luck with it.  With any luck, someone's tackled this already.

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It's a legal dilemma, not a moral dilemma. I don't have the rights to download the US ROM, I only have the rights to the Japanese ROM I discovered on the PlayStation disk.

 

And there's nothing wrong with using an emulator. It's pirating the game that's illegal, not emulating. If you've legally obtained the ROM, you can emulate it all you want.

 

I was doing some research, and it looks like the US script on the disk is a portion of the US ROM. If I could insert that into the Japanese ROM, that would be great! The problem is I don't know which file is the script. And since I don't know what the Chrono Trigger file structure is like, I can't just open up files to find out. Perhaps I'll start opening files up in a Hex editor and looking for text. If that doesn't work, I'd have to figure out a pattern table for the font and compare that to files in a Hex editor.

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What did you use to rip your Playstation bios file?  I have always wondered how you go about obtaining that on your own.

Edited by King Zenith
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I think there's a USB / Serial cable for the PSX. Pretty sure that's how they did it.

 

To be honest, I'd love to know how they got Bios files at ALL from these systems. Dumping has always been fascinating to me.

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I was doing some research, and it looks like the US script on the disk is a portion of the US ROM. If I could insert that into the Japanese ROM, that would be great! The problem is I don't know which file is the script. And since I don't know what the Chrono Trigger file structure is like, I can't just open up files to find out. Perhaps I'll start opening files up in a Hex editor and looking for text. If that doesn't work, I'd have to figure out a pattern table for the font and compare that to files in a Hex editor.

 

Good call.  If you could figure out how the game is patching the English text in place of the Japanese text, you might be able to patch it.  Perhaps if you take a phrase or word that you know is in the dialogue and do a Windows Search Files Containing...

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-files/in-windows-7-i-want-to-search-for-all-files/aadfe1f1-4a33-406b-8e72-bb920efa4f30

 

Good luck with it.  This is beyond the scope of my expertise, but if I tinker around with my copy of Chronicles and find anything, I'll let you know.

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What did you use to rip your Playstation bios file?  I have always wondered how you go about obtaining that on your own.

I actually haven't ripped my PS1 BIOS file. I use PCSXR which has a high-level emulation technique that fakes having a BIOS so you don't need one. (It's a bit slower than using a BIOS, but it doesn't make a difference on modern machines.)

 

I have dumped my PS2 BIOS file. I can't remember what it's called, but there's an ELF you can use if you have FreeMCBoot or some other mod/softmod to run homebrew. It just copies the BIOS to a USB stick. I'm leaving soon, but when I get back I'll take a look and see if I can find it.

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I see a bunch of bin files on my disc, but nothing helpful or obvious.  Because it's proprietary I wonder if we would need to contact one of the original developers for more insight.

 

I also tried opening a bunch of files from the disc in notepad, but everything is jumbled characters, as expected.  Any dialogue is going to be embedded in these files somewhere, so I realize the "search files containing..." idea won't help either.

 

If you are able to get it patched, do you know how the different SNES emulators would interpret the FMV cut scenes that cut in and out of the PSX version?  Would the emulator ignore them because the movie files would be missing, or would it possibly cause the game to freeze?

 

Good luck with this.  Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Edited by Liamland
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The FMVs aren't part of the SNES ROM. The ROM isn't emulated at all in the PSX version, it's only there because they could read data (graphics/sound/text/maps/enemy data/etc.) from the ROM instead of creating new files. The ROM is never executed though. The game engine in the PSX version is completely new. The ROM on the disk is exactly that - a clean, unmodified ROM. Only, it's the Japanese version, not the localized version.

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Interesting.  So the rom is there for reference, only, similar to a cache.

 

I did a little more research and found that there was a "retranslation" project for Chrono Trigger, a patch which attempts to correct some of the NOA censorship that was apparently part of the SNES version, published in the US.  The retranslation boasts a version of the game that is supposed to be closer to the original feel of the Japanese version.

 

Here is the RomHacking.net page for Chrono Trigger, including a download link:

http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1198/

 

The patch release is form 2007, so you may have seen this already, but it's here as an option, in case you want to give it a shot.

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Yeah, I saw that, but it has to be patched over the US version.

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Too bad there's no way to easily rip the game script from the English rom into a patch.

 

So apparently this is something that has been fascinating CT fans for over 10 years.  Here are some posts on the very same topic from 2004:

http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=3376.0

 

On page 2 of this forum discussion restarts in 2008, when Valour states:

 The US version's file is not in the root dir, it is in a sub dir and has been modified and does not run properly on an SNES emulator. The Licenced to Nintendo text is from the SNES Cart version from 1995, not the 1999 emulator. To clear this up there are 3 different ROMs we are talking about.

 

The conversation ends with someone dismissing the topic as dead.  There's some interesting information on the first page, though, where someone analyzes how the PSX calls each of the files, and cites what some of these files do.

 

I think the reason nobody seems to have put a ton of effort into a translation patch is because in general, most fans are content with the versions that are available--legal or otherwise.  It is a really fascinating challenge, though.

 

The PSX version of CT would probably be more acceptable if we only had some way to speed up the load time.  I wonder what causes the loading to be so slow.  Maybe it's the fact that it's referencing a separate rom for additional data?  Not even running the game on a PS2 helped, if I remember correctly.  It's as if the slow load was consciously built in to be part of this version of the game.  In a game about time travel it's pretty funny that our biggest complaint is about when the game wastes our time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Too bad there's no way to easily rip the game script from the English rom into a patch.

 

So apparently this is something that has been fascinating CT fans for over 10 years.  Here are some posts on the very same topic from 2004:

http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=3376.0

 

On page 2 of this forum discussion restarts in 2008, when Valour states:

 The US version's file is not in the root dir, it is in a sub dir and has been modified and does not run properly on an SNES emulator. The Licenced to Nintendo text is from the SNES Cart version from 1995, not the 1999 emulator. To clear this up there are 3 different ROMs we are talking about.

 

The conversation ends with someone dismissing the topic as dead.  There's some interesting information on the first page, though, where someone analyzes how the PSX calls each of the files, and cites what some of these files do.

 

I think the reason nobody seems to have put a ton of effort into a translation patch is because in general, most fans are content with the versions that are available--legal or otherwise.  It is a really fascinating challenge, though.

 

The PSX version of CT would probably be more acceptable if we only had some way to speed up the load time.  I wonder what causes the loading to be so slow.  Maybe it's the fact that it's referencing a separate rom for additional data?  Not even running the game on a PS2 helped, if I remember correctly.  It's as if the slow load was consciously built in to be part of this version of the game.  In a game about time travel it's pretty funny that our biggest complaint is about when the game wastes our time.

I wonder if the PSP's "Disc Load Speed" option helps. I haven't tried making an eboot before...

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It's only one game though.

 

Anyways, the problem your probably referring to is the fact that the game never calls for a disk swap. There are two workarounds: A) make each disk its own eboot (as they did with the PSN versions of CT, FF4, FF5, and FF6) or B) switch disk on virtual restart.

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Yeah that sounds about right, I definitely have separate eboots for all three discs of FFVII.

 

The thing is though, I spent ages getting CT running on PSP because at the time it was the best version of the game available and I wanted to play a portable version. The DS version is massively superior to every previous release so unless you specifically want to play it on a TV then there's no point at all in playing the PS1 version.

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... Except I already own the PS1 version, so I can play it for free. If I wanted to play the DS version, I'd have to pay $25 for the copy at my local game shop. (Which I've been contemplating, but for now I need to save my money.)

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I don't really understand your ethical stance on this one. Square don't want you ripping games, making eboots of them, patching translations across or any of that stuff. You're basically going absolutely miles out of your way to avoid paying for a game but also avoid piracy, when in the eyes of the companies what you're doing is no better than piracy. Either they get some of your cash or they don't, and with the amount of effort you're putting in to avoiding paying for the game you may as well just take the regular route to avoid paying for the game. That's without even considering that if you manage this and share it with us then you'll actually be actively creating a new way to avoid buying it, which is something SE would hate.

 

My piracy ethics are a bit different to yours though. I try not to pirate games but if the company won't release them in a way I can access I'll pirate. I also feel like if I have a copy of the game then I'm pretty happy to pirate another port of it. Having paid £50 for Skyrim at launch and about £30 for DLC I didn't feel too bad pirating the PC version. I've also found there have been tonnes of time where getting to try something lead to me buying it, or I fell in love with the developer and wanted to contribute more money to them.

 

So yeah, I see that you're trying to avoid piracy, but if you're willing to go this far just download an image of the US SNES or PS1 version.

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I don't give a s**t about what SE wants. I'm not pirating the game though, because I'd like to start my own game development company. I couldn't rightly expect others to pay for my games, if I went around pirating games from other companies.

 

That aside, emulating games without piracy is actually a fun challenge. It forced me to mod my PS2, and dump both my PS1 and PS2 BIOSes. It forced me to actually start a Dragon Quest collection, instead of just downloading games. (Technically I downloaded DQX, but at least I paid for it, and my download was directly from SE.) It forced me to actually spend money, which in turn, has been teaching me valuable lessons about what things are really worth, and how spend/save appropriately. (But after Itadaki Street comes in the mail, I'm done adding to my collection for a while. My hours were recently cut at work, and now there's a girl flirting with me at work, so now I have to save everything that isn't going straight to school.)

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