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July 11, 2010 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Through clever manipulation of Final Fantasy V's ROM ... Shadow and his gang replaced the game's Japanese text with their own fully-translated English script, marking the first time this title would be playable in English -- and beating Square's own efforts by two years. - 1up on ROM translation.
posted by griphus (29 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, great article.
posted by Nelson at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2010


Brilliant post title!
posted by dhens at 10:18 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the title too (it's my favorite FF line of all time) but that line is from FFIV.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:22 AM on July 11, 2010


ROM hacking was an incredible amount of fun back when I was in high school. Some of the string-finding tools even ended up coming in handy for a project in some CS class years later.

Also, the official Squaresoft translation of FFV for that PSX package was one of the most horrifying things I've encountered in my entire life. I was plenty excited to play it on a real console, but was quickly driven back to emulation land by all of the piratespeak.
posted by soma lkzx at 10:27 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


MaryDellamorte: I think griphus is perhaps addressing the... intricacies of translation in general.

You may also be interested in the FF Wiki article on the subject.
posted by dhens at 10:37 AM on July 11, 2010


For what it's worth, the fansub of Final Fantasy: Advent Children is about seventeen gazillion times better than the shitty dub-script "sutitles".
posted by cthuljew at 10:46 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not to minimize the coolness of a "perfect" tranlation, but...

I played (and beat) the perfectly passable RPGe translation of FFV roughly four years ago; and contemporary with that, DeJap also had a pretty decent translation patch available as well.
posted by pla at 10:46 AM on July 11, 2010


I played through the pirate-translation of FFV on an emulator some years ago. It was a decent game, though not quite at the level of FFVI. I stopped playing the FF games after FFVI, actually. I tried the FFVII PC port, but it was terrible, and then at some point I stopped having the time to play through an 80 hour RPG.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:48 AM on July 11, 2010


FWIW, however, I haven't played a few of the translations on the linked page, so many thanks for the link!
posted by pla at 10:49 AM on July 11, 2010


I tried the FFVII PC port, but it was terrible

what
posted by zvs at 10:53 AM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've gotta say, I've seen two different translations of FFT, and I prefer the weird, non-perfect first one.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2010


FWIW, however, I haven't played a few of the translations on the linked page, so many thanks for the link!

I too have been anxiously awaiting a long-overdue fan translation of Square Enix's FWIW saga
posted by Kirk Grim at 11:34 AM on July 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


The GBA FF6 translation was so markedly better then the one I played on the NES that I was kind of shocked.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on July 11, 2010


Seiken Densetsu 3!

When I was in middle school I accidentally saved over a friend's very-far-advanced game (he was Japanese and was playing it on the Famicom); it's a very difficult game and he was very mad.
posted by kenko at 12:41 PM on July 11, 2010


I learned a lot of English by translating ROMs from English to Spanish in my early teens, so ROM hacking will always have a special place in my heart.
posted by Memo at 1:15 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, the fansub of Final Fantasy: Advent Children is about seventeen gazillion times better than the shitty dub-script "sutitles".

Wait, wait, wait. Does it make it a good movie? What I saw was completely awful and forgettable, fansturbation, nothing more.
posted by effugas at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


A lot of great Japanese games don't make it to the West, and if I had any hats I'd select the biggest and silliest to doff to the people who do these translations.

Particularly the people who did the Zero/Fatal Frame 4 one. That game is amaze, but Nintendo helpfully decided the West doesn't need it.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:36 PM on July 11, 2010


This guy are sick.
posted by doublehappy at 2:36 PM on July 11, 2010


let me know when there's a rom hack that makes it so you don't have to fight monsters you can kill with 1 hit every 15 feet
posted by nathancaswell at 4:21 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, I found the fan translation of Final Fantasy V to be more tolerable than the official Final Fantasy Anthology translation. Also, Final Fantasy V is a great game, and one of the few good Final Fantasy games (the other two are Final Fantasy the first, and Final Fantasy III, a game we didn't get until it was ported to the DS sixteen years after its original release).

nathancaswell: Seriously? The Final Fantasy games have always had fairly tame encounter rates, especially when compared to a lot of other Japanese RPGs.
posted by Dreamcast at 5:56 PM on July 11, 2010


There is a Fatal Frame 4 fan translation??? THANK YOU METAFILTER.

In exchange I'll bring up the fact that Secret of Mana 2, aka Seiken Densetsu 3, easily my favourite SNES game of all time, was fan-translated. Undeniably the best in the Mana series and one of the all-time Action RPG greats.
posted by mek at 6:44 PM on July 11, 2010


Seriously. If the FF series is good then I'm glad I never tried to play any other RPGs. 1/3 to 1/4 the encounter rate and enemies 3G as hard... That'd seem about right. But then you couldn't advertise 80 hours of "gameplay" of which 65 is fighting the same 4 enemies over and over. I do enjoy the story parts though. And the boss fights because they are actually challenging something other than your dedication.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:54 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


3x as hard not 3G. And when I say good I mean when it comes to encounter rate.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:56 PM on July 11, 2010


Also, Final Fantasy V is a great game, and one of the few good Final Fantasy games (the other two are Final Fantasy the first, and Final Fantasy III, a game we didn't get until it was ported to the DS sixteen years after its original release).

It depends on what you're looking for. Most Final Fantasy games up to VI have some aspect of their play that is interesting. III and V actually make your character choices matter for more in the long run, which makes them more game-like rather than a story with a drawn-out requirement to advance. I'd disagree on the original game, though.

nathancaswell: Seriously? The Final Fantasy games have always had fairly tame encounter rates, especially when compared to a lot of other Japanese RPGs.

For the 8 and 16-bit games this is true, but while the encounter rate for VII and later games might not technically be much different, the disk access before each fight made me want to hit things.
posted by JHarris at 8:13 PM on July 11, 2010


I replayed 3/6 on the GBA (twice!) and I felt it held up really well. The balance seemed fine enough that I was always a bit engaged but never overwhelmed (until you get into that fixed-twice, two-moves per turn thing, which just makes the game stupid easy).

They added some new dungeon for the GBA release ..and it's hard as fuck with seemingly no point. I ended up grinding in the dinosaur forest until I realized I was just hitting the buttons over and over again to complete a dungeon I wasn't terribly interested in.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on July 11, 2010


(fixed -dice)
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on July 11, 2010


effugas said: Wait, wait, wait. Does it make it a good movie? ...

Well... No. But it DOES make a lot more sense. Although! And this is a very big "although", the movie actually DOES impart information essential to understanding just exactly WTF actually happened in FFVII. It took me about five times through (I'm a fan, I like wanky action, sue me) before I figured out what exactly it was trying to impart to me that I didn't get from the game. (PROTIP: It has to do with why the fuck Jenova should actually care to destroy anything in the first place.)
posted by cthuljew at 9:26 PM on July 11, 2010


There is a Fatal Frame 4 fan translation??? THANK YOU METAFILTER.

It's a really good translation, actually. We played through ~40% of the game in English on a Wii emulator, but now we have an actual Wii so we're going to start again soon. I understand it can be a pain to get going on an unmodded Wii on the most recent firmware, but still do-able with the right game.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:10 AM on July 12, 2010


cthuljew--

Yeah, the Final Fantasies have a way sometimes of being a little obtuse, re: their origin stories. It took me reading through TV Tropes to *finally* truly understand what happened in FFX:

[Spoiler]

* The whole Sin loop was basically a massive Thirty Xanatos Pile Up. It went down like this - a thousand years ago, Bevelle was a powerful empire with near-unbeatable magitech. They attacked Zanarkand, and there was an intense battle with Bevelle's Magitek versus Zanarkand's Fayth, but Zanarkand came on the losing end. Knowing that Zanarkand would be destroyed anyways, a spiteful Yu Yevon came up with a horrible scheme to cripple Bevelle forever. He had all the people of Zanarkand lay down their lives and manifest their souls into Fayth, and he then used that power to create the first Sin. He then sent Sin to smash up Bevelle, and it worked like a charm. Bevelle was horrified at its helplessness, and Yevon's daughter, Yunalesca, who didn't want her father and her people to be remembered as monsters, taught the rest of the world how to perform the Pilgrimage and the Final Summoning so that she, her father, her people and their culture would be revered. Now, you've got the entire world worshipping your father and yourself, and Summoning, an art that was following the path of the Dodo and vinyl records, is suddenly more healthy than ever. To make sure that it stays that way, the Clergy in charge make any machina not used for their purposes illegal and declares any free-thinking as heresy. They then keep the same leaders in charge even after they're dead to make sure that this will never change. When they call Spira the "Spiral of Death", they aren't kidding. This game almost single-handedly created the Thirty Thanatos Pile Up!
posted by effugas at 12:39 AM on July 13, 2010


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