ROM Hack Nora and the Time Studio: The Witch of the Misty Forest – English Translation

Blackiris.

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Hiya,

it's been a couple of weeks since I started with ROM hacking, and a couple of days less since I started working on Nora. I've always been interested in this game since its fun, cute and has an awesome soundtrack by Wild ARMs composer Michiko Naruke. Text extraction and insertion is also mostly relatively easy.

About The Game
Noora to Toki no Koubou: Kiri no Mori no Majo, as the game is called in Japanese, is a collaboration work from Atlus and Gust. While the game's art style is reminiscent of Etrian Odyssey, its gameplay is very Atelier-like. A girl called Nora has to live in the forest for three years in order to master something I call "Chrono Magic" in my translation, which is basically a different term for "Alchemy" with a focus on the time aspect of changing and transforming things. Nora has to collect ingredients and use her skills in order to help and win the trust of the people in a nearby town.

The game is very short – probably 10-15 hours per playthrough – and features multiple endings, one for each character and one true ending, which increases the game's replay value. Apart from the item collecting and creating part, it also features a turn-based battle systems, though overall battles are not as important for the gameplay as in other RPGs. There are less then 50 enemies, but more than 500 items.

Current Progress
The game has 1,615 text files that contain the entire main scenario dialogues and NPC conversations.
Add a huge amount of text for 500+ lexicon entries (items, monsters, ...) and character descriptions plus some system text you basically have all the game's text.

Programming
I've written a basic text extractor and inserter that works for all the main text and, with some modifications, for a huge chunk of the system text / additonal text, but not yet for lexicon entries.

Translation
Main Text: 318/1615 files (19,7%)
Request Text: 51/287
System Text: 18/??

Item Names: 471/500
Item Descriptions: 0/500
Enemy Names: 5/41
Enemy Book: 0/41
Skill Names: 0/32
BGM Names: 35/40
Character Book: 0/51

Images: 20%


Current Issues
- The system text is stored in individual files, some of them are a bit more difficult to extract and insert. I've not yet managed to successfully insert lexicon entries and character descriptions.
- Some hacking is required to increase the windows size of some text boxes.
- The game offers alphabetical ordering for lexicon entries. It probably requires some additional programming to change this feature in a way that it works for English characters.


Team
Right now it's just me, haha.

Looking For
- an editor to look over the text (not required yet)
- testers (not required yet) who check the game for bugs, typos etc.
- a more experienced hacker to look into some of the trickier problems (though, honestly, the game doesn't look so diffucult at all)
- a graphic hacker / editor

Screenshots
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Last edited by Blackiris.,

Blackiris.

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@jakrodriguez: Thanks, I'll check it out right now.
Edit: Oh, it works indeed, sweet!

@qwsed: Right now it's just me. :D I'll try to work on it regularly and get some good progress done, but of course I can't promise anything. The work on this project is still at the beginning, but I think the more I get done the more I really want to finish it. Fingers crossed. ;)

@Digital.One.Entity: I might put out a demo if more progress is done.
 
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jjjewel

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Roughly looking at the game's graphic files and they don't seem difficult. Some are packed with .narc which CT2 or Tinke can handle. (The packed sub-files are standard NDS graphics.) Some .nbgcr and .nspcr are .narc with header SOLCOMP and then Type 10 LZ compression. You should be able to make it into .narc file by removing the 8 bytes header, and then decompress the file (which should have 0x10 at the first byte.)

VWWTTw3.png
 

Blackiris.

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Roughly looking at the game's graphic files and they don't seem difficult. Some are packed with .narc which CT2 or Tinke can handle. (The packed sub-files are standard NDS graphics.) Some .nbgcr and .nspcr are .narc with header SOLCOMP and then Type 10 LZ compression. You should be able to make it into .narc file by removing the 8 bytes header, and then decompress the file (which should have 0x10 at the first byte.)

VWWTTw3.png

Thanks for the info, that sounds good. Haven't done any graphic hacking so far, but I think I'll be able to get it done. What I might not be able to do is the editing of the graphics itself, as I'm not experienced with Photoshop or similar programs. I'll probably be able to do simple text replacement on a simple background, but not much more than that.
 

Blackiris.

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It took me some time to figure out how the item.dat file is structured, and some more time to write an extractor / inserter for it, but everything works now.
Today I've also translated most of the item names. Some probably need revisions, but so far 474 out of 500 item names are in English now. (Not including the descriptions, I won't be able to do those in just a couple of hours.)

mp8l99h5.png


That's a huge step forward because items are one of the most basic elements of the gameplay.

I may need a font with variable width eventually, though, since I can't reduce some item names to 16 characters, at least not without abbreviations.

I think I'll focus on the system text for now before going back to the scenario because every time I play the game it bothers me to see Japanese text in recurring activities like gathering or processing.
 

Blackiris.

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Thanks, everyone, I'm definitely still at it! Haven't really been doing any progress since my last update, but now that I'm really busy with work, I'm somehow really motivated to get some work done at home, too! (Yeah, it's funny. I though I wouldn't have any energy left at home, but it's quite the contrary, actually, hehe.) So I've been at it again yesterday and today, and I hope I get at least a bit done every other day now. :)
 
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Blackiris.

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My first bug appeared! :D Apparently the file with the translated item names causes some issues, like important events not appearing in the very beginning of the game (the furniture in Nora's room, to be exact). It might also have been the reason for a corrupt savegame, or more specifically: The deletion of all savegames after I tried saving.

I've put in the original untranslated file for the time being. This is definitely a matter that needs closer inspection, but for now I don't have the time to dig deeper so I'll continue with normal translation work for now.
 
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