# Posted on March 7, 2021, 8:07 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
Exactly 14 years today a new version of the Aeon Genesis website launched. Today, another new version launches! I apologize for the lack of communication this last year or so; a PHP upgrade on our prior host had broken the forum and the old admin script.
This version of the site is more or less a complete rewrite, with all the old functionality plus new searching and filtering options on the project list and automatic cross-posting to Twitter as a forum replacement for discussion links. I'll have more to say in the coming days, but for now it's good to finally have a functional site again. More soon!
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# Posted on May 10, 2018, 11:28 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
Today I'm announcing a translation project for Hero Chronicle: Project Olympus. This is a crossover RPG from Winkysoft and Banpresto, who you'll know from Super Robot Wars. In fact, Masaki Andoh and Shu Shirakawa make appearances as playable characters, and this features the very first appearance of Gilliam Jaeger, a character who will go on to appear in several Super Robot Wars titles. The title screen music from this game actually became Gilliam's SRW theme starting with the PS2 Super Robot Wars Original Generations titles.
I picked up Hero Chronicle for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to dabble with creating a fully-proportional menu font out of a tiled font, a skill which will serve me well in other projects like Madara 2. Second, Gilliam's appearance gives this game historical importance amongst Banpresto's crossover titles. I actually began work on this during the Great Battle endeavor back in January. The script was once again translated by TheMajinZenki, though once again it needs a good edit. And ,as state,d the menus are going to be extremely challenging, but the experience will be a good one and it's already given me some thoughts on how better to handle the other SNES SRW titles' menu problems. It's going to be a bit of a slog to get the rest of the technical work done but I've got a good feeling about it.
# Posted on Feb. 21, 2015, 3:32 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
Those of you who follow me on Twitter have known about this for a while, but today I'm making it official: Dark Half is now an Aeon Genesis translation. This is actually a semi-continuation of the work done by SirYoink on the game over the last fifteen years or so; while I've completely redone the hacking, the script translation is (roughly) the same and was done by the same person, Eien ni Hen. And yes, the script translation is both done and well-written, so no need for a lengthy editing process.
Dark Half is an interesting beast. On a hacking difficulty scale from 1 to 10 I'd probably rate it about a 6 or 7. The graphics compression is kind of weird and nasty, requiring a creative workaround, and the script has a lot of complicated flow-control embedded in it. That said it isn't anything I haven't dealt with before, and it's handled. The remaining issues will hopefully be fairly simple; they have been so far. The game gets more and more stable every day. It's not going to be ready next week, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll be done before summer.
TwinBee Rainbow Bell Adventure
# Posted on Nov. 10, 2013, 3:21 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
For those of you who've been following me on Twitter this won't exactly be news, but I'm finally announcing a translation project for TwinBee Rainbow Bell Adventure. It's a cute little platformer for the SNES with a bit of Sonic, a bit of Rocket Knight, and a bit of Mario World all thrown into a blender. Casual fans may note that this did in fact come out in PAL regions; diehard fans will note that said PAL release was heavily stripped-down. The translation restores all that content - the dialog, the endings, the secret exits and twisty map, and the battery-backed saves. It's almost done, too; unless something goes seriously wrong, expect it within the next week or so.
In other news, SRW2's betatest progresses well. We've hit one major issue: a buffer overflow with the unit screen which I'm not quite sure how to fix just yet. But things are otherwise fairly clean, so hopefully that'll be out by the end of the year.
Also, hacking for Ys 5 has been completed as well. The edit progresses apace, and we're hoping to have the translation out on Thanksgiving Day. Of course, given how beastly the project has been, things could always go badly awry in the meantime. Keep your fingers crossed!
Super Robot Wars 2
# Posted on Oct. 4, 2013, 12:18 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
Over the years I can think of exactly three projects I've ever completely dropped - that is, three projects I removed from the website entirely. One of those was the Japanese version of Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest, which is now being done by these fine folk here. The second was Granhistoria, an odd little RPG published by Banpresto on the Super Famicom, but I'm not going to be talking about Granhistoria... at least, not today. Today I'm announcing the triumphant return of the Super Robot Wars 2 translation.
I've honestly been poking at SRW2 on and off for quite some time. Several years back I was given a hack to help with some extra text space, though I don't believe this ever found its way into the current build of the translation. I'd redumped the game's script at around that time and would mention it offhand to people who might be interested, but it was never really a priority.
So last February I re-redumped the script and gave it to TheMajinZenki, who was responsible for the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Royal Stone text translations. (He and I have a few other things brewing by the way, but nothing I'm really willing to talk too much about just yet.) He returned the script to me a month later, and I immediately set to work trying to get it back into the game - only to discover that one of the text banks was badly over-size and that the routine printing said text was shared by a number of the larger graphic elements of the game, so my usual trickery would not work. It was back to the old slash-and-burn tactics of pruning it bit-by-bit until it finally fit into its bank. This is thankless work, and at the time I was busy with my last semester of higher education and still working a full-time job, so SRW2 was not a priority. I also wanted to see if I could manage some kind of workaround for the text, but everything was coming up blank.
Well, this past Monday I sat down with the file and pruned it 'til it fit. I'm not proud of some of the cuts I had to make, but the perfect is the enemy of the good as the saying goes and SRW2 looks pretty good as it is. Then over the next two days I got the rest of the text inserted and hacked up a couple of routines, and now the project is very nearly done; all that really remains is for someone to come in and clean up Zenki's script a bit and we'll be ready for testing.
So! Hopefully this will be out soon. I've been poking a couple of hornets' nests in the hopes of getting an editor to come chasing after the script with all the fervor of an angry hive but so far nobody's really bitten. We'll see how things progress from here.
Incidentally, those of you who've played both older and newer SRWs will appreciate a fairly small hack I performed on SRW2 to get the robots' battle theme music to stay after combat scenes end. This will be provided with the patch as an optional accessory, and as a bonus it doesn't even need the translation - if you prefer playing the game in Japanese for whatever reason, the music patch will still work. I'll be providing a patch to reverse the hack as well.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
# Posted on Oct. 25, 2012, 12:14 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure for the SNES. Spent a couple of days getting it to this point. Extraordinarily basic stuff, real easy to hack. It can be nice to have your way with something simple for a change.
Shin Megami Tensei: if...
# Posted on April 14, 2012, 4:21 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
So I'm sure the big burning question on most peoples' minds is, "What took you so long?" The short version is that while most of Shin Megami Tensei: if... (hereafter SMTif) is technically identical to SMT2, one crucial part of the game is different: font storage. While SMT2 stores its font right out in the open, SMTif's is compressed. This by itself would not normally be a problem, but instead of unpacking the entire thing to RAM like some games do, SMTif unpacks individual letters - making my usual workaround for these sorts of things largely ineffective. I've had project files (including a complete script dump) for if sitting on my hard drive since 2008, but it wasn't until May of last year that we got the font stuff fully sorted out, thanks to veteran romhacker Neil_ who you may know from the Partial Translations version of Dragon Quest 5, among other things! So not only has it been a long and arduous process getting it even this far, it's been an interesting job keeping quiet about it :) I initially wanted to announce work on this much sooner, but didn't have anything to show for it until recently.
Ian Kelley returns to do the script, so stylistically it'll be similar to SMT 1 and 2. We're largely adopting official naming conventions for spells, items, demon races, etc when available. There are a few notable deviations (we're considering Fey or Fae for the yosei race due to its largely celtic membership, as opposed to Fairy) but by and large we're conforming. I also elected to go with a fully proportional font for this one; compare the screenshots below to SMT2 to see the difference. There are a few other technical improvements I'd like to look into, such as expanded item and equipment names in subscreens, that's going to come after I'm done with the rest of it.
So don't expect this immediately, or possibly even soon. It's a process, and it's not nearly done yet. But I'm hoping that despite SMTif's distant ETA, this announcement will make a lot of people happy.
Magical Drop 2
# Posted on April 14, 2012, 3:29 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
This has been in the works for a pretty long time; a quick check reveals an early alpha version dating back to January '08, but it's come a long way since. Really fun stuff! The script, though small, needs editing, and there's an awful lot of graphics to replace. The screenshots both below and on the project page show current progress on that front, which if I do say so myself looks really, really good. There isn't really too much else to say about this except that it'll be done when it's done, which is a function both of time constraints and motivation/exhaustion.
# Posted on April 7, 2012, 5:37 a.m. by Gideon Zhi
It's because of plasma.
LUNAR Walking School
# Posted on Aug. 3, 2008, 3:42 p.m. by Gideon Zhi
So here it is, ready to be playtested... or is it? The script is still slightly wooden, in a translated-from-Japanese sort of way. It's hard to pinpoint what's wrong with it, and maybe it's only something that a trained eye can see, but it's certainly not on par with recent stuff like LaL 2.0. Passable, maybe? I'm not sure.
So, I'm asking for opinions. Would you all rather see another edit pass, or should I just toss it into betatesting? It's certainly otherwise ready.
Esper Dream 2
|June 26, 1992
|Sept. 12, 2006
|Sept. 12, 2006