Our E.V.O. (PC-98) translation gets an update and an easier patching process!

We’ve updated our translation of E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution! If you had trouble patching your copy of the game before, try it again with our new patching program, which works on many more builds of the game.

E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution Complete (incl. Translation Patch & Manual) v1.1.0 – zip – 670 download(s) – 25 MB
E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution Lite (Patch Only) v1.1.0 – zip – 111 download(s) – 6 MB
E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution Mac/Linux Patches v1.1.0 – zip – 88 download(s) – 507 KB
E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution Manual v1.0.0 – zip – 182 download(s) – 16 MB

Here’s the changelog for the translation itself:

-Renamed Pteran to Teran
-Enemy critical hits are announced differently
-More periods in the encyclopedia entries
-Fixed inconsistent pronouns when enemies use the “Onslaught” skill
-Fixed a few instances of windows closing on their own without waiting for input
-Prevented a certain string from becoming corrupt when read multiple times
-Re-worded the Edmontosaurus game over story
-Fixed formatting of the Green Dragon game over story
-Fixed the spelling of a name in the credits

And now let’s talk about the specifics of the new patching process we’re using here. Our main goal was to make it as simple as possible to patch any (proper) dump of the game in existence. Previously, we were releasing xdelta patches which targeted specific dumps, so in order to support all of them we’d have to create a patch for each one and then you, the user, would have to pick the right patch to apply for each disk. That’s pretty annoying and is a bit too much to ask of users who probably just want to play the game.

So here’s how our solution works. We’ve taken the xdelta patcher and combined it with a program called NDC, which is a command-line tool developed by euee that can extract files from many Japanese floppy and hard disk formats. This allows us to extract the specific files we changed, patch them, then reinsert them directly into the disk image we got them from. Since all dumps should have identical system files, our patcher can work with any dump out there, and future dumps as well. So if you own a hard copy of E.V.O. (PC-98), you could feasibly dump your disks into an FDI file then use our patcher to patch that and it should work. This will hopefully solve a lot of the issues people were having with finding the “correct” disk images.

We’ve tested it on all of the dumps we could find and it worked pretty flawlessly in our tests. We’ve also collected the filenames of a bunch of known disk image sets and made it so that if you put in the user disk of a known set in the first field of the patcher, the rest of the disks from that set will be filled in automatically and all you’ll have to do is hit “Patch”.

On top of the normal floppy disk images, we’ve also worked on support for hard disk images containing the game as well. If you have E.V.O. installed on one of your archive images that contain all of your PC-98 games, you can target that HDI, tell the patcher where E.V.O. is stored on that image (like /GAMES/46OKUNEN), and the patcher will correctly find the files and patch them.

Another thing we learned while creating this patching method is that though the prominent HDI image of E.V.O. floating around does not support Anex86, you can actually get it working if you create your own NEC DOS 3.3 installed hard disk image instead of using the version of DOS that is on the HDI that’s out there. Our patcher will support custom HDI files pretty well, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

All of that aside, this is a very new process that we’ve put together. Let us know how you feel about it, because we’re planning to use it for all of our translation patches going forward. If you find any bugs, please report them to us. The patcher will create a log file every time it runs, so send that with your report and we’ll do our best to fix it.

Unfortunately, the patcher is Windows-only due to the underlying NDC utility. We’ve still provided full-disk patches for Mac/Linux users to use, though.

If you’d like to see the source for the patcher, check out the E.V.O. patch github (patcher.py and patcherGUI.py) and our Rom Tools github (patch.py). The source for xdelta is available on their page, and NDC is closed-source.