Done: Mapping, Dumping, Translation Draft, Opening Crawl Duration Fix, Control Code Hacks, Command Window Expansion Hack, Formatting, .UGD Image Encoder, Revision, Reinsertion, Bugfixes, Image Edits.
In Progress: Playtesting, Finishing Touches.
CRW Metal Jacket is an isometric strategy game that plays somewhat like the battles in old Xcom games, except you control mech pilots in a real-time environment fighting insurgents in a futuristic Japan setting. There is no base-building like in Xcom, but you are able to customize you the mechs and upgrade your pilot’s stats however you want based on how many bonus points you get after battles.
This was supposedly a quick “weekend project,” but we found many quirks about it that slowed down its progress significantly.
Most devastatingly, many pieces of the interface, which appeared to be text, are actually images, which means we needed to figure out a whole new image format (.UGD) just to translate them. Ouch. This project required more image edits than E.V.O. and Rusty combined.
Though the game does accept ASCII text unlike Rusty, all its code is written to expect two-byte Shift-JIS text, so all sorts of things go wrong when you feed it odd numbers of text bytes. Words and letters get skipped, the text ends unexpectedly… weirdest of all was that the opening text crawl didn’t autoplay, and you needed to click it to get it to start, if OPEN.TXT wasn’t an even number of letters long.
Most text windows used in gameplay needed to be expanded to fit the new strings, so that was quite a bit of assembly hacking.
The game’s “end of string” control code is 0x20, which is also the ASCII space. So all the dialogue was ending prematurely until we hacked it to be something else.
Things did pick up pretty quickly after we got over these few hurdles.
The game has a lot of evidence of cut and unused content. We’ll write up a post detailing our findings after the translation is out.
hollowaytape – Hacking
kuoushi – Translation, Editing, Trailer
SkyeWelse – Graphics, Original Scans
not_log – Box and Manual Scanlation
Highwang – Beta Testing