CRW Metal Jacket Complete (incl. Translation Patch & Manual)
v1.0.3 – zip – 4033 download(s) – 21 MB
CRW Metal Jacket Lite (Patcher Only) v1.0.3 – zip – 1172 download(s) – 5 MB
CRW Metal Jacket Mac/Linux Patches v1.0.2 – zip – 798 download(s) – 626 KB
CRW Metal Jacket Manual v1.0.0 – zip – 851 download(s) – 15 MB
Patches are provided in xdelta format for Mac/Linux users, and as an all-in-one patcher executable for Windows users.
We recommend the np21.exe executable of Neko Project II fmgen for emulation. See our PC-98 Emulation guide for more details.
- There aren’t enough light tiles for me to place my mechs at the beginning of this mission!
- In later missions, not all the light areas are immediately visible on the first screen, so you need to scroll around the map with the mouse a bit to find the rest of them.
Completed on July 1st, 2017
Process: Mapping, Dumping, Translation Draft, Opening Crawl Duration Fix, Control Code Hacks, Command Window Expansion Hack, Formatting, .UGD Image Encoder, Revision, Reinsertion, Bugfixes, Image Edits, Playtesting, Finishing Touches, Patcher Updates.
CRW Metal Jacket is an isometric strategy game that plays somewhat like the battles in the first X-COM game, except you control mech pilots in a real-time environment fighting insurgents in a futuristic Japan setting. There is no base-building like in X-COM, but you are able to customize you the mechs and upgrade your pilot’s stats however you want with bonus points you earn after each mission they survive. Another game to compare with is Squaresoft’s Front Mission. CRW Metal Jacket actually came out a few months before Front Mission, and the games do share some pretty heavy similarities.
The game was also ported to the Playstation and received a neat anime intro cinematic and four more missions, but the control scheme combined with the quasi real-time gameplay didn’t make for an exceptionally fun experience. Another small but fun difference between the PC-98 version and the PSX version. The acronym CRW stands for Counter Rebellion War on the PC-98, but it stands for Counter Revolution War on the PSX.
This was supposedly a quick “weekend project” we began in December 2016, 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.
During our work on this project, we found quite a lot of references to strings and other content that we couldn’t find being used in the game itself. There’s a whole block of text that has references to debug information about what units are targeting, where they’re moving to, and a whole host of other information that we never could manage to figure out how to activate. Debug stuff isn’t as important to you guys as players, but it’s interesting to have the strings in front of us but not be able to activate them in game. If you manage to get a debug menu working, let us know! We’d love to make sure those strings and that information shows up properly in English, too.
Aside from the debug information, there is also evidence in the interface that the developers had planned to allow automatic control of your units so that you didn’t have to issue orders manually, as well as multiple control which we’re going to assume meant you could control multiple units at once. If you check the interface during your missions, you’ll see a column in the bottom middle window that says CMND, and every listing beneath it will say MANU. Originally, this was fully spelled out as COMMAND and MANUAL, respectively. We abbreviated this section to make space for KASHIWADA’s full name, as well as for the mech types to be fully spelled out as well. That CMND column is where you would see if your units were being AUTO controlled, or MULTI controller. However, since those functions never made it into the game as far as we can tell, you’ll only ever see it say MANU.
Another thing we found was that on the back of the game box, they used in-progress screenshots to show off the game itself. Many character names are completely different, and there is Latinized Japanese all over the interface that would become English in the final (Japanese) version. One of those screenshots has a reference to a Kick command, implying that your mechs would also be able to take part in some hand-to-hand combat. Just didn’t make the cut though. They added this feature to CRW 2, the sequel!
The last thing we found was a bunch of lines for each character that they’re supposed to say when they dodge an attack. We’ve never seen them in game and we’re assuming that they disabled them, but hey, at least they’re translated and in the files if you guys wanted to peek at those lines. They’re in TALK.TXT.
hollowaytape – Hacking
kuoushi – Translation, Editing, Trailer
SkyeWelse – Graphics, Original Scans
not_log – Box and Manual Scanlation
Highwang – Attempted Beta Testing