Friday, June 22, 2012

Unfinished Business

My release of a Gurumin undub earlier this year was a nice little project to get my feet wet in the world of undubbing. But truth be told, there are games out there that are in much more dire need of a proper undub. One of those games is Grandia II.

Grandia II is a game I've wanted to play with the original Japanese voices since I first put it in my Dreamcast more than ten years ago. However, actually getting it done was another matter altogether. For one thing, there was no readily available way to get ahold of the original Japanese voice files when I first started looking into the project. I solved that problem by buying a copy of the Japanese version of the game and a Dreamcast Broad Band Adaptor so I could dump the files myself. The next roadblock was the lack of a setup to efficiently patch the game and test changes. My Ruby-ISO-9660 library and NullDC together allowed me to achieve an efficient setup. And as a bonus, it will also allow me to make my final patch function with a GDI image of the game. The last roadblock was getting the game's script patched to use the timings from the Japanese version. Failing that, the text wouldn't sync up with the script in the scenes with voice acting, and in many cases the voice samples wouldn't get a chance to play completely. This problem was solved for me by a hacker who wrote tools to unpack, decompress, dump text from, insert text into, recompress, and repack Grandia II's map files. A task that I'm sure was no easy feat. For what it's worth, I did manage to solve an issue he never figured out, which allowed me to fix the crashes that occurred when you increased the size of the text you were inserting. ;)

With all roadblocks removed, I was finally able to produce this:

Now because I'm actually taking the time to retranslate the text from the voice acted scenes with my limited abilities in Japanese, it's going to take a while to get a finished product. How long is hard to say, but I'm going to estimate I'll have the final patch done by some time between the end of the summer and the beginning of next year. If I rushed I might be able to get it done sooner, but I have a lot of other stuff on my plate, and there's only so much time I can devote to something like this. Anyway, if you've always wanted to see Grandia II undubbed as badly as I have, this is definitely something to look forward to.