Friday, April 1, 2016

Grandia II Undub/Retranslation 1.0 released!

In case you didn't notice (and from what I can tell nearly no one did -_-), the link I posted earlier was not an April Fool's joke, but was in fact the real version 1.0 of my Grandia undub. I guess the joke is on me because no one was even paying attention to this project after being delayed for so long. In my defense, this took a lot longer than I thought it would for reasons outside of my control, including but not limited to, not having any free time for long periods, serious issues in my personal life, serious health issues, and technical challenges that I couldn't have predicted. I had even said it would be out by the beginning of this year, but then I didn't really even manage to get working on it again until early January. I feel comfortable in saying though, as far as undubs go, this is as close to perfection as it gets. This wasn't just a matter of inserting the Japanese voices into the English version of the game, this is the closest you can get to experiencing what it was like to play the Japanese version of Grandia II without speaking Japanese. I even fixed the ending sequence so that the original Japanese cast was properly credited. There were a few things I couldn't figure out how to fix, like some vocal sound effects that were done by the English cast, but I do hope to fix those with an eventual update if I can ever figure out where the voice data is located.

Here is a link to the torrent: Link

Now about the patch for the anniversary edition... that is probably not going to happen. I tried patching the map files from the Steam version with the changes I made for the undub, and things broke. Badly. I hate to say this, but whatever they did to the game engine in this port was extremely ill-advised. They made changes that completely broke the game's timing system, which probably caused all those sound issues they tried to fix but still never quite got completely right. I offered to let them use my re-translation if they wanted to, but I never got a response, so I guess it's not something they are interested in. To anyone who bought this port, I'm sorry, but it's just not worth the trouble it would take to patch my changes into it. In the end, it would be easier to patch the previous PC release, which I already said was not something I would do. But the good news is, there are at least two Dreamcast emulators that can run Grandia II fairly well on the PC, and the Dreamcast version is still, after all this time, the best version.

For anyone wondering exactly what the difference is between this patch and just playing the anniversary addition on your PC, here are some video clips I recorded for comparison:





Some things you will note as you compare the two versions:
-The translation in the anniversary edition is identical to the English dubbed version. The text often does not sync up correctly with the Japanese voices, and has some spots where even someone who does not speak Japanese would notice more is being said than is appearing on the screen (or less).
-Even beyond that, the timing of the text in the anniversary edition does not match up well with the spoken dialog the way it did in both the original Japanese and English releases. In fact, some lines are pretty grossly miscued. Notably, when Ryudo say "I don't care for her, or the kindness of strangers.", the line appears much too early. It's also not a very good translation of what he said (see the translation notes).
-There are severe audio miscues in the anniversary edition. The music transitions in the wrong places, making for a jarring listening experience.
-The lighting in the anniversary edition is weird. They seem to have added dynamic lighting to allow for better shadows, but this also resulted in many scenes appearing too dark, and other weird lighting glitches. For example, there is a transition that occurs right after Ryudo says "business is business" where the lighting behaves strangely. Overall the enhanced lighting does not appear to be a very well implemented feature. You can get rid of it by disabling shadows in the options, but then the characters have no shadows at all instead of the circular shadows in the Dreamcast version.
-The video stutters a lot in the anniversary edition. The recording exaggerated it, but there was stuttering even when I wasn't recording. Disabling vsync did not help...
-There were minor video/audio glitches in the recording of the Dreamcast version, but this was due to the game being played on an emulator. On a real Dreamcast, it runs perfectly.

So, I guess you can take it or leave it depending on your preference. I spent a ton of time and energy working on this undub because I wanted to create an English version of Grandia II that did justice to the original Japanese version. For what it's worth, I think the people who worked on the anniversary edition had good intentions, but unfortunately the results of their efforts did not live up to those intentions. In the end it is probably more my fault than anyone else's, because if my version had been out sooner than maybe the anniversary edition developers would have held themselves to a higher standard before releasing their version. Or maybe not. Either way, I have nothing personal against the people who worked on the anniversary edition, but I hope you will agree that if you want to experience Grandia II the way it was originally intended, this patch is the best way to do it. ;)

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the time you spent working on this. Wish I still had my Dreamcast to try it out right away but I'll be sure to give emulation a shot. I've been following this project for a while now and I'm glad you completed it.

    Hope your health is better.

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  2. For what it's worth, THEY; GungHo; did not break ANYTHING with the sound timing in AE.

    The source code they received for the game from the original developers was hard coded to 25FPS. So they made the choice to up that to 30FPS and sacrifice sound timing. And they didn't have the budget to rewrite the code to fix it entirely. (And based on the sales of the game. Was the right call).

    This is coming first hand from one of the developers that I talked to.


    For what it's worth, the original PC version is just as busted with sound sync.


    Anniversary Edition is still the definitive version of the game. Emulating the DC version is just as buggy. And the PS2 and OG PC ports are a joke.

    Adding a whole new translation just for the Japanese audio track would've been a waste of money. The sales wouldn't have been good enough to justify it. And that's been proven true.
    If this was a franchise like Final Fantasy, i'd agree that it should've been done. (Which is often the case with SE and their lazy milking when they know it will sell regardless)

    I don't get any stuttering when playing it either when properly Frame Limited from outside (Inspector or RTSS)with Vsync forced from the driver instead of in game. (Which is par for the course with PC games)

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  3. Grandia 2 is one of the finest rpgs and im suprised it took so many years for someone to take interest in undubing it, considering how good this game is and how BAD the english voice cast is. Much apreciated man gj on this undubing. Also Millenia best girl for ever, the other chick can go f*ck herself xD

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  4. Hi!! oh good! this looks amazing! thanks a lot for the work

    Now im downloading in torrent, but sadly nobody is sharing, only 1k second

    If someone is here, please share this days, i will be so happy :)


    Thanks a lot, im waiting to test

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  5. Thank you a lot for the hard work!

    I will (trying to, seed plz!) download it and help seed!

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  6. Thank you! You've done a great job.

    Could you help me make it run on a USB-Gdrom device from MNEMO?

    When I try to run the patched GDI, the console stop at the Dreamcast logo screen and never goes to the SEGA logo screen.

    Thank you again.

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    Replies
    1. So I'm not sure if this affects the MNEMO device or not, but there was a problem with the way the original patcher named the files that was creating issues with GDEMU. The files for tracks that were named ".bin" were were supposed to be renamed ".iso" after patching. Most emulators don't care, but the incorrect names broke GDEMU and could be affecting the MNEMO device as well. You can fix this yourself by manually renaming the files to ".iso" and correcting the names in the GDI file. This may work, but I have to warn you that after further testing I discovered there were freezing issues when playing the patched game with GDEMU. That's what I didn't release an update to fix the patcher. I didn't want to create the false impression the patch would work on a real Dreamcast when it in fact wouldn't. But I am still not really sure if it was the GDEMU itself causing the freezing, or something about the differences between a real Dreamcast and an emulator. Grandia II is a very finicky game, and I never really did understand why it broke most of the time, so I fixed most issues by trial and error. For now I would recommend you play on an emulator, but you still want to play on the MNEMO anyway, I would appreciate if you would let me know if you experience freezing.

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    2. Hey there, just letting you know that this solution works with the USB GDROM unit. I had to same problem and renaming the BIN files to ISO files and editing the GDI file worked like a charm. Now I have Grandia I, II and III undubbed.

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    3. I'm glad to hear it's working. Are you planning to play through the game with your GDROM unit? If you are and you experience freezing, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know so I could try to fix it. I've been meaning to do this myself for a while now, so I could create a final 1.1 patch at put this project to rest, but I just haven't had the time for it lately.

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    4. Any chance you'll ever finish this? Because from what I gathered reading the description above, there's still a couple of sound effects left in English right?

      And another question, mostly to "the_importer", where did you get Grandia 1 and 3 Undubbed? I'm very interested in those.

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    5. They are really minor things. Just grunting sounds made by Ryudo. You might not have even noticed the difference unless you were told. There is an outside change it may get fixed one day in a 1.1 patch along with a few other minor things, but right now it's waaaaaayyy down on my priority list. Also, no links to pirated content here please. ;)

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    6. Well if you don't even care to finish your work, I don't see why I should care about even trying it then, I guess thanks but no thanks after all.

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    7. Hey, now wait one second there. It's not like I didn't try. I looked for those sound files, and I couldn't figure out where they where. Ultimately I decided there were better uses of my time than scouring the game code just to fix a minor issue most people wouldn't even notice. If you think you can do better, here you go, knock yourself out: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/951/

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  7. Hey there, I just found this, and wanted to say great work. However, it seems it is not being seeded at all, so I can't actually download it, heh. Any chance to get some seeding? I'll seed indefinitely after I can get it downloaded.

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  8. I'm seeding it for months. But I can't find the actual game so I can patch it. Anybody has it already patched and shared for the community?

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    Replies
    1. Here is how you find the game:
      www.ebay.com

      Here is how you rip the game:
      http://assemblergames.com/l/threads/dumping-dreamcast-gd-rom-gd-r-discs.16679/

      Any links to pirated copies of the game will be deleted.

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