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Surging Aura translation effort from 1998-2000

"Open Tools Translation"
last updated: January 2nd 2000

This is is not an active translation effort. I uploaded the material to the New Inn anyway for historical reasons. :-)

Project overview

Surging Aura is a nice Role Playing Game using the same game engine as Phantasy Star IV. At first I thought it was impossible to translate it because it seemed to have compressed text. However, after some closer looks, the game seems to be perfectly translatable.

I began to program the translation tools for the game in 1998, but quit after some time because of a serious bug in the script editor which I just couldn't find. That changed in 1999 when I spent some time with the tools again. Originally, I intended to release a first translation patch for my site's third anniversary in July 1999, but I had to drop that plan because I didn't have a translator for the project anymore.

At the end of 1999, I decided to make the project equivalent to what is called "open source" in the programmer's language: I decided to release the translation tools I wrote for the game. With those tools, everyone can view the Japanese text which is stored in the ROM, hence everyone who wants can make his own translation, for every language he likes. BUT: I will still supervise all translation efforts. That means, if you decide to do a translation, you will stay in close contact with me.

How to participate


Since I could not find a translator for the project, I chose a new approach: On January 2nd 2000, I released the translation tools I have programmed for the translation. With them, you can view all the text of the game and enter a translation for it.

What you need to do to participate in the translation project:


Just for fun, here is a weirdo translation: sa_trans_20000102.zip (5.83 Kb)

Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? Once you have downloaded everything, unpack the files into one directory.

Here's an explanation of all the files included in the archives:

  • SAO.BIN
    • This is the original Japanese ROM dump. It's a perfect dump without a checksum error.
  • V1_YES.SAT
    • This file contains the Japanese text chunks which can be translated literally. The program SATT_E.EXE will store the translated texts in this file, too.
  • V2_NO.SAT
    • This file contains the Japanese text chunks which need to have a translation of the same length. The program SATT_E.EXE will store the translated texts in this file, too.
  • SATT_C.EXE
    • This program creates new scripts (V1_YES.SAT and V2_NO.SAT) from the original Japanese ROM dump. Be careful with this one - it does not make backup copies of your already translated texts. Basically, I just included it in the archive in case you accidentally delete your scripts.
  • SATT_E.EXE
    • This is the core file of all the translation tools. With this program, you can view the Japanese text and enter a translation for each one.
  • SATT_P.EXE
    • This program is needed to merge the translated text with the original Japanese ROM. It creates a new ROM named SA_NEW.BIN which you can load with KGen98 (recommended) afterwards.
  • SAFONT?.BIN
    • These files are needed by SATT_E.EXE to display the original Surging Aura charset onscreen.
  • EGAVGA.BGI
    • Turbo Pascal system file, needed to display a graphics screen. Don't mock about me programming in Pascal - I began to program the tools in 1998 and did not want to port them to C++, which is my current language of choice.
  • SA_TEXTS.TXT
    • This is a list of all the text numbers which can be translated without fearing to crash the translated ROM. The numbers are categorized. If you translate any numbers NOT listed here which don't effect the ROM in an unusual way, please tell me of them by contacting me!

Okay, now you know what all those files in your newly-created directory are good for. Basically, you can now begin with your translation efforts! Just execute SATT_E.EXE, and after loading the text data from the scripts, you can view any Japanese text and enter a translation for it.

But ATTENTION! Not all the text chunks stored in the scripts are "real" text data from the game. That's because my script creator (SATT_C.EXE) is NOT intelligent. It searches for everything which LOOKS LIKE being text data and adds it to the script. Hence, it may very well be possible that you translate a certain text chunk you thought to be senseful, apply the changes to the ROM with SATT_P.EXE and watch the game crash afterwars.

That's why I began to compile a seperate list with all the text chunk numbers which can be translated WITHOUT any bad effect on the translated ROM - it's the file called SA_TEXTS.TXT. Currently (January 2nd 2000), it contains the text chunk numbers from about two thirds of the game introduction.

It is STRONGLY ADVISABLE to translate the game's text data in the same order as it appears during gameplay. If you translate any new text data which DOES NOT LEAD to a game crash, please add the text chunk numbers to the list and send them to me from time to time. I will update the list and put it online for everyone.

As you can see, nothing speaks against translating Surging Aura in several languages - my translation tools can handle just about every language you can think of. The latest English translation of the game will always be available here, including the scripts. Translations into other languages can of course be based on the English translation!

Okay, I think this is enough to get you started. But please remember: Do not release any translation patches on your own. Please contact me ALWAYS. I spent a lot of time writing those tools, and I want to keep supervision of all translation efforts. The final translation patches will always be released on this site!

If you have further comments or questions about the translation project, then mail me!

How to apply a patch


  • Download the ROM and the patch, of course.
  • Use our ETG Patcher to apply the patch.
    • Command to use: ETGPATCH SAO.BIN XYZ.ETG
  • Play the game with an emulator (recommended: KGen98 v0.4b) and have fun!

Some Screenshots


An example of how the translated game will look like:


Yet another example


The main menu of the Script editor (older version)


This is how the original Japanese text is display in the Script editor






Contributors to this page: Eidolon .
Page last modified on Sun 21 of Jan., 2007 01:35:35 CET by Eidolon.

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