Neon Genesis Evangelion - Typing Project E (Shinseiki Evangelion - Typing E Keikaku) English Translation v2.0
Developed by Derek Pascarella (ateam)
Find me on... -> SegaXtreme: https://segaxtreme.net/members/ubik.21655/ -> Dreamcast-Talk: https://www.dreamcast-talk.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=5766 -> GitHub: https://github.com/DerekPascarella -> Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerekPascarella -> Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/ate4m/
.-----------::[ Patching Instructions ]::----------- | | 1) Copy TOSEC-style GDI files (gdi+raws+bins) to the "gdi" folder. | | 2) Drag the "gdi" folder onto the "extract_gdi.bat" file. A new folder called | "gdi Extracted" will be created. This folder contains all of the data files | from the game. | | 3) Copy all of the files from the "patched_files" folder to the "gdi Extracted" | folder, choosing to overwrite existing files when prompted. | | 4) Drag the "gdi Extracted" folder onto the "build_gdi.bat" file. A small black | window will open stating that the GDI build process has begun. Once it has | completed, a success message will appear before the window automatically | closes after a few seconds. | | 5) The GDI files (gdi+raws+bins) in the "gdi" folder are now ready for use. | `---------------------------------------------------
.------------::[ v2.0 Release Notes ]::------------- | | It is with extreme pride that I announce to you that the final, definitive | version (i.e. version 2) of my English translation patch for "Neon Genesis | Evangelion - Typing Project E" has arrived! I have included a lengthy | explanation of the methods used to bring you this release, but if you have no | interest in that, just know this: All levels are playable and use localized | English wordbanks, and every aspect of the game is not only beatable, but | also playable, and above all, enjoyable! | | PLEASE NOTE THAT IN ORDER FOR LEVEL 5, LEVEL 6, AND THE BONUS LEVEL 7 TO BE | PLAYABLE, KEEP THE KEYBOARD SETTINGS ON THE DEFAULT "ROMANJI" SETTING AND DO | NOT MODIFY ANY KEY COMBINATIONS IN THE KEYBOARD SETTINGS MENU. | | There were two major challenges that I set out to tackle for version 2. The | first was to swap out any Romanized Japanese wordbanks for localized English | ones. For those who have played previous versions of my patch, you will have | noticed these wordbanks in the following levels/stages: | | 1) Level 2, Stage 2 | 2) Level 2, Stage 3 | 3) Level 3, Stage 2 | 4) Level 3, Stage 3 | 5) Level 4, Stage 1 | 6) Level 4, Stage 2 | 7) Level 4, Stage 3 | | The wordbank format expected by these levels is unlike all other levels that | use English words. For these levels, the game was designed to take Hiragana | and then translate it on-the-fly to its Romanized equivalent in order for the | player to use the Latin alphabet when typing. This means that the wordbank | itself contains words comprised entirely of Hiragana. | | The first task was to determine the hex values that correspond to each | Hiragana character from the game's character map (which, by the way, is | actually just a giant bitmap image). Once successfully identifying the hex | values, my next step was to determine all valid English words that can be | built using the Romanized spellings of those Hiragana. | | To achieve this, I wrote a series of small programs. The initial step was to | generate all permutations/combinations of Hiragana characters, taking into | account word complexity for the increasing difficulty as the game progresses. | With all of those permutations/combinations generated, I then used a lookup | table to substitute the Hiragana with its Romanized spelling (e.g. ら = ra, | な = na, etc.). I then compared each potential word against the English | dictionary, storing separately all valid words. Before committing these | words to the game's wordbanks, I curated them by hand to omit uncommon and | largely unrecognizable words in order to give the game a more natural feeling | and appeal to a wider audience. | | With this portion of the game done, I was ready to take on the second | challenge. The holy grail that so many asked about. Of course, I'm referring | to making levels 5, 6, and the bonus level 7 not only beatable, but completely | translated/localized and (enjoyably) playable. Since I already cracked the | encoding format for the Japanese wordbanks and successfully reverse-engineered | a method to populate them with the words of my choice, much of the difficult | work was already done. However, like so many things in this game, these last | three levels are quite different from those that proceed it. | | Recall the level 2, 3, and 4 stages that I listed above. For those levels, | Hiragana characters are translated on-the-fly to their Romanized equivalent. | A similar mechanism is at play for levels 5, 6, and the bonus level 7. | However, for these levels, instead of taking Hiragana and then Romanizing it | for the player to input Latin letters, these levels expect a mixture of | Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana. The player is then expected to use Latin | letter key combinations to build Hiragana characters, the groupings of which | will build the expected Kanji. For the Katakana, my assumption is that | Japanese players use keyboards with the special shift/toggle key (typically | to the left of the "1" key) to switch to Katakana mode in order to enter | those characters directly. | | Note that even though these levels allow the player to input Latin alphabet | characters, it's only for purposes of building Hiragana. In other words, | there was no option to find a brand new solution to swap out the wordbank | with purely English words that have nothing to do with being made of Hiragana | characters. I tried, but as soon as the series of Latin alphabet characters | I inputted were recognized as one that builds a Hiragana character, my text | was immediately converted. Without a decent debugger, finding the part of | the game responsible for the input method proved to be impossible for me. | | Armed with this understanding, the solution hit me like a bolt of lightning! | Since I already had a large wordbank of English words that can be built with | the Romanized versions of Hiragana characters, all I needed to do was modify | the aforementioned character bitmap to replace those Hiragana with the one, | two, or three Latin alphabet characters used to build them. You'll notice | when playing through those last three levels that the spacing of the letters | in each English word sometimes appears odd, and it's due to me being forced | to use the same space to fit one, two, or three letters. I did a lot of | tweaking to minimize this effect, but eliminating it altogether wasn't a | possibility. | | In the end, I'm extremely happy with the way my English translation turned | out. It's very thorough and makes every effort to make the game not only | playable and beatable, but also to fully localize it, as well. The only | non-English pieces that remain are the spoken dialog heard from time to time, | like when clearing a stage. I actually skimmed through my "Neon Genesis | Evangelion" DVDs with the English dubbing track on them to see if there | were any clips I could substitute, but unfortunately this proved unfruitful. | I like to tell myself that this reminds the player that they're still | enjoying a niche piece of Japanese Dreamcast history. | `---------------------------------------------------
.------------::[ v1.5 Release Notes ]::------------- | | I am considering this release to be something of a "stop gap" until version 2 | comes along. With version 1.5, the entire game is now beatable so that | players can unlock the bonus level and see all content therein. | | As explained in the version 1 release notes, the only parts of the game that | were left unplayable were level 5, level 6, and the bonus level (i.e. level | 7). After hours and and hours of effort, I managed to partially | reverse-engineer the encoding used for the Japanese word bank data for those | levels. | | At present, all rounds of these last three levels recycle the same "word" over | and over again. That word is "SDFGHJKL", hence why I described my | reverse-engineering efforts as "partial". This "word" was chosen for two | reasons: | | 1) It consists of eight characters and thus serves to help increase the | player's total score for each round. | | 2) No combination of those letters correlates to letters-groupings used | to generate a Hiragana character. This is important because the last | three levels do not process Roman letters the same way that all previous | levels do. Instead of a 1:1 relationship between what the player types | and what appears on-screen, the last three levels convert the Roman | letter-groups to Hiragana in order to build the Kanji from each prompt. | | A bug fix was also implemented to eliminate all instances of the player being | required to type the colon character (:), since the character mapping for the | standard Western Dreamcast QWERTY keyboard does not align with that of the | Japanese keyboard for that particular character. Thus, it was impossible for | the player to actually input that character. | | Long term, my goal is to take this translation patch to the next and final | level by using meaningful word to populate the word banks for level 5, 6, and | the bonus level (i.e. level 7). While I've made some progress in this | area, I have not yet arrived at a solution that I am happy with. That being | said, I decided to release version 1.5 in order to ensure that all who so | desire can actually play through and beat the entire game. | | Stay tuned! | `---------------------------------------------------
.------------::[ v1.0 Release Notes ]::------------- | | I'm very proud to release the very first version of my English translation | patch for "Neon Genesis Evanglion - Typing Project E" for the Sega | Dreamcast! Thanks to a very active community, The Dream™ never dies and I | want to give my most heartfelt "thank you" to each and every person who | is passionate about Sega's farewell console. | | In this initial release (version 1), all menus, options, dialog boxes, and | screens have been fully translated. Levels 1 through 4 have also been fully | translated, with the exception of a few short sequences of spoken dialog. | Levels 5, 6, and the bonus level have only had their menus, dialog boxes and | screens translated. However, the levels are not yet playable by a | non-Japanese speaker. My goal is to complete a playable version of those | levels for version 2. Allow me to elaborate with more detail... | | Part of what made translating this game so attractive to me is the majority | of the game being QWERTY-keyboard friendly, where an English speaker with | access to the standard Dreamcast keyboard is able to play and complete each | level. Some levels use English words for their word bank, others use the | Romanji spellings of Japanese words. In either case, the game is fully | playable. | | However, the previously mentioned levels (5, 6, and bonus) instead present | the player with words written in a mixture of Kanji and Katakana/Hiragana. | The game then expects the player to use the key combinations necessary to | produce the series of Katana/Hiragana characters that construct one Kanji | character. It's obvious how challenging this is from a translation | perspective. There are two approaches to solving this: | | 1) Display the Roman alphabet letters that correspond to each Katakana, | Hiragana, and Kanji character that the player is asked to type, this way | they can easily key in the correct sequence of letters in order to | successfully complete the word. The challenge here is fitting the | Roman letters into the space provided on-screen for each character. | This is the most straight forward solution as of right now and will | likely be polished and implemented in version 2. | | 2) Reverse-engineer the game to either: | a. Display as many Roman letters as I'd like for each Katakana, | Hiragana, or Kanji character. | b. Use entirely custom word banks that would allow for me to avoid the | Japanese character problem altogether. | | At this time of this release, I have not been successful in either of these, | and of course I welcome any and all contributions from others in the | community with more experience in this area. | | It's also worth mentioning that level 5 allows the player to "cheat" by | pressing Enter to display the Katakana/Hiragana equivalent of each Kanji word | to be typed. As it is much simpler to fit the two or three Roman letters | into the space provided for each Katakana/Hiragana character, I initially | believed that level 5 could be solved in this manner. However, I quickly | discovered that by cheating, the player is awarded no points for that | individual word, thus leaving them with no way to progress. | | Lastly, the "WEBPAGE" option on the title screen takes you to a browser that | displays a website that's stored directly on the disc. While the browser's | menu and all of the site's pages are translatable, it's a very low priority | for me (for obvious reasons). | | In summary, this game is extremely playable. I have had a lot of fun on this | project and so you can expect a second and final version to be released once | I overcome the previously mentioned challenges. I hope you enjoy the game! | `---------------------------------------------------
.-----------------::[ Changelog ]::----------------- | | -> 2021-01-24 (v2.0) | -Romanized Japanese wordbanks from levels 2, 3, and 4 now fully | translated and localized. | -Levels 5, 6, and bonus level 7 now fully translated, localized, | playable, and enjoyable. | | -> 2021-01-22 (v1.5) | -Levels 5, 6, and bonus level 7 now beatable (reduced playability). | -Fixed colon (:) bug in level 1. | | -> 2021-01-14 (v1.0) | -Initial release. | `---------------------------------------------------
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