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FF7Tools V1.3

FF7Tools is a suite of command-line translation and hacking tools for the
PlayStation 1 version of the game Final Fantasy VII by Squaresoft. It can be
used for modding the game, searching for hidden content, and creating fan
translations. The main focus of the tools is on the dumping and editing of
in-game text.

The included tools are:

 * trans / untrans
   Dump ('untrans') or reinsert ('trans') all translatable text in the game
   to or from a set of plain text files.

 * fixup
   Recalculate absolute sector references to files in a CD image of the

 * mapinfo
   Dump the text tables and script code of all field map files.

 * worldinfo
   Dump the script code of all world map files.

 * unscene
   Extract battle scenes from the game's SCENE.BIN file.

 * lzss / unlzss
   Compress or uncompress files with the game's variant of the LZSS
   compression algorithm.

 * unbingz / unbinlz
   Extract files from the game's GZIP- or LZSS-compressed archive files.

 * tim2png
   Convert a PlayStation TIM format image to a PNG file.

 * subending
   Losslessly replace the subtitles in the game's ending movie.

The tools are entirely written in Python and have the following

 * Python >= 2.7.6
   The tools are not compatible with Python 3.

 * Pillow >= 5.1.1 (
   Used by the 'tim2png' and 'subending' tools.

 * NumPy >= 1.8.0 (
   Used by the 'subending' tool.

 * PSXImager >= 1.0 (
   Used by the 'fixup' tool.

Most of the tools use the included 'ff7' package which must be in the
PYTHONPATH or reside in the same directory as the tools themselves.

Restrictions and general information

The tools are designed for the PlayStation 1 version of the game. They will
not work with the game's PC port.

The description of the tools in the subsequent sections assumes some
familiarity with the file layout and data formats used by the game. The
QhimmWiki ( is a good resource for this kind of

'untrans', 'fixup', 'mapinfo', and 'worldinfo' are the only tools which
operate on CD images of the game. All other tools are designed to work with
extracted files from the filesystem of the game CDs. For extracting the
filesystem tree of the game I recommend using the 'psxrip' tool from
PSXImager (see link above) which preserves the XA media files the game uses.

The contents of each of the three CDs of the game are almost identical
except for the "MOVIE" directory, the "SNOVA" directory (only present on
disc 3, although room for it is reserved on the first two discs as well),
and some control files. In other words, each CD basically contains the
entire game except for the the FMVs. To extract text and data from the game
it is therefore sufficient to have one CD image.

The tools support the following releases of the game:

 * Final Fantasy VII Japanese (SLPS-00700)
 * Final Fantasy VII International (Japanese, SLPS-01057)
 * Final Fantasy VII US (SCUS-94163)
 * Final Fantasy VII PAL English (SCES-00867)
 * Final Fantasy VII PAL French (SCES-00868)
 * Final Fantasy VII PAL German (SCES-00869)
 * Final Fantasy VII PAL Spanish (SCES-00900)

The 'trans' tool does not work with Japanese versions of the game because
Japanese kanji encoding is not yet implemented. Dumping Japanese text with
the 'untrans' and 'mapinfo' tools works fine, though.

trans / untrans

Usage: untrans [OPTION...] <game_dir_or_image> <trans_dir>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Usage: trans [OPTION...] <trans_dir> <game_dir>
  -i, --incremental               Only translate maps whose translation has changed
  -f, --fix-font                  Repair font metrics and add extra characters
  -d, --debug                     Start the game in debug mode
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

These tools are the heart of the FF7Tools suite. With them you can dump and
reinsert all translatable text in the game, i.e. all text in the game's data
files and executables which is not hardcoded into texture graphics.

When doing a retranslation of the game it is recommended that you first use
the 'untrans' tool to dump all text, change what you want to change, and
then use the 'trans' tool to reinsert the text into the game files. The
section "Workflow for translation" below will give you some hints for doing
this efficiently.

The 'untrans' tool extracts text from either a plain ISO or raw
("MODE2/2352") CD image, or a local directory (the "game directory")
containing the game files to a newly created "translation directory" which
contains individual text files for each of the game's fields, menus, etc.

The 'trans' tool performs the reverse operation of inserting the text from
the files of the specified translation directory into the game files,
recompressing files if necessary. It only writes to extracted game files,
not to CD images. To put the files back into the actual game you need to
replace the files in the CD image (for example with the 'psxinject' tool
from PSXImager - useful if only a few files have changed), or remaster the
CD image completely (for example with 'psxbuild' from PSXImager - necessary
if game data files have increased in size; you then also need to use the
'fixup' tool, see the description of 'fixup' below).

The 'trans' tool creates backups (with the ending ".orig") of all files it

The translation directory holds the following subdirectories and files:

    The texts from the INIT/KERNEL.BIN file:
        Weapon names and associated help text.

        Armor names and associated help text.

        Accessory names and associated help text.

        Item names and associated help text.

        Key item names and associated help text.

        Materia names and associated help text.

        Names of battle commands and associated help text.

        Names of player battle abilities (spells, summons, limit breaks) and
        associated help text.

        Names of the techniques used by the summons.

        Various texts, mostly used during battles and in the config menu.

        The initial names of the party characters, before they are named by
        the player. Except for the names of Cloud ("Ex-SOLDIER"), Sephiroth
        (during the Kalm flashback), and Red XIII (whose name shows up in
        one dialog before he can be named - BLIN68_2 #154) these are unused
        by the game. The default names of the characters which can be named
        by the player are contained in the menu/default_names.txt file (see

    When editing these files you should not change the number of lines of
    any file, even though many files contain empty entries or empty lines at
    the end.

    The strings in these files may contain some control codes denoted by {}

      {COLOR 02}
        Change the background color to red. Used for limit breaks.

      {CHAR ff ff}
      {TARGET ff ff}
      {ID ff ff}
      {ATTACK ff ff}
      {ELEMENT ff ff}
        Used in the "battle.txt" file to insert the name of the active
        character, target, alphabetic target ID, attack, or element,

      {NUM ff ff}
        Used in the "battle.txt" file to insert a numeric variable
        (as determined by the game code).

    To use literal '{', '}', and '\' characters in the text you need to
    escape them as '\{', '\}', and '\\'.

    Texts from the game's battle module, mostly related to the Battle Square
    in the Gold Saucer.

    One file for each field map of the game, containing the entire string
    table of that field. Each string is prefixed with a header line starting
    with the character '' (Unicode U+25B6), for example:

       0 (map name)
      Midgar, Sector 7
       1 (ba talk)
      “What the hell happened…?”
       2 (ba talk)
      “It's nothing.”

      ... etc. ...

    The 'untrans' tool puts the string index number and some information
    about where that particular string is being used into that line: the
    names of the actor/entity ('ba' for Barret in this case) and the script
    action (e.g. 'talk' for the actor's talk-to action). The text "(map
    name)" indicates that this string is displayed as the name of the
    current location in the lower-right box of the game's menu and in save
    game descriptions.

    Strings which are never actually used by a field's script code are
    replaced with empty strings by 'untrans', and they are marked with the
    text "(unused)" in the header. About 75% of the game's field text is
    unused, and omitting these strings from the translation files cuts down
    the translation effort tremendously. In most cases the unused strings
    are exact copies of strings used in other, related maps (for example,
    all Kalm fields basically contain the same string table, each field
    using a different subset of it). Sometimes they also contain interesting
    textual variations and dialog which was cut from the game. To view these
    you can use the 'mapinfo' tool to dump the entire field map text.

    The 'trans' tool looks for the '' header lines to determine the start
    of each string, so you should not remove or add these lines. The text
    following the '' character is ignored, however, so you can use these
    lines to record comments about the translation.

    The strings in these files may contain some special characters, and
    control codes denoted by {} braces:

      <newline> character
        Starts a new line of text. As the game does not have automatic text
        wrapping all line breaks must be inserted manually.

      <TAB> character
        Equivalent to 4 spaces.

        Equivalent to 10 spaces. This code is also used by convention to
        indent the individual choices of 'ASK' dialogs, where the player can
        choose one of several responses like this:

           42 (oyaji talk)
          “It's 100 Gil per night. How about it?”
          {CHOICE}No way!

        The {CHOICE} code just indents the text to make room for the hand
        cursor, nothing else. The number of choices and the line numbers
        containing them are hard-coded in the field scripts, and the 'trans'
        tool will not automatically adjust them. If you want to change these
        you must use a script editor such as Makou Reactor.

        As a safety measure, 'trans' does check that the {CHOICE} lines in
        the string are compatible with the script code (same number of
        choices and same starting line) and will print a warning if they are

        The game engine doesn't require the {CHOICE} code to be used in this
        particular way, and some dialogs actually use regular TAB or space
        characters to indent the choices, but I recommend that you use
        {CHOICE} instead.

      {RED XIII}
      {CAIT SITH}
        Insert the name of the respective character (may be changed by the

      {PARTY #1}
      {PARTY #2}
      {PARTY #3}
        Insert the name of the character in the respective position of the
        current party.

        Finish one "page" of dialog text, waiting for the player to press
        the OK button before clearing the dialog window and continuing.
        The maximum number of lines a window can hold at once is 13. There
        should be no text following after the {NEW} code on the same line.

        Wait for the player to press the OK butten, then scroll up the
        text in the window and continue (never used in the actual game).

        Wait until the player presses the OK button before continuing.

      {WAIT <n>}
        Wait for <n> frames.

        Insert a numeric value, set with the 'MPARA'/'MPRA2' script opcodes.
        {NUM} and {RNUM} display in decimal, {HEX} in hexadecimal (only used
        for debugging text). {RNUM} right-aligns the number.

      {STR <offset> <length>}
        Insert a string from the game's script variable memory. Used for
        displaying the names and classes of Chocobos.

        Toggle fixed-width character spacing. This can be used for tabular
        output but usually looks like crap because the character spacing is
        so wide (the Japanese version is better off because it has a
        fixed-width font to begin with). The item exchange dialogs in the
        Gold Saucer's Wonder Square are an example of this code being used.

        Change the text color (the default is white). {FLASH} makes the text
        blink (never used in the actual game), {RAINBOW} applies the "limit
        break" color cycle effect.

      {POS [l|r|c][t|b|m]}
        Adjust the position of the dialog window on the screen. This code is
        never written by the 'untrans' tool but only used by the 'trans'
        tool, and only recognized if it appears in the first line of a
        string (after the '' header), for example:

           4 (t_dir talk)
          {POS cm}
          {GRAY}Back then…
          You could get by with
          just skinned knees…{GRAY}

        This makes the window for the text appear centered on the screen.

        The characters after the "POS" command determine the alignment of
        the window: 'l' (left), 'r' (right), and 'c' (center) set its
        horizontal position, while 't' (top), 'b' (bottom), and 'm'
        (middle) set its vertical position. For example, "{POS tr}" puts the
        window in the top-right corner of the screen, while "{POS c}" just
        centers it horizontally.

        Note: This control sequence makes 'trans' change the actual field
        script code. To undo the effect it is not sufficient to just remove
        the {POS} code from the text and rerun 'trans'; you need to restore
        the field map .DAT file from its backup first.

    To use literal '{', '}', and '\' characters in the text you need to
    escape them as '\{', '\}', and '\\'.

    Field maps which have no corresponding text file in the translation
    directory are skipped by the 'trans' tool and left unchanged.

    Texts and scripting of the in-game menu tutorials, for the three field
    maps which have them: MDS7PB (Tifa's pub, teaching Barret about
    Materia), MDS7_W2 (Beginner's Hall, sector 7 weapon shop upstairs), and
    JUNPB_2 (Respectable Inn, Junon pub downstairs).

    You can control the scripting of the tutorials with the following codes,
    each of which must appear on a separate line:

      {WINDOW <x> <y>}
        Move the explanation text window to the specified screen position.

      {WAIT <n>}
        Wait for <n> frames.

        Simulate controller button presses. In the default controller
        configuration, {MENU} corresponds to the Triangle button, and
        {NEXT}/{PREV} correspond to the R1/L1 buttons, respectively.

    One file, "world.txt", with the menu location names and the dialog text
    of the game's world map, in the same format as the files in the "field"

    Most of the control codes of the field text are supported, but the TAB
    character and {CHOICE} code in particular are not, so you have to use
    spaces to indent text and responses. The {POS} command is also not
    supported ('trans' still automatically resizes world map dialog windows
    to fit their text, however).

    Several files containing the text of the game's menus. Of particular
    interest is the file "default_name.txt" which contains the default names
    of the playable characters, plus Chocobos which you catch or breed
    (= anyone for whom the "enter name" screen pops up).

    The file "lv4_limit.txt" contains the character's responses to using the
    Lv4 limit break manuals on them. The order of characters in this file is
    Cloud > Barret > Tifa > Aerith > Red XIII > Yuffie > Vincent > Cid. Each
    character has three lines, one for the "limit learned" dialog, one for
    "not ready yet", and one for "it's for somebody else". The last line of
    the file belongs to Cait Sith who has no Lv4 limit break, and always
    responds with an "it's for somebody else" line.

    All text from the battle scenes (the BATTLE/SCENE.BIN file), indexed by
    scene number (0..255):

        Names of up to three enemies, usually trailed by a space character
        so the game can append the enemy ID if needed (e.g. "Goblin A").

        32 lines with the names of the enemies' abilities (spells and
        techniques). Not all of them are actually displayed when the ability
        is being used, and some just contain debug text.

        Only present if the AI scripts of the scene's enemies contain
        special messages which are displayed in battle, usually during boss
        fights. The number of messages and their sequence is fixed by the
        enemy AI. The 'trans' tool only lets you change their content but
        not how and when they appear.

    Texts of the Chocobo Racing minigame.

    Texts of the Snowboard minigame.

Character set

  All files in the translation directory use the UTF-8 character encoding.
  The game's fonts do not include all Unicode characters, of course. The
  main font of non-Japanese versions of the game which is used for all
  dialogs basically covers the "MacOS Roman" character set, a standard set
  for PostScript fonts. See the definition of 'normalChars' in the file
  ff7/ for a list of allowed characters.

  When the 'trans' tool is invoked with the '-f' option it adds some
  additional characters to this font: '', '', '→', '♪', and 'α' (/→/α
  appear in the Japanese version of the game but were left out from the
  international releases).

  The special characters '〇', '△', '☐', and '✕' show an icon of the
  corresponding PlayStation controller button.

Window resizing

  The 'trans' tool automatically resizes field and world map dialog windows
  to make them fit the text displayed in them (the game's engine has no
  dynamic window layout - all window dimensions are hard-coded in the field
  and world scripts). This usually works very well; as long as the tool is
  able to find the right window opcode it will size the window correctly.

  Some remarks and caveats regarding this feature:
    - Windows containing "special" displays (those Nixie tube-style counters
      and clocks) are not resized because the position of the display within
      the window is hard-coded in the field script. If you want to change
      the layout of these windows you need to use a script editor such as
      Makou Reactor.
    - If you see the message "Warning: no window found for string <id> of
      map <name>", then 'trans' is not able to find the window definition
      for this string. This happens rarely and is usually caused by the
      window definition being in a different script action (maybe it reuses
      a window opened by a previous action), or by there not being a window
      definition at all and the default window being used (this happens in
      the Gold Saucer Event Square and in many of the debug rooms). You
      should check the size of the window in-game and, if necessary, insert
      missing window definitions using Makou Reactor.
    - If 'trans' seems to have made a window far too wide for the actual
      text this is usually because the string contains a character name code
      ({CLOUD}, {TIFA}, ...) or another dynamic element ({NUM}, {STR}).
      The tool needs to reserve enough space for the widest name a player
      can enter ("WWWWWWWWW"), which is much wider than any of the default
      character names. There is no way around this issue.
    - If a string is too wide for the screen (the maximum possible line
      length for normal text in the game's font is about 50 characters) you
      need to add manual line breaks or page breaks ({NEW}) to reformat the

  Window positions are not normally changed by 'trans', but the game itself
  will automatically shift windows upwards and to the left to make them
  entirely visible on screen. You can use the {POS} command described above
  to re-align windows, if necessary.

Warning and error messages of 'trans'

  Common warning and error messages of the 'trans' tool which you may
  encounter include:

  "Warning: no window found for string <id> of map <name>"
    'trans' was unable to resize a field dialog window because it could not
    find its window definition. See "Window resizing" above for tips.

  "Warning: map name string <id> in map <name> longer than 23 characters"
    Location strings in field maps (displayed in the lower right of the
    game's menu) are limited to 23 characters, and longer strings are
    truncated even if the text would fit in its box. You should shorten the
    name of the location.

  "Warning: string <id> of map <name> too wide"
    A dialog window wouldn't fit on the screen because the text in it is too
    wide. You should shorten the text or insert line breaks to make the text
    narrower. See "Window resizing" above for additional tips.

  "Warning: string <id> of map <name> does not define any {CHOICE}s"
  "Warning: {CHOICE} lines of string <id> of map <name> are not contiguous"
  "Warning: {CHOICE} lines of string <id> of map <name> expected from <x1>
   to <x2> instead of <y1> to <y2>"
    The text of an 'ASK' dialog is not properly formatted, or the choices
    presented in it are out of sync with the field script code. See the
    description of the {CHOICE} code above for tips.

  "File '<file>' expected to contain <x> lines but found <y>"
    Many files in the translation directory (practically anything not in the
    "field" or "world" directories) must contain a certain fixed number of
    lines, even if some of them are empty. You probably accidentally deleted
    or inserted a line.

  "String '<str>' from file '<file>' is too long when encoded (<x> > <y>
    Since the 'trans' tool replaces some of the game's texts in-place, they
    are limited in the maximum number of characters they can contain. You
    should shorten these texts.

  "Unknown escape sequence '\<char>' in string '<str>'"
    The '\' backslash is used to escape the characters '{', '}', and '\'
    itself. Other escape sequences are not used. To insert a literal '\'
    into a string you need to type it as '\\'.

  "Unknown command '<command>' in string '<str>'"
  "Unknown command '<command>' in tutorial script"
    Either you misspelled one of the {<command>} control codes, or you used
    it in a place where it is not allowed, such as a {POS} code which is not
    in the first line of a field string.

  "Unencodable character '<char>' in string '<str>'"
    You used a character which is not present in the game's font.

Text which is not extracted

  Some of the text in the game is hardcoded into graphics data and not
  extractable or changable with the 'trans' and 'untrans' tools:

   * The opening credits which play over the Prelude theme on the title
     screen. These are stored as TIM images in the file MOVIE/OPENING.BIN
     which can be extracted with 'unbinlz' and 'tim2png'.

   * The ending staff roll and the "500 years later" screen are stored in
     the file MOVIE/STAFF2.BIN in a similar way.

   * Some battle interface text such as the "NAME"/"BARRIER" labels and the
     "TARGET" marker are stored as part of the TIM image in file 0/0 of
     INIT/WINDOW.BIN and can be extracted with 'unbingz' and 'tim2png'.

   * The Battle Arena handicap slots wheel graphics are in file 1/0 of
     BATTLE/CO.BIN ('unbingz' + 'tim2png').

   * The subtitles of the Sephiroth/Jenova movie which plays in the
     Nibelheim reactor flashback is hardcoded in the video data.

   * The subtitles of the game's ending movie are also hardcoded in the
     video data but can be replaced with the 'subending' tool.

   * Most interface text of the Chocobo Racing minigame is stored in
     compressed form in the file MINI/CHOCOBO.DAT which cannot currently be
     extracted with FF7Tools. The only text accessible with 'trans' and
     'untrans' is the list of prices and the names of the Chocobos, which
     are kept in the 'chocobo' directory of the translation files (see

   * All interface text of the Fort Condor minigame is stored in TIM
     textures in the file MINI/CONDOR3.LZS. After decompressing this file
     with 'unlzss' the individual textures can be extracted with 'unbinlz'
     (files 5..11) and converted with 'tim2png'. The help screen of this
     minigame is a single TIM image in the file MINI/CONDOR4.LZS which can
     simply be decompressed with 'unlzss'.

   * The HUD graphics of the submarine minigame are in the files
     MINI/SEN0*.TIZ and can be uncompressed with 'unlzss' and converted with
     'tim2png'. The messages (e.g. "MISSION COMPLETE") which are displayed
     using the font in the second texture are stored as lists of PSX GPU
     command packets in the minigame's code and cannot currently be
     extracted or changed with FF7Tools.

Command-line options of 'trans'

  The 'trans' tool has three special command-line options:

  '-f' - Repair font metrics and add extra characters

    The game's main font used in non-Japanese releases has some defects in
    its metric data (most of the punctuation symbols are too wide, and some
    characters with diacritics have different spacing from their base
    letters), and it is missing some symbols which are present in the
    Japanese font.

    When given the '-f' option, 'trans' will fix the font problems in the
    INIT/WINDOW.BIN file, and add five additional characters to the font:
       (heart, indispensable for the Honeybee Inn :-)
       (left-right arrow, useful for the "HP  MP" materia)
      → (right arrow, for the Materia evolution tutorials in Junon)
      ♪ (eighth note, nice to have for the Junon parade)
      α (alpha, for the "Invincible Alpha" drink on the Shin-Ra ship)

  '-d' - Start the game in debug mode

    As is widely known, Final Fantasy VII features an extensive set of
    "debug rooms" left in the game, which are normally only accessible by
    using cheat codes or by save file hacking. Since the debug rooms allow
    jumping directly to many scenes of the game they are also very useful
    when creating mods.

    When given the '-d' option, 'trans' will patch the main game executable
    (e.g. "SCUS_941.6*" for the US version) to always start the game in the
    debug hub room when selecting "New Game" from the title screen. To start
    a regular new game, talk to Yuffie in the hub room and select the "NEW
    START" option.

    Note: Running 'trans' without '-d' does not undo this patch. To make the
    game behave normally you have to restore a backup of the game

  '-i' - Incremental mode, only translate maps whose translation has changed

    A complete run of 'trans' or 'untrans' can take 15-30 minutes, which is
    mostly due to my inefficient implementation of LZSS compression (it
    achieves a marginally better compression ratio than the tools used by
    Squaresoft, though), and excessive script code analysis going on for the
    field map files (the FRCYO*, LASTMAP, RCKTIN4, and ZCOAL4 maps are
    particularly problematic in this respect).

    The 'untrans' tool usually only needs to be used once, but when doing a
    mod of the game over the course of several weeks, testing and making
    changes all the time, it quickly becomes annoying to have to wait for
    'trans' to complete after marginal changes to the text.

    When given the '-i' option, 'trans' will only retranslate and recompress
    those world and field map files whose translation file has a later
    modification timestamp than the corresponding game file.


Usage: fixup [OPTION...] <image>[.bin]
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Although the CDs of Final Fantasy VII contain a full ISO directory hierarchy
of individual data files, the game actually accesses most of its data by
absolute sector addresses (LBNs). This means that if an image is changed in
a way that the start sector of a file changes, the game will usually crash
at a certain point because it reads data from the wrong location on the

The 'fixup' tool modifies the specified BIN/CUE ISO or "raw" ("MODE2/2352")
disc image file in-place by recalculating all LBN file references in the
game's code and control files to point to the actual locations of the files
on the disc. This makes it possible to recreate CD images of the game
completely from scratch, from a hierarchy of files, for example using the
PSXImager tools:

 1. Dump the CD image "FF7.bin" to the directory "FF7", creating the catalog
    file "" in the process:

      psxrip FF7.bin FF7

 2. Change any files in the "FF7" directory.

 3. Rebuild the CD image using the catalog file created in step 1:

      psxbuild FF7-mod.bin

 4. Fixup the CD image:

      fixup FF7-mod.bin

The produced image "FF7-mod.bin" can then be played in a PlayStation 1

Note that all game files, except for those in the "MOVIE" directory, must
start on the same sector on all three CDs, so all three CD images should be
created from the same set of data files.

The 'fixup' tool must be able to find the program 'psxinject' (part of
PSXImager) in the current search path.

Workflow for translation

This section describes a possible workflow for creating a fan translation or
a mod of Final Fantasy VII using the FF7Tools and PSXImager. Here, we assume
that we are using the US release of the game as a basis.

 1. Produce raw ("MODE2/2352") images from the game CDs, for example using

      cdrdao read-cd --read-raw --datafile FF7-US-1.bin FF7-US-1.toc
      toc2cue FF7-US-1.toc FF7-US-1.cue

 2. Dump the game files with 'psxrip' from PSXImager, creating the game
    directory "FF7-US-1":

      psxrip FF7-US-1

 3. Extract all game text to the translation directory "text-us":

      untrans FF7-US-1 text-us

 4. Translate/modify the text files in the "text-us" directory. The 'trans'
    tool will work faster if you make a copy of that directory and delete
    all files from the "field" subdirectory which you are not going to
    change, or which you haven't translated yet (since you are unlikely to
    complete the entire game script in one go).

 5. Reinsert the text into the game files (and fix the game font):

      trans -f text-us FF7-US-1

 6. Rebuild and relocate the CD image:

      psxbuild FF7-US-1
      fixup FF7-US-1.bin

 7. Repeat steps 1, 2, 5 and 6 for the other two discs of the game. With
    some clever symlinking it is possible to share most of the game files
    between the three discs and only have to run the 'trans' tool once. All
    files except for those in the "MINT" and "MOVIE" directories and the
    root directory of the game are exactly identical for all three discs.

 7. Load the resulting images into an emulator and test your changes.

 8. If necessary, update the files in the "text-us" translation directory.

 9. Run 'trans' in incremental mode to integrate your updates:

      trans -i text-us FF7-US-1

 10. Rebuild the CD image(s) as in step 6, and repeat.

Note 1: CD images produced in this way will not be bootable on original
PlayStation hardware because the PlayStation checks a signature on the CD
which is not reproducible using 'psxbuild' and off-the-shelf CD burners.

Note 2: You are not allowed to redistribute modified copies of the game
without having obtained permission from the copyright holders (Square Enix
in this case).


Usage: mapinfo [OPTION...] <game_dir_or_image> <output_dir>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'mapinfo' tool dumps the entire string table (including unused text
which is omitted by 'untrans') and a rough disassembly of the script code
for each field map (FIELD/*.DAT) of the game. It creates the given output
directory and writes one text file per map.

The string tables are useful when searching for hidden text or unused/cut
dialog in the game. The disassembled script code can give you a general idea
of how a particular map's scripts are organized, but for a more detailed
analysis of the game's story and mechanics it is much more convenient to
view the code in a proper script editor like Makou Reactor instead.


Usage: worldinfo [OPTION...] <game_dir_or_image> <output_dir>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'worldinfo' tool dumps a rough disassembly of the script code inside the
world map files (WORLD/*.TXZ) of the game. It creates the given output
directory and writes one text file per map.


Usage: unscene [OPTION...] <file>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'unscene' tool extracts all 256 battle scene data sets from the
SCENE.BIN file given as the <file> argument, writing them in uncompressed
form to individual "SCENE_<num>.data" files.

lzss / unlzss

Usage: lzss [OPTION...] <fromfile> <tofile>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Usage: unlzss [OPTION...] <fromfile> <tofile>
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'lzss' and 'unlzss' tools compress and decompress individual files
compressed with the game's version of the LZSS algorithm.

Examples for such files are the field maps (FIELD/*.DAT) and all files
having the .LZS extension.

unbingz / unbinlz

Usage: unbingz [OPTION...] <file>
  -l, --list                      List files in archive
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

Usage: unbinlz [OPTION...] <file>
  -l, --list                      List files in archive
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'unbingz' and 'unbinlz' can list or extract archive files in two
proprietary formats used by the game. In the 'bingz' format the archive
members are compressed with the GZIP algorithm, in the 'binlz' format they
are compressed with the LZSS algorithm or stored in uncompressed form.

When run without the '-l' (list) option, both tools extract and decompress
all archive members to files in the current directory:

  "<name>_<dir>_<idx>.data" for 'unbingz'
  "<name>_<idx>.data" for 'unbinlz'

with <name> being the basename of the given archive file.

Examples for 'bingz' files are INIT/KERNEL.BIN and INIT/WINDOW.BIN. Examples
for 'binlz' files are MOVIE/OPENING.BIN (opening credits) and
MOVIE/STAFF*.BIN (end credits).


Usage: tim2png [OPTION...] <input.tim> [<output.png>]
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

The 'tim2png' tool converts an image file in the PlayStation TIM format to
the standard PNG format. This tool is not specific to Final Fantasy VII in
any way and can be used as a general image conversion tool.

'tim2png' can convert 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit, and 24-bit input files, but only
uses the first CLUT found in 4-bit and 8-bit images, so images with
multiple CLUTs may not be displayed correctly.


Usage: subending [OPTION...] <fromfile.MOV> <tofile.MOV>
  -f, --fast                      Keep original subtitles unless overridden
  -V, --version                   Display version information and exit
  -?, --help                      Show this help message

'subending' is a highly specialized tool which can replace the subtitles in
the game's ending movie ("MOVIE/ENDING2*.MOV") while preserving the original
video and audio data.

The input file must be a 2336-byte-per-sector "raw" XA Form 2 file, such as
produced by the PSXImager tool 'psxrip'. The output file will be in the same
format and have the same size as the input movie.

In this particular movie, the subtitles are hard-coded into the video image
but thankfully placed in the black bar below the actual video. So what the
tool does is to copy the audio data and upper portion of the video data of
the movie while replacing and recompressing only the lower portion of the
image with new subtitles.

As great as this sounds in theory, the 'subending' tool is a bit of a pain
to use in practice:

 1. You have to change variables in the tool's source code to set the file
    name and size of the TrueType font to use for the subtitles
    ("fontFileName" and "fontSize"), and to edit the subtitle script and
    timing ("subTiming").

 2. The maximum amount of data available for each compressed video frame of
    the movie is fixed by the movie's frame rate and the data rate of the
    CD. Because the tool does not recompress entire frames but only replaces
    their subtitle portion, this may cause the frame data to overrun its
    allotted space if the new subtitles require more bytes to store than the
    original ones. In this case, 'subending' will abort with the message
    "Frame data overrun", even if only one frame of the entire movie would
    be affected by this issue.

Most frames in the original movie only use up 70-80% of the allotted space
but some can go up to nearly 100%. So the general strategy to avoid overruns
is to make sure that the new subtitles do not require more bytes in
compressed form than the original ones.

Here are some hints for using the tool effectively and avoiding overruns:

 - Only show subtitles where the original movie also has them. Frames with
   subtitles where the original movie just has the black bar will take much
   more space.
 - Choose a simple, sans-serif font. Simple letter shapes compress better
   and are also easier to read.
 - Consider setting a smaller font size.
 - If necessary, shorten the text or rearrange long lines into two shorter
   lines which are shown one after another.
 - Adjust the display time of the subtitles. For example, if a particular
   line is to be shown up to frame 1234 but frame 1233 constantly overruns,
   just blank this line two frames earlier.
 - Slightly increase the blurRadius variable in the code. Subtitles with
   more blur appear more fuzzy but compress better.

While running, the tool will print the number of the currently processed
frame and the percentage of available data space used before and after
reinserting the new subtitles.

A complete run of the tool takes about 30 minutes. When given the '-f'
(fast) option, 'subending' will simply copy frames for which no subtitles
are defined in the "subTiming" list instead of blanking the subtitles. This
will tremendously cut down the running time of the tool but may make the
original subtitles show through in some places where they are not explicitly
overridden by new ones. Even then, you can use the "fast mode" to quickly
check whether your new subtitles cause frame data overruns.


Creating FF7Tools would not have been possible without:

 * The QhimmWiki (, a comprehensive documentation
   resource for file formats and internals of Squaresoft games.

 * The PlayStation 1 Video (STR) Format documentation by Michael Sabin
   (, a detailed explanation of
   PlayStation 1 video encoding.

 * touphScript by luksy (,
   a translation tool for the PC version of Final Fantasy VII. The
   translation file structure and control code syntax of FF7Tools is,
   obviously, heavily influenced by this tool which does for the PC version
   of the game what 'trans'/'untrans' do for the PlayStation version.


Christian Bauer


Translation tools for the PlayStation 1 version of Final Fantasy VII




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