Unofficial Moon Translation Project
Evidently, I am working on an unofficial translation for the game Moon: Adventure Remix RPG [English Link Here]. Someone on the Game FAQs boards thought it would be nice if someone translated the game. I made a couple of comments and then decided to take a look at it and give the translation a shot.
Feel free to email me at sgeos [splat] hotmail [dot] com.
The project forum can be found here.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to translation:
I. Everything should be translated literally. Translations should be as close to word for word as possible. If this requires not translating certain word and inserting footnote explanations, then so be it.
II. Translations should convey the general meaning of the original work, but should feel natural to the new audience. If this means changing idioms or making other tactical modifications, then so be it.
I think the correct way to translate just about anything falls somewhere in the middle. There are times to translate literally, and times to translate liberally.
When it comes to properly translating something, there are three steps:
I. First pass translation. The goal here is to convert the work into the target language. These can be ugly, inaccurate, contain context issues, etc.
II. Second pass translation. The goal here is to clean up as much of the mess from the first pass as possible. Every message is revisited.
III. Editing. A writer (read, not a translator) goes over the work and cleans up the writing.
The first and second pass translations can be done by the same person, but the editing *must* be done by somebody else for the same reason proofreading your own work does not make sense.
You will get a better translation if a different person works on each step:
I. First pass translation done by a translator with a native level command of the source language. Japanese in this case.
II. Second pass translation done by a translator with a native level command of the target language. English in this case.
III. Editing done by a writer/editor with a native level command of the target language. English in this case.
As of now, I will organize and host the project, as well as work on the first pass translation.
My goal is actually a quick and dirty first pass translation. As of now, I know that some of the message translations are inaccurate, and I don't care because an inaccurate translation is better than the best translation that never got done. I'm not going to worry about the second pass and editing at this point, but from both a time (my time) and quality standpoint they should be done by someone else who is familiar with the work.
Agonize over anything. I just overcommitted myself to a bunch of projects and other things in real life, and quite simply it did not work. I bit off more than I could chew and fell flat on my face. Right now, I am very leery of taking on new projects.
Moon probably has tons of text, and doing a complete polished translation job will take a long time- months or years. I have no intention of doing a complete polished job at this point. I will be happy with a quick and dirty, but organized first pass translation. If someone wants to improve the translation from there, they are more than welcome to do so.
I’m not going to make a translated version of the game. I neither condemn nor condone such things. For what it is worth, I would probably be willing to cooperate with in some capacity with an effort to create a playable translated version of Moon. How much? Depends on my mood and what you ask for. =)
The bottom line is this- I will not stress out over this project. I do not guarantee that this project will ever be finished. On the bright side, I have no grandiose visions (there is a good chance this translation will never be complete), but I am probably more level headed about the translation project than some of the kids who try to start these things. Even if the project is not completed, I hope it is organized enough that someone else can continue the effort if they are so motivated.
The translation files can be found here.
This is a direct link to the latest upload of the spreadsheet. If it becomes a zip file, just change the extension from .zip to .xlsx and the file should work with Microsoft Office Excel 2007.
This is a direct link to the screenshot directory.
The Moon CD contains the following files:
1. May-11-1997 MOON.DA (31,752,000 bytes)
2. Aug-09-1997 MOON.DAT (56,039,424 bytes)
3. Aug-03-1997 MOON.STR (464,207,872 bytes)
4. Aug-13-1997 SLPS_010.31 (389,120 bytes)
5. Aug-07-1997 SYSTEM.CNF (68 bytes)
Total 552,388,484 bytes
If I recall correctly, SLPS_010.31 contained the days of the week, MD names, love level names and the like. MOON.DAT appears to contain messages in plain text. MOON.STR probably contains a lot of good stuff, although it is a mystery file as of now. I’m not sure what MOON.DA is, and SYSTEM.CNF appears to be the boot file. Nothing interesting is in there. =)
Text appears to be unencrypted. It is probably Shift-JIS. Whatever it is, I have no trouble reading it using my Japanese version of Windows. I can open the files up in Editpad Pro, switch to text mode and search for text just fine. Of note is that text is not located in one big text table. It seems to be randomly strewn about the MOON.DAT file. Ok, they appear to be attached to the map they are displayed in, but this is not very convenient. Finding messages is a complete pain if you do not know what you are looking for.
So far as I can tell, the messages use #n for newline, and #p for page break. Strings are null terminated with zeros. (Regular expressions can be used in Editpad Pro to replace zero bytes with newlines in a run on list of null terminated strings, for easy message listing.) I’m not sure what the codes for the player and hero’s names are, although I’m sure it will be easy to find.
In no particular order:
1. MOON.STR is a 442 MB file. That means it is probably most of the game. As of now, I can do nothing useful with this file. I cannot copy it to my local disk, and it does not appear that I can do anything with it directly from the disk, either.
2. I am opening the disk in the D drive on Windows. From what I understand, PSX games can have “invisible” files that Windows cannot detect. If anyone could take a look at the game and tell me if there are any invisible files, that would be great.
3. I would like a list of in game locations. I don’t remember if area games are given on the map, but I think they are. If anyone could visit every area, and then go to the map and take a screenshot of each area, that would be great. I want to compile a list of character names and place names ASAP. Ultimately, I want a comprehensive list of every map in the game, with instructions on how to get there.
4. Translation help is always fantastic. Frankly, I don’t care how much you suck; there is something you can do to help. If you can type in Japanese, this is also great. I suspect some of the messages will be in the MOON.STR file. I have no intention of typing them in by hand. =)
5. A regular expression for Shift-JIS text. I have one somewhere, but that would require looking. Moon appears to use ASCII, but it does not appear to use half width katakana.
6. Message screenshots. Screenshots save me time. I can go back to them, and I don’t have to spend ages getting a certain message to display. I can read the screenshot and then search for the text in the binary. Parrotshake is working on the play through screenshots.
A forum for
communication. It would be
fantastic if someone set up a forum mainly to communicate with anyone who wants
to help. If anyone people want to socialize there, naturally that would be OK. I have no interest in setting up or
administering a forum, but I do know that there are plenty of free solutions
out there. If you are interested,
contact me. The ideal candidate is not a psychotic megalomaniac admin/mod type. The project forum can
be found here.
8. A visual character reference. Screenshots of characters with character names are also wanted. I’ve actually only beaten Moon once, and I’m not convinced I talked to every character.
9. A beastiary. Screenshots of all monster text, a list of all monsters names, locations and the means required to catch the monster.
Everyone should have a procedure for accepting donations. Mine can be found here.