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Watercrown Productions DevBlog
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
The DevBlog has appeared! Fight, Magic, Item, Run?
Topic: Watercrown News
Welcome, ladies and germs, to the Watercrown Productions DevBlog. Please enjoy your stay.

The Sylvanian Families translation patch is still very much in the works: I haven't uploaded any new screencaps yet, so here are the eight I've already done. ^_^

Let me repeat: Sylvanian Families for GBC was programmed by genius madmen, possibly locked in a basement at Epoch for months before they invented this ingenious system. The game script is just as much compiled bytecode as it is text: it is an interpreted programming language akin to Java, and the fact that it was designed to run on a Game Boy's Z80 (this chip was used by the Sega Genesis just to handle sound, people!) makes it all the more impressive. Impressive and maddening to a would-be translation hacker. Only after making some modifications to Klarth's Atlas script inserter did translation of this game become possible without going completely insane.

And even then, things are hardly perfect. I noticed a couple of days ago that my inserted test scripts caused the game to abort to an error message after completing a certain minigame. Purely by chance, I noticed that I had forgotten to put a handful of key pointer write commands in the first script block. What made this particularly maddening is that the bug only cropped up after inserting another script block...

So I haven't given up. I still need a few details filled in, though: the game opens with a monologue that's apparently the signature of the franchise, featured on the official website:


The one featured in the game is written almost entirely in hiragana (and, curiously, lacks the commas), but the rough translation of both is as follows:

"Have you ever been to that place beyond the green mountains?
If you go into the deepest forest, you will find the most beautiful village in the world.
That village is called Sylvania.
It is the place where the kindest people in the world live.
If you listen to the wind...
...you can hear their stories."

I've heard that there is an official English equivalent for this, but I've yet to find out what it is. If there are any Sylvanian Families fans who can fill in this opening cinematic-sized blank, feel free to post your comments. It doesn't have to be exactly the same: what I'm after is accessibility more than accuracy. You are, after all, the target audience for this translation: I just want it to be the best it can.

And besides, it drives me nuts to see "professional" translators make gaffes that could be fixed with modest familiarity with the source material.

Posted by Ryusui at 10:55 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006 10:56 PM PST

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