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Nandemonai

Nocturnal Illusion Renewal Translation Project

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Introduction

Hello, Fuwanovel.

I am Nandemonai.  Yes, the same Nandemonai from the PP/Jast forums, and the Mangagamer forums (back when they had forums).  A few years ago, I found out that the NI Renewal version is a thing, with improved gfx and voice acting.  Since Nocturnal Illusion is still my favorite game translated in the early years, I was interested.  I have some Japanese skills, so I thought I'd try my hand at translating the updated scenes.  This wasn't possible for two reasons.  1)  The remake breaks the scenes up into completely different file structure than the original; and 2) The original translation is just terrible.  Mostly unusable, and basically unsalvagable.  I'd known it wasn't very good, but was still surprised at just how "not good" it really was.

Long story short, I decided to re-translate the entire game from scratch.  That was in 2011.  I finished up the translation some time ago.  Unfortunately, the coders I was relying on to reinsert the translation seem to have dropped off the face of the earth.

The Team

6/26/2016 Thanks to Ryechu for agreeing to be an editor!

7/10/2016 A (belated) thanks to Mad Pierre mnakamura for agreeing to do the port.

Well, to be honest?  Right now (6/19/2016) there is no "team", there's just me.  However, I did not reach this point all by myself.

I would like to thank Kagami-sensei for generously assisting me in translating various lines that were giving me trouble.  Kagami has touched < 1% of the lines of the game, but they're all the hard lines.  Thank you very much.

I would like to thank the folks over at vilevn.org - BaSF, Fenris, and kile.  Without their assistance, this effort would have gone nowhere.  They showed me how to extract the text from the original Nocturnal Illusion.  They extracted the text from the remake (which involved finding existing tools, and then fixing bugs in them when they didn't work right).  They sadly seem to have vanished.  The last communication I had from them was in 2014, where they hoped to have a new version of vile ready "in a few months".  Thank you guys very much for all the hard work.

Progress

Translation: 100%

Editing: 50%  Let's break this out.  Initial editing pass: (by me) 100% Second pass (by Ryechu Darklord Rooke): 24.9% 71.0% Last updated:  07/04/2018

Coding: Need Humanity (0%)

This project is now recruiting.  I need coders capable of getting the remade script inserted into something that runs on modern Windows.  Also, while I did a second pass of the translation and edited on the way, it probably needs real editors.

Update:  In the rollback, an edit to this post got lost.  Ryechu and Darklord Rooke have agreed to edit this, and Mad Pierre mnakamura has agreed to port the game to an engine he is working on.

Misc

Q.  Didn't you say the translation is at 100%?  Why 99%?

A.  Yes, but there are a few minor nits that - since I'm creating this page anyway - I might as well try to crowdsource some picks for.  More details to follow when I have time to post them.

As it turns out, I was able to figure these out myself.

Q.  What about licensing?  Doesn't Peter Payne have Nocturnal lllusion?

A.  Indeed he does, and I approached him about an official release.  He informed me he hasn't got rights to the remake.  (I presume the original contract is somehow still good, but the remake needs rights that can't be gotten because the company hasn't existed in 15 years.  But Peter didn't say.)  Peter did say a fan patch was okay with him.

Edited by Nandemonai
progress update

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>Looks at the title

>Reads it as "Gothic Delusion"; hype levels increase, nonchalantly skips rest of the title

>After a while reminds himself it can't be true

>Reads the title again

>Sees it's actually something else

:amane:

Nontheless, it's still nice to see someone working on this. It's been a while since I last heard about this project, haha.

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There is a new HTML5 engine being developed right now, it is actually close to what ViLE VN did originally:

Would you consider porting it to that engine? If yes, I can give it a try.

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@Nandemonai I can help you with patch part. Drop me a PM with something if you're interested. Having in mind that asenheim project have the remake online up and running I see no reason to recode anything. And actually remake works for me on Windows 8.1, quite modern, I guess?

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24 minutes ago, Mad Pierre said:

There is a new HTML5 engine being developed right now, it is actually close to what ViLE VN did originally:

Would you consider porting it to that engine? If yes, I can give it a try.

What point? If he want an online version (and that's actually HTML5+JS, means it can work only inside a browser), then why not just give translation to Zus and all will be online in no time? Here: http://tss.asenheim.org/nocturnal-illusion-renewal.html

 

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5 minutes ago, Scorp said:

What point? If he want an online version (and that's actually HTML5+JS, means it can work only inside a browser), then why not just give translation to Zus and all will be online in no time? Here: http://tss.asenheim.org/nocturnal-illusion-renewal.html

The point is having control and something that is working and maintainable. I've just tried both '98 exes and original renewal exes - they don't work even on Windows 7. AppLocale changes error messages, but doesn't help.

Asenheim has a *very* shaky legal position: as soon as any of the copyright holders will raise the complaint, domain would be shut down in no time, and, poof, all your work will be down with it. You can't download or mirror Asenheim to your local machine. Even if you did, it's closed source, compacted and obfuscated JavaScript.

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3 minutes ago, Mad Pierre said:

The point is having control and something that is working and maintainable. I've just tried both '98 exes and original renewal exes - they don't work even on Windows 7. AppLocale changes error messages, but doesn't help.

Asenheim has a *very* shaky legal position: as soon as any of the copyright holders will raise the complaint, domain would be shut down in no time, and, poof, all your work will be down with it. You can't download or mirror Asenheim to your local machine. Even if you did, it's closed source, compacted and obfuscated JavaScript.

You're doing it wrong. All works perfectly for me in Windows 7. Position is same shaky as the Mikan engine, no difference.

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9 minutes ago, Scorp said:

You're doing it wrong. All works perfectly for me in Windows 7. Position is same shaky as the Mikan, nothing different.

Actually, I think that your "works for me" stance is wrong. And I guess you don't really understand the difference between open source implementations like ViLE and Mikan and closed stuff like original engine and Asenheim's.

But this is leading us nowhere. We've said enough and now it's up to @Nandemonai to decide.

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Well, I just tried, and the installer doesn't work on my Windows 7 machine.  Years back, Nargrakhan (over at the Jast USA forum) wrote up his experience getting the remake running; it involved a VM, an installation of Japanese Win98, and then installation of some extra add-on crap that was like a quasi-official mod of the OS (because it  wasn't until XP that localization became a module in the OS).  And it still ran wonky.

So given that, it seems to me that if we were to re-insert into the original engine, it would run on Asenheim and very few other places.  (I believe you when you say it works for you, Scorp.  But it didn't work for anyone else I know who's tried it on modern windows.  Based off that track record, it will be very spotty at best.)

Aside from that, there'll end up being some recoding anyway.  I paid no attention to fitting my translation into text boxes, and I don't intend to.  More text boxes will almost certainly have to be added to accomodate some of the lines.  Almost every engine I know requires a scripting change when that happens, so insertion is likely to require coding anyway.

I'm not opposed to putting it up on Asenheim.  I actually think it's a good idea.  But Asenheim is a website, and sooner or later the same thing will happen to it that happened to Geocities and the Anipike.  Whether for legal reasons or not, I'm skeptical it'll be there 10, 20, 30 years from now (I mean, there's hardly any 20-year-old sites left , and the web itself isn't even 30 yet).  A Mikan port should be much more future-proof.

TL;DR : My first pick is getting this supported in Mikan.   I am definitely also interested in Asenheim.  But if Scorp would rather work on some other project that isn't also being released in another form, I will understand (there's only so many hackers to go around, after all) and Mikan is #1.

Be warned, Mad Pierre, that this game is ancient and uses a really old engine.  I know that the Vile guys found a ripper, but I also know that there were bugs in it that they fixed.  I don't know if they ever released those fixes.

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2 hours ago, Nandemonai said:

Well, I just tried, and the installer doesn't work on my Windows 7 machine.  Years back, Nargrakhan (over at the Jast USA forum) wrote up his experience getting the remake running; it involved a VM, an installation of Japanese Win98, and then installation of some extra add-on crap that was like a quasi-official mod of the OS (because it  wasn't until XP that localization became a module in the OS).  And it still ran wonky.

So given that, it seems to me that if we were to re-insert into the original engine, it would run on Asenheim and very few other places.  (I believe you when you say it works for you, Scorp.  But it didn't work for anyone else I know who's tried it on modern windows.  Based off that track record, it will be very spotty at best.)

You can just copy all files from CD in one directory and add reg file, reg file I can give you, if you wish and it will work without any installer. No W98 needed.

Anyway, if you're not interested in making original game working on PC, so be it. 

I doubt that would be the proof for people, who think I am lying, but here it is, Renewal running on Windows 7.

Ub6hL3V.png

 

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22 hours ago, Scorp said:

I doubt that would be the proof for people, who think I am lying, but here it is, Renewal running on Windows 7.

Scorp, nobody says that you're liar or anything like that. The point is must simpler, actually. As far as I understand, you are not a vendor of original engine, you don't have the sources and there are people who have compatibility problems with it - Nandemonai and myself included. You're no doubt much more technically savvy than us and probably your debugging / reverse engineering / patching skills are advanced enough to fix that problem, but:

  • we'll have to somehow reproduce these problem at your site; typically it's done by giving debug builds to people who have problems - but, probably, it would be a problem given that you can't just rebuild original engine from sources and add lots of debug into it
  • I'm really not sure that you'll enjoy debugging 20+ years old code, and even if you do, probably that's just a huge waste of your time and skills

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15 minutes ago, Mad Pierre said:

Scorp, nobody says that you're liar or anything like that. The point is must simpler, actually. As far as I understand, you are not a vendor of original engine, you don't have the sources and there are people who have compatibility problems with it - Nandemonai and myself included. You're no doubt much more technically savvy than us and probably your debugging / reverse engineering / patching skills are advanced enough to fix that problem, but:

  • we'll have to somehow reproduce these problem at your site; typically it's done by giving debug builds to people who have problems - but, probably, it would be a problem given that you can't just rebuild original engine from sources and add lots of debug into it
  • I'm really not sure that you'll enjoy debugging 20+ years old code, and even if you do, probably that's just a huge waste of your time and skills

This do not work for you too? http://vilevn.org/?q=content/how-install-nocturnal-illusion-renewal

By me easier to make it working for you then, as this is open-source, and all of the engine-specific things already implemented. Rather than wait for mnakamura to implement support for Mugen in Mikan.

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15 minutes ago, Scorp said:

This do not work for you too? http://vilevn.org/?q=content/how-install-nocturnal-illusion-renewal

By me easier to make it working for you then, as this is open-source, and all of the engine-specific things already implemented.

The problem I'm having is not about the installer. Right now I'm getting message in Japanese (broken, if not using AppLocale) and I can't even understand it, as I don't read Japanese. And I can't copy-paste it into a Google Translate or anything.

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You can put it here, you know... If you really want to solve the problem.

Anyway, there is indeed a defect, when playing in W7 - character sprite shows upper than it should. But this could be solved, I guess, if there is enough interest in this.

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That jives with what Nargrakhan said in his efforts to get it to work.  There were lots of bugs like that, and he had to tweak a lot of stuff.  (What, exactly, I don't recall, I'd have to dig up the thread.)  Upside down sprites, sprites in the wrong place, the graphics code just was really old and finnicky.

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1 hour ago, Nandemonai said:

That jives with what Nargrakhan said in his efforts to get it to work.  There were lots of bugs like that, and he had to tweak a lot of stuff.  (What, exactly, I don't recall, I'd have to dig up the thread.)  Upside down sprites, sprites in the wrong place, the graphics code just was really old and finnicky.

He never told that, as I remember that thread. There is no upside-down sprites, only real problem is with character sprites being above the place. So it only need to locale where wrong value is taken and replace with correct one.

All other works perfectly, map works.

Anyway, you seems against the idea to work with original version, so... Nothing for me to do here. Export routines you could probably need you will find in ViLE source code, so mnakamura could implement it in Mikan engine.

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3 hours ago, Scorp said:

Export routines you could probably need you will find in ViLE source code, so mnakamura could implement it in Mikan engine.

I sincerely hope that @mnakamura won't have to do anything extra to support this novel. I really hope I'll manage it myself.

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Thanks!

I thought I'll report some progress here. It obviously took me much longer than I've expected, as I thought that this engine is very well explored, lots of tools were just laying around waiting for them to be used, ready-made disassemblers, etc, etc.

Actually, it turns out that the information about Windy engine (as it is called in ViLE sources) is indeed fairly sketchy. Mails that @Nandemonai relayes to me contain some useful information and mention some working tools like disassembler as a php script, but I haven't found it anywhere so far.

What I've succeeded so far:

  • extracting general packed file into individual game files
  • converting GGD graphics to PNG files
  • started to look at bytecode format

The main result that I'd like to share today is http://pastebin.com/nZLsgLt2 - that is "mu01_02", the 2nd scene of the game converted to Mikan format. Of course, it is *very* basic - no graphics, no sprites, no CGs, no sound, no music, no fancy opcodes like blitting / jumps / registers, no nothing. Just the text, but I guess it's already a start.

You can already put in into Mikan engine and read it through that. Hopefully graphics won't be hard to implement - they seem easy enough. I'm not so sure about registers and internal logic, given that I have to convert them into Mikan primitives. But we'll see :)

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1 hour ago, Mad Pierre said:

Thanks!

I thought I'll report some progress here. It obviously took me much longer than I've expected, as I thought that this engine is very well explored, lots of tools were just laying around waiting for them to be used, ready-made disassemblers, etc, etc.

Actually, it turns out that the information about Windy engine (as it is called in ViLE sources) is indeed fairly sketchy. Mails that @Nandemonai relayes to me contain some useful information and mention some working tools like disassembler as a php script, but I haven't found it anywhere so far.

What I've succeeded so far:

  • extracting general packed file into individual game files
  • converting GGD graphics to PNG files
  • started to look at bytecode format

The main result that I'd like to share today is http://pastebin.com/nZLsgLt2 - that is "mu01_02", the 2nd scene of the game converted to Mikan format. Of course, it is *very* basic - no graphics, no sprites, no CGs, no sound, no music, no fancy opcodes like blitting / jumps / registers, no nothing. Just the text, but I guess it's already a start.

You can already put in into Mikan engine and read it through that. Hopefully graphics won't be hard to implement - they seem easy enough. I'm not so sure about registers and internal logic, given that I have to convert them into Mikan primitives. But we'll see :)

It's been awhile since I looked at the original translation, but seems like you grabbed the text from it.  My file reads very differently.  Other than that it looks great :)

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