Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 30th, 2011 | EarthBound, Hacking, MOTHER 1+2

The question’s come up a lot since I released my MOTHER 1+2 translation the other day, so I should try to explain why it would be a lot of work to fully translate the MOTHER 2 side of the game too.

EarthBound’s Text System

What I hear a lot is, “Can’t you just copy and paste EarthBound’s script into the game?” For many other games, it WOULD be that easy – in fact, RPGOne did that with the MOTHER 1 side of MOTHER 1+2 shortly after the game was released in 2003. It was pretty much a copy-paste job from the EarthBound Zero script. It was possible with MOTHER 1 because the game’s text format is extremely simple.

EarthBound’s text format, on the other hand, is the absolute, 100% opposite. It’s a huge mess. It’s not even appropriate to call it a “text format” – everything in EarthBound is pretty much one gigantic scripting language. I don’t know how to explain that well to non-programmers, so here’s a random snippet from Threed, with some of the control codes parsed for your understanding:

[GOSUB C69082][FLAGON 00B][1F 41 05][1F EB 03 06][1F 15 03 00 0E 01 01][1F 61][1F E7 03 00][1F F3 03 00 03][DELAY 3C][1F F4 03][LINE][OPENWIN 01]@Ah![DELAY 14] Here’s the problem, and it’s not too tough to fix.[PAUSE][LINE]@Hang on for a second or two…[PAUSE][CLOSEALLWIN][DELAY 1E][1F EA 03 00][1F 61][1F 00 00 B3][1F F1 E2 01 10 01][1F 61][1F E6 E2 01][1F 07 02][DELAY 3C][1F 03][OPENWIN 01]@There![PAUSE][LINE]@That should do it![PAUSE][LINE]@Now, if [GOSUB C91FBA] board,[DELAY 0F] the Sky Runner will take [GOSUB C91FDB][PAUSE][LINE]@back to Winters.[PAUSE][LINE]@With Dr. Andonuts’ help,[DELAY 0F] I can modify the machine to fly to Summers.[PAUSE][LINE]@…If Dad, I mean Dr. Andonuts,[PAUSE][LINE]@is not available, I’ll have to figure it out by myself.[PAUSE][LINE]@Anyway, let’s go back to the lab in Winters.[PAUSE][LINE]@…That’s it…[DELAY 14][LINE] Go, machine,[DELAY 0F] go![PAUSE][CLOSEALLWIN][1F 15 6A 00 0F 01 01][DELAY 01][1F EF 6A 00][1F E8 FF][1F 61][1F EB FF 06][FLAGON 28F][GOSUB C7DD7D][1F ED][1F E5 FF][1F E9 E2 01][1F 61][DELAY 0F][1F 1E E0 01 06][DELAY 5A][1F 15 D1 00 A2 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 A5 00 FF][1F 21 C2][1F EF E6 00][1F E8 FF][DELAY 01][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 96 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 9E 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 A0 00 FF][1F 21 C0][1F EF E6 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 97 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 9A 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 9C 00 FF][1F 21 BE][1F EF E6 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 98 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 A6 00 FF][1F 21 BA][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][FLAGON 26D][1F 21 DA][1F 17 6F 02 A7 00 01][DELAY 64][1F 17 6D 02 A8 00 01][1F 61][FLAGOFF 28F][GOSUB C7DD7D][1F 15 6A 00 A9 00 01][DELAY 01][1F EF 6A 00][1F EC FF 01][1F 61][1F ED][1F E5 FF][1F F1 69 02 8D 00][1F 61][1F E6 67 02][1F E6 69 02][1F E6 6A 02][GOSUB C6CB97][1F F1 6A 02 8E 00][1F 61][1F E6 6A 02][GOSUB C6CC31][1F F1 6A 02 90 00][1F 61][1F F1 69 02 8F 00][1F 61][19 26 06][FLAGOFF 26D][FLAGOFF 2EC][FLAGOFF 030][FLAGOFF 305][FLAGON 276][FLAGOFF 00B][1F 41 06][1F E8 FF][END]

Keep in mind that’s just ONE line in the game.

Everything in the game from text, to events, to cut scenes, to music, to sound effects, to windows, to user input – it’s all just one giant scripting language, and even after all these years we don’t have it fully mapped out. Here’s an older file that lists some of the control codes in the game: control code lexicon. This is mostly why there aren’t many translations of EarthBound into other languages, some 16 years after the game’s release – it’s a huge mess. Seriously, try to edit the game’s text using PK Hack sometime to see for yourself.

The scripting language is advanced – it does all the normal stuff you might expect from a game’s text system, but it also implements its own stack, various registers, a huge number of flags/memory addresses, conditional branching, can handle subroutines many levels deep, it’s very impressive. Fellow computer science nerds are probably thinking, “Whoa, almost sounds like a CPU!” In fact, using a simple hack Rufus made a while back to allow the scripting system to access any memory address, it would theoretically be possible to write an emulator just using EarthBound’s text system. If you were crazy enough, you could get EarthBound to emulate the EarthBound Zero ROM, or even EarthBound itself! It’d be slow as hell, but still :P

Anyway, because the game’s text uses pointers all over the place – and because we don’t have EarthBound’s script codes fully mapped out – a simple copy-and-paste job into the MOTHER 1+2 ROM is not possible.

Still, even if Giygas himself came down and somehow solved those problems… guess what? MOTHER 2’s text and script codes are in a completely different format! (head explodes)

Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible, in fact a few years back I had started to write a utility that dumped EarthBound’s text to the best of my ability and tried to turn the nonsense control codes into something sensible. I did this for my old EarthBound Zero remake hack and later on to make a utility for people to translate EarthBound into other languages. I got it to a pretty advanced state, yet there were still many issues, so I dropped it.

Hacking MOTHER 2

I think if I were to take a bunch of time off and hole myself up in a room with buckets of coffee, I could probably get EarthBound’s text converted into MOTHER 1+2’s text format after a while. That’s all it takes to translate the game, right?

Nope! Think back to the MOTHER 3 fan translation – remember how much work it was to get the game to look and act properly, even after we had the game’s script in English and inserted into the game? It would be pretty much the same here. It’d be a year-long (probably longer, actually) nightmare. I’m not even necessarily talking about the variable-width font specifically – just the sheer amount of hacking work it overall would take would be immense.

I can see how it’d be nice to have the MOTHER 2 side fully translated – I’d love to have all three GBA games in the series fan-translated, but the MOTHER 2 GBA port isn’t that great to begin with – the sound effects and music take a serious hit, a number of glitches and bugs were added, while some beloved things like the Rock Candy trick were taken out (if I remember right).

Also, I should briefly mention that not all the text in the game is in the same format. The file select screen itself uses three different text formats, entirely different from the main text format. One of them isn’t even really a “format” – it’s actually just tilemap data bundled with surrounding window tilemap data, all LZZ compressed for no understandable reason.

Basically, I have to ask myself if it’s worth a couple years of my life so people can play an inferior version of EarthBound. I don’t think it is. If I had no worries and had lots of free time and extra money, I’d love to work on it, I love the series and especially like to translate ROMs. If I were a zillionaire with no worries at all, I could probably even get it done in a few months.

Anyway, that’s why the MOTHER 2 part of the patch isn’t a full translation. I do think (and hope) that someone with a lot more energy and free time will show up and be able to pull off a full conversion of the MOTHER 2 part, even down to the little new control codes added just for EarthBound that tell the game when to use “The” or when to use “him” or “her”. It’ll be a tough job, but knowing EarthBound fans, someone will do it :P

tl;dr

EarthBound text is very complicated, the MOTHER 2 text format is equally complicated AND in a different format. Would take me years to fully accomplish for very little gain. MOTHER 2 GBA port isn’t very good to begin with. Haven’t given up the idea of working on it, but would rather work on other, more productive stuff.

 

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129 Comments to A Look at the MOTHER 2 Side


Aglio said on Apr. 30, 2011

Well… We actualy don’t need a translation, there’s nothing different from the SNES version, right?

Mato said on Apr. 30, 2011

I believe one or two lines were changed, but nothing important at all.

Chance said on Apr. 30, 2011

I think it would be cool to have a direct-translation version of Mother 2 (i.e. In english without the localization treatment that EarthBound got[trout flavored yogurt, graphical updates, pencil eraser, etc.]) but I agree that the GBA version wouldn’t be the way to go considering its inferior quality.

(Also if there IS actually a patch for the original EarthBound that does the stuff I mentioned, lemme know!)

Rock said on Apr. 30, 2011

Well, that explains a lot. Now you’ve gave me another dream…. An emulator made with the Earthbound engine, that emulates Earthbound Zero! And for the GBA! Mwahaha!

Nah, just kidding.
May I ask,what will be your next project (assuming that you want to work on something else)?
I know you said it wouldn’t be anything Mother related, but it would be interesting to know. If you make it, it’ll be awesome.

yahooeny said on Apr. 30, 2011

… (head explodes)
I can’t help but feel sorry for the localizers for all those JRPGs from way back in the day. Though it does leave a few questions…
Why was a different scripting language used? Was the old one limited to kanji or something?
Is the Mother 2 port in the GBA compilation that accurate? I assumed it was more of a look-alike remake than an actual port.
Who’s brilliant idea was it to make all the text in super complicated bullet points? Couldn’t there be one really simple line that indicates the end of a bullet point?
Who ever though placing animations into the dialog script?

Kevin said on Apr. 30, 2011

That’s one line? I see a bunch in there
Hang on for a second or two…
I can modify the machine to fly to Summers.
Go, machine

Satsy said on Apr. 30, 2011

I can appreciate that it’d be a lot of work just getting M2’s text in, without thinking about other issues that would probably also need changing. I’d be interested in seeing if the music can be better converted into the lesser format so you get looping music that makes the best use of the GBA’s sound, doesn’t lose the EB feel, and if that sort of thing can even be be implemented properly.

But by that point you may as well just program the game from scratch — that’d probably be a darn sight easier, would I be right?

Mato said on Apr. 30, 2011

Rock: Well, you know me, I always got a million projects I want to work on. Right now I think I wanna get my personal site up and running, then I’m thinking about maybe starting a site where I compare/delve into/review official localizations of other games, kind of like a light version of my Mother 2 vs. EarthBound stuff, but from a more professional/technical perspective.

I also have a few ideas for some interesting games I’d like to make – they’re not EarthBound fan games, though I imagine they’ll have a tad of an EarthBound feel to them.

yahooeny: I honestly don’t know why. It’s very weird. It might’ve been easier for them to do it that way when doing the port or something.

I believe it’s more of a look-alike than a straight port, since I assume they wrote the original code all in assembly.

Satsy: I have almost no idea how to hack sound stuff, it’s not as easy to deal with as text and simple data. It’d be great if someone could improve the sound somehow – there’ve been some hacks of the GBA Final Fantasy games to restore their music, I’m jealous :P

Theerr1112 said on Apr. 30, 2011

if this were EVER to be translated, i think the Super Famicom version would be a better idea rather than this since it is far superior

but thats just me

Solar said on Apr. 30, 2011

I have to agree with chance.

I would love to see a re-translation of Earthbound without the “localization treatment.” I’ve always wondered what was different (graphical and dialogue) in the original japanese version.

Mato, do it.
You’re the only one who can!

Satsy said on Apr. 30, 2011

Haha, out of curiosity, do your 1+2 source info downloads contain anything to view the nigh-on unbreakable text code? It’d be a horrifying block and would most likely break my brain, but I don’t use the thing for all that much anyway. ;) I’d never be able to translate the game either, but it’d be interesting to see.

I should probably also check out the PK Hack stuff. I don’t use it enough (read: at all).

Rock said on Apr. 30, 2011

Wow, Mato, all of those projects sound awesome…
I’m starting to believe that you’re not human, but a superior being that doesn’t needs to sleep, eat, or rest, and 99.9% of your ideas are completely genius.

@Solar: If you want to know what’s different between Earthbound and Mother 2, check out the M2vs.EB page Mato made a while ago. It’s not complete, but it’s very interesting, anyways!
http://earthboundcentral.com/m2eb/

unnoticedninja said on Apr. 30, 2011

I think many people want a new version of Earthbound to play (not me, the SNES english version was great), but it seems like it would be a lot easier for someone to re-translate Mother2 and just play Earthbound or Mother2 while reading the translated script.

pranavmeno said on Apr. 30, 2011

Heh heh. I understand why now, Mato-san.

I learned a bunch of stuff on ROM Hacking in the hopes that I would be able to finish the patch (like tables and tile editing and stuff), but… after playing with the ROM, I realize that I was undertaking a project so difficult, I’d have to forget about school just to have the time necessary to learn all the stuff I needed to learn.

I’d really like to finish it, but I guess I’ll just stick with Android Dev for now. I’m still struggling to port M1 to Android, and I’ve barely started doing it! (And by the way; I see lots of Hex in the block of text above; are those the control codes, or just text stored in the ROM?)

What I don’t understand about the topic of an M2 retranslation in general is why everyone wants THIS release of Mother 2 more than the Super Famicom ROM. I would much rather have the SFC version retranslated, for then we wouldn’t lose any music quality, etc. If most people are going to play this via emulator, I don’t see why it would be any harder to just get a SNES emulator as well. Chances are more PCs run those better, because of the kinder system requirements. I play all my ROMs on my iPod [except EB; I don't have a ROM for that!:)] so portability isn’t really an issue.

inb4some1else said on Apr. 30, 2011

Mato, please, don’t over work yourself.

You’ve done enough :)

tweder said on Apr. 30, 2011

Wasn’t the work of the VWF already figured out by jeffman?

I remember this video showing off the Earthbound font inserted into the Mother 2 section of the GBA game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kcn2qBTlTk

joeymartin64 said on Apr. 30, 2011

People are still giving you crap about this? You are a paragon of patience, Mato.

KittyFields said on Apr. 30, 2011

Mato: I would love it if you would do a localization review site! I’m a bit of a localization geek, though my Japanese is not nearly good enough to be able to actually localize a game myself. That doesn’t stop me from my love of turning the audio in a game to Japanese (if it has the option) and trying to see just how they localized the game into English. It’s a bit of an obsession for me, haha. I would really love to get some more insight into the localization process, and I know comparisons of localized games to their native-language counterparts written by you would be fascinating. *Starry eyes*

Onion said on Apr. 30, 2011

Great post.

Honestly, had this been a few years ago I would have worried about the Mother 2 side being translated quite a bit but there are other options for playing Earthbound on the go besides the GBA these days. It is quite easy to get the game onto a modern portable or even phone these days if you look around enough so really there’s no need to go to so much trouble.

Superstarmanriz said on Apr. 30, 2011

You know, as much as I’d like to see this done, it’d have to be done right. First off, someone would have to translate AND hack it to work, and it would be amazing to see Mato do a retranslation instead of a simple cut-and-paste of the Earthbound text. Second, they’d need to do music enhancements for BOTH Mother games (I know Mother 1’s music isn’t nearly as terrible as Mother 2’s, but some of the sound effects used in the game aren’t even 8-bit! They’re more MIDI than anything…). Lastly, they’d have to be able to patch it just right to work on flash carts…there’s nothing better than having all 3 Mother’s on the go. That is the only way I’d like to see it done. I know that’s demanding quite a lot, but EB fans are the most dedicated, and I’ve seen ROM hackers tackle much more difficult endeavors, plus the Final Fantasy Advance music hacks Mato mentioned earlier, clearly indicates that it is indeed possible, and could be done someday. Me? I could never take on such a task, but I could look into the music hacking…so if anyone, and I mean ANYONE is willing and able to take this on, please do so. ;)

TMMDI said on Apr. 30, 2011

Very informative stuff Mato. I imagined it being really hard but man now that I’ve seen a snippet of how hard it would be there really is no reason to translate M2. Thanks for the post Mato. :P

Random guardian said on Apr. 30, 2011

Yeah one of the best parts of Earthbound was the music and that is not the case in Mother 1+2. Couple that with the text coding that looks like a geometry 12 text book and its just not worth it. Also if you have the power to emulate Mother 1+2 you can emulate Earthbound. I WOULD like to have the entire trilogy in one place in my iphone but its just not worth the effort.
Honestly I think Itoi wanted to port Mother as perfect as possible and the development team half-assed Mother 2 in “just cuz” :D

TragicManner said on Apr. 30, 2011

This is a great post. I’d almost like to translate it and throw it up on my Portuguese translation blog. Nobody realizes how much of an absolute BEAST Mother 2/Earthbound is to edit until they’ve delved in.

I’ve been working on a translation for Mother 2 into Brazilian Portuguese for three years now, and it’s still not complete. The text translation is, but the ROM isn’t. So many hurdles to overcome, and localizing Earthbound takes a while when it’s just given free-time, haha.

On that note, Mato, how many full translations of Mother 2 have actually been accomplished that you’re aware of? I’ve been really curious about this. I know there were several going on back in the day, but I didn’t really follow up to see if any were actually completed.

Also, I really feel for the guys who had to port Mother 2 to be played on the GBA. I’m certain they did it in the most efficient way they could think of, but it couldn’t have been easy.

TMMDI said on Apr. 30, 2011

Oh and the emulation thing is ridiculous stuff.

Kamanashi said on Apr. 30, 2011

I understand now why you wont do it. I myself wanted to do something with it, but after learning this, I can honestly say I will just ignore it all together. That, and after seeing the footage of GBA M1+2 and the sound of M2, I definitely wouldn’t want it.

TheZunar123 said on Apr. 30, 2011

Pranavmeno and I have decided to start working on the Mother 2 side (once we figure out how to edit the text), and we will get around to translating some stuff that Mato didn’t, such as the PSI descriptions, item descriptions, and (hopefully) at least some dialogue, including battle dialogue. If Mato or Jeffman could pitch in and put in a VWF for us to use, that’s be great. :D But, it’s not simple, and would require a lot of work.

Mato said on Apr. 30, 2011

TragicManner: I only recall one for sure off the top of my head – a German one, I believe. The guy really endured a lot to repoint every line of text by hand – I can’t even begin to fathom doing that.

tweder: Jeff’s VWF wasn’t complete as I recall, and was more of just a proof that it could be done. The VWF itself would only be like 5% of the total amount of hacking work needed I’m sure.

pranavmeno: the hex in the brackets are control codes that we don’t/didn’t have mapped out fully yet. They’re not random hex data, without them the game would crash and explode there. What do they do? Dunno. That’s what makes it tough.

Rock said on Apr. 30, 2011

I still think it would be easier to port Earthbound to the GBA, than translating the MOTHER 2 part of MOTHER 1+2. Even learning Japanese would be easier. I’m not trying to discourage anyone who wants to do it, it’s my opinion. I’m a n00b at hacking, so I’m probably talking just a lot of nonsense.

TheZunar123 said on Apr. 30, 2011

^ I completely agree, Rock! The only thing that might require some tweaking is having to map the X button’s functions to the Start button, since it’s that way in M1+2. I’d be very happy if we were able to do that! :)

Anton said on May. 1, 2011

Dude, Mato, if you were to do a hack like this for Mother 2 SNES version… Yeah it would be a crapload of work like Mother 3 was, but in the process you’ll probably uncover a lot of mysteries that had baffled the entire PK Hack community due to the game’s quirky design. Perhaps you’ll end up adding a lot to the lexicon and maybe… just maybe we’ll be close enough to tap into the awesome power of this scripting language! XD

And we’ll get an English version of Mother 2 that’s much closer to the unadulterated experience of the Japanese speakers. :)

I think it’d be a cool project to at least take slow if anything. =]

Schlupi said on May. 1, 2011

Guys, I am trying my best to get a team together to work on this translation of MOTHER 2. If any rom hackers read this check out my web URL attached, and if anybody here is a MOTHER fan (WHICH THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY) please spread the word! I need all the help possible with this job.

Once again thanks Mato for all the hard work, and to all others involved in the translation. You did a wonderful job!

Somebody said on May. 1, 2011

I think it’d be easier to take Earthbound (Snes), patch the Mother 2 title screen on it, and put in the stuff that changed in the english localization, it’d only take at the most a couple of hours.

blahmoomoo said on May. 1, 2011

@Somebody: From what I can tell, it would be far easier to do a re-translation of Mother 2 using the SNES Earthbound ROM rather than Mother 1+2, but that doesn’t mean it would only take a few hours to do. I would guess it would still take several months to do. Tools exist, but they don’t make hacking the game a cakewalk.

Also, hacking in the Mother 2 title screen isn’t so simple, as Earthbound’s title screen runs with different mechanics, as the animation is different. I would imagine that the assembled code that runs the title screen would have to be re-engineered to work the same way, and you need to know how to do assembly on the SNES well to do such a thing (unless copy pasting the code and tweaking it works, but seeing how weirdly the rest of the game is programmed…). One attempt at inserting the Mother 2 title screen into Earthbound is demonstrated here, though it’s purely a graphics edit without modifying the code, so it looks a bit different (and even strange at one point): http://earthboundcentral.com/2009/04/earthbound-with-mother-2s-intro/

TheZunar123 said on May. 1, 2011

Mato, question. Would it be possible to port Earthbound to the DS (as homebrew), and if so, would it butcher the sound quality?

Mato said on May. 1, 2011

To port it you’d have to either have the source code OR be a 300 IQ genius with a lot of spare time to convert the compiled program data to code the DS can use. Sound quality would be entirely dependent on how experienced you are at writing sound drivers.

Basically, it’d be easier to recreate a lookalike than to port it over. At least for us regular folk without the source code.

TheZunar123 said on May. 1, 2011

How would you create a lookalike?

Mato said on May. 1, 2011

By recreating the game from scratch.

TheZunar123 said on May. 1, 2011

Wow, that’ll take tons of time. There’s just not a way we can play Earthbound on a handheld, is there? :(

Psychomax said on May. 1, 2011

@Mato: Instead of porting it, someone could write an snes emulator into the M1+2 rom itself. The only problem would be that a lot of handheld emulators don’t play Earthbound properly; particularly with the battle backgrounds and framerate. But a dedicated EB fan could certainly design an emulator to work specifically for EB.

We wouldn’t have all 3 games fan-translated, but at least we’d have all 3 on the GBA :D

Psychomax said on May. 1, 2011

(PS: “Someone” is not code for “TOMATO WORK HARDER.” Doesn’t Xod work with emulators?)

Imright. said on May. 1, 2011

TheZunar123:I play earthbound AND Mother 1+2 on my PSP. It’s a handheld.

What'sHerFace said on May. 1, 2011

Oh man! It makes me wonder why they coded the game in such a complicated way…The way you make it sound, one would think that no team in their right mind would make a game this way!

I can only imagine what the people who were making the NA version of this back in the 90’s were thinking…Like “WHAT THE HELL DID YOU GUYS DO?!?!?”

Schlupi said on May. 1, 2011

@ TheZunar123: if you have a Supercard DSTWO you can run it’s SNES emulator and run Earthbound (as well as MOTHER 3) fullspeed on any DS.

blahmoomoo said on May. 1, 2011

I doubt emulation of the SNES on a GBA would be possible… it’s hardware is similar to the SNES, so it simply doesn’t have enough processing power to emulate the system. Emulation adds so much overhead that you need a system significantly more powerful than the one you are emulating to get it to run at a decent speed.

Now, if somebody made something similar to the Supercard DSTWO for the GBA, which contains a co-processor much more powerful than the internal DS processor, then it might be possible. But I doubt there would be enough demand to even attempt this.

And yes, since the code has been compiled down to run specifically on the SNES, one would need the source code to even begin a sane attempt to port it to the GBA. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they coded many things in assembly, meaning one would have to translate from the SNES processor’s language to the GBA processor’s language. And that’s no simple task, especially since the hardware is so different.

Not to mention the audio hardware is completely different, so the music (which is made in a similar manner to programming during this era) could not be directly ported. Hence the horrible replication attempt by Mother 1+2.

…though none of these considerations really justify the need to change the scripting format when they made the lookalike for Mother 2. I really wonder why they had to change things around, since it should be ok to make a new interpreter that works the same way as the old one. Perhaps there were some hardware limitations that required reducing the functionality of the scripting engine. The GBA did have three areas of RAM rather than one…

Rock said on May. 1, 2011

Well, then you don’t know SNESAdvance.
So let’s see, the GBA wins in the CPU department. The SNES had a weak CPU, based only on clock speed (there are undoubtedly other factors at work) the GBA CPU is nearly 5 times as fast. It also has 50% more VRAM and more than twice as much WRAM. The SNES of course wins in resolution, it is capable of the much higher resolution of 512 X 448, however nearly all SNES games use the lower res. of 256 X 224, only marginallly higher than GBA. Also, GBA
games are developed for the small screen, so it is almost a non issue. The GBA can display twice as many colours on screen at once, so it wins there. Also, GBA games have the potential to be 5 times as big as SNES games, as large as Ocarina of Time…..

The GBA’s only downfall is inferior sound hardware. Only two channels compared to eight (plus the GBC’s generated sound). This may seem hugely dispointing, but keep in mind that sound can be mixed with software, apparently only using 20 to 30% of the CPU time. This would allow SNES quality sound to be achieved on the GBA. Naturally there would be a performance hit, but the GBA’s processor is fast. Even in other genres, platformers, puzzle games, it won’t matter at all. The other advantage the GBA has is that it can pull samples right from the cart,
no need to load them into ram first. The GBA has 8 bit stereo sound capability. Unlike the Game Boy, a good part of the sounds on the GBA are sampled. The SNES has 8 bit sound as
well, but it also has tons and tons of filtering.

OK so to wrap it up – Emulation of SNES on GBA is possible!

That guy from Onett said on May. 1, 2011

one thing i have to say about the Mother2 Gba Music,it sounds much better coming out of a GBA than a computer,still not as good as original but not as bad as it sounds on an emulator

blahmoomoo said on May. 1, 2011

Hmm, all right. I guess somebody put forth a lot of effort to write an emulator in low-level C. Otherwise the emulation would likely be slow anyway, despite it’s superior hardware.

Though it doesn’t seem compatible with many games (Earthbound is not on the list, for example). I am guessing they use a ton of speed hacks to get it running at a decent speed. I highly doubt it supports any of the special chips either, like SuperFX (though saying it doesn’t work with that is a little unfair).

In contrast, the SNES emulator for the DS seems very laggy and has many graphics glitches with Earthbound, not to mention no support for extra chips. I guess handheld console emulation is too niche for someone to bother with (and SNESAdvance hasn’t been updated for five years). Most programmers hate programming at the low level necessary to make SNES emulation possible on unique, relatively low powered hardware, anyway.

In any case, it does seem that the team that made the Mother 2 side (and maybe Mother 1, but that game is easier to remake) were more concerned about getting it working and out on time rather than making it easy to work with. I wonder how long production for the game was… it definitely wasn’t as long as the production for the original Mother 2.

_oMeGa_ said on May. 1, 2011

I’m honestly a bit curious how complicated Mother 2’s code is compared to Mother 3’s, because I know Tomato had a load of trouble getting everything working in M3.

Anton said on May. 1, 2011

I’m thinking it maybe a more worthwhile project to map out the control codes in the order of those which are most common. In the long run, it could make hacking the rom a lot easier for everyone, and then a project such as this may not be as daunting of a task.

Zeromus said on May. 1, 2011

I think it’d be cool to get an uncensored and re-translated version while keeping memorable lines (ala FF6 GBA). Would it be easier to do this to the SNES rom? That way we wouldn’t have to sacrifice music and so on.

Eric said on May. 2, 2011
Rock said on May. 2, 2011

Buying a GBA and a flashcart is cheaper than buying a SNES, a screen, and an Earthbound cart, Eric.

Neomatt said on May. 2, 2011

@TheZunar123: as Schlupi said, the DSTwo and its hardware-powered SNES emulator is the best bet to play EarthBound on a DS: no bugs with the layering (compared to SNEmulDS), fullspeed, better sound than the GBA version.

The only downside is that the display is cropped. :(

TheZunar123 said on May. 2, 2011

Whoa :0 That’s awesome. But, a Flash Cart and GBA is cheaper. Thansk though! :)

By the way, the upside about translating this game is there are two tricks only possible with Mother 1+2.

1. You can use an Exit Mouse in the Cave of the Past and time-travel backwards to a certain volcanic area in the Lost Underworld. Don’t ask me what it is; I don’t remember.

2. You can poison Giygas and kill him like that, instead of having to pray.

G.Wicks said on May. 2, 2011

“Basically, I have to ask myself if it’s worth a couple years of my life so people can play an inferior version of EarthBound. I don’t think it is.”

As mentioned, the crappy sound alone was enough to make me not want to finish it. I say leave it. The MOTHER 1 side is enough.

Doruchan said on May. 2, 2011

What can you expect from a GBA sound player?

TGP said on May. 2, 2011

@Schlupi and Neomatt, I was considering getting DSTWO as a replacement for my current flash cart that’s been acting up lately and I think that just sealed it for me. Thank you.

Crav said on May. 2, 2011

I showed this to my brother because, while he’s not as big a fan of EarthBound as I am, he’s learned a few programing languages and made a few small games as personal projects so I thought he might find it funny/interesting.

Now what struck me is he almost immediately commented that the only reason he could imagine them using such a complex and fairly convoluted scripting language to make the game like this was if they were trying to salvage and convert code from some sort of earlier version of the project.

The reason this may be significant, and what my brother hand no knowledge of, is that if I’m not mistaken, didn’t Iwata basicly come in and save Mother 2 while it was in development by re-coding the game from the ground up? That being the case, this scripting system may well be a remniant of that and the efforts to save what they had without completely restarting from scratch.

What do you think, Mato? You’re obviously more familiar with this game’s inner working. Do you think that theory might hold any water?

Ross said on May. 2, 2011

@Cray
If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t MOTHER 1 originally being worked on as an NES game? Maybe that’s why! Research time!

Ross said on May. 2, 2011

NM I was thinking of how M3 started on SNES (then went to 64DD then to 64 then cancelled then to GBA… never realized this game was developed on 4 dif. systems!)

Mato said on May. 2, 2011

Crav: Yes, I wanted to mention that in the post, but felt it would just muddy my point a little. I do think that’s the most likely reason, but doing it this way also gives the game designers/programmers a HUGE amount of freedom to do all kinds of cool stuff.

What would have made the most sense was to use this scripting language, but whenever text needed to be printed, it’d do something like [LOADTEXTLINE 0005]. That way, all the text could’ve been isolated from the other stuff, making everything saner. Who knows, maybe a similar system was in place on the development side and they used a sort of custom made compiler when inserting the text into the game. If that were the case, that might explain why the text is mixed in with all the crazy non-text stuff all nonchalantly, and slightly possibly why there are different formats between EB and Mother 2.

Thinking about it that way, pulling the text apart from the data like that would be a great way to make it easier for people to translate EB into other languages.

Neomatt said on May. 3, 2011

Mato: after looking a bit more to the code, it seems that it’s more than just a line, it really is a full cinematic:
– text display with delay,
– routines are played (text closing, Jeff fixing the Sky Runner, playing a sound, and text appearing afterwards),
– [GOSUB C91FBA] definitely are subroutines to retrieve text: “we” or “I”, depending on who is alive in the party.

I’m not saying this is easy, but if Mother 2 (SNES) is coded the same way, it would be a “simple” parse job to get 3 concurrent lists:
– text in Japanese, without tags
– text in English from the EarthBound cartridge, without tags
– full script for the line, with the tags

A quick program would allow to display both texts for comparison, and if the English text is modified, to report those changes to the scripted line, which will be modified in the game.

Again, this is all supposition, but I could see some sort of higher-level tool to re-translate EarthBound in a more authentic way.

Of course, this would probably explode the ROM in the process, and that’s where it would get hard. :D

Neomatt said on May. 3, 2011

…and then I found that tool in PK Hack, developed by you.

Sorry! Guess you know much more what it entails to hack EarthBound.

Mato said on May. 3, 2011

Yeah, like I said I once wrote a program to approach the script from a higher level so that people could translate EarthBound. It gets complicated mighty fast though, especially when you have to keep track of and compute new pointer addresses, it also gets tricky when you have pointers in lines that point back to themselves. The non-pointer related codes MIGHT be easier-ish to port over (if the control codes aren’t TOO dissimilar), but it’s just a big huge mess overall, and I was only trying to make the point that it’s not just a simple copy and paste job. I know that if I locked myself in a cave for a while I could eventually get it done :P

TheZunar123 said on May. 3, 2011

But, you said you didn’t have the time or energy to do that, Mato. So, that’s out of the question, unless you get the time and energy to do it. Besides, I’m already trying to learn about editing the text, and hopefully I can get to translating soon.

Anonymous said on May. 3, 2011

I thought that translating mother 2 would be simple….

man was I wrong-
if you were to translate that you would get the worst case of burnout.

TheZunar123 said on May. 3, 2011

I know it’s not going to be simple, but I’m going to do the best I can. Right now I’m learning how to locate text and change it, so I’m not changing the text quite yet. Hopefully I will be soon, though! :)

Anonymous said on May. 3, 2011

^You’re really gonna try to translate this beast?

cluchet said on May. 3, 2011

To be honest, in the long run for Earthbound hacking, it might be easier to pull a Zelda Classic like port creation, minus all of the problems that community faces, for the series to the PC, i.e. Windows, GNU/Linux, and Mac, than it would be to bother hacking away at the games themselves. Then again, that of course is another can of worms that could possibly be a pain to deal with as well.

Edrees said on May. 3, 2011

What I”m wondering is why anyone would even care for Mother 2 GBA. You can download the SNES earthbound rom with complete ease. you can even emulate the thing on your DS if you want it portable. There’s nothing to be gained from it IMO.

TheZunar123 said on May. 3, 2011

@Anon: Yeah, I plan to. At the moment I’ve translated the first two lines of Tracy’s text in the beginning of the game (“Hey bro, did the sound wake you up? Were you freaked out?” “Do you think Mom will let me stay up late? I can’t seem to fall back asleep.”) -> (“HEY BRO. NOISE WAKE YOU? SCARED?” “I CANT GET BACK TO SLEEP..”)

Rock said on May. 3, 2011

@TheZunar123: Awesome! The lines sound a bit weird, though. However, it’s nice to see that you made some progress:

HEY BRO, NOISE WAKE YOU? SAY YES TO ME? SCARED? I CANT GET BACK TO DAKOTA….

TheZunar123 said on May. 4, 2011

Too large. Rock. That text sounds weird because at the current time, I can only change the japanese symbols and cannot go past what they are.

Poe said on May. 4, 2011

Hey guys, you should really take your translation/hacking discussion to the forum: http://earthboundcentral.com/forum/

duo said on May. 4, 2011

Why can’t you keep all the pointers and control codes as they are? Just clear all the japanese text, and replace with pointers to the new script location. The script doesn’t have to be in line.

Anonymous said on May. 4, 2011

@thezunar123.

You should do it like how they are doing mother 4, get some people to help with the process and make a site about the translation.

just a suggestion.

Rock said on May. 4, 2011

@TheZunar123: I was just making a joke. I’m feeling a bit stupid right now….

Well, yeah, I agree with Duo and Anonymous, you should make a nice website, just dedicated to the MOTHER 1+2 Translation. You can do it on Blogger! Or maybe – just maybe- Mato can give you a blog in the .fobby.net server.

Mato said on May. 4, 2011

duo: 1. Super NES pointers and GBA pointers are completely different. These aren’t offsets or offset pointers, they’re hardware addresses.

2. Editing anything in the script – even just one byte, will require you to recompute ALL the pointers.

3. I believe many of the pointers don’t even point to text data but rather other data chunks. You’d have to locate those data chunks in the GBA ROM, which will be stored in a completely different location (maybe in a different format too) compared to where it was located in the SNES ROM.

4. Mother 2 uses a completely different control code format, so keeping the EB control codes won’t do anything but cause garbage and crashing. I’m sure a conversion process could be made, but I’m not sure there’s a 1:1 connection between each control code.

Basically, my point wasn’t that it’s impossible, just that it’s a lot of work and isn’t a copy-and-paste job like a lot of people imagined.

Anonymous said on May. 4, 2011

@mato.

This may should crazy,but is it virtually possible to make a glitch in a game?

I ask because maybe someone could re-code the rock candy glitch back into mother 2.

Mato said on May. 4, 2011

Sure, it’d be possible. Sometimes game remakes will try to include original glitches. It’d just be a lot of work, probably.

name? said on May. 8, 2011

i wish i could help but i’m just a lowly snes hacker.

name? said on May. 8, 2011

oops:

how is this hacking being done? i use xkas for most of my snes hacks. i’m pretty sure the latest version supports gba assembly. why does this matter? it supports labels for pointers. of course one would still have to FIND all of the pointers but at least you wouldn’t have to figure out the new locations.

Rock said on May. 10, 2011

You guys will probably kill me, but, I gotta ask, you know where can I find the MOTHER 1+2 OST? And by OST, I mean ripped from the game, since the CD doesn’ contains all of the tracks.

Mato said on May. 11, 2011

I’ve always meant to make an MP3 rip of all of them at some point, in fact I thought I already had. I’ll post one in the near future then.

Rock said on May. 11, 2011

As always, Mato saves the day…

Nintendofan146 said on Jul. 5, 2011

What would happen if you, for example, changed “go machine, go” (none of the coding sans the text) to “hi!” I’m just curious.

Mato said on Jul. 6, 2011

Depends on how you’re doing the editing, if it’s in PK Hack then probably editing it won’t harm anything, BUT it would have to be shorter than the existing line. You could pad it with spaces too maybe.

If using a more advanced tool or if trying to take the EarthBound script and stick it into Mother 2, then all bets are off as it gets a lot more complicated as you have to recompute every address and every pointer.

shadedmagus said on Jul. 11, 2011

Would it be simpler then to do a EB-to-Mother2 conversion? IE, taking the differences you’re noting in text and sticking them into EB, along with moving sprite and palette changes (CAFE to BAR, Tonzura Bros to Runaway Bros, etc).

Shota said on Sep. 3, 2011

I see that it’s a pretty tough job and I appreciate the work you did with Mother 1 and Mother 3. I am willing to wait though for Mother 2 for GBA to be translated because I love what you did with Mother 3. You caught the essence of each characters’ emotions and the humor (and then some) of Earthbound. Keep up the good work and fans like me will be waiting for the full translation of both Mother games in Mother 1+2, though Mother 1 is done. Cheers, man.

Zoom! said on Sep. 18, 2011

[GOSUB C69082][FLAGON 00B][1F 41 05][1F EB 03 06][1F 15 03 00 0E 01 01][1F 61][1F E7 03 00][1F F3 03 00 03][DELAY 3C][1F F4 03][LINE][OPENWIN 01]@Ah![DELAY 14] Here’s the problem, and it’s not too tough to fix.[PAUSE][LINE]@Hang on for a second or two…[PAUSE][CLOSEALLWIN][DELAY 1E][1F EA 03 00][1F 61][1F 00 00 B3][1F F1 E2 01 10 01][1F 61][1F E6 E2 01][1F 07 02][DELAY 3C][1F 03][OPENWIN 01]@There![PAUSE][LINE]@That should do it![PAUSE][LINE]@Now, if [GOSUB C91FBA] board,[DELAY 0F] the Sky Runner will take [GOSUB C91FDB][PAUSE][LINE]@back to Winters.[PAUSE][LINE]@With Dr. Andonuts’ help,[DELAY 0F] I can modify the machine to fly to Summers.[PAUSE][LINE]@…If Dad, I mean Dr. Andonuts,[PAUSE][LINE]@is not available, I’ll have to figure it out by myself.[PAUSE][LINE]@Anyway, let’s go back to the lab in Winters.[PAUSE][LINE]@…That’s it…[DELAY 14][LINE] Go, machine,[DELAY 0F] go![PAUSE][CLOSEALLWIN][1F 15 6A 00 0F 01 01][DELAY 01][1F EF 6A 00][1F E8 FF][1F 61][1F EB FF 06][FLAGON 28F][GOSUB C7DD7D][1F ED][1F E5 FF][1F E9 E2 01][1F 61][DELAY 0F][1F 1E E0 01 06][DELAY 5A][1F 15 D1 00 A2 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 A5 00 FF][1F 21 C2][1F EF E6 00][1F E8 FF][DELAY 01][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 96 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 9E 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 A0 00 FF][1F 21 C0][1F EF E6 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 97 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 9A 00 FF][1F 15 E6 00 9C 00 FF][1F 21 BE][1F EF E6 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 98 00 FF][1F 21 BB][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][1F 15 D1 00 A6 00 FF][1F 21 BA][1F EF D1 00][1F 61][1F ED][FLAGON 26D][1F 21 DA][1F 17 6F 02 A7 00 01][DELAY 64][1F 17 6D 02 A8 00 01][1F 61][FLAGOFF 28F][GOSUB C7DD7D][1F 15 6A 00 A9 00 01][DELAY 01][1F EF 6A 00][1F EC FF 01][1F 61][1F ED][1F E5 FF][1F F1 69 02 8D 00][1F 61][1F E6 67 02][1F E6 69 02][1F E6 6A 02][GOSUB C6CB97][1F F1 6A 02 8E 00][1F 61][1F E6 6A 02][GOSUB C6CC31][1F F1 6A 02 90 00][1F 61][1F F1 69 02 8F 00][1F 61][19 26 06][FLAGOFF 26D][FLAGOFF 2EC][FLAGOFF 030][FLAGOFF 305][FLAGON 276][FLAGOFF 00B][1F 41 06][1F E8 FF][END]
8O HOLY CRAP

Zoom! said on Sep. 18, 2011

By the way, what does a single line in MOTHER look like in the control code?

Zoom! said on Sep. 18, 2011

Also, while the MOTHER 1+2 versions of MOTHER and MOTHER 2 are no doubt inferior, the main selling point is that you now play the whole MOTHER series on the go! Why did you think they made MOTHER 1+2 in the first place?

Anonymous said on Sep. 18, 2011

I’d like to think that Iwata’s brain actually works like this.

NAGATA: Mr. Iwata. If you were in a position where you HAD to give an answer and someone asked you if a MOTHER 4 would ever be released, what would you say?

IWATA: [GOSUB C69082][FLAGON 00B][1F 41 05][1F EB 03 06][1F 15 03 00 0E 01 01][1F 61][1F E7 03 00][1F F3 03 00 03][DELAY 3C][1F F4 03][LINE][OPENWIN 01][DELAY 14][PAUSE][LINE][PAUSE][CLOSEALLWIN][DELAY 1E][1F EA 03 00][1F 61][1F 00 00 B3][1F F1 E2 01 10 01][1F 61][1F E6 E2 01][1F 07 02][DELAY 3C][1F 03][OPENWIN 01][PAUSE][LINE][PAUSE][LINE][DELAY 0F][PAUSE][PAUSE][LINE]@With Dr. Andonuts’ help,[DELAY 0F] I can modify the machine to fly to Summers.[PAUSE]I don’t believe there will be any new MOTHER games made using the same production system as before.

Zoom! said on Sep. 18, 2011

@Anoymous XD

f said on Sep. 29, 2011

Well actually because of the unicode duey system process you couldn’t write an emulator with earthbound, but nice try.

cherryw17 said on Oct. 25, 2011

hi i wold like to finish the translatshon on mother 1+2 gba patch

Anonymous said on Jan. 8, 2012

Don’t worry, some guy named RaicOmega is translating MOTHER 2’s side to the MOTHER 1+2 trnaslation! And some guy named TheZunar123 is hacking it! Good luck team!

I hope that RadicOmega translates this fast!
See here:
http://earthboundcentral.com/forum/viewtopic.php?=3&t=526&start=390

AltoMaximus said on Jan. 9, 2012

Sounds like the MOTHER 2 team is going threw some HUGE challenges o_o !

cherryw17 said on Jan. 14, 2012

good beause i haven’t even started yet what i was gonna do was get an eb rom and change the intro to m2s and unsensor the game like the parts that where censored like ness not haveing clothes on at a certain part of the game and stuff like the red plus signs on the hospitals and nurses hats and all that stuff and changeing all the names of gigas to gigig and putting in into mother 1+2 by replaceing m2 in the rom my guss it wold take 4 or 6 hours

cherryw17 said on Jan. 14, 2012

so because someone is doing a translation of the mother 2 side i wont do it unless i want to

RadicOmega said on Jan. 24, 2012

@cherryw17, By the way, nobody has heard your progress yet. Or at least I didn’t. Anyways, are you going to do something else after wards?

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

well im going to hack m2s music to earthbounds if i can find a gba music editor

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

If it were that easy it would’ve already been done years ago :P

RadicOmega said on Jan. 26, 2012

@cherryw17, I don’t know if I can help you there. Google is your best friend on a gba music editor. Mato, do you know of any good GBA music editors?

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

mato wold it be possible to port all 3 mother games to pc

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

Not without the source code or years of disassembling the ROMs and then rewriting everything from scratch.

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

ok ware can i get the source code note im porting the gba vers of m12 and 3

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

You will want to visit this address:

11-1 Kamitoba-hokotate-cho, Minami-ku
Kyoto 601-8501
Japan

In case you have trouble finding it, here’s a map.

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

im using a rom but i dont think they will just give you the source code for piracy resends cant i just dump the source code from the rom

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

The best you can do is disassemble it, but that’s way, way beyond you right now.

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

but does that mean ripping everything from the roms

RadicOmega said on Jan. 26, 2012

@Mato, I don’t mean to bother you, I know you are busy. If you don’t have time to answer please don’t get out of your way. In MOTHER 2, Buzz Buzz says he is a something Beatle. I couldn’t translate that little text. Do you know what it says?

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

It means analyzing every bit of data in the file and figuring out how everything works and what everything does. It’s kind of like if you take every molecule of a computer apart to see how it works, then try to build your own from scratch. Only a crazy person would try it. That’s why I say it would take years.

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

i was thinking of making mother 1+2+3 a port of all mother games for pc and i was going to have a 3d mode on it and i was gonna port it to 3ds wale keeping the original graphics did you need the source code to port mother 3

Mato said on Jan. 26, 2012

I never ported Mother 3. No, we didn’t have source code.

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

i ment the mother 3 translation

cherryw17 said on Jan. 26, 2012

sorry for the tapeo

TomServo said on Jan. 27, 2012

You mean typos

RadicOmega said on Jan. 30, 2012

@cherryw17, I just sent you a link to a GBA Music Editor! I hope it’ll help you.

Michel said on Feb. 4, 2012

I don’t know if it’s been mentionned, I gave up about halfway through the page; but I was planning to play Earthbound on a SNES emulator, using Snes9x on an Ipod Touch 4 using iControlPad (effectively removing the need to put my fingers on the screen). The framerate is 100% and so far, I have not found any better way of playing a SNES game on-the-go. The only reason why I wish a GBA version was available is because of how minuscule and convenient the Gameboy Micro is… :x

Chris said on Apr. 19, 2012

Considering the fact that Iwata supposedly Genius (re)Programmed the thing from scratch to save it after it became a huge mess… I’m scared now.

If *this* is what the reprogramming looks like, the original alone must’ve been enough to summon an eldritch abomination!

Spidey501 said on Jul. 30, 2012

TheZunar123 Actually yeah, ive seen videos on yt with guys playing EB (not M1+2) on a ds, and people playing the M3 translation on PSPs

Spidey501 said on Jul. 30, 2012

Man i wish i knew how to hack(or be able to use an emulator for that matter) Because im on summer break(in MS) and ive got LOADS OF TIME TO DO, but i dont know hot to hack so i couldn’t help if i wanted too, pity, i would have spent countless hours translating it too, since im a hardcore EB fan

trlkly said on Aug. 30, 2012

Has someone hacked the Mother 1+2 ROM and just stick the GBA port of Earthbound in? Maybe call it Mother 1 + Earthbound?

I don’t know if you could make the Mother 2 selection point to Earthbound and just start from there, or if you’d have to use some sort of loader and hack Mother 1+2 to automatically start Mother, but it would seem to be possible, based on what I know.

Mato said on Aug. 30, 2012

Programming and computers don’t work that way, sadly. SNES programming code is completely different from GBA code.

Fusion14 said on Feb. 16, 2013

I see why the text scripting is so complicated! They added delays into the text to add imersion to the game when reading the text. For example: Mr Saturn: Use hot spring to wash off exauhtion, dakota. VS. Mr Saturn: Use hot spring to was off exauhtion, [DELAY] dakota.

eriol said on Jun. 16, 2013

I’m not programmer or hacker but from the way you explained it seems the programming of mother 2 was very advanced, how does it compare to mother 3? is it also still advanced by today’s standard?

also, have you encountered similar situation with other roms? It made me remember to Gemini’s post when he made translation of Akumojou Dracula, he wasn’t even sure how the game worked :)

Mato said on Jun. 17, 2013

Most of the games that I’ve hacked store the text in a logical way and separate text from control codes. I don’t know what modern games do, but it would make sense from a programming/localization standpoint to keep the text separate from control codes so that it will be easier to translate them into other languages.

Atrimis said on Sep. 26, 2013

Damn I wanted mother 2 translated so I could enjoy it on my Revo101, since it only does nes gb, gbc, and gba games. Now if only I could find someone to make the snes version into a gba file somehow, I’d be happy with that.


 
 

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