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January 16th, 2011 | Hacking, MOTHER 1+2

A little bit each day for the past few days I’ve worked on the M1+2 project a tiny bit more. It’s not much, but here’s a small update.

The big news is that I finally played all the way through the game with the current alpha script. Along the way, I fixed the text wherever possible – a lot of it was mostly context issues because the game’s script is pretty much in random order, so it was impossible to know who says what, when, and where. I also fixed a few trouble spots.

  • I wish I had $Teddy, I’d be set for life

  • There, that’s better

Most of all, this run was a way for me to see what other stuff needed hacking/translating. Looks like a lot of stuff near the end will need attention, particularly the final battle. But overall I’m pleased with how it’s turning out.

  • Still got stuff here and there to fix

  • Watch out, it’s coming back!

While I was at it, I decided to take a stab at a bug the original GBA game had. The programmers had accidentally messed up and switched the enemy attack sound and the player attack sound. It was always really annoying, so I went into the ROM several times to try to fix it. I finally managed to fix it last night, after a bit of good luck and some educated guesses. Here’s a before and after, it might not seem like much, but playing the whole game with the sounds reversed was really weird. Hearing it right makes it so much nicer.

I haven’t fully tested it though, so if anyone with spare time wants to try it out and see if it’s fully fixed the problem, here’s a patch that fixes the sound problem:

I gotta say, after getting through that horrible Duncan’s Factory, the game was a real breeze with the Easy Ring on. I think the final version, whenever it’s done, will make it a lot easier for reluctant fans to check out the game and get further into the game than they normally would. It’s definitely tough trying to go back to such an old game nowadays, my hope is that this project will help ease that “old game shock”.


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63 Comments to MOTHER 1+2 Trans. Update (Jan. 16)

Duncan said on Jan. 16, 2011

Excellent to hear such a detailed update! Keep up the wonderful work ‘mato, as I’m sure most of us would not have a skill or dedication that you’ve shown.

Keep up the amazing work!

poopbutt said on Jan. 16, 2011

This is looking better and better!

KingDarian said on Jan. 16, 2011

You’re making some great progress. I’ve only played through the original version once, so I never noticed the sound effect switch in the 1+2 version. Were there any other weird changes like it?

Tina said on Jan. 16, 2011

I… I actually never noticed the attack sound swap until now. And I played both EB0 and M1+2 extensively. So weird!

Teddy is so cool, that he’s the only way to get concert tickets. Gotta know the right channels, I guess.

climhazard said on Jan. 16, 2011

Glad to see this is coming together again with some nice progress. I’m especially glad to hear you’re taking a stab at the attack sound error as I found that particularly annoying, too.

SamWibatt said on Jan. 16, 2011

I certainly don’t begrudge you having a job and life and all, but it is great to see you back in the saddle with the game translation.

I’ve never played all the way through EB0. I appreciate your hard work in getting this version together (especially with the Easy Ring!)

Onion said on Jan. 16, 2011

Two thumbs way the heck up! Thanks Mato!

LakituAl said on Jan. 16, 2011

Fruainkman? Can somebody tell me what that’s supposed to mean?

Also, awesome to see you’ve outdone that persistent bug! Three thumbs up!

WoottWinds said on Jan. 16, 2011

Thanks for giving us updates on this again! Really excited to see it progressing, but I was curious as to whether there was any final decision on the alternate graphics set I think you had talked about maybe doing for the game some time ago?

Mato said on Jan. 16, 2011

I want to do the graphics upgrade, but since I’m so low on time as it is for now I’m going to focus on just getting the main stuff done. If, at the end, I don’t feel too tired/rushed, then I’ll definitely add it in, otherwise maybe a separate patch just for better graphics can come later on.

Starstormer said on Jan. 16, 2011

Nice to know you’re still working on the translation. I’m really eager to try the sound fix since that was my one pet peeve with Mother 1+2.

Ross said on Jan. 16, 2011

Take your time, Mato! We’ve waited like 2-3 years, another 1 won’t hurt us. I’m honestly thankful that this is even still being worked on! Thanks!

Ross said on Jan. 16, 2011

Tried the patch, and it’s just AWESOME! Gonna keep testing it! It astounds me as to how things like this and the Donut Trash Crumbs line in M3 got all messed up… Strange… Anyway, is a 1.2 ever going to come out for M3? 1.1 is 100% awesome, and other than that 1 line and the magypsy name bug are the only bugs… Don’t know what else could be fixed or changed… Anyway, this is gonna rock my SuperCard DSTwo’s sox of on my DSiXL!

psi wolf said on Jan. 16, 2011

フライングマン= “Flying Man”
The little accent marks (or whatever those two little dashes are called) are hard to see in the screenshot.

Zinco said on Jan. 16, 2011

Hey, Mato, I realize that you prefer to go for better-known quantities for things like this, but if you’d like someone to do a script revision or two at some point in the future, I would likely have the time and relish doing it.

Raikousei said on Jan. 17, 2011

It’s great to see that you’ve managed to fix that bug. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said on Jan. 17, 2011

Tomato? I was wondering, wouldn’t it be cool if you could maybe make two versions of the patch? One that has the japanese translations and one that has the english ones. (Though maybe you could smooth out the english text for Mother 1 and maybe keep in the lines that were copied from EarthBound) Just think about it for a bit.

Ross said on Jan. 17, 2011

Wait, what Anonymous? Mato’s gonna add the sound fix and the easy ring into the final patch anyway……

Random Guardian said on Jan. 17, 2011

Whoooo I cant wait for this Mato. Working overtime on bugs and glitches that were not your fault! You deserve an a+! I mean seriously! You’re incredible. You’re amazing. Seriously, you’re a real inspiration. We’re right behind you, supporting you 100%, from the sidelines.

blahmoomoo said on Jan. 17, 2011

Anonymous: Mato is making a retranslated English version of Mother 1 here, not copying the poor translation from Earthbound Zero, so part of what you said does not apply. Specifically, what you put in parentheses. Translating Mother 2 is a more difficult matter, as stated before, as it is programmed much more haphazardly and would require many hacks to get working. Therefore he hasn’t promised to translate Mother 2 as well, although he has expressed desires to do so if he had time.

As for the other thing you said, I suppose it would be fairly simple to make a patch that only fixed bugs and added the easy ring to Mother 1 while keeping the Japanese text untouched… but that’s just extra and I can’t see it being very useful. He just released the battle sound effects fix patch so people could test to make sure that it works and doesn’t break something else.

/b/ said on Jan. 17, 2011

Will Mother 2 be translated as well?

Mato said on Jan. 17, 2011

Ross: A 1.2 is sorta in the works but not actively so right now. There’ll probably be one at some point, mostly fixing obscure typos and some bugs in the original game.

Zinco: I need to think about it, but it sounds interesting. It’s too early to say anything, but you’ll need to be an expert at the game since the script is in super-random order and the only way to know who says what is by memory.

Anonymous: I’m not sure I follow. You want a version with the original Japanese text? Can’t you just take the patch here and the Easy Ring patch and patch them both to the Japanese M1+2 ROM then?

/b/: Don’t know yet, it’d take a tremendous amount of time, and I don’t know if it’d be worth it yet. If I had an infinite amount of time and money I’d work on it in a heartbeat. It’d probably take a year at least, probably a lot more.

iwata kicks you know what said on Jan. 17, 2011

I wonder how the $TEDDY glitch even happened. Does anyone know?

Zinco said on Jan. 17, 2011

It sounds like quite an undertaking! I’ve played through the game a few times, and I’d certainly be willing to refamiliarize myself with it (given the cheats to not get fussed about incessant random battles and all that). When you come to a point when script revision is needed and you’re still interested, just let me know and I’ll tell you whether I can still be put through the wringer.

Big Dream said on Jan. 17, 2011

Well I’m a big fan of the EB series, and I would love for Motehr 2 to be translated and stuff. but i would censor out the nasty launguage in it. But WHY do we need Mother 2 in englsih?!
Just asking

Whos Your Daddy Reggie said on Jan. 17, 2011

I’m really looking forward to the M 1+2 translation.

Mattiac said on Jan. 17, 2011

Thank you, Mato-san! 🙂 Well done!

Charles said on Jan. 17, 2011

iwata kicks you know what: When you use a hex editor to change the text you use the hex value “03 ??” for certain things, for example if you enter the hex value “03 10” the game will display the name you entered for Ninten. Mato must have put the number for the game to show Teddy’s name in the the text rather than the number for the price of the tickets. Was I right Mato?

MetalNinjaJesus said on Jan. 17, 2011

If Mother is one of the “unannounced revivals” that are coming this wednesday, then this would be a landmark year for the mother series, along with your patch.

I love you Mato

Mato said on Jan. 17, 2011

Charles: Yep, that’s exactly it. I made a typo when typing in a control code so it printed the wrong variable.

blahmoomoo said on Jan. 17, 2011

Big Dream: I think the idea is to make a better translated version of Mother 2. You have to admit that the translation for Earthbound isn’t the best (it isn’t bad, like Earthbound Zero, but it’s still off at times). I recall quite a few lines that didn’t seem to make sense, probably due to context issues, and many lines sound too dry (to me, at least).

Also, that would make the entire cart translated, instead of only half of it. Therefore, you could play Mother 2 on your GBA or DS.

Anouki Agent Yellow said on Jan. 17, 2011

Then we can have Pokey changed to Porky.

Ross said on Jan. 17, 2011

MOTHER 2 translated would be nice, and I see what a big problem it is. Mato, if you decide to do it, I’m sure a lot of people would help too. If you decide not to, well, thanks for at least translating MOTHER 1 and 3. I can’t thank you enough!

Subscribe to TheKiDxGamer said on Jan. 18, 2011

Looks good.

Ross said on Jan. 18, 2011

Hey, Mato, quick question: Do you think TextFugu is a good way to learn Japanese? http://www.textfugu.com/ I want to learn Japanese, but it isn’t at any high schools nearby. I’ve done the first four things from Season 1, and so far it seems better than elsewhere. PS I (get it, psi?) already know your stance on “taking it the hard way at school,” but as that isn’t really an option for me, I’d like a better one.

Anouki Agent Yellow said on Jan. 19, 2011

$Teddy makes the world go ’round.

linkdude20002001 said on Jan. 19, 2011

I’m so excited! The release of this translation patch will be as epic as the Mother 3 patch! 😀

Mato said on Jan. 19, 2011

Ross: I’ve only skimmed it quickly, but it looks good. Definitely won’t beat an actual class, but is probably a good alternative.

Random Guardian said on Jan. 19, 2011

While were having a mato Q&A I gues i will ask you my question.
You said you put in the wrong variable on accident. wouldent the variable to show the amount of money be controlled by multiple variables to show the diffrence between the prices like 1200, 1000 or 1639? If thats the case teddys name should have been scrambled. What gives? I must be missing something.

Ross said on Jan. 19, 2011

Yeah, I’ll look into more options too. Maybe get the Genki books.

linkdude20002001 said on Jan. 19, 2011

Tomato, will you be hacking the game into using variable width font?

Mato said on Jan. 19, 2011

Random Guardian: In the script I was supposed to type [03 0E] but accidentally typed [03 03].

linkdude: pretty sure I’m not going to now. It’d be way too much work, it looks like I’d have to rewrite basically every text routine and every window drawing routine in the game. It wouldn’t be impossible, but I only have so much time I can spend on it.

linkdude20002001 said on Jan. 20, 2011

Aw… That’s too bad. But it’s an old game, so it isn’t a problem. It certainly would’ve made the game look nicer, though. Go, Mato, go! ^_^

Anonymous said on Jan. 21, 2011

@ Mato

Sorry, I should have been more specific, are you maybe gonna make a version with the NOA translations is what I was trying to say.

Mato said on Jan. 21, 2011

No, someone’s already made a patch that uses the NOA translation here: http://earthboundcentral.com/2009/02/existing-mother-12-patches/

Matt said on Jan. 22, 2011

Are there actually Earthbound fans out there who haven’t beaten Earthbound Zero because they find it too hard? Give me a break! Players these days have gotten too soft…I beat EB Zero a few years ago and loved every minute of it, incessant grinding and all.

Onion said on Jan. 22, 2011

Yeah, I’m not so sure about that. I think it was a great game overall but I try to warn people ahead of time about the ‘point of no return’ when I tell them about the game. It’s the only weak point IMO.

Anonymous said on Jan. 23, 2011

^point of no return?
You’re talking about EB right? ’cause EB0 doesn’t have a point of no return

Matt said on Jan. 23, 2011

I’m confused about whether you guys are using the term “point of no return” as a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I think the story in EB Zero has a grim grittiness about it that’s all but absent in it’s two sequels–which is why it stands out among the other titles in the series.

To me, it’s absolutely inconceivable for someone to call his or herself an “Earthbound fan”, play Mother 2 and 3, but totally neglect the game that started it all because “wah, wah, it’s too hard”. It’s sad that with this Easy Ring patch many long-time Earthbound fans will finally play the game. Even Tomato has admitted that he has only beaten the game once or twice, which sounds ridiculous coming from the man who writes “Earthbound Central”.

And the fact that so many people in Japan are willing to pay money to play Mother on the GBA and on the Virtual Console tells me that there’s more than just nostalgia working in this game’s favor. If it was as ridiculously hard as some people claim it is, wouldn’t Nintendo themselves have toned down the game’s difficulty upon re-release?

Decho said on Jan. 23, 2011

Personally, I’ve beaten the game on its normal difficulty, but I just enjoy easier games more. For me, Mother’s about the world of the game and characters, not the grinding forever that’s pretty mandatory. I think it’s worth playing on its standard difficulty at least once, but I plan to use the Easy Ring so it’s just a bit more enjoyable for when I’m not up for grinding.

Matt said on Jan. 23, 2011

@ Decho

But doesn’t it make the game’s ending so much more powerful when you’ve actually fought tooth and nail to reach that final boss? I’d rather feel like I’ve really accomplished something in that final scene rather than just have played through a fairly easy game.

shadedmagus said on Jan. 27, 2011

Regarding the M2 portion of the game, I’m curious: has no one translated the original Mother 2 game up to now?

Mato said on Jan. 27, 2011

The text system used by Mother 2 (and also by EarthBound) is extremely complicated and messy, so no one’s really done a translation of M2. That, and the fact that there was already an official English release.

shadedmagus said on Jan. 28, 2011

I was asking more about whether the text itself had been fan-translated from the Japanese than a retranslation patch, but that works too. Thanks!

MOTHERFan said on Jan. 29, 2011

All of you talking about difficult points in this game: Consider the fact that most of the Japanese are WAY more skilled than us. Take most Online Japanese Players, for example. They’re EXTREMELY tough to beat, right?

Well anyways, back to this, good job ‘Mato.

shadedmagus said on Feb. 2, 2011

I am curious, ‘Mato: what all would be involved in getting the EarthBound text into the Mother 2 part of the ROM so we English players can have both games readable once you’re done with Mother 1?

I’m not speaking of things like menu hacking, I’m just talking about the game text and battle text. I’ve done some hacking, but never looked at text editing or translation before.

Mato said on Feb. 2, 2011

It would require a tremendous amount of work even without trying to implement a VWF or anything else like that – the fact it hasn’t been done yet almost 8 years since the game’s release shows how tough it’ll be.

Anonymous said on Feb. 2, 2011


Would the work for the mother 2 portion of the game be harder then mother 3 was? Just wondering.

Mato said on Feb. 2, 2011

I don’t think so, but without analyzing every system in the game I can’t say for sure. I know it’ll at least be comparable to the amount of work that M3 took, which is why I’m hesitant to work on it.

Anonymous said on Feb. 8, 2011

@Matt: There’s a difference between a difficult game and a game like Mother. Mother’s problem is that the difficulty level is completely unbalanced, and the amount of grinding you have to do makes the game tedious and boring. The ridiculous random encounter rate makes it even more annoying. While it’s certainly possible to play through Mother, you need a certain tolerance level for these kinds of games, which most people don’t have. EarthBound and Mother 3 are difficult, but the difficulty relies on strategy, not annoying random encounters and grinding just so you can barely survive.

@MOTHERFan: Not necessarily. Your skill in video games doesn’t have to do which country you’re from. Japanese people being better at video games is a myth. Besides, Mother doesn’t really require any skill, just tedious grinding.

MotherFan said on Oct. 30, 2012

“Hey, I got some concert tickets.
They cost $TEDDY, Want some?

MotherFan said on Oct. 30, 2012

@Matt I beat Dragon Warrior! It has a lot more grinding then Mother does.
If your saying your a great gamer then try 4 HOURS OF GRINDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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