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February 24th, 2011 | Hacking, MOTHER 1+2

Managed to find time to finish a few more things from the translation to-do list. This time I finished the font and added lots of characters for foreign languages, mostly so that it’ll be easier for people to translate the game into their languages with font support already in place. The naming screen is a huge pain to hack, so having it all done like this will save future translators a ton of time and hair-pulling. Here’s what the naming screen looks like now, let me know if any of the letters look odd or could be improved:

(Before and after)

Here are some sample screenshots using made-up text translated into a couple other languages:

There’s one little problem, and that’s that getting these new letters into the text files isn’t going to be very straightforward at all. It’ll probably be a real pain. I’ll see if I can help fix that a little bit, but translators might have to use a clunky workaround like typing [31] instead of ñ. It’s hard to explain but it’s mostly due to the fact that there are so many different text formats out there and different text editors mess stuff up in different ways.

Anyway, that crossed a few things off the to-do list. Then I went and tackled the player naming screen:

I don’t remember what this looks like in EarthBound Zero, but hacking this to include lowercase letters + all the international letters would be a really huge undertaking, so right now I’m planning to leave it like this.

The to-do list is quickly shrinking, but the really hard stuff is coming up now. Hopefully the remaining tasks won’t be TOO insane 😯


Other Related Posts:


99 Comments to M1+2 Translation Update (Feb. 24)

Skye said on Feb. 24, 2011

Keep up the good work Mato, hopefully I’ll be able to play Mother 1 during the summer holidays 😀

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 24, 2011

I agree! Maybe you can put an option to change the letters to lowercase (like in EarthBound) for the player naming screen?

Anon said on Feb. 24, 2011

If it is too hard to put lowercase letters into the player naming screen, you could maybe stick with the option of an 1.1-patch a year after 1.0 or something like this. We could play the game and you would have much time to fix such “unimportant” things.

Mato said on Feb. 24, 2011

Honestly, I don’t think I’d want to go back to it and do such heavy hacking – it’s too easy to forget everything and/or lose interest. That’s why I didn’t want to cut corners with Mother 3, and is also why a Mother 3 patch v1.2 still isn’t out yet :/

Anon said on Feb. 24, 2011

Well, I see. Do what you want to, I just wanted to point that out. 😀

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 24, 2011

Well, if it’s too much trouble, then don’t mess with the player naming screen. By the way, I noticed that the battle text box could be expanded a little more (making room for two more columns), and that the far-left column never has text in it. Any reason for this, Mato?

Anonymous said on Feb. 24, 2011

Me gusta!

Ly the Thran said on Feb. 24, 2011

You should leave the international naming screen for the english version because it’s doesn’t look very good having all that blank space. Secondly you never know if someone wants to give someone an exotic name.

Anouki Agent Yellow said on Feb. 24, 2011


Aw yes, v1.2 the donut crumbs edition 🙂

shadedmagus said on Feb. 24, 2011

Awesome work, Mato! We really appreciate all the work you’re putting into this project!

lampi said on Feb. 24, 2011

As a possible Braz. Portuguese translator, thank you for including ‘ã’ and ‘õ’, those are often left out (since they’re only used in Portuguese, Vietnamese and a few others). Aaand due to the pixelated font, ‘õ’ may also be used as ‘ő’ for Hungarian.

LakituAl said on Feb. 24, 2011

As a Mexie, I can say I like the way the accent on the vowels look, along with the ñ and Ñ. And yeah, electric baths are tasty!

Starstormer said on Feb. 24, 2011

It would be cool to play the game in spanish, English is my first language but I always have fun playing through an RPG in spanish since I’ve studied the language all throughout middle and high school.

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 24, 2011

Hey Mato, I was going over the to-do list, and one thing had me confused. “Make it so some lines use the original size textbox” I don’t get it. Why would you need to shrink the text text back for some lines?

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 24, 2011

@TGM: I would think he’d do that to try to fix some issues with the expanded text box.

Mato said on Feb. 24, 2011

When you use an item or a PSI on someone, it puts the cursor down in the bottom left area, but the expanded text box gets in the way. When a character’s HP or other stat changes, the game updates their names and their stats too, which gets printed right on top of where the expanded window is. There are many other issues too, some of the videos I’ve posted show this happening, in fact. It’s going to be a really unfun problem to deal with, and in the worst case scenario I may have to undo the expanded text box entirely.

Zunar: Technical reasons if I remember right. I’ll give it a look later, I think it’s because it technically acts like regular text,which always has two spaces except if there’s a little dot at the start of a sentence.

Ly: Yeah, that screen with the international letters is going to be the one used in the translation, I guess I should’ve mentioned that 😛

Ross said on Feb. 24, 2011

“Electric bathrooms are pleasing to me. They are savory.”


Anonymous said on Feb. 24, 2011

I apologize for arguing about the names in the previous update Mato, but I just had one more thing I wanted to say.

@Zunar: You said he may look like a farmer but looks can be decieving, well then your suggestion of hillbilly is just as wrong becaue you don’t know he lives in that rural area. He could just be a man from the city who is hiking in that area.

Again, sorry Mato just oner last thing I wanted to say .

rotschleim said on Feb. 24, 2011

One suggestion I have to say is to change the keyboard-style of “12345 67890” to the numeric sorting system of “01234 56789”. Other than that, the naming screen looks GREAT! Thumbs up, Tomato, god among men.

santiagoff said on Feb. 24, 2011

Ñ definitely looks sexy. Same for the letters with tilde (á,é,í,ú,ó) ^^

I don’t think you should change the player naming screen, Mato. The original japanese version didn’t even have hiragana or katakana, so I think it’s fine the way it is n_n

Also, I’ve been playing the easy patch lately and wondered about something… would a hack of this version made JUST to include kanji in the game be too much trouble? Doesn’t look viable because of the font, but I’m not sure. It’d be an interesting project hack :0

Jorpho said on Feb. 24, 2011

I am so freaking happy to see new and continued progress on this thing! Can we throw money at someone?

Poe said on Feb. 24, 2011

@Jorpho – you could always check out the many pages and news stories we have listed on Game Swag: http://gameswag.com/

If you see something neat and use the links on that site to buy it, that helps Mato a tiny bit. I’d like to see some more cool people making swag pages and posting comments over there myself. 🙂

joeymartin64 said on Feb. 24, 2011

The player’s name doesn’t appear in any text in Mother 1, does it? If not, and if the credits are displayed in all caps, leaving the player’s name entry in all caps doesn’t seem like it’d be a big deal, unless people would want special characters there for whatever reason. That would create a whole new pile with the credits font and all, though, wouldn’t it? Or does the player’s name even appear in Mother 1’s credits? I’m going to feel awfully silly if it doesn’t now.

Also, I’m going to be a jerk and nitpick your joke text: Those “baños” should be “sabrosos.” It’s a masculine noun.

Mato said on Feb. 24, 2011

I’m pretty sure (not 100%) that the player’s name is printed in the end credits using the regular font, so if it were possible to input other text then it’d still display fine at the end. But I haven’t really checked that code much.

SomeUser said on Feb. 24, 2011

Just curious, did you fix the bouncing glitch yet?

Mato said on Feb. 24, 2011

Oh yeah, that wasn’t something so much to be fixed as it was to just be taken out since I was altering the wrong data.

Komaru said on Feb. 24, 2011

I would totally love a Swedish translation of MOTHER…
And those letters are looking great, don’t really know how you could improve them.

JFDP13 said on Feb. 24, 2011

Accents can be improved, in my opinion. Here is an example: http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/5880/muestra.png

Do you agree with me? =0

PD: I moved that musical note too, only to bring balance, harmony, peace, or clarity to my mind.
Not a big deal, anyway.

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 24, 2011

Question, Mato. Would it be too much trouble to add a “Don’t Care” option to put in the default names? Like, add it in the bottom-left corner, like in EarthBound and Mother 3. Example:

If this was implemented, my suggestions for default names are:
Ninten – Ninten, Ken (alternate name)
Ana – Ana
Lloyd – Lloyd, Roid (japanese spelling), Loid (alternate name)
Teddy – Teddy, Tedi (japanese spelling), Jack (alternate name)
Food – Prime, P. Rib

Anonymous said on Feb. 24, 2011

^There’s not really any need for that though, since their default names (save for Ninten) are already typed in once you reach their naming screen.

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 24, 2011

Yeah, you do have a point, Anon. But for the Food, there is no “Don’t Care” thing for it, and it has no typed in name. It’s just a suggestion, to make it a little more like EarthBound and Mother 3.

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

I don’t really want to make stuff up out of nowhere, so I don’t plan to add default names that aren’t already in the original GBA version.

anders_ said on Feb. 25, 2011

Maybe I just missed it, but it seems to be missing ß..?

anders_ said on Feb. 25, 2011

Oh, also Þþ and Ðð, but I’m not sure how likely an Icelandic or Faroese translation is :p

MarioFan3 said on Feb. 25, 2011

@(THE) Mato:
I haven’t appeared on here for a LONG time so I do apologise if you’ve been asked these like 1,000 times already. I don’t mean to sound like a pain or anything. I mean really, I understand you’re already doing a great job here (you know, several updates in the last month is quite impressive) anyways, here are a few somewhat short (and perhaps annoying) questions! 😀

1. Now that the goal of translating the Mother 1 side of the game is getting ever closer, do you think it’s even mentally possible for you to translate the Mother 2 side?

2. Just out of curiosity in terms of the game’s file size: are GBA files restricted to be as small as their original file size, or can they be expanded to the max of 32MB? (It’s been a while since I’ve appeared on the GBA emulation scene so I’ve forgotten whether you’re restricted under the game’s file size or not)

(now for what I’m mainly wondering)
3. In terms of Mother 2, do you think it would be easier to translate on the GBA version or the SNES/SFC version?

4. You’re definitely taking a break after the Mother 1 translation (unless you’re a genetically modified tomato) have you decided whether you’re going to translate the Mother 2 side, leave it untouched, or tackle the SNES/SFC version?

5. Is it too soon to be thinking about these questions, or have they been asked too many times? (again I do apologise if I’m bothering you, you do this for free and in your spare time so many thanks in advance)

blahmoomoo said on Feb. 25, 2011

For #2, I would imagine you can expand GBA ROMs just like you can expand SNES ROMs. But Mato has said many times before, the Mother 1+2 ROM already has tons of free space available, so expansion should not be necessary.

rotschleim said on Feb. 25, 2011

Mato said he’d go insane if he translated Mother 2 GBA right after. Jeffman was gonna take care of it, if I’m remembering right.

I don’t think Mother 2 needs to be retranslated, though–just touched up to remove some of the bowlderizations.

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

anders: Would the beta symbol suffice for ß? Due to text format stuff I can’t see what the other two letters you typed are, though.

MarioFan3: 1. It’s possible, but I don’t want to commit to such a huge undertaking just yet, especially given that there’s so little gain from so much work. I made a post/poll touching on the subject here: http://earthboundcentral.com/2011/02/mother-1-vs-mother-2/

2. GBA ROMs can only be 32 MB maximum, the M1+2 ROM is a lot less than that though. There’s not really any reason to expand it though – there’s a buttload of empty space in the ROM. You could probably fit another game in there even 😛

3. Well, it’d be easier to hack on the GBA at least. I’m much better at GBA hacking and the GBA has a faster CPU speed and better hardware.

4. I plan to take a break, I have other important projects and stuff to take care of after this. I’d like to work on the Mother 2 side (I might include a menu patch-style translation for it in the M1 translation patch) but there’s just so much work to be done for so little gain right now. If I did work on it, it’d be the GBA version, not the SFC version.

5. I get them all the time, some of them are in the project FAQ page 😛

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 25, 2011

I do have one small request, Mato. Could you do a little of what RPGOne did and add Ninten’s name in automatically, like Ana, Lloyd, and Teddy’s names are? Are for the food, can you put it in as Prime, P. Rib, or something like that? Prime Rib is Ninten’s favorite food (I searched the ‘Net for that info a while back).

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 25, 2011

*As, not are.

JFDP13 said on Feb. 25, 2011

Ok, i revised my previous example. Here is the v2:


-Ò/Ó and ò/ó were exactly the same before. The only way to distinguish them is give to Ò/Ó a extra pixel, but i don’t know if that is possible. It is, Tomato?
-Moved things: Yeah, no big deal.
-The rhombus. I prefer do not include EB ones.
And the same on MOTHER 2!

That is all :L

Ly the Thran said on Feb. 25, 2011

Where exactly did this Prime Rib information come from exactly?

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

Probably a strategy guide or the like. I don’t take it as 100% official, so I’m not going to add it into the game.

About the modified font: some of the changes look good, I’ll change the font in a day or two, thanks 😀

Floridian said on Feb. 25, 2011

Are you able to put a “Don’t Care” option into the game, or would it be too difficult? Then you could make it say “Prime Ribs”, “Steak”, and “HUMANS”!

Anonymous said on Feb. 25, 2011

The info about Ninten’s favorite food being prime rib is from the Nintendo Official Guidebook (Encyclopedia Mother). So, it’s at least not just some random guidebook.

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

Adding a don’t care option would definitely be a ton of work, and again I don’t really want to add stuff in out of nowhere (easy ring aside).

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 25, 2011

Well, could you please just add Ninten’s name in and something along the lines of Prime or P. Rib for the favorite food, please?

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

I already said I’m not going to add stuff in from out of nowhere – if it was meant to be in the game then it would already have been in the Japanese version. It’s not that hard to type it in yourself if you like P.Rib that much 😛

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 25, 2011

Please, Mato? RPGOne put Ninten’s name there in their translation. It’s not that hard, is it? Please?

Poe said on Feb. 25, 2011

He’s said “no” three times now. Just let it go.

Anouki Agent Yellow said on Feb. 25, 2011

I wonder why Ninten didn’t have his default name in there like the rest of the case, it’s not as if it’s suppose to be a human avatar for you to put in your own name, that’s what the “player’s name” is suppose to be. Strange…

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 25, 2011

That’s issue I’m addressing, Anouki!

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

He doesn’t really have a name, he’s technically called “Boku” (Me) because you’re the one who’s supposed to name him. Ninten is just one that got popular because it was used in guides and stuff and even got used in Brawl. Ken is another name he’s known by (including the novel), and I think there was a third name too. It’s clear that his name specifically is supposed to be up to the player, which is why he has no default name.

linkdude20002001 said on Feb. 25, 2011

Blarg… I agree with the notion that things shouldn’t be added to the game for the same of “improvement”. If you were to add things for the sake of “improvement”, then why stop there? Why not go and completely change the game till it’s exactly like Mother 2. In fact, why not call it Mother 2? >_>

joeymartin64 said on Feb. 25, 2011

The Japanese manual for Zelda: A Link to the Past (Kamigami no Triforce if you prefer) never refers to Link by name (the player character is referred to as “the player”), except in a few screenshots of the naming screen. The three files there are named “Ninten” in katakana, “Link” in katakana (“Rinku” if you insist) and “LINK” in Roman all caps. There’s even one screenshot where only the first file has a name, and that name is “Ninten.”

This tells me that “Ninten” is probably just a placeholder name that Nintendo used to give player-named characters in screenshots like that, and that someone saw it somewhere in relation to the Mother character, causing them to erroneously assume it was his real name. The fact that Mother 2’s “Ness” is an anagram for SNES and a homophone for NES probably didn’t help.

This being the case, I was surprised when the name “Ninten” turned up in Brawl. I always wondered if that was the case in the Japanese version, or if Japanese Brawl just calls him “boy” or “protagonist” or something. Damn the lack of a language option.

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 25, 2011

Boy you people are persistent. How many times does Mato have to say “no” before you get the hint.

Carl said on Feb. 25, 2011

I always name MOTHER’s main character “Nester.” It maintains the Nintendo theme without being quite as contrived as “Ninten.”

Anouki Agent Yellow said on Feb. 25, 2011

I guess I’ll just call him Batman then 😛

~FireEmblem~ said on Feb. 25, 2011

So Mato, you’ve released patches for Mother 1+2 in the past, like the Easy Patch & an earlier translation patch. Plus, wasn’t there something about an easy-mode key?
Anyways, so will this translation just be more up-to-date than your last one? And then you’ll put the patch up for download when it’s complete?
No rush, I’m just curious.

Floridian said on Feb. 25, 2011

I understand if it would be a ton of work to do that. I’m not too upset-I’ll just type it in. I’m not lazy! 🙂

DJMankiwitz said on Feb. 25, 2011

Zunar I like your enthusiasm but calm down a bit. He’s said he’s not going to do it and explained why. Since we’re free to input whatever we want, it’s basically covered, so don’t worry about it.

The whole “Ninten” thing is getting interesting. Brawl says his name is Ninten, but now I’m wondering myself if that was in the original Japanese.

Mato said on Feb. 25, 2011

Fire Emblem: I haven’t released an early patch of the translation, are you sure you’re remembering right?

~FireEmblem~ said on Feb. 25, 2011

Sorry, the other patches were created by someone else. My bad xD
But I know you’re working on an Easy Ring, as well as this current translation. So, will this translation just be a better, more complete translation? Will it include the uncensoring you mentioned? And will it include the Easy Ring, or will that need to be downloaded separately?

Ness said on Feb. 25, 2011

You can almost put Mother 1+2 and 3 on 1 cartridge! The ROMs of Mother 1+2 and 3 add up to 32173 MB.

Chatetris said on Feb. 26, 2011

Wow this is really shaping up! Good job Mato!

Ness said on Feb. 26, 2011

I meant 32.173. Took me this long to notice…

SomeUser said on Feb. 26, 2011


Does that include all the unused stuff and the empty space? ‘~’

SomeUser said on Feb. 26, 2011

(sorry for double post)
Hooray for automatic single and double quotation mark changing!

face workaround:

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2011

FireEmblem: the patch will include the Easy Ring stuff. I haven’t decided 100% about what I’ll do with the uncensoring, but I’ll release a way to uncensor stuff one way or the other, even if it’s an alternate patch. The text translation should (hopefully) be better and be more enjoyable, especially for EB fans.

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 27, 2011

Mato, have you decided whether or not to include the graphical updates to the enemies?

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2011

Do you mean uncensoring or do you mean better graphics? I don’t have time/energy to do the better graphics stuff, so it won’t be in this patch at least.

TheZunar123 said on Feb. 27, 2011

I meant the better graphics, like you mentioned in your 2nd translation update. But ok. If I could do it, I probably would, but I have no idea how to do that.

SomeUser said on Feb. 27, 2011

I’m looking forward to this game.
I was playing, but then I had to start over because in late 2010 my dad got a new computer to replace our old one.

Now I’m trying to progress in the game on my netbook.

SomeUser said on Feb. 27, 2011

ARRRGH! Double post again!

I forgot to mention that I was level grinding Ninten to lvl 35 so he could learn SuprHealing. I was somewhere around Lvl 28-31. SO CLOSE.


DBlue said on Feb. 27, 2011

I like the new naming screen. There’s less empty space, and the other symbols can be used in names, too. My friends like to spell names out only using symbols, so…

Good luck on the upcoming hard schtuff!

Fran G. said on Feb. 27, 2011

You’re doing an incredible work with this rom, Mato! I don’t mind if you finish the patch tomorrow or in 2015, but don’t give up, please!

The Great Morgil said on Feb. 27, 2011

I hope it doesn’t take until 2015, especially since the world will end in 2012.

Rex said on Feb. 27, 2011

You have a long way to go.We’ll be waiting for it to come. =)

anders_ said on Feb. 27, 2011

Sorry for not replying, I forgot that I commented here. :3

Using beta for ß is fine, I imagine (German isn’t my native language, so I suppose I can’t say on behalf of Actual Speakers ™, but betas are used often enough in books and things that people are probably used to it :P). It’s one of my pet hates, but that only applies to printed things where the publisher should know better; GBA games aren’t really known for their beautiful typography in the first place.

The other two letters are Eth and Thorn. The two languages that use them are both kind of small, though, so depending on how tricky it is to edit the font, it might be worth waiting to see if anyone’s likely to actually do these translations before adding them. (I’d guess probably not…)

anders_ said on Feb. 27, 2011

WordPress seems to have killed those links. They were only to Wikipedia though.


Douglas said on Feb. 28, 2011

I think updating the graphics would ruin the mood of the game to me. But I’m all in favor of the uncensoring stuff

Foffano said on Feb. 28, 2011

Hey, this is great! We don’t mind having to type [31]s. I mean, we can type the text normally and replace everything later with Ctrl+F.

Mato, onde estão os meus pés?

Mato said on Feb. 28, 2011

JFDP13: I used your suggestions, thanks!

Mini-update: I haven’t had much time for this in the past few days (heavy real life workload) but I managed to knock another thing or two off the to-do list. Only the hard stuff is left now mostly, blegh.

Felipe said on Feb. 28, 2011

“Onde estão meus pés? Meus cotovelos estão cheiro.” > I know it was just a sample, but I laughed SO HARD at that!

Brad64 said on Mar. 1, 2011

Can’t wait for this to be finished!

Mrsaturn22 said on Mar. 2, 2011

This will be awesome, Can’t wait

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 3, 2011

Mato, just to let you know, if you do make it so you can translate the game into other languages, you probably need to easily make any command windows bigger, since what you could put in English might take more characters to put in in another language.

Also, I have a question. Is it possible to easily extend the character limit on the favorite food to 9 or 10 characters? Just curious because Ken’s favorite food is Prime Rib and you can’t fit that in 6 characters without abbreviating (e.g. P. Rib or just Prime).

Mato said on Mar. 3, 2011

Window resizing shouldn’t be much of a problem but it won’t exactly be “easy” either. I’ve had it in mind throughout the entire project though.

I don’t know if it’s possible to expand the fav. thing. To be honest, I’d rather not mess with it, messing with strings that stay mostly in RAM are trickier because you never know for sure what’s going to happen to them throughout the course of a playthrough.

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 3, 2011

I understand. I was just wondering. If sometime in the future if you had some extra time, could you please try it out and see if anything messes up? If it’s too much trouble, then don’t worry about it. I had just remembered about how you extended the character limit in Mother 3, and that reminded me of it.

Mato said on Mar. 3, 2011

Mini-update: I’ve got the basic code in place for letting the game switch between the full-size text box and the original-size text box, now I need to go and manually identify all the lines in the game that will need the original size box. Then I’ll have to go in and edit those lines to have proper formatting for the new box size. But if all goes well it should knock most of the rest of the programming left to do.

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 3, 2011

Awesome work, Mato! Though my suggestion is to have the text box disappear completely when you get healed, but that way works too. 🙂

maskedsaturn said on Mar. 3, 2011

I always thought Ninten came from NINTENdo if u know wut I mean

maskedsaturn said on Mar. 3, 2011

Mato also how much lang. do u know?!?!?!

Chaz said on Mar. 3, 2011

off topic and kinda pointless, but I was wondering if the animated background from that old ebzero hack could make its way in? It may not have been much; but just the slight starry background made it feel that much more earthboundy….and I sortal liked it and miss it since that old hack isn’t compatible with new hacks and sorta messes up stuff when used.

UnassumingCoolGuy said on Mar. 3, 2011

I wish but wouldn’t that need like a major battle engine overhaul? Correct me if I am wrong as I would love to see that as a new addition.

PSI rockin' said on Mar. 4, 2011

Just thought of something, this isn’t really related to the Mother 1 section of the hack, but is the Mother 2 title screen changing into Earthbound’s one?

TheZunar123 said on Mar. 4, 2011

@PSI Rockin’: I seriously doubt it. Mato said he wasn’t going to change the names of the games, so why would he change the title screen to a different game’s?

Dark Kirby said on Mar. 11, 2011

Actulally,how do you even
translate this stuff. Can you teach me?


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