Monday, July 20, 2015

Antares: Ersten Beobachtungen

What I think is the entrance to the game's first dungeon. I need a key...

Playing Antares is slow going. If a German game had come out in 1985, I'm guessing it would have a lot less text. I'd have to learn three or four words and I'd be off to the rennen. But increasing verbiage is a characteristic of the 1990s, so I'd better get used to it as soon as possible. I have games coming up in languages far more difficult than German.

Since I last blogged, I haven't done much more than explore the opening area, which I've determined is 20 x 20. The spacecraft landed in the northwest of the map. (That's if I've oriented things right. I don't have a compass yet, but the opening narration said that a signal came from the west, corresponding roughly with Kirk Hammett's house.) I found four NPCs (including Kirk Hammet from the last time), five food stores, and five regular stores that seem to sell the same merchandise: a combination of bandages, weapons, and armor.

The opening area.

I originally though the trenches were larger inside than outside. This turns out to be wrong. Heading "down" into them really just changes the textures on the game screen. They're full of generic, empty houses, just like The Bard's Tale, with an occasional shop or NPC.

I've been attacked by a variety of creatures (all original to the game), and I've learned through experimentation that some respond only to physical attacks and some respond only to mental attacks, so it's a good thing that I have a balance of skills in the party. Physical attacks increase with the weapons that you find or buy, but I'm not sure what causes psychic attacks to improve. Just character leveling? Again, I'm at a loss without a manual. I can only guess on the relative value of weapons based on their sale value in shops.

Checking sale prices in a store.

There are at least three mental attacks: telekinesis, hypnosis, and group hypnosis. I assume the last one has a chance of working on parties (only one of my characters has the psi skill to use it), but I don't know whether telekinesis and hypnosis do two completely different things and thus vary which enemies are affected by them or what.

The Mantok response to a psychic attack.
          
Combat is the only way to advance in experience, gold, and equipment (at least, so far), but already it's getting very old. The descriptions of a character's actions scroll by at maddeningly slow speed, and this doesn't seem adjustable in-game. Antares would definitely benefit from a "quick combat" command.

Victory after combat includes some money, a penknife, and some food.

As I mentioned, I encountered three other NPCs. They each had over 10 screens of text, so translating what they had to say took the longest part of this session. Here's the rundown:

Kevin McFly was living in a cave to the northwest, near a locked door that seems to lead into some kind of dungeon. He was beat up and disfigured, as if the veteran of lots of combats. He offered me a key to Eriankeller (I'm guessing this is the dungeon, unless it's a common word that Google didn't translate) if I could translate some Kyrion text, but it was indecipherable to my party--at least currently.

McFly wants me to translate some Kyrionese text.

Jeannine Berdot lived in an apartment with her mute husband, Claude. She said that she had been born on Kyrion, but that after her, no other children have been born as everyone is sterile. They're not sure exactly what's causing this; rumors say that it's artificially-induced radiation, but she admits that it might just be the result of a pathogen unique to Kyrion. However, she suspects that the infertility is deliberate. What's particularly frustrating is that they don't know the identity of the enemy who is toying with them.

My party asked about Claude and caused her to cry. She said that he went out on an adventure, and he came back in a semi-vegetative state, stuttering about someone named "Tahun" and service.

Is TAHUN the big villain in the game? Only time will tell.

Marek Dvorak was an old guy that Kirk Hammet had suggested I talk to. He gave me the rundown on the intelligent alien species on Kyrion: The Vunorer are apparently the rulers of the planet, but very secretive. (I don't know if I translated one line of text properly, but it seem to suggest that even though they are in charge, they never see one another.) Dvorak thinks they're up to something sinister. The Umbeken live in subterranean complexes and engage in trade with the marooned humans. The Questonaten are connected somehow to the Umbeken, but otherwise nothing is known about them.

Dvorak gave me a tutorial on the Umbeken language and a translation book, which I assume will help me with McFly's puzzle, but I haven't been back to him yet. The text mentioned that Dvorak was pessimistic about my party's chances of getting off this planet, especially given that our predecessors haven't had any luck, but that we'd have to at least try--if for no other reason than to take word of Kyrion back to Earth.

Part of Marek Dvorak's 17 screens of text.

One other odd location is in the northwest corner of the map. Around the borders, the game just tell you that the map doesn't go any further. But in this one corner, you get an image of some kind of wasteland or trash heap. I'm not really sure what it's trying to depict.

A swamp? Radioactive waste?
        
Other things discovered during this session:

  • There's a complex techno soundtrack upon starting up the game, but no other sound or music during the game itself. I assume this is an emulation problem because there is a command to turn off the music, which only makes sense if music played during the game itself.
  • Fleeing from most creatures works most of the time, but it damages party morale (the top bar in the lower-right part of the screen). With every victory, morale increases; with every flight, it decreases. Resting and eating also help increase it.
  • Some enemies are tough to flee from. In particular, pterodactyls are my todfeind. Fleeing almost never works, and they're hard to hit. I've died several times at their claws. Right now, I'm reloading when any character dies. It's cheesy, but figuring out the game is tough enough without puzzling through a resurrection mechanism.
  • The number next to the top row of portraits seems to indicate how dangerous an area is. It's been set at "1" when outside and "2" every time I walk into an empty building.

In an empty house. If I get attacked in here, the monsters will be a little harder than outside.
            
  • The game world has a day/night cycle that changes the colors and such. It affects when shops are open, but (so far) not much else.
  • The game has an original and odd approach to sleeping. Instead of having everyone "hole up and camp," each character sleeps independently. While he's sleeping, his "energy" bar (first one under the portrait) recharges, but he can't make any actions. He can still move around with the party; I guess the other characters are carrying him or something. You want to avoid having too many people sleeping at once, in case you're attacked.

Several of my party members "Zzz..." as I prepare to enter one of the trenches.
           
  • The game uses tile-based movement and turn-based combat, but it's not turn-based in the regular game world. Time passes, energy decreases, and like in The Bard's Tale II and III, enemies can attack while you're just standing still. [Edit: I was misremembering. I guess III doesn't do this after all.] There's "pause" button that can stop this.
  • The other two bars under the character portraits are bodily health and mental health. "Cubic," my glowing ball "specter," has no bodily health but also takes no physical damage in combat. Presumably, he's immortal when facing physical-only enemies. Of course, I don't think he deals physical damage, either, so it would be possible to get into a cycle of combat where neither I nor the enemies can damage each other.

Sandkävfer are physical creatures, so they can't damage Cubic at all. But I don't think he can damage them, either.

  • Here's how cooking works: As you slay enemies, you find food ingredients on their bodies. Each has a complexity associated with cooking and preparing it, and whether a character can cook it depends on his "cooking" skill. You have to go into the cooking sub-menu to cook the ingredients, and if successful, it adds automatically to the "food" bar (the bottom one in the lower-right). Cooking in combat is no different than cooking outside of combat. Maybe some combats last so long that characters start to starve, and they need to pause for refreshments. No different than the Dragonborn swallowing 37 cabbages in the middle of a battle, I suppose.

Marina tries to cook some food. We're facing one of the exits from the trenches.
          
Frustratingly, I lost a ton of progress because of what I can only assume were emulator issues. I played for about 4 hours the other day, won a lot of combats, got a lot of equipment and gold, and finished the map. I saved frequently, and when I reloaded during the session, everything worked fine. But after I quit the emulator and reloaded later, my party was in their starting location again, just outside the ship. This didn't happen the next time I tried, though. Nonetheless, I'm now coupling regular saves with save states, and I hope it fixes the problem.

I want to thank the commenters who pointed me to (and translated) the basic instructions on a Swiss site run by Kjell Marc Droz, one of the game's developers. I'm going to see if I can get him to comment. Unfortunately, the link to the Windows version no longer works. I was hoping it had a manual.

I'll keep plugging along with the game, but we're likely to see at least one non-Antares posting for each Antares one. Having to leave the game every few minutes to go to Google Translate breaks the immersion a bit.

Time so far: 5 hours
Reload count: 8

***

More on Out of the Shadows

Finding some armor in a chest.

I felt guilty about quitting on Out of the Shadows so quickly, so I invested another three hours in it. This is what I discovered:

  • The underworld mimics the outer world. Each dungeon level consists of 11 x 11 = 121 screens, each 15 x 15.
  • There are at least three dungeon levels, probably more.
  • Almost all the dungeon rooms have four exits and are entirely explorable from a single entrance. Maybe 1 in 8 is an exception, where you can enter the room from multiple directions and there's an interior wall preventing you from traversing completely through the room.
  • Each dungeon screen has exactly one chest.
  • Chests do not respawn. I didn't come to a decision about whether monsters do. If they do, it's not to the same volume as the original allocation.
  • Enemies can knock out lanterns or destroy torches during combat.
  • There are weird "periods of peace" in which adjacent enemies refuse to attack--they just move around. Meanwhile, my own attacks miss every time. I don't know what causes this--some programming error, I suspect. They only last about 20 seconds, and then everyone starts getting hit again.
  • Weapons and armor can break.
  • Exploration improved considerably once I amassed enough money to buy a lantern and some oil. The lantern illuminates a 4-square radius to the torch's 2.

Note the space the lantern illuminates. A fleeing imp just fell down a hole to the next level. That can happen.
          
I explored most of the first level and rose 2 more character levels myself, but I never found the quest object and I'm not willing to invest more time. If someone else wants to play it and get the winning screen, I'll be happy to post it here.

74 comments:

  1. Working through a game in a foreign language is a difficult prospect. At least German uses most of the same letters, but would you ever consider going through some of the Chinese or Japanese games on your list like this?

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    1. No, I wouldn't. That's why I made my list composed of all RPGs released "in a Latin alphabet language."

      I hope no one comes along and tries to offer ways to enter non-Latin characters into a translator. If you're tempted to do that: I never said that it was impossible. But translating characters in a Latin-alphabet language is already difficult enough, and it's as much work as I'm willing to put into the project.

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    2. Good news everyone! OCR of Chinese characters in graphic files is advancing by leaps and bounds. The big hurdle these days isn't handling computer fonts, it's handling brush strokes and other nonstandard ways of writing. You just take a screenshot and paste it into the OCR program. You'll have to change the name of the blog to the JRPG Addict! Muhahahahaa....

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    3. He don't have to. He can still retain it and become... Chinese RPG Addict! there's no lack of Chinese RPGs for him to "enjoy" with. Of course, some are good while some are terribly bad. A lot of them were produced with a cliffhanger ending at the end in preparation of a sequel that never was.

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    4. A less radical option would be to add Russian RPGs to the list - roughly half of the letters would be the same. Although most of them would mean very different sounds, and there's grammar that completely lacks rhyme or reason, but who cares...

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    5. Are there many Russian RPGs that haven't been translated to English? There are no Russian CRPGs not on my active playlist, because it appears they all have English releases.

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    6. I think most maintream releases were translated to English - for the simple reason that there was not (still is not - just look at steam pricing for Russia) enough of internal market to make a profit. The problem might be finding those English versions - they weren't exactly bestsellers.

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    7. But if you limit yourself to Latin alphabet then you'll miss several Japan only SMT games!

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    8. I believe the expansion to Evil Islands was never released outside of Russia and thus has no english (even a fan one) translation.

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    9. CRPGAddict, do you copy the texts by hand into Google Translate? You should also be able to use a smartphone and the Google Translate app to translate the text on the screen in real-time. Supposedly you can point the smartphone camera towards the PC screen and immediately see the translation on the smartphone screen. (I haven't tried it myself.)

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    10. I used to have a little app that would let you click on a word and it gave the translation. It used OCR so it would work fine on images and such. Quite handy if you only needed help with a couple of words. Unfortunately I can't remember the name...

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    11. You can use Google Goggles to "read" the text on screen and it has an option to paste it into the translator. So yes, you can use a smartphone to translate on the fly. But the community translation is already very far and of far higher quality :-)

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    12. Sparkyspark, I appreciate the information about the app. It was rendered moot by the translations that my readers just finished (see below), but I'll try it for other games.

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  2. "A swamp? Radioactive waste?"
    The site of last year's Oktoberfest.

    Little nitpick: "like in The Bard's Tale II and III, enemies can attack while you're just standing still."
    That should be I and II. In III enemies attack only when moving and turning.

    Also, glad to see you played more of Out of the Shadows. Your comments confirm my own memories of the game, although I can't recall the "periods of peace".

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    1. How often do these happen, approximately? Maybe it's some kind of 'shall not fight on the Sabbath' thing? Everyone is saying a rosary, or praying towards Mecca or whatnot?

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    2. I think the random number generator just glitches and rolls all 0s for a while or something, then gets unstuck.

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  3. It has to be 'Erste Beobachtungen'. Just in case you would like to learn some German grammar ... https://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/adj_04.html

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    1. An alternative would be "Die ersten Beobachtungen".
      What a difficult language we have here..

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    2. I think it very much adds to the appeal of the whole site that he wrote it like that. I would leave the header as it is.

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    3. The good thing about German is that while there's a ton of grammatical forms, the number of actual flections is fairly limited - so you can make a wild guess and have a reasonable chance of getting it right.

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    4. Oh, well. I'll leave it as is to reflect my nascent understanding of the language. I still don't quite understand why it's wrong, though. Is "first" not an adjective modifying "observations"? And don't adjectives have to agree in plurality with the nouns?

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    5. The basic idea is that the information about the case, gender and plurality is carried by the article, so for the most part there's no need to inflect either the adjective or the noun. When there is no article, the adjective 'stands in' for it, getting the same flection a definite article would if it were there. Except in genitive case for singular neuter and masculine nouns, where the noun itself gets a flection, so there's no need to inflect the adjective once again. German grammar is frugal ;)

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    6. I agree, leave the title as it is . It is hard to explain Getman grammar particularities ... if your choice of the right ending just depends upon the right sound of the word ... but I think that this might just have been the way the brothers Grimm and Duden developed the German grammar ��
      By the way: I love your blog ... best one worldwide ... including Germany��

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    7. @CRPG Addict: Correct would be "Erste Beobachtungen". You are right that "Erste" is following the noun "Beobachtungen" regarding plurality. But you did not choose the nominative without article ("Erste Beobachtungen") but the nominative with an article ("Die ersten Beobachtungen") though you omitted the article "Die". That is a cardinal sin. But you can repent, and I would readily accept it if you write other German headlines which I can nitpick on.

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    8. @ Claudius
      You must be fun at parties

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    9. @ VK
      When I turn of my fledgling understanding of German language your explaination made me literally rotfl. But in all seriousness this language would be one of the easiest in the world in terms of grammar structures if not for those damn articles.

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  4. "Erian" isn't a German word, probably a proper noun, and "Keller" means cellar, so you're probably correct that that's the name of the dungeon.

    As for resurrection, the Kurzanleitung suggests that there was a resurrection machine powered by Electerium somewhere and the Amiga Joker review states that you can revive dead heroes by bringing them back to the landing craft, so maybe that's where it is?

    The number next to the top row of portraits indicates not only how dangerous an area is (the higher is the number, the stronger the enemies), but also how likely it is to be attacked (the redder the number, the more frequent the combat).

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    1. So, it's like Minesweeper? That actually sounds like a pretty cool mechanic!

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    2. "The redder the number"--so basically just a big "fick dich" to Chet Bolingbroke, then.

      That's interesting about Electerium. I've been wondering what it's for. I thought it might be armor of some sort. Next time someone is killed, I'll head back to the landing craft and see if I can figure it out.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Ich bemerkte, dass Sie wurden in der Stadt Fahren mit dem Mädchen, das ich liebe und ich sage "fick dich".

      Man, Google Translate is more fun than ROT13.

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  5. I can't run the windows version either, I'd love to play along.

    It's kind of funny that you translate a text which asks you to translate a text. ;-) But the other letters this guy asks for could be a copy protection as well. Amberstar also had a runic language and there came a table with the game.

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    1. ahh you beat me to it about the translating to find you have to translate..Your other comment made me boot up amberstar and some other german amiga rpgs, appears I have english versions for most of them anyway although dungeon of avalon at first glance seems to not have perfect translation. I'll have to brave whdload if I want to try amberstar, 10 floppies is a bit excessive!

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    2. Can't you play Ambermoon from the harddisc? I did when I played it, but maybe that's a different version. Not sure how harddicsc on Amigas (or anything about Amigas) work. I'm not much of help there, but at least I know that you can do it. ;-)
      Amberstar is only 1 disc anyways. ;-)

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    3. I don't think it's a copy protection. In one of those two gaming magazine reviews someone linked in the comments, it is written that one can understand the cryptic text if the language robot is a party member.

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    4. I don't know. There might be something like that going on. If I go back to McFly after getting the translation book and then ask Kiendl (my character with the highest "translation" sill) to translate, the game says, "Give KIENDL a hint" (Gib KIENDL einen Anhaltspunkt") and then prompts me with a cursor. No matter what I type, Kiendl just returns the original (nonsense) text. I'm not sure what the game is looking for with the "hint" or "clue."

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    5. I tried to google for a manual. I didn't find one, but the guy who made the WHD-files (Psygore) mentioned in a message board that there is no copy protection.
      So maybe you'll have to find out later how to do this translation.

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    6. Ok. Some more thoughts about copy protection. First, I have to say that I didn't look very closely at the screenshot containing McFly, and the way the cryptic text is included inside the normal text looks indeed like a possible copy protection (but could be as well just a quest, I think).

      It might be possible that the guy who made the WHD-files just checked if he could start playing without having to answer a copy protection-question. But I suspect that he knew what he was talking about.

      In addition, the programmer who provides the short instructions and the download link on his website does not mention a copy protection either.

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    7. Whatever the case, I'm stuck until I figure it out (or someone comes along with the answer). McFly wants me to translate the weird text; my character clearly has some mechanism for doing so but relies on a "clue."

      I'll paste the whole dialogue with McFly below. Maybe some of my German readers can find a "clue" in here that I didn't translate adequately.

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    8. Male Bekannschaft mit unfreundlichen Elementen dieser Welt gemacht zu haben. Wesentlich intersanter ist jedoch der gross Schüssel, den er, für euch gut sichtbar, in seiner rechten Hand hält...

      "Ihr wollt wohl den Schlüssel zum Eriankeller holen, was? Dann kann ich euch gleich sagen, dass ihr den nicht so ohne weiteres bekommen werdet. Erst einmal sollt ihr mir die Uebersetzung der Worte '{weird text|' liefern. Dies liegt ganz in eurem Interesse, denn ohne Sprachkenntnisse werdet ihr auf Kyrion nicht allzulange üerleben. Kommt wieder, wenn ihr glaubt, den 'Satz' verstanden zu haben!" Kevin, so nennt sich der Mann, beordert euch hinaus, um sich danach wieder in den Schutz seiner Höhle zurückzuziehen...

      ****

      I tried "Satz" because it was in quotes, but nothing happened.

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    9. Hmm, in this text, I don't see any 'hints'. One could try 'Schlüssel', 'Eriankeller' or 'Kyrion', but I doubt that this would work.

      I would guess that the hint can be found in some way in the environment: like in a conversation with a person, an item that can be found or a scribbling on a wall. Or it could be a more indirect hint like if one can first translate some other (simpler) Kyrion text one might then know a word or a symbol of the weird text from that McFly guy, which might be the hint for the translation. But I am just guessing...

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    10. ...occasions to have made the acquaintance of this world's unfriendly elements. Much more interesting, however, is the large key that he holds, in your plain view, in his right hand...

      "I guess you want to get yourselves the key to the Erian cellar, huh? Then I can tell you right away that you won't get it just like that. First you shall give me the translation of the words ____ ______ _____. That's in your very own interest, because without language skills you won't survive for long on Kyrion. Come back when you think you've understood the sentence!" Kevin, which is what the man calls himself, orders you out, only to retreat back to the protection of his cave...

      ****

      As far as I can tell, there's no clue embedded in the text itself. Judging from the screenshot, with three short words separated by spaces, and e.g. the 1st, 3rd and last letters being the same, I would rather assume that it's some kind of substitution cypher, maybe with the translation book as its key, and that you need to type in the 3-word phrase it decodes to.

      Or maybe you just need to raise your language stat further.

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    11. Well, here's as far as I got without knowing German words to sort in (if it is a substitution cypher): 1213 456738 89671. Good luck.

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    12. I figured it out. The "clue" word was SKRIT, the name of the language. Duh.

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  6. I wonder who was in charge of drawing the character portraits. They just look so unbelievably ugly and just... naive. The other graphics in the game are ok though, so there sure must have been 2 guys doing the graphics?

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    1. It says on the swiss page that there were 2 guys doing the graphics. They opened a shop for computer games after this game.

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    2. Thanks for answering my question. I think they´re better off being shopkeepers than drawing awful graphics...

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  7. My offer still stands :). I can put up an online document with all the German texts extracted from the game and the English translations. It would save you some time.

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    1. I'm happy to take you up on your offer! I just don't know how you'll get all the German text out of the game files.

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    2. Don't worry. I already had a look into the files and they used something similar to rot13 to obfuscate the texts a little bit (a shift rather than XOR). I will write a small script to make the files readable and paste them into an online editor.

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  8. The psi attack, of course, reminds me massively of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Also the look of your 5th team member...
    Yes, the break of immersion would annoy me as well. Maybe I'm currently too much under the influence of Pillars of Eternity, but roleplaying games are also about story-telling and I suspect that quite a bit of appeal gets lost in translation.

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    1. It's also a bit annoying because enemies attack while I'm trying to translate. Technically, the "pause" key should stop that, but I have trouble getting OUT of the emulator without doing something that accidentally triggers un-pause.

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  9. CALL FOR TRANSLATION!

    Ich habe angefangen die deutschen Texte aus dem Spiel zu extrahieren, aber für das Übersetzen ist mir das zu viel, da brauche ich eure Hilfe.
    Ihr erreicht aktuellen Text im Editor unter dem folgenden Link.

    We are working on the translation but it is quite a wall of text, so all help is welcome. You can find the current document at:
    https://piratenpad.de/p/Antares_Translation

    Danke/Thanks

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    1. I did a bit. Will do more, but found out I'm not really good at translating when tired. And I have to avoid spoilers now...

      I wonder if it's possible to put the english text back into the game. ;-)

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    2. Thanks for helping. Putting the English text back into the game could be possible in theory but very fiddly in practice. The German text comes with additional layout commands that needed to be reverse engineered. Not worth the effort, I would say.

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    3. I don't even know how to extract texts out of the game. I'm thinking of helping Chet when he gets to Chinese games but f*ck if I know how to grab those codes out, let alone changing them into the Chinese fonts they represent.

      Also, cool that you're using ROT13 to avoid the spoilers. I would have written crazy journal entries like the Gold Box games or Wasteland.

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    4. Ich bin dabei! ;-) / Will join the crew !

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    5. All German text is now available in the editor. except for status and battle messages (@Chester do you need those too?).

      After not even a day, half of the game is already translated. Awesome!

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    6. Putting the English text back into the game could be possible in theory but very fiddly in practice. The German text comes with additional layout commands that needed to be reverse engineered. Not worth the effort, I would say.

      If you get a complete translation of the script, I'm sure there's someone at ROMHacking.net who'd be interested in inserting it back into the game. With a full translation in hand, a lot of people are more willing to help. Great that you've gotten so much done!

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    7. The translation is very far already. Somebody with english as mother language might want to control read it, but as far as I can judge, it's of decent quality already. Even with literal translation, it sounds much less "forced" in English than in German.

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    8. It's fascinating how far you can get when it's too hot for serious work. :)

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    9. ...and throws it back into a corner...

      ****

      That should be it.

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    10. I have seen somebody has already checked the consistent spelling of alien terms (and corrected my typos there). :-)

      I had to change a riddle since it asked for an english word (I found out because my clue was actually the solution). Now it asks for a synonyme instead of a translation.

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    11. This is fantastic, guys. I can't tell you how much time this is going to save me. When I thought I'd just have to translate a few commands here and there, the thought of using Google Translate didn't bother me, but after I saw that the NPCs were going to have page after page of text, I started to despair a bit.

      I guess my developing knowledge of German will have to wait until another time. I'll just search this translation for keywords instead.

      That was 49 pages pasted into Word. You guys are machines.

      To answer your question, Jan, I'm all set on the combat messages. I've already memorized what they're saying to me.

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  10. With WHDLoad, you usually need to press * before quitting to save the cache to disk. That's probably why your native saves didn't keep.

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    1. It's things like this that make me want to strike all Amiga games from my list.

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    2. PetrusOctavianusJuly 23, 2015 at 1:20 AM

      The thing about Amiga software is that the authors always assume you know all these things. And since you already know, why should they bother document it?
      Using Amiga Forver, for example, I learnt the hard way that it doesn't actually use the disk images you load. Instead it copies them into *temporary* disk images and use those instead. The temporary disk images that are then deleted when you quit the emulator. Maybe it's documented somewhere, or you can change this behabiour, but if so it's bloody hard to find.
      I'm glad I'm past the Amiga era on my own chronological play list.

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    3. Also might add that Amiga games have nothing to with WHDload in the first place, so you should blame the guys who ripped the games for WHDLoads not Amiga.

      In other words if you'd have a badly thought but important shareware on your PC you wouldn't go calling PC a crappy machine because of that, now would you ?

      I think problem is that most people want just the games while guys who make emulators want the whole experience, so you end up with a some sort of a hybrid monster that attempts to obfuscate the fact that all electronics in the 80's required you to know what you were actually doing.

      With that being said authentic experience would of c. be swapping disks back and forth each time you exit the dungeon/turn around and having a collection of a 2000 diskettes laying around your house (I kid you not).

      Also on hind sight biggest problem and the reason for the entire WHDLoad mess is that game developers for Amiga used "unreadable" diskettes as a way of copy protection so 99% of the games ever made were never ever even meant to be loaded from a hard drive in the first place (that is they have a special boot block that loads a special DOS in to memory on start up), also most (all ?) of WHDLoads are from cracked games that never worked that well in the first place.

      Hence I rarely use WHDLoads and prefer to use actual disk images or use original HD install if the game actually has a one.

      Delete
    4. I would think that it goes without saying that if, in 2015, I'm complaining about the Amiga, what I'm really complaining about is the process of emulating Amiga games. Of course I don't blame the Amiga's developers for WHDLoad or anything to do with a future they couldn't have anticipated.

      But your post is a perfect example of what drives me crazy about Amiga emulation. I have half of my commenters telling me I absolutely have to get WHDLoad and half telling me it's a bad idea. I get half telling me to get "Amiga Forever," which I paid for, and half condemning AF as garbage, and it's hard to know who to listen to.

      In my entire blogging career, in contrast, no one has ever suggested that there was some superior alternative to DOSBox.

      Delete
  11. I can't help to find stuff like this hilarious:

    " I don't have a compass yet, but the opening narration said that a signal came from the west, corresponding roughly with Kirk Hammett's house."

    ReplyDelete

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