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Thread: Popful Mail and Lunar II get de-WD'd

  1. #1
    Senior Member cj_iwakura's Avatar
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    Popful Mail and Lunar II get de-WD'd

    While I'm a fan of the originals, I still find this fascinating, especially the new font:
    (The shade thrown is not my own.)

    From RHDN:


    So if you haven't heard the story by now, Working Designs was an American game publisher in the '90s that specialized in licensing niche Japanese games, totally rewriting their scripts to insert crude jokes and pop culture references, completely wrecking their difficulty by jacking up all the enemies' stats and adding other cheap impediments, then releasing them in the US. (If you like the sound of that, these patches probably aren't for you.)

    Most of the games they put out are sufficiently esoteric that no one's interested in doing a retranslation, so often, these butchered versions are the only way to play the games in English. That seemed like a real shame to me, so lately I've been working on this little project to restore the gameplay from the Japanese versions of these games. Since I'm not a translator, I can't do anything about the made-up dialogue, but I'm aiming to at least get the difficulty back to what it was intended to be (and for Lunar, to get the script in lower case!).

    So far I have essentially-complete patches for Lunar: Eternal Blue (Sega CD version) and Popful Mail. I'm not sure how many more of these I'll make or how quickly I'll get them done, but I figured I'd share my work so far. Detailed patching instructions are included in the download links above, but the tl;dr is "Convert your BIN/CUE to ISO/WAV if needed, patch the ISO, and make sure you have a CUE sheet configued to use the audio tracks".

    Let me know if you run into any problems using these, or if you know of some additional difficulty changes Working Designs made that I didn't fix. I'm especially interested in whether these run on real hardware, particularly Eternal Blue -- for that one I rebuilt the ISO, and when I've done that for other Sega CD games I've gotten inconsistent results across different emulators.

    If you're interested, I'm writing up the changes made to the games for TCRF. Check these games' pages if you want details on what Working Designs did.


    Lunar: Eternal Blue (Sega CD) -- patch v0

    Theoretically complete, but I've only tested a small portion of the game. Due to the heavy-duty script editing done to get the text proofread and in lower case, there may be issues overflowing text boxes or certain conversations crashing the game. Let me know if anything blows up.
    Changes:

    * All enemies have their stats restored to what they were in the Japanese version. (The US version increases most enemies' HP by 25% or more, and also drastically increases many enemies' Attack and/or Defense).
    * Saving no longer costs Magic EXP.
    * Items that were made more expensive in the US version now cost the original amounts.
    * Spells that had their MP costs raised in the US version have been restored to the original costs.
    * The opening cutscene, which was mildly censored for the US version, has been replaced with its Japanese version. This has the not-unpleasant side effect of removing the obnoxious Working Designs credits. (They're still in the ending.)
    * Though not technically a "restoration", all text has been converted to proper mixed case instead of all-caps, and has been proofread to remove at least the most egregious errors.

    Popful Mail (Sega CD) -- patch v1

    Tested all the way through. Patch is complete, assuming no problems arise.
    Changes:
    * All enemies have their stats restored to what they were in the Japanese version.
    * The formula that calculates damage from passive hazards (lava, spikes, etc.) has been reverted to its original form.
    * Items now cost (and sell for) what they did in the Japanese version.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gypsy's Avatar
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    Oh man the butthurt in the copypasta is fantastic.

    Thanks for posting/sharing in general though.
    Bad media connoisseur and frequent avatar changer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member EternalB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    Oh man the butthurt in the copypasta is fantastic.

    Thanks for posting/sharing in general though.
    This is pretty funny.
    PSN/Steam/XBL - DrgnSlayerDyne

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    Senior Member banditwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    Oh man the butthurt in the copypasta is fantastic.

    Thanks for posting/sharing in general though.
    Agrees
    Well atleast going back to the "original" like all the little kiddos want now.
    Last edited by banditwolf; 01-19-2017 at 01:06 AM.
    Nobody will tell me how to live.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lord of Pirates's Avatar
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    It only took them just shy of twenty two years to 'fix' the 'horrible butchering'. What a wanker.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banditwolf View Post
    Agrees
    Well atleast going back to the "original" like all the little kiddos want now.
    Still being mad about WD in 2017 just amazes me.
    Bad media connoisseur and frequent avatar changer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cj_iwakura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    Still being mad about WD in 2017 just amazes me.
    You should see the crap people troll with at GAF.
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...52&postcount=3

    "and with Hillary losing the election, the ship has sailed once again on all his new clinton JRPG jokes... "

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lord of Pirates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    Still being mad about WD in 2017 just amazes me.
    I laughed years ago and I laugh now. It's pretty sad at this point though.

    Quote Originally Posted by cj_iwakura View Post
    You should see the crap people troll with at GAF.
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...52&postcount=3

    "and with Hillary losing the election, the ship has sailed once again on all his new clinton JRPG jokes... "
    I can only hope so.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kleev_55's Avatar
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    Looooool the butthurt.
    Anyway, I'm glad that at least some work is put into these games.
    Unfortunately, I see very little reason to replay Lunar 2 like this. I loved the difficulty in the USA version.
    The font change is OK but, once I get used to it, I'm not gonna notice it enough to enjoy it anymore. And that's sad, because it sounds like it took a lot of work.
    I'd be more inclined if a retranslation was made to reflect the Japanese version more accurately, but even then I already like the WD translation, so why bother?
    I'd rather learn Japanese than make people work that hard to re-translate.

    Popful Mail though, now THAT is a game that was broken in USA. That's the game i'd have to heal every 1 or 2 hits, but I could easily get hit 3 times quickly consecutively, so more than an adventure game, it felt more like "that game where you have to be quick to pause that also has cool cutscenes".
    Maybe I'd give this patched Popful Mail a go.

    BTW, I love how this thread has Lunar II in the title rather than Lunar 2. Strange enough, the "II" doesn't appear in the titlescreen of the game.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cj_iwakura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleev_55 View Post
    Looooool the butthurt.
    Anyway, I'm glad that at least some work is put into these games.
    Unfortunately, I see very little reason to replay Lunar 2 like this. I loved the difficulty in the USA version.
    The font change is OK but, once I get used to it, I'm not gonna notice it enough to enjoy it anymore. And that's sad, because it sounds like it took a lot of work.
    I'd be more inclined if a retranslation was made to reflect the Japanese version more accurately, but even then I already like the WD translation, so why bother?
    I'd rather learn Japanese than make people work that hard to re-translate.

    Popful Mail though, now THAT is a game that was broken in USA. That's the game i'd have to heal every 1 or 2 hits, but I could easily get hit 3 times quickly consecutively, so more than an adventure game, it felt more like "that game where you have to be quick to pause that also has cool cutscenes".
    Maybe I'd give this patched Popful Mail a go.

    BTW, I love how this thread has Lunar II in the title rather than Lunar 2. Strange enough, the "II" doesn't appear in the titlescreen of the game.
    I always liked the emphasis on 'II' in the Sega CD version, it's how I differentiate between it and EBC.

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