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Anyway, I recently broke open the rom for Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. Dslazy mostly spat up .p (path) files, which are basically useless because, as far as I know, there's no way to break into those. Guess what DID extract correctly, though?
The sound files!
There are all of the sound effects, bgm files, and vocal songs, all compressed to hell! I even opened one of them up in Audacity after converting it through Cinepack and it was almost completely in the red, meaning the music is so loud in the game that it lost a lot of information, resulting in the really "soft" sound that the soundtrack suffers from on this port.
The files extracted like this:
bgm00.adx ->Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom theme (title screen)
bgm01.adx ->Little Love
bgm04.adx [Tune that plays when Cornet and Ferdinand meet; it wasn't included on the Rhapsody/Puppet Princess soundtrack, but did make an appearance on the Little Princess ost]
bgm05.adx ->Dream Hunter
bgm06.adx ->Marjoly Family Anthem
bgm07.adx ->Welcome to the Dungeon
bgm08.adx [Tune that plays in the Cape of Hope]
bgm09.adx ->Lady's Barrette
bgm10.adx ->Mother's Lullaby
bgm11.adx [contest bgm]
bgm12.adx ->Shooting Star
bgm15.adx ->Castle Evening
bgm16.adx ->Rhapsody Afar
bgm18.adx [Frog Kingdom bgm]
bgm22.adx ->The Wanderer
bgm23.adx [Beauty Castle bgm]
bgm25.adx ->Last Waltz
bgm30.adx ->Spirit Wind
bgm33.adx ->Red Lunchbox (plays in the worm train)
bgm38.adx ->Victory Tune
The ones without titles next to them are literally gone. I tried to open the Japanese rom, but it showed the files the exact same way, so either I (or dsLazy) did something wrong OR the missing songs are actually buried in the .p files.
Now, let's look at the vocal tunes! I'm using the English-language titles because we're all more familiar with those, but the songs themselves are all in Japanese, just like on the cart.
song01.adx-> Let's Go On
song02.adx-> Let's Go On (contest)
Song03.adx-> Our World
Song04.adx-> Evil Queen (Petals of Evil)
Song05.adx-> Let's Go On (Cherie)
Song06.adx-> Thank You
Song08.adx-> Amphibian Kingdom
Song09.adx-> Mountain Men
Song10.adx-> True Courage
Song12.adx-> Let's Go On (MIDI trumpet tunes; for when you recruit a puppet)
Song24.adx-> Girls! To Arms!
Song25.adx-> Evil Queen (the first song from Cherie's chapter)
Song26.adx-> Thank You (Cherie version)
Ummmm........yeah. Three songs from the "cut content" are still on the English-language rom. The chapter files are identical on the Japanese and English roms, and I'm willing to bet hard money that ActBg1.p and ActBg2.p are the bonus content.
tl;dr the "removed" content was literally just rendered non-accessible and is, in fact, still on the cart, buried in the files.
They could have just copied and pasted content and edited the songs as they worked on them, assuming the subtitles are tied to the same file. That way they don't ***** up the code and have lines requesting files that aren't there.
But now I'm wondering if it was just a glitch... Some reviewers said they had access to it and I swore I saw a screenshot of an English version of part of the bonus content but that was over 5 years ago and I've probably been blinded with rage to remember it clearly as I still hate and refuse to give NISA money after this event. I remember someone from NISA doing damage control on their forum saying that it was translated and they didn't know why it wasn't in the game but I can't confirm that since I believe that was on their old and forgotten forum.
The content could be there but inaccessible because of a glitch or because they never translated it and cut off the code. The only way we can know is if someone hacks the game and finds out for sure.
I think I remember seeing a screenshot, as well. No telling where it was, though (I thought I remembered a screenshot of the Cherie-focused chapter, but my brain could have also been bs'ing me on that account.)
Maybe if the debug mode was clearly accessible this could be tested further, but I'm new to romhacking, and most developers try to hide that mode anyway. On older gaming systems, I believe you could sometimes bring that up with a regular retail copy of the game (Golden Sun comes to mind) but I doubt you could do that very easily on a DS cart.
Anyway, yeah, there it is. I just checked the chapter files again, too, and the English rom is missing "act5.p", but I'm not sure what that means; hopefully, it's just a weird glitch on my computer's part.
I tried playing through the Japanese rom a few years back to see if I could get to the bonus content though there - I didn't get very far because my computer wasn't made for gaming - and I noticed a few snippets that were cut from the English port; namely, a short scene where Etoile interacts with her father a bit more (which probably served to bridge the gap between the original content and the Angel's Present chapter in Eringya Valley) and another one that focused on Myao (or maybe Marjoly, it's been awhile) and Burg talking to one another on-screen.
I don't know if I accidentally triggered something in the Japanese copy, or if those were just dummied out of the English release; in any case, I have no idea what chapter file those would be in. The Etoile scene was right after Cornet gets ready for the big Musical Adventure that makes up most of the game, and the Burg scene was.....after you catch the fish for the sailor's daughter, I believe.
In any case, yeah, NISA still doesn't seem to be the greatest company in the world, but their more recent mishaps have been much smaller (Disgaea DS had colour balance issues, but as far as I've experienced it's played smoothly.)
If it was titled act5, I can promise you that is Cherie's bonus content. Angel's Present, the PS2 sequel, was divided up into 6 chapters and followed 6 different set of characters. Cherie's was chapter 5 and I believe they said Cornet's chapter was being integrated into the main story so that wouldn't have its own file. So I guess it is nice to know they at least removed it instead of it being glitched out of existence.
My problem with NISA for a while was the fact that they weren't releasing games and focused on subbing anime. They localized a lot of Idea Factory games but those were generally pretty awful. La Pucelle got a PSP remake that never made it to the US, which I found odd because I thought NISA was partly formed because Mastiff censored the hell out of La Pucelle Tactics when they localized it and they didn't want that to happen again... I don't remember where I heard that but that seemed like a good reason. I got a bit more angry when I found out they added Cornet DLC to that game and I wasn't going to get to play that.
I think their DLC is out of hand as well but that is mostly NIS themselves. It seems like Disgaea games have less secret characters in favor of having more DLC characters.
On a side note, someone is patching La Pucelle for the PSP into English and almost done but it doesn't look like they will get the DLC translated.
Yup, the Japanese rom has act5.p in its files :/
How difficult would it be to make a patch that adds those two chapters, do you think? Or is it even worth it at this point?
If you know what you're doing, I can't imagine that adding Cherie's chapter would be too hard. I'm not a programmer but I'm sure that chapter is activated when you select new game after there is a cleared data so I doubt that would be too hard to implement.
The most time consuming part would be converting the text from Japanese to English. The translating part is already done, there is an FAQ on this site that already has all the dialog in English. The items and most of the attacks will already be translated and comparing the two versions would make it easy to find the ones that were removed, if they were even taken out to begin with. The person adding an English patch to the PSP La Pucelle took about 4 months to get through most of the game and is currently adding final touches and having some players proofread through the game so if you figure out how to edit the text and compare it to the English version, you might be able to get down within a month or two.
I'm not sure about Cornet's chapter. Since they added it to the main game, you would have to find out exactly what they changed and when it was implemented. It could get complicated because NISA may have replaced some sections to make up for the fact that content isn't there or NIS may have removed some of the original version to make it more seamless.
Whether it is worth it or not is up to you. Cherie's chapter can probably be added without too much trouble and that was the reason why fans bought the DS version. I know I would get it if it meant seeing part of the story that never made it to the US. There aren't that many Marl Kingdom fans but the ones that are there are oddly dedicated. You would get a much bigger audience if the two sequels got translated but that is more complicated. I'm not sure if people even have PS2 hacking toolsets and Little Princess would require reprogramming the actual game engine because it doesn't like working on anything but grey Japanese PS1s (and supposedly an English patch of Little Princess was almost done but the guy who was doing the project kinda... disappeared)
On the topic of the English translations, I already have copies of those saved on a flashdrive somewhere, and I went through and edited them for consistency and whatnot a few years back because there were some things bugging me about them. I don't know where the original translators went, but I'd want to get their permission to use their translation and give them credit if I did make a patch.
I'm not sure how I'd go about replacing the text, and right now, that's a pretty big issue. All of the files, save the sound effects and music, are compressed and saved as an extension that can't be cracked into very easily, but surely someone in the romhacking community would know how to work around that.
Beyond that, I think one of the first steps would be dropping act5.p and act3.p (?) into the English version and cleaning up the English script further so that it fits in smoothly with the rest of the game, so when the time comes to replace the text, I won't be held back by, what, probably 50 pages worth of dialogue?
Wow, I guess that is about 50 pages of dialogue. Cherie's chapter takes 88 pages in wordpad but it formatted weird and double spaced as well as a few editor notes thrown in there.
Romhacking has a bunch of DS translations already so I'm sure someone there can get you on the right path. I'd focus on getting Cherie's chapter working on the English version followed by translating it. Everything is isolated to post game for that. Messing with the main game when you're unfamiliar the coding could make the whole thing not work. Cornet's extra content is pretty short, I played it on my PS2 and while it is nice, it won't really add much to the whole experience, outside of having one of the catchiest songs in the series. Cherie's chapter shows much more character development and back story.
That's true. Most people who are itching to play the bonus Cornet stage have probably already played through the first 30~ minutes of Tenshi no Present, watched a playthrough, or have had to live with the translated script.
I got the Borgor + MissMera script down to 54 pages, and I'm not even done filtering out all of the translator notes, plus, I'm only just getting started on the slight rewrites, which I'm doing as I go along.
Since I've never reached Cheri's scenario in Rhapsody DS, do you know if her death scene was included twice (once in the main game, once in the New Game +)? That would bring up a whole new host of issues for the English script, as there's more going on in Cheri's retelling of the event, and more characters to juggle.
I'm sure it was included twice because the the narrative is completely different. The only reason it wouldn't be included is if they trimmed Cherie's chapter down due to space issues.