What is Wander Wonder?

An Action-RPG developed by Compile that plays like a combination of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) and Alundra (PSX) with an item drop system similar to Diablo. It's an incredible game that is full of adventure, secrets and items to discover, challenging puzzles to solve, platforming, you name it! It even has some bonuses such as an additional unlocked character and 500 floor dungeon/arena.
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What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:52 am

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What is Wander Wonder?

Gameplay

Wander Wonder is a unique overhead 2D Action-RPG developed by Compile and released Oct. 13th, 2000 for Windows PCs. The gameplay of Wander Wonder is very similar to Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) or the Neutopia series (TG-16/PCE) and probably the most like Alundra (PSX) if you've ever played that one before. It has all the elements of a good solid Zelda clone, swords, hammers, bombable walls, secret passages and caves, dungeons filled with puzzles that you have to unlock little-by-little, it even has a lost woods section later in the game as a obvious homage to Zelda 1 (NES), but after everything is said and done, it's certainly unique enough to step out of the Zelda-clone mold. One aspect that sets it apart and pushes it closer to being more similar to Alundra is the jumping/platforming aspects to the game. There are tons of places to jump around on and many secrets to find if you are smart enough to figure out your next plan as an RPG "urban runner" hero. The other thing it shares with Alundra are the types of puzzles you will encounter. There are tons of puzzles in this game. Switches, block puzzles, elevation puzzles, stacking puzzles, floating platform puzzles/timing, riddles to solve, certain items that must be used in certain locations to proceed with your progress. Even some of the bosses have unique take down strategies using an item or combination of items that you may have recently picked up, bringing it back to what you might experience of a boss fight in Zelda. You'll be able to tell while playing it, that the developers certainly put a lot of thought into this little game that not many people have heard of.

Instead of having only one or two weapons to choose from, Jino will use what he finds on his journey and they will have a number of uses before they break and need to be repaired by the town blacksmith. The weapon drops are pretty randomized and plentiful enough to where you can sell quite a bit of them for money and keep the ones that have better stats, and save the ones that have great stats for tougher enemies. There are daggers, swords, axes, hammers, bombs, shields, a bow an arrow, etc.

Overall the gameplay may not be quite as polished as Zelda, but it's still very enjoyable to play and really stands on it's own for anyone that enjoys good action-rpgs and solving puzzles. It really does offer a well balanced blend of the two. Wander Wonder also comes a gambling-type puzzle mini-game called Wander Number, which featuresJino as the main character.

Art / Style

Wander Wonder also has a very nice art direction and wonderful use of color and style in my opinion. When I first got the game, I was mostly impressed with the visuals of the game and the cover art! I mean, just look how nice this illustration is!
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There are quite a lot of secret and collectable items in the game that will unlock some nice bonuses if you can find them all and after you finish the game, you'll unlock an after story with a few new side quests, an additional playable character that you can switch to and access to a 500 floor dungeon arena, which sadly I was never man enough to finish completely, so I have no idea what truly lies on the bottom floor... Suffice to say, it continues to haunt me even to this day since I would very much like to know what's there... I remember I got fairly close to the end, but it simply was not to be.

Story

I can't really comment too much on the story of the game as my Japanese was (and still is) not good enough to understand most of what went on in the game. From my understanding of the game however, the game starts off with a story told to the main protagonist, Jino Brodiaea in a flashback sequence where his grandfather is explaining some kind of legend related around a mythical and powerful stone/crystal they call Orichalcum. The scene ends and Jino (now 14 years of age) is standing over his grandfather's tombstone and I can only surmise that Jino has taken upon himself to seek out the stone that his grandfather once spoke about.

On his journey, he collapses of hunger and is rescued by some nearby villagers, who take him in and allow him to stay at the town inn while he has business there. The town serves as a hub for a large portion of the game, but eventually Jino will become strong enough and better equipped to journey to many locales, such as ruins and the nearby capital city. While he is there he befriends a girl named Tia, who seems to have a strange air about her as well, and after awhile, Jino discovers that he's not the only one after the Orichalcum's power. A strange sorcerer who is simply referred to as the "Mystery Man" in Japanese appears to be searching for the stone and does not appear to be up to any good. It's up to Jino and Tia to find the Orichalcum and either harness or destroy it's fearsome power before this man can achieve his goals.

Supplemental Materials

Here is a collection of some Wander Wonder related points of interest if you are curious to learn more.

Wander Wonder D4Enterprise / Project Egg Promotional Flyer

HTML Game Manual - This is included with the game and I say it's an "HTML" manual because it was meant to be opened on a local computer that could read a very archaic HTM/HTML format and much of it was referencing capitalized files which would not show up in an online web browser without some editing overhaul. Fortunately, I've already taken care of that and it's now fully readable in a modern internet browser. It would be nice if we could translated this so that an English version of this exists.

Box / Manual scans
Includes:
Front
Back
Side A
Side B
Scanned Color Manual


Full Play-through Video of Wander Wonder on Nico Nico Douga (*Requires a Nico Nico Douga account to view)

Mkjpg's RPG World - Japanese Website with a lot of Wander Wonder information. By far the most information on the web. I've made an archive of this website in case it should ever go down which can be downloaded here.

An interesting Japanese fan-site with lots of interesting Wander Wonder fan art, icons, short comics, and music. Be sure not to miss this page.

My Collection of Game Saves... All 48 of them, individually labeled as to where they put you at in the game.

Where can I get the game?

While it can be pretty rare to find a physical boxed copy of the game, especially nowadays, you can find it on Project Egg very easily be visiting this link. While it is unknown if this will always be the case, currently at this time of writing this, it is a free game to download for all Project Egg members. If you've not used Project Egg before, it is a subscription service that you sign up for, and after you have signed up any games you download or purchase from that point on will be something that you can download and play for as long as you like even if you cancel your membership with Project Egg. With the exhange rate as it is currently, $4.45 is all it took for me to get Wander Wander and a bunch of other neat Compile games‏ by joining up for a month of service and then cancelling if I wish. Not a bad deal‏ at all, and the best part is, this is not an emulated PC game. They are actually delivering the PC game that can be modified / patched, dumped or extracted as far as we (Xalphenos and I) have been able to determine so far.

How to use Project Egg?

While Project Egg does try to cater a little bit to English speakers, there are still plenty of places that remain in Japanese only (such as their cancellation page lol)

If you need a guide, please see below. However it does assume that you've already created an Project Egg account, but have only set up a free account that allows you to log in with a username and password. Once you have that, please proceed with the steps below:

1. First click on the Log In button/hyperlink written in red:
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2. Next, once you are logged in hit the big orange button:
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3. Image

4. Image

5. Image

6. Image

7. On this page here.

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How to Cancel Project Egg?

Simply go here

Then you just have to hit the button that says "サービス利用停止" or "Terminate Service" and follow any remaining steps.

Edit: After following these steps at the Project Egg website, it simply tell you that if your payment method was via PayPal, you have to cancel your auto-payment / subscription service through PayPal.

How do I setup/play the game?

Wander Wonder was originally developed to be played on an OS around the year 2000, so stuff like Windows ME (Mistake Edition) or Windows XP would normally run the game just fine as long as it was run with the Region and Language Settings turned to Japanese inside of the Windows Control Panel. Nowadays with newer OS' it really needs to be run in compatibility mode for Windows XP. I normally accomplish this by right-clicking on the Wander.exe file and choosing Compatibility settings and choosing a checkmark box next to Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Also, if you are not running a Japanese version of Windows, you'll need to install the Microsoft AppLocale program and run the exe file inside of that set to Japanese as the native language for the software.

I run Windows 8.1 and I can play the game full screen just fine with AppLocale. However I do remember there were some tricks with getting AppLocale to install at all, but it definitely can be accomplished and quite useful anyone who wants play older Japanese PC games on a newer machine / OS.

You can also setup a launcher for the game that resides in the Microsoft AppLocale directory:

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How would I take screenshots?

Personally I would recommend using a tool called DXWnd and making a configuration for the Wander.exe file that looks like my screenshot below:

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*Note, in this screenshot I'm currently using DXWnd DLL version 2.02.87. You can download my copy if you like, or try to see if you can get by with a different version.



Then as long as you have DXWnd running in the background, if you launch Wander.exe through AppLocale, it will take in the DXWnd settings and force it to appear in a window size of your choice. *Note however that not all custom resolutions will work and many may result in a black screen with only audio playing. It may be different depending on your monitors resolution / capabilities, but for my 22 Inch HP2207W, I can get away with a nice 4:3 view of 1280 x 960, which looks nice when you take in-game screenshots.

You'll have to use ALT + TAB to select a different program outside of Wander Wonder when it's running, but it should still sit there on your desktop allowing you to PrtScn and paste it into Paint, or do what I prefer to use, Snipping Tool which is built in to Windows. If you absolutely need to exit the game, the command to do that is F9, which will bring up a "Are you sure you wish to quit? Yes/No" message in Japanese.

Translation project.

I've been wanting to be a part of a translation project for Wander Wonder ever since I finished the game many years back. I approached a few translation teams about it, and never had any bites. I think most just never really knew the game well enough to even consider it. Xalphenos and I both have a vision of seeing this great game in English one day, so I can't think of a better place to open a project workshop for this title than right here at the Heroes of Legend Romhacking community.

I would love to see if it is possible to make this fully playable in English. It's a game that really does deserve to have a translation.

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:36 pm

There's a guess the number game that's often used to teach programming. You can confirm that for yourself with this Google search: https://www.google.com/search?q=guess+t ... rogramming

The Wander Number game seems a little bit like what would happen if you took that game, or one like it, and put a whole bunch of polish on it.

We can definitely translate the manual, no problem. No idea about the game though.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by Xalphenos » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:09 am

flamethrower wrote:We can definitely translate the manual, no problem. No idea about the game though.
From a hacking stand point it shouldn't be too hard. It's been a while since I looked at the game but if I'm remembering correctly the dialogue text isn't compressed or anything; simply hidden by a bitwise NOT. The game also uses windows fonts so no problems rendering English text. The only thing I never bothered figuring out was where the Graphic text was, like the town name when you enter it.

Oh and thanks for uploading your copy of dxwnd SkyeWelse.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:49 pm

flamethrower wrote:There's a guess the number game that's often used to teach programming. You can confirm that for yourself with this Google search: https://www.google.com/search?q=guess+t ... rogramming

The Wander Number game seems a little bit like what would happen if you took that game, or one like it, and put a whole bunch of polish on it.

We can definitely translate the manual, no problem. No idea about the game though.
Well, I'm not sure how to play the game, so it's really hard to say how the "guessing" element really works, but it's probably best if you load it up and give it a shot. From what I can tell from the game without understanding the rules, you have 3 tables in front of you with randomized numbers and you can select which table you wish to interact with. The number on that table will increase the value of the number on the table next to it by a certain amount as it does a domino effect counter-clockwise across the board on into the opponents tables/numbers. There are also two scorekeeper barrels on either side of the setup which will show the opponents score on the left and the player's score on the right. There can be multiple rounds played, but ultimately after a series of rounds ends, whoever has the highest score overall wins the game. A match ends once a player has all ZEROS on their tables and has essentially played their last hand.

There's lot of things that add bonus points, replays where the person who gets a replay gets an additional turn, and some that add points specifically to your score barrel, but it's all over my head at this point. If I knew how to play it, it does seem like an enjoyable game though. :) If Wander Wonder gets off the ground for a translation project, then Wander Number should probably go with it.

Also, a few matches of Wander Number can be played inside the actual Wander Wonder game when you get to the final village/port.
Xalphenos wrote:
flamethrower wrote:We can definitely translate the manual, no problem. No idea about the game though.
From a hacking stand point it shouldn't be too hard. It's been a while since I looked at the game but if I'm remembering correctly the dialogue text isn't compressed or anything; simply hidden by a bitwise NOT. The game also uses windows fonts so no problems rendering English text. The only thing I never bothered figuring out was where the Graphic text was, like the town name when you enter it.

Oh and thanks for uploading your copy of dxwnd SkyeWelse.
That would be great if we could find out where the graphics are stored. And no problem with dxwnd. Apparently not all dxwnd versions are created equal and some downloadable versions have different settings or features from previous versions.

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by NightWolve » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:11 pm

Looks like you found a nice little gem in this game. Good luck. I actually bought Alundra for the PS1 and am familiar with it.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:15 pm

Welcome to the forum NightWolve. Yep! WanderWonder is certainly fun to play and it's more like Alundra than anything else.... or is it that Alundra is more like WanderWonder? :)

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:33 pm

If you equip your armor, it makes the game easier!
To do so, open ring icon with C, then push up/down until you see your armors on the ring icon. Then press Z to confirm which one you want.
It's also possible to equip a second "use item" simultaneously. On the ring icon, push up/down until you see "ITEM2." Pick which one you want and confirm with Z. Use the second item with A.

Hopefully nobody else had those problems... I'm like in the middle of the second dungeon and I'm like... how do you play this game again?
-----------
Having a good time playing this. About four hours in, and I'm on the 5th dungeon already. This game must have a huge number of dungeons!

This 5th dungeon that I'm on (Lasceaux Plateau) seems very difficult compared to prior dungeons.
What is a bat doing carrying a shield!?

Dislikes:
Double-tap for sprint. I don't have the required dexterity to do that with my game controller (on difficult platforming segments), so I use a keyboard instead.
Having to retreat to town to repair equipment.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:17 pm

I discovered a really interesting Japanese fan-site today with lots of interesting Wander Wonder fan art, icons, short comics, and music.

Check it out!

And be sure not to miss this page.

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Tue May 12, 2015 7:42 pm

Making some good progress in my playthrough. Most of the way through Chapter 2.

Tower block puzzle #3 was devlishly hard. It took me like an hour to clear it.
I looked at the solution to the symbol block puzzles because my Japanese isn't up to it and it's a badly designed set of 3 puzzles in my opinion.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Thu May 14, 2015 12:10 am

Yeah some of those puzzles can be pretty difficult, especially without Japanese knowledge. The ones in the Tower with the blocks each had different themes if I remember correctly. It would make much more sense in English. The "Lost Woods" themed puzzle too is pretty difficult if you were a non-Japanese speaker. But if you think these puzzles are frustrating, you should try out Alundra! : )

By the way I've made some script changes and did the insertion earlier today. This video preview is unlisted.



-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Thu May 14, 2015 12:24 am

Whoops!
6.PNG
6.PNG (23.89 KiB) Viewed 8693 times
Glad you were able to use the insertion tools. :)
7.PNG
7.PNG (20.68 KiB) Viewed 8693 times
Maybe try using the Japanese ~ and see how that looks.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Thu May 14, 2015 1:50 am

Ah good catch. I corrected the extra "a". It was left over from the original line of "You sure have a healthy appetite."

Yeah the tools work great, although I did run into a bit of a problem with "Boy" for Jino in the Opdemo00 intro showing up as "Boyoy" or when I changed it later to "JinoTest" it showed as "JinoTestoy". So for now I simply put in "B" temporarily to make "Boy". I'm editing Opdemo00 New btw.

I'll try the Japanese wavy line. It might make it look a bit nicer when these are used. Good idea!

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by Xalphenos » Thu May 14, 2015 1:54 am

flamethrower wrote:
7.PNG
Maybe try using the Japanese ~ and see how that looks.
It's likely to look different depending on what font is used But the Japanese one would probably look better in the current font. That said I don't see why it's even there. The Tilde has no real official use in English, of course I mean American. Unless I'm wrong it's only being used in this instance to elongate the final vowel sound of は. Which the extra "h" does in "Ahh." I'm not saying it's wrong to have it there I'm sure it's come to do similar things in the comic book style and I'm almost certain I've seen it used in officially translated manga. But it adds nothing to the meaning in English.

Just my opinion of course.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Thu May 14, 2015 3:09 am

SkyeWelse wrote:Yeah the tools work great, although I did run into a bit of a problem with "Boy" for Jino in the Opdemo00 intro showing up as "Boyoy" or when I changed it later to "JinoTest" it showed as "JinoTestoy". So for now I simply put in "B" temporarily to make "Boy". I'm editing Opdemo00 New btw.
That is absolutely baffling. I looked at opdemo00.orig, the one with flipped hexes.
"oy" doesn't appear in there.
"oy" doesn't appear in the column that gets inserted.
You didn't experience that problem when inserting other script files.

I would say, "your version of 'opdemo00.orig' is corrupted." To check that it is, search for "oy" (ascii) within this file using a program of your choice. If it comes up clean, them I'm stumped. In hex oy is 0x6F79. I don't recall that string from my script investigations.

Next possibility: The script files in the CD version and the download version aren't the same.

I just don't get it. If things are going wrong, it should break totally, meaning it should crash the game. You should never get weirdness like that.

Here is the insert script: http://pastebin.com/y51bs2Dr
It's around lines 80 to 101.
81: Trigger name insert branch
82-89: Measure the original length (could be messing up here...maybe?)
YES - it's messing up. But I'll get to that in a moment. 82-90 are measuring the length properly like they should be.
91-92: Word-aligning the name string
95: The replace
97-101: Updating the pointers based on new lengths

The mess up is on line 90 or 95 depending on how you count, or maybe even line 8.
On 95 we're replacing the original string with the word-aligned new string.
What we really need to do is replace the word-aligned original string with the word-aligned new string.
Let's do that and see if it works.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that won't fix the issue. Because 少年 is 4 bytes, it's already word-aligned.
I should probably fix the script. I need to put \x00 inside the quotations on line 8. This will cause the string measurer to include nulls as part of the string, which is what I want.

\x## escape code in Python means you want the character that corresponds to ## in hex. If you want, try the following at the Python shell to see how it works:
print '\xFF'
print '\xff'
print '\x40'
print '\x54\x68\x6f\x6d\x61\x73'

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Thu May 14, 2015 11:11 am

Can't reproduce bug.
8.PNG
8.PNG (5.76 KiB) Viewed 8680 times
Script Insert v1.2: http://pastebin.com/MNWmjLhV
I'm not sure what it fixes... But it should probably be fixed so I fixed it.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Thu May 14, 2015 11:35 am

Cool, I'll try this new inserter when I get home from work and we'll see if that works. As for the .sq file I'm taking a backup I made from the Project Egg version and running it through the following process:
  • 1. Download the Wander Wonder Scripts - FILENAME.tsv file from Google Docs.

    2. Take the original FILENAME.sq file from the unpacked FLD archive and run Xalpheno's SQ NOT program on it. This will flip the bytes in all .sq files within the directory.

    3. Rename this converted (flipped file) from FILENAME.sq to FILENAME.orig.

    4. Run Flame's ww_s-jis_encode Python script on the FILENAME.tsv file. The results will be saved as: FILENAME.csv.

    5. Now Run Flame's wander_wonder_script_insert Python script making sure that you have followed the steps above and that you have a new FILENAME.csv + FILENAME.orig in the same directory as the script.
    *Note if this is not being run in Command line and instead inside the IDLE interface, on the second line at the end of the script, ADD: sys.argv.append('FILENAME')
    *Note* You will need to have the .tsv files also in this directory or the script will present an error message.

    6. The result is a new FILENAME.sq located in a newly created directory called "flipped" that can be inserted back into Wander Wonder either into an unpacked FLD archive or packed into a new FLD archive.
And yes, it was only a problem with opdemo00 (technically 'opdemo00 new'). The others that I worked with were opdemo01, inn01 and town01.

-Thomas

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by flamethrower » Thu May 14, 2015 12:46 pm

You can skip (4) as this has been integrated.
For (6), you also have a FILENAME.sq file in the same folder which hasn't been unflipped. Try searching through opdemo00.orig and opdemo00.sq (unflipped version) for that weird string and see what you get. "Boyoy" should appear in opdemo00.sq at least.

In summary- Yeah, I did the same thing and got a different result.

Keep in mind that for extra lines, you can have a delay, a linebreak, or both. If you want a double-delay, the best way is to follow the format per opdemo00 new lines 69-70. Though if you have a blank line with a delay, that will likely also work.

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Re: What is Wander Wonder?

Post by SkyeWelse » Fri May 15, 2015 2:30 am

Well, after testing more, it appears that something was just messed up with the opdemo00.sq file that I had, even when using the new script version. I took a opdemo00.sq file from a separate archive and it worked just fine with "boy" being the string for 少年. So the problem seems to be solved for now at least. : )

-Thomas

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