EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

A project for the PC-98 version of Enix's 46 Okunen Monogatari - The Shinka Ron (4.6 Billion Year Story - The Theory of Evolution). You can think of this game as the grandfather of the SNES game E.V.O. The Search for Eden (To Distant Eden).
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SkyeWelse
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EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by SkyeWelse » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:29 am

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While exploring some of the projects and project proposals over at Romhacking.net I came across a thread that was discussing the possibilities of hacking this game for an English translation.

I'm not sure how many of you remember E.V.O. The Search for Eden developed by ENIX, but I sure do and it was one of my favorite games growing up on the SNES and it has a bit of a cult following. I remember finishing more than once too because of how open-ended it was with developing and evolving your character. The game had a fantastic premise, you start off as a basic fish just gumming your way to victory against other fish and underwater creatures in the sea in a survival of the fittest battle. You could then level up your fish with new evolutionary traits and features such as larger fins to swim faster, a bigger body to have more life, and sharper teeth to do more damage. As you got out of the water, you became a fish with feet, and then a full on lizard, then a dinosaur, various mammals and if you knew the correct combination formula, you could even become a human near the end of the game. I think I ended up with a crazy scaled four legged beast with a horn and teeth that were sharp as hell as I chomped my way to victory.

Overall it was a strange game and very fun to play. It also had a great soundtrack as well which was to be expected of many Enix titles during the SNES era.

Anyhow, this RH.net thread pointed out a version of this game that I had never knew existed and it's quite different. The SNES version was a full on action-rpg whereas this is a turned based rpg and the evolution of your character is slightly different as well and I think it has a larger story too from what I've read. It has a one-winged angelic character named Lucifer who looks like Marilyn Monroe in it too, which I don't remember at all in the English SNES version as well as multiple endings based on choices made during the game or depending on how you wish to evolve your character.

The main hacker / programmer on this project is a member here named Hollowaytape and he has a translator already onboard named Kuoushi. If we can figure out the graphics format for the game, that is what I would personally love to assist with as well as testing it on actual PC-98 hardware. I asked Hollowaytape if a sub-forum of the game would be helpful, and he said that having one would be useful to his project. There are a few areas that he would like to have others who might be more familiar with PC-98 software hacking to take a look at as well.

Hardcore Gaming 101 Article

-Thomas

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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by hollowaytape » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:06 am

Hi all! Thanks to Thomas for creating this subforum. I am new to both romhacking and the PC-98 in general, but I've been programming for a few years and I thought this would be a fun and interesting project to start with. Notably, the text is just plain Shift-JIS, so getting a dump was just a matter of finding where it was all hiding. The game can display English text without any problems, too. I'd read that these were two of the most unpredictable things to deal with, but they're easy here. Yay!

As it stands, the dumping is done and translation is underway.

Two things I'd love to get some help on are the .GDT image format and the dialogue pointers. I've figured out a lot of the individual parts of how the .GDT works but am having trouble with how the different color planes interact. I've found a bunch of pointers for boring things like system stuff and error messages, but nothing for the dialogue itself. I will make some detailed posts about what I've figured out so far in the next few days.

Oh yeah, and I wrote that Hardcore Gaming 101 article up there. The HG101 forums and twitter in the last few days had a lot of people commenting that the game looks awesome but they wish they could play it in English, so it looks like there's plenty of interest in seeing this project completed!

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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by josejl » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:42 pm

Hmmm,I gave this a look,and I found something about the pointers.

There isn't any pointer table,it's more like the dialogue values are hardcoded into the functions.I only have checked 4 or 5 NPCs from the first level though.
46.JPG
46.JPG (129.04 KiB) Viewed 1745 times
For example,the closest NPC you can find uses the 0612 one. All the others NPC I talked to seem to follow the same pattern,they call the 8318 routine
This code can be found in ST1.EXE.

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zeromonkey
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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by zeromonkey » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:56 pm

Could be interesting, but I absolutely don't touch anything with ENIX involved from their early years due to the sheer amount of skill the programmers had back then. I will however cheer you on from the sidelines. Be forewarned, they were good at complex game programming and usually makes for a lot of headaches when dealing with it. Good luck though.

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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by hollowaytape » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:43 am

josejl wrote:Hmmm,I gave this a look,and I found something about the pointers.

There isn't any pointer table,it's more like the dialogue values are hardcoded into the functions.I only have checked 4 or 5 NPCs from the first level though.

46.JPG

For example,the closest NPC you can find uses the 0612 one. All the others NPC I talked to seem to follow the same pattern,they call the 8318 routine
This code can be found in ST1.EXE.
Wow! That's really helpful. I found the 0612, 061C, 064A... values in ST1.EXE starting at offset 0x2232. When you add D7E0 to their values, you get the text's location in the file. It's the same constant you add to the pointers that are in tables. This looks promising, I'll mess with these values tomorrow.

Edit: Looks like these pointers work pretty much as I expected, and they're straightforward to change. I added these into my text dump, which took me from about 350 text pointers mapped out to 2,008.
Last edited by hollowaytape on Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by Gu4n » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:52 pm

Interesting project. After I read this thread, I decided to give the game a go and it really is a predecessor for E.V.O. Search for Eden. I must say that I prefer 46 Okunen Monogatari's more narrative-oriented, turn-based battle approach and the drama of the dialogue (for, you know, Theloduses), so I'll be following this project closely. Best of luck!

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Re: EVO - 46 Okunen Translation Project

Post by SkyeWelse » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:38 pm

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EVO has evolved into a finished project!
http://46okumen.com/2016/12/28/e-v-o-th ... 98-is-out/

-Thomas

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