Final Fantasy II retranslation for the NES

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Chaos Rush, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

    AKA J.Matz Member
    First things first, to avoid confusion: This is a hack of Final Fantasy II for the NES, the second Final Fantasy game, the one with the weird leveling system and where the whole game is basically doing whatever Princess Hilda tells you ("plz go to Fynn" "plz find Mythril" "plz find Masks" "omg Leon is evil")

    This is a project that I've been working on for the past several months, and it's finished now. It's a retranslation of Final Fantasy II for the NES that aims to provide a way to play the original game but with modern series terminology consistent with the GBA/PSP/iOS remake of Final Fantasy II, in addition to providing a script that reads much better than the Demiforce translation and the English Prototype ROM.

    I'm just gonna copy+paste my post from RHDN:
    Brief history of FFII (skip if you already know):
    As we all may or may not know, this game was first released only in Japan for the Famicom (Japan's equivalent of the NES). It was meant to be released in the US and Square began work on translating it, but ultimately scrapped it, and the US didn't get another Final Fantasy game until Final Fantasy IV. Anyhow there exists a prototype of Square's English Final Fantasy II for the NES with a very broken translation (Hilda: "How is he MingWu?", MingWu:"Yes..I sense great vitality", Hilda: "Oh please"). In the late 90's, Neo Demiforce made their own translation of Final Fantasy II for the NES, and it was rather decent for its time, though it has its issues, which I will get into later. In 2002 Square released the Final Fantasy Origins compilation in the US for the PS1, which is the first time the US got an official release of Final Fantasy II. An updated port for the GBA was released in 2003, and all subsequent ports on the PSP and mobile devices are based off the GBA release.

    Anyhow, despite all these fancy updated ports we now have, some people like me want to play the original with 8-bit graphics, but at the same time would like an updated translation as well as modern item and spell names used by Square Enix, but for Final Fantasy II there really aren't any options. The prototype ROM has laughable grammar, and the Neo Demiforce translation, while great for its time, has a lot of mistranslated lines and names inconsistent with the official releases.

    Because the Key Terms in FFII can be referenced in FFII's text with just two bytes, and because the names of FFII's items/characters/key terms differ between the Neo Demiforce translation and Square Enix's modern releases, I can't simply change the respective names in the text to the modern ones, as the lengths are different, which means a lot of reformatting and repointing would have to be done. Not to mention, the translation itself has some inaccuracies here and there and rather than combing through the entire script searching for them, it's just better to redo it completely. So I have decided to redo the entire script altogether. And thus, I present to you, Final Fantasy II: Refurbished.

    As of January 16th, 2016, this project is complete! (But a gameplay improvement patch is coming soon, in addition to patches to fix any current typos).

    * All characters, items, enemies, location names, and key terms are the same as they are in the GBA/PSP/mobile versions of Final Fantasy II (with some abbreviations)

    * completely new script made using the GBA version (Dawn of Souls) as a guide. However, Dawn of Souls contained extra lines of text that weren't in the original, and this was not the translators adding stuff for fun, but rather these extra lines were in the Japanese Dawn of Souls as well (which is why Square didn't use the PS1 script for DoS, since DoS added new lines). These extra lines are not included in FFII: Refurbished, and the only text content in the game will be the content that was present in the original Famicom release (and I guess the PS1 release, since the PS1's text content is identical to the original as well. The new stuff wasn't added until the GBA version). So basically what I'm doing is, look at the GBA script, compare it to the PS1 script, and also look at the original Japanese script (I'm not fluent enough to actually translate on my own but I do know a little Japanese, which helps somewhat) to decipher what was added in Dawn of Souls, and remove that line. Then I paraphrase wherever possible just to save space (for instance, "I'm Gordon" instead of, "My name is Gordon"). To insert the text, I have developed a new FF2 text editor specifically for this game that allows for dynamic text compiling.

    * better use of icon text. The Diamond Armor and the Diamond Cuirass will actually be distinguishable.

    * I wrote a new text editing tool specifically for this project (in fact I wrote two, but I've abandoned the former as the second one I wrote is a lot more versatile). My tool, CastleFynn, is capable of dynamic text recompiling, which means that it can recompile all the text at once so that they're all packed together and will handle the repointing for me. This ensures that I will have the most efficient use of space in the ROM.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    NPC & cutscene text - 100%
    Item names - 100% (expanded to nine characters)
    Enemy names - 100%
    Key terms - 100%
    Battle text - 100%

    Tools used:
    * GoldFinger Hex Editor
    * Free Space Finder (even though it's meant for GBA lol)
    * TileMolester Alternate
    * FinalText (a FF2 text editor made by me, I did release it)
    * CastleFynn (an unreleased FF2 Text editor made by me, is a lot more versatile than my previous tool, FinalText)

    * Square Enix - for making this game and remaking this game
    * NeoDemiforce - for translating this game in 1998
    * HackMew - for making Free Space Finder
    * whoever made TileMolester
    * whoever made TileMolester Alternate
    * Tomato - I'm using the font from his Mother 1 GBA translation patch
    * Vanya - stat name suggestions
    * Rodimus Primal - intro text and general support
    * vivify93 - formatting inspiration, as well as some item name suggestions
    * SpiderDave - B-button dash

    Q: Which translation is this based off of?
    A: The GBA FF2 translation (Dawn of Souls), but any lines that weren't present in the original Famicom version are removed, and then the text is further paraphrased for space reasons. Any lines that were in the Famicom version but were changed in the GBA version, I am retranslating from scratch (as I know enough Japanese to translate simple lines, and I double and triple check to make sure they're the correct meaning).

    Q: Do you plan on altering the menus to get the full item/enemy/spell names?
    A: Eventually, yes. For now they're being abbreviated, but someday I would like to get the full modern names in with minimum usage of 'squish tiles'.

    Q: When do you think you will be finished with this?
    A: I have no idea. I have a busy life. It's finished now :)/>/>/>/>/>/>

    Q: Will you do the same for Final Fantasy I?
    A: No lol, cause there's already plenty of definitive Final Fantasy I hacks for the NES, such as Final Fantasy Restored, or Grond's Final Fantasy.

    Q: Will you do the same for Final Fantasy III?
    A: Maybe...

    Q: Why don't you just play the GBA/PSP/iOS version?
    A: shut up lol

    Q: Do you know any Japanese?
    A: Yes. I was born in Japan but have lived in America since 2001. I am not fluent in Japanese, but I went to Japan's equivalent of pre-school/kindergarten (called 'youchien') in Japan, so I can read hiragana and katakana perfectly and I understand basic Japanese sentence structure. However, my vocabulary is very limited (it is the same as that of a Japanese pre-schooler), but I am working to improve it. Knowing Japanese does help with figuring out the differences between FF2j's text and FF2GBAj's text.

    Q: When will you release your FF2 text editors?
    A:As I work on Final Fantasy II: Refurbished, I'm gradually making improvements to FinalText. Because I'm constantly making changes, I'll release it once it's at a point that I'm 95% satisfied with what it can do. FinalText is already released AND it is already obsolete as I've written a much better text editor capable of dynamic text recompiling, which I haven't official released yet (but I will when this project is finished).

    Q: Will there be any gameplay enhancements?
    A: Yes, but as a separate patch. Coming soon.



    The entire game is playable from start to finish. This is not a gameplay alteration patch, this patch acts purely as a translation/localization of the original game. The gameplay alteration patch will be a separate patch that will be released in the coming weeks. But first, I would like to get the text-only patch out there. I am not yet submitting this up on the RHDN database, because there's bound to be a few typos or text wrapping goofs that I've made, so I'm going to release this on the RHDN forums first so people can try it out (you should probably use cheats because the vanilla game as it is is grindy), and if you spot any typos or text wrapping glitches, report them here and I'll have it fixed by the next release. Also for those of you that wanted the thinner font, that will be a separate patch included in the next release, but not this current release.

    Patch this to a CLEAN, UNMODIFIED, JAPANESE Final Fantasy II ROM.

    Please report any typos or text wrapping goofs you find here.
  2. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Very nice work! Is the tool itself released? I'm just thinking about anyone who might want to add additional languages (French, Spanish, etc).
  3. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush

    AKA J.Matz Member
    The tool isn't released yet, I need to make some last minute additions to it in order to make it more user-friendly. I definitely hope people will use it to make translation hacks in their own language.

    EDIT: v1.1 is out: [removed]
    - The term "Airship" can now be learned from Cid
    - Typo in Gordon's dialogue fixed
    - "GblinGard" enemy name changed to "Gob.Gard"
    - B-Button Dash removed because the way it was implemented was possibly causing incorrect enemies to appear in certain areas (will try to bring it back for the next release after doing some investigation)

    EDIT2: v1.2 is out: [removed]

    If you downloaded v1.0 or v1.1, please re-download. There were some silly mistakes made with the first release (the B-Button dash routine overwrote some data that was misinterpreted as free space, so for v1.1 I redid the whole thing on a fresh ROM by copying the text and other stuff over, but I forgot to update the party character names, so that's been fixed for v1.2). I apologize for such a mess of a first release, but with v1.2 this should sort out all the stupid goofs I made.

    EDIT: I've released my text editor now:,21105.msg295472.html#new

    EDIT3: The current version will always be here: