A distant goal is to create a script for my custom emulator project that will allow fans to play the Japanese Final Fantasy VI T-Edition hack in English. The hack is incredibly complex and thorny, enough that a full translation patch is considered to be impossible. Personally, I say it’s possible but just excessively work-intensive to do a patch. In any case, I started laying the groundwork for a non-patch translation project (which uses my custom emulator sidebar stuff as a base) a few weeks back but I needed to determine some info ahead of time in order to save myself a ton of work later.
First, the original FF6 script contained about 3000 lines of text. The FF6T script clearly has many more, and after doing the necessary reverse engineering, I learned that it’s around 4600 lines of text. Most of the original script was left intact, though, so I decided to run a comparison to see which of the original FF6 lines matched the FF6T lines. In these cases, since nothing was changed, I simply display the equivalent line from the SNES English translation. This alone will save me a lot of time – otherwise I’d be retranslating the entire original game from scratch (which has already been done to death) AND the entire new hack!
But I soon discovered that many of the changed lines simply had kana words changed into kanji – in other words, no meaning was changed. So I wanted to find a way to identify these lines too and avoid having to manually translate them. So I made a big HTML file of text lines that were different in FF6 and FF6T, which you can see here if you’re interested:
Using this file, I then manually made a list of the line #s that were essentially the same despite kanji differences. In all, about 440 original lines were changed, and adding in the number of completely brand new lines, I have about 1600 lines of text to translate. Oh man. That’s on top of all the other programming, enemy/item/spells/technique names, and whatever else I’m forgetting. But I think it’ll be worth it in the end… whenever that comes.
I’m currently using FF6T version 2.5 as a base, but it gets updated often enough that by the time I finish it’ll be beyond 3.0. Hopefully not TOO much will change between those versions, or we’ll just be stuck using 2.5.