Project Stuff Archive

Thank Giygas for ImageOptim

I’ve been working on making thumbnails for each of the 252 individual games that are covered on the main site this week. My work computer is a Mac, which is good and bad in different ways. One bad thing is that many of the programs I use on Windows aren’t available for Macs. BUT! There’s a program called ImageOptim for Macs that removes bloated metadata and crunches the images down to much more web-friendly sizes. Check this baby out:

So much savings!!

Not Even a Map Can Save You!

I was working on getting screenshots from an old Japanese text adventure game for an upcoming article. All the text is in English, so I thought I’d have a decent chance of knowing what I was doing. Hah, I was wrong. Even the age-old trick of drawing a map didn’t help:

Some of the rooms didn’t connect properly at all. Like, if I went West from the Tem Rei room, I’d end up two screens north. And if I go East from that same room, I’m suddenly three screens north. And then some rooms repeat if you keep going the same direction. The game doesn’t tell you that you can’t go West from “road”, it keeps reloading the screen so you think you’re on a road that stretches on forever.

Also, don’t ever hit a ZAK. It’s instant death.

Wacky Words in Waku Waku Sweets

Waku Waku Sweets: Happy Sweets Making was released in the 3DS e-shop last month. Last week, someone on twitter shared this amazing mistake with us:

I’m supposed to butter the bread, not the pan. But “pan” (パン) is the Japanese word for “bread”, so there was an understandable mixup here. What happened is a lack of context. It makes perfect sense to butter a frying pan in a cooking game. It also makes sense for a cooking game to ask you to butter some bread. So the translators must have been translating from a script and didn’t have access to any other parts of the game. And then the QA team didn’t catch the mistake.

There are so many other mistakes in this game that I don’t think they had a QA team at all. Lots of grammar issues, stilted dialogue, unlocalized jokes, and incorrect pronouns. On the flip side, they use colloquialisms like “wanna”, “gonna”, “my bad”, and “you go girl”, which is pretty impressive. They also don’t try to turn the Japanese sweets into anything weird – they keep them as-is, which I think is great.

Expect to see more examples of translation errors from Waku Waku Sweets in future articles and books!

A Link to the Past: Somasoa%

It’s over, it’s over! My quest to document the GBA port of Link to the Past in Japanese is over! All for this:

The friggin’ Cane of Somasoa! Which used to be called the Cane of Somaria in Japanese. Actually it still is called the Cane of Somaria in subsequent ports of the Japanese version… Nintendo got a little inconsistent.

To get that screenshot, I had to beat LttP regularly, then phase into the Palace of the Four Swords and beat 4 souped-up bosses and four versions of Dark Link. Since you can only unlock the bonus dungeon by beating Four Swords, and since FS is multiplayer only, I had to use a code to warp past the guy guarding the dungeon. Do you wanna traverse the bonus dungeon for yourself and see a different ending to LttP?

Use this code: 030038F0:20

Don’t talk to the guy guarding the dungeon! Just enable the code while standing in front of him and you’ll be warped past him. Then disable it and you can play through the FS dungeon.

And how long did LttP Somasoa% take?

Oh…

GBA Ports of SNES Games Are Disappointing

Back in like 2003 when Nintendo started releasing ports of NES and SNES games for the Game Boy Advance, I was really excited. Especially when my most favorite game was released: A Link to the Past. But when I played it, I was turned off by Link yelling every time he swung his sword. Not to mention the excruciating sound of phasing between the Light World and Dark World. I don’t think I bothered beating it on the GBA.

But now it’s time to Somaria% this game! Well, more than that – I’m also getting screenshots of all the text and creating many save states for future use.

O.G. San is on the prowl in Hyrule once again! But lordy lordy, I’d forgotten how strange the GBA version sounded. Some pieces of the Hyrule Castle song were simply missing, so it didn’t sound as important and intimidating as it did in the SNES version. And when I fell down that hole in the beginning, Link screamed :I

And the controls! The buttons are mapped strangely because the GBA has fewer buttons than the SNES controller. I had to complete remap them before I could comfortably play it. It’s also a bit easier – my magic bar filled up as soon as I got the Lantern, which doesn’t happen in the SNES version. And the enemies drop way more hearts.

Now that every popular Nintendo game is released over and over on whatever new digital service Nintendo happens to be running, it’s not exciting anymore. It’s exhausting. I pity the poor souls whose first experience with LttP was on the GBA.

A Link to the Past: Somaria%

Mato’s working on expanding the old article on the main site about the Cane of Somaria being renamed in the Japanese version of the GBA port of A Link to the Past (whoa, what a mouthful). I checked the WiiU VC and SFC Mini ports of the game over the weekend. As per the GameCats laws, I named the file “O.G. San” (but in hiragana cuz English letters wouldn’t fit):

Since I only needed to get to the Cane of Somaria and not worry about anything else, I ended up creating a pretty quick route that skips a lot of fat and goes straight for the meat:

  1. Get the Magic Powder (good for turning Fire Fairies/Bubbles into regular Fairies)
  2. Beat the Eastern Palace, get Pegasus Boots and run whenever possible
  3. Beat the Desert Palace, buy Zora Flippers
  4. Upgrade shield and boomerang behind the waterfall
  5. Get to the Dark World
  6. Get the hammer in the Dark Palace, use the Magic Mirror and leave without fighting the boss
  7. Upgrade Magic, rescue the bird from the statue
  8. Fly to Warp Point 1, get Ether Medallion
  9. Fly to Warp Point 7, beat Swamp Palace
  10. Fly to Warp Point 3, beat Blind’s Dungeon
  11. Rescue the frog and upgrade sword
  12. Fly to Warp Point 6, enter Misery Mire
  13. Get the boss key using this guide
  14. Use Magic Mirror to warp to the beginning of the dungeon, walk to big chest and get the Cane of Somaria

I haven’t timed myself, but I like to call this my Somaria% speedrun :]

LoL Forces Us to Play in New Ways

Working on a new article for this week, Mato needed to verify something between the original SNES and SNES mini versions of Kirby Super Star. Not being very knowledgeable of Kirby games, Mato hooked things up so he could play both games side-by-side at the same time…