Filler, of Matt's Messy Room, along with the Dynamic Designs team - partners in the Slayers translation project - have dedicated our English patch to Eien Ni Hen. This recognition is not only in appreciation of the character translations she performed in Slayers, but expresses our gratitude for her assistance with other projects at Matt's Messy Room and also for her contributions to many additional community efforts over a significant period of time.
Initial English Patch Release – March 20, 2010 (v1.00)
Revised English Patch Release – October 21, 2010 (v1.01)
• Typographical and menu corrections identified in-house and reported by game players.
Our Slayers patch is fully compatible with SNES hardware including copiers such as the Super Wildcard DX2. For PC-based playing options, BSNES 060 is the recommended emulator of choice. Due to its true-to-hardware core coding, BSNES should execute all game features flawlessly. Our patch has also been tested successfully with SnesGT.
At this time ZSNES and SNES9x do not appear to support some game features in Slayers, especially simulated battery saves (SRAMs). However, these older but venerable emulators should support basic game play through the use of save-states.
The testing team has also reported some quirky but random text drawing issues when using ZSNES and SNES9x, resulting in stray letters and garbled menus. These problems do not appear to occur in emulators built around highly accurate cores. Although we have introduced assembly coding in an attempt to eliminate these occurrences, we cannot guarantee that older emulators will run this game risk free of errors.
As time passes, please check the archives at Dynamic-Designs for possible updates to our patch version.
Slayers success story is the culmination of many people's efforts over a long period of time. Early attempts to translate Slayers began in the late 1990s, just a few years following its 1994 release in Japan, almost as soon as the first working SNES emulators emerged around 1997. Filler and Robert Boyd were among those early players who hoped to translate this game. Both achieved significant progress with menus and graphics work - making the game more Western-friendly through the use of a FAQ/Walkthrough. But Filler kept his hopes for completing the project alive. Learning to translate Japanese, he obtained a dump of most of the game script and dialogue blocks. Eventually, with the help of key people - more on these later - he translated nearly the entire Japanese story in Slayers. ChrisRPG took charge of the hacking for a few years and made progress, but when Chris died tragically, the Slayers project slipped into dormancy again. Finally, Filler consulted Bongo` about looking into the significant menu and assembly coding that would be required to create a professional-looking English game. Soon thereafter, Dynamic Designs joined in partnership with Matt's Messy Room, and together, we renewed efforts to complete work on a Slayers patch, in English. Together, we have succeeded. Slayers should excite series fans and RPG gamers alike. Forget fancy graphics and other modern fluff. Slayers is just as fun in 2010 as it would have been in 1990-something. I (Wildbill) got really involved with the characters in this game, even though I never watched a Slayers cartoon or read a Slayers novel until I researched this project. For pure RPG lovers, Slayers is a rollicking classic play. And yes, same as Mystic Ark, Feda, and Lennus-II, this game almost cries out for porting to the NDS!
I want to get this section out of the way early. As a writer, I did a lot of research into Slayers, perhaps more than any previous game I have helped author. I also want to say up front that I was disappointed in Western World Slayers fans as a whole, and I'll tell you why. Too many of you have taken these bodies of work that were designed for fun and decided to focus your energies in nitpicking manners. As such, in my opinion, you have totally missed the point of loving your Slayers series.
During my research, I visited Slayers sites in which the builders poured their hearts and souls into this series. Over a period of years, they dedicated countless hours to something they loved, and they also chose to share their assembled resources with the world. True, they attracted people who joined them and assisted, not to mention large followings who expressed their appreciation. But over time, some of these fan sites were barraged with so many nincompoop inputs, it broke their spirits.
One of the best organized sites most useful to me was reduced to a dormant archive. This is what its webmaster said (heavily edited, because I know you RPG animals who can't tear yourselves away from this story really want to start playing the game!):
"The site ... [will not] be updated any more... For ... details, keep reading.Like the creator of this dormant web site, we who produced this SFC Slayers patch also poured our full energies into the effort. We have built the best product we are capable of designing. This game is not just a bunch of Slayers characters dumped into an average RPG engine as one FAQ-writer claims. The story's premise is amazingly creative but plausible within the genre,
Okay... it's been a while since I've done anything to this site. ... Things have just changed so much over the past few years.
The point of it is... we simply aren't motivated to run this place any more. I mean... we've thought of this place as our child, our "baby" if you will, for over four years now. We've poured a lot into it. You folks have poured a lot into it....
But it's not a living being. It's a thing.... I wanted to create a reference for Slayers; I wanted to put my meager Japanese skills to use for the web community and apply my devotion towards a worthy cause.
-- START HISTORY LESSON --
When I started the first version of this place in '96, it was little more than a hacked-together spellbook that I gathered from the Slayers Perfect book. That's all! And to be honest - most of it was inspired by Ann Oyama's wonderful site, Lina Inverse's Slayers Page (now at slayers.ann-oyama.com as I write this)....
And from there, it grew. I got my greedy little hands on tapes of Slayers Next, and started churning out summaries for that. They're still here. They're still WRONG, since I didn't know that much Japanese when I watched them. I still don't know all that much. But it didn't matter, since I had the tapes and most people didn't - I wanted to fill the gaps.
(And then Try came out, and I was confused, and didn't understand a single damn thing going on. Still don't, and I'm gonna be watching the DVDs here shortly. Hence, no Try summaries ;b ) ...
Something happened ... after I got the summaries up... people started visiting. It got busy! People started e-mailing me ... They wanted more and more. ... I worked my butt off ... went to Japan, and couldn't work on the site ... for almost six months.
[T]here was so much I wanted to do. ... [P]eople were mostly happy with it. But... the e-mails kept coming. Next was released in the states, and soon after, everyone and their brother was e-mailing me to tell me I was dead wrong on this and that....
But... I dealt with it. I reached out for help ... but the e-mails kept coming, and I eventually got to the point where I could handle the e-mail....
-- END HISTORY LESSON --
And then came my senior year in college... [Real life and the enormous demands of this hobby hit me hard.] I don't have the motivation to contribute to the site any more. [I have] absolutely nothing ... to /say/ any more. ...
It's time to close this chapter ... to move on.
This site won't vanish, though. It'll still be here ... for reference and such. ...
I've ... done all that I ...have the energy to do. And with that... I leave this site frozen.
... [I]f you don't like it ... make your own.... [using us as a model and giving credit]. It's how this place started, after all."
Around March 2002 I built my very first table file for Slayers on the SFC. Using some text that had not been translated, including enemies, items and some dialog. Without changing pointers or anything, I altered the ROM to display some English in the limited space available and decided that was about as much as I could handle. I was disappointed with the results, but I wasn't sure how to do a better job. I think it was August of 2002 that I decided to release what I'd done to the world where hopefully someone else might pick up where I left off.
It only took a week or two before I was contacted by ChrisRPG of RPGone. He asked if he could use the work I'd done as a reference to assist him with the project which they had already begun work on. Chris was already an experienced romhacker and claimed to be able to do all of the things I would have liked to be able to do for this project. I said of course, and I offered my assistance as a translator. By September 2003, about one year later, the script translation was complete.
This seemed destined to become a great working relationship, which in many ways it was. I began working on Zoid Saga for RPGone. I continued to dump scripts from other games, as well. Chris agreed to help me on Legend of Walkure and Hoshi wo Sagashite (Story of Mio). We e-mailed back and forth for a number of years about these and various other projects and life in general.
By February 2004, Chris was working on hacking for Slayers, and Brightman was working on editing the script. (Thanks to Brightman if I haven't said so elsewhere!). We were planning on two versions, one that was localization (more like what D-D and I have ultimately done) and a more literal translation where Japanese honorifics were retained and the translation was more direct.
We were already considering other Slayers projects and looking at the Slayers PC-98 game and the PSX games, a little. By May, Jonny had started working on the Slayers SFC project, inserting graphics. I believe that font work was his, and he helped out on the scrolling (status screen) text, not to mention the opening that was done around August 2004.
During this time, I was busy with a number of projects including Maison Ikkoku and Bubblegum Crash. By September 2004 we had a WIP of Slayers with the first three blocks of dialog inserted. By March 2005, we had hopes of having a beta ready soon. In May 2005, we completed some spot translations. Menus were looking really good. Then, things just kind of...stopped for a couple of years.
What I haven't mentioned through all this is that Chris was having health problems on and off. By September 2007, Chris and I had our last e-mail exchange. I fear that Slayers may have become a monkey on his back by this point. He passed away in October 2007. We were all saddened greatly to lose such a passionate friend. I set my hopes for Slayers aside at this point and tried to say goodbye. By April 2008, not wanting all of Chris' effort to have been in vain, I began searching in earnest for someone to pick up the torch that Chris had passed. Bongo` came forward almost immediately, but it wasn't until about a year later that I officially accepted his offer, and Dynamic Designs began working to bring this project to completion.
The Slayers translation was a lot of fun to work on. It was my first game translation, and it was a lot of work! I did my best to clarify all points of confusion, with many thanks going out to everyone on MO's board, especially Eien ni Hen, and to my two native speakers (Erika Haga, and Seiko-san. Thanks both of you!) Therefore, I would like to take a moment to explain some of the puns, cultural notes, and general wackiness I encountered in this translation.
Things I seriously did not make up:
Okay, just so everyone knows, I encountered some features in this game that I sure as heck have never seen in an American localization of an RPG! Just so no one is sitting there thinking that I made this stuff up or it is simply a result of my inability to translate properly, I will give you a list of scenes that I swear come straight from the Japanese script. (Spoiler warnings!!!)
Booze: A lot of drinking goes on in this game. I think we all figured that those bars in (insert name of ANY RPG here) weren't really serving milk, but wine, vodka, and brandy. All are mentioned by name in this game.
Prostitution: One character not only talks about sleeping with someone for money, they actually ask you to do it in their place! It's pretty funny.
Cannibalism: Ok, so it sounds a little extreme, but I really found a joke about eating a person (and a horse for that matter).
Sex and Marriage: A lot of romance takes place in the game. Most of it is quite funny. Highlights include a guy who talks about his "harem". Another man is constantly hounded by a girl who insists on marrying him. We also encounter a peeping-tom priest, a couple who took a pre-marital vacation alone without telling their parents, a guy who can't remember the name of the girl he is with, a fellow who proclaims his love to a girl by saying, "She is my tsetse fly" (a deadly parasitic African fly that causes sleeping sickness!), and much, much more. All of this is verbatim, seriously!
Chest-size: Okay, this isn't really unexpected. Anyone familiar with Slayers will know what I am talking about. A couple even mention Naga's over-adequacy, really! Pay attention to the scrolling character descriptions in Naga's status screens. A certain potion makes an appearance, as well. As I said, it's straight from the Japanese.
Porn: I encountered several references to "dirty books". Apparently, you can find these in the library...at least in this game. Sorry, but Honey the Big-Breasted Girl has already been checked out. ;) I wonder if it is a nod to Go Nagai?
Puns: I saw a few but I may have missed some. ^_^
Hon to hon: In Japanese, book is "hon". "to" (pronounced "toe") is a particle that is used as a connector, like "and". A character asks, "Did I tell you about the hon to hon?". Literally, "the book and the book" or "the two books". Then, they say "Hontou", "It's the truth.". The pun is that "hon to hon", also sounds like "hontou", so it's a little like saying "Did I tell you about the true book? It's true."
Horse and Deer: This was certainly a new one to me. Much thanks to Datenshi on this one. The kanji for "baka" or idiot/stupid is the kanji "horse" and "deer", "ba" and "ka" together, (for horse it's pronounced "uma" and deer "shika" but can also be pronounced "ba" and "ka" respectively). This guy is acting dumb and asks "Was it a horse, or a deer? Man I'm hungry, is dinner ready yet, Lucy? Oh wait, or was it Marcia?" Then, his kid replies, "Dad may be getting stupid" (boke). It was a little hard to translate, but you get the idea. The joke is that he is an idiot. Just be glad it wasn't squirrels and chestnuts! (10pts if you know the pun I'm referring to…)
Pinchi and Minchi: Hamburger meat can be known as "minchi" (like minced/ground meat) in Japan. There are a couple of kids left home alone named Pinchi and Minchi. Minchi complains that her brother says he will literally "do minchi" to her, like "mince" her, or turn her into hamburger. I left it translated as he said he would "minchi" her, but I thought it deserved a better explanation.
Hippo Girl: This one wasn't obvious to me until I saw it in-game. A man says "Did you know I have a Cover Girl? Yes, I do! My wife looks like one. After she eats she rolls over and can't move. She's most certainly a "Cover" Girl!" The joke is that "Cover" is pronounced "Kaba" which can also mean hippo. So you think he's talking about an attractive woman, but really he means a hippo girl. :)
I am a big fan of Slayers, and I worked hard to make the translation consistent with the anime/comic series. I hope that I have lived up to the expectations of the Slayers fans. I had the chance to meet a lot of cool, talented people by working on this project and even became a member of RPGone and at least an honorary one of Dynamic Designs via this project alone.
The help of native speakers Erika Haga and Seiko-san was indispensable on this project, and I can't thank them enough. A lot of things were confirmed and clarified with them, and it made a huge difference. I also want to thank Eien ni Hen for the great job on the character descriptions which were nail-bitingly difficult (I only messed with them a little :) ). Thanks to the late ChrisRPG for all of his great work hacking the game. Thanks also to Brightman, Jonny, SkyRender, and everyone at RPGone for generally being pretty cool.
Thanks to Bongo` for offering to take on this project and for his tireless programming work. I was really impressed with the dedication that was shown during this whole process, but especially when bugs and such arose. Lesser men would surely have given up.
Thanks to Wildbill for his equally impressive determination while re-writing the script and for his excellent coordination skills. I feel like the project could not have gone as smoothly without him. Thanks to Taskforce, Red Soul, and Draken for assistance with this project. Thanks to Ultpaladin, Alex, and noname345 for providing additional testing. Lastly, thanks for reading all the way through this document, and please enjoy the game!
If you are a hacker who wants to learn about an esoteric procedure that Bongo` devised for Slayers, by all means, contact him. I have known few people anywhere who are as willing to help people as Bongo`. The only time I know of him turning down anyone was when he needed to leave the scene for a while to attend to serious personal matters.
Earlier, I alluded to the fact that Slayers presented very difficult challenges in re-coding. Had it been a snap, obviously, someone would have completed this English patch long ago. Rather than go into a lot of insertion structure details and try to explain them, instead I'll display my most recent error message following an insertion. Of all the games I've helped organize and write, at first blush, this one appears to be the most complicated.
Hee-hee... As I said, any questions, consult Bongo`. And the world should know his work was made more difficult because we could not easily gather him save-states and SRAMs from SNES9x for real-time debugging. Also, I don't believe Bongo` ever found a built-in debugger inside the game. If he had, I know I would have heard that exciting news, because built-in debuggers are Bongo`'s thing!
Bongo` and Filler selected the font, and Bongo' performed the assembly work that loaded the main dialogue version using a variable width design. He also introduced a bold font we used for adding emphasis to sections of the story. A similarly designed fixed width 8X8 font version was inserted for menus and other restricted uses.
Toward the end of the project, Taskforce encouraged the addition of a black shadow effect to the main dialogue font. Once we worked out the bugs, everyone appreciated the enhanced readability, regardless of the background screen color chosen. The writers still enjoyed a CPL of around 29-30 in a four-line configuration, so the extra work was well worth it in the end, and everyone seemed happy.
As with most of our projects, the Slayers splash page underwent several evolutions. Red Soul designed the basic initial format. Then, Taskforce tweaked it further with additional font refinements and graphics. In the end, we were able to increase the palette to 256 colors and quite possibly create our best splash page ever! We also included a wider mention of contributors than ever before. In sum, our Slayers splash page is the result of another fine team effort.
To our knowledge, this is the first Slayers video game that anyone has translated into a Western language, so we have no viable means of comparison.
The plot includes an amazing twist, centered in typical Slayers hi-jinks! As far as we know, this is a brand new story more closely aligned with the novels than the anime.
The release of the Slayers English patch is satisfying to the team on many levels, but our crew is ready to move onward to fresh work. Sincere thanks go out to all.
Project Coordination: A team effort over time
Early Hacking and Released Patches: Robert Boyd and Filler
Early Hacking Work: ChrisRPG
Early Graphics Work: Jonny
Early Story Work: Brightman and Skyrender
Character Description Translator: Eien ni Hen
Early Translation/Interpretation Support: Erika Haga, and Seiko-san
Primary Translator: Filler
Spot Translations (recent): Wildbill
Table Files: Filler and ChrisRPG (early); Bongo` (recent)
Script Dump: Filler, ChrisRPG and Bongo`
Coding, Assembly, and Tools: Bongo`
English Story Writer: Wildbill
Font design: Bongo`
Splash Screen: Red Soul and Taskforce
Special Support and Testing: Draken
Beta Test Team Coordinator: Red Soul
Beta Tester: Ultpaladin
Beta Tester: Alex
Beta Tester: noname345
Dedication of Project: Eien ni Hen
To Byuu for his BSNES 060 release. Dating back to our Mystic Ark release, Byuu has been a big inspiration in our efforts to produce a universal patch that works with real SNES hardware.
-Filler and Wildbill - March 20, 2010