Core Dump - Work In Progress
October 27, 1997 : Japanese version of the Core Dump promo
What have I been doing these last weeks? Well, I've been quite busy studying, but there is something really new to be found in a few days: an enhanced, and japanese version of the Core Dump promo! (...October has been a busy month.)
This is all due to Takamichi Suzukawa, the man who translated Solid Snake into English. Takamichi wanted to translate Core Dump into Japanese. Now, I had no knowledge about the japanese language, but I knew it would mean approximately 128 extra characters, and I'd already been running out of memory! But, intruiged by the prospect of a japanese version, I thought about it.
Where could I put 128 extra characters? For speedy output, they'd have
to be in the VRAM. But that was full. Really.
After much thought I decided that the only way they could get in was
by using bit-encoding in RAM, a bit like they way your MSX does it when
printing characters in BASIC in screen 5. Using this method, the characters
could be stored in 0400h bytes: 1 kByte. But I was afraid for the speed:
could this method be quick enough?
And that was very weird, because the font-decoder only used local memory and didn't do anything strange at all. Still, no items showed up on the item screen, and other stuff went wrong as well.
In the end, it turned out that the reason for the errors was this: the
English characters were printed using VDP commands, thus forcing a "wait
for commands to end" loop at the beginning.
I solved the problem by waiting for VDP commands even though this is not neccesary when using "vpokes".
What I could not know was that there are line breaking rules in Japanese as well.
For the English version, I used a word-scanning procedure that makes sure no words are broken down at the end of a line. That did not work for the japanese version, as my procedure considered every line to be a very long word (japanese usually omits spaces). So, in a revolutionairy mood, I removed the word-detection. Problem solved.
erm...well, no. Takamichi informs me that there are line-breaking rules, called kinsoku. They ensure that no lines start with dots, a bit like in English, but also that accent characters do not appear seperated from the character they belong to. Ummmm... let me explain.
Let's say you want an exclamation mark above your "u". God knows why, but hey, you love the way it looks. Obviously, you cannot accomplish this in standard HTML without using pictures. So you and your friends, who know what this symbol means, decide on the following convention: an exclamation mark above a "u" is written as "u!".
So now you know Japanese! *grin*
This has the odd side-effect that I cannot understand the new promo at all. I mean, I know what it should say, but I'm never quite sure anymore.
Anyway, this promo is going to be released (if all goes well) with NV magazine in Japan. After that, it will be put online here.
It's really like the old times: you get this game, don't understand a bit of it, and play it to death!
"The way SD-Snatcher felt the first time"