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Bokomu No Tatsujin Translation Project Released!

In my last article I talked about how I discovered a trailer for an unreleased horror game for the Dreamcast hidden within a game called Bokomu No Tatsujin. This is an obscure life sim that released with little to no fanfare in early 2002 by the equally unknown Fujicom Co, creators of only one other Dreamcast game: Bomber Hehhe!

I mentioned that I found said trailer by pure accident while poking around in the games files. The reason why I was doing so was because... I was in the middle of translating the game for a laugh?? I should probably explain how this new found hobby came about, despite actually having next to zero knowledge of Japanese!

I especially had fun designing an English logo!

Earlier this year I treated myself to a GDEMU and have been having a lot of fun trying out the many incredible fan translation projects that have sprung up in recent times. I have also been enjoying simply poking around in the files of extracted GDI files (AKA uncompressed Dreamcast games not squashed down to fit on a regular CD-R) and seeing how Dreamcast games are assembled, to the best of my limited but slowly evolving knowledge, anyway.

I have owned this game for a few years but never really played all that much. It's always been one of those games I've been super curious about but the language barrier was holding me back from getting the most out of it. I grabbed a GDI file and extracted it to have a mooch around in its contents and discovered that every single bit of the game's text is image based. That got me thinking: I wonder how easy it'd be to machine translate this and make it more playable for us non-Japanese players? Turns out: much easier than I would have expected!

I couldn't resist a couple pop-culture refs and in-jokes!

I've plugged away at this for the last month, getting more and more familiar with the game and discovering elements of it I was previously unaware of, like the mini-games and what the shop items do. It's such a quirky game with an odd sense of humour that it was really enjoyable to come up with some improvised silly text where machine translation wasn't quite up to snuff.

English puns in a Japanese video game? Why not?

It's a really fun writing experiment: when you only have a vague idea what is being said you have to get creative and for a game as off the wall as this it made sense to use that approach as an accurate translation would probably end up a little flat and boring. I decided to make the title 'Boko Dream Master' as I could see that being the kind of title it would have got back in the day had it been localised (think Taiko Drum Master on the PS2).


So currently the in-game text is pretty much all translated barring a couple of rarely seen bits, meaning the game is fully playable in English now, though I consider this release to be a 'first draft' as I am looking for feedback on anything that doesn't make sense, typos etc.

This was already in English but had to be re-worked because it said 'PRFECT!'

The next big step for the project is the cutscenes and in-game voice acting. At first I was thinking subtitles would suffice, though I'd only be able to bake those into the FMV videos, not the voices in game, so while subtitles are still going to happen first (for those that want or most importantly need them), for the final release I intend to get this all dubbed! Yes, I'm gonna be gathering people to voice act over this thing! I already have quite a few people within the DC community chomping at the bit to get started! I really wanna turn this into a collaboration like no other!

Of course the first hurdle before this can even begin is translating the voice work, of which there is around two hours worth in total! I have uploaded every cutscene in one video that can be seen above. With the auto-generated Japanese subtitles downloaded I can get a very rough gist of what is being said, but it is obviously not optimal. If anyone reading this has knowledge of spoken Japanese and wants to help out, please get in touch! 

The current build of the translation is available to download here. Legal grey area: the studio that created this game has long since been defunct, so does it come under the umbrella of abandonware? If not I will put out a patch on it's own. As for how the game itself plays, I plan to bring you a retrospective explaining how it all works real soon!

4 comments:

Blai said...

Thanks for this!!

Anthony817 said...

Wow, this is absolutely the year for Japanese to English translations. Nice work!

Chocoburger said...

Awesome work! I don't even know what type of game this is, but I certainly want to give it a shot. I've always been a fan of odd-ball and quirky Japanese games.

I'd play with Japanese voices first, and then check out the English dubbing after.

Thanks for putting the time and effort into translating the game. I'll download it when its fully completed.

Jimmjimms said...

How do you play the dream sequence?