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Showing posts with label Derek Pascarella. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derek Pascarella. Show all posts

Two Dreamcast shooters now playable in English!

We're not even a week into 2022 and we've already received not one, but two English fan translations of Japanese Dreamcast games! This community sure works at a rapid pace. Both of the games are vertically scrolling shooters, or 'shmups,' as the cool kids like to say. Let's check ‘em out...

First up is Radirgy, which was originally developed by MileStone, Inc. for the Sega NAOMI arcade platform. It was eventually ported over to the Dreamcast in 2006, exclusively in Japan, years after the West presumed the rest of the world had given up on Sega's swan song console. Radirgy replaces the usually dark, space theming of other shoot-em-ups with a colourful, cel-shaded anime style. With gameplay that verges on bullet hell, and a protagonist that is allergic to radio waves, this one is about as Japanese as they come. Even the box art is slightly odd, simply opting to feature said protagonist pushing her glasses up her nose in that cool way anime people do (should probably go to your local optician and get those adjusted, bud). Check out our Radirgy retrospective here.

An English translation of Radirgy appeared seemingly out of nowhere on the 2nd of January, submitted to RomHacking.net by user wiredcrackpot. The translation is based on the official US Wii release of the game, which wiredcrackpot admits isn't the best translation ever, but it's at least something that can serve to help us non-Japanese speakers understand the bonkers story that is taking place. 
You can download the translation patch at RomHacking.net. If you can't be bothered with all that patching stuff, though, you can simply go to the Dreamcast-Talk thread, where you will find an already patched .CDI and .GDI available for download. Burn the game onto a CD-R or throw it on to your GDEMU. Whatever you do, take a moment to speculate what drugs the people over at MileStone were taking when they made Radirgy. We'll have a debate about it next time we talk.

If you are also interested in playing an English translation of Radirgy's darker kind-of sequel, Karous, head here to download that.

Next up is Chaos Field, which was the first game ever developed by MileStone Inc. and was released in 2004 for the Sega NAOMI, with a Dreamcast release following a few months later. Perhaps a more standard shmup affair compared to Radirgy (stylistically, at least), the game consists entirely of boss battles, and has a pretty unique mechanic in which players can flip the environment at will between two parallel worlds. 

The Chaos Field translation patch was created by Derek Pascarella, whose work we've previously featured on the Junkyard (multiple times, in fact) and has also appeared on an episode of the Dreampod (check that out here). Inspired by wiredcrackpot's Radirgy patch, Derek started poking around in the code of Chaos Field to find the game actually shipped with about 80% of the text and images already translated into English - it had just been hidden away in the game’s code this entire time! Derek then translated the remaining 20%, and voilà! We now have Chaos Field completely in English, for the first time on Dreamcast.

You can download Derek's patch by going to this project’s GitHub repository. Patched CDIs and GDIs are available from the Dreamcast-Talk thread.
These projects are a good start to what is hopefully another big year for the Dreamcast community. Have you played any of these shooters before? Are you excited to play them in English? Let us know in the comments below, or by sounding off on our various social media channels.

Paprium, Tunnels, Intrepid Izzy, Nakoruru, Shadow Gangs, SEGA Powered - Dreamcast news round-up November 2021

Oh hi there. It's been a bit of a busy few weeks hasn't it? The petrol thing seems to be over (for now) but that hasn't stopped all manner of interesting things occuring in the world of Dreamcast...and as you'll no doubt be able to tell from the title of this post, I thought it would be convenient to simply put all of these news snippets together into one post here at the Junkyard, so here it is. A bit like that infoburst you used to get at the end of Bad Influence, but in text form. Bad Influence? No? Never mind. So what's been cracking then? Quite a bit actually...


Oh 'eck, Paprium is coming to Dreamcast!

Yes, everyone's favourite 16-bit Kickstarted ode to Streets of Rage, Paprium, is now coming to Dreamcast thanks to a new stretch goal reached as part of the 'next gen' campaign. Developed by Dreamcast stalwarts Watermelon, Paprium was released for the Mega Drive / Genesis back in 2020 to much critical acclaim and an equal amount of backlash for various reasons I won't delve into here. As a side note, I always thought it a bit odd that there was no Dreamcast version as part of the original campaign, synonymous with the console as Watermelon is after the success of Pier Solar. 

That puzzlement has now been put to bed though, with the Dreamcast being lovingly included as a stretch goal in the latest resurrection of the original Kickstarter campaign to bring the game to...er...modern consoles. The Dreamcast version will apparently be a little unique according to the blurb on the campaign page, which is never a bad thing:

NEW ADD-ON! PAPRIUM is also coming to the SEGA Dreamcast! 6 years after Pier Solar HD, this is to be the second Dreamcast Release by WM! This version of the game is different, in-between the 16-BIT release and the STEAM/PS4/5 release, it boast some exclusive things and take full advantage of the Dreamcast features such as VMU and a 3 player mode without the need for a multitap (of course)! Please note the game is in 4/3 ratio (just like the 16-BIT edition of the game). 

- Paprium Kickstarter

Will Watermelon shit the bed once again with this new release? I really do hope so - we all love a bit of drama. And since I've backed the Dreamcast version, it'll give me something to moan about when it inevitably ships late or gets cancelled. Anyway, check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and get ready to pap. Not even sure what that means. Onwards!


DreamPi creator Luke Benstead is digging Tunnels!

Not actual tunnels, you understand. But I'm sure Luke (aka Kazade) and his development partner David Reichelt are at least as handy with a shovel or a JCB as they are with a Dreamcast. What am I blathering about? You may recall we recently featured news about Simulant, a game engine created with Dreamcast indie development as its raison d'être. As a timely Halloween treat, Luke and David have released a promising Simulant-based demo titled Tunnels which sees players traverse a network of dingy caverns (or, um, tunnels) brandishing what looks like Gordon Freeman's property for protection. Here's a video:

Tunnels is fully playable on stock Dreamcast hardware and it looks like a promising little demo considering how quickly it was put together. From the Simulant development blog: 

Tunnels is a mini-demo of the Simulant engine. It's been written over the past three weeks as a demonstration of what Simulant allows you to do in very little time. Both Luke and David have day jobs, and this has been developed in their spare time - probably an hour a day each at most - and a good majority of that time was spent improving Simulant itself!

Along the way flaws were discovered in Simulant and many were fixed, others will be fixed later. Some planned features were dropped due to limited time, but may reappear at some point. In the future we'll use Tunnels as a test bed for new Simulant features, and as a regression test.

- Simulant Dev Blog

You can grab the demo from the Tunnels itch.io page here and follow the development of Simulant on the blog. Oh, and listen to DreamPod episode 80 if you want to know more about Simulant and the history of the engine.


Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition is now available to order!

We now turn our attention to another Kickstarter-funded title - Intrepid Izzy from Senile Team. If you missed our review of the exquisite platform-cum-beat 'em up, be sure to check it out here. In short, Lewis thought it was a stellar addition to the Dreamcast's stable of indie titles, and easily one of the best to hit the console, even going as far as to label Izzy as "The King (or Queen?) of Dreamcast indie platformers" - they even put that quote on the back of the box for good measure!

The good (better?) news is that a Special Edition of Intrepid Izzy is now available to pre-order from WAVE Game Studios, and comes with a soundtrack CD and a choice of region (PAL, NTSC-U, NTSC-J) packaging styles. 

The initial print run of 750 units [of Intrepid Izzy] sold out almost immediately, prompting a reprint just 28 days after release. The fastest known for an independently released Dreamcast title.

In response to considerable demand for both the game and the music featured therein, WAVE announced that a limited run two-disc Special Edition will be released on November 20, 2021. This version includes an audio CD with the full official soundtrack, and is available in European, North American, and Japanese cover art variants.

- WAVE Game Studios

The fastest selling out indie Dreamcast game, eh? Who knew? Not I. Did you? You do now! Intrepid Izzy: Special Edition launches 20 November 2021. Head over to the WAVE Game Studios website to pre-order it for £34.99. There's also a cool vinyl figure available too, if that's your bag. Actually, buy two and make them fight; with the loser being burned with a magnifying glass.


A new Dreamcast fan translation project - Nakoruru!

Some say he can translate a Japanese Dreamcast game manual without even reading it. Others say he can detect an obscure NTSC-J dating sim hidden at the back of a retro game store from a distance of 40 miles. All we know, is his name is Derek Pascarella. And if you've never seen Top Gear, that reference will go right over your head. If you've been following the Dreamcast fan translation scene for any amount of time, you'll be familiar with the work of Mr Pascarella, who has previously worked on English translations of Dreamcast titles such as Sakura Wars Columns 2 and Neon Genesis Evangelion Typing Project Advanced.

Now he's back with another translation project, Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me, which is a visual novel title set in the Samurai Shodown universe. This isn't actually new news per se, with both MegaVisions and SegaXtreme sharing the original Dreamcast Talk thread back in August 2021. What is new news though, is that our very own Lewis Cox has joined the Nakoruru team as an English language editor, and for this reason alone I wanted to refresh some mention of this intriguing translation project. If you'd like to know more about Derek's past translation efforts, check out DreamPod episode 93 here.


Those pesky Shadow Gangs are kicking bountiful handfuls of ass on Dreamcast!

Oh Shadow Gangs, where for art though Shadow Gangs? Shall I compare thee to a 1990s Sega arcade game featuring a ninja that was then ported to home consoles? So wrote Chaucer, rather anachronistically, back in the mid 1970s after a particularly heavy session on the old crack pipe. Which is quite fitting, seeing as Shadow Gangs is a 1980s themed/inspired side scrolling beat 'em up that people have likened to Shinobi. I haven't played Shadow Gangs myself, but I do recall it being mooted to be heading to the Dreamcast at least as far back as 2016 - possibly even earlier (thanks Dreamcast Today - I knew I hadn't imagined that). The game was released on Steam and other consoles in the fairly recent past however - to generally positive reviews - and now a video has surfaced of a port running on the creaking old Dreamcast. Here you go:

Looks like a fairly accurate rendition to me, and it seems pretty much identical to the video on the Steam page. It appears that another Kickstarter to get Shadow Gangs fully up and running on Dreamcast is on the cards, and we'll no doubt share the news once that project is launched.


SEGA Powered brings SEGA Power back from the dead, with the (unofficial) Power of Sega!

Not exclusively Dreamcast related this one, but I just needed an excuse to type that subheading. Back when I was a wee lad, SEGA Power was one of a number of physical mags I would regularly purchase, and so it was a bit of a no brainer that I would back one-time editor Dean Mortlock's love letter to such an iconic tome. Dean is assisted by Niel Randall (DC-UK), Paul Monaghan (Maximum Power Up) and Marc Jowett (SegaMags), so the knowledge and pedigree is assured. 

The teaser issue of SEGA Powered looks like it will hit all the right marks for fans of the magazines of yesteryear, and I for one will be intrigued to see what kind of Dreamcast-related content is included. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and bag a copy of the mag here. Update - the Kickstarter for SEGA Powered has now ended but I am reliably informed that a website for the magazine will be launched so you can buy a copy/subscription even if you missed the campaign.

There's plenty of other Dreamcast related stuff going on around the internet but I thought I would leave it there for the sake of brevity. Oh, and I got a bit sick of typing the word 'Kickstarter,' but I digress. Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful Dreamcast news repositories dotted around the information superhighway for even more interesting little projects bubbling happily away.

We plan to do these round-ups more regularly from now on as it's just a bit more concise than having multiple posts about stuff, so if there's anything you spot that you think we should include in future news posts, let us know in the comments. Cheers!

Rainbow Cotton now has an English Translation!


The ever-busy Derek Pascarella, alongside the same talented team who also worked on Sakura Wars Columns 2, is back with a brand new English fan translation, the cute as heck Rainbow Cotton!

Developed by Success, and released exclusively to Japan in the year 2000, Rainbow Cotton is a 3D rail shooter in a similar vein to Panzer Dragoon and Space Harrier. But instead of playing as dragon riders or space soldier dudes, you take on the role of the titular witch character Cotton, flying and shooting your way through very aesthetically pleasing 3D fantasy stages. While the visuals are an absolute joy to behold, and have been praised highly by many, Rainbow Cotton unfortunately suffers in the gameplay department and has been heavily criticised over the years for frustrating controls and gameplay quirks. 

But if there was ever a time to forgive this game for its flaws, it's now, because it's now fully translated into English! That's everything: in-game text, graphics, and even the anime cutscenes that tell the tale of Rainbow Cotton. Now you can understand what's going on properly. 

If you fancy a peek behind the curtain of how Derek and his team hack and translate these games, then tune into DreamPod episode 93, which features Derek and his co-translator Burntends as guests. Podcast plugs aside, below are all the relevant links you'll need to learn more, and ultimately play this translation. As always, read the Release Notes before playing, and be sure to thank Derek and his crew for another job well done!




To be used with the Universal Dreamcast Patcher.


Another Dreamcast Evangelion typing tutor is now playable in English!


He's only gone and done it again! Derek Pascarella has just released his fourth Dreamcast translation project of 2021. Previous efforts include Sakura Wars Columns 2 and Taxi 2, as well as Neon Genesis Evangelion -Typing E Keikaku-, which today's game is kind of a "sequel" too. That's right, Evangelion fans, dust your Dreamcast keyboard off once more and get typing: an English translation patch for Neon Genesis Evangelion - Typing Project Advanced has just dropped!

Pinched from Mike's @DreamcastPics Twitter account.

There's not been much reason for non-Japanese speaking Dreamcast fans to pick up this pretty impenetrable typing tutor since its release in 2001 (later in the same year as Typing E Kikaku) other than the fact it came bundled with a rather nifty fan and a cloth in a nice pretty box (pictured above). But basically, like its predecessor, it's a lot of fun typing mini-games that are Evangelion-themed - an anime series which is regarded as one of the best ever. And now it's playable to English speakers.


To play the game, Derek has supplied a patched GDI for those using an ODE (such as GDEMU/MODE) and a patched CDI for those who want to burn the game onto a CD-R. Also make sure you take a look through the release notes before you play the game. Links below:


While I'm still here, I just wanted to mention that we had Derek on the latest episode of the DreamPod podcast, along with Sakura Wars Columns 2 co-translator Burntends. It was a great episode, check it out!

Sakura Wars Columns 2 has been Translated into English!

This year in Dreamcast has already been one for the books. The indie titles, the Easter eggs, the unearthing of massive franchise entries once thought to be lost. One of the biggest deals for me personally has been the current surge of translation projects gracing our favourite system. Just like House of Pain back in '92, Dreamcast translation fever is in effect, y'all. Outdated Hip-hop references aside, most recently, we've seen many patches released, with plenty more in the works (you can see a megathread of all of the upcoming projects here). One individual in particular, Derek Pascarella, has been particularly busy in the first quarter of this year, releasing translations of Neon Genesis Evangelion -Typing E Keikaku-, and the infamous French-exclusive Taxi 2. While the translations of those games were more of a solo effort on Derek's part, he decided to take it up a notch for his next project, so much so that he had to recruit the talents of a whole team. This brand new patch is an English translation of Japan-exclusive Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2. Derek was kind enough to send me some early builds of the translation prior to the public patch release, so thank you, Derek.

Released in 2000, Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 is the second instalment in a short-lived Columns spin-off series to the Sakura Wars franchise. For those not in the know, Sakura Wars (aka Sakura Taisen) is a Sega franchise that was ridiculously popular in Japan, where it remained exclusive for a very long time. The mainline entries in this series are known for their fantastic steampunk plots set in the Taishō period of Japan (with the plots of later entries finding their way to other countries), as well as a seamless combination of tactical RPG gameplay with visual novel sections, where building up relationships with members of your squad strengthens their morale in battle. If you want to read a bit more about Sakura Wars I've covered it on the blog twice now, with the most recent coverage being on the very good PS4 reboot that was released in April of last year. I've also chatted about it a little on the DreamPod too. 

At face value, Sakura Wars Columns (as the game's title was localised by Derek et al.) appears to simply be a Sakura Wars reskin of the classic Sega falling-block puzzler Columns, which probably saw its most prominent success as Sega's flagship puzzle game for the Mega Drive (or Genesis for you Americans!). But Sakura Wars Columns 2 stays true to the roots of its franchise, with story modes available in the game incorporating its signature visual novel/date sim-style gameplay in between blasts of gem stacking puzzle mayhem. All 12 characters of the Imperial Combat Revue's Flower Division have their own dedicated storylines (all of which are extremely charming - as is typical of the writing in Sakura Wars), as well as various strengths and weaknesses when it comes to column stacking. And with a tonne of different modes, unlockables and extra content, it's a really great package. I imagine Japanese gamers who picked this game up back in 2000 weren't disappointed, especially since it contained a network match service that allowed players to face off with each other online. These network capabilities have long since been retired, but let’s hope the release of this translation inspires the awesome peeps over at Dreamcast Live to restore them. Knowing them, they're probably already working on it.

Retrospective: Taxi 2 (French-exclusive Dreamcast title now translated to English)


Thanks to the efforts of Derek Pascarella and his team, for the first time in history we can enjoy the obscure French-exclusive Dreamcast title, Taxi 2: The Game, in English. Derek has released the English translated version of the game just a few weeks ago and as a result I thought it was a perfect time to dive into this curious Dreamcast game that I’d never played before.

Before we dive into the game itself, let’s have a quick recap of the movie it is based on:

Taxi 2 is a French action comedy film directed by Gérard Krawczyk, released into French cinemas in 2000 with pretty significant commercial success. According to their website, the film attracted more viewers in its opening week than the latest Star Wars movie! Taxi 2 would go on to enjoy 10.3 million admissions in France, underlining its relevance. After discovering just how popular the movie was, maybe it isn’t such a crazy thing that this game exists after all!

As you’d expect, the plot of the game follows the storyline from the movie. Things get pretty wild. In a nutshell, the overall plot is that the Japanese minister of defence is traveling to Paris to sign a weapons contract between Japan and France. During the visit he is kidnapped by a group working for the Japanese Yakuza. Throw in some more kidnappings and law-breaking incidents before our very own protagonist, Daniel the taxi driver, has to step up and save the day with his high speed driving skills and blatant disregard for the law.

Evangelion typing tutor Translation Complete! Taxi 2 and Doraemon Next?

A little over ten days ago, I posted a write up on the Junkyard about a very exciting English translation patch for the rather niché but very cool Neon Genesis Evangelion typing tutor Neon Genesis Evangelion -Typing E Keikaku-. In my post I explained how the earlier stages of the game were fully playable to non-Japanese speaking players, while levels 5 and 6, along with the game's bonus stage, were not. Translator Derek Pascarella had explained translating these particular stages would be a pretty daunting task to undertake. Well, it only took him nine days to crack! This means the game is now completely playable in English!

If you would like to read Derek's detailed explanation of how he did it, check out his patch notes here. As for grabbing yourself the completed patch, you can do so at the GitHub Repository here. So grab your DC keyboard, and make sure read the Patch Notes before you patch it/play it!

With one completed project under his belt, Derek definitely has a bright Dreamcast translation career ahead of him! And he's not slowing down anytime soon. He seems to already be on the lookout for his next translation project. One of the games he's been looking into is the Japanese-excusive Boku Doraemon, a delightfully colourful little game featuring the well-known blue robot cat that sees players exploring a really nice-looking 3D world and playing mini games. DCJY writer The Gagaman wrote a good piece about it many moons ago, so if you want to learn more, check that out. Anyway, below is some proof of concept footage that Derek put up on his YouTube channel. He did stress to me, however, that this translation is still early doors, and that there are some technical hurdles that still present themselves that could pose the risk of putting a halt to the project.

The other game in Derek's sights, is the rather infamous french-exclusive Taxi 2 - Le Jeu. Based on a movie that you might have seen if you're French, this game is notorious for being really expensive, and really crap. While a language barrier is the least of this game's problems, it's still cool to see any Dreamcast game translated. Derek let me know that this project is more likely than Doraemon at this moment in time. Check out the work in progress footage below.

If you're wondering why Derek has chosen such obscure games to translate as his first few projects, he addressed this in a comment on his Doraemon video: "part of translating a game is feasibility. While I do have a development background, there are many unique things about working on Dreamcast and Saturn translations. As a result, I'm starting with proof of concepts and also "cracking" games that are easier to understand from a technical perspective. I only just started getting into doing these translations". If you'd like to follow Derek in his translation journey, you can find his Twitter here.

Are you excited for these Dreamcast translation projects? Have you ever experienced the direness that is Taxi 2: the game? Sound off in the comments below!

Neon Genesis Evangelion typing tutor for Dreamcast now has an English Translation!

Neon Genesis Evangelion is considered to be one of the greatest anime series to ever exist. I wouldn't know, because disgracefully, I've never watched it. If you are a fan, you may be excited to know that not one, but three Evangelion games graced Sega's beautiful white box of dreams, exclusively in Japan. You will probably then be disappointed to hear that unfortunately, two of them are typing tutors, and one is a visual novel; two genres that are pretty much impenetrable for non-Japanese speakers. Well, worry not, as the first of the two typing tutor games, Neon Genesis Evangelion -Typing E Keikaku-, is getting translated by a clever chap called Derek Pascarella. 

Developed and published by Gainax in 2001, Typing E Keikaku makes use of the Dreamcast's keyboard peripheral to teach typing. It's no Typing of the Dead, but it's bound to be appealing for fans of its beloved anime source material. For the most part, the game is QWERTY-keyboard friendly, and typing sections of the game can be easily understood by non-Japanese speakers - some levels ask you to spell English words, while others use Romanji spellings of Japanese words. Derek released version 1.0 of his patch today, which translates all menus, options, dialog boxes and screens in the game. Other than some short sequences of spoken dialogue, levels 1 through 4 are translated. 

Levels 5 and 6, as well as the bonus level, have only had their menus translated - they are currently not playable by non-Japanese speakers as the game asks the player to type words written in a mixture of Kanji and Katakana/Hiragana. The game expects the player to know how to construct Kanji characters with a combination of Katakana/Hiragana. In the readme Derek released with the game, he stresses how translating these levels of the game are going to be very challenging, but for now we can enjoy the very playable first four levels. So dust off your Dreamcast keyboard, and download the patch using the link below. Oh, and give Derek a follow on Twitter, so you can thank him for his hard work, and keep up to date on this ongoing translation.

Readme: Click Here.

Patch: Click Here.

GitHub Repository (for future patch updates): Click Here.

Patch gameplay footage: Click Here.