Persona 2: Innocent Sin translation blog

Where Atlus fails, we don’t!

Happyness is a warm butt

Posted by Gemini on May 12, 2008

Yay, 68%! This is progress, guys. Been working hard this week on translation, code, and graphics hacking. Game works nice even on real hardware, too, so it’s even better. It’s still not perfect, but I can see the light in the heart of darkness. I’ve also added a new To-do list page so that you can check what’s still left to do. And now, news time.

Names in battle: fixed!

I hate Atlus for coding name display in that weird way, seriously. What the fuck where they thinking when they programmed this stuff!? For those who don’t have any experience with Persona hacking, the game uses GFX for battle names, but unlike those in main menu, there is no way to replace them with actual text. Even Tatsuya’s name is turned into GFX before the battle starts, and then it’s treated as a simple sprite for the whole time. For this hack I had to use an old procedure which I call “tiled vwf” (if you are familiar with Mother 3 translation blog, it’s what Tomato calls “sprite text welding”), which is the typical code used on tile-based consoles (such as the Snes, GBA, etc…) to reproduce the variable width font effect. Unfortunately, this procedure is even more complicated with Tsumi because you have to get characters from VRAM, post process them (thanks to the weird Psx vram format not able to separate pixels in 4/8bpp mode) and then apply the vwf effect. Fortunately I could write the whole thing in C and then I converted it into Asm with a little trick of mine, and there was enough unused space in VRAM to store all names, so it wasn’t really stressing as I thought it would have been at first. I also had to fix as usual the damn Lisa/Ginko switch bit. >_> Still need to fix names in Personal Data sub-menu, tho…
Just for your information, Eternal Punishment does almost the same thing, but it’s a little simplified since it fetches character GFX data directly from RAM, instead of VRAM+post processing. X_x
By the way, name code for main menu was behaving incorrectly thanks to a deallocation procedure that I didn’t alter correctly, which caused the game to freeze when you tried to access main menu twice in a row. This issue was fixed successfully.

City map too gets some love:

Tom’s been translating like a train in the last days, and he’s done 2 out of 6 city map dialogue blocks. Unfortunately English text compresses worse than Japanese and it made map files bigger, so I had to expand them, place them all at the end of the ISO, and update the allocation tables for each district (usual pain in the ass). On my side of the task:

I’ve redone all those shop signs that needed to be translated. Some were quite tricky to redo, like London’s and Sumaru Gypsy’s, but they all came out pretty nice thanks to Photoshop fancy font effects. Here all of them:

3 of them (2x Slash, Clair De Lune, and Hiiragi Therapy) are imported directly from Eternal Punishment, since they look exactly the same as in IS, and their style is really neat (and less work for me :P). Bring back a mountain!

As you might have noticed from the first screen, we are using again Michelle. Tom and I decided to revert it again to the girly name because:
1) Michel doesn’t really sound like a visual artist nickname;
2) Michelle contains the word hell, which represents perfectly Eikichi (he’s the Grim Reaper Gang Leader);
3) He wears a skirt over his pants, so the girl’s name works like a charm on him.
There are other reasons why we decided to go for Michelle, but I can’t really remember them right now. And many of them would tease some weaboos.
While we are at it, I created a poll on my board to decide on what to do with Japanese saves and Tatsuya’s (sur/nick)name. I haven’t decided yet, so this is your chance to collaborate with the project.
I’ve also burned my BETA2 disk and it runs totally smooth on my old Playstation. It even loads save data containing translated names, so I guess PCSX is broken for good.

Nothing else to report for now. Stay tuned!

PS: I forgot to post this on the previous news, but here it goes – to the people copy&pasting news and images from this blog: STOP STEALING MY BANDWIDTH. This is not Imageshack or Photobucket.


63 Responses to “Happyness is a warm butt”

  1. SlyStrife said

    Yay, first comment again! I’m actually happy that you stuck with Michelle, even though Michel is the male version, Michelle just flat out looks better.

    Glad you fixed the names in battle, you must be really that everything is starting to look nice and neat. ^_^

    It seems Eternal Punishment is really helping you out, you should list the game in the credits. :)

  2. SlyStrife said

    *Really happy*, I know it’s probably pointless to correct such a simple mistake, but I had to do it anyway. >_<

  3. Square711 said

    68% progress OMG

    And I already said it before, Michelle > Michel, so I’m happy you decided to stick with it.

  4. AlexY said



    I’m sorry, I’m sorry… It’s just so cool! 8D

  5. Takehaniyasubiko said

    “Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
    LOLtech — asian butt warm/cooler” – ROTFL

    Anyway, being godlike as usual, Gemini… Seriously, what kind of an unhuman being are you!?

  6. Gemini said

    I’m not inhuman, just efficient with my shit. :P Also, experience plays a big role in this kind of things.

  7. Takehaniyasubiko said

    Yeah, right – better tell us which dimension are you from. ;p

  8. Watanuki said

    i’m afraid of aliens .-.

  9. GG08 said

    Good Job Man!!

    Hopefully when this patch is complete it will be able to run full speed on the ps one(grey console)

  10. maya-nee said

    68% yay!

    but im sure youre not an alien right gemini?

  11. Mippy said

    I was playing Persona 2 today and was wondering if anyone had finally gotten around to doing this. You have no idea how happy you have just made me.

  12. viewtifulsub said

    Great to see the battle name GFX issue resolved thats been plaguing progress for a while now Gemini. I’ll definitely be trying again (after an unsuccessful registration last time) to join up your board to voice my opinion on the save compatibility matter.

    Word to Tom, keep up the amazing work. With Persona games being so dialogue heavy, the amount of translation progress has left me in awe.

  13. Chris8282 said

    Gemini, you are the hacking King .. No one else can do what you do :D

  14. Gemini said

    Considering the current status of Playstation translations, I believe you are right. :P

  15. Chris8282 said

    ^ :D ..

    So, when can expect you do translate ALL of the PS2 JRPGs that didn’t come? :D .. JK

  16. Gemini said

    Actually, I already have a Ps2 project (Tales of Symphonia), but it’s dead. For the moment there is no way I can emulate Ps2 games, not with my current hardware (ADM Dual Core +3500 2,21GHz, 1GB ram, can’t remember whatever low priced ATI GFX card), and I don’t have enough money to afford a high level computer all by myself. So no deal for now. :P

  17. Hitoshura said

    68%?! Great work you guys are surely working your asses off! I wish you the best of luck with the programming. (Eikichi wears a skirt thats crazy) heh heh.

  18. Square711 said

    Hmm… so the only thing keeping you from porting the english translation of Tales of Symphonia to the PS2 as you mentioned some time ago is the lack of a better machine?

    You should’ve told me sooner. :D *donates $5,000*

    …lol, just kidding. But who knows, when you finish working on IS maybe someone will take this joke seriously. :)

  19. Gemini said

    Hahahah, I wish somebody was that generous, but there’s no way that can happen. :D

  20. Takehaniyasubiko said

    Of course there’s no way that can happen – only poor nolifes play long-forgotten obscure jRPGs.

  21. Mip said

    It’s really heartening to see you working so hard on this – keep up the great work!

    … Though Eikichi isn’t wearing a skirt. It’s a long shirt that’s popping out from underneath his uniform jacket. But I’m nitpicking here. :P

  22. Persona'd said

    You seem to be making a huge amount of progress. And you seem to know what you’re doing, too, so I think that this will turn out very professional-looking.

  23. Gemini said

    @Mip: wrooooooooong. :P That is a skirt. The official guide book confirms it.

  24. SlyStrife said

    Wow, whoever thought Eikichi would be such a fruit, unless of course that’s a kilt he’s wearing. :)

  25. Takehaniyasubiko said

    You guys should try wearing a skirt – it’s really comfortable during spring and summer.

  26. SlyStrife said

    I would, but I don’t think I have the legs for it….

    No, seriously…. O.o


  27. Mip said

    @Gemini: Hehe, seriously? The top under his jacket has the same pattern so I’d always assumed it was one long top. I’ve got to admit, Michelle doesn’t seem like such a strange nickname any more… :P

  28. slystrife said

    Here’s a question for you Gemini, if you do decide to implement the Black Joker as a persona (which I’m sure you will :) ), how would you actually go about obtaining him while playing?

  29. Gemini said

    Think about EP’s option to load IS data. It’s something similar, but not quite.

  30. MarkMan said

    This is looking really good! I’m excited about playing this before replaying Persona 2: EP… good job guys!

    Keep it up!


  31. slystrife said

    @Gemini: So basically, it’s going to be loaded from a source outside the game? (Don’t mind me, I’m just really curious as to how this works, the technical side of me is really being fleshed out thanks to this project :) )

  32. shabulia said

    When this patch is finished, how will you go about downloading it? Also, is there a way we can donate something? Perhaps via PayPal? It’s just I appreciate the fact that SOMEONE is making this patch. It’s important.

  33. Sigma said


  34. Gemini said

    @slystrife: his data will be inserted into the game when you patch the game, and his name will be triggered in the summon list whenever you have an EP save (U/C, PAL, or JP) in the memory card you are gonna load your IS data from.

    @shabulia: check the FAQ page. Both answers are there.

  35. hey gemini, just wondering, have you checked out the Persona 2 Beta version? the ones sold in Southeast Asia interestingly shows that Persona 2 eternal punishment has the entire data of tsumi, you could get tsumi’s music, sprite, etc, also, the game features debug mode that might could help you hacking the game (maybe, sorry, I don’t know much about rom hacking).

    The debug mode features a lot of things that intended for the programmers (like the ability to modify the CG, showing the bytes, etc)

    anyway, I’m veryyy delighted to see the screenshot. IS is the best thing I played in PSX, and the game turned me into shin megaten fanboy, lol!

  36. Gemini said

    I had that version, but it’s not really a beta. It’s just a debug build, and it’s very instable.

  37. Izvestia said

    Wow… This is… Well, incredible!

    Down and through the rabbit hole you go, and bring back delicious baked goods! Well, fan-translations… But similar=different, so no big problem there.

    I cannot wait! Nazi-fighting, Persona-summoning, Xuchilibara(Or however it’s spelled)-visiting goodness seem right around the corner! Awesome!

  38. slystrife said

    @Gemini: Cool, so then it’s like a bonus for having played EP first, works for me. ^_^

    @Izvestia: Not to be a jerk, but it’s spelt Xilbalba. :P

  39. Izvestia said

    Trust me, you’re not being a jerk. =P I confused my alien aztec ufo ships with my Silent Hill red god, and spelling either one is a nightmare… So feel free to correct me if my overloaded brainpod ends up running on empty.something.

  40. DarkBubble said

    I’ve bought another PS in anticipation of this. Now, if only the company I bought the boot disc from would send me the right part. They sent me a PS2 modchip. >_< I should’ve just ordered a new laser assembly for my other PS instead.

  41. Deiser said

    Out of curiosity, how do get such a specific number in terms of percentages? I mean, I’d understand a generalized guess like 60 or 70 percent, but do you use some sort of translation tool to keep track of the amount of progress?

  42. Phil said

    about Michelle : being a french speeking person I can tell that it’s a little disturbing to see a man (boy) called Michelle. Michelle is definitly a girls name. Michel is the correct name for a guy. It’s also a biblical name (of an archangel). In french langage Michel is pronounced “me-shell” in one word.

  43. Gemini said

    @Phil: Get used to the girly name then. ;)

    @Deiser: mathematical average with all the other progress percentages.

  44. Joseph said

    From 63%(last week) to 68%(this week) all I can say to whoever is involved in this project is “wow”. You guys have been really busting your hump this week because that is a big jump in the progress of the translation of this game. Keep up the good work.

  45. Eleanore said

    This is purely amazing. No, seriously, brilliant.

    I recently fell in love with the SMT series and this is wonderful. Persona 2 seems plain awesome and if you’ll make this patch I’ll definitely import IS and EP (don’t think EP is avaible in europe).

    Also please correct me if I’m wrong but once the patch is complete it will just to pop in the P2:IS CD in the computer and patch it and then put it in the PSx/PS2 and play? If not will there be a guide on how to do it? ^^;

    Thank you so much, I will be looking forward to this a lot <3

  46. Square711 said

    @Eleanore: you’ll need to create an image of the game first, then patch it and burn it to a blank CD.

  47. slystrife said

    @Izvestia: Your a Silent Hill fan? That’s awesome, so am I! It’s my favorite survival horror series, can’t wait for Silent Hill 5! I’m getting a PS3 just to play that. :)

    @DarkBubble: You should try looking for a Breaker Pro, I think there’s still some sites that carry them.

  48. educatedrat said

    You are my hero.

  49. Izvestia said

    @Slystrife: Yes! I’m drunk on the game series… I’m one of those rare people who likes every game in the series, and actually has managed to tie them all together, haha! I blame it on midnight insomnia and all the awesome ‘backburner of the mind’ mysteries and horrors in them. Great stuff, great survival horror. =) I really hope SH5 is good, it looks awesome!

    @Eleanore: I don’t think it was either, but, you know… With PS1 being fairly cheap these days, it isn’t so impossible to sneak a NTSC version in… =P

  50. slystrife said

    @Izvestia: Yup, I’m another one of those rare ones, Silent Hill 4 is actually my second favorite in terms of story; and that’s the one everybody usually hates. I’m currently immersing myself in the series as well, I’m currently playing through 4 again and I’m also working on Origins. I could get into whole discussion about the series here, but I wouldn’t want to turn Gemini’s IS blog into a SH talk thread. :)

  51. Frogacuda said

    Michel sounds much more like something a pretentious artist would call themselves, if only for how French it is. I don’t like the Michelle thing.

  52. Old Man Adamkun said

    I just perused the to do list. Quick question. Why does the final FMV need subtitles? as I recall, there was no speaking.

  53. Gemini said

    It does have spoken dialogue. Here what they say:

    A lot’s happened, but I’m glad I got to see you one more time.
    Next time, I’m definitely gonna make you one of my band members, alright?

    That’s a promise, man to man… Don’t you forget it!

    Ching yan… Don’t forget about me…

    I like you so much…

    I won’t forget…

    The sins I committed,
    or about you,
    or about everybody else…

    We’ll meet again for sure.

    And this time, we’ll be able to protect Maya…

    That’s why I’m not going to say goodbye.

    Just… Thanks.

  54. Takehaniyasubiko said

    Lolz on you, Gemini. You really shouldn’t post this pubically. xD

  55. DarkBubble said

    @Slystrife: I’ve thought about it, but didn’t know enough about the Breaker or its availability. I was under the impression that it might have been a PAL-only option, but have since found out otherwise. My PS-X-Change 2 showed up today, so I’m set. I may still track down a Breaker, but I don’t see much need for it. I’ll probably just get a laser assembly for Ol’ Faithful. Something about that little PS1 doesn’t feel right. It’s like jumping into my Cavalier for the first time after driving my truck for a month.

  56. em said

    Hey! I just found this blog–I had no clue that this was happening (alas, I am a new SMT fan). This is really awesome! Thanks for all of your hard work; this is going to make a lot of people happy. I can’t wait to see the final result! ^___^

    And…I hate to be an ass (Because this might have already been answered), is there any way that this might (ever) be playable as a ROM on a Windows computer (Through an emulator like ePSXe)? I ask because I don’t have a PSX anymore, and I’m afraid of (/don’t want to) modding my PS2. I read the FAQ, but I’m still a bit confused (in relation to my question). T___T

  57. Gemini said

    @Em: Psx doesn’t use ROMs, it uses ISOs. But you can still emulate them on a PC using pSX or ePSXe 1.60.

  58. em said

    Oh, right, ISOs (duh em…:p).
    So I will be able to play this!
    Thanks for answering my question Gemini! ^___^

  59. Joseph said

    To Darkbubble and Em: to play psx/ps1 games/isos on the ps2 slim(the current model playstaion 2) you really dont need a special disc(like psxchange etc…) or a modchip for that fact, the only thing that you really need is any original playstaion game/black disc. I have written a guide on an easy and safe method on how to play burned playstaion games/isos(this method also works with multi-disc psx games/isos as described in the guide) on a ps2 slim, just click on this link: to find out more. Also if you dont know but want to know where to download psx games for free email me by clicking this link:

  60. DarkBubble said

    @Joseph: I don’t have a PS2 or this wouldn’t be an issue. The reason I haven’t just gone out and bought one is because I don’t need the temptation of yet another system to keep acquiring games for. My collection’s far too large as it is. I can play imports and patched games on my system now, so I’m set.

    I mean no offense, but out of respect for Gemini – who is not providing an .iso of Innocent Sin and will not tell anyone where to find it – you really shouldn’t be advertising like that. There’s also no need to email you, given that the board you linked to hosts them.

  61. Izvestia said

    @Slystrife: *awesome*! SH4 was wonderful… From ‘The Cell’ like plots, to crazy Sullivan, to Richard Braintree(one of my favorite side characters in an SH, definately), it just blew away. But, you’re right, best not to mix two different(but wonderful!) series… =)

    @Gemini: Ah, that dialogue… It’s spoken at a certain sad choice, is it not? =/ This truly is an epic story…

  62. Old Man Adamkun said

    Oh. My mistake, Gemini. When I think of the final FMV, I think of the one that ends with everyone meeting at the train station(?). I remember that FMV you described now.

  63. Levitra Online…

    hey i just stopped by, great stuff…

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