It is currently Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:10 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Posts: 5714
Location: Canada
Great Hierophant wrote:
Nicole wrote:
One practical reason: Japanese requires more tiles. Even with katakana alone, you're going to need about 50 or so tiles minimum. Compare this to English with its 26 letters. That said, the town dialogue is indeed in katakana, where I'm guessing they set aside more CHR RAM for text.

The biggest chunk of English text is probably the intro text, and it's not really essential to play the game. Not only that, the same information is probably in Japanese in the instruction manual.


Japanese text takes less space in terms of text strings than English text to convey the same ideas, most of the time. But I never appreciated the fact that Japanese text characters require more graphics tile storage space than U.S. text characters. Kanji usually takes a 16x16 cell to display legibly, which is the equivalent of four U.S. letters. Later systems usually have a lot more memory and you usually see fewer instances of blocks of English text.

I know the Zelda 2 U.S. manual tells the story in a grammatically correct and perfectly intelligible manner, I assume the Zelda 2 Japanese story does the same for speakers of that language.

It really depends on the situation which constraint is the most dire, but I think CHR space is a big reason that a lot of Japanese games used English characters exclusively. Especially before CHR banking was common. On the FDS disk load times to swap in those characters are a big issue, too.

String space is less constrained, I think, and text tends to be very compressible (especially compared to CHR tiles).

There's some other constraints that are important too. Screen space is a big one. Since Japanese is typically shorter it does tend to take up less horizontal space, but at the same time it tends to require extra vertical spacing between lines to accommodate diacritic marks. Hiragana especially is hard to fit in an 8x8 box, so a blank vertical line in between also makes it easier to make them legible, so you can use all 8 lines instead of 7, leaving one blank for spacing.

The Castlevania 2 retranslation ROM-hack efforts took advantage of this; I think reclaiming those blank lines (not used in the official English translation) let them put more text in that box. Some of its notoriously poor translation might have partially been due to cramped screen space because of requiring longer English words but having the same every-second-line text system in place.

Though, applying to Zelda 2's title screen, I don't know if any of those constraints really mattered. It seems like the scroll split would have made it feasible to stick the katakana set on the other PPU page if they'd wanted to use it. It might very well have been that they just wanted it in English for other reasons already mentioned in this thread, and not technical ones.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:04 pm
Posts: 936
Extra vertical spacing or just losing a horizontal character to each diacritic (example).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Posts: 5714
Location: Canada
Yeah, horizontal diacritics are awful though. :(

I'd guess that happens most often from the opposite direction of translation, being stuck with a English-centric system that has no gaps between lines but having to translate to Japanese.

...though TMNT3 did some horizontal diacritics despite having gaps between lines, so probably natives will do it too in a pinch. I'm not sure if it's just in cheat codes or if the regular dialog does it too. (I can't find a JP TMNT3 ROM to check.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:32 am 
Online

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 799
Location: Sweden
Yeah well I'm not native but since the words sounds, either very unjapanese or makes no sense for other reasons, unless you combine the diacritics with the character before them, most people probably learn fast that diacritics has their own character square in these texts (even though it looks a bit awkward). Of course depending on how comfortable you are with Japanese, it might not always be so easy to figure out if it's a real word or not.

Dragon Quest uses vertical spacing for the diacritics in dialogue text, but not for the hero's name input. And since the hero's name comes up in dialogues there is a mix of the two types of diacritics, if you use diacritics in your name that is.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Pokun and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group