Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Version 1.06a Update & Fan Spotlight

Hi there, everyone. I hope you've been enjoying the holidays.

I've posted an update at the Darkside Translations website to let everyone know the status of the latest Rosenkreuzstilette patch, Version 1.06a. At the same time, I've decided to give props to a handful of players who made their own works based on our localization (whether they've acknowledged our part in it or not).

You can read the full post here.

It's a little early, but Happy New Year, ladies and gents.


  1. It's good to see things are going well with you, TDOMMX.

  2. Keep up the good work.

    And how's the decompression tool coming along? I've waited too long for it, so I hope you can get it released soon.

  3. Justin: Well, not quite. My health has been fluctuating considerably for the past while. From Christmas Eve until yesterday morning, I was at my worst. Let's just say it's not much fun having Christmas dinner with the family when you're only semi-conscious on the dining room sofa.

    I'm a bit surprised by the timing of my friend's pep talk; it was right after I'd gotten over my illness. Still, it was something I really needed to hear. Incidentally, one of my questions was, "did I just throw a year of my life away working on RKS?"... Some of the comments I've received from the "fans" are directly responsible for this, and seeing people pride themselves for robbing [erka:es] of what they deserve just rubs me the wrong way, to say the least.

    Anonymous: Sorry about that. Interface programming is more time-consuming that some people might believe, and I'm sure you can see why I was in no condition to work on it. The fact that nearly all of the game's graphics assets can be found at The Spriter's Resource wasn't exactly spurring me on, either.

    In any event, once I've secured a new source of income, the decompression tool will be my next priority. I know you've been patient, so I'll ask you to hang on just a bit longer...

  4. @TDOMMX: Oh, I'm sorry things aren't going well for you, dude. I hope everything gets better soon. :'(

    And TSR doesn't actually have everything in stock. They're still missing all the character mugshots. (i.e. the Spiritia ones that appear during the new weapon achieved screen, and the ones during the conversations) I've sent an e-mail to Random Talking Bush, asking him to complete the sheet as soon as possible.

    We have been waiting patently for the decompression tool, TDOMMX, so I hope it's completed sometime within the next few months.

  5. I'll take your word for it, then. I don't check the site religiously, but every time I pass by, there's some new RKS or Melty Blood stuff posted. I'd imagine the guy would have completed ripping the graphics for RKS by now.

    On a related note, there are a few duplicates in the background image archive. I'm not sure why - it'd have been more efficient to make an extra copy in memory, if you ask me.

    If I can help it, it'll be a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months, but I'm not about to make a promise I might not be able to keep.

  6. Well, take as much time as you need, TDOMMX. We'll be waiting.

    Oh, and speaking of the decompression tool, Could you maybe include an readme or word document with detailed instructions in the file that comes with the decompression tool?

  7. Sorry to hear that things aren't going so well. You know what they say: "time heals everything." Well almost everything...

  8. Well take care, and best luck for the future then ;-)

    Happy new year early, everyone !

  9. I do seem to recall someone on SASA posting a zip file of mugshots.

  10. Anonymous: I'm pretty sure that was me. There was something about Justin's puppy-eyed pleading that begged me to throw him a bone for a change. I haven't deleted the file from the FTP, so if you find the link, it should still work.

    As for the decompressor, I've hit a bit of snag. Takumi Yamada, the original programmer, coded certain modules in inline assembly. The thing is, my compiler (GCC) doesn't support the syntax he used (Microsoft's Visual C++'s, apparently). Long story short, I need to either translate from one flavor of ASM to another, or download and configure a new compiler (neither of which are as simple as they sound). Either way, this isn't going to be fun.

    Justin: The way I design programs, no manual should be necessary. Click "Decompress Data", browse for the archive you want, click "OK", and sit tight for a few seconds while the codec does its thing. The archive will be decompressed in a subfolder.

    I could've released the command line version that I already have lying around, but even I have a hard time using it because of some really funky macros I have to use ("~dp0"). The whole point of adding an interface was so even complete idiots could use it without any problems (no offense intended).

    Viper & Killing_Doll: Thanks. Happy Holidays to you, too.

  11. @TDOMMX:

    "Takumi Yamada, the original programmer, coded certain modules in inline assembly. The thing is, my compiler (GCC) doesn't support the syntax he used (Microsoft's Visual C++'s, apparently). Long story short, I need to either translate from one flavor of ASM to another, or download and configure a new compiler (neither of which are as simple as they sound). Either way, this isn't going to be fun."

    And based on the way you're describing it, It won't be fun at all, But I'm sure you'll work something out. Good Luck TDOMMX.

  12. Heheheh. Success!

    I've installed an old copy of Visual Studio onto my laptop (it just wouldn't behave on my tower...), compiled the source code for the command-line utility, and localized the onscreen text. One of the bullet points in the instructions caught my attention, and I thought I should repeat it here:

    "This program supports Windows Drag & Drop functionality."

    In other words, select the files you want to extract, drag them onto Decode.exe, and they'll be decompressed automatically. I had no idea the prog supported drag & drops -- this little sucker is more versatile than I'd given it credit for. It also means I did all that extra work for nothing... Funny what you can figure out when you sit down and read the friggin' documentation. (^_^;) Well, it was entirely in Japanese until a few minutes ago...

    Anyway, I can debug the app, type up a quick readme, and release this sucker before the day is out. As for the GUI version, I can just retool that to include a password generator later down the line.

    Justin, you may now dance yourself stupid. I know you want to. And, yes, the thing works on every [erka:es] release to date.

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  14. So, this means the RKS decompression tool will be completed sometime this afternoon and then I can finally rip the mug-shots I have been waiting for the past several months?

    If so, then thanks TDOMMX. ^v^

  15. We are go for launch. I'll make a front-page announcement after I finally get some food.

    Here you go.

  16. Thanks so much. I'll try this out now!

  17. I'll try out too, good job TDOMMX ;-)

    Even if my head is quite... Pwned, this "morning" (huaaarg it's already that late ?!) T_T

  18. However, I must point out one small problem I encountered when I tried using the tool. When I tried to decompress the mugshots from ~Freudenstachel~, it didn't work. I'm guessing since I didn't update the demo to the latest re-version. It can still decompress the basic sprites and stuff, but not the mugshots.

    But at least I got it to actually work. I ripped all the mugshots from the original RKS with little to no problems. Thanks again TDOMMX, you've made my day.

  19. Um... How do you not expect the decompression tool to work on a game that's not even complete, Justin. Besides, I don't think it's even meant to work on Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~.

  20. @Viper: Well, we'll just have to wait for the full version of RKSF to be released, which is eight months away before I can rip the mugshots from RKSF.

  21. Correct me if I'm wrong, Justin, but you're trying to extract the dialogue portraits for Freudenstachel? The problem with that line of reasoning is that the demo didn't have any dialogue, so [erka:es] didn't package the mugshots in the first place. If you're talking about the Stage Select portraits, those are in data/extra/ex_freudia/f_graphic.dat, in the select/ subfolder. I just decoded the archive myself to be sure.

    Protip: All of the new content in Freudenstachel can be found in data/extra/ex_freudia/. You can check the other archives if you want, but you won't find anything there that wasn't recycled from the original. Believe me, I've checked every single one of them.

    Viper, unless [erka:es] changes their storage format, this utility will work with everything the group releases. It's tailored to their archive specifications, which is why I called it the RKS Data Archive Decoder and not the more generic DX Archive Decoder.

  22. "If you're talking about the Stage Select portraits, those are in data/extra/ex_freudia/f_graphic.dat, in the select/ subfolder. I just decoded the archive myself to be sure."

    Yea, I'm talking about those. I'll look in there and try again. Thanks.

  23. This does work on RKS2. It took an hour of flipping through the wrong folders, but I found the right ones. And it has all the new stuff from the backgrounds to Eifer.

  24. Random Talking BushJanuary 2, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    @ TDOMMX

    The way I ripped the graphics from Rosenkreuzstilette, it was a bit tedious to get the ones with alpha channels (go to part of the game with the graphic, dump the memory, open the memory dump in GeneralGraphicalDump, find the graphic, rip it, toggle the alpha, rip the alpha channel, merge 'em together). While I did find a faster way for most of the graphics, it wouldn't get alpha channels. That's why I haven't ripped the mugshots or stage titles.

    Anyway, thank you for the decompression program, TDOMMX! Now I can get the rest of the graphics ripped into sheets for anyone that wants them (like Justin, for example)... and fix/update a few of my other sheets, since I noticed a few background images that I had missed. I'll be sure to give you credit for that program on the new sheets. :)

  25. That's good to hear RTB. ^_^ I'll be looking forward to the new sheets.

  26. ...Okay, that was weird. I just replied to an email asking how to crack the RKS Trial. Either the sender isn't very good with English and confused "patch" with "crack", or she just isn't very bright for a pirate. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for now.

    @Random Talking Bush
    That definitely sounds like a pain in the ass. Now, imagine if RKS was a visual novel instead of a platformer. Fun (^_^).

    I don't mind getting a shout-out, but I'd rather the localization itself get some attention over some doohickey I slapped together.

    It'd be nice to see you correct your typos ("Libea") and label the bosses using their proper names instead of fan-made ones (..."Mold Devil"...? Seriously...?). You can follow either the Japanese or English conventions (ie: Sepperin or Zeppelin), but don't mix and match since it might end up confusing some people.

    Zeppelin I: [No official name] (Cross Wall is fine until we have some kind of confirmation)
    Zeppelin II: Poltergeist
    Zeppelin III: Thanatos* (plus Grassense and Grollschwert)
    Zeppelin IV: Count Michael Zeppelin
    Iris I: Bosspider
    Iris II: Deviled Egg
    Iris III: Iris Machine
    Final - Form 1: Iris Capsule
    Final - Form 2: Iris Zeppelin

    * Yes, Thanatos is the boss's name. Thanatos ("The Reaper") was Raimund Seyfarth's nickname as a soldier. It's oddly appropriate that he was given that form after his death.

  27. @ TDOMMX

    I'll stick with the Japanese spellings (Sepperin), but I will change the names for the bosses... and correct that goof with Liebea's name. (How the heck did I mess that up?)

    But yeah, I'll mention the English patch, too, for anyone who might be interested.

  28. @TDOMMX

    Where on earth did you get those boss names? I want to know where you got them. Plz?

  29. @Anonymous
    The names I listed were either taken from RKS itself or were derived from the games that the bosses themselves reference (namely, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening, the original Megaman series, and Megaman X).

    I've half-jokingly referred to the Cross Wall as "Rosenkreuzwand" myself (meaning "Wall of the Rose Cross"), but that's just a name I made up. It's no more official than Rockman PM's German titles for the RKS soundtrack (which have unfortunately stuck for a lot of people). The names I listed, at least, have some official basis and parallel the names of the bosses they mimick.

    It'd be nice if [erka:es] came out and provided official names for the bosses, but I doubt we'll be seeing a Rosenkreuzstilette Design Works book anytime soon.

    Still, I understand why you're asking. I've seen a lot of people make up "official" names for characters before, like with the Seiken Densetsu and Suikoden series. For the longest time, I was wondering where the "official" names for the Secret of Mana cast came from (then confirmed that "Randi", "Prim", and "Popoi" came from Squaresoft themselves via a magazine scan). Still, I'll never figure out where "Tir McDohl" or "Riou" came from -- all I know is that they weren't from Konami.

  30. "but I doubt we'll be seeing a Rosenkreuzstilette Design Works book anytime soon."

    Now that would be something I would love to own, but too bad it doesn't exist. -_-

  31. I'm not entirely sure where "Poltergeist" came from, as Sepperin Stage 2 boss is based on that one boss from Megaman 2. Unless that happens to be its name. I can't research it right now.

  32. Heyya, Letty. It's been a while since I last heard from you.

    The Zeppelin Stage II boss is a cross between the Wily Stage II boss from Megaman 2 ("Pico-Pico" / "Piko-Piko-kun") and the stained glass from Castlevania Chronicles ("Poltergeist"). I'm pretty sure the stained glass was also an enemy in one or two of the NES Castlevania titles (I distinctly recall an 8-bit chapel), but I can't remember which one for the life of me...

    Well, how about that: the Suikoden names were taken from the novelizations of the games, which unsurprisingly contradict the names in the manga adaptations. Neither set of names is canonical, though (the hero of Suikoden I is simply "McDohl" in the sequel). At least they weren't pulled out of thin air...

    I really should stop using the word "never" like that.

  33. @TDOMMX:
    Are you talking about the Stain Glass Knight or the Stain Glass Ghost from Castlevania Chronicles?

    I was looking up the Castlevania Wiki one time to see if there was an enemy or a boss that the Poltergeist resembles. I wasn't totally sure if they were the right enemies to put on the RKS Wiki and I didn't want to get my head bitten off for putting anything that doesn't belong there. Unfortunately I can't find a video of the Stain Glass Ghost anywhere on YouTube...

  34. @Viper
    Yep, that's the one. The Japanese strategy guide lists the enemy as "Poltergeist" in katakana. If memory serves, it's a boss in Haunted Castle and a regular enemy in Chronicles. I've only played a few minutes of Castlevania 64 (...the controls are terrible...), so I don't know what it's like in that game.

    The Poltergeist leaves quite an impression considering how it makes its appearance. You're climbing up the stairs in the ornately-decorated chapel - with tons of tricky jumps, but not a single enemy in sight. Not even those damned Medusa Heads. All of a sudden, you hear a loud crash as the stained glass window in the background shatters. The shards lunge at you, then reassemble in the makeshift form of a knight. I'm sure you can recognize the resemblance. Both the CC and RKS glass shards are surprisingly well-animated, so I'm fairly sure that this is a deliberate hat-tip.

  35. So let me get this straight, That big ball of broken glass is called the Poltergeist and is based on the glass shards from Castlevania Chronicles and the Picopico-Master from Mega Man 2?

    I can understand why fans would refer it as the Shattered Glass, since it's an big cluster of glass, but why Poltergeist?

  36. 'Cuz its a supernatural phenomenon. I think this video can shed more light into the Castlevania Chronicles references in Zeppelin Stage II.

    Also note that about half-way into Stage 4 of Castlevania Chronicles there's a statue of based on Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, justice, etc., shedding tears of blood that creates those dammed Blood Skeletons. Another tip-of-the-hat to Castlevania Chronicles? I think so...

  37. Alright, I get the concept now. Thanks again Viper.

  38. Viper's got it. I'd expect Justin to have at least heard of the horror movie trilogy with the same name, but then I remembered it was before his time (...and I suddenly feel really old...).

    Incidentally, I considered using one of the Chronicles arrangements of Bloody Tears in an RKS music mod because of the stage similarities. Other candidates included the Rondo of Blood version and the Nocturne in the Moonlight version, though I haven't finalized my pick on that one.

    Hmmm... Either I remembered my very first playthrough of the game (Arrange Mode, Easy Difficulty), or I totally forgot about those three skeletons (there are four difficulty settings, so either's possible). Kinda anti-climactic how the player just bypassed the Poltergeist entirely by letting it drop onto a lower platform. Well, it was a Sharp X68000 game, so we can't really expect sophisticated AI. From a port of a remake of a remake, no less.

  39. ...And once again I have something unrelated to say.
    Is it against the rules of the RKS challenges you guys post here to change the framerate? Like, 1/2 to 1/3 to go faster? I just realized somebody could take advantage of that.

  40. References here were really interresting, I had forgotten some of those.. Nice reminder.

    What I didn't forget, was how Castlevania's soundtrack was damn awesome, including the first NES/SNES episodes (not to mention SoTN) X_X

  41. @Bella
    Manipulating the framerate falls into Tool-Assisted Speedrun territory. To my knowledge, Mint's challenges are intended to let players showcase their skills. My answer to your question would be "yes", but I have nothing to do with the challenges - you'd have to wait for Mint to give an official ruling. Still, TAS runs can be quite entertaining, so I'm curious what his answer might be.

    Because of differences in the Famicom and NES hardware, some of the soundtrack to Castlevania III was changed. Much of the soundtrack to Zelda II was also altered when it was ported from the Disk System (...yes, the Zelda II we got was a port). The Internet was nowhere near as commonplace back then as it is now, so nobody was the wiser. You might appreciate some of the differences (both versions of the soundtrack can be found at The Castlevania Dungeon).

  42. "Yep, that's the one. The Japanese strategy guide lists the enemy as 'Poltergeist' in katakana."

    Hold up there's a Japanese strategy guide to RKS?! If we have that, then someone who can translate the all of the enemies' names with the actual English translation. It'd be a big help to the RKS Wiki since all the enemies will have their actual names instead of the fan-given ones like the "Eggmets".

  43. ...

    Viper, I was talking about the Japanese strategy guide for Castlevania Chronicles, not RKS. Around 14 posts back, I said it'd be nice if an official RKS guide or artbook existed, and that I doubt we'd be seeing one anytime in the near future. Believe me, I wouldn't keep quiet if I had official supplemental material on RKS (or any other project I've work on, for that matter).

  44. @ ViperAcidZX

    As TDOMMX said, there is no RKS guide. I would've said that if he didn't. :V

    Aaaaanyhoo, I got the rest of the Rosenkreuzstilette sprite sheets up at tSR now. All of the mugshots, portraits, stage titles, etc. I even went back and updated almost every single one of my other sheets with things I had somehow missed.

    ...Rosenkreuzstilette is now the first game I've completely ripped. Not even Bubble Symphony (one of my favourite games) is complete, because I haven't ripped that unused map screen. I can't find a palette for it, and I can't assemble properly. But that's not that important, since it's not RKS. :P

  45. Sorry. My stupidity strike once again... *hard facepalm and falls to the floor*

  46. @Bella:

    A lot of low-FPS maneuvers are pretty easy to pinpoint. If people want to TAS through challenges, it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, so if it makes people sleep easier knowing that they had to slow down time to accommodate their lackluster skills, they can have that.

  47. Thank you so much Random Talking Bush. ^_^