Here There be Item Descriptions

13 years ago by Mato

Wow, just a few hours since the last update, yet I managed to fix something that’s been a huge problem since Day 1: item descriptions.

Used to be that item descriptions that were over 42 letters long would kill the game in a horrible, screechy death wail. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out the middle of this old video from way back in October.

Anyway, after only about an hour, I’ve managed to fix that problem. Much easier than I thought, too, given how the game swaps numbers around so much. Anyway, here are some pics! Hurray!

And here are a couple more.

Anyway, I don’t know if anyone remembers, but back long ago, harmony started on MOTHER 3 all by himself, starting from a different direction than us. Before he got overwhelmed with real life, he did display some of his work, and those pics have taunted me ever since I first laid eyes on them. You can see some of them here:

1, 2, 3, 4

But now it looks like we’ve not only gotten to that same point, but even surpassed it in some ways ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, if you look more closely at some of the pics above, especially the equip screen pics, you’ll notice that text is strangely cut off for some descriptions. This is caused by there being too many sprites in use, as I described in the last update. So this is another reason why the sprite-text welding routine will be necessary.

Also, this problem fixes other description text problems, such as the PSI description crashes we were having. Basically, this makes the game a whole lot less crashy and more playable. And fun. “Item 057” and the like was getting really boring to read ๐Ÿ˜‰

All the description text still needs a lot of fine-tuning and editing, but it’s all been retranslated from scratch by Chewy, a cool fellow translator. The old description text had a lot of strangeness in it, so it’s good to have things fresh now.

The only problem comes when there are special icons in the description text. These icons only appear on about 6 or so item descriptions about items that heal various status ailments. But because of how things work, Jeffman’s sprite text VWF gets confused by the icon’s presence. It probably won’t be too tough to fix though, but it’s funny to look at ๐Ÿ˜›

Anywho, now that this is done, the menus1 stuff won’t be quite as tough as I thought, so I can bump it up from 5% or so to about 50%. Quite a jump, especially for something I thought would be hellish only a few hours ago ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

BTW, item descriptions in battle have always worked since Day 1, because the battle programmer was cool enough to dynamically allocate memory for strings, unlike the menu guy who was always like, “meh, 42 letters will be enough for us”.

Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 11:02 pm by Mato, filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments and pings are currently closed.

218 Responses to “Here There be Item Descriptions”

  1. Thor said 13 years ago:

    Way to go!

  2. LPK said 13 years ago:

    Good job guys.

    Keep it up

  3. player1or2 said 13 years ago:

    how did you guys read it so fast?

  4. Earthboundpwnage said 13 years ago:

    no.4 woo

  5. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    So is Harmony that guy that had his own web page and got upset because people doubted him, and stated that he’d resume work on the anniversary of Mother 3’s release? I wonder why he quit when he did. I mean it looked like he made a LOT of progress. Either way I’m happy with the current progress. ๐Ÿ˜€ Keep it up, man!

  6. Starrodkirby86 said 13 years ago:

    Amazing. Flabbergasting. First, for the sheer speed of work you are doing, like this is 20 minutes ago. Secondly, you corrected a problem that you thought (And convinced me) was extremely difficult. Kudos. Hope you finish soon, you’re on a roll man.

  7. PK Zem said 13 years ago:


  8. Vague Rant said 13 years ago:

    I kind of like Harmony’s “When equipped, raises your offense by 9,” but I guess that does take up a lot of space, and is harder to scan through. I guess it’s a bit of a compromise either way, so I’m not really expressing a preference either way; this comment is pretty much pointless. Go read the next one.

  9. Arsenis said 13 years ago:

    So much for this being hard. huh?
    Keep it up.

    You’re working wonders.

  10. Unown said 13 years ago:

    I have a few questions.

    1. How many enemies are there in the game?

    2. Are there any 1/128 items like there were in Earthbound?

    3. Are there any leftover sprites or Text?

    4. Did you play the game BEFORE you started translating?

    5. Am I asking too many questions?

  11. EliotAndrews said 13 years ago:

    You keep cranking out these updates, and they’re always insanely intriguing reads.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. neo said 13 years ago:

    I have but one question… Do I love you guys or what?!

  13. GIANTSTEP said 13 years ago:

    Zzzzz… *Pop* What the?! Geez… I cant keep up! xD I might need to stay on 24/7 xD jkjk

    I have a question too!
    How long is the game specifically? like depending on time and stuff I bet.

    Well better go back to sleep then, got to go to work xD

  14. IheartSCOOPS said 13 years ago:

    Kool! (who by the by was the name I gave to Paula the first time I played EB)

  15. Durelle said 13 years ago:

    nice ^^

  16. rc5 said 13 years ago:

    Great stick is such an odd name for an item. =\ But I guess if that’s what it is, then that’s what it is. =P

  17. Myke said 13 years ago:

    Wow…just wow. You guys rock.

  18. Vague Rant said 13 years ago:

    Mato will probably answer these himself, but because I feel like being creepy and answering questions addressed to him, here you go:

    3. Yeah, there are a few dummied out enemies in the game, and it’s fairly likely there’s other stuff.

    4. I’m pretty sure Mato beat Mother 3 long before starting translation work, since held off starting a translation until a year after the Japanese release.

  19. neo said 13 years ago:

    lol, people might notice my comments now that i put a website and my name shows in big red text

  20. Arsenis said 13 years ago:

    I’m dying for another video with the new stuff in action.

  21. Godstriker8 said 13 years ago:

    Nice. At this rate you’ll be done in a couple of months!

  22. Dr. Meat said 13 years ago:

    Hahaha awesome. I swear, I’m impressed every time I come here.

  23. Old West said 13 years ago:

    Mato, just how much of the hacking are you forcing yourself to endure? :\ It’s nearly inconceivable, but…it seems as if you’re almost single-handedly taking this on. Get more rest if you need to, or something. As much as we appreciate your stupendous work, nobody wants to see you over-worked.

  24. ehsteve14 said 13 years ago:

    wow… awesome job! you’ve gotta keep harmony’s description of nut bread in your translation! it’s hilarious!

  25. ehsteve14 said 13 years ago:

    i meant nut muffin

  26. Janus said 13 years ago:

    Dear lord, sir, you guys are unyielding. I love it!

    Are you guys planning on replacing the dashes seen in the empty equipment slots with (nothing), as seen in Harmony’s stuff?

  27. Excitable Boy said 13 years ago:



    But it’s like an onslaught of updates!

  28. Bard said 13 years ago:

    Keep it up! Thanks for keeping us updated about every little thing, it’s so great to have such regular updates.

  29. Bard said 13 years ago:

    If I might add, it’s mighty admirable of you to not be off, busy drooling over the mother 3 content in brawl and managing to stay on task and keep the work going. XD I don’t know if I’d have the same willpower. ^_^;

  30. Shuri said 13 years ago:

    Wow. Looks like it won’t be long till the team finishes. I can’t wait! Keep on forging ahead!

  31. Adoo said 13 years ago:

    Bleh, too bad the menus weren’t dynamically allocated, seems that would have helped a ton. Anyway amazing job! I love how this translation is going!

  32. Teek said 13 years ago:

    Long time lurker, first time posting. Just wanted to say thanks for the frequent and informative updates. Aside from getting me pumped for M3, it’s an educational experience as it presents a cautionary tale of what not to do when programming ๐Ÿ™‚ I know when you’re writing a program you want to get it to work first and optimize it later, but this game certainly shows what can happen down the line if you forget/don’t-do the optimization part ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    Back on topic, I second Janus’ motion. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Nothing) looks good in comparison with the dashes. ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. Can0fMean said 13 years ago:

    way to go Mato! You are doing an extremely outstanding work. There is not even proper adjective to describe how fast you are :S

  35. ancientdragon said 13 years ago:

    oh yeah i’m loving this by the update! Keep it up, peeps!

  36. glemmstengal said 13 years ago:

    excellent work as always, but don’t burn yourself out.. as someone else said you seem to be extremely busy with this =P
    hate to see you lose interest.. but man, very impressive work, really appreciate you doing this for Mother fans everywhere

  37. Inzoum said 13 years ago:

    This is great! I’m beginning to wonder if Nintendo would have done better than this bunch of hackers… leaning towards the hackers, though, honestly. How you manage to make it look so professional with only a bunch of home-made tools and assembly coding is entirely beyond me…

    It’s nice that the larger part of the community posting here is supportive and cheering, a lot of projects turn sour because people get pushy, but I don’t get that feeling here. Except for a few trolls and gremlins, but apparently those are dealt with ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hurray for everything so far!

  38. Inzoum said 13 years ago:

    Oh, and also, I don’t know about your confession and it’s better these things don’t get discussed here, but it’s Easter this weekend, so take it easy, try to have a little family time if you can, eat lots of bunny/egg/chicken/Pokey-shaped chocolate, and don’t burn yourself out. Try to avoid trout-flavoured treats though.

  39. Chakado said 13 years ago:

    Wow, I never knew Harmony was a nice hacker. o_o

    We’re all happy and gleeful that the updates keep coming in,
    but shouldn’t you take a few days of break? Nearly every time I check this, it’s like WHAMMO UPDATE GOTTA READ!!!

  40. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    Awesome! every time I check, you’ve done more and more! Keep up the great work!

  41. Reanzet said 13 years ago:

    I see two different descriptions for “gloves”

    1.) Ordinary gloves seen anywhere.(by Harmony)
    2.) Plain old gloves you could find anywhere(by your project ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    Which one are you planning on using? Just curious
    Keep up the good work guys!

  42. Rod. said 13 years ago:

    ๐Ÿ˜€ Hoorah! Bravo! Hoorayy! Congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚

    lol, “horrible, screechy death wail.”

    and damn that menu guy
    **shakes fist in the air, at menu guy*

    Its good to see progress, and at such a fast rate too. I bet it feels really good, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep on truckin’ dude, you’ve got a world of fans behind you.

  43. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Unsavory Maggot: That’s him, but he wasn’t upset, just annoyed. Internet people are always pretty negative and disapproving and doubtful. Anyway, it looks like he made a lot of progress, but it turns out he didn’t realize many of the problems that were awaiting, since it looks like he didn’t test his stuff in too many situations. But yeah, he definitely did a whole lot of complicated work in such a short time ๐Ÿ˜ฏ He stopped working on the patch because it was still so soon after the game’s release and he was worried people would try to sell his work.

    Vague Rant: I like it too, but I think simpler is probably better in the end. Plus some things raise several stats, and there wouldn’t be enough room to fit it all the wordy way.

    Unown: 1. About 200-ish.

    2. Yes, but they’re found 3% of the time, rather than 1/128 of the time. So they’re not as rare, but there are such secret items to be hunted.

    3. Yes. There is a lot of leftover everything.

    4. I played the game many times. I even sped through the game my first time so I could write up a walkthrough (here) that would let people who don’t understand Japanese play through the game more easily.

    5. meow

    GIANTSTEP: I really should update the FAQ page with questions like this, they show up all the time ๐Ÿ˜› But the FAQ page is already so big, so I dunno if people would even bother. Anyway, rushing through and not talking to many people and not exploring, 20-30 hours. Talking to people, having fun, exploring places, 30-40 hours. That seems to be the general trend.

    Arsenis: What new stuff? Most of the stuff isn’t all that video-worthy. Once most of the menu stuff is done, maybe I’ll do a video of that in action, though I assure you it won’t be very exciting ๐Ÿ˜›

    Janus: We had “(Nothing)” before, until like a week or two ago. The original game uses dashes, while MOTHER 2 used the equivalent of “(Nothing)”. I prefer the dashes, also, the parentheses and the g in Nothing leak outside of the box a little bit when it’s at the bottom, so that makes it look uglier.

    Inzoum: I’ll be spending the weekend doing real life work mostly. This is why I want to get this project over quickly. Hopefully the hacking won’t take too much longer, can’t keep this up for much more.

    Reanzet: Harmony’s pic was just a demo pic of one line in action. We’ll be using neither, anyway. All the text still needs to go through editing, after all.


    Anyway, I’ve noticed people have been a lot more nitpicky the last week or so, which I guess is only natural, now that it’s looking more and more complete. But I’m amazed nobody’s said anything about the plus signs yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. Arsenis said 13 years ago:

    If we are getting excited over everything you’ve done, I’m sure we would get excited over a video.

  45. Janus said 13 years ago:

    Ahh, gotcha ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. insania said 13 years ago:

    “5. meow” Hahah!

    Great progress Mato! Don’t let the nitpickers get to you too much. I’m sure whatever you choose will be best ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. insania said 13 years ago:

    One of the things I loved most about Earthbound was the quirky, odd humour. How easy is it to translate stuff like that without making it sound awkward?

  48. Rokugo said 13 years ago:

    Hey Tomato,

    Just out of curiousity, after several months of doing this blog, how do you feel about the decision to make updates on the patch public? It seems most translation projects prefer to operate in secrecy until they’re finished. You seem to have found a good balance here, but sometimes I wonder if you go to bed with nightmares about having to deal with the neverending torrent of questions here (such as this one :p)

  49. Dr. Meat said 13 years ago:

    Hey I was going to mention the plus signs but didn’t want to nitpick so there!!

  50. wingzero98 said 13 years ago:

    i actually saw the plus signs too but decided, huh, it looks good like that so decided initially not to say anything. but now that you mention it…

    huh, it looks good those plus signs.

  51. Forgotten Man said 13 years ago:

    Those plus signs look really good
    Were they hard to do?

  52. Vyre said 13 years ago:

    The menu item descriptions work?? I go away for a night, and come back to see this xD. Mato, you’re made of 100% win!

    Also, if you need hard booze, I would be more than willing to treat you to a couple of bottles Chilean Pisco (35~40ยฐ). Adding some cola turns it into Piscola, the most popular drink in the country!

  53. Godstriker8 said 13 years ago:

    Hey Mato, just wondering if you’ll change the game’s title too “Earthbound 2”, because you’re changing things such as the font, to be Earthbound fan service as well as the fact that the English Mother 1’s title is “Earthbound zero”

  54. earthbound said 13 years ago:

    great job.

  55. TheReaper said 13 years ago:

    Mato that saying about sometimes things that look like hell in hacking can become simple within hours is correct because in menus1 to go from 5% to about 50% in no time shows how true that saying really is.Hopefully that saying continues on the other hard hacks.

  56. Oron said 13 years ago:

    Excellent job here. The translation seems to be running along smoothly and it seems a lot less far off than it did long ago.

  57. IcePiยขk said 13 years ago:

    Things are going faster than Ness using Teleport รŸ.

  58. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    5) meow – LOL

  59. Old West said 13 years ago:

    “Things are going faster than Ness using Teleport รŸ”

    Are you implying that the translation team is just going in circles? D:

  60. otherhand said 13 years ago:

    No, no, they only started by going in circles. Y’know, back when there were multiple projects and all. Now they’re moving at Mach 5, en route to destinations unknown.

  61. Sparks said 13 years ago:

    “Mato: …that would let people who donโ€™t understand Japanese play through the game more easily.” Just an example of your magnanimousness!

    *text scrolls, background becomes an array of sprite-weldings and light music not much different than that which played when Ness encountered the Giant Step playing lightly, Mato standing in front of thousands (>14,000) on the steps of some Greek Revival piece of architecture*


    You are a great contributor to your community! I commend you!
    I present to you, for your efforts, this Franklin Badge!

    / _ \
    \_|_|_ /
    \| |//
    \ /

    Legend says that Ben Franklin wore this reflective badge during his experiments with lightning. You will be held in high regard for many years to come for your selfless desire to bring a fantastic work of art to so many people.

    Thank You!

    *fades to black, music decrescendos to silence*

  62. Sparks said 13 years ago:

    I thought that would happen…


    This probably won’t work either!

  63. Sparks said 13 years ago:

    Oh well sorry for spamming!

  64. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    Come to think of it, I think that those plus signs should be centered vertically. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. insania said 13 years ago:

    What are everyones plans for when the full patch is released? I know mine. I’m going to wait until everyone in my family hits the sack, then I’ll *ahem* light one up and experience this game in it’s full glory, thanks to Mato and the crew. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  66. elmo_lol said 13 years ago:

    Hey Mato, just wondering if youโ€™ll change the gameโ€™s title too โ€œEarthbound 2โ€ณ, because youโ€™re changing things such as the font, to be Earthbound fan service as well as the fact that the English Mother 1โ€™s title is โ€œEarthbound zeroโ€

    !!! My cousin said that he’s in training for stuff like that.
    I’ll ask him.

  67. mazoboom said 13 years ago:

    The English Mother 1 title was not Earthbound Zero. The English prototype for Mother was called just “Earth Bound.” The “Zero” was added later by a hacker to make it easier to distinguish from the SNES Earthbound.

    Mato has said that he will wait to see what the whole translation team wants to do when it comes time to make the decision of whether to call it Earthbound 2.

  68. Stegosaurus said 13 years ago:

    This is fantastic. Cant wait.

  69. Blooooo said 13 years ago:

    You know Mato, with all the item fixes and control codes, you ought to update the previews page. It’s starting to look outdated with these new, very aesthetic fixes.

  70. JC said 13 years ago:

    Always a pleasure to read these updates Mato.

  71. Andrew said 13 years ago:


  72. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    Hmm, just because no one noticed until you mentioned it, why are the + signs a pixel or two low, anyhow?

    Or won’t you know until you fix it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Reznik said 13 years ago:

    I agree with Old West a well rested worker is a happy worker.

  74. shiggityshnaps said 13 years ago:

    I need this game.
    You NEED to finish this because I need it!

  75. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    Ah, I didn’t realize that the + was lower than the main text, you’re right. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I still say that it should be centered though, as opposed to resting on the bottom.

  76. neo said 13 years ago:

    Mato, if you meant the “Offense +9” stuff, I really like it that way actually. It may not look like real English, but it’s a lot easier to review items like that. Maybe you can consider leaving it like that in the final ๐Ÿ™‚

  77. neo said 13 years ago:

    Oh nevermind, I just read that last comment..

  78. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Rokugo: Good thing about it is that by having it out in the open, I feel more of an obligation to keep things progressing. I hope this catches on and more and more ROM hackers do things this way. I’m used to answering stuff from experiences with real life work — I often try to interact with the fans of whatever stuff I’m working on/have worked on. Also got experience with this stuff from running for almost 10 years now, etc. etc. So it’s no big deal.

    Unsavory Maggot: I moved the plus sign up one pixel since the screenshots on this update. It looks nicer now.

    elmo_lol: What mazoboom said.

    Blooooo: There aren’t too many screens that need new versions though.


    I know I throw stats around sometimes, but this week there were 111,000 page views from 17,000+ unique visitors. That’s a lot for one week ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  79. andeh said 13 years ago:

    god, you guys are so great! I’m… gonna cry from teh anticipation! You can and are finally doing it!! <=]

  80. necronium said 13 years ago:

    Man you guys are great, i have always loved the earthbound game, and have wanted to play mother 3 for a long time. Until recently i didnt even have a clue there was a translation, i thought there might have been a na release because of brawl.

    So now i have read every blog installment ove rthe last 2 days and am anxiously awaiting your translation. Kudos to everyone involved with this huge task.

  81. tibbs said 13 years ago:

    I think the title should remain Mother 3, after all, just look at the site’s address, and all around the internet: everyone’s waiting for the “Mother 3” translation, not “EarthBound 2″… but, anyway, wouldn’t affect the game itself anyway, so no big deal…

    Just one unrelated question Mato (which you’ve probably been asked already, sorry…): which episode in the seires is your favorite? The third one because you’ve been putting so much effort into it? Or, on the contrary, you’ve grown tired of it?


  82. Jinketsu said 13 years ago:

    regarding the ‘nothing vs dash’ deal.. would ‘Bare’ be a better short word to use to implement nothing is equipped?

    Just a thought. ^^

  83. Zaratustra said 13 years ago:

    cohort (plural cohorts)

    1. A group of people.

    “The Mr. Batty and its cohorts” means it has several armies following it.

  84. Mato said 13 years ago:
  85. pauyasfyla said 13 years ago:

    Yes. A cohort can also be one person. I’d associate it most with the word “crony.”

  86. starmand said 13 years ago:

    Hey Mato, can I ask you a question that several people have already asked cause I don’t read very carefully? Awesome.

    But seriously, keep up the good work.

  87. IheartSCOOPS said 13 years ago:

    There’s a lot of Nitpicky McNitpickersons on here. How bout everybody just wait until the patch is in the final stages when all hacks work before they start whining?

    Stop wasting the team’s time with trivial things at this point when we ALL should know by now that nothing has been set in stone as far as the script goes.

    Gawd! Sorry, it just bugs me to see that people have the nerve to make requests (on such an overworked team as it is!) when they haven’t even done their homework.

  88. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    IheartSCOOPS: what homework? a lot of us are (where I am anyway) are on spring break

    Thx again for what you guys are doing! I’m playing Earthboud again just to waste time!

  89. Dr. Meat said 13 years ago:

    tomato i know you a busy guy i respect that but i just gotta know will you be using the earthbound font and will the game be out before smash brothers brawl

  90. Mr. Deat said 13 years ago:

    1. yes using eb font
    2. no brawl is out already fool

  91. Fruitpunch said 13 years ago:


  92. Anna said 13 years ago:

    I like the dashes, you can tell visually that there is nothing there easiest that way.

  93. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    Mr. Deat : clearly, Dr. Meat is in Europe, and Brawl isn’t out there yet

  94. Starrodkirby86 said 13 years ago:

    @ArashiSai: Or Australia. But more likely Europe. If the former, then it’s a 5 month waiting period. I don’t know about the latter.

    Once again Mato, great job. ๐Ÿ˜›

  95. Vyre said 13 years ago:

    I love reading this blog. It’s the best thing since Abraham Lincoln.

  96. Mato said 13 years ago:

    I forgot to show the descriptions working in shop menus too. As you can see, there’s even less space for sprite text, which cuts off descriptions once it hits the limit. Sprite text welding should fix this all for good eventually.

    You can also see that the VWF doesn’t mess up when there are those extra status icons in the descriptions. Jeffman fixed that real fast, he wound up improving and simplifying one of his old hacks, which is good. But when we do the sprite text welding hack, this current VWF hack will be removed completely, so the update/fix was just for the meantime really.

    I started on the custom control codes for items, but been pretty busy with real life work this weekend, pretty exhausting, and starting next week is a lot more work. Realized we’ll probably need custom item CCs in menu text too, I don’t think it’ll be too tough though.

    Meanwhile, Jeffman looked into the item name length issue and quickly ran into the same problems I had, but this time he found out a little more than I did. It looks like even non-sprite text in the menus is first stored in a buffer or struct of some sort, meaning there can only be so many letters on screen, and having too many will cause those crazy problems we saw long ago. First, WTF @ the menu programmer, argh. Two, this means we’ll either need to do some text welding with non-sprite menu text too, or figure out how to expand this buffer stuff. This menu programmer = argh.

    Anyways, the coolest thing about getting item descriptions finally working is how the game doesn’t crash nearly as much anymore. Probably 90% of all the crashes/resets I used to get are gone now, the other 10% only caused by the evil main script stuff now. That’s some tasty progress.

  97. Tonto said 13 years ago:

    Haha, I was just about to ask about how crashy the game still was. ๐Ÿ™‚

  98. Old West said 13 years ago:

    Mato, if you don’t mind, would you tell me the precise name of the Mother 3 music file (in the section) which plays while in the desert area of this game?

  99. TheReaper said 13 years ago:

    Mato thanks for this update and thanks Jeffman for fixing the problem of the vwf that use to mess up the extra status icons in no time,its also good to know that the sprite text welding will fix the problem of the descriptions getting cut off.

  100. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Old West: here you go

  101. Old West said 13 years ago:

    Thanks a lot. This is my first time listening to it.

    Bwah, they changed it. D:

  102. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Heheh, yeah it’s not the same song as the previous two games ๐Ÿ˜› It’s still one of my favorites though.

    Listening to random M3 songs right now, man people are gonna like this game a lot. I usually don’t think about it until I listen to music or step back and look at everything again, but this is a pretty kickass game ๐Ÿ™‚

  103. Old West said 13 years ago:

    The only reason I didn’t play through the entire thing was because I inadvertently deleted my save file ‘cuz I couldn’t read the Japanese, and lost all motivation (had gotten reasonably far in too :\). I don’t think I can convey how grateful I am for your work here.

    And yeah, pretty much all Mother music rocks.

  104. Mailman said 13 years ago:

    Very nice, can’t wait until you’re done.

  105. J said 13 years ago:

    Hearing that the hard locking from the ever linked “current problems” video are being solved. If the main causes of those are the script overflow and the item descriptions, are there any other noteworthy lockups that have apparent causes? Just curious.

    I wish there was a way to show my appreciation than just thanking you every other time I post, but I really do appreciate all the hard work you’re putting into this.

  106. Mato said 13 years ago:

    The only other major source of crashes/freezing/barfiness is the main script routine, which is as you said, is overflowy-ish. It’s actually caused by the fact that the game only creates glyph buffers for 44 letters or so, so when we go over that, it starts writing into other data.

    There’s one other recent, rare thing I’ve come across that’s battle text-related, but it’s possibly connected to the weird battle text stuff we haven’t even started to hack yet.

  107. someanon said 13 years ago:

    It’s a little disappointing to see the trolls and other ‘net dregs slowly creeping out of the woodwork as the patch progresses. I probably don’t need to say it, but they’re not even worth paying attention to – the real support’s been here all along, and more keeps flowing in at a frightening rate. I doubt the moron influx is going to die down anytime soon, but for every person who can’t read the FAQ; for every person who demands you release the patch in its current state, and every twit who feels the need to come and troll this blog, you’ve got exponentially more people backing you up and giving total support.

    Rock on, Mato. You, Jeffman, and anyone else working to slay this beast of a ROM are internet superheroes.

  108. someanon said 13 years ago:

    I just noticed that my comment is not mathmatically sound since raising one to any exponent will result in another one and thus would imply the support only exists on a one for one basis but I think I made my point clear enough.

  109. Sparks said 13 years ago:

    @someanon: you funny ๐Ÿ˜‰

  110. TraumaSK said 13 years ago:

    Just wanted to throw a big thank you for doing this for everybody. I’ve been keeping up with your progress over the last month, month and a half, and you really have come a long way. I look forward to the finished product immensely, and I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that this is big-time appreciated.

  111. Anna said 13 years ago:

    I’m curious how difficult sprite welding is expected to be. It sounds like one of those things in my programming projects that I dread doing, but then I just sit down with a bucket of caffeine and it goes pretty smoothly ๐Ÿ™‚ Are there considerations that might make this be more difficult than writing a routine you can call from anywhere it’s needed, such as finding free room to place the code, or having different versions of the routine (such as when the text is sprites versus using the wacky menu system)?

  112. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Yeah, it’s one of those things that’s pretty simple and straightforward when you put it in words, and the implementation itself can be described pretty simply, but I keep putting it off because this game smells. Though now that I think about it, we already did sort of edit the sprite text font-loading routine before very slightly, so it’s not uncharted territory.

    It’s definitely one of those things that you could probably do in a day or an afternoon if you sat down and had no distractions and had plenty of energy. I have none of those right now though ๐Ÿ˜› I think Jeffman also looked into it a while back, but I forget what he found.

    Anyway, there seems to be only one sprite text routine, so we’ll probably only need to hack it once. Though we’ll need to text welding for other parts of the game too, like the main script, normal menu text, and possibly more.

  113. rc5 said 13 years ago:

    @someanon: I think people just get bored of saying “WOO Good Job!!!” every update, so they make other little comments/questions too. I wouldn’t read too much into it, and I certainly wouldn’t say they’re trolling.

    …Its not nice to call them twits, either. =P

  114. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    Hey in the “Mother 3 translation almost done” on ign here:

    Some one posted the list of what had to be done, and what was already done. I was just wondering whether you could do one of those for us. Also you should look at my post at the end of the topic. =)
    please note there is a 2nd page

  115. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Yeah, it’s actually pretty awesome how nice almost everyone’s been at this site. I figured there’d be lots more GRRRRRRR WHEN IS IT DONE YOU SUCK THIS’LL NEVER GET DONE YOU LOSERS sort of stuff. Not that I’d like that or anything, just expected more of it, since the internet is a pretty negative, cynical, demanding place by default ๐Ÿ˜›

    People arguing over nitpicky little things is kind of annoying and makes me want to avoid posting screens sometimes, but other times it is awesome when someone will point out something useful, like a while back someone pointed out that certain letters in the new 8×8 font needed slight tweaking.

  116. Mato said 13 years ago:

    KKH3049: I don’t think you understand how this project works. Read through the entire blog and read the FAQ page and everything else.

  117. pauyasfyla said 13 years ago:

    One of the reasons the some of the forum members of were pretty anti about everything was the general lack of progress updates from the translation team. You being a ridiculously forthcoming and loquacious individual definitely helps people stay very exited about this project.

    Seriously, though. I’m sometimes surprised that you get anything done at all because you’re posting so much all the time! Takes some determination, I’m sure.

  118. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    Ah! Sorry for wasting your time Mato. I had failed to see that all the translating in and of itself is done. I again apologize. That makes me happy though. I didn’t think you guys would be done yet. BTW maybe the menu guy was just a really really big fan of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when he made only 42 sprites allowed. Butt I am very amazed at how good you guys are. Much better than pretty much any community I’ve seen (including Nintendo). Also have you guys considered talking to Nintendo when you are done with the translation patch. They might Hire you one way or another.

  119. Voretus said 13 years ago:

    I don’t think there should be a period after things such as “Offense +34”.

  120. Mato said 13 years ago:

    pauyasfyla: This site is pretty demanding to work on as much as I do, but it’s mostly because the existence of this site means I can’t slack off for too long, or else everyone will know ๐Ÿ˜› So in a way it keeps me going and keeps me from getting caught up in other stuff, and in that way it’s one of the major forces driving the project forward. Which is kind of neat, as usually web sites are more or less pushed forward by projects like this. If that makes sense.

    KKH3049: I know it’s a really long read, but you’d probably be interested in this update from November. It answers some of your questions, and then answers many you probably never had. It’s pretty in-depth and informative and explains all that’s happened, so it should get you caught up to date pretty quick.

    Voretus: Yes, I’ve been unsure of what to do with that for a little while. I’m sure I/we will decide on one way or the other at some point in time.

  121. Zinco said 13 years ago:

    I don’t think the contractions should have any apostrophes… it’d make the whole thing seem a lot more Faulknerian.

  122. Mato said 13 years ago:

    You’re right. I mean, you are right.

  123. mitch said 13 years ago:

    Mato, you’re working hard. Maybe this will cheer you up a bit:

  124. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    On the other hand, I’m sure you know we’re just trying to help with our mini-debates. We’re not any less thankful or cheery than we’ve been prior to such topics. Also: are you going to print out your thank-yous on as few pages possible and stick them on your fridge? ๐Ÿ˜€ I think that’d be a nice thing to look at every so often, and probably be even more-so rewarding when you reach the light at the end of this tunnel. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, chances are that you’re still going to get thank-yous (often) after you’ve finished with this project.

  125. Soil Alert said 13 years ago:

    Hey, Mato, I was just wondering whatever happened to Gideon and Gemini? I think I saw in a comment that Gemini decided not to join? I know people get busy but has Gideon done anything? (That’s not suppose to sound rude. Please read it as curious rather than accusatory. I only ask since I know he’s a god of hacking, right?) I guess it just seems weird that the translator is doing all the hacking. Or is this just a case of since you’re the one who is blogging it only LOOKS like you’re doing everything, but everyone else is working behind the scenes?

  126. Reverend Deadlypudding said 13 years ago:

    Its refreshing to see this kind of progress. It really brings it home that you guys are actually doing this thing and aren’t gonna stop. Everyone should be thankful that your crew is as dedicated to translating Mother 3 as everyone here is dedicated to the Mother series. Its only right that the fans finally get to experience a game that took nearly 10 years to make, and I’d gladly wait 10 more if I had to in order to play it in English. Your crew is surpassing any and all realistic expectations anyone could’ve had about this project and to some of the impatient its certainly more than they deserve.

    Keep up the spectacular work!

  127. Gnawing Fetus said 13 years ago:

    I just wanted to say that all you guys are abso-freaking-lutly awesome^max. Seriously, if I had enough moolah, I’d sen everyone working on this thing 10 mil, if not more. But alas, I’m next to broke, so that wont be happening anytime soon.

    Also, as for what Voretus said about the period after “Offense +whatever.”, I prefer the period. Everything (at least in the menus) seems to be very proper, and just deciding to leave out a period would look kind of whack. But thats just my opinion.

    Again, I just wanted to say how awesome you guys are, and that there is no way I could possibly ever thank you enough.

  128. RamblinEvilMushroom said 13 years ago:

    Woo! The only thing I’m worried about is not being able to apply the patch, I should probably start practicing with PK Hack projects so I have an idea. I’m sure you’ll have good instructions though!

  129. Tasty said 13 years ago:

    You’re teasing me with these images T~T
    Good job on the translations and work on the project! It’s so great, i can’t believe you’re actually going through all this just for us.

  130. Mato said 13 years ago:

    mitch: rofl, awesome

    Unsavory Maggot: Man, when this stuff is done, and when I finish the M3 walkthrough, I am so taking a break from the universe for a while ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Soil Alert: Gideon’s got 5 mazillion projects of his own, so he’s been working on them. I think he’s slated to do some editing work on M3 eventually; writing is what he wants to do in life and he’s already edited many of his own projects’ scripts nicely. So I’m sure we’ll see him more in the next few months ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gemini’s like me, he’s got project addiction syndrome or something, so he’s always working on new things. His latest project is Persona 2 Innocent Sin, so I think he’s pretty busy for a long while.

    I agree, it is kind of weird for a translator to be doing major hacking, but the whole spirit of the project IS “do it yourself” and all ๐Ÿ˜› So it’s pretty much just Jeffman and me doing stuff now.

  131. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    While on the subject of Gideon’s projects: Not to mention Ys V… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been waiting for that, and Ganbare Goemon 2, 3, and 4 for the SFC for roughly 7 years total, and counting. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hear that the script routines and the like are ATROCIOUS in those games!

    I’m also working on Legend of Xanadu I & II, as well as Xanadu Next. Errr… playing them, and beating them. Not hacking and/or translating. I only dream of it! Maybe someday, but it’s only a distinct possibility. It could be a nice alternative to teaching English in Japan, translating in general. All I know is that the general goal is a bilingual job, preferably with a language I have a genuine interest in.

  132. Red said 13 years ago:

    I was the guy who posted on The Whirlpool’s message board asking about Demon of Laplace (Rapras no ma). It was quite a surprise to see Ghideon showing up in that thread with a freshly hacked screenshow.

    Also, Mato, you can totally do my wife for doing this translation. Or me, for that matter.

  133. 7ucky said 13 years ago:

    Coolness! I’m sure gonna miss this blog once it’s over. But, hey, I’ll be playing Mother 3 in English instead! ๐Ÿ˜€

  134. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    won’t we all?:)

  135. Jak1437 said 13 years ago:

    THe other topic to post this question is closed or something. But in any case, I changed my flash size to 64K but still can’t save. I’m using a Mac and I have visualboy 1.7.2. Could some one help me please?

  136. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    Heh, I didn’t realize that anyone else was watching the Laplace no Ma translation so closely ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have it bookmarked and check it occasionally.

  137. pauyasfyla said 13 years ago:

    “Geminiโ€™s like me, heโ€™s got project addiction syndrome or something, so heโ€™s always working on new things. His latest project is Persona 2 Innocent Sin, so I think heโ€™s pretty busy for a long while.”

    That is awesome news. Probably the #2 game to translate, like, ever. That one probably has 80x the text of Mother 3, too.

  138. Sparky said 13 years ago:

    Wow, you guys have done such a fantastic job. Keep up the great work!

  139. ๆœˆ said 13 years ago:

    I have to say… it’s lovely. I have no questions. I want to make something for you. I have no idea what I could make to thank you. You even took a small time out of all of this to help me a few weeks (months?) ago to translate some things for me. Tomato, know that you have made an amazing impression on many lives, including mine.

    On one, other note, do you have Brawl? I would like to give some of my stages to you, if you would like.

  140. Dr. Meat said 13 years ago:

    All the best games let you hit people/things with 4x4s. Let’s see, there’s Mother3… God Hand… well, that’s all I can think of. Game developers, you listening?

  141. Mato said 13 years ago:

    I’ve been tinkering with the FAQs page. Anyone got suggestions for it? I know there’ve been lots of repeat questions that should probably go in there, but I forgot them right now.

  142. Dr. Meat said 13 years ago:

    I don’t have any suggestions for the FAQ specifically, but I think putting your position on renaming the game EB2 into the PLEASE NOTE! box would help cut down on people asking about it. Sort of like the “Will it be out before Brawl” question people were asking a lot (guilty on both counts, by the way).

  143. neo said 13 years ago:

    Mato, as for the “Will you translate Mother 1+2?” question in the FAQ. You should add in that both games exist in English and there are emulators that run on the PC and GBA if someone really wants to play them.

  144. jak1437 said 13 years ago:

    So… any one have a solution for my quandary?

  145. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    How about the question “I wanna be a ROM hacker, where can I learn?” ๐Ÿ™‚ You can give them the links you gave me:

    GBA tech doc
    GoldRoad ARM/THUMB assembler
    THUMB reference
    ARM/THUMB tech reference (very good)

  146. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    As for Mother 1 + 2, there’s also the RPGOne translation that’s in the works. I had a link, but it’s at home.

  147. whereisthefire234 said 13 years ago:

    ^link to the mother 1+2 translation

  148. 7ucky said 13 years ago:

    Maybe I’m just too mean, but for the “PLEASE NOTE!” message you should add “No nitpicking details until the patch enters Alpha.”

    OR if it’s possible, maybe a “Got a question? Check the FAQ before posting!” but people have a hard time paying attention to what it says anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€

  149. Arsenis said 13 years ago:

    Maybe the rarity of items thing.

    People seem to ask if there are any rare items a lot.

    They also seem to ask if they can bare your children a lot.

  150. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    I read what you gave me Mato and it does catch me up quite a bit. The only thing I have to say (and maybe this could be in the FAQs) is “Can I help?” or “How can I help?”

  151. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    And by that I mean without buying the game or soundtrack. After all you said you and Jeffman are the only ones doing anything. Also, Do you guys have like one base of operations or do you just E-mail each other?

  152. Moulinoski said 13 years ago:

    Woo, item descriptions working! Seems only like yesterday when M3 was being super evil and doing mean things to you, Tomato… Now it seems like its only trying to cause mischief. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So sleepy… Oh, BTW, somehow, I have Claus’s hair in Animal Crossing: Wild World. O_o Is that cool? (Maybe I could do a striped shirt design and dress up as Claus… or Lucas. But then again, I’m not into that… Cosplaying is for girls and weirdos. XD j/k)

  153. Redliw said 13 years ago:

    Hey Mato, keep up the awesome work on this, I can’t wait to play it. But my want kind of brings up an issue I remember with some other fan projects out there, like Chrono Resurection. So, is there any chance of your team getting a Cease and Desist letter?

  154. Exp HP said 13 years ago:


    Is this thing getting any posts?

  155. Exp HP said 13 years ago:


    It worked!

    Apparently, whenever I try to fill in the Website field, it rejects my post!

    Let me copy and paste what I tried to post before.

  156. Exp HP said 13 years ago:


    Well, I just posted trying to ask: How do you plan on fitting all this welded text? You said that you were going to weld text and get rid of the VWF. Well, I’ve seen a game with fixed width font and sprite welding: Super Mario World. To fit “Forest of Illusion 1” in 19 letters, they squashed together “_Illusion” to make it fit in 8 characters. The 8 characters were put on the font right after the normal letters.

    But they only had to squish two words (Yellow and _Illusion). You have to squish whole descriptions. A lot of them. From how I’m reading it, the only possibility I see is that you plan on mapping out every single definition on 42 tiles in bitmap format; after all, if you’re getting rid of the VWF but having it still look VWF-y, then each entire description must be made of welded sprites.
    Either it will take up a lot of space, or you have some absolutely genius method on how you can make something reproduce any combination of letters you would want using only a limited number of brilliantly designed tiles (like voice synthesizers).

  157. JeffMan said 13 years ago:

    That’s not at all what we’re doing. Maybe this pic will explain the problem more easily:

    (I changed the text colour so you can see it in the sprite grid)

    It’s assigning one letter per sprite, and when you use up all the sprites, it dies. We’re planning to ‘weld’ the letter tiles (which isn’t squishing, mind you) together so that we can fit as many letters as we can into each sprite, instead of just one. So in this case, it’d be maybe one sprite for “Bre”, another for “ad “, another for “ma”, etc. But we’re not actually changing the look of each letter.

    The hack will be completely internal; in other words, when it’s done, what you see in the screenshots from this update will still look the exact same. It will simply allow us to use as many letters as we want in each description.

  158. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    Hey, that is really cool. You can reuse the sprites then huh. I didn’t think that it would work like that.

  159. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    I don’t even know how you guys understand this stuff
    Might I suggest hiring a ninja to steal the source code from Nintendo ๐Ÿ˜€

  160. Captain Bozo said 13 years ago:

    When I saw “Sprite Welding” I thought of many different letter combinations that were static and constant and couldn’t be changed.

    What you people are saying is that the sprite is written on the spot and is just assigned to the same sprite? Because if so then that’s super awesome and I never thought that was possible.

    Also if I’m off on both could you explain what exactly’s happening? I’d like to know as a student programmer.

  161. Dan said 13 years ago:

    Here’s the low down as I understand it:

    A) There is a set limit on the number of sprites that can be displayed at once. This cannot be changed.
    B) Mother 3 treats every character in a dialog as an individual sprite.

    A + B = limit on number of characters on the screen at once.

    Since they can’t change A, they gotta change B.

    C) In the picture posted above, you’ll note that the sprites are pretty big compared to the letters in them.
    D) In most, you can fit two or even three letters in one sprite if you wanted to.
    E) The translation team plans to make a piece of code that figures out how many letters it can cram into a sprite, and then it dynamically builds the sprites needed for the dialog on the screen (this is the welding they refer to), making new sprites.

    E is a lot to take in, so an example, using JeffMan’s screenshot.

    Game goes to print out “Bread made from nuts.”

    With the old way, the game puts 21 sprites on the screen.

    With the new way, the game looks at that string and measures how many letters it can fully fit into one sprite. From the screenshot above we can see it’s 3. So the game paints “Bre” into an empty sprite and puts THAT sprite on the screen. It then repeats the process until it has nothing left to print… so next it takes “ad” and paints that into a new sprite which it then places on the screen. When it’s done it’s used less than 10 sprites to the same work as the 21 before.

  162. Exp HP said 13 years ago:

    Oh, it’s dynamically creating the merged sprites as it reads the characters. That is worlds different from what I was thinking. And worlds more managable, too.

    I considered that as a possibility before, but the term “welding” really makes those compressed letters from Super Mario World jump out and paint themselves across my eyelids. So every time I blink, I’m like “No, wait, he’s talking about those.”

    But here’s another question: You said that the sprites are being kept in a grid (or, since you VWF-ed it before, you are actually putting it back in a grid). Well, the leftover pixels from each sprite will present gaps in words.
    Perhaps the grid should still be ignored. Use the totals of the remaining pixels on each of the previous sprites to offset the sprites the correct amount left to match up.
    Better yet, I’m hoping your current VWF system is something that works in a similar way to this and so you don’t have to change anything about it. I don’t know everything going on behind the scenes, but it seems it’ll work nicely to me.

  163. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    Wow, that’s actually a pretty nifty explanation, and it makes everything a lot clearer. For the longest time, I figured that it’d be one sprite per word. (I know, stupid, right?) This is simply stupendous! Will long item names be an issue at this point? (Capricorn Strength Charm, I’m looking at you!)

    At any rate, I must apologize for breaking a few FAQ rules here and there (which now I don’t remember what I did since I closed the page…) but I’m sure you’re aware that there are a lot of us who have viewed the FAQ at least once (and having a lot of FAQs to keep track of, tend to forget some minor, although important details) several months ago. If anyone’s like me, they’ll forget it the moment they blink their eyelids and go to type something in this nifty comment box. The PLEASE NOTE! box should probably highlight some of the more notorious FAQ rules to be broken as of late, to combat the forgetfulness of your ever-thankful audience.

  164. Mato said 13 years ago:

    jak1437: Sorry, I wish I could help, but I don’t have a Mac. Judging from the # of Gumby downloads, very few people here use Macs ๐Ÿ˜ Are you sure you set the right setting though? I think you need to set the SRAM size, and SRAM isn’t quite the same thing as “Flash”.

    Arsenis: Baring children probably isn’t a good idea. I think the cops will come get you if you do that ๐Ÿ˜›

    KKH3049: Unless you have really awesome GBA reprogramming skills, there’s probably nothing you can do to help. I know that probably sounds sucky, but that’s just how it is. The thought is appreciated though.

    Redliw: You should probably read all of this first. They know about the project, people within the company can’t wait for it to be finished, Reggie’s gone on record as knowing about the project, people in the Treehouse are more than aware of the project. If they were gonna do something, they could have and probably would have long ago. Read that post for details and other stuff.

    Exp HP: I’m assuming the URLs you were using triggered the spam filter. And yes, it’s a lot like how Dan and Jeff explained, though it’ll probably include partial letters too for maximum efficiency. I think each sprite used can be 16 pixels wide, and the average letter is probably 4 or 5 pixels wide, so we’d be able to handle lots of sprite text without much problems in nearly all instances. I don’t know what you mean by “gaps”, though. But anyway, this kind of routine is a very common, almost basic thing every ROM translation with a VWF does. So it’s nothing out of the ordinary or that complicated. In fact, it’s actually probably easier in principle with MOTHER 3 because you don’t need to worry about having the game fake-type the text out slowly, it all just appears instantly in the case of sprite text.

    Dan: That explanation rocked, thanks for doing it ๐Ÿ™‚ I probably wouldn’t have been able to explain it very well.

    Unsavory Maggot: Item names don’t use sprite text, so fixing the sprite text won’t make long item names work any better. Instead, the non sprite text used in menus will also need to have a welding hack done too possibly, if the buffer is how I assume it is.

  165. imdebomb2 said 13 years ago:

    Hey mato, you asked for questions for the FAQ…it’s not a question, but I recommend adding a link or making a comment on RPGOne’s translation of Mother 1+2.

  166. pauyasfyla said 13 years ago:


    I had the exact same saving problem. I relied on freezes the whole time I was playing the game without the patch, but when I applied the patch, I could! Weird, I know. And I seriously doubt the two things are related. I probably moved a folder or something.

    Anyways, here are my preferences.

    I think I have the newest version of VBA, because the older ones had far fewer options. If this doesn’t work, don’t know what to tell you.

  167. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    I just meant like in the case with the Capricorn Strength Charm, where the text passes beyond the mid-point of the window. I wonder also if there are item/weapon/etc. names that extend perhaps too far, and either over/underlap the following items to the right row, or go off the right side of the window altogether? (that is, depending on where the item is stored; in the left or right row)

    I know you noticed and would likely deal with it near the end phases which would require minor tweaking of minor things (item, enemy, skill names, and so on and so forth) but I had wondered if any part of that might be problematic. (item names and the like needing to be shortened somehow, or item positions shifted for maximum capacity, utilizing the windows to their utmost potential, etc.)

  168. JeffMan said 13 years ago:

    The Capricorn Strength Charm is an unfortunate result of a memory problem that’s similar to both the main text and battle text routines. What happens is it writes “Capricorn Ring” (I think?) to memory, but that’s too long, so it begins to write “Strength Charm” where “Ring” begins in memory, effectively erasing the break in-between the item names and making display as one item. We could probably make a simple hack that’ll do the job, but then again, we also have to consider the possibility of the maximum amount of letters. For example, if there’s 16 item slots per screen and 20 letters per item, that means we have to account for at least 320 letters at all times when hacking the items screen. And that’s what hard about it, because (usually) the game’s memory is poorly and inefficiently used — to our disadvantage — and we will probably end up having to do a lower-level hack for the item names, which will take more work. :\

    The same thing goes for the main text, pretty much; we’d like to have more than 60-something letters on the screen at a time, and since the game simply doesn’t use the memory well enough for us, we have to do a lower-level hack for that too.

  169. Captain Bozo said 13 years ago:

    Alright, so the Sprite Welding is dynamic. That’s awesome.

    I thought you were gonna make a character set that consisted of AA, AB, AC, and onward until you had all the different letter combinations. That’s why I thought it was stupid ๐Ÿ˜‰

  170. Unsavory Maggot said 13 years ago:

    Wow, I admit that’s a whole lot more complex than I expected. So the long names are actually combined item names, if I heard you right. There may also be a possibility of the game acting up if the player stocks up heavily on items with long item names, with the maximum letters per item being 20, if I’m not mistaken. It sounds like another big obstacle, but I’m confident (as always) that you’ll overcome it. This shows how much hard work you guys really put into this project, and now we know; the “fun” was just beginning.

    Will you guys be keeping this blog online as something to remember all of your hard work by?

  171. Adoo said 13 years ago:

    @Unsavory Maggot: Agreed, I can see the problem if the player had 20 Capricorn strength charms. That and the item description would really reach the sprite limit. But the text welding idea is brilliant!

  172. networkassault said 13 years ago:

    So Tomato, when do you think you’ll make the updated patch available? I don’t mean the final patch but rather an update to the current patch with all the new changes made to it.

  173. Rod. said 13 years ago:

    @networkassult: …. Never dude,

    He doesn’t want multiple versions of patches floating about the internet.. he just wants one solid one so that when people download it, they get the same thing and there’ll be less confusion in the world. Soooo… to get all these nice updates applied, we’re just gonna have to wait ๐Ÿ™‚

  174. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Adoo: There is no Capricorn Strength Charm, what you see there is a Capricorn Bracelet and a Strength Charm side by side.

    networkassault: Uhh, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Update the menu patch? With what, and why?

  175. Neilman said 13 years ago:

    This is kinda random, but I wish this site had a favicon (favourites icon) to make it look cool in my bookmarks folder, rather than just a blank page. Aside from that, keep up the awesome work!

  176. Mato said 13 years ago:

    You’re free to make one if you want. If it’s good, I’ll toss it on the server ๐Ÿ™‚

  177. Myre said 13 years ago:

    jak1437 & pauyasfyla:

    I don’t use a Mac, so I’m not sure if Visual Boy is missing some features on that platform. However, Mother 3 natively uses a save type called FLASH_V131 which has a size of 512 Kbits. If you can set that to your flash size, it should work for you (unless for some freaky reason you patched your save type, which wouldn’t make sense since you are not putting it on a cart).

  178. Zinco said 13 years ago:

    If no one makes a better one…

  179. Zinco said 13 years ago:

    That appears to have not been posted.

  180. Neilman said 13 years ago:

    hmm well I’m not too creative, but what about something like this?

  181. Platypus Man said 13 years ago:

    By the way, I’ve been watching for a while, but I don’t think I’ve posted yet. Great work!

    I made this image from the character image that uses for Ness & Lucas, etc. I don’t know if it violates copyright or anything, but whatever. I made it black and added transparency.

  182. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    Or how about this one?

  183. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    I like the mother3M.png one, but I think you have to turn it into a .ICO file of the proper size (though Mozilla seems to be able to use them as the site icon, mmm). Can probably convert it with MS Paint if need be, though ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh, and you could put that explanation of sprite welding into the FAQ, too, come to think of it.

  184. Mato said 13 years ago:

    When we do get to the sprite welding hacking I figured I’d show a few pics of stuff to help explain it and make it make sense. Another way of looking at it is as a fixed grid much like the grid I showed for the battle text, and we’ll keep it fixed in place but instead allow for more than one letter per grid tile. The way the VWF works now is by simply moving the boxes around, we still have the same limited # of boxes, just their positions are changed to look nice.

  185. BlackFrog said 13 years ago:

    Thanks a million Mato and Jeffman and all others working on this. You are my reason for getting up every morning!

    re: favicon having to be a .ico file, it surely does not. Just throw the .png somewhere on your webserver and add the following to your section of your html:

    I use this on my own sites and it works great, and is w3c approved:

    BTW I vote for the first one, mother3M.png with the big M.

    Thanks again!

  186. BlackFrog said 13 years ago:

    oops, I guess it cut out the html I posted ๐Ÿ˜› anyways the infos are on the site linked to.
    thanks again!

  187. Platypus Man said 13 years ago:

    Or, you could always do, your own background Mother symbol. It might look better if it were smaller and black or something, but whatever…

  188. Rozgabound said 13 years ago:

    3 cheers for Mato and Jeffman

    Hip hip horayyy
    hip hip horaayyyy
    Hip HIP HOORAAaaaaaaaaaaayy

  189. Nutsjesmoar said 13 years ago:

    I created this using the existing urf.png

    I can also create a non animated version if people like that better.

    Yay, my web/graphic design skills came in useful for once!

  190. Nutsjesmoar said 13 years ago:

    ps to use it, just save the gif as “favicon.ico” and throw it on the server. I’ve heard that it works.

  191. Nutsjesmoar said 13 years ago:

    This is a non-animated version of my submission for an icon

  192. Nutsjesmoar said 13 years ago:

    oh oops it just changed

  193. Benji said 13 years ago:

    o.0 Odd. My Bookmark has always had a Lucas icon since the first day.

    Yay for major bug fix! Thanks again for all the work you’ve put into this project~

  194. Neilman said 13 years ago:

    I think the icon needs to be 16×16 pixels for it to work properly. Maybe it’s just my browser, but currently it doesn’t seem to be resizing correctly in my bookmarks (although it looks fine in the address bar) Good choice though ๐Ÿ™‚

  195. Vyre said 13 years ago:

    Hooray for Jeffman!
    And Tomato!
    And favicons!

    Here, here :3

  196. neo said 13 years ago:

    nice favicon, I like it

  197. lewahi said 13 years ago:

    I would like to congratulate you on succeeding in what was probably a very hard obstacle to overcome. You are so awesome, Mato-san; we all very much love you and your work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  198. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Just a quick look at what I’m doing right now.

    I got that all squared away, so now I’m doing the same thing with the main script stuff. Shouldn’t take too long. And then I’ll be able to move on to another task ๐Ÿ™‚

  199. hank said 13 years ago:

    wow…this is very impressive! how long has this translation been in the works? It looks like you guys are almost done with this stuff! How much more left? Anyways great progress i love what im seeing!

  200. Nutsjesmoar said 13 years ago:

    Alright! The after-battle item shuffling stuff is done then?
    Keep at it! We believe in you!

  201. hank said 13 years ago:

    nevermind on the releas date and percent done…the big sign in the bottom tells me all =P

  202. Triple10X said 13 years ago:

    Woo Mato!

    Nuts – I think Mato is showing off the control codes for the items “an antidote”, “some nut bread” – unless I’m wrong?

  203. KKH3049 said 13 years ago:

    Wait. Do you guys like just email eachother or do you meet eachother live when ever you need to talk.

  204. shadowdeku said 13 years ago:

    sweet the lucas icon at the top of my page is pretty neat. my regards to the person who made it (i couldn’t tell by the posts)

  205. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Triple10X: You’re correct, that’s what I’m working on.

    KKH3049: We have a secret Mr. Batty Cave where we discuss development work.


    Anyway, script stuff is coming along too. Just as I expected, the game is smelly so there are a bunch of different “You got [ITEM]!” lines, and each one is connected to different programming code, so I gotta go in and connect them to this new code. Why is nothing ever straightforward in this ROM aaaa

  206. 1101 said 13 years ago:


    I really hated this site not having a looked ugly on the bookmark toolbar.

  207. ArashiSai said 13 years ago:

    Damn. It’s like this game is trying to torture you

  208. Artmoogle said 13 years ago:

    First time posting, though I’ve been following this for months.
    I know you’ve gotten this a ton already, you wonderful masters of translation, but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU’RE DOING.


  209. Anonymous said 13 years ago:


  210. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    Out of curiosity, where is sprite welding on the things-to-do-eventually list?

    I would’ve thought you’d save more time by doing it earlier rather than later, because it seems like you’ll have to redo some hacks once it’s in place?

    But then again, you know more about this than I do, and I don’t blame you for not looking forward to it ๐Ÿ™‚

    In my mind, I see you going back to the grid, leaving the icon placement alone, then printing VWF letters onto the appropriate spots within the tiles. And I wonder, isn’t there spare *vertical* space, as well? So a letter might go through a + intersection of the sprites and end up being partially printed on as many as four different tiles…

    Hmm, how did they arrange those tiles in memory? If they’re nicely contiguous, there ought to be an ugly little formula that lets you know where the pixels adjacent to any given pixel are in memory.

    OTOH, I don’t know what icons (or fonts) look like in memory at all. And you have those weird status icons for antidotes and whatnot to contend with, too…

  211. Mato said 13 years ago:

    Why I personally didn’t do sprite welding before is because I’ve only been ASM hacking for a few months now ๐Ÿ˜› Plus I think we all assumed the text was normal logical text printed to one of the bg layers.

    To make sprites work, you basically first copy/draw your graphics into tile memory, and then you set up some stuff in OAM memory to tell the GBA the dimensions you want for your sprite, what palette to use, etc. You also give it the address in tile memory where you put the graphics. It seems like a hassle to do all that for text, but the good thing about it is that you can turn sprites on and off with a single bit, and you can specify x,y coordinates for the sprite very easily. Positioning non-sprite text is a bit of a pain since you’re basically dealing with raw memory addresses, and like you mentioned, in some bad cases a letter could span four separate tiles, each with non-consecutive addresses. That’s probably a lot of crazy jargon, but if you check out the debugging stuff in VBA you can see how a lot of this stuff works.

    EDIT: And sprite text welding is on the to-do list, it has been since the beginning. Look at Menu Hacking #1.

  212. Vyre said 13 years ago:

    Don’t worry Mato. The harder the translation gets, the more we love you for working on it, and the stronger you’ll get :3

  213. Platypus Man said 13 years ago:

    You know, I’ve been doing computer science for a few years now, and it’s really nice to read this blog, which actually informs me as to how a lot of the programming and the like works in the real world. I not only get informed about it, but it makes me excited about Mother 3. Like, I know I’m not where you guys are, but actually understanding a lot of what you’re doing is cool.

  214. cale said 13 years ago:

    have a feeling this’ll be lost among other posts, but anybody recommend a good flash cart that should play this on a DS? my GBA will just not do for this game I’m finding…

  215. jak1437 said 13 years ago:

    Yeah, I changed the settings to the stuff you said to put it on, I did all the stuff I was recommended to do, but to no success. I think maybe I got a bunch of bad mother 3 roms, I keep downloading it from other place but none of them save. I know its not my emulator also, because I can save with everything else. Weird. Is there anything else I could do?

  216. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    Ack, that’s more of a pain than I thought! I guess you can’t just write over the sprites wherever they already are in memory? It would be so nice if they were always in exactly the same place. Calculating things like that is a pain in the rear…

    > EDIT: And sprite text welding is on the to-do list, it has been since the beginning. Look at Menu Hacking #1.

    You misunderstand what I mean by “where.” I meant “where” in terms of what order you’re likely to tackle the remaining problems in. I know it’s been on the list for a long time now! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But you’ve done so many great ASM hacks in such a short time, I guess I forgot that you’re relatively new to hacking, if not to translating…

    It sounds like you’ve got a good idea of what needs to be done, though. But the devil is always in the details ๐Ÿ™‚

  217. A Fan said 13 years ago:

    Addendum: On a side note, would it just be easier to print everything on one of the background layers the way “normal” text is and ditch the sprite crap completely?

    Might take care of the blinking thing, too? Or does that just open up even more cans of worms here, because you’re making further mods to a crazy game? ๐Ÿ™‚

  218. Jon said 13 years ago:

    Mato, Jeffman, and Sblur. You guys, have gotten so much progress done in such little time.

    Thanks for all the updates and hard work!

    Nintendo didn’t even try to make the mother 3 ROM compatiable for any other translation. I mean look at all the hoops you guy’s have jumped through. It’s like your hacking Nintendo’s secret bank account.