This is a full log of every update made during the translation process for Mitsume ga Tooru on MSX. It is being presented here for those of you who are interested to know what went on under the hood of a project such as this, and what the milestones and issues were that we faced and successfully overcame along the way.

As it was mentioned in the about section, Igor and Wyrdwad met each other by lucky chance at msx.org and discussed their mutual desire to translate the game. The initial discussion happened on 8 February 2019, but the actual conception of the project first occurred on the 5th of November 2019, when Igor found Andrey’s attempts to translate the game’s intro. The log picks up from the launch of the patch, and works its way back in time to that fateful day!

The progress report

20 Apr 2021 32nd anniversary of the game. Release date.
06 Apr 2021 Game is tested in both languages. Walkthrough gameplay in English recorded by Wyrdwad on a real MSX Turbo R.
20 Mar 2021 One month before release. All the graphical, sound, and interrupt-related glitches are fixed. Game is completely done and ready for final beta-testing.
19 Mar 2021 Final credits text corrected and re-worked.
16 Mar 2021 Original game fonts finalized by MP83 and Andrey Obritan. Final versions patched into the game.
11 Mar 2021 Some minor bugs and graphical glitches from the original game were fixed.
10 Mar 2021 MP83 sent a picture from MSX Magazine 1988-10 issue showing early production screens and concept art of the game. It was really interesting because the final product was changed quite a lot.
09 Mar 2021 All the wrappings, where possible, were removed from the Russian and English version. Packed tiles proposed by Andrey Obritan were used for long names whenever able.
06 Mar 2021 MP83 replied enthusiastically. An original font concept was proposed by him. Also, MP83 found a graphical glitch which was present even in the original Japanese rom.
03 Mar 2021 All the character names, nuances, and other critical things were discussed and finalized with the team.
02 Mar 2021 After attracting WinniVL to the project, he successfully finished the game on fMSX emulator. He really enjoyed the game but gave some grammatical feedback.
28 Feb 2021 Game manual mostly finalized in GIMP and sent for final proofreading to Andrey and Wyrdwad.
26 Feb 2021 All the internal procedures were refactored and re-aligned in the game code. All the graphical glitches were fixed, but some sound lag cropped up in the intro and other places which will need to be dealt with.
23 Feb 2021 Found the reason for the annoying graphical glitches, and quickly snuffed them out.
20 Feb 2021 Two months before release. Found the actual release date of the game - 20th Apr 1989. So it was decided to release the patch on the 32nd anniversary of the game's debut, 20 Apr 2021. A teaser web page was created and linked on msx.org to get people wondering. :)))
17 Feb 2021 Per Wyrdwad’s request, the speed at which the text is printed to the screen was adjusted to account for the larger line length limits, making the experience more comfortable for Russian and English readers.
16 Feb 2021 Wyrdwad introduced me to MP83 and suggested bringing him aboard as a very thorough beta-tester and promoter who also has his own MSX Discord channel.
15 Feb 2021 Wyrdwad finished proofreading the game’s text and intro in full. The project has entered its final stages.
02 Feb 2021 The title screens for the Russian and English version of the game were redrawn.
24 Jan 2021 All the Russian and English text is finished and ready for final proofreading and editing.
06 Jan 2021 The rom is ready for the text to be patched into it. Some graphical glitches have been discovered, however.
05 Jan 2021 The website draft is created.
01 Jan 2021 Andrey wished me a Happy New Year and I replied back saying that the game is almost done, however some light proofreading and editing is still required. Andrey was really impressed and reacted very positively, agreeing to make the required corrections and test the game.
29 Nov 2020 A draft of the game font was created and embedded into the rom in place of the one from the MSX BIOS that was previously being used in the game. Text procedures showing names and portraits, the player status window, and the GAME OVER screen were rewritten. Text procedures showing the intro were finalized.
05 Nov 2020 Text procedures for the intro and GAME OVER screens were discovered.
24 Oct 2020 The main in-game text-printing procedure was rewritten. Some space was freed for additional data.
09 Oct 2020 Python script for automatic game text patching is finalized.
13 Aug 2020 -
05 Oct 2020
Creative break.
12 Aug 2020 Created drafts for the game’s text procedures.
12 Jul 2020 Wyrdwad finished text editing for Stage 1 and the intro. Impressed with the quality.
10 Jul 2020 Wyrdwad replied and agreed to have a look at the game text.
06 Jul 2020 Unpacked the game’s main fonts and graphics for the title, intro, and player status menu.
06 Jul 2020 A concept for a new text printing procedure was developed. Printing 4 characters within each 24-pixel area was established in lieu of printing 3 characters in that space as in the Japanese. This allows the game to fit more text in the text boxes, which should be sufficient for English and Russian translation.
03 Jul 2020 Contacted Wyrdwad and asked him about proofreading and editing. He reacted positively.
01 Jul 2020 Text for Stages 1, 2, and 3 translated to English.
29 Jun 2020 Managed to switch rom memory banks. A decision to add 5 extra banks (one for each game stage) was taken. The idea to swap memory banks based on the game’s stage number was put into place.
21 Jun 2020 Playing with text and concluded that there is not enough space in the game rom to accommodate a good translation.
18 Jun 2020 Majority of game text translated to Russian.
13 Jun 2020 Joined IRC #openMSX channel and sought help regarding Z80 assembly language and memory mapping from Manuel Bilderbeek, Maarten ter Huurne, and BiFi.
31 May 2020 Found the offsets for the main game variables (weapon, HP, aura, stage number). This allowed for quick switching between stages and the implementation of various cheats for testing.
24 May 2020 All the game’s dialogue was extracted.
11 May 2020 Dialogue-packing MTE algorithm was recognized and a Python script was created to extract all the text.
29 Feb 2020 First disassembling attempts.
05 Nov 2019 Found that initial MSX game translation attempts were made by Andrey Obritan in the VKontakte Mitsume ga Tooru group. Conceived of the project and began setting the stage for it, without letting anyone else know the challenge had been accepted.
08 Feb 2019 Met Wyrdwad on msx.org and briefly discussed the idea of translating Mitsume ga Tooru.
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