Hello, I’m the one who has been in charge of the graphical editing since… 2011? Has it been that long already? Now that I have my own blog account, I thought I should post an update on the progress and problems we encountered on the graphical side of things.
One of the weird, or fun parts of editing graphics is figuring out where things went wrong. Did NISA do a hack job and butchered the palette? Did GUST have the same graphics in two locations and only used one for whichever reason (and NISA ended up taking the wrong one)?
One such case is the prison bars graphic file, specifically the one displayed when the prison cell door is open. Just by looking at the palette, you’d see that it has 2 completely identical color entries, but none of the two has alpha information – the door ingame is not transparent, but a sheet of otherworldly black, which you can pass through. To be honest, I didn’t even look at the Japanese file, but I assume it’s the same there. It’s like they planned to make the door transparent, but forgot. And since you only see that graphic once in the game (before the routes branch), most likely it slipped through QC. In our version, though still untested until the next playtesting run, the door now should appear open.
A (technically) less interesting change was made to the ending screen of the game, where the Japanese game had a slightly grammatically broken English sentence stating “WE HAVE TO APPRECIATE THAT THE WORLD ALLOWED US.” which was changed by NISA into more correct “We have to appreciate what the world allows us to have.”, but sadly changed the meaning – namely “We have to appreciate the world allowed us to exist.” – which is the meaning derived directly from the dialogue before the screen is displayed.
Editing that image was pretty hard because of the detailed background – I even considered it being impossible at first.Turns out I was too fixated on perfectly removing the text – even if the space where the text was looks horrible, putting our text over it will hide most of that – the rest was some pixel art to restore the vines.
And now for the case so mind-boggling it got me questioning whether NISA really broke things accidentally. When in battle, your defensive performance is rated in 5 grades:
However, when you go to the game menu and look at your overall performance, the grades are:
Why the change? And if you change it, why not in both places? Ok, let’s fix that. Nope. They changed the position and visible rectangle of the graphic and removed the semicolon that used to be displayed after each grade. Restoring “Terrible” leads to it being off-center, which looks… terrible. As a bonus, they also ended up butchering the palette in the process, so parts of the background were not appearing anymore.
But wait, there is more! In the Japanese version of the game, when you get a “Perfect” or “Great” grades in battle, it also displays an important info underneath, namely “Blocked!” – a clear indicator you blocked all damage. Restoring that should be a piece of cake, right? Just replace the graphics! Nope. NISA actually went to the lengths of changing the visible area rectangle, so if you restore the graphics, they are cut off in the game.
Why NISA, why? I understand editing broken English, but why change things that don’t require editing? Quoting aquagon, yet another problem that could be easily solved if we knew how to modify where each graphic gets displayed. Sadly, that would requires in-depth assembler hacking, and there is no one skilled enough on the team at the moment.
As for further things to do, I’ll have to put subtitles on the Infelsphere videos to keep consistency with the Cosmosphere ones, among other things. Also, looking at the preliminary IPD poll results, some editing of the names will be in order. Other than that, unless I’m forgetting something, graphics editing is complete.
That’s all from me, see you around!