“Project RepliCAN”: A Fan-Localization of NieR RepliCant Ver. 1.0.0 [DOWNLOAD]

nier 4

This post’s a little different than usual.

Since April 2019, I have been working on refining the English-patched version of NieR RepliCant originally released by RikuKH3. This patch replaced all of the Japanese script in the game with the English equivalent from the Western release, where the main character is replaced with an older man. RikuKH3 also altered some of the dialogue, for instance so that the word “father” was replaced with “brother” in conversations between Nier and the character Yonah.

Instances of his English counterpart still resurface (one which particularly sticks out to me is when Nier is being asked about his wedding “a long time ago”, despite being barely out of his teenage years at this point in RepliCant).

I decided to comb the entire script and rewrite dialogue that made Nier sound like a middle-aged man (as he is in the English version) so that it better reflected his character as a teenage boy and young man. Why? Because I love NieR RepliCant.

I may make another post in future going into more detail about how I did this project and why, but for now I shall release Version 1.0.0!

How to Download and Install

In order to play legally, first you’ll need a copy of NieR Replicant for PS3. It is only available on physical media, and sadly is now out of print. But if you’re lucky you can find one second-hand online. Then do the following:

  1. Rip your physical copy of NieR RepliCant and apply the English patch by RikuKH3, available here: https://pastebin.com/TCXDCmmS
  2. Download my modified files here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LSm7GNxY8BJDpzni5KNBTcTMyMMEdD4r
  3. Go into the \PS3_GAME\USRDIR\MEDIA folder of NieR RepliCant and replace the “EVENT” and “TEXT” folders with the ones in my download, overwriting all files.
  4. You can play the game with either a modded PS3, or an emulator if your PC is better than mine (RPCS3).

Screenshots

I have tried to get a few screenshots of the edited dialogue in action, but bear in mind my PC can’t run the game emulated very well, so there are graphical glitches. In future, if I can I will try to capture some screenshots and video of the game running on PS3.

Brother Nier comforting YonahNier egging on the terrifying creatures whilst standing in a pool of his own bloodNier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)Nier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)Nier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)

Known Issues

I’m aware of the following issues. If you find any more or notice anything odd with the dialogue that isn’t listed here, please leave a comment below or contact me and I will do my best to look into it.

  • You have to enter your character name using a Japanese keyboard layout. I’ve tried seeing if I can change this, but cannot seem to find a way so far. I recommend you copy and paste some katakana into the name entry screen if on PC, or locate a katakana character layout sheet online and use it to help you enter a name on PS3.
  • Words in dialogue boxes and in the Forest of Myth sometimes overflow onto the next line. I’m not sure if it was using Notepad++ which caused this to happen or if it is unavoidable. I have some ideas to try and fix this, if I find a solution it will take a while to fix all of the offending dialogue.
  • Sometimes radio text (the text that appears in the top left corner of the screen while characters are talking) flashes by very quickly. I’ve yet to find a solution to this, it seems the timing is a bit off on rare occasions.

Summary

This mod was a labour of love by a huge fan of the NieR series (*cough*), and if somehow Square Enix suddenly decided after all these years to remaster, localise and release RepliCant to the west, I would urge anyone to buy that instead as they would do a far superior job than I ever could!

One thing I should note is I stuck to using Americanised/Americanized English for this modded script, because the existing English script which I based it upon uses it.

Please let me know what you think if you try out this modded script, and also if you find anything odd, like dialogue feels clunky or doesn’t make sense. It’s only been me looking at it so far so any outside input would be welcome!

5 Times LA Noire Broke on Me [VIDEO]

IBTG-LA Noire-TNAIL.jpg

Hello my lovely gamer-ators!

Recently I played LA Noire for the first time (the PS4 release), and I’ve just uploaded a new video over on the TurnBasedTurnip YouTube channel, highlighting 5 of my favourite glitches that decided to grace me with their presence. I’ve ordered them from my least to most favourite, so be sure to watch to the end.

As always, I’d love to know about any glitches or madness you have encountered during LA Noire, or any other game!

An Update After a Break, and a YouTube Channel!

Hello, my fellow gaming madmen! I’m not a hugely frequent poster, but I have been away from actively blogging entirely the past few months. I’ve come back to give a bit of an update of my activities, so this won’t be a very long one.

I’ve actually been mainly working on revitalising my dormant YouTube channel, and I am excited to unveil it over at https://www.youtube.com/TurnBasedTurnipΒ !

TBT YT banner

I had to do quite a bit of skill honing, but I have one piece of new content on there so far, which is a retrospective of a brilliant old game called Rod Land:

This will hopefully be the first of a few videos in a series called The Cupboard Arcade, which aims to document games that have particularly left an impression on me over the years.

I’m currently working on a video which I hope to have finished soon (and I shall update here when I do) which showcases the hilarious bugs and glitches I encountered while playingΒ LA Noire on the PS4.

Last but not least, since April this year I have been working on a translation/localisation/script rework of a game that was only ever released in Japan… I think I’ll save that for a future post once I’ve got it ready! It’s very close to being in a position where I’m happy to share it, so I’d like to make a YouTube video about it when I can and I shall update about that here also.

So, that’s about it for my little update. I hope to be able to share updates on my above projects soon. I’d love to know what your favourite game bugs/glitches are, and also any fan translation projects or other gaming mods that you are either working on or thought were particularly good!

Happy gaming πŸ™‚

BBC Radio 6 Music is Currently Running an Interesting-Sounding Series About Video Games Music

Radio 6 High Scores website

It’s called High Scores: A History of Video Games Music and is being hosted by the BBC’s Mark Savage. The first episode is currently available to listen to so far, and guest features persistent video game fanatic Charlie Brooker (yes, that Charlie Brooker) showcasing a selection of his favourite video game jams through the years, along with some nostalgic and amusing anecdotes to go along with them.

Though just a teaser for the series which begins properly on March 10th, this first episode is worth a listen for anyone interested in the history of games music, and has piqued my interest for what’s to come. Radio 6 has had excellent high-quality programming about video games music in the past and I expect this will be a continuation to that theme. I look forward to next week’s show!

High Scores: A History of Video Games Music is being broadcast live every Sunday at 13:00 on BBC Radio 6 with recordings available to listen to for 30 days after airing on Radio 6’s website. You can also listen to it using the BBC Sounds app. Click here for more information on how to listen to Radio 6.

I Tried Out That A.I. Gigapixel Mod for Final Fantasy 7. It’s Gorgeous. Hot Pix Inside

FFVII – Modded (Train Station)

Word on the internet-street is that A.I. Gigapixel, the AI that uses machine learning to upscale low res images with very impressive results, has been used to upscale the prerendered backgrounds in Final Fantasy VII. The project is called the Remako HD Graphics Mod, by CaptRobau, and has its own blog over here (click for link).

I need this so much, I thought when I heard about it.

I love Final Fantasy VII, it being the first Final Fantasy I ever played to completion . It had me hooked within seconds with its sci-fi setting, interesting but easy to pick up battle mechanics, distinctive characters and captivating storyline. It also looked beautiful, and I remember thinking, at ~13 years old, that every screen looked like a work of art.

But I know that looking at the game now can be … a little offensive on the eyes at times. Truthfully, it hasn’t aged particularly well since its birth in 1997. The beauty is still there, hidden beneath the pixels and the blocky chibi characters, but more often than not can’t be appreciated as much with the modern eye (and the modern monitor, which just emphasises the imperfections).

I’m partial to a modding challenge, and so I rolled up my sleeves. I’m partial to it, but that doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing. Pure determination is my fuel half the time.

Through a mixture of following tutorials, trial and error, erasing my progress entirely at one point and reinstalling the game and mods from fresh once realising I’d messed up, I managed to mod my 2013 Steam rerelease of FFVII. And it was worth every blood, sweat and teardrop.

Below are some meaty comparison screenshots between vanilla (on the left) and modded (on the right) FFVII. As well as Remako, I took the opportunity to install some other graphics and sound mods too, including a remastered soundtrack. Click each thumbnail to see a larger image.

If you’re interested in trying to mod your own PC copy of Final Fantasy VII, you can learn how to do so over on the QHIMM Forums (click for link). Using the base mod 7th Heaven, you can then install plugin mods to personalise FFVII’s graphics, character and object models, UI, sound and gameplay to your own taste. However, note that the Remako mod isn’t built into 7th Heaven at the time of writing and must be downloaded separately. Also make sure that you only download the FF7 Game Converter from the QHIMM forum linked above, as the one on CaptRobau’s blog is currently an old version which caused me some technical issues.

I feel indebted to the creators of these mods for breathing new life into a game I’ve wanted to pick up for a while, but was put off to an extent by the graphics. This will certainly scratch my FFVII itch in lieu of waiting for the remake to happen!

Some VERY FUN TRIVIA: This is the first actual turn-based game I’ve featured here on Turn Based Turnip! See, I told you it was fun.

A Little Rundown on the Videogame Exhibition at the V&A London

It was with great joy that I heard the Victoria and Albert museum (V&A) in London was holding an exhibition entitled Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, and even though I was fortunate enough to obtain guest tickets, the price for admission is quite reasonable, I feel, at Β£18.

IMG_20190202_141140

I would say book tickets in advance and get there early for sure; this exhibition is a bit outgrown for the space it occupies in terms of how popular it is, and if you leave it until later in the day like we did you will definitely feel like you’re walking around in an eternal queue at first, unable to properly appreciate the work on display.

The exhibition opens up on all the meatiest content first, with an impressive towering screen showing clips from thatgamecompany’s masterpiece Journey accompanied by its breathtaking musical score. An entire wall is then dedicated to displaying the developers’ sketchbooks, research notes and video footage taken on sand dunes, giving a fascinating insight into the thought processes and, well, journey that the game took during its development.

g5kj40c0drtes2eafmf7.png
image Β© thatgamecompany

Further detailed ‘behind the scenes’ of games being exhibited include, but aren’t limited to, work from Bloodborne, The Last of Us and Splatoon. Also of note is a display from Tale of Tales, a studio that I am a big fan of and whose work I have always found to be extremely thoughtful and well presented. They are most well known for their Red Riding Hood-inspired jaunt through the woods called The Path, and their showcasing of arthouse-worthy game The Graveyard is a brilliant illustration of what they’re all about.

graveyard_scrn01
image Β© Tale of Tales

Subjects that are most concentrated on in the exhibition are supporting artwork behind the games on display, development of different technical processes such as prototyping through to finished environments and characters, and exploration of videogames as an artform, by acting as a platform on which to make statements on politics, society and the wider world around us.

Further areas to discover are a hall showing off the world of Esports, and an interactive room full of modern arcade cabinets and several experimental games making use of physical objects, one example from Australia being the front half of a real car being used as a controller.

As a finishing touch, the shop at the end of the exhibition has a selection of game memorabiliaβ€”clothing, accessories, jewellery, and posters and prints, including signed limited edition Journey prints (if they’re still in stock that is!).

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt is overall a fascinating snapshot into the world of videogames today, and a brilliant opportunity to see them in a multitude of lights as diverse as the people who make them.

The exhibition is running until 24th February 2019, and more information can be found at vam.ac.uk/videogames. Tickets are Β£18, or free for members of the V&A.

I Played Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) and am Having an Internal Conflict Over Whether it is Good, or So-Bad-it’s-Good

A short time ago, I bought a game for around a pound called Fahrenheit in a GOG.com sale. My word, what an experience that was.

fahrenheit_pc_boxart
Cover art Β© Quantic Dream

What is it?

Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in North America), released in 2005, was Quantic Dream’s second game after Omikron: Nomad Soul. More recently, they are known for Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. As with the company’s other titles, It is written and directed by David Cage.

As I’m just discovering now, the version of Fahrenheit available on GOG.com is β€œuncensored and uncut”, so this whole article applies to that version. It has nudity, blood, sex, all that malarkey.

What’s it about?

New York City: You are Lucas Kane, very much a Regular Joe, who becomes possessed in a diner toilet and murders an innocent stranger. He’s shocked at what he has done when he comes to, and sets out to discover who or what is really behind the murder.

 

 

Conversely, you are also stern-and-smart-but-scared-of-the-dark Carla Valenti and comic-relief-yet-also-sometimes-serious Tyler Myles, two police officers on the case of the diner murder. They must discover evidence to prove who and where the murderer is.

 

On rare occasions, you also assume control of Lucas’ brother Markus Kane, a priest and overall swell chap.

fahrenheit - markus

Depending on what actions you choose and dialogue trees you follow during the game, different outcomes can be observed. However, these all eventually converge to result in the same overall story arc (albeit with three variations on the ending).

An important aspect of the game is the mental health bar (or “mental ‘ealth” as Cage himself tells us during the tutorial). This applies to every main character, and ranges from maxed out at “Neutral” to hitting rock bottom at “Wrecked” which can, but not always, result in a game over.

The mental health bar is affected positively and negatively by certain events, eg. Drinking coffee or using the toilet increases it a little while many main story events will negatively impact it by a large amount.

Is it good?

Hmm! The short answer is yes, and I’d definitely recommend it, even if it is now quite dated. It is, if anything, very interesting to see the origins of a lot of mechanics behind Quantic Dream’s later titles. The long answer though? Read on!

The QTE conundrum

Firstly, I need to point out the Quick Time Events (QTEs). These are rampant in Quantic Dream’s games, and in later titles I actually find them to work quite well in instilling a sense of urgency in tense scenes. In Fahrenheit, however, I found them to often be a hindrance.

fahrenheit - bob 1
Difficult to learn, easy to master.

They take the form of two simultaneous Simon Says visual cues, where you must push the correct colour that corresponds with the one flashing up on the screen. They’re used not only for action sequences, but also during slow-moving cutscenes in order to unlock extra parts of it. It does get a bit tiresome, but once you get the hang of it it’s generally tolerable.

Mocap madness

Fahrenheit makes extensive use of motion capture technology, which was very ambitious at the time and using the movements of live actors helped to convey Quantic Dream’s intention for the game to be presented as an “interactive movie” rather than a standard “video game”. I commend this, it was a great way to make the game feel more accessible to a wider audience than what was seen by the public as the stereotypical “video game” audience, and an excellent way of presenting a narrative-focused experience. All good. Good job.

fahrenheit - mocap

But when you look at Fahrenheit from now in 2019, when technology in games has advanced exponentionally since 2005, the high detail mocap animation applied to low polygon characters and objects looks quite comical at times. I don’t think this necessarily detracts from it; it is a product of its time and we need to appreciate it as such. But it can be pretty funny.

fahrenheit - lucas eyes

There are mega spoilers for the story below including the ending, so be warned.

That story, though.

After the murder, Lucas flees to his apartment and tries to resume normal life. He goes to work, but it is clear something is not okay because he starts hallucinating that giant lice are chasing him around the building.

fahrenheit - lice 1

Of course, his coworkers can’t see them and after the chase it cuts to Lucas writhing around on the office floor with his colleagues wondering what the hell is wrong with him. As am I, lads, I think to myself.

fahrenheit - lice 2

We alternate between controlling Lucas struggling with evading authorities and trying to find out who the β€œreal” killer is, and Carla and Lucas trying to find him. There’s even a scene where a witness at the diner has to construct an E-fit of Lucas, and it is incredible.

fahrenheit - e-fit 1fahrenheit - e-fit 2

I really like this aspect of pitting multiple characters under the player’s control against each other. It works well in inciting conflict in the audience over what is right and wrong, and what outcome do you really want. There are successful examples of this being used in Detroit: Become Human, for example (spoiler in the following video link) a decisive fight scene between two opposing protagonists where the player is put on the spot to choose who succeeds.

The thing is, the entire time I was very much rooting for Lucas to get caught.

He kept demonstrating to me how unlikeable he was, be that boasting about how many times he’s read a Nietzsche book, being dickish to his priest brother Markus, oh yeah and KILLING a man at the very beginning.

fahrenheit - lucas is a nob 1
I hate you so much, Lucas Kane.

The game just couldn’t prove to me that Lucas was not in fact responsible for the murder no matter how much it tried. I constantly thought, All of this, all these hallucinations and being possessed, it’s all in his head isn’t it? He’s had some kind of mental breakdown and this is the result. I mean, the game does place certain emphasis on mental ‘ealth, after all.

fahrenheit - markus the wise 1

OH HOW WRONG I WAS

Things started to get weird for me and my sister, who were playing the game together, when we had to endure a scene with Carla avoiding patients in an asylum who get free from their rooms. It’s not often that I feel a deep sense of disturbance playing a game, but the whole time me and my sister kept looking at each other going, what the actual hell is this scene! I suppose the developers felt they needed to inject some drama into the chapter but this sequence was completely unnecessary to everything!

fahrenheit - carla asylum 1

Okay, I have to admit I had to go back and remind myself of what exactly happened after a certain point, because it just got so completely insane that I don’t think I took it all in when I played it for the first time. I’m not going to run through every single event in the game, but I’ll try and summarise as briefly as possible. Even though it was a struggle to collate everything together into a digestible chunk, the crazy ending is worth it.

Forewarning: it is a bit mad.

fahrenheit - agatha 1

Lucas ends up being the suspect of another murder – that of Agatha, a blind old lady / spiritual medium who helped Lucas find out who possessed himβ€” a man in a hooded coatβ€” by putting him into a trance. He sees Agatha’s spirit and on her advice visits a specialist on Mayan civilisation called Prof. Dimitri Kuriakin.

fahrenheit - dimitri

After questioning Dimitri under the guise of a journalist, Lucas realises that the murder he committed in the diner, by cutting his victim’s heart arteries (hearteries, heh), was a Mayan sacrifice. Dimitri said that back in the day, a Mayan Oracle would possess another person and perform a human sacrifice through them, disconnecting the victim’s heart by cutting the arteries. Murdering via proxy allowed the Oracle’s soul to remain β€œpure”, or something. Ergo, the bloke in a hooded coat who possessed Lucas was an Oracle and is the true murderer. Still with me?

fahrenheit - oracle
The Mayan Oracle, aka Bloke in Hooded Coat.

Good. *Heaves huge sigh and continues*

Dimitri says that the possessed person then committed suicide after the sacrifice. Lucas didn’t, however. THE PLOT THICKENS.

The Oracle lures Lucas out of hiding by tying his ex-girlfriend Tiffany to a roller coaster in an abandoned theme park. Lucas rushes to her rescue, but ends up getting both of them killed by falling off of the roller coaster (good job).

fahrenheit - zombie lucas 2
Zombie Lucas. Yup.

Lucas is brought back to life as what I will refer to henceforth as Zombie Lucas by a group of AIs called the Purple Clan. The Purple Clan reveal that they were the ones disguising themselves as Agatha’s ghost earlier on.

fahrenheit - ai
An AI from the Purple Clan, who gained sentience via 80s internet networks. No really, that’s their actual backstory.

The entire game so far has been punctuated by seeing homeless blokes around the city. It’s New York, so OK. BUT ACTUALLY it comes to light that the homeless people are part of a secret underground organisation called the Invisibles that is monitoring the Purple Clan, and the clan that the Oracle is a member of which has secretly ruled the world for centuries (the Orange Clan).

fahrenheit - invisibles
The secret underground hobo spy base.

Both clans are trying to locate a little girl called the Indigo Child, who is a pure soul that has never been incarnated before and holds the secret that will grant whoever hears it immense power. The Invisibles are trying to make sure that the Indigo Child doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Got it?

fahrenheit - indigo child 1
The Indigo Child (this isn’t going to look good in court, Lucas.)

SOMEHOW, Lucas manages to convince Carla that all of the above is true. He’s so convincing that she loses all powers of critical thinking and respect for herself and when they’re in the Invisibles’ secret underground base they have unprotected sex on a hobo’s mattress.

fahrenheit - hobo mattress sex censored

I’m telling the truth, see!

By this point, Tyler (remember him?) has noped the fuck out by either moving out of state with his girlfriend Sam, or staying behind in NYC to help people affected by the freak cold weather (you decide). He is the wisest person in the entire game.

fahrenheit - tyler smiling
Tyler doesn’t need any of this.

Lucas, as it turns out, has special power called Chroma which resists the powers of the Oracle. This is why the Oracle was unable to make him kill himself after the murder in the diner. He got this power from being exposed to some magical sciencey artifact in a military base that he lived on when he was a child, while he was still in his mother’s (a scientist at the base) womb.

WE ARE NEARLY THERE.

Lucas kidnaps the Indigo Child girl from an orphanage (actually this happens before the hobo base bit but I’m putting it here for ease of explaining things) and takes her to the military base to learn the secret from her and gain immense power. He then battles the AIs and the Oracle, and depending on your performance during the last chapter of the game you get one of three endings, only one of which we experienced:

We got the “Good” ending, where the freak winter ends and everything is looking rosy, and Zombie Lucas and Carla are expecting a magical Chroma Indigo Baby or something that will save the world. I’ve got to admit I lost the will to live at this point.

fahrenheit - good ending combined
The “good” ending.

It took me a few days to digest all that happened towards the end of Fahrenheit, but eventually I came to some conclusions.

I can’t bring myself to believe that anything after the abandoned theme park scene happened at all. You know the game’s emphasis on mental health? I don’t think it would be too far fetched to say that Lucas was always mentally unstable and imagined all of the supernatural events up until he dragged Tiffany up to the top of the roller coaster HIMSELF. I think that he survived the fall but either completely lost his mind or entered a comatose state, and everything that happens from this point onwards was a completely invented construct by him.

I think that there was no possession in the diner whatsoever. There was no Mayan sacrifice cult, that Lucas warped what the Mayan specialist told him to fit around his own deranged ideas, and above all he was just an unfortunate victim of some sort of psychiatric disorder.

fahrenheit - markus the wise 2
Markus tells it how it is.

This also makes me feel better about the ending, for both me and my sister were just floored by everything – the underground Hobo organisation, Zombie Lucas, zombie hobo mattress sex with Carla, zombie Indigo child baby with Carla after knowing her for three months … Just, no. I refuse to believe any of that was real. You intended me to feel this way, right, Cage? Right?!

This game is amazing.

wrecked

Afterword

My, this was a long one! I thought it was just going to be a quick jaunt about how crazy this game was, but it ended up being full blown therapy for me to work through what the heck it was all about and to get my brain back into alignment really. Thank you for sticking it out to the (insane) end!

Fahrenheit is absolutely a good game in many ways, but there’s definitely a certain badness to it that evokes a similar feeling to certain bad/good movies I’m a fan ofβ€” I’m thinking of the works of Tommy Wiseau or Neil Breen, where they take their projects seriously but the end result demonstrates unintentional hilarity. I’d be very interested to find more good-but-possibly-bad games to add to my collection!

As a final-final little thing, on my travels I discovered this fascinating blog post from back in 2010 by unseen64.net which showcases beta images from Fahrenheit.