Archive for August, 2009

August 17 running log

We ran 7 minutes and walked 2 six times, so 42 minutes running, 12 walking, 54 total.

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August 14 running log

Exactly the same as last time – 7 minutes run, 2 walk, 5 times.

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August 13 biking log

Biked 2 miles this morning. Happily, it’s about two miles from home to the library, so I get to feel mildly productive too.

The cats love inspecting my bike after I get home. Radar will lay on the floor next to it, put out a paw and spin the pedal.

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August 12 running log

Today we ran 7 minutes, walked 2, repeated 5 times. So 35 minutes running, 10 minutes walking, 45 total. Much easier to keep track of five repetitions than 8 or 9.

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August 8 running log

Today we went 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking 9 times around – so, 45 minutes running, 9 minutes walking, 54 total. This is the last day of our five-minute week, and I’m glad – it’s more tedious to stop and start so often than it is just to keep going.

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Victory! Vendors! Vehiculation!

What I can’t remember is how I got into Metal Max in the first place. Metal Max, and the PS2 continuation Metal Saga, is a RPG series centered around tanks, and my knowledge of tanks is about at the level of the girls that hang out in bars in Metal Max selling you drinks and snacks made out of amoebas. (If one of those cool guns got pointed at me… Eeek! I’d…I’d be sooooo dead!) But I adore it, enough to translate Metal Max Returns for Aeon Genesis a couple years back. Metal Max 2 was being translated by a couple of other people, but a few months after that translation came out, they handed it to me because of time constraints on their ends.

Not that it really helped get the project out faster, because I didn’t get around to it for a while. When I did take a stab at translating it, the file with the data for the intro and first town had had the Japanese stripped out as the translator finished the English, so I had to add the Japanese back in so I could edit and correct properly. That makes it sound simple, but the file in question is long and jumbled, so I had to work backwards: “Here’s the Japanese line… what’s a word I can search for that the other translators might have used in the English translation?” Often, I just had to read through the whole file until I found the part I was looking for. Luckily, it turns out that the other dialogue files weren’t like this, but at the time it dampened my enthusiasm. I added most of the Japanese back in on that pass, but got bored and moved on to something else.

The beginning of Returns was rough, too; Gid wanted the file with the beginning text done first so he could start working on it, and it turns out that file contained not just the intro scene but key scenes with Red Wolf, the secret ending and the whole grandiose speech from the last boss. I hadn’t reached these points in the game, so I just pushed through and hoped it would be easy to change anything I got wrong.

I didn’t think much of the graphics, either… I thought Returns with its FFVI-style characters looked pretty cool, so blurry, blocky MM2 was a step down, even though that’s not its fault. Seriously, consider the mechanic: he’s supposed to be a shifty-looking, wiry little punk, and in the game he looks like someone stuffed one of the Pac-Man ghosts into a leather jacket and glued on a shock of hair. That little red mohawk bobs around as he walks, and it all looks hugely uncool.

So I was Metal Max-ed out, and didn’t give it much thought until recently. But once I gave it another stab, I came to like it even more than MMR, and given how I loved that game that’s really saying something. It’s got the same fun tank system and general gameplay, but the world feels more coherent and there’s a bit more plot, although it still gives the player a lot of freedom. That was one of the things I liked, and other people disliked, about MMR: there was no sort of scene where the hunter, mechanic and soldier realize, with dawning horror, “My God! This is all Noah’s fault! We must destroy him and avenge humanity! Let’s go to the Global Relief Center!” You really have to figure it out yourself. MM2 gains structure from the evil group called the Grapplers and the Four Grappler Devas — but even still, you could beat the game having only killed two of the four. The scenarios are fun, and it doesn’t feel so much like “go here, kill this critter, then go here, kill this other critter.” I especially liked that paradise of freedom Des Cruz and the whole scenario in Swan, which I am editing now with great glee. (I have times where I think that I used too much swearing in Returns and I’ll just look like some idiot, ignorant of nuance, throwing in naughty words just for shock value. But that worry hasn’t stopped me from doing the exact same thing with MM2… What can I say? Imagine you’re the kind of guy that survived the end of civilization, acid rain and routine manhunts and now routinely blasts monsters back to hell with your custom tank. You’re just minding your own business, drinking with your equally hard-boiled buddies, and some strange dude comes up and lies to your face. It’s entirely respectable for you to call him some pretty harsh things, isn’t it? Still, part of me wants to go the full-on 90’s Nintendo “son of a submariner” route…)

I’ve finished my first pass through the game; most of it already had some degree of translation done by the other two. Essentially, what I got was the first draft, with some stuff all done, some stuff untranslated, some stuff incorrect or unclear. I think I should be able to finish it by the end of the summer if I work even halfway diligently, and by the end of the year if I slack off. Right now I’m putting in all the text that carries over from MMR, which is tedious even if it is easier than translating from the beginning. So that’s where things stand right now!

I’ve been twittering my Metal Max 2 adventures, but I think I’ll mostly move it over to the blog. I can talk too long about all this stuff…

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August 7 biking log

Rode one mile, same loop as last time. Next time will be a 2-mile loop!

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