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Super Robots, Vampires, Holy Grails, Oh My! (Type-Moon Spoilers/nsf56k)

AroducAroduc regular
edited April 2008 in Games and Technology
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What: Battle Moon Wars is a 4-part doujin PC SRPG built on the Super Robot Wars engine using Type-Moon characters. Type-Moon is most famous for its visual novels, Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night, but is also responsible for their offshoots, the fighting games Melty Blood and the upcoming Fate/Unlimited Codes as well as a number of novels. Parts 1-3 of BMW have been released with the final one "coming soon."

Why should you care? Because I'm translating it into English and I finished the first of the three Acts. And yeah, I got mod approval.

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The engine is basically ripped straight from the pre-OG Super Robot Wars... IE, turn based SRPGs, each character has a number of skills and spirits and more can be purchased or upgraded as you progress through the game. Everything is turn based with (skippable) animated sequences showing the attacks as they progress.

The story follows the Melty Blood ending for Tsukihime (which is more or less a nonsensical ending) and the Heaven's Feel ending for Fate, in case you're concerned about spoilers. It'll basically be impossible to avoid most of the relatively minor details, especially concerning Fate's Sakura. Otherwise, characters are present from Tsukihime, Kagetsu Tohya, Melty Blood, Fate Stay/Night, Fate Hollow/Ataraxia and Kara no Kyoukai. There are also a ton of homages and references to other series. You'll end up fighting against vorpal rabbits, the Getter Robos, the sisters from Read or Die, etc. And of course, many of the attacks are based off of ones from the SRW series.

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If you're unfamiliar with any of those games... Tsukihime is the story of a boy who can see the lines of death that cover every object in the world. By cutting those lines, anything can be instantly destroyed. One day, he sees a strange woman and is overcome by a murderous rage, following her home and then viciously cutting her to bits. The next day, she appears and declares that she'll have him take responsibility for killing her by helping her hunt the vampire in town she's trying to kill.

Fate Stay/Night's story is that the Holy Grail War is a mystical ritual summoning a wish-granting artifact. Seven masters summon Seven holy spirits to battle with the winner obtaining the Grail. A boy with strong ideals, and orphaned by the result of the previous war is about to get drawn into the new one.

BMW takes place in Tsukihime's city, full of vampires and the undead, where the Holy Grail War is starting again. Takumi and Haruna (two original characters) are called in to investigate and the entire Type-Moon cast slowly gets drawn into the unfolding events.

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Even if you're not overly interested in the Type-Moon aspects of the game, the engine that they used is really really easily modifiable. Outside of the tiny .exe, basically everything is defined in a series of xmls, which made 'hacking' a breeze, but would also make heavy modification if you wanted to make your own SRW game out of the engine relatively easy as well. Relatively work intensive, sure, since those animations are basically defined frame by frame, but certainly easier than working from the ground up.

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Note that this patch requires you to have all three Acts installed and be completely up to date on the official patches or it'll just think that you're insane. The interfaces and whatnot get redone with each Act anyway. All the interfaces and battle stuff is pretty much completely finished, so you could easily play through it. You'd just be missing out on the story for anything past stage 6. You'll still have to run it in AppLocale (or with Japanese settings enabled) at the moment or the game will get cranky, use the wrong subset of fonts and then produce a series of sort of strange textual corruptions. Nothing major, but the linebreaks are hardcoded, so there'll be issues with them, plus the textboxes will be the wrong size for the text, which will mean sentences will sometimes end prematu

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Everything but the story has been looked at in some form or another. Well, and the Config.exe. I forgot it existed until I started writing this post. Oopsies. There are only two options anyway, Full Screen/Windowed and Color Depth. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out which is which without too many issues.

Annnnyway... Act 1 (stages 1-6) is 100% complete, though I'm sure a few parts could use minor changes. All the important battle and gameplay text for the entire game has been translated. Act 2's (stages 7-21) story has been completely translated, but hasn't been checked/edited/inserted at all (my TLC folks got lazy), and I'm only a couple of stages into Act 3 since I've been distracted lately, but I'm working on it. Act 3 is... well... about 800kb of untranslated text (Act 1 and 2 combined are about 900kb). Not that excessive, but still daunting to me, especially since I'll be busy next week with the glut of new shows... and frequent visitors will know that my Japanese occasionally veers off when the conversations get difficult to follow... and Type-Moon fanwork is the epitome of weird. I'd still have no problems releasing the arcs as they finish (every 6-7 stages is a story arc culminating with a boss fight, more or less), or hell... even individual stages. The data files where the text is stored are tiny (~1 mb) compared to the data files that are packed with all the sprite sheets, interfaces, music etc etc etc. The remaining story text is in the data5 and data7 files, and I'd have no problems publically releasing them as things finish since they're freely available on Werk's site anyway.

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So, if you're interested in helping out or want to see the internals to poke at and play with, drop me a line. With concentrated effort from multiple people, this thing could be done in a week or two. Or at least, a few stages could be finished a day, minus all the joy of editing and insertion.

And now, your moment of zen from one of the long nights I was up working on this and my sanity started to slip.

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Gameplay demo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhCGWd_uGTw

Where to buy the game:
Himeyashop, $30

English patch:
http://bmw.seiha.org/bmw_english_patchV0_6.exe

Have fun.

Aroduc on

Posts

  • VaregaVarega Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Holy crap man, that's amazing.

    Thank you.

    Varega on
    League of Legends:Varega
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I may very well learn to love you.

    please tell me that last shot with "milkshake. .. " is a shoop da whoop.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited April 2008
    I may very well learn to love you.

    please tell me that last shot with "milkshake. .. " is a shoop da whoop.

    I have no idea what that means.

    Get off my lawn, you kids!

    Aroduc on
  • BasilBasil Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Milkshakes... Baahahhahahaaa!


    This is the sound of what this game does to the storylines:

    "CracksnapcrunchcronksplatsplotVRRRRRRRrrrshlockshlockshlockshlockshlockshlockshlocksplurtsplortspeeeeeeew. Drip."

    That said, it's fairly amusing.

    Basil on
    9KmX8eN.jpg
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited April 2008
    To be fair, Melty Blood kind of did that to Tsukihime already and Fate already involves time travel and multiple alternate realities.

    Aroduc on
  • BasilBasil Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This is true, the both of them do contain enough weirdness to flesh out a full season of Doctor Who.

    I've always felt that the brand of superglue involved in the vampire hunting costume was the biggest plot hole, though.

    Basil on
    9KmX8eN.jpg
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