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A surprising range of minerals! M-KAI's Pleasure Hearts for MSX2


Plastic Vampire
What a crazy game! There's so much going on! Kudos for your attempt at translating all this nonsense.


I think you're on the right track with "Even if I've lost..." for this line. This line uses dramatic phrasing that tends to befuddle auto-translators, particularly "kono washi," which literally comes out to "this me" or "this I" and is usually used by pompous villains to indicate that they are self-important. The verb here is 砕ける (kudakeru) which translates to "broken, smashed, shattered," etc., and he tags it with what I think is a form of しまう, the verb that usually indicates an unintentional action. If it is a form of しまう, it's both a colloquial form and possibly misspelled, which is gonna further confuse a translation software.

So the full literal translation to this line would be something like "Even if this me is (unintentionally) destroyed..." I think most translators would end up treating it as "Even if I'm destroyed..." or similar.


Red Plane
We are entering uncharted territory:


It looks like this should be ARCH DRAGON, but I think the dragon's name is actually Arc. Maybe. Onwards!


The stage starts with a selection of weapons and what I take to be a straight-to-full-power-up. Since I'm cheating, I'm already at full power. Gives a tidy boost to my score, though.


I'm not certain, but I think the DARKMATTER I pick up here is the blue and white dots shooting out from the blue enemy craft. There's no sound on the GIF, obviously, but the "you got a thing" sound plays twice, seeming to correspond with the two sets of dots hitting me.


Han is the name I went with for the blue guy, my former partner. Originally I used Khan, but some of the dialogue gets pretty tight for characters. The original version of this line is ハーン「・・・じゃまがはいったようだ。」 - machine translation gives this as "...It's in the way" or "...I've been interrupted." My version is more concise, though maybe a bit informal for Han.



The other ship speaks. In Japanese, her name was replaced with a star, but I felt a question mark more appropriate. Machine translation gives "Let me do it.", which actually would have fit. Why did I go this way? I think I had it as "Please, let me do it", which would not fit. I was leaning towards "I can handle her", also too long.


Once again the heart icon saves the day. This was 「プレジャーハーツをもっておいそぎを・・!」 - DeepL gives that as "Take your pleasure hearts and skedaddle...", which I would love to have used if it fit. Google gives me "Have a pleasure with Pleasure Hearts...!". Ad copy for the game, I guess.


Shia is the player character. This was しいあ「・・・だれよ・・・あなた・・・」 - "...who...you..." All those ellipses are helpful for fitting more characters in.



Our mystery pilot identifies herself. If this name has any inherent meaning, I missed it. Originally I was calling her Maina, but I needed an extra character for some lines later on, so the A had to go.



This time the Japanese text actually uses the heart icon too. Plus it sticks with the asterix despite her just having identified herself. The machine translations give me "That person...<heart>...Let's just say". I kept the question mark and used Han's name to save characters.


まいな「あなたには、すべてをあきらめてもらいます。」 - "You'll have to give up everything". Well, everything is a long word. How about "it"? Actually, maybe I should change this to YOU MUST GIVE UP. Keep it simple.


Or did I leave the "it" in because I thought it referred to the gem? Don't remember. まいな「ほうせきは、わたしたちのものですから・・。」 - "The gem is ours..."


Here's why I think the Dragon's name is Arc, rather than it being an Arch Dragon. しょうかん: ロルドアーク - Rorudoāku. I went with CALL over SUMMON to save two characters.

OK, time for maybe my favourite thing in the game:


まいな「ここはびょうどうにいきましょう・・。」 - "Here, to make it fair"

I start attacking immediately, but Mina is more converned with fairness.


まいな「・・・はい、これをうけとってください。」 - "Yes, take this please"

She throws me a 1up. But I've been cheating, and have no need of extra lives. Let's let it pass:


まいな「・・・そうですか・・・。」 - Maina「・・・I see・・・。」
まいな「そちらがそういうおきもちでしたら・・・」 - Maina「If that is how you feel・・・」
まいな「もう・・・ゆるしません!」 - Maina「I won't forgive you anymore」

That "I won't forgive you" line is one I've seen in a lot of Japanese media, but I feel it doesn't quite work in English. "No mercy" is kind of the same sentiment, but I think it works better here. Plus it's shorter.

There is different dialogue if you take the 1up instead of being rude like this:

まいな「では・・・まいります!」FF Maina「So・・・Let's Go!」

There's kind of an ominous sound that plays when she says "No mercy", possibly by not taking the 1up you unlock a tougher version of the fight?


This certainly looks like a hard mode version. Bear in mind watching this that I'm playing in an emulator with a rewind feature. You're not seeing me die and roll back two seconds repeatedly. Eventually:


まいな「・・・う、うそぉ・・!?」 - this seems to be something like "No!" or "It can't be!". I went with what felt right. Again there is a variation on this:


"Tsu!...I'll leave the rest to you!" - then she flies away and the Dragon attacks differently. In my patch it became YOU HANDLE THIS! Not sure if you get this by attacking Mina directly, or maybe if you annoy her by not taking the 1up she sticks around to the end?


Let's press on, eh? Here's the last stage. The original name for this was ウインスロット - Winslot. That seems to refer to slot machines, not sure how it relates to this game. Though of course pokies are an unmitigated evil and so quite suitable to be the end boss of a video game. Anyway, WINSHOT doesn't really mean anything, but at least it's not pokies.


Once again the game gives me a choice of weapons, a boost to full power, and this time also tops up my bombs. Very kind!


I collected all the powerups, which leaves me with type-1 weaponry for the fight. In retrospect I think this was a mistake - 3 seems to be the most powerful, and makes a good compromise between 1's concentrated fire and 2's scattered shots.

まいな「・・・しぶといかたです。 - The Japanese version is missing the closing bracket! Anyway, it's along the lines of "That person is stubborn".


No translation necessary here, I just changed the name from ハーン to HAN. I think I generally got rid of the places where there are ellipses going into full stops, but this one seemed appropriate.


This was まほう:バリアー - Magic: Barrier. That's too many letters, so CAST: WALL it is. I thought at first this was Mina putting out the yellow diamond, but if you look at Han he starts flashing when the dialogue box comes up. This first part of the fight isn't too bad, despite my panic bombing at the first opportunity.


The second phase builds this wall in the middle of the screen.


I think it's the bomb that destroys the hovering shots, but it might just be that I crossed the damage threshold into the next phase. Anyway, this bit seems pretty easy - just park myself below the enemy shot but close enough for my shots to hit them.


Or not. I had the advantage of using the rewind feature to find my way through this, but once I'd figured out I could just go back and forwards I didn't have to rewind much. Note that I am taking hits here - when those blue shots get close I lose a little HP. In normal play for me that doesn't matter, because I never last long enough between direct hits to lose a life to HP loss, but now that I'm cheating it becomes more relevant. I haven't played every shooter out there, but I don't remember seeing a mechanic quite like this in any other one.


This phase is relatively mild.


This bit isn't too bad.


This is a nightmare. It doesn't look too bad, but I was rewinding a heck of a lot to get through it. The way the blue things move with you, but in an arc, really limits your movement.


Another relatievly simple pattern later, it's over. Han has been protected by his barrier, but Mina was not so fortunate.

This specific text box was what forced me to shorten these two's names. The Japanese is ハーン「まいな!!」. I was fortunate it used two exclamation marks, really, allowing me to give Mina a fourth letter and still have an exclamation. I guess I could have dropped the brackets, or even left off Han's name - it's pretty obvious who's speaking.


まいな「・・・ハーンさま・・わたくし・・・は・・・」. My version loses the -sama suffix, so you get less of a sense of her respect for Han, I guess. Is my commentary undermining the gravity of the situation?


Mina's ship explodes.


Han seems... unhappy.


Yeah, he's upset.


These shots move fast, and it's easy to get pinned in a corner. I wonder if I'll ever be able to beat this game without the rewind.


At this point I am out of bombs and getting low on HP. Dodging through these shots involves a lot of luck, at least for me. That and rewinding.


Then it's back to the variety shot.


Oh thank goodness.


This is a straight translation. Note that all this blood isn't coming from Han's ship. I'm pretty sure he's the little blue figure above it.


While I generally enjoy the big points popups, I feel this one is in poor taste.


Now it's Shia's turn to be upset. He betrayed her, but Han was her partner once, I guess.


And with that, the Pleasure Hearts is mine!


The ending is the largest chunk of text in the game. It's formatted slightly differently from the rest of the text, too.


My translation is not super-literal. I had to drop a lot of words. I'm not sure about using "everyone". I guess we killed a lot of other enemies on the way to Han and Mina. The numbers are instructions for the program: 61 is a line break, 62 pauses the text briefly, and 63 signifies the transition to the next screen. I wasn't sure if there were pointers for each screen or not, so I made sure each screen started at the same point in the English version as it had in the Japanese. I was more liberal with the lines within screens, though.


The real treasure would have been the friends we made along the way, if we hadn't killed everyone we met instead. Although I did pick up Mayol and Horai Kanon. Couldn't we share with them?


Here's the original text, along with my initial translations of each line:

6161・・・そういえば・・・そうだった。62 ...which reminds me...it was.
61・・・ハーンなんか、いきてたって・・・。62 ...Someone like Kahn, he would never...
61・・・あの、まいなとかいうおんなのひと。62 ...that woman, Maina.
61あのひとがきっとほんとうのこいびとだったんだ。62 She must have been his real love.
61そうなんだ、ハーンはどっちみち Right, either way Kahn
61わたしのことなんか・・・。62 didn't care about me...

I dropped the first and fourth lines. The first one doesn't matter, but leaving out the bit about Han loving Mina kind of changes how the whole thing reads. My version makes it sound more like Shia is blaming Mina for Han's betrayal. I should probably change that.


The mood takes a turn.


Surely I can do this better. What was the original again?

61・・・なんか・・・62 ...something...
61このほうせきさえもってれば If I have this jewel
61どんなねがいでもかなうようなきが I can fulfill any wish
61してきたぁー・・・・。62 I've done it...
61そして・・・わたしのきぼうのこころは、 And then...my heart's desire,
61わたしのかなしみのこころにまけてしまって・・・6263 my hopes were overwhelmed by sadness...

OK. Hmm. I think what's happening here is she makes a wish ("It's done"), but it doesn't turn out how she wanted.


61・・・ふふふ・・・。62 Ha ha ha
61・・・62わたしだけ、62しあわせになれ。6265626266 Only I will be happy.

I think my translation is accurate, or at least close, but I'm not really happy with it. I think maybe I just don't like the ending. Shia remains fixated on Han, and then wishes for... something... and becomes a cartoon vilain?

There is an alternative ending in the hex. I have no idea how to activate it in-game. It starts much like this one, but Shia laments Han a bit more, thinks about seeing him again, and uses Pleasure Hearts to wish that the whole adventure had been a dream. Then she wakes up late for school, rushes out the door, and meets her fellow student, Han. It's not fantastic, but I think it's better than this one.


I left the Japanese names in Japanese for the credits. I thought about adding myself at the end - ENGLISH PATCH <red line> YIM DEC '21 - but I'm shy.


That's all, folks!


Well, almost. Looks like I got a high score!


By quite a margin!


Before I sign off, let's check out what we collected:


Yeah, that's a lot of stuff! Still plenty missing, though. Let's take a closer look:


The first part is the long list of minerals. These were all pretty unambiguous and easy to translate. The text of this list is not exactly the same as what shows in-game, because I had different restrictions - each individual item could be longer, but I needed the list as a whole to be as short as possible, whereas the in-game items could be any length up to ten characters. Consequently, I didn't use many spaces, but where I felt it necessary I could stretch out a little. So LAPISLAZULI gets the final I here, unlike in the in-game list, and TORTOISESHL gets the L, but BLUELACE is missing the space it has in-game. I generally kept it to eleven characters, but the longest few items in the list have thirteen.


The item list is incomplete, but for the most part in the gem section there's just the odd thing missing until you get to the end here. Between OPAL and PLEASURE HEARTS there are several recognisable gems - emerald, sapphire, ruby, diamond. Maybe there's some special method to get them.


Below PLEASURE HEARTS are some special items - Mayol was the guy I picked up off the ground after the stage 3 midboss, HoraiKanon is the second phase of the stage four boss, and the DarkMatter I got just before the last boss. Not shown because I didn't get them are IRIDIUM (iridium force in Japanese, which I realise now I could have actually fit - can I be bothered to change it and redo the pointers? Probably not), FROG (no idea), BADABADA (which has as an icon the duck-shaped flare that appears from the cannons in stage 2 - maybe I should try to collect those?), and the other two characters from stage 3, ASA and WATCHDOG.

Below the dark matter is some stuff I gave up on translating. In the original there are spaces between each character, which I removed to save space, aside from an initial space so they'd line up with the other text. The full text of them all:

あ は さ の こ
ひ も の ワ ん ア
し で い ア こ
ごっ を タ い イ
か き に イ に
い てか シ こ テ
ら ま つ テ あ
っ る き が う ム
ず せ か ム る
ぽ ひ ま ホ に 2
。 ん う は す
う と し シ は 0
( の こ じ べ
を は た イ い 0
ォ で と っ て
! ぜ。 も ま ば

If anyone can make sense of this, let me know. It'd be nice to figure it out.


Then there are the keys. When exactly I picked these up, I don't know. I don't imagine a wax key is much use, anyway. These were mostly pretty easy to translate. The DRAGON key phonetically was actually the key of DAGON, ダゴンのカギ, but this game has a dragon in it and no obvious sign of Dagon so I went with that.


These I think I got from the healing items. Some of them, I'll admit, are awkwardly translated. YOUTHWATER was ちょうじゅすい, which I think can be read as "Longevity water", but that's a bit long. I was going for a water from the fountain of youth idea, but I'm not sure it came off. An alternative translation might have been PURE WATER, which honestly sounds better to me now. MOONSUGAR is, so far as I can tell, what ムーンシュガー comes to. Most of the search results I got for it relate to Skyrim, probably not what the creator of this game intended in 1999.

Not visible in this image are the two items that go above these items: they both have medal icons, one is called Master Prologue, the other Master Pleasure. Not sure how to get them - I didn't get the prologue one after using emulator rewind to last to the end of that fight, and I didn't get the pleasure one after using rewind to beat the game without dying.


Then we get into foodstuffs. Mushrooms have their own icon. I assume these are also gained by picking up healing items.


After the foods, it starts getting odd. The first four items here, of which only DEFAULT is visible, are ステ, テンオチ, デフォ, and エーパ. Phonetically, that's Sute, ten ochi, defo, and apa. I couldn't figure it out, and wound up going with START END DEFAULT COPY. I'm not convinced getting this stuff literally perfect is all that important. RAINTANK I think was a rainwater tank in Japanese. Either that or water damage. TAPER, DUMDUM, and SPREAD (and the missing 1000YENBOMB) I thought might have been the weapon types. I've since realised a later item in the list was the weapons. Then there are a few more gems. Tiamond might be a typo, but not my typo. Diamond is in the list earlier on, as ダイアモンド. Here, it's タイヤモンド, missing the modifier on the first character. I dunno why there are a few stray gems in this part of the list.


Then we get a few items that seem to be properties of gemstones. Besides those shown, there's also INCLUSION, 4C (maybe intended to be 40, to go with the next item?), CARAT, and CLARITY. Then we get what I think are the weapon types: RECTANGLE for the type-1 straight shot, ARCH for type-2 spread shot, and ELLIPSE for type-3 wave shot. I didn't translate these, they were in English to begin with. I'm tempted to change them to different English words (FORWARD, SPREAD, WAVE, perhaps, or STRAIGHT, WIDE, WAVY), but they'd lose a bit of character if I did that.


Then we get into what I think might be M-KAI's CD collection. Several of these were already in English, and I generally left those alone. MEGA BABE and KAZUMI, for example. TOUCHED up there was みなみかぜにふかれて in Japanese - Touched by Minami Kaze by machine translation, though looking at it again I think it might be Blowing in the Wind by Minami - perhaps this version by Saori Minami? I think I got that wrong. Sigh. There are a few references to other shooters, too. Compile was Compile Antique, and I assume refers to the developers of Aleste. TOAPLANSTGB2 is as it was in the original, and although I'm not sure what B2 is about, I don't think TOAPLAN is ambiguous.


Down here it gets odd. JTCウィンZ10 is a font. Not shown here but immediately following it are three items with disk icons that I've translated as LUCKYDIP, DUCK, and HOLIDAY. The originals for them were SYNTAXふくぶくろ, ゲキカモ, and どどんたく. I'm sure I've missed the essence of those. Then we have two arcade boards, of which VIPER-PHASE2 is the only one I picked up in this playthrough. So far as I can tell, it doesn't exist, but Viper Phase 1 is a real game. The unseen item is Stagger 2 (again, Stagger 1 is a real game, but I can't find anything about a sequel). I dunno what MADもとネタALL is. I do enjoy the next few items on the list: not seen is AM RADIO, which gets the same icon as MADもとネタALL, and then there are some things it's nice to have: time and energy, motivation, contentment, and support. These are fairly loose translations, to be honest.


The list is rounded out with some printed material. The last item, not visible here, is MSX3. I don't think there's ever been a proper MSX3, but the name is used for a few different things online.


And that's it, I guess! Now I have to decide if I want to make any further changes or leave it as it. I'd like to clean up the ending a little - I think it's basically accurate, but I don't find it satisfying. There are also several things in the item list that are pretty tenuously connected to the original version, and at least one that I think is straight up wrong. But does it matter? And of course, there's the manual. Some of the kanji in there are really giving me grief, but it'd be nice to include text from it in the readme.


Round and round I go
Staff member
Maybe if you beat them in a different order?

Anyway, this game is packed with neat little ideas. Thanks for showing it off!


Red Plane
Thanks guys! I think I’m gonna do one more editing pass at this, clean up a few things, and then submit it to romhacking.net, I guess? That’s where these things go, right?

The mood takes a turn.


Surely I can do this better. What was the original again?

61・・・なんか・・・62 ...something...
61このほうせきさえもってれば If I have this jewel
61どんなねがいでもかなうようなきが I can fulfill any wish
61してきたぁー・・・・。62 I've done it...
61そして・・・わたしのきぼうのこころは、 And then...my heart's desire,
61わたしのかなしみのこころにまけてしまって・・・6263 my hopes were overwhelmed by sadness...

OK. Hmm. I think what's happening here is she makes a wish ("It's done"), but it doesn't turn out how she wanted.

I thought about this some more, I think I’m gonna make the last part something like “My heart’s desire was corrupted by grief”.


Plastic Vampire
Excellent work on this Yimothy. Insanely ambitious game, trying to tell some sort of melancholic real robo story in between bullet hell boss battles. There are others like this, but as far as I've seen, all of them have a hell of a lot more graphical power to lean on. And I love any game with inflated point values. Almost feels like it's prefiguring some of the later Cave stuff...I wonder if any of these developers went on to work on games like that.

Incidentally, the items below Dark Matter all read like nonsense to me. The random katakana and placement of other characters don't seem to make any sense. It might be code for something, I guess. I thought maybe if you read the characters in order you might form a sentence, but that doesn't seem true either.


Red Plane
ncidentally, the items below Dark Matter all read like nonsense to me.

Thanks, that’s what I thought. I’m gonna leave them alone. I did a little bit of a cleanup in the item list (changed TOUCHED to DYLANCOVER, for example, which will probably just confuse but I like it), tweaked the ending and some of the dialogue (I found the pointers for the conversation with Mina, so I was able to change her first line from I CAN DO THIS to I’LL HANDLE HER), and put myself into the credits. I was thinking I might be all done, but in my test playthrough I found another status effect (Bふうじ, came up during the black hole sequence), noticed I’d missed a closing bracket in one of the dialogue lines, and to top it off the colours in the ending and credits were inverted. I dunno how I managed that, but I’m assuming it’s my reward for giving myself credit - in the hex the credits are before the endings, with a few rows of mostly zeroes in between. To fit myself in the credits I deleted some of the zeroes and shifted a couple of non-zero values slightly. One or more of them must have related to the colours somehow - I’d thought they were part of the credits. Another possibility is that it’s a bug that I just hadn’t happened to trigger before and nothing to do with my edits.

I wonder if this game has a level select code or something. It’s a pain to have to play through the whole thing to test the ending. My emulator has save states, but it does a checksum on them so if I edit the disk image I can’t load them. Maybe I can open the save states in the hex editor and modify the saved checksum and see if it works.


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Incidentally, the items below Dark Matter all read like nonsense to me. The random katakana and placement of other characters don't seem to make any sense. It might be code for something, I guess. I thought maybe if you read the characters in order you might form a sentence, but that doesn't seem true either.
Maybe a really dumb question but could that all have been written vertically instead of horizontally?


Red Plane
If it is a dumb question, I'm not smart enough to know it! Sounds promising to me. If that is the case then I'll have messed it up by removing the spaces between characters, since the accented characters use two bytes and all the others one. Let's take a look at the whole thing:

あ は さ の こ ひ も の ワ ん ア
し で い ア こ ごっ を タ い イ
か き に イ に い てか シ こ テ
ら ま つ テ あ っ る き が う ム
ず せ か ム る ぽ ひ ま ホ に 2
。 ん う は す う と し シ は 0
( の こ じ べ を は た イ い 0
ォ で と っ て ! ぜ。 も ま ば

Unfortunately I can't figure out how to get monospacing working with Japanese characters so it's a bit hard to read the columns. I'll manually convert them to horizontal:


This is going left to right. If it's read vertically from the right column to the left, then the lines need to be in reverse order. Will this make any more sense? There's still that single opening bracket in there making me doubtful.

First pass machine translate gives:

I'm sorry. (I'm sorry.
You can't
to be used on the second
The first item in
All of them here
The first one!
If you have one, you can use it!
I've written a list of
What I want
I've got
200 items

Uh... this might sort of make sense? Or maybe that's just the translation software trying to tie it together.

Here's the mess I made of the ending:


Aside from the colour inversion, I accidentally put a line break instead of a space after the word WAS. Oops.

EDIT: I've redone the credits, put my name in without changing the total length of the credits sequence in hex (mainly by using fewer line breaks, also changed the word TECHNICAL to TECH), and it seems to be working ok. Also fixed the line break in the credits. So, unless someone figures out the nonsense in the item list or I realise I've missed something, all I have left to translate is


This status effect, Bふうじ, that I've seen once or twice during the black hole sequence (this screenshot is from right after it). I'm thinking of going with WIND or PULL or TRAP or something, but I'm really not sure what it actually is.
Last edited:


Red Plane
I've made what I think are the final adjustments to the hex. I changed the outstanding status effect, Bふうじ, to SEAL. I hit on an idea about it - Bふうじ is Bomb Seal - you can't drop bombs during the black hole! Turns out, that's incorrect. I haven't figured out what triggers it, in fact. Maybe I need to allow the stage 5 boss to cast its confuse spell, and Bふうじ happens after confusion? Iunno.

Anyway, I thought I was done, as far as gameplay video goes, but I found something new:


At the end, after beating Han, if you ignore Pleasure Hearts for long enough it'll stop shedding particles.


And then it'll attack. If I'd known this was going to happen I might have used the rewind a bit more on Han instead of letting myself die to get more bombs. Each death drops my weapon level by one.


The basic pattern of the fight is it floats around the screen, sometimes wrapping from one side to the other, leaving these balls behind. I start chucking bombs.


Eventually it moves to the centre of the screen and emits little projectiles at me. I'm doing pretty well with the dodging here, but remember I'm using rewind.


I've cut quite a bit of fight here, but eventually it dies.


It reappears? Suspicious, I attack rather than collect it, but the game soon takes over and I pick it up. Did it get named on screen?


Just barely. It's the Iridium Force.


OK, I'm being lazy and this GIF is like three minutes long, but here's the hidden ending. I'd thought I was going to have to release the patch without having tested this because I didn't know how to get it (I thought maybe I'd have to find all the items - unlikely to happen). Good to see it working properly. Maybe I should change FIGURED OUT to BEAT. Or DEFEATED. Or something. Hmm.


Here's the credits with me in them. Still feel kind of odd putting myself in there. Also, I restored the NICAL to TECHNICAL by deleting two characters for each multi-person credit: they had a line break, a slash, and another line break between the names, I took out the slash and the extra break.


Also noticed this for the first time: PLANNING is misspelled. How did I manage to put that extra N in there? Oh, looking at the data of an untouched copy, that typo is original. I'll remove it.


Here's the IRIDIUMFORCE in my menu. Also, I managed to pick up WATCHDOG in this run. Of the three figures after the stage 3 boss, the dog is the hardest one to catch because it's kind of blocked by the other two. You have to dodge between them.


I also got the PLEASURE medal. Nice!

And now, I think that is it. I'm gonna do a little more work on translating parts of the manual, put together a readme, and then I can launch my patch to the public. Hopefully someone will use it.


Red Plane
I've released my patch! It's up now on romhacking.net. Hopefully I haven't made any dramatic errors. It's already got a few downloads, which kind of surprised me given it's a pretty obscure game.


Red Plane
It’s true, but I should point out that I wrote and submitted the news post myself.

I’m still playing this game, and I think I’m enjoying it more now that I’m playing for fun rather than rushing through the levels and cheating so I can test whether text at the endgame is working. Not being able to undo any mistake with the push of a button adds to the tension, who knew?

One thing I’ve learned now that I’m allowing myself to die: when you face the dragon and Mina gives you a 1up, if you accept the gift she’ll keep dropping them each time you die. After you don’t pick one up, you get the “no mercy” line and she stops dropping them. This makes the fight basically impossible to lose if you know what you’re doing, but if you focus your fire on Mina it can lead to a situation where you lose all your weapon power by dying repeatedly, and then she runs away leaving you to face the dragon with weak weaponry.


Summon for hire
I missed the finale of this saga while I was offline over the holidays; great to see the ending(s) and other associated stuff.

Torz beat me to the observation that the seemingly gibberish items are almost certainly a message written vertically (which of course is common in Japanese, if not it item lists!) - even though it's hard to get a sensible translation the thing that clued me in immediately and still convinces me it must be true was seeing "ITEM 200" down the right-hand side. Since vertical script is usually read right-to-left by column, I might try putting it through a translator that way, though admittedly the fact that it'd then end on paren and small-o is weird (maybe the last two chars are just junk)? Either way it seems likely to be a message from the dev about the item list. If he started by making a list of 200 things he wants that could explain some of the odd things in it! Also maybe something about an item you can or can't use on a second playthrough? Not sure.

I'm also really curious about Iridium Force - seeing as it's apparently the "true form" of Pleasure Hearts, needed to get the (relatively) good ending, it must be something of personal significance to the dev. Is it another game reference? Googling it these days is swamped by results about the satellite network.


Red Plane
I saw someone talking about the hack, and specifically that Japanese text that I hadn’t translated, on twitter:

So I sent them an email and have been corresponding about the translation, some things I got wrong, and some of the stuff I missed completely. I’m now working on a revised version of the patch - no huge changes, I think, but it should be more accurate once it’s done.

Takamichi’s translation of the mystery text is: “I've written down things I want now from item no. 200 and onward. If you have one contact me! Please beknownst all of the items therein cannot be really used. (hey". Apparently the last bit is a way to signify acting silly. It reads from top to bottom and right to left. I’m planning to put it in written vertically but going left to right, something like: ITEMS FROM 200 ARE MY WISHLIST. IF YOU HAVE ANY, LET ME KNOW. BUT THEY CAN’T REALLY BE USED 8P

The items mentioned here are the last fifth or so of the list, starting from what I speculated could be MKai’s CD collection earlier in the thread. Being a wish list could explain why so many of them don’t exist - sequels to games that didn’t get sequels, and so on. The list actually starts from the 201st item, but maybe MKai considered the first item as item 0?

Takamichi also explains YANAK DAIVOS as a deliberate misspelling of Zanac Daiboss, in reference to the resemblance of the boss fight to one in Zanac. DEVAGAMESHU they think combines debagame, meaning voyeur, and a sleazy 90s TV show called Gilgamesh Nights. I might leave that as is.

The item I translated as HOLIDAY was originally dodontaku. I got holiday from the dontaku bit, but Takamichi pointed out that dodon probably refers to Dodonpachi. My new version of that is DODONPARTY, which I’m pretty pleased with.

I’ll probably post about some other insights when I get more time. I thought I was done with this, but I can’t get away!
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Summon for hire
Nice! Looks like my speculation about the item list text was at least close to the mark. Cool to see a few of the other references explained as well.


Red Plane
Another couple of mysteries Takamichi solved for me:

In Japanese it'll be like ゴウガシャビーフ, which phonetically is "gouga sha beef", but in my version is "BEEF". I don't know what gouga sha means (one machine translation suggested "gorgeous", but I also wondered if it might be goulash), but honestly I'm happy to save a few letters.

Turns out gougasha refers to 10^52 (or 56), and the word derives from Ganges, the idea being that it’s as many as there are grains of sand in the river. The other foods nearby have similar large power of ten based numbers. My new version of this then is KILO PORK/MEGA CHICKEN/GIGA BEEF/TERA SASHIMI/PETA SALMON/EXA WASABI/ZETTA NATTO. The only problem is that my item list before adding these prefixes is two bytes shorter than the original version. I think I can go up to 135 bytes longer than the original without causing problems, but I’m not certain of it. I can fit the extra text into that extra space, but I can’t rule out it breaking something I’m not aware of. Probably going to err on the side of caution and leave them out.


Which machine translate tells me means "I'm sorry to tell you this, but the book of secrets has been lost". Or "It's an adventure, but I've lost my adventure". Either way, what I think it's really saying is "Save file corrupted". Then it deletes your data

The Japanese text of this message is the same as what you get in Dragon Quest III on the famicom when your save file is lost. I’d like to use the text from the original localisation of that game, “Regretfully, adventure log 1 has vanished”, but it doesn’t fit in the space available. I’m posting from my phone so I can’t check what I had it as in my patch, but it wasn’t super far off. Something like SORRY, THE ADVENTURE IS LOST.


Red Plane
Well, I've updated my patch on ROMHacking.net. Version 1.01 is now live. This changes a few things, based mostly on feedback from Takamichi, who unlike me understands the Japanese language. Fortunately none of the screenshots I posted for the original release had their text changed (though one I used in the news post about it did), so I didn't have to change them.


Aside from helping me with the translation, Takamichi told me how to use the CPU option in the CONFIG menu. I'd seen it there and tried to change it, without success.


Turns out what was needed was a machine with an R800 CPU in it, i.e. an MSX Turbo-R. Only a few models of MSX followed this standard. Once I ran the game on (an emulated) one of them, I was able to change the CPU option to R800. But what difference does it make?


Let's dive back in and find out!


Well, for one thing, enemies can now bleed when shot. And a note on the GIF - I did my earlier recordings on a PAL machine, at a 50Hz framerate. Now that I've switched to a Turbo-R, it's running at 60Hz. But GIFs, to my knowledge, have to have multiples of 1/100th of a second between frames, meaning I can do 50Hz or 100Hz, but not 60, so I've slowed them back to 50. Alternatively I could have dropped frames, I guess. Anyway, imagine the game running slightly faster than you're seeing it here.

Also in this GIF, the first change of the new version of the patch. This was GOODBYE in the original. I actually knew it should be ...DO IT, but originally it had brackets around it and there wasn't space for them. I tried a few shorter versions, wasn't happy with them, and wound up settling on GOODBYE, ironically without the brackets whose absence led to me drop DO IT. I'd still rather have the brackets, but at least the text is correct now.


Even the little enemies can bleed now.


As can my own craft.


Here's the DEAD OR ALIVE, bleeding all over the place. I mentioned earlier in the thread that it can be taken out before it fires a shot, but I didn't actually show it. The trick is that the piercing shots continue to hit it as they travel the full length of the screen, whereas the other types only hit it once per bullet.


Here's my new title for stage 2. In the old patch it was YANAK DAIVOS - Takamichi pointed out that it's a deliberate misspelling of Zanakku
Daibosu - Zanac Megaboss. The turret bosses in this stage are like something out of Zanac. I haven't played Zanac, but I've played a fair bit of the related series Aleste, so I feel I should have picked up on this. But I didn't! YANAC DAIBOS still doesn't directly make the reference, but it's a bit closer.


Here's the other useful feature of R800 mode - hold down [RETURN] to enter no-wait mode, i.e. fast forward. Compare the GIF above to my first footage of the end of this stage. I actually knew about this from my attempts to translate the manual (machine translation told me it was "no weight" mode, but I figured it out), but it has a much smaller effect in Z80 mode so I didn't think much of it. This is pretty handy when you're playing the game over and over like I've done lately.


Stage 3 is largely unchanged, but I wanted to mention this long series of SHELLs towards the end of it. I reckon you must get one of the hidden items by collecting all of them, and sometimes I managed to get kind of in the zone and get a lot of them, but even playing on an emulator with a rewind function I haven't managed to get all of them. If I were more persistent, I could I'm sure.


I didn't see this attack playing in Z80 mode. Would I have noticed the difference if Takamichi hadn't pointed it out? Impossible to know.


I don't think there's anything different in stage 4. I really should try actually beating this boss sometime instead of just collecting it.


Here's another point where fast-forward comes in handy. Even in no-wait mode this takes about fifteen seconds, though partly that's because I'm using weapon 1 instead of 3 (the piercing shot, which continues to hit the enemy as it covers the whole screen). This GIF is just a segment looping, don't wait for the enemy to blow up.


This GIF is from a different playthrough, but fits at this point in the game - I finally figured out how to trigger Bふうじ, translated here as SEAL. If you make contact with CYBERDART's spell-casting animation, it SEALs you. It's hard to convey in a GIF, but I started mashing the bomb button after this and nothing happened - as I speculated, the B is for Bomb. I considered putting it in as BSEAL, but I felt it was less clear than just SEAL. If there'd been space for one more character then I could have gone with B-SEAL or something, but it was no more than five.


This is the reason I've been using weapon 1 instead of 3 - I wanted to take out the summoned sub-boss without beating the main one. I've found it almost impossible to do with 3, because the wave pattern means it always hits the middle of the screen where the main boss sits. Weapon 1 is more directed. Once you beat the summon, CYBERDART casts CONFUSE. I'm only just now noticing that the CONF status effect doesn't actually trigger until I get hit by one of the white projectiles, which don't seem to do any other damage. Once I'm CONFed, the movement controls are reversed. Again that's a bit hard to convey in a GIF.


CYBERDART does go on to do actual attacks, the dodging of which is made harder by the confusion. But easier by my access to emulator rewind.


I didn't actually change much of the story text in this version, but Takamichi pointed out a possessive that I missed in the Japanese text of this line. My original version was HAN...<heart>...I'LL SAY THAT. The original was actually more like HAN'S...<heart>...I'LL SAY THAT, but this line is already taking up pretty much the whole screen so I dropped the first ellipsis. I actually think it might work better without it anyway.


Here, deep in the good ending, is the next change: in my original version this was



I'd dropped a line from the Japanese text, basically because I needed the characters and I thought the line was redundant. Takamichi told me I'd misunderstood the meaning of the scene - rather than Mina concluding it must have been a dream, she's aware that it really happened, but has decided to consider it to be a dream. Conveying that in English within the space available was tricky, but I think it came out ok.


This line is slightly different between the version - I added pauses at the end of each line to the new version. To get the characters for that, I dropped line breaks, meaning this screen's text sits higher. One other thing about this screen - version 1.01 of the patch is intended to be applied to an unmodified disk image, but because it overwrites the same data as version 1.0 did, I was pretty sure it could be applied to an image that had previously been patched with 1.0, which would allow anyone who had spent some time playing that version to keep their save data while upgrading. I tried it and it seemed to work. It wasn't until after I'd put the new version up that I thought to try a binary comparison between a version patched with 1.01 and a version patched first with 1.0 and then 1.01 - turns out there's one byte of difference, and it's on this screen. If you do both patches, then the full stop after begin will be ・ - the raised stop used for the ellipses, rather than 。. If that bothers you, open the patched image in a hex editor, go to location AB533 (701,747 decimal), and change that byte from A5 to A1.


One last script change - this was NO ONE ELSE COULD FIGURE OUT PLEASURE HEARTS. I had actually considered changing that to DEFEAT PLEASURE HEARTS. I think this, along with GOODBYE, was the main thing Takamichi thought I'd gotten wrong and needed to fix. Happy to oblige.


So, if I didn't change all that much in the dialogue and ending, why did it take me so long to make a new version? Well, there's still the item list. There were a few things I got wrong, and one that I didn't translate but did mess up the formatting of. Everything on this screen I got right, actually, but there's still a small change - INCA ROSE was INCAROSE, and ROSE QUARTZ was ROSEQUARTZ. The item list in the Japanese version took up a certain amount of space in the hex, but there was some data after it that I was pretty sure I could overwrite without issue. It turned out that my initial translation of the Japanese list was shorter than the original, so long as I kept everything short. That is, no spaces between words. I was pretty sure I could overwrite that data, but not 100% sure, so I played it safe. Once I started making corrections, it wasn't going to fit anymore. So, if I'm exceeding the original size anyway, might as well put in some spaces.


Here's the end of the item list. On the left is my original patch, on the right is version 1.01. The highlighted character is at the same location in both files. The three blank spaces to the right of MSX3 in the original were where the last three bytes of the Japanese list went. Hopefully AMfffBfXfN etc. doesn't do anything, because my new version overwrites it. When I was making the original patch, I overwrote everything up to I think RMDIy with zeroes and it didn't seem to break anything. Fingers crossed. I'm pretty sure if commands like RMDIR and RENAME were supposed to actually remove directories and rename things, they wouldn't be sitting there in plain text. I hope.


This is the mysterious nonsense Japanese text. In my original patch, I removed the spaces between characters to save space, which broke the formatting - turns out it was intended to be read vertically in columns from right to left. The text is a message, basically saying that the last part of the item list are things M-Kai wants. I wound up putting in an English message written vertically in columns going from left to right. I haven't found all the relevant items, so it still looks like nonsense. The full text is ITEMS FROM 200 ARE MY WISHLIST. IF YOU HAVE ANY LET ME KNOW! BUT THEY CAN'T ACTUALLY BE USED 8P.


I couldn't figure out the prefixes for the PORK and BEEF and so on, so I left them out of the original patch. Takamichi told me they were Japanese names for large numbers, so I went with KILO/MEGA/GIGA/TERA and so on for the English version in 1.01. The Japanese numbers were much bigger, but I don't think the exact figures matter. Among the items not visible because I haven't found them is OCTOMATO, which goes at the top left. That was OCTOMATO in the original, too. I'm not previously familiar with Octopus Tomato, but I could figure that one out.


This section I went back and forwards over with Takamichi. In my original there was START/END/DEFAULT/COPY, then TAPER/DUMDUM/1000YENBOMB/SPREAD. I kind of knew these weren't accurate, but I couldn't figure them out, so I kind of themed them - the first ones as commands you might see in a menu, the second lot as the game's weapons (sort of). Takamichi explained the first lot as Japanese SHMUP terminology - I wound up pretty much taking his word for it and they became STATUS/SCORE DROP/DEFAULT/MILK. MILK was エーパ, short for eikyuu pataan, or infinite pattern - doing something repeatedly for a counterstop. I think milking is the same thing.

The second lot became ANTIVIRUS/DUMDUM/1000YENBOMB/COSP RA.DE. - I had considered sakina pill might be the HIV med saquinavir, but I couldn't see what it had to do with Pleasure Hearts. I felt more people would know what ANTIVIRUS would mean than would the specific drug name. COSP RA.DE. is a portmanteau of cosplay and the game ESP RA.DE. I made it SPRAY from how it sounded and because it seemed to fit the weapons theme I was going for. I think this is more accurate. I hope.


A couple of changes here. DODONPARTY I had as HOLIDAY. The original was dodontaku - dontaku apparently meaning holiday. I missed the reference to Dodonpachi until Takamichi pointed it out. I'm pretty pleased with DODONPARTY as an English version of that. MIX TAPE was originally MADもとネタALL. Takamichi told me that's an audio collage a friend of M-Kai put together. I don't feel bad about not getting that one.


RAILPASS here was AEONCARD. Just an error on my part. The original was IO card poster - an IO card is an obsolete Japanese train ticket. Not visible is the item to the right of BIOGRAPHY. I have it as EPITAPH, but Takamichi tells me the Japanese text means "meaningless". I considered changing it to NONSENSE, but I kind of like the flow of AUTOGRAPH/PORTRAIT/BIOGRAPHY/EPITAPH. Sometimes it's OK to compromise, right?

And I think that's about it! This patch still isn't perfect, but it's a little closer than the old one. Also, I changed BOSS SHOT/MISSILE/HYPER back to DAD SHOT/DAD MISSILE/DAD HYPER. Much better.


Round and round I go
Staff member
For something you figured no one else would even download, it's awesome that you got this kind of attention 🙂


Red Plane
Yes, it's time for some more Pleasure Hearts. I got an email recently from Takamichi - he'd found some dialogue I'd missed:


This is Horai Kanon, the fourth stage boss who can most easily be defeated by colliding with and collecting it. Turns out, if you don't do that you can suffer the アッチエレランド attack - accelerando. This is a musical term instructing the player to gradually increase the tempo. In PH, it inflicts FAST status and makes the player craft almost uncontrollable. Unfortunately, accelerando is too long for the space available, so I went with:


Which just means "go fast", basically. Fits pretty well and it's still a musical term. Anyway, once Takamichi told me about this, I set out to find any other such attacks that I'd missed:


Such as this one - ムスカマグナム. I read this as Muska Magnum and take it as a reference to the villain in Laputa Castle in the Sky, whose name is Muska and who carries a big gun (though not, according to the internet, a magnum). Again there wasn't enough space to just transcribe the name, so I went with:


Which isn't perfect, but it's OK. I considered just going MAGNUM, which in a way I like better - it suggests someone on the ship firing a handgun at you or something - but I decided to keep the Laputa reference. I also rewatched the movie to see if any of the craft in the game were taken from it. Not so far as I could tell, is the answer. Also, that's a really good movie.


None of the ships matched up, but I could see this area deriving from the miner's town in Laputa. The rightmost building even looks a bit like Pazu's house. I went through the minerals list again to see if any of them might be volucite, the mystical mineral from the movie, but if it's in there I didn't find it.


One more attack I'd missed. ダイン・マイン (Dain Mine) inflicts slow. This one might be a reference to the character Dyne in Final Fantasy VII, and I renamed it after one of his attacks:


S・MINE works if the original was named after the FF7 character, but it also works because it's a thing that looks like a mine and makes you slow.


I also made another revision to the item list. GOD'S BREATH was previously CLEAN AIR. Takamichi corrected me on it, and when I checked my notes I actually originally had it as GOD'S BREATH. Not sure why I changed it.


Here's one other incidental thing I noticed while timing out all the bosses to check for attacks I'd missed. This ship has a treasure chest on it, and every time you push against the front edge of the screen it drops a SPHENE. Why? Who knows.

Anyways, I've made a new patch. I'm gonna sit on it for a little while in case I think of anything else, then upload it.