Project Exile Releases High-Quality Fire Emblem Thracia 776 Translation Patch

If you’re unfamiliar with the SNES era of Fire Emblem games, there were three released: Fire Emblem [3] Mystery of the Emblem, Fire Emblem [4] Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem [5] Thracia 776. The former was a continuation of the very first Fire Emblem, and both of the latter had an incredible unique story-driven gameplay experience, introduced mechanics that are still used in today’s Fire Emblem games, and have characters that the Fire Emblem Heroes mobile game has brought some love to, with great reception. Sadly, for worldwide audiences, the games were only released in Japan, along with the following edition, Fire Emblem [6] The Binding Blade, before the world had its first Fire Emblem release in the titular Fire Emblem [7].

While a translation patch of this game existed many years ago, it was far from perfect, and even had some functionality quirks that impacted gameplay. This inspired the creation of Project Exile, a community attempt to restore Thracia 776’s translation dreams into an even greater reality. That project finally came to a close, with its completion upon us today. As a summary, if you’re unfamiliar with Project Exile…

Project Exile
A Complete Thracia 776 Menu and Script Translation

Thracia 776 has long been the FE community’s white whale. Project Exile is my own attempt to finally put this English patch to bed, using the remnants of Kirb’s patch as a foundation and taking the menu translation (and considerable technical advice) from Zane.

Project Exile represents a grand collaboration between many people from across the world, none of whom have ever met in person. Our translation team consisted of people from throughout the United States, France, and Austria, who all pooled their expertise and talents to make this patch a reality. We hope you enjoy this patch as much as we enjoyed making it!

There will be subsequent patches released for this patch, providing simple bug fixes and improvements as time brings to light a need for them, but the first release is here, and can be accessed

The team was led by Cirosan, and had help from over a dozen others, before its grand completion you see here. I had the chance to get to know Cirosan and four leads within the crew, and they were kind enough to share their time and answer some questions, so we can not only have a stellar translation patch to use, but also, get a little bit of an inside look as to what happened to complete this endeavor, and what might be coming next from the team.

For more details on the release itself, you can find additional information in their Reddit post, on their FEUniverse post, in our very own Serenes Forest post, or even join their bustling Discord community. Lastly, a direct link to the release can be accessed by clicking here.

Other Links: Download Mirror | Guide on How-To Apply the patch 

*Note: Both the “Clicking Here” download link, and Download Mirror, were updated on 6/1/2019.

Click Read More, for the full interview.

Elieson: First off, who’s the whole team? Please introduce yourselves with a small, 2-3 sentence bio.

Cirosan (C): I’m Cirosan. I’ve been engaged in hacking and modding projects for just under a decade, for everything from Fallout: New Vegas to Megaman Battle Network. My best known stuff is probably the Full Dialogue Interface mod for Fallout 4, or my New Vegas work. I jump from game to game mostly at whim, and became involved in Thracia in an attempt to engage in more creatively-minded, rather than purely technical, work.

I myself am the project lead, and I’m responsible for the script (all japanese to english translations; almost all text you see in PE was written by me), text insertion, and other general tasks regarding the ROM and project management and direction. Krash is lead playtester and one of the script editors; he tested the majority of the chapters. Miacis is lead script editor and has also done general graphics work; it’s his guidance that helps me keep the script polish. Hido and Ando are our hacking superstar duo, and command the foul magic of working out the Thracia ROM when I need in-depth changes made. In particular, Ando is our graphics guru, and made pretty much all the altered graphics that are used in the ROM, while Hido is our programming expert, and also made several pieces of ASM code that were critical for the patch.

Ando (A): Hey, I’m Ando. I hail from Austria, or the discount Germany as many of the Germans here falsely claim it to be; can’t appreciate a good Wiener Schnitzel, them fools. I’m by far the youngest on the team but still old enough to have a vague idea of how graphic design works. If there’s a single outstanding fact about me, it’s that I have an unnatural amount of waking hours and I routinely work until 4 am on school days.

HidoranBlaze (H): Hello! HidoranBlaze here; I’m usually called Hido by my friends. I’m one of the lead programmers of Project Exile. You might have seen me around the Pokemon hacking community in Pokecommunity or Romhacking.net a long while ago, but this is my first time working in a actual, large project like this.

KrashBoomBang (K): Hey! The name’s KrashBoomBang: LTCer, Bartre fan, fastest thing alive, and for the purposes of this interview, the lead playtester of Project Exile. Other than this project, I’ve done some recorded LTCs on Youtube for FE3 Book 1 0% growths and FE8 Reverse Recruitment.

Miacis (M): I’m Miacis, I’m a French freelancer, doing translation and localization. I don’t have much experience in the industry yet, but maybe you’ve seen me credited as one of the editors in Aethin’s Tearring Saga translation, for which I did some fairly extensive proofreading work. Other than that, I was an admin on a pretty big SSBB modding website called KCMM. This is the first real big localization project I’ve taken part of, really, and it’s been great.

 – Was this conceived by one person in particular, then got rallied support?

(C): That is primarily what happened, yes. I started out writing a script and hacking the game alone, and over time, people gathered. However, it wasn’t as simple as me just deciding to jump in: I specifically sought out Kirb, who had recently attempted a translation of Thracia, and was lucky enough to receive her considerable suite of tools, which allowed me to jump straight in. Specifically, her and Zane had perfected a method to insert arbitrary text into dialogue scenes, and had merged that with Zane’s menu translation. I did very little myself to start this: Kirb and Zane more or less handed me the keys to the kingdom, and I just ran with it.

[Note: Kirb: She was the lead in an attempt to insert FireLizard’s script into Zane’s menu translation. Her patching architecture is the backbone of PE.]

 – If you weren’t on the original conception team, why did you join?

(A): I remember I received the notification for Mekkah’s video while I was out so I had to wait a bit to watch it, but I definitely was excited going off of the title alone. Having watched the video, I very much incorrectly assumed I could just quickly make the world map and font, simple things like that, and be done with it (more on that later). Why’d I join? I absolutely loved Genealogy and was looking forward to Thracia. No translation yet? Make one, then, I thought. (No, I still haven’t actually played this game haha. ha. ha….)

(H): Funny thing is, I actually wasn’t even planning on contributing at first; I joined initially to lurk and see how progress was going. Helping Ciro out with some hex editing ended up reminding me of my days in the Pokemon hacking community though, so I started doing more work, and here we are now I guess!

(K): I got to know Cirosan about a year ago. Me and my buddy Mark wanted to LTC Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia, but we had a big problem: world map encounters were completely random, which pretty much destroys any attempt at an LTC. Luckily, Cirosan showed up and, after my incessant whining, made a patch for the game that gets rid of all world map spawns, allowing me to do many unrecorded LTC runs of the game. A few months after that in late August, he sent word out about Project Exile, and I joined the server to help out however I could. This meant playtesting, since I don’t have any hacking knowledge.

(M): I joined back in November, a bit after finishing an internship in Paris. I saw the FEE3 showcase, and found both the script and Cirosan’s own commentary fascinating. I looked through the scripts and decided to join the Discord server with the many concerns I had. I was kinda prepared to fight it out, at first. Then when I joined the chat, I realized it was the same that had hosted Kirb’s project from a year ago, that I had also been part of.  That was definitely a pretty fun surprise.

Since anyone can just join in and become a script editor, I took that mantle and just kept giving feedback for every chapter. I didn’t have any work yet, and figured I could make myself useful in ways I couldn’t back during Kirb’s time at the helm. Next thing I knew, the following patch release saw me credited as Lead Editor, which gave me more reasons to make myself indispensable, and now, well… here I am, barking orders at playtesters and telling Ciro where to put his line breaks.

 – What are your roles on the team?

(A): Well I originally intended to contribute by making graphics, I’m decently artistically inclined so I thought why not. Later down the line I was annexed into the hacking team because I remembered how to handle SNES pointers, about as simple as things get. I just rolled with it and studied 65816 programming language as well as the SNES’ architecture following this. I would also like to add that no one wanted to do graphic work. @World Map Editing equates to @Ando, in fact.

(C): I’m the project lead, and I’m responsible for the script (all japanese to english translations; almost all text you see in PE was written by me), text insertion, and other general tasks regarding the ROM and project management and direction.

(H): Like I said before, I’m one of the lead programmers of Project Exile. That mainly entails graphic insertion, fixing bugs that pop up now and then, implementing new features, like the new menu font that we can hopefully finish and showcase soon, and wrestling with Thracia’s spaghetti code at 1 AM in the morning and wondering how the heck past me found enjoyment in figuring out Thracia’s code.

(K): Back then, when the project was in its infancy, we were kinda understaffed, so I took on pretty much all playtesting (and got it done in record time, too!). For every chapter, I’d play through it while taking screenshots of every single piece of dialogue, then create an image album to have it all up for reference. In addition to playtesting, I helped out on script duties. Even though I couldn’t translate, I could still help make the new English dialogue look nice.

(M): It’s a lot of small, peripheral tasks, really. As an editor, I obviously come to Ciro with touch-ups and general remarks on every chapter he submits to the script editors. If there is some big contentious issue, he will often seek my opinion before deciding.

There are some tasks I basically assigned to myself by convincing Ciro that it’s very important. Not just to me, but to the whole world. No, really. I clean line breaks, making sure the lines of dialogue cut off at neat points in the sentence (a bit of a professional quirk I got from working in subtitling), I script the little pre-chapter exposition sequences on the world map, I mapped all the music tracks, portraits, and most of the text commands we could use to liven up the dialogues.

Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of graphic work, so I’ve been doing Ando’s grunt work while he toils on more complex tasks.

–  Tell us a bit about your history with this type of work, if you’d like.

(A): I first encountered numbers when I was a few years old, so that is my experience with data. I’ve done photoshopping for several years now, but only picked up pixel art shortly before the patch. So that’s my experience with visuals. I know, I hold an impressive record.

(C): I was involved in a brief attempt to retranslate FE12, which I pivoted away from when I noticed that the Unified Thracia translation – at the time the most promising and furthest menu/script translation for Thracia – had gone without an update or post for 4 months. I didn’t want to spend time retranslating a game that was already fully functional when there was one that had nothing, so I went looking for a way in, and that led me to Kirb. To be frank – and this is likely not something you want to hear from a project lead for something as highly anticipated as this – Project Exile is a first for me in almost every respect. It’s my first localization project and my first wide-scale project that involved a high degree of participation and collaboration from others. The only thing that compared was my old Full Dialogue Interface mod for Fallout 4, which I did maintain for 10 languages, although I myself did not do the translation work and there was far less text to translate – mostly minor end-user documentation. However, I’ve been a long-time student of localization work, from orenronin’s famous Dangan Ronpa LP on Something Awful to reading behind-the-scenes interviews with Ted Woolsey. On a professional level, I have a robust background in writing: a BA in Humanities and a BS in Philosophy, both of which were specializing in literature. Every project has got to be someone’s first, I figure, so hopefully my experience modding for other games and my background in writing at the collegiate level – to say nothing of my long-held passion for localization – is enough to assuage any concerns on that front.

(H): For previous work, I’ve done some work in the Pokemon hacking community before, writing small assembly routines for Pokemon Emerald to implement things like new move effects. Though I’m pretty sure my old work is outdated by now. I never really did get around to working on something bigger, despite the extensive documentation in the Pokemon hacking community, so I never would’ve imagined back then that I’d be hacking a game like FE5 and figuring out things by my own.

(K): This is my first time working on any sort of project like this, and I’m really glad I came on.

(M): I recently got a master’s degree in Translation for Audiovisual Media, which was as close as I could find to get me into video game localization. Translation between English and French is something I’m quite used to, but as far as editing, it’s really just been my work with Aethin’s patch, and the various university essays that my wonderful fiancé gave me to proofread, heheh.

Fun fact: way back when, I did attempt a solo localization of Mortis Ghost’s weird little game OFF from French to English, as a personal project. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far in it, and soon after, RecDra released a better translation than I really could have done.

What inspired the desire to create this translation patch to begin with?

(C): I played the Project Naga translation of FE4 during my final year of college, and became greatly enamored with it. One of my most vivid, cherished gaming memories is watching the Yied Massacre in chapter 5 – how it was largely executed in gameplay, and with all your units on the other side of the desert, you were powerless to do anything about it. That experience more or less stoked the fire to translate Thracia.

Credit where credit is due, of course, as none of that would be possible without the Project Naga patch, which is an industry-quality localization of FE4, as far as I’m concerned.

When I finished the game, I was dismayed to see the state of Thracia’s translation (or lack thereof), and how it had gone without a fully-functional translation patch for nearly 20 years. I had just enough of a background in modding that I thought I could take a stab at it. I was considerably less confident in my skills with Japanese and localization in general, as it had just been a hobby of mine, but I was determined to see it done.


What do you enjoy the most about FE 5 that inspired you to get involved with this project?

(A): The fact that it’s part of Genealogy.

(C): Story, story, story. I’m a sucker for good stories. Everyone sings the praises of the gameplay, and Thracia is indeed a joy to play, but it was Leif’s journey and how it fit into the larger framework of FE4 and the Jugdral saga that pushed it over the edge from “a fun game” to “a game that needs to be shown to the world”.

(H): I’m not as enthusiastic about this game as my other team members are, so I wouldn’t say it’s something I enjoy about FE5, but rather its status as the last FE game left to be fully translated, and the desire to see how much I can really mod this game, that inspired me to join this project.

That being said, I do like Thracia’s plot, after reading through Ciro’s quality translations, and I find the overall feeling of commanding a desperate, rag-tag army intriguing. It’s an interesting contrast to FE4’s holy blood stomp. I’ll see how I feel once I actually play through this game instead of testing my hacks.

(K): Easily the gameplay. I want more people to be able to experience this fantastic game! I have too much fun playing Thracia. And I definitely needed to enjoy it, since I had to play a whole lot of it for testing purposes. Some people write the game off as being too cryptic and inaccessible, so I’m hopeful that our patch will be able to dispel such worries about the game. The new script does try to make a lot of things more clear. And having working menus will also be a big help in that regard.

(M): Thracia is just so cool and weird. You come off from the grandiose, large scale of FE4, and are thrown into the struggles this one single noble heir, his rag-tag group of villagers, bandits and small nobles, and all those struggles would barely register as blips on the radar in FE4. It’s a small game with a lot of nuance to its narrative, a protagonist who slowly gets molded into a hero by his supporting cast. And the gameplay just plays along with that. I mean, you’re so broke you have to steal weapons from enemies to get by, how cool is that??

Really, both Jugdral entries have always been my big nostalgia games. I started them soon after watching MageKnight404’s old let’s plays back in high school, which had helped me practice my English, made me realize my love for languages, and eventually led me to take a BA in English as a bit of an escape rope, after a failed BS in Physics. And now, I’ve completed my studies and do video game localization, so hey. Thanks Jugdral, and thanks MK404, hahah.

What sorts of trials did you have to overcome, to make this whole thing work out?

(A): As the graphics and hacking person, can I just say that everything I did was a trial? I can name you the easy tasks though, few in number as they are:

1st: Telling Ciro where the text data for epilogues is located at.

2nd: ???

(C): Finding Kirb and getting the tools I needed to dive into Thracia right away, first off. I found an old invite to the Discord server that had been used for the patch, which was now depreciated and had lasped into the ownership of Xylonphone, who now used it as a general Thracia enthusaist server for his circle of friends. They were surprised when I showed up, and pinged Kirb, who gave me her old toolset and helped me understand how to use it. Over the course of the next week, I fiddled with Kirb’s files, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how they worked. One night, after spending the evening talking with two other friends, I stayed up late on my desktop and downloaded Kirb’s folder and started to fiddle with it. I still didn’t get it. I felt horrible, like a giant moron. I considered just dropping it and finding something else, but I kept tinkering with it and, at some point in the next hour, in the dead of night, something clicked and I finally understood how everything worked. It was, to quote David Lynch, “a most beautiful experience,” and I suddenly understood exactly what I needed to do to insert text in new chapters. The next morning, I made a proof of concept: newly inserted text in chapter 7, which Kirb hadn’t gotten to. Xylo pinned the screenshot immediately. “I don’t wanna get my hopes up but that image makes me very excited,” he said.

Then I left to start recruting people in earnest, because the game was on – but as you can imagine, no one was eager to get involved with yet another Thracia translation attempt. The only convert I won over was Krash, who joined immediately, becoming the first playtester. Ever the nerd, I sent him a time-stamped youtube link from “Lord of the Rings”, when the elves arrive at Helm’s Deep as reinforcements: “You are most welcome,” Aragorn says, hugging the elven commander. In the early days of Project Exile, when we were very short-staffed, Krash was a boon, playtesting chapters faster than I could insert them.

The final big thing was my own health. I developed some bad kidney stones about 2/3rds of the way through, and was even briefly hospitalized for them. Ironically, it ended up greatly accelerating my pace. I was just in so much pain for like a week and a half, and all I had the energy to do was watch videos or do some light browsing on my laptop. There were so many hobbies that I started to miss, but most of all, I found myself missing translating. I didn’t really plan for it, I didn’t say “I’m going to blitz this,” it was just… one night, when the pain was more managable, I grabbed my laptop, resumed chapter 17B’s script, and finished it in one sitting. The next day, I went after chapter 18, and finished it in a day and a half, and so on. It was a strange thing to draw inspiration/motivation from, but to quote David Lynch again: “One night, I sat down, the ideas came in, and it was a most beautiful experience. Everything was seen from a different angle… Now, looking back, I see that it always wanted to be this way. It just took this strange beginning to cause it to be what it is.”

The kidney stones came back with a vengeance in the two weeks leading up to the patch, and I was laid up for several days while everyone else was slaving away at the last few tasks we had to get done. I was horribly guilty, but everyone was joking that the Thracia Curse wasn’t done with me. Still, I recovered enough energy to be there for the final push.

Whew. In retrospect, this section ended up running quite long. Cut out what you need to, I suppose; point beng, it took a lot to come here, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without my team.

(H): Oh man, where do I even begin? How about that one time when a dialogue freeze bug was puzzling all of us for about a day, and it turned out we accidentally overwrote code for Astra that was inserted right after … the chapter name texts. Yeah. Thanks Int Sys.

And man, it sure wasn’t fun debugging the epilogue freezes for dead units. Which turned out to be because the game was checking for a dialogue code for a space that we weren’t using anymore.

So yeah, I hate Thracia sometimes. It’s been worth it though.

(K): For me, I didn’t have any major issues with my job beyond some initial fumblings with ROMs and saves, but I got better with those as time went on. There were issues with creative differences for the script throughout the project, which resulted in many an argument in our script discussion channel. Things almost always stayed civil, thankfully, and I’m happy with the end result of our script, even if there are things I disagree with. I still don’t like Schroff’s new name.

 

 – How long did they take to complete?

(C): Script writing and text insertion took about ten months, from early August to late April, with a final editing pass taking place in May.

Are there any highlights or personal moments of pride that you had with this project?

(A): Any inserted graphic is a highlight and moment of pride. There’s something inherently satisfying about seeing a clean edit you’ve worked on for hours on end function in game. The world map for example took me no less than three hours to insert; that’s not counting how long actually making it took.

(C): Posting the first drafts of chapter 24x and Endgame and seeing everyone so pleased with the final pieces of dialogue. Making that FEE3 video with Mekkah and Krash and getting to drone on about “The Wire” and how it inspired Kempf’s character voice. But above all, seeing the community gradually transition from “never gonna happen” to “my god, it’s actually happening” as we kept posting updates and getting closer and closer to completion. There’s a very special satisfaction from winning over your skeptics and watching people go from naysaying to posting excited messages of support.

(H): This isn’t in the patch yet, and it’s nowhere near complete, but I was so satisfied when I got the game to display our new, shiny menu font for the first time. I hope you guys will enjoy it when we finally get it fully working.

(K): Crushing chapter 5 is probably the biggest milestone besides the completion of the whole script itself. Chapter 5 is infamous for halting progress on other attempted patches, and it’s clear why: there are so many different dialogue branches that all have to function without any portrait issues, and it was a pain in the ass to test all of them. Getting past that initial hump and moving into uncharted territory for Thracia was huge for us. I’m also quite proud of the little FEE3 video we made, in which Mekkah, Cirosan, and myself showed off chapters 4 and 11 back in November of last year. It was a fun collaboration that really helped bolster our momentum, and with all the new people that joined the server soon after, I had a bunch more playtesters to command and delegate work towards.

(M): Oh hell yes. They’re tiny things, but I love them all the same.

1) Chapter 5 is what I like to call an eldricht tree of conditionals and branching text, which led to a lot of small oddities, like portraits blinking in and out of existence or having awkward positionning. This persisted very late into this patch’s development. It took me an entire afternoon of planning dialogue trees, but I can now proudly announce that the current iteration is in fact more seamless than the JP version.

2) Figuring out the scripting for portraits on the world map, which had stumped Ciro and I for the longest time, then proceeding to flood the chat with Kempf conga lines and various Marty fusion dances. Apparently, that was qualification enough to appoint me in charge of all the world map sections.

3) Back during Kirb’s translation days, I had designed  and suggested a more modern menu command order (Staff above Wait, that sort ot thing) as a quality of life improvement, especially for new players. One year later (to the day!), I dug it up from my archives for this patch, and it’s pretty beloved, for how tiny of a thing it is. Of course, you can still play with the vanilla command order, if you prefer.

4) I made a super last-minute April Fools video for the project and it came out surprisingly good. A lot of it was using unusual text commands to make silly jokes, and it was fairly popular. Later, said commands helped us fix the Character Endings, where the words were writing at a glacial pace.

What’s next on the docket!? Are there plans for more FE translation, or other games in general? What would you like to translate next (any game is fine)?

(A): Well I won’t actively seek out another project for the time being, but if someone wanted me on their team, I wouldn’t say no. As for what I will be doing, I plan on investing time in the art of programming and… art. Specifically, I intend to learn C++, Java or Python, and Fortran. One day I’ll also have drawn every significant Jugdral character.

(C): We’ll continue support for Project Exile after release, of course. There’s still the new menu font to be done, and there are always bugs that people will find, no matter how good your playtesters are. Besides that, I’m very interested in making a game myself in SRPG Studio. A wonderful community has grown around this patch, and hopefully some of us can create something new ourselves. Other than that, if the Berwick people ever need a hand, I’d be happy to help. As far as other translation projects go, a lot of people in the server have been asking me the same thing, but I don’t really know, myself. I’m a little too deep in the trenches of PE right now to think about it.

(H): After I’m done with the new menu font, I’m thinking about reviving an unfinished Guide menu in Thracia’s code, and releasing it as an add-on patch. Think something like FE8’s in-game Guide. It’s actually mostly functional too, from the looks of it! Probably something the devs gave up on near the end of development.

Might also dab a bit in PoR/RD hacking; it’s pretty unexplored territory, and I’d be interested in turning the enemy range on in RD Hard Mode. As it should’ve been. Seriously, why, Int Sys?

(K): I don’t have any plans for any future translation projects, but if something comes up that needs a playtester, I’d be happy to help. There is the Berwick Saga translation effort going on, but that’s best left to people who actually know that game. I do plan on finally getting a recorded LTC of Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia out this summer, though. And I’ll probably help some friends with testing some small GBA hacks. But if anyone out there is working on a project that needs a playtester, just give me a call. I’ll be sure to answer.

(M): (Anything at all. Please, send work my way. I’m young and jobless.)

I’ve been toying with the idea of adapting this patch into French, actually. Kind of a weird entry to start localizing older FE games into French, for sure, but… well, the tools are all there, and I’m basically the one French person (who isn’t Kirb) who’s spent the most time dealing with Thracia’s shenanigans.

Then again, that might just be me being jealous of the many enthusiastic Spanish speakers on our servers who’ve endeavored to make their own translation. We also have a lot of German speakers, for some reason? It’s a very multi-cultural chat, for an English patch.

Assuming the Echoes trend continues, do you have anything that you hope the future brings for FE 5?

(A): Pleeeeease, make the soundtrack as godly as I imagine it to be! I also hope it will be separate from Genealogy as they’re vastly different (and don’t you dare change that), despite how amazing that would be narrative-wise.

(C): If there is a remake – and I’m skeptical that there will be one, at least for a while – I certainly hope the team behind SoV are the ones who handle it. They did an admirable job of expanding on a bare-bones NES plot, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was filled with vibrant characters and fun dialogue. Structure-wise, I think it would be a misstep to integrate FE4 and 5 into one game, as many have suggested, as their gameplay and tone are so different. Should they ever be remade, I hope the one for 4 future-proofs itself against 5’s plot, like giving the characters in Leif’s army some presence. I also hope Thracia’s unique mechanics are kept intact, as things like capturing help reinforce the idea that Leif’s army is a ragtag group of rebels who don’t have any money for equipment.

(H): I’d love to see a remake with less crypticness (we’ve tried to make things less cryptic in our localization, but still) and QoL improvements like swapping unit positions during prep modern FE style, and displaying the PCC counter. Which I think I’ll mod the unit status screen to display in the next patch version.

Alternatively, the FUCC counter, since Pursuit is now Follow Up. Thanks Heroes

(K): This probably seems like a really small thing, but I want a Thracia Echoes to add changeable deploy slots, because vanilla Thracia’s deployment requires you to plan chapters in advance if you want everyone in the right spots. Hell, Valkama and Dondon used spreadsheets to plan this stuff! Aside from that, though, I just hope Thracia becomes even more accessible with a remake that preserves the narrative and gameplay of the original. They could even just re-release Thracia with the deploy slot thing and I’d be totally happy with that. Though voice acting and a fresh coat of paint would also be pretty sick.

(M): Shadows of Valentia was an exceptional remake, so I’d be very, very hype for a Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Thracia. As long as they get the same writing team, and that juicy 8-4 localization, I’d be all over it.

… It’d be nice if they localized all the names exactly the same way we did though, so that we wouldn’t have to change anything in our patch. 8-4, if you read this, you know what to do. It’s Schroff, with two Fs.

Any last comments?

(A): I’ll just take this opportunity to talk about the menu font.

Why can’t we use the dialogue font?

First of all, it looks pretty bad in the context of the menus.

I’ll explain: the SNES displays graphics in tiles of 8×8 pixels.

You also need to know that everything you see on screen needs to be transferred to VRAM, or Video RAM, first.

Considering both of these facts, it means the processor cannot simply upload all the letters to VRAM and say something like “put this letter in the middle of these two tiles”; It needs to combine the letters into a tile in RAM first so it can then upload that tile to VRAM and say “display this part of the word at tile x y”

In simple terms, a dynamic font is too long a process to display a lot of text instantaneously, as the menu would require.

What’s the alternatives to this?

Well, you could have each character be a full 8×8 graphic. Remind you of anything? The older patches come to mind, with their enormous fonts. By the way, the original game uses this approach, but Japanese has the luxury of… not looking awful this way.

You could also have each tile accomodate for two characters, that’s four pixels each. Doesn’t sound too bad? You also need a pixel inbetween each of them to separate them. Which results in three pixel wide “m”s. We use this approach, as it allows us to actually write out everything we need to, unlike the 8 Pixel font.

So then. How does the other font work?

Well.

Every. Last. Word. Is pixeled beforehand, so the game doesn’t have to calculate anything.

One capital L is 46 pixels to place.

There are 78 names in this game.

65 items, many of which with two words.

Descriptions for all of them, ranging from two to 6 lines.

Classes.

Factions.

Menu commands.

Pop-up boxes.

Options.

Skill descriptions.

The entire sound room.

The suspend window.

Terrain.

The Inventory.

Sound awful? Why, it absolutely is! I developed a program to place a letter on each tile which we could then edit together, simply because, otherwise, this would be an impossible tasks period.

We actually almost finished that endeavor, but came to the realization that making the system which actually loads all the tiles we made was more complex than first anticipated.

It took DDS months to get the Project Naga font functioning, for context.

To conclude, the updated font is coming. Soon tm.

Regardless, I hope everyone will enjoy playing our patch as much as we hated making it <3

(C): I’ve been modding for a long time, so believe me when I say that this is far and away the best experience I’ve ever had as a modder. I’m so grateful to everyone on the team for helping me bring the patch to life, and I’ve made some amazing friends along the way. In many ways, I’m sad that it’s over – it’s like closing the book on a wonderful chapter on your life. Thanks for the memories, everyone. And for everyone out there that’s about to play the patch, I hope it brings you as much happiness as it brought me.

(H): It’s been a pleasure working on this project. I hope you guys enjoy finally playing a full translation of FE5, with a readable menu that’ll hopefully look even better soon!

(K): Thracia is the final FE game to get a full translation patch, and I know a lot of people have been waiting for a complete patch to actually play the game. Now, I just want people to enjoy the game together and share their experiences. I’ve already played so much of this game, I wanna see how others who’ve never been exposed to it at all react to everything the game has to offer.

I’m truly proud to be on this team with all of these wonderful people, and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished together. It’s hard to believe it started almost a year ago with just a few of us, and now we’re at the big release. I hope I can work with all of these new friends I’ve made on another project in the future. But until then, I’ll just be doing what I do best: playing games at the speed of sound.

(M): When I first joined this team, I thought we were just going to be a band aid for the Shaya patch. Everyone who cared about Thracia 776 had already played it, anyways. They might just try the first few chapters to see the cool new script and then move on to other stuff. We’d just be Shaya+, more or less, and people would just be arguing about character names, or whatever.

But, as the months went by, and I got to see the legitimate excitement in each of our release threads, I realized… people were waiting for us? They were not going to play Thracia until we finished this! People are going to stream Project Exile on day 1, and… I don’t know, somehow, this is really touching to me. Little QoL suggestions I got to suggest were being greeted with cheers, and even though I’m not even the main man, it just makes me extremely happy for all the support we have received from this epic community.

Y’all are great. And just you wait for our final patch, the one with the menu font! I’ve dutifully crafted (most of) those beautiful words in Ando’s sleek font, and I can tell you, it’s gonna look awesome. You’ll love it about as much as we’ll hate inserting it all.
I hope you Fire Emblem fans get the opportunity to give this a shot, and assuming you do, let the crew know if they’ve done a swell job! Now, if you excuse me…I have a patch to apply…

About the Author: Elieson
Single father of 2 in Texas. Avid enthusiast of tile-based games and overall upstanding fellow.
  • 3-13 Archer

    Since I don’t use Reddit, I’ll just leave here my deepest thanks to all the team that made this possible. Congratulations, everyone!

  • Bcardia

    Thank you very much, everyone involved!

  • Michael Prado Fernández

    Thanks a lot to the people involved on this GREAT undertaking! 😀 Hopefully bookofholsety will get also his FF4 project completed 🙂