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Super Robot Wars A Portable - 100% translated!

19 June 2018 8:08AM EST - Update by Steel Soul

Translations News - RHDN Project Page

To celebrate SRW A Portable’s 10th anniversary, this is a full translation of the game into English. This translation was born out of friendship, respect for the original work and their authors, and love for Super Robot Wars and their related anime series. Over the 5 years of the project, the Steel Soul team tried to build a translation that would convey the original experience - in the story, in the graphics - to English speakers. They sincerely hope that you enjoy your time with A Portable, even if it comes kicking you hard with its difficulty!

Please read the readme before asking questions on how to patch the game.

The team:

  • Translation of battle quotes, items, names, titles, spirits, weapons, bonuses, skills & abilities: TheMajinZenki
  • Edition of battle quotes & story: JeftahX, SSJCyberSonic, KyrilSolin
  • Texan accent editing: Blaine_Kodos
  • Programming, graphics, various reviews: BlackDog61
  • Early testing: Lord Oddeye, deets, Greenrose, Kaio Shin
  • With expert consulting from Kingcom, Dashman, JamRules & furrykef
  • Using Klarth’s (great!) TableLib and also sjisdump
  • Thanks to AGundam, MrWorm, Sporky McForkinspoon, MarsRaven, cj_iwakura and others for their interest and helps here and there.

Notes from the Translator: During the robot selection, one may notice that the robot commonly known as “Ash Savior” has been renamed “Aschenretter”. Steel Soul wanted to share an explanation of the reasoning behind the change. This stems from another name change: the Weiss Savior, renamed to “Weissretter”. This robot comes from Super Robot Wars OGs (it was not featured in the original GBA release), as a parallel to Excellen’s Weissritter. It just so happens that “Savior” translates to “Retter” in German, so it seemed interesting to make the parallel between the two names even more evident by making them share the same name convention (Excellen’s Weissritter and Lemon’s Weissretter). Now, with the Savior part changed to Retter, the basic robot name had to be changed too, to match the new naming convention, so Ash Savior was renamed to a full German name: Aschenretter. It being a playable unit, one can still opt to rename it “Ash Savior” during robot selection, according to preference.

Bright’s biography has been completely rewritten, as the original one was incredibly bare. A more detailed biography was written, including new bits of trivia, similarly to other biography entries in game. Hopefully the few who actually go and check the encyclopedia entries will appreciate the change. :)

Another point deserves adding a few words: the portrayal of the speech pattern of some characters, mainly Jack King, Hidler and Lamia.

  • Jack King (from Getter Robo) is meant as a very stereotypical American, in Japan. His original lines tend to be hard to understand because he uses a lot of gratuitous Engrish. To convey that in translation, it was decided to play his “Texas” origin up, giving him a heavy Southerner’s accent during editing.
  • By choosing to play as Lamia in the Super Route, one will probably notice that the character of Hidler speaks in a… peculiar way. Started a bit as a joke, it was decided to write him with a highly stereotypical German accent, due to the obvious reference. Some German words were added here and there to spice it up (mostly words that are similar to English), and capitalized nouns like in their grammar. Some messed up things are bound to be found here and there, but they should give players a good laugh out of this silliness (while sincerely hoping none of the German players get offended by this!)
  • Regarding Lamia, the portrayal of her speech quirk deserves an explanation. In the Atlus release of OG2, her speech problem was portrayed as a stutter, something that opinion doesn’t really work in the translator’s opinion (why would the other characters call it a weird accent, or think she’s trying to be funny?) In the original Japanese script, Lamia has a “bug” in her speech function, which makes her polite speech (”keigo” in Japanese) come out wrong, with redundancies within words and awkward phrasing overall. It was decided to write this quirk as a mix of awkward words positioning, and inserting made-up words created by mixing two different words of similar meaning. This way, it seems like she’s trying to sound polite, formal or cultured while failing miserably, which suits the reaction of those who listen to her.

Usage: incompatibilities with the Japanese version:

  • Using a Japanese “intermission” save will actually prevent some texts from being translated (as they come from the save itself). “Continue” (suspend) saves from the Japanese games will probably have undesired side-effects.
  • Savestates from the Japanese game won’t work properly (as the memory layout is different).
  • Hacks to give yourself more money, skills and others may or may not work.
  • The save editor still works, although it is unable to render text properly or let you rename your hero & robot in a way the English game likes.

Known Limitations:

  • Renaming heroes and their robots is more restricted than it would be in modern entries in the SRW series, and entering a long name can result into a “bad display of text”. The game will assume the name is less than 80 pixels, and the number of characters in the name is limited, but the game doesn’t check the pixels at the time you rename heroes/robots, so it’s up to you to be reasonable.
  • The “Gundam Deathscythe Hell” has the hell of a long name. The team couldn’t get themselves to use an abbreviation for it, so it does “overflow” out of the small status box at the bottom of the screen when the cursor hovers over it.
  • Puru appears after Puru Two in the Pilotpedia. Black couldn’t find how to change that, though that shouldn’t prevent anyone from enjoying the game.
  • A unit that is underground will be offered to surface with a menu item that reads “Land” (like it would for a flying unit). While this isn’t elegant, there are few units that go underground and we wanted to keep a verb here (rather than going with “on surface” or things like this). It’s still fairly understandable.
  • The combo attack “Darkness God Finger” has Domon’s line incorrect (as it is the same line in Japanese for another attack). It still sounds cool, though. If you have a fix for this, we’re interested!
  • This translation has been tested on PSP “fat” with 6.60 ME-1.8, PSP-2000 with 6.60 PRO-B10, PSP 3000, and the ppsspp emulator. Other setups may or may not work.

Limitations from the original game:

  • Like the original game, the Counter skill item doesn’t really grant thepilot who uses it the Counter skill (although the Pilot will list it in his/her skills). Black couldn’t find a fix for this - do let the team know if you have one!
  • The battle animation for the Stoner Sunshine has Shin Getter Robo split into Getter Robo machines instead of their newer counterpart.
  • The battle animation for the Dendronium’s large beam saber uses red, instead of pink.
  • The battle animation for one of Light’s attacks cuts the audio for his attack a bit short. But who understands Japanese, anyway, right? ;)

A note from the programmer: As a first game translation ever, this project has been an interesting challenge for Black. He thrived to give the best quality he could - even with limited assembly skills. In all honesty, this has been a great learning exercise. The game is overall on the “easier to get into” from a programming side, thanks to its being on the PSP (which offers a great emulator with debugging capabilities, has known graphical formats, has known assembly toolchains and whatnot), and thanks to its internal structure. As a sharing of experience with others, Black would like to mention that he set out hoping for this to be a project for “2 years or so”. It ended up as 5 years, and they felt very busy, for the most part, turning both the translator and programmer into no-lives. But they were great, and Black strongly believes that this translation reached this state thanks to the great relationship that was established and entertained. This is a prety big game, when one thinks about it: 58 missions, 26k lines of story text, 13k lines of battle quotes, 7k short lines of other text, 490+ weapons, 428 mechs, 88 playable characters among a cast of 199, 61 musics. So that would count as 2 takeaways: always care for the people in your team, and don’t ever think you understand how long the project will take. Black hopes the friendship shows through in the translation.