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parappa
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Nice to meetcha

Postby parappa » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:23 am

Hi there. Just thought I'd sign up, try to participate a little. This is a great site to get advice on games and anime from people who appreciate quality JRPGs.

I have a small collection of GameArts games, including some Japanese copies of Mega CD games (Tenka Fubu, Silpheed, and of course Lunar), as well as the localized PS1 ports of Lunar SSS and Lunar EB, and the Japanese versions of Lunar SSS and Lunar EB for Sega Saturn. I also have some Gungriffon games, various versions of Grandia, etc. I haven't had enough time to play some of my more recent acquisitions, sadly.

Also I don't actually speak or read Japanese, but I'm trying to learn in my spare time. So yeah, I'm very stereotypical in this sense.

My favourite anime studio is Gainax and I love Gunbuster, Shin Seki Evangelion, and Gurren Lagann. I recently picked up Nadia on DVD so I can go back and fill in that gap in my education; I figure that's an important one for Lunar fans to see. Also I enjoyed Dantalian no Shouka (anime fans don't seem to like it for some reason?!) and I'm trying to get into Medaka Box but it doesn't appeal to me. Gainax aside, I've at varying times been a fan of Macross Plus, Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note, and The Tatami Galaxy, among others.

Gaming is my main hobby and my favourite genres include most types of RPG, shmups (especially bullet hell games by Cave and Treasure), racing/driving games, fighting games (Street Fighter, King of Fighters, anything by Arc System Works), FPSes (Valve's are the best), and even occasionally RTSes. But classic style JRPGs in the vein of Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Lunar have always been my favourite. I often feel that they don't make them quite right any more.

Enough intro for now. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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Dark_Fairy
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Dark_Fairy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:39 pm

Welcome! :D

It's cool you even have the Japanese versions of Lunar. One of these days I'd like the Japanese copies myself, lol. I decided to take a random semester of Japanese just to fill up credit hours (yay Senior year of college), so I'm starting to learn a little bit of Japanese myself. :P

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Dragonmaster Lou
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Dragonmaster Lou » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:35 pm

Welcome to the forums.
"Guts can turn a 30% chance into a 100% chance!" - Taiga Kohtarou
Personal home page: http://www.techhouse.org/~lou
Lunar page: http://www.techhouse.org/~lou/lunar/
AMV page: http://www.tealstudios.com

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parappa
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby parappa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:06 am

Dark_Fairy wrote:It's cool you even have the Japanese versions of Lunar. One of these days I'd like the Japanese copies myself, lol. I decided to take a random semester of Japanese just to fill up credit hours (yay Senior year of college), so I'm starting to learn a little bit of Japanese myself. :P


Learning Japanese is great fun. The spoken language is not hard to learn at all. The written language is brutally hard, but then when you do start to get it, you feel like a badass, haha!

I've found that I can learn a lot of vocabulary simply by watching anime with subtitles and listening carefully to the spoken dialogue. This has the additional bonus of giving me something to focus on when an anime I'm watching starts to get boring. It doesn't work well with the more mature shows, such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, because they talk too fast and use a lot of difficult words. I've also been warned that some shows like Gintama are full of slang, puns, and anachronistic language.

Here's a fun fact I picked up from playing a little bit of Lunar SSS in the original Japanese: at the start of the game, Nall has a tendency to pronounce Alex's name as "a-re-su", which sounds exactly like "Alice." A better arrangement in Japanese syllables would be "a-re-ku-su", but of course that's four whole syllables and when an English speaker says "Alex" it's only two syllables.

I'd like to write a book someday on how to learn Japanese by playing import games and old RPG roms. A lot of the 8 bit games especially are limited to hiragana and katakana characters because the resolution is too low for kanji, and even in the 16 bit RPGs they tend to stick with a small set of kanji because the resolution is still very limited. These simplifications make it easier to pick up the vocabulary being used.

Alas, I'm nowhere near enough of an authority on the subject to write a decent book on it. There are Japanese 2 year-olds who know the language better than I do. But if I had enough free time, it would be a fun project.

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Alunissage
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Alunissage » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:51 pm

parappa wrote:Here's a fun fact I picked up from playing a little bit of Lunar SSS in the original Japanese: at the start of the game, Nall has a tendency to pronounce Alex's name as "a-re-su", which sounds exactly like "Alice." A better arrangement in Japanese syllables would be "a-re-ku-su", but of course that's four whole syllables and when an English speaker says "Alex" it's only two syllables.

You have it backwards, actually. His original name isn't Alex at all; it's Arhes -- and the pronunciation, [aresu] is as in "earth", to pair with Luhna = moon (although there's evidence that that wasn't always her name). They didn't start with the English name Alex and then convert it to Japanese.

Dark_Fairy wrote:It's cool you even have the Japanese versions of Lunar. One of these days I'd like the Japanese copies myself, lol.

The many remakes of Lunar 1 make it a pretty good candidate to play in Japanese, since you'll already know the story well. I played most of Legend and all of Genesis (Dragon Song) and HSS in Japanese before playing them in English. Actually, I still haven't finished the latter two in English. I've never taken Japanese, but knowing the general drift of the story -- not to mention that all of the Lunar 1 remakes have basically the same Japanese script and WD's translation was pretty close -- makes it fairly straightforward to play, and along the way I can notice things here and there. And of course the GBA and DS aren't region-locked, so if you can find Japanese versions of those you don't need to deal with modding an older system.

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parappa
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby parappa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:36 pm

Alunissage wrote:You have it backwards, actually. His original name isn't Alex at all; it's Arhes -- and the pronunciation, [aresu] is as in "earth", to pair with Luhna = moon (although there's evidence that that wasn't always her name). They didn't start with the English name Alex and then convert it to Japanese.


This is very interesting. I'm a bit confused, though: is the Japanese word "Aresu" supposed to be like Ares, the Greek god? Or is Arhes something else?

There don't seem to be any relevant Google hits for Arhes.

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Alunissage
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Alunissage » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:29 am

No -- the English word "earth" would be pronounced [aresu]. That's what the protagonist, Arhes, is named for. It's actually spelled that way (in the Western alphabet) in the artbooks, guides, etc. As far as I know -- which, as I said, isn't extensive outside of Lunar itself -- the name has no other connection, so Google wouldn't help. See this bit from the Lunar I+II artbook:

Kubooka: Arhes was spelled using "Earth," wasn't it?
Shigema: Right, and Luna was from "Moon." But we changed that in the middle.

http://lunar-net.com/interviews/lunaripii4.php

There are quite a few characters whose Japanese names were transliterated into "English". Luhna. Nasch. Killy. Rouyce. Faithia. Rong-Fa. Hiero. Lucier -- that last is apparently not uncommon, to spell names ending with -ia as -ier. We're probably lucky we didn't get Mier and Remilier (making a joke here, as I don't actually know the phonetic rules that govern that transcription). All of these spellings are in the Japanese materials; they're not just Romanizations of the Japanese names.

My point is, his name wasn't Alex until the game was translated, so there's no reason the Japanese pronunciation would ever be [arekusu]. Although, I'm not sure where Studio Alex comes in.

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Dark_Fairy
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Dark_Fairy » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:07 am

parappa wrote:[

Learning Japanese is great fun. The spoken language is not hard to learn at all. The written language is brutally hard, but then when you do start to get it, you feel like a badass, haha!

I'd like to write a book someday on how to learn Japanese by playing import games and old RPG roms. A lot of the 8 bit games especially are limited to hiragana and katakana characters because the resolution is too low for kanji, and even in the 16 bit RPGs they tend to stick with a small set of kanji because the resolution is still very limited. These simplifications make it easier to pick up the vocabulary being used.


It is really fun! It's just been eating up so much of my free time! Probably shouldn't have taken it with my other classes, but oh well. I wanted to take it. :lol:

I did not know that Kanji was limited in 8bit and 16bit RPGs! Now that I know this information, I am definitely interested in picking up older Japanese RPGs. :P

Alunissage wrote:The many remakes of Lunar 1 make it a pretty good candidate to play in Japanese, since you'll already know the story well. I played most of Legend and all of Genesis (Dragon Song) and HSS in Japanese before playing them in English. Actually, I still haven't finished the latter two in English. I've never taken Japanese, but knowing the general drift of the story -- not to mention that all of the Lunar 1 remakes have basically the same Japanese script and WD's translation was pretty close -- makes it fairly straightforward to play, and along the way I can notice things here and there. And of course the GBA and DS aren't region-locked, so if you can find Japanese versions of those you don't need to deal with modding an older system.


I never thought of it that way, but it would be really easy considering how many times I've played through the PSX versions of SSSC and EBC, lol. I can already play imports on my extra PS1 (don't want to ruin the laser on my good PS1) using the swap disc trick. That's how I played Tales of Phantasia on the PSX with the English patch. I think I'll be picking up the Japanese version of at least Lunar EBC next paycheck, maybe SSS too depending on how much stuff I have to pay. Mainly cause I want to see the differences, and it will also be a good way to learn more Japanese.

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Alunissage
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Alunissage » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:52 am

When reading your post quoting mine, I realized that the way I phrased that first sentence implies that Dragon Song/Genesis is also a remake of Lunar 1. Which it isn't, at least not in the literal sense; it's a standalone game with no script in common with SSS. Probably everyone here knows that, but just in case I thought I should mention it.

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Kizyr
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Kizyr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:48 pm

Hi! Welcome to the boards!

parappa wrote:I've found that I can learn a lot of vocabulary simply by watching anime with subtitles and listening carefully to the spoken dialogue. This has the additional bonus of giving me something to focus on when an anime I'm watching starts to get boring. It doesn't work well with the more mature shows, such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, because they talk too fast and use a lot of difficult words. I've also been warned that some shows like Gintama are full of slang, puns, and anachronistic language.


Ok, please don't take this the wrong way. But, my standard warning is that anime is one of the worst places to go to for Japanese practice. The main reason is that dialogue is very stilted, and facial expressions aren't realistic, so your standard for "normal"-sounding Japanese gets a little warped. It's hard to notice at first, but you can eventually get up to a point where it feels like you know a lot, but you're unable to function in any realistic setting. (This isn't a knock on anime; it's just how the medium is set up. It's the same way that you can do some things in a novel that you can't in a movie.) By contrast, any live-action media (like dramas), or variety shows, tend to be a lot better for getting a sense at how the language normally sounds (and looks). -- A lot of first-year Japanese classes end up having to undo some of the damage inadvertently picked up from anime.

Video games are sometimes a bit better, only because of the written dialogue. Learning just via written language has its down sides (namely you're not picking up on how things sound), but it has fewer consequences (like messing with your perception of what 'normal' sounds like).

There's a very old thread from 2007-2009 where I went into a lot of detail on this. Feel free to post there and revive it if you'd like:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2042
(oh, by the way, you should probably ignore entirely the second page of that thread...)

parappa wrote:I'd like to write a book someday on how to learn Japanese by playing import games and old RPG roms. A lot of the 8 bit games especially are limited to hiragana and katakana characters because the resolution is too low for kanji, and even in the 16 bit RPGs they tend to stick with a small set of kanji because the resolution is still very limited. These simplifications make it easier to pick up the vocabulary being used.

It's the memory space on the cartridge, rather than the resolution. But that's correct: the 8-bit and early 16-bit RPGs had entirely or mostly kana. (Basically anything pre-Chrono Trigger will have a lot more kana than normal, if I had to pinpoint a dividing line.)

I originally learned hiragana just so that I could play Lunar: Walking School. KF

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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Alunissage » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Huh. We actually have Chrono Trigger for Super Famicom, but if we've ever played it, I don't recall anything about kana vs kanji in it.

My feeling is that Lunar Legend was also relatively light on kanji, but I don't know if that's really the case or if I just have no feel for what its normal distribution would be. Not to mention that I played it, egad, ten years ago.

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Kizyr
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Kizyr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:01 pm

Alunissage wrote:Huh. We actually have Chrono Trigger for Super Famicom, but if we've ever played it, I don't recall anything about kana vs kanji in it.

My feeling is that Lunar Legend was also relatively light on kanji, but I don't know if that's really the case or if I just have no feel for what its normal distribution would be. Not to mention that I played it, egad, ten years ago.

Chrono Trigger is the earliest game I can think of where you really had an increasing amount of kanji (Vay is similar -- in the amount, not the timeframe). Lunar Legend had a little less than normal, but it looked like it was because of small screen resolution issues (evidenced especially by how they replaced 魔 with a character that looked like 广+マ). KF

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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Werefrog » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:42 pm

Kizyr wrote:Hi! Welcome to the boards!
Ok, please don't take this the wrong way. But, my standard warning is that anime is one of the worst places to go to for Japanese practice. The main reason is that dialogue is very stilted, and facial expressions aren't realistic, so your standard for "normal"-sounding Japanese gets a little warped.


Next thing you know, Kiz, you're going to be telling us that the Spanish in Mexican soap operas is exaggerated.

Nice to have you on the L-Net boards. I'm glad to see some new members with the release of the iOs port.

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Kizyr
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby Kizyr » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:55 am

Werefrog wrote:
Kizyr wrote:Hi! Welcome to the boards!
Ok, please don't take this the wrong way. But, my standard warning is that anime is one of the worst places to go to for Japanese practice. The main reason is that dialogue is very stilted, and facial expressions aren't realistic, so your standard for "normal"-sounding Japanese gets a little warped.

Next thing you know, Kiz, you're going to be telling us that the Spanish in Mexican soap operas is exaggerated.

Well yes, telenovelas are a bad way to learn Spanish, too. The problem with telenovelas is that you start watching it to practice Spanish and then you get really into the story, then you start having to watch it every day, and before you know it you're scheduling your second semester classes so you don't miss the 2:00-4:00 block because that's usually when the really good ones are on; otherwise you're just stuck with stuff like S.O.S. which is practically the same storyline rehashed each week.

... ... ...or so I've heard... KF

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parappa
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Re: Nice to meetcha

Postby parappa » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:56 am

Kizyr wrote:It's the memory space on the cartridge, rather than the resolution.


Now that I think about it, whatever working memory the Famicom has for dealing with blitting text would probably be overwhelmed by a large character set. All of those glyph bitmaps would need to be resident in memory--or maybe not, since we are talking about cartridges, after all. The ROM itself is memory mapped and can probably be read fast enough.

Also the resolution output of game consoles right up through the PlayStation 1 were all close to the 224 vertical resolution standard of old TV sets. So if the resolution wasn't holding them back in the 16 and 32 bit generations, then I guess it wasn't the bottleneck in the 8 bit generation either.

The carts for most Famicom games are pretty tiny, so that does seem like a reasonable explanation. At first I was thinking that it shouldn't be a big deal in terms of memory to use 2 byte character strings, but finding room for the actual bitmaps of a large character set on the cartridge might be a problem. The bitmaps only need to be 1 bit per pixel, and if a 24x24 character is large enough, say, then that's 72 bytes per character.

That adds up quick if your cart is only 64 kb, although I have to wonder about some of the 256 kb and 512 kb carts. That could probably manage to squeeze in a font of several hundred useful kanji characters. At that point I'd guess that it actually becomes more of a technical challenge to get kanji being drawn on the Mega CD because then you really do need your glyph bitmaps resident in working memory for blitting. But by that time there'd have been guys writing console games for years and they would have developed some sophisticated tricks.

This is all speculation on my part, though. I haven't done any programming of Famicom or Mega Drive ROMs.

Kizyr wrote:Well yes, telenovelas are a bad way to learn Spanish, too. The problem with telenovelas is that you start watching it to practice Spanish and then you get really into the story, then you start having to watch it every day, and before you know it you're scheduling your second semester classes so you don't miss the 2:00-4:00 block because that's usually when the really good ones are on; otherwise you're just stuck with stuff like S.O.S. which is practically the same storyline rehashed each week.

... ... ...or so I've heard... KF


Haha, nice!


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