How to play Shining Force III: Scenarios 2 and 3 in English
Hello. Browsing the net I have found that there are English translations of Scenario 2, 3, and the Premium disc of Shining Force III for the Sega Saturn. I'm good with using a computer, however I do not know fancy terms and such :( I have a White Japanese Saturn with the White 4-in-1 Action Replay cart. To play Scenarios 2 and 3 -- do I need the actual Japanese games? I hear the translations are downloadable but didn't know if they are required with the disc(s) or not. Also, all the links I have found seem to be dead :( I am just an avid RPG fan -- as well as a SF fan for many years -- since childhood. I would really like to be able to finish these two games since I can't read Japanese. Any help would be greatly appreciated. And some step by step instructions or something might help me as well -- I am kind of noobish after all o.O
The official translation site is here: http://sf3trans.shiningforcecentral.com/
The translation project just patches the games into English, so you do require the actual games. The translator spits out a disc image (.cue + .iso files) that can either be burned to a CD or used in an emulator. The patching program is currently Windows only, unfortunately.
SSF is your best bet for emulation - http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~phantasy/ssf/files/index.html - I use version 0.11 R1 for SF3 and it works a treat. Check out the emulation page on the translation project homepage for help with setting it up. Do note that SSF requires quite a decent CPU to run at full speed; for reference I use a Core 2 Duo and it runs at full speed at all times even with lots of other programs running in the background.
The patcher also patches the games to be region free, so you can play them on any Saturn without an Action Replay. If you want to play on an actual Saturn the only thing you will either need is either a modchip or some duct tape to sort it out for the swap trick.
You can buy a mod chip (or a premodded US Saturn) here: http://www.segastyle.com/store/ and there's an installation guide here: http://www.segastyle.com/saturnmod.html
There's a guide on the swap trick here:
Provided you use the mod chip for homebrew then this is legal in most countries, however using one for piracy (which the translation project does not support or encourage) then it is not legal. The patch itself does not include any of the files (or even parts of any of the files) that come on the original disc and have been made from scratch using a custom-made program written by Knight0fDragon.
Also, just so you know, the original Japanese games (and the patched versions) can loads saves from English/US scenario 1, so you can use your old saves.
Wow. Seriously. Thank you for the time you put into helping me with all that information. I will definitely be checking it all out. Only one thing I am confused about: I have all scenarios -- minus the premiun disc :( -- S1 is the US version. To play S2 and S3, I need to play the translated versions on my PC? Sorry to be such a noob, but this modding/ISO stuff is all new to me :( Again, thanks for your time :)
Yeah sorry, didn't explain myself too well there. The only thing you absolutely MUST have a computer for is actually patching the game.
You can choose to either run the game in an emulator on your PC (requires quite a decent PC) or to set up your Saturn to let it play homebrew (bypass the copy protection so you can boot CDs not approved by SEGA).
As for ISO/CUE files... they're just files that let you burn a CD/DVD in a very exact way. The iso file contains the data to be put on the disc and the cue file tells your burning program how to use this data. Saturn games have to be put on CDs in a very particular way (there's like 3 A4 pages on the subject in SEGA's Saturn development documentation :() and these files are set up to accomodate for it.
--Playing on a Saturn--
As previously mentioned, you will need to either install a Mod Chip on your Saturn or make use of the Swap trick. They both involve opening up your Saturn... the main difference being that the former involves a custom-made chip and some solder while the latter requires duct tape, a lot of patience and some careful timing everytime you want to play the games.
I posted 2 links in the last post that covers those 2 options, so I'll just go through how to get the translated game onto a CD:
First, you need to fire up a program to burn the .iso/.cue files to a CD. Nero, UltraISO, MagicISO work well for this (even in the trial/free versions), although if you already have a CD burning program, that will probably work too. You should look for an option like "Burn Image to Disc" and use that; just copying the files onto a CD won't work - the program needs to read the files and follow their instructions on how to burn the CD. Once your program has finished burning, you should (hopefully) have a translated version of SF3 that your Saturn can read.
If it doesn't work, then either your CD burning program can't follow the instructions in the cue file properly (Sonic DVD Burner, CD Burner XP and ImgBurn I'm looking at you!) or the CD doesn't want to play nice. Some brands of CD are just garbage, unfortunately. Try using a different brand of CD.
--Playing on your PC with an emulator--
See here: http://sf3trans.shiningforcecentral.com/emulation/
It's a lot easier than setting up an actual Saturn to play the games, but as previously mentioned, it requires quite a newish PC. If you have problems see the project forums (there's a link on the project website). They are very active and have a lot of topics about particular problems people have been having.
I'd always heard that disc-swapping is kinda hard on the hardware.
"Bravery is an admirable, if not particularly helpful, character trait."
I can't see why, myself. It's just taping down a bit of plastic that tells the Saturn if the CD Drive is closed or not (it gets pushed in by another piece of plastic when the CD Drive is closed).
Maybe the lens steps up the power when you drive is opened because it thinks it can't read the disc, but it probably does that anyway when it has to read a scratched disc.
Incidentally, to anyone doing the swap trick, please don't stare into the CD lens. The wavelength of the lasers used by CD Drives is not nice on the eyes (it tends to burn the retinas after a few seconds exposure).
I think it was mainly supposed to be hard on the CD drive, particularly the spool that rotates the discs.
"Bravery is an admirable, if not particularly helpful, character trait."
On the subject of emulation in SSF, is there a frame skip/fast forward hotkey in that one? I'm loving the game so far but it does get tiresome to watch some animations over and over.
http://www.freewebs.com/alianger/ - Mini-Revver 2D
http://8bitcollective.com/members/AlexLuthor/ - Chip music
I'm afraid not, most emulators struggle with running at the full 50/60 FPS (SSF being the exception), running faster than that is still a long ways away. Perhaps someone who can speak Japanese could ask Shima about it? His twitter account is: http://twitter.com/FessX
If Yabause were better for SF3, I'd consider hacking that feature in myself. The authors of that emulator seriously need to make a new stable release; the latest sources have some utterly fantastic features (including tools to make tool assisted speedruns :)).
Oh hey, not wanting to spam, but checking out the release logs in google translate, it looks like the latest version of SSF (0.12 beta) has this feature added. :)