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    WonderSwan Color/SwanCrystal FAQ by xiao wolf

    Version: 1.01 | Updated: 06/21/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    WONDERSWAN COLOR/WONDERSWAN CRYSTAL FAQ
    by xiao wolf
    ASCII art by http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ 
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             Table of Contents
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    I. Introduction
    
    II. Guide history
    
    III. Japanese in this guide
    
    IV. What is WonderSwan Color?
    
    V. WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan Crystal
    
    VI. Let's go shopping!
    
    VII. Games
     A. Game list
     B. Choosing a game
    
    VIII. Japanese
     A. What is Japanese?
     B. Studying Japanese
     C. Don't understand Japanese?
    
    IX. xiao wolf (me)
    
    X. Thank you.
    
    XI. Legal disclaimer
    
    
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
     
                             I. Welcome!
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    Hello and welcome to my guide on the WonderSwan Color/Crystal system.  I
    decided to make this FAQ due to the great shortage of English-language
    WonderSwan information available.  I hope this guide provides help in
    purchasing and understanding the games and gives you a basic overview of this
    largely ignored system.  Thank you for reading!
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             II. Guide history
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    Version 1.0 (June 18, 2004)-Intial posting
    
    Version 1.01 (June 21, 2004)-Changed a heading screw up brought to my
    attention by a fellow FAQer, spacing issues, and a bit of grammar.
    Nothing major.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                            III. Japanese in this guide
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    
    For those of you who are interested or just need clarificatation, here's the
    transliteration system I use.
    
    IRREGULAR SOUNDS
    
    Some sounds don't much up with their chart space.  (For example, the kana in
    the slot where you would expect TI to be actually represents a "CHI" sound.)
    These I did phoentically:
    
    1. The character in the 'i' column in the sa row is represented as shi.  This
    character with a " in Japanese script is written as ji.
    
    2. The character in the 'i' column in the ta row is represented as chi.  This
    character with a " in the Japanese script is represented as zi.
    
    3. The character in the 'u' column of the ta row is represented as tsu.
    
    4. The character in the 'u' column of the ha row is represented as fu.  Its 
    alterations are the same as the rest of the ha row, so these are written
    according to the regular pattern for that row.
    
    
    PARTICLES
    
    Some particles are pronounced differently then they are written.  Again, for
    these I use phonetics.
    
    1. When 'ha' is used as a subject marker it is written as 'wa', the way it is
    pronounced.
    
    2. The same rule applies to the object marker, 'wo', which is pronounced as
    'o' and "he," pronounced "e."
    
    
    LONG VOWELS
    
    For the most part, long vowels are written they same way they are in kana.
    
    1. When an 'o' sound is lengthened by a 'u', it is written that way.  When 'e'
    is lengthed by an 'i' it is transliterated that way.
    
    2. When writing long vowels in katakana, the vowel is simply doubled in
    writing.  An exception to this is the word "romaji" because its form is so
    standard.
    
    
    HARD CONSONANTS
    
    When a small 'tsu' comes before a consonant, the harder sound is represented
    to by doubling the affected consonant.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             IV. WonderSwan wa nan desu ka.
                             IV. What is the WonderSwan?
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    
    WonderSwan Color is a handheld system.  It is slightly smaller and much
    thinner than the GameBoy Advance.  WonderSwan is generally a "smaller" system
    than the GameBoy Advance in other respects, too.  There are much fewer games
    for the WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color than for Nintendo handhelds.
    
    Made by Bandai, the WonderSwan series is Japan-exclusive and, as a result,
    completely in Japanese (except for the name, which is often written in
    English just as a novelty; the labels on the console are also in English).
    The WonderSwan Color is the sequel to the WonderSwan, which it least in my mind,
    is an indictation the WonderSwan must have down fairly well to warrant a
    sequel.
    
    
    WONDERSWAN DIAGRAM
    (Forgive me for the bad ASCII art, this is my second real ASCII attempt ever
    and the first of this kind)
     
     --------------------------------
    |                                |
    |                   7>           |     
    |                 <10 8>         | 
    |                   9>           |
    |   ---------------              |
    |   -              -             |
    |   -    6         -             |
    |   -              -             |
    |   ----------------             |
    | *5                     11>     |
    | *4                   <14 12>   |                      
    |           -1 -2 o3     13>     |
     --------------------------------
    
    KEY
    
    1 Sound
    
    2 Start
    
    3 Power
    
    4 B
    
    5 A
    
    6 Screen
    
    7 X1
    
    8 X2
    
    9 X3
    
    10 X4
    
    11 Y1
    
    12 Y2
    
    13 Y3
    
    14 Y4
    
    
    EXPLANATION OF PARTS
    
    Sound button: Unlike the GameBoy series, the WonderSwan Color does not have a
    volume adjuster you can turn.  Rather, it has 5 different volume levels: extra
    loud, loud, medium, quiet, and off.
    
    Start: Same function as most other systems
    
    Power: Unlike a power switch, you simply press this yellow button to turn the
    WonderSwan Color on and off.
    
    A and B: Action buttons whose use varies from game to game
    
    Screen: Quite obvisiously, this is where you see what's going on in the game.
    
    X1, X2, X3, X4: Instead of having a traditional control pad, the WonderSwan
    Color has four directionsl buttons that serve the same basic purpose.
    
    Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4: These buttons are laid out in the same way as the X buttons,
    but the purpose is different.  What is it?  I don't know exactly.  One review
    mentions that they can be used to rotate the screen in one game, but I imagine
    the use can varies between games.  Some games don't use them at all.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             V. WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan Crystal
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    What is the difference between the WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan Crystal?
    The simple answer is not much at all.  The WonderSwan Crystal is a small
    update to the WonderSwan Color, featuring improved graphics as its main draw.
    
    According to the site National Console Support Services (http://www.ncsx.com),
    WonderSwanCrystal orginally came in the colors of Wine-Red and purple. (Yes,
    there probably is a prettier sounding name for purple, but I don't know what
    it is.)  In 2002, NSCX reports WonderSwan Cyrstal fans were implored by Bandai
    to vote for new color variants.  Crystal Blue and Crystal Black won.
    
    Also according to NSC, the Swan Crystal also has a bigger screen and a better
    sound system.  Having never actually seen a WonderSwan Color in real life
    myself, I have take their word for it.
    
    Is it worth paying the extra money to buy a WonderSwan Crystal?  If you
    already have a WonderSwan Color, my answer would be no.  The improvements
    seem too minor to me to warrant draining your bank account about
    $70.00-$80.00.  On the other hand, if you don't own a WonderSwan Color already
    it might be a good idea to get one.  A WonderSwan Crystal can play all
    WonderSwan Crystal games (and vice versa).  Games will simply look better on
    the WonderSwan Crystal.  Both systems can play all games from the original
    WonderSwan system.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             VI. Let's go shopping!
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    
    You've decided you want a WonderSwan Color/Crystal.  Now, you have to decide
    where to buy it.  Because they were never officially released in North
    America, Europe, etc., you're probably not going to able to find one in a store
    unless you live in Japan.  (Some people on the WonderSwan Color board on
    have reported finding them in the Asian markets in  cities, but I believe that
    isn't very common.)  Thus, your best option is probably to import one.  If you
    have a close friend or relative who is living in Japan, you might get them to
    send you one, but if that method is unavailable, the internet can be a good
    source for acquiring a WonderSwan Color or WonderSwan Crystal if you know
    where to look.
    
    Below, I have listed some sites that sell the WonderSwan systems as well as
    the prices and my opinion of each.  Please note that I do not guarantee any
    of these companies nor am I connected with any of them finicially.  I listed
    them here simply as reference and starting point for people who need to find
    a place to buy a WonderSwan Color.  If you have a bad experience with any of
    these orginizations or with one not listed here, feel free to tell me, but
    please keep in mind that I assume NO responsibility for these companies or
    their actions.
    
    
    *Ebay*
    
    Website: http://www.ebay.com
    
    Price: It varies depending on seller and how much you bid, but the prices
    were around $40.00 when I checked.
    
    Comments: Ebay can be one of the cheapest places to acquire your WonderSwan
    Color or WonderSwan Crystal, but, again, it is an auction site.  Some items
    offer "Buy Now!", which allows you to immediately purchase the item for a set
    price without waiting for the auction to end.
    
    In my opinion, one of the worst things about shopping at Ebay is that you
    never quite know exactly what you're getting, and most systems are used.
    
    Ebay usually does, however, have a good selection of games.
    
    
    *Lik-Sang*
    
    Website: http://www.lik-sang.com
    (Direct link to WonderSwan systems and games:
    http://www.lik-sang.com/list.php?category=100&)
    
    Price: WonderSwan Crystal systems are $59.99.
    
    Comments: Lik-Sang is probably the cheapest retail site I know of that sells
    WonderSwan Crystal systems.  They have a fairly good variety of games, though
    quite a lot of them seem to be out of stock.
    
    
    *National Console Support (NCS)*
    
    Website: http://www.nscx.com
    
    Price: WonderSwan Color systems are $68.00.  Swan Crystal systems are $80.00.
    
    Comments: This is where In bought my WonderSwan Crystal.  The prices are a bit
    higher than on most other sites and the color selection can be limited, but
    I found the service to be pretty good and have never encountered a WonderSwan
    item out of stock.
    
    The game selection is decent, and NCS offers a "Light Magnifier" I haven't
    seen for sale elsewhere.
    
    
    *Toys N' Joys*
    
    Website: http://www.toysnjoys.com
    (Direct link to WonderSwan section: http://www.toysnjoys.com/wonderswan.html)
    
    Prices: WonderSwan Color systems cost $89.95.  Swan Crystal systems sell for
    $79.99.
    
    Comments: The price is a bit on the high side, but Toys N' Joys offers the
    best selection of games and accesories I've found.  The color choices on the
    WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan Crystal aren't complete.  However, this site
    is the only one I've found that sells WonderSwans, and they have quite a lot
    of colors and bundles available for the WonderSwan.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
                           
                             VII. The games
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    
    ============
    A. Game list
    ============
    
    A list of available WonderSwan Color games can be found at GameFAQs
    (http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/wscolor/index.html).
    They are an alphabetically order solely or are listed first by genre and then
    alphabetically within their genre.  If you wish my to tell you what games
    are available at what stores, please email (see Section IX), and I will update
    the guide to include it.
    
    
    =================
    B.Choosing a game
    ==================
    
    Here are some factors you may want to consider when choosing a game:
    
    -Can you find it?
    
    You may have your heart set on a particular game, but you aren't going to
    find many Wonderswan games available outside of Japan.  Even if you happened
    to see it once, there's no guarantee you'll be able to locate it again.
    
    -How much kanji does it use?
    
    Different games use different amounts of Kanji.  Of course, you might still
    have problems knowing words written in kana, but those are a lot easier to
    look up than kanji.  To get an idea of how much kanji is in a game, try to find
    screen shots of the game.  You can usually find some links to screen shot
    pages on GameFAQs.
    
    -Would you enjoy the type of game (RPG, adventure, etc.) as much if you
    couldn't understand the plot?
    
    You may LOVE certain genres because they have deep plots or wise-cracking
    characters, but that will be lost for you if you aren't fluent in Japanese.
    Before you purchase a game, consider what it would be like if you had to
    relay on silent cutscences to know what was going on.
    
    -Can you find a translation?
    
    For some games (though I haven't seen any for Wonderswan), people take the
    time to translate mannals, key menus, or perhaps even scripts into English.
    That way, you can understand more of the game without having to figure it out
    for yourself.  (Be sure to thank the author because I know from personal
    experience, translating isn't as easy as it may seem.)  For games like Final
    Fantantsy, English-language copies are available and cover more or less the
    same ground.
    
    -Do you want to play it?
    
    This is simple.  Even if a game is loaded with obscure kanji, you don't
    have any idea what's going on, and you can't find any information about it in
    English, get it if you think you will enjoy it.  After all, that is the bottom
    line when playing games.
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             VIII. Japanese
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    
    *NOTE* I saw a brief section about kana and kanji in another author's
    guide (I have no idea which one) with helpful links, and that's what inspired
    me to add this.  None of it is copied in any way.
    
    ===================
    A. What is Japanese?
    ====================
    
    At first that may seem like a stupid question to ask.  Japanese is the
    language spoken in Japan, right?  Well, yes, of course it is, but do you know
    about the language?  Do you know that Japanese has three different scripts?
    Do you know the particles?  This subsection is here for you that don't.
    
    HIRAGANA
    ---------
    
    The first Japanese script is hiragana.  Hiragana is used to write words of
    Japanese origin, which is to say words that weren't taken from another
    language.  Hiragana was originally used apart from kanji because its
    inventors were women who won't allowed to learn kanji, but it is mostly
    used today to write the verb and adjective endings, particles, etc. The amount
    of independent words written in hiragana varies depending on the expected
    literacy.  (For example, a children's book will use much more hiragan than
    a text for high school students.)
    
    *NOTE* In game manuals and other publications, you may see small hiragana
    characters written above or beside kanji.  This is called furigana and is used
    to indicate the reading of a kanji.  This can make looking up unknown words
    much easier, but I never seen furigana used in a game itself.
    
    KATAKANA
    ---------
    
    Katakana is the second Japanese phonetic script.  It has generally stiffer
    look than hiragana and many of its symbols have an origin in kanji.  While it
    can be used for emphasis in writing (akin to italics in English), onomotepias
    (words that represent sounds, i.e. "bam"), animal names, and for a general
    "coolness" factor, katakana is mostly used to write words that entered
    Japanese from another language.  Some example of this is the use of "pan."
    ("bread" in Spanish and Portugese) or "meron" from the English word "melon".
    
    For more information on reading katakana, see subsection C
    ("Don't understand Japanese?").
    
    KANJI
    -------
    
    Now it's time for the thing almost everyone learning Japanese fears... Kanji!
    Kanji are characters adopted from the Chinese and have undergone multiple
    regulations and revisions in Japan.  The characters were orginally used
    according to their approximate phonetic value but are now used for their
    ideographic value (what they represent).  The kanji system underwent reforms
    in the Meiji Restoration period (after the "openning" of Japan for foreign
    trade) and in the post-World War II reconstruction peroid.  Serval smaller
    revisions have occurred as well.  There are approximately 1945 Jyouyou
    Kanji that must be learned in highschool.  Publications such as newspapers
    ausually restrict the use of other kanji (for which furigana is given), but
    I don't think games do.
    
    Some kanji such as (http://www.brush-way.org/images/dict_kanji/one.jpg)
    for ichi (one) and  http://www.brush-way.org/images/dict_kanji/tree.gif) for
    ki (tree) have clear meanings while others, such as
    (http://www.kanjisite.com/images/kanji/4kb/zen_mae.gif) for mae (before) do
    not.  Most kanji are compounds of two or more simpler kanji, like
    (http://www.kanjisite.com/html/start/jlpt/4/all/index.html) for akarui
    (bright).
    
    Most kanji have hiragana "tags" with them.  For example, the in the
    kanji for akarui (see above), the kanji would be written followed by "rui"
    written in hiragana.  This is also the case with verb endings.  For example,
    "iku" (go) would be written as the kanji  and a hiragana "ku."
    
    
    PARTICLES
    ---------
    
    This is covered with much more detail on grammar sites and in books, but since
    particles are such an integral part of the Japanese language I decided to
    include a brief section on them in this gude.
    
    (1) Some particles are used to indicate the role of a word in sentence.  For
    example, the sentence "watashi wa amerikajin desu." translates to "I am
    American." "Watashi" is "I"; "amerikajin" is "American" and "desu" is "am, is,
    are, etc." "Wa" simply marks "watashi" is the topic of the sentence.
    If "wa" is not present in the sentence, then it becomes clear that the subject
    is already given in context. "I am American" could also be written "amerikajin
    desu."  This is very common in written and spoken Japanese.
    
    The particle used can completely change the meaning of sentence,
    so it is important to note them.  "Watashi wa hon ga suki desu." means
    "I like books."  The particles "wa" and "ga" tell you that "watashi" is the
    subject while "hon" is the item that is liked.  If one was write "watashi wa
    hon ga suki desuga Kenji san ga suki ja arimasen," it would mean "I like books
    but [I] don't like Kenji."  (Poor Kenji!)  However, if the sentence was
    "watashi wa hon ga suki desuga Kenji san wa suki ja arimasen.", the
    translation would be "I like books, but Kenji doesn't like [them]."
    
    **See why it is so important to keep track of particles when writng/reading
    Japanese?**
    
    (2) Particles can also be used as markers of possesion.  (The English
    equivalent is an 's, i.e., "Tom's").  For example, "Kenji's dog's name"
    would be translated "Kenji san no inu no namae."  The particle "no" can also
    be used in expressions like "seibutsu no sensei" for "biology teacher"
    (lit., "biology's teacher").
    
    (3) Particles can be used as markers of time and location, i.e, "gakkou ni"
    (in/at/to school) or "kayoubi ni" (on Tuesday). As with English, there are a
    million different rules for when you use locational particles, and I have
    neither the time nor the expertise to explain them all.  There are many
    good books and paid teachers that can do that.
    
    (4) Particles are used to end sentences.  Because Japanese traditionally
    lacked question marks and exclamation points, so they decided to use even
    more particles.  Some very common ones are "ka" (the equivalent of a question
    mark) and "yo" (the equivalent of an exclamation point). "Ne" and its informal
    version, "naa," express something similar to "right?" "huh?" or "isn't it?"
    They are often put at the end of sentences just out of habit as well.
    
    (5) In informal speech, particles such as "wa", "wo", "ga", and "ka" are often
    dropped.
    
    (6) Please remember this is only a brief text on particles, not a book.
    
    ====================
    B. Studying Japanese
    =====================
    
    The best study aid by far is a class. Since many people don't have this
    opprotunity, I decided to make a list of print and online resources.  If you
    have any recommendations, feel free to email me.
    
    ----------------
    ONLINE RESOURCES
    ----------------
    
    1. Japan Online (http://www.japanese-online.com/LANGUAGE/index.htm)
    
    This site has well done lessons in Japanese, though they aren't particularly
    extensive.  Note that the transliteration system they use is slightly
    different than mine (Long "o" sounds are written "oo" and not "ou."), but it's
    nothing huge.  The site also uses audio files if you'rer interested in
    learning to speak as well.  The main site also contains an online dictionary
    and forum.
    
    2.  Kanji Site (http://www.kanjisite.com)
    
    This site was made with the intention of helping people study for the JLPT
    (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).  It has kanji for test levels 4 and 3
    as well as part of 2.  Lists readings and common kanji combinations.  While
    it is a good source for information, sorting through it to find the kanji
    you're looking for can be annoying as many people have pointed out.  Kanji
    Site also contains hiragana and katakana tables.
    
    3. The Japanese Page (http://www.thejapanesepage.com/index.htm)
    
    This is a great site from what I've seen of it.  The grammar section isn't
    complete, but it does have some good stuff on it.  The writing style is
    entertaining as weel.  Go to Kanji Site (see above) for an easier to read
    kanji lists.
    
    4. http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/m.rowley/resources.html
    
    A list of links for learning Japanese.  Not all the links works, but it's
    a good place to start if you need something you can't find elsewhere.  Also
    contains cultural links.
    
    5. Kid's Japan (http://www.kids-japan.com/hira-chart.htm and
                    http://www.kids-japan.com/kata-chart.htm)
    
    Okay, you may laugh at the name of the site, but it has some good kana tables
    (sound files included).  These tables are close to what you'll see in
    games, meaning they're in the standard form. (As with English letters, there
    are slight variations.)
    
    6. http://www.manchaca.com/~sradowski/japanese/chart_all.html
    
    A good chart showing both hiragana and katakana toghether.  It uses nice
    fonts.
    
    7. Transliteration links
    
    These links describe common ways of writing Japanese in the Roman alphabet.
    While you won't see this in games, many message boards (including GameFAQs)
    and some dictionaries and websites use transliteration. 
    
    a. Hepburn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepburn)
    
    This article contains information on the Hepburn system of transliteration.
    Thankfully, it offers links explaining more complex transliteration terms
    as well as a hiragana table that displays the characters.
    
    b. Nippon-shiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nippon-shiki)
    
    This article contains information on the Nippon-shiki sysytem of
    transliteration.  It is rarely used.
    
    c. Kunrei or Monbusho (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunrei-shiki)
    
    This link contains information on this transliteration system.  This system
    is in common use, and it will minimize confusion and misunderstandings if you
    learn it.  This is considered the official transliteration method for
    Japanese.
    
    8. GameFAQs Japan board
    (http://cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/gentopic.asp?board=316)
    
    You need a GameFAQs account to post here.  There's an official translation
    topic here
    (http://cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.asp?board=316&topic=12354084), but
    you can also ask for translations in your own topic.
    
    Keep the following in mind :
    
    1) This board supports kanji and kana (kind of). - The new board format
    supports Japanese text, but it can be confusing.  To see the text properly you
    need to change your encoding to either Japanese Auto-Select or Japanese
    Shift-JIS.  To change your encoding, click on the screen when online, go down to
    the "Encoding" option, and click on the encoding you want.  People on GameFAQs
    use both Auto-Select and Shift-JIS, so try both options if the text doesn't
    show up right.  Keep in mind that everytime you change a page, the encoding
    will switch back to whatever at was orginally.  Also, the Japanese settings 
    may mess up English text on other boards by turning things such as "'s" into
    kanji.
    
    Japanese text cannot be used in topic titles and a majority of the people on
    the board still type in Romaji, so the new encoding ability isn't that much
    of a change.
    
    2) Don't ask for too much. - People simply don't have the time to translate the
    whole game for you.
    
    3) Try to find approriate word divisions when typing in what you need
    translated - Generally, a space between each individual word and particle is
    used when writing in romaji.
    
    4)Be polite - This is common sense, really, but don't go around DEMANDING
    translations. It will make people less eager to help you.
    
    9. JWPce (http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~grosenth/japanese.html)
    
    This program is a free, downloadable way to the type Japanese on your
    computer.  It also comes with a dictionary and serval very useful
    kanji-lookup systems.  I highly reccommend it.
    
    ---------------
    PRINT RESOURCES
    ---------------
    
    1. Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary by Seigo Nakao
    
    This dictionary uses romaji, which many people (including myself) find
    annoying, but it is a good dictionary.  It also gives the kanji/kana redings
    for each defination, though the kanji are too small to replicate.  Still, this
    dictionary brims with words, and I've found it very useful when translating.
    A preface gives notes on Japanese pronunciation as well as the transliteration
    system Nakao uses.
    
    2. Essential Kanji 2,000 Basic Japanese Characters Systematically Arranged
    for Learning and Reference by P.G. O'Neill
    
    Don't expect to able to quickly look up kanji in this book; use JWPce for
    that instead.  Essential Kanji is useful for learning kanji, something
    you'll need to do if you want to read Japanese.  Stroke order and readings
    are given for each kanji as well as two combinations for each kanji.  The
    strokes can be difficult to read, but that's only a minor difficulty.
    
    3. Japanese for Busy People (Various people and groups)
    
    While I haven't personal used this series, I don't recall hearing many a bad
    word spoken of it.  It comes as a series of books in both kana and non-kana
    (Romaji) versions.  If you're trying to read games, you need the kana version.
    
    4. Kana and Kanji
    
    This is the kanji book my sensei uses.  It has the same basic format as
    Essential Kanji (see above), but it gives more combinations per kanji. The
    kanji themselves are easier to read as well.
    
    5. Kodansha Japanese-English Dictionary
    
    I've never used this myself, but its the most popular on the market.  For
    purists, it contains no romaji, which alleviates the need to decipher
    transliteration.  My sensei uses it in class, and it seems to have the
    definitions we need.  There is also a two way dictionary available as well
    as a English-Japanese one.  I listed it as the Japanese-English version
    because that's what your most likely to need with games.
    
    =============================
    C. Don't Understand Japanese?
    =============================
    
    If you don't know Japanese and don't want to spend all this time learning it
    just to play a game, you can still manage.  Here are some tips:
    
    -Pictures are your friend.
    
    Images are the key to discovering what the heck is going on in the game if
    you cannot read it.  Look for icons like a heart, a tear drop, an exclamation
    point, etc. for clues about the characters' emotions.  Also, be on watch for
    anything out of ordinary (like an enemies approaching) that could hint toward
    what to do next.
    
    -Keep a list of menu options and common words.
    
    Knowing the menu options can save you from doing things like wasting items
    or quitting your game when you really ment to save.  A list of character
    names, items, and places can aid you in keeping the story straight.  You don't
    have to know what they mean in English; just have an idea of who they are or
    what they do.
    
    -Learn how to read katakana and sound out words.
    
    To do this, you don't really have to study kanji or grammar, just one short
    set of characters.  A lot of words in Japanese are taken from English and
    changed to fit the sounds available.  Words are changed in a fairly uniform
    fashion, so you can become fairly adept at deciphering rules once you have a
    few rules and a little practice.
    
    1) Go by sound, not spelling! - One of the most common mistakes made is
    transliterating the word and then trying to decipher it based on that.  For
    example, the word "mood" is katakana-ized as "mud" because that is the actual
    pronunciation of the word.  Try to translate it without focusing on sound, and
    someone will most likely get "mud."
    
    2) Extra vowels - Since most Japanese syllables end in a vowel, there are often
    "extra" vowels in katakana words.  For instance, "ice cream" is transliterated
    "aisu kuriimu."  The "u"s aren't in the English pronunciation, but that is the
    closest way the word can be made to fit into the Japanese sounds.  The kana in
    the "u" rows (ku, su, etc.) are most often used for filler vowels because they
    are the easiest to drop. Because there is no "tu" or "du" sound, "to" and "do"
    are the filler vowels for that row.
    
    3) The "er" sound - The English "er" sound, such as in "waitER" or "drivER" is
    translated as long "a" sound.  For example, "waiter" is "uetaa."
    
    4) The "W" sound - For all words containing a "w" sound other than "wa," a "u"
    is used.  For example, "west" (uesuto) uses a combition of "ue" for the "we" in
    west.
    
    5) Small vowels - Sometimes you'll see a small vowel by a syllable. The most
    common examples are fu and te/de. The small vowel replaces the vowel in
    the syllable.  For example, a "te" with a small "i" by it would be read "ti."
    
    6) Draw from context - for example, if your character is at dock and you see
    the katana word "yotto" or "kanuu," you can reasonably draw the conclusion that
    the words refer to water crafts; in this case, yachts and canues.  This can
    help you decide between katakana words that sound as they could be more than
    one word.
    
    7) Use synomyns and like meanings - Not all katakana words are used exactly as
    they are in English.  The word for "popiscle" is "aisu kandii" or "ice
    candy." (Thanks to Kids Japan for this example).  Think about it logically:
    Popiscles are frozen (like ice) and sweet (like candy).  Get used to playing
    with words like this when an answer isn't always apparent.
    
    7) They won't always be English words - The Japanese don't borrow words
    exclusively from English, so words that are from other languages can appear
    in katakana.  A classic example of this is the word "pan" or "bread," which
    is the word for "bread" in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian.  Fortunately
    for monolingual English speakers, a relatively small percentage of loan
    words come from non-English languages.
    
    8) "Suru," "na," and katakana words-Often times a word in katakana will be
    attached to the word "suru" ("shimasu").  This is simply tacked on to loan
    words to make them work with grammar; just read the katakana word itself and
    you should be fine.  The same rules apply to "na," which is attached to
    borrowed adjectives.
    
    9) Not everying you see is a loan word - Unfortunely for us, not everything
    written in katakana is an English loan word (or one from another language
    for that matter!).   As mentioned above, the Japanese often write onomatopeias
    (words representing sound) like "doki doki" (the sound of someone's heart
    pounding) in katakana.  Katakana can also be used to write nicknames, product
    names, animal names (even ones that there is kanji for), etc.  Also, katakana
    is occassionally used to place emphasis on words or phrases, much like we use
    italics.  If you just can't figure out a word, it may be one of the above.
    Well, I guess no system can be entirely helpful.
    
    -Ask around
    
    Try asking on the Wonderswan General board (the game boards are very rarely
    read and topically is not enforced on the Wonderswan boards anyway) for
    help.  Users pop up there fairly regularly, and you'd be surprised how
    often someone can help you.  As always, be polite.
    
    -Just play!
    
    Use good old fashioned trial and error to manuver the game.  If going to
    Place A doesn't work, reinvestigate Place B.  If talking to Akira doesn't
    yield any results, converse with the other characters until something clicks.
    Try to pick up as much of the game as you can, but don't let the game becomwe
    a chore.  After all, games are fun, right?
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             IX. xiao wolf (me)
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    If you wish to contact me, you may email me at wolfpiper3@yahoo.com.  Please
    include something similar to "Wonderswan FAQ" in the subject line.  Also,
    please use decent grammar and explain the situation as fully as you can.  The
    more information you include, the more likely I'll be able to answer your
    question(s).  Please do not send me junk mail, spam, viruses etc.  Just don't.
    I'll be happy to try to answer your Japanese language questions, but please
    remember I am not fluent.  Secondly, do not seen me large attachments with
    pictures of a manual to translate.  I will not download anything from an
    email, and the pictures are to small for me to see the text anyway.
    
    If you see any errors or know of any additional information you would like
    me to include, please email me and include the how you wish to be credited.
    
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             X. Thank you
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    I'd just like to thank/acknowledge the following parties:
    
    God, for everything
    
    My family, for always sticking by me even though I know it can
    be a burden
    
    My little Luna-chaan, a very sweet conure
    
    All the people who worked to develop the WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan
    Crystal, without them this guide won't exist
    
    http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ for the ASCII art
    
    All the people who work hard to make Japanese accessible through books,
    websites, and other media
    
    CJayC, for posting this guide and for running such a great site
    
    My sensei, for all the time he spends teaching also Japaneses
    
    All the Danes on GameFAQs, you've all been very kind and helpful.  Tusind Tak!
    
    The GameFAQs Japan Board, for helping me with some grammar problems
    
    Chris Macdonald (Kao Megura), we never met but the legacy he left behind
    encouraged me to start writing again.
    
    You, for reading this!
    
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
                             XI. Legal disclaimer
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    
    This guide is copyright 2004 by Emily Lund. As of this time, it may only be
    seen on GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com).  You may not post this document
    on any other websites.  You may not copy this guide or use it for profit.
    If I discover anyone misusing this guide, I reserve the right for legal
    action.