Tales of Destiny Reborn!

By • August 13, 2014

Today I’d like to announce some news that I’m sure many of you will be excited to hear – the Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut project is officially revived!

Here’s the short version:

  • The Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut project has been restarted. That means from scratch, yes. The old translation is a good reference and will be used to help speed up the menu translation – some of it can be used as-is, some of it will need to be reworked, and some of it just needs to be scrapped. There are parts of the menu that were never completely translated and the whole script and all the skits still need to be translated too. In addition, the programming is also being redone. It probably wouldn’t be wrong to call this a new project, but we won’t.
  • Kingcom is now the lead programmer on Tales of Destiny. I recently discussed the state of the project with Cless from Phantasian Productions and we mutually agreed that this was the right decision to move the project forward. That change was effective as of July 23rd.
  • Phantasian Productions not being cut out of the project. Just like with Absolute Zero’s past and current projects, we intend to draw on the collective expertise of the Tales translation community to make sure this patch is the very best it can be. While PP will play more of a supporting role in Tales of Destiny going forward, those contributions are certainly not any less important. Cless, Kaji, Carnivol, and gogs have contributed heavily to the editing the original translation and I have no doubt that they will have many contributions to make before this patch is released.
  • We will no longer be releasing a menu patch. The menu patch was always meant to be a stopgap solution while we dealt with the technical hurdles on the script side, but that will no longer be necessary. A complete patch will be released when we’re satisfied with the result.

I’m sure it also raises a number of questions. Let me try to address some of the immediate concerns.

1. What’s going to happen to Tales of Phantasia X and Narikiri Dungeon X?

We’ll still be working on ToPX, but it will be sharing the priority position with ToDR. We’ll jump between projects when we feel like it because it’s fun to work on different stuff. Monotony doesn’t make for a good translation and it definitely doesn’t help encourage the team to want to work. In all likelihood, we’ll finish ToPX first just because I know that game by heart and it’s way shorter, but at least for the time being, more effort is going into ToDR. NDX has always been a lower priority than ToPX and it will continue to be. We’ll probably only start working on that project in earnest once ToPX is out. We’ve done some work on it already, but story-wise, it just makes more sense to release it after ToPX.

2. Why weren’t you working on Destiny up until now?

People haven’t been hesitant about asking this question. Tales of Destiny has been a work in progress since 2008 and was announced in 2009. It’s been 5 years and we still don’t have a patch done. I understand the frustration. Believe me when I say that no one gets more frustrated by a lack of progress than those of us working on the project. Progress on Destiny was basically non-existent from 2010. Okay,  so why? As I’ve stated before, we ran into some technical hurdles. While working to overcome those hurdles, we made the decision to transition the project from traditional text files to spreadsheets. The idea was that the spreadsheets would speed up the translation and editing process by simplifying the interface and showing only the relevant information. We very nearly reached the point where we could start in on the script on several occasions, but in the end it wasn’t meant to be.

3. What’s different now? (AKA How is this different than the last three times you promised progress?)

If you don’t trust me at this point, I can’t really blame you. Destiny has been far from an ideal project in many ways. There were long periods of silence, no indication of what was happening behind the scenes, and even less progress. I worked on other projects to fill the time and I certainly don’t regret having created two complete Tales translations in the mean time, but at the end of the day, there’s no game I want done more than Tales of Destiny R. It’s still one of the best games in the series and I want people to be able to experience it. Now we have the tools to make that happen.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that Kingcom has been involved with the PSP emulator ppsspp and has helped to improve the emulator’s debugger. A while back, I asked him about the state of the debugger in PCSX2, the PS2 emulator. While the emulator itself has made massive strides in recent years, it had no debugger. Older versions of PCSX2 did have a debugger, but it had very limited functionality. Which is to say it was bad at debugging. When the emulator switched UI frameworks, it was removed entirely. And so Kingcom took it upon himself to create a PCSX2 debugger from the ground up, taking the lessons he’d learned from ppsspp and creating a tool that could do exactly what we needed. What this means is that there are no technical hurdles holding this project back. I currently have access to as much menu, script, and skit text as I can translate. We are moving full speed ahead on this project.

4. Wasn’t the menu almost done? Why are you starting over on it?

Because the programming is being done from scratch, we’re not using the same file format as the old translation. Like with ToPX and NDX, we’re using a custom xml editor that Kingcom made, so we can’t easily use the old translated text files. Now some of the old translations were good and have already been edited, so when it makes sense, I’m going to use them. However, anything I want to use from the old translation has to be copied over manually, so I’m taking the opportunity to reexamine the translations and make corrections. I’ve grown as a translator in the four years since I first translated some of this text. Sometimes it’s better just to translate from scratch. While it would be easier to cut some corners and just copypaste everything over, I’m doing what I think is best for the final patch. I’ve never sacrificed quality for speed before and I don’t intend to start doing it now.

5. If you don’t give me a Destiny menu patch I will hunt you down.

That’s not a question. Also, please don’t hunt me down. As I mentioned above, the menu patch was original devised as a short-term solution to at least give people something to play while we sorted things out on our end. It was supposed to be something we could just put together quickly while we worked on what we expected to be the much longer and more difficult part of the project. In the end, the menu patch started becoming a hurdle itself and we never managed to get it put together. To be perfectly honest, my opinion on menu patches has not changed – I think a menu patch is a terrible way to experience a game for the first time. I would rather put out a complete patch and give people a complete experience with a game doesn’t suffer from an inability to understand the story and appreciate the characters. Lots of people disagree with me on this point, but Kingcom shares my vision for what a translation patch should be and so that’s how Absolute Zero operates.

6. How long is this project going to take?

I honestly don’t know. Even at the frantic pace I’m currently working at, I don’t know that we could get it out in 2015. Tales of Destiny R is much lengthier than the other games we’ve worked on. Even a 2016 release sounds pretty damn optimistic. I guess my point is that nobody should be holding their breath on this thing. As always, we’ll do the best we can to get it done sooner rather than later, but it’s very difficult to forecast how much or little time a project like this will take. But I stand by what I said – as long as I’m able, I will continue working to see this project to completion. It will be completed. So thank you to those of you who have stuck with us up until now and thanks to those of you that are only just joining us. We’re gonna get there.

But hey, that’s a lot of words. Have a video:

Are those softsubs in battle!? Three weeks into the project!? Hell yes!

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

69 Responses to “Tales of Destiny Reborn!”

  1. Well i will be waiting patiently. Still hope this is alive ^^

  2. Hello dear translators.I have been following your work over years and even tough many players have asked you this already,do you intend to finish this project this time?I am a great ‘Tales of’ games fan and the first one i have played its the original tales of destiny on the playstation 1,i never had the possibility to play the remake(Director’s cut)for ps2 since i dont understand japanese and i love reading the story in rpg games like this one and thats why i did not played it myself yet even tough i could.If you working on it or you intend to work on it,there is a predictable date in wich this project should be finished?Or at least,can you say if you are still working on it?Thank you in advance for the answer.

  3. Hi there throughhim413
    thanks alot for your hard work
    to be honest i always check this website and read the updates news and so on…
    anyway its been almost 8 – 9 month from your announcement
    so can you please tell us the current progress %% so far
    or try to update and post more videos showing how far you reached so far
    and so on …
    becuase this will make us more excited about the patch .. and make the wait easier and thank you alot for your hard work

    Regards

    Naif

  4. can’t wait!!

  5. That video looks wonderfull! Excelent work. Keep it up! I would like to play this version with my kid someday.

  6. Very excited for both of these translations. I’m a huge Tales fan and have imported both NDX and TOD:R in the past and played through them. They were great games, but it’s a shame in both I couldn’t understand a word that was said because I know no Japanese! I am looking forward to you guys translating both these games!

  7. To be honest, I’d prefer to see a translation of Destiny 2 or Rebirth, since they’re the only games in the series that aren’t already playable in English. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort you’re putting into this, but I’m just saying.

  8. I would love for a full translation of tale of destiny director’s cut. In English. Since your working on it. Which I’m ecstatic about the translation work in progress. Just want to cheer you on in its entire completetion. You have a lot of friends here in the USA that are waiting for English version of the director’s cut!!!!! Waiting patiently.

  9. I will be waiting patiently for this. I’ve revisited Tales of Destiny 1 just recently and wondered what became of the English patching of Tales of Destiny 2. I am so gald to see that this website is truly active and trying to revive that which has almost died in trying. 🙂 Thank you so much.

  10. Just wanted to give a heartfelt thanks for not abandoning the project! Thank you!

    We all know that you have other responsibilities, so your effort is much appreciated regardless. Ultimately, it will be done when it’s done and we look forward to that time.

  11. Hello, guys

    I’m from Brazil and I just can’t wait to play this game.
    The original seems pretty cool, but I enjoyed so much this remake edition.

    Based on the sample video, I can say for sure that your work rocks! Please, don’t give up! And if possible, please, give us some news.

  12. i am from Brazil too
    i wnat play this

  13. I first bought tales of Destiny on PS1 right when it release on a whim. I have been a devout fan of the Tales of series ever since. I have been wishing they would remakes this one as well as Phantasia,Eternia, and Destiny 2 so that I could enjoy them properly as well with todays tech. I do admit, I have a Pirate version of Eternia(NA’s Destiny 2) but as soon as there is a legit copy I will gladly buy it, just like this one. Are you planning on keeping the voices as they are in the video or do you plan on adding English as an option? ( Just want to know, Playing Hearts R and dealing with the language just fine, just been a while since the Destiny voice over roots)

  14. Hello!

    I just want to say, thank you so much for taking on this project! I loved the original ToD, but the Director’s Cut is special and I’ve been mourning for a long time the fact I wouldn’t be able to play it since it’s in Japanese – so the discovery of this project was beyond thrilling! The video looks wonderful, and I’m very excited to see what comes out of this project. I’ll be waiting patiently – just knowing that you guys haven’t abandoned the project is more than enough.

  15. Just a few Words to cheer U up guys.
    Ur doing very well and the task is not the easy one.
    I tried once the jap version and i’m so excited that one day i can achieve this fantastic game.
    So thanks a lot for the hard work.
    Wish U good luck too 🙂

  16. Thanks a lot to all the team, can’t wait to discover this game, thank you for being as serious as possible about this trad, i’m sure the result will be amazing! Good luck and cheers 🙂

  17. Looking forward to it

  18. It’s amazing how much you do for us fans and make us happy! Thanks a lot! I can’t wait to finally play the game and understand it. It will be so much better when playing it while understanding.

    Thanks again!!

  19. yo! been following this since years now first on phantasia production now here. best of all tales games need to be translated. definitely looking forward to that. keep it up zero kun.

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