Update [Wed 14th Feb, 2024 14:30 GMT]: The English translation patch for the Dreamcast lightgun shooter Death Crimson 2 is now available on GitHub.
Pascarella announced the release of the patch yesterday on Twitter in a thread, where he also revealed that his team had introduced a bunch of additional material to the game (including a video gallery featuring the Sega Saturn opening, an archive of Ecole fan support messages from the developer's now-defunct website, Masafumi Ogata's ending theme, and a video of Kunitaka Watanabe performing the Saturn theme song).
A brand-new cheat mode was also added to the patch as well, allowing players to press the L and R trigger buttons on a controller to increase the credit count to 255 and reset the in-game timer to 15 minutes.
You can grab the patch here. More information is available inside the ReadMe.txt file, including details on lightgun compatibility.
Original Story [Mon 18th Dec, 2023 14:00 GMT]: The Japan-exclusive light gun shooter Death Crimson 2, originally released for the Sega Dreamcast, is about to get an English fan translation patch (as spotted by Sega Saturn SHIRO!).
The project lead Derek "Ateam" Pascarella has previously been involved in hacking together a bunch of English translation patches for interesting and obscure Dreamcast titles, including Cool Cool Toon, Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me, and Trizeal (to name just a few). Back in November, he teased the possibility of adding Death Crimson 2 to that growing list but only revealed last Wednesday (December 13th) that work on the patch is actually underway.
Developed by Ecole, Death Crimson 2 is the sequel to the 1996 Sega Saturn light gun game Death Crimson, a notorious Kusoge (or "crap game") that is often described as "so bad, it's good". It was later followed by 2001's Death Crimson OX (also for Dreamcast), which became the only game in the series to get an international release.
Pascarella shared a 15-minute work-in-progress video of the translation on YouTube, which he is working on with his frequent collaborator Walnut. This gives a glimpse at what the project may potentially look like when it's finished.
He also posted more information about the hack on the Dreamcast-talk forums, giving some insight into how it is coming along and the work that has had to be performed to translate the title:
"A little over a month ago, I replied to this thread here on the forums which discussed a potential English translation patch for the Japanese-exclusive "Death Crimson 2: Altar of Melanito". After spending some time with the game data, I've written all of the tools I've needed for complete text extraction and insertion, as well as numerous assembly hacks to make everything work smoothly.
Insanely, all of the game's text is stored directly in the executable itself! My tools essentially just move everything around and adjust all pointers so that I can fit as much English text as I need. Furthermore, I'll be taking advantage of the game's katakana and hiragana fonts that are always present in RAM to store additional text that doesn't fit in the executable. This is actually a very fortunate circumstance, as A) I no longer need either of those font sheets and B) they afford me over 12K in extra space.
I can't give any firm timelines on this project's completion, but I wanted to share with everyone a work-in-progress preview video. As always, I will be working hard to give this game the 100% polish that it (and all Dreamcast games) deserves. In addition to translating all Japanese text, I will be:
• Redoing the title screen's menu graphics (the original are seen in this preview video, which I find a bit hideous).
• Replacing the "Dream Passport" option on the title screen with an English-language web browser with baked in bonus content, like a 100% unlocked save, and perhaps some artwork.
• Subtitling all FMVs in English.
• Probably implementing a hotkey button combo for giving the player 255 credits at any point during the game (effectively infinite continues)."
As stated in the forum post, Pascarella isn't able to give a firm timeline on when the project will be completed, but we'll be keeping an eye out for updates in the coming months.
Interestingly, on Twitter, it also seems that he's looking for PAL Dreamcast owners to help identify and potentially squash some compatibility issues with the PAL Lightgun. You can find his request for testers here.