Making an English version of Typing of the Dead Arcade

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    • Making an English version of Typing of the Dead Arcade

      One of my all time favorite games is Sega's The Typing of the Dead. I originally discovered this on Dreamcast, it's lots of fun. If you're unfamiliar with this game Sega basically took House of the Dead 2 and then replaced the light guns with computer keyboards, word bubble appear above the enemies and you kill them by typing the word or phrase. each correct letter typed acts as a bullet hit and typos make a ricochet sound as if you missed. Type the word correctly and really fast and it will act like a head-shot.

      The words they have you type (at least in the English Dreamcast release) is entertaining because they have you type stuff like "Underpants Bandit" or "Banana Manager" combined with the horrible total B-Move voice acting in the game it's a lot of fun especially with 2 players. Just like in House of the dead they rate your speed an accuracy and you can essentially steal kills from your partner just like in the light gun version.

      here's some gameplay of the Dreamcast version:

      The good phrases start at the first boss fight around the 4 minute mark.

      Anyway I only learned of the existence of the arcade version a few years back and I've wanted one since then. I only knew of 2 in the USA (I'm sure there are at least a couple more), one was owned by a private collector and the other was at Japan Arcade in LA. When Japan Arcade closed the machine went up for auction, I wasn't able to bid but another KLOVer (caffeine) won the auction.

      Since the machine is based on a Net City Upright candy cab I debated trying to find the pieces to make my own. I managed to find a cartridge, a marquee and a service manual and I kept my eyes peeled for the control panel on Yahoo Auctions Japan. I regretfully passed up auctions for panels from Lupin The 3rd The Typing and La Keyboard (the two other Typing games that Sega made).

      several months ago that same member who had one the Japan Arcade Typing of the Dead clued me in to an arcade importer/dealer in LA who had a Virtual On Oratorio Tangram machine (since he knew I was looking for one). I ended up passing on the VOOT machine but on a lark asked him if he had Typing of the Dead.. he didn't but he did have a Lupin the 3rd The Typing for a really good price so I bought it figuring I might not have another opportunity to get another one of these machines.

      Here's the machine I got, it's complete except for the topper:








      I had no hope of ever finding the Typing of the Dead artwork when I ordered this thing but to my surprise I found that one of bezel stickers was pealing:



      ^that's typing of the dead art underneath... also on the control panel you can faintly see the "AGENT 2" text under the Lupin control panel art (contrast adjusted to make it easier to see):


      Assuming I can get all of the Lupin artwork off of the machine without damaging the art below it seems the only thing I'm missing is the Typing of the dead cardboard pops.

      For those interested in the keyboards they're regular old Dreamcast keyboards as you can see from the pic above. they plug into a pair of ports inside the control panel which just pass through to the Maple buss connectors on the NAOMI Mitsurugi-w sells Dreamcast controller adapters if you don't have any already or you can just cut up a pair of extension cables.

      here's a pic of the actual port in the control panel.


      here's a pic from the manual to show how the keyboards are attached to the panel:


      The panel itself is just a big block of MDF that bolts intop of a normal Net City control panel housing as can be seen in some of the above pics.
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    • Making the cab look like Typing of the Dead is just one step.

      I've got a Dreamcast a copy o the game and a VGA box which is everything I need to drop in the Dreamcast version in place of a NAOMI but I'd love to hack the Typing of the Dead rom and swap out the dictionary file for the one in the English Dreamcast release so that the arcade game can be played in English.


      i have a working decrypted Bin file that is a merge of all the individual roms but I can't seem to open it to get to the file structure inside. programs like 7-zip/WinRAR can't seem to read it. doing a Hex search for some of the phrases seen in-game turned up nothing as well..

      That's about as far as I've got, if anyone has any ideas how I can progress this further I'm interested in hearing them.


      Kind of pathetic really but I've got no experience modifying games outside of using a gameshark on my SNES back in the day :)
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    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      Very interested to see if someone can get an English version running on the Naomi.
      I feel the same way, only in the opposite direction... I wish I could get an English version of Capcom vs. SNK 2 on Dreamcast.
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    • Mitsurugi-w wrote:

      Very interested to see if someone can get an English version running on the Naomi.
      Do you, or anyone else know of anyone who has been able to extract a .bin into normal files, and then recompile them back into a .bin?

      that would be the first step.
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    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      who has been able to extract a .bin into normal files, and then recompile them back into a .bin?
      I've never worked with Naomi, but if the GDROMs are packed anything like on Dreamcast (aka huge track03.bin file as first data track after two audio tracks that form the copy protection ring)...

      First make a dummy file equal to the missing audio data, track01 + track02 + gaping.
      (total size of track01+02 in bytes) + 705600 = size of dummy.bin

      Copy dummy.bin into track03.bin:
      copy /b track03.bin+dummy.bin disc.bin

      Convert disc.bin to disc.iso with bin2iso

      Fix disc.iso with isofix, use LBA "45000" when asked

      Open resulting disc.iso with 7zip, extract files normally

      Packing is another story that I believe people are doing differently now than in the past. Also, when I was playing around with it, I was repacking in MIL-CD format CDI... Unsuitable for Naomi GDROM.
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      The post was edited 2 times, last by jassin000 ().

    • jassin000 wrote:

      I've never worked with Naomi, but if the GDROMs are packed anything like on Dreamcast ...
      If nothing else that'll help me extract the Dreamcast Dictonary file from that version :) thanks!
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    • YieArKade wrote:

      Would extracting the dictionary file from the PC version help?
      I have a copy of the PC version as well but my concern is that the PC version is only 1 player while the Dreamcast and NAOMI versions are the only 2 player versions of the game. It's also far more likely that the NAOMI and Dreamcast versions use similar formats.

      Ideally I'd like to identify the dictionary file from the NAOMI version and then Japanese Dreamcast version because that would allow me to identify the differences between the NAOMI and the Dreamcast files (if at all) then when I try to use the English Dreamcast version I'll know what differences are due to the change from Dreamcast to NAOMI and what differences are due to language...

      But I'll need to extract everything first. and figure out how to successfully recompile the NAOMI bin file.
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    • Just got turned on to this software called GDI Explorer... It makes dumping/editing DC/Naomi images much much easier!

      So... What file was it you wanted again? ;)
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    • jassin000 wrote:

      Just got turned on to this software called GDI Explorer... It makes dumping/editing DC/Naomi images much much easier!

      So... What file was it you wanted again? ;)
      You sir are awesome :)

      I downloaded GDI Explorer and poked around the Dreamcast version... it looks like the dictionary file is called WORD.AFS it's just under 2MB

      I'm unclear on the format but viewing it in a hex editor it's for sure the file :)



      I couldn't get GDI explorer to open my NAOMI bin file though... no sure if it's my file or if GDI explorer has trouble with cart roms but I'll keep playing around with it.

      assuming it's the same code base the first thing to try would be seeing if the NAOMI rom has this same WORD.AFS file and then just swapping it out for the Dreamcast one and see if it works.
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    • Hell yeah. I've tried the Naomi TOTD on my cab with Mitsurugi's adapter and it's cool, but nowhere near as great as the English Dreamcast game.

      Still though... I've got that somewhere, with a DC and my VGA box...

      Thinking about it, one issue you may run into is the matching of some character textures with the dictionary input. In the Japanese version, the top, larger line of the word boxes is printed in hiragana and katakana characters. It'll be an input dictionary text file in Japanese, so I wonder what it'll do if just straight up fed an English text file?

      If the WOW didn't half-ass it, it may accept and print English and Japanese for that top line fine, but if not (and the DC port involving making that conversion), I don't know what the options are...
    • Dache wrote:


      Thinking about it, one issue you may run into is the matching of some character textures with the dictionary input. In the Japanese version, the top, larger line of the word boxes is printed in hiragana and katakana characters. It'll be an input dictionary text file in Japanese, so I wonder what it'll do if just straight up fed an English text file?

      If the WOW didn't half-ass it, it may accept and print English and Japanese for that top line fine, but if not (and the DC port involving making that conversion), I don't know what the options are...
      I've been thinking about that as well but was waiting to see what the file looked like before I started getting ahead of myself.

      I wouldn't think they'd use texture file for the hiragana/katakana/kanji (do they use hiragana and katakana or is it just kanji?), all of those characters should be in the UTF8 character set, it makes way more sense for them to store it as plain text. the fact that the Japanese version during gameplay displays the kanji followed by the romanji suggest that it's dictionary file would have both listed inside of it. it's pretty clear that the English file only lists the text once.

      For all we know the game code works in such a way that it will just work with the English file, but if not we might have to figure out the file format of the NAOMI version and then write a program to re-format the English file to look like the NAOMI one. That would be a lot of work but... one step at a time.
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    • I believe it was also a GDROM release on Naomi, use that one... The cart ROM binaries can't be opened by that tool, it only works with GD images.
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    • jassin000 wrote:

      I believe it was also a GDROM release on Naomi, use that one... The cart ROM binaries can't be opened by that tool, it only works with GD images.
      I've never seen nor heard of a GD-ROM release for TOTD... I'm not saying it doesn't exist but if it does then I don't know anything about it.

      Lupin The typing and La Keyboard are both GD-ROM only games but AFAIK TOTD was cart only
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    • twistedsymphony wrote:

      TOTD was cart only
      Huh, I just checked over the Wiki again because I was sure it had a GD release... Your right, cart only for this one.

      That really would have made things easier, back to square one. :P
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