The Original Donkey Kong

Donkey KongYou’re looking at him. Yes, that is the original Donkey Kong. Who’d know that Cranky Kong (he’s not only cranky, look how he moves that crank!) is the one who kidnapped Pauline and pestered Mario all those years ago!

Well, who’s the modern Donkey Kong then? An imposter? No, I’ll let you in on a secret. He’s Cranky Kong’s (the Original Donkey Kong’s) grandson. Are you starting to get it? The current Donkey Kong is said to be the son of Donkey Kong Jr.:

DONKEY

 

Here’s the complete lineage from father to son, not including Diddy Kong and all other misfits in the Kong family, compiled by yours truly. It’s mind boggling isn’t it? Twisted everything around in my head when I first got to know about it.

Alright. I know you love those misfits. And you probably enjoy gaming, reading this, so enjoy:

DKFamilyPic(There are more of them misfits, but I can’t be bothered finding a picture of them all in a family photo, so this’ll do).

 

 

Gamecube Controller Button Swap Mod

megaman-anniveMega Man Collection for the Nintendo Gamecube has one serious problem, and that´s the fact that the A and B buttons are swapped for some reason, My theory is that they wanted to use the big and green A button as some intuitive way for kids to Fire and the smaller red B button as the means to Jump. There are two problems with this. The first one is that the ones more likely to buy the game would be older fans (kids don´t want older games with outdated graphics) and the second one is that there is nothing intuitive about swapping buttons like that at all.

Anyhow, I needed a solution for it and Googled for “Gamecube Controller Button Swap” and saw this post by someone who wanted to swap the buttons around to fit Virtual Console and GBA games better, and used it as a base to how to make it happen. It was at first a daunting task, since I was nervous I’d break the controller (even though I got a decent 3rd party one to mess around with!) but eventually I got it right. I’ll guide you through my process Step By Step (like the show, remember it?). In the end I considered it being worth it, since re-training decades worth of gaming experience, where you’ve been taught that A-button Jumps and B-button Shoots, is a no-no. I don’t want to cripple myself for a single game!

First step was to assemble everything I thought I’d need:

  • A Samurai screwdriver kit, to open up video game cartridges and systems. Click the name to get to the post where I use it to replace internal batteries in Gameboy Game Paks.
  • A Soldering iron. I’m really not good with this, but I did manage not to get burned.
  • Solder. You know, that poorly-controlled metal that easily transforms into fluid state just to harden when you don’t want it to.
  • Some wire, this one was insulated and therefore a wee bit too thick because of that.
  • Some electric tape. Not the shocking kind, remember.

bild 1

bild 2First you open the sucker up, removing the front of the shell, and noticing how this 3rd party controller doesn’t have a protective plastic film over the circuits, as the original controllers do. Neat, that saves me a lot of trouble having to scrape it off. The Rumble Pak-thingy of the controller is right behind the board and right where the cord enters the shell.

Then I removed the buttons, because, let’s face it, it’s the area beneath them that’s interesting. If you just wanted to change the buttons and the rubber beneath them, it’d be bild 4wise to stop reading here. Otherwise, continue reading!

One can see how the circuits move and how they connect quite clearly on this 3rd party controller, but in all honesty it’s not as clear on the original one, if I recall correctly. Check the original post if you’re curious. Anyhow, now the time had come to begin scraping.

bild 5You have to scrape off the copper leads that connect the A and B buttons to the board, and who subsequently lead the signal into the Gamecube. You have to cut them clean off, and since I had a hard time seeing how much copper was actually left, I kept going until I felt the typical resistance of the plywood board underneath. When you’ve reached that point (in other words the point of no return) you stand before one of the toughest handyman tasks I know- soldering. Just don’t get burned! And make sure to have a clean tip on the soldering iron as a dirty tip will make it harder to solder, and it will also take longer to melt the solder. At least, that’s what my limited experience soldering tells me. That, and the small snippets of information I remember from class. I also remember the intense pain you get when you burn yourself, luckily, when I grew up that kind of injury was considered acceptable and there were no laws preventing me from learning to respect injuries.

Think of the next step as if you are going to connect water pipes and, if you must, attach abild 6 moustache to feel like Mario if it’s important to you. You simply have to redirect the wires so that when you press the A-button, the wire will lead it into the copper lead for the B-button, and vice versa. If you get it wrong, or if the solder doesn’t connect properly, don’t fret. It’s perfectly possible to heat the solder up again and remove it so that you can try again.

Here’s both of them connected. Notice that insulation on the second, uppermost wire? I was able to close the shell properly, but if you imagine the rubber pads laying over these bild 7wires, then it’s easy to understand that it prevented the buttons to get good contact with the board, making them useless. But you can still insulate the wires, in another way, so remove that junk (which I managed to burn with the soldering iron, producing a nasty smell). Rip it off, with all your might!

 

And here’s the end product, both of the wires clumsily attached with an excess of solder, bild 8insulated with electric tape, and producing a great result. Now reattach the front shell and screw it shut if needed. I didn’t since it worked well anyway, just in case I had to make some troubleshooting or re-solder anything. Connect it to the Gamecube and hold your breath, ’cause it’s time to see the result of your hard work!

bild 10

 

After a few tries, it worked like a charm! The photos are from my favorite Mega Man gamebild 9 for the NES, Mega Man III. The intro music is awesome and the game well balanced, the only con is the absence of the Charge Shot, but it sounds horrible anyway on the NES, so…

Mega Man Collection didn’t get the best of me! I don’t shoot and fall into pits anymore, and the games actually are playable! And it wasn’t too hard to do either. I mean, the results were so great that the screen started to crack, check those photos!

First image from: http://retro4ever.com/

Game Hunting: Pirates of the Burnout Gunbird

It’s time for another Game Hunting post! Here’s another bunch of games I got for a Handful of Dollars (for a few bucks each, really) in different locations, like thrift stores and such. When it comes to the Playstation 2 I buy whatever looks interesting, basically, since the games are dirt cheap.

 

burnout

The first game is Burnout: Dominator. While allegedly not the best in the series, the thought of crashing cars around is alluring. I got this sealed for a few bucks and I’m willing to give it a shot, since I really enjoy games like these. I mean, you can’t drive like this in real life, so why not do it in a virtual environment?

The graphics look good, for being on a Playstation 2, and the back of the case drew me in and I got it from the thrift store (Gengåvan). Count me in! Let’s do this!!

gunbird

Then we have Gunbird: Special Edition, which is a vertical scroller and an arcade port. That’s what’s so great about the Playstation 2, and that’s all those awesome 2D arcade ports for it. And usually they sell for nothing and are quality games well worth that price. Now, I’m not trying to seem like a shmup aficionado, ’cause I’m not. I’m just saying that they’re easy to pick up and play. I chose Beard Papa who wanted a wish from the final level boss, as do the others, but his wish was selfless! He wanted to bring his beloved pupil back to life. Only it turns out he isn’t just his pupil, but also his lover. What a twist!

pirates

I played Pirates of the Carribean: At Worlds End for the PC a long time ago, and it was decent. It’s a beat-em-up and it’s also a game based on the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, which I really like a lot. For a couple of bucks it became mine, though I’m starting to feel I won’t ever get to play all these games. I’ve got to put a lid on it! Save up! And then release the barrier and go on a shopping frenzy, ’cause that’d be way better.

 

Wait. Carribean. Carri. Bean. Bean. Mr. Bean. Oh, don’t worry, I won’t post a picture of Mr. Bean dressed like Jack Sparrow.

I’ll link to it instead.

Next Game Hunting post will have all Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, and all the christmas gifts I got this year. It just takes some time to assemble the post!

Ossu! Doragon Boru Zetto in Engrish, ne?

lswheader2

When a game is translated from Japanese to English, you better hope that the staff know their English well, or that an outside source overseas takes upon themselves to translate it. Back in the day Nintendo had problems with translation since they gave small pieces of in-game texts to overseas translators with little to no information of context and very strict bureaucracy as to how to perform the task and how the result should be communicated. I’d think it was part of a business strategy to protect Nintendo and its work, but it led to poorly translated games, and when they didn’t get outside help the translation would get even worse with Engrish as a result.

In the early 2000’s one would think that poorly translated games would no longer be as prominent, but we have Monkey Puncher and Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors as prime examples of that such practice still was present. While Monkey Puncher seems to have been translated using a dictionary, Legendary Super Warriors seems to have been translated by someone with little to no knowledge about Dragon Ball, which is required to translate some of the more obscure terms from the manga. Both of the games are mentioned at the site where I got the image at the top.

Let’s take a look at some immediate weird choices of wording and translation that I stumbled upon at the beginning of the game.
DBZ Namekans

First there’s the mistranslation of Namekian into “Namekan”. Didn’t it fit or didn’t they know better? In English translations they use the ending “-ian” much like in Martian, as in “The Martian Oddity“, but here they’ve missed an “i”. If this was made by the Japanese staff and they used a dictionary, one would imagine they’d write “Namek people”, as they’re called “Namek-jin”, where “jin” means “people”, very much like Saiyans who are called “Saiya-jin”. I’d like to point out though that Majin isn’t comprised of those words, but rather “Ma”, which means bad, or evil, and “Djinn” which is a word derived from Hindi and stands for something in the lines of “spirit”, meaning that Majin means “Evil Spirit”, as in Majin Boo, Majin Dabura or Majin Vegeta. And the word “Ma” is used for Piccolo when he’s called “Ma Jr.” during the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, meaning “Evil Junior”.

DBZ 5000 powerThen there’s this image when they say that someone of 5000 Power will arrive. I’ll say, the Spanish translation trumps this one by far. They must mean that “someone with a “Power level” of 5000 will arrive” but I can see that it won’t fit. In the manga, by this time, they know it’s Goku that’ll arrive, and they could’ve written:

“Goku is arriving with a power of 5000!”

There’s approximately space for 38 letters, including space, on both lines combined, and this’d work perfectly. Adding “level” would add 6 letters too many, but while writing it the way I presented you’d be more correct and make the use of “power” make more sense. Also, there’s no way that Goku had a power level of 5000 already by then, he hadn’t arrived and powered up yet…

That’s why I think someone overseas translated this one into English, and they didn’t know jack about Dragon Ball when doing so. At least the Spaniards were much better at it.

 

Before ending this post I’d like to add a link to the source of the image above and a very good resource page for Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors:

http://legendarysuperwarriors.wordpress.com/