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Q: What exactly is this?

A: This is a translation patch for the Japanese game Zero 4, from a series commonly known as Fatal Frame in the West.

Q: Why are you making this patch? Won’t it be released here sooner or later?

A: No. We are making this patch precisely because the companies in question have decided NOT to bring this game to Europe or North America, despite record sales for the franchise. This patch is being created to remedy the situation.

Q: How will the patch work?

A: We are attempting a very ambitious patch which will patch the original game on-the-fly, something that to my knowledge has never been attempted before. Should we succeed, the patch will be read off an SD card and run through the Wii Memory Management menu, and will function as long as you have the original game in your disc drive.

Q: So I’ll need to buy the Japanese game?

A: Yes, you will need to buy the game to play it, like with every other game.

Q: Will I need to buy a Japanese Wii?

A: No, should the patching method be successfully implemented, the game will run on any Wii, any version, any region. Except perhaps Korean. I can’t vouch for Korean Wiis.

Q: Will I need anything else to play the patch?

A: You’ll need an SD card, someway to transfer files from your computer to your SD card, and the intelligence to follow simple instructions. Other optional things you may want to have to extend functionality include a Wii, some controllers, hands, eyes, ears, a television or monitor, a sensor bar, some cookies and a glass of milk, and an easily scared attractive member of the opposite sex.

Q: How will the patch be distributed?

A: By the internet. You will click it, it will download.

Q: Why won’t you just release an IPS patch? It’s way easier!

A: Firstly, IPS patches are for ROMs, not discs. Want you mean is PPF patches. Secondly, if you are asking about them, you are probably playing an illegal disc. No, it’s not “for backup purposes”, you don’t own the original game. We are attempting this specific patching method because: 1 – it helps promote legal purchase of games. 2 – the method should be reusable, meaning that any other game could use it in the future. 3 – the method would not be limited to simply text, but could replace any file on any disc. That means an easy and legal way for texture hacks, audio replacement, translation patches or game mod scenarios for the games you love and own.

Q: When will everything be done?

A: Hopefully sometime this summer. Optimistically, I was hoping for the end of June. Realistically, end of August. The reality may be somewhere in the middle – July 31st would be a nice date since it synchronizes with last years Japanese release.

Q: This will never be done, will it? Nothing is going on and it will fail like all the other translation projects.

A: This project sprang into being on April 17th. By the time a week had passed, the team had already expanded to three capable coders, two of which spoke Japanese. Only five weeks since its inception, we’d already decoded 95% of the images, text, movies and sounds, despite the game having been created with non-standard in house tools, and unique text encoding methods. With the addition of a community contributed open translation page, the translation itself has proceeded at breakneck speed. Other translation projects, even of high profile projects like Mother 3 or ToP have taken years. Ours is projected to take only a few months, so be glad!

Q: Will this project have any special bonuses or bug fixes?

A: Unfortunately, most bug fixes are too complicated to pull off in a reasonable amount of time – otherwise the company would have done it themselves. We may be able to add in a workaround for the Ghost list issue – we’ll look into it more as we go. Other than that, the project will likely include a bunch of omake files (the Japanese word for extras), potentially including soundtracks, walkthroughs, lists, maps, cultural notes, how to’s, video presentations, fan art, and anything else we can get.

Q: Are you still recruiting or looking for help?

A: Yes! If you are a highly competant translator, translate a bit on our page! Sadly, the easy stuff is all gone. Other than that, we would very much appreciate the help of an experienced assembly coder.