December 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili
Originally released in 1997 for the Sega Saturn, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is the sequel to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (also never released in the West) and a dark RPG that Hardcore Gaming 101 describes as "like .hack but without all of the extraneous nonsense".
I've mostly heard great things about its mix of occult and hacker themes, but apparently Sony turned Atlus down when the developer/publisher sought to localize Soul Hackers' PS1 re-release years ago. Fan translation group Devil Hackers, which also released the Persona 2: Innocent Sin English patch, is working to fix that!
The team started working on the Soul Hackers PS1 translation last year and have just released a trailer showing off its progress. It hasn't announced an expected released date, but one of its members shared some info about what he's working on while making sure to trash TOSE's work on the port:
"... I’ve written the more-or-less finalized variable width font (VWF) code for Soul Hackers, which means what you see can be almost considered final quality, at least visually speaking. I’ve been working on this code for a while, like since September, but I’ve been busy with University, other real life stuff, and translation-related side projects.[Via ROMhacking.net]
For this particular hack I cheated a bit by writing 98% of the code in C instead of the usual 100% assembly; it was because SH uses a weird manner for printing text to screen which is caused by the fact that TOSE (a company well know for crappy portings, like all those rehashes of FF4-5-6) didn’t bother to actually reprogram the low level stuff and half assed some sort of emulation for several visual aspects of the game.
TOSE is not new to this kind of bullshit, so I had to equip myself with powerful means to tackle their idiocy efficiently: a high level language was the perfect solution. It’s not perfect yet (you can see weird glitches happening sometimes), but it’s decent enough for a teaser trailer."