Japanese Games Translator (JGT) user guide

Overview

The Japanese Games Translator addon lets you translate text while playing Japanese audio games. It focuses on 2 things:

At this point I support these games that can output unicode directly to NVDA:

And these games that output to the clipboard, some of which also use Windows GUI controls, which means they require AppLocale and the Japanese keyboard:

And Morokuma's text games that also require AppLocale and the Japanese keyboard:

It should also work in any other games created using Hot Soup Processor (HSP). Please let me know if you test a game that is not in this list and find it works, so I can add it to this list. If you have other Japanese games you would like it to support, contact me at support@BlindAudioGames.com with details about what the game is and how I can get started playing it. To my knowledge, every one of these games is free, even those that have demos, which might confuse some people.

If this is your first time trying Japanese games, I strongly recommend starting with ShadowRine FullVoice and Bokurano Daibouken 3. They are the easiest to setup, and I have included step by step instructions for them.

I started writing this addon because the better known instant translate addon stopped working due to changes Google made to stop unauthorized use of its translation service. Since then QTranslate has become an alternative solution. I believe this addon provides a better experience for the games it supports. That said, the QTranslate setup can be used for things other than games, or for translating these games into languages other than English. So it remains a good alternative.

This addon contacts my own server which then uses the paid Google Translate service. I implement my own caching to limit the charges I receive. This caching also helps the translations to be very fast.

You can download the latest version of the addon here. And sign up for a free account at BlindGamers.com.

If you'd like to hear the addon in action, listen to this short demo that shows me using it in ShadowRine.

Please do not try to use the addon or my web service to translate text from outside these games. I'm using the paid google translate service so it costs me money if you abuse it.

Installing the addon in NVDA

If you have installed the non portable version of NVDA, Windows explorer will know how to install the addon just by pressing enter on it. Alternatively you can open the NVDA menu with NVDA + N. Then go to tools, then manage add ons. Then tab to and press the install button and navigate to the addon in the open file dialog.

Note that Internet Explorer used to rename the file from JGT.nvda-addon to JGT.zip. This is because NVDA addons are technically just zip files with a different file extension. I added some extra information to my web server headers that seems to have fixed this problem, but I'm leaving this note here just in case someone still runs into this issue.

Configuration

You must create a BlindGamers.com account in order to use the addon. This is because addon abuse costs me money, so I need to ensure users are using the addon as it was intended. Once you've installed the addon you can open the JGT Login dialog in NVDA preferences and enter your credentials. Your email will be remembered, but your password is not. You will have to reenter your password if you don't use the translation service for an extended period of time, or if you restart NVDA.

You can configure the addon by opening Preferences > JGT settings. There are combo boxes for choosing a source and target language, though for now the only available configuration is from Japanese to English. You can also choose whether the translated text is copied into your clipboard or not.

Keyboard commands

If you don't like these keyboard shortcuts, you can change them.

Open this file in your portable NVDA folder: NVDA\userConfig\addons\JGT\globalPlugins\Ian Reed's Japanese games translator\__init__.py
Or this file if you are using an installed version of NVDA: %AppData%\nvda\addons\JGT\globalPlugins\Ian Reed's Japanese games translator\__init__.py
Then go to the bottom and find the text:
    __gestures = {
        "kb:NVDA+shift+control+h": "toggleAutoClipboard",
        "kb:NVDA+shift+y": "translateLastSpoken",
        "kb:NVDA+shift+control+y": "toggleAutoLastSpoken",
    }

Alter it to use the keyboard commands you prefer.

Games that can output unicode directly to NVDA

These games are the easiest to setup. You only need to install the JGT addon and enable the auto translate last spoken mode.

Instructions for ShadowRine FullVoice

Note that these instructions are for English players who want to do the least amount possible to start playing. Some players may want to install AppLocale, the Japanese keyboard, and the ProTalker synthesizer. These instructions do not cover those because they only add small benefits to the ShadowRine game play experience.

Kyo now has an English download page for ShadowRine.

Once the installer has finished downloading, run it.
Now press enter to activate the next button whenever necessary until the installer finishes.
Before running the game, login to the JGT service using the JGT login dialog in NVDA preferences.
Press NVDA + control + shift + Y to turn auto translate last spoken mode on.
Then to run the game, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\GalaxyLaboratory\ShadowRine_FullVoice
Run play_sr.exe.
When you launch the game, you will be on a dialog with 5 buttons.
The first one is "Start game", so press enter.
If this is the first time you've launched the game, you'll be presented with 2 message boxes, and then a combo box that allows you to choose NVDA.
So hit enter twice, then arrow down until you find NVDA and hit enter.

If you accidentally choose something other than NVDA, you can use these steps to get the game to let you choose again.
Launch the game so you get the initial dialog with 5 buttons.
Tab twice to get to the Initialize game settings button and press enter.
Press enter again to choose Yes, then again to press OK.
You are now back on the game start button and can follow the steps above to set output to NVDA.

Note that when voice acted dialogs appear in the game, you need to press down to have them spoken to NVDA. Menu items and non voice acted dialogs are immediately sent to NVDA.

ShadowRine controls

Remember to login using the JGT login dialog, then press NVDA + control + shift + Y to turn on auto translate last spoken mode.

Instructions for Bokurano Daibouken 3, (BK3 for short)

Note that Yukio, (the author of BK3), has made hand written translations of important parts of the game. They are donationware with a $5 minimum. Hand written translations are much better and easier to read than google translations. I highly recommend donating to get access to these hand written translations, and using JGT at the same time to fill in the gaps for areas of the game that are not yet translated. Considering the game itself is free, this is a great way to support all of Yukio's efforts. Visit Yukio's site to get your copy of the hand written translations.

Here are the instructions for downloading and playing BK3 with JGT:

Download the game from:

http://www.nyanchangames.com/softs/count/download.php?download=1

Run the installer when it finishes downloading.
Press enter once to install it to the default location.
It should be installed in C:\nyanchangame
The folder inside has a Japanese name, I usually rename this to BK3.
Before running the game, login to the JGT service using the JGT login dialog in NVDA preferences.
Press NVDA + control + shift + Y to turn auto translate last spoken mode on.
Run play.exe.
The game is set to automatic screen reader detection by default and so translations should work without any configuration changes.

BK3 controls

Remember to login using the JGT login dialog, then press NVDA + control + shift + Y to turn on auto translate last spoken mode.

BK2 and BK1

I don't have any instructions for these games but testers have verified they work with NVDA directly. The instructions and controls are likely very similar to BK3.
Download BK1 here.
Download BK2 here.
You can see Yukio's entire list of games here:
NyanchanGames.com translated to English
And find links to the Chaos editions from this wiki:
Visual disabilities together wiki

Note when translated:
BK3 is Our large adventure Last of a loner
BK2 is Our large adventure Strikes Back, and conquest
BK1 is Ambition in our Great Adventure: darkness

There are several other games on that page that might also work with JGT, but they have not been tested. The other games may also require the Japanese keyboard and AppLocale to work, so I recommend trying them only after you've tried the easier to setup games.

Games that output to the clipboard, some of which also use Windows GUI controls:

These games take a bit more effort to get setup to play. I recommend trying these only after you've tried one of the games that output directly to NVDA. You may also want to listen to this demo that shows me running Alternative Magic with AppLocale and the Japanese keyboard enabled. Or this demo that shows me using Locale Emulator to play GroundWar1. Or this demo that shows me playing Brave of Cloudia.

You can download most of the games in the list from this website:
List of text games, Brave of Cloudia, Cave of Marvels, and others, translated courtesy of google translate
And some more games from:
NyanchanGames.com translated to English

Installing and using the Japanese keyboard

First let me give a little explanation of why this is necessary. If you know anything about how computers work at a low level, you may be aware that characters are really just numbers. A character set is a mapping of numbers to language characters. Unfortunately in the early days of computing there were many character sets, generally one for each language. Each of these character sets mapped the same low level number to a different character. This means that if you have text created using the Japanese character set, and you try to display it using the English character set, you get a random mess of English characters because you are using the wrong mapping. Unicode is a character set that can represent all languages, without any of them conflicting with each other.

Whenever Japanese games copy text to the clipboard, they copy it using a non unicode Japanese character set. So for Windows to correctly place this text on the clipboard, you must have the Japanese keyboard enabled. Alternatively, when the games talk directly to NVDA they usually convert their text to unicode, so no Japanese keyboard is required.

Now let's get started installing the Japanese keyboard. I only have a computer with Windows 7, so these instructions will use that, though I expect they are very similar for other Windows versions.

Open the start menu and search for Region and Language.
Once the region and language dialog is open, press shift tab to get to the tab control.
Then arrow right until you reach the Keyboards and Languages tab.
Tab once, which places you on the Change Keyboards button, press it.
Now you are in the Text Services and Input Languages dialog.
Tab to the Add button and press it.
Now you are in a list of languages.
Press J to jump down to the Japanese option.
Press right to expand it.
Then expand the keyboard option within it.
Now press space bar on the Japanese and Microsoft IME options so that both are checked.
Press the OK button.
Press OK on the other dialogs we've opened.

Now that the extra keyboards are installed, you can switch between language groups by pressing alt + shift, or between specific keyboards by pressing control + shift. I find I only need to use alt + shift, so disabled the other hot key in the Advanced key settings tab of the Text Services and Input Languages dialog.

When you launch a game you will want to press alt + shift to switch to the Japanese language group. This keyboard switching is a per application setting, so alt tabbing to another application will switch you back to the English keyboard. If you're having trouble using NVDA or Windows hot keys, press alt + shift again to get back to your normal language, then they will work properly again. Or just alt tab away from the game.

Remember to enable the auto translate clipboard mode before opening a game by pressing NVDA + control + shift + H.

Installing and using AppLocale

When Japanese games use standard Windows GUI controls to display text, they need to be started using the correct locale. There is a program called AppLocale that does this on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. If installing on Vista or 7, you'll need to run the installer as administrator. Apparently the official Microsoft AppLocale download page has disappeared. Here is the AppLocale version I installed on my Windows 7 64 bit. You may need to find a 32 bit version if that one doesn't work for you. AppLocale does not work on Windows 10, but you can use Locale Emulator instead to solve this.

Once AppLocale is installed, you can run it from the start menu.
After opening AppLocale, press the next button.
With the Launch an application radio button selected, tab to the browse button and press it.
Select the game executable and press OK.
Press the Next button.
Now you are in a combo box that lets you choose your language.
Press the end key to go to the very last option, which is Japanese.
It won't say anything when you are using an English voice because the text is actually in Japanese, but that's ok.
Tab to the next button and press it.
At this point you can optionally choose to create a shortcut to run the game with AppLocale in the future.
To do this, check the checkbox, then type a name in the edit box.
A sample name might be:
Alternative Magic with AppLocale
Then you can find it in the start menu in the future.
Press Finish to start the game and create the shortcut in your start menu.
Don't forget to press alt + shift to switch to the Japanese keyboard after you start the game.

The original Guide to playing Japanese games, updated for QTranslate

BladeStorm360 wrote the original guide to playing Japanese games. FabiG94 recently reposted it with additional instructions for using QTranslate instead of the instant translate NVDA addon. There is a lot of good information in the guide and it is worth reading if you want to be aware of more tools and tricks that can help you get the best experience playing Japanese games. Here is the link to the Guide to playing Japanese games

A few notes to help you enjoy Morokuma's text games

Known issues

While JGT significantly improves the experience in most games, there are still some areas where it has issues.

Closing remarks

The Japanese games are valuable additions to the audio games community and I want to see them continue to be playable by English players. A big thanks goes out to the developers of those games. I'd also like to thank the authors of the original instant translate addon who gave me the ability to play the Japanese games in the first place, and whose code was the starting point for this addon. And BladeStorm360 for writing the original guide for playing Japanese games. And Tyler Spivey for creating multiple tools to improve the experience when playing Morokuma's text games. I spent a considerable amount of time and some money to make this addon a reality. Please do not abuse the service. I hope everyone enjoys playing the Japanese games as much as I do.

Written by Ian Reed

Interested in contributing financially to help keep my work going and my services running?

Contributions are very appreciated, and will help pay for the server that runs this website and the JGT service. Contributions will also be used to expand the JGT service to support more target languages than just English. The button below is setup for recurring monthly contributions. Because the costs of the services are ongoing, I can better gauge how much I can reliably expand services if the contributions are also ongoing.
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