Translation (English) by satsu - v0.98


Patch History

v0.98 - 02/02/2009
• All dialogue text should be 100% fully translated.
• I forgot the title screen in the last patch. It's in now.
• All that remains to be done is to sort out the very last of the 8x8 issues and replace the 8x8 font with something that matches the dialogue font a bit better. --> v0.99
• Also, a final beta test. --> v1.00

v0.97 - 31/01/2009 • Took long enough to get here.

v0.30 - 17/07/2006 • Over the past week, I've done a bunch of translation work on several files. The patch now goes up to the third town in the game. I'm not exactly sure how much more stuff has been done, but the patch is around 40KB bigger now.
• I've implemented what will hopefully be the final font. I went back on my decision to use a fixed-width font because screen space is at too much of a premium to justify it. Personally, I think the current font is a huge improvement.
• A bit of editing work has been done, thanks to some suggestions by editor Corvid.

v0.20 - 19/03/2006
• Thanks to a great amount of work by Disnesquick, I can insert dialogue text back into the game. Several dialogue files have been translated and formatted, with an aim to produce a teaser patch... this patch.
• Up to the escape to the sewers translated.

v0.11 - 05/06/2005
• Some previously untranslated text has been translated
• Some errors and bugs fixed
• Names standardized to match scripts under translation

v0.10 - 13/08/2002
• First patch
• Items, special moves, descriptions and most menus have been translated.
• 8x8 fonts replaced
• Xx12 font inserted, VWF updated to reflect change

About Eternal Filena

Eternal Filena is a Super Nintendo RPG, released by Tokuma Shoten Intermedia in February, 1995. It's part of a franchise that started with a series of "light novels" by Takeshi Shudo, illustrated by Akemi Takada. The story is of a girl, Filena, who has been raised as a boy and trained as a gladiator, and her struggle for Freedom.

Eternal Filena was released late into the SNES's life, but despite this it has somewhat dated graphics. Its looks are reminiscent of Final Fantasy V, except it looks a bit more polished in places. However, there's a kind of charm to this look, and I think it is quite endearing to old SNES gamers. As far as the music goes, you're better off judging that for yourself.

The gameplay is fairly orthodox, so you won't have to struggle with a weird battle system and there isn't anything like special skill sets you have to learn, aside from the skills for each of the weapon types, which are learned by level-ing up.

The story's the main draw of the game, it's why I decided to translate the game in the first place. Like much of the game, it may be cliched, flawed, and derivative in places, but it has a certain undeniable charm to it that makes it worth playing. In fact, despite the above, it somehow manages to combine all these elements to become, paradoxically, unique.


D-Pad: Move in the corresponding direction, move between commands, change battle row in the menu.
A: Select commands, scroll text.
B: Cancel, hold to run.
X: Open the menu screen.
Y: Not used.
L: Switch between menus.
R: Switch between menus.
Start: AI set-up (in-battle)
Select: Not used.


• Some of the names of party members are truncated in battle due to space limitations. This will be fixed in a follow-up patch.
• The game shipped with a game-breaking bug that would cause a debug tool to appear at random and interrupt your game. You can't get out of the tool once it's started. The chances of triggering this bug are low, but I recommend saving frequently just in case.

What's Left?

• A couple of minor hacks and improvements that I couldn't get out in time.

The Horrible History of the Eternal Filena Translation


Let me tell you about this project some more. I started working on it as a high school student in 2002. In 2002, I did not really speak Japanese. I could read kana and a handful of kanji, and I had a very small bit of grammar. Back in those days, I was experimenting with ROM hacking, but I was never particularly good at it and never really got much done. (A couple years later I gave up on it.)

At any rate, Eternal Filena piqued my interest. It was quirky, and was unusual for having a female lead. I set about making a non-dialogue patch for it, and I ended up needing a lot of help for it.

I have a soft spot for Eternal Filena. See, the thing is, it's not a very good game. The writing can be pretty awful even if the story's decent, the graphics are subpar, and the music...the music is shit. Its main selling point is that it's a SNES RPG about lesbians with a decent battle system, which makes it quirky enough for me. But the part that I like about Eternal Filena the best is the translation, because it represents everything good about the ROM hacking scene.


When I started the first non-dialogue patch, my Japanese was basic and my ROM hacking skills subpar. So I posted threads calling for translation help on MO's board, and got help from the likes of Tomato, D and Eien no Hen. Akujin gave me his kanji table. I got help from Gideon Zhi to deal with a compressed font, which became the basis for a tutorial on DMA transfers. More skilled hackers such as Bongo, LordTech and Nightcrawler took a look at the awful compression/scripting system for the dialogue.


By the time I released the non-dialogue patch, I was in university studying Japanese. While studying abroad in Japan, I volunteered to help with the translation for Disnesquick's Energy Breaker project. By this point, I was becoming quite confident as a translator, and it was around this time that I did the translation for AGTP's Star Fox 2 project. While working on Energy Breaker, I made an informal offer to Disnesquick that I would agree to translate Lady Stalker in exchange for a dump of the Filena script and an inserter. The Filena files and inserter came back pretty quickly (it turned out to have a lot in common with Energy Breaker); I only translated Lady Stalker in 2008 (got it done in the end)!


I released a couple of patches featuring some initial blocks of dialogue around the time I graduated from university. Things were going pretty slow because my focus was still Energy Breaker, and it was also difficult to align my windows of enthusiasm and free time. The Let's Play thread trend erupted on Something Awful a few months later, and I decided to do something original by doing a Let's Play thread for Filena, with the gimmick being that I would translate and insert the script as I played.

Despite a couple of technical hiccups, all the dialogue was translated by the beginning of 2007. byuu and Bongo stepped in to help again, this time to deal with some stubborn text not covered by Disnesquick's inserter and to replace the Japanese title screen with Maegra's English title screen.

Things got pretty busy around then. I started doing professional work as a translator, and most of my time went towards official work. Those who took part in the failed beta test will probably remember me being very stressed out and not being able to take the time to do much of anything.

As you can see, this project ended up having a fairly long history, and quite a large number of collaborators as well. It also lasted the length of my growth from failed ROM hacker to professional translator.

This Patch Is A Work-In-Progress, Damnit

This patch is a work-in-progress.

As a result, it may contain errors such as inconsistencies in the translations, typos and the like. If you spot such an error, please report it. Screenshots help greatly.

Patching Note

Considering that not that many people will be playing this compared to titles like Tales of Phantasia or Shin Megami Tensei, I don't think I have to be very verbose here.

Credits and thanks




Additional Reprogramming
Gideon Zhi

Title Screen Graphics

Early Translation Help Tomato
Eien ni Hen

Kanji Identification

Special thanks to:
Gideon Zhi, for the utterly invaluable lesson on DMA transfer. You can check out this lesson at

Bongo`, for dumping an initial dialogue script and getting a start on the dialogue table.

LordTech, Nightcrawler, and any one else I got to take a look at this game's horrible guts. Extra thanks to the latter for giving me a copy of an old table when I lost mine.

MO, for starting his translation board.

Corvid, for pointing out some goofs and providing invaluable assistance as an editor.


If you've read this far...

If you've read this far, here's a couple of treats.

1. Music Test
In the items menu, select "Lila's PDA". While the cursor is flashing, press A while holding L and R. Select the new fourth item of the menu.

2. Epileptic Fit
If you're sick of the game screen going nuts while Filena is temporarily blinded for part of the game, change your party line-up as in any RPG. Seriously, some people don't seem to think of doing this at all, and that part of the story lasts a good amount of time.

Copyright ©2009 satsu, except for the bits I didn't do which are copyright to the people who did them.


August 13th, 2002 - February 2nd, 2009


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