DvD Translations presents:

The Portopia Serial Murder Case

Rev. B2 Manual Released: November 12, 2011
Rev. B Patch Released: October 31st, 2010

Rev. A Patch Released: June 16th, 2006


Rev B: Patch | Manual | ReadMe | Map | Walkthrough

Note: You will need to use a generic ROM expander program to expand the ROM before applying the patch.
For Windows PC users you can use ROM Expander Pro!

Enter the Secret Word shown when you win the game:


Today, we release Rev. B2 of the manual.
It now contains scans of all the pictures in the original manual.

Along with this, today we d├ębut our new generic ROM expansion format.

We used to have a link here for the original commercial for the game.
Unfortunately, someone thought this was copyright infringement. At least we still have the translation...

Unfortunately, the audio is pretty hard to understand. The translation, by harmony7, is as follows:
31.October.2010 - Happy Halloween!

We've FINALLY released the Rev. B patch!!!

This release features: We are all VERY happy to be done with this project. I see no reason to keep the Rev. A version of the patch available as everything was improved in this version of the release.

Oh, and the reason we are going with Rev. B/A vs. 1.00/2.00 is that unlike SNES games with actually use the 1.00/1.01 version numbers internal to the ROMs, NES games have no internal version numbers. Instead, on the back of each box and in the manual, the Rev number was listed. For example, I own two different Rev numbers of the Dragon Warrior manual that have some slight cosmetic differences. So, we just felt this was appropriate for this new release.

Well, Radical R finally finished his beta testing, stating that he found no more problems. We have one final beta tester looking at it. We will make sure this one doesn't go too long. We will release the translated manual when we release the Rev. B patch.

Anyway, we have added the new Secret Word page entry to our page thanks to harmony7.

Uriel sent us the missing pictures of the X1 study and the PC-8801 HQ. Thanks Uriel! Note that the PC-8801's picture's resolution is actually 640 by 200. So, when it is resized, the areas where the colors are alternating pixel by pixel take on stripes of alternating color instead of checkerboards of alternating colors. Suffice to say, it looks much better on a real PC-8801.

The beta testers are moving quite slowly for some reason. DvD hopes they finish it soon. In the mean DvD has been focusing on Heracles.

Well, it's been 4 long years, but finally Rev. B Beta version released for testing! Features:
harmony7 has worked on the script some more, but he has not finished it yet, sorry.

Yep, no manual so far. Honestly, I'm sorry we haven't released it yet. It's not my call.

But, I do have some good news. harmony7 has recently just gotten really excited about this project. I'm not sure what came over him, but I'm doing all I can to keep him moving. Don't be suprised if Portopia Rev. B is released before Romancia.

For my part, I was able to create 8 new background tiles by moving the old ones to the unused sprites used for the unused screen. So, now the 8 character menus can finally say the 11 character "Investigate". This also allowed me to add a new tile to the Shinkaichi screen which, due to this, and other enahancements to the screen, looks a lot nicer.
Also, due to a suggestion, I changed the expansion Mapper from 78 (irem/Jaleco) to 68 (Sunsoft Mapper #4). So, now it works on a lot more emulators! Neato!

By the way, here are some screen shots from the newly released cell phone version of the game:
Cell Phone Hanakuma Cell Phone Study Cell Phone Shinkaichi

Just an update to let everyone know that harmony7 and DvD are still working to release rev B of the Portopia patch. The .html manual was completely translated by harmony7 soon after the last update, but we just haven't released it yet. I'm really hoping to do this soon, but don't hold your breath... my real life hasn't slowed down yet!

1) As promised, the walk-through for Rev. A has been released. Thanks to all who sent in their requests for hints.

2) harmony7, translator for the legendary but now defunct RPGe, has contacted us and offered his services as a translator for Rev. B. This game is one of his all time favorite games. He played it when it first came out in Japan and he even still owns his original cartridge! Both harmony7 and DvD share the goal of making Rev. B as close to a perfect translation of the game as possible. That means accurate and clean sounding. Even those of you who chose to play Rev. A might want to replay the game when Rev. B comes out. I'm excited to see how this all turns out.

harmony7 has also located a html version of the entire original Famicom manual! He has translated it to go along with Rev. A and it is now in editing. It will be posted at this site when editing is completed along with a modified Rev. A ReadMe.

1) Well, for those of you who care, there is a Rev B patch being worked on.
Basically were trying to make the menus items 1 row when possible, editing the script once again, and highly considering using a custom font.

Ryusui, DvD, and KlD are all taking active roles in Rev B.

Remember Rev A is complete, completely playable, and bug free but is a more literal translation than it needs to be. Certainly you can go ahead and play it now, but if these improvements would really improve the game experience for you, you can wait for the Rev B release. In fact, we'll might keep the Rev A release too for those who'd prefer it because many people have said they like it just like it is.

2) We now have the actual text from the story part of the original version of the game (courtesy hiroshi) translated into English (courtesy shiroi)! hiroshi has already edited it and we'll add it/replace the story in our manual when we address a few things in it. We will not be waiting for rev B to do this, so it could happen any day. We'll let you know here when it has been done.

hiroshi did it again and found us proof of the MSX version! This guy's amazing. Here's a screen-shot of Hanakuma on the MSX!
MSX Hanakuma

1) If the ROM expander gives you the error "Failed to load control 'CommonDialog' from COMDLG32.OCX" just load and install the ocx from here. Thanks to q 3 for pointing this out.

2) We not only have proof of the NEC PC-6001 version of the game but many other versions of the game (thanks hiroshi for pointing them out here, here, here, here, and here.). Actually, 3 versions were made altogether by Yuji Horii in 1983: PC-6001, PC-6001mkII, and PC-8801. The PC-6001 one is considered the original, but it is obvious that the mkII one was made at the same time and the PC-8801 soon after. (The PC-6601 ran either the 6001 or 6001mkII versions, I'm not sure which one.) Also in 1983, the game was ported to the FM 7/8 and the X1 by T.Ikawa and T.Yoshimine, respectively, just as the Famicom version was later ported by Chun Soft.

If you have it, we are still looking for proof of the MSX version, which I'm guessing was made after 1983.

Boxes for the PC-6001/PC-6001mkII/PC-6601 and FM 7/8 versions (note that the one in the middle also says PC-6601):
6001 Box Front 6001 Alternate Box Front FM 7/8 Box Front
I guess that is a picture of Kouzou in the background. Scary looking dude.

Screen Shots from the PC-6001, PC-6001mkII, and PC-8801 versions of the game:
6001 Title 6001mkII Title 8801 Title
6001 Hanakuma 6001mkII Hanakuma 8801 Hanakuma
6001 HQ 6001mkII HQ 8801 HQ
6001 Study 6001mkII Study 8801 Study
The title screen for the PC-6001 looks different because it was taken from an emulator while the others are pictures taken of an actual PC-6001 TV or monitor. The cyan and red/orange colors shown on actual PC-6001 pictures are created through a process called artifracting. Basically every other column of pixels is either red/orange or blue. If both ajacent pixels are turned on they combine to show white. I used to do this on the Atari 800XL all the time.

Notice the blood by Kouzou's head on the chalk outline. This one portion of the head was drawn as a sprite in the Famicom version. I guess someone felt it was too gory for the Famicom.

Screen Shots from the PC-8001mkII, FM 7/8, and X1 ports of the game:
8001mkII Title FM 7/8 Title X1 Title
8001mkII Hanakuma FM 7/8 Hanakuma X1 Hanakuma
8001mkII Study FM 7/8 Study X1 Study
Notice that the latter two versions have at least some menu support.

1) Surprise! We've finally released the patch! Thank the Lord it's done! Thanks to shiroi, Radical R, and everyone else involved with the patch! Thanks to everyone who waited to play the game, I hope it was worth the wait. Download the patch and read the ReadMe for details!

2) Screen Shots from the PC-8801 version of the game (thanks to Radical R & hiroshi):
Moved to the June 26th post.

1) We're still working on editing that one line. It's a doozie.

2) A more important issue: The game's name has officially changed to The PORTOPIA Serial Murder Case. PORTOPIA seemed like a bad romanization of "Port Pier" to both Shiroi and I, but we were wrong. According to multiple Japanese web sites, PORTOPIA is actually a made up Japanese word from the two English words, Port & Utopia. PORTOPIA is the name of an Expo that was held in 1981 on the newly completed, wholly man-made Port Island in Kobe, Japan. You can imagine the number of places I needed to change file names and file content because of this! By the way, there were two Portopia amusement parks in Japan, Kobe Portopia Land on Kobe Portopia Island and Kure Portopia Land which is near Hiroshima. This game took place near the former, which recently went out of business. :(

3) Also, it now looks like this game was originally released for a japanese PC, the NEC PC-6001 in 1983, and was later ported to the Famicom. This is stated at many sources, enough for me to bet that it is true, but I don't have any concrete proof of it like a ROM or image of the game screen or packaging. If you have found one please send me the link. Interestingly, it has been stated that it was the first of these adventure style games made for a Japanese PC. It can also now be confirmed that it was the inspiration for Hideo Kojima to work in the games industry. Although elements of it show up in Kojima's first game, Metal Gear, Kojima's second game, Snatcher is an adventure game in the same style as PORTOPIA. And PORTOPIA is still the first of it's kind for a console. So, in somes ways, the game was more of a milestone than I thought. By the way, the game has recently been ported by Square-Enix to the Japanese cell phone, i-Phone.

4) A new PORTOPIA map was created that shows more places from the game.

5) Famicom Advertisement: Ad

The patch couldn't be more done. In going through each line of the game, I found that one line in the game still needs editing. That's it. Once it's fixed, the game will be released.

The final patch was completed today. I am in the process of doing final testing of the patch.

A special hidden page has been added to the site. You are given the link to in when you pass the game as a bonus for passing the game. Read the manual for details.

On April 4th, Radical R asked to beta test the game. Tonight he passed it. There are a few typos to fix and there were a few places he got stuck. Still, the game should be released to the public soon. Stay tuned...

This project is far from dead. Understand the game is complete. It's been complete for years. Detailed editing before it was ready for beta release was completed months ago. DvD has passed the game multiple times, but he already knew what to do! We're having trouble finding beta testors who'll really try to pass the game, on their own, without being told what to do! What we need is for someone to actually pass the game given the manual and
map we've created. Once one person has done this, we'll release the game to the public as the first and, what we intend to be, the final release. A few weeks later we'll also release the complete detailed walkthough that DvD made that shows exactly what to do and how to access all the secrets in the game.

Here's some more screen shots to get you interested.

Title Hanakuma Mansion
Recption Room Maze HQ

Do you feel you're up to being a beta tester for the first adventure game made for the Famicom? The success of The PORTOPIA Serial Murder Case release on the Famicom in Japan proved that the time was right for Yuji Horii's grand vision of bringing the first RPG to the Famicom, Dragon Quest. If you can prove you have experience beta testing, hacking, or translating ROMs or you've played through murder mystery type mostly text adventures (famicom detective club, etc.) and would like to beta test this game, we would really love to hear from you! Please contact us at dvdtranslations at yahoo dot com. If you can, please help us finish this project. I can't wait until it can be released to the general public so everyone can see where console RPGs came from.

Here's some box and cart scans.

Famicom Box: Famicom Box I finally found a whole box scan!

Famicom Cart Label: Famicom Cart Label

Famicom Cart & Manual: Famicom Manual Cover & Cart

"Famicom Game Book Series": Book

well all the context is sorted out and DvD tells us that 78% of the phrases sound perfect! yea! that leaves 22% of 104 phrases in need of tweaking. it might sound like a lot, but most of them are pretty easy fixes, so it won't be too difficult. woo-hoo!

holy good lord it's been some time, hasn't it. well, despair not, fellow port pier lovers, for we are on the brink. well, not so much the brink as just before the brink. what happened is this: DvD has finished working out the context for each line of dialogue, so now shiroi can go back and tweak her translations. we figure you'd like your translations to make as much sense as possible, hence the extra steps. after that, we already have beta testers lined up, so it looks like smooth sailing from here on out!

well, DvD emailed to say he finished inserting the text last night. he hasn't heard back from our native japanese script-checker Rie yet, but he wanted to make sure the inserter worked the way he thought it should. some wierd little bugs to work out still, but overall, everything's going swimmingly. i'm sure we'll have some screenies up for you eventually here.

a little mistake on my part. *oops!* when i said "dumper" a couple of days ago, what i really meant was "inserter." really kinda obvious if i had been bothered to think about it; obviously he already had the text dumped, coz otherwise what the heck would i be translating? or not translating. but i am thinking about it! well, anyhow i changed the words down there, so now it's a text inserter, not a text dumper. now if we could just get some english text... *ahem*

you mean things have actually been happening? holy lord! *ahem* well for one thing DvD finished his text inserter. for another, ... ... well, not much really, but the text inserter's done and so now the dumped text is finalized. shiroi just needs a pause button and a whole big shipment of ambition!

some quotes from a recent DvD email:
Well, I've come quite far with the Port Pier coding recently. All the menu, compression table, character name table, and title screen translations & coding have essentially been completed. It all looks pretty darn good.

I have even expanded the ROM!. It now uses an obscure irem/Jaleco mapper (#78) that only two Japanese games use, but it is really easy to work with. And it works with FCE Ultra and RockNES which are they only two emulators, that I have, that play the original game flawlessly anyway.


1) I will next add the code that switches ROM banks based on which string you are trying to view.

2) I will code up a script inserter. Others exist, but I'd rather make one that simply uses our Speech.sjs text file as input. It shoud be able to write one w/o too much trouble.

how cool, ne? he even sent along a pic to prove it's not all just a farcical dream brought on by too many hours in front of the ps2.

the lovely inserted menus

so, feast your eyes on that lovely update, and pray fervently for shiroi to find some time so she can get the translations done.

Well, work actually started back in December, but we really didn't have much news until now, so here it is:

credit & title page

Well, how spiffy is that? shiroi has agreed to translate it for us. She's got just a few other projects, but she said she would sqeeze this one in between some of the others and get it done. She already finished an intial translation of the menus and the above title page. Yea! The ROM itself is extremely small, and thus hard to work with, but DvD has launched himself into it and in fact made some progress since December, cracking into it and discovering exactly how hard it's going to be to expand this puppy. Double yea!

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Page Last Modified: August 8, 2014