Castle Quest

Game Information –

Castle Quest is basically a pretty neat chess knockoff for the NES with RPG battles. Each piece has its own attributes and magic powers. You move the pieces around the chessboard and when they land on each other they go into a battle. Each piece then takes turns with cards, if the card rolled is higher than the opponents defense you will do damage, if not you will miss and lose a turn. Magic plays a huge role as well as it can be used on the chessboard to wreck havoc or heal your own units. The game is a lot of luck but also a lot of strategy too especially when it comes to magic. The later levels are ridiculously hard though and I honestly had to use save states to beat most of them. But very fun to play against another human player! And you can make your own boards as well.

Project Information

Castle Quest was a game that was supposed to be released in the US under the name “Triumph”. I remember being a kid and seeing it in Nintendo Power and wanting to play it badly.ย However, for some reason it never was though it was released in Europe for Gameboy. The Gameboy version while in English was missing quite a few bits of the NES version and of course didn’t look as good. So I decided what the heck, I would romhack and translate it. I started the project approximately in March 09 and have finished it in March 10 after going back and forth on it for months when I got bored and had some freetime. The first version was a complete hack but had various bugs. About a year after the original version was completed I was contacted by the romhacker Pennywise and slowly over the next couple years we worked together on improving the hack drastically. I can say now it is a complete patch and a major improvement on version 1.0. Pennywise should be credited for most of the hacking and for teaching me quite a few new things. He also had another translator look over it and improve on some spots of the original translation.

Credits –

Pennywise – Hacking, editing

Hubz – Original hacking and production

John Rosewicki & Mathieu Charette – Original Translation

Eien ni Hen – Additional text proofing and editing

Paul Jensen – Misc spot translations

aishsha – Misc spot translations

LostTemplar – Misc spot translations

FlashPV – title screen design

danke – testing, music mode write up

Screenshots –

Castle Quest Screenshot 1 Castle Quest Screenshot 2 Castle Quest Screenshot 3

Files and Instructions on How to Patch –

You can download a zip of the patch below –

Castle Quest English Translation Patch V2.0

To apply it you’ll need the original japanese rom which I can’t provide but you can google for it here. Just make sure it’s the Japanese Castle Quest rom and not the entirely different English NES game CastleQuest. Confusing I know but you’ll figure it out I’m sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’ll also need and IPS Patching Program, I like Lunar IPS which you can download by clicking here.

And lastly you’ll need an emulator. I recommend this one.


33 Responses to “Castle Quest”

  1. […] After nearly a year the Castle Quest translation is complete! Check it out by clicking here. […]

  2. Congratulations for this translation ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Is there a translated version of the manual around somewhere?

  4. No unfortunately ๐Ÿ˜ฆ If somebody could get me scans of it I might be able to get it translated though.

  5. […] Download do IPS: Spooky Tornado […]

  6. Thanks for the translation. I always wanted to try this game.

    Are you planing on trying to fix the bug where x and z appear at the end of messages? It’s not detrimental to gameplay, but is rather distracting and annoying.

    The password bug is pretty negligible unless you wanted to make a cart repo.

    My only other request would be a title screen that says “Castle Quest” or “Triumph” since that was what the game was going to be called for the U.S. release.

    Thanks again.

  7. I was just thinking. Maybe the x and z after text bug is related to the name/password screen bug? Maybe if you re-setup the English alphabet it will correct itself? I noticed that where there are two blank spots on the letter select screen in your translation, there are two characters in the original that can only seem to be chosen after you pick another character first.

    Don’t know if this actually helps, but I though I’d put it out there.

  8. Yeah I bet if I redid the alphabet layout I could exclude those two from being graphics. I would need to take out and re-insert the script with the new alphabet though. But it’s something I can probably handle. I’ve found a couple of bugs and I’m kinda waiting and hoping others find more so I can release an updated patch with those issues addressed. Thanks for your idea! Keep em coming.

  9. I was playing both your translated version and the original today to try and compare them. Here are a few observations I made.

    When a character misses in a fight, it’s name appears with a Y at the end of it’s name.

    When a character is damaged in a fight, the character who was damaged has it’s name appear with Z at the end of it.

    When a character moves to the other side of the board and gets upgraded, it’s original name appears with a Z at the end and it’s new name appears with a V at the end of it.

    When comparing the Japanese version, I noticed that the same symbols always appear at the end of the names. These symbols correspond to Y and Z in the alphabet menu under the same circumstances. As far as I can tell anyways. I don’t actually read or speak Japanese.

    I tried looking up japanese characters on the net and I believe that Y is the hiragana symbol for “no” and Z is “ha”.

    I can’t figure out which character corresponds to V during the upgrade text. It might be “ni”. I’m not sure though. Kinda hard to tell.

    I also noticed a few parts of the text that seems to be missing a period (.)

    “Join units to fight foes” and “A grave marks them”.

    Also, when someone uses magic and the game states the effects, it says the players name with a Y at the end and the characters name below it with a Z at the end.

    About the “cards are used” bug in the tutorial, the 7th text box that pops up after the fight scene says “cards are used” in your translation. It also says “cards are used” in the first text box of the fight scene.

    I checked the japanese version and noticed that the text for “cards are used” in the fight scene is different than the 7th text box after the fight scene. There are a total of 11 text boxes that pop up after the fight scene in the original and your translation. That means that that particular text box is simply referencing and popping up the wrong line of text. (I think so anyways) So, I guess look for an unused line of text that makes sense coming after “magic will leave coffins” and “you can move by them”.

    I hope what I said makes sense and I hope you find some of it useful. I took screenshots, but didn’t know how to post them.

    Also, about the title screen. Maybe you can use the gameboy version’s title screen? It’s exactly the same except it says castle quest in englisg and it’s not in color. I don’t know how hard it would be to add color to it and add it, but it’s just a thought.

    Anyways, hope this helps. I’ll let you know if I come across any bugs. I haven’t been able to beat the first battle yet, so I haven’t gotten very far yet.

  10. I don’t know much Japanese but I know ka at the end of sentence usually means it’s a question if I’m not mistaken. Maybe the no and ha’s at the end of those examples you give are something similar. Yeah I had to ditch periods on a few sentences to make them fit, really hated doing that as it looks inconsistent but it is what it is.

    I think on the cards are used part I may have somewhere unknowingly messed up a pointer? And that’s why it does it. But that confuses me as I never was able to really locate the pointer table. I must have accidentally stumbled onto it somewhere somehow.

    Taking the Gameboy Title and fitting it into the NES one isn’t a bad idea. Never have tried redoing the graphics but I know it’s very doable. Just would need to get off my lazy butt and make that happen ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for all your hard work and suggestions!

  11. Ok, I did some research. No (or Y) seems to indicate possession and ha (or Z) indicates the subject. So no is the same as “‘s” after someone or somethings name. So when the game prints “Player1Y MagicManZ burnt up!” is the same as “Player1’s MagicMan burnt up!” with “MagicMan” being the subject.

    Upon closer inspection, I believe the V to = ta and not ni like I originally thought. ta seems to refer to past tense. since the Cyclops BECAME Behemoth, ta is added at the end because it is signifying some thing that happened in the past. “became” is the key word.

    So this whole thing with the extra characters after words has to do with the way Japanese grammar works.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Any news?

  13. I haven’t messed with it since the release really to be honest as I am kinda burnt out on it. But I am pretty sure I will fix those errors you and I discussed sometime in the future. Especially if more bugs are found.

  14. I do not have anything to contribute as far as working out the kinks, but I wanted to say thank you for the translation. Despite getting Nintendo Power back in the NES days, I do not remember any previews for the game, but recently tried it on a whim and am enjoying the game thanks to you.

  15. Just wondering if you were still working on this?

    • Actually yes, got some help from a fellow hacker and I’m busy fixing a lot of the errors. Hopefully won’t take too long.

  16. Any chance for a nice translated Christmas gift? ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. The planned (but canned) US version for Game Boy is still alive – just checked the eprom I got 20 years ago from Hudson. Take a look:

  18. Wow where did you find that? Very cool! I had the Euro version but it didn’t have the Triumph title screen.

  19. The EU version you had was a standard retail copy, right?

    I used to be working at a video game magazine in the early 90s and got the eprom/dev-cart from Hudson Europe for a preview article.

  20. Yep was the retail copy. Are the translations the same? Very cool that it has a different title screen. Wonder if there’s a proto floating around of the NES version. I know Nintendo Power featured it in an issue. Might have been the same one as Earthbound.

  21. This still being worked on to iron out the bugs like the odd letters/characters appearing after names?

  22. I really do need to take the time to finish it, or somebody else is welcome to if they want to. I basically have the information another hacker has given me on how to get rid of the rest of it. It’s just a matter of taking the time to do it. I’m a really bad and slow romhacker so I just haven’t sat down and dedicated myself to finish it out. The other guy helping me may end up getting it done before me and I will let you know if he does ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Cool. It’s good to hear that the problem has been figured out and it’s just a matter of making the time to implement the fix. I’ve been interested in this game for some time and was excited when the translation was first released. Unfortunately, the extra text characters are quit distracting to the point of making me rather wait for the final fix before I start really trying to get into it. I look forward to the day it is finished.

  24. Waiting with baited breath.

    • Hahaha I have to admit you coming after me about this is good. I do have some free time right now so i’m going to start plugging away at this again. Pennywise I was hoping would finish the work for me haha but I haven’t spoken to him in quite a long time. He probably got busy with other stuff. I’ll review his notes and work at this some more and get in touch with him and see if we can’t get this thing properly done. Thanks for your support ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Okay been working with Pennywise and have finished redoing the script to line up with the pointer table. What a nightmare! Whoever coded this was a masochist ๐Ÿ™‚ Had to do each line individually and calculate the pointer. Sometimes they would run in order for 2 or 3 lines then jump to the next. Also the pointers didn’t reverse, which I had never though for checking but he figured that out. Pennywise is polishing up a few things and having a 3rd translator look over the translation to see if we can’t polish that up as well. It’s looking great and shouldn’t be long at all! Next up I’m going to tackle making a Repro NES cart of this.

    • Sweet. I stopped by to see if I needed to give you another poke. :p Glad to hear there is progress. Just trying to get a repro for yourself or trying to get them produced? Will the final patch still be available if you try having the repro sold online?

      Have you tried translating the title screen? Either by using the gameboy version or old usa proto screens?

  26. Castle Quest V2.0 is out! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I have an original european gameboy version of this.
    It was one of the best games I owned

  28. Hey Michael if you ever come back here again let me know. If you’re interested in selling the prototype of Triumph for Gameboy I’d be interested.

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