OK so, I've got a ton of stuff that I need to unpack about being able to see every single piece of Galarian text in the game via their ripped texture graphics (at least once I can find them)... but I've already got a ton worth sharing right now. This will also push my video on the Galarian language back a bit further... which is no surprise to anyone. That said, I think I'm going to focus on one set of graphics based on a certain environment or screenshot, to be sure to come back for the other parts!
First off, let's establish a few points just so we're all on the same page here. You can't just go into a Nintendo Switch game pack and just copy graphics out of it. The game needs to be decrypted, but even then you need the private keys from your Nintendo Switch... then once that's done you're still with a bunch of files that Photoshop doesn't know what they are... it's basically a big giant hedge maze to walk through. Fortunately this tutorial here helped guide me through everything.... and so long story short, I'm left with a bunch of files that end in .gfpak like this:
I'm not gonna actually show what's what, you can learn more about that somewhere else, as this post isn't a "How To" about it. Anyways, now after I started poking through the various .gfpak files that were generated, I quickly discovered a few important points:
- Fortunately the programmers had the foresight to actually separate the elements of the game into more specific folders. This definitely makes finding what I want easier. For example, these .gfpak files store the textures used in the actual game environments you walk around in... which means basically all Galarian text would be found in them.
- Better yet, each specific .gfpak file stores the textures intended for a single "room", whether it be a literal room, or a Poke Center, a Stadium, or even the entire town. Each time you go from one place to another, it loads that one single .gfpak file, since it has every graphic used in that new place.
- One downside is that there is A LOT of duplicate graphics. People have thrown shade at Game Freak's programming skills, and while I feel like they're overreacting about a lot of things, this does seems to corroborate some of their issues. That is to say, instead of loading a graphic texture from a single file location, which would be the same graphic no matter what environment needs to load it, the game instead loads every graphic inside that environment. So like, if I enter ABC Town from Route 123, if both ABC Town and Route 123 uses "dirt.graphic"... well, it doesn't matter if Route 123 already loaded "dirt.graphic", because ABC Town will load its own copy of "dirt.graphic" again.
- The problem is that it's not just one or two files, but multiple files. Each .gfpak file has anywhere between 100 and 800 graphic files stored in them, meaning at least 50+ graphic files are constantly being loaded and reloaded regularly. Now I'm not much of a programmer, but if that really is the case, that does seem awfully inefficient.
However, I will say that if there is a benefit of having each town or route or building load its own copy of the same graphic, it might leave "beta versions" of graphics in the environment's .gfpak file. Like perhaps, earlier in development, Environment "T789" had a certain model—say, a water fountain—but that model was removed from that environment... however the fountain model wasn't removed in Environment "T790" and "T795", and its graphics might have been subsequently updated... and so when that update propagated through to T790 and T795, it didn't reach T789 because it doesn't use that fountain model, thus its older graphics are left unchanged. Hopefully this makes sense.
And so this is what I think happened here when I discovered what I think might be an older copy of the train ticket machine model's graphic. Oooh!
OK so, you know what I'm talking about here... all over the Galar Region, there are these yellow machines placed in various locations which IIRC don't really do anything. I considered them ticket vending machines, but they could be ATM machines, seeing as their actual texture filename is just "machine". In any case, they're always yellow right? Better yet, I managed to find its graphics file (below), which reveals A LOT more Galarian text on it than I would have EVER been able to see in-game.
Unfortunately a lot of it is just garbage text, but some of it actually are words I haven't seen yet. And what's also interesting is that, even if it uses garbage text, a lot of it is used in a consistent manner, such as:
- oon — this is clearly supposed to be "Cancel"... but what's worth pointing out is that, in Japanese, "No" could be written as いいえ (iie)... and, bare minimum, both share a similar character format. Now I have my doubts that Japanese ATM machines have a "Cancel" button written as 「いいえ」, and I don't see the 「いいえ」 button anywhere on these Japanese ATM machines, but hey, maybe you know something I don't.
- wopn — is this supposed to be "coin"?
- ropn 2iu6z — this is clearly the name of the service. It's worth pointing out that even if it's most likely garbage text, I've only seen it in the context of trains. It does appear on a poster in Opal's backstage area, but that might be a poster about trains.
Anyways, I'll poke though more of the text later. I actually wanted to show this instead:
What what what? Is this another ticket machine! But it looks a little different, doesn't it? It clearly uses much of the same graphics and layout... but some of it seems less... complete, y'know? The small text in the green boxes in the final version are instead just drawn lines in the blue boxes. Plus the Shellder on the train pass is gone! Did I just stumble upon an older copy of the graphic?
Unfortunately I forgot where I got it from! OOOF. This was because I didn't put two and two together quite yet about each .gfpak file being graphics from the same location. However, I think I know where I can find out... but lemme get back to you on this. In any case, the very existence of this seemingly older version of the train ticket machine strongly suggests that other similar graphic files are buried in the game's files somewhere.
OK, that's all I got for you today. But this is hardly the end of this! I'll be back tomorrow and cover one of like ten other ripped graphics which revealed some new Galarian text for me. See you then!