Table of Contents:

What is a Text Dump?

A text dump contains all the text in a video game, ripped straight from the ROM. I use a script to convert the ROM code into formatted, readable text, in either TXT or HTML format. Why is this useful? It is often useful, when theorizing about Zelda, to have quotes handy, so the text dumps put all the text in the Zelda games at one's fingertips.

Different File Formats

For each game you will see several file types available for download:

The actual formatted, readable text dumps are available in text-only (.TXT) format. These files can be viewed in any text editor or word processor, but they don't display fonts in different colors.
The formatted text dumps are also available in .HTML format. These files must be viewed in a web browser, but they have the added advantage of arranging the text in neat tables and displaying different colors. HTML files can also display formatted Japanese text, if your system is Shift JIS capable (see below).
Shift JIS (extension .SJS) is a worldwide standard for displaying Japanese text. SJS files are the Japanese-language equivalent of text-only TXT files. To view SJS files, your computer must be Shift JIS capable. You can download a language pack for your computer or get a program like NJStar Communicator.
Table files tell what hex values in the ROM translate to. Traditional translation tables (.TBL extension) are used in such hex editors as Thingy to translate non-standard text into ASCII format. My tables ( nameofgame(table).txt ) show what hex values translate to in terms of what they do in the ROM (i.e. pause, or indent, or break a line). Thingy TBL files are not necessary for ROMs that use standard ASCII characters (like LA, OoT, and MM).

How Do You Make Text Dumps?

If you don't understand the following, don't worry. I'm just including the information for those who are curious.

The first step in making a text dump is to have a copy of the ROM. Then, if you have a quote from the game, you can search for the text. Newer games (like OoT, MM, and LA) use standard ASCII values for raw text, so it is possible to find the text using any common text editor. Older games (like LoZ, AoL, and ALttP), unfortunately, don't use ASCII standards, so it's necessary to do a relative search using a hex editor like Thingy. Then you can make a translation table that will allow Thingy to translate into standard ASCII values.

To make things even more difficult, some games compress the text. For example, in OoS the hex value 02 0E translates to "Twinrova." ALttP uses text compression, and doesn't use standard ASCII values, so it's the most difficult one to dump. OoS and OoA use ASCII standards but have text compression. Fortunately, I already have TBL files for both these games, so dumping won't be as difficult as it could be. happy.gif

After you have found the text (and you're sure you've found ALL the text), copy and paste all the text you can find into a new file. This is what my DMP files are: just all the text I could find, copied and pasted. Once this is done, I write a PHP script to parse the DMP file and translate everything into a readable format (TXT or HTML). This is the easiest thing to do in the long run, because it takes a while to find out what all the code means. Using the standard Find/Replace function of a text editor is too much work if what you're searching for constantly changes.