Tiny Death Star – Learn Chinese and Be a Geek, for Free

The opening for this post probably deserves some more epic music, something maybe like this?

Anyway, leave that on in the background as we go into the latest offering by the people behind Tiny Tower–Star Wars: Tiny Death Star! The best part: it’s also in Chinese! Set the OS’s language to Chinese and the game will automatically load the Chinese translation.

Please note–if you switch back to English, the game will also switch back to English as well. You need to keep your phone set on Chinese to play it in Chinese.

So let’s talk about 星際大戰:小小死星計畫!

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How StarCraft II helped write my thesis

Well, I should say my thesis is still very much in progress not started, but StarCraft II has played a very important role in helping with my writing and reading sources in preparation. That being said, I don’t actually own the game, but that’s the beauty of the internet.

The focus of my thesis is on the Japanese period of Taiwan, when Taiwan, then Formosa, was a colony of the Empire of Japan. This leads to a lot of vocabulary related to colonialism (colonies are in StarCraft!), war and military terms (your forces are under attack), resources (not enough minerals), etc. etc. So, StarCraft is a veritable hotbed of useful terms.

But what is truly awesome, other than the Wikipedia article, Blizzard’s official StarCraft II website lists all the units, backstory, ‘how to play’ content (including this video which pumps you up), etc. This makes for some fun reading but also really gives you awesome SRS vocabulary, such as for the Marauder–掠奪者.

For me, it is really interesting to see how they translate the units into Chinese. Some may feel disappointed that “Zerg” or “Protoss” seem to have rather simplistic translations of「蟲族」、「神族」respectively. However, and I think this is very important, no matter what translated material you’re dealing with, you need to let go of “how much cooler/better it sounds in English”. Especially with dubbed movies, one can get really caught up with the original voices, the original script, the original names. You just need to let that go and really get into it for what it is, and appreciate how descriptive your target language is, just in different and perhaps more surprising ways.

That being said, get out there and just learn to love the language you’re working on. I’ll be spending the next rest of the month learning unit names and finishing my thesis.

Final Fantasy VII—In Chinese: Replacing the Music

This is an update to the original post, and considering the length of that one, I figured a separate post would be much more manageable that shoving updates into the original.

Note: I wrote this after some high hopes that it would work, regardless of the operating system in use. Unfortunately this is not the case and the following instructions only seem to be applicable to Windows XP or less. I was hoping it’d work! But, feel free to read on if you’re interested.

Anyway, so we all hate that horrible MIDI music, right? Well, in that Chinese Language bundle from before, it also includes an install pack for replacing the music! Assuming you have everything installed, go to the Final Fantasy VII folder in the start menu:


You’ll want to go with the 「PS音樂外掛」program. Run that, and this screen shows:


You’ll notice it says that Windows XP or less there. This may no be an issue if you’re running this through Wine or have XP. Anyway, install this and you should be all set! As I said, I don’t know if this really works or not, but if you happen to running XP and get this to work—let me know in the comments below!

Gaming on the iPhone

From the comments on this entry by a one Jacob Gill:

This looks great. i have been wanting to revist this game for quite some time and playing through again in Chinese would make it even more fun (and perhaps productive). I have also found while playing FFI and FFII on my iPhone that if you have your phone in Chinese mode during the launch of the game everything is in Mandarin Chinese (Traditional or Simplified depending on your preferance). It is a great (and easy way) to study some Chines while playing an RPG. If you have an iPhone.

Thanks for the tip Jacob!

Anyway, I haven’t picked them up myself but now I certainly have some incentive to do so. While I did not know about Final Fantasy, games such as Angry Birds (what limited text there is) are also localized. If you happen to play one, or use an app, by putting your phone’s language into Chinese you’ll get the app in Chinese as well. It’s a useful little tip to know!

So get out there, give Apple and the developers some of your money and bust into the immersion environment! You know, like when you’re in class or doing something incredibly droll.

Side note: From what I’ve seen, this works with Android apps as well.

Final(-ly) Fantasy VII In Chinese—PC Version

This blog is entirely dedicated, and completely sourced from, the hard work and penchant desire to finally get some Chinese RPG goodness up in our studying by @benjarmyn (is this the proper way to cite Twitter folk? I don’t know.. seems a bit silly). The following entry will be rather long, as it collects information, data, instructions, etc. from a variety of sources and attempts to put everything together in one easy reference guide. That said, let’s start this off with some eye candy (the first image is my own, the latter two are not):




And more after the break!

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Chinese Video Games

One thing I have always loved to do in my spare time was to play video games, and I have always wanted to incorporate that into my Chinese studies. Unfortunately, the vast majority of games (especially the ones I like) are generally only in Japanese. But! After a ton of searching I finally found two games that I like translated (kind of) into Chinese!

First is Harvest Moon (GBA):


Though, they still retain some of the Japanese from the original Surprised smile

Second is Final Fantasy VI (aka Final Fantasy III):


But, again, they still retail a lot of the Japanese.. in menus and in battles, but the dialogue is in Chinese..

If only I could find my old favorites like Chrono Trigger, EarthBound, or heck, even a Mario game! I’ll have to keep trying the stores, but generally they just sell the Japanese or American imported versions.