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!
What you’ll need:
- A computer. It doesn’t matter, any kind. As long as it is running, or is able to run, Windows 95+. Yes, Windows 95. I mean, just look at these requirements!
- Final Fantasy VII requires an IBM PC or 100% compatible computer. The minimum CPU speed required is a Pentium 166MHz without a 3D accelerator or a Pentium 133MHz with a recommended 3D accelerator. Your computer must have at least 32MB of RAM.
- Operating System
- You must have Windows 95 installed in your system.
- I’m pretty confident your computer will be able to handle this game.
- Final Fantasy VII—get the original version, not all those funky remakes they came out with later. Just pure, unadulterated Final Fantasy VII for the PC.
- A codec to run the thing—especially important in Windows Vista and 7.
- The Chinese language pack installer.
- This comes in two flavors: Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. While I am not sure if you can install both at the same time, and while the way it installs is a separate .exe file for the game, I did not want to experiment or take the risk of having to do it all over again. I installed the Traditional version and it works fine.
That said, I’ll focus on the the most important aspects of this: the codec, installing FFVII, and the Chinese language pack installer.
Before you install FFVII, you’ll want to install this codec, as described from a post on this forum:
First of all, Windows 7 does not have the TrueMotion 2.0 codec, which is used to run the in-game movies. Without this, you will not be able to start the game because the game can’t play the Eidos Interactive Presents movie. To download the codec, visit this site:
The post goes on to mention things like patches and whatnot, but it seemed to work fine without those, besides it was a dead link anyway as that site seems to no longer exist. Unless I run into problems, I assume we’ll never know. If someone knows where to get them, be sure to drop a line in the comments below!
This has its own heading so you know this is important!
From the get-go, make sure you go with the “Maximum” installation, otherwise the Chinese language pack installer won’t work properly.
I also installed all the other little bits like the movie player, DirectX and the Yamaha Software Synthesizer. Does it make a difference either way? While very likely not, I wanted to be safe.
Also: I did this on an English, North American distribution of the game for the PC. I don’t know if this will work for other languages/regions, but if you happen to try, let me know in the comments.
The Chinese Language Pack Installer
Next, you’ll want to get yourself to this website (Chinese only) and scroll down about halfway through the top post until you get to this section:
I highlighted the area you need to go to in the image. Select one of the three sites below and download the file!
This is for traditional. Simplified is just as easy and is only a quick scroll below this section. Same set-up, just make sure you go to the second option not the GoGoBox path.
Once you download and run the installer, this little set of instructions pops up:
1.安裝 FF7 PC 版時，必須選擇 Maximum Install (最大安裝)
2.複製光碟 Disc1,2,3的「Movies」資料夾到 FF7 安裝位置
預設是：C:Program FilesSquare Soft, IncFinal Fantasy VII
3.複製光碟 Disc1,2,3的「Movies」資料夾到 FF7 安裝位置時
5.第一次進入遊戲必須設定 FF7 Configuration
請選擇「軟體著色」和「640 x 480(全螢幕) 」
1. When installing, you must select Maximum install (hopefully you did so already!)
2. Take the “movies” folder from disks 1, 2, and 3 and copy it to the installation folder of FFVII (In my case, this is C:/Program Files/Square Soft, Inc/Final Fantasy VII/movies [the ‘movies’ folder you need to create yourself]).
3. When copying, you have to select “copy and replace”, as some movies overlap. Make sure the movie files from each disk end up in the same movies folder in the install directory mentioned above. That is, don’t make a moviesdisk1 folder and separate them.
4. Finally, run the installer.
5. Go into FF7 Configuration and you have to set the parameters to “軟體著色” and “640 x 480”, otherwise it’s possible the font will get messy!!
And that’s it! Just let the installer do its thing!
When you’re finished, navigate to the start menu, find the Final Fantasy VII folder and it should look like this:
Note the FF7 Configuration file you need to open to make the changes listed in number five above.
Some (potential) drawbacks:
- This is obviously a game of a much simpler time before Windows XP and laptops that could actually be carried. As such, the controls are (until you can actually get into the game enough to edit the things), set to either an external game controller, or to a full-sized keyboard. The controls are set to the numeric keypad (way before WASD was even a concept). So, for me right now, I can’t actually play the game yet (though I can get KIND of far with the NUM-LK engaged, but it’s still a very aggravating process).
- Likely I’ll get an external keyboard, though I’ve seen tutorials to link up Playstation 3 controllers to the computer, again, untested (they specifically mention this controller). I’m tempted to try the latter, as using the keyboard seems really tedious.
- I ran this on a computer that has Windows 7 Traditional Chinese (zh-TW) edition on it. I don’t know if running this on an English version of Windows will cause text or display issues inside the game. If so, a potential solution for you may be Vistalizator, which will let you change the OS language.
Anyway—that’s the sum of it! Good luck and I hope you enjoy the game!
Thanks so much! I’ll give it a try in a few days and let you know how it goes. I never finished this game. I tried at least twice before, but something would always come up: Lost the save files, lost the game, or something silly. This is a great excuse to try for the THIRD time!
Your’e quite welcome!! I tried a bit and found the music to be AWFUL. It uses some weird synthesized MIDI, which I guess was the bee’s knees at the time (or, you know, before MP3’s and such were common). So in some ways it is kind of irritating. But, again, I didn’t get that far due to the controls!
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.
Actually, that’s really great to know and it makes me want to get those games now (or, at least, more of an excuse to do so!). Oooh that is darned tempting.
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I cant seem to get it to work. For the Chinese Pack Installer, Step: 4, it says run the installer. What installer is it talking about? Is it the chinese language pack installer, beacuse i thought i’m already running that already.
Sorry about the late reply, just moved so things were kind of all over the place. Finally settling down now. Anyway, thanks for the comment! As for Step 4, the installer is the language pack installer, the so-called「繁體中文補丁」. After that it should show up in the start menu under “Final Fantasy VII”. What’s actually not working? Does it open but no Chinese or does it not open at all? What is your system configuration?
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i’ve been trying to install Final Fantasy 7 in Chinese since i started learning Chinese 9 years ago but I never succeeded.This is the first time i see a non chinese person trying to get it to work (properly) on a computer and i’m happy to see i wasn’t the only crasy person trying to play that damn game in Chinese (i managed to make FF8 work in Chinese no problem though). I know that file you are using but i never managed to make it work. Lets hope i can make it with your instructions.
I was exited that i left a comment without reading through everything on this page and i’m quite sad to learn that you still have to play this game with MIDI…that really really sucks. 🙁
I know, I was really disappointed with that too since I loved the original soundtrack. I saw some random work-around to try and get the MP3s to play instead, but I could never get it to work. 🙁
By the way, FF7 is now available through STEAM (or directly on square enix website) and the musics are fine!
Unfortunately there is no Chinese version, maybe someone will be able to add languages?
If they hired me to do the Chinese translation, I would happily do it 🙂
Hello dear everyone! I found this chinese unofficial version based on the newly available FF7 version available on the STEAM platform. http://www.ali213.net/zt/FF7/
Unfortunately, the midi sound issue has only just recently been resolved on this new STEAM platform version and the chinese unofficial version is still in midi.
However, extracting the file and clicking once on “install” to get the whole thing working is enjoyable!
Looks good! I’ll have to check it out. If I can get it working I will be super excited if I can get it working 😀
Has anyone given this a try yet? I’d like to but I’m kind of scared I’ll get a virus. Maybe I’m just paranoid
Also curious as to whether anyone has got this working. I’d be interested in any working language mods for simplified Chinese for any of the Final Fantasy games on Steam