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Tales of Phantasia (PlayStation 1) English translation Screen Shots
These are in descending order, from newest to oldest. All of these are 100% real. These latest screens are at or approaching release quality.

(8/13/06) — Wait… not again!

Here we go again. Another font change. Surely, this is highly recognizable if you liked RPGs in the SNES days. Ah yes– good ‘ol Chicago! Well… the previous font itself was a thin variation of Chicago, but here, we’ve decided to go with the classic RPG version, fit for classic old-school RPGs! Because ToP is classic, right? RIGHT!? Of course it is.

I don’t really give a crap if this font is considered “over-used” or whatever. It’s much better-looking than most RPG fonts out there. Initially, I thought we were going to need a thinner font to display everything in the menus. Well, after you delete some useless, redundant text, and do a bit of re-arranging, you can effectively create an additional line for descriptions, completely negating the need for a small, eye-straining small font.

I feel this font just fits the game better than any others I have seen, by a wide margin. There is simply no need for a horrendously thin dialogue font in this game to torture players with.

(6/2/06) — Battle Font is Variable Width

(1/31/06) — The Great 2006 Blitz

All right. So some time after the 8×8 variable width font (VWF) had been implemented we changed the numbers to something more in-line with the length of the rest of the 8×8 letters. The main reason was because I thought we would need the additional screen space provided by it.

It turns out that only one menu actually benefitted from the smaller numbers, but after a fairly trivial change to that menu it was no longer an issue. So, long live bigger, and better numbers!

I also made some slight changes to several letters in the font.

All of these changes required me to almost completely redo all the cosmetic hacks I had done previously. I don’t see myself ever needing to redo any of that ever again, because I don’t think I can possibly make everything look better than this.

After all these years, I decided to change the dialogue font. It might look a little off if you’ve gotten so used to the old one, but I like it because it much more closely matches up with the with 8×8 one.

Of note, the menu titles in the upper left of the menus should be centered. But the game uses an algorithm to center which isn’t really compatible with the VWF. It’ll be worked on eventually.

Battle screens aren’t so polished, though. I finally got my monster list dumper/inserter but the battle engine hasn’t had as much ASM work done as the standard menus yet. The battle engine has its own 8×8 font routine so the DTE and 8×8 VWF routine doesn’t work there.


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