Tomato Adventure Translation Stuff

A long while back, after finishing the Mother 3 translation, I still had the itch to translate neglected GBA games. My first choice was Tomato Adventure, and after what I learned from Mother 3, hacking this game was a cinch for the most part. I quickly realized, though, that the project was going to be a LOT more time and work than I could afford, so I had to drop the project.

I forgot about it for the most part until now, so I’ve decided to release the files, tools, and notes I put together for anyone who should want to mess with it themselves. Note that you can’t make a full translation with this stuff, think of it more as a stepping stone. I’ve also included a simple IPS patch that shows the various systems (script text, menu text, battle text, etc.) working, but only very little text has been translated. It’s basically a proof of concept I guess.

Anyway, you can get the file here and/or the IPS translation patch by itself here. Remember, this IPS file is just a proof of concept patch, it only translates a few lines of text.

And now for some videos and pics from various points during my work on it:

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31 Responses to “Tomato Adventure Translation Stuff”

  1. Toudou1620 says:

    I finished this game when I was like 12 years old without understanding anything.
    I love it.

  2. EBM says:

    If only I knew any Japanese and/or could hack.
    (Despite popular opinion, watching COPIOUS amounts of subbed anime does not teach one Japanese.)
    D’oh, well. This poor game will probably never be translated. I’ve had an eye on it for a while, too. Guess it’s back to “OFFICIALLY TRANSLATED MATERIAL” for me.

  3. Random says:

    Do you still have the other Tomato RPG, the one that takes place in a farm, and where a tomato is a main character? IIRC, there are multiple endings based on what you do at the end of the game.

  4. Danny says:

    Thanks for releasing this – I wish more fan-translators would take the time to release their work to allow others to complete it. Cheers!

  5. Random says:

    Too bad you never finished the house game. One thing that I know about it is that you lost the source code, am I right? I hope that you do have the source code to Freak Farm, though.

    • Mato says:

      I don’t really remember, I think I have the source to both. But your recollection is probably better than mine 😛

      • Random says:

        I’m planning to translate “Freak Farm” to a variety of languages, you see. Probably the house game as well.

        • Random says:

          Or just finish the house game, if you really do have the source code.

          • Mato says:

            I looked a lot harder this time, can’t find it. I don’t know if I even have it anymore 🙁

          • Mato says:

            Hmm, I think I might’ve found the latest version of 1.2 source, if not it’s one of the near-final versions:


            It’s only the source file, I assume you can just drop it into a directory with the full game and it’ll probably load all the extra files just fine.

            We used QBasic and later QuickBasic for DOS, so you’ll want to use those too.

            The graphics were stored using QBasic’s BSAVE and BLOAD routines. There might be editors for them out there, I dunno.

        • Mato says:

          I did some quick searching for source code for both yesterday. I thought I might’ve found the code for Freak Farm but it’s in a weird format so I’m not sure yet. Still no luck finding the house file, I don’t have as much hope for finding the source for that one though. We made that game like 15 years ago, I don’t think I’ll be adding on to it or finishing it or anything at this point 😛

  6. rudra says:

    half way through Famicom Detective Club Part II, i find the story very interesting. i just found out that someone else is trying to translate Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir but is facing hacking problem which led to delay, maybe you can help since u have experience in hacking part 2

  7. akage says:


    I don’t think anyone has picked this up yet, so I think I will begin translating ASAP.

    Consider the project resumed.

    • akage says:

      If I can find another hacker interested, that is.

      I’ve messed around a bit, and the inserter isn’t processing normal spaces correctly (though I assume you knew that). I don’t see the correct hex code anywhere in the source or notes for a regular space. Would you happen to still have that information?

      • Mato says:

        Does it print a つ there instead of a space? I thought I had fixed that.

        • akage says:

          That’s exactly what it does. Fullwidth works, but that ruins character spacing, since it only supports 18 characters per line, you need every one you have…

          • akage says:

            Also, I assume the intro text uses a different display method since they were left blank? Any text I attempt to input gives a cannot input character error.

            I’m still getting used to your tools, there’s only so much I can do (light programming knowledge, no assembly knowledge) without finding another GBA-familiar programmer.

          • Mato says:

            I could swear I fixed the space problem by adding this to the tomatoadv.asm file:

            // make a blank space in the fonts
            org $8649636; db $00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00
            org $864453A; db $00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00,$00

            Did you set everything up properly? Are you rebuilding the ROM from scratch each time using the .bat file and then using the inserter, or are you just using the inserter?

            And yeah, I think I mentioned somewhere in the readme that the intro stuff is different.

          • akage says:

            I don’t know anything about GBA assembly, do you mean a file within the ROM itself? There’s no .asm file in the archive. Yes, I’m rebuilding every time. No mention of intro text was made from what I could tell.

            I’m a translator, not a hacker, but I’m showing the tools to a few people to see if they can do something with them.

          • Mato says:

            Okay, I see I somehow forgot to include the .asm file. I reuploaded it, but you can also just take this file:


            Rename it to tomatoadv.asm and drop it into the same folder as the rest of the files. Then the rebuilding process should work properly. The .asm file includes some of the tiny hacks I made, one of which fixes the つ/space thing.

          • akage says:

            Thanks, works great.

            I’ll see how far I can get with just myself.

  8. Random says:

    Thank you for the source code. But there’s another one. The help executable, maybe?

    P.S.: The source code’s version is 1.1. Is the readme for it different from version 1.2? Or not so much?

    • Random says:

      Oh, it called “TFFINFO,” this help executable.

    • Mato says:

      I’m not sure what you’re asking – are you asking for the source to TFFInfo?

      It’s been so long that I don’t remember much about the different versions of the game – in fact I don’t even recall there being a version 1.2 but I might very well be wrong. If 1.2 does exist, then it’s probably not very different from 1.1 at all. The big difference was between 1.0 and 1.1, I remember the readme being very different in that case.

  9. TomatoJoe says:

    Hey, Mato!
    I really love Tomato Adventure, but when i downloaded the file where it says “Anyway, you can get the file here!”, I can’t find the IPS patch! Please help me!- a fellow tomato adventure fan

    • Mato says:

      Darn you’re right, I didn’t include it. I can’t seem to find the IPS patch, but you should be able to build the translation if you’re on a Windows computer. Name your ROM ta.gba, then run the i.bat program and then the a.exe program. It should create test.gba, which has everything inserted.

      I can try to post an IPS sometime, but it’s a bit of a headache for me to do right now.

      • TomatoJoe says:

        Thank you SO much! It’s a real honor to talk to you! Thanks! LOOVE the Mother 3 translation!

  10. Carry says:

    i ended up playing this game at one point and almost finishing it.
    (im stuck at the gimmick palaceXD)
    there is another …forgotten? rpg for the gba’.’
    it was a game i bought a while ago and can read pretty well but alas, i lament that this game isn’t in english:P
    that game that i speak of is “Magical Vacation”
    i hear it would be incredibly complicated to translateXD
    but its pretty old:D
    almost came out the same time as the GBA too:D

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