Touhou Patch Center:FAQ

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Other languages:German 10% • ‎English 100% • ‎British English 98% • ‎Troll translations 98% • ‎French 69% • ‎Polish 10%


Who do I contact if I have more questions not covered here?

Just add your question as a new header to this page, and it will be answered promptly.

If you wish a quicker response, visit our IRC chat, linked in the sidebar on the left.

Don't be shy. Who knows, others may have the same question.

Site politics


Why couldn't this project just be done on

When we started out this project, the main reason for having a separate page was a personal history of drama between members of our and their administrations. This is now no longer true as these tensions have largely been resolved.

However, there are still three main reasons why this would have been a bad idea from the start.

They emphasize form over function
Both the administrators and the editor base have largely been opposed of or simply don't care about the idea of an easily parseable wiki. Writing a good-looking, consistent MediaWiki is quite a laborious task on its own. And to be honest, trying to make a wiki that was only ever intended for on-screen reading parseable feels quite a bit counter-intuitive.
Our site has to be functional, first, and foremost. We need the pages to be in a special format in order to be able to automatically parse them.
Doing this on would mean that we have to force this format upon the editor base. Not only do we expect to deal with a lot of opposition here, editing these existing pages also takes way longer than just creating them from scratch.
The wiki family concept
When moved from Wikia at the end of 2010, it was decided to include all its existing translations to build a new family of multilingual Touhou wikis hosted on one server. Technically, these wikis are not connected with each other, save for the shared image repository. While giving full autonomy to the individual language communities may be a good thing, it only creates a lot of unnecessary work in our case:
For each language we wanted to support, we would have to open an entire new wiki. Besides the preparation work needed on the server backend, this also involves a lot of duplication of content. We would need a new main page, copy-paste the entire template infrastructure used, hardcode the translations of these pages into the wiki code, and synchronize changes or updates of the translatable content across every one of these wikis.
At our site, creating a translation into a new language is as simple as selecting the language from a drop-down menu. Creating the remaining portals and integration into the automatic updater is a matter of a few minutes.
Seeing themselves as a derivative Touhou work, they feel bound by ZUN's terms of use. Thus, they do not want to post endings, but we would like to. For some, posting them in user space with spoiler toggles may be considered as less of an offense, but there is no reason for us to put up with such childish pretenses.

Even if we did manage to sit down, discuss, and somehow sort out all of these issues, the time spent on achieving this is wasted - there is zero benefit for anyone involved. The fragmentation of content (which, by the way, could be easily mitigated by merely linking here) and need for different user accounts hardly justifies this work.

But they still have the most up-to-date English translations, haven't they?

For the older Windows games, this is probably true, since their English translations for these currently receive more attention than ours. As of Icon th14.png Double Dealing Character though, this has largely become a matter of personal taste.

Since their content is licensed under Creative Commons, we can freely use their existing translations for our cause. This means that we'll be gradually copy-pasting these to our page as long as we don't have our own translation for a certain source. Of course, we give full credit to the original authors whenever we are doing this.

And what's so special about your format?

In plain terms, this means the following:

  • In-game dialog tables require a |code= parameter containing the entry and time parameters from the .msg file. Each template call must correspond to one dialog box in-game and contain a maximum of 2 lines of dialog.
  • Spell card templates need to contain the number of the card.

What about endings?

We are going to post the ending text and graphics.
Clearly visible and translatable just like the rest of the content.
Regardless of what any interpretation of ZUN's guidelines might say about this subject.
If (and only if) ZUN were to complain about this personally, we will look for ways around it.

This is a site policy and not up for discussion, as it is one of the key reasons why we need a separate site, run by a separate staff, for this project.

In our opinion, this was the main issue why such a project was never considered. It certainly was a major factor in establishing "the English wiki" and "the English patch group" as separate entities, a distinction we aim to eradicate.

Quite a number of people have misunderstood this move as a deliberate attempt to get ZUN's attention. Of course, we could now start arguing and choose some nice words to paint ourselves in a better light. But ultimately, this changes nothing about the facts. Treating the endings just like any other modifiable part of the game is just the most natural thing for us to do. Unless we receive any kind of official cease-and-desist notice, we will continue to do so.

Do you really let everyone translate?

If you are mainly afraid of spammers, you'll find more information on that topic on our security page.

Yes, we do - and if you haven't realized yet, so does every other Touhou wiki, because that's how wikis work. The only difference here is that our contributors have a direct influence over the game data seen by thousands of fans - which is something every single editor certainly has dreamed of.

Therefore, if you want any control over your translations, Touhou Patch Center is the wrong place to put them. Instead, you should build your own patch server.

Translation practices

How are translation disputes handled?

The site administration only provides the engine and the hosting, and has no preference for certain ways of translating certain things. We may have an opinion on these too, though, but this will not be worth more than the opinion of every single translator.

Please use the portal pages to discuss whatever problems may arise and to reach compromises. In case an amicable solution really is impossible or counter-productive, we can always create separate language codes for different translation possibilities (e.g. "literal" and "idiomatic" translations), which can then coexist.

Is it acceptable to translate from Japanese to English and then finally to German (or any other language)?

The same answer also applies to this question. The translations are fully controlled by the translators themselves.

With the large number of languages we have, it is simply impossible for the site administration to do any kind of quality control. Thus, we wouldn't even notice which version your translation is based on, most of the time.

If you do translate from another translation (most likely English), be sure to add the wiki pages of this translation to your watchlist by clicking the star next to the search bar on the top. This will send you a e-mail notification whenever something has been changed and needs to be reflected in your language.

Do I need to translate everything? Spell card names / music titles / character titles would sound stupid in my language.

Generally, you should translate everything that can be translated and that would appear clearly visible in the game itself. After all, someone else who speaks the same language, is not connected to you or your translation group, or does not share your views on stupid sounding translations may come in at any time and translate these elements you left out. Of course, if everyone thinks a translation would sound stupid, no translation will ever be entered in the first place. As with this whole project, nobody forces you to do things you don't like to do.

If you prefer certain elements to stay in a different language, you can always use patch stacking and blacklist the respective files using the ignore parameter in your run configuration. This will be made user-friendlier once we have a graphical configuration tool.

In case you do decide to leave out certain things though, please really leave the boxes blank and don't copy-paste the English text in there.

The language I want to translate in doesn't have a code yet.

Simply leave a message on the main talk page, and translation will be set up shortly.

Some spell cards and music titles are already partly in English in the Japanese version. Do I translate these parts too?

Every single row in the translation table is one self-contained translation unit. These are already split into the smallest sensible parts. Using even smaller parts (like a "Japanese" and "English" part) would significantly increase the complexity of the patcher - it would then have to somehow piece these smaller parts back together to form one complete translation unit.

Thus, it is up to every language to decide between either keeping (and copying) these English parts or translating them too.

Patch engine

Can I use MediaWiki markup in the translation boxes?

Some of it:

  • Any wiki links are filtered out and rendered as expected.
  • Bold and italic text (as well as both at the same time) is displayed as such inside the games themselves.
  • Custom ruby markup (like this) works for in-game dialog in every game starting from Icon th11.png Subterranean Animism. Previously, we even "supported" games prior to that, but deprecated this support as the results weren't really legible in the lower resolution of the older games (see bug #47). That said, Ruby annotations are not really meant for Latin scripts anyway, and should thus be used sparingly with those. Rewriting the translation to somehow reflect the annotated information would be preferable in any case.
    • If the original Japanese text uses Ruby to put dots over (like this:) words (・・・・・・) for emphasis, italics (written using ''this syntax'') would be a better-looking alternative for languages using Latin script.
  • If you absolutely have to pad a text with spaces at the beginning or the end, you can use  . This is necessary for certain hardcoded ASCII strings.
  • HTML tags are generally not supported.

Do I always need to be connected to the Web in order to use the patch?

Of course not. The data for a certain patch is downloaded and stored on your hard disk when the respective game is launched. If no Internet connection is available, thcrap will just use the latest data.

Would non-Latin scripts (Cyrillic, Hangul, Arab, Indic, etc.) pose any problem?

The Double Spoiler music room, displaying one test string comprised of multiple scripts.

Not at all, since we use UTF-8 in every component of the patch. In fact, we would very much appreciate translations into languages using those scripts to demonstrate this fact.

Proper display of right-to-left scripts is, however, not implemented yet, and will be dealt with when requested.

I know an existing ZUN game translation patch into a language not present on the site. Would you like to import it?

Sure! We're always happy to incorporate existing patches into this site. Please mail a link to the patch to and we'll take a look at it.

We always like to credit the original people who worked on the translation. If these credits are not included in the archive, installer, the linked, or anywhere else we could easily find them, please provide them in your e-mail.

Will your patch work in Linux/MacOS X, using Wine?

Generally, there should be no issues.

Do you need any particular fonts for the text to look right? Can you change the default font?

Nmlgc's script_latin patch includes fonts with sufficient Unicode coverage of both Latin and Cyrillic scripts, and also bundles the necessary font files. All of our translation patches for languages in these scripts include script_latin among their dependencies.

Patches for other languages written with scripts not covered by these fonts (e.g. Chinese) don't include script_latin, and instead specify a font bundled with Windows suited for displaying that language (MingLiU for Traditional, SimHei for Simplified Chinese) instead.

Lastly, users can always override any default font setting by specifying a font parameter in the run configuration file created by thcrap_configure.

In case a game uses two or more separate fonts, every replacement font from the second one on is set via hardcoded string translation. Currently, it is not possible to override these.

Is your patch compatible with the demo/trial versions of the Touhou games?

thcrap fully supports all trial versions that were released during the time where it was in active development - that is, all Team Shanghai Alice games released since Icon th14.png Double Dealing Character. Support for the trial versions of older games is still missing, though, as it just hasn't been a priority yet. While the configuration tool detects them, the basic technical support is still missing.

Will you do...

Manuals and omake text files?

As of 2016-12-22, yes. The future GUI is planned to be able to display supplementary information about the patches themselves, so it makes sense to cover the original HTML manuals and text files as well. Through the GUI, we could even apply a series of stacked patches to them, just like on any other piece of game data.


Yes. Since we patch the resolution dialogs that recent games show on startup, there really is no reason to leave out custom.exe, as it is technically a Windows dialog as well.

Uwabami Breakers?

Yes. As it's based on a modified MoF engine, we count it towards the main series.

Fighting games?

We've recently found the source code of the existing English patches for Icon th075.png Immaterial and Missing Power, Icon th105.png Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and Icon th123.png Touhou Hisoutensoku, and will take a closer look at these games in the future.

This still wouldn't take care of Hopeless Masquerade, though. The "completely rewritten engine" announced in Tasofro's blog actually translates to "Satori game all over again". Due to the game's fragmented manner of loading data files, creating patches that work with the Touhou Community Reliant Automatic Patcher, the same way as the ones for the Team Shanghai Alice games, is quite painful. The English patch a number of people on Shrinemaiden currently work on repacks the data archive as well - which we refuse doing because it can never be truly automatic. Even if we did automate that somehow, every update would still be noticeably slow as a result.


We'd love to tackle Shuusou Gyoku and Kioh Gyoku, even more so than the fighting games. Popular opinion, however, will probably think the other way round.

Banshiryuu, on the other hand, is such a trainwreck that we rank it on the same level as a generic and unimportant fan game.


We actively supported xJeePx's incentive of finishing static English patches for the 5 PC-98 games. However, patching the PC-98 Touhou games for multilingual translation would be a very hard thing to do. The ReC98 project ultimately plans to port the games to modern systems, along with support for multilingual translation, after having reconstructed the original source code of the games.

Fan games?

Generally, we don't want to deal with any hacking work on those on our own. However, we would definitely be open to provide hosting for any patch that wants to use either

  • this website for storing and serving translations (it will be treated like any other game already translatable on this site)
  • our engine for data injection into the game (in this case, we merely host the patch archive or installer)
  • or both.

The translation group for the respective game still remains responsible to supply the necessary code injection points, assembly hacks, and data conversion scripts.

My own fan game?

No. Open-source it and ask instead.

See, in an ideal world, we wouldn't even need a project to force a localization engine upon popular games which were never intended to have one. We too would prefer it if the games we cover here came with proper means translation out of the box. So, if you have any control over the source code, it should be your job to develop a less intrusive localization system yourself.

Fan games with ZUN's involvement? E.g. Torte le Magic, Magus in Mystic Geometries? Or are they treated the same as 'fan games' above?

The deciding factor is the engine used by the game, not which people were involved in its creation. We are very reluctant to develop automatic patching for an engine that will probably never be used for a different game ever again.

That said, ...

Other doujin games? Visual novels in particular?

Yeah, we know that the base engine is generic enough that a lot of games can be supported with comparatively little effort. Especially text-heavy games like visual novels would greatly benefit from having immediate, continuous updates.

Who knows, maybe this project will even turn into the General Japanese Game Patch Center one day. But let's focus on Touhou first, OK?