How to get
all your programs to run in a language you don't understand these games to install on your operating system
So let's say that you've obtained a copy of a doujin game. You tear open the nice shrinkwrap packaging (the ones that have a small strip of the plastic sticking out so you can pull it), take out the disc, put it into your CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drive, and wait for the installation screen. It pops up (unless you disabled the autorun feature on your computer, so you have to click on the install file found on the disc's root directory), but there's something definitely not right on first glance:
No, this is not a minigame where choosing the correct one will unlock the installation sequence. Or maybe it is.
This type of problem is usually caused by your operating system's regional settings being different from the program's. Makes sense since it was developed by people living in Japan, right? ;)
Anyway, there's usually a good chance that the installer won't function properly unless you do something about it. Let's see what this game does:
This is the program shouting expletives at you as it terminates prematurely.
In this case, an error message pops up and pressing on the OK button ends the installation program. So to fix this, here's what you do:
Go to the control panel located in the Settings submenu after pressing the Start button.
Windows XP icon
Windows 2000 icon
Select the icon that looks like a globe found in here. By default, the name of the icon has the word "Region" somewhere in it. At this point, the steps taken will vary slightly depending on what operating system you're currently using.
After clicking on the icon mentioned just above here, you'll be taken to this window:
You can leave the locale settings alone unless you really want to be uber-hardcore about setting up your operating system like that of someone's default settings in Japan. Instead, check the language settings right below it and see if the Japanese checkbox is marked (you can also install other language support if you so choose during this time). If it isn't, mark it, and then click on the "Set Default" button right below, which will then open up another window:
Switch to Japanese if it's not the first thing you see when this window pops up. What this does is that if a program supports Japanese text, the operating system will use that first over English. If you're concerned that switching over to Japanese will drown your entire desktop in a sea of moonspeak, do not worry; like the message says in this window, your operating system won't start displaying Japanese for everything if you do this. Once you select Japanese, press OK to confirm these changes and close the window.
We're almost done here. Do one final scan to make sure that your settings look like what the animated gif shows, and then press either the "Apply" or "OK" buttons.
Now if the Japanese checkbox was never marked before, the operating system is going to ask you for the Windows 2000 CD to install the necessary files in order for this to work. If you don't have a copy of this CD, then you better find one somehow or else these changes can't be applied.
After that's done, restart your computer, and you're done!
Windows XP dumps ALL of the necessary files needed for multilanguage support when you install the operating system onto your hard drive, which saves you the trouble of having to dig out the CD once you apply the necessary changes. To save space, the operating system compresses the files until you need to use them.
So the first thing you need to do after clicking on the regional options is to go to the Languages tab and see if the "Install files for East Asian languages" checkbox is marked. If it isn't, do that.
It'll also display a message saying that it needs extra hard drive space to do this. After you close this message, click on the Advanced tab.
In the "Language for non-Unicode programs," switch the value to Japanese if it's not already done. Like I mentioned earlier in Windows 2000, this does not change every single English character into Japanese text when you restart your PC. Once you've made these changes, click on either the "OK" or "Apply" button.
It'll now ask if you want to use these files already on your hard drive instead of going through your CD. Click on OK to save you the hassle of looking for it.
Watch it install the files.
Restart your PC. And that's it.
Now, let's go back to installing that program.
Yay! It's in Japanese now and I still... can't... read... it... :(
As you can see, there's Japanese text displayed instead of random garbled text and question marks.
The program will also properly install as well. This will also solve most installation issues with Japanese commercial PC games too.
For those that have any other Microsoft-based operating system before Windows 2000, I'll have to save that for another time, as the process is nowhere near as straightforward like Windows 2000 and XP are. Besides, a lot of current doujin games out there don't really support anything prior to Windows 2000 anymore.
Now go buy some Japanese Games for Windows (TM) and have fun with them!
Source images used for the logos of this article were taken from Ayashii Gamesubs' fan translation of Final Examination Kujira.
Credits go to BLAH for the fan translations of Hiroyuki Nishimura's 4-koma/panel manga, Doujin Work.
The Independant Gaming Source about independant gaming, which also covers doujin titles sometimes.
Shoot the Core Has a huge catalog of PC shmups which even covers doujin titles.