TO (partially) TRANSLATE BARIS INTO ANOTHER LANGUAGE
Note: this method can also be used to create various kinds of mods for BARIS, not just translations.
This should work for any language using the Roman alphabet, but may not be possible for languages using other alphabets, such as Russian.
You can translate the moddable parts of BARIS (things like the newscasts and mission-failure windows. Other parts of the game are hard-coded, so they would still be in English. But at least some of the game can be translated into other languages.
The program you want to use is Hex Workshop. This is what BARIS's original programmer, Michael McCarty, recommended. You can download it from http://www.bpsoft.com/downloads/. If you can't download it from there, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll get you a copy.
Translations Available:Unfortunately, the only translation currently available is a partial one in Dutch. But if you create a translation in any language, even a partial one, I'll post it here.
If you'd like to translate it but don't want to deal with the hex editing, send me a copy of the translation in text files, and I'll do it. Just be sure to do all the translations line by line so I don't get them mixed up. It would be best if you'd include the originals so I don't lose track--just enter the translation below the original English.
Dutch (partial--endgame and event only), by Bart Buyens
Edit (translate) the following folders in the \GAMEDAT folder:
Some other files, such as HELP.CDR, I've tried to edit, but changing them messes them up. Also note that this is for Raceintospace and the CD version of BARIS; some of the files above have different extensions in the floppy version, and may not work right if edited. For instance, in the floppy version, HELP.CDR is named HELP.DAT, and can be successfully edited--but I couldn't edit HELP.CDR from the CD version without causing problems. The point is there may be issues with editing files for the floppy version, and I haven't tested them as much--and not all the files are interchangeable between versions.
The important thing about editing these files is that you want to make sure not to change the number of characters; apparently the way the game parses these files is to display from character #X to character #Y. So in Hex Workshop, when you're working on a paragraph, if the modified paragraph is one character longer than it was before, be sure to delete one of the periods after it--but be sure the one you delete shows as 00 on the left-hand side. You don't want to accidentally delete a period that's supposed to show in the game. And if the paragraph is one character shorter than it used to be, copy one of the periods that shows as 00, and paste it in front of another period that shows as 00. (Click here for the full-size image.)
Be sure to use all-uppercase in your translation or mod. RIS and BARIS use lower-case letters a-h as variables (g represents the name of the president or general secretary, for instance). Any lower-case letter the game doesn't have a value for, it prints in upper case. Also, sad to say, RIS and BARIS don't accept special characters. For example, I wanted to change GURRAGACHA to GÜRRAGCHAA, but when I finally found a hex editor that would accept that Ü character, it didn't display right in the game. So unfortunately, translations will have to do without accent marks of any kind, and you won't be able to take advantage of the Greek characters in the ASCII set.
Another issue with the editing that I've discovered concerns ENDGAME.DAT. Carriage returns are signaled there as "*", rather than having the text wrap automatically like it does with the other files. That means if one of your modified lines is a little too long, it may go outside the box in the end game screen (see below). As far as I know, the only solution is to test until you see one of your lines is too long, then go back and correct it. Here's an example of what it looks like when you're just one letter too long.