01. Guide [gui01]
02. Installing Mods [mod02]
03. Wizzard Guide [wiz03]
04. AA2install Guide [A2I04]
05. Optional Components [opt05]
06. Recommended Mods [rec06]
07. Resources [res07]
08. FAQ [faq08]
** IF YOU ARE USING THE HF PATCH FOR AA2 **
This install guide is not for you. This is for installing manually, in the event that you don't want to wait for HF patch to get updated, or you want finer control over mods you install. If you already installed HF patch and want to use this guide, uninstall and wipe your game installation folder, then reinstall from scratch using the directions below. Likewise, I don't recommend installing via this method then going to harass Hongfire for support.
Complete Idiot's Guide to Installing Artificial Academy 2, patches, DLC, and mods
by a very patient /aa2g/ anon
This guide will serve to counsel new users on installation of the essential components needed to run AA2 in English.
BEFORE YOU START: You will need MS Applocale or HF pApplocale if you're on Windows 7 or 8/8.1, if you're on Windows 10 It's highly recommended that you use Locale Emulator as applocale simply doesn't work. If you opt instead to set your system locale to Japanese, REMEMBER TO CHANGE FORMATS (Formats tab in Region settings) to Japanese as well, or text WILL be screwed up, in addition to some things not working/displaying. ONLY USE EITHER APPLOCALE OR JAPANESE SYSTEM LOCALE, NOT BOTH. If for some reason you're on Windows 8/8.1 and applocale doesn't work, then you should try Locale Emulator.
FOLLOW THE IMAGES IN THIS GUIDE: http://imgur.com/a/KZYsw
DON'T install anything to the default Japanese-named folders, edit every install directory to something readable.
DON'T install to Program Files or other system-default directories, or you may not have write access to save characters and games unless you run as admin. This goes for utilities like Wizzard as well. Run almost everything with Applocale -- installer, update files, maker and game executables, translated maker loader, etc. If it shows Japanese anywhere, or you know it is of Japanese origin, use Applocale.
DON'T move the game after installing it. IF YOU DO, you will have to edit the registry: http://imgur.com/aIkEM5B
DON'T install the game, mod tools, or patch files to a deep folder structure. Keep it short and simple, I recommend c:\illusion\ but it should work on any partition.
01. Obtain the game, the sukebei.nyaa.se torrent in the /aa2g/ OP is what this is based off of.
02. Open the game archive and extract the three multiple-gigabyte .mdf files to a temporary folder. Don't extract anything else, only the .mdf images are needed. RENAME ジンコウガクエン2.mdf to something simple and English like DISK1.mdf.
03. Use your preferred virtual disc software to mount DISK1.mdf, do not autorun. PowerISO, MagicISO, and Daemon Tools Lite all should work. If your mounting software supports multiple virtual drives, you can mount all three disks to different drive letters and have an uninterrupted installation process.
04. Navigate to the mounted disk, right-click to use Applocale to launch Startup.exe in Japanese locale as Administrator. If you don't have the right-click option even after installing AppLocale, you can run it from the Start Menu and Browse... to the Startup.exe on the first disk. Japanese is the last language on the drop-down list.
05. Click the third button (INCLUDING the greyed-out options) to install the AA2 Maker (character creator/editor). I recommend installing it to a folder separate from the main game. Remember to change the install path to something simple and non-Japanese, for example c:\illusion\aa2make. During all these installations, (N) means Next, (B) means Back, (I) means Install, and (F) means Finish.
06. When that's finished, click the fourth button on the install menu to install the game. As before, choose a nice, simple install path with no Japanese characters.
07. If you didn't mount all three MDF files, 1/3 of the way through, it will prompt you to insert the second disk. Now is the time to dismount DISK1.MDF and mount DISK2.MDF.
08. Repeat as above for disk 3, if necessary. The base game installation is now finished.
09. Now that the game is installed, you'll be wanting the DLC and updates next. Make sure you have the latest version of 7-zip!
ALL OFFICIAL UPDATES: http://sukebei.nyaa.se/?page=view&tid=1189198
ALL OFFICIAL UPDATES: https://mega.co.nz/#!95kTTTAZ!rB9QyaoIUFkShE9CExOla2Fy50kZuwhylpkVs2mZeQ4
The updates can also be downloaded individually in the main pastebin.
01 - Pre-order Bonus
02 - Tanabata Bonus
03 - Illusion Special Member Bonus
04 - Cadet Personality Patch
05 - Append Set 1
06 - Append Set 1 Support
07 - Append Set 2
08 - Append Set 2 Support
09 - All-inclusive v12 Patch
Extract this 7z file and run these in the numbered order with Applocale. Be sure to follow steps 9-11 here: http://imgur.com/a/KZYsw
** If the Append 2 patches don't work, try running them as admin as well as in Japanese **
10. This completes the game installation. You can test functionality by mounting DISK1.mdf and opening AA2Play.exe with applocale/Locale Emulator if you'd like -- 'game start' is the top button. You're not done yet if you want to play in English, however.
INSTALLING MODS [mod02]
1. For mods, download the Illusion Wizzard /or/ AA2Install utility with AA2 profile from the link in the main pastebin. Unzip to a folder in your game directory, I use c:\illusion\wizzard. This will serve as your installation hub for most mods you want to apply. Some are specifically not Wizzard/AA2Install-ready. Always read the README. It will also allow you to uninstall mods and revert changed files so you can apply future updates/DLC without reinstalling the whole game from scratch. I don't recommend using it to launch the game or maker, just because it needlessly complicates the process.
2. Dialog translation, UI, translated names and stuff -- almost everything listed in the main pastebin under '/aa2g/ Mods' should be wizzard-ready. If you need further details on wizzard usage, see the next section.
3. Once you install the /aa2g/ translation, UI translation, and whichever uncensor mod you prefer [I suggest avoiding the HQ/LQ skin versions for now], you're finished. You can start the game by running AA2Play.exe with Japanese locale and pressing the top button. The second button is for graphics configuration, but you may need an English launcher to get the config setup for the first time.
** Quick footnote: Only use one dialog translation or uncensor mod at a time. Applying more than one simultaneously might break things.
WIZZARD GUIDE [wiz03]
Wizzard is a utility for adding and removing mods. It is not (generally) used to launch the game. It is not used to install Illusion patches. I can't even believe I have to write this guide. You seriously just drag and drop mods, then open Wizzard and press 'Apply mod' or 'Remove mod'.
01. Download the Illusion Wizzard.
02. Extract the archive somewhere like c:\illusion\wizzard.
** NOTE: If you extract the Wizzard to Program Files or certain folders in My Documents, it will not have sufficient privileges to write the data it needs to in order to function. You will get file not found errors related to preview images and descriptions, and most critically it will not be able to back up your game data files when applying mods.
03. Start Illusion_Wizzard.exe, select AA2_PLAY from the dropdown on the left, click 'Start', then exit. This creates the folder where you put mods.
04. Drag and drop mods in .7z format directly into the wizzard\AA2_PLAY\mods folder. DO NOT EXTRACT THEM. JUST PUT THE 7Z FILES IN THERE.
05. Start the Wizzard again. Provided you have the game installed correctly, you don't have to do any configuration, it will find your install via the game's registry entries.
06. You should see a list of available mods. Find one you want to install. Click it. Now click the 'Apply mod' button at the bottom. If you want to remove a mod, click the 'Installed Mods' tab. Click the mod. Click 'Remove mod' button at the bottom.
07. If you are updating a mod you already had installed, remove the old version as in step 06, then apply the new version. Mods are not highly scripted install routines, they may break if you just keep piling new stuff on top of old.
08. You are now an expert at adding and removing AA2 mods, congratulations.
IT IS NORMAL FOR MODS TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO INSTALL. SOME CAN TAKE 30 MINUTES OR MORE AND USE DOZENS OF GIGABYTES OF HARD DRIVE SPACE DURING INSTALLATION.
Brief note: Translations will almost always break if you install an official Illusion update over top of them. This is normal, because it's the wrong way to do it. Use Wizzard to remove mods first, then apply the Illusion update, then re-apply mods.
Note #2: I've never needed to, but one anon reports that Wizzard needs to be run with Applocale as admin. Might only apply if you're launching the game or maker through it, which I don't recommend. In any case, try that if it's giving you trouble.
AA2INSTALL GUIDE [A2I04]
AA2Install is a nice alternative to Wizzard, most people recommend it over Wizzard due to it's ability to install mods MUCH faster, but the program itself can be a little confusing at times and it has a few drawbacks. I'd recommend reading the official guide after this one just in case. Overall this one's more self-explanatory than Wizzard.
01. Download AA2Install.
02. Extract the archive somewhere like c:\illusion\AA2Install
03. Drop mods into mods folder.
04. Run .exe
05. Click the checkboxes next to the mods you're installing, and then click Synchronize (Heads up, make backup of your files.)
07. You're done pretty much when you get a pop up (you'll know it when you see it)
08. Now you're an expert, woo!
OPTIONAL COMPONENTS [opt05]
[Get these from the main pastebin or the Mega link in the Resources section]
- Get the AA2TL Translated Maker Loader
This translates the Maker (AA2Edit.exe) into English. It makes character creation much, much easier. Note that it does not replace AA2Edit.exe, so don't delete that file. This just loads AA2Edit.exe and changes text to English. Remember to start it with Japanese locale. This program can also be used to start the unlocked maker below, if you change its filename to AA2Edit.exe.
- Get the 'unlocked' Frontier Pack maker
[included in the Frontier Pack Launchers Mega link]
This works the same as the stock AA2Edit.exe file, and can be used with the Translated Maker Loader, provided you rename it to AA2Edit.exe. This allows you to add an unlimited number of traits to your character, and set certain parameters beyond their normal bounds by entering them directly in the text box. It also enables an unlocked hue slider so you can create characters with blue or green skin.
** Also allows you to run the maker without mounting any disks.
- Get the Frontier Pack launcher
I know I recommended using the stock Japanese launcher above, but this launcher lets you do neat things like open the buddha statue interface anywhere [RMB+click on roster button], and force a 999% on any interaction [RMB+click on any action]. Takes all the challenge out, but it's fun to play with sometimes. It's also required for proper color on blue/green/etc characters in-game.
** Also allows you to run the game without mounting any disks.
- Get JG2ChrData
This utility allows you to edit characters in-place without withdrawing them from your current class, to add/remove traits, etc. Partially translated, and sometimes glitchy, but it's preferable if you don't want to reset your relationship progress with a character to edit them in the normal Maker.
** BE CAREFUL with this. It works fine, but if you open a class file while it's open in the game, the file will corrupt and you will lose the save. Make backups before editing.
- Get ReiEditAA2
Another good card and save-editing program.
- Get AA2Tantoo
A very nice mod manager that makes selecting mods that alter skin a breeze. Includes tans, lipstick, skin textures themselves, and a few other things.
RECOMMENDED MODS [rec06]
Current Mod List: http://pastebin.com/BhpfXqHP
Most of everyone has HEXAOC, HEXAHP, and either HEXACC or SVICC. Feel free to try everything out, and monitor the thread. Things are constantly being updated. This game is all about personal preferences and there are mods for almost everything.
All files mentioned herein can be located using the following resources. I'm not hardlinking each individual thing because stuff changes too rapidly for me to feasibly maintain this guide doing so. Most are linked directly from the /aa2g/ pastebin. Follow these links, read, Ctrl+F, use forum search, if all else fails use Google. I trust you can manage.
/aa2g/ AA2 Pastebin:
Hongfire Mod Release Forum:
Anime-Sharing Mod Release thread:
Q: What does "Normalfags go die" in the Buddha statue mean?
A: Other students are jealous or envious of your public displays of affection with your partner.
Q1: Why does dialog text have u and v before and after each line?
Q2: The maker and/or game install doesn't let me edit the install path, why is everything blank?
Q3: Why do all my interactions fail with 0%?
A1: Because you didn't read the very first part of the guide, where I told you that if you're using Japanese system locale, you also need to set Format to Japanese.
A2: Because you didn't install with Japanese locale as administrator.
Q: The maker installation runs fine, but doesn't let me edit the install path. Why?
A: Because you still have the pre-release maker installed, or a previous installation of the release version maker. This is dictating to the installer where it should install. Uninstall first, then your new installation will work properly.
Q: What's the HF patch, and why isn't it in your guide?
A: The HF patch is a collection of separate items you may or may not need to install. It usually rolls up the latest official updates, translations, uncensors, and a few other bits. It's an irreversible install, which is why I prefer installing each item individually. You're not ever going to need to revert Illusion's official patches, but new updates might break your installed translation or UI mods, for example. So it's beneficial to be able to easily roll those back, apply updates, then re-apply your mods, without having to wait for someone else to aggregate them for you. Feel free to use the HF patch if you want, but don't ask anyone but Hongfire for help with it, and don't use this guide together with it.
Q: My game is crashing, what do I do?
A1: You have a corrupt character card or class save file. In Windows Explorer, sort the files by date, move the most recently added/modified out to a temporary folder, and re-add them until you find which one is crashing the game.
A2: Uninstall the 'HQ skin' uncensor mod. It causes memory leaks and crashiness, especially for toaster PCs. Not sure if 'LQ skin' version is similarly affected.
A3: Verify you're using the correct launcher version for the Illusion game update you have installed. Right-click AA2Play.exe (or whatever custom launcher you're using), select Properties, then look at the Details tab. Version 1.03 is for v3 update, 1.04 for v4, etc.
A4: If you're using the English translated launcher, try running the game with the standard Japanese AA2Play.exe. The English launcher can introduce some instability.
A5: Close your web browser and try again. This works for quite a few people. Then try restarting your PC.
A6: Alternatively, you may have done something out of order, overwriting something important. If all else fails, reinstall the game from scratch.
Q: My game runs poorly and looks bad, what can I do?
A: Try running it with highest graphics settings. No, seriously. Somehow Illusion has perfected the alchemy required to make a game run worse on lower settings.
Q: My game has only a white screen on startup or in the F1 config menu / my config menu has checkboxes and sliders everywhere, what happened?
A: You screwed up. Reinstall from scratch.
Q: My game looks messed up, there are lines through things / something else is wrong, what do I do?
A: Uninstall the game, start again from the beginning. You missed a step somewhere, or some other catastrophic failure of comprehension. This can also happen if you install an update without reverting your mods first. Reinstall will fix it unless you're having hardware problems. Lines and artifacting are common symptoms of failing / overheating GPU.
Q: My maker / game suddenly started freezing / crashing / failing to launch without any file changes, what do I do?
A: Close Firefox, Skype, or other memory-heavy programs and try again. Don't ask me why, but it works. Nips apparently code like it's still 1995.
Q: The maker isn't saving character cards / the game isn't saving my progress, what happened?
A1: You installed the game to Program Files or another system-default folder that's write-protected. You can either run it every time as admin to gain write access, or move your install somewhere like c:\illusion\aa2. If you do move the folder, remember to use the Registry Fixer linked in the main /aa2g/ pastebin to point to the new folder.
A2: For the maker, you also have to provide at least a last name (family name) or you cannot save your character card.
Q: When I launch the game, I get an error message in Japanese. What do I do?
A1: You didn't mount DISK1.mdf while using the stock, unmodified AA2Play.exe. You need to hex edit a value to enable no-disc. See the note at the end of the install guide.
A2: You screwed up your install. The registry entries for AA2 think the game is somewhere else. Use the registry fixer utility to rectify this.
Q: I'm getting an error about the path being too long, what does this mean?
A: It means you can't follow instructions. Your path, that is, the string of characters that tells the location of the file you're using, is exceeding what your OS supports. This is really dumb. Just put the game in c:\illusion or something similar.
Q: When I launch Wizzard, it says there are Japanese characters in my path, even though there aren't. What happened?
A: You didn't follow the guide. You installed to Japanese directories and then renamed them after the fact. The registry entries for AA2's install path are still referring to those Japanese folders. You'll need to use the registry fixer utility.
Q: My game is stuck on a black screen after alt+tabbing, what do I do?
A: Install the fullscreen window mod, mirrored conveniently in the Mega link under Resources. Just drop the contained d3d9.dll into the same folder with AA2Play.exe and AA2Edit.exe. Following that, you can alt+tab without issue. I personally prefer running in windowed mode.
Q: How can I tell if a mod is Wizzard-compatible?
A: Open the 7z archive (it's always a 7z archive). If there's a AA2_PLAY and/or AA2_EDIT folder containing some jg2_* folders, it's Wizzard-ready. It may optionally contain an image or two for previews and a text file for the description pane in the Wizzard.
**it's the same for AA2install**
Q: Why do the legs of character models look like matryoshka [Russian nesting] dolls?
A: You're using the high heels and/or spats mod with game update v3 or above. Don't. v3 broke them and there's no indication so far that they will be fixed, as far as I know.
Q: How do I get blue / purple / other unnatural colored character cards to appear properly in the game?
A: Use the Frontier Pack game launcher and maker. They're linked in the main pastebin, and the only ones currently to support the unlocked hues needed for these cards.
Q: How do I make rainbow cards?
A: Use the alternate maker included with the unlocked character maker, it creates rainbows 100% of the time. If you want to change one to a rainbow, just open it with that maker and save it.
Q: How do I zoom in the maker / in h-scenes?
A: Left click and drag rotates, right click and drag pans and zooms.
Q: Why are my character's items / clubs in Japanese?
A: You can edit these to whatever you like. Items in the maker, clubs when starting a new class. Just type in something in English. There's a new file in the main /aa2g/ pastebin that translates these called Translated Names and Stuff List.
Q: A character asked me to wait for them somewhere, but the location is in Japanese. What does that mean?
A: They want you to wait in a specific room for them next period. Open your location map during the next period, the designated place will have a red stick-figure indicating where you need to be.
Q: Why does the karaoke scene close immediately?
A: You need to add music for it. There's a folder for each personality in AA2_PLAY\data\sound. The text file within one of these folders instructs to add .wav files of music you want to hear during karaoke. .ogg files should also work, saving a ton of space.
Q: Why do a few of my characters have a blank emotionless face?
A: Either you don't have HEXAOC or you don't have a mod in the card's description.
Q: How come when I open a card in the maker it has elf ears?
A: Because it utilizes a face in HEXAOC and can't be properly loaded due to limitations with the Maker's software.
Also what are you doing editing other people's cards that's rude dude.