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I tried to play Action Mogura, a Japanese freeware game, on Windows 10. The game itself runs fine, but the Japanese text in the game is mangled, i.e. seemingly random characters are displayed.

illegible text

I've tried the following so far:

  • installed two Japanese fonts included in the game's files (cinecaption227 and nukamiso_2004_beta08)
  • tried to switch the Windows system language to Japanese
  • put a file with Japanese characters in the file name on the desktop, as has been suggested to people having trouble with Japanese fonts in this question.

None of the above seemed to have an effect on the rendered text.

The game apparently runs on DirectX. Before the actual game starts, there is a setup window; parts of that window's text display Japanese text correctly, parts display the same mangled characters as the game itself.

I have no prior experience with running Japanese software on a Windows machine; possibly someone has experienced similar issues and can help me locate the cause?

  • Could you add a screenshot of this mangled text? It might be possible that you mistake actual Japanese for mangled text. – Nzall Sep 19 '15 at 20:35
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I did some digging and it turns out you ran into the same problem that is described in this question.

The solution is quite simple:
The game doesn't support Unicode and thus you have to change the language used for programs that don't support it manually in Windows. By default it is set to the OS language.

To change it in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Click the language symbol in the bottom right of the task bar next to the time and select "language preferences".

  2. In the opening window, select "Additional date, time and regional settings" at the bottom.

  3. Select "Region".

  4. In the "Region" window select "Administrative" and then "change system locale" for non-unicode programs to Japanese.

You will need to restart the computer and then the symbols should show correctly. I tested this with Action Mogura and it solved the problem. It is also not necessary to install the fonts from the game folder, so you can uninstall them if you like.

  • that bad thing. It changes locale for all applications. I don't want it. – Anton Mar 30 '18 at 7:13
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Changing your locale works, but that will make a lot of other things difficult to do, and essentially makes Windows tell your entire computer that it's Japanese.
An alternate solution would be to get Locale Emulator or the like. Then, you run the game under this program, and it simulates the locale change.

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