Clessy wrote:Correct me if im wrong but I don't recall a signal Final Fantasy using Kanji until ff5. Meaning that the original games took a lot of text space up because they where only using Katakana and Hiragana. I defiantly know this was the case with FF4
That´s possible, I don´t know. Yet even if the japanese texts could have been stored in space-consuming characters the English translations still did not fit in the same space and had to be cut. I remember there being an article about the leaked Final Fantasy II-prototype, where one of the guys responsible explained how hard it was to squeeze all neccessary info from the original japanese text into the English translation.
When I asked on romhacking.net about this topic (whether size restrictions really made a difference for English translations) I was also told that accurate translations usually take up about 50% more space.
Game devs did not usually waste space on their ROM-chips; they used the smallest size possible to save money. The texts just had into what was left after graphics, sound and game logic were done.