For those of you who follow our group with any amount of frequency, this particular announcement will feel like it was a long time coming. When we started to explore our options for other games to work on when we were nearing the end of work on our first project, E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution, we came across a developer whose projects all seemed consistently well-made and well-received in Japan, but only one of their games (Emerald Dragon) had ever been ported to consoles and seen any kind of release outside of Japanese PC systems. So despite their obvious enthusiasm and love for their work, none of their games received any kind of attention from Western audiences aside from the aforementioned Emerald Dragon for the SNES receiving a fan translation in 2014.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, that company’s name is Glodia. One of their games in particular caught our eye as a super interesting RPG with a huge amount of lore surrounding the world itself, and we’re here to officially announce that we’re working on bringing that game to Western audiences with a proper English translation.
Different Realm is an RPG where two energy researchers are thrust into an unknown world with multiple sentient species all living alongside each other in relative harmony. Until a certain even takes place, of course. The game plays like a standard JRPG with random encounters, except while all battles are turn-based, they take place on a gridless battlefield that allows for free movement of party members and enemies alike.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well there was one major problem. Glodia was also well known in Japan for their tech skills and they had created proprietary files using some pretty Japanese language specific compression techniques that would be extremely difficult to figure out through reverse engineering. That, and yet another image format to reverse engineer. So we put it on the backburner and did some research here and there.
In a stroke of complete luck, one of the former developers who worked at Glodia is extremely active on the internet. So much so in fact that he maintains his own website as a sort of archive of information and files related to the games that he worked on while at Glodia, as well as builds of some of their games designed specifically to work better on emulators. He even had a (very) positive mention of a fan translation by RadicalR’s group of one of their games, Die Bahnwelt, listed on his site! So, being in contact with both RadicalR and Hoee Kuwata, we asked some questions about the possibility of translating Different Realm.
Our first contact with him, he described in great detail the format of the files containing all of the text, which was super helpful. Then on our next contact he gave us the full source code to the game as well as a build environment. How fucking cool is that? It’s been super helpful as a reference for our work and I don’t think we would’ve been able to do the project without it.
We’ve got more about the game itself on its new project page, and we’ve made some decent progress with dumping the game’s text and reinserting some test lines. That being said, this is a massive project. The game itself contains over 200,000 characters, the manual contains around 25,000 characters, and there is also a manga that tells another unrelated story that occurs within the same world and settings. It is going to take us a not insignificant amount of time to get this project out to you guys, but rest assured we are doing our best to get you guys the most comprehensive, quality release we can.
If you’ve read this far and are interested in the project, let us know! Feel free to tweet things at us (@kuoushi, @hallwaytaupe, @SkyeWelse), we’re usually pretty open about our process and progress. Currently we’re working through the translation of Appareden -Scroll of the Crouching Dragon- so that is where our main focus will be on the translation front. We’ve made some fresh progress on that as well, and reinsertion of the interface and some of the story text is already underway. Check the project page for more information.