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5 Dreamcast Fan Translations You May Have Missed

In DreamPod Episode 86, where we discussed what we'd like to see from the Dreamcast scene in 2021, I was quite vocal about my desire to see more English fan translation patches produced for Dreamcast games. If you're anything like me, you're too lazy to learn Japanese, but absolutely long to play many of the very intriguing text-heavy Japanese Dreamcast releases. I've covered the Evangelion typing tutor translation by Derek Pascarella, and James also wrote a great retrospective on Taxi 2, going over Derek’s patch for that, but today I wanted to shine the spotlight on some completed translation projects that we (perhaps criminally) haven't covered here on the blog before. 


Blue Submarine No. 6: -Time and Tide-

Blue Submarine No. 6 started out as a manga that was first published in 1967, with an OVA (essentially a straight-to-video anime) adaptation released in 2000. The story of BS6 is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the sea levels have risen and flooded most of the land on Earth. What remains is being attacked by half-animal hybrids, which are fought back by humanity's submarine forces, including the titular Blue Submarine No. 6. Time and Tide was developed and published by Sega, and released in December 2000. 

This very cool game mixes some excellently-presented visual novel-style sections (that utilise cel-shaded animation to present the game's characters), with 3D underwater segments in the submarine that control really well. While this game is playable without knowing Japanese, it is vital to understanding the plot. Thankfully, over the space of year, a team comprising of Rolly, RafaGam, esperknight and Eyl put together an English translation patch for this awesome game, and released it at the tail-end of 2020, to celebrate the game's 20th anniversary, as well as the 22nd birthday of the Dreamcast console. 

All in-game text is now understandable to non-Japanese speakers, anime cutscenes now have English subtitles, and pesky spoken dialogue during submarine missions where the translators couldn't insert subtitles have been overdubbed with English text-to-speech voices. The Blue Submarine No. 6 -Tides of Time- website was also restored and translated into English as part of this project, allowing players to download the game's original DLC to grant bonus items in the shop. To download the patch, check out the project's page on SEGA-SKY.


Napple Tale: Arsia in Daydream

Developed by a largely female-orientated development team, Napple Tale released to Japan in October 2000, and was never brought over to the West for... some reason. This colourful adventure combines a 3D hub world with 2.5D platforming stages, complete with an absolutely terrific score by acclaimed composer Yoko Kanno. Similar to Blue Submarine No. 6, Napple Tale is perfectly playable without the need to know Japanese, but its whimsical, fairy-tale inspired story is definitely something worth experiencing. 

In October 2019, a team led by translator Cargodin released an English patch online, allowing non-Japanese speakers to experience Napple Tale's story 19 years after the game's initial release. The game's original website was also restored and translated into English, allowing the game's DLC to be downloaded, unlocking a bonus stage called "paffet rally". If you fancy a trip to Napple World in all its English-translated glory, you can download the patch at Romhacking.net.

 

Nanatsu no Hikan: Senritsu no Bishō (Seven Mansions: Ghastly Smile)

Developed by Koei, and released in January 2000, Seven Mansions (as the title translates to) is surprisingly varied for a survival horror game. The game features a pretty standard horror plot of two friends (Kei and Reina) searching for a friend through the game's titular seven mansions, but rather interestingly, the gameplay of the levels can be more action-based or more adventure-based depending on which of the two friends you choose to play asThe game also features a multiplayer mode with a separate story. 

Seven Mansions was supposedly planned for a Western release but it never came to fruition. Thankfully ArcaneAria and MrNobody came through to bring us an English translation of this unique horror title. You can download the patch here.


Resident Evil - Code: Veronica X

Many know that the PlayStation 2 and GameCube received ports of the Dreamcast's beloved Resident Evil - Code: Veronica in the form of Code: Veronica X, an extended cut of the game that features improved graphics and additional cinematic sequences that reveal more about Wesker's involvement with Umbrella. Ride-or-die Dreamcast fans in the West may feel a bit disgruntled knowing they have to play this definitive version of the game on other systems, but some may not realise that Code: Veronica X did get a Dreamcast release...but only in Japan, under the name Code: Veronica Kanzenban. 

Luckily, truemaster1 took this Japanese Dreamcast version of Code: Veronica X and made it as close to the Western PS2 and GameCube versions as possible, with the game now fully playable in English. Unfortunately, Assembler Games, the forum where truemaster1 originally posted his patch, no longer exists, and upon viewing an archive of it, I found that neither do the original uploads to file-sharing sites that he posted in his forum post. If you do want to play this version of the game, a quick Google search will give you patched CDIs/GDIs to download and play.


Space Channel 5: Part 2

Space Channel 5: Part 2 was the swan song of United Game Artists (also known for Rez), and is perhaps considered by some to be the superior Space Channel 5 game. Part 2 was designed using real-time graphics instead of the pre-rendered backgrounds of the original, resulting in this colourful rhythm romp looking even shinier than before. Sadly, the Dreamcast version was never localised into English, remaining a Japanese-exclusive, while the PlayStation 2 version was released to the West, albeit delayed, due to translation troubles, as well as ongoing allegations against Michael Jackson, who had a cameo role in the game. 

Regardless, back in 2007, the Dreamcast homebrew community put together an English language version of Space Channel 5: Part 2 for Dreamcast. They replaced the Japanese Dreamcast audio tracks and in-game movies with their North American PS2 equivalents to create something somewhat resembling the game that Western Dreamcast fans should've received years prior. If you want to seek this one out, again, give it a cheeky Google search. 

 

While there are quite a few other Dreamcast fan translations available, I personally felt that these five were particular highlights. Feel free to discuss other translations in the comments, though. Now, if only we could get a translation patch for Segagaga...  

9 comments:

J said...

Always love when a new fan translation comes out. Been meaning to play Blue Submarine, sounds pretty interesting! The Napple Tale and Space Channel 5 Pt 2 translations are great. Have had a lot of fun playing them on my GDemu VGA setup, Space Channel 5 especially looks so clean and crisp in VGA.

Tom Charnock said...

Great stuff Lewis! Love all these new translations but there are clearly others that deserve recognition and to be played!

Christian Giaconi-Bonaguro said...

Any way to access just the scripts? I still play with original, legit hardware and that won't be stopping anytime soon...

Lewis Cox said...

You can still burn a CD-R if you’re using legit hardware. Not sure about the scripts I’m afraid, probably worth contacting the translators for that.

Fafadou said...

You can find recvx in english spanish in dreamcast talk and obscure gamer and french version on darius saturn forum.

for me, recv has a better end than recvx due to too many actions scenes.
But there are quiete impressive.

DCGX said...

This is cool. 'Napple Tale' in particular has been brought up for years as a good import because it's primarily a platformer, but when you're in town, you really need to understand what is being said to progress.

JúlioSlayer Oliveira said...

Dreamcast Scene <3!! Now we are wishing for Rent-a Hero Number 1, SEGAGAGA, Hundred Swords, Sakura Taisen Complete, Undercover AD2025 Kei, Blue Stinger (Japanese very different version), J. League Spectacle Soccer (2002. Much better than 90 Minutes Footbal), Sorcerian: Shichisei Mahou no Shito and everything they could bring to us. Seven Mansions is a really cool game. Much better than "The Ring".

Unknown said...

I have Space Channel 2 ENG but no idear who's responsible! I saw a reddit ask for it but the one posted was garbaged FMVs and not all translated!

I rescued the actual one from a disc

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XbUGMS3YWxqaFYvVdfbTN4VSlTPp0-2-

Unknown said...

These are all fantastic!

I created the Space Channel 5 translation back in the day. It was all relatively easy, but the PS2 had some differences to the Dreamcast version that I wasn't a fan of - such as the icons no longer having the name of the character(s) attached to them. I ended up just remaking the Dreamcast versions in English rather than using the PS2 icons. The hardest part was probably adjusting the sound of the letters "A" and "B" that I ripped from SC5 so that it didn't sound too strange when I replaced the PS2 icons when they were said throughout the game.

Glad this is still floating around after the site I uploaded it too was pulled.