I wish I was disciplined enough to learn another language. One would traditionally think that a retro game fanatic like myself would kill to learn Japanese because of the amazing tradition they have of releasing games that are much better than their localizations. While I am not denying the fact that knowing Japanese would open up a whole new level of gaming, it would not be my first choice. I have the GBA port of Tales of Phantasia, and Mother has a pretty good fan translation. I don’t feel like I am missing out all that much.
No, if I could wake up tomorrow and instantly know a second language, it would have to definitely be Mandarin. Why? I can answer that in two words: Famicom Bootlegs.
There is a whole world of Chinese knock-offs and Bootlegs out there that I am dying to play. Here are two:
Final Fantasy VII
Man, does this look cool. Programmed and released in or around 2006 by a Chinese electronics company called Shenzhen Nanjing Technology Co. Ltd, this is an all original version of Final Fantasy VII built for the Famicom Hardware. According to reviews I have read it’s missing all the cuts scenes, but the shear fucking balls it would take for a company to completely remake a mega-hit game for an inferior console makes this truly a gem. Apparently some Japanese collector owns a majority of the copies of the game, but you can always search out the rom. I have it on my computer at work, and monday morning I’ll upload it and provide a link.
Wai Xing Zhan Shi (Phantasy Star 4)
Another in the tradition of a Chinese electronics company who has no business making video games making video games. This time it’s Waixing Computer & Technology Co. Ltd. who made this pirate, a new from the ground up remake of the Sega Genesis masterpiece Phantasy Star 4: The End of the Millennium. For Famicom. Now, PS4 is one of my favorite Genesis games, and it’s certainly in my top 10 favorite games all time. The name Wai Xing Zhan Shi translates to Outside Foreign Star Planet Fighting Soldier. I am guessing these electronic concerns don’t have very imaginative marketing departments.