Fantasy Gradients

We have a new section on the website! Now you can browse articles by series. Take a look here~

Most of the old thumbnails need to be replaced, so I’ve been working on that today. I’m a novice at photo editing software, so I spent a long time messing around with gradients to make this simple thumbnail for the Final Fantasy section:

That took longer that I was hoping, but it came out nice. Hopefully I’ll be fully done with thumbnails by tomorrow!

Now You’re Playing with Programming

I’ve been working on a pretty large coding project that will make the Info Dumps and side-by-side game comparison galleries easier for me to organize and comment on. I basically had to redo the research page stuff from scratch and write it all in a new language + write a back end organization tool.

I finally got it into an alpha state yesterday. Before, I had to manually edit dozens of .txt files and rebuild pages manually, but now I can just drag and drop and type text.

And here’s what that same stuff looks like on the front end, aka what ordinary users will see:

Once I have it in a more complete state I plan to do full side-by-side game comparison galleries somewhat regularly for Legends of Localization. They won’t be as info dense as my EarthBound, Zelda, FFIV sections but they’ll still provide lots of cool info for me and for readers.

“Detention” Out on Switch Today!

“Detention” is out on the Nintendo Switch today! I was introduced to this game last year via an interview with the game devs about the steps they took to make the English localization good and understandable for those not familiar with Taiwanese culture. You can read that interview here.

It’s a very good game and worth your time. BUT! It’s scary and depressing. If you can handle stuff like that, definitely check it out. There’s a good review of it on Waypoint, but it’s full of spoilers. Read it after you’ve played it!

A Link to the Past: Somasoa%

It’s over, it’s over! My quest to document the GBA port of Link to the Past in Japanese is over! All for this:

The friggin’ Cane of Somasoa! Which used to be called the Cane of Somaria in Japanese. Actually it still is called the Cane of Somaria in subsequent ports of the Japanese version… Nintendo got a little inconsistent.

To get that screenshot, I had to beat LttP regularly, then phase into the Palace of the Four Swords and beat 4 souped-up bosses and four versions of Dark Link. Since you can only unlock the bonus dungeon by beating Four Swords, and since FS is multiplayer only, I had to use a code to warp past the guy guarding the dungeon. Do you wanna traverse the bonus dungeon for yourself and see a different ending to LttP?

Use this code: 030038F0:20

Don’t talk to the guy guarding the dungeon! Just enable the code while standing in front of him and you’ll be warped past him. Then disable it and you can play through the FS dungeon.

And how long did LttP Somasoa% take?

Oh…

Visual and Sound Novel Ports on Mobile

While searching for more visual novels in Apple’s app store, I came across a port of 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.

This version is different from the DS version in that you don’t need to solve any puzzles and you also have access to a flow chart so you can go back and pick different paths. The game also flat-out tells you which paths to take to get the good ending if you die enough times (which I did).

I love this game – I even preordered the DS version and got a replica watch of the Nonary Bracelet as a bonus. But I died a lot. So much that I couldn’t handle running through the game again to figure out the right path for the good ending. So I’m thankful for this mobile version that tells me what to do if I die too much, but I do miss the fun puzzles.

This 999 port was published by Aksys Games, and they have one other game in the app store – Banshee’s Last Cry. You might have heard of a game called Kamaitachi no Yoru, or Night of the Sickle Weasel before. It’s the first “sound novel” that got really popular and shaped the sound/visual novel genre as we know it today. And Banshee’s Last Cry is the first official English localization of that historic game! Definitely give it a play.

Visual novels are perfect for mobile and I hope more quality games like these two published by Aksys will be released in the future. With Spike Chunsoft opening a US branch soon, perhaps we won’t have to wait long!

GBA Ports of SNES Games Are Disappointing

Back in like 2003 when Nintendo started releasing ports of NES and SNES games for the Game Boy Advance, I was really excited. Especially when my most favorite game was released: A Link to the Past. But when I played it, I was turned off by Link yelling every time he swung his sword. Not to mention the excruciating sound of phasing between the Light World and Dark World. I don’t think I bothered beating it on the GBA.

But now it’s time to Somaria% this game! Well, more than that – I’m also getting screenshots of all the text and creating many save states for future use.

O.G. San is on the prowl in Hyrule once again! But lordy lordy, I’d forgotten how strange the GBA version sounded. Some pieces of the Hyrule Castle song were simply missing, so it didn’t sound as important and intimidating as it did in the SNES version. And when I fell down that hole in the beginning, Link screamed :I

And the controls! The buttons are mapped strangely because the GBA has fewer buttons than the SNES controller. I had to complete remap them before I could comfortably play it. It’s also a bit easier – my magic bar filled up as soon as I got the Lantern, which doesn’t happen in the SNES version. And the enemies drop way more hearts.

Now that every popular Nintendo game is released over and over on whatever new digital service Nintendo happens to be running, it’s not exciting anymore. It’s exhausting. I pity the poor souls whose first experience with LttP was on the GBA.

A Link to the Past: Somaria%

Mato’s working on expanding the old article on the main site about the Cane of Somaria being renamed in the Japanese version of the GBA port of A Link to the Past (whoa, what a mouthful). I checked the WiiU VC and SFC Mini ports of the game over the weekend. As per the GameCats laws, I named the file “O.G. San” (but in hiragana cuz English letters wouldn’t fit):

Since I only needed to get to the Cane of Somaria and not worry about anything else, I ended up creating a pretty quick route that skips a lot of fat and goes straight for the meat:

  1. Get the Magic Powder (good for turning Fire Fairies/Bubbles into regular Fairies)
  2. Beat the Eastern Palace, get Pegasus Boots and run whenever possible
  3. Beat the Desert Palace, buy Zora Flippers
  4. Upgrade shield and boomerang behind the waterfall
  5. Get to the Dark World
  6. Get the hammer in the Dark Palace, use the Magic Mirror and leave without fighting the boss
  7. Upgrade Magic, rescue the bird from the statue
  8. Fly to Warp Point 1, get Ether Medallion
  9. Fly to Warp Point 7, beat Swamp Palace
  10. Fly to Warp Point 3, beat Blind’s Dungeon
  11. Rescue the frog and upgrade sword
  12. Fly to Warp Point 6, enter Misery Mire
  13. Get the boss key using this guide
  14. Use Magic Mirror to warp to the beginning of the dungeon, walk to big chest and get the Cane of Somaria

I haven’t timed myself, but I like to call this my Somaria% speedrun :]