Shin Megami Tensei
Image: Atlus

It's kind of remarkable to think that all these years later, the cult role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei has only ever been translated into English for a delisted IOS port.

Given the cult status of the series and the widespread popularity of its spin-offs, you'd expect someone at Atlus to take initiative and make the game more readily available on modern machines, but that hasn't happened yet with many fans citing the game's controversial religious themes as the primary stumbling block.

Instead, in the absence of official localization, it has mostly fallen to members of the game's community to bring this critically-acclaimed RPG to a much-wider international audience, through hacking and modifying the game's text into English. While the Super Nintendo original has been available for decades due to Aeon Genesis's translation, it was only recently (i.e. this month!) that the PlayStation 1 remake was finally made available in English.

This fan translation is the work of three contributors: the artist FlashPV, the hacker Fothsid, and a translator named Tom. Together they've been able to produce a brand-new translation for the entire PS1 version of the game, letting players experience the JRPG classic as never before in the west.

In case you're unfamiliar, Shin Megami Tensei is the third game in the Megami Tensei series. It follows four nameable characters in a near-future version of Tokyo, where a rift has opened up allowing demons to enter our world. Using the Demon Summoning Program, a piece of downloadable software, humans are able to communicate with other demons to try and fight back to restore balance to the world. If you want to check out this translation, you can do so here. Here's the start of a no-commentary let's play to give you some idea of what the game looks like to play: