Phantasy Star IV Cover Art
Image: Sega

Chris Hatala, known online as "GhaleonUnlimited", has released an almost finished version of his comprehensive retranslation of the classic 16-bit role-playing game Phantasy Star IV after four years of work.

The project called Phantasy Star Generation 4 - A Relocalisation & Retranslation is a patch that can be applied to your original file for the game and aims to fix some of the quirks of the Mega Drive/Genesis translation.

In the original game, for instance, you may remember that the planet Palma is referred to throughout as Parma and there are also some odd moments of dialogue that seem to go against the tone of the scene. This new version hopes to iron these issues out while introducing some newly discovered developer lore and personality into the game's writing.

Something that should be noted is that Hatala wasn't the only one to work on the project. He also had some help from fellow hackers and editors like FlamePurge, lory1990, bge, and Squirrel who assisted him along the way.

On the RDHN page, they list the project's aims as follows:

  • Restore every mistranslated connection to the other Phantasy Star games
  • Incorporate The Cutting Room Floor’s retranslation notes to best express Japanese creators’ intent in all dialog.
  • A more colloquial, fun, and emotional script (from NPCs to the main story)
  • Add Phantasy Star lore gathered from Phantasy Star team interviews and official SEGA resources
  • Add depth to character personalities and relationships
  • Explain the few plot holes and character choices that had been given no in-game reasoning (see project site for details/spoilers)
  • Proper grammar and capitalization
  • Include lory1990 bugfixes

Also worth noting is that there are actually two different versions of this hack. A 'purist' version for those who just want the added lore, and a more editorialized version called "Working Designs". All the information you need to install either can be found on the page and in the readme.txt.

From what we've seen so far, both versions manage to inject a bit more energy into some of the dry opening scenes, though it's likely you will have your own preference for which translation you prefer.

Are you going to give this patch a try? Let us know in the comments!