The Goemon series – also known as Mystical Ninja here in the west – is one of Konami's most beloved creations. It started life in 1986 as the arcade offering Mr. Goemon before finding international fame with Legend of the Mystical Ninja, an utterly wonderful SNES title from 1991.

Despite its international acclaim, many of the Goemon titles never made it out of Japan. One of the lesser-known outings, Goemon Shin Sedai Shuumei (AKA: Goemon: The Successor for a New Generation), was released on the Sony PlayStation in 2001 and is considered by many to be one of the low points of the franchise. It transplants the action to the future and totally removes the franchise's two-player mode; it was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002 (that version also remained exclusive to Japan).

The game follows a younger Goemon in the unspecified future as he returns to Japan and finds Edo in ruins. It marks somewhat of a dramatic departure for the series, with a new team in Tokyo taking over the development from the original developers in Osaka and giving it a more anime-infused aesthetic. There's also a lot less slapstick this time around and noticeably fewer jokes based on wordplay, because of the differences between the two regions.

A former Konami Osaka dev told Time Extension (under the assurance of anonymity) that "the PlayStation version […] was developed by the Tokyo development department, meaning the culture around that development process was completely different. Osaka and Tokyo have very different styles of humour and comedic throughlines, so I think the Goemon games aren't as well-suited to being made in Tokyo – even though I myself live in Tokyo now."

Rather than the core cast seen in previous games of Yae, Sasuke, and Ebisumaru, players in Goemon: Shin Sedai Shuumei can select from a bunch of newer characters, including Ebisu, Yue, and Sasuke (mark ii).

Despite its lowly standing in the Goemon canon, Shin Sedai Shuumei boasts some appealing 2D artwork and its lineage alone is enough to make it of interest to unofficial translators. And guess what? That's exactly what has happened; acediez and their wider team have been hard at work making the game playable to English speakers.

Here's a summary of the work:

The whole script has been translated, as well as the video subtitles (covering up the original game’s hardcoded Japanese subtitles), menus, and every single in-game graphic with any text on them. The bulk of the script can be found on the mostly-optional town dialogues and side-quests. So, while the game was technically beatable without knowing any Japanese, a big part of its content wouldn’t have been accessible. Now it is. Enjoy!

You can download the translation patch here.