Alltynex FM Towns
Image: Mobygames

The 1996 doujin shoot-em-up Alltynex isn't a title that we expect many of our readers to have played before, but the game has built up a pretty solid reputation in the FM Towns community over the years.

This likely explains why the retro gaming enthusiast and English fan translator Derek Pascarella has recently gone to the effort of developing a new fan patch for the title, translating the game's Japanese opening and closing scenes into English, and also fixing some of the awkward phrasing that's present in the original.

Originally developed by Satoshi Yoshida, Alltynex was reportedly developed as an entry for the 2nd ASCII Entertainment Software Contest (A-con), winning the PC software category (that's according to its description on MobyGames). From there, the game was later distributed on a CD that was included with the magazine Login Softcon, before eventually being published as freeware on the developer's website. Later on, it also spawned a sequel/remake of sorts called Alltynex Second in 2010, which was released on Steam in 2015, as well as an in-development PC port called Alltynex Origins from the developer Siter Skain.

In a thread published on Twitter, Pascarella called the new release not "a high-quality English translation patch by any means", commenting that there are a few "gotchas" with this. He then went on to explain some of the idiosyncracies with the patch and the thought process that went into it.

According to him, Alltynex was originally designed to require hard drive installation on FM Towns computers with a 486 CPU (this meant that it wouldn't work on an FM Towns Marty). Many years later, a user named AnnaWu created a self-bootable executable of the game (but it still couldn't run on the Marty). So Pascarella has now gone one step further rebuilding AnnaWu's disc image to use TOWNS OS V2.1 L40, allowing it to finally boot on the console. As Pascarella states, the game shows "noticeable slowdown" and "really does need a 486, no two ways about it." Nevertheless, he has included this change in order to future-proof the translation patch, should a new device come along that can upgrade the FM Marty's CPU.

Here's a list of all the changes:

-TOWNS OS V2.1 L40 and its libraries are used so that the disc image can be booted on Marty.

(Note that there is a significant slowdown on any 386 FM Towns (including the Marty), as well as graphical corruption in the options menu.)

-The opening and closing scene text has been translated into English.

-Staff credits have been translated into English.

-Menu text has been altered from original "Engrish" spellings and grammar.

-Stage opening and closing text has been altered from original "Engrish" spellings and grammar.

You can find information on how to install the patch over on Derek Pascarella's GitHub page. This includes recommendations on the best FM Towns emulator to use.

Here's some footage of the original game, to give you a better idea of how it plays and a closer look at the transformation mechanic whereby players can switch from a fighter jet into a mech: