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Shin Megami Tensei 1 Gets English Fan Translation For PS1

Like many franchises that have since become well established worldwide, Shin Megami Tensei was first limited to just Japanese audiences owing to its somewhat controversial subject matter. Both Nintendo and Sony felt that Shin Megami Tensei's religious overtones would outrage European or North American audiences, so the first several games of the series were kept to the home islands. Only with the release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne did Atlus invest resources in localization, which finally made it into the global franchise we know and love today.

However, even after Shin Megami and the Persona series found success globally, Atlus never went back to translate some of its older titles, judging them too dated to be worth the investment of localization. That might have been true at the time, but these days, there are die-hard fans that are willing to put in the work just for the fun of it.

Retro Tom, also known as @RetroTranslator (via ResetEra), has taken it upon himself with the help of two other individuals to translate the PS1 version of Shin Megami Tensei. Retro Tom has already got plenty of experience translating Japanese games that never received a global release, such as Warriors: Legend of the Blue Dragon and Go for it! Goemon 3: The Mecha Leg Hold of Jurokube Shishi, so fans can trust him with translating Shin Megami Tensei.

Of course, translating the game isn't just a matter of wiping away some Japanese characters. Because Tom doesn't have access to the original game files, a copy of Shin Megami Tensei has to be hacked courtesy of @fothsid. Then comes the arduous work of translating each line of text. There's also the matter of the game's title screen, which as Tom explained to a Twitter follower, also needed to be replaced.

"There is a sequence in which the title is typed out," wrote Tom, "showing three different meanings for 'Shin.' That typing sequence wouldn't make sense if the title got entirely replaced with English, but you will at least get to see what the words mean in English in the PS1 intro."

In another reply, Tom revealed that "the work is largely done," but now he has to play through all three of Shin Megami Tensei's possible paths to ensure everything is working as intended. The game has been tested and it runs, but players will still need a legal copy of the game to play the translation themselves.

In other Atlus news, the Persona developer is wondering if it should make the next iteration of the series available for Xbox. Sales in Japan haven’t been particularly strong, so it’s up to global Persona fans to make an Xbox persona happen by responding to this survey.

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