A full English translation patch has just been released for the Game Boy Color game Sakura Wars GB, a spinoff of the original Sakura Wars game, released on the Sega Saturn. Retro Ali recently did a livestream playthrough of the translation, along with the lead translator. I strongly recommend this video for anyone curious about the series, as Ali sums it all up in a way that’s easy to understand, all while discussing some of the very cool finds the translators stumbled across…such as a hidden TV tuner mode for a peripheral that was never released!
TV Tuner Info: https://tcrf.net/Sakura_Taisen_GB:_Geki_Hanagumi_Nyuutai!#TV_Adapter
Play on original hardware with a ROM Cart: https://retrorgb.link/everdrivegbx7
This is more than just a translation though: The team added back a lot of different voice acting in the character specific endings that was cut from the retail release, but remained on the ROM. There’s even some quality of life (QOL) improvements as well:
- The status bar on the map shows the current date, time of day, and room name that the cursor is pointing to. In the original game, the bar only shows when the cursor isn’t moved for several seconds. In the patch, the bar shows instantly after the cursor stops. This allows for room names to be shown immediately as in the original Sakura Wars games, which is intended to help the player familiarize themselves with the layout of the theater.
- When the cursor is pointing at a staircase, it changes to a graphic of a staircase leading up or down. A small arrow was added to the top-left to help keep track of the cursor’s exact position. This is especially helpful when using the stairs on the top-left of the 1st floor map, as the hotspots for upstairs and downstairs do not have clear visual separation.
- Arrows were added near the staircases on the 1st floor map to more clearly indicate that it is possible to click on them to move between floors.
Please check the readme and release notes, as well as Ali’s video for everything you’d need to know.
Anyone who follows this channel already knows what’s coming next: I’m always so appreciative when people take the time to translate games! There’s so many great Japanese-exclusive games out there, that cover many different genre’s. While something like a top-down shmup might not need a full translation, JRPG’s certainly do and it’s amazing people are willing to put the time in to do it.
Also, here’s the documentary about the series Ali mentioned during the stream: