Phantasy Star Generation:4 is both a relocalization and retranslation of the original English script and proper nouns (weapons, monsters, names, etc.)
Its primary goal: restore every mistranslated connection to the other classic PS games, to and ensure the main story & series themes best match the original Japanese.
Its secondary goal: make the game’s script more colloquial, fun, and emotional, from NPCs to key story moments.
I always figured someone would make a PSIV patch to change the planets back to their original English names: “Palma” and “Dezoris”.
It’s 2018, and Phantasy Star doesn’t get the love it deserves, so I figured I should stop being salty and learn how to Romhhack myself.
I quickly hit some brick walls because of Genesis/Mega Drive compression, but thanks to the prior work and great help of vivify93 and lory1990, I was able to completely update the script as well as implement many continuity changes back into English PSIV!
The script is updated either for style, for character- and world-building, to make it closer to the original Japanese meaning, or sometimes just to make it more fun.
While the PSIV English translation was good for its day, it paled in comparison to the Lunars, which are still in my Top 3 all-time (along with Metal Gear Solid 1).
PSIV has a lot of character interaction, like Lunar, but the script is just pretty banal and lacks character. And much of the time, the characters say stuff you just wouldn’t ever write as a native English speaker (e.g. Rune calling Chaz, “You silly!”)
While I don’t at all understand the hate Working Designs gets, for this project I stayed away from pop-culture references but updated much of the script in a more natural style.
I went over the entire script, from NPCs to story, and just made changes where I thought either the dialog was stilted and was a missed opportunity for world or character building.
I also restored many subtle references to the other PS games, such as “Dr. Luveno”, “Alsulin”, etc.
I’ve made changes as small as proper punctuation to as large as relocalizing key story moments in ways that I think better reflect the game’s themes and characters.
I also incorporated vivify93’s Proper-Caser mod into the “New” mod. I don’t mind the CAPS myself, but I wanted this one to match the PS Gen 1 & 2 remakes as best as the Genesis will allow, and they use normal casing.
I’m at about a preschool level in Japanese, and I coudn’t find the Japanese script, so I used the PSIV section of The Cutting Room Floor (https://tcrf.net/Proto:Phantasy_Star_IV:_The_End_of_the_Millennium),
which has an amazing comparison of the leaked early English versions of PSIV to the final version, along with commentary and comparison to the original Japanese.
I did also use these translations / romanizations of Phantasy Star’s proper nouns, thanks to Kahran042’s work: https://kahran042.dreamwidth.org/32272.html
So step 1 was making sure that if a line could be made closer to the original Japanese meaning AND it made the story better, I worked that in.
For other parts, I just have the luxury of not needing to adhere to a file-size count, so I could give key parts of the story more depth, such as when <spoiler> The Heroine tells Chaz/Rudy about Algol’s past heroes and the sword.</spoiler>
From my past life, I was head copy editor for the Ohio State newspaper where I also got my degree in journalism, so I felt qualified to take this on.
That’s not to be like, la dee dah, this is the best work ever, and if you disagree with a choice or thinking the writing sucks, it’s cool! But at least know that I gave careful consideration to every single edit made to this wonderful story.
I have essentially have a changelog written where I recorded all my changes alongside the original script, so if you just want to thumb through that instead of playing, be my guest. You can find it on the romhacking.net patch listing.
Which version — classic or remake — did I match? Answer is, Both!
Since the naming conventions, etc., are different between the original SEGA versions and the fan-translated Generation 1 & 2 SEGA AGES remakes, I made one patch that best matches the originals and the in-game canon (e.g. “Lassic”, basic magic-spell names to match SMS, etc.) and the other to match the remakes and also be the version I’d want to play, with some extra changes that the in-game universe didn’t have but totally make sense to add.
I wish I could have the PSII Gen 2 techniques match PSIV, but I don’t have enough space!
I just personally feel like the other English character names are fine, so I didn’t change any but Rudy, especially since now The Heroine is referred to as “Alisa” now, there’s less confusion with Alys. I think.
Seth is Jiam because that’s the closest romanization I could come up with out of the Japanese, since it’s supposed to sound like “Sham”. It’s a little thing obvious in Japanese but not in English.
His last name, Shizrabram, is direct from the Japanese, and I couldn’t see a less-silly way to translate it.
About Su Raja: I’m not a professional comedian, so I did the best I could with his character. Most of his jokes were really poorly translated so I did the best to at least write something that made sense or conveyed the original joke.
About Dezoryinz … so you might find this all a little silly, but to be honest, for my entire life I could not figure out what the hell dialect the Dezorians were supposed to be using in PSII.
They’re kind of hicks, and also kind of dicks, and they say crap like “long dern time ago”.
So doing this script, the one Dezorian says that the guy you need info from has a weird accent, but in English it doesn’t appear he does at all.
So Pittsburghese is the closet thing I could think of to match the dialect from PSII, honestly. So that’s how he talks. It’s not some random joke, I was just doing my best to match the in-game universe!
On La Roof… that’s in my opinion a really silly name for what this thing is. I couldn’t find a better way to translate it though that didn’t sound either just as dumb or too French.
So I settled on La Rouf, per kahran042’s translation.
All script changes (mostly) can be found in the doc included w/ the patch
I have a list of those changes too. Feel free to check them out. Of course, they are debatable — that’s why this is a fan-made, unofficial project, and just for fun!
If you want to use this as a building block to make changes of your own, by all means! I and others can help you get started.
I think PS1-4 are the greatest story told in the classic gaming. I thought this was an overhaul PSIV really deserves, and I hope any fans out there enjoy it. If you don’t, no worries, the original isn’t going anywhere!
SEGA’s official Phantasy Star remakes in English!
I recommend playing the English fan-translated Playstation 2 remakes of Phantasy Star Generation: 1 and Phantasy Star Generation: 2 as well as the Gen 4 version of the patch, as the remakes are great to look at, modernized, and more importantly add much more story and character to the world of Phantasy Star.
I also implore you to play each of these legally (most important!) on original hardware (if possible for you). There’re many ways to do this now.
Feel free to report any bugs to hatalawriting at gmail dot com. I’m happy to talk about the game and changes, but please for those just PM me at romhacking.net (I’m GhaleonUnlimited there too).
Phantasy Star III: Successors of Time – New English Translation!
Also just this year, work was completed on completely retranslating Phantasy Star III!
PSIII was really rushed and isn’t as good as PSI, II and IV, but it still has some really cool ideas and is a part of the main series. It also has some wonderful music, esp the title screen, one of classic gaming’s best.
Credits / Resources used:
Thanks to Apathetic Aardvark for the script dump!
Above is The Cutting Room Floor Translation comparison btw May/Aug ’94 & Final English, with commentary on the original Japanese.
Japanese phoenetic translations of proper nouns in Phantasy Star IV — thanks to kahran042 for all this work: https://kahran042.dreamwidth.org/32272.html
Biggest thank you of all to lory1990 for creating the Disassembly of the classic PS games.
This basically enabled someone with no programming knowledge to directly edit all the in-game text: https://github.com/lory90/ps4disasm-uncomp
You can easily make any numbers of changes to the graphics, controls, or stats, if you know how to do that sort of thing.Other biggest thanks to vivify93 for being the first to get back to me when I was trying how the heck to get this started, and for being a limitless resource of Phantasy Star knowledge and good will!
This is my first hack, so I don’t really know what I’m supposed to put here other than I have no affiliation with SEGA (outside of being an unpaid brand ambassador!) or Phantasy Star and do not own any of the content in the game, etc.
NOTICE TO ALL WHO CREATE THEIR OWN GAME CARTRIDGES
Please do not sell this content in any form, especially in the form of burning this to a Genesis/MD cartridge and selling it.
This is illegal: You’re making money off of both the hard work of the devs who made the game and also me. This project was explicitly meant to be enjoyed for no greater cost than owning a real or digital copy of Phantasy Star IV.
We are allowed legally I believe to burn it onto a cartridge for personal, non-commercial use only if you already own the game. Get a friend’s or use YouTube to learn how. You’ll have fun and it’s very rewarding, and once you have the equipment and learn how to do one, you can put all your favorite hacks on real cartridges!
If I see this being sold anywhere, I will kindly ask you to respect the author’s wishes and remove it from your store. If you choose not to, will report you to whatever authority (etsy, ebay, SEGA, whoever) can convince you not to.
Otherwise, you can do whatever you want with this hack. Just link to the romhacking.net patch page if you want to share this or share the new script or talk about the changes.
Do not distribute ROMs. This hack only contains an IPS file to be applied to a legally obtained ROM.
— Chris Hatala , “GhaleonUnlimited” — hatalawriting at gmail dot com
https://www.gamesdonelegit.com/phantasy-star-iv-generation-4-patch/ for mo info!