A feel good story for the year brought to you by.. NIS America?

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Efesell

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Yesterday it came out that a whole salvo of Legend of Heroes localizations are announced and coming to the Epic Games Store in '22/23. One of them, Trails into Reverie, is hardly a surprise given that it's the (as of yet) latest in the series to have not been localized and NISA has seemingly picked up the franchise for the foreseeable future. Much more noteworthy is the inclusion of Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure, two games that were never brought out of Japan and yet are rather pivotal to the overall narrative of Legend of Heroes ongoing story.

Over the last few years a very dedicated fan localization project has been ongoing to see a polished and professional release of these two games so that western fans could finally bridge this gap and play some very charming RPGs in the process. This project was completed barely a month ago with the release of Trails to Azure. The timing of all of this sounds like it could only have ended in grief given that the various members of the games industry love to shoot themselves in the foot at any possible turn and dash hopeful projects like this across the rocks on a whim.

Instead.. it was announced that NIS America would be officially bringing these folks on board to work on the project and have the basis for their work be used in the official localized releases. This all seems like a slam dunk decision for everyone involved and honestly I think it's pretty incredible.

How often has this happened, I wonder? Instead of just being a callous cease and desist sent out the moment official releases were announced.

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chaser324

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#2  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

@efesell said:

Yesterday it came out that a whole salvo of Legend of Heroes localizations are announced and coming to the Epic Games Store in '22/23.

Just to be clear they're also coming to Steam - the pages are already up and ready to wishlist. It seems NIS is bringing them to PS4 and Switch as well based on the trailers.

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Efesell

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#3  Edited By Efesell

@chaser324: Oh yeah I would assume that it's coming to everything, the EGS leak was just the initial source I saw popping up. My bad for implying that it was an exclusive.

Somewhat surprising that the console versions don't seem to be hitting much earlier, that's generally how they've released these so far.

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Relkin

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Wow!!! Congrats to the folks at Geofront! I played through their version of Trails from Zero a few months ago, and am currently 80 hours deep into their 1.0 version of Trails to Azure and can confirm that it's at or near the same high level of quality of XSEED's brilliant Trails in the Sky localizations.

They had also made their patch function with the full voice packs of the Evolution re-releases, but never explicitly condoned it. Kind of serendipitous, considering that'll now be something they can officially do under NISA.

They even managed to implement the wonderful Turbo mode that the Trails in the Sky and later Trails of Cold Steel games have that the Crossbell games didn't originally have in their releases.

Can't say enough good things about the teams at Geofront; they have done a marvelous job and it's great to see that recognized and rewarded.

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chaser324

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#5  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

It is very nice to see Geofront's hard work rewarded. I haven't played their fan localizations, but I saw pretty universal praise from people that did play them. Nintendo and others have us so condition to expect the worst when it comes to treatment of fan projects that it's nice to see things go the other way occasionally.

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snaketelegraph

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This is really cool and I'm happy they got brought on. I'm sure a lot of game companies don't have that as an option but especially with a couple of recent NISA translations being suboptimal it's cool to see fan translators get some official recognition. (I wish Capcom could've done this with the AAI2 game but that train has surely passed lol.) Happy about that '22 release date too cause I need time to actually play the Sky games...

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yyninja

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#7  Edited By yyninja

This is amazing news. I'm super happy the Geofront team is being recognized and employed by NISA. The Geofront team didn't just localize Zero and Azure, they also brought a lot of quality of life improvements and fixed bugs present in the original versions. I am still working through Azure, but from what I've played so far, it's a quality piece of work.

I honestly think this is the first time a fan translation team gets recruited by a publisher to work on localizing the official release of a game. This is a win-win-win, NISA gets to officially release an English version of the Crossbell duology, Geofront finally gets recognition and monetary rewards for the numerous years put into this project and the fans can finally play the official English versions without going to the Japanese and Chinese marketplaces.

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HeelBill

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Does this mean that those PSP/PC only games will come to other platforms? Sorry I am a noob/ignorant about this series but always hear about how good they are.

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Relkin

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@heelbill: The trailer that @chaser324 put up above says it'll release for PC, PS4 and Switch, but it also says "TO ALL PLATFORMS", so maybe other releases at a later date?

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Efesell

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#10  Edited By Efesell

@heelbill: These releases would make the only games not available on console the initial Trails in the Sky series, as those are still PC (or PSP/VITA) only.

There might have been some PS3 release of Sky at some point but if that did end up happening I don't think it ever made it over here.

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Bowl-of-Lentils

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#11  Edited By Bowl-of-Lentils

I somehow missed this thread, so I'm a little late to the party, but NISA teaming up with Geofront to officially release the Crossbell games is pretty cool. It was especially nice to see all the members of Geofront on Twitter celebrating the announcement. I've already played through the Crossbell games but it was with an older translation not created by Geofront so I'm looking forward to re-experiencing these game with their more polished scripts when they are both released officially.

@efesell said:

How often has this happened, I wonder? Instead of just being a callous cease and desist sent out the moment official releases were announced.

This has actually happened quite a few times in the visual novel scene. Steins;Gate's official release, for example, is actually based off a fan translation. Not only that, but this is not even the first time an official translation of a Falcom game has been based off the work of fans. XSEED's releases of The Oath in Felghana, Ys I & II Chronicles, Ys Origins, Xanadu Next, and Zwei II all contain edited versions of fan translation scripts created by various groups.

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Teddie

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I was making my way through the final chapter of Azure when this news dropped, and man, it felt great to know those people were now getting paid for this labour of love. Absolutely deserved, they did stellar work and went above and beyond what anybody could expect from a fan translation.

As for the games themselves, couldn't put them down. The Sky trilogy left me burned out (The 3rd really did not gel with me), but after the Crossbell arc I cannot wait to continue into Cold Steel. Crossbell feels like the point they really figured out what this franchise was going to be going forward-- solid self contained stories that all come together in a larger world.

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Efesell

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#13  Edited By Efesell

@teddie: The Crossbell games definitely plant a lot of seeds for what the series is going forward. Some would argue that they grow a little bit out of control over the course of Cold Steel but I still love all of those games.

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Kamui97

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#14  Edited By Kamui97

Think it's also worth mentioning Nayuta, the last of the four they announced. Finished that earlier this year, also very good, very charming, and completely standalone (and relatively short) in a way that I feel will be easier (for me, anyways) to recommend people who want a taste of what makes these games cool and enjoyable but dont necessarily want or have the time for the full thing. similar to judgment relative to the yakuza series for me

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Justin258

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Sounds kinda like the Black Mesa project, which started as a fan remake of Half-Life 1 but eventually Valve promoted it and later sold it as an actual product. Crowbar Collective are now a developer proper instead of just some guys around the world putting together a fan project in their free time. Frankly, Black Mesa is the version of Half-Life 1 that you probably should play these days unless you're just interested in the original.

OpenMW is a fan project to make an open source engine specifically for playing Morrowind. Instead of having to deal with a bunch of hack-y fixes to get the game looking and running like you expect it to, you can just play it using OpenMW instead! Bethesda did not pull a Nintendo but instead just emailed them back and forth to see what they were doing and then pretty much said "go nuts". As long as it stays on Windows, anyway, the people heading the project apparently can't make an Android version for some legal reason on Bethesda's end, though it's open source so someone else who definitely has nothing to do with the main team will probably make that.

Sonic Mania was made by a bunch of fans and not Sonic Team themselves, though Sonic Team apparently assisted in some way. Anyway, at the end of the day Sonic Mania's kind of the best Sonic thing to come out since, I dunno, Sonic Rush?

Publishers definitely do not have to bring down the hammer on every fan project out there, as can be seen by examples in this thread. I wouldn't expect them to help the fan project, but simply allowing it to exist isn't too much to ask.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Hey, wow, creativve spirit getting rewarded instead of crushed, that's pretty weird and fuckin' rad.