This is the result of a combined effort by Rebecca Capowski and I ( I'm too paranoid to use my real name :) ) to make as close a recreation of the Japanese game Nei's Adventure as possible, in English, and on the PC. This release is an early demo to test its performance on computers other than our own. While not much of the game is presented here, what is presented is complete....we've removed no content from the locations presented here, other than to remove the eastern and western exits in location 4, in order to limit your exploration in the game to the path into the main part of town. Hey, we want people to have enough curiosity to come back to see the game in it's entirety <g>.
Many English speakers are familiar with the Phantasy Star series of console rpgs. Not so well known are a series of eight prequels to Phantasy Star II, each focusing on one of Phantasy Star II's main characters. These games were playable in Japan over a Tele-Modem service, and later they were collected (along with other Tele-Modem games) and released on two Mega-CDs.
Unfortunately their graphical lackings, heavy amount of text, and adventure style of play made any chance for an English translation and release fairly dismal, and not surprisingly Sega never brought these games over to English speakers despite the popularity of the Phantasy Star series.
Eventually a number of native English-speaking fans of the Phantasy Star series became determined to locate these games, and around that time a very generous fellow going by the nick of Adol mentioned on Demi's now infamous ROM hacking board that he owned another gem that many had been hoping to find for quite awhile now, Phantasy Star Gaiden. As generous as his namesake, Adol allowed the eventual dumping of his PSG cart, and also provided a copy of his Game no can Vol.1 CD.
And while Phantasy Star Gaiden was translated at a rapid pace by Magic Translations, the rest of the Phantasy Star text games were also being sought. As the CD was now online for download, this also was a time where Phantasy Star fans began scrambling to find Japanese Mega-CD systems. Keep in mind this was at a time where emulation wasn't in its present state...the idea of a sega/mega CD emulator at the time seemed an almost impossible dream. At this point we had half the Phantasy Star text games, but even Adol had not been able to find the other kan CD yet.
A few months into the search, I was contacted by an individual (whom I'll refrain from naming in this readme version, as I can't recall if he wanted animosity or not) who not only owned the CD in question, but who was willing to copy it and send it here. Needless to say, we were quite excited. Unfortunately there was a problem in the copy, and it proved to be unplayable. By amazing coincidence though, a fellow going by the nick of Darksol found himself in Japan, and managed to find a single precious game no can 2. He quite graciously allowed it to be copied and sent to me, and it was then uploaded.
Now that the search was done, we found ourselves in the position of wondering what to do about actually enjoying these games. I'd given some thought to hacking the CDs, and their layout wasn't nearly as odd as I'd imagined they might be, aside from the horrid amount of Kanji in them. At the time though, sega cd emulation was but a fanciful dream and a pile of hoaxes, so if that route was even taken the amount of folks able to play them would be limited. Not to mention how annoying it would be to burn a new cd every time one wanted to test one's work.
Of prime importance though was text space. I'm extremely picky about translations in the first place, so the idea of cutting up the script to fit it in the available space limits was rather unappetizing. Even worse in this instance of course, with the text being of such importance...almost the entire game is text, with very few graphics at all. For a neophyte ROM hacker such as myself then, the idea of trying to do something as uncharted as expending a Genesis game was scary, the idea of trying to do so with a mega cd game, nightmarish. And after gaining more experience, it still is, so that's that.
The idea though of actually making a PC recreation of the game occurred to me, and more and more I kept thinking of the idea. Of course it'd be rather meaningless considering I don't have any skill or knowledge with the language at all worth speaking of. I did though read a newsgroup focused on Phantasy Star, and one of the posters there was a woman named Rebecca Capowski, who most definitely did.
She'd earlier actually translated a book about the Phantasy Star series called the Phantasy Star Compendium, and had actually been nice enough to tell me what she knew of the Japanese only games in this series when I'd been making my page. She'd also been quick to translate screen shots Eidolon (The same Eidolon who runs the popular sega/sega emulation site Eidolon's Inn) had made from the initial release of the Game No Kan 1 CD Adol had donated to the cause. She'd actually expressed possible interest in such a project before, but still it was with no little trepidation that I checked to see if she was still interested. This was after all, the Rebecca Capowski we're talking about, and at the time saying I was an inexperienced programmer would to be giving me far more kindness than I deserved.
Overjoyed, I found that Rebecca was still quite interested, and thus work began. I'd record video while I played the game, and then Rebecca would translate them. Being as accurate as possible with this recreation was of prime importance to both of us, and we labored to think of every possible action that could be taken in all circumstances, that nothing would be lost when the copy of the game was made.
Unfortunately fate was not to be kind, and a series of catastrophe after catastrophe in real life marred progress in the game. By the time everything was back to sorts, the engine for the recreation had lain untouched and incomplete for quite some time. So much time in fact that it was hard to make sense of the very ugly code which I'd written. I was still inexperienced as a programmer, and I'd only at the time used a simple programming language called euphoria that I'd mostly learned by trial and error. The lack of experience really showed in the code if not the running program, and trying to add the things I'd yet to implement in the engine (such as animation) was painful to say the least.
By this time though, I'd had the chance to broaden my horizons quite a bit, and had learned the basics of some other programming languages, as well as gained experience with euphoria. Having a wider view and more experience, I couldn't help but see better ways to implement almost everything I'd done there.
With a lot of trepidation, I decided to just scrap the majority of the old engine, and write a new one. While certainly not easy (for me at least), it wasn't nearly as difficult as it might have been thanks to other programmers. I decided for sake of development time to write it in Euphoria again, and to make use of the excellent DirectX wrapper that had been written by Todd A. Riggins, and a very useful wrapper for sound created by Mic.
And that pretty much takes us up to the present, with this being a demo to test the newly created engine, to hopefully find and eliminate any bugs before the first release of the game in its entirety.
Game programmed by Naflign. Translation by Rebecca Capowski.
Download Nei's Adventure (PC) Demo 5.