Phantasy Star IV Betas Found

Discuss anything related to the Phantasy Star series

Postby Sixfortyfive » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:03 am

I was going to post all of those shots myself but it seems to have taken days for this account to get activated. Oh well. Even though most of you have probably looked through them already, it wouldn't hurt to repost them in this thread. Lots of SPOILERS to follow.

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Somebody out there managed to snag over 1000 prototype builds of games that went through Sega of America's quality assurance and testing department in around 1994-1995. Among these were 5 early translations of Phantasy Star IV, each with various revisions and edits to the script. They are dated as follows:

- May 30, 1994
- Jun 8, 1994
- Aug 15, 1994
- Oct 27, 1994
- Nov 7, 1994

The entire game seems to have been 100% translated in the earliest of these 5 betas. Though the script is very rough, laden with errors, and seems to make very literal translations (instead of more normal-sounding English), it IS complete from start to finish. Considering that the US version didn't hit store shelves until February of 1995, I have to wonder what on Earth took them so long to get it released. It's not like they had much to do in order to finish it.

I needed a good reason to replay Phantasy Star IV again, and this Sega prototype nerd-splosion provided that very reason. I've spent the past few days working through the game and have decided to share with you several samples from the May 30 version. Marvel at what could have been!

May 30, 1994 Beta wrote:The long long war from ancient times was finally over.
The winner sacrificed the loser to the heavens.
Four bells tolled. Four torches were lit.
And the world continued for thousands of years...


The Algo solar system, bearing its existence in the heavenly skies...

In the past, within those stars in the system, a brilliant civilization flourished. The people devoted themselves completely to the pursuit of prosperity and pleasure.

But, in a series of disasters the planet's management system, 'Mother Brain,' was destroyed. The result was the destruction of the first planet, 'Parma' entire population. The advanced scientific civilization was lost and the lives of the people declined into poverty.

A thousand years has passed...

In time a renewed strength and determination emerged among the people to try to make prosperity take root again. Due to cruel circumstances that would not be allowed to happen quite that easily...


Final Version wrote:The long, long struggle of ancient times finally ended...
The victor sacrificed the vanquished to the heavens.
Four bells tolled. Four torches were lit.
And the world continued for thousands of years...


The Algo solar system, somewhere in space...

Once a brilliant civilization flourished here. The citizens devoted themselves to the art and the sciences, and life was prosperous and good.

Then a series of disasters struck. The system-wide management system, 'Mother Brain,' was destroyed. So was the first planet, Parma. Over 90% of the system's population died, and the advanced technological culture was lost.

Society declined, spiralling downward until at last only a few scattered groups even remembered there were once better times.

A thousand years passed.

At last, civilization is once more on the rise across the Algo system. People are once again turning to the thought of an easier life. Old knowledge is being rediscovered.

But just as things look brighter, beyond a threshold long thought closed, a dark and very ancient evil stirs...


Some characters keep their original Japanese names (Rudy, Hahn, Pike, Fal, Raja, Siam), others get close approximations or mistranslations (Ryre, Rena, Forn), and the rest are entirely different (Rein, Sela).

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Kyra is referred to by her Japanese name at least once though:

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Lots of random misspellings, Engrish, and general oddness:

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The Eight Stroke stuff is even weirder and more inconsistent:

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If you're happy and you know it:

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Hurf durf you guys are stupid heads:

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Strange vehicle names:

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Should be SPACEPORT:

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Should be ARTIFICIAL SATELLITE:

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This NPC literally says nothing.

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My personal favorite, Non Sequitur Raja:

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More non-words and weird grammar issues:

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Lashiec:

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Daughter actually does keep the "Fo...rn..." line in the final version. I guess they missed this one when they were searching for all the instances of his name to replace:

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Le Roof is a lot bossier and kind of a dick in the first draft:

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I don't think Re-Faze worded this one the same in the final:

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The nature of the Profound Darkness's "dimension" is addressed entirely different in the first draft. The way it's phrased makes me think that this was one of the more difficult concepts in the game for the translators to explain:

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Some snippets from the ending:

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And finally, a class of enemies that was cut out from the final version:

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...Aaaaand I'm spent! One other thing I remembered but forgot to screencap was that all of the NA techs in the game (NARES, NAFOI, etc) are spelled as LA techs in this beta (LARES, LAFOI, etc). Weird.
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Postby BenoitRen » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:49 am

"Land Master" isn't a weird vehicle name at all. It's actually the accurate translation.

As for the LA techs, I'd guess it's because of the L and R sounds being interchangeable. It's actually the correct translation; NA came out of nowhere. Phantasy Star Online translated the prefix as RA, actually.
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Postby Mister Death » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:33 pm

the mirror site's down.

what does 'eight stroke knife' actually mean?
maybe Zio mistook the child for a ver tiny android and thought it was Demi?
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Re: Phantasy Star IV Betas Found

Postby Augustus Caesar » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:10 am

Miles McCloud wrote:Greetings all,

Thought I'd visit in and share the news with you! A fellow by the name of "drx" has recently dumped about 1000 Sega developmental betas onto the internet, and among them were five different versions of Phantasy Star IV!

Unfortunately, it seems that they are from too late in development to actually show anything that wouldn't have made it into the Japanese final. However, they do shed quite a lot of light on the translation process!

For example, the earliest beta (May 30th) uses the words "winner" and "loser" in the opening montage, whereas by the August 15th beta they had replaced them with the far more appropriate "Victor" and "vanguished." Note the capitalization, which makes it look like the male name "Victor" rather than the common noun. They fix this typo by the October 27th version.

Also, the first two versions still use the Japanese "Rudy" rather than "Chaz", who appears for the first time in the August 15th version.

I haven't had a chance to play through much more than the the opening sequence with the principal in the various versions, but the early versions still contain a lot of awkward word and phrase choices (for example, Alys, or "Ryre" in the May 30th version, tells the principal to "get down to brass tacks", but in the final, she says "Let's get down to business")

I'm not sure if the entire game is translated in the earliest or even latest betas, hopefully someone with more time than I have available right to try and play through some of these.

Anyway, you can get the beta roms from the torrent link at this site...


http://www.hidden-palace.org/

Or in a slightly more manageable format from this site:



http://tomsonic.dyndns.org:90/sonicprotos/

Perhaps PSCave wouldn't mind hosting them as well?


Are you by any chance from SD?
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Postby PSP » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:32 pm

Mister Death wrote:what does 'eight stroke knife' actually mean?


A mistranslation. The original game has Lyla/Alys being referred to as "Yatsuzaki no Raira" or "Tear 'Em to Pieces Lyla." The "yatsu" part of that was written with the kanji for the number eight (八), which can also mean "many."

How this became "The Eight-Stroke Sword" however is beyond me :P

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Postby Mono » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:07 am

Eight Stroks of Ryre!
SEGA owes me money!
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Postby Abominae » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:22 pm

Am I the only one who thinks that PSVIs Acacia was trying to outdo those samurai girls from PS3?

I er... don't remember if PS2 had any female enemies (yes, except Nei first!) so I can't say if PS3 was trying to outdo PS2.
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Postby Eminems » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:32 pm

What about those catwoman things?

ETA: http://www.pscave.com/ps2/enemies/catman.shtml

Yeah they're called Catman - but they look awfully feminine to me.
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Postby thriwren » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:27 am

Eminems wrote:What about those catwoman things?

ETA: http://www.pscave.com/ps2/enemies/catman.shtml

Yeah they're called Catman - but they look awfully feminine to me.
I know, When I first seen them I was "Reeeee...oh, darn its a catman".
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Postby Eminems » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:21 am

They have breasts, or look like they do. That's not something I associate with men, or masculinity....
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Postby Abominae » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:07 pm

I am quite compelled to agree with Eminems. It's actually kinda gross... I've seen R/L trannies b4... so I know
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Postby Danny » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:43 pm

Indeed they quite strange to be called catman when they have a feminine body. I always thought it was a translation error but now it just seems that Sega is trying to be sick. Same thing with that Poison/Roxy chick in Capcom's Final Fight 1 arcade game that's supposedly a guy. I don't get why they do these things...
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Postby Sixfortyfive » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:31 pm

Danny wrote:I don't get why they do these things...

Because dickgirls have parts that everyone can enjoy!

D:
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Postby Abominae » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:55 pm

Yeah, I've noticed that the Japanese seem to have a thing for trannies.
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Postby BenoitRen » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:23 pm

Trannies? No. Androgynous people, yes.
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