As much as we here at Rings & Coins love our classic hardware, the advancements in technology have brought many things that can be said to have added to retro gaming. This is no more true than when referring to the homebrew community, and the localisation efforts that are made within. Through these advancements in technology, we are now able to play many games that were once exclusive to Japan. Even better, we can play them in English too.
This has opened up brand new retro experiences to even the most die hard of 8 and 16-bit gamers. In fact, many of these often missed experiences, could quite easily be considered essential gaming. These include the likes of the early Fire Emblem titles, The Mysterious Murasame Castle, and even Mother 3, and now we have one more to go alongside these names.
That game is Marvelous: Another Treasure Island. Now as some will know, this is is a game that I have covered before on Rings & Coins, and make no mistakes it certainly isn’t a game you should ignore. Built very much in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Marvelous offers a combination of RPG and point and click gameplay mechanics, alongside great storytelling. All of which combine to create a unique 16-bit experience. It was also the directorial debut of Eiji Aonuma, a man who has possibly become just as synonymous with The Legend of Zelda as the series creator Shigeru Miyamoto.
Nevertheless, despite this it was never given a release outside of Japan. This was arguably due to its 1996 release, which came right at the end of the Super Famicom’s lifespan and following the Nintendo 64’s domestic launch. More surprisingly, is the fact that at a time where Nintendo is working on translating more and more of their classic games, including the likes of Mother (Earthbound Beginnings) and The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Marvelous remains notably absent from a global release. Though it is in good company here with Mother 3.
Thankfully though, just like Lucas’ tale in Mother 3, this is where the homebrew community comes in. In fact, fans have been working on translating Marvelous for many years, and they have just announced a brand new definitive English patch. This patch not only provides a complete translation of the game’s script, but also utilises graphic hacks in order to completely replace the Japanese text with English.
It’s always nice to see another classic 16-bit game become ever more accessible to the wider gaming community. Additionally, thanks to brand new cartridge based consoles such as the Retron 5 and the Retro Freak, you can even patch the original cartridge, thus retaining the integrity of the original product. Marvelous really is a game that’s worth experiencing, and with more people being granted the ability to play Eiji Aonuma’s debut, that can only be a good thing for gaming, especially for retro gaming and its fans.