Lost In Trans­la­tion

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

We an­a­lyse the lo­cal­i­sa­tions of King Of Fight­ers ’94, Kin­niku­man: Mus­cle Tag Match and Ozaki Naomichi No Su­per Masters

For­mat Mega Drive

De­vel­oper Sega

Year 1989

ori­gin Ja­pan

lo­calised For Rest Of World

rea­sons Com­mer­cial

One of the ini­tial mar­ket­ing strate­gies for the Mega Drive out­side of Ja­pan was a sim­ple and time­less one – make a bunch of sports games and se­cure en­dorse­ments and li­cens­ing deals from recog­nis­able faces and brands. In the con­sole’s early years, Sega re­leased Joe Mon­tana Foot­ball, David Robin­son’s Supreme Court, James “Buster” Dou­glas Knock­out Box­ing, Tommy La­sorda Base­ball and World Cup Italia 90. Most of these were de­vel­oped in the US or were un­branded Ja­panese games that had li­cens­ing slapped on af­ter­wards.

How­ever, one game in par­tic­u­lar al­ready had a li­cence – Naomichi Ozaki had lent his like­ness to a golf game. Sega Of Amer­ica made the de­ci­sion to re­place him with some­one more recog­nis­able, and got bona-fide su­per­star Arnold Palmer. In or­der to prop­erly rep­re­sent the game’s new cover star, a num­ber of the game’s graph­ics were re­placed. The ti­tle screen was com­pletely re­drawn, and the end­ing por­trait was re­drawn to in­clude Arnold Palmer in­stead of Ozaki (it was also slightly in­creased in size). Ad­di­tion­ally, Ozaki plays the role of your cad­die in the orig­i­nal, but his por­trait is re­moved out­side of Ja­pan. In­ter­est­ingly, when con­verted to home com­put­ers, the Arnold Palmer ti­tle screen was sim­ply mod­i­fied to re­move the celebrity like­ness.

Those changes all make sense, but there are some oth­ers which are slightly harder to ex­plain. The first is the re­moval of the staff roll at the end of the game. This se­quence had some neat cameo ap­pear­ances by Opa Opa and Alex Kidd as well as a bunny girl we don’t recog­nise, so it’s some­thing of a shame to lose them in the in­ter­na­tional re­leases. Some sub­tle in-game cred­its do re­main, as the golfers in the demo se­quences use the names of the main de­vel­op­ers.

There’s also a rel­a­tively sub­stan­tial ad­di­tion for the Arnold Palmer ver­sion, in the form of a brand-new minigame. In the Ja­panese ver­sion, tak­ing 100 shots with­out reach­ing the hole will trig­ger a screen with some crude draw­ings that ba­si­cally tells you that it’s help­ing you quit while you’re ahead – in fact, you’ll need to re­set the con­sole to start playing again. The ex­port re­lease re­places this with a game over screen, but if you en­ter a code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A) you will get to play a se­cret sin­gle-screen ver­sion of Fan­tasy Zone, in which the goal is to kill en­e­mies with­out blow­ing up the bases.

[Mega Drive] This is your re­ward for be­ing re­ally bad at the game in Ja­pan.

[Mega Drive] We got lucky here – the west­ern Easter egg is way more fun than a rub­bish draw­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.