TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

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Temzin
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TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Temzin »

Friends, it finally happened: Sega's Mega Drive Mini 2 retro console (releasing October 27) has been gradually announcing its 50 (!) title line-up, which includes 20 Mega CD games---this is in and of itself momentous since no Mega CD game has ever had a direct port---not on Wii's Virtual Console like with PC Engine games, not anywhere. It's been a carnival atmosphere every few weeks as project leader Okunari announces 10 more of the included games, and Sega's influence had already gotten around very difficult multi-rightsholder negotiations on the beloved Nadia of Bluewater RPG, which gave me a good feeling for what they have finally announced today:

Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar: Eternal Blue are both appearing on the MD Mini 2!!!!!!


TSS is of course the most important game on MCD, selling 108,000 copies, meaning around 1/3 of all Mega CD owners in Japan played it. It would have been unthinkable not to have it, but they kept us hanging for the first three announcement sessions. Emulation masters M2 are doing all the work, as on the wonderful original Mega Drive Mini. Many other rare, wonderful treasures already included, like Popful Mail, Silpheed, Alien Soldier, Shining Force CD, Sonic CD, and the Nadia RPG: https://sega.jp/mdmini2/titlelist.html

Fewer good English games to include may make the MD Mini 2 less exciting for non-Japanese speakers, as was true with the original, where many good games in the Japanese lineup were not included, while at the same time the EA sports games that were important to the console's success in America were not included, either. The MD Mini 2 is meant for hardcore fans in Japan, and this means that the more obscure titles have even fewer good American options, as seen in the quite bad American lineup so far. Even if Sega Japan could untangle the rights for Lunar 1&2 and Nadia, I doubt they can do the same in time for the WD translations.

I should note, though, that the original Japanese MD Mini has regional language options, and if you switch to English, etc., the game language version switches too if available, so there was really no reason not to own the superior Japanese version. I am less confident that switching the menu language will also bring out available translations this time around, but then, everyone here can beat TSS and EB blindfolded while reciting all the lines, right? Right???
Last edited by Temzin on Sat Jul 16, 2022 3:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

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Woooow is awesome im happy
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by WD RPG WD »

This is actually big news.

Maybe I'm ignorant to past conflicts, but I was under the impression that too many legal issues would be needed to be settled in order for them to be released. Particularly, Studio Alex VS Game Arts.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

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Gonna have a news page update shortly. But yeah, this is legit exciting news!

I haven't heard any word or details yet on English language ports, either.

Does anyone here know more about that maybe?
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Sonic# »

Wow. What a selection! There is currently a possible leak of a Genesis Mini 2 for North America, though I don't see the Lunar games confirmed on that list yet: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2022/07/ ... ctober-27/

Fingers crossed. At worst, I suppose I can consider blundering through a JP version of TSS (which I've played) or EB (which I haven't).

(ETA: originally posted on the news item, then saw the discussion here.)
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by MaroonChan »

That's amazing. I'm hoping they'll be on the western version. DOOO IT.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by phyco126 »

Would be nice to have the Genesis Mini 2 released here. I need more nostaligia!
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Temzin »

Kizyr wrote: Fri Jul 15, 2022 7:20 pmI haven't heard any word or details yet on English language ports, either.
Does anyone here know more about that maybe?
It is a legitimately interesting question. Sega Japan had the clout and project leader Okunari's insane devotion to cut through various rightsholder issues on a number of tricky titles, including for TSS and EB as regards the long-defunct Studio Alex, but these Japanese relationships have no real weight in the US for translation rights. Like the English description of "Althena" in EB, ever since the death of the last Dragonmaster Summon Night 6, Victor Ireland has not been seen in the land, so I can't see him being available to grant permission if it's his to grant. I believe he unfortunately had some health issues. On the other hand, I do recall reading on these boards during Harmony's release that the rights to the WD translation had moved to Game Arts, who then allowed XSeed to crib their translation and modify around the edges, so maybe what's left of Game Arts and/or Gungho USA can allow the translations to be reused.

My bet is against it, however: looking at the US lineup, not only the Lunars but also Popful Mail (also translated by WD) is notably absent, despite the latter's having been announced very early on in Japan; it would be a strange coincidence for these otherwise unrelated titles not to be announced for the English edition by now, especially when the US advertising strategy does not appear to involve a staged unveiling in ten-game increments like in Japan. Other Mega CD entries that I believe were far less well-known abroad like Nightstriker and Ninja Warriors are already announced for the US, so there would be no reason to skip Popful Mail or Lunar unless they just weren't happening. Like I mentioned above regarding the MD Mini 1, you can see the problems Sega USA faces in finding decent substitutions for untranslated or unavailable Japanese games given that the system has so many slots to fill; as a result, while the Japanese Mini 1 was glorious, the US version of the Mini 1 had plenty of junk, and the US Mini 2 is already having to scrounge with aggressively mediocre games like Vectorman and Sonic 3D Blast, and even with outright horrible and irrelevant games like The Ooze. I would take the inclusion and announcement of these titles as a very bad sign for the prospects of better and more attention-catching titles like Lunar appearing, sorry to say.
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by DevNall »

Temzin wrote: Sat Jul 16, 2022 3:29 am On the other hand, I do recall reading on these boards during Harmony's release that the rights to the WD translation had moved to Game Arts, who then allowed XSeed to crib their translation and modify around the edges, so maybe what's left of Game Arts and/or Gungho USA can allow the translations to be reused.
I'd heard this happened for Lunar Legend, actually, but the rights transferred back did not include the audio.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by BookishBaubyl »

This is such great news! Hopefully there's an English language option for the console, or the WD translations come to the Genesis Mini 2.
I've heard there are legal issues abounding in these games, but it's never been much an issue for other Working Designs projects on PSN and such- and, forgive my ignorance; but since Lunar SSSTouch released with all the translations intact, can this not happen too?

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

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BookishBaubyl wrote: Sat Jul 16, 2022 6:32 pm This is such great news! Hopefully there's an English language option for the console, or the WD translations come to the Genesis Mini 2.
I've heard there are legal issues abounding in these games, but it's never been much an issue for other Working Designs projects on PSN and such- and, forgive my ignorance; but since Lunar SSSTouch released with all the translations intact, can this not happen too?
Well for the starters, the audio had to be swapped, so...

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by BookishBaubyl »

That is true! They used the Harmony audio, which was honestly quite good. But the translation remained, so...if that's the price we pay than I'd gladly pay it. It's a tiny concession to get these games available.
But hopefully cooler heads prevail and we can get the full original versions.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Temzin »

As an update to my comments above about how the Lunars sadly will probably not be on the US version, MD Mini 2 producer Yousuke Okunari commented in a Dengeki interview (https://dengekionline.com/articles/140818/) that the US lineup with be different for the specific reason of rightsholder issues: "We are trying to keep [the lineup] as similar as possible, but there are complicated cases where we just can't because the license is limited to Japan [he is referring to several anime or manga licensed games] or where the rights to the English version are held by another company [this almost certainly means the WD translated games based on the roster so far], or issues with the trademark. For the US version, we are adding substitute titles to make up for these games that cannot be included." Reading between the lines, Okunari clearly did not want to dilute the massively positive reaction in Japan to the Lunar games' inclusion on the same day with a note on how they were unable to do the same thing abroad (not that this matters to Japanese consumers, but it's a sour note), but the bottom line is, ah, enjoy your Sonic 3D Blast instead of Lunar and Popful Mail. D:

I feel bad being a downer about this for English speakers, however, so I thought it would be nice to quickly translate other parts of this interview that underline the wonderful role Lunar will have at least in the Japanese version for so many people, and a reminder of how essential a partner Game Arts was to Sega in the good old days, especially on Mega CD:

Interviewer: [Lunar 1 and 2 are] this third roster announcement's centerpiece, aren't they? When talking about Mega CD RPGs, everyone brings up the Lunar series.

Okunari: Even in the planning stages before I received official permission for this project from Sega, I first got agreement from [emulation masters M2] that we should include Mega CD games on the Mega Drive Mini 2, and right after, I got in touch with Game Arts via video conference. I told them, "We're planning to soon move forward on the Mega Drive Mini 2 project, and the centerpiece will be the Mega CD. Once this happens, could we please get permission for Game Arts titles?"

The reason of course is that if you're going to reissue the Mega CD, it would be unthinkable not to have a single Game Arts game. I was actually thinking to myself, "if we get turned down by Game Arts, this project is going to fail." But luckily, Game Arts had a wonderful response for us: "There are a number of parties we need to obtain approvals from, so we can't guarantee it 100%, but we will absolutely cooperate as much as we can."

Afterwards, it took more than half a year to actually launch the project, but this project's starting point was really when we received Game Arts' permission back then.

Interviewer: From the game player's perspective, too, a Mega CD without Game Arts is unthinkable.

Okunari: However, we really didn't actually get permission for Lunar~The Silver Star until the very last minute. Among the 50+ titles, it was practically the last. I'm so incredibly grateful that Game Arts did everything to get us permission for Lunar~The Silver Star and Lunar~Eternal Blue. Thank you so much.

After the Lunar series' release on Mega CD, it was ported to other hardware, and expanded with sidestories and remakes and re-releases, but there has not been a single opportunity to play the Mega CD originals. There were the remakes which included anime movies, and these lavish titles were like a dream for fans like me back then, but for customers who played them on Mega CD first, I think there was the sentiment that rather than these lavish versions, "I want to play the game that I originally played." This goes back to what I was saying earlier [in this interview about other games] about people wanting to play the version they first enjoyed.

Just like Silpheed from the first lineup announcement, there's this incredible sense with these Lunar games of wow, these were made by real artisans! Players will be able to have the same incredible experience of the Mega CD on the Mega Drive Mini 2: the controls, the voice actors' performances, the excellence of the pixel art, the impressive event scenes that lead into movie scenes.

To begin with, Lunar~The Silver Star had the impact befitting of a masterpiece for the Mega Drive, which was said to not have enough RPGs, and one reason for its popularity is that it gave people the experience for the first time with the Mega CD's lavish production. I was thinking of including both titles from the beginning, partitally due to the fact there had never been a chance for them to be reissued before.
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by WD RPG WD »

Thanks for sharing, Temzin. While I would love playing them again, just seeing them released in any fashion is still pretty awesome.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Kizyr »

Temzin wrote: Sun Jul 17, 2022 3:49 pm As an update to my comments above about how the Lunars sadly will probably not be on the US version, MD Mini 2 producer Yousuke Okunari commented in a Dengeki interview (https://dengekionline.com/articles/140818/) that the US lineup with be different for the specific reason of rightsholder issues: "We are trying to keep [the lineup] as similar as possible, but there are complicated cases where we just can't because the license is limited to Japan [he is referring to several anime or manga licensed games] or where the rights to the English version are held by another company [this almost certainly means the WD translated games based on the roster so far], or issues with the trademark. For the US version, we are adding substitute titles to make up for these games that cannot be included." Reading between the lines, Okunari clearly did not want to dilute the massively positive reaction in Japan to the Lunar games' inclusion on the same day with a note on how they were unable to do the same thing abroad (not that this matters to Japanese consumers, but it's a sour note), but the bottom line is, ah, enjoy your Sonic 3D Blast instead of Lunar and Popful Mail. D:
Yep, this... ...I hate to say but this pretty much seals it. If there were a good chance of the rights being sorted out anywhere in the near future I think they would've done so by now instead of announcing titles already. Unfortunate news, but tremendous thanks Temzin for highlighting, translating, and interpreting this for us.
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by ShugoHanasaki »

It'll be nice to finally have a copy of it on a console whether it's digital or physical! Very grateful for this!
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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Shinto-Cetra »

Even if they do get the rights to the Working Designs versions of Lunar in the US, it won't matter too much as supply will be very limited: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2022/07/ ... -original/

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by DevNall »

Also keep in mind that they need time for QA and manufacturing, so the final game list has to be decided well in advance.

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Re: TSS and EB re-released on Mega Drive Mini 2 in October!

Post by Alunissage »

Of all the times for me to go offline for a family emergency...! I even knew this was likely and I still forgot to check in until today.

Obviously I will have to get it. I have every physical release of every edition of every Lunar game (to the best of my knowledge) and could hardly miss this one. Pauses in music loops and all.

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