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Seiken Densetsu 3

Super Nintendo

Game Description:

Ahhh, the famous Seiken Densetsu 3. Calling this game “Secret of Mana 2″ in front of the romhacking “scene” elite will earn you a quick correction, let me tell you something. Just think, all the newbies just take it for granted that SD3 is in English. You guys didn’t have to endure the sheer pain that came before. The dull, empty void. Such is the way of all translations, I suppose.

So yeah, this is Seiken Densetsu 3, which is (still) to date the only game in the series to not make it overseas. It’s a damned shame too, because this installment is unquestionably the best. Sure, Secret of Mana may give it some competition, but I couldn’t stand SoM for some reason. And the less said about Sword of Mana the better.

SD3 uses the old Squaresoft crutch of multiple playable characters within the same timeframe (see: Rudra, RS3). The whole “see the same events from a different perspective” thing works out really well here, it turns out. I seem to say that about every game, though. As far as gameplay, if you’ve played Secret of Mana you know what to expect. If you’ve played the others in the series, like Legend of Mana or Final Fantasy Adventure… well, you still know what to expect: run around and hit things with your sword. In realtime. It’s like Zelda, Squareified, for a complete lack of a better comparison.

Hiroki Kikuta returns (I think) to compose the music in SD3. The end result is gorgeous. The game comes highly recommended, but play the game for its music, if nothing else.

Translation Description:

Some call it “the best Super Famicom game ever”, some dismiss it as just another boring action game. But most people agree that Square made a grave mistake when they decided not to market Seiken Densetsu 3 overseas - especially after the success of its predecessor, Secret of Mana.

Around 1996 and 1997, the growth of the internet, combined with the increasing popularity of video game emulators, sparked a number of unofficial game translation projects. Several of these came into fruition; most notably the RPGe translation of Final Fantasy 5, and Neo Demiforce’s Final Fantasy 2 project. These groups proved that such projects were not only possible, but feasible as well.

Some of the more complex games, however, have proven too big a challenge for the fan translation community. Seiken Densetsu 3 obscures its text behind numerous layers of compression, putting it well out of reach of the casual hex editor.

In April of 1998, the RPGe web site announced that Richard Bush had quit his Seiken Densetsu 3 translation project. Neill Corlett decided that his effort would be well- spent in seeing this project through, overcoming all the technical obstacles, bringing to the English-speaking world a game we should have had in the first place.

With technical issues out of the way, translator SoM2Freak went to work. He finished the enemy names, item names, spell names, menu selections, and a small portion of the script itself, before leaving for Japan in spring of 1999. Translators Lina`chan (whose work includes the unofficial Magic Knight Rayearth translation) and Nuku-nuku finished the remainder of the script.

It’s a shame that Neill Corlett isn’t really into ROM hacking anymore, because he did a hell of a job. Also a hell of a script edit.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Seiken Densetsu 3 (J).smc
  • CRC32: 863ED0B8
  • MD5: 58EBD7CBF28CEADC03AEC4F448956A0B
  • SHA-1: 209C55FD2A8D7963905E3048B7D40094D6BEA965
  • SHA-256: AE5055BB59AEE22BA9E9AC0A3A7D2B03479BAEEF49C9CF0E06CF470588A6B677

Links:

Screenshots:


ROMhacking.net Patch ImagesROMhacking.net Patch ImagesROMhacking.net Patch ImagesROMhacking.net Patch Images

Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Neill CorlettHackingROM patch design, script editing
Lina`chanTranslation
Nuku-nukuTranslation
SoM2FreakTranslationMisc. translation

User Review Information

Dated But Still Worth A Spin

Reviewed By: Eldrethor on 25 Apr 2020

When Neill Corlett’s hack first came out, it was a milestone in the translation community, and it was monumental at a time when no one could foresee this game ever having a stateside release. So when Trials of Mana made its debut in the Mana Collection, it left this two-decade-old translation in a strange place.

It’s a solid translation that fluently and accurately renders each character’s dialogue with clean, crisp text. It’s also more performance-friendly than the official translation, which lags whenever you speak to anyone or browse menus. I would even argue that the typeface used for dialogue boxes is easier to read as well.

But as a product of its time, it has issues that were common in fan translations. Most characters speak in a single flavor of English that subdues whatever characterization that they should have. Compare Watts’s line, “What’s the world coming to?” to “What in tarnations is goin’ on!” in the official release. Or Gnome’s first line, “Hey, who’s talking about me!?” to “Well! My ear done started burnin’!” Carlie is perhaps the only one whose personality really comes out through the dialogue.

Yet to be fair, characterization through dialogue is hard to get right, and it can give characters the wrong voices when done incorrectly. Case in point: Koren’s edgy, hotshot attitude with lines like, “Hehehe, aren’t you a sharp guy…….” versus the same point in Trials of Mana where he says, “Oho, you are sharper than you look.” This continues later in the game with openers like, “Heh, I remember you, kid.” Granted, the Crimson Wizard is a cocky villain, but these kind of lines border on cringe, and read like the inner monologues of an internet badass.

Today, Trials of Mana’s dialogue flows more naturally and provides much more robust characterization than this translation. But to Neill’s credit, a lot of love and care went into it, and it’s not a bad work by any means. It’s still a great option for people who want to experience the original game in all of its old flair without the dialogue and menu lag, or Charlotte’s Elmer Fudd accent.

Version 1.01 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Dated But Still Worth A SpinEldrethor25 Apr 20201.01Yes