A fan translation is an unofficial translation of a computer game or video game into a language that it was never officially translated into. This is usually accomplished by modifying the binary ROM image of the game, and utilizing an emulator to play it if it is a console game. It is sometimes an option for releasing a game outside its homeland. For fan translations of computer and video games, Japanese is usually the source language, and English is usually the target language, and fan translation is an answer to a Japanese's company's regional decision to keep a game exclusive to Japan. Most fan translators translate computer and video games into their native tongue.

Fan translation is perceived as having a number of advantages; in particular, it allows gamers to play, and understand, games that were never released in their native language. Many video games are marketed exclusively in Japan, for example; the text encoded in the ROM images of these Japan-only games can be translated to English or another language, for the enjoyment of English-speaking players and players who speak neither Japanese nor English. Not only is the practice fo fan translation is considered by many video game players to be a reaction to a disappointing regional decision, or the answer to a Japnaese's company's decision to keep a game exclusive to Japan, but it is also consider a sign of a demand for companies to start translating games into languages that the never bothered to translate into. Another reason for fan translation is that the English release is considered inferior to the Japanese release as to gameplay or script content or if the Japan-only game is an enhanced remake of a game that was released outside Japan or that has an original version that was already fan-translated into English. Some of the Japan-only games that have been translated into English through emulation include Dragon Quest V (SNES), Dragon Quest I & II Reprise (SNES), Cosmo Police Galivan (NES), Adventure Island 4 (NES), Tales of Phantasia (SNES), Final Fantasy II (NES, remade for Final Fantasy Origins), Final Fantasy III (NES), Final Fantasy V (SNES), Seiken Densetsu 3 (SNES), Live-A-Live (SNES), Bahamut Lagoon (SNES), and Radical Dreamers (SNES). In addition to English, other fan translations have also been translations into other languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Latin, Norwegian, German, Dutch, Russian, and Serbian. American subsidiaries of Japanese video game companies translate their games only into English. They do not bother to translate into Spanish, although Spanish is a widely spoken language in the United States. European video game companies seldom bother to translate their games into languages other than Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Table of contents
1 Fan Translators
2 See Also
3 List of Fan-Translated Japan-only Video Games

Fan Translators

See Also

List of Fan-Translated Japan-only Video Games

YoJR = Year of Japanese Release. YoFTR = Year of Fan Translation Release.

Complete Translations

Game TitlePlatformGame PublisherFan TranslatorYoJRYoFTRReason for Japan-onlyness
AlcahestSuper NESSquaresoftF.H.19942002Reason unknown
Bahamut LagoonSuper NESSquaresoftDeJap Translations19952002Reason unknown
Cosmo Police GalivanNESNihon BussanJair19881998No localization rights or subsidiary
Cyber KnightSuper NESTonkinhouseAeon Genesis Translation Proclamation19932002No localization rights, power, or subsidiary.
Dragon Quest I&IISuper NESEnixRPG-One Translations19932002Enix of America was closed
Dragon Quest IIISuper NESEnixDeJap Translations and RPG-One Translations19962003Enix of America was closed
Dragon Quest VSuper NESEnixDeJap Translations19922002Enix of America was closed
Dragon Quest VISuper NESEnixDeJap Translations and NoPrgress19942001Enix of America was closed
Final Fantasy IINESSquaresoftNeoDemiforce19881998Squaresoft had problems with Nintendo. Playstation version was released in the United States under Final Fantasy Origins.
Final Fantasy IIINESSquaresoftNeill Corlett and Alex W. Jackson19901999Squaresoft did not have the resources to translate the game and the Super NES was released around the same time.
Final Fantasy VSuper NESSquaresoftRPGe19921998Squaresoft opted for Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest and did not have the resources to translate Final Fantasy V. Playstation port of Final Fantasy V was released in the United States under Final Fantasy Anthology.
Front MissionSuper NESSquaresoftF.H.19952000The developer decided that it would be denied a North American release.
Radical DreamersSuper NESSquaresoftNeoDemiforce19982003Reason unknown.
Rudora no HihouSuper NESSquaresoftAeon Genesis Translation Proclamation19962003Squaresoft had localization problems at the time.
Seiken Densetsu 3Super NESSquaresoftNeill Corlett and others19952000Squaresoft cancelled localization in favor of Secret of Evermore.
Shin Nekketsu Kouha: Kunio tachi no BankaSuper NESTechnos Japan CorporationAeon Genesis Translation Proclamation19942003American Technos did not have the resources to translate the game.
Star OceanSuper NESEnixDeJap Translations19962004Enix of America was closed.
Tales of PhantasiaSuper NESNamcoDeJap Translations19942001Namco refused to have the game released outside Japan.
Ys IV: Mask of the SunSuper NESNihon FalcomAeon Genesis Translation Proclamation19932000No localization rights, power, or subsidiary.
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