Here at Indieverse we don’t just champion indie game developers. We celebrate all indie endeavours – that includes fan made patches, rom hacks, translations of cult classics, or just simply labours of love. And today’s release of a fan made translation ticks all the boxes.
Many RPG enthusiasts have enjoyed the Ni no Kuni franchise since Wrath of the White Witch launched on PS3 in 2011. But not many people know that the game actually debuted on the Nintendo DS a whole year earlier.
Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi (Dominion of the Dark Djinn) was the first game in the series developed by Level-5. It featured animated sequences from Studio Ghibli and an original score by Joe Hisaishi – with sounds and visuals defying the limited hardware of the Nintendo platform.
The game launched in Japan in 2010 with an accompanying tome called The Magic Master Book – a beautiful hardcover companion that spanned over 350 pages and contained spells and information vital to understanding the mechanics of the game.
The book, whilst intriguing and totally unique, was ultimately the reason why the game was never released outside of Japan. The sheer scale of translating the huge amount of background information and lore proved just too much for Level-5.
Step forward a small group of hardcore fans over at GBATemp.net who, shortly after release, initiated a project to translate the game and compendium to English for a western audience to enjoy.
As with many projects of this nature, it fell off our radar and was forgotten about. But today, December 9, eight years to the day after the original launch, the team broke radio silence and released Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage.
The translation features not only a patch that can be applied to the Japanese version of Ni no Kuni, but also a full translation of the original Wizard’s Companion (now extended to 372 pages and available in PDF).
Whilst we cannot go into specifics on how to obtain the patch or apply it to the original game, we are happy to report that the process is simple and all the tools are freely available and linked by the team over on the project page.
We are currently having a great time playing The Jet-Black Mage along with the updated Wizard’s Companion and would highly recommend that fans of the series track down a copy of Shikkoku no Madōshi to experience one of the greatest RPGs released on the DS.
We would also like to thank the project team for their unfaltering effort and congratulate them on a monumental achievement. Hopefully they can move on to other translations, safe in the knowledge that they have provided a western audience with access to a seminal RPG for generations to come.