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Romancing Saga 3 comes to the west November 11th, Scarlet Grace on December 3rd.

Iggy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,800
What I'm getting about this post is that the plain-as-oatmeal fan translation of the original RS3 was actually fairly accurate.
Kawazu's writing is very subdued, with a lot of personality expressed in tiny grammatical details. The text is always very simple. But it's incredibly difficult to translate, because either you stick to the information conveyed and it's dry as fuck, or you try to express the personality of the characters and suddenly you have to over-translate and be super verbose, because western languages don't work like Japanese. And obviously, the games work because there's very little text that goes in the way, so inflating the amount of text is also bad.
It's a very hard balance to keep, and I'd rate Kawazu as one of the most challenging VG writer to translate well.

In any case, making up words to obscure the meaning when the Japanese is crystal clear is not the way to do it.
 

Mendinso

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,420
Saga Frontier 1 first please. With Fuse route and all the things that got cut because of time constraints.
This. This. THIS. THIIIIIS. Holy shit, this!

Finish Asellus story. Fuse added (technically his quest IS in the game, but locked out and barely anything functions) and finished. Lute's story original plan worked in. Battle System finished. All Character Quests finished what wasn't completed (including adding in the Alt. Ending for Blue that was planned). As well as anything else he and his team had intended too.

This is the one game I've always wanted Kawazu to somehow do a definitive edition of, and given how he's been going in order so far, this would be the next logical step. I know he mentioned how difficult it would be, given the way the game was designed, asset wise, but...

He's crazy enough to attempt this and Square Enix seems to be letting him do whatever, so hopefully just more of a matter of time!

EDIT: Real quick, since it's worth noting. Like someone mentioned earlier, Romancing SaGa did get a remake and was released on PS2. I'd imagine that'll eventually get released on modern platforms at some point. It's a big game, so it's really just a matter of time and resource for everyone involved.
 
Last edited:
May 13, 2019
638
Kawazu's writing is very subdued, with a lot of personality expressed in tiny grammatical details. The text is always very simple. But it's incredibly difficult to translate, because either you stick to the information conveyed and it's dry as fuck, or you try to express the personality of the characters and suddenly you have to over-translate and be super verbose, because western languages don't work like Japanese. And obviously, the games work because there's very little text that goes in the way, so inflating the amount of text is also bad.
It's a very hard balance to keep, and I'd rate Kawazu as one of the most challenging VG writer to translate well.

In any case, making up words to obscure the meaning when the Japanese is crystal clear is not the way to do it.
This certainly explains why the writing of these games struck me as being fairly to the point and lacking certain charm, which I blamed subpar translations for the longest.

But again... To me, it's obvious nobody is playing SaGa for the writing or the characters but for gameplay i.e trying to figure out the incredibly obtuse mechanics to have the slimmer of chances of breaking the games in half before they kick your teeth down your throat.
 

Judge

Vault-Tec Seal of Approval
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
1,973
They can bring SaGa 3 but not Grace to Xbox huh
 

Iggy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,800
But again... To me, it's obvious nobody is playing SaGa for the writing or the characters but for gameplay i.e trying to figure out the incredibly obtuse mechanics to have the slimmer of chances of breaking the games in half before they kick your teeth down your throat.
Eeeeeh.... I just loved being a strangely passive-agressive asshole in Minstrel Song. The choices you could make when characters were asking you questions were always very funny.
But, yeah, you're right, it's not a Sa.Ga game if I don't need to buy a 300 to 700 pages instruction manual to exploit every single line of code.

EDIT: Real quick, since it's worth noting. Like someone mentioned earlier, Romancing SaGa did get a remake and was released on PS2. I'd imagine that'll eventually get released on modern platforms at some point. It's a big game, so it's really just a matter of time and resource for everyone involved.
An HD port of Minstrel Song would be a dream come true. Even if they don't change anything and just port the old PS2 game and people laugh at them, I don't care. Gimme gimme gimme.
 
May 13, 2019
638
But, yeah, you're right, it's not a Sa.Ga game if I don't need to buy a 300 to 700 pages instruction manual to exploit every single line of code.
I hope the remake doesn't lower the difficulty. RS3 was like the hardest SNES RPG I had played up to that point, mostly because I had no idea how the enemy ranks work or the whole thing about sparking techniques. I can barely grasp those mechanics now and they are still wonky as heck to me.
 

Iggy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,800
I just remembered something:
Seiou to Matriarch is sort of wild, but I guess they want everyone to know that that character was revealed to be a woman in the Imperial SaGa or whatever the browser game was called
Her gender has actually been revealed a long time ago... on the packaging of the original game!

Though understanding who these two characters were was sort of a puzzle left to the imagination of players. A bit like Wagnas being transgender in RS2.
(I still call her "Holy King" because I didn't understand the cover until years later).
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,992
i do kind of wonder what they'll translate God King to since they ditched the symmetry of Devil King/Holy King/God King.
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,992
This is good, huh? Is it kinda like Octopath Traveler? What's the deal? Never played these games.
It is similar to Octopath Traveler in that you pick one of eight characters, but it's more of an open world game without much narrative structure (really only like... one of the main characters has any actual narrative hook for why they're traveling the world) and barely any interaction between party members (but also there are like... twenty something potential party members)
 

Quinton

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,597
The Research Triangle
It is similar to Octopath Traveler in that you pick one of eight characters, but it's more of an open world game without much narrative structure (really only like... one of the main characters has any actual narrative hook for why they're traveling the world) and barely any interaction between party members.
Hmm. Sounds kind of strange but I'm intrigued. I'll pick it up. :D
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
This is good, huh? Is it kinda like Octopath Traveler? What's the deal? Never played these games.
It definitely has DNA in common with Octopath. You have eight protagonists and you pick one at the start of the game to be your main character. Each protagonist has a (usually fairly small) plot arc, and after you're dumped into the main world the progression becomes completely non-linear. You can go to areas in any order, recruit anyone you want (including some of the other protagonists if you want), train them to use any weapons or magic you want, and tick off main storyline points before you reach an ending.

You know how a lot of people shit on Octopath for being extremely formulaic? Romancing SaGa is kind of the exact opposite because there is no formula. Depending on the way you choose to play the game you may see a LOT of story scenes or almost none of them. Some characters have more in-depth main storylines and others have very simple ones. One of the characters in RS3 has a Fire Emblem-style top-down strategy RPG as his main storyline, for example.
 

Quinton

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,597
The Research Triangle
It definitely has DNA in common with Octopath. You have eight protagonists and you pick one at the start of the game to be your main character. Each protagonist has a (usually fairly small) plot arc, and after you're dumped into the main world the progression becomes completely non-linear. You can go to areas in any order, recruit anyone you want (including some of the other protagonists if you want), train them to use any weapons or magic you want, and tick off main storyline points before you reach an ending.

You know how a lot of people shit on Octopath for being extremely formulaic? Romancing SaGa is kind of the exact opposite because there is no formula. Depending on the way you play the game you may see a LOT of story scenes or almost none of them. Some characters have more in-depth main storylines and others have very simple ones. One of the characters in RS3 has a Fire Emblem-style top-down strategy RPG as his main storyline, for example.
Wow. That sounds really cool, actually. Thanks for the explanation. Wild that it's taken so long for the game to release!
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
Wow. That sounds really cool, actually. Thanks for the explanation. Wild that it's taken so long for the game to release!
RS3 is a really really cool game and I'm legitimately pumped that it's coming out in English for the first time. There WAS a ROM translation patch but it was a hideous mess and broke constantly because of the absolutely unfathomable number of world states the game can wind up in. That sheer amount of complexity is also probably WHY it wasn't originally translated. It came out late in the SNES' life and was such a complicated game Square probably wanted to push focus on simpler games like Mario RPG before transitioning to the PS1.

I hope you like it, truly. SaGa is an acquired taste (and some of them are better/worse than others), but I LOVED what I played of RS3.
 

Quinton

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,597
The Research Triangle
RS3 is a really really cool game and I'm legitimately pumped that it's coming out in English for the first time. There WAS a ROM translation patch but it was a hideous mess and broke constantly because of the absolutely unfathomable number of world states the game can wind up in. That sheer amount of complexity is also probably WHY it wasn't originally translated. It came out late in the SNES' life and was such a complicated game Square probably wanted to push focus on simpler games like Mario RPG before transitioning to the PS1.

I hope you like it, truly. SaGa is an acquired taste (and some of them are better/worse than others), but I LOVED what I played of RS3.
<3 I hope I do, too! When I was a young teenager, a friend of mine played SaGa Frontier alongside his siblings and I'd come over on occasion and catch snippets. I never really knew what was going on and sadly the franchise just slipped past me repeatedly from there.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
<3 I hope I do, too! When I was a young teenager, a friend of mine played SaGa Frontier alongside his siblings and I'd come over on occasion and catch snippets. I never really knew what was going on and sadly the franchise just slipped past me repeatedly from there.
SaGa Frontier is actually kind of a more simplified version of the concept, honestly. In that game you have a set protagonist that you pick and you play through their specific story to reach their specific final boss and then repeat until you beat everybody's individual stories and fight the "true" final boss.

In the Romancing SaGa games, every main character exists in the same world and is working toward their own endings independently but the plot always arcs toward the same final boss fight.

From what I've heard, Frontier was originally PLANNED to be significantly more complex in scope but budget and programming issues held it back and the game that finally released was kind of a pale shadow of what they wanted it to be. I still love SaGa Frontier 1 but it's a mess compared to Romancing 3. Absolutely amazing soundtrack though.


 

Schopenhauer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
174
These game announcements were the highlight of E3 for me and to hear that they are coming out so soon is amazing. Words are not enough to express my excitement at finally being able to play these games officially.

Edit: man, those amazon listings had my hopes up for a physical release. Too good to be true I guess and doesn't really matter as I will be buying it regardless.
 

Quinton

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,597
The Research Triangle
SaGa Frontier is actually kind of a more simplified version of the concept, honestly. In that game you have a set protagonist that you pick and you play through their specific story to reach their specific final boss and then repeat until you beat everybody's individual stories and fight the "true" final boss.

In the Romancing SaGa games, every main character exists in the same world and is working toward their own endings independently but the plot always arcs toward the same final boss fight.

From what I've heard, Frontier was originally PLANNED to be significantly more complex in scope but budget and programming issues held it back and the game that finally released was kind of a pale shadow of what they wanted it to be. I still love SaGa Frontier 1 but it's a mess compared to Romancing 3. Absolutely amazing soundtrack though.


Huh. I'm learning all sorts of things today. Yeah, the Romancing SaGas sound almost absurdly ambitious for their time.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
Quick question, as you seem pretty familiar with this franchise: How is RS2?
I don't like RS2 nearly as much as RS3. The generation system is a cool idea but it's overall a much uglier experience and the characters don't stand out as much in my mind.

If you were going to pick one of them to play I would ALWAYS recommend 3 over 2.
 

Lichtsang

Member
Jan 2, 2018
3,953
I don't like RS2 nearly as much as RS3. The generation system is a cool idea but it's overall a much uglier experience and the characters don't stand out as much in my mind.

If you were going to pick one of them to play I would ALWAYS recommend 3 over 2.
I think I bought RS2 on my Switch one or two years ago and never played it, so I'm thinking about giving it a go...but perhaps I'll wait for RS3?
 

Soupbones

Member
Oct 26, 2017
487
Is RS2 worth playing? It's been in my wishlist since it hit the eShop because I've always been curious about the RS games. Are the stories between games connected?
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
Is RS2 worth playing? It's been in my wishlist since it hit the eShop because I've always been curious about the RS games. Are the stories between games connected?
There are token references from game to game but they generally do not connect to each other on a narrative level. At least not enough to mandate you needing to play one to play the next one.

RS2 is a novel idea (the generation system is really cool) but compared to 3 it's...

Let me put it this way. The jump from Romancing SaGa 2 to Romancing SaGa 3 is kind of like the jump from FFV to FFVI. There will always be people who find 2 more charming or more unique or enjoy some of its individual elements more, but 3 is the better package and the one the majority of people tend to remember more fondly.
 

Lichtsang

Member
Jan 2, 2018
3,953
I mean, if you already have it, there's no shame in trying it.

Would this be your first ever SaGa game?
Yep! I didn't even knew of this series until I saw a trailer for RS2 and I really liked the look of it, so I bought it without much knowledge, but sadly never played it.
I think I will try it out this weekend and see for myself if this franchise is something for me!
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
Yep! I didn't even knew of this series until I saw a trailer for RS2 and I really liked the look of it, so I bought it without much knowledge, but sadly never played it.
I think I will try it out this weekend and see for myself if this franchise is something for me!
The big thing to keep in mind with Romancing SaGa games is the LP system. Every character has a set number of LP, or life points. Every time a character is KO'd, or takes damage while KO'd, they lose an LP. When a character runs out of LP, they're dead forever. You can restore LP using inns and the occasional item or spell, but on longer dungeons and big boss battles you have to be really careful because you can lose your characters for good if you get hit hard enough and frequently enough.

RS2 makes a whole gameplay mechanic out of it where whenever your protagonist runs out of LP, they die and get succeeded by one of their children, who takes over as the next protagonist.
 

Soupbones

Member
Oct 26, 2017
487
There are token references from game to game but they generally do not connect to each other on a narrative level. At least not enough to mandate you needing to play one to play the next one.

RS2 is a novel idea (the generation system is really cool) but compared to 3 it's...

Let me put it this way. The jump from Romancing SaGa 2 to Romancing SaGa 3 is kind of like the jump from FFV to FFVI. There will always be people who find 2 more charming or more unique or enjoy some of its individual elements more, but 3 is the better package and the one the majority of people tend to remember more fondly.
Thanks - will wait for 3 then!
 

Lichtsang

Member
Jan 2, 2018
3,953
The big thing to keep in mind with Romancing SaGa games is the LP system. Every character has a set number of LP, or life points. Every time a character is KO'd, or takes damage while KO'd, they lose an LP. When a character runs out of LP, they're dead forever. You can restore LP using inns and the occasional item or spell, but on longer dungeons and big boss battles you have to be really careful because you can lose your characters for good if you get hit hard enough and frequently enough.

RS2 makes a whole gameplay mechanic out of it where whenever your protagonist runs out of LP, they die and get succeeded by one of their children, who takes over as the next protagonist.
That's a pretty cool concept and I'm excited to see it play out in the game!
Is the game more on the easy or more on the hard site of things?
 

Schopenhauer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
174
SaGa Frontier is actually kind of a more simplified version of the concept, honestly. In that game you have a set protagonist that you pick and you play through their specific story to reach their specific final boss and then repeat until you beat everybody's individual stories and fight the "true" final boss.

In the Romancing SaGa games, every main character exists in the same world and is working toward their own endings independently but the plot always arcs toward the same final boss fight.

From what I've heard, Frontier was originally PLANNED to be significantly more complex in scope but budget and programming issues held it back and the game that finally released was kind of a pale shadow of what they wanted it to be. I still love SaGa Frontier 1 but it's a mess compared to Romancing 3. Absolutely amazing soundtrack though.
This isn't really true though. There is no overarching final boss after you beat all of the characters individual bosses. You can go to a special area where you can fight the various bosses again but that is it.

I think the original idea was that Fuse's IRPO scenario was supposed to tie all the other stories together but like you mentioned, it was scrapped.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
This isn't really true though. There is no overarching final boss after you beat all of the characters individual bosses. You can go to a special area where you can fight the various bosses again but that is it.

I think the original idea was that Fuse's IRPO scenario was supposed to tie all the other stories together but like you mentioned, it was scrapped.
I thought there was some kind of superboss in the final room. I remember fighting it. Maybe my brain just mixed something up.

That's a pretty cool concept and I'm excited to see it play out in the game!
Is the game more on the easy or more on the hard site of things?
SaGa games generally tend to err on the side of "hard", but once you get a handle on the game design and combat system you can break shit wide open and make ridiculous monster characters, especially in Frontier and RS3.
 

Lichtsang

Member
Jan 2, 2018
3,953
SaGa games generally tend to err on the side of "hard", but once you get a handle on the game design and combat system you can break shit wide open and make ridiculous monster characters, especially in Frontier and RS3.
Alright! Thank you! I'm hopeful I'll enjoy the game, because the look and sound of it are appealing to me so far. :)
 
May 13, 2019
638
I honestly don't know how RS3 worked on the SNES at all. It's one of those games that made me convinced Kawazu was a madman.
By being extremely rough around the edges, I assume. I don't think the monster rank system was ever tested.
I hope you like it, truly. SaGa is an acquired taste (and some of them are better/worse than others), but I LOVED what I played of RS3.
I wonder what makes these games earn such mixed reactions. On second thought, perhaps my sentence above answered my question.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
2,548
Hold up! What is SCARLET GRACE????!

I know about RS3 and can’t wait for it but have not heard of this other one?
Scarlet Grace is the newest game in the series. It came out on the Vita in Japan at the end of 2016, then an enhanced port came out last year in Japan, and now we're getting the enhanced port in English this December. It's supposed to be rather good from what I've heard.
 

Mendinso

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,420
By the way, some more footage of SaGa Frontier came out recently, of one of it's earlier builds. I actually snipped from one of the videos that it came from (forget what it was from, but was apparently from TGS 96, given the text and stuff in the video itself), but you can see remnants of the trailer that it came from here:


Seems it's from the same era, build wise, that was likely this trailer:

 

Mudo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,496
Tennessee
Scarlet Grace is the newest game in the series. It came out on the Vita in Japan at the end of 2016, then an enhanced port came out last year in Japan, and now we're getting the enhanced port in English this December. It's supposed to be rather good from what I've heard.
Damn thanks how have I never heard of it?! Well, I’m excited for both of these. Day freaking 1
 

Iggy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,800
Let me put it this way. The jump from Romancing SaGa 2 to Romancing SaGa 3 is kind of like the jump from FFV to FFVI. There will always be people who find 2 more charming or more unique or enjoy some of its individual elements more, but 3 is the better package and the one the majority of people tend to remember more fondly.
When they were released, RS2 was the better game mechanically. RS3 was "what if I made RS1 again, but this time, not horrifyingly bad?" with very pretty graphics.
The problem was that RS3 was clearly unfinished and bugged, while RS2, as an experience, is as perfect as could be at the time.

In 2019, RS2 is still a fantastically unique game if you manage to look past the dated visuals. Nothing quite like that has ever been made since (though Oreshika came close), and it has a long legacy behind it. I think Scarlet Grace is the first game of the series that really topped it.
RS3, especially if the remake fixes the issues and adds the events that were blatantly missing from the original game, is much more palatable to the non-initiated. Its general framework will be reused in Saga Frontier 1 (with more scenario, the chain system, and horrible pre-rended graphics) so more western players should be familiar with the general idea.
The progression in RS3 is easier to understand, the visuals (and the music!) are some of the best of the entire era, and you can still get a taste of what Japan was playing 20 years ago.

Personally, Scarlet Grace > RS2 > Minstrel Song > RS3 > Unlimited > Wild Cards > Frontier 1&2 > the GB games >>>>> RS1.
If the remake fixes some of the issues I have with the original, it would overtake Minstrel Song.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
When they were released, RS2 was the better game mechanically. RS3 was "what if I made RS1 again, but this time, not horrifyingly bad?" with very pretty graphics.
The problem was that RS3 was clearly unfinished and bugged, while RS2, as an experience, is as perfect as could be at the time.

In 2019, RS2 is still a fantastically unique game if you manage to look past the dated visuals. Nothing quite like that has ever been made since (though Oreshika came close), and it has a long legacy behind it. I think Scarlet Grace is the first game of the series that really topped it.
RS3, especially if the remake fixes the issues and adds the events that were blatantly missing from the original game, is much more palatable to the non-initiated. Its general framework will be reused in Saga Frontier 1 (with more scenario, the chain system, and horrible pre-rended graphics) so more western players should be familiar with the general idea.
The progression in RS3 is easier to understand, the visuals (and the music!) are some of the best of the entire era, and you can still get a taste of what Japan was playing 20 years ago.

Personally, Scarlet Grace > RS2 > Minstrel Song > RS3 > Unlimited > Wild Cards > Frontier 1&2 > the GB games >>>>> RS1.
If the remake fixes some of the issues I have with the original, it would overtake Minstrel Song.
Minstrel Song was so good. I wish I didn't pick Gray as my protagonist though. That shithead has no story and the game actually BROKE for me because the Mattock I needed to get to finish upgrading his sword (and trigger his final quest) took eighteen hours of grinding to drop. That sheer amount of grinding caused the Jewel Eater to destroy an entire continent, permanently locking me out of all the sidequests and recruitable characters in that area.

I was so fucking mad. Saruin took me two hours to take down (not an exaggeration. two actual hours) because I was missing so much stuff. I hope they port it to the PS4 eventually so I can replay it and not pick Gray. :|
 

SapphiCine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
992
Are these going to have the standard godawful UI SE uses for all of their games that have mobile ports?

Edit: Trailer indicates yes. Ugh.
 

Iggy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,800
Are these going to have the standard godawful UI SE uses for all of their games that have mobile ports?
Scarlet Grace, no, it's a Vita game.
RS3, yes, probably.
But it was tame in RS2, so hopefully they continue the trend of not fucking things up, while SQEX pisses all over the rest of its back-catalogue.
One thing that they foolishly removed from RS2 and I hope they bring back in RS3: instant-soft-reset by pressing L+start. You NEED that in a RS.
Minstrel Song was so good. I wish I didn't pick Gray as my protagonist though. That shithead has no story and the game actually BROKE for me because the Mattock I needed to get to finish upgrading his sword (and trigger his final quest) took eighteen hours of grinding to drop. That sheer amount of grinding caused the Jewel Eater to destroy an entire continent, permanently locking me out of all the sidequests and recruitable characters in that area.
Well, Gray at least had SOME things happening with his sword... most of the others really just had one hour of scenario at the beginning and that's about it. Except Barbara who is dumped into the free scenario after 3 minutes.
The Jewel Beast was bullshit. I think I only managed to beat it once? And I finished the game around a dozen of times. Death and Sherah were less annoying to battle!
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,662
Peru
Well, I didn't really dig RS2 but what the hell, these are the kind of niche JRPG experiences I'm willing to give more tries.

(Seriously though, I hope these are better than RS2).