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Shouzou Kaga Announces New SRPG Studio Indie Project!

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I'm sure you've all been following the recent blossoming of the "Kaga Effect" with glee. Someday, they'll look back and call it the "Infaune Effect," or something akin to that--but we all know that Shouzou Kaga was the original spurned creator turned spiritual rebooter.

Keiji Inafune left Capcom in order to produce Mighty No. 9, a spiritual reboot of Inafune's beloved Mega Man franchise. Recently, it was announced that the creators of Banjo-Kazooie, who gradually left Rare after Microsoft acquired the company, formed their own studio and followed in those same footsteps, announcing their own spiritual reboot Yooka-Laylee, which shattered fundraising records by becoming the fastest video game to reach $1M. Today, we've got speculation that Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi is also looking to join the trend.

Who set the precedent for the spurned creator's spiritual reboot? None other than Fire Emblem's own godfather, Shouzou Kaga, of course. Recall the legal troubles Kaga faced after leaving Intelligent Systems and Nintendo behind to form his own studio, producing a new game titled "Emblem Saga" exclusively for the rival Playstation console. After lawsuits had run their course, Kaga's game was renamed to TearRing Saga; Nintendo's attempts to stop the game's release outright ended in failure. These cases have been cited in companies' recent decisions to allow former employees to develop these spiritual reboots without taking legal action.

Well, there's some more big news today on that front: the trailblazer himself, Shouzou Kaga, has announced his comeback!

About two weeks ago, I got in touch with VincentASM about some rumors that'd been shared by Japanese members posting on Fire Emblem Universe. It started in a topic about a new SRPG Studio program, which was released on April 10th by SapphireSoft. The popular theory, it seemed, was that Shouzou Kaga himself was the creator for SRPG Studio.

The first instinct was to scour his blog for clues; Kaga's postings have become more frequent since 2015, which seemed to be another hint towards some sort of comeback. Earlier in the year, Kaga wrote about an unreleased fan game he worked on back in 2010 called Vestaria Chronicle 687-693.

Yesterday, Kaga shed light on his involvement with SRPG Studio in a post on his blog. Kaga explains that he has exchanged messages with the creator of SRPG Studio and expresses his support for the project, then remarks with amusement at the rumors persisting that he was, in fact, the creator.

More surprising yet, the godfather of Fire Emblem indicated that he has already amassed a staff of ten people to work on producing a game with SRPG Studio. Kaga notes that they have limited time and resources to work on the game; he is unable to provide an estimated release date at this time, but promises to share future updates through his blog. The biggest issue Kaga relays is the lack of assets to build the game with (map sprites, battle animations, effects, map tiles, parts, background music, sound effects and background images--especially the first two).

In lieu of crowd-funding, Kaga has opted for a partnership with SRPG Studio. It's unsurprising that he'd surprise us with an alternative take on soliciting fan support for this comeback project. Kaga seeks to crowd-source the development of resources for his intended new game, outlining the following conditions for contributions:

1. May be modified by Kaga to fit his game's stylistic sense.

2. Will belong to Sapphire Soft by right; everything else still belongs to the author.

3. Conform with Sapphire Soft's terms and conditions.

4. Be allowed for use in the production of sequels.

5. Absolutely must not infringe somebody else's copyrights (eg. taken from another game).

If all of the above have been acknowledged, users may e-mail their contribution in a zip file (the address can be found in an image on his blog), along with any usage conditions. Should the assets be accepted, Kaga will reply back.

Anybody who contributes to the project will receive special thanks in the finished game's credits roll.

Hopefully, we'll be seeing an English translation of SRPG Studio in the future.

Huge thanks to Vincent for providing the synopsis of Kaga's post (he'll be posting about it on the front page shortly), and to FEU members klono, LetsGoForIt, and MisakaMikoto for keeping us updated on these developments.

tl;dr Based God Kaga is back, everyone, and he's about to put your RPG Maker projects to shame.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Read this post. Kaga has expressed that he will be prepared to offer further specifications in one month, and requests that donors await that further instruction before submitting contributions. Once the details come through the wire, we're planning on making a dedicated submission topic to help organize the efforts among western fans.

Also, he knows that we exist now! Kaga was surprised to learn that he has foreign fans. From the sound of things, he'd prefer to work in the shadows for the time being. Let's all be good citizens and not spam his inbox, kay?

Edited by Arch

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Hopefully he was inspired to "do it right" after seeing the bastardization of his brain child that was Fire Emblem: Awakening. Edited by Arch

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Please have global release...

Highly doubtful imo, hopefully it gets a fan translation, though.

So do I start emailing him portrait sketches? lmao

Edited by L95

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He emphasized the need for map sprites and battle sprites; check out SRPG Studio's styles, I think he/his team will modify what gets created so long as assets are accrued for the base program.

It'd be helpful if we had a more concrete idea of what classes he envisions, though.

Can we just set up a Kickstarter on his behalf? Here Kaga, take our money and "do it right."

Edited by Arch

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Never thought I'd see this day.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what kind of game Kaga will make without all the commercial restrictions and what not.

I just hope it looks different from a normal SRPG Studio game.

Also, I asked a traveling elder to double check some of the details.

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International release is the only thing that worries me at the mo.

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Funny, because Enterbrain (RPG Maker guys) published Tear Ring Saga and Berwick Saga. Interested.

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Woah, this is cool. I hope it gets an English version eventually
#KagaLives

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I doubt it'll get an official English release, since TRS and BS didn't.

But since it's a fan game/doujin game, rather than attached to any particular videogame company, who knows...

Well, if no localisation company picks it up, I'm sure fans will : P

Edited by VincentASM

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I doubt it'll get an official English release, since TRS and BS didn't.

But since it's a fan game/doujin game, rather than attached to any particular videogame company, who knows...

Well, if no localisation company picks it up, I'm sure fans will : P

The fans haven't managed to patch Thracia 776 in a way that looks decent 16 years after the game's release, so I wouldn't get my hopes up. Then again, when something is new, there's a higher chance people will care more (New Mystery is one such example I can think of right now, and in another thread it was mentioned that a new NM patch has more demand than making FE5 look playable).

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The fans haven't managed to patch Thracia 776 in a way that looks decent 16 years after the game's release, so I wouldn't get my hopes up. Then again, when something is new, there's a higher chance people will care more (New Mystery is one such example I can think of right now, and in another thread it was mentioned that a new NM patch has more demand than making FE5 look playable).

I get ya. Being new definitely have its perks, popularity being the main driving factor--if it's popular, translators have more motivation too.

The other thing is that newer games are easier to hack, since in the past, the developers used all kind of crazy programming techniques to cram their game into tiny game carts. Now they just kinda... throw stuff in.

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I mean, if he's already looking for fan support, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he eventually decides to hire some fans to translate it for digital releases in other languages.

Nice to hear, though. I'd definitely be willing to give it a shot.

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The fans haven't managed to patch Thracia 776 in a way that looks decent 16 years after the game's release, so I wouldn't get my hopes up. Then again, when something is new, there's a higher chance people will care more (New Mystery is one such example I can think of right now, and in another thread it was mentioned that a new NM patch has more demand than making FE5 look playable).

Wasn't part of the reason Thracia 776 stopped being worked on because the hacking tools used for it vanished into the aether after the original guy quit? I could be wrong here.

Though, the guys retranslating FE4 said they were gonna do FE5 next IIRC? Or is my brain making this up.

Edited by L95

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This.... is quite interesting. Like, very interesting. I can articulate.

My thoughts exactly.

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I mean, if he's already looking for fan support, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he eventually decides to hire some fans to translate it for digital releases in other languages.

I was thinking along similar lines. If western fans reached out and contacted Kaga, he'd probably be open to that sort of thing. It might be worthwhile to draft some sort of "community letter" in Japanese, expressing our support and indicating demand among English-speaking audiences. People who intend to contribute to his efforts some way (either willingness to help with a translation effort, artistic help, etc.) could be signatories and we'd send it to his e-mail address. Edited by Arch

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Wasn't part of the reason Thracia 776 stopped being worked on because the hacking tools used for it vanished into the aether after the original guy quit? I could be wrong here.

Though, the guys retranslating FE4 said they were gonna do FE5 next IIRC? Or is my brain making this up.

Last time I tried to figure out the reason for the lack of any interest and/or effort, I was told it was some sort of copyright issue and that one doesn't just... take the menu patch (which I haven't even been able to find) and the current FE5 translation patch and combine their changes into one playable English version of Thracia. Like there's some permission needed that nobody is there to grant or something of the sort.

I'm personally not anal enough to want improvements in the translation we've got (Murder Horace and other stuff don't bother me much), but the weird unreadable 'Swap' menus really need to go.

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I was told it was some sort of copyright issue and that one doesn't just... take the menu patch (which I haven't even been able to find) and the current FE5 translation patch and combine their changes into one playable English version of Thracia. Like there's some permission needed that nobody is there to grant or something of the sort.

Every fan translation is a copyright issue, haha. I doubt you can combine patches like that, the menu patch might ovewrite something with the translation, and vice-versa.

EDIT: Let's go back to the Kaga hype?

Edited by L95

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Never thought Kaga would decide to return to making SRPGs.

I was thinking along similar lines. If western fans reached out and contacted Kaga, he'd probably be open to that sort of thing. It might be worthwhile to draft some sort of "community letter" in Japanese, expressing our support and indicating demand among English-speaking audiences. People who intend to contribute to his efforts some way (either willingness to help with a translation effort, artistic help, etc.) could be signatories and we'd send it to his e-mail address.

That's probably the best option, though it would take some coordination. There are several good Fire Emblem hackers/programmers that could work on such work (such as you Arch, as well as BwdYeti), and plenty of bilinguals to handle translations (shadowofchaos is one, and I know Vincent has some skill in Japanese). There just needs to be a strong coordinated effort to actually get Kaga's notice.

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Here's the full thing, courtesy of TheEnd who didn't approve of my wrangling the text.

This might be a bit sudden, but I decided to start making a doujin game with some friends, hahaha.

We'll use the recently released doujin soft SRPG Studio (© SapphireSoft), and once it's done we'll distribute the game for free.

In order to increase the game's quality, we're looking for runtime graphic contributions we could use for free: unit sprites, battle animations, effects, map tiles, parts, background music, sound effects, background images, etc. Those who have made or obtained (with permission from the original author) such resources, please give us a hand.

Notably, we're in serious need of map sprites and battle animations, as they are sorely insufficient at the present.

So, to those benevolent folks who have made such resources or are bored enough to look around for them:
- I might adjust some things to match my world view and solve technical issues.
- Material copyright follows the terms and conditions established by SapphireSoft, but otherwise they belong to their creators.
- Their use will follow the terms and conditions established by SapphireSoft.
- Their use will be allowed for future sequels.
- Absolutely no material infringing a third party's copyright (eg. taken from another game).

If you undertand those conditions, please compress the file folder and send it as a mail attachment. Use that opportunity to write usage conditions/explanations and wishes, if any. Once I check the content, I'll reply telling whether I'll make use of it or not. (You'll be credited nominally in the credits roll.)

Our staff - myself included - has limited time to work on this, so we have no idea of when we're going to finish this. Should we finish, I'll post about it in this blog. Please look forward to it if you like retro games (though it'll be hard to get it done if we don't get the materials ^^;).

PS: If you have any questions or whatever, please reply tot his post.
Unit sprites and battle animations must come in a set (exceptions may occur).
Please use colors freely. We intend to use Berwick Saga as reference in that regard.
We're in particular need of a large number of enemy units.
Dragon knights and the like might require a high level of ability to be made.
I tried looking for the sprite artist, but he went kaboom. Well, I guess it can't be helped...
These tools seem to be very solidly designed. I've only fiddled with them for around 10 hours, but the test map I made didn't leave me a bad impression. We should be able to do interesting things once we add scripts into the mix.
I exchanged some mails with the creator(s), they were very polite and friendly. Of course we're completely unrelated, this is by no means stealth marketing, hahaha.

I heard there's already a 2ch thread around, and that people are already uploading material to it. I haven't seen it, but I wonder if it's generally high level?

Currently we have 10 people in the staff, pros included. We're still negotiating with a character designer, but we might just get an amazing artist here.
Music is a future issue, but I already have a name in mind. (Take a guess, haha)

This is basically a project with friends and acquaintances, but we'd welcome a sprite artist. It's our biggest weak point, so we'd warmly welcome you if you're enthusiastic.
Edited by VincentASM

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