Live A Live was Originally Intended as a Global Release but did not Push Through With Localization
Live A Live, the cult classic from 1994, is set to make a grand splash on July 22 for the Nintendo Switch, a first (officially) outside of Japan and almost 30 years after it was first released.
Ahead of its launch, we got the chance to ask a few questions to the original Creator and Producer of Live A Live, Takashi Tokita, to share with us how much this release means to him and whether we can possibly see the game on other platforms other than the Nintendo Switch.
As some may know, Live A Live was never actually released outside of Japan. Instead, fans of the classic have made unofficial translations so that gamers around the world may enjoy the title. Tokita shares that they had faced many difficulties and challenges leading to this present remake.
“We originally intended to launch a global release, but as the sales prospects in Japan did not seem particularly promising, we did not localize the game then,” says Tokita. “We attempted several times to remake the game and port it to other platforms, but we did not see those through to completion.”
Tokita saw the efforts from the fans as they continued to preserve the legacy of the game in their own special ways, with translations coming from many parts of the world. “I understand that translations have been created by fans from all around the globe, and other fans have approached us at events overseas to commend the game — notably, sharing that it’s a legendary RPG.”
He knew that the title had to be released globally, one way or the other. Opportunity struck, and the rest, as they say, was history.
“A few years ago, when I joined the Asano team that is known for their hit title, Octopath Traveler, I saw an opportunity for the HD-2D remake for Live A Live. I’m glad to say that after around 30 years since the original plot was released, fans can enjoy the global release soon. I hope everyone in the world will play this game!” Tokita exclaims.
Back in the day, Live a Live’s unique storytelling was one of its greatest features, and this was spurred by the developing technology and increasing ROM capacity at the time that allowed many games to be designed for long hours of play. Tokita then shared his inspiration for the concept of telling a story through different characters and scenarios.
“As my first directed work, the concept for Live A Live was to present a story which had different chapters that could be enjoyed in any desired order even in a short amount of time. The plot would build up towards a surprising climax.”
Tokita believes that even in this modern and fast-paced era with a lot of great titles to choose from, Live A Live will still appeal to many as a fun and easy to play title that can easily be enjoyed.
For one, the various upgrades are sure to make it more accessible to the modern audience. Apart from the obvious HD-2D visual overhaul, one area of improvement Tokita and the team put a lot of effort in was localization.
“We also focused on providing quality voice acting and localization so that fans worldwide can enjoy the game,” Tokita shared. “We made adjustments to various gaming elements, such as the UI, maps and battle balancing. We also improved the re-playability of each chapter so that fans can enjoy the storyline as many times as desired.”
Understandably, some fans who have been looking forward to the game may feel a little bit disappointed, seeing as it will only launch for the Nintendo Switch. Tokita says that they have been receiving many requests to bring the game to other platforms but will remain on the Switch for now.
“Although there are currently no plans to do so, we will continue to monitor fans’ requests. We would love to hear our fans’ thoughts and views, so please share them with us!”
That said, Tokita and the team still want to thank the fans for their patience and unwavering support, saying that the fans really made this remake possible and that they hope this new and improved version will be enjoyed by many.
“The enthusiastic support of long-time fans who have played this title since its release was what made this remake possible. This remake took around 30 years to complete, and we could not have done it without the dedicated staff members, cast and crew!”
Live A Live is scheduled to release on July 22, 2022 for the Nintendo Switch.