Shiji Hero Legend
(Shiki Eiyuuden)

Outrigger Koubou
Turn Based RPG
 Coordinator  Wildbill 
 Reverse Engineer  Bongo` 
 Tools & Assembly  Bongo` 
 Translation  Wildbill 
 Spot Translations  Filler 
 Period Coach  Hausen 
 Story Writer  Wildbill 
 Graphics  Taskforce 
 Title Page  FlashPV 
Latest Version
 Patch Download 


(Page last updated: April 7, 2018)

Dynamic Designs is letting all of you aficionados of historical fiction out there know that we are officially translating this Super Famicom game and building an English patch for it. The important news is this work, as far as we know, is the only SNES classic turn-based Role Playing Game ever built around 100% accurate historical accounts of actual events. The fiction component means that many characters - typical of everyday people during the "times" of those events - are plugged into the story in order to bring the overall scenery to life.

The major players, however, are in just about every case traceable to the "movers and shakers" of the age. Even the hero -YOU, if you play this game in Japanese (or English - someday) is a person who lived and breathed and shaped ancient Chinese history. One caveat, though... This is ancient Chinese history viewed through Japanese eyes. A huge challenge we have in creating an English patch reminds me of the name of an amateur translation group that emerged about 20 years ago, called "DeJap" Yes, that's what we must do with the script at times too numerous to count - convert Japanese terminology and Katakana to correct Pinyin (English transliteration) matches on mainland China.

For example, anything related to the Han Kingdom that existed in 300 B. C. frequently comes up as "Korea" in the machine. Go from there and multiply the translation experience with Han subjects seven times, and the labor quickly becomes daunting! This is the era of the game, 300 B. C., and officially it's called "The Warring States Period" in Chinese history, a time when seven "princes" is seven realms battled to replace the fading Zhou Dynasty. Those kingdoms included Zhou, Han, Chu, Qi, Wei, Yan, and Qin.

One caveat early on is that the Japanese writers "playfully" introduced a variety of famous people, legends, anecdotes, and even a chunk of prehistoric and current Japanese folklore into the plot that sort of "spills out" of the precise boundaries of the Warring States Period. Don't despair, though, you hard core history buffs. If you love RPGs, this will work for you, we're sure. Bongo' has been cobbling together the structure of this game since before 2012. He "lost" all of his work for a few years, then he found it again. At the present time we have a team of six. Bongo` is the reverse engineer, Taskforce is the font designer and graphics artist, Hausen is the period advisor and coach, FlashPV is the Title page artist, Filler is a spot translator, and Wildbill is the translator, English story writer, and project coordinator.

To derive the best possible reading of the Shiji Hero Legend script, we could certainly use more expert translation support with this game, but we WILL get the job done, sooner or later. Finally, the Japanese Roomaji name of this game is "Shiki Eiyuuden". Shiki is Japanese for Chinese "Shiji", THE official ancient Chinese history written by the Sima Clan. The rest of the Japanese title includes the words "Hero", Legend", "Dragon", and "Sage". We shortened our English name for reasons that will become apparent to those who play the game.

A Statement by Kazuo Fukushima (Scenario/Game Design)

-Translated by Hausen-

What would happen if history was to be included in an RPG? I had been thinking along these lines absently for a while. Indulging in the imaginary worlds of sword and sorcery - there was always great fun to be had. Yet, having played various games, I began to feel a lack of something. When I realized this enveloping feeling was in fact 'emptiness', a vagrant idea in my head was starting to shape into something concrete.

What is important for games is probably for them to be "fun". But is it "fun" if you only have fun playing it? In this way, games are no different from idle amusement. No, I don't mean to deny the importance of entertainment, but maybe there's something else, something important to be had as "icing on the cake". Looking at sports, for example, it's not that we only play sports to have fun - but to also stay healthy, learn good sportsmanship, and so on. All of those factors add to the value of sports.

While thinking about such things, my head was already spinning with chibi characters moseying around an ancient Chinese setting. Many stories and historical figures came and went in my mind. Well, how about we make our hero an ordinary peasant? And the setting Warring States era China, centered around the city of Luoyang? Sure, and because we need friends, here's Lin Xiangru. We also need a swordsman, so there's Jing Ke. I don't particularly want magic, but there's the Chinese concept of "qigong". For the longest time, I was completely absorbed in planning and preparing this story.

So why choose Chinese history as a subject? After all, northern European setting with Norse mythology would make for a great sword-and-sorcery world. Considering the recent boom in 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' games, it's reasonable to expect Chinese setting to be a profitable enterprise. But the ROTK setting is already too saturated. How about we turn, instead, to the more crazier Spring and Autumn, Warring States era? It's the original and most interesting period of Chinese history. It's certain to introduce diverse characters, the fight for supremacy between the seven states, and familiar stories that we recall in form of common proverbs every day.

However, what became a problem were the Hanzi (Chinese Kanji). With place names, people, etc., it was impossible to avoid Hanzi entirely. At first, I wasn't well versed in Hanzi, and in addition many Kanji not usually used in Japan came up frequently. I had already decided not wishing to grate the players' patience. It wasn't possible to implement text in 8x8, so 16x16 symbols had to be used. Then we could only have 14 letters on a line, with three rows of text at a time on screen. Could we make it work with such a small number of characters displayed at once? I didn't want players frustrated hitting X over and over again. Well, we tried various things, and as a result I think the message window turned out rather easy-to-read, somehow.

Some of the stories and proverbs weren't familiar to everyone. In addition to new literature, we delved into second-hand bookstores, chased discontinued titles and utilized libraries to the maximum. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the authors of the literature that we referred and drew inspiration from.

Due to my immaturity at the time, there may have been mistakes. In addition, some parts are arranged for convenience due to gameplay reasons. Please be understanding with this as well.

I cannot say if the genre of "historical RPG" will stay established in the world of gaming. Indeed, at this point I cannot yet say what kind of evaluation and reception "Shiki Eiyuuden" will receive. But, if you take your time to explore every nook and granny (sic) of this title, you will certainly be satisfied. In the wake of this game, players developing an interest in Chinese history will surely find literature such as "Shiji" and "Eighteenth History" a highly interesting venue to explore further.

- Kazuo Fukushima (Scenario/Game Design)

Here is a link to a demo video of Shiji Hero Legend (Spoilers):

Shiji Hero Legend - Hero Meets Lord Xinling in Daliang