The main character (you) is a dude but these three ladies are the stars and can pretty much kick his ass.
I am a huge, huge fan of the Fate series. Unfortunately, the chances of Fate/Stay Night, a nearly ten year old PC game being translated and brought to the United States is pretty much nil – even though anyone I’ve described the story of the game to thinks it’s AWESOME. The story behind the Fate series is that there’s a hidden society of mages in the present day and every once in a while the Holy Grail appears in Japan and selects seven of those mages to fight for it.
Those seven mages then summon legendary heroes such as Hercules, King Arthur, Joan of Arc and Gilgamesh to fight for the Holy Grail, and in true highlander style, there can only be one. With seven games, an anime tv series, a anime movie, two novels, and a manga based on the first game, there’s a large cast of well-developed characters that get their chance in the spotlight – both male and female, with some of the women the most powerful characters in the games. Not to mention that the story line holds no punches on the twists and turns in the story – there are three routes, each with their own unique plotlines and story twists, with characters that barely appear or die in one route may have a bigger role in another route.
As awesome as this sounds, a few factors probably prevented it from localization: the first game and it’s direct sequel are visual novels (basically a choose your own adventure book with graphics, which are a pretty non-existent genre in a Western market) and those games were originally targeted at a more uh, adult market. Fortunately remakes of the original game has removed the explicit content, which always felt tacked on and forced as if they had only put in the bare minimum needed.
Nor is there any chance of the very many spin-offs hitting US shores – hell, the one fighting game that did make it was released with minimal fanfare, only available through digital download, and was eventually taken out of the store. So when I heard that they were releasing a Fate role playing game for the PSP a few years back, I had zero expectations of ever being able to play the game. I mean, I didn’t even really follow the updates because I couldn’t handle the crushing disappointment of never being able to play the game myself.
And then, out of the blue, like a bolt from heaven, game publisher Aksys announced that they would be releasing Fate/Extra on PSP. I’m pretty sure I pinched myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t having some sort of fever dream or hallucination and you can bet that I slammed down my money down as fast as I could. The only way I could have given it to them any faster was if I traveled through time. I would have given them more money if it was possible, just for this one single game, just for taking a gamble on localizing a series that was rather obscure in the United States. And you know that? Their gamble paid off. Fate/Extra actually sold more in North America than it did in Japan – pretty cool, considering that the series was big enough to run a themed coffee shop in Japan last year.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly the first time I’ve tried sacrificing my firstborn to get something.
And finally, after a series of delays, the sequel to Fate/Extra was finally released: Fate/Extra CCC. I’m not sure what CCC actually stands for but it must mean awesome because from what I’ve seen, the sequel is even better than the first game (Marvelous AQL, the Japanese publisher, has announced that they’ve shipped over 110,000 units – double the amount of the original game), and it has me yearning for it with my grubby little hands – as usual. But unlike last time, I have hope. After all, it seems Aksys is on a roll with localizing obscure and niche games in the US market – maybe I won’t have to be sacrificing any of my unborn children. But in the meantime I’ll be consoling myself with replaying my copy of Fate/Extra and rewatching the Fate/Zero anime for the third time… but this time in English.
Japan still gets the cooler editions with better collectibles.
If you’re interested in showing support for the localization of Fate/Extra CCC, why not sign the petition – or better yet, let Aksys know by tweeting them directly at @aksysgames?