Fan translation group The Geofront has announced that it will release fan translations of "the oldest jewels in the Falcom crown". Starting with 1983's Computer The Golf, The Geofront will translate several pre-Dragon Slayer Nihon Falcom classics from before the studio was known as a JRPG giant.
Which Falcom classics are being translated by The Geofront?
Nihon Falcom is known for having a pretty close relationship with translators, with official Trails series releases making use of fan translations in order to bring those games to the West. The Geofront is one of the best-known fan translation outfits for Nihon Falcom, having worked on translations for Trails to Azure, Trails from Zero, and plenty more Falcom projects. The group's latest effort is a major translation for the 2002 Falcom title Dinosaur Resurrection, but while work on that game is completed, The Geofront has announced a new Falcom Classics initiative.
Over on the official Geofront website, the group gives a little history for Falcom, which began life as a computer consultation business before morphing into a game publishing company. Computer The Golf was one of Falcom's earliest publishing endeavors, and it was apparently programmed by one Norihiko Yaku, who isn't credited anywhere on other Falcom games. If you want to play this fan translation, you'll need a PC-8801 emulator and a tape image for the game. From there, you can download The Geofront's translation patcher (or download the standalone translation file and use your own patcher) and play Computer The Golf in all its janky early-80s glory.
Fan translations are becoming critical for game preservation
Fan translation efforts are doing a lot of work to keep early classic games alive in the public consciousness. Last month, for example, a historic dating sim worked on by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and Metroid creator Yoshio Sakamoto was given its first full fan translation, ensuring Western gamers could play it for the first time. Fan efforts have also been made to translate cult classics like 2012's PSP game Suikoden: Woven Web of the Centuries and Shin Megami Tensei If..., and there are also infamous cases like Mother 3, which remains alive and well in fans' hearts largely thanks to a massive fan translation undertaking.
So, what's next for The Geofront? Well, the team is currently hard at work translating 2002's Dinosaur Resurrection, so we'll likely hear more about that project in the coming months. Completed Geofront projects include Trails to Azure and Trails from Zero, as well as fighting game Ys vs. Trails in the Sky. Given Nihon Falcom's positive attitude towards The Geofront, it's likely we'll see more Falcom projects from the team, too, including plenty more early Falcom classics. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.