The iconic retro gem, “Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushido Retsuden,” a turn-based RPG based on the Samurai Shodown fighting game series, has finally become playable in English after more than two decades since its debut. Thanks to a team of dedicated translators and hackers, fans who don’t speak Japanese can now fully enjoy the game. The journey to this moment began in 2007 when an unnamed benefactor provided project lead and self-styled SNK historian Jeff “MoriyaMug” Nussbaum with the tools to dump the Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits script. After several setbacks and negative experiences, Nussbaum paused development on the project before picking it up again in 2022.
The game, now known as “Samurai Shodown: Tales of the Bushido,” allows players to choose between six starting characters with different stats and moves, much like a fighting game. Additionally, it introduces several wrinkles inspired by its roots, such as powerful skills modeled after party members’ special moves from the fighting games. The translation also brings improvements, including more potent stat-boosting items and the ability to select alternate color palettes for the playable characters. Despite the journey being deemed as a challenging one, Nussbaum expressed his gratitude and relief as the English translation of this classic game is finally completed.
With the English fan translation finally available, the many dedicated fans of “Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushido Retsuden” can fully immerse themselves in the world of this unique retro RPG, allowing a whole new audience to experience the magic of this late 1990s gem. The game remains true to traditional RPG tropes of the era while incorporating several innovative aspects inspired by the Samurai Shodown franchise, making for an enjoyable and engaging playing experience. The story of the game’s English translation, led by Jeff “MoriyaMug” Nussbaum, is a testament to perseverance and dedication, with the completion of the project bringing a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to both the developers and the eagerly awaiting fans.