Rom Hack Roundup: SNES Fan-translated English RPGs Part I

If you enjoy the classic SNES console RPGs, there’s an amazing world of fan-translated Japanese classics you can try out thanks to the hard working fans who took the time to painstakingly translate and craft ROM patches that let you enjoy them in English. Here’s our first in a long list of games to try out. This week we focus on Square, who churned out beautiful games in the 90’s for the Super Famicom and really set the bar high for atmospheric and long-play RPGs.


While some of these games have since been translated and released on other systems, there’s nothing quite like playing the SNES originals. See our previous article on how to set up the software you need to patch. It literally only takes a few minutes to do it for each game. Read on to find hours of epic immersion.

Bahamut Lagoon


Developer: Square

Release Date: 1996

Try If You Like: Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics

Square had many mega-hit RPGs in the 90’s for the SNES, the biggest of course being Final Fantasy and Secret of Mana. Bahamut Lagoon is sort of the predecessor to games like Final Fantasy Tactics, where the exploration aspect of RPGs is minimized and replaced with more strategy and battle focus.

The fact that the game was released near the end of the SNES’s lifespan probably contributed to it never being released in North America.  The game takes place in a unique sky world (islands of land floating in a cloudy void) where Dragons are ancient guardians of each island nation. The games battles take place in a grid like game board and a thick plot weaves together the various factions and kingdoms involved.

Seiken Densetsu 3

spot_g10-seikendensetsu3-1Developer: Square

Release Date: 1995

Try If You Like: Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy Adventure, Legend of Zelda

The story of the “Secret of Mana” series (Seiken Densetsu) convoluted release in North America is interested. Many people noticed similarities between Final Fantasy Adventure (GB) and Secret of Mana (SNES) and sure enough; the two games are SD1 and SD2 in Japan. Both these games feature immersive and beautiful worlds with amazing music (even on the Gameboy!). Seiken Dentsu 3 continues the tradition. The game is not a direct sequel to SD2 (Secret of Mana in North America) but rather a sort of “alternate version” of the same world. An interesting innovation in this title is the fact that depending on the character you select, you start in a totally different place, with a totally different plot.

The stories of the 3 main characters eventually merge and the game follows the same kind of gameplay and stylistic atmosphere of Secret of Mana. It’s a wonderful game with amazing music, the main characters plot lines are influenced by who you chose to play at the start and events in the game, something very common in today’s games.

Treasure of Rudras


Developer: Square

Release Date: 1996

Try If You Like: Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire

Treasure of Rudras feels like a long-lost Final Fantasy title. Borrowing heavily from the gameplay elements and battle system of the SNES Final Fantasy games, the lush atmosphere is more reminiscent of Secret of Mana. While it doesn’t stray far from the things we know and love about console RPGs, Treasure of Rudras definitely does not disappoint either.

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