“Project RepliCAN”: A Fan-Localization of NieR RepliCant Ver. 1.0.5 (Updated 15-01-21) [DOWNLOAD]

ProjectRepliCAN Logo

Scroll down to “About This Mod” for more background info. The mod files are below this message.

How to Download and Install

  • The final release of this mod is available to download from here: Ver. 1.0.5 (Update blog post is here)
  • First, you will need a copy of NieR RepliCant for PS3. This is the 2010 Japanese release of the game, and I recommend getting the “Ultimate Hits” release, as this is the version I have tested with my patch. If you successfully use my patch with the original (not Ultimate Hits) release, please let me know.
  • I have created a new patch which replaces the need to use RikuKH3’s now unavailable one. Follow the step-by-step instructions I have written on the following blog post in order to dump your game, patch the files and install this mod: Guide to Patching NieR RepliCant (PS3)
  • If you already have a patched dump of the game or are updating a previous version of this mod, do the following:
  • Go into the \PS3_GAME\USRDIR\MEDIA folder of NieR RepliCant and copy over the “EVENT” and “TEXT” folders in my download, overwriting any existing files.
  • You can play the game with either a modded PS3, or an emulator (RPCS3).

Changes in Ver. 1.0.5

  • Major restructuring of the Forest of Myth and Kainé’s Story sequences to address the issue of text overflowing onto the next line.
  • Dialogue edits throughout.

Previous Releases

Ver. 1.0.4 (30-06-20)
Ver. 1.0.3 (29-02-20)
Ver. 1.0.0 (21-09-19)

Known Issues

I’m aware of the following issues. If you find any more or notice anything odd with the dialogue that isn’t listed here, please leave a comment below or contact me and I will do my best to look into it.

  • You have to enter your character name using a Japanese keyboard layout. I recommend you copy and paste some katakana into the name entry screen if on PC, or locate a katakana character layout sheet online and use it to help you enter a name on PS3.
  • In the Forest of Myth and Kainé’s Story sequences, I have improved the text overflow issue (words cutting off at the end of lines and continuing on to the next). However, whenever the main character’s name is stated I am unable to edit the layout of any text for the rest of the containing paragraph. This is due to being unable to account for varying lengths of the character’s name.
  • Sometimes radio text (the text that appears in the top left corner of the screen while characters are talking) flashes by very quickly. It seems the timing is a bit off on rare occasions.

nier 4

Screenshots & Videos

I have a full no-commentary walkthrough/playthrough of NieR RepliCant on PS3 using version 1.0.4 of this mod, which I will link the playlist for below. Of course, newer versions of the mod will have slightly different dialogue:

Below are a few HQ screenshots of some of the edited dialogue in action:

Brother Nier comforting YonahNier egging on the terrifying creatures whilst standing in a pool of his own bloodNier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)Nier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)Nier's opening monologue (completely overhauled)

About This Mod

Since April 2019, I have been working on refining the English-patched version of NieR RepliCant originally released by RikuKH3. This patch replaced all of the Japanese script in the game with the English equivalent from the Western release, where the main character is replaced with an older man. RikuKH3 also altered some of the dialogue, for instance so that the word “father” was replaced with “brother” in conversations between Nier and the character Yonah.

Instances of his English counterpart still resurface (one which particularly sticks out to me is when Nier is being asked about his wedding “a long time ago”, despite being barely out of his teenage years at this point in RepliCant).

I decided to comb the entire script and rewrite dialogue that made Nier sound like a middle-aged man (as he is in the English version) so that it better reflected his character as a teenage boy and young man. Over time the purpose of the mod changed from just being a way for me to experience a satisfying English localisation of RepliCant, to a way of archiving the original PS3 game for English speakers (as of 29/03/20 an official remaster of NieR RepliCant has been announced).

A lot of re-localising of the dialogue in NieR meant I had to go back and reference the original Japanese script. I don’t speak Japanese other than whatever odd words and phrases I have picked up, so I have tried my best to get the general gist of conversations and incorporate them into the existing highly enjoyable English translation, albeit with alterations where necessary to make it make sense in context.

This is a re-localisation and I have never intended for this mod to be a complete re-translation of the game from Japanese.


This mod was a labour of love by a huge fan of the NieR series (*cough*), began at a time when there was no indication of a release of RepliCant to the west. To anyone who has not experienced RepliCant, I would urge them to buy the remake/new version (Nier 1.22…) instead of using this mod as Square would have done a far superior job than I ever could. As of now, this mod serves as a way to archive the original PS3 title for English speakers.

One thing I should note is I stuck to using Americanised/Americanized English for this modded script, because the existing English script which I based it upon uses it.

Please let me know what you think if you try out this modded script. I won’t be doing any more major updates as I do not want it to be influenced by the new remastered version, but I always enjoy hearing feedback.


How to get past the “Purveyor and Surveyor” quest’s game-breaking bug in Sable

This is going to be an incredibly specific post! I might even have to make a new category for it (I’m thinking… “Megahax” but it’ll probably end up being something a bit more mundane like “Game Fixes”).

EDIT: Please note that as of 13 Dec 2021 this may not be necessary: Patch 3.6 has been released which claims to have fixed this issue. I shall leave it up anyway, in case it is still useful.

Sable / Shedworks / Raw Fury / 2021

So… I was playing Shedworks’ recently released title Sable on release, and pretty soon I encountered a bug which halted my progress in the game. It went thusly:

I got to a main story quest called “Purveyor and Surveyor”, which required me to purchase a map from an NPC called Jourdan. The bug was that Jourdan’s inventory was blank. I couldn’t purchase the map, and so the quest couldn’t continue. As this was a main story quest, I couldn’t progress any further in the game, and so I was locked into the beginning tutorial area for (seemingly) forever.

Jourdan the Cartographer’s shop, which is very, very empty 😦

A couple of weeks later a patch was released which fixed a lot of issues, but my problem remained. On the game’s Steam Community Hub, I noticed others who were experiencing the same issue. I then decided to snoop around the game files a bit and managed to cobble together a fix which let me get past the bug, continue the quest, and ultimately get on with playing the rest of the game (which I am really enjoying, as a matter of fact!)

I posted on the Community Hub what I had done to circumvent the problem, and so I’ve decided to archive that solution here in case it ever gets removed from the hub for whatever reason.

Note that I had just updated to patch 3.3.6 when I decided to try and fix the bug.

The full post is listed below:

I was also plagued by this, and I tried closing/restarting/starting a new save many times, but aside from deleting all of the files and reinstalling it nothing else would fix it…

…But-! I managed to edit the save file so that it would let me pass the “Purveyor and Surveyor” quest. I’ll write below how I did it, but make sure to backup your save game files before doing anything (bear with me if this isn’t formatted correctly, I don’t often post stuff like this on Steam):

  • Get to the part of the game where you can’t progress past the “Purveyor and Surveyor” quest due to Jourdan having nothing in his shop, then SAVE, take note of what your save game’s thumbnail looks like, and CLOSE the game.
  • Go to: C:\Users*ENTER_YOUR_USERNAME_HERE\AppData\LocalLow\Shedworks\Sable
  • Go to the SaveData folder, backup this folder somewhere safe (eg in your Documents folder).
  • Identify the save game you want to edit (the thumbnails from the Load Game menu are in this folder which help with that). It’ll be called “sable_data_some numbers and letters” and won’t have a file extension.
  • Right click on the save game file and open it with a text editor (eg notepad).
  • Press Ctrl + F and locate the part of the file which says “CartographerJourdanInventory”, for me it looked like this when it wouldn’t let me progress (you might have some bits look slightly different like the”_ES3Ref” numbers):

“CartographerJourdanInventory” : {
“__type” : “UnityEngine.Object,UnityEngine.CoreModule”,
“value” : {
“__type” : “Quadtree.Inventory.InventoryLogic.NPCInventory,Assembly-CSharp”,
“_ES3Ref” : “5083301766040989960”,
“_ES3Ref” : “5083301766040989960”,
“moneyHeld” : 150,
“inventorySlots” : [


  • You need to add in a bit which tells the game that Jourdan is carrying the map, so add in “CatEarCanyonMap” within the square brackets after the part that says “inventorySlots” so that it reads like the following (make sure to include the curly brackets):

“CartographerJourdanInventory” : {
“__type” : “UnityEngine.Object,UnityEngine.CoreModule”,
“value” : {
“__type” : “Quadtree.Inventory.InventoryLogic.NPCInventory,Assembly-CSharp”,
“_ES3Ref” : “5083301766040989960”,
“_ES3Ref” : “5083301766040989960”,
“moneyHeld” : 150,
“inventorySlots” : [
“item” : “CatEarCanyonMap”,
“amountHeld” : 1

  • Save the edited savegame file, and close your text editor.
  • Load up Sable, and load your edited save file.
  • Jourdan should now have the map available to buy. I was able to purchase it and continue the main story quest.

This game is so good so far, it’s a shame if this bug puts people off! Hope I’ve helped a bit!

A Mid-2021(ish) Game Recommendation Post

At the end of the year Covid came to visit I made a small list of games that I’d particularly enjoyed playing during the year. They weren’t really new, but ones I’d experienced for the first time, being a bit of a “patient gamer”.

Now it’s well past the mid-way point of 2021, I have a few more games to talk about! Again, these aren’t necessarily new releases, but ones that I have played or completed for the first time this year. I’ve also chosen titles with the view that they might have flown under some peoples’ radars who may be interested in them. So, in no particular order of favour:

Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Royal Edition)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance / Warhorse Studios / Deep Silver / 2018

What is it?: A first-person historical action/adventure/RPG set in the Kingdom of Bohemia during the 15th Century CE. You are Henry, an illiterate blacksmith’s son who is suddenly thrust from your sheltered existence into the wide harsh world, due to circumstances beyond your control. It goes for realism in depicting medieval combat and everyday life, which it pulls off incredibly well. It was developed by Warhorse Studios of the Czech Republic, who after being unsuccessful in appealing to mainstream investors manged to fund the project through a Kickstarter campaign, and also direct crowdfunding.

It might sound like a terribly dry and heavy game on first impressions, but it is masterfully balanced out with humour and the relatability of its characters. I’ve seen it being compared with the Elder Scrolls and Witcher series, but while I can see the similarities it sets itself apart from those by being grounded in reality and historical accuracy, away from fantasy. But it certainly still knows how to have fun.

Why I like it: ‘Twas a slow burner for me, was KCD. The opening sequence picked up the pace quickly before suddenly giving me absolute freedom to explore everything in my own time, which I initially found quite daunting. However, once I stopped seeing it as a list of quests to complete and more like a living world that I should explore organically, the game just grew and grew on me.

It’s hard to say what I like precisely — the amount of freedom you’re given to shape Henry into any number of roles means everyone’s experience will be different to a degree. For me Henry is a bit of a nitwit who has an unhealthy obsession with playing dice. For someone else he might be a murderous psychopath who collects rare literature. Ever present is the brilliant writing, and the main story, side quests and optionally DLC quests in the Royal Edition are all absolute joys to experience. It’s a bit clunky at times, but definitely don’t overlook this one. Additionally, “Don’t neglect your combat training with Captain Bernard” is the best advice I can give someone who’s starting out. That, and wear a helmet.

Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… / Toy Logic Inc / Square Enix / 2021

What is it?: A third-person fantasy/sci-fi action/adventure/RPG/with-a-taste-of-bullethell-and-other-random-game-references set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. You control a young man who is trying to find a cure for his terminally ill sister, with a touch of existential crisis and inappropriately dressed ladies along the way. This is a remake (or more accurately, “version up” as series director Yoko Taro has said), of the original game released in 2010. Many fans of Nier: Automata will come to this without having played the original release, and I think that’s perfectly fine as this version has been adjusted to fit in better with the art style and combat of Automata. It also has some extra content included which wasn’t in the original PS3 release.

Why I like it: The story is incredible. I’ve played the original to death while making the Project RepliCAN PS3 patch, and it still had me in tears. The extra content, which consists of the DLC from the original PS3 game plus free-to-download Automata clothing, an extra storyline and additional ending, are welcome additions. The combat is fluid, fun and an upgrade to the original, in both melee and magic. The voice acting is superb in both English and Japanese, and the soundtrack is sublime. It isn’t as modern-feeling as 2017’s Automata in terms of game design, as it is based on a 10+ year old game now, but it definitely does justice to this incredible franchise. Don’t compare it to its girthy sibling Automata, and experience it for what it has to offer on its own.


Erica / Flavourworks / London Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment / 2019

What is it?: This one’s a bit of a wildcard. It’s a live-action interactive film with branching storylines and multiple endings. You control the decisions of Erica, a young British woman who is confronted by her occult past. It encourages you to play using a linked mobile phone, although I had to use a controller due to connection issues, which worked fine. I had recently watched/played Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, and they are of a similar sort of format.

Why I like it: This one was a pleasant surprise. I might have missed out on it if I hadn’t decided to install it from my PS Plus backlog, so perhaps someone will read this and realise it is something they would also be interested in! I have previously played various live action/FMV games from the 90’s (Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight 2), and also Quantic Dreams’ titles which aim to be like interactive films to a degree. Erica gave me a similar feeling to those, even if it is more constrained being a film rather than an adventure game of any kind. The choices you make affect the way the story plays out and ultimately lead to different endings, which I find to be quite interesting. As of writing I have seen two of these endings (I believe there are six in total), though I may go back and play it through again in the future to pick different decisions. The cinematography is really nicely done, as it comes across as having a game-like quality, and the acting is pretty impressive.


Vampyr / Dontnod Entertainment / Focus Home Interactive / 2018

What is it?: A third-person action/adventure/RPG/Souls-like set in 1918 London. You are Dr. Jonathan Reid, a prominent blood transfusion specialist who returns from the war and…gets turned into a vampire. You’ll need to cure the residents from various London districts of their ailments if you don’t want those districts to fall into chaos amid the Spanish flu outbreak, and choose whether you want to succumb to your vampire whims and drink their blood in order to grow stronger. The developer is Dontnod, of Life is Strange fame.

Why I like it: I need to preface this by saying I’m not a Souls or Souls-like player at all, and I found this game phenomenally difficult on Normal difficulty. I was trying to play without drinking the blood of any townspeople, and the game does a great job of pressurising you into giving in by ramping up the difficulty of combat sizeably at every stage of the story. If you give in and drink the blood of the townspeople, you will gain a lot of experience (which you can translate into better stats and abilities), at the cost of your morality. I managed to get up to the end of Chapter 4 before I realised I just don’t have the skill to continue a “no-kill” run on Normal or higher. I ended up playing and finishing a no-kill run on Story mode (re: easy), but I am likely going to return to complete my Normal mode run by harvesting some of the delicious blood I have been cultivating. You gain different endings from the sum of the different choices you make during the main storyline, and there are many emotional beats and incredible vocal performances throughout, accompanied by a brilliant mix of an orchestral/electronic soundtrack. I recommend this one, but I also warn that is is really hard for the average/casual player like me if you want to be a “good guy”, and plagued by freezing issues.

And that’s all I have for ya. It’s always tough to condense games down into a few sentences to do them justice, so if any of these might interest you in the slightest don’t be afraid to pick them up and have a go yourself. Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Royal Edition in particular is constantly on sale, I can’t stress enough just what a steal that is!

Guide to Patching NieR RepliCant (PS3)

This guide will demonstrate the process of patching the PS3 game NieR RepliCant (2010) and installing my English re-localisation mod, “Project RepliCAN”.

My mod has until now relied on the user installing a patch by RikuKH3, however this patch has recently been flagged by Google Chrome and Windows as being malicious (I believe this is a false flag), and then taken offline completely.

Although I cannot distribute that patch due to Google Drive blocking it (and, if on the off-chance it IS malicious I don’t want to be distributing it anyway), I was able to put together my own patch based on the original by RikuKH3. I have never created a patch before, but repeated testing shows it to work for me, and it doesn’t get false-flagged at the time of writing.

This has only been tested to be working with the “Ultimate Hits” release of NieR RepliCant, so at this time I cannot say if it will work for the original release. I’ve been informed that Ultimate Hits has a version number different to what I have in this tutorial (it’s BLJM-60339 rather than BLJM-60223 which is the “normal” version), but when I rip my UH disc it is titled as BLJM-60223, so as I said to them, I’m not sure what’s up with that.

Thank you to JLicious who wrote a guide to patching the game, which I have quoted from and paraphrased, with permission, for this guide.

Please ensure you are operating within the software distribution laws (including video game software dumping laws) of your own country before proceeding. By following these instructions, you will do so at your own discretion. Should you follow these instructions against your local law, I shall not be held responsible for your actions.

Step 1: Gather everything you need

You will require the following for this guide:

  • A copy of NieR RepliCant for PS3. This is the 2010 Japanese release, and I recommend using the “Ultimate Hits” version, as this is the version I have tested to be working with my patch. If you have successfully used this method with the original (not Ultimate Hits) release, please let me know in the comments below. Please do not ask for links to pirated copies of the game. Any such links posted to the comments will be removed.
  • A jailbroken PS3 with multiMAN installed or compatible Blu-ray drive on your PC, in order to dump the game. Please see this guide for more information on this.
  • The final release of my English mod, Project RepliCAN. This is version 1.0.5 and available from this link.
  • The fixed patching tools, to replace what was originally released by RikuKH3. You can download this here, make sure to unzip it once downloaded. It contains the TrueAncestor EDAT Rebuilder, along with Delta Patcher Lite and my XDelta patch to enable the game to accept custom translations (this replaces the stable_patch.exe which used to do the same job). In the zip file I have also included a backup of the Japanese script, the original instructions, readme and English translation by RikuKH3.
  • You will also need to make sure Java SE 16 is installed, in order for the TrueAncestor Rebuilder to function. You can download this here.

Step 2: Dump your copy of the game

To do this, you will need a way to dump the PS3 disc. You can do this using a jailbroken PS3 with multiMAN installed, or a compatible Blu-ray drive on your PC. I am not an expert on this topic, but here are some excellent and thorough guides which can help you:

You will end up with a fresh dump of the game (BLJM60223), which you should then test to make sure it boots up and plays.

Functioning fresh dump of NieR RepliCant (BLJM60223)

Step 3: Save and backup your dump

!!! Make sure you create a backup of your fresh, working dump before you do anything to it. If anything goes wrong, you can delete the dump and replace it with a copy of the backup.

  • Save both your dump and the backup somewhere safe.

Step 4: Locate the STABLE.SDAT file

  • Open your dump folder and navigate to PS3_GAME > USRDIR > MEDIA
  • Locate the file STABLE.SDAT. We will be patching this so that the game will accept custom translations. But first, we need to decrypt it.

Step 5: Copy STABLE.SDAT to the Rebuilder folder

  • Inside the unzipped Fixed Patching Tools for NieR RepliCant PS3 folder (download and unzip the folder from here if you haven’t already), navigate to TrueAncestor EDAT Rebuilder v1.45b > sdat
  • Copy the STABLE.SDAT file from your dump folder to the TrueAncestor Rebuilder’s sdat folder.

Step 6: Open the Rebuilder

  • Inside the unzipped Fixed Patching Tools for NieR RepliCant PS3 folder, navigate to the TrueAncestor EDAT Rebuilder v1.45b folder and open rebuilder.exe
  • The program will warn you that Java SE isn’t installed. Ensure you have installed it from here, then once you’re sure type OK at the text prompt and hit enter. It told me I didn’t have Java installed even when I did, so ignore the error if you definitely have it installed and proceed.

Step 7: Decrypt your SDAT file

  • Once the rebuilder is running, type in 6 at the text prompt and hit enter. This will select Operation 6) Decrypt SDAT Only.
  • It will show you that you have STABLE.SDAT available to decrypt. Select it by typing 1 and hit enter.
  • The decrypting process will take upwards of 10 minutes depending on your computer, so be patient and wait until it confirms that it has completed successfully. It doesn’t have any indicators or animations to tell you its progress, you just have to wait.
  • Once it is done it will say it has been successful and you will now have a file in your TrueAncestor’s sdat folder called STABLE.DAT. This is the decrypted file which we will be patching. Close the TrueAncestor program.

Step 8: Open Delta Patcher Lite

  • You can find Delta Patcher Lite in the Fixed Patching Tools for NieR RepliCant PS3 > Delta Patcher Lite + DAT Patch folder. Open it.

Step 9: Patch your DAT file

  • In Delta Patcher Lite, click on the folder icon next to the Original file box, then navigate to and select your DAT file (!!! Be sure to select the DAT file you just decrypted and not the SDAT file!)
  • Next, click the folder icon next to the XDelta patch box and navigate to the Fixed Patching Tools for NieR RepliCant PS3 > Delta Patcher Lite + DAT Patch folder. Select the file called Stable DAT Patcher_Nier Replicant_UltHits.xdelta
  • Click on Apply patch and wait for the patching to complete. This won’t take as long as the decryption did but you still need to be patient and wait for it to finish. Once it’s done, you can close the Delta Patcher program.

Step 10: Re-encrypt your DAT file

  • Open the TrueAncestor Rebuilder program again, but this time type 7 and press enter to select Operation 7: Encrypt File to SDAT.
  • It will show you that you have STABLE.DAT available to encrypt. Type 1 to select it and hit enter.
  • Wait for it to finish. It won’t take as long as the decryption did. Once it’s done, you can close the Rebuilder program.

Step 11: Replace your old SDAT file with the patched one

  • Navigate to PS3_GAME > USRDIR > MEDIA and copy your newly patched STABLE.DAT file from the Rebuilder folder over to this folder, overwriting the old file.

Step 12: Copy the Project RepliCAN script files to the dump folder

  • If you haven’t downloaded my English re-localisation mod already, you can do so from here.
  • Copy the TEXT and EVENT folders from the Project RepliCAN download over to the PS3_GAME > USRDIR > MEDIA folder of your dump.

Step 13: Check your patched dump works

Patched dump with modified English script files inserted
  • If it fails to load, ensure you have followed all of the steps correctly. If you need to try the process again from the start, delete your modified dump and replace it with a copy of your fresh backup dump before doing so.

Project RepliCAN Ver. 1.0.5 Released

After a lot of hard work and late nights, I’ve finally completed the latest and possibly last major update I will do for my NieR RepliCant English re-localisation patch. The download is located over here.

I was originally going to release this just before Christmas 2020, but held back due to wanting to test the changes I did to the sound novel parts of the game… and oh my am I glad I did.

Turns out, I had completely broken a lot of it. Always make backups, friends. Luckily I had some to fall back on, although ended up re-structuring pretty much every single bit of sound novel dialogue in the game, including everything I had worked on before.

My previous method (the one which resulted in disaster) was to create new lines containing a maximum amount of characters in order to break up the text appropriately. I thought this would be OK as I had seen examples in the original English script where it had new lines compared to the Japanese one. However, the game had a fit when I tested this, resulting in a lot of missing text. The new method was to manually go through every line in every novel, breaking up the text using a guess-timated amount of spaces and then testing it until I got it right. Needless to say, I now know the Deathdream castle layout off by heart…

If it were easier to break up the lines I would have wanted to make it look a bit prettier, but at least now it’s acceptable. All of the sound novels are now readable without words being broken up and overflowing onto the next line—EXCEPT when the main character’s name is stated in the text. Where this occurs, I have no way to account for how long the player would have made their name, so I have no choice but to leave the rest of the paragraph it as it is, overflows and all.

Unless resolution affects how the text is laid out, the majority of the text should now be fixed. And yes, I spent many hours fixing the part of the game everyone hates. I feel that this is fitting for the themes of the game, at least.

Other than the text overflow issues, I also combed through the whole game and made quite a few dialogue edits to things which bothered me. So even if you hate the sound novels, there are quite a few improvements outside of those.

Now I’m going to not even think about NieR for a good long while! Take care, friends.

Five Games I Completed (and Loved) in 2020

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of 2020. For some reason I’ve had a bit more time this year to play and complete games… So I thought I’d end the year by sharing five that I really enjoyed, and would want others to as well. It’s not a “top five”—apart from one which is definitely my favourite—and it isn’t a list of ones that were released this year, but ones I’d recommend that I played and finished this year, and as spoiler-free as possible. So here goes:

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds / Mobius Digital / Annapurna Interactive / 2019 (Alpha released 2015)

What is it?: An action-adventure/puzzle game set in a fictional solar system. You are a young Hearthian, living on a planet called Timber Hearth, and you’re just about to go on your first space adventure. Not to be confused with “The Outer Worlds”, though, which was released the same year but is an entirely different thing.
Why I like it: I’m not sure exactly what order I’d put the others in this list in, but this is absolutely my favourite game I’ve played this year, and in fact one of my favourites of all time. It’s best played blind as the entire premise of the game is about exploring, but I loved looking for any and all information and experiences to flesh out my knowledge of the game’s universe. It’s worth it, because the more you explore and understand the more the game will pay you back in droves. It is fascinating, hilarious, wondrous, and terrifying. I wish I could experience it for the first time again. Finally, the art direction and soundtrack are… out of this world. Sorry.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn / Lucas Pope / 2018

What is it?: A puzzle/murder mystery game with a lot of story to uncover. You take the role of an insurance inspector in the year 1807, investigating a ship which has turned up after being lost for five years. All of the crew have disappeared, and it’s your job to find out what happened to them. Luckily, you have a supernatural pocketwatch to help you, which will let you look back in time when you find certain clues, and figure out the fates of each of the sixty(!) crew members.
Why I like it: The most immediate thing to notice is the 1-bit-style graphics (even though it is fully 3D). This might turn some people off, but I find it very clever and it works very well with the mood and setting of the game. It also provides a unique aesthetic (an overused word these days but the only one to use here!) in a modern gaming landscape. I was initially drawn towards this title because it’s by Lucas Pope, creator of Papers Please, which is very near and dear to me. And it didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed exploring every inch of the Obra Dinn, finding out obvious “fates” certain members encountered, and using deduction to figure out others. And the soundtrack is gorgeous, it must be said.


SOMA / Frictional Games / 2015 / most of my screenshots were too spoilery so here’s a nondescript spooky face

What is it?: A survival horror revolving around the surreal experiences of a Canadian gentleman who has suffered a serious brain injury.
Why I like it: This is another one of those games which is best played knowing as little about the story as possible, but I really like the way it plays with the concept of what consciousness is, and the excellent use of sound direction to really give you the spooks. It has an optional “safe” mode which turns it into more of a terrifying walking simulator rather than a traditional survival horror, and in some ways this actually enhances the experience, although you can’t change it for your current save game once you’ve chosen. If you like the TV series Black Mirror, you’ll like this too.

Yakuza 0

YAKUZA 0 / Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio / SEGA / 2015

What is it?: An action-adventure/brawler set in late 80’s Tokyo and Osaka. You play two simultaneous but linked stories about two members of the Yakuza: fresh-faced newbie Kazuma Kiryu and the somewhat more experienced one-eyed ex-Yakuza Goro Majima.
Why I like it: From what I wrote above it sounds like a serious crime drama, right? Well, it is. Kind of. This was my first journey into the Yakuza franchise, and when I first started playing I have to admit I wasn’t really hooked by the many names and branches of the Yakuza being introduced to me. I found it quite heavy and hard to follow. But I kept playing a little bit every time I had a gaming session, and once I began the first Majima section of the game it drew me right in. The main storyline is gripping, the side-stories are mostly very entertaining and it likes to poke fun at 80’s Japanese cheesiness for good measure. Plus it’s quite satisfying to swing a motorbike around at a horde of enemies. And how can I forget: You can run a hostess club, and it’s extremely addictive! I can safely say I am now a Yakuza fan, albeit a little burnt out on sidequests for now. And the memes, oh goodness the memes.

Ōkami HD

Ōkami HD / Clover Studio / Capcom / 2012 (original release 2006)

What is it?: An action-adventure game where you play as a wolf deity in a fantasy/folklore version of ancient Japan. The lands have been stripped of their colour and life, and you must bring it back. You can draw shapes with ink on the screen which will have various magical effects, like causing trees to grow or fixing broken bridges.
Why I like it: The setting is fascinating and beautiful, the soundtrack is spine-tingling, and I found it therapeutic to scour the lands of Nippon with my Celestial ink brush, making everything green again. I liked the way the story evolved, subverting your expectations of what direction it will take and revealing deeper information about characters you think you already had sussed out. It is a very long game and starts off slowly, but is absolutely worth the time in my opinion.

So that’s the list. There are other games I would have wanted to include, but either I haven’t completed them or I had to make the difficult decision not to include them in my favourite five. If I inspire even one person to try one of these games then that would be just great.

Here’s to a decent end to 2020, and a more decent 2021!

Version 1.0.5 is… Almost ready!

Edit 15/01/21: Please see the update here.

Hello friends. I have been quiet for a while, but have also been tapping away at an update to my English re-localisation mod for NieR RepliCant (PS3). It will possibly be the last one I’ll do in anticipation of the “new version” of the game on PS4, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… which is coming out next year. I see the old PS3 game and the upcoming new version as different entities, and don’t want this archival project to be influenced by the new version, or feel as though I must change it to be the same as the new version, or otherwise step on its toes.

I originally wanted this post to be a Christmas gift, announcing the release of this new update, as I have now technically completed it to my satisfaction. However, I did some extensive editing of the Forest of Myth sequences to hopefully address the text overflow problems there and want to give myself a little more time to briefly play through the game and test these parts out. I’d love to release it this side of the New Year, but likely it will be sometime in January 2021.

So I’ll update soon, but in any case I hope you all have as good of an end to 2020 as you possibly can!

Project RepliCAN Ver. 1.0.3 Released


ProjectRepliCAN Logo

Just a micro-post to announce that I have just released Version 1.0.3 of Project RepliCAN: my NieR RepliCant re-localisation mod. It can be found here.

I’ve implemented many changes big and small which are listed on the linked post above— many thanks to meliascia and SighingSlider for contacting me with your feedback while trying out the mod!

I’ve also done some mucking around and made a silly little logo for the mod above.

BBC Radio 6 Music is Currently Running an Interesting-Sounding Series About Video Games Music

Radio 6 High Scores website

It’s called High Scores: A History of Video Games Music and is being hosted by the BBC’s Mark Savage. The first episode is currently available to listen to so far, and guest features persistent video game fanatic Charlie Brooker (yes, that Charlie Brooker) showcasing a selection of his favourite video game jams through the years, along with some nostalgic and amusing anecdotes to go along with them.

Though just a teaser for the series which begins properly on March 10th, this first episode is worth a listen for anyone interested in the history of games music, and has piqued my interest for what’s to come. Radio 6 has had excellent high-quality programming about video games music in the past and I expect this will be a continuation to that theme. I look forward to next week’s show!

High Scores: A History of Video Games Music is being broadcast live every Sunday at 13:00 on BBC Radio 6 with recordings available to listen to for 30 days after airing on Radio 6’s website. You can also listen to it using the BBC Sounds app. Click here for more information on how to listen to Radio 6.