If you fought in the great medieval wars of the 1990s, you might read the headline and wonder what the fuss is all about. After all Atari's "Rampart", a perfect mix of artillery / puzzle game, conquered the arcades and gained quick cult status among gamers; it also had many home conversions, even managing to show up and lay siege across the NES, Game Boy, Super Nintendo and Game Boy Color. So why is a fan translated Famicom version so special? Enter world famous panchiko manufacturer Konami.
If you ever played the NES version of "Rampart" you know what to expect. A solid port of the arcade game with a functional 8-bit adaptation of the bigger, more powerful sibling. But this bread and butter conversion we got in the West pales when placed side by side with its Japanese counterpart thanks to Konami's diligent, magic touch. Unlike the original this Famicom version offers four distinct scenarios of increasing difficulty: an Army Boot-camp where you fight off tanks and soldiers for practice and tutorials, a Fairy Tale land where the Red Riding Hood must stop the Big Bad Wolf in the easy campaign, a more traditional Medieval setting where your Knight and Mages fight off Dragons plus magical tornados. The ultimate test of artillery / wall building (that still look suspiciously like Tetrominos) then awaits you in Edo Era Japan!
Every level is accompanied by some cutscenes, briefings and upon completion quite a bit of dialogue acting as a transition between the levels. All of those were impenetrable walls as hard as the ones represented in-game for Western audiences until recently, when the efforts of Magnus Nilsson, MrRichard999 and rainponcho resulted in a full English translation patch for this Japan-exclusive gem. You can check the end results in the following video.
Not only are the graphics better then the NES version we got, even the sound effects and music are on a league of their own. You can easily use this patch with your original Famicom cartridge on RetroN 5 or Retro Freak.
Who knew on this day and age we would be back to wall building, eh? Just make sure those artillery shots count!