"Impossible!" is the word used to describe something that can't be done... until someone does it for the first time. Tengai Makyō Zero (full title Far East of Eden: Tengai Makyō Zero) was one the major Super Famicom games with seemingly impossible translation; this late generation 1995 release was rather unique because it shared the luxury of having a Epson SPC7110 custom chip on the cartridge.

This was the fourth game in this Hudson / Red Company developed series; with the previous three games being released on NEC's PC Engine CD, the need to have above average storage capacity was quite understandable.

The enhancement chip was used to compress graphics, indeed a luxury when you consider the limited ROM cartridge size available to producers developing for the Super Nintendo. It also powered a unique calendar / real time clock feature that would add depth to the whole game; not unlike the Animal Crossing series the game first asks you for your birthday and to set up the calendar, with the day of the week - for example - influencing shop schedules. World events like New Year's Eve would result in festivals being held in the game's villages around the world map. These would translate into sub-quests and unique items for your party, so even when done with the main story players always had a good reason to come back to the game. It was certainly ambitious at the time.

Ambitious and quite troublesome for Super Famicom enthusiasts, since the compression techniques used meant that fully dumping and reinserting the huge game script were - for many years - tasks considered impossible. Twenty two years after the original release date, a veritable all-star dream team of ROM-hacking personalities has released a complete English translation patch that finally makes the whole game more Western friendly. None of this would have been possible without byuu's developed utility that allowed for a bug free dumping of the whole script. You can check the newly translated game prologue in the following video.

Sadly, due to the game's uniqueness, you will not be able to simply drop the patch onto your RetroN 5 or Retro Freak and enjoy this one. Currently the game will only run the English patch correctly in either byuu's own Higan (an emulator project named after the main character from this game, trivia fans!) or a custom version of the ever popular SNES9x emulator. 

Far East of Eden of Zero remains one of the crowning jewels of the already quite impressive and extensive Super Famicom game library, and surely one of many games some will fondly remember looking at in still pictures from video game magazines, believing we'd never be able to experience a game with such admirable graphics, music and plot. It's another reminder of what fan communities can do, in this case delivering an experience that wasn't otherwise possible.

[via romhacking.net]