Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha (Famicom, 1991)

PUBLISHER: King Records

DEVELOPER: Mighty Craft

RELEASE DATE: 02/08/1991 (JP)

 

Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha or Jiro Akagawa’s Ghost Train for you English-speaking Westerners. The Famicom has many text adventures, only some of which have been translated into English. Jiro Akagawa’s Ghost Train is not one of them. And it’s a shame, really. The NES could have used more text adventures (the ICOM/Kemco trilogy and Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom aside), particularly ones that were Japan-centric. Still, we can’t blame King Records or Nintendo or Atlus or whoever for not porting this one to the West. Jiro Akagawa’s Ghost Train likely would have sold peanuts, not hazelnuts or the esteemed (and expensive) macadamia nuts.

 

Jiro Akagawa’s Regular Train

 

For some reason, though, fan translators have not selected Jiro Akagawa’s Ghost Train as a game worthy of their skills. Is this because the game is trash? Are translators just sick of messing about with the Famicom? Are text adventures really difficult and time-consuming to translate? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but if you’re part of the fan translation community, you might! Feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like, I’m quite curious.

 

Oh no! Someone left their hooch on the windowsill!

 

At any rate, Jiro Akagawa’s Ghost Train is based on Japanese author Jiro Akagawa’s first short story titled (wait for it) “Ghost Train.” In the game, you play a young detective who heads to a secluded mountain village to investigate the mysterious disappearance of eight people. Talk is also heard around the town about a “Ghost Train,” but it’s up to you to uncover the links between these rumors and the vanishing people.

 

Just call this man “Ghosttrain Killah.”

 

Nope, I haven’t played this one. There’s a lot of Japanese text, and while I can fumble my way through some hiragana and katakana, my vocab is rusty to say the least. Consider this short blurb a placeholder until a fan translation arrives, I learn more Japanese, or some generous soul decides to review it.

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cccmar

Murder mystery genre in game form is generally rather unpopular with fan-translators. Case in point – the vast majority of fan-translated FC adventure games are anything but murder mystery games. They’re usually long, the language can be difficult (wordplay, dialects) and from what I’ve heard most translators consider them fairly boring, too – so the chance of this one getting done is rather slim indeed.