Ever since the announcement of the Super NES Classic a few months back, one question has been bouncing around my mind: What version of Star Fox 2 is Nintendo planning to release? And how much work are they going to do on it?
I finally got an answer during a recent hands-on with the SNES Classic: Nintendo confirmed that it will indeed be the original master and not one of the cobbled together prototypes floating around the Internet.
It's completely unaltered, so the natural expectation is that it should be in Japanese. But surprisingly, the master version of Star Fox 2 available on the SNES Classic will be in English. And won't be the fansub, either.
Indeed, according to Q Games founder and Star Fox 2 programmer Dylan Cuthbert, the unreleased sequel was actually fully localized way back in the 90s.
"StarFox 2 was fully localized as far as I'm aware and went through the full QA process. It was one of the rare occasions where even though the game wasn't going to be released Nintendo decided to spend the final few months properly finishing it off–I suppose because it was canceled so close to the end and after all the announcements, they wanted something to show for their efforts," Cuthbert told us over email. "It showed pretty good foresight I think, and I'm sure the [SNES Classic] will earn back its development cost and then some!"
I got to see this first hand when playing Star Fox 2 during my appointment with Nintendo. The localization is pretty much on point, but there are little mistakes. For instance, the planet Titania is called "Taitania" in Star Fox 2.
Cuthbert elaborates, "As for the English translations– because it was canceled so close to the end we had already received all the English as far as I'm aware (although there might have been a few modifications and additions during QA as there tends to be). It would have been translated internally at NOA so the turnaround would have been very quick."
Star Fox 2 has been floating around the Internet for years, but the version put out by fans is based on unfinished version of the game, with the most complete of them being a fan translation. Here's the fan translation versus the original version found on the SNES Classic.
SNES Classic version:
The release of Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic is historically significant because this is the first time that the full and complete master will be released to the public. The fan version lacks several features, including a number of random encounters. This is the first time we'll be able to see Star Fox 2 as it was meant to be played.
Star Fox 2 will be available with a number of other classics when the SNES Classic launches on September 29. Click here for everything we know about the console so far, as well as our ongoing series of SNES Classic game reviews.