Have you ever heard of the game Tear Ring Saga? Fire Emblem aficionados might be familiar with the game but most people (like me) probably won’t. Fret not however, I’ve researched enough to tell you all about it!
Even before starting the research on this, just looking at the screenshots brought two things to my mind: this has to be a tactical RPG and the art bares too much of a resemblance to the old Fire Emblem games. Turns out my hunch was on the money since this game was developed by a team led by none other than Shouzou Kaga, the father of the Fire Emblem games over at Intelligent Systems. He has only made three games since leaving Nintendo and Tear Ring Saga was the first one and relatively well-received at the time it came out. Like most of the Fire Emblem games at the time, this game never left the shores of Japan.
As far as the history of this game in the fanslation scene, there was a patch out before this one but it wasn’t the best. Fraught with issues and typos, it didn’t make the game the best experience it could. This is where developer Aethin over at SerenesForest comes in: he did his best to tweak and correct the issues with the original patch, along with proofreading it to the best of his ability. This results in a new patch release that should allow people to experience the game that much better.
What is Tear Ring Saga?
Tear Ring Saga is one of three tactical RPGs developed by Fire Emblem creator Shouzou Kaga after breaking away from Nintendo. Tear Ring Saga plays very much like a classic Fire Emblem game to the point that many people call it a clone, even if it is a good one. The game was never released in the West but now thanks to developer Aethin and the original work of ayashii gamesubs we can play it.
A screenshot of the game running in RetroArch’s PCSXReARMed
The only things that I know need fixing now are:
The item descriptions (some of them overflow their text lines), and
The names of locations on the save screen (same problem).
If you notice anything peculiar in the patch that’s not one of the above, please let me know in the thread!
Acquire a Japanese-version TearRing Saga BIN file. Ripping the game from the disk, you’ll probably end up with an ECM file, which is a compressed BIN, so use a tool like UnECM to decompress it.
The patch is in PPF format, so you’ll need a PPF patcher; I’d recommend PPF-o-Matic, available here on Romhacking.net.
Just to be safe, apply the patch to a copy of your TearRing Saga BIN file. Use the patcher to patch the BIN file with the PPF found above.
Load the patched BIN using whatever PS1 emulator you like. Personally, I’ve been using pSX, but I’m sure it’ll work on most of ’em. Remember you can use RetroArch on the PS Vita.
Note that because this is a Japanese game, O is “yes” and X is “no.” While we’re on the topic, Δ is the “more info” button, like the R-button in the GBA games. L1/R1 go to the previous/next available unit (or previous/next page on the stats screen). If you’re ever curious what controls are available to you at any time, you can press ▢ to view them.
Map of the continent of Lieberia: link Character Relations (spoilers!): link
Download Tear Ring Saga English patch
To download and enjoy this translation of Tear Ring Saga, just click here to go to the release thread at SerenesForest. If you wish to leave the developer any sort of feedback do so there. The direct link to the file is here.