In my opinion, 2023 has quite possibly been the best year so far for PC-98 translations in general, and today, we get two more: elf’s SHANGRLIA2 and Alice Soft’s Rance: Hikari wo Motomete (also known as Rance: The Quest for Hikari)! Both are VN/RPG hybrids in one way or another and were fantranslated and prepared for release by the duo Alpharobo and BabaJeanmel. They were made available to the public on October 28, 2023.
Rance: The Quest for Hikari
The first—and more famous—of the two games is Rance: The Quest for Hikari. This game was originally released on the PC-98 on July 15, 1989, and was later ported to the PC-88, X68000, MSX, FM Towns, and finally, Windows.
I’m sure I don’t need to introduce this series at all, let alone the publisher, Alice Soft. However, I will state that Rance on the PC-98 is very different from its remake, Rance 01. While it still follows the same basic plot threads as the remake and introduces the same group of characters like Rance, Sill, and Leazas, the original Rance: The Quest for Hikari is a game that Alice Soft made before they truly knew what they wanted to do with the Rance series as a whole.
Now, usually you’d have to own a copy of a game in order to patch it into English, but Alice Soft made the decision in 2008 to allow all their games from before 1996 to be downloaded for free for all who were interested. And we’re not just talking one version of each of these games—they made them all available! You can check them out on their website, linked here.
The second title we’re discussing today is a strategy RPG called SHANGRLIA2. elf originally released the game on September 30, 1993 on the PC-98, and then quickly ported it to the Sharp X68000 and FM Towns. Later in 2000, it was ported to Windows in a release called Elf Otona no Kanzume, which included SHANGRLIA, SHANGRLIA2, and YU-NO.
During the early 1990s, elf released many strategy game/eroge hybrid games, starting with FOXY in 1990. The title was soon followed by its sequel, FOXY 2; the SHANGRLIA duology; and finally Dragon Knight 4 in 1994, a game that is considered to be the pinnacle of elf’s titles along with the dating sim series Doukyuusei.
Unfortunately, only SHANGRLIA2 has been translated into English, not the original. Also, unlike with Rance, you’ll need to buy this one from a Japanese auction site of your choosing, as the game is completely out of print.
The patch can be downloaded here.