"A Life M36 Planet" full walkthrough + translation

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Door wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

afbeelding van wyrdwad

09-06-2017, 08:22

Surprise! Wink

I was recently able to check out an MSX game I've been curious about for a long time simply because of its goofy name -- "A Life M36 Planet: Mother Brain Has Been Aliving." Mostly, I just wanted to tell people that that's the name of the game I played, and then share a laugh with them, because WHAT A TITLE!

Slightly unexpectedly, though, the game turned out to be really good. Like, REALLY good! I was almost instantly hooked, and could scarcely believe a Metroidvania this sophisticated had come out of 1987. It's got a LOT of depth to it, including a really well-developed post-apocalyptic world that was destroyed by experiments on plankton gone wrong 200 years ago, with its few survivors all holed up in underground settlements beneath virus-infested research facilities, trying in vain just to live for one more day.

The gameplay, too, is quite varied, with extremely distinctive areas, unique item-driven puzzles, genuinely creepy bosses (and a sizable number of them, at that!), and shockingly smart enemy AI that's not only aggressive, but also actively attempts to dodge your shots on occasion!

It's got its fair share of flaws, including numerous glitches and a LOT of sprite flickering (like, OMG sprite flickering!), but its strong points more than make up for them, and... honestly, at this point, I'm ready to call A Life M36 Planet one of my top ten favorite MSX games! Think of it like a beautiful fusion of Maze of Galious with Cross Blaim, but superior to both titles (well, arguably superior to MoG, but definitely superior to Cross Blaim!).

...Anyway, I liked this game so much that I decided, what the hell? I might as well translate all the text in it, and write a full walkthrough while I'm at it. Wink So over the last 5 days or so (and with the help of an 8-part Japanese Let's Play on NicoNico Video for reference), I wrote this document in MS Word 2003 -- 67 pages of translations and detailed game info!

You can download it via Sendspace here:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/mj68w3

Tomorrow, once I have access to a more up-to-date version of MS Word, I plan to double-check that the formatting looks OK (I'm very worried that certain parts of this document, like the map of the third area I drew, won't show up correctly in later versions of Word!), then convert it to PDF and submit it to CheatMSX and maybe GameFAQs or something.

But in the meantime, I figured I'd share this first draft of my work with you guys here, in hopes that maybe it'll encourage some of you who never heard of this game, or who were never able to play this game properly before (because you really do need to know Japanese for this one!), a chance to experience it -- and it really is an experience worth having!

Please enjoy, and if you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it.

-Tom

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Van journey

Champion (367)

afbeelding van journey

09-06-2017, 09:32

Great!
Never heard about this game. I'll try it surely!

Van hamlet

Scribe (2456)

afbeelding van hamlet

09-06-2017, 15:06

Wow! I have the tape snorking around since years. Never loaded it because of the title and the cover. It seems a great game! What a surprisse! And thanks for noticing this hidden gem!

A Life M36 Planet: A Hidden Gem, like YouTuber Metal Jesus like to say.

Van wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

afbeelding van wyrdwad

09-06-2017, 16:54

Whoa! What is that? That doesn't look like a box big enough to house a cartridge, but this is a 128 KB rom, so I don't think it was ever released on cassette...

-Tom

Van tfh

Paragon (1789)

afbeelding van tfh

09-06-2017, 17:05

It would be nice if someone was interested in integrating the translated texts into the game!

Van bakoulis

Master (166)

afbeelding van bakoulis

09-06-2017, 17:49

tfh wrote:

It would be nice if someone was interested in integrating the translated texts into the game!

Yes, indeed.
Very nice graphics and nice scenario!
The hard job (of translation) have done. Now remains the incorporation in game.
Here we have great developers. Someone will do it for sure.
Big smile

Van ren

Paragon (1219)

afbeelding van ren

09-06-2017, 18:03

The (sub)title of this game *does* hurt my (mother)brain a bit.. Tongue

Van wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

afbeelding van wyrdwad

09-06-2017, 18:27

Yeah, I was kind of hoping someone would patch the game with my translation at some point, if possible. Though my translation is definitely on the verbose side, using significantly more characters than the Japanese, so it would require some pretty serious programming hacks to pull it off -- or some pretty serious cuts in the English, which is something I generally don't like to see.

Also, Hamlet: if you've got the cart, does that mean you also have the manual? Because I would looooove it if someone would scan in the manual, since the entire backstory of who you are and why you came to planet M36 in the first place is *only* written in the manual. There's enough information in the game text to extrapolate most of what it probably says, but I'd still like to see what I'm missing -- based on Pixel's previous works, I imagine there's probably a lot of extra details for flavor.

-Tom

Van hamlet

Scribe (2456)

afbeelding van hamlet

09-06-2017, 22:40

@wyrdwad Unfornatually my version of this superb game seems to be a bootleg, but a interessting one. It´s a tape version of this MegaRom. Today I tried to load it, but it seems that the fourth (of eight) .bin files won´t load correctly. I will do another test with different recorders. There was no manual included, I got it in a lot of tapes a decade ago. Maybe one other user know something about those MegaRom conversions? Could be of interesst for our tape using members. There are other MR tape conversions, I guess they all need a memoy mapper and additional RAM. There is no notice or hint on the (very professionel printed) cover.
The Tshirt is a unprofessional self printed and taped bootleg, of course.

Van wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

afbeelding van wyrdwad

09-06-2017, 22:44

I like the t-shirt. Wink

Also, sweet room! I think I see a Vectrex peeking out in the back there. (Could just be the corner of an old CRT, but it looks awfully Vectrex-y to me!)

-Tom

Van hamlet

Scribe (2456)

afbeelding van hamlet

09-06-2017, 22:59

Thanks, I wanted to act MetalJesus like and unboxed the Vectrex. Took me half an hour to get rid of it again. This is a older one of our computer repair room.
Now I have to continue this M36 thing, you know...

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