The Let's Play Archive

Jesus: Kyōfu No Bio Monster

by Quovak

Thanks! We like it too.Why not check out some similar LPs from our recommendations?
What would you like to tag this LP as?

Original Thread: This Is A Thread About JESUS! (A Revelatory End Of Time LP)



Jesus: Kyōfu No Bio Monster (literally Jesus: Dreadful Bio Monster, but why would you translate the name?) is a survival horror visual novel menu-driven adventure quest made by Enix for an obscure Japanese computer in 1987 and ported by King Records to the Famicom in '89. I could post the Wikipedia summary of this game, but all I really need to say is it's called Jesus: Kyōfu No Bio Monster, and its first line of dialogue is this:

For some no doubt unfathomable reason, Jesus never found Western release, and as such the game went untranslated until Chris Halvorson (AKA Niahak) took on the project to improve his Japanese. Avoiding the Pandora's Box of changing hex pointers, Niahak rewrote the script such that every English letter matched one character of Japanese and, not yet fluent in the language, used a Japanese-English dictionary to fill in the gaps. As a result of these compromises and the game being Jesus: Kyōfu No Bio Monster, the end result resembles a 14-year-old's creative writing project half-remembered by Hideo Kojima during a Nyquil binge or something else inane. This was translation patch #1.

Some years later, a better grasp of coding and some help with the project allowed for new menus and tighter control. The translation was cleaned up and made more organic within the limitations, and everything about the patch improved. This is what you'll find on Niahak's site.

Needless to say, I'll be using the first one. In addition to making for an entertaining thread, I think the surreal and spotty translation fits the game perfectly the way a better version never could (this argument will be familiar to the brave souls who made it through my Chrono Trigger thread(s) alive). For the same reason, I won't be comparing translations or trying to discussing the original intent, instead looking at the surreal disaster as a self-contained product all its own. If for some unjesusly reason you want to play along (don't do this), the newer translation's found here:

(I do want to point out that even the first version is awesome and a fantastic project for what he was trying to do; it would be unfair and meaningless to judge the final product as a professional work or a concentrated effort like Policenauts or Mother 3. If you're reading this, Niahak, don't take my ribbing at all personally, and thanks for all your work.)

On one hand, Jesus is remarkably ambitious for its hardware, but on another, more accurate hand, the game is remarkably bad. Progression is based solely on impossibly hidden event triggers, the tension is less than nonexistent, and there are maybe two things which could charitably be called "puzzles" in the game. The fact that it's an NES/PC-1088 game means that everything is told rather than shown, and its attempts at action would be better shown in 3 frame per second claymation. The characters are incapable of commanding empathy, and the story is… worth seeing.

So why was this game worth translating, playing, and LPing? It's called Jesus: Kyōfu no Bio Monster. What more do you need?

Archive Index