The Japanese Predecessor To E.V.O.: Search for Eden Now Has A Full English Translation

Released in Japan for the PC-98 back in 1990, 46 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinka Ron was a game developed by Almanic Corporation and published by Enix that hasn’t had a complete, playable English translation until now.

The project officially completed at the end of last year by 46 OkuMen. It takes the game that would itself later evolve into the SNES cult-classic, E.V.O.: Search for Eden, and shares it with English speaking audiences who have only ever had access to the original game in Japanese. During translating the game, the team discovered a few things about the original game they weren’t expecting,

“The science presented about the creatures in this game is actually quite accurate and well-sourced.

A few of the chapter titles reference specific things. One of these might not come through in the translation too well, but chapter one is actually a reference to the KAI-YU-KAN Aquarium in Osaka, Japan. The aquarium opened in the same year as E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution‘s release in Japan, so they named the first chapter the KAI-YU-KI (or KAI-YU Period). The literal translation for those two characters is OCEAN-PLAY, which is how we came to the current translation in our patch.

The Teilhardorphus is named after the French Paleontologist, Philosopher, and Jesuit Priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was one of the people responsible for the discovery of the Peking Man. This is one of many of the creatures named after real people, most of which were named after people who worked on the game such as the Sugiyaman, which is named after the game’s composer, Sugiyama Kouichi.”

The struggle is real.

While E.V.O.: Search for Eden for the SNES is largely considered a port of E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution, the games have a number of differences, not least of all the fact that the earlier game was released on the NEC PC-9801 system and much more primitive looking. Theory of Evolution was also a top-down RPG while Search for Eden is a more approachable action platformer. In many ways though, the level grind and arduous encounters of the earlier Japanese game seem more fitting to the evolutionary struggle to survive that the games depict.

According to the project’s site, in Theory of Evolution,

“You control one character as they progress through the different eras of life on planet Earth, fighting turn-based battles with damage being based on stats that you control directly. Once you’ve pushed a stat to its uppermost limit, your character evolves into a completely different creature with different abilities in battle. The story itself is somewhat similar to Search for Eden, but much more fleshed out with a lot of different stories for each era that the game explores. And while Search for Eden ends with humanity as the pinnacle of evolution, The Theory of Evolution goes a bit further into the future…”

Original Version
New English Translation
OkuMen’s translation of the game’s original booklet.

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Ethan Gach

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