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Superbrothers on the 'Scythian Steppes' and bringing Sworcery to Japan


Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP just made the trip to Japan, with a version localized by 8-4 released on the App Store this week. You can actually try it yourself by downloading the latest update and setting your phone's language to Japanese, if you'd like to hear Suda 51 as Logfella or have less of an idea what's going on.

Concurrent with the localized game, Superbrothers released a remix album of Jim Guthrie's Sworcery soundtrack called "The Scythian Steppes," featuring remixes of the music by prominent Japanese composers like Akira Yamaoka, Michiru Yamane, and Baiyon.

"The record is crazy, all of the contributors are total all-stars," Adams told us in an email. "For fans of game audio and Japanese videogame music it's a pretty kickass collection of songs. For fans of Jim's sworcery songs it's an essential record." Adams said that proceeds from the album will go to 8-4 to help cover the localization costs for this "passion project."

The Scythian Steppes
Adams is currently in Japan for the launch, with Capy's Kris Piotrowski and the 8-4 staff. He spoke to Joystiq from 8-4's office in Tokyo about the motivation behind and process of bringing his game overseas. "Superbrothers as a concept has a few connections to Japan," he said, including a double reference to Super Mario Bros. and Jet Set Radio built right into the studio's name. "So yeah, it's totally exciting that now a super high quality interpretation of the project is finding its way into the iPhones of legendary Japanese videogame creators, composers & enthusiasts."

Whether that high quality translates into sales is uncertain, but Adams hopes it will have some kind of impact. "In a video game industry dominated by traditional studio structures here in Japan there isn't as much of a context for a DIY collaborative project like S&S, so we're hopeful that our story will maybe help shake things up or give people ideas and this was another reason we all got behind this initiative." Adams and 8-4 don't have solid data about the Japanese app market, but "part of the goal of [Sworcery] is to get that data."

One of the most charming elements of Sworcery is the idiosyncratic, funny writing throughout. This is also the element most in danger of being literally lost in translation. "The folks [at 8-4] know the project super well, and they really do go the extra mile to get things right," Adams said. "Of course, some of the specific references were brought over directly (eg: Zelda, Twin Peaks) but some of the references (eg: Mad Magazine's Al Jaffe fold-in) had to be adapted."

Adams, and everyone else, can watch the game take over Japan in real time, thanks to Sworcery's famous Twitter integration, which allows players to tweet from within the game about what's happening.

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