Announcing an English localization of Sega Saturn 3D space combat shooter Stellar Assault SS!
Developed and published by SIMS in 1998, Stellar Assault is a remake of a 1995 Sega 32X game of the same name — although it was called Shadow Squadron in North America. It brings a Wing Commander-like experience to the Saturn with its 3D spaceship combat through 17 missions. It also has some interesting features for the Saturn, including an interlaced mode for improved resolution, a "trace" mode that lets you watch a replay of your last game, and asymmetrical co-op play.
But one of its most distinctive features is its large amount of voice acting that's found not only in the video mission briefings but also during each mission as the player character and his wingmen chat across their radios. While all of the game's text is in English (with the exception of the credits at the end) a lot is lost on English speakers who can't understand any of the Japanese voice overs. That affects gameplay, too, as the mission briefings only deliver instructions in the voice over — outside of some basic "computer terminal" animations, there is no text explaining the player's objectives.
That makes it crucial to redub this game in English. As with Bulk Slash, there is no in-game routine for displaying subtitles during gameplay, and it would be very difficult if not impossible to hack such a routine in. While we could add subtitles to the FMV mission briefings, that not only might reduce the video quality, it also would be inconsistent to leave the Japanese voice acting there while the in-game pilots are speaking in English. So just like Bulk Slash, we're dubbing the whole thing.
Lacquerware has been working for the last several months to transcribe every voice line into a script and then translate them into English. He's now about 98% finished, so it's time to edit it and recruit voice actors who are willing to volunteer their time and talent to make Stellar Assault SS accessible to English speakers for the first time.
We need five male roles and three female roles filled for Stellar Assault. The roles are:
Aya Hijikata: 32-year-old female commander of the carrier capital ship. Comprehensive operation commander for the UN Space Force. Delivers mission briefings and acts as your eye in the sky.
Edgar: Male-sounding AI unit for the player's ship. Reminiscent of Data from Star Trek and voiced by the same guy in Japanese.
Maria: Female-sounding AI unit in the Kite-3, the player ship's support device. Bubbly, cutesy, prone to mood swings. Talks like a gyaru. Equipped with an experimental "emotion circuit."
Jake MacPherson: 35-year-old male lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Hawk Squadron. Lax and irritable by turns. Prone to drastic mood swings. The player's direct commanding officer.
Brenda Bright: 23-year-old female ensign who is a pilot in Hawk Squadron. Serious and unlikely to go off-script or act without discretion. Scolds Jake.
Alan Vergil: 34-year-old lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Eagle Squadron. A little weak-willed, but smart alecky and prone to posturing.
Brad Feel: 35-year-old lieutenant who is the squadron captain of Falcon Squadron. Serious and cool-headed. A man of few words.
Pilot: An unnamed male who has a handful of lines during missions.
And here are what the characters look like in the Japanese manual, with their English names added to the photo:
To be clear, this is an unfunded fan project and we're relying entirely on volunteers. But that also means it would be perfect for aspiring voice actors looking for more experience, or for voice actors who would love to help bring this awesome game to a wider audience.
Anyone interested in auditioning should join our Stellar Assault SS Localization Project Discord server at Join the Stellar Assault SS Localization Discord Server! or email us at StellarAssaultLocalization@gmail.com. We can be reached out to on Twitter @lacquerleaks (Lacquerware) and @Danbo_4 (me). And if you're just interested in keeping up with the project, you can feel free to join the Discord, too!
As for the already assembled team, Lacquerware is the project lead, translator and voice director. Mampfus and Shadowmask return from Bulk Slash to help with audio editing, mastering and insertion into the game with technical assistance from Trekkies. Cargodin and I will work with Lacquerware to edit the translated script.
Wish us luck, everyone! We can't wait to make another voice-heavy Japanese exclusive Saturn game more accessible to new fans.