The Silver Case, the first game that Goichi "Suda51" Suda's Grasshopper Manufacture ever released, will be reborn as a PC game this fall and receive its first worldwide, localized release.
Part adventure game, part puzzle game, part visual novel, The Silver Case's PC release will include the first official English translation, thanks to a partnership between the developer and Active Gaming Media, proprietor of the Japanese indie-focused Playism distribution platform.
"I am happy to announce that the long-awaited Silver Case HD remastered version will finally be available as promised," Suda said in a statement. "This title was originally released in 1999, but was never released outside of Japan …. The English version will also be available, another promise made to you and will be on Steam, Playism and other platforms."
"This title was originally released in 1999, but was never released outside of Japan"
The translation will necessitate a few changes to the original. An early game puzzle, for example, relies on knowledge of the relationship between Japanese characters and numbers. Keeping that in would make the game frustrating for those outside of Japan, not fun, he said. That change is in the spirit of the original game, Suda said, which includes easy-to-find solutions to some puzzles, so it isn't too confusing to players.
Beyond the English localization, Grasshopper Manufacture is overhauling some of the 3D visuals, Suda said. The developer is also combing through the original 2D assets to pull the highest quality possible.
To help the point-and-click adventure game work with a PSOne controller — and balance The Silver Case's copious text with its visuals — Grasshopper created a visual style dubbed the "Film Window." The PC remake will include an updated version of the Film Window.
When asked why it was coming only to PC, Suda said that he "wanted to make sure that there would be a large number of people that can play it." Developing it in the multiplatform Unity engine could also allow Grasshopper to bring it to other platforms later, he said.
The Silver Case's remake is also related to Suda's broader desire to keep old games playable. He lamented that there are many young gamers who can't experience The Silver Case, for example.
"Since these games can't be played anymore, something must be done," he said.
"Since these games can't be played anymore, something must be done."
Suda wants younger gamers to experience Grasshoppper's catalog. He also wants to address a burden for veteran gamers. In either case, anyone who wanted to play The Silver Case today would need both the software and the hardware. That's difficult, he said, and remaking The Silver Case for modern hardware could help both.
Set in Tokyo in the year of its original release, The Silver Case tells the story of the mysterious and titular unsolved mystery as well as the detectives and murderer involved.
Suda stressed that he has a message to deliver to prospective players, too: The Silver Case is an adventure game more than an action game. He said he wanted to be clear about that because it's not the kind of game that Grasshopper is most famous for.
The studio's better-known games include Lollipop Chainsaw, No More Heroes and its sequel and Killer Is Dead.
"No action, no blood," was Suda's suggestion for The Silver Case's genre.
Though The Silver Case was limited to a Japanese release, its sequel — Flower, Sun, and Rain — was released outside of Japan. A Nintendo DS port was once in development, but the studio canceled it. At PAX East 2016, Suda said that it "was complete, but it didn't seem to feel right for the kind of game it was."
If The Silver Case 's remake performs well, Suda also said that he'd consider a remake of its sequel, too.