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Localisation comparisons

Intro

Ristar MD JP StorySequence.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US StorySequence.png
NTSC-U version
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PAL version

Story text was added to the introduction sequence at startup in the International versions of Ristar.

RistarJapanIntro.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Oruto.png
NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The Japanese version shows a flickering image of the Star Goddess, Oruto, when the Elder's wish reaches Ristar's planet. She selects Ristar to fight Greedy. The International versions remove her due to the storyline being altered to instead have Ristar's father be kidnapped by Greedy.

Despite this change, Oruto still appears in the Game Gear version's introduction sequence regardless of the game's region.

Title screen

Ristar MD JP TitleScreen.png
NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
Ristar MD EU TitleScreen.png
PAL version

The Japanese version of the game adds "The Shooting Star" as a subtitle, and the title screen was changed to reflect this. When the International version is run on PAL systems, the full 320x240 resolution is used.

Ristar MD JP Option.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Option.png
NTSC-U version

Ristar's grabbing ability in the Option menu is described as "CATCH" in the Japanese version, and "GRAB" in the International version.

Demo

Ristar MD JP DemoPlay.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US DemoPlay.png
NTSC-U version

Rolling demos played after waiting on the title screen will flash "DEMO PLAY" on-screen in the Japanese version. The International version removes that text.

Round 1 title card

Ristar MD JP Round1TitleCard.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Round1TitleCard.png
NTSC-U version
Ristar MD EU Round1TitleCard.png
PAL version

The planet names displayed on the title are different across versions. The Japanese version's planet names are English words describing the themes of the planets that have been scrambled with letters added or removed (e.g. "Neer" is the word "Green" reversed with the G removed), while the International versions' names are real, semi-obscure English words.

On a PAL system, the title card graphics are extended to fit the 320x240 resolution, with some of the bottom-most 8x8 tiles being repeated in order to do so.

Angry sprites

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U/PAL versions

Ristar and most of the enemies were altered in the West to appear more "angry". The reasoning behind this is not known, though many games of the era (e.g. Kirby) received similar treatment.

Next area

Ristar MD JP NextArea.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US NextArea.png
NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The Japanese version displays a "Next Area" box on the right of the screen. This was removed internationally as some of the different planet names might have been too big to fit.

Round clear

Ristar MD JP Round1Clear.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Round1Clear.png
NTSC-U version

The Japanese version displays the Round number before tallying the player's score. International releases instead display the planet's name.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version

The message for getting an exceptionally high Round score was changed from "GIVE UP!!" to "NO WAY!!" in localisation.

Level comparisons

Planet Undertow

Ristar MD JP Round2-1RisingWater.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Round2-1RisingWater.png
NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The first wall in Round 2-1 has a hidden gem that can be found by headbutting the spot it's located in. In the Japanese version, revealing this hidden gem won't make the water rise right away, but it will in the International versions.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The International versions add a cycloptic starfish-like object to Round 2-2 that clings to Ristar, slowing him down and decreasing his jump height. While they don't appear in the Japanese version, their sprite can be seen drifting in the turbine sections.

Planet Sonata

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The Japanese version would display a musical note above a robot bird's head when it's about to slam down during the mini-boss. This tell was removed in the International versions, making the fight less predictable.

Planet Freon

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The International versions add a cutscene to the beginning of Planet Freon which shows Ristar sliding down a snowy slope before falling back and reappearing with a set of skis.

Ristar MD JP Round5Boss.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Round5Boss.png
NTSC-U version
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PAL version

Itamor, the boss of Planet Freon, has a wildly different design across different versions. In the Japanese version, Itamor is a cat monster, which is a reference to a Japanese idiom: A person who doesn't like hot/spicy food can be said to have a "cat tongue", which explains why throwing hot soup into his mouth hurts him.

As overseas players would not get the reference, Itamor's design was changed to a typical ice monster, removing all of his cat features. Since he is an ice monster, throwing hot soup into his mouth to defeat him still makes sense.

Planet Automaton

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

Round 6-1 has a section halfway through where Ristar swims in the air through invisible water. There is no explanation on how he does this in the Japanese version, so the International versions add a pair of anti-gravity shoes to justify the sudden ability to swim in the air. An animation of Ristar admiring his new footwear was also added in.

Bonus Areas

Ristar MD JP Bonus1-1Intro.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Bonus1-1Intro.png
NTSC-U version

Each treasure is named in the Japanese version, with the names displayed during the intro and after completing the Bonus Area.

Ristar MD JP Bonus1-1Continue.png
NTSC-J version
Ristar MD US Bonus1-1Continue.png
NTSC-U version

"CONTINUE UP!!" was changed to "CONTINUE!!" in the International versions. In addition, the treasure name is replaced with a message telling the player they have earned 1,000 bonus points.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version

The message for beating a developer best time was changed from "GIVE UP!!" to "NO WAY!!" in localisation.

Ending / credits

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

In the International versions, Ristar's fingers were decreased from five fingers to four in this still, and although Itamor's credits sprite was changed to account for his design change, Sega of America forgot to remove his cat tail. Oops.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

What should be the brightest color in the Aurora Borealis is darker than the surrounding colors in the Japanese version. This was corrected in other versions.

RistarJapanEnd.png
NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version
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PAL version

The ending screens at the end of the credits are radically different. The Japanese version shows that Greedy, Inonis and Uranim have survived the destruction of Castle Greedy, but are now stranded on an unknown planet, with Greedy staring contemplatively at a flickering image of Ristar in the sky.

Due to the altered story, the ending screen was changed in the International versions to show Ristar being reunited with his father. He also has four fingers again.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version

If the game is cleared on Super difficulty, a congratulatory message is displayed at the end of the credits. This message is "YOU ARE RISTAR MASTER.." in the Japanese version, and was changed to "YOU ARE THE MASTER‼" in the International version.

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NTSC-J version
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NTSC-U version

The two best results for finding the treasures on the post-credits Password screen were changed from "WONDER!!" and "MIRACLE!!" to "WONDERFUL" and "GREAT JOB!!".

References


Ristar
Ristar final.PNG

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Prereleases: 1994-07-01 | 1994-07-18 | 1994-08-12 | 1994-08-26