David Lynch’s classic television show Twin Peaks has had an outsized influence on video games. Famous games such as Alan Wake, Deadly Premonition, and Silent Hill all took cues from Lynch’s surreal portrait of the American Pacific Northwest.
One game—Mizzurna Falls—has remained a relative unknown in the Lynch-inspired gaming canon until recently, however, thanks to dedicated fans.
Developer Human Entertainment released Mizzurna Falls on the PlayStation in 1998 in Japan. It never got a full English translation, but it became a cult title and fans have been working to translate it for years. On Tuesday, a mostly fully localized version of Mizzurna Falls was finally released. What that means is that English-speakers can finally play Mizzurna Falls.
Mizzurna Falls tells the story of Matthew, a kid in a small town who’s trying to solve the disappearance of classmate Emma Lowland. Matthew explores the open world of Mizzurna Falls, talking to people, investigating, and fighting against a clock that counts down from seven days. Once the time’s up, the game is over.
A freelance translator who goes by “Resident Evie” online stumbled across the game in 2015 and began translating the script and playing through it on YouTube. Evie was looking for a follow-up to Deadly Premonition, and loved Mizzurna Falls so much that she dedicated her free time to translating the game in full.
Evie tracked her progress on Tumblr and caught the attention of “Gemini,” an indie developer with a penchant for hacking old PlayStation games. Gemini took Evie’s translations and began to hack them into Mizzurna Falls. Gemini didn’t finish the job, but he did release his source code and files.
“Starplayer,” another fan, picked up the source code from Gemini’s GitHub repository and converted it into a patch for the existing Mizzurna Falls ROM . “It was a bit of a mess, with some missing dependencies and non working methods and no comments, but I managed to make it work, while avoiding a mental breakdown by an inch,” starplayer said in a FAQ about the project.
The localization isn’t perfect. The map and portions of the menu aren’t translated and starplayer warns that there might be game-breaking bugs. A translated map is included with the release to help players navigate Mizzurna Falls, however, and the game is definitely playable to completion. Just remember to save often.
The curious can download the translation patch for Mizzurna Falls here and dive into another one of the curious virtual worlds inspired by David Lynch.