It’s not often people wind back the clock more than two decades to translate a game. But thanks to the efforts of romhackers 46 OkuMen, Rusty has finally gotten a English port.
Rusty was first released for the PC-9800, more affectionately known as the PC-98, all the way back in 1993. It’s more or less a Metroidvania-esque 2D platformer, with Rusty being the name of the Bayonetta-style vampire hunter protagonist. Rusty‘s even got a pet owl for companionship, and a decently ranged whip for good measure.
With ten stages, and a naked demon woman for an opening boss fight and a second level that kicks off in a cemetery, it’s hard not to draw a parallel with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which came out the same year as Rusty. (Rondo of Blood wasn’t originally released in Australia, but it did get a re-release on the PSP around a decade ago, titled Dracula X Chronicles.)
But if you’d like to give C-Lab’s spin on Castlevania a go, you can get it working on your PC thanks to 46 OkuMen. The group was originally established to port 46 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinkaron into English, but with the completion of that project they begun working on other Japanese gems.
It’s not a completely smooth port, according to the instructions. There’s a chance the ROM could freeze on the first cutscene, there’s a workaround to fix buggy text on the main screen, and text in cutscenes might go at a million miles an hour if the wrong emulation option is checked. That aside, the game is perfectly playable, and understandable, giving everyone a chance to see what Castlevania would be like if the protagonist was a female whip-cracking warrior in spandex.
If you’re interested in giving the game a crack, you’ll need a PC-98 emulator. You can get advice on those over at the 46 OkuMen page, but don’t expect it to be as user-friendly as something like Dolphin. As for the game, the whole ZIP file will set you back around 15MB.
Nonetheless, you should be able to get PC-98 games going on modern machines today with a little bit of tweaking. That’s amazing in and of itself, as is the fact that a game nearly two and a half decades old is still getting this kind of reverence and treatment. Gamers really can be an amazing bunch.