How Natsume Picked Up Lufia: Curse Of The Sinistrals

By Spencer . July 14, 2010 . 4:28pm


Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and the Final Fantasy Game Boy Advance ports are exceptions. Square Enix rarely licenses their titles to other publishers, but Natsume picked up Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals also known as Estoplis: The Lands Cursed by the Gods.


When I met with Hiro Maekawa, CEO and President of Natsume, I asked him how the deal for Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals came about. “I didn’t ask them [Square Enix] to give us Lufia. That came from their side,”  Maekawa replied. “We received an offer from their side whether we were interested in publishing Lufia in America.”


Almost fourteen years ago, Natsume licensed the Super Nintendo game Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals from Taito, which was absorbed by Square Enix in 2005. Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a reimagining of Lufia II. What about the original game? Will Natsume re-release it on Virtual Console?


“Would it be possible? I’m sure everyone is open for discussion when it comes to ideas, but nothing at this time,” Graham Markay, Vice President of Operations at Natsume, answered.


“We just did Wild Guns. Shadow of the Ninja, which made a lot of people happy. We’re trying to get a couple of those other classic Natsume titles out as well.”

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  • mach

    Why on earth did Squenix think this was a good idea? They must know how notoriously bad Natsume is when it comes to localization. Was their plate just too full to bother with the title or something?

    • This is just a guess, but maybe Natsume holds the U.S. rights to the Lufia brand and Square-Enix figured it was faster to just let them do it instead of buying the rights.

      • landlock

        Doubt it, the last Lufia game on the GBA was published by Atlus not Natsume. Natsume only did the first three.

    • But their grammar mistakes are part of what makes the Lufia games so great. xd

      • Seriously, if this game doesn’t have Little Hoochies or at least Frue Destruction or something similar in it, it completely fails as a Lufia.

    • Wth?! dont talk bad about natsume, they are not as bad as you describe them, the most important problem i see on natsume is the speed they take to localize games, there may be a grammar mistakes, but is not big of a deal (there arent that many anyway), and im freaking happy to get this game in a playeable language.If you dont like it, go buy the japanese version then, you should be happy we are getting this game in english.

      And in their latest jobs, they’ve made a great work in the localization, for example, i enjoyed a lot, adventures to go, the dialogues were hilarious and they fit perfectly every character, and the last games they’ve released so far are in a pretty good shape. If you wanna talk bad about a company, Namco Bandai US is there for you

      • mach

        Oversensitive much? While grammar mistakes aren’t important to you (judging by the large number in your post), they are to some people. However, I’m more worried about game breaking glitches, missing features, and untranslated lines–all things Natsume is notorious for.

        • Lol, oversensitive… the only post where i see someone overreacting about something is the first one you made, i still cant get why there is always someone whining, is not like there is any other choice, i lost my hope on getting this game before natsume announced this. And, the only game i’ve experience any of that you mentioned, is rune factory 2, and that game was released a good while ago.

          Just a question… have you tried one of the last games they’ve released lately? They are really making their games with a better quallity than before.

          • Just putting my two cents in, but as a Lufia fan, and one that’s a little worried about this next game (I already hate the new character artwork), this little bit of news is actually bigger than it may seem for some people. Me and some other people were wondering if the little things that were only apparant in Natsume’s english translation of the game would make it through for this remake, but assumed 100% that it wouldnt since SE would probably be handling it. Natsume’s translation is part of, for a lot of Lufia II fans, what made the game what it is. With this news, not only might those little things make a comback for old fans, but the quality of the translation should at least prove to be as good as the old one. Besides, Natsume has more to do with the developer Neverland than just Lufia. Rune Factory is a Neverland series and is also worked on by Nastume, and there were no real failures there from them in my view. So I guess it’s not an idea of who the best localizers would be, but who are the “right” ones? Fans are familiar with them.

        • Joanna

          Have to agree with WildArms here, as far as I have seen. Natsume is fine. I don’t recall seeing any problems (glitches, missing features, or untranslated lines) in Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness.

          I’m still debating whether I should pick this up because I don’t like that they changed the gameplay…(but that’s not Natsume’s fault).

  • chaosaxess

    They were able to do it because that game is absolutely awful

  • Zefiro Torna

    “We just did Wild Guns. Shadow of the Ninja, which made a lot of people happy. We’re trying to get a couple of those other classic Natsume titles out as well.”

    The two Kiki KaiKai/Pocky & Rocky games would be most welcome, as would The Ninja Warriors (Again). I hope those are possible now that Square Enix is trusting Natsume with a Taito IP.

  • I haven’t played a Natsume title since Adventures To Go, which had a bland translation that was trying way too hard, but I’m willing to give them a fair shake if they’re willing to surprise me. I’ll buy Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals either way, I imagine, even though it essentially butchers one of my most cherished childhood memories.

  • Joanna

    So how about licensing out Saga 2 and the DS Chocobo games if you don’t plan to publish them here, Squareenix? Still want to see those. (Wouldn’t mind Blood of Bahamut, even though others have said it’s a bit of a train wreak. I tend to be easy to please, I guess. xD)

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