A unique part of PlayStation and Square Enix history is now a little more accessible to players outside Japan. An English-language fan translation of Racing Lagoon, an obscure, Japan-exclusive “Racing RPG” has just been completed by translator Hilltop. They previously completed a fan translation of Dr. Slump, another PS1-era game exclusive to Japan. Hilltop first released a partial fan translation patch for Racing Lagoon in June 2021. After building a team, the work to complete the full patch took about five more months.
Check out a trailer for the fully-localized edition of Racing Lagoon below.
Originally developed and released in 1999 by Squaresoft (before its merger with Enix), Racing Lagoon blended elements of JRPG-style storytelling with racing games. The story takes place in the city of Yokohama and centers on nighttime street racing in the metropolis. Ten years prior to the game, a street racing event took place, pitting Team Bay Lagoon Racing against Night Racers Honmuku. Sho Akasaki, a newly joined member of Bay Lagoon, is determined to find out the secrets behind that event. Known as “The Fastest Legend,” it may hold clues to his own forgotten past.
Racing Lagoon featured car customization, and two gameplay modes: High Speed Driving RPG and Two Warriors Battle. The RPG mode involved players driving around the city, taking missions and flashing their headlights at other cars to initiate races. Battle mode was a standard two-player local versus mode.
Racing Lagoon never made it out of Japan, in part due to middling commercial and critical reception. In 2014 the mobile game Spirit Yankee Soul added a Racing Lagoon themed event. However, over the years it has become something of a cult hit, with players appreciating its jazz/techno fusion soundtrack and unique elements. The fan translation patch should enable more players without Japanese proficiency to discover those elements for themselves.
Racing Lagoon released on the PlayStation 1, but it is not officially available outside Japan.