To commemorate the 10th anniversary day of visual novel company Key, Non-Directional Translations yesterday released their final translation patch for Kanon. While a complete translation patch was already released a month ago, this patch fixes the bugs and typos that were reported in previous releases and should be the final version, barring any extreme problems.
Kanon is a romantic visual novel wherein the reader takes the role of Yuuichi Aizawa, a Japanese high-school student, as he moves north to live with the aunt he used to spend the winter holidays with. From this low-key beginning, the plot branches into a number of alternative paths, each of which uses the school romance framework to explore the work’s themes – memories, miracles, and the everyday supernatural – from the perspective of a different character.
Kanon was the first game created by Key and was released in June 1999, ranking second in Japan’s national eroge sales charts at the time. It has since been ported, remade and reprinted a total of nine times, selling over 300,000 copies of the game in total. The game’s legacy however is much larger than an impressive number of reprints, as Kanon has officially spawned five printed novels, both in adult and all-ages editions, fifteen drama CD’s, two manga series, two TV anime series, an OVA animation, ten music CD’s and singles and large amounts of merchandise. It has also inspired a huge amount of doujin manga, computer games and musical arrangements.
The translation of the Kanon visual novel was started somewhere in 2001 or 2002 by Haeleth with intermittent partial patches released in September 2002 (10%), May 2003 (25%) and June 2004 (57%), at which point most of the game was translated and half of it was edited. At this point progress became rather invisible to the public, until in September 2006 Haeleth announced that due to moral issues he had decided to stop working on the project until such time as he could get official permission from Key to translate their game.
While many people were disappointed by this, it did not take a long time for other people to step up and continue where Haeleth left off. Non-Directional Translations restarted the project based on an internal build released by Haeleth to his beta testers, and finished translation a year after Haeleth had announced his closing of the project.
In April 2008 another beta version was leaked, this time by some member(s) of Non-Directional Translations and to the general public. NDT finally released their first teaser patch in December 2008, which was quickly followed by translation patches for each of the five story routes in the game as they were finished.
The final translation patch now released by NDT is designed to be used with the adult DVD-ROM reprint of the game: Kanon Standard Edition. Unfortunately it will not work with the original CD version of the game, which used the AVG32 engine as opposed to the modern RealLive. The patch is reported to be compatible with Kanon Standard Edition for All Ages, but no support will be provided for this version. The patch does however have the ability to turn the adult Standard Edition into an all-ages version.