Today a full translation patch has been released for Quartett!, an adult visual “comic” released by Littlewitch in 2004. Taking place in a modern European setting, the story focuses on the formation of a classical quartet of young musicians and their interpersonal relationships while they aim for first in an upcoming competition. This patch release marks the wrap-up of 4.5 years of project work.
With artwork reminiscent of watercolor paintings, Quartett! is often described as ‘cute’ rather than an enticing feat of storytelling. Part of its appeal undoubtedly stems from its use of speech balloons instead of the usual bottom-screen text box, which together with an abundance of simple animations makes for a dynamic presentation. The game is however also renowned for its classical musical score, with the soundtrack spanning more than two hours in 47 tracks.
The Quartett! translation project, initiated by AstCd2 in mid 2006, started with some exploratory hacking and then eventually progressed to actual translation of the text. The large amount of time required to finish the translation patch is ascribed both to real-life issues and the difficulties with the advanced game engine. Some details remain untranslated, specifically some in-game menus and images.
The translation patch is designed to work with Standard Edition 1.0, which came shipped with the 2006 DVD re-release. The CD version can be upgraded to this version using an official patch from Littlewitch; instructions are available in the README file. The game is designed to work for older Windows operating systems, but appears to function in Windows 7 as well. Because Littlewitch ceased their production activities in December 2009, it has unfortunately become difficult to obtain a copy of Quartett! outside of Japan. The translation team suggests using auction sites, or buying in Japan.