Note: This article was written by the Project Rising Beetle campaign and hosted on the oprainfall website. Any opinions expressed, if any, may not necessarily represent oprainfall.
Does the name Medabots ring a bell? Maybe you were a fan of the anime of the same name that ran on FOX Kids/ABC Family/Jetix/YTV in North and South America in the early-mid 00s? I’m about to blow many of your minds. The anime series that starred a wide eyed Ikki Tenyrou, and his stubborn hotshot of a robot pal Metabee is far from all of what the franchise has to offer. In fact, Medabots known as Medarot in Japan is a long-running series of role-playing games on Nintendo handhelds that originally started in 1997. The series is owned by Imagineer, and developed/published by their Rocket Company division. One might say the games are kind of similar in style to the Pokemon main series, in which you have a large world to traverse, train and battle in. However, the similarities really end there as the battle systems for both games are quite different. Medabots employs a relay team style battle system in which two competing teams race to the centre and launch their attacks. As such, customization is the key for constant victory. You can switch from a large variety of arms, legs, and heads providing you with different attacks, speeds, defense stances, and more. Arguably the most important part is the medal, the so-called brain of a Medabot which enables special attacks, and details which kind of parts you can equip to the skeletal tin-pet. With such a robust set of options, and engaging gameplay it’s no surprise that the series became a hit. It spawned multiple spinoffs, sequels, manga series, trading cards, toys, and of course the television anime.
While Medabots was a successful series in Japan, in the west it’s more known for the anime than the games that inspired it. As such, the only games in the franchise to receive an official English translation were ones tied to the anime series, and of those three games, only one showcased the series trademark battle system (it was Medabots: An RPG Adventure for the Gameboy Advance if you’re asking). Since the release of Medabots: Infinity in 2003 the franchise has seen the release of a wild re-imagining of the first game in the franchise with Shingata Medarot, a franchise rebirth with Medarot DS, and the game we’re currently championing, Medarot 7 for the 3DS all stay Japan-only.
This is where Project Rising Beetle comes in. We’re a fan-campaign for the localization of this highly under-rated RPG gem. Officially started in the summer of 2011 due to the success of fan campaigns such as Operation Rainfall the origins of Project Rising Beetle can be traced to a petition requesting the localization of Medarot DS in 2010. As previously mentioned, we are currently pushing for Medarot 7 which was released this past September in Japan. The game received solid review scores, and was cited as a good seller in the publisher’s financial reports. This new entry is a quasi-redo of Medarot DS as it stars the same characters as that game, just without taking the events of DS into consideration. Medarot 7 is the first entry in the franchise to go fully 3D for RPG exploration, and battles. The game also includes hundreds of parts, Wi-Fi Battles, Street Pass/Spot Pass support, and there’s even an augmented reality battle mode. This is why we at Project Rising Beetle believe it’s the perfect candidate for localization. It’s a fresh start to the franchise that’ll allow new users to easily grasp what’s going on, and thanks to some familiar faces like Ikki, Arika, Metabee, and Rokusho making cameos older fans don’t feel left out.
Project Rising Beetle is currently campaigning Natsume to release Medarot 7 in North America, and Europe. The Japanese arm of Natsume actually developed many of the early games in the franchise with the international arm handling the English localization and release of Medabots AX, Medabots: An RPG Adventure, and Medabots: Infinity. You may know Natsume as the company that brought Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, and various Lufia games to the English speaking world. Not only does Natsume have an extensive history with the franchise, the company has also shown interest in localizing Medarot 7 with Siliconera saying the publisher was gauging fan interest.
So we’re asking fans from around the world to tell Natsume that Medabots still has those who love the series deeply, and want to see this new game in English. The only way we can tell those in charge that we care is by showing support for the franchise, and telling them directly by posting in these threads/articles:
But digital responses will only get you so far. A physical letter sent via the regular old mail shows a much deeper sign of passion. So if you’d like to write your own (politely worded!) letter to Natsume check out their address here:
1818 Gilbreth Road, Suite 229
Burlingame, CA 94010
If you don’t know what to say we suggest printing out one of our sample letters. You even have the space for your own personal message. Just make sure to print it with the “Fit on Page” printer setting.
We urge all fans to post on the Siliconera article, Natsume’s Forums, Twitter account, and Facebook page. As well, don’t forget to send in those letters. This is the best way to show people care, when they’re willing to put their time behind something.
Since launch Project Rising Beetle has expanded to cover all facets of the Medarot / Medabots franchise. Keep in touch with us and the latest news on our own blog, as well as our Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Youtube pages. Don’t forget to chat with other Medabots fans on our forum.