Princess Maker 2 Refine is out on Steam today

Influential life sim (and problematic fave) Princess Maker 2 hits English-language PCs for the first time today. Officially, at least.

First leaked onto the internet in the mid-90s as a mostly-localized English beta, Princess Maker 2 has long circulated the web as so-called “abandonware,” although the translation team behind this version has long disavowed that label and asked players to stop pirating it. These days, most PCs can’t even run the pirated version without assistance of another program, so this official release is well-timed.

The biggest change from the “abandonware” version many will notice is that Princess Maker 2 Refine is fully voice-acted. In Japanese, at least! You’ll be relying on the (sedately old-fashioned) text to progress, and brace yourself for a screen full of stats. So many stats.

A member of the original localization team confirmed for Zam last week that this new Steam edition — text for which is also available in Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, as well as the original Japanese — is a new translation. I’ve run through both versions myself and this does seem to be the case. Unfortunately, it also seems the new translation is a bit stilted in places, with weird little errors like “2th” and referring to a limited diet as “refined.” You can judge for yourself whether that’s a fair enough trade-off to be able to own a legal copy of the game.

Princess Maker 2 Refine retails for $15.99 on Steam and runs on pretty much any Windows machine, unless you are a time traveler.