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Scientific Historical Research:
Two Failed Promises and Five Widespread Delusions in iQue's History

Published January 30th, 2013; Author: MetalManiac
Translation by iQueBrew
"Here comes another scientific thread!"

 Hi everyone! I'm back to dig up more skeletons from iQue's closet. After the recent analysis and research, I summarized iQue's two major failed promises in the past decade, and five past stories of widespread delusion, originated from false news and ended up in great disappointment.

 Now, I'm gonna give everyone a good talk about it.

 Trolls and flame replies from people with zero knowledge on iQue are not welcome. I do not need experience points from your replies.

When iQue was first founded, it was self-regarded as low profile. However, compared to iQue now, iQue was in its highest profile of all time.

 It was a time when the company frequently did interviews with the mainstream media, had lots of advertisements, and opened up special columns in various game magazines, and even benefited the players with official guide books. Nowadays? The official website is already low profile enough, much less noticable than from that time, and even I do not know who the current president of iQue is.

 The who iQue company has no spokesperson, and the only staff with names are Mii modles like Xiaobeibei (小贝贝). They are really selling video game consoles in a covert manner.

 Since iQue was once high profile, then iQue must have boasted and made great promises, but had to eat their own words due to factors like censorship in the peculiar Chinese video game market. In conclusion, there are a total of two major failed promises with great effects.

 These two failed promises directly caused iQue to not dare announce anything premature, and they now only disclose information close to the time of release, so as to avoid ruining their own credibility from having to eat their own words again after disclosing information.

The First Failed Promise--The Unreleased Legend of Zelda

 Anyone with some common knowledge in the field video game would know that Ocarina of Time was the first video game in history to recieve full score reviews from both Famitsu and IGN, and the Nintendo 64 sequel, Majora's Mask was also a gave of high reviews and reputation. This game has so many unofficial Chinese names (姆吉拉的假面, 马祖拉的面具, 穆修拉的面具, etc) that players even have a hard time when finding a guide.

 In 2003, the iQue Player (the official Nintendo 64 console in China) was released with five launch titles: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Dr. Mario 64, and Wave Race. These five games covered five different genres, catering to the taste of all kinds of gamers.
 The second wave of planned releases were printed on the bottom of the iQue Player package, so as to promote their product.

 Among them was Majora's Mask, which iQue translated as "魔力面具" (The Magic Mask).
 However, Majora's Mask did not release even after the end of the iQue Player lifespan.
 I ask iQue's customer service on the matter, and here was their reply:

 Dear Customer:

 Thank you very much for your interest and support for iQue!

 I am terribly sorry, but due to various factors, iQue has only released 14 iQue Player games as of now, and you can check of the detailed descriptions of the 14 games at The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is not one of them.

 Should you have any inquries or suggestions, you are welcome to contact us by phone or E-mail at any time!

 Thanks & Best Regards!

 iQue Customer Service Center
 TEL: 0512-62883599
 FAX: 0512-62882980

 It was heartbreaking to read.

 From a more selfish perspective, if iQue localization releases for The Phantom Hourglass (DS) or The Minish Cap (GBA) were cancelled, we could still play fan-translated ROMs. But, Majora's Mask still does not have a complete Chinese fan translation, and the fan translation work is still struggling to progress. It was a very difficult task. The Zelda Tieba is still recruiting translator, and I am also one of the members of the fan translation group. I hope intersted fans could help achieve the dream iQue never could.

 Every mainstream and remaster of The Legend of Zelda at present had perfect Chinese fan translations, except this game.
 Note: Majora's Mask N64 was translated a few years ago, but not without its own controversies, primarily on the use of internet slangs. The fan translation of Majora's Mask 3D was more literal to the original script.

 This huge regret ended up great disappointment towards iQue from gamers in China, and even iQue's founder, Dr. Wei Yen, took a huge hit. He become very disappointed with China's censorship and sold his iQue shares to Nintendo not long after.

The Second Failed Promise--The Vanishing of the iQue Wii

 If the Nintendo GameCube was too purely a game console to possibly release in China, then the Wii, a very wholesome product for all, should qualify for a China release by all means possible. In fact, it was not the delusion of internet users that iQue would release the Wii, but rather the fact.

 This was a snippet from iQue's Q&A in 2007, where the interviewee disclosed information about the iQue Wii, and that iQue would offer multiple demo sessions in Shanghai (just like the advertising bombardment iQue is doing now with the iQue 3DS XL).

 Underlined text: About the topic of the iQue Wii, I'm afraid that this topic is best suited for the colleagues at the marketing department. However, I can tell you that we are now under intensive preparation, and we believe it will not disappoint our customers.

 The iQue Wii games were promises made even in an official interview, but regrettably, none of them were approved for sale.

 However, there was a silver lining, as Nintendo's Hong Kong subsidiary was founded during that time. As a result, not all of iQue's work were in vane, but were rather all moved to releases on Hong Kong Wiis. Not only the game consoles, but also the official Chinese localizations of many Wii titles. The text "Chinese Localization: iQue" could be seen in the credits of all Hong Kong Wii games. Perhaps iQue found a new home by resurrecting their projects on the Hong Kong Wii.

 After these two failed promises, iQue changed from a joint venture company to a 100% Nintendo own company. In other words, Wei Yen, the founder of iQue, sold the company to Nintendo. Perhaps it was out of the disappointment from repeated failures due to censorship reasons.

 The other result of this outcome was iQue is now (technically) a full Nintendo-owned second party (which isn't really something meaningful to be honest...)

 Next, I will be talking about the iQue gamers, and the five major widespread delusions resulted from false and exaggerated rumors.

#1. The iQue Player Would Have a Huge Amount of Nintendo 64 Games in Chinese

 If we go back to old video game forums and check the threads posted in 2003-2004, we will find that the iQue Player was very popular topic. At present, most of the forum opinions on iQue are sarcasm, marginalization, or scam, but at the time, iQue was recieved with replies of almost all praises in many threads.

 The reason was that iQue released five titles for The First Wave, with three of them millionsellers(Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, and the other two were Dr. Mario 64 and Wave Race, targeted towards a more blue sea audience. 。

 The planned release of The Second Wave, Animal Crossing (Doubutsu no Mori), Yoshi's Story, F-Zero X, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Mario Kart 64 were all great masterpieces by any means.

 There were also rumors (like the "leaks" we see on social media), Super Robot Wars 64, Pokemon Stadium, GoldenEye 007 and Super Smash Bros. had all finished localization and was prepared for the third wave.

 The most widespread rumor at the time was that every 4-6 Nintendo 64 masterpieces would release after a period of time. Among them, the first wave had already released, the second was scheduled for a release, and the third only existed in rumors.


 The truth was, thanks to the god damned censorship, only Mario Kart 64 and Yoshi's Story of the second wave were released as scheduled. F-Zero X was delayed to one year later and Animal Crossing to two years later. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was "cancelled" altogether (See the first failed promise above).

 As for the rumored third wave, only Super Smash Bros. was released 2 years later, and the rest all disappeared into oblivion.

 Throughout the process, many members of the iQue community became iQue haters out of rage. To this day, they will still display their hate towards iQue for life in various game forums, as they were also victims of the policies and regulations of that time.

Conclusion: This delusion was a result of two factors: on one hand, iQue had bragged too early, and ended up stuck in the approval process and could barely accomplish their task; on the other hand, Nintendo gamers in China have been oppressed for years, so they grasped on this sliver of hope and boasted it far beyond reality, but still had to bear the suffering themselves in the end.

 In the end, the iQue Player had a library of 14 games as of now, the smallest library of all mainstream game consoles (excluding the recent release of Hong Kong and iQue 3DSes, as well as the untimely release known as the PlayStation 2 official China edition). However, among the 14 titles, over half of them are world-class masterpieces. So in general, the iQue Player was still a success.

#2. The iQue Player Would Play a Large Number of SNES Games in Chinese

 This rumor came from a post whose source is now unknown, but it got widely spreaded at the time. The post claimed that the iQue Player is an enhanced Nintendo 64, with enough processing power to become backwards compatible with the past generation. Since games were all digital downloads and cartridges, so iQue could not only release Nintendo 64 games in Chinese, but also Super Famicom games in Chinese. The rumor even made it onto Tencent News (See the picture below)

 The rumor made waves at the time, with many replying with rejoice and making a wishlist of a large number of SNES masterpieces: first-party games like Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 1,2,3, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart, various Fire Emblem games, Earthbound..., and third parties like Dragon Quest 1-6, and various Final Fantasy games...

 A lot of posts were in a delusion that these games would be localized into Chinese and released through the iQue Depot (an equivalent of today's Nintendo eShop).

 Of course, none of their dreams went into fruition in the end.

 To be fair, that lie did not come out of thin air. The iQue Player had different hardware specs from the Nintendo 64 and was not a simple Chinese edition. There was an extra SNES chip on the console, so rumors on SNES game compatibility started to spread after the console was taken apart. In truth, that chip was used for anti-piracy (Games using that chip could not be played on emulators at that time).

 There was a person who expressed a stark opposing view in game forums at the time, but he was heavily attacked by the iQue fans.

 Summary: The revenue for games in China at the time could not warrant licencing from third party games

 In truth, he was correct. However, under the widespread fanatisism at the time, such party poopers would definitely become the target of attacks.

 Conclusion: This delusion was simply a collective delusion resulted from one delusional post, as iQue has never promised that feature. From other perspective, it showed that Nintendo gamers in China had a very strong plea for more genuine games in the Chinese language.

#3. The iQue DS Would Have Tons of Games in Chinese

(Image taken by yours truly. This screen is the last level of the game)

 When iQue first released the DS, they announced the Chinese releases of Polarium and WarioWare: Touched. WarioWare made sense at it was a must release, but Polarium became a powerful weapon for many game theorists. Right, if a game with little playability, rough visuals and almost no text or popularity got a Chinese release, wouldn't that mean masterpieces are even more likely to get Chinese localizations?

 Yes, even mini games had Chinese localization, let alone masterpieces!

 A few months later, iQue released Yoshi Touch & Go, which wasn't a masterpiece to be honest. Later, the Nintendo DS was cracked and emulators were developed. After iQue continued to remain silent after the release of The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, people confirmed that official Chinese support was dead due to console hacking, ranpant piracy, and the involvement of fan translations.

  Conclusion: Piracy, emulation, and fan translations meant that iQue had lost its motivation entirely.

#4. A Large Number of New iQue GBA Release Were to Come

 This incident happened in early 2008. By then, the iQue Player had already become history, and the iQue DS was hacked not long after its launch, and the release of Chinese games were halted (the iQue DS did not recieve a second wave of games until 2009). The iQue GBA family went into the grave long before, and everyone thought there would be no new games forever, just like the iQue Player.

 However, a piece of news from TGBUS put all Nintendo gamers into a sudden state of shock. Correct, a large number of iQue games got approved by the government and were issued ISBN codes!

  This was not a delusion, but rather a real piece of news. These ISBN codes could still be found on the official website for Suzhou's domestic software catalog.
 On the list, there were games like Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Famicom Mini: Super Mario Bros., and two card games.

 Announcing so many games at once, with three of them masterpieces with a huge number of text, brought a sudden awakening to the iQue community that have almost fell into silence.

 Many reacted to this piece of news that "iQue had reawakened!" and "the hope of Chinese games is nigh!".

 But regrettably, these games were never released. On one hand, iQue could not establish the channels of supply and product, and on the other hand--and the most important factor--the GBA has been fully cracked, and these games all had very perfect fan translations. So if these games were to release, they would be quickly available as ROMs on the internet for emulators. Besides, those who really love those games have long beat the fan translations through, so theses games would have become utter flops should they be released.

 In the end, these mysterious game disappeared. For games that will certainly not sell and rather downloaded as ROMs from the internet, the best course of action to minimize losses is to halt the release.

Conclusion: Piracy, emulation, and fan translations meant that iQue had lost its motivation entirely.

#5. The iQue 3DS Would be Fully Compatible With Hong Kong Edition Games, Without a Doubt.

 (This was my prediction which proved to be true)

 At the end of October 2012, before any announcements of the iQue 3DSXL (which was announced in early November), I made a "prophecy" that the Hong Kong edition of Ocarina of Time would be playable on the iQue 3DS, but not the HK edition of Resident Evil: Revelations, and that the iQue model would at least have Mario Kart 7 preinstalled. All of them proved to be true.

 However, TGBUS has always insisted that "The iQue 3DS would be fully compatible with Hong Kong edition games, without a doubt".

 So, as we have seen, rumors spreaded for about a month that "the iQue model would be far superior compared to the HK model".

 Even after the early review post from TGBUS after release of the iQue 3DS XL, they were still publicizing the fact that Ocarina of Time plays on the iQue 3DS, but kept a secret about the fact that iQue could not play Revelations, and brushing it off in the corner in their news articles. The result was that even now, there are newbies who believe that the iQue 3DS XL plays all games released in Hong Kong.

 This errorsome and exaggerated remark led to great disappointment after launch, and was further more a huge blow towards Chinese language gamers.

 Looking back to the past 10 years of iQue, it was a history of many frustrations, and has brought gamers lots of surprises and disappointments.

 But now, the times are different. The Nintendo 3DS:
 1. Is not hacked, pirated, emulated, or fan-translatable
 2. Is region locked

 These two conditions were never present in iQue's history. So what came prior could no longer become the evidence for what will go next.

 I hope the iQue 3DS XL could have a bright future. If iQue lost this opportunity, there might not be a second chance this good to open up the Chinese market!