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The N64 Strategy RPG That Never Made It To The U.S.

From the cult classic "Mother 3" never releasing in the U.S., to the massively successful "Dragon Quest 10" never opening any North American servers, stories of beloved Japanese video game franchises never finding their footing in the Western market aren't exactly uncommon. Even the JRPG titan "Final Fantasy" had issues with the North American release of its sixth installment because, at the time, several numbered "Final Fantasy" titles had never been localized to English (via The Verge).

These missing installments are sometimes rectified many years after release — as was the case with those "Final Fantasy" games — while others remain unlocalized despite continued success or fans' pleas. One such long-running franchise is the "Super Robot Wars" series, a line of tactical role-playing games that found its start on the original Game Boy in 1991 (per the official Super Robot website). Despite 30 years of regular releases, the series has only ever launched a handful of titles for English audiences. The vast majority of its games remain unlocalized — including the franchise's only entry for the Nintendo 64: "Super Robot Wars 64."

The biggest tribute to Mecha players probably never saw

"Super Robot Wars" — known as "Super Robot Taisen" in Japan — can be summarized as a super multi-franchise crossover game in the same vein as "Kingdom Hearts" or "Super Smash Bros." Each installment has an ever-growing list of featured anime or video game series that have made some significant contribution to the Mecha genre. USGamer described 2019's "Super Robot Wars T," saying, "it's an extremely faithful tribute to the history of the giant robot genre, beautifully remixing everything from 'Mobile Suit Gundam' to 'Voltron.'"

"Super Robot Wars 64" was released in 1999 as the 11th mainline installment of the series. It was the only Nintendo 64 entry before the franchise moved onto the original PlayStation for the remainder of that console generation. Unfortunately, the game ran into the same issues that make it difficult for any game in the "Super Robot Wars" series to be launched in North America. Due to all the cross-franchise appearances, licensing the games for non-domestic sales can get very complicated. According to EuroGamer, players will not likely see English releases of any "Super Robot Wars" game that isn't wholly owned by the publishers — aside from fan-made translations. With things as they are, it doesn't seem that this prolific series will ever make any big strides toward U.S. strategy game and mecha enthusiasts anytime soon.