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MLBPA Baseball (SNES)

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Title Screen

MLBPA Baseball

Also known as: Fighting Baseball (JP)
Developers: High Score Productions, Visual Concepts
Publishers: EA Sports (US), Coconuts Japan (JP)
Platform: SNES
Released in JP: August 11, 1995
Released in US: March 1994

TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Like its Genesis cousin, MLBPA Baseball is baseball with all the pro baseball players*, but none of the teams.

* "All the pro baseball players" offer void in Japan.

Regional Differences

Player Roster

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Specifically: Is there any way that the remaining teams' player names can be automatically extracted from both ROMs for documentation? I couldn't figure out the encoding after several hours of looking; it's not the same as the rest of the menu text, so there's either compression or some other kind of trickery going on.

In addition to the obvious language differences, the Japanese localization, Fighting Baseball, differs from the original US version in one very significant way: it lacks licensing from the players' union that gave the original version its name.

Rather than removing the player names entirely, however, the Japanese localizers took the much more interesting approach of inventing an entirely original roster. Most of the new names appear to have been loosely derived from the names of real athletes (not just baseball, but also hockey and possibly other sports as well), but have been mangled by combining surnames with completely unrelated forenames and arbitrarily changing letters in both.

For just one example, here's how Atlanta's roster compares between the two versions:

To do:
Player statistics also appear to be slightly different; for instance, Blauser bats .305, but his counterpart Every bats .306. These should be documented as well.
Position US Japan
C Damon Berryhill Derrick Powell
1B Fred McGriff Mark Smoth
2B Mark Lemke Sammy Nereker
3B Terry Pendleton Sleve McDichael
SS Jeff Blauser Jose Every
LF Ron Gant Ryne Smith
CF Otis Nixon Dwight Blavine
RF Dave Justice Sleve Redrosian
P Greg Maddux Pat Durke
1B Sid Bream Rick Rtanton
1B F. Cabrera Steve Glauser
1B Brian Hunter Eric Sant
2B Rafael Belliard Rey McSriff
3B Bill Pecota Karl Dandleton
CF Deion Sanders Willie Dustice
C Greg Olson Glenallen Mixon
P Tom Glavine Mike Leese
P Steve Avery Jose Bitrangelo
P John Smoltz Frank Kassels
P Pete Smith Mike Zanssens
P Greg McMichael Randy Brury
P Steve Bedrosian Jose Phibirev
P Jay Howell Shown Furcotte
P Kent Mercker Bob Teropp
P Mike Stanton Dan Naddux

(Source: @lrgmnn on Twitter)

League/Team Names

Although the lack of team licensing prevents MLBPA Baseball from referring to the MLB's American and National Leagues by their full names, it still identifies them in abbreviated form as the "A" and "N" league. This distinction also extends to cities with teams in both leagues; for instance, the Yankees become "New York A" and the Mets "New York N".

The Japanese version, however, seems to have just chosen letters at random for this distinction:

US Japan
A League F League
N League E League
Chicago A Chicago B
Chicago N Chicago H
New York A New York S
New York N New York C

Team Logos

To do:
Add comparisons for the less interesting logos.

Curiously, although the original US version of the game had already invented its own logos for the teams due to lack of team license, the Japanese localization completely redesigned all of the logos from scratch.

Two of the new logos are particularly noteworthy: Cleveland's logo reads "Cleveland Queens" (and, in fact, is the only logo that includes anything other than the city name or a letter suffix), while the logo for New York S is misspelled as "Now York"!

US Japan
MLBPA SNES Cleveland NYY US.png MLBPA SNES Cleveland NYY JP.png

(Source: @lrgmnn on Twitter)

Unused Content

Japanese Announcer Script

Although the pre-game announcer was removed from the Japanese version of the game, his script is still present in that version. Even more interestingly, although the script remains in English, it was slightly tweaked for the Japanese version! "Ron Barr" became "Toshi", "EA Sports" was changed to "Coco Sports", and the entire text was uppercased because the lowercase font from the US version had been replaced with a Japanese kana font.

These segments, incidentally, were probably scrapped in the Japanese version due to localization difficulties. The announcer's comments are broken up into various discrete substrings, which are concatenated with team and player names in a hard-coded order to produce the final text. This ordering would have produced sentences that were completely ungrammatical if the strings had been localized into Japanese.