Square Enix has filed for trademark of the name “Live A Live” in Australia, hinting at the possibility of reviving a long-dormant JRPG that’s never officially been released outside Japan.
As reported by Gematsu, the trademark was filed in Australia on July 2. While it’s not unusual, in the interests of brand protection, for companies to trademark titles that they have no immediate plans to do anything with, the fact that this mark has been filed in Australia—a place where Live A Live has never been available in any official capacity—is at least a little bit curious.
Live A Live originally came out for Super Famicom in 1994, and was the directorial debut of Tokita Takahashi, who would later go on to write and direct Chrono Trigger. It follows the stories of seven different protagonists, each from a different time period and setting, who find a common enemy in the time-bending villain Odio. It also marks famed composer Shimomura Yōko’s first major RPG composition, having left Capcom in 1993 to join Square.
Live A Live is one of a handful of Super Famicom games from Square that never saw a release outside of Japan, and have become cult favourites thanks to the efforts of fan translators. In recent years, Square Enix has shown a fresh interest in some of these games, with the likes of Romancing SaGa 2, and Romancing SaGa 3, and Seiken Densetsu 3 (aka Trials of Mana) all making their official Western debut in the form of re-releases for current platforms.
That being the case, Live A Live getting the same treatment wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility. The fact that a trademark for the title has been filed in Australia would certainly add weight to that possibility. If anything, the premise of Live A Live and the names attached to it might give it more mainstream appeal than something like Romancing SaGa.
Fingers crossed that this is the case, and that Square Enix keeps up with these efforts to internationally release retro games that never got that opportunity before. The Super Famicom, in particular, is a goldmine for creative, boundary-pushing JRPGs that never released beyond Japan, like Bahamut Lagoon and Treasure Hunter G, and they’re long overdue for an official international release.
Note: Japanese names in this article use the Japanese name order—that is, family name first, followed by given names.