Xenosaga: Pied Piper is a bit of a white whale piece of "lost" media for us outside of Japan. I'm a huge fan of Xenosaga and a huge fan of lost media searches, so I figured I'd begin a thread to compile information regarding the search for Pied Piper.
What we know:
What we know:
- Pied Piper was released for Vodafone devices in July 2004 in Japan and i-Mode devices in July 2006 in Japan
- Available on Vodafone Models: SH53 / V601SH / V602SH / V601T
- From what I can tell the Softbank Vodafone store uses a subscription based model, this might be a dead end on this version
- Here's a link to its Softbank store entry
- There are also fewer working emulation frameworks for Vodafone from what I can tell
- However, it still looks like it is available for purchase for now I will need to verify but I read that this service will be going offline in November 2021
- Available on all 900 model DoCoMo i-mode compatible phones
- Games of this era on i-mode devices were coded in DoJa, an old Java variant. There are some emulators available for this with shaky accuracy but an active community working on them.
- i-mode games can also be ripped and when they are they are packaged in very neat .jar files and .jam files that aren't too tricky to pull apart.
- If we find the .jar for Pied Piper, we find its assets, etc. which could possibly be used for English language conversions and restoration projects
- There are some other active projects that mirror this one. See This one regarding FF7 Before Crisis. We can follow a lot of their leads and they seem to be looking for a Japanese DoCoMo Phone from around the time of release. They were able to get a demo working with some cached data they found on a phone! Don't lose hope.
- I found a source that says that this service goes offline in Japan in March 2026. If someone can verify that and whether a Japanese person with one of these phones could still feasibly buy it, that would be gucci.
- To that end I have found this store front from DoCoMo says it has i-mode games. I tried to browse it on my phone with the QR code and was able to access the store front but couldn't search past that. May need a VPN or a way to spoof a DoCoMo account to check.
- The J2ME rip on archive.org with 'PiedPiper' contains a generic Russian rat catching game, not Xenosaga... This may pop up in our search so just be aware of red herrings
- Some folks have been uploading the goods there so I do plan on keeping an eye out on Archive.org just in case...
- The key piece of information I'm interested in is: can Japanese players still play this and if so, for how long?
- I see Japanese people on Twitter mention it as soon as 2019. The Youtube playthrough is from 2017. The poster of that playthrough appears to be using a Vodafone but I commented hoping to get some information (they replied to someone 1 week ago).
- Has any version of this been ripped online anywhere? I think the answer is no. But there is a lively scene in Japan for their own emulation/restoration projects. It may be worth it to check their scene, on services like Perfect Dark (especially since Perfect Dark as a service is contemporary with Pied Piper as a game) and others