Thanks to the increased popularity of the Internet and emulation as a source of classic gaming, recent years have seen the Japanese versions of the Phantasy Star games becoming easier to locate outside of Japan. As many fans of the series are aware, there were changes made to the games during localization that resulted in some odd or even frustrating differences between the English and Japanese releases.
The changes made to the soundtest of Phantasy Star IV are perhaps the strangest of them all. Unlike some changes, these cannot be written off as translation errors, bad grammar, or a simple misspelling. Let's look at a screenshot from the Japanese Phantasy Star IV soundtest.
As you can see, there's a gray block containing a small character and some Japanese writing. The identity of the character is unknown. Fringes of Algo reader Rob tells us the text translates as, "One song right after another. Taken individually, the characters mean, one, song, at once, and happen." This block does not appear on the English version of the game. However, we can conclude that since this graphical change was made, the gray block was intentionally left out of the English version for some reason.
Let's also consider the remainder of the soundtest. Note that all writing in the screenshot, except for that in the aforementioned gray block, is in English. Yes, that's right; the Japanese version of Phantasy Star IV contains English. Within the soundtest, one can find the English translations of character and planet names (such as "Fal," "Thray," "Motabia," etc.), as placed there by the programmers of the game. These English translations found in the soundtest were not changed for the North American release of Phantasy Star IV. All parts of the soundtest, with the exception of the gray block, are identical in both versions.