how to play life is strange with the japanese dlc on linux

at this point in time, 2020-07-10, it is possible to play life is strange with japanese audio and subtitles outside japan even on linux, if the user makes certain changes to the games files. i did not play long enough to check that this leads to a reliable game experience, but it works in the menu and the beginning.

all commands are to be executed on a terminal. the steps are as follows

step 1: install wine steam

  • the dlc is only installable on windows. but we can use wine
  • close any currently running steam client
  • go to the steam homepage and download the windows installer
  • run winecfg, and in the dropdown for the os version, select windows 10 or 8, save and close. steam cant be installed on some older windows versions
  • install steam in the wine environment by running wine SteamSetup.exe and following all steps
  • then close steam

step 2: add the dlc

  • the language pack dlc store page is region locked, but a steam install url works. usually, steam reacts to install links when clicking them in the browser but we want to use the wine installed steam specifically
  • run wine "$HOME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Steam/Steam.exe" steam://install/425570
  • a dialog should open, asking you to install the game, accept and continue. this should not only start installing the game but also add the language pack dlc to your account
  • to verify that the dlc has been added to your account check https://store.steampowered.com/account/licenses/
  • let the game installation finish and close steam

step 3: copy the files

  • you could play the game via wine, but this would probably have worse performance compared to the native version, especially if used without dxvk
  • copying the language files from the wine installation to the linux installation just works - but there are many files at various places and the linux files of the game are all lowercase
  • to solve this, you can use the ruby script shown below by creating a new file in your home directory, for example with nano copy-lis-jpn.rb, and inserting the script text
  • you will need the ruby interpreter (a long standing popular language suited to the task, incidentally from a japanese author). you can uninstall it afterwards if you dont want to keep it
  • maybe check that the two paths under # config exist on your system
  • run the script with ruby copy-lis-jpn.rb
  • the script checks if files are already copied, and if not, copies and lowercases them. if all files are ready, the script says "done"
  • that should be it. the dlc isnt listed in linux steam, but in-game, in the language settings, you should now be able to select the new audio and subtitle language
  • if everything works, you may uninstall the game in wine steam to free the disk space


# config
source = "#{Dir.home}/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Steam"
dest = "#{Dir.home}/.local/share/Steam"
# end config

require "fileutils"
# add the rest of the path prefix that is always the same
source = "#{source}/steamapps/common/Life Is Strange/LifeIsStrangeGame"
dest = "#{dest}/steamapps/common/Life Is Strange/share/data/lifeisstrangegame"
# get all source paths
paths = Dir.glob("#{source}/**/*JPN*")
# copy paths
paths.each {|a|
  # get the full destination path
  b = dest + a.gsub(source, "").downcase
  unless File.exist? b
    FileUtils.mkdir_p File.dirname b
    FileUtils.cp a, b
puts "done"