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Author Topic: Comparing game localizations  (Read 62253 times)

Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #100 on: September 16, 2012, 10:28:04 pm »
This is why I'm doing my retranslation. Plus, I felt there was a lot more they could've done hacking-wise.

Ah, okay, that's cool. For some reason I thought you were working on some sort of translation of Easy Type or something based off of it, I guess not?

What I had in mind was basically just a no-frills, low-hacking thing, to try to recreate what an English speaker would've experienced if they had known Japanese and played the game when it was released in Japan. But as long as a real translation is done, that's all that really matters!

On the station thing... each 合 up a mountain trail is 10% of the way up (I believe it’s by altitude starting from the base?). So 3合目 and 7合目 are really approximations for  “1/3 of the way up” and “2/3 of the way up” if you wanted to be boring.

Ooh, that's good to know. I'll look into it more, but that makes the most sense of all! I think when I was a kid I assumed "station" referred to rest stops for some reason.

You should see the post class change scene in the J2E translation. More "bastard."

I started watching a Let's Play of it today, and already I see so many problems with the patch. I think by the time I get to the post-class change part my head will have exploded  :o

I was only know reading about Damcyan. I'm surprised you didn't bring up the FF6 character Edward/Edgar.
I'd guess the changed FF6 Edward to Edgar not only because Edgar is a much less common name in modern usage, but also so players wouldn't associate the two.

I don't understand - Edgar had his name changed? From what I can remember, he was called Edgar in the Japanese version of FFVI too, and checking Japanese Wikipedia it looks like he's called Edgar... Am I missing/misunderstanding something?

KingMike

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #101 on: September 16, 2012, 11:15:30 pm »
I notice "death" was also another word on NoA's no-no list.
The Death spell became XXXX in FF1, Fatal in FF2 and Doom in FF3. Another example is that the "death" items in Lufia became "Gloom".

As to Edgar...
I guess it is Edgar. Well, then, one piece Internet misinformation taken down by about a half hour of actually playing the SFC ROM. :-[
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 11:56:02 pm by KingMike »
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Ryusui

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #102 on: September 17, 2012, 01:33:21 am »
AAAAARGH.

So I finally got Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy today. And guess what?

Those lazy bastards used the old "one born from a dragon" translation. I'll say it again: AAAAARGH.
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Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2012, 07:44:08 am »
Oh, can you get a screenshot of that? The legend's gonna be in the very next update. (Although the next update won't be for a while so I can finish playing through the games first.)

FallenAngel2387

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #104 on: September 17, 2012, 10:45:14 am »
I started watching a Let's Play of it today, and already I see so many problems with the patch. I think by the time I get to the post-class change part my head will have exploded  :o

It was released in 2001, same year as Dejap's Tales of Phantasia, with the suggestion of a female characters aggressive intercourse habits. Did you work with them by that point? Gotta figure a lot of us were probably in our late teens/early 20's, and still immature enough to think gore, sex, and profanity were mature, and had the arrogance of knowing it all already. Especially considering these projects most likely started in the late 90's. Notice at the end of that excerpt that you quoted, that they just had to make mention of a porno mag. I could cut them some slack for their youth at the time. I mean if that translation came out like that within the last 6 years or so, there'd be no excuse, but for the time it might be forgivable.

Gideon Zhi

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2012, 11:09:20 am »
On that note, "Dirty Rag" would probably be a perfectly good translation for the pornomag item, since rag is a colloquialism for magazine. When combined with a proper item description you'd get the benefit of the literal translation with the ambiguity/punniness of a double-sided joke, one that adults would (hopefully) understand while still remaining relatively clean to kids.

Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #106 on: September 17, 2012, 12:25:11 pm »
It was released in 2001, same year as Dejap's Tales of Phantasia, with the suggestion of a female characters aggressive intercourse habits. Did you work with them by that point?

I think I started working with Dark Force on Bahamut Lagoon after the ToP patch was released, so that was definitely before my time. I seem to recall him saying that one of the ToP translators didn't really know Japanese himself but had a girlfriend who was Japanese and got her to translate some stuff and he filled in the rest with whatever. But it's been so long that I don't remember the details. I assume that's how some of the weird lines got there in ToP. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happened with the J2E FFIV patch too.

I definitely agree it was probably just an age thing - we were all still kids who thought we knew more than we really did. I actually plan to do a comparison project for some of my old projects at some point, to show what a poor fan translation (or just a poor, overly literal translation done without any context) looks like and how it compares to some poor official translations too (such as BoF2). I think it'll be interesting!

KingMike

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #107 on: September 17, 2012, 03:42:58 pm »
I recall j2e's translation including a line saying one of the girls (Rydia?) would cut off one the guy's balls if they didn't let her join them for the final dungeon.
I'd guess that was another way-over-the-top translation.

I don't know how much it was improved, but I recall the first complete version of the j2e patch was released around 1999, and the 2001 "10th anniversary" patch had a lot of polish such as expanded menus. Unsure if the dialog was changed.

Old projects...
Magna Braban?

I forgot I never did get around to inserting the credits in Time Zone. I think the issue was that the text was too long (with credits like "guy that did the stupid music" :D ). Wonder if I should try to keep that "fun" spirit, or just keep it straight ("MUSIC BY")?
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Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, on Christmas sales of the PS3:
"It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."

Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #108 on: September 17, 2012, 05:18:46 pm »
Yep, Magna Braban is one I intend to do - not because of anything you did though, but my translation/writing skills at the time were really lacking since that was like my second or third project I'd ever done. And I'd only played like half of the game.

For Time Zone, I'd just do Music Guy or Music Dweeb, something like that.

FallenAngel2387

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #109 on: September 17, 2012, 05:50:54 pm »
For the record, the patched MB rom only seemed to display correctly in ZSNES as well...

KingMike

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #110 on: September 18, 2012, 12:29:50 am »
Yeah, there's bugs I wasn't aware of when the patch when it was released in 2006. ZSNES and SNES9x were the primary emulators at the time. I didn't test it on bsnes because either it wasn't developed very far or I didn't have a PC that could get a decent speed with it. My guess is probably the latter.

Tomato, I just remembered that Magna Braban had numerous unused strings in the script.
Spoiler:
I think one removed piece of dialog was about Gina (possibly intended to be Zeena or Zena) said she wanted to kill Alex (the protagonist) as indirect-revenge because some other knight left her mom for dead.
Also, some text for an alternate church that healed status as well as saving (status recovery is automatic in the final game) as well as some sort of item-storage.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 09:35:29 am by KingMike »
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Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, on Christmas sales of the PS3:
"It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."

shadowmanwkp

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #111 on: September 19, 2012, 04:38:51 am »
Here's something interesting about FFIV I found on hg101:

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<Among cartridge based RPGs during the snes era> the leader was developer and publisher Square, but while some of their RPGs made it over many were passed up for Western release - leaving holes in several series. When Final Fantasy IV eventually reached America its translation contained errors and, according to Woolsey, it had been quickly rewritten by Square's VP and finance guy in order to make sense. It didn't sell as well as hoped

Source: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/localization/localization.htm

The second part also has an interview with Ted Woolsey on localization, but there's no real mention of FFIV there, although I could've sworn there was an article on localization of FFIV somewhere on hg101, or at the very least makes mention of it.

Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #112 on: September 19, 2012, 09:53:04 am »
Cool, that's interesting to know. I wish there was a source for that that I could reference, I seem to vaguely recall something on Lost Levels too, I'll have to look around on there too.

FallenAngel2387

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #113 on: September 19, 2012, 11:49:00 am »
"One guy, Clyde Mandelin (AKA "Tomato") who is referenced in the article at the below location on Gamasutra has done some great work"

Name dropped and complimented in one sentence by Woolsey, how does that make ya feel?  :thumbsup:

"I have (probably rightly so in some cases) been trashed over the years on some sights where fans get up in arms about changes to the game, changes in the text, etc. Would have been nice to have had the space to do a proper and complete localization of the games, items and monsters, but...that wasn't the reality. "

I'd never believe that "rightly so" part. I think it was, like I said earlier, the arrogance of youth. They somehow "knew better," despite not knowing what it was like to work on those games at the time.

" I recall one site, with some fairly vocal contributors, who were advocating translating JP using the JP grammar (Subject, object, verb). They claimed to have the most faithful translations, but when you read them they sounded as odd as you would expect (sort of a lot of Yoda speak)."

Does that remind you of something you've been toying with recently? :P

Tomato

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #114 on: September 19, 2012, 06:20:52 pm »
Whoa, I think I either forgot about that or haven't seen it yet, awesome!

I'd never believe that "rightly so" part. I think it was, like I said earlier, the arrogance of youth. They somehow "knew better," despite not knowing what it was like to work on those games at the time.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few legitimate problems:
  • "Terrible dragons" instead of "dinosaurs"
  • Shadow being called a "she" at one point due to an overlapping event with Relm
  • Setzer saying the Empire's been good for his business, which changes his character and motivation entirely

I'll be honest and say that while working on this FFIV stuff I've been tempted to maybe do an FFVI one sometime too. But then I remember how much work FFIV is turning out to be and quickly throw that idea into the closet.

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Does that remind you of something you've been toying with recently?

I'm not 100% sure what you're referring to, I have so many projects at once :P I'm guessing he was talking about the old Sky Render translation or something.

Vehek

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #115 on: September 19, 2012, 06:38:22 pm »
Here's something interesting about FFIV I found on hg101:

Source: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/localization/localization.htm

The second part also has an interview with Ted Woolsey on localization, but there's no real mention of FFIV there, although I could've sworn there was an article on localization of FFIV somewhere on hg101, or at the very least makes mention of it.
Well, the Player One Podcast interview mentioned in the article mentions that.
Transcript: http://www.playeronepodcast.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=145

Quote from: Woolsey
They had a person who spoke some English and she did her best with Final Fantasy II, which was her game. I didn't have a chance to work on that game. When I talked to the guys that that hired me, the senior VP and then the finance guy, they basically had spent some 24 hour blocks of time late into the evenings, trying to rewrite the text as best they could without ever having played the game. They found so many issues with the screen text when they started reading it, they figured they should take a shot at it.


FallenAngel2387

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #116 on: September 19, 2012, 09:06:27 pm »
Off the top of my head I can think of a few legitimate problems:
  • "Terrible dragons" instead of "dinosaurs"
  • Shadow being called a "she" at one point due to an overlapping event with Relm
  • Setzer saying the Empire's been good for his business, which changes his character and motivation entirely

Still seems kind of minor to verbally thrash someone with limited time to work on it over.


I'm not 100% sure what you're referring to, I have so many projects at once :P I'm guessing he was talking about the old Sky Render translation or something.

Coherency aside, I was actually thinking how it reflected the goal and outcome of the FFIV re-translation.

KingMike

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #117 on: September 19, 2012, 09:47:05 pm »
Whoa, I think I either forgot about that or haven't seen it yet, awesome!

Off the top of my head I can think of a few legitimate problems:
  • "Terrible dragons" instead of "dinosaurs"
  • Shadow being called a "she" at one point due to an overlapping event with Relm
  • Setzer saying the Empire's been good for his business, which changes his character and motivation entirely

I'll be honest and say that while working on this FFIV stuff I've been tempted to maybe do an FFVI one sometime too. But then I remember how much work FFIV is turning out to be and quickly throw that idea into the closet.

I'm not 100% sure what you're referring to, I have so many projects at once :P I'm guessing he was talking about the old Sky Render translation or something.

I recall reading awhile ago on RPGamer, an interview where Tom Slattery (who did the GBA version) explained the Setzer line and how it was supposedly pretty easy to misinterpret.
Here it is.
(though he doesn't explain why the dialog in Celes' scene wasn't changed, so the scene looks awkward after it was censored)

Speaking of the Mt. Ordeals segment...
From what I recall, the fight against the Dark Knight is supposed to be an unloseable fight (the game continues if Paladin Cecil dies). But I remember playing FFII once, and like usual, I bought the paladin equipment before coming to Mt. Ordeals. And I recall that I equipped the Paladin shield using the item menu, and then got a game over when Paladin Cecil died in the fight.
A bug? And probably in the other versions?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:46:46 pm by KingMike »
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Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, on Christmas sales of the PS3:
"It's a little fortuitous that the Wii is running out of hardware."

shadowmanwkp

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #118 on: September 20, 2012, 02:45:04 am »
Cool, that's interesting to know. I wish there was a source for that that I could reference, I seem to vaguely recall something on Lost Levels too, I'll have to look around on there too.

Asketh and thy shalst recieve:

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Chris: So what was Square's localization process like before you got there?

Ted: They really didn't have one. They had a person who spoke some English and she did her best with Final Fantasy II, which was her game. I didn't have a chance to work on that game. When I talked to the guys that that hired me, the senior VP and then the finance guy, they basically had spent some 24 hour blocks of time late into the evenings, trying to rewrite the text as best they could without ever having played the game. They found so many issues with the screen text when they started reading it, they figured they should take a shot at it. So it was a mess. I think that's why Sakaguchi-san and others said, "Hey we need to try to fix this." I was brought on board and it turned out I got to do an awful lot of things. But certainly the main focus for me was to look at the manuals and the screen text and translate those things.

Greg: Just to clarify for people, did you do anything with Final Fantasy II or was that mostly done by the time you got there?

Ted: That was all done, in fact at the time there was about a two or three-month manufacturing process to have all the ROMs created. They were being manufactured and the manual was all done, there were some spectacular boo-boo's in the manual. One of the descriptions for a magic effect was "blows wizard."

Greg: [laughter]

Ted: As opposed to be "blows blizzard," which it should've been, or something like that. So there was little things along the way. Because the Super NES was launching and they wanted to accelerate that, Nintendo said "OK, let's just get this thing through." Once you get one of these games through it's pretty hard go back and start massaging the screen text and other parts of it because things just break so easily.

Podcast: http://playerone.libsyn.com/webpage/02_12_07_episode_16_lost_in_translation I haven't listened to it, but according to the forum post, the interview starts at 43:30
Transcript: http://www.playeronepodcast.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=145


Edit: I found more interesting things in the transcript:
Quote
Greg: So going back to something you said in one of your earlier answers you said that one of the scenes that you liked in Final Fantasy III had to do with suicide, but you couldn't translate it as such. There has been a lot of venom on the Internet about things like this fellow named Holy being changed to Pearl and that sort of thing.

Ted: Yes.

Greg: What was the reasoning behind all that?

Ted: Well there definitely was a sheet that was distributed by Nintendo that as a licensee there were certain things you absolutely could not put in games, you could not say in games. Religious terminology was definitely one thing, as were iconographic things that were sometimes built into these games that had to be removed before they were shipped to North America. I think a lot of people haven't really even seen the difference in some of the games that were shipped here.

But so, I can't remember specifically why I changed that to Pearl. It actually could have been a boo-boo on my part. But at any rate, you'd be going through so many hundreds and hundreds of items and magic spells and things that had to be translated. They had to be brought down to I think it was...some of them...it depends on the format that the text was presented to me. I could either have five characters, I could have seven characters or I think in some cases I could have maybe nine. But it depended on how they were encoded into the story.

I mean, Holy and Pearl, obviously there wouldn't be an issue there. I think that was obviously just the word Holy and just trying to avoid being dinged by Nintendo. Any time you submitted a game to Nintendo you had to take the entire screen text, which for Final Fantasy was 50 or 60 hours of having one of your testers do that for you. Then you had to submit the print out, the entire screen text, the ROMs and do all that stuff and give it to them and they'd spend time going through it. If you had something like that, that stopped the submission you were in trouble. It was very expensive and you could miss your deadline to ship.

A lot of companies just decided to err on the safe side, which is probably unfortunate but just to strip out as much as they could in advance just to reduce the time to market.

Chris: One of the other things that I've read on the Internet is people spewing venom about character names (like Crono without the 'h'). I was just wondering if that was just because the Super Nintendo couldn't fit it in there or was there any other reason why some character names were changed?

Ted: Part of it I think was just trying to get the squeezing and squeezing space. It's one of those things where you translate a bunch of stuff and then you're told that you're at 125% capacity and you go back in and you start shortening everything. I didn't think much about it. In some cases I would just go through and I would just run through sheet after sheet after sheet trying to squeeze stuff down to get things in. I'd give it back to the engineers and they would compile it. Then I'd be 104% over and they'd give it back to me. I'd go back again and squeeze and cut and shape and finally would go in and it was like, my god, it's finally in there. That was when we'd try to do some final polishing on it.

But, yeah, there was the opportunity to move sideways from the original text by doing all these different rewrites and shortening exercises that we were forced to do.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 02:52:15 am by shadowmanwkp »

SargeSmash

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Re: Comparing game localizations
« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2012, 10:58:29 am »
Thy...  shalst?
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36