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Author Topic: Un-Worked Designs: Working Designs minus bullshit difficulty (Latest: Lunar 2)  (Read 79714 times)

cj iwakura

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Some devs take localization very seriously, namely Suda51. He was personally involved in vetting the localizations for Silver Case and FSR.

蒼く咲く華 日は灯り 天に流れる | Kill The Past

Real_Character

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In any case, they kept doing the difficulty changes very consistently, for many years, for games licensed from many different publishers, so I doubt it was just due to their hands being contractually tied.

I doubt it was some kind of contract, but more like implicit nods. You tend to go in the direction that your employer suggests you go. Also, different publishers doesn't necessarily make a difference. I'm sure some didn't care, but the overall business trategy from Japan game companies was to disturb game rentals. It tended to not apply to sprawling RPGs and adventure games that could not be beat in a day, but only to things like Popful Mail. Although I wouldn't say that it was just western publishers being told what to do. They probably also tended to agree with the strategy for the same reasons. Look at the western games on SNES. Just as many were hard as hell to the point of not fun, such as B.O.B. No Japanese company told EA to make it that way. So, I guess another way to look at is that game rentals were seen as a threat as a whole.

As far as returning games to the store, where I was from that wasn't even allowed stating from the late 8-bit era. They gave you store credit up to a couple of days after buying it, at best. After that, the game was yours forever.

Quote
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that translates as:

The "joke" is that Ruby loves fish, see? Not very funny, I'll grant you (though it does help set up a much later scene). Here's what the line becomes in the US version:

Now, I don't know more than the absolute rudiments of Japanese, but I can certainly tell you that there's no secret hidden cultural reference in the original text that the US version is trying to convey the spirit of here. The new joke is just there to "make it funnier". Depending on your sense of humor, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but that's not the point. Regardless of whether it's "better" or not, it simply doesn't match the original dialogue by any stretch of the imagination, and I can tell you from having looked that the majority of the jokes in the US version are "made up" in this fashion.

Yes, the jokes are made up, but as you said, the original jokes are not funny (unless maybe you know the cultural references, if that applies).

I am bilingual and have had many arguments about this particular topic, about language authenticity in translations. In my view, it's impossible to translate the intent of certain things with precision, and humor is probably the worst offender. So, if it can't be done, might as well "make stuff up". I don't mind if that's done when it doesn't affect the plot and is really only minor details, as in who ate what where. Now, if they had done a total parody in, for example, Popful Mail, where she is a feminist on the hunt for male chauvinists, or something, that would be problematic. But the intent of the story in all these WD games (AFAIK) remained intact.

I would argue that if someone seeks the purest form of a foreign language media, they need to learn the foreign language and the culture for any hope of an authentic experience. Anything else will be sub par, so might as well go for the less worse. I'm not saying it's not possible to balance things out better than what has been made, either. I'm just saying it can be just as bad when going to much in the other extreme, of being "accurate" (emphasis on quotes).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 01:57:12 am by Real_Character »

GHANMI

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Yet for some reason, Nintendo of Europe, Atlus, P-Cube and Level-5 still manage to have their translations very close to the original meaning without conflicting with it, replacing it with subpar writing, or making stuff up against the intentions of the original writers. And the text still sounds natural, in-universe and fitting the mood of the scenes (considering those cutscenes were written to fit that original meaning after all).

Managing the "impossible" feat of being authentic to the original work while resisting the need to add an ass/tit joke or some contemporary meme must be impressive. The way many people would like us to believe, the translation would collapse to Breath of Fire 2 quality without those cringy memes holding it together. I just wonder how come European translations of Japanese games not using English as proxy, or  even professional English translations of Japanese novels and movies can be done without those oh-so-essential showcases of the English editor's idea of "comedy" whether it fits or not. Maybe the key word here is "professional"?

And for "localisation" being about "tailoring the games for foreign audiences" and "expanding the audience", I fail to see how this "translated" rendition (if it can be called a translation at all, considering the original line is completely different, aside from the word "book") does anything to expand this game's audience. The original game was innocent enough and family friendly, what exactly warrants this change?

Spoiler:

WD editors could have developed their own game and inject it with all their wit and writing and earning the creative position of the "game writer", like Ted Woolsey did, instead of hijacking other more coveted products and even putting their names before those of the actual developers.

@Supper:

Already found some of the Lunar text (ASCII) but having the tools shared with all the pointer work done would be really nice. There's some "fixes" to both SNES and GBA versions of Final Fantasy 4/6, even for stuff that's accurate and not even things that would fit the idea of "fixing a bad translation". But the Lunar games would be far more worthy of one such fix.

Supper

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^--- What GHANMI said, pretty much. My main point here is that the rewritten script might be subjectively "better" or "worse" than the original, depending on your tastes, but it's just that -- rewritten. It's not presenting the Japanese more effectively, it's making up something new. And do see Vic's insane defense of the changes, as quoted above (from a Gaijinworks thread about these very hacks, I might add).

@Supper:

Already found some of the Lunar text (ASCII) but having the tools shared with all the pointer work done would be really nice. There's some "fixes" to both SNES and GBA versions of Final Fantasy 4/6, even for stuff that's accurate and not even things that would fit the idea of "fixing a bad translation". But the Lunar games would be far more worthy of one such fix.

Sure, here you go: http://www.mediafire.com/file/1r1p63ac5v63sdv/leb_scriptutil.zip (C++ source only, should build on anything without too much effort)

See the readme for full info and warnings, but these are very simple command-line utilities designed for doing in-place text replacement. They don't parse or recompile the scripts, just heuristically find dialogue and copy it back in. However, the dialogue detection rate is 100% or very close, and there are very few misdetections, so they should be good enough for simple changes.

Incidentally, if anyone's ever interested in doing a full retranslation, I'd be happy to look into making a proper tool for fully de/recompiling the scripts to allow for more effective editing.

Midna

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Nintendo of Europe

Just dropping in to say that Nintendo of Europe gave us by far the more stilted, less memorable translation of Splatoon while claiming that Panel de Pon was a Yoshi game. Fuck that noise.

KingMike

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As far as returning games to the store, where I was from that wasn't even allowed stating from the late 8-bit era. They gave you store credit up to a couple of days after buying it, at best. After that, the game was yours forever.
I'd imagine that was abusable. From what I had read of stores' return policies on receipts as a kid (yes, I was a bored kid) certain items such as games were only returnable if defective, and then only for replacement.
Return a used game as "defective" to get a new copy and then return the new copy.
Although I'm sure stores have gotten wise to that, such as I think Target does track returns.

B.O.B. was a western game, but maybe that was implied by "No Japanese company".
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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."

noneother

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About Alundra. I read that one of the miners was named Jaylen supposedly in reference to Jay Leno (the char's portrait somewhat looks like him), which falls in line with what WD is known for.

That hardly counts as "butchering", though. You might not even notice if you weren't paying attention, and it can still make sense within the game world, so I'm fine with that. What really bothers are jokes that depend on naming thing and places that don't exist within the game world; from memory, the first two Lunar games refer to Bill Clinton and Rush Limbaugh by name (within a comment about listening to him on the radio, when there's clearly no radio in Lunar), which, seriously... fuck that dumb shit.

Dynamic Designs, the fan translation group, takes it much further than WD ever did, stuffing tons of references to and outright rants about American politics in Shell Monsters Story, for example, in the most jarring way.
Or there was Nightwolve & Deuce's infamous line in the Xak 3 translation, where a NPC asks you if you're a republican (and tells you to stop playing the game if you're a "libtard" or however they put it). Real classy, guys.

Midna

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Well, the founder(s?) of Dynamic Designs do list WD as being one of their favorite localization groups (it's where half of their name comes from), so it wouldn't surprise me.

(The WD take on Lunar name-drops Bob Vila too.)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 06:53:33 pm by Midna »

travel27

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Dynamic Designs, the fan translation group, takes it much further than WD ever did, stuffing tons of references to and outright rants about American politics in Shell Monsters Story, for example, in the most jarring way.
Or there was Nightwolve & Deuce's infamous line in the Xak 3 translation, where a NPC asks you if you're a republican (and tells you to stop playing the game if you're a "libtard" or however they put it). Real classy, guys.

Is it too much to ask to just be thankful for their efforts?  Lame jokes or not, you would not be playing AND understanding without them...

noneother

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Is it too much to ask to just be thankful for their efforts?  Lame jokes or not, you would not be playing AND understanding without them...
I've pretty much decided not to play their translations anymore if WildBill was involved with it in any way, so no, not thankful. I genuinely feel that he ruined Shell Monsters Story, and hurt FEDA as well, which is unfortunate as it's actually a good game. And we're not talking about "lame jokes", though he likes those (and awful speech patterns), but angry, incredibly out-of-place rants about Obamacare, the ACLU, Muslims or whatever nonsense he's riled up about at that point in time.
Dynamic Designs releasing a patch for a game also means another group is far less likely to do so, so in the end theirs will be the only one out there, and they have so much disdain for anyone who isn't on board with their politics that they feel everyone should love to read about their opinion in a 90s Japanese RPG.

Midna

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Out of curiosity, what are some examples of the rants you're upset about?

noneother

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Out of curiosity, what are some examples of the rants you're upset about?

I didn't write them down, but off the top of my head I remember one in FEDA early on where you get into a village and a NPC says it is neutral in the ongoing war. One of your character goes into this long, grandiloquent rant about how "neutrality is cowardice" and bla bla bla which is out of character and, of course, wasn't in the original game or earlier versions of the patch, and makes no sense at all considering at this point you're on the run from your own army after getting framed, so you're not exactly taking sides any more. This was WildBill, still mad at France for not joining up the Iraq War (remember Freedom Fries, etc.)

I only briefly played the Snes Record of Lodoss War because I hated the gameplay but the treasure hunters you encounter early on are framed as "looters" and your character scolds a child for living in that immoral way, etc. etc. Didn't care too much about that one because the game wasn't much good.

In Shell Monsters Story... man, too many to narrow it down. There's stuff about Obamacare, about "useful idiots" at the ACLU, a weird tangent about primitive alien civilizations that can only destroy that sounds as if it's alluding to Islam in general (I don't recall the wording but it's very, very similar to the language used in anti-Muslim rants and doesn't really fit in the game at that point since you know very little about the enemy), and random stuff about liberals. I'm pretty sure there's at least 7-8 outright speeches or allusions in that game alone, which is beating a dead horse if I've ever seen it.

And that's just stuff I've seen or remember years later. There's plenty releases of theirs I didn't play, and I chose AGTP's Mystic Ark for obvious reasons.

Spinner 8

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I didn't write them down, but off the top of my head I remember one in FEDA early on where you get into a village and a NPC says it is neutral in the ongoing war. One of your character goes into this long, grandiloquent rant about how "neutrality is cowardice" and bla bla bla which is out of character and, of course, wasn't in the original game or earlier versions of the patch, and makes no sense at all considering at this point you're on the run from your own army after getting framed, so you're not exactly taking sides any more. This was WildBill, still mad at France for not joining up the Iraq War (remember Freedom Fries, etc.)

I only briefly played the Snes Record of Lodoss War because I hated the gameplay but the treasure hunters you encounter early on are framed as "looters" and your character scolds a child for living in that immoral way, etc. etc. Didn't care too much about that one because the game wasn't much good.

In Shell Monsters Story... man, too many to narrow it down. There's stuff about Obamacare, about "useful idiots" at the ACLU, a weird tangent about primitive alien civilizations that can only destroy that sounds as if it's alluding to Islam in general (I don't recall the wording but it's very, very similar to the language used in anti-Muslim rants and doesn't really fit in the game at that point since you know very little about the enemy), and random stuff about liberals. I'm pretty sure there's at least 7-8 outright speeches or allusions in that game alone, which is beating a dead horse if I've ever seen it.

And that's just stuff I've seen or remember years later. There's plenty releases of theirs I didn't play, and I chose AGTP's Mystic Ark for obvious reasons.

Ohhhhhh my god I had no idea about any of this! I knew about the plot change to Phantasy Star Gaiden of course, but... Obamacare?!

Is it bad that this just makes me want to play them more? (And maybe rehack them?) :)

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Now I'm very concerned about the quality of the Sailor Moon translation that Dynamic-Designs released this year, Floating Panic. Maybe I should get back to playing it to see if there are any off-kilter jokes in it.
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Midna

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In a way, I'm reminded of the former head admin on the Silent Hill Wiki and a few others who went completely batshit, came to the conclusion that everything in every game with the least amount of symbolism was veiled criticism of circumcision (or as he constantly put it, "genital mutilation"), and went about inserting this into nearly every article on every site he adminned for in some lunatic attempt to make us clueless sheep wake up. It got to the point where he was posting pages-long rants about the supposed negative side effects of circumcision on tangentially related articles. (He was also a 9/11 truther, because why not?) That was a ride.

Now I'm very concerned about the quality of the Sailor Moon translation that Dynamic-Designs released this year, Floating Panic. Maybe I should get back to playing it to see if there are any off-kilter jokes in it.

He wasn't involved with that one, so I'd assume not. All of those fan translations with unneeded lunatic far-right rants have him in common.

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If anyone else got interested in his work as much as I am now, here's the link to his profile: http://www.romhacking.net/community/1641/

He usually seems to be credited as "English Story Writer"... What exactly is that?

In those Dynamic-Designs translations there usually are a few translators and then an "English Story Writer". It almost sounds like they just have someone in charge of adding crap after the translations are finished...
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Midna

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Presumably they mean someone who's in charge of rewriting the directly translated script to sound more natural in English. As in, to make it flow better, not to add unrelated political rants the writers never intended.

Piotyr

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In my opinion a localization should take the spirit of a joke and find the English equivalent, not rewrite their own joke in its place. I find it very hard to believe they had a hard time translating a joke about liking fish so they just said "screw it, fart jokes!".
I am very vocal about disliking loose translations, I know straight uber faithful translations are usually dry and stilted but I would rather have that than a working designs translation now a days. Not every translation needs to be "Jazzed up", sometimes I want a vanilla fantasy rpg rather than something akin to Deathspank (Note Deathspank is a terrible "Comedy" diablo clone for various consoles if you didn't know).

GHANMI

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And do see Vic's insane defense of the changes, as quoted above (from a Gaijinworks thread about these very hacks, I might add).

Have you been already noticed by senpai...?

It's funny how much hate torrent is coming your way from there about being a purist weaboo not understanding the unreachable secrets of the localisation craft, despite the patches still not including translation changes, or Vic Ireland himself admitting that Exile 2 and Lunar 2's balance changes were indeed a mistake, among other similar less direct comments explaining why they had to do these changes, not that they were good or improvements in any way (about Silhouette Mirage, Popful Mail, and other games).

It's really weird how some people feel it's acceptable to tell someone his romhacking work isn't needed, that s/he's and idiot and he should better stop that and work on something else instead, but only when it comes to restorations of missing/mangled content in regional conversions (horse rectum texture mods have more respect by comparison). As if the mere existence of the choice or the option for a bullshit-free translation (bullshit definition being subjective) is a problem.

Just dropping in to say that Nintendo of Europe gave us by far the more stilted, less memorable translation of Splatoon while claiming that Panel de Pon was a Yoshi game. Fuck that noise.

While having the superior English versions of Xenoblade (compared to the sequel done by NoA/8-4) and 3DS Zelda games. In their version of Tomodachi Collection, they didn't cut the too-Japanese minigames the NoA version did, but had both the original and the American replacement. And Rhythm Heaven Wii even had dual audio (and from data-mining, NoE apparently even started their own translation for the Manzai game).

And that's just for the English translations. When it comes to the French / Spanish translations, it's not even a contest - their NoA French versions for Phantom Hourglass and Super Mario Galaxy (2007) were so bad and meme infested that there was a big popular uproar (and even comments by politicians) about it in the Quebec about bastardizing and degrading the French language. The offending parts were comparable in quality to how the "rednecks" spoke in Lunar.
The NoE translations are done directly from Japanese (until recently, like with FE:Fates sadly enough where NoA tried to have more control of the release's content in both regions so most languages were done from English instead), and it helps preserving puns and stuff often omitted from the US versions (like for example Paper Mario 2, which is uncensored in Spanish).

Ohhhhhh my god I had no idea about any of this! I knew about the plot change to Phantasy Star Gaiden of course, but... Obamacare?!

Is it bad that this just makes me want to play them more? (And maybe rehack them?) :)

FEDA really could use another hacking job. Even from a technical standpoint, it's buggy, unfinished and horrendous with text obviously shortened to compromise. But I fear the "localization additions" had more priority than the jist of the message when it came to which parts of the text got to stay.
Injecting pushy personal political opinions on the public seems like the icing on the top. It's sad that striving for imitating "professional" translations comes with injecting soap-boxing as subtle as the likes of Bill Clinton references in Lunar and a lecture about the ills of fat shaming in Fire Emblem Fates, instead of the best available stuff when it comes to localisations.

The ways of J2ME and DeJap should be something to get over, not perpetrate as some ideal of how localisations should be like. I feel a better compromise is to have a new category of game romhacks replacing scripts with abridged dubs - if you want to do it so badly, might as well go all the way instead of ending with a hybrid reject representing neither the original work nor how a Samurai Pizza Cats dub of it would sound like (I think there's an actual SPC game here with two translations, the accurate one and the heavily rewritten one).

I think the German translator for Nintendo in the nineties (famous for his WD-like antics, except it cost him public outcry and eventually his job) mentioned he thought of tons of sexual jokes while translating Secret of Evermore, but had some spare time after finishing the project, so he made a completely separate prototype cartridge with the alternate profane script and kept it in his home. And some japanese game even had an alternate "omake" voiceover and script with the team and actors going batshit insane with the jokes (apparently that game got an US release and got that repurposed as a dual audio JP/EN feature). Why not that?

In a way, I'm reminded of the former head admin on the Silent Hill Wiki and a few others who went completely batshit,

That made my day  :laugh:

Midna

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You can feel how you want about NoE, but I will never forgive them for basically erasing the existence of a series that is already nearly dead and needs a hell of a lot more love than it's getting (from any party). I guess you could say Nintendo only pays it Lip service these days... no? Ehh, never mind.