I didn't know about rental games being banned in Japan, though -- that's really nuts. Seems like Japanese law is way too corporate-friendly, at least when it comes to games.
Wait you seriously are not aware of this? Yeah game rentals are still illegal in Japan. Here is an article on it.
You were aware that it was a standard industry practice
for the US releases of games to be altered to be harder right? One infamous example is Battletoads, but the entire video game industry
did this at the time. If you weren't aware that might explain why you think this is a WD thing. Here is a post on NeoGAF all about it.
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).
He is getting a "hate torrent" not for the patch itself it is what he says in his opening, notes and other posts. If he was respectful to the original producer of the translation (You know the people who put their money where their mouth is and put in the work to bring the games over and do the voice acting in a time when that was a brand new thing.) no one would complain. As the old wisdom states: "Don't start none, won't be none."
So if you haven't heard the story by now, Working Designs was an American game publisher in the '90s that specialized in licensing niche Japanese games, totally rewriting their scripts to insert crude jokes and pop culture references, completely wrecking their difficulty by jacking up all the enemies' stats and adding other cheap impediments, then releasing them in the US. (If you like the sound of that, these patches probably aren't for you.)
Most of the games they put out are sufficiently esoteric that no one's interested in doing a retranslation, so often, these butchered versions are the only way to play the games in English. That seemed like a real shame to me, so lately I've been working on this little project to restore the gameplay from the Japanese versions of these games. Since I'm not a translator, I can't do anything about the made-up dialogue, but I'm aiming to at least get the difficulty back to what it was intended to be (and for Lunar, to get the script in lower case!).
Personally I actually like
the patches themselves. The sole problem is Supper's attitude coupled with what seems to be a lack of knowledge of the history of the industry at this time. I can also honestly see wanting to go back and do a more literal translation too, but you can't forget this game is over 20 years old
and that the industry was different then. Shitting all over a team made up of enthusiasts who poured their soul into bringing over games they wanted to see in the US, anime games from before Pokemon made anime mainstream in the US, because they don't meet your standards 20 years later
is not cool.
The funny thing is, again, Victor Ireland is not some cloistered figure in some unassailable corporate ivory tower. He just has a small team and is not hard to contact. If Supper were actually respectful he would probably be getting heartfelt support from the original translator. He could actually get some answers to his questions but since he is so focused on hating them it is never going to happen.
If the OP wasn't enough here are a few other egregious entries from the patch notes.
Other changes in the US version (e.g. the new title screen music, using C instead of Start to open the menu, the horrible horrible made-up script) have been kept.
This is a patch that fixes many issues introduced in the US version of the Sega CD game Lunar: Eternal Blue by its publisher, Working Designs. As you're probably aware if you're reading this, the US release of the game was heavily bastardized;
* The opening cutscene, which was mildly censored for the US version, has been replaced with its Japanese version. This has the not-unpleasant side effect of removing the obnoxious Working Designs credits. (They're still in the ending.)(Ed: Cheering about removing the original localizers/voice actors credits from the game is kind of disrespectful. Given the tone about the removal in the opening it is ambiguous if Supper's comment about the ending credits is and admission to assure the reader that credit is given at the end, or disappointment at not being able to remove it at the end.)
Incidentally the Vay patch notes are fine. I can't find anything to complain about. I imagine Supper got more diplomatic after realizing he was upsetting a lot of people.
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).
For anyone who wants some context you can read the thread yourself.
(He is talking about Lunar being in our future btw, not Popful Mail.) Victor is pretty frank about the changes and why they occured. Probably the most relevant quote.
My localization philosophy has been evolving over the last 25 years! You have to remember, when I started, there were no real guidelines - you had pretty much direct translations, or...nothing. Localizing content the way I did it was pretty revolutionary, and while it was over-the-top initially (again, nothing to use as a guide in the beginning), it's evolved over time. That said, almost everyone else doing Jrpgs headed my direction to varying degrees once I laid it all down and we started releasing games localized in a very different way from what was out back then. The rep for Game Arts said it best one of the times he was visiting. He said, "For such a small company, you cast a long shadow."
LUNAR PSX translations were based on the SEGA CD version to a point. LUNAR 2 was supposed to be Zach writing it, but I ended up re-writing quite a bit of what he did, because he had just broken up with one of the other employees at WD and wrote the female characters (most notably Jessica) like total bitches and sex objects, which was wildly inappropriate. Then I had to finish what was left (while recording in the studio, too), because when the text was supposed to be done, he wasn't even close, making excuses about computer crashes, etc that were total BS. It's also the reason Nall is talking about stuff that isn't there in the PSX version of LUNAR 2 in the cave. That was copied verbatim from the SEGA CD version by Zach and missed in the rush to rewrite/finish the text by me. It was really a terrible last 1/4 of that project.
But yes, please keep insulting him by taking one quote out of a full conversation and calling him insane. That will make things better.
If anyone is interested in comparing the JP/EN scripts for themself, I can upload my dialogue extraction tools.
Or for those who do not read Japanese the Lunar changes can be found below.Lunar The Silver Star English<>Japanese differences CompilationLunar Eternal Blue English<>Japanese differences CompilationLunar Silver Star Story Complete English<>Japanese differences CompilationLunar2 Eternal Blue Complete English<>Japanese differences Compilation