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Author Topic: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated  (Read 81245 times)

hairy_hen

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #200 on: May 04, 2021, 04:15:04 am »
So, status update: version 1.3 is nearly ready to release.  It just needs a bit more proofreading and fine-tuning and I'll be able to submit it.  I've made a number of additional script revisions, most of them in the early sections of the game, and I'm pretty happy with how everything reads at this point.

I did end up retyping all the enemy, item, and spell names over again, as well as their descriptions.  Time-consuming, but worth it, because kWhazit has made some adjustments to his translations on that stuff since the previous version was posted, so I was able to take those into account, as well as changing my mind about what a few things ought to be called (mainly some GBA names that I'd previously kept).  Green Cherry has been changed to Yellow Cherry, Silver Lobo is now Silvario, Kenpo Gi is back to being Kung Fu Suit (kenpo is the Japanese word for kung fu, so it might as well just use that in the first place), and some other things of that nature.  The wording on some of the spell and item descriptions has been improved as well.

More bug fixes will be present in the new version than there were previously, due to C.V. Reynolds' compilation having been updated in the meantime.  I anti-patched out the bits of it that can cause rom corruption (the Zozo Jump animation soft-lock and the messed up text pointers), and the potential crash during the King Behemoth fight has already been eliminated.  I was thinking of using Dash B instead of Dash A this time, so that Sprint Shoes would be more useful, but apparently there is a conflict with other patches writing to the same free space, so I can't use that one just yet.

In one of my test roms I noticed the letter 'b' in the Zozo pub signs was nearly illegible, but then realized this was because the 'Petty Sign' bug fix was conflicting with the uncensored graphics.  So after anti-patching that one out as well and reapplying the graphics, it's back to looking the way it should.

So, it's nearly here; just a bit more testing to check for any potential errors I can think of, and it'll be ready to go...

Kylikeit

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #201 on: May 04, 2021, 10:12:45 am »
Great to hear! I love this translation to pieces and I'm really excited for an update!

Piotyr

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #202 on: May 05, 2021, 12:36:19 pm »
Cheers big ears! Can't wait to play!

hairy_hen

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #203 on: May 20, 2021, 07:59:45 am »
Well, I've done it: version 1.3 has been submitted and is in the queue.  I ended up making even more script revisions because I kept spotting stuff I wasn't quite happy with, so many lines now read better than they did before.  Eventually I had to tell myself to step back and just put the thing out there already, or else I could keep going past the point where I'd actually be making any meaningful improvements.  If any errors or things I've missed end up jumping out at me I'll fix them later, but for now I'm happy with it the way it is.

May 20, 2021, 05:28:31 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
And it's up!  At long last, version 1.3 is available for download.

Hopefully this will be worth the wait since the last time I updated... and hopefully the next time it won't be nearly so long in between.

It's kind of funny to contemplate doing this sort of thing when I take a step back and reflect on it.  On the one hand, there were clearly a great number of severe translation problems in the original localization of this game, problems which badly distorted the meaning of the story and in some places rendered it nearly incoherent.  That much is obvious from even a cursory examination of the facts.  On the other hand, a great number of people played the original release and enjoyed every moment of it, either unaware of the script problems or simply unconcerned by them, and undoubtedly formed significant attachments to their experience of it as it was.  Attempts to retranslate the game are inevitably met with resistance from certain quarters, either due to a lack of awareness of the issues involved or some degree of disregard for their importance, or any number of other reasons.  Who am I to come along and tell people their treasured experience of this fantastic story somehow wasn't good enough?  Am I being unreasonably arrogant in assuming that I, a relative newcomer, can come along and presume to tell people how they ought to feel about it?

The simple fact is that due to the history and the audience perceptions involved, no one version of this game is likely to satisfy everyone who plays it.  There's always going to be disagreements over wording choices, interpretation of story points, and overall tone.  You can try to strictly convey only what the original script writers did, but compromises have to be made due to language and cultural differences, and you have to be sure your grasp of Japanese is actually up to the task.  You can try to cling to aspects of old localizations even if they turn out to be very far removed from the source material, but you have to decide what is meaningful to retain and what is just plain error.  You can make some kind of hybrid that cherry-picks the best bits out of other releases and adds its own changes, but then you're even more at the mercy of subjective preference.  Or you can just stick to official releases and not bother with the well-meaning presumptions of rom hackers at all.

When it comes right down to it, it must be acknowledged that none of us actually have any real claim to this material.  We didn't create it, and we don't own it, and it would be disingenuous to act as though we've somehow seen what no one else can and created the One True Version that is more meaningful and significant than any other.  My personal feeling is that the game designers working at Square in the early 1990's who actually created the thing are the only ones who could make any such statements, and they've all long since moved on to other things.  The best way to honor their achievements, for me, is to try to present what they wrote as faithfully as reasonably possible, but without going to the point of being pedantic about it.  Convey the thought behind the words, make it sound convincingly fluent in the target language, and be mindful of anything that doesn't fit the aesthetic of the original writing, and you've got a good shot at making an effective translation.  Anything else, I think, would be treading too far into the realm of self-indulgence to take all that seriously.

Anyway, all of that is to say that while I feel I've done the best I can with this project, and I'm very happy with the results, I try to keep my expectations for its reception to a reasonable level.  I sincerely hope that anyone who chooses to play it will enjoy it just as much as I do; but if not, no harm done.  At the end of the day, it's a game, and games are meant to be played rather than analyzed to pieces.  ;)

Now, go and download the thing (the link is in my signature), and have fun trying and failing to save the world already!  :P
« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 05:30:38 pm by hairy_hen »

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #204 on: May 22, 2021, 07:26:29 am »
So I played through the Figaro / Kefka event and took some feedback notes that I thought you might useful. I won't be continuing. The reason is that the approach to the retranslation doesn't jibe with me, as there is far too much loyalty to Woosley's liberties for my taste. (Espers, son of a submariner, etc. etc.) Maybe I misunderstood what this script was all about, but I was under the impression it would be more directly faithful to the  Japanese. I guess you are instead taking the stuff you like from all versions (or the stuff the majority of fans like from all versions), which is fine, but not the kind of internally consistent approach I'm looking for. Here's me hoping that someone simply just inserts the GBA script into the SNES version and we call it a day. Anyway, here are my notes from the small segment I played in case you find them helpful.

I found the mentions of both sorcery and magic to be inconsistent. Gestahl used the term sorcery when presenting Terra and her powers, but everyone else refers to her powers as magic. I don't remember different terms being present in any of the previous scripts I played. Can't speak for the Japanese on this.

You have a sentence concerning Edgar: "But really he's collaborating with the Returners." There should be a comma after "But really"

There is some formatting inconsistency that seemed odd to me. 98% of the time, when there are multiple connected sentences in a single dialogue window, you don't push the new sentences to a separate line in that window. However, a couple times, you do, and it comes across as inconsistent. There was an NPC in the Narshe tutorial building who had that problem, as well as an NPC in Figaro Castle.

This one is minor, but Enslavement Crown sounds a little awkward to me. I think Crown of Slavery captures the same idea and sounds cooler.

Anyway, that's all I've got as far as feedback. I was very happy with the quality of the writing overall, and I'd enjoy this version if not for our philosophical differences when it comes to translation.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 07:41:59 am by Chicken Knife »

hairy_hen

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #205 on: May 24, 2021, 01:55:10 pm »
I'm sorry to hear that.

I do have to point out, however, that some of the things you didn't like here are, in fact, true to the way the Japanese version is written.  There are two distinct terms for magic used in the original writing: 'maho' which seems to usually be used to refer to magic as a general force, and then 'mado' which tends to refer to it more specifically as a skill or ability that people can learn.  There isn't really one completely perfect, non-arbitrary way to translate this, but in this script whenever anyone just calls it 'magic', it's because maho was the term in that line.  'Sorcery' or 'magic power' is what I used for mado; whichever sounded best within the sentence.  It should also be noted that the GBA script does not make this distinction, so playing that version will actually land you farther away from the Japanese source material.

As for the enslavement crown, the Japanese version makes no mention whatsoever of that device having a specific name.  All that is needed is to describe it in a way that makes clear what it does.  In earlier versions I left it as 'Slave Crown' as it had been in the SNES version, but taking away the specific title makes it closer to the source in this sense.  It could be renamed to something different (I'm not married to the term I used by any means), but there really isn't some hidden meaning that's being missed here.

It seems a little odd to me to describe this version as having that degree of loyalty to the SNES script, when in fact it has actually removed an enormous number of that version's changes and reverted to something far closer to the Japanese source in nearly all cases.  The only times when I kept stuff from the original localization was when I had a specific reason for believing it did a better job of conveying the information than a more exact transcription would have done.  Kefka, for example, often speaks in strange and disturbing ways that don't come across correctly in English, due to grammatical and cultural differences.  Making him sound more outright bizarre was a way of compensating for that, and I kept to a similar approach here because it works — not because I cared about how other scripts had done it.  Going literal with him just flattens out his speech and makes it far duller than the original writing would be to a Japanese audience, and that's a result I'd find completely unacceptable.  The original term for Espers is a compound word meaning something like 'phantom beast', and this meaning would be obvious to the original audience, but Japanese is far more efficient at conveying ideas in small amounts of text space than English is.  There is no good way to present this same information in only seven letters, which is the maximum amount available in the menu screen.  Therefore some shorter term, whatever it is, has to be used.  Is 'Eidolon', which has been used in official releases of other games, a better choice?  Maybe, but it would be a somewhat arbitrary decision.  In this case, I kept 'Espers' because it sounds kinda cool.  (The GBA did too, so again...)

As I've indicated before, this kind of discussion is essentially proof of my point: there is no one way to translate this game (or anything else, for that matter) that is 100% 'correct' in all cases.  You can think of it like transcribing a piece of music written for one instrument over to another.  Sure, a piano call play all the same notes as a violin, the same pitches, tempos, and rhythms, but it can't ever duplicate the timbre of the violin, or the way each note is articulated; nor can it give you the same 'feel' when you hear it.  It's simply impossible to reproduce the same effect exactly on a different medium, though with clever and thoughtful adaptation, you can get reasonably close.  Such is the case when going from one language to another.

Aside from staying close to the spirit of the original writing (with the obvious limitation that I'm dependent on others to do the actual translating), and making every sentence sound as good as I can, the best I can do is to offer to make an alternate version that gets more strict  about some of these smaller details.  Esper can be changed to Eidolon, Ultros can be changed to Orthros, Terra can become Tina, War of the Magi can be 'Great Magic War', etc... son of a submariner (which I think sounds hysterically funny) can be reduced to, "Argh! Damn it!"  I've been contemplating making such an alternate version for a while, and if I'd had more time now I might have included such a thing in this update.  But since keeping track of multiple versions makes it more difficult to ensure mistakes are not made, I held off until I could be certain of giving it my full focus.

So when this project is updated to version 1.4, it will most likely be for that reason.  I may also include versions both with and without bug fixes, to broaden its appeal still further.  That would mean including four patches, instead of just the one as it is now... see what I mean about there not being one definitive way of doing things?

As always, I recommend looking at the Legends of Localization articles and videos to get a good sense of what the Japanese version is like, and there's always my annotated script, which has a lot of really specific notes about it: https://pastebin.com/RyVqkRnY
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 02:09:06 pm by hairy_hen »

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #206 on: May 24, 2021, 11:08:46 pm »
There are two distinct terms for magic used in the original writing: 'maho' which seems to usually be used to refer to magic as a general force, and then 'mado' which tends to refer to it more specifically as a skill or ability that people can learn.  There isn't really one completely perfect, non-arbitrary way to translate this, but in this script whenever anyone just calls it 'magic', it's because maho was the term in that line.  'Sorcery' or 'magic power' is what I used for mado; whichever sounded best within the sentence.
I'm glad to hear this is preserved from the Japanese! Making the distinction is a nice improvement.

As for the enslavement crown, the Japanese version makes no mention whatsoever of that device having a specific name.  All that is needed is to describe it in a way that makes clear what it does.  In earlier versions I left it as 'Slave Crown' as it had been in the SNES version, but taking away the specific title makes it closer to the source in this sense.  It could be renamed to something different (I'm not married to the term I used by any means), but there really isn't some hidden meaning that's being missed here.
Like I said, this one isn't a big deal. Circlet of Manipulation is closer to the Japanese meaning, but that's also probably too many characters. All of these options are close enough to not be an issue.

Kefka, for example, often speaks in strange and disturbing ways that don't come across correctly in English, due to grammatical and cultural differences.  Making him sound more outright bizarre was a way of compensating for that, and I kept to a similar approach here because it works — not because I cared about how other scripts had done it.
The problem is that trading out his funky Japanese speech patterns with nonsensical expressions really isn't the same. The idea that his weird speech style can't be reproduced in English is incorrect imo. My friend nejimakipiyo and I took a look at the Japanese for the "Son of a submariner!" line, and we feel that the weirdness can be conveyed roughly equivalently.
For reference:

We would go with the translation: Gyaaaah!! Damn it! ...I'll ensure that you pay for this!
Like the Japanese, he starts off wailing and unhinged, and then makes a mid speech shift to formal and composed. You could even capitalize the GYAAAAH!! & DAMN IT! just to make the contrast more pronounced, as Japanese is able to convey shifts in speech style in a very dramatic way. Trading out those kinds of speech patterns for Woosley's wonky expressions feels like too much of a change. You have this mentally unstable dude in Japanese coming across as more of a goofball with lines like that.

Is 'Eidolon', which has been used in official releases of other games, a better choice?  Maybe, but it would be a somewhat arbitrary decision.
Doesn't seem arbitrary to me when Eidolon is a Greek word for phantom and Esper refers to a person capable of telepathic powers. While neither achieves perfect equivalency, I think one comes closer to the core meaning than the other.

I've been contemplating making such an alternate version for a while, and if I'd had more time now I might have included such a thing in this update.  But since keeping track of multiple versions makes it more difficult to ensure mistakes are not made, I held off until I could be certain of giving it my full focus.
Yeah, maintaining multiple versions is a royal pain, which is why I haven't done it for my own work. But I also haven't felt particularly compelled to. In this case, I would appreciate the Japanese namings, (as long as they are rendered in a way that sounds cool) but it really isn't a deal breaker. Trusting that the script is faithful is the most significant aspect for me.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 11:57:29 am by Chicken Knife »

hairy_hen

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #207 on: May 25, 2021, 03:30:18 pm »
Hmm... I don't think I was clear enough in my earlier post, but with Kefka I wasn't really referring to that line in particular, but rather to a number of others that happen later on where he is outlandish in specific ways that have no direct equivalents.  Often this involves personal pronoun usage, where he'll use exceedingly polite speech while simultaneously referring to himself in an absurdly arrogant way, or he'll kill people while referring to himself like a hyperactive three year old, and other things of that nature.  Even if you try to word the lines to convey that sort of general sense, the specific and jarring weirdness of those is just gone once you take it out of its source language.  It becomes blunted down and muted, and every time I look into a more direct approach for that, I'm always left with the feeling that all I've accomplished is to make it worse.

I'll probably go ahead and do a less-Woolseyish Kefka in the alternate version of the script, but regardless of how well it turns out, it's probably going to seem like a step down to a lot of people.  The more familiar oddities serve a specific purpose in bringing back the strangeness — granted, it's strangeness of a different sort, but I promise I didn't do it that way out of nostalgia.  Still, this seems to be a case where 'explaining the joke' ends up making the whole thing seem rather less funny as a result.  That could just be because my brain is tired and needs a break from this stuff.

About Espers vs Eidolons: it's true the latter is somewhat closer to the original term.  However, neither of them is commonly used in any real-world context.  Unlike the Japanese term, whose meaning is immediately apparent to the audience, most people (including me) aren't going to know what they are without taking the trouble to look them up.  Given that, insisting on one over the other comes across as an arbitrary decision to substitute one seemingly made-up word for another, so I'm not sure how much that actually accomplishes.  Then again, most people don't bother playing rom hacks in the first place.  Alternate versions using each of these terms will have to suffice for meeting the preferences of different players, I think.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 03:40:49 pm by hairy_hen »

Chicken Knife

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #208 on: May 26, 2021, 07:39:23 am »
Hmm... I don't think I was clear enough in my earlier post, but with Kefka I wasn't really referring to that line in particular, but rather to a number of others that happen later on where he is outlandish in specific ways that have no direct equivalents.  Often this involves personal pronoun usage, where he'll use exceedingly polite speech while simultaneously referring to himself in an absurdly arrogant way, or he'll kill people while referring to himself like a hyperactive three year old, and other things of that nature.  Even if you try to word the lines to convey that sort of general sense, the specific and jarring weirdness of those is just gone once you take it out of its source language.  It becomes blunted down and muted, and every time I look into a more direct approach for that, I'm always left with the feeling that all I've accomplished is to make it worse.
If you do end up going for a version where Kefka is portrayed more equivalently to the Japanese, my group wouldn't mind proposing ideas for some of these highly difficult/absurd lines that you mention. If you could supply us with the Japanese of the lines in question along with the before and after text of your English script, we would be happy to provide our best attempt at equivalent translations. It's very possible that the result we produce would feel just as unsatisfying, but you never know. We've had similar situations where we ended up being rather delighted with our result.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 07:44:54 am by Chicken Knife »

valius

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #209 on: July 23, 2021, 04:51:42 pm »
Just wanted to post thanks to hairy_hen for the work on the updated patch, and I can confirm that the bug with the King Behemoth is gone now.  :)

guptashivamm1

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #210 on: July 24, 2021, 05:37:38 am »
I'm in the process of putting together an annotated version of the script with notes on what changed in this version and why I wrote it as I did.  It should be helpful as a reference to anyone who is looking to make script edits or is curious about the meaning of the story but doesn't have time to go through all of Mato's video series. vidmate instasave
 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 08:41:05 am by guptashivamm1 »

Piotyr

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #211 on: July 24, 2021, 06:22:05 pm »
Hope someday this script can be ported to the pixel remasters eh?

Piotyr

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #212 on: August 06, 2021, 08:33:41 pm »
Heck apparently text can be edited on the old ff6 pc port, would kill for a port to that!

Vanya

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #213 on: August 08, 2021, 03:18:52 am »
For what it's worth, I thought about it and came up with an alternative to "Slave Crown" and "Circlet of Manipulation" that I thought sounded cool in a way befitting of the techie setting of FF6.
"Control Circlet"
Just my 2 cents.

focosur

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Re: Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated
« Reply #214 on: September 18, 2021, 03:29:33 am »
My project has always been about getting the story details correct, and to capture as much of the tone and nuance of the original script as possible, while still leaving a bit of room for differences if something can be said in a more interesting way that doesn't change the larger meaning of what is happening in the scene.  Everything else was secondary.