Announcing the First Legends of Localization Book!

A lot’s been happening this year – I recently made a deal with Fangamer to release a series of Legends of Localization books, and the first one is well underway. Sign up for a pre-order notification here!

First Book: The Legend of Zelda!

The first book is going to set the standard for all future books in the series, so we decided to go with The Legend of Zelda. The book will feature what you can read and see here, but with even more information, new content, info fixes, and lots of improvements everywhere.

I’ve been working hard on updating the content, and Tony, one of Fangamer’s designers, has been working hard on the book layout. I can’t show off any work-in-progress stuff yet, but it looks AMAZING. It’s visually entertaining AND classy at the same time. Tony’s design style matches my presentation style perfectly – it’s going to be great!

I shared more details and pics about the book during a recent Poemato CX stream, check it out below!

Currently, the book’s content and layout needs to be finished by around the end of August 2015. Fangamer hopes to release the book in November or December 2015, with preorders opening probably in October.

Pre-order Bonuses!

For preorder bonuses, we’re thinking we’ll have a fancy bookmark that matches the theme of each Legends of Localization book, but we’re open to suggestions. Some other ideas I’ve thought of include:

  • Autographs for pre-order books only
  • Small art books using art that I draw (my art is infamously bad)
  • Maybe some sort of small Japanese-to-English dictionary for the specific game in question, so gamers can play through Japanese versions of these games themselves

If you have any other suggestions, let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Future Books

The Zelda book is going to help us figure out the book-making process. After it, we’ll be moving on to the big one: EarthBound! This is going to be a HUGE book, and it’ll have a lot of new, updated content too. We have lots of cool plans for this one – I’ll post more about it when it gets going.

A Zelda II book is also in the works – in fact, most of my work on it is already done. This was going to be combined with the Zelda 1 book originally, but it wound up being so big that we had to break them apart!


Those are the three books I’m slated to do for Fangamer so far. Beyond that, I’m really looking forward to a MOTHER 3 book. I feel like I better hurry before Nintendo finally decides to release an official translation sometime πŸ˜›

What This All Means

For the most part, Legends of Localization has just been a hobby of mine for years and years. Technically, I started doing all this back in 1999, so that’s how long this has been a part of my life. These books mark the first time I’m turning my hobby into a serious job, so I wanted to thank everyone who’s supported my work here. Whether you’ve shared the site with friends, posted comments on here, e-mailed me with info, or donated in the past, thank you!

I’d love to continue to make Legends of Localization more and more of a serious endeavor – if these books do well enough, I’ll be able to focus more and more on this site and future books. I’ll also be able to update more frequently if everything goes well! I sometimes daydream of Legends of Localization being my ONLY focus… I’m not crazy enough to make that leap yet, but let’s see how well these books do first πŸ˜›

Sign up for a pre-order notification here!

I’ve also considered turning on the “donate to unlock this page” thing that I did a few years ago. The only problem is that last time people would donate too much too fast! I couldn’t keep up, so I had to turn it off. What a fortunate problem to have πŸ˜›

But Patreon is a thing that exists these days, so that might be worth looking into instead. That’s a scary step to take, though. If you have any Patreon tips or suggestions, let me know! Maybe a high tier could get you each book for free as they’re released or something…

Other Questions and Topics

A common question I’ve gotten lately is: “Is Legends of Localization dead?”

The answer is no! 2015 has just been a crazy year. I had surgery a while back that I’m still recovering from, my professional translation work has been super-busy, there’ve been deaths in the family, I’m in the middle of buying a house, etc. Once things settle down – and if the books do well enough – I’ll be able to focus more time on updates here. I love this hobby of mine, so I want to get back to it!

I receive a LOT of e-mails about Legends of Localization every day, so I apologize if I haven’t replied to you. I do read all my e-mails and keep them organized, so even if I haven’t gotten back to you, you haven’t been ignored. My backlog of reader questions is huge, too! I feel so bad that I can’t keep up with them all… But I also feel glad that this little hobby means so much to other people.

Final Fantasy IV. I get asked this question more than any other: “When are you going to update with more Final Fantasy IV stuff?”

A few months ago I actually started to do some behind-the-scenes work to get updates rolling again. I’d like to get one or two updates out before the end of the year. It might be tough with everything else that’s going on, but I really miss FFIV.


I’d LOVE to do a book version of FFIV too, but I fear that it would literally wind up being thousands of pages. For reference, this page is currently 18 to 20 pages in our WIP Zelda book. I don’t want to do the math, but I think the current FFIV stuff would be several hundred pages, and it’s only halfway through the game!

Basically, I haven’t dropped FFIV. It means too much to me to ever drop it, don’t worry!


So there you go! Thanks again to everyone who’s ever supported Legends of Localization in any way!

Related Reading

Read more articles »


    1. Thanks! I really look forward to the EarthBound book next, it’s going to be tough but combining my work with Fangamer’s EarthBound insanity is going to make a book that oozes passion!

      1. The Frisktaker

        I noticed that a Book 3: Super Mario Bros. Is listed. Is Zelda II gonna be book 4? I’m really excited for the Mother 3 one, as that LoL section never finished.

  1. I’m glad to see mention of FFIV, as I was considering sending off an email or something about it. I think I’ve already pestered you twice this year about FFIV updates….sorry about that.

    I’m sad to say that I’m not a big enough Earthbound/Mother or Zelda fan to consider buying a book about either of them, but if you do ever find a way to put together a Final Fantasy IV localization book I’d preorder immediately.

    Great to see that things are moving forward, and I hope the rest of 2015 goes smoothly for you.

    1. Aww, that’s too bad, but I totally understand where you’re coming from. If it means anything, I’m also trying to approach these books from the perspective of people who aren’t necessarily huge fans of the game in question.

      I think if I were to ever do a Final Fantasy IV book I’d have to slim it down to be just the SNES and Super Famicom versions, with only little bits of the rest mentioned here and there. Otherwise the book process would take a year or two and it’d wind up as like 8 books, heh.

      I’ll probably put a poll up at some point to see what the most requested book topics are, and then I’ll talk with the Fangamer guys to see how feasible the top ones would be.

      1. By the way, why would the FFIV book be so much a bigger deal? I’m not really informed regarding the FF series, so what’s the reason? Are there a particularly high amount of localization quirks or just too much content to go through, or some other factors entirely?

        1. Haha, just take a look at the FFIV section:

          In fact, just take a look at any random page:

          Basically it’s a combination of:

          • There’s a ton of text, which is to be expected since it’s an RPG
          • The original translation is filled with countless quirks
          • Digging into the original Japanese text helps shed light on new info for fans by showing what was lost in translation
          • Looking at the multitude of other official translations is super-interesting and shows how its localization has evolved/devolved over the years
          • Looking at the famous fan translation gives a completely new insight into everything

          Those are most of the factors but I’m sure they’re not the only ones. I’ve learned that RPGs are almost always going to be super-huge if I analyze them at the level I prefer. It’s why the EarthBound stuff took me years πŸ˜›

  2. Congratulations on the book, Mato! Can’t wait for more updates. I’d like to see more FFIV DS because that game is not loved enough. By the way, what ARE you working on? For your professional translation work, I mean.

    1. Thanks! I feel like a fraud for not having played much of FFIV DS, especially after all these years. Maybe you would know – if I do play it someday, can I play the PC version or should I stick with the DS version? I don’t know the tiny differences between them.

      As for what I’m working on professionally, I prefer not to talk about it due to NDAs and all that. But for the most part my specialty is in long-running series with tons of stuff to always keep track of (especially for continuity), so that sort of work keeps me constantly busy.

  3. Not to sound greedy or anything, but if the book still has my logo on it, will I be receiving any kind of compensation. I don’t need any money or anything (though my mother would insist otherwise), just my name in the credits and maybe a free copy of the book would be nice.

    1. I’m relatively sure Fangamer intends to go with a brand-new logo since the current one is a little too close for comfort. That’s what Reid and Tony mentioned during last week’s meeting – I’m leaving that entirely to them.

      No worries about the credits – you’re already in the list I’ve been compiling!

        1. Of course! I’ll also keep updating every so often with more info on the book as preorders open, the books come in, etc. so I’ll let you know what’s up with the logo stuff too.

  4. Congrats on the book. I look forward to reading it.

    And glad to hear that the site’s not going anywhere. I’m looking forward to more AVGN articles in the future, too. πŸ˜€

  5. Glad to hear everything is okay. Books sound awesome and I’m glad FFIV isn’t abandoned. If you ever need screenshots for any game, just let me know because I’d like to help keep this site going. Here’s to more fantastic localization analysis!

    1. Yep, I feel FFIV is way too important (and requested) to drop. I wish I had the time/energy that I had when I started it, but I guess that’s how things are with hobbies and just life in general. It took me from 1999 to like 2009 to finish EarthBound’s comparison though, so it’s not too bad yet πŸ˜›

  6. “There’ve been deaths in the family”? Goodness! I hope you’re doing okay, then. I’m sorry to hear that’s happened.
    On the brighter news, though: If I have the money (what kind of price are we looking at, anyway? or did I accidentally miss that being mentioned in the article?) once pre-orders are possible, I am definitely interested in getting the Zelda book. I’ve always loved classic Zelda (nothing against modern Zelda, of course, I just really haven’t been able to keep up since around Wind Waker or so! yikes!), and what you have already on the site for Zelda1 is fascinating beyond words to me, so seeing a book compiled with even MORE stuff has my attention already. You have my support! …Oh great, now I’ve turned into 8-bit April O’Neil. XD

    1. Yeah, 2015 has been a great year in some ways but terrible in others. What an emotional ride it’s been.

      The price of the books is entirely up to Fangamer, and I assume they’ll decide a price once they see how much it’ll cost to produce them. It’ll probably be comparable to other Fangamer books. We plan to make them hardcover and have fancy foil embossing (or something?), full-color pages, nice paper, etc. to make the series as high-quality as possible… but as this is my first book I have no idea how much that’d all cost myself πŸ˜›

      1. All right, sounds fair enough to me. Anyway, definitely know that I am interested, and even if I can’t preorder, I will get it eventually! Good luck to you in this endeavor!
        (As a side note, for some reason, when I enter something in the “website” field for posting a comment here, the site keeps refusing my comment, saying it “looks like spam” – even though in the past, I’ve used my YouTube channel before for the “website” field and had no problems with it. Is it a new rule I’m not aware of that I can’t do that now? ^^; Sorry to bug you about it!)

        1. Thanks! As for your spam problem, I’m not really sure what’s up either 😯

          This site literally used to get hundreds of thousands of spam messages a week, and then the default WordPress spam thing started to suck, so I installed a different spam protection thing. I’m not sure why it’s saying your stuff looks like spam, but I’ve whitelisted you so hopefully you won’t have any more problems. It makes me wonder how many others are having a similar problem, though. Man, if only spammers weren’t such a bad problem here πŸ™

  7. Glad to hear the books are coming along nicely! I will of course buy them all, because I’m a massive dork; I’ve been with you since 1999 my own self (big up the m2eb old-skool or do kids still say things like that who knows I’m old), and I find this localization analysis stuff endlessly fascinating.

    I guess I’m a game journalist these days, too (who knows how THAT happened); are you available for / interested in doing interviews? I’d love to help get the word out on these things. Failing that, anything else I can help with, just let me know.

    Also, good to hear the next update will have teh pr0nz. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hooray! It still feels so surreal that this is even happening, back in 1999 I was just a nerd making a crappy webpage comparing EarthBound and Mother 2. How did we even get to this point??? It’s crazy

      Interview-wise, sure, that’d be great! I actually used to HATE giving interviews and would turn down like 95% of them, but I’m trying to break out of that shell these past few months. So that’d be perfect.

  8. I’m a little disappointed to hear the first book will be over Zelda 1, which I haven’t played (or really want to play), but it makes sense that you’d start with a smaller project than Earthbound or FFIV. I’m interested enough in translation and localization that I’ll probably buy a copy anyway. I really hope you do manage an FFIV book somehow, it’s my favorite game and it’s how I found your site.

    As for pre-orders, I think the Japanese-English dictionary would be super neat, although I worry it’d be a large enough project that it’d delay the book.

    1. Yeah, we wanted to start with something simple and small to get the kinks out of the system and pave the way for the heavy-duty books. If it means anything, I occasionally get e-mails from gamers who’ve read through all my game comparisons – even with games they don’t like or haven’t played – and they’ve said they enjoyed it. But I 100% understand where you’re coming from, and hopefully someday somehow an FFIV book will be possible. I wonder what the world record for book with most pages is. Because an FFIV book might get pretty close to it πŸ˜›

    1. Originally we were going to do a single book combining Zelda 1 and 2, and all the stuff for 2 would be an extra, book-exclusive incentive. But we had a meeting about a week ago and realized we needed to separate them. I haven’t had time to think about what that means for a possible online version yet, but at the very least the book would have extra content not on the site.

  9. Well, if Nintendo releases an official MOTHER 3 localization, you’ll have to update the comparison, so maybe it’s better to wait. πŸ˜›

    You could do a MOTHER 1 comparison instead, no chance of getting another localization there. πŸ™‚

    1. I’d really like to finish the current Mother 3 stuff I have and get it out there in book form – I think that’s probably the most likely way I’ll finish writing it all up before the year 2085. Plus I want to get all this info out of my head and into text form before it all fades from my brain πŸ˜›

      If Nintendo does release its own translation though, I have no doubt there’d be more than enough content there to warrant a huge, new comparison of its own!

      (…Unless by the miracle of Giygas they use my translation, heh)

  10. That’s fantastic, congratulations Clyde! From the looks of your site it seems like there have been quite a few translation-related projects you’ve been interested in starting, but haven’t had the time to work on. Now that you can make this hobby a part of your career, I imagine you’ll be able to bring some of these ideas into fruition. I look forward to your upcoming books!

    Also if you don’t mind me asking, are there any particular resources/textbooks that you recommend when it comes to learning Japanese? Any feedback is appreciated.

    1. Oh my, I also didn’t realize how much you’ve had on your plate this year. It’s definitely understandable that updating your site would become lower priority as result. I hope all is well.

    2. Thanks! I’ve actually started on so many sections/articles for this site that I’d love to give the site more time and get them all finished. Hopefully this will be one step in making that happen!

      For Japanese textbooks, I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to modern options, but my best recommendation would be to see what books your local university (or just any university) requires for class, then go find them for cheap/free online. There are also SO many sites out there now, and I don’t have the first clue which ones are good and which aren’t πŸ™ But I’d go with the textbook route personally, and just set aside regular study time every day, pretending that it’s an actual class.

      I actually get this question pretty often, so I should really get off my butt and research it better πŸ˜›

  11. itshappening.jpg

    Congrats, I hope everything goes well. If you ever seriously consider doing a Pokemon Red/Blue LoL book or even a blog, hit me up at my email account and I’ll get you up to speed.

    1. Oh man, a Pokemon one would be amazing – the only problem is is that I’m not very familiar with it at all (plus I never did finish Blue). But the idea really, really interests me, and it’d be fun to do the research and even do some interviews!

      1. i did some pretty extensive coverage of the original Pokemon games a while ago for a project that ended up getting abandoned before it really got anywhere.

        If you have actual interest in a Pokemon book, I’ll definitely be up for helping with what I can.

  12. Congratulation, Mato. ItΒ΄s really good when you can change a hobby into a carreer and can keep doing it with the same love you always done. I hope this is only the first step of a very bright future for you and Legends os Localization. ItΒ΄s not just useful, but really inspiring for me, to see how you made this grow.

    This year may have started roughly, but IΒ΄m sure by the end of it, you will be just like Cecil there. 頑弡って :p

    1. Thanks! I almost feel a sort of stage fright right now, now that I’ve announced the book. Hopefully it’s just the first part of any big, public endeavor like this πŸ˜› I’m glad my silly articles have helped you, too!

  13. This is such a huge step forward Mato. πŸ˜€ I know this is something that you’ve been talking about doing for a really long time so I’m happy to see you finally able to do it. And take your time with the site for now. From the sounds of it, you’re crazy busy and have a ton of things going on, so take the time that you need to work out those crazy life things first. As disappointing as it may be both to you and to us, those things are the most important for you right now. ; )

    1. Yep, I’m trying to take things at the best pace possible, which is why site updates have been so slow lately. Once the Zelda book is done and a few other things are off my plate, I hope to focus my attention laser more on this site, future books, and related projects. At this point I’m almost like, “holy crap if this book does well enough I could easily write more books for years to come!” Which is an exciting idea!

    1. I’ve heard that MGS2 has some really interesting localization going on, but I’ve never really delved into it. I think one of the MGS games would be great to fully analyze someday for sure!

      I haven’t played FFX since it came out, so beyond a few things besides Macarena Temple and the blitzball kid, I wasn’t aware that its localization was that famous/infamous. I definitely want to do a few FF books sometime if possible… they might be pretty huge books though 😯

      1. Indeed. The sequences near the end in particular with the glitched Colonel might be interesting to take a look at. Who knows what sorts of jokes were changed or not carried over at all…

  14. Good luck! You’ve done great work at this site, so I’ll be glad if you’re able to make it into a business.

    That said, will there be digital versions of your books? By the sounds of it, these localization books would really clutter up my house.

    1. Thanks for your kind words!

      I did ask the guys at Fangamer about this during our big meeting a week or two ago, but I can’t remember the details. I’m almost 100% certain that a digital version will be released, similar to how they have a digital version of their Mother 3 handbook available (and they even have a full, free digital version too, which is pretty cool). I’d honestly be shocked if they didn’t do a digital release, but I’ll ask for full confirmation later today.

  15. I just hope the eventual Final Fantasy IV book is a handsome leatherbound multi-volume set like an Encyclopedia Britannica.

    1. Yeah, that was an idea I had too! I guess everything really depends on how well this first book goes – if it goes way above expectations I might be able to convince them that FFIV books are worth the effort/cost. FFIV updates/info are the most-requested things I get in e-mails these days, so there’s definitely a lot of interest for it…

  16. Is Patreon worth doing? YES! If it means more updates to this site, I would gladly support you weekly/monthly/however often you update.

    1. Thanks for this – I was scared of doing a book for years and years, and I finally worked up the courage to do it, so this Patreon thing is sort of the next big scary thing I need to get over I guess πŸ˜›

    1. Fangamer has done e-book versions of stuff in the past (the Mother 3 handbook, for example), so I assume they’ll do an e-book version of this too. I’ll find out Fangamer’s release plans soon and share them on here as soon as I can.

  17. Clyde, I’ve sent you an e-mail a while back with interesting information about a certain Sega CD commercial. I don’t wanna give specific details here, I just want confirmation that you got it. If not, I’ll resend it.

    By the way, are you going to make a comparison for EarthBound Beginnings, now that it’s finally gotten a worldwide release (using Phil Sandhop’s localization, of course)?

      1. Yep, I have most of the tedious prep work done for that and even have a few pages done! I’ll probably go back and finish it sometime in some form or another.

        I just checked, and I did indeed get your Sega CD commercial e-mail, thanks! That’ll save me some research time when I get that far!

  18. Wow, awesome news! Congratulations and good luck with this! Day one purchase for sure. Also nice to hear that an eventual Zelda II book/article is in the works as well. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! And yep, I’ve had a lot of fun with the Zelda II stuff, which is great because it was always hard for me to appreciate back in the day. I really like taking these close looks at games because I can view them with almost new eyes.

  19. A Mother/EarthBound Zero/EarthBound Beginnings book would be particularly interesting, since you could compare literal translation with the now official release and your work.

    I’ll have to check out the EarthBound book.

    1. No worries, I already started on most of the prep work for a Mother/EB0 one quite a while back.

      Since I’ve got so much done on it already, it’s high on the list of possible future book and/or site comparison!

  20. I’ve never subscribed to anyone’s patreon. Yours would be the first. Lookin forward to your book which I already paid for in that kickstarter.

  21. Dear Clyde,

    I love the time and effort you put into this website and all of your translation work! I’ve learned a lot about how Japanese works from reading all your comparison notes, which is great because I’m attempting to learn Japanese myself (I can just about read kana, and kanji seems overwhelming currently…)

    Thank you for your dedication to maintaining this website and for your interesting reads with many helpful pictures and added humor sprinkled in! πŸ™‚

    I’m happy for your jump to book form! Best of luck! Hope it’s a success!


  22. I got the e-mail that pre-orders can be taken now, sometime after I went to bed yesterday. So when I got up this evening (hey, no judgments, my sleep schedule is wacky right now XD), I saw it and quickly went to pre-order. Since it didn’t stop me from getting the limited Deluxe Bundle, hopefully that means I pre-ordered in time to get it. Anyway, happy to finally see this a reality, and happy to toss some money your way for it since I actually have the money to do so! Good luck with any and all future books like this you make as well!

  23. Congratulations on your book! Needless to say, I ordered it as soon as Fangamer announced that it was ready for sale. Looking forward to receiving it in December!

    Have you ever considered doing a comparison of Link’s Awakening? The text in that game was so characterful, so brimming with personality. (To say nothing of the game itself which, at least for me, represents some of the last gasps of the “weird” Nintendo before it became decidedly Disney-fied and edgeless.) I’ve played the original Japanese version in fits and starts and, to all appearances, NoA did a stellar job of translating that game’s moody wackiness to English.

    Again, my congratulations to you. And I hope this is only the first of many more books to come!


Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *