Come Watch Me Play and Translate Japanese Games Live!

If you enjoy my Legends of Localization site, you might also be interested in some recent stuff I’ve been streaming!

Here’s just a quick look at stuff I’ve done recently:


MOTHER 3 Beta Testing / Translation Notes

A few months ago I started working on an update for the MOTHER 3 fan translation patch. Before releasing it, though, it needed to be tested – so I played through the game on Twitch! While testing the game and fixing bugs, I also shared translation notes, memories of the project, and more. We also had guests on, including fellow team members. Even Marcus Lindblom, the head localizer for EarthBound, participated in the chat a few times!

This was pretty much our first time streaming so everything was pretty rough around the edges, but if you like MOTHER 3 or if you’ve wanted to know more about some of the translation choices that went into the patch, give it a watch. I also sometimes discussed professional experiences and the like, so if you’re into that sort of thing, you might like it!

The MOTHER 3 stream was a lot of fun, so my wife and I have gotten into streaming games more regularly. Here’s just a quick sample of recent stuff:


Live Translation of a Japanese Final Fantasy VI ROM Hack

More recently, I’ve been streaming a Japanese Final Fantasy VI ROM hack known as “Final Fantasy VI T-Edition”. It’s an incredibly extensive hack and one of the most well-known Japanese FFVI hacks out there, so I thought it’d be neat to play through it and live-translate all the new content for fellow fans’ enjoyment and future reference!

As of the time of this post, I’m about 48 hours in and I’ve STILL got a lot left to experience in this hack. While I’ve been playing it I’ve also been sharing bits and pieces of localization differences that I’m aware of. I’ve also been polishing my programming skills and making neat software that displays some translated text on the stream for viewers who don’t know Japanese. And, to everyone’s surprise, the Japanese creator of the patch showed up in the chat and has since become a regular. All in all, it’s been a really great experience and I hope you’ll join us sometime if you’re into Final Fantasy games!

I actually hope to share more Japanese ROM hacks like this in the future, so if you know of any that you think would be neat to get the live-translation treatment, let me know.


Live Translation of Japanese Games About America

To celebrate America’s Independence Day, I streamed a bunch of Japanese games about America. I want to get practice doing live-translations of Japanese games, so I thought this would be a good start. Despite my bumbling around, it was a lot of fun – way more fun than I expected it to be!

I’m hoping that if I keep doing these sorts of streams, I’ll continually polish my live game-translating skills and be able to “streamlate” (yes, I just made that up, feel free to groan) more complicated Japanese games with ease!


Live Translation of Japanese Hobby/Indie Games

I’ve always been curious about the Japanese side of games made by hobbiests and indie developers, so I’ve started to play through some of those games and translate them live. Since they tend to be pretty short and bite-sized already, they’re perfect for this style of streaming. Already I’ve seen lots of neat, weird stuff that I never would’ve experienced otherwise!

I’m especially fond of this Japanese hamburger RPG:

And this game written entirely in English by a Japanese native:


Live-Translating Other Games for Weird Events

We also stream games for odd holidays and special events. Usually we end up playing a bunch of weird Japanese games and I’ll translate them live. For example, a friend of ours got married a few weeks ago, so after the wedding we played a bunch of wedding-themed games!

On my wife’s birthday, we streamed a bunch of Japanese yokai/youkai games, which I tried to translate:

And for World Population Day, we played a bunch of mostly-Japanese games with the word “world” in their titles:

We also did something similar for World Cat Day. We tried to have a “Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” – which is a real day – but couldn’t find any zucchini games, sadly.


Anyway, this is all to say that if you’d like to see more things like this, be sure to follow me on Twitch and follow me on YouTube, as that’s where all the fun and translating is happening. This streaming stuff isn’t always 100% Legends of Localization-related, but sometimes the two interwtine – my MOTHER 3 stream is on the MOTHER 3 localization section, for example. Some other things I’d love to stream in the future include:

  • More extensive Japanese ROM hacks
  • Streams of other games I’ve fan-translated, so I can share memories, translation notes, secrets, and more
  • Streams of games based on anime and IPs that I’ve translated professionally. There are tons of Dragon Ball games, Lupin games, Detective Conan games, etc. out there, so it’d be neat to try them out finally!
  • It’s not translation related, but I have some neat hack ideas that would work best on stream
  • We have a huge box of random Japanese Famicom games – it’d be neat to play through them one at a time and give each one a real, genuine try!

Of course, if you have any suggestions for things we can try sometime, let me know on Twitter or in the comments here. and if any of this sounded interesting, I hope you’ll join us sometime!

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26 comments

  1. This is some really cool stuff. I’ve lurked around here for a while but I didn’t know you were doing so much outside the site. I’m gonna have to check all this out.

    Reply
  2. Live streams aren’t my bag — not least because I just don’t have the time — but I’m glad it’s working out! I’m more of an article man, myself. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Yep, that’s actually exactly why I post archives of all the streams on my YouTube account – for people who don’t have the time or for people who want to be there but miss parts for whatever reason.

      Reply
  3. In Princess Tomato you are a zucchini so how can that not count. Also theres Kickle Cubicle, which features alot of fruit and veg.

    Reply
    1. Princess Tomato is the best. But I’m compelled to note that you are in fact a cucumber, not a zucchini.

      Dragon Quest 9 features a line of anthropomorphic zucchini monsters. That ain’t much, but it’s something.

      Reply
        1. You can always check out the Game Center CX episode of Princess Tomato for a quick overview of the game. Unfortunately Arino doesn’t seem to care for it too much πŸ˜›

          Reply
      1. As a game, it’s pretty mediocre, but it’s just so utterly silly. To this day I still say “Wat Mel” instead of “watermelon.” πŸ™‚

        Reply
  4. I’ll probably watch them when they get archived on YouTube. I really can’t do live, especially given that you can’t pause a livestream if something comes up.

    …Completely unrelated to anything at all, but I have a question about the Japanese language. What happens if, while reading, you come across a Kanji you haven’t seen before? I mean, with other languages, we can roughly approximate the sound, but I don’t believe that’s possible in Japanese.

    Reply
    1. Kanji pronunciations do often have a pattern, so even if you come across a totally new one, you can usually take a pretty good guess at how it’s supposed to be pronounced if you’re familiar with other similar kanji.

      For instance, one reading for η™½ (white) is “haku”. These other kanji can also be read as “haku” although they have different meanings: ζ³Šγ€€ζ‹γ€€δΌ―γ€€θΏ«

      Pronouncing a kanji and being able to understand what you’re pronouncing are different things, though, which is why it’s actually probably better to have a huge vocabulary that you can say, “Oh, so that’s how that’s spelled using kanji” rather than the other way around: “Oh, here’s a new kanji, I should learn 50 random words that use it.”

      Reply
      1. So, if they look similar, they often have a similar pronunciation? Alright, I’ve just been curious about that.

        So it’s best to learn what it says in context rather than isolated, huh? Given the rather large amounts of homonyms in Japanese, that makes quite a bit of sense.

        I really don’t know a lot of or about Japanese, but I find the language fascinating, with all of its different nuances and such.

        Anyway, thank you for answering my question.

        Reply
  5. yay! i once sent a mail suggesting you to do something like this so i’m really glad this is happening

    and in that mail i asked for hanjuku eiyuu, so i’m going to ask again! do hanjuku eiyuu!

    Reply
  6. Hello Mato! How are you doing? Have you been considering doing an article or series of articles detailing how various Japanese games handles spoken text for various characters? For example, if a character is supposed to be robotic in some way then that character will likely have text composed entirely of Katakana apparently emulating the limitations of early computers and so on.

    Reply
    1. In other words, Japanese media has lots of various ways of telegraphing to the audience what the character in question is like just by one line alone.

      Reply

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