New and Current Legends of Localization!

The past few days/weeks have been filled with some interesting and unexpected things for me and Legends of Localization, so I thought I’d share of them! I’ve forgotten about half of them now, so here are just the ones I can remember:

Academic Journal

That’s right – apparently I was mentioned and quoted in an academic journal called The Journal of Internationalisation and Localisation 😯 This was actually from many years ago too, so it’s surprising that I’ve only now heard about it. You can check it out here and you can find the stuff about me by searching for my name.

You know, sometimes when I think back on some of my projects, I just remember, “Oh, that’s the game where I had to translate poop jokes,” so it’s a pretty crazy feeling to be a quotable source for academic writing, heh.

Retro Gamer

I’m also in the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine! I swear, every time I see pictures of this magazine it makes me want to buy every issue ever. So it’s an honor to be within its pages! You can actually see a quick video preview of the issue here:

Haha, I just realized that the Japanese text next to “Key Figures” means that I’m an “important number” πŸ˜›

New Project in the Works

For the past many weeks I’ve been putting together a new project – a comparison of the latest Zelda game for the 3DS. Late last year I finally sat down to play through A Link Between Worlds and started thinking – since I’ve already taken a detailed look at the first Zelda game’s localization, it would be cool to look at the very latest game’s localization too to see how things have changed in all these years. So I’ve been doing just that, and it’s actually turning out to be a lot more fascinating than I expected!

Anyway, I don’t have a timeline for this project yet, but it’s coming along nicely. I originally wasn’t even going to mention it until it was ready, but the main reason is this: if you have any questions or suggestions for stuff I should look into, lemme know! I don’t want to miss anything if I can help it, since it won’t always be easy to go back and check things.

In fact, while playing through both versions of the game and gathering screenshots, I also decided to record video for future reference and to supplement any screenshots I miss. I also decided to start uploading them to YouTube, so if you’re interested in checking out videos of the Japanese and English version of A Link Between Worlds, I’ve started slowly posting them on my YouTube channel here!

When the time comes I’ll be adding these to the appropriate comparison pages too. Be sure to let me know if I’ve missed anything or if I should try not to miss certain things – as of writing this I’m about to get the Master Sword.

Final Fantasy IV

My Final Fantasy IV comparison section has turned into a huge monster over time! But my recent decision to try to do one update a month has made it a lot easier for me to handle, so I’ll probably keep doing it that way for a while. The next update is going to be the Tower of Zot… which means some serious stuff’s about to go down!

AVGN Section Stuff

The other week I posted a new section about Angry Video Game Nerd-related stuff, and it’s actually been one of the most-viewed section of the site since 😯 My aim is to do a new article every couple of weeks; the ones that don’t involve creating comparison videos are surprisingly quick for me to write up, so it’s pretty easy and fun. Next up will be Who Framed Roger Rabbit… ugh.

Xenoblade for Fun, Research, and Health!

Last year I played through Xenoblade, and after some initial frustration it went on to become one of my all-time favorite games. I spent about 150+ hours on it, and about half of those were actually while I was on my exercise bike. I actually mentioned this to some friends and they were like, “Holy crap that’s a great idea, I’m gonna do it too!”

Anyway, I wanted to get back in the swing of things, so I decided the other day to start a new game of Xenoblade. Then I realized, you know, maybe I should record my gameplay for future reference if I ever want to do a comparison project, or if I just want to do tiny mini-articles like this one. So I’ve started recording Xenoblade videos and uploading them too, in what I call a “Let’s Workout” πŸ˜›

It’s not especially exciting stuff to watch, but if you’re interested, it’s on my YouTube channel too. Eventually I hope to move on to the Japanese version and record it too, but that won’t be for a while I’m sure. But, again, if you have any suggestions on what I should look out for or what I should try not to miss, let me know!

(Just to be clear, I’m not announcing a Xenoblade comparison, but I’d love to do one someday, which is why I’m recording these videos.)

Man, I know there’s a lot more that I ought to mention, but I can’t remember it right now. But anyway, if you have any info or suggestions or whatever, please share them with me~

Also, after writing all this up, I’m amazed at how I rarely play games how they’re meant to be played anymore – I play them for research purposes and workouts now? Man, what a weirdo.

Get the Very First Legends of Localization Book!

My very first Legends of Localization book is now on sale! Check it out!

This book covers the original The Legend of Zelda and includes tons of new content, updated info, and more! It features a hardback cover, 208 full-color pages, a reversible book obi, a localization survey card, and many extras!

Whether you're a fan of the Zelda series, a fan of Legends of Localization, a retro gamer, or even just an aspiring translator / localizer, this book is for you!

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  1. A Link Between Worlds? Awesome! Looks like we’ll find an answer to this very soon, but I guess I’ll ask in advance – in the Japanese version, is Ganon supposed to be sealed away or outright dead at the beginning of the game? Since the prologue says he was “sealed into darkness” or something, but I think Yuga says stuff about resurrecting him… It kind of comes across as censored wording, yet wouldn’t you believe it? There’s already been some timeline debates over his apparent status in this game!

    1. Really? Wow, I don’t actively follow Zelda sites/communities so I hadn’t heard about that. Here’s the line in the game though:

      It definitely says “sealed” there. No “sealed into darkness”, just “sealed”. But this is also in the context of hearsay/legends/myth, so you gotta keep that in mind too.

  2. Awesome! A Link Between Worlds is fantastic. It might even be my favorite 2D Zelda game. So glad you’re doing this one. It’ll also be very interesting to see a modern localization!

    1. Yeah, I’m actually wondering how crazy of a jump it’ll be to go back to A Link to the Past now. Zelda 1’s probably still my favorite 2D one, though. Too many memories packed into that game for it to get dethroned now πŸ˜›

  3. Hey Mato! I actually wanted to ask something, but it doesn’t have much to do with this update. If you don’t mind…

    I was thinking of starting a playthrough of Final Fantasy IV DS soon(ish), and since I’ve been enjoying the FFIV section of the site a lot, I was wondering if you’d be interested in some screenshots of that version. I’ve only read up to the Mythril Town section, so I don’t know if you’ve gotten more DS screenshots since then, though (there were a few there).

    1. Darien’s been providing me with lots of DS screenshots lately, so I’m probably okay in the DS screenshot regard. What I’m mostly interested in these days are PSP screenshots and iOS screenshots, but to be honest I doubt they’re very different from the GBA and DS scripts. But maybe I’m wrong and there are some weird changes between them, like the “Load Captain” thing, heh.

      I appreciate the offer, though!

        1. Ripping the games you bought as a PSN digital download or from an UMD using a soft-modded PSP is extremely easy nowadays (all models can be softmodded, and chances are you’ll want to do it if you want to enjoy the upcoming Final Fantasy Type-0/Sol Trigger/Tales translations). And I think there’s even a plugin that allows you to take screenshots straight from the console, but obviously without the texture upscaling allowed by emulators.

          1. Don’t have a PSP. If anybody else wants to volunteer to do this thing and send the results to me, I’ll play screenshot harvest, though. πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah, the MOTHER 3 notes are a thing that’s hard to explain, but I haven’t given up on them. The best way to describe it right now is that even after all these years I’m still sort of burnt out on the game, so whenever I’m like, “You know, I need to do an update for Mother 3” it’s just really hard to get motivated for it. That’s partly why I had the donation meter things running a while back too, but that had some unexpected consequences of people donating a zillion dollars all at once and I wasn’t able to keep up. What a weird, weird problem, “People are giving me too much money!” πŸ˜›

      There are other reasons, but I don’t intend to give up the translation notes. It’s just gonna be really slow going, I assume maybe just a few updates a year.

      If there WAS some way to monetize all this Legends of Localization stuff and I could make it a side-job or a full-job though, I’d probably zip right through it much quicker. But I don’t really see that happening anytime soon – I don’t even got ads on the site πŸ˜›

  4. I’m so happy to hear that updates now have a more concrete schedule in place, because I love reading your articles and it’ll be great to see them rolling out a tad faster. As the immortal words of Ness’ dad go, though, don’t work yourself too hard for little old us!

  5. I’d like to see comparisions of the following:

    • The Rockman Complete Works series. They’ve been released in North America as part of Mega Man Anniversary Collection, but in a stripped down format. All the special features that were retained were the Easy Mode and the Navi Mode. The translation of the Navi Mode dialogue lacks polish, from what I remember. Also, for some reason they completely rewrote the cutscene before the Wily Stages in Mega Man 3.

    • Mega Man & Bass. It was originally released on the Super Nintendo, but it was only exclusive to Japan until the game was ported to Game Boy Advance. The original SNES version has three unofficial translations.

      1. Man I forgot about the weird translations featured within the CD database! However, I did think it was clever that Gyroman had “Greek sandwich” listed for his Like in the English version (apparently it was listed as dragonflies or something in the original Japanese version).

          1. Nice, props for the link!

            Hmm, looks like Flashman’s profile quote translates to “While you’re stopped, I’ll kill you!” In the English version, his quote is completely different: “Stop! In the name of love!” I’m guessing that’s a Supremes reference, which is also pretty clever, despite the translation’s faults.

      2. Here’s an example of the Navi Mode translation I mentioned. When you are in the third Dr. Wily stage in Mega Man 1 and you get swept up by the wave, Dr. Light says this:

        “A wild wall attack! Will be thrown away … can not return”

        Incomprehensible, isn’t it?

  6. Heh, guess I have to find time to catch up on FF4 and get through LBW. And I could never focus enough to play a game while on an excersise bike. XD

    1. I’ve found that some games are better suited for exercise bike time than others – obviously action games aren’t a good match, but slower-paced exploratory games are great. What I like about Xenoblade is that by focusing on the quests and exploring places I lose track of the time, and before I know it I’m done for the day. Sometimes I’d even end up playing longer than I planned, just because it was fun πŸ˜›

  7. I’d still like to see comparisons of Tetris Attack and Panel de Pon but that’s only because I’m REALLY obsessed with the latter, heheh.

  8. You’re just so amazing man. How I wish I could translate at your level. You rock for being mentioned in the magazine. : )

  9. Ha, ha, ha! I actually published the last paper in JIAL about romhacking. I am seeing that it was Minako O’Hagan who quoted you, but don’t worry, I also do my best to remember quoting you when somebody asks me “hey, do you know any other fan translator who became a professional translator too?” πŸ™‚

  10. Nice, I love Zelda.
    Interesting to hear about Xenoblade, I got that game a while ago because everyone said it was so good but I found the beginning frustrating as well. I’ll give it another shot sometime.

    1. My problem was that it threw too many things all at once via the tutorial system. It really could’ve handled that aspect better, but looking back I can see the developers at least tried to teach it in a logical way. It’s just too much too fast.

      After getting over the initial hurdle I wanted to make a page for people who might’ve had the same trouble as me, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The really key things to know are

      – the Break -> Topple -> Daze system
      – fighting enemies that are even a few levels above you is probably a bad idea if you’re just starting out
      – the Agility stat is one of the most important stats in the game, so focus on this at first if you can
      – if you see blue lines between your party members, press up and/or down on the middle attack option to select a chain attack, this took me forever to figure out and it’s the simplest thing (and super important!)

      There’s more I’m sure but I wish I could’ve told myself these basic tips back when I first played it.

      Also, don’t worry about quests – they’re just a thing for completionists. Just load up on some sometimes and then occasionally while you’re playing the game you’ll complete some naturally and get the rewards that way. Doing quests will gain you a ton of good items and experience though!

  11. Retro Gamer is a fantastic magazine, and honestly the only current video game publications worth spending money on. Grab yourself a complete collection.

  12. Did they seriously censor prayer in A Link Between Worlds? Man, its like the more things change at Nintendo the more they stay the same. πŸ˜›

      1. Awesome choice for comparison! Looking forward to it.

        Interesting, at least NoA went with priest instead of sage this time around. The church is still the sanctuary and temples are still palaces, but I also felt the translators kept a lot of the name choices made in the early 90’s in order to make veterans who have played ALttP feel at home in this one such as, “Swamp Palace” instead of “Water Shrine”, “Mail” instead of “Clothes” (tunic) and “Titan’s Mitt” instead of “Powerful Gloves” etc.

        I’m curious to know if the Japanese game mention γƒ˜γƒ–γƒ©ε±± (Hebra Mountain) in reference to Death Mountain, I guess not but in the Japanese version of ALttP the mountain was for some reason known as Mount Hebra in the Light World.

          1. I’ll be damned, never thought they would keep that little detail, great for continuity and for Japanese veterans. πŸ™‚

        1. They’ve pretty consistently used “temple” in all the OOT-series Zelda releases, so most likely that change in Link Between Worlds wasn’t censorship, but, as you say, continuity.

      2. Interestingly though, it’s not like they’ve *always* avoided using the word.
        You’ll actually find “pray”, “praying”, “prayer”, etc… appears surprisingly often throughout Skyward Sword.
        I believe the 1st time actually comes from someone who tells you about saving a few minutes into the game…

        [Brief Skyward Sword Spoilers Ahead]

        Zelda visits a few temples during the game to both ‘pray to the Goddess’ & ‘purify her body’ (..long story..).
        You even pray to the full Triforce near the end & get a particular wish granted.

        [End Spoilers]

        I’m certain there’s plenty more of those, but those few happened to stick with me.

  13. Sweet. I do hope your next project proves to be interesting. Still, I guess I should remind you to do a translation comparison of the ‘crazy Colonel’ sequences from MGS2. I am sure people will appreciate it.

    1. Yep, he’s actually been on my personal to-do list for a long time now. I looked briefly into it at one point but it was surprisingly not as interesting as I had hoped, so I haven’t written up an article about it yet. For the most part it seemed like a pretty straightforward translation.

  14. Interesting! A Link Between Worlds might be one of my favorite Zelda games now (though Link to the Past was always in my top 3, so I’m not really surprised) so I’m interested to see what may have changed. From your other comments it sounds like there’s quite a lot to look at.

  15. As I’ve said before on another comment section long ago, games made by Rareware (Specifically from around the N64-Xbox era) are something that I’d love to see more of. The original games have subtle innuendos in the text, so I’d like to see if those were translated. (Apparently Conker’s Bad Fur Day only had it’s Xbox remake released there, so that may be a bit harder to get screenshots for.)

    The Earthworm Jim games were also released over there. The first game doesn’t have much text, but the game show and the answers within the 2nd would be worth looking into. (Examples are Asking if Jim can speak a certain language then having the answers be in that language, Asking what color Jim’s red gun is, etc…)


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