A common request I get is that I someday take a look at Final Fantasy Tactics, as its translation was supposedly pretty poor and/or unintentionally funny. It’s tough to admit, but I’ve yet to play the game. I really hope to someday, but for now here’s a question I’ve been asked a couple times before!
This comes from Stephen P.:
Final Fantasy Tactics on the Playstation has a pretty spotty translation, but there’s one particular part that stands out for a different reason.
In the intro to each chapter, there is a very slow text crawl with each letter appearing one by one. I’m guessing this speed worked well enough in Japanese since they use less characters per word, but it’s a little tedious. However, the phrase “little money” appears even more slowly, and I was wondering if there was some particular reason the game would be programmed to do this in the original Japanese game (since there certainly isn’t one that I can see for the English game).
Note that the offending phrase appears just as the player is starting to get fed up with the slow speed, almost as if they thought it would be funny. “Yeah, then we make it even slower and they’re like OH COME THE HELL ON ALREADY!”
For reference, I’ve made a video that compares the Japanese and English versions of this infamous “little money” scene side-by-side:
I can sort of see why the translation is known for being iffy – the original text doesn’t even mention “little money” at all! Now I also understand what ol’ HCBailly is referencing all the time 😛
Anyway, as you can possibly tell from the Japanese version, the text goes at an okay pace and pauses for a moment at logical pausing points as if someone were reading it aloud. It’s well-done and there’s no super slowdown at all.
It looks like the English translation retains the speed of the Japanese text, which does make it a little more annoying. And then it slows down to an amazing, infuriating crawl once it hits the “little money” line.
I’m not sure why this happens, my guess is that it’s another control code issue accidentally introduced by the localization team. How it passed quality control is another thing altogether. But at the very least it looks like this wasn’t an issue in the original text – the original line doesn’t even have text that moves this slowly.
If anyone out there has experience hacking Final Fantasy Tactics, could you look into this? I really do think it’s a control code problem, but now I’m dying to know for sure!