The Legends of 2013 and the Future of 2014!

It’s almost the end of 2013, so I thought it’d be neat to take a look back and see how the Legends of Localization site has done!

Legends of Localization used to just be a small section of my personal blog, but around March of 2013 I moved it and my separate EarthBound/MOTHER 2 comparison stuff to its own dedicated site. I also started doing smaller, blog-like articles around the middle part of the year – in fact, this is actually my 100th article! Man, I can’t believe I’ve written so many in such a short amount of time 😯

A Look at 2013

For fun, I decided to take a look at the site’s stats for 2013 – originally I wasn’t going to share this stuff, but for the sake of entertainment and future reference, here’s some of the more interesting data!

First, here’s a look at the site’s visitor count over the year:

I forgot what that giant spike was near the end of November, it turns out my article about the tourist lady in Pokemon X/Y hit the Reddit front page or some big sub-Reddit! I was mostly amazed that my site stayed functional; usually in the past Reddit would crash my other sites, even with caching plugins activated!

I’m 100% honestly amazed at how many people visit the site on a regular basis – thanks for always coming and commenting and sending in your interesting questions! It’s also incredibly humbling to think that this dinky little site got enough unique visitors to fill a couple stadiums!

Next, here were the most visited parts of the site:

Holy Giygas I had no idea EarthBound dominated the site so much 😯 I guess the fact that I run EarthBound Central plays a big part in that, but wow. It’s also interesting to see that Pokemon tourist lady post ranked so high!

And lastly, I was curious to see what the most common search engine searches were:

There are a couple eyebrow-raising entries in there, but I’m mostly surprised that so many folks were looking for Strawberry Tofu stuff on the site!

A Look at 2014

I’m having a lot of fun with Legends of Localization, and here are a few things I’d like to accomplish in 2014!

  • Continue to make small blog posts – these keep me from getting burned out on the bigger projects, and I enjoy finding answers to readers’ localization questions! Right now my update queue has about 100 questions in it, so already I got lots to write about 😯
    A few weeks ago I had a Twitter poll for what I should do my next blog update about, and it went over pretty well. It’s got me wondering if I should do similar things more often, or if there’s some way to help prioritize some questions that readers most want to see answered. I’ll have to figure something out.
  • Finish my thorough article about Vivian in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door – I love this game and this is a common question I get, so I’m aiming for a really clear and informative article.
  • Continue to update the Final Fantasy IV section at the rate of about one section a month, or more if a section is shorter. I feel that’s a good pace for the amount of detail I go into… I just gotta tell myself never to go into such detail again for future projects 😛
  • MOTHER 3 is in a really weird place for me right now, so I don’t know about the MOTHER 3 notes just yet. I’m not going to drop them, though.
  • Figure out how to speed up the comparison process to get a few more full comparison sections finished next year – right now I’m leaning toward something Zelda (a new-ish one probably) and/or Pokemon, but I’m planning to put up a poll later on. For now, if you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments or message on Twitter!
  • Maybe not in 2014, but someday I want to do a detailed look at some of my own early fan translations, as they’re full of funny bloopers and laughably amateur fan translator mistakes. It’s interesting, insightful stuff!
  • Get a new site design for the front page and the blog stuff – what I have now is pretty blegh. But I’m not sure who to ask about this, as being a gamer who understands the site is a big prerequisite, and if I ask around I’ll just get a bunch of marketing guys bugging me.
  • Create a section for really interesting external articles and videos – I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time but haven’t gotten around to it. There’s so much cool stuff here that I’ve never even touched on yet!
  • Create dedicated pages for control code mistakes in official games, games with untranslated lines in them, and more. Readers have been sending me these, so I need to compile them eventually!
  • Earlier this year I tried an experiment with progress meters and donations; I might try to improve that system to help keep things running smoothly and so I can focus more time on the site and update more!
  • I just remembered I still need to come up with a good hashtag for my updates on Twitter and Facebook. #lol obviously isn’t an option… but everything else I can think of sounds pretty wacky and unclear. #legofloc? Sounds like some kind of food or a badly translated wrestling move 😛
  • I’d like to at least publish one Legends of Localization book just to say I’ve done it. I think it’d be a neat experience, and it’d be fun to design!
  • Continue to get in touch with industry veterans and legends, maybe even do interviews with some of them – maybe I could even ask them some reader-submitted stuff!
  • I don’t know how yet, but I’d like to do some sort of videos. I think even just playing games side-by-side might be interesting, or at the very least they’ll be useful for reference. Videos take so much time that whatever I do will have to be something simple and light.
  • Give some more inside looks at how localization works and how you can get into the industry for those who are interested – which seems to be a lot of people, actually!
  • Similarly, for years I’ve wanted to come up with a small site or tiny page or book or something to help out a lot of the people who ask about how to start learning Japanese. If I can find the time, I’d like to finally make this happen!

There are a number of other projects and mini-projects I’d like to get done for Legends of Localization, but I don’t want to make any promises or get any big hopes up yet. I think some readers might already have some ideas about some of them, though, so mum’s the word!

This past year has been a blast for me, and I hope it has been for you too! Here’s to 2014 being even more legendary than 2013!

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  1. Found this site around May/June this year and I’ve been a follower ever since- I devoured the FF4 pages and didn’t stop there. Cheers Mato for a wonderful, interesting and informative resource into a world we don’t normally get to see, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings! 😀

  2. Thanks for the awesome site, Mato. I’ve learned all kinds of interesting stuff by reading your articles and comparisons. I’m looking forward to more in 2014!

  3. Thank you for continuing to dedicate your time to this look into what really is a fascinating topic. Here’s to much more in the coming years.

  4. Thanks for posting interesting articles on a regular basis! My Japanese is rusty (no real experience outside of 5 semesters back in the early 2000s), but I seem to remember enough to understand and appreciate your insights. In fact, I find that even those of us who aren’t fluent in Japanese can come off learning a thing or two about the language or the culture, and I think that’s quite an accomplishment.

  5. Been following you since EarthBound Central opened, man I can’t believe how long ago that started. Your site always provides interesting little tidbits and insights, and as I started studying Japanese I grew really interested in translation (official and unofficial) this project really fed that interest.

    Thanks for all your time and effort Tomato. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings us.

  6. I’m not sure Pokemon would be very interesting to be honest. The big changes (coffee guy, the names of everything) have already been covered by fans, and even without it and I suspect actually trying to cover the gen 1 names in Japanese would get boring very quick even if they weren’t (There are only so many ways you can say “its Japanese name is THIS animal sound/English word”). The most interesting issues don’t really show up till after generation 1 either (Hop becoming Splash isn’t an issue at all in gen 1, but in gen 2 it is learned by non-fish, and in 4 it loses its connection to Bounce).

    I’d actually be more interested in Shadowgate (which was mentioned as an option in its article) because of how weird it is, both for being English to Japanese and the massive changes it had.

    As for the hashtag, there is translating the site name to Japanese, then contracting it like Japanese fandoms do (ポケットモンスター/ポケモン) is an option, but it might be too… meta and non-obvious.

    1. And I just noticed the logo has the title in Japanese…

      Most options for that seem free hashtag wise (at least on twitter).

      1. Hah! Yeah, i asked Mato what how the site’s name would look in Japanese and then added it to the logo.

        Actually, speaking of which: Mato, what ever happened to that other site i made a logo for?

            1. We probably shouldn’t bog down this thread with negotiations. You want to get in touch with me on Tweeter @perfectlydarien? We can go from there. 🙂

  7. Been visiting the site since before you started doing these newfangled articles, and I just thought this was a good time to make my first comment and say I really enjoy this place.

    Looking forward to that Vivian article and whatever you want to do for your next full comparison (Suggesting Shadowgate.), keep up the good work.

  8. Grats on the good year! I’m happy to see that my Pokémon lady question made an impact. 😉

    As for your hashtag needs, how about #mato? It’s short and probably gets the point across.

    And, yes, I know, but: consider this one vote for definitely doing more analyses as in-depth as FF4. 😉

  9. I don’t even remember what I was looking for when I first stumbled on this site, but I’ve been hooked for the past couple of months. I’ve even told some friends about it and they love it too! I feel like I’ve learned a lot, actually. I’m looking forward to the next year of updates.

  10. I really like a lot of the ideas you have. And I think looking back on your translation of Bahamut Lagoon or something like that would be pretty funny. ; )

  11. I’ve know about Earthbound Central for ages, but I actually stumbled onto this site through a convoluted series of events that involved wooden carvings, noble literature majors, and Internet arguments. Long story short, I ended up at the page about the “miserable pile of secrets” line in Castlevania, and ended up browsing from there! I’d actually read the Mother 2/Earthbound comparison stuff years in the past, but all this stuff was pretty new and it was all coool, baby, coool!

    This site is endlessly fascinating, and I look forward to seeing everything else that comes of it!

  12. Congratulations on the milestone, Clyde! I’m sure I’ll send some questions and suggestions in the foreseeable future.

  13. Awesome site stats! When I saw “legend of zelda manual” search, just remembered how I found the site. Congratulations for all the great content!

  14. Opinionated Vector Chimera

    Hey, Mato, it’s awesome that you take the time to translate some stuff we don’t understand for us. That kind of thing is very appreciated. You do a very in-depth comparison of Final Fantasy IV localizations. I think it’s a shame that most people prefer the fan translation, because I thought the “terrible” translation had some charm to it that I wasn’t aware of. Knowing that it actually gets some things done right is an eye-opener.

    Also, I have a couple of questions regarding Snatcher (here is a spoiler message that gets dwarfed by the following paragraphs):

    1. At one point in the Sega CD version (the only official localization), Gillian Seed and his robot buddy check out an area where he purchases “Neo Kobe pizza”. I highly doubt that was the same in the original version; do you know if that is the case?

    2. I heard the robot skeletons (Snatchers) apparently resembled Terminators in the original version and were edited in the Sega CD localization to lessen the resemblance. Is that true? And, if it is, what changes were made?

  15. I love the detail you’re going into for FF4, please continue to go into that much detail, I don’t care if the updates are slow! Still, rest of the projects look cool, here’s to a new year!

  16. Found this site when I was doing a random search on FF4 quite a few months ago. Ever since that initial visit, I’ve been visiting daily to read everything onsite. It’s been an enlightening handful of months. ^^

  17. I have been your fan since the old good times of J2e Translations because I was a romhacker myself too (but for Spanish :). In fact, just like you, I ended in the localization industry just like you…

    Keep up the good work and have a happy new year! 🙂


  18. Congratulations, Great Demon King Legends of Localization! Here’s to another year of your iron-fisted, despotic rule. P.S. Get me a better horse, this one is a jerk and ran away with some stupid teenager with a fairy following him around.

    (I found this site through a search for the Mario manual, but I remember you from Starmen back in the day… like, over ten years ago.)

  19. Angela Michaelina

    I’ve been following your work long before you had opened EarthBound Central, and I truly appreciate the amount of effort and care you place in your work. 🙂 I’m currently studying TESOL for my master’s–so even though I’m approaching language from an angle where I will be teaching people how to use a language rather producing something so that people can understand it without having to learn an additional language, I really enjoy learning how things are changed in translations due to lexical and grammatical differences between languages and also due to cultural perceptions. Thanks!

    1. I’ve briefly thought about it but haven’t gotten much past that stage yet. Do you mean blog-like posts like this, or full-blown, detailed analyses like my EarthBound/FFIV/etc. sections?

      1. Both. Specifically, I always wanted to do manual comparisons between Japanese and English manuals (especially from companies like Konami, Capcom and Sega, since their backstories they made up for their games varied between regions in their early years), but never got around setting up the webspace for it.

        1. I’ve thought it over for a bit but still haven’t decided yet – I think it’d be great to have more contributors to cover more topics, but the way I’ve set up the site isn’t really conducive to group efforts. So the current options are:

          – I could post contributors’ blog posts for them
          – I could set up detailed comparison sections and fill them with contributors’ info, but editing/fixing things later would also have to be done through me, which might make the process a bit slow and frustrating if I can’t update right away
          – Contributors could set up stuff on their own sites and I could add them to my links section or display them in some other way

          I feel like there might be some more options I haven’t thought of, but right now the last one is the easiest way for everyone I think.


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