It’s time for another roundup! This is where we share small things don’t need dedicated articles, but still deserve attention.
A substantial amount of Japanese-to-English fan translations were released since the last roundup. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.
Godzilla: Monsters Attack (Game Gear, English Translation)
Idol Hakkenden (Famicom, English Translation)
Linkle Liver Story (Sega Saturn, English Translation)
Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis (Super Famicom, English Translation)
Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible (Game Gear, English Translation)
Metal Max (Famicom, English Translation)
Miracle Girls (Super Famicom, English Translation)
Moldorian: The Sisters of Light and Darkness (Game Gear, English Translation)
Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage (Nintendo DS, English Translation)
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S (Game Gear, English Translation)
RPG Jinsei Game (Famicom, English Translation)
Super Robot Wars EX (Super Famicom, English Translation)
Undercover Cops (Super Famicom, English Translation)
Please enjoy this bountiful collection of new fan translations. And to all you translators and ROM hackers: good work and thank you for sharing gaming history with the world!
I recently found an old blog post by XSEED Games about the localization of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. They describe an unexpected gameplay quirk when they discovered that strawberries, melons, watermelons, and pineapples are classified as vegetables in the Japanese version.
Mato explained the reason as we were driving home from picking up some delicious pizzas. It seems strange to us to consider a strawberry a “vegetable”, but that’s not actually what’s happening. In Japanese, they’re not considered “vegetables” but rather 野菜 (yasai). It’s true that yasai is usually always translated as “vegetable”, but it’s not a perfect 1:1 match between Japanese and English. It’s just usually never an issue, except in cases like this.
So to fix this, XSEED can just write “fruit” instead of “vegetable” for those four crops in English, right? Nope. Because the Story of Seasons games are farming sims, things like crop values and a special fruit festival meant that the guts of the game itself needed to be changed for the North American release.
XSEED Games had to go to the Japanese developers and they were able to work together to make strawberries, melons, watermelons, and pineapples giftable during the Fruit Fiesta. Read the whole post here! (scroll down to the “gaiden” part)
GearNuke recently posted an interview they had with M2, the development team who ports Sega titles to the 3DS and now the Nintendo Switch. For the Switch in particular, more is going on behind the scenes than just a standard port. Here’s what they had to say about the localization aspect:
Regarding the titles we are currently porting, the only thing that will be localized in the games will be the menu, and the rest of the game will be left as is. The English in Phantasy Star can be very awkward, but because we want people to feel the nostalgia, we decided to leave it as is.
When we released the Genesis/MegaDrive title Monster World IV for the SEGA Vintage Collection 3, it had never been released outside of Japan, so we had our current localization team translate this title. This title ended up with translation quality which wouldn’t have been possible to have back in 1994 when this game first released.
In the future, we may try localizing titles which have never been translated if we can draw a reaction.
So we might be looking at some brand new official localizations of older Sega games in the future! Read the whole interview here.
Peer Schneider shared a slew of Pokemon stickers he found while cleaning house recently. Some of the names were still in development when these stickers were made. It’s a neat peek into the naming process!
What your favorite “original” names? I really like NY and LA for Koffing and Weezing.
What would a Localization Roundup be without mentioning the genius team that breathed new life into the Yakuza series?
Game Informer sat down with Sam Mullen (localization director) and Andrew Davis (localization producer) at Sega/Atlus to talk about how games like Yakuza and Persona reached Western audiences.
The topics of discussion are:
- Localizing content that feels out-of-place or problematic in another region
- How much overseas fanbases matter to development decisions
- The recent resurgence of Japanese-developed games
- Localizing comedy and finding funny translators
- Writing a consistent voice for games with contrasting styles
It’s a long interview and it’s filled with fascinating stuff. Please give it a read!
Let’s close it out with a little blast from the past. There was a show a long time ago that had a segment called Karakuri Funniest English. Host Thane Camus would ask Japanese people to tell a story based on a theme. Then he’d ask them to tell that same story in English. You can imagine the results given the segment’s name.
Mato translated a few of these segments many years ago. Here’s one:
Well, that’s all for this roundup. If you find anything that’d be a good fit for future roundup articles, let me know on Twitter or in the comments!