I saw a comment on romhacking.net that I found a little bothersome. They stated that they prefer a “good, high quality localization” to a “straight-forward translation”. Well, that’s cool, me too. But to be tagged as a “straight-forward translation” before I have even publicly shown any of my in-game translations for this project seems a little… off. Perhaps I haven’t explained myself well enough on this front. I’m actually glad for that post in a way. It gives me a chance to really expand upon what I want this translation to be. Up until now, you’ve all been wowed with the screenshots showing off the amazing hacks that are being produced. So while it’s maybe not as impressive visually, lend me your attention for just a little while and let me tell you about my dream for this project when it comes to translating.
- Almost everything is going to be in English. I mean, that’s clear right? There will be no Japanese characters left at least. The few “exceptions” (if you care to call them that) will follow.
- Tech names that are written in kanji will not be translated. They will be romanized. Why? I don’t believe that Demon Fang is any better a name than Majinken. I like the word Ougi more than calling something an ‘Arcane’ ability. What we’re doing here is not an ‘official’ Namco localization. I have no desire to follow their lead or to try and match my translation of things up with what they’ve done in the past. This means the names of Cless, Chester, and Suzu’s abilities will be written in their romanized forms. Of course, many of the techs are in English, like Arche’s spells, Klarth’s summons, and Mint’s spells will be written just as they’re said in English. Even with the kanji tech names, the descriptions of the abilities are always available, so I believe that there is no reason to give the names an incomplete English version just for the sake of having it. If I were Namco? Sure. But I’m just a fan, and I love the Japanese names, so I’m going to share them with everyone.
- There are going to be references to Japanese things left in this game. This may even include some of the descriptions for items. I would rather have people not understand a particular Eastern mythological reference in an item then to change it to a Western reference. I prefer to use my own judgment for things like this. The game is Japanese. I’m not afraid to leave Japanese things in it. I aim for descriptions that the vast majority of people will understand, but you know what’s even more fun then understanding something simple? Learning something new. Japanese mythology is cool. Kanji are interesting. A few obscure references won’t hurt you. And as someone who has translated these things, I can promise that the Japanese don’t understand every reference to Western mythology in here. This is a Japanese game. I feel like Namco has always feared that part of the series, wanted to hide it in a way. I think it’s part of the charm.
- Jokes, character personalities, and other script related things. The rh.net post gave me the impression that they thought my script would be half-baked. Maybe they looked at my translation guide and didn’t like it. Well, I’ve become less fond of it lately too. This part is getting the dramatic bold text. This script will be completely and accurately translated. Maybe I’m a jackass for saying it, but I don’t think my writing is horrible. So I’m confused how anyone got the impression that I’ll be doing a straight translation. That kind of thing is fine in a text document, which is exactly where it’s going to stay. There aren’t going to be any ‘-san’s left in the script. There aren’t going to be any honorifics. People will get titles like Lord. This game is going to have a story like you would expect from a game. Just because I want an accurate translation doesn’t mean that I won’t use some creative writing. Just because I don’t wish to follow Namco’s lead doesn’t mean my script does not have the same potential as any other script. Nor do I mean to say that a script that follows their lead can’t be good. I judge things as I experience them. So I urge anyone, before you judge what I am capable of, give me a chance to prove it to you.
- Ninjas. Ninjas are Japanese. So are their names. A Kunoichi is a female ninja. But they’ll still be called Kunoichi. Same with all of Suzu’s weapons and armor. The names will be romanized, the descriptions will be translated fully however.
What Phantasian Productions aims to do is a Namco style localization, at least in terms of the menus and items. What I aim to do is a localization in my own style. I don’t view myself as being ‘less localized’ because of that. I view myself as having more creative freedom. Some item descriptions will not be 100% accurate to the Japanese. Most probably won’t be in fact. Give me the chance to show you what I’m all about. I love this project, it’s one that I’ve been passionate about before this blog ever existed. Back then it was just my text translation. This is now a full-scale patching project. I am treating this differently. This project is something that is and will be my greatest pride to be a part of. And that passion and pride is something I want reflected in the translation I’m going to produce in the end.