By • March 29, 2012

It would appear that the localization staff are not Tales of Innocence fans, so we’re stuck with Mr. Ruca Milda for now.

The more we dig into this game’s localization, the more it seems like we’re going to have to take it with a grain of salt. Parts of the localization (Pascal) are really great. Most of the remainder is decent enough and some of the things that bothered me early on have improved (though not all of them). Some of it, however, shows a real lack of research/knowledge/effort. A number of the artes don’t fit outside of Graces and will create headaches in localizing some of the other games. The font and its alignment leave a lot to be desired. Some of the word choice in the post-battle lines is just stupid. For me personally, of course, Luca’s name in Carta is definitely the most unfortunate oversight. I don’t blame the localization staff for missing the reference because they probably didn’t realize that his name is a reference. You can’t figure out the relationship between Luca and Mathias and the reason that Ruca simply doesn’t work just by looking at Tales of Graces. It’s very very hard to localize when you don’t have the right context. That would require a lot of familiarity with Tales of Innocence. And so I can’t help but view it as a simple mistake. I hope that if Tales of Innocence R ever reaches our shores, it will be recognized as such and modified, but that’s a concern for another day.

Part of the reason that I’m posting this is my stubborn pride, but that’s not the whole reason I’m upset about it. I’m not perfect and I make plenty of mistakes. When I believe I’ve made a mistake, I try to own up to it and learn from it, but even now, I just don’t see how Ruca could possibly be his intended name. I don’t intend to keep harping on this point forever, but I can’t help but be disappointed by it. As a fan translator, I think job number one is to do justice to the games that I work on. I do extensive research and I try to keep people informed of the reasoning behind my decisions. I want to try and understand the game’s references and help the player to understand them as well. The reason that I do is because as a fan, that’s what I would want. And so when I don’t feel like the games get the same level of respect from the people who work on them, I wonder if I’m just wasting my time. I wish I could just accept Ruca at face value, but I simply can’t reconcile it with the evidence that I have to the contrary.

I realize this post probably sounds a lot like me rejecting Ruca because I don’t like it and I don’t want to be wrong and I apologize for that. I’ve given you what I believe is Tales of Innocence as it is intended to be portrayed. At this point, I will just have to let my work speak for me. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I hope that you find that our Tales of Innocence patch can stand the test of time.

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

20 Responses to “Ruca”

  1. I like Ruca better anyways

  2. I try to avoid framing discussions of localization as matters of personal preference. I stand by Luca not because I prefer it as a name but because of its place in Tales of Innocence’s mythology.

  3. Oh I understand, I’m not saying it “should be” Ruca or Luca or anything, I don’t know enough about the story or anything to make that decision. I’m just stating my own personal opinion.

    I guess it’s more so because I’ve grown attached to “Ruca” over “Luca”, as any romanization of the name in games (like VS) show it as Ruca.

  4. Ruca just doesn’t fit as a “name” (out of Japan), Luca is more convenient in any way.

  5. Sorry, but I find this reveal hilarious. After all the stuff that happened with his name in your project, I can’t help but laugh.

    But anyway, I don’t think you should take it too seriously. The Magic Cartas in general seem very barebones to begin with (“Look out!” yeah, that’s real good hint, thanks game). I think the whole Jadeite thing was just a fluke.

  6. @Saloma: You’re right. I certainly went back and forth on the name myself a few times. Of course, taking things much too seriously is one of my specialties.

  7. I’m sorry throughim but I can’t really agree with you on this one, considering they chose to change Kohaku to Amber and Hisui to Jadeite I think that Ruca’s official name is Ruca like it or not. In the end it’s your patch and no one is forcing you to use the official localized names, but I think if we do get ToI:R you’re going to need to set yourself up to see Ruca in more official titles.

  8. It’s not quite an apples to apples comparison though. Kohaku and Hisui are obviously Japanese words and thus in need of translation. Looking at the rest of the Hearts characters’ names, the theme is pretty obvious. The fact that they left Shing is a little more interesting because it seems to suggest that for names with no obvious reference, they just left the original romanizations as-is. Luca falls into that category as well. There’s no reason to assume that Ruca is wrong unless you’re familiar enough with Tales of Innocence to look at it as part of a pair.

    You’re probably right that Ruca is going to be his official name going forward. I just think that’s a shame. I’ll stand by the decision I made, but I hope to give up before it drives me completely insane. Regardless, if people choose to use Ruca, that’s cool with me. I don’t think it’s correct, but it’s not the first localization decision I’ve ever disagreed with and it won’t be the last.

  9. Actually, I would like to point out something that apparently none of you have actually bothered to noticed. Despite it saying Ruca on his Carta, when you play the minigame, it is pronounced and also labeled as Luca. I honestly think that it was just an oversight that the item translators had it labeled Ruca.

  10. @Sophia: I haven’t actually obtained Luca’s carta in-game yet, but if true, that’s very very interesting. I’ll look forward to seeing it.

  11. Could you actually explain the link with Luca and Mathias? I played Innocence quite a while ago, and I can’t remember specific details/themes as to why his name should be Luca.

  12. @Scott
    Maybe it has to do with two of Jesus apostles according to Christian mythology?

  13. Oops. Missed your message the first time, Scott. As Lion said, the reference is to two of the apostles. If it’s not clear, think Luke and Matthew.

  14. Illia also seemed to be a terrible choice. I would think that Iria would be obvious to anybody who was at all familiar with ToI.
    Or, possibly, throughhim413’s translation of Innocence completely misled me, and her personality is actually quite calm, and has nothing to do with irritability (or other ir-words).

  15. Honestly, Iria’s name doesn’t have any obvious references. So if they want to change it to Illia, that’s all fine and good as far as I’m concerned. I just find it very strange that they would change Iria’s name (which seems to have been changed just as a matter of preference) while leaving Ruca’s name alone. I have a hard time understanding why the decision was made to change one but not the other.

  16. I’m playing Tales of Innocence R and the Japanese (digital) manual has romanized names behind the character on their profiles and they clearly chose Ruca Milda and Iria Animi. So as far as I’m concerned, if the official japanese manual is using these names, then those are the official names.

    Case closed eh?

  17. Would be nice if it were that easy, huh? Unfortunately past games have taught us not to trust the manuals. The Japanese developers have a bad track record when it comes to romanizing character names. It would be great if we could just take them at face value, but common sense and inherent references have to prevail. And when that’s not enough, it’s still important to look at things with a localizer’s eye.

  18. I personally think Ruca has a pretty cool ring to it, if you take it out of your mind that Luca is a name.

  19. While I personally think “Luca” makes more sense, the OFFICIAL website shows it as “Ruca”, so that’s what I call him. Of course, the official website also writes Asura’s name as “Asras” in English, which is VERY strange and doesn’t follow the katakana at all.

    Also, while official sources sometimes romanize things incorrectly, to my knowledge, all official ToI sources consistently spell his name “Ruca”.

  20. Your willingness to question “Asras” shows that you’re halfway there. I can hire a professional painter to do my gardening, but doesn’t mean I can go around telling people that my landscaping was done by a pro. Japanese game developers are good at making games, but that doesn’t mean those skills can be equally applied to the English language. You are, of course, welcome to draw your own conclusions when it comes to my localization decisions. Question everything. You can take the official website or me at my word, but in the end, wouldn’t you rather come to your own conclusion? If something feels off, maybe it is. I’ve previously laid out my case for Luca and I believe the evidence supports my position. If my reasoning was unconvincing, well, maybe something’s off. That being said, I am yet to hear a more convincing argument for Ruca than “Japan says so.”