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(Re)Translations present & forthcoming

posted on March 2nd, 2007 by chris

Those who have played the Final Fantasy VI remake for GBA have surely noticed something in addition to the new Espers and dungeons.

Apparently the game was actually partially retranslated, whether due to the fact that mysterious ninja video game company TOSE actually did the port or because somebody along the localization chain realized it might be a good thing.

A translation making fun of nitpicky fans? Heresy.

Not to disparage Ted Woolsey’s work on the original game (which is nothing short of heroic, as he had just one month for his original translation of FFVI), but the game could probably use it. Some parts were a bit sketchy, others unclear, and the retranslation has generally been received quite well. Many of Woolsey’s original lines were kept in the script as well, so many of the better original lines will still bring back nostalgia. I’m hoping to try it soon.

This could mean more retranslations for games that get remade in Japan. Whether it’s a fix of poor grammar, or a revert to originally-censored material, the results are probably going to be better than the original. The result should be a game closer to the original, but still maintaining a nice flow in English, which can only be a good thing for us.

This, in addition to the news that some games may be translated just for the Virtual Console, makes me all tingly inside. Translations are getting better and better, and game companies are realizing that better localization could just mean better sales. Yeah, maybe the first games we get won’t be so great. But if the newly-translated games sell well, the lower-than-ever distribution costs on the Virtual Console would pretty much assure us getting more games Stateside while making the original publishers a tidy profit.

It’s good for gamers who like their plots detailed, cohesive, and intact, and it’s good for sales. It’s a win-win situation. And I’m hoping to win.

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