Holy Crap what is wrong with the DQIX localization?

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by nikkuchan, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. nikkuchan
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    nikkuchan GBAtemp Regular

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    Since its initial release on the NES, I’ve been playing Dragon Quest. I played through nearly all of them in English. I played part 7 in Japanese on the 3DS, and I’ve also spent hours watching my wife play through various games, which she does in Japanese. I was fine with the old English versions on the NES, and I didn’t totally mind the changes made by the current translations even though I didn’t really like a lot of the needless name changes of things that were fine to begin with. I understand wanting to change weird names like Kukule or Chamoro, but what’s wrong with Flora (which was changed to Nera)? Why the lame Alltrades Abbey instead of the Temple of Dharma? Also, why attach real-world cultural identities to fictional places with lame accents and stereotypes? My complaints were few, and I was fine with the changes most of the time (I liked how Yangus spat out British slang all the time). When I grew accustomed to the Japanese versions, I noticed these confusingly needless changes all the more, but they were never intrusive to the game.

    However when I finally got around to playing part 9, everything changed. They went way too far. Every name was changed. Puns were added to where there weren’t any (forced and to the point of exhaustion), and dialogue and character personalities were changed to accommodate these puns. A few towns into it, I became so irritated with the game that I got rid of it and got it in Japanese, and though playing it in Japanese I realized that there was no need to make nearly any of the changes that were made to the localization. It was needlessly butchered. It reminded me of Japanese TV shows back in the 80s where character names, and even plots, were changed to hide anything Japanese.

    I guess someone decided that everything needed to be a pun, because what better way to irritate players than to change simple, straight-forward names into horrible jokes? Bolt Cutter? Ha, ha, I get it! It’s a lightning attack, but it references a tool that’s used to cut bolts! Was Lightning Slash, the Japanese name, not good enough? How about Hot Lick? It’s called Fire-breathing Trick in Japanese (you know, that really common trick where someone spits alcohol into a flame?). Was that too simple? When you use it in battle, it says “blahblah spits fire!” which makes sense, because that’s what just happened, but when you use Hot Lick, it says “blah blah fans the flames, and sends them flying!” What flames? What does that even mean? What reason could there have been to make such changes? This is a problem that continues through the entire catalog of skills. Blockenspiel? It was called Shield Attack. Whipping Boy? Protect. Why, why, why were any of these changed? I've seen a few complaints about this on the net, and many have replied saying that it stays true to the light-hearted feel of the Japanese games, but that is not true. Yeah, the Japanese games have puns and jokes, but there aren’t all that many (it’s mostly just some monster names or some NPC interactions). Story-wise, the games are kept serious, but it’s hard to take things seriously when I’m going into places called Brigadoom (It’s a castle that’s in ruins, and it’s a reference to an old musical! Clever, right!), Coffinwell (cuz everyone’s getting sick and dying), or the Quarantomb (because a deadly sickness is sealed there! So funny!), and fighting things like the Ragin’ Contagion (cuz they didn’t have enough bad accents and stereotypes) or the Master of Nu’un (cuz he’s the Jack of Alltrades! Get it?). You know how many of these names were puns in the Japanese version? None of them. And they were fine names, too. Brigadoom was called Ludiano. What was wrong with that? Also, the Black Knight from there was known as the Black Knight, or the Knight of the Black Rose, but for some reason someone decided that he should be called the Wight Knight (cuz it rhymes with Right Knight, see?) Ughhh!

    This game also features a helpful little fairy named Stella, whose name was changed from Sandy because I guess unisex names are too weird. In the Japanese one, she is an energetic, bubbly young girl whose personality is basically the Japanese version of a valley-girl. In English, she’s a rude, pushy, foul-mouthed girl who accentuates everything with the word “flapping” (cuz she’s a fairy, and it sounds like fu**ing! Such brilliant comedy!). This is just an example, but from what I’ve seen, there are lots of dialogue and plot changes made to accommodate their insufferable humor. This game went way too far over the line of bad taste. It essentially change the whole tone of the game for the sake of bad jokes. It’s insulting, and if this is where the English version of the series is going, I’m not going to buy any more of them.
     
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  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Hmm, this is the first I am hearing of this, though it does seem a valid complaint and more so than I lot of the translation issues we see.

    I lack the time to play lead hacker for such a project but it might well be possible to do a translation tuneup. Sitting here I am struggling to recall seeing one for the DS in English.
     
  3. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    Meh
    I played DQIX and I liked it.
    It really didn't bother me at all that some of the names and puns were quite simple, not sure it bothered anyone else either.

    I think you should just play the Japanese version, problem solved.
     
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  4. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    Sandy Eggo
    I also played DQIX and liked it. I also liked the puns. But, then again, I love puns almost as much as Gahars does. While I agree some of those name changes were unnecessary and/or stupid, a lot of them hold true to previous titles. I never played 1-7, but I played 8, and there were a ton of puns. I've also played every Monster spinoff game. There've been a ton of puns for years.

    The idea of localizations drastically changing content is not foreign to me, though. Here's an example: I read the visual novel Steins;Gate. Fantastic visual novel, definitely in my top 2 favorites, if not my most favorite. The version I read was a fan translation, meaning there was translation only, and no localization. Later, however, I watched the Steins;Gate anime. Seeing as how I only know English, I decided to watch the dub version. This dub was localized, and damn, did they butcher it. I couldn't even watch a whole episode. I immediately deleted all English episodes and got the Japanese ones instead. Mayuri without Juicy Karaage Number One is no Mayuri in my book.

    So, tl;dr: I agree and disagree with you.
     
  5. Ulieq

    Ulieq GBAtemp Fan

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    Forget the localization. The entire dq9 game plays like it was unfinished. It's extremely short, there are few towns and those only have a few buildings in each. The townspeople never have anything useful or new to say and there are no good side quests either. In place of a complete 100 hour dq game, a dungeon crawling minigame was put in and a downloadable fetch quest system. Also, where are the casinos? Dq9 is a sad issue.
     
  6. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    Yet another example of this odd phenomenon: the better and more popular something is, the more it will be hated.
     
  7. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    I believe I spent ~80 hours playing DQIX, and I didn't even complete everything. I would hardly call it short, unless you expect every game to take you 250 hours to complete.
     
  8. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I noticed this trend edging out since the DQIV DS localization. It first emerged in the DQVIII localization, but in IV it really just bastardized the original script in order to make stupid jokes and other nonsense.

    I don't mind the differences for what they are, but I find it quite unfortunate that they are eagerly accepted as "translations". Still, at least we're not getting another FFIV with memes inserted by the localization team. Fuck that--even Nintendo's gotten in on that lately.
     
  9. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Who translated the game, 4Kids Entertainment? I need to play the game again to see how funky this translation is.
     
  10. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Response #1: Reminds me of shin-chan's english dub. Only not nearly as bad.

    Response #2: But simple puns and references are the norm.
    Look at pokemon.
    Charmander = Char (fire) salamander.
    Squirtle = Squirt (water) turtle.
    Bulbasaur = Bulb (plant) dinosaur.
     
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  11. Ulieq

    Ulieq GBAtemp Fan

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    7777No, the game is extremely short. 77
    Don't assume there is a correlation with sales and how good something is. DQ will sell well in Japan, even if it came with a dried up human turd. In the US, it probably sold well due to DQ8 being one of the best console JRPGS of all time and advertising. How about someone tell me why they think this game was any good?
     
  12. Fishaman P

    Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    Some of these complaints I agree with, such as Stella's dialogue.
    Others, like too many puns, I don't agree with. I love the fact that nearly everything is a pun. Quarantomb? Bolt Cutter? Those aren't tacky, those are funny!

    Keep in mind I've never played any of the other Dragon Quest games, nor played DQIX in Japanese.
     
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  13. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    I put 200 hours into it and thought it was fantastic. I didn't like the previous 2 installments and I heard about the game through word of mouth, not advertising. The translation was one of the best aspects for me -- the characters had personality, warmth, and heart.

    Why can't you just accept that a lot of people love this game? I don't get the allure of Minecraft, I think its awful. But I respect the differing opinions of the majority and leave them alone. I'm glad they can find enjoyment in a game I can't.

    Sandy is a unisex name? :lol:
     
  14. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    Sandy Eggo
    Yep, same with Leslie. *teehee* Oh, Brits.
     
  15. yab

    yab Member

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    It was translated by Plus Alpha translations (who also did 8, 4 and 5). DQ6 was half translated by them and half by 8-4 (you can tell the parts they did, since it was a more straightforward translation.)
     
  16. BORTZ

    BORTZ "Another stunning Van Gogh"

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    Alternatively, OP you could learn japanese and play the game in its native language.
     
  17. GHANMI

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well, that game (or was it DQ 6?) was essentially cancelled after being partially translated by Square Enix (using the jerky Plus Alfa duo), but then Nintendo picked it up alongside DQM2 and had 8-4 (my heroes, they're behind recent Tales and notably ) complete both as yab said.
    A very similar situation to Terranigma's translation after Enix cancelled it (having gone bankrupt)
     
  18. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    it does start to get to you when, on the german version, everyone gets localized accents. like people talking bavarian or hochdeutsch or swiss-german or whatever those are called. and the monster names. i know they are dumb in english, but they sound even worse in german. it basically goes to the point where i completely ignored 95% of names.
    i actually switched to the english games just because those are easier to comprehend at times. i did sometimes wonder if the japanese games at least also used different local accents in different towns.

    but this is somewhat of a general trend in non final fantasy youth rpgs. like, i'm playing fossil fighter right now, and after the dino droppings collector John Guano and the cleaning robot KL-33N (KLEEN I GET IT) I began to ignore npc names altogether.

    i sometimes wonder if those weird translations were meant to make the games seem less good, and more childish than, lets say, western knights and dragons kind of rpgs or the more famous final fantasy
     
  19. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I dunno though--I've seen some detective game on the 3DS mention shark tornados, and the recent Mario Party say "it's over 9000". And now you have even have the twitter or whatever for NoA using memes to advertise Donkey Kong on the WiiU :(
     
  20. Pedeadstrian

    Pedeadstrian GBAtemp's Official frill-necked lizard.

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    I imagine they do. There are plenty of different accents, dialects, and the like in Japan, so it wouldn't be very difficult to use different voice actors (or just different voices) for some poor farming town compared to the main castle. I know that's the case in the English versions.