General News Archive

Poisoft Relaunched Their Translation Kickstarter

Knowing there was little chance they’d reach their 5,000,000 yen goal, Poisoft canceled their Order Land Translation Project Kickstarter last month, saying they’d relaunch it after tweaking things a bit. Well hey, they made good on their promise! The Kickstarter was relaunched this morning – the goal has been lowered to 2,000,000 yen and some of the rewards have changed.

Mato’s been playing a lot of Order Land on the Switch in Japanese and he’s been really liking it. All but the King mode.

Is Ys VIII’s Localization Really That Bad?

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana’s English localization is apparently so bad that Japanese game sites are talking about it. People made such a stink that the President and CEO of NIS America issued a statement apologizing for the lack of localization quality and promised to have it re-edited and patched by late November.

So I wonder, is it really all that bad? I’m about to find out!

We gotta beat this game before they release the patch next month. Wish us luck! And don’t worry, we’re taking screenshots along the way.

Legends of Localization on Sup, Holmes?

The post title isn’t a question. Dan, Tony, and I were guests on the interview show “Sup, Holmes?” last year. We talked about Legends of Localization, Starmen.net, Fangamer, EarthBound, old Rev3 Games shows, and tons of other stuff that I forgot I even said, haha.

Got 2 hours to spare? Give it a watch!

Fangamer Localized into a Japanese Company!

This is something that’s been happening in the background for a few months – Fangamer will soon open a Japanese branch of the company! Our hard-working Japan staff is busy getting the warehouse ready for the official launch. You can sign up for the Fangamer Japan newsletter right now.

We’ll be selling only UNDERTALE merchandise from the JP branch at first, but we’ll probably expand to other things once things settle down. We’ll definitely have Legends of Localization books available from there in the future!

At the Movies

Yesterday was a busy day! I spent a lot of it at the Fangamer office, doing some heavy duty meetings for upcoming projects and upcoming prospects. Legends of Localization is doing super well and I think everyone involved is excited for all the things coming up.

Then Poe and I had to rush home, eat, and then rush back to the movie theater – my latest movie translation premiered yesterday! It’s always a treat to be able to watch my stuff on the big screen and see how audiences react to my writing, the jokes I struggle to translate, lines that are meant to be emotional, etc. Although I’m obviously not the creator of the things I translate, it’s a great feeling when people enjoy something I translated, even if they don’t even think about the translator or the translation process. It’s a weird side effect of trying to translate as transparently as possible 😛

Also, super secret translator tip: I’ve learned from these movie releases that the way you watch/play something can greatly enhance your creativity when translating, so if you feel like something you’re working could be improved a bit, try looking at it differently. If you’re working on a text document, try changing the font and font size to something crazy. If you’re working on a show or movie or whatever, try watching it on screens of different sizes. Of course, time plays a big factor too, so if you can manage it, try setting aside a translation and then come back to it after a good amount of time has passed.

Anyway, some more cool stuff happened yesterday but that’s a story for another time!

Localization Advice from Taiwanese Indie Devs

Mato showed me an article on Gamasutra about how a small indie game studio based in Taiwan localized their first game from Chinese to English. The game is called Detention and it looks like something that’s right up my alley:

It’s a point-and-click horror game set in 1960s Taiwan during the time of martial law. The indie studio, called RedCandleGames, knew from the beginning that they wanted to localize their game for English-speaking players. Because the game is filled with so many culturally specific things, this turned out to be harder than they thought at first. They had to change the level design, teach the players about religious rituals for solving puzzles without an info dump, and decide whether to transliterate a creature’s name or coin a new term entirely.

The entire article is fascinating, since they constantly kept the player in mind when they were making the game. Read the full article here!

Detention is available on Steam. Here’s the official site for more info.

Play is Work

It’s no secret that I work on a million things at all times, so lately I’ve been trying to slow down a bit so my old bones can catch up to my brain. In particular I started playing the new Zelda game in Japanese… but even then I wound up taking screenshots of every piece of text I came across. I probably wouldn’t have bothered with taking screenshots, but boy is that screenshot button on the Switch controller the handiest thing I’ve ever come across. I do wish it saved in png format though…

Anyway, I’ve been playing the game super weirdly and spent about 200 hours before I finally went and continued the story/talked to Impa after leaving the plateau. During that time I explored everywhere, usually by taking the totally wrong way on accident, and talking to everyone/fighting everything. It’s been a ton of fun, and I made it a personal rule right from the start to NOT use the Shrine Sensor thingy. I think that alone made it twice as fun for me.

Poe’s been playing the English version as well, taking screenshots here and there. I don’t have any specific projects for this game in mind, but screenshots are the lifeblood of Legends of Localization. I’m sure they’ll come in handy at some point!

Legends of Localization Prizes at SGDQ!

Summer Games Done Quick is live riiiiight now! Legends of Localization’s entire anthology is up for grabs as prizes throughout the event:

  • Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda
  • Passport to the Legend of Zelda
  • Legends of Localization Book 2: EarthBound
  • Passport to MOTHER 2
  • (brand new book that hasn’t been released yet!)

Watch the stream here and keep an eye out for the LoL prizes. And speaking of SGDQ, Fangamer has a fun new crop of GDQ products available to buy right now!

All profits from the sales of GDQ merchandise goes straight to Doctors Without Boarders. So not only will you be getting some cool stuff, you’ll also be helping people in need. So, buy somethin’ will ya? It’s for charity!

UNDERTALE Getting an Official Japanese Localization!

Whoaaaaa UNDERTALE is officially headed to Japan! It’s been professionally translated and localized by 8-4, and the announcement was tucked in the middle of the UNDERTALE on PS4 and Vita trailer at E3 last night:

Toby Fox did a short interview about the release on the PlayStation blog here.

Fun fact: I’m Mettaton’s hands/arms in that trailer. We filmed my hand gestures backwards to give it a weird, ethereal quality.

I’m really looking forward to playing UNDERTALE in Japanese with Mato. I can’t wait to see the localization decisions 8-4 made!

Come Watch Me Play and Translate Japanese Games Live!

If you enjoy my Legends of Localization site, you might also be interested in some recent stuff I’ve been streaming!

Here’s just a quick look at stuff I’ve done recently:


MOTHER 3 Beta Testing / Translation Notes

A few months ago I started working on an update for the MOTHER 3 fan translation patch. Before releasing it, though, it needed to be tested – so I played through the game on Twitch! While testing the game and fixing bugs, I also shared translation notes, memories of the project, and more. We also had guests on, including fellow team members. Even Marcus Lindblom, the head localizer for EarthBound, participated in the chat a few times!

This was pretty much our first time streaming so everything was pretty rough around the edges, but if you like MOTHER 3 or if you’ve wanted to know more about some of the translation choices that went into the patch, give it a watch. I also sometimes discussed professional experiences and the like, so if you’re into that sort of thing, you might like it!

The MOTHER 3 stream was a lot of fun, so my wife and I have gotten into streaming games more regularly. Here’s just a quick sample of recent stuff:


Live Translation of a Japanese Final Fantasy VI ROM Hack

More recently, I’ve been streaming a Japanese Final Fantasy VI ROM hack known as “Final Fantasy VI T-Edition”. It’s an incredibly extensive hack and one of the most well-known Japanese FFVI hacks out there, so I thought it’d be neat to play through it and live-translate all the new content for fellow fans’ enjoyment and future reference!

As of the time of this post, I’m about 48 hours in and I’ve STILL got a lot left to experience in this hack. While I’ve been playing it I’ve also been sharing bits and pieces of localization differences that I’m aware of. I’ve also been polishing my programming skills and making neat software that displays some translated text on the stream for viewers who don’t know Japanese. And, to everyone’s surprise, the Japanese creator of the patch showed up in the chat and has since become a regular. All in all, it’s been a really great experience and I hope you’ll join us sometime if you’re into Final Fantasy games!

I actually hope to share more Japanese ROM hacks like this in the future, so if you know of any that you think would be neat to get the live-translation treatment, let me know.


Live Translation of Japanese Games About America

To celebrate America’s Independence Day, I streamed a bunch of Japanese games about America. I want to get practice doing live-translations of Japanese games, so I thought this would be a good start. Despite my bumbling around, it was a lot of fun – way more fun than I expected it to be!

I’m hoping that if I keep doing these sorts of streams, I’ll continually polish my live game-translating skills and be able to “streamlate” (yes, I just made that up, feel free to groan) more complicated Japanese games with ease!


Live Translation of Japanese Hobby/Indie Games

I’ve always been curious about the Japanese side of games made by hobbiests and indie developers, so I’ve started to play through some of those games and translate them live. Since they tend to be pretty short and bite-sized already, they’re perfect for this style of streaming. Already I’ve seen lots of neat, weird stuff that I never would’ve experienced otherwise!

I’m especially fond of this Japanese hamburger RPG:

And this game written entirely in English by a Japanese native:


Live-Translating Other Games for Weird Events

We also stream games for odd holidays and special events. Usually we end up playing a bunch of weird Japanese games and I’ll translate them live. For example, a friend of ours got married a few weeks ago, so after the wedding we played a bunch of wedding-themed games!

On my wife’s birthday, we streamed a bunch of Japanese yokai/youkai games, which I tried to translate:

And for World Population Day, we played a bunch of mostly-Japanese games with the word “world” in their titles:

We also did something similar for World Cat Day. We tried to have a “Sneak a Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” – which is a real day – but couldn’t find any zucchini games, sadly.


Anyway, this is all to say that if you’d like to see more things like this, be sure to follow me on Twitch and follow me on YouTube, as that’s where all the fun and translating is happening. This streaming stuff isn’t always 100% Legends of Localization-related, but sometimes the two interwtine – my MOTHER 3 stream is on the MOTHER 3 localization section, for example. Some other things I’d love to stream in the future include:

  • More extensive Japanese ROM hacks
  • Streams of other games I’ve fan-translated, so I can share memories, translation notes, secrets, and more
  • Streams of games based on anime and IPs that I’ve translated professionally. There are tons of Dragon Ball games, Lupin games, Detective Conan games, etc. out there, so it’d be neat to try them out finally!
  • It’s not translation related, but I have some neat hack ideas that would work best on stream
  • We have a huge box of random Japanese Famicom games – it’d be neat to play through them one at a time and give each one a real, genuine try!

Of course, if you have any suggestions for things we can try sometime, let me know on Twitter or in the comments here. and if any of this sounded interesting, I hope you’ll join us sometime!

– Clyde