I recently announced a new book about Mother 3 that I’ve been working on – it actually started out in Jan. 2017 as a small article for EarthBound Central, grew too big to be an article, so I was gonna turn it into its own special page, but then it got too big for that too. It wound up book-sized, so I figured okay let’s make it into a book, and with 2018 being the 10th anniversary of the translation patch, it’d fit pretty well.
The book’s not about Mother 3’s translation or Mother 3 itself, but rather the cycle of rumors and hoaxes and hopes and expectations and disappointments that have persisted for 23 years now. Tony the book guy suggested trying to go for a “crazy conspiracy” theme with everything linked together like someone investigating a bizarre mystery. So I threw together this crappy concept pic in about two minutes.
I doubt the end product will look anything along these lines, but it’s a funny premise to think about!
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:
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.
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!
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
Anyway, that aside, here’s a quick site status update!
For a while there, I was able to keep the updates flowing at a good rate, and even managed to do the big Final Fantasy IV and AVGN updates once a month. But alas, the work of a freelance translator can get crazily unpredictable, so right now Legends of Localization is back in the hectic “update whenever a hole in time opens up” mode. More specifically:
Final Fantasy IV: I posted an intermission thing here a while back. I’m not as burned out on FFIV anymore, so I look forward to getting back into this when I can!
MOTHER 3: I get asked about this a lot – for now it’s on hold. I *have* started putting together the version 1.2 patch this past week, though. No expected release date yet. It’ll mostly fix a lot of bugs that existed in the original game.
A Link Between Worlds: I announced this a few months back. I’ve fully played through both versions of the game, gathered all the screenshots and videos and stuff, and even have a good amount of work done on the layout and content, but freelance work overload last month put everything on hold.
Blog posts: I get requests for one-topic article posts all the time – if you’ve sent any in, don’t worry if I don’t respond! I put every single request in a spreadsheet, so you haven’t been ignored. The spreadsheet’s getting pretty big, it’s amazing!
Now that I think about it, I did recently do some small updates that you might’ve missed:
Pretty much every day I wake up thinking how swell it’d be if I could monetize Legends of Localization somehow so I could focus more time on it. I fear that a Kickstarter wouldn’t succeed, and I don’t think Patreon would have enough backers. If anyone has any suggestions, though, let me know! There are a million things I’d like to dig into and write articles about sometime – just off the top of my head:
Final Fantasy VI
MOTHER / EarthBound Zero
Other English->Japanese localizations
Symphony of the Night
Alex Kidd games
Pretty much every game ever I guess, especially 80s/90s games 😛
Maybe look at how some American shows got handled in translation
Live translations (on Youtube or wherever) of Japanese-only games
Anyway, while that’s the dream, in reality I’ve been working on lots of really cool and rewarding professional translation projects too, the most recent of which I can mention is Attack on Titan!
It’s crazy to think back to when I first started learning the language so many years ago, and now millions of people are watching the result of those studies. It’s actually kind of stage fright-y!