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8-4 Play not localizing Fire Emblem: Three Houses



Looks like Nintendo might be handling the localization internally when it comes to Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The one thing we know for a fact is that 8-4 Play isn't taking on localization this time. 8-4 has handled localization for numerous Fire Emblem titles in the past.

Categories: Consoles

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Top Rated Comment
sinders
Mon Jun 18 18 01:29am
Rating: 6

If my reply were a work of fiction written in one language, and you wanted to adapt it to another, then sure, it’d be fair game for localization.

But since what I’m writing is not fiction, and not in a different language than one you are writing in, it does not fall under material that would benefit from localization.

I don’t think you actually expect me to lay out every change that has taken place in every game.
I’m also sure you know that I, not affiliated with Nintendo and also with no access or communication to any of its developers, can’t possibly definitely state what any individual had in mind at a given time.

But if I’m going to suppose, in Japanese Harold is a name that’s obviously foreign. It’s not a name you’d pass over the same as home-grown name that you’re used to hearing. Thus it has some weight to it.
In English Harold is a rather standard name, with nothing remarkable behind it.

Arthur obviously has some weight to it as a name of legend, and this weight is probably understood by the majority of speakers.

The shortening of names you listed is easy, they’re a mouthful for native English speakers not familiar with Japanese, and even look unwieldy in English, while not so in Japanese.

It’s interesting you bring up architecture and donuts. The original author obviously intended for the characters to be surrounded by familiar things compared to their readers.
Does it produce unintentionally humorous results as a consequence sometimes? Yes.
But Brock was never meant to be eating a foreign food that your average English speaker has never eaten. He was supposed to be eating an everyday food item that the viewer also is very familiar with, that was the author’s original intent. In some ways, you would be violating it even more had you retained a 1-to-1 translation.

It’s not just English localizations that this happens.
A lost is lot going from English to Japanese as well. Deadpool is missing a lot of references in its Japanese script, for example.

Even a straight 1-to-1 translation would be violating the original content, as the grammar would not sync up with English grammar.
So your next step is re-arranging it into correct English grammar. But re-arranging it changes the very structure of how the information is delivered as per the original creator’s intent.
But then again, the author intended for the dialogue to be grammatically sound when presented to the viewer.

The original author also intended for the work to be received in the surrounding cultural and societal background the viewer is assumed to be coming from, much as they are assumed to speak japanese..

So how much do you change and how much do you retain?
That’s the part where subjectivity comes in, and the line you draw is in a different place than NoA draws it, which is fine, but again, doesn’t make NoA’s localizations “garbage.”

They just don’t align with your subjective preferences, which again is fine.

jayvir
Sun Jun 17 18 06:25pm
Rating: 1

Sooooooo... Were they the ones that did Fates and it was bad? Or were they the ones that did a good job with Awakening?

According to them they did Awakening.

number224
Sun Jun 17 18 07:11pm
(Updated 1 time)

Nintendo of America’s TreeHouse did Fates. 8-4 did Shadows of Valentia.

Numerous? Its only been 3 and thats going by their own Gameography on their site... I mean I guess with not that many (probably a dozen) FE titles it can feel like numerous...

rickola
Sun Jun 17 18 06:34pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

There goes any hopes of Three houses having decent dialogue.

kuro
Sun Jun 17 18 06:40pm
Rating: 3

Their recent work on Fire Emblen Echoes was really good. It sucks they aren't localizing this one.

Wonder what they’re gonna replace actual dialogue with?

windsorg
Sun Jun 17 18 08:34pm
Rating: 3

Strike one. 8-4 did a terrific job with Awakening and Echoes.

I know you check over news sites and fan sites, Nintendo. If the Treehouse even looks at this game I'm not buying it. I didn't buy Fates and I didn't buy SMT:FE. Don't make the same mistake for a third time.

Have fun not playing a cool looking game.

No, I'll play it. I'll play it Japanese on my non-region-locked Switch.

    way cool!

    sinders
    Sun Jun 17 18 09:03pm
    Rating: 6 (Updated 2 times)

    A vocal group on the internet may have a problem with this, but honestly the majority of players probably aren’t even aware of which company translated which games.

    Either way, 8-4 is a by-contract translation and localization company.
    Nintendo of America/Europe has its own translation and localization department.

    The only time Nintendo would contract 8-4 to translate one of their games is if Nintendo itself doesn’t have the capacity to handle translation at the moment.

    If Nintendo has the internal capacity to handle a translation of a 1st party game, they aren’t going to pay their translators to sit there and then also pay 8-4 to translate their game.
    (I’ve also heard 8-4 is usually stretched to the max in terms of projects it takes on at any given time, so maybe it was 8-4 that simply didn’t have the capacity to handle translation at this time.)

    I’m not particularly a fan of Treehouse’s localization style myself, but honestly it’s not a big deal.

    windsorg
    Sun Jun 17 18 10:02pm
    Rating: 3

    As someone trying to get Nintendo of America's approval to release games on the Switch eShop, this is likely a horrible thing for me to be saying publicly but I'm doing it anyway.

    These people actively and intentionally destroy the original author's intent behind character dialogue, world building and story telling. Unless you defend the idea that English speakers can't understand the name Harold you can't pretend these changes are made to "localize" what English speakers won't understand. Completely logical character motivations and sensible dialogue are replaced by a string of ellipses and endless references to pickles. The Treehouse is garbage. They're garbage at their jobs and they're garbage at writing characters and stories of their own. Altering the games at all is horrible but replacing that content with fanfiction.net tier tripe and references to dead memes is another thing altogether.

    While anyone who knows anything should oppose Nintendo of America's internal numb-skulls, lack of knowledge on the subject by the general populace is a terrible way to excuse poor work and nasty practices. The majority of people on the planet are unaware of "Fresco Jesus" but that doesn't make the attempted "restoration" by a complete amateur or the destruction of someone else's art okay. As a game developer myself I find hideous "localisations" abhorrent.

    We're all aware of why Nintendo would or wouldn't go to 8-4 . The fact of the matter is that they have gone to 8-4 and 8-4 has historically done a better job and handled the games with more respect than Nintendo's own people. Gamers are unhappy with the news regardless of any business sense it makes and that should speak volumes to you, to Nintendo, and to anyone else hiring butchers to bring their work into other regions of the world.

    I don't mean to sound like I'm snapping at you, but this is a very important topic and it bugs me to see it swept under the rug by a "I don't care about this and people who do are thinking too hard" sort of attitude.

    sinders
    Sun Jun 17 18 10:41pm
    Rating: 4

    I’m not a fan of their localizations either.

    I also don’t like that NoA has (or at least had) localizers who don’t speak Japanese localizing scripts.

    And they also seem to think a little too highly of themselves. (I mean, they’re not NoA’s localization department, they’re the “treehouse,” a name in itself that echoes exclusivity)

    But I wouldn’t exactly call the Japanese scripts for FE games all that elequaint or even creative, either. Certainly not some holy “original author’s intent” with any more integrety than the NoA localizaers having fun

    There’s always going to be subjectivity in opinions on how to translate and localize things, and if you don’t care for NoA’s work that’s okay too.
    But as someone who works in translation and localization, I don’t feel the quality of the original Japanese scripts is any better than the NoA localized ones.
    The English versions are a bit more silly sometimes, sure, but the Japanese writing isn’t all that great, either.

    For localization changes, let’s take the name Harold you mentioned.

    You have to understand that although the name Harold exists in English, the original author’s intent was for the name to carry with it the connotations it has when perceived by a Japanese reader. These perceptions are not the same perceptions that an English speaker would have with the name Harold, although the name exists in the English speaking world.

    Sure, you can argue the author’s “original intent” has been altered with a name change, but you could also argue that the name change is exactly what preserves the “original intent” as well, if you consider not the letters used to display the name but the intent behind it.

    As to which is more correct, it’s very subjective with no objective answer. So some such as yourself may hate it, others such as myself may have no problem with it, others may even prefer the localized English versions over the Japanese.

    And this is localization in a nutshell.

    Sands wrote:
    I’m not a fan of their pickles either.

    I also don’t like that NoA has (or at least had) pickles who don’t eat pickles while localizing scripts.

    I localized your reply. I was having fun. Now other people can better understand what you were trying to convey.

    Sarcasm aside, it's not about preference, it's about what's in the original work. While some people might prefer the changes I made to your comment that made it say something completely different from what you actually wrote, the bottom line is still that it isn't what you wrote and it isn't what your comment was trying to say. Localization isn't something I have a problem with in theory but I can't think of a single Treehouse change to any game they've worked on that falls under that term's jurisdiction. Changing perfectly understandable dialogue to force in doge memes isn't localization. That's just called "ruining what someone else wrote".

    I respect that you work in this field. I don't speak Japanese and I'm not overly familiar with their culture, so we may agree about Harold and I wouldn't know it. If you don't mind, please explain what connotations "Harold" holds to a Japanese reader that is not being said to me, and that "Arthur" is saying to me. I'll then need similar explanations on the logic behind shortening Suzukaze, Yatonokami, Kazahana, etc., sloppily removing entire game mechanics and essentially every change made in the name of English speakers not having to understand foreign concepts, because not one of them makes any sense to me. Before that time it just sounds like an excuse to justify pointless change.

    "Author's original intent" is holy in and of itself. Nonsensical localization changes have been mocked far and wide across gaming over decades of time, from Ace Attorney pretending that Japanese traditions and architecture are American to Brock preparing "donuts" in a rice cooker. This is no different. Nintendo "having fun" is not an excuse. Again, I doubt the original artist behind that antique painting would feel any comfort knowing that the woman who ruined his work was having fun while she did it.

    While I certainly agree that Fire Emblem plots aren't antique paintings by any means (multiple versions saw to that in this case), the quality of the original material does not matter. Some people might find the now infamous series of dots more interesting and engaging than the conversation about the morality of killing for your country and living life remembering the faces of the people you've murdered for your cause, but one of the two scenes happens in the original work and the other does not. One of these conversations furthers the themes of the story and serves to build the characters into more complex beings and the other does not. Preference doesn't change that.

    Anyway, I'm very interested in what you may have to say about Harold and I'm glad we agree on the Treehouse not being great at this and having a bad attitude, but I get the feeling we'll have to agree to disagree on the rest. Apparently gamers who vocalize complaints against this sort of thing are part of a "hate group".

    sinders
    Mon Jun 18 18 01:29am
    Rating: 6

    If my reply were a work of fiction written in one language, and you wanted to adapt it to another, then sure, it’d be fair game for localization.

    But since what I’m writing is not fiction, and not in a different language than one you are writing in, it does not fall under material that would benefit from localization.

    I don’t think you actually expect me to lay out every change that has taken place in every game.
    I’m also sure you know that I, not affiliated with Nintendo and also with no access or communication to any of its developers, can’t possibly definitely state what any individual had in mind at a given time.

    But if I’m going to suppose, in Japanese Harold is a name that’s obviously foreign. It’s not a name you’d pass over the same as home-grown name that you’re used to hearing. Thus it has some weight to it.
    In English Harold is a rather standard name, with nothing remarkable behind it.

    Arthur obviously has some weight to it as a name of legend, and this weight is probably understood by the majority of speakers.

    The shortening of names you listed is easy, they’re a mouthful for native English speakers not familiar with Japanese, and even look unwieldy in English, while not so in Japanese.

    It’s interesting you bring up architecture and donuts. The original author obviously intended for the characters to be surrounded by familiar things compared to their readers.
    Does it produce unintentionally humorous results as a consequence sometimes? Yes.
    But Brock was never meant to be eating a foreign food that your average English speaker has never eaten. He was supposed to be eating an everyday food item that the viewer also is very familiar with, that was the author’s original intent. In some ways, you would be violating it even more had you retained a 1-to-1 translation.

    It’s not just English localizations that this happens.
    A lost is lot going from English to Japanese as well. Deadpool is missing a lot of references in its Japanese script, for example.

    Even a straight 1-to-1 translation would be violating the original content, as the grammar would not sync up with English grammar.
    So your next step is re-arranging it into correct English grammar. But re-arranging it changes the very structure of how the information is delivered as per the original creator’s intent.
    But then again, the author intended for the dialogue to be grammatically sound when presented to the viewer.

    The original author also intended for the work to be received in the surrounding cultural and societal background the viewer is assumed to be coming from, much as they are assumed to speak japanese..

    So how much do you change and how much do you retain?
    That’s the part where subjectivity comes in, and the line you draw is in a different place than NoA draws it, which is fine, but again, doesn’t make NoA’s localizations “garbage.”

    They just don’t align with your subjective preferences, which again is fine.

    neotechni
    Tue Jun 19 18 06:19pm
    Rating: 1

    I agree with you. Treehouse is horrible, and I hated seeing a damned doge meme in Zelda.

    thedreaminghawk
    Sun Jun 17 18 09:21pm
    (Updated 1 time)

    I loved their work on SOV, but I don't really mind who does this game as long as the game is good and the translation isn't bad. Nothing could have saved FE Fates' script TBH, and treehouse does a good job on other things like Zelda and Pokemon games, so I think it'll be fine if it isn't rushed. Just as long as arrogant hate groups or movements don't start up to try and get everyone in the business fired because they weren't 1:1 with the text. That was the worst part of FE Fates as a whole, moreso than the dialogue to Birthright, having to deal with that awful movement spamming twitter feeds 24/7 and going after peers who called them out.

    That being said, who localizes the FE Heroes mobile game? I'm near 100% sure it's the same team since I heard Veronica Taylor's voice in the trailer and she was the voice of a FE Radiant Dawn gal (the one who's Ike's magic caster that's the main character essentially, with the right hair) so I wouldn't be surprised if the same casting team is involved. That game felt much better in terms of translation than FE Fates (Though probably because it had a better original script to begin with) so I'm guessing it's the same team.

    socar
    Sun Jun 17 18 11:24pm
    Rating: 1

    For those of you bashing at treehouse, you do realize that they localised fire emblem gba right? A game that is fantastic right?

    I don't know how bad the localization is in fates because frankly, it doesn't matter to me since the plot is just bland no matter how you put it. What I do know is that localised have a job to do so even if they decide on things, NOA is the one who will decide at the end meaning that there is not much that treehouse can do in the end.

    Treehouse has been localizing Nintendo games ever since Nintendo started making consoles. To say that they are trash and unfit for the job is being disrespectful to them and you shouldn't even bother playing Nintendo games if you're someone who doesn't realize that.

    The Nintendo Treehouse was established in the 1990's. Their first job was Donkey Kong Country. That's where "treehouse" came from, if you didn't know. Nintendo was making consoles in 1984. This group isn't as old as you think it is. Besides that point, it's obvious that tastes have changed at the Treehouse since it was founded. People come and people go. These are not literally all the same people who have been at the job since the 1990's. Regardless, good work in the past does not excuse shoddy work in the present - shoddy work that you admit you haven't played through so I'm not sure why you feel you can tell others that their opinions aren't justified. What you've said here is equivalent to "you shouldn't even bother playing Mega Man games if you don't like Mighty No. 9 because Inafune was good at game design fifteen years ago and you need to respect that".

    It's not like Nintendo's localization was any better before treehouse existed considering the huge amount of censoring they did for not just their games but for third parties as well. So if you want to blame someone, blame NoA for that. Not treehouse.

    I played fates and the localization didn't bother me that much. even if 8-4 we're to localize this, it still wouldn't do any justice to the plot. Just be happy that we get localised games from someone like Nintendo who was at least kind enough to localize some of the games even from third parties.

    bpm
    Mon Jun 18 18 02:43am
    Rating: 2

    Without looking at the credits, it's hard to say whether the same Treehouse staff at the time of Blazing Blade is the same that worked on Fates. Yes, Treehouse has been around for a long time, but people come and go.

    I hope this one doesn't have anything to "censor" to begin with so people don't bitch about it when the localized version inevitably changes some irrelevant detail. I'm sick of all the anime titty fanservice in this series anyway.

    noxide
    Mon Jun 18 18 06:19am
    Rating: 1

    The idea that people should censor themselves before the release out of fear from getting a bad reaction is one of fastest ways to discredit the freedoms we should be enjoying today.

    You completely missed the point of my post, but whatever.

    tupin
    Mon Jun 18 18 10:10am
    Rating: 1

    You hate fanservice and people complaining about not getting a certain kind of product that they are paying for. If the game is made one way it should be directly translated with as few changes as possible.

    Kind of off-topic, but do I need to play the older games or can I just jump in on this one?

    Back on-topic: Localizing from Japanese to ENglish sure can't be a walk in the park. I study casually Japanese (have two semsters though) and is very different a language, so I guess that translators would need good knowledge of not only the language but culture.

    And censoring for the west? Are we here such pansies we can't stand some Japanese stuff? :D After anime being HUGE here in the west, I think it'll be all fine!

    cestri
    Mon Jun 18 18 10:37am
    Rating: 1

    You can just jump on this one, I never played a Fire Emblem game that relied on something that happened on another game.

    tupin
    Mon Jun 18 18 08:17am
    Rating: 1

    Not too experienced with FE, but Treehouse definitely has done really poor translations. Don't put memes in my game if they're not in the original text, you're not clever and it immediately dates the game.

    Counterpoint: the guy in Pokemon GSC who says "a winner is you" is eternal.

    I'm just glad that the game seems to have much better character designs this time around. It looks like it's taking itself more seriosuly than the fanservicy 3ds games so chances are the scripts will be more mature anyway.

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