Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Localization

What changes can we expect from an official Mother 3 localization?

Feb 06 // Ben Davis
So, what would Nintendo change during the localization process of Mother 3? Well, let's first take a look at EarthBound, a game that received quite a few notable changes before it made its way out of Japan. This might give us a clue as to the types of things Nintendo will be looking for in Mother 3. Ignoring the many revisions to text and dialogue for now, EarthBound featured several sprites and background visuals that were altered for various reasons. The major ones include: Ness's nude sprites in Magicant being covered with the pajama outfit from the beginning of the game, obviously because nudity would be more problematic in the West. The Octopus and Kokeshi statues changing into Pencil and Eraser statues, since the cultural references would be lost on a young international audience. The Insane Cultists' battle sprites had the letters "HH" removed from their hats and were replaced with little puff balls to make them look less like KKK members. Also, the town name Threek was changed to Threed, possibly because Threek could be interpreted as Three-K, or KKK. Red crosses were removed from hospitals and a certain red truck's appearance was altered to avoid potential lawsuits with the Red Cross and Coca-Cola. Signs that read "drug" were replaced with "store" in most instances (but not in the Dusty Dunes Desert, for some reason), and signs that said "bar" were changed to "café." Moreover, any references to alcohol being replaced with coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and the like. There was an emphasis on removing or reducing references to violence and death, including new sound effects used when Pokey and his brother are disciplined by their father. More changes can be found over at Legends of Localization, a handy resource compiled by Clyde Mandelin of Starmen.net. So, to break it down, with EarthBound, Nintendo was specifically interested in nixing or mitigating any references to nudity, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, violence, material that might lead to a lawsuit, and obscure cultural references. Since Mother 3 happens to contain a few of those things too, here are some of the changes I expect Nintendo might make if (*ahem* when) Mother 3 finally comes to western shores. First off, a few name changes are probably in order. It's safe to assume that the game will be called EarthBound 2, or some other variation on the EarthBound name, rather than Mother 3. With the original Mother being changed to EarthBound Beginnings for its western release (I still wish Nintendo stuck with"EarthBound Zero!"), this would come as little surprise. There are also a few character and location names that might need to be reconsidered. Specifically: Kumatora, Hinawa, Club Titiboo, Osohe Castle, and DCMC. Of course, it's important to note Super Smash Bros. Brawl did use the names Kumatora and Hinawa on stickers, so they would probably stay the same -- although I honestly wouldn't mind Hinawa's name being changed to correspond with her husband's name, Flint. "Hinawa" refers to a matchlock gun, similar to a flintlock gun, and considering the names of with neighbors, Lighter and Fuel, I've always wondered why Hinawa wasn't changed to something more consistent. "Match" would be a weird name, but I'm confident a localization team could come up with something suitable to keep with the theme. As for the others, I'm sure Club Titiboo could be seen as potentially offensive (heh, Titiboo), Osohe Castle is a little hard to pronounce, and the band name DCMC might be too similar to ACDC. They already re-colored the Runaway Five to look less like the Blues Brothers, so who knows what else they might change, but I hope they leave it as is. I also expect we won't see an enemy called the Gently Weeping Guitar for similar reasons, even though it's a great name! Now onto the bigger stuff. Whenever the topic of Mother 3's localization comes up, fans point to a handful of scenes and characters as reasons why it will never see the light of day outside of Japan. For starters, we have the Magypsies. These wonderful characters are technically not human and have transcended gender. Their appearances resemble those of stereotypical drag queens, complete with dresses, makeup, and facial hair. They even give Lucas and friends mementos comprised of razors and lipstick. The Magypsies are some of my favorite characters in the game, but given their depictions, it would be no surprise if Nintendo thought they were too controversial for a western audience. I could see Nintendo changing their outfits, mannerisms, removing any references to gender, or choosing one specific gender and sticking with it. However, I sincerely hope the Magypsies would be left unchanged. I think they're perfect just the way they are. There's a specific moment involving a Magypsy named Ionia that I can almost guarantee would be changed, though. The scene in question occurs in a hot spring, when Ionia teaches Lucas how to awaken his PSI powers for the first time. The fan translation makes it a bit unclear what is actually happening, and it's probably just as ambiguous in the original Japanese text. Basically, Ionia (who admits to being naked in the hot spring) turns Lucas around as the screen fades to black. We then hear Ionia saying, "Don't struggle! Just endure it for a little bit!" After a moment, the screen opens back up to Lucas with his head under the water and Ionia standing behind him. And suddenly, Lucas has awoken to his latent PSI abilities. [embed]339478:62147:0[/embed] Now, I'll admit this scene has always left me feeling rather icky. It's more than likely that the scene was meant to be a sort of "baptism," with Lucas keeping his head under the hot water until the stress and pain forced his mental powers to surface. But it's definitely not made clear, and it's easy to see how it could be interpreted in a more sinister, suggestive way. This is actually one change I really hope Nintendo does decide to make, and it would be very easy to do. Simply add a bit of text when the screen goes dark to make it clear what's actually going on, or better yet, don't have the screen go dark at all so that we can plainly see what's happening. Problem solved. Aside from the Magypsies, the other big moment occurs in the jungles of Tanetane Island, where Lucas and friends consume some suspicious-looking mushrooms and end up with some seriously psychedelic hallucinations. With Nintendo's insistence on removing references to drugs and alcohol in EarthBound, it's no wonder why fans would be skeptical of this scene. Personally, I honestly don't think this part of the game is too problematic. They're eating the mushrooms to survive, rather than for recreational purposes, and they have to deal with the consequences. It's meant to be humorous. However, it's possible Nintendo doesn't not view this issue the same way and might decide to alter it, but how anyone's best guess. I think it's likely the mushroom sprite could be changed to something else, perhaps a pool of liquid or a food that causes dehydration, some kind of creature that uses hypnosis, or whatever other creative solution localization editors can come up with. Then just rewrite the text and remove any potential drug references, and Nintendo is in the clear. If they do decide to keep the shrooms though, it would certainly be ideal. It's one of my favorite moments in the story, after all! Staying consistent with the removal of drugs and alcohol, they might also decide to remove the wine-drinking ghost in Osohe Castle. They could also just make a point of having the ghost call it "juice" or something, kind of like the guy in EarthBound who calls his drink a cappuccino when it's obviously a mug of beer. Watching the wine flow through the ghost's body and splash onto the ground is always hilarious, so I hope they keep him. [embed]339478:62148:0[/embed] Next up is the issue of violence. Ignoring the final boss fight (which better not change, or so help me, Nintendo!), there are two questionable moments: the campfire scene and the chapter with Salsa and Fassad. The former is one of the most powerful moments in the story and it would be a huge shame to see Nintendo cut any of it out. But Flint straight up smacks a dude in the gut with a piece of wood and whacks another guy across the face with it before getting clubbed in the back of the head with a huge piece of lumber. If Nintendo is still concerned about the violence in EarthBound, then it's possible some parts of this scene could be edited. As for Salsa and Fassad, there's the whole issue of animal cruelty. But seeing as how Salsa eventually gets revenge on both Fassad and the device he uses to electrocute the poor monkey, hopefully none of that will have to be altered. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Oxygen Supply Machines of the Sea Floor Dungeon. These machines were made to resemble mermen with luscious lips, and in order to get oxygen from them, one must give them a nice big smooch. So, basically, we have a young boy, a woman, a man, and a dog making out with mermen in order to stay alive under water. Now, I'm of the opinion that the Oxygen Supply Machines are too ridiculous and hilarious to be seen as sexually obscene, but it's entirely possible Nintendo feels differently. I sure hope the company would keep them, though, because I love those guys. The Sea Floor Dungeon just wouldn't be the same without them. Oh yeah, and there's also the scene where we see Lucas's butt. Are butts okay, Nintendo? It's a funny moment, but I could take it or leave it. Other than that, I'm sure we'd see some new dialogue, updated enemy and item names, and many other changes to the text to make it stand out from the fan translation. I know the creators of the fan translation offered to let Nintendo use their work for free, but I highly doubt Nintendo would take them up on that offer. And that's fine! I'm excited to see what Nintendo's localization experts come up with, and if I don't like it as much, I can always go back and play the fan-made version. Those are the biggest changes I expect we might see if and when Nintendo finally localizes Mother 3. A few of them I would honestly be okay with, but some others would be severely disappointing. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I'll be happy as long as we actually get the game. Anything is better than nothing, and I say we've waited long enough. Nintendo, we want Mother 3!
Mother 3 localization photo
Lucas' butt might be a no-no
We've waited nearly 10 years for Nintendo to officially localize Mother 3. The wait has been so long, it's started to seem like an impossibility. However, due to some rumors over the past week, it's beginning t...

No petting humans photo
No petting humans

Nintendo removes character petting during Fire Emblem Fates localization


Get your pet on in Nintendogs instead
Jan 26
// Jed Whitaker
Kotaku has confirmed with Nintendo that the ability to pet your characters has been removed from the English localization of Fire Emblem Fates. "Yes, that is the case [that petting isn't in the English version]," a Nintendo r...
Bravely Second photo
Bravely Second

Rumor: Bravely Second swaps Native American headdress for cowboy hat


An offensive attempt to be unoffensive?
Nov 22
// Jonathan Holmes
Destructoid just received a heated news tip in our tips inbox stating "...I learned that Square Enix has replaced a Native American class called Tomahawk with Cowboy class in Bravely Second's western version. I find this very...
Zero Escape photo
Zero Escape

Zero Escape 3 gets new name and release shenanigans


Escape once more in summer 2016
Oct 30
// CJ Andriessen
The third entry in the Zero Escape franchise was announced earlier this year at the Anime Expo. Today, we learned a little more about the 3DS and Vita game. In North America, it will be known as Zero Time Dilemma, and feature...

Subsidize a major company photo
Subsidize a major company

Square Enix considers crowd funding localization


For games it doesn't want to pay
Oct 13
// Steven Hansen
Mom and pop shops like Japanese developer Square Enix are having a rough go of it with all the economy stuff that's going on (derivatives, mortgages, you name it!) and so the company can't always afford to localize its Japane...

So you thought localization was easy

Aug 17 // Kyle MacGregor
Translation is usually what we think about when localization is brought up, as if the process of bringing a game from one region to another were little more difficult than running the script through Google Translate and calling it a day. No. Again, it's way more complicated than that. Translation isn't a quick and easy thing. There are cultural references, idioms, and turns of phrase that just don't, well, translate. But even once the herculean task of converting a mountain of text into a language your target audience can understand is finished, the job is far from over. Just go take a peek at XSEED Games' blog, where localization consultant Jessica Chavez recently discussed the state of affairs surrounding The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky SC, a role-playing game for PSP and PC that the studio has been working on for... God knows how long. There are reasons for that, of course. And I'm not going to get into all of them here out of respect for the parties involved. But chief among them is the fact that Trails in the Sky is a massive game. To illustrate that point, Chavez recalled trying to pull up a document containing the game's full text on her computer, only to have the machine buckle and blue-screen under the weight of the file. Quality assurance sounds like a total headache, too. Even once you cram all those words into the game, the battle is far from over. For example, you are then likely to get problems like this: In addition to randomly inflating words and spacing issues (that sometimes require the localization team to rework entire lines of dialogue) there's all sorts of other bugs that need to be addressed, like glowing doorways to nowhere, whatever is going on in this .gif, and disappearing scenery. And that's just the fun stuff that Chavez decided to share. I'm sure there are other untold horrors. Every game is unique, with its own problems and challenges, all of which can make the process more difficult, lengthy, or just not commercially viable for the publisher or development team. In December 2012, Capcom's then-senior vice president Christian Svensson told fans why the company wouldn't be localizing the gorgeous PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS shooter E.X. Troopers as "all of the text is 'hard coded' as actual art. The text isn't just standard 'text' that could be swapped relatively easily. To localize a release, one would have to redo a ton of art in the game." More recently, Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki said that while he would love to bring his latest project, a rhythm game called IA/VT Colorful, to western markets, it just wasn't feasible due to all the rights involved with the music. According to XSEED's Tom Lipschultz, the royalties involved with licensing would have bloated the game's budget and made it unmanageable.  So maybe the next time you're about to curse a company's name and hammer out an angry comment here or elsewhere on the Internet when word breaks that a game you really wanted was delayed or isn't coming here, stop and think. Maybe there's a good reason behind the decision. That all said, God fucking dammit, Sega! Bring over Valkyria Chronicles 3 already, you monsters!
Localization photo
Yeah, no
I think we're all guilty of underestimating just how difficult a process localization really is. There are reasons why some games never make it out of Japan. We rarely hear exactly why, but it's probably more complicated than some executive at Nintendo wanting to rain on your parade.

Captain Rainbow Patch photo
Captain Rainbow Patch

Captain Rainbow translation complete, but needs someone to make a patch


Can anyone help make this a reality?
Aug 07
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo fans have yearned for Captain Rainbow to be localized in English ever since its reveal in 2008, but that isn't likely to ever happen, officially. If you're not familiar with the game, it was predicted to be the ...
Dragon Quest photo
Dragon Quest

Want more Dragon Quest games localized? You might want to buy Dragon Quest Heroes


The Western world's woe and SE's dough
Jul 08
// Ben Davis
Polygon recently spoke with Dragon Quest series executive producer Yuu Miyake about Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (God, I love that title). Since this is the first Dragon Quest game to be...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Is Atlus teasing an Attack on Titan localization?


Weird Vine murders ketchup packet people
Mar 31
// Laura Kate Dale
Earlier today, the Twitter account for Atlus USA posted a very strange Vine. The short clip features a man destroying tiny ketchup packet people, splatting red on walls and eating a hotdog. We were initially confused, what on...
Criminal Girls photo
Criminal Girls

Criminal Girls: Invite Only up for parole in February 2015


Doin' time and the living's easy
Nov 26
// Brittany Vincent
You may remember Criminal Girls: Invite Only as the game we covered back in July two different times where it was briefly suggested the game shouldn't be localized. But that's only because I didn't write the post, because I'm...
Censorship!!!!!!! photo
Censorship!!!!!!!

Criminal Girls' sexual punishment will only be mildly censored


Moans out, fog in
Jul 08
// Steven Hansen
A lot of people were upset after NIS America announced it had "edited certain aspects" of Criminal Girls: Invite Only for Western release. The "c" word (censorship) was thrown around nobly as it always seems to be w...
omg censhorshop!!!! photo
omg censhorshop!!!!

Sexual punishment probably scrubbed from Criminal Girls western release


Maybe just don't localize it?
Jul 04
// Steven Hansen
Criminal Girls: Invite Only, a touched up version of the 2010 PSP game Criminal Girls, is coming to Vita in North America and Europe next year, NIS America announced. Criminal Girls involves guiding seven girls through ...
Corpse Party  photo
Corpse Party

Corpse Party returns to its PC birthplace with upcoming XSEED release


I've...come...round...full circle
Jun 05
// Brittany Vincent
Corpse Party is one of my favorite horror series (even if it's a little tame at times) and I was thrilled to see it make its debut as a PSP cult hit back in 2011. Now, XSEED plans to bring the original Windows edition to life...
Game Center CX photo
Game Center CX

Fans have translated Retro Game Challenge 2


Well I'll be damned
Jun 02
// Jordan Devore
At long last, Aaron Tokunaga-Chmielowiec and co. have released their English translation for Retro Game Challenge 2 / Game Center CX 2. The patch is available for download here. Thanks to XSEED, we got a taste of the series b...
Localized photo
Localized

Samurai Warriors 4 coming to PS3, PS4, Vita this fall


Warrior? I hardly even know her!
May 21
// Steven Hansen
Tecmo Koei would like you to know that Samurai Warriors 4 is coming to the US and Europe this fall for PS3, PS4, and Vita. It released in Japan early this year. Samurai Warriors 3 came out four years ago.
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash is being localized by FUNimation


They 'flash,' alright
May 21
// Brittany Vincent
Fans of rip-your-clothes-off-while-fighting-to-the-death Senran Kagura Burst should be tickled pink, as the popular ninja girl beat-'em-up is receiving an anime series courtesy of FUNimation. Tamsoft's side-scrolling saga wa...
Tuesday Newsday photo
Breaking: my hair looks great today
Here's your Tuesday Newsday for the last week or so! Today, we got a sexy new Dragon Age III: Inquisition trailer, some HD footage of Star Citizen out of PAX East, announcements of a new Fatal Frame on Wii-U as well as a bun...

Earthbound photo
Earthbound

Nintendo doesn't want story of EarthBound published


NDA prevents game's localizer from telling his story of development
Jan 19
// Wesley Ruscher
Earthbound stands as one of Nintendo's most beloved cult classics. Known as Mother 2 in Japan, the franchise's loan release in North America is still highly regarded for its unique setting and characters, and, above all,...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Nintendo: '100K signatures doesn't mean 100K sales'


Reggie Fils-Aime comments on fan campaigns
Dec 04
// Jordan Devore
It's hard not to look at "successful" fan campaigns like Operation Rainfall or petitions like the one for Dark Souls' PC port and feel some sense of pride at gamers' ability to come together for a common cause. Speaking candi...
 photo

All four Pokemon Origins episodes now in English


Stupid Ash Ketchum
Nov 22
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The fourth and final localized episode of the Pokemon Origins mini-series is now live for you to view. As a reminder, Origins is based completely on the Pokemon Red/Blue games, as opposed to the horrible prolonged and never e...
Pokemon Origins now live photo
Pokemon Origins now live

First two episodes of localized Pokemon Origins are live


It's so good, you guys!
Nov 18
// Brett Zeidler
Well, it's finally here guys. The first episode of the localized Pokemon Origins went live this past Friday, the second went live today, and it's all free to watch on Pokemon TV. If you're not up to speed, Origins is an anime...
Idea Factory  photo
Idea Factory

Idea Factory International website officially launched


Your one home for all things Idea Factory
Nov 03
// Wesley Ruscher
Fans of Idea Factory games rejoice, the official international website for all things Idea Factory is finally open for public consumption. As reported by our sister site Japanator, the focus of the site is to provide news and...
Namco Bandai photo
Namco Bandai

Namco doesn't have the staff to localize every Tales game


Dev team focusing on flagship releases like Tales of Xillia over portable entries
Oct 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Namco Bandai simply doesn't have the staff to bring every Tales game to Western markets. The publisher prioritizes "flagship titles" like Tales of Xillia when determining what to localize, series producer Hideo Baba told Sili...
RPGs photo
RPGs

Tecmo: Atelier studio to include dual audio going forward


Publisher apologizes for Atelier Ayesha localization
Oct 25
// Kyle MacGregor
All future titles in Gust's Atelier series will feature dual audio, Tecmo Koei has announced. "We want to say sorry for the incidents of Atelier Ayesha; also a big thank you for letting us know your feeling regarding the voic...
Mugen Souls Z photo
Mugen Souls Z

Mugen Souls Z coming West, minus creepy bath minigame


No rub a dub dub in the tub
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
Compile Heart's Mugen Souls Z, a sequel to PS3 RPG Mugen Souls, will be coming to Europe and North America in 2014 courtesy of NIS America. My guess is there is a "Z" in the sequel's title because it looks enough like a "2" t...
Idea Factory photo
Idea Factory

Idea Factory charters Western satellite studio


Former NIS America president to head up group as CEO
Sep 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Idea Factory is establishing an outpost in California. The Tokyo-based publisher announced the creation of Idea Factory International today, which expressly aims to strengthen the company's brands around the globe. Forme...
Final Fantasy Agito photo
Final Fantasy Agito

Final Fantasy Agito 'will definitely be localized'


Though no guarantee it will be released outside of Japan
Sep 18
// Steven Hansen
We recently learned about Final Fantasy Agito, an Android/iOS game in development at Square Enix that is a companion to Final Fantasy Type-0 (which was formerly known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII and was a mobile game before ...
Analogue: A Hate Story photo
Analogue: A Hate Story

Analogue: A Hate Story coming to iOS, Japan


*Mute and *Hyun-ae await!
Sep 16
// Josh Tolentino
Visual novels are cool games, but if there's a pet peeve I've developed with the genre lately, it's that most of them are PC-based. Visual Novels, dating sims, and the like are the perfect type of game to play on mobile and t...

EarthBound's English editor talks about his masterpiece

Aug 24 // Tony Ponce
Working from an essentially context-free text file was, as he described, "like free-form jazz." But such freedom allowed him to whip up real magic -- the jokes and Easter eggs are basically all Lindblom. He named a character after his daughter Nico, used his wife's name as one of Paula's default names, and called Pokey's mom "Lardna" just because he felt like it. He also confirmed and disproved popular myths. For example, the "BH" in Onett mayor BH Pirkle's name does indeed stand for "Bald Head." Also, the fact that Giygas sort of looks like a baby fetus is a complete coincidence. There's more at the Kotaku link below, so do give it a read and show some love for the man who helped make one of your favorite games that much better. The Man Who Wrote Earthbound [Kotaku]
EarthBound photo
Marcus Lindblom is happy that his writing is now remembered fondly
With EarthBound tearing up the Wii U eShop and finding its way into some gamers' hearts for the very first time, those responsible for breathing life into that world can look back on their handiwork with pride. Series creator...

Senran Kagura Burst photo
Senran Kagura Burst

Senran Kagura Burst will hit retail AND digital in Europe


Huge tracts of land
Aug 10
// Tony Ponce
Gentlemen, get your oils and scented candles ready, because Senran Kagura Burst will be arriving in Europe some time in Q1 2014. Americans received a localization confirmation from XSEED earlier this week, seemingly leaving o...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...