Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spell names

When translating names in this game, I had to take several things into consideration.
  • Should this name be translated literally?
  • What was it called in other translations?
  • If these names became a standard, could I live with it?
Things like フライデーマスク would make more sense as "Hockey Mask", since Friday is the name of a humanoid enemy in the game that mimics Jason from Friday the 13th. In MT2, you collect items called 割り符 so that Mora the turtle can carry you across rivers. In Japan, it involved business deals and a piece of paper was torn, and each piece would signify ownership or serve as identification. I ended up calling them "seals" in the game.

Many of the spells in this game are standard in other Megami Tensei games. So I tried to preserve the spelling where I thought it was appropriate. Agi, Bufu, Zan, etc. are still called this. But this game also has some uniquely named spells. "Dia" is called "Di" in this game, and I think it should be so because this remake is trying to remain faithful to Namco's nomenclature. On MT1 for the NES, they had names for spells like "Patch" (Patra), "Psi" (Zan), "Medical" (Diarahan), "Hyper" (Rakukaja), and so on. MT2 is where they moved into the current naming scheme. So these names didn't completely originate with Atlus.

About standards, the thing that comes to my mind first is the demon class names. If I call them something, I also have to think about whether it'd make sense if it was used in any other game. Calling something "Undead" will lose its meaning if the next game just adds another similar class. Like with zombies being moved from "Akuryou" in MT1 to a new class called "Shiki" in SMT1.

I'm always editing and thinking about how all these names should look and sound, so it's been hard to finalize these lists. Here is an example for the spell names.

Spell list


Ta-chan said...

First of all, I'd like to say thank you DDST for taking on this project.

I've been playing this game for a while, but as you might expect, the progress is slow and painful...specially when it comes to demon contacting (now that's a nightmare).

That's why when i saw your project page i went like O_O;

just a very small note on translation if you don't mind DDST, when i was reading "Friday Mask" what first came to my mind was actually "Friday the 13th" and then when i read "Hockey Mask" my mind went________totally blank
cause i totally have no idea what "Hockey Mask" looks like.

I know that most of the people who will play this game will probably be in america, however, i'm pretty sure that quite a number of them will be from other parts of the world who aren't quite familiar with unique american sports.

and when you compare a classic cult horror hit that got translated on a global scale to a hockey game uniforms i think it would be obvious what would be more identified and recognized.

Again thank you very much for your work on this project, and sorry for the long blah blah.

Host said...

Thanks for the compliments. :)

About the demon negotiating, it's a bit stiffer than the dialogues used in SMT1 and SMT2. As far as I can tell, if you can successfully pacify a demon enough, it will increase your chances of successfully recruiting them. With the "Persuade" option, I've only gotten it to work 1 or 2 times in the whole game. :(

Basically, my routine goes: "Smile", "Lower Weapons", "Persuade", "Offer Item" and hope they'll join. Moving closer never seems to help, nor does coercion.

About the Friday Mask, I guess I could just leave it as that. It's just that when you encounter the Friday and Redrum enemies, they are obviously rip-offs of Jason in the Friday the 13th movies. And since he wears a hockey mask from Part 3 and onward, it's sort of become his symbol.

I'm thinking of making some extra materials after the translation is finished, like a walkthrough or maps. If you need any hints as to what to do next, or wondering about any plot points, I'd be glad to help. :)

Ashley said...

For anyone playing the game (even dds, if he ever reads this post), coercion does work, it just only works on demons of a lower level than you.

It takes a couple of tries each time, but you can still talk to the demon afterwards. Most of the time, a level 34 hero can recruit level ~20 demons without a hitch. Great for fusion!