Hey, guys. This is Brittany from XSEED. Trails in the Sky Second Chapter launched! FINALLY.
Considering how huge the Trails series is and how we’ve had three different translation/editing teams for all three games we’ve done so far (Trails FC, Trails SC, and Cold Steel), it’s a small wonder we’ve been able to keep track of as many of the thousands of terms as we have. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re perfect. The series is constantly redefining terms even in the Japanese, and sometimes we just happen to come across an innocent or previously unclear term in earlier text that suddenly takes on a whole new meaning thanks to the latest game in the series. Sometimes we learn something from a random NPC, sometimes it’s from a guidebook only available in Japan, and sometimes we just have to straight ask Falcom what the hell something means. Or, you know, we just mess up an already-defined term in some way. It happens.
That being said, some terms discovered while localizing Cold Steel I and II (or learned thanks to knowledge gained from other games in the series) have clarified certain terms in Trails FC and SC, so we’ve revamped a few terms for the PC version to give fans the best experience they can possibly get.
Unfortunately, the PSP/Vita compatible versions of these games won’t be seeing these updates, as it’s impossible at this stage to patch PSP games. Being that the three games as a whole have had seven editors in total (which sounds like a lot, but averages to a little under a million Japanese characters each among the three games), it’s also been a challenge to keep the voice and terms of the series cohesive as well. We’ve tried our best, but please know that we’ll always strive to do better.
To keep fans of the series in the loop, I’ve been trying to log all of things we’ve updated. This isn’t everything, but mostly things that won’t reference or spoil the entire series as a whole. Also, keep in mind that these won’t impact your experience if you’re playing the PSP version, as the game is plenty comprehensive and enjoyable without them if the testers’ reactions are anything to go by. I just like keeping things tidy for my own sanity, and it’s good to give a heads up to the fanbase and say, hey, this is why things are slightly different between the two versions!
I’d also recommend you play through at least FC before looking at this list because there are definitely spoilers for Trails FC in here.
[ Jaeger / Jaeger Corps / Jester Division ]
In the original Trails FC translation, these terms were always capped, and it was understood that the Jester Division was a specific division under the command of Colonel Richard of the Intelligence Division. Or…something. It was weird. That is not so; jaegers are not a unified group, but are unaffiliated mercenaries available to the highest bidder–the opposite of bracers, who are part of a non-profit, neutral organization called the Bracer Guild. When a group/team of jaegers reaches some level of notoriety, they become what is known as a “jaeger corps,” and they usually have a special team name to further define themselves. Jaegers who aspire to become infamous as a jaeger corps but eventually give up to do smalltime work are known as “jaeger dropouts.”
In Trails FC, we know of one jaeger corps: Jester. The Intelligence Division reaches out to a single member of Jester, Lorence Belgar, and recruits him. They did not hire Jester (it’s illegal to hire jaegers in the Liberl Kingdom, by the way). Of course, you learn much more about Lorence as well as Jester’s current position in Trails SC, so I won’t say anything more about that. I will say that the dialogue where jaegers are mentioned has been tweaked in FC, and SC and Cold Steel follow a similar format. Hooray.
[ Erebonia embassy / Calvard embassy ]
You wouldn’t use “America embassy” or “Germany embassy,” so these locations have been slightly changed to “Erebonian embassy” and “Calvardian embassy.” There were also instances of “Imperial embassy,” and “Republic embassy,” so we fixed those, too.
[ Republic ]
The Calvard Republic is the full name of an eastern country at odds with Erebonia. We generally shortened it to Calvardian or the Republic. With Cold Steel, however, we occasionally used “Republican” to match Erebonia’s “Imperial,” like when we said “Republican Army” to match “Imperial Army.” We’ve also sneaked this adjustment into FC and SC where applicable. It’s fairly rare since “the Republic” works just fine in most cases to begin with, but I figured I’d mention it here anyway.
[ Item Names ]
In FC, there were several items fans gave us grief about that all started with “Monster X.” They were accurate, sure, but they eventually caught up to us thanks to overages and such with some of the longer names. Most of these names aren’t used in Cold Steel, but the “monster” theme did continue, and it was causing overages there as well. Eventually, we decided to sit down and decide how we were going to manage these terms. We concluded that the “monster” part was obvious–where else were you getting these items?–and therefore pointless to even have as part of the names. We removed them and decided to get more creative with the names based on their descriptions since there really wasn’t a deeper meaning to them other than being used as ingredients for recipes.
With the help of some fans and our own internal discussions, we proudly present some of these new item names:
魔獣の角: Monster Horn > Curative Horn
魔獣の羽: Monster Wing > Savory Pinion
魔獣の尻尾: Monster Tail > Leathery Tail
魔獣の骨: Monster Bone > Juicy Bone
魔獣の目玉: Monster Eyeball > Gummy Eyeball
魔獣の牙: Monster Fang > Lucky Fang
魔獣の獣肉: Monster Beast Meat > Beast Flesh
魔獣の魚肉: Monster Fish Meat > Fish Fillet
魔獣の鳥肉: Monster Fowl Meat > Tender Poultry
魔獣のゼラチン: Monster Gelatin > Clear Gelatin
魔獣の鳥卵: Monster Fowl Egg > Bird Egg
魔獣の魚卵: Monster Fish Egg > Fish Egg
魔獣の種: Monster Seed > Prickly Seed
These names will be in Trails FC PC, SC PSP/PC, and Cold Steel I and II where applicable.
麒麟具: Kirin Horn > Qilin Horn – There’s a quartz called Qilin in Cold Steel, so we backported it to match.
サプライズベル: Surprise Spell > Buzzer – I also couldn’t tell you where this came from. Really, I couldn’t. This made it into the PSP version of SC, but the actual translation (corrected for the PC version) is “Surprise bell.” A buzzer. It’s a buzzer. We’re calling it a buzzer.
[ Kirsche ]
This is a result of my own idiocy. In Cold Steel, Falcom was gracious enough to let us change map textures. This means that “Yumir” now reads “Ymir” on maps, the “General Goods Brandon” sign now reads “Brandon’s General Goods,” “Garrelia Fortless” is now “Garrelia Fortress,” and so on. In the main town of Cold Steel, Trista, there’s a little cafe popular with the students called Kirsche. We changed the sign to read “Kirsche’s,” and I felt very pleased making the change…until I realized that it was a chain and that a “Kirsche” already existed in Liberl’s own Bose City. While it may be based off the German word “Kirsch,” we don’t know for sure–and there have been stranger names to accommodate the literal hundreds upon hundreds of NPCs in the series, so it could very well be someone’s first or last name. I was more worried about the inconsistency between the games. Rather than bug Falcom to change the graphic back in Cold Steel, we decided it was easier to revert the name of the bar in FC/SC to say “Kirsche’s” instead of “Kirsche.”
*The Kirsche/Kirsche’s one will be implemented next week!
[ Landing Port / Airport ]
So in FC/SC, the kanji 飛行場 means “Landing Port.” Basically, it’s the airport for airships. It was on the graphic text and everything, and since it was a unique term from Falcom, we kept it that way for the most part. Fast forward to Cold Steel, where the same kanji for the same circumstances had graphics that read “Airport” instead. Rather than backport the change into FC/SC, I thought it more fun to actually make it a soda vs. pop/holiday vs. vacation thing. For the English version of Trails, people in Liberl use landing port, and people in Erebonia use airport. There you go.
[ Mayor’s Wife ]
I have no idea why Mayor Klaus’ wife in Rolent City was named “Mayor’s Wife,” as I wasn’t part of the PSP team for FC. However, she does have a name, and it’s Mylene. Welcome to actually having a name in the PC versions, Mylene.
[ Arts / Quartz Names ]
Other arts names for Trails SC were slightly adjusted due to awkward translations or just stronger translations from Cold Steel.
セラス: Revive > Thelas – So the Japanese IS Thelas, which may or may not be a Lord of the Rings reference. Whatever, it sounds cool.
アセラス: Celestial > Athelas – Had the pattern been followed, the art Athelas should’ve been Celestial, like its counterpart item, Celestial Balm. Somehow, this one received the more correct translation of Athelas to begin with. It should be noted that only the arts have the Thelas/Athelas name and reference—we kept regular healing items like Celestial Balm the same throughout all three games.
鷹目: Eagle Vision > Eagle Eye – This one just flows better.
機功: Machine Power > Ingenuity – ‘Machine Power’ just feels pretty clunky for a quartz name. Ingenuity was the translation for Cold Steel, so we backported it to SC.
幸運: Fortune > Luck – ‘Luck’ was used in Cold Steel, and since a quartz called ‘Fortuna’ also exists, this change was made to keep things from getting confusing in a game where things are always confusing (in a good way. I love you, Trails).
耀脈: Sepith Vein > Septium Vein – To match the term is was based off of. Oops.
[ Monster Names ]
Pretty minor, but we made some changes to a few monster names, too. Namely:
ササパンダー: Sasapanda > Sasa Panda – To be consistent with Cold Steel.
ボールバット: Ballbat > Ball Bat – Again, to be consistent.
サンダークエイク: Thunder Quake > Thunder Quaker – Same reason.
ワニシャーク: Gator Shark > Sharkodile – Sharkodile is a damn cute name.
サメゲーター: Shark Gator > Crocodark – Same reason.
[ Kurt’s Arts ]
Trails FC players may remember Kurt, one of the senior bracers who was seen with other bracers like Anelace, Carna, and Grant. During the Martial Arts Competition in chapter four, players got to have a taste of some of their skills, including Kurt’s arts.
I think for the PSP version, the names of his moves were treated as if they were your average arts. The thing is, his “arts” are actually unique to the series as a whole–in all the games in the Trails series, no one else has been shown to have arts quite like his. These skills are specifically from what we only vaguely know as “the East,” even farther east than Calvard, and are what we’ve dubbed “Fangshu” to differentiate them from your average arts.
[ Septillion / Sept-Terrion ]
This was a term we fixed for the PC version of Trails FC when it first launched. We originally had Septillion in the PSP version of Trails FC because…umm…I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Anyway, the term has certainly grown to mean something very significant over the course of the series (and yet still not fully explained as of Trails of Cold Steel II, which is SIX GAMES AFTER Trails FC), and changing it back to Sept-Terrion–the “Seven Treasures”–was a must. At most, we know these as gifts of legend that were bestowed upon humanity by the Goddess Aidios, and they supposedly have the power to control the sky, sea, and earth. As a refresher, those who beat Trails FC know of one such treasure already–the Aureole–since it was brought up in the final dungeon of the game.
[ Master ]
You may vaguely remember that this term was used at the end of Trails FC to refer to the leader of the newly-unveiled Ouroboros. This term to is no more in the English version. From this point forward, we’re going with ‘Grandmaster.’ This is because we already use ‘master’ for a ton of stuff to begin with, though mostly it’s because the reading for the Japanese changed. While it was indeed ‘Master/Leader’ for the majority of the Trails games in Japanese, Trails of Cold Steel II threw fans for a loop by suddenly giving a completely new word for the same kanji, which was ‘Grandmaster.’ Good show, Falcom.
[ General Bright ]
In Trails SC, mustachioed dandy/S-rank bracer Cassius Bright is now General Cassius Bright. However, his ACTUAL rank is brigadier general. As far as I’m aware, it’s perfectly acceptable to directly refer to a brigadier general as simply “General ______.” The “brigadier” part somehow never made its way into the PSP version at all, but it’s been added here and there to the PC version to fully clarify his military rank.
[ Sign of the Star Chalice ]
This is in the PSP version of SC, and while it’s no big deal, the PC version will be using ‘grail emblem.’ The kanji for the name are fairly consistently ‘grail’ and ’emblem’ elsewhere, and it’s that fancy looking symbol you always see associated with the Septian Church. There’s just no reason to complicate it with a fancy name.
[ Haru ]
For those of you who read the amazing Carnelia novels in Trails FC and loved them, I’m happy to say that there are more novels waiting for you in SC. One of them in Gambler Jack, and one of the characters in the PSP version of the book is named Haru. This translation wouldn’t be wrong to the average translator – ハル is the Japanese–except we happen to be in the middle of translating Trails of Cold Steel II. Five games and 7-8-ish years after Gambler Jack was in written in Trails SC, Falcom decided to write a sequel to Gambler Jack for your perusal in Cold Steel II…and it was only after we finished the PSP version of Trails SC were we aware that Falcom gave an official English spelling to this Haru in this sequel, which is Halle. Halle has been updated for the PC version of the game, and it’s what we’re continuing with should Falcom desire to keep writing about good ol’ Gambler Jack in the future.
[ Veins ]
七耀脈 > Septium Vein – This term remains as it always was.
霊脈 > Spirit Lines > Spirit Veins – To match septium vein.
龍脈 > Veins of the Dragon > Dragon Veins – To match septium vein.
地脈 > Ley Lines > Earth Veins – To match septium vein.
Most of these words are only mentioned once or twice at most in SC, so the various names don’t make much of a difference. Still, we thought to have some consistency after some discussion (when it was unfortunately too late to fix it for the PSP version). These are, essentially, just different words for the same exact thing depending on the time and the region; Calvard supposedly uses “dragon veins,” while people in the past called them “spirit/earth veins,” for example. Why overcomplicate things in a series with this many terms when it could be much simpler? As for what these septium veins (the dominant term used in the series) are, well, you’ll find out in Trails SC.
As always, if you happen to catch something dubious, kindly feel free to write it in (firstname.lastname@example.org is your friend) and we’ll look into it. It’s kind of hard for even multiple people to keep track of this series–forget about one–so little things here and there are bound to be missed. Some on the team are working hard to become the ultimate walking dictionaries for Trails, however.
Writing something like this feels pretty surreal. SC is finally out the door, Cold Steel I isn’t too far off, and translation on Cold Steel II is nearly complete with editing scheduled to begin soon. Handling one Trails game at a time was hard enough, but keeping track of both Trails SC AND Cold Steel was a monstrous challenge. I hope we did all right, and thanks for being so patient with us.
P.S. Trails is so fun and special that it’s getting not one, but two blogs this week! Stay tuned for a second blog coming from our PC programmer, Sara, tomorrow.