The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series – Localization Blog #2

Hi, kids!

This is Brittany, Localization Producer at XSEED, editor/graphic text monkey/what-have-you for Trails in the Sky the 3rd, and current head for the Trails series in general. I’m very eager to write this blog, because it’ll be full of updates for FC, SC, and the 3rd.

Let’s get the 3rd’s status out of the way: schedule-wise, we’re currently doing great! When we announced this game last year, I was dead set on getting it out by spring 2017, so I’m very proud to say that goal is being met. Trails in the Sky the 3rd is coming to PC in English on…a date you’ll find out very, very soon.

Barring typos or odd QA hiccups (which can happen when “smashing” PSP and PC code together to get the best of both worlds), the game is in pretty good shape and we’re right where we need to be. It’s cleaning up very well.

 | QA is a sexy time and I won’t let you take it away from me.

I’d like to start by properly warning Trails newbies first: please play Trails in the Sky’s first and second chapters before playing the 3rd. Heck, please play them before even reading this blog! Although the 3rd is not a “third chapter” since the Estelle and Liberl’s story wrapped up with SC, this story still relies on knowledge gained by playing those two games. Internally, I’ve said before that the 3rd has only one target audience: people who’ve played both Trails FC and SC. Cold Steel fans will understand some of the lore dumping, but other details will be quite lost on lost you. Though, hey, if you want to purchase it anyway and help support my coffee fund, I ain’t gonna stop you. (Please buy it and play it later. I’m desperate, here.)

I would have loved for this blog to feature more specific details on the 3rd itself, but I tend to consider the series as a whole whenever I do my editing and am constantly referencing/perusing the text from the other games as if they were my current projects. Because of that, I’m going to be noting planned adjustments for the Sky trilogy that I decided were important enough to implement while I was working on the 3rd. We can dig into protagonist and deuteragonist Kevin Graham and Ries Argent in future blogs.

Dead Emperor Sword > Sword of Abaddon – Loewe’s S-Craft. I meant to fix this during SC’s QA, but there were so many things I was brushing up till the last minute that it was lost in the shuffle. The original is straight-up wrong.
Pillar of Salt > Salt Pale – You’ll learn more about this in the 3rd.
Stainrose > Steinrose – This is a classy alcoholic drink briefly mentioned by Schera in Trails FC. This is clearly meant to be Steinrose and was written correctly in SC, so we’re extending that correction to FC.
Museum Descriptions – Text in the museum in Grancel will either be rewritten or greatly expanded upon in general. These descriptions were shorter due to every editor’s wariness of character limits in games, but that’s not actually a worry here, so woohoo! The Capel will also receive similar tweaks.
Master/King/Guardian of the Lake – I don’t understand how I missed this one, but boy, did I screw up when doing sweeps. You might remember the Guardian from Cold Steel; it’s a legendary fish. Well, the whole legendary fish thing actually dates back as far as the first game. Turns out, we’ve used a mix of king or master to describe it. I’d considered using the more common of the two in the current text, “master,” but I realized “master” is used in several other forms throughout FC and SC. To make its intent clear, I’m going the easy route and replacing all instances of king/King/master/Master with “Guardian” like the way it is in Cold Steel I&II.

| Mysterious boy who isn’t so mysterious if you’ve already played Cold Steel. This marks his first Trails appearance.

Duke Dunan – I believe that even if he’s Queen Alicia II’s nephew, being a duke, he should be addressed as “Your Grace.” He’s been addressed as a number of things, including “Your Excellency” by Phillip and Kanone, so this will be corrected.
Sky Bandits – I talked about this a bit with the current series translator, and we decided that the term ‘sky bandits’ wasn’t the name of the Capua family’s group in particular. They’re simply bandits…who happen to do their bandit-ing while piloting a sweet airship. It’s not a term specific to them, but as generic as “thief” or “schoolteacher.” It shall be decapped in all instances throughout the trilogy.
There are a few more words I decided to decap, and no doubt I’ll find even more in the future. They’re minor in comparison, though, so they’re not really worth listing here.

 | Here’s a new feature, the “Remote Ability.”

Airship/Orbalship/Flying Boats – Here’s one that’s bothered me for some time even though I couldn’t figure out a better solution. There’s an entry in the Capel about orbal airships stating that ships less than 20 arge in length are known as “flying boats.” We don’t actually use that term anywhere else, but no one ever brought it up so I left it as is. While reading through the games again, however, I noticed that we used both “airship” and “orbalship” as generic terms.
It’s specifically thanks to orbal energy and the Orbal Revolution that modern civilization in Zemuria was able to achieve flight, so presumably all airships regardless of length use orbal energy. I don’t think it’s a stretch to scientifically classify small ships as “airships,” larger ships which require significant orbal energy as “orbalships,” and have “airships” be used as a generic term among citizens at the same time. After all, we in real life still can’t seem to decide if Pluto is classified as a damn planet or not, even if the population generally seems to refer to it as a planet no matter what its classification is. With this update, I will do away with the clunky and never-used “flying boats” in favor of the current entry.

Hmm-Hmm!/Hm-Hm!/Etc. – Like Cold Steel I&II, this kind of chortle/laughter isn’t present at all in the 3rd. It was toned down considerably before launch in SC, but it’s still present in both FC and SC. I’ve always wanted to go through the script and alter/remove these, and I finally did! Maybe some will object to this decision, but if they’re not in the newer games, it’s just kinda weird to keep them in the older games, too. In case you wanted to know how much I suffered to do this:
o   “hmm-hmm” (164 hits in 96 files)
o   “hmmhmm” (184 hits in 85 files)
o   “hmhm” (89 hits in 52 files)
o   “hm-hm” (8 hits in 8 files)
o   “hmm!” (12 hits in 11 files)
o   “hm!” (21 hits in 20 files)
o   “hmm.” (36 hits in 35 files)
o   “hm.” (17 hits in 16 files)
o   “Hm,” (62 hits in 41 files)
o   “hmm,” (282 hits in 155 files)

Duke/Baron Fisher – You might recall the president of the Fisherman’s Guild, Mr. Fisher. (Or maybe you do not recall, which suits me better. HEH.) Apparently, his title is mentioned once in both FC and SC—the first time was the “Duke of Angling” and second time was “Baron of Fishing.” This also comes up in the 3rd, but we thought “Fishing Baron” was a simple enough title for the guy, so this will also be fixed in FC and SC.

 | From the 3rd’s opening animation.

Social Sciences/Studies – This is the program Kloe takes at Jenis. I noticed a discrepancy here and there while doing some digging for the name, so all of these have been changed to “social studies.” It’s social sciences in Cold Steel, but since that’s a different country, I don’t consider the difference a big deal.
Faculty/Staff Office/Lounge – Also noticed this was a number of slightly difference things, so it shall be changed to “faculty lounge.”
Dorms/Dorm – Unless the person mentioning the dorms at Jenis is referencing both the boys’ and girls’ dorms, I made it singular since there’s only one dorm building each. Not really a problem, but it was bugging me.
Olivier: “In fact, I believe the Imperial Academy was to launch an investigation…but then the Hundred Days War broke out.” – *nerd glasses* Okay, this one is really cool to me!! I happened to notice the line and was confused by “Imperial Academy, so I checked the Japanese, which was more like “Imperial Science Institute.” Turns out, this is the very same “Imperial Institute of Science” that’s been brought up a few times throughout the Cold Steel arc. (Ahh, I just love how this series connects the little things.)
Dad/Daddy/Papa/Mom/Mommy/Momma – Estelle as a child calls Cassius “Daddy” in FC, but she says “Papa” in SC. SC will now match FC. Cassius still calls himself “Papa” when babying Estelle, though. I haven’t looked too deeply into this yet, but it’s also been fixed in the following instances so far:
o Anya – Daddy(FC), Papa/Daddy(SC) = Daddy
o Elke – Papa(FC), Papa/Dad(SC) = Dad
o Mirano – Father(FC), Papa/Father(SC) = Father
o Louis – Dad/Mom(FC), Papa/Mama & Dad/Mom (SC) = Dad/Mom
o Helena – Dad/Mom (FC), Papa/Mama (SC) = Dad/Mom
o Lucia – Mommy (FC), Mom/Mommy(SC) = Mommy

I feel ashamed to see all of this…

Mayor/Lady/Miss/Ms. Maybelle – This one was pretty wild. When checking her address for the 3rd since Lila’s address was translated as “Lady Maybelle,” I went through FC/SC and the results were a mess. Some NPCs referred to her in three different ways, and Estelle went from “Mayor Maybelle” in FC to “Maybelle” in SC. One could argue closeness allowed her to drop the formalities, but I don’t see them as that close. Virtually everyone should be calling her “Mayor Maybelle” now, save for four exceptions: Lila, who calls her “Miss Maybelle, ” and Kloe, General Morgan, and Yahat, who affectionally call her “Maybelle.”

This biggest change affecting all these Sky games, however, will be this:

| You don’t know how happy it makes me to see this.

To refresh your memories, Zin Vathek is an A-rank bracer from the Calvard Republic, and he’s one of the main playable characters throughout the trilogy. However, due to some absurd reason I can’t even begin to understand since I wasn’t with XSEED at the time, the original translation team insisted upon changing his name to Zane.

The series has yet to truly set foot on Calvardian soil, but several characters from there appear to be of Eastern descent. This may lead some to believe that Calvard is mostly an “Asian” country, but personally, I think something very different is going on. Republican names also include stuff like Vathek, Cochrane, or Rocksmith (the Republic’s president). There’s even the Gambler Jack novel that stars a white man named…Jack…and includes characters like Chief Minister Shamrock and Enrique.

I believe Easterners are actually the minority in Calvard, and Eastern influences are reflected in a Chinatown-esque area called the “Eastern Quarter.” Even the writing in Gambler Jack mentions how immigrants tend to gather in the Eastern Quarter, and the writing goes out of its way to point out Eastern features in Halle, the heroine, as if it’s not usual for its author to see.

Throughout the localized games, there have been mentions of people from farther east immigrating into Calvard to the point where it’s become a problem. Incredibly interesting as this is, it’s only been brought up in bits and pieces throughout the series, so I can only make an educated guess on what exactly Calvard is like or what’s going on within. Also, you’ll learn more about this in 3rd and I don’t want to go into detail. These kinds of things could point to racial tension in the future or something else entirely. The more I’ve learned, the more my gut tells me that there’s a reason for these characters—Zin included—to have been given Eastern-influenced names.

While I’ve never been fond of “Zane” to begin with and believe it never should have been changed in the first place, I do understand that it’s been a part of the Trails English canon for many years. Before making the change, I tried to think of various solutions and consulted Falcom’s development team directly with my thoughts. One possible solution was based on many friends who immigrated to the West as children: they had their name from birth, and then they also had a more “white-sounding” name to further blend into Western culture. I thought this method would allow us to keep Zane, finally adopt Zin, and give Zane a few unexpected extra layers.

I’m happy that I expressed these concerns to Falcom’s team, because it gave me the confidence to do away with the more complex solutions and just skip to the overhaul. Moving forward, “Zane” will officially be “Zin” for the entire Trails in the Sky trilogy, and “Zane” will be a thing of the past. I’m excited about this. Please welcome Zin warmly.

| You’ll see cutscenes like these throughout the game.

In the Future/Other Notes

Gambler Jack – This novel appears in both Trails in the Sky SC and Trails of Cold Steel II. The CS2 version was brushed up. This may or may not make it into this next update, but I’d like to backport this when I can.
Skippable S-Crafts – We added this patch into the PC versions of FC/SC in December 2016, but I felt it was worth noting since it’s not in any other version of the Sky trilogy but ours. You can now skip S-Crafts with the press of a button! Yay!
S-Craft Voices – Years and years ago, before my time, the Trails in the Sky trilogy was all dubbed at once just because it was battle lines and it was easier to get it all finished in one go. Some mistranslations happened here and there in those battle lines. It’s why Kloe shouts, “Radiant Plash!” instead of her actual S-Craft name, for example. The lines from one of Kevin’s S-Crafts gets mentioned as part of 3rd’s story, and you might notice it differs from the text in his actual S-Craft. I’d like to fix the voice someday, but we’ll have to work with the original for now. Just know that it was a conscious decision to not match the story text and battle lines.
NPC Names – Like Zin, a few NPC names I believe have references that were initially missed. Mirano/Trino/Modena are supposed to be Milan/Turin/Modena, I believe, Stain is supposed to be Stein, etc. These all these like relatively minor in the grand scheme of things and have no real impact on the world-building, though, so I’m still compiling a list and debating if it’s even worth touching this. I still want to…but lol.
NPCs are truly trouble in this series… I have a bible I made myself for the series, but I’d love to keep filling it in!!

|I’m slowly building stuff like this in the name of obsession.

Ideally, one of the other big changes would be the basic name on Steam/GOG/Humble being displayed. We’ve always gone with Trails in the Sky and Trails in the Sky SC, but I worry names like these as an introductory header may cause confusion among newer fans. I want to someday rename these display names Trails in the Sky First Chapter and Trails in the Sky Second Chapter. We’ll see.

My hope is that outside of Zane > Zin, you guys noticed approximately none of these things and will end up reading this blog and going, “Huh. This person’s obsessed, but okay. Cool.” But how do these things happen? The same way it always happens with text-heavy games: too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many translators, too many editors. Many of these choices are perfectly valid out of world context, but when you’re given thousands of files, no unified index for characters unless you build it from scratch yourself, and some very nasty deadlines, things happen.

The series is much more unified than ever because we realized that when it comes to text-heavy projects, taking our time with a smaller team yields a much better result than throwing as many people as possible at it. CS1, CS2, and the 3rd proved it. In a perfect world, I could go over FC and SC’s text line by line and tweak things in ways fans likely wouldn’t notice just to create further consistency, but considering I do these tweaks in my free time out of pure passion for the series, that’s gonna have to be saved for another day. I’m already very blessed to be given the opportunity to comb through older files and tweak at my leisure. Or maybe I just have a very unusual hobby.

Should you come across any issues that have cropped up unexpectedly with this update (which will be before the 3rd’s launch), please feel free to contact us. Stuff happens, things break, but we’re always willing to look into it and fix it if it’s within our power. My heart belongs to the series forever, so anything I can do if time allows it, I try. Thanks for reading this update, kids, and I hope to write more about the 3rd soon!

| Yes, this actually is in the game.