Rune Factory 4 Special Localization Blog #2

By Lori Snyder (Localization Translator)

Hi there! Welcome to our second localization blog for Rune Factory 4 Special! I’m Lori—you might’ve seen me on our first RF4Sstream—and I helped work on QA for this title, as well as some of its LE assets!

Pre-order “Archival Edition” Now!

Along with the base game, you’ll also receive a code for the “Swimsuit Day” DLC, a Rune Factory 4 Special soundtrack CD featuring three Special-exclusive tracks, and (drum roll please) an art book spanning the entire Rune Factory series! Whoa!

In this blog, I wanted to give you some insight into the work that went into our Archival Edition components and look back on this incredible title’s QA process with some of our team. If you haven’t checked out our first localization blog yet, though, I highly recommend reading it first! It goes in depth into the challenges, time, and care it took to bring this title to the Switch, and it’s a great read if you’re interested in learning more about the finer details of our localization process.

A Walk Down Rune Factory Lane

So let’s get to it: the Archival Edition is full of fun surprises, and I’d love to give you a little preview of what to expect from our awesome Archival Book! I translated the whole art book, so believe me when I tell you this thing is jam-packed with nostalgia. Let’s take a look at an example page with everybody’s favorite turnip-loving heroine from the very first Rune Factory game: Mist!

Rune Factory 4 Special Art Book
Caption: Isn’t she a cutie?! Minako Iwasaki’s character art is so wholesome…

Here’s Mist’s art book profile from Rune Factory Frontier.Along with character art, each marriage candidate from the series will have extra information like their birthdays, family members, and favorite gifts! You might also notice the little quote above Mist’s nametag—every character has a quote from their original game.

This was somewhere I really felt I could bring an extra bit of an “I remember that!” factor, so I made a serious effort to include direct quotes from as many characters as possible. RF4’s dialogue was the easiest to find, since I knew my way around the game’s text files at that point…but could I go even further back in XSEED’s localization history?! It turns out, I could! After searching the depths of XSEED’s servers, I even managed to find some of the translated text files from Rune Factory Frontier,all the way from 2009! I spent many an hour (maybe too many an hour) playing Frontier back in the day, so to see the text in its purest form was kind of an honor.

Caption: (deep, menacing hacker voice) I’m in.

Anyway, personal nostalgia trips aside, there’s lots more where that came from in our Archival Book.

Not only will you find character art and profiles in here, you’ll find concept art, animatics from each game’s opening sequence, developer interviews, and a whole bunch more! We’ve got a little bit of everything: art from all the numbered Rune Factory titles, plus Frontier and Tides of Destiny!

Also, the paper smells really nice. 10 out of 10 Localization Translators agree: the smell of freshly printed paper is as comforting as a hug from a Wooly…if Woolies were made out of high-quality office supplies.

Leaving a Special Impression

With Rune Factory 4 Special final out, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the process with some of our team, who worked their butts off to make sure that bugs were properly squashed and the game was ready to go for all you lovely readers out there! Here’s what we had to say:

Nate (Tested the game for more than 400 hours)

1. What was the biggest challenge for you during RF4S QA?
Completing literally all of Eliza’s tasks. There’s definitely a methodology behind them that could help you complete them all quicker, but hindsight is 20/20. Just make sure you talk to the townspeople and give them their favorite things as often as you can.

2. Who is your favorite RF4S character and why?
There are three characters I genuinely enjoy the most: the one I married (Meg), the one I feel most similar to (Leon), and the one everyone wishes they could marry (Porco). Their personalities just kind of mesh with tropes I enjoy, and Porcoline specifically has some of the best joke lines in the game. There’s a three-day running gag in the game about what he cannot eat… you’ll know it when you see it.

3. What are your hopes for RF5 and the future of the RF series?
More of the same, honestly. The game is absolutely huge, and while some moments felt a little tedious, a lot of it was really fun. I’d really enjoy it if stuff like gay marriage existed in a future title—I think that would be pretty cool. Also more character customization, like hair and facial features, maybe even character build.

Danielle (Helped edit the art book)

1. What was the biggest challenge for you in working on the art book?
One of the biggest challenges was making sure that recurring item names from past Rune Factory games were consistent or up to date with RF4 terminology. Also, since we didn’t localize a few of the older games, some things—such as character quotes—had to be translated and edited from scratch.

2. Who is your favorite RF4S character and why?
I’m going to cheat and list more than one character. Among the marriage candidates, my favorites are Dylas, Leon, and Margaret: they have such great personalities. My favorite villager is Porcoline, hands down.

3. What are your hopes for RF5 and the future of the RF series?
For future games, I’d love to see them expand on using a Prince/Princess Points-like system for more town development options. I’d also love to see more of an emphasis on the monster-raising elements and more interactive dungeons and environments to explore.

Lori (QA/Art book translation)

1. What was the biggest challenge for you during RF4S QA?
I was in charge of the text files, so at first, figuring out where specific lines of text were located was the biggest hurdle for me. Some things were put into smaller categorized files, like items or equipment, but the main dialogue and scenario text file was a monster… That thing took a whole 10 minutes just to load on my computer!

2. Who is your favorite RF4S character and why?
I got the most attached to Arthur. I remember when he was revealed years back and I wasn’t too keen on him at first, but after I learned more about him and did his special pre-marriage quest, he was my guy! I usually end up liking the quiet-type guys, too, so Dylas is a close second. (If you’re a Dylas fan, you’re gonna LOVE his “Another Episode”!)

3. What are your hopes for RF5 and the future of the RF series?
I’d love to have the option to date/marry whichever marriage candidate you like, regardless of your protagonist’s gender! Also, I’d love to have more clothing options and designs for the main characters. You can’t fight monsters if you don’t look cute!

…And that’s all we’ve gotta say about that! If you haven’t already purchased an Archival Edition of Rune Factory 4 Special, don’t worry. It’s not too late! You can pick it up from our online store or check out participating retailers!
Thank you so much for reading, and a special thanks to all our Rune Factory fans out there. We appreciate your support for the series and hope you all experience the joys of Selphia all over again!