Are the Golden Sun games as wordy in Japanese as they are in other languages?

May 13, 2019
804
The Golden Sun series is infamous for employing twenty words to say what can be said in five words or less, causing the cutscenes to drag on like forever and ever and ever. I'm not bothered by this but most people definitely are.

Is this series as long-winded in its original language as the localizations make it to be or it is something that was lost in translation?
 

Asbsand

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Oct 30, 2017
6,144
Denmark
Reminds me of Fire Emblem Awakening. I think it's a matter of localization attempting to keep the script stoic-sounding to have that medieval tone, which is misguided imo, as it leads to dialogue that gets harder and harder to read.

We sometimes forget that translation/localization is writing, so a localization relies on having someone who can also write something people like to read.
 
Oct 26, 2017
15,038
Reminds me of Fire Emblem Awakening. I think it's a matter of localization attempting to keep the script stoic-sounding to have that medieval tone, which is misguided imo, as it leads to dialogue that gets harder and harder to read.

We sometimes forget that translation/localization is writing, so a localization relies on having someone who can also write something people like to read.
The English localizations don’t go for that tone at all, they’re just extremely wordy.
 

djplaeskool

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,374
The game is indeed extremely verbose.
Not entirely sure if it was to make the game easier to read for younger audiences, or the lower resolution of the GBA limiting kanji usage in the text fields (maybe both), but the dialog is hiragana heavy, so every box is just filled with script.
 

Asbsand

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Oct 30, 2017
6,144
Denmark
The English localizations don’t go for that tone at all, they’re just extremely wordy.
Then I would chalk it up to the individual localization crew not being very great writers.

In the case of Awakening they could do a number of things to make it more efficient.

There's a land called "Plegia" and the characters will insist on saying things like "It could be a spy, from Plegia!" and make no failure to always mention "Plegia" when really, the context is there so they could simply say "A spy", and we would know which kind of spy they mean.

Add in a tendency to use passive voice, and that adds up to sentences that go like this:

Bad Localization: "It appears our commander has a way of properly using a sword. Our enemies from Plegia will be given no quarter, so long as we have Chrom, at our side."
Good localization: "Our commander is skilled with a sword. We'll defeat any enemy with him on our team."

At least, that's how I view it. Even if the transliteration from japan included all those specifications in the sentence, it still befalls to localization to make it more idiomatic to the english reader.

A great comparison is Fire Emblem Fates vs Awakening. Story is maybe a little better in Awakening, but the script/dialogue is much more readable in Fates, because it was done by Nintendo Treehouse instead of 8-4.
 

Kalentan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,847
Reminds me of Fire Emblem Awakening. I think it's a matter of localization attempting to keep the script stoic-sounding to have that medieval tone, which is misguided imo, as it leads to dialogue that gets harder and harder to read.

We sometimes forget that translation/localization is writing, so a localization relies on having someone who can also write something people like to read.
FF14 totally goes for the medieval tone that uses a lot of words that aren't used in english much (if at all though), even though the original Japanese doesn't have any of it. Really adds to the game however.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,200
A great comparison is Fire Emblem Fates vs Awakening. Story is maybe a little better in Awakening, but the script/dialogue is much more readable in Fates, because it was done by Nintendo Treehouse instead of 8-4.
I really prefer 8-4's take on localising Fire Emblem (Awakening and especially Shadows of Valencia) to the recent Treehouse stuff :/
 
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SteelBeast6Beets
May 13, 2019
804
The game is indeed extremely verbose.
Not entirely sure if it was to make the game easier to read for younger audiences, or the lower resolution of the GBA limiting kanji usage in the text fields (maybe both), but the dialog is hiragana heavy, so every box is just filled with script.
I see. Guess the localization tried to keep it as faithful to the original as possible to a fault.

Also, the fact that every character needs to react to what's been said only makes the cutscene's length worse. Mandatory Awkwark Zombie comic:



EDIT: Curse you ned_balllad!
 

Danielsan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,508
The Netherlands
A great comparison is Fire Emblem Fates vs Awakening. Story is maybe a little better in Awakening, but the script/dialogue is much more readable in Fates, because it was done by Nintendo Treehouse instead of 8-4.
It's difficult to say how much of it is due to source material and how much of it is due to the localization team, but I prefer the dialogue of Awakening to Fates (currently going through Conquest myself). And because I'm on a bit Fire Emblem kick, I'm also playing Path of Radiance, and I have to say, I think PoR's writing/dialogue kicks the asses of Three Houses, Awakening and Fates. I don't know what happened but comparing Path of Radiance to any of the more recent Fire Emblems, you can't help but notice a giant fucking drop in the quality of the writing.
 

Birdie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,876
I feel like and it's been awhile but the original game didn't have this issue...

But yeah Dark Dawn was hooooorrible. Though didn't it have a self depreciation Easter egg where you could just tell the old dude to basically fuck off?
 

Asbsand

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Oct 30, 2017
6,144
Denmark
I think PoR's writing/dialogue kicks the ass of Three Houses, Awakening and Fates.
As does Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Aka Gaiden). Nowadays they outsource the entire thing to common scriptwriters, and the thing with scriptwriter is that they tend to phone it in, so you'll get flanderized characterization and brainless dialogue because they're basically just paid to write per hour for a certain period of time, and I've noticed a trend between games that use Synthese Co. (A scriptwriting firm) and even western examples such as Batman Arkham Knight. These guys don't really create the story, they just fill out the pages and the story is drafted by the developers or a dedicated writer. Frustratingly I also feel that created a mucking up of the story in FE Fates because the thing about having too many writers is that their comprehension differs, and they'll make the story more confusing than if it had been a single writer.
I really prefer 8-4's take on localising Fire Emblem (Awakening and especially Shadows of Valencia) to the recent Treehouse stuff :/
Echoes has a great script so that goes to show that the source material is probably the most common issue and not the translation. The reason I like Treehouse is that they recognize when something can need some touching up, and are liberal about changing a script to improve it for the localization. I think there's been a lot of gatekeeping about what is good translation of japanese games and many who cling too hard to transliterations over localization. My idea is that if something is gonna be in english anyway, a part of its japanese essence is already lost, and certainly cultural understandings of things like religion (Shintoist ideas for instance) are taken for granted in the source and won't translate properly with just a literal translation and then it's up to Localization to figure out something that is familiar to us in the same way the original context would be to its original audience.
If drastic localization efforts also leads to a more fluent script, it's only better, in that case.
The only thing I dislike about NoA localization are the insertion of memes in places that are normally serious, or personality change on characters to only make them even more one-note, solely for comedic relief. Using a meme in place of a japanese quirk makes sense though, as does swapping out someone's satiric stoicness with slapstick comedy or something, but when there's no motivation behind the change, or patronizing ideas about the audience's intelligence, it will suck.
 
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SteelBeast6Beets
May 13, 2019
804
As does Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Aka Gaiden). Nowadays they outsource the entire thing to common scriptwriters, and the thing with scriptwriter is that they tend to phone it in, so you'll get flanderized characterization and brainless dialogue because they're basically just paid to write per hour for a certain period of time, and I've noticed a trend between games that use Synthese Co. (A scriptwriting firm) and even western examples such as Batman Arkham Knight. These guys don't really create the story, they just fill out the pages and the story is drafted by the developers or a dedicated writer. Frustratingly I also feel that created a mucking up of the story in FE Fates because the thing about having too many writers is that their comprehension differs, and they'll make the story more confusing than if it had been a single writer.
I recognize that name from the credits of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and from I could gather, their body of work is rather eclectic i.e they've worked in the Senra Kagura games as well as Ace Attorney Dual Destinies and FE Fates.
 

Asbsand

Member
Oct 30, 2017
6,144
Denmark
I recognize that name from the credits of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and from I could gather, their body of work is rather eclectic i.e they've worked in the Senra Kagura games as well as Ace Attorney Dual Destinies and FE Fates.
Yup, yup, yup. They're severely below the standard for writing in at least Ace Attorney. They're a major factor in how Dual Destinies was the worst story in the main franchise and the Layton crossover, while generally good, really fell apart in the final trial and ending and... guess what. The original writer, Shu Takumi wrote that game but not the final trial, only a draft/summary, and they hired the scriptwriter to write it... and well, it has no pacing and delivers all its twists like it's just reading a shopping list. I think it's fair to assume that those aren't very good writers, other than that they can basically write dialogue.
 
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SteelBeast6Beets
May 13, 2019
804
Yup, yup, yup. They're severely below the standard for writing in at least Ace Attorney. They're a major factor in how Dual Destinies was the worst story in the main franchise and the Layton crossover, while generally good, really fell apart in the final trial and ending and... guess what. The original writer, Shu Takumi wrote that game but not the final trial, only a draft/summary, and they hired the scriptwriter to write it... and well, it has no pacing and delivers all its twists like it's just reading a shopping list. I think it's fair to assume that those aren't very good writers, other than that they can basically write dialogue.
I do consider BE's writing to be better than the last FFs (read FFXIII and XIV) even if that doesn't say a lot.
 

Doc Kelso

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,850
NYC
FF14 totally goes for the medieval tone that uses a lot of words that aren't used in english much (if at all though), even though the original Japanese doesn't have any of it. Really adds to the game however.
It added to the game so much that they started adding more flavor text to the JP version of the game.
 

Doc Kelso

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,850
NYC
Oh wow, I hadn't heard about that. Kind of neat.
Yeah! I think it may have been at the first FanFest when they had a panel with their lead localization guy and Yoshi-P where they talked about a lot of stuff in the original ARR client being incredibly barebones in the JP version (such as a FATE just saying “kill the dodo”). The EN version put little blurbs about why you’re killing dodos (they ate a baby!) and stuff in and the JP team absolutely loved it. So it influenced the overall writing and tone of the entire game going forward.

Koji-Fox is a goddamn blessing.
 

Korigama

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,007
Yup, yup, yup. They're severely below the standard for writing in at least Ace Attorney. They're a major factor in how Dual Destinies was the worst story in the main franchise and the Layton crossover, while generally good, really fell apart in the final trial and ending and... guess what. The original writer, Shu Takumi wrote that game but not the final trial, only a draft/summary, and they hired the scriptwriter to write it... and well, it has no pacing and delivers all its twists like it's just reading a shopping list. I think it's fair to assume that those aren't very good writers, other than that they can basically write dialogue.
Hm, can't speak for the Layton crossover (never got around to it), but I'd say Apollo Justice remains the worst story in the main franchise, which no amount of localization could've helped fix.
 

HiroTSK5

Member
Nov 4, 2017
379
Add five more characters and you'd basically have every story scene in Three Houses.

More on topic I feel like RPGs in general have gotten way more verbose, which makes me feel guilty since a lot of these games use the VN presentation style and also have every line voiced, but because I can read much faster than the voiced-lines I end up cutting them off.

I still think Awakening did it right with only using short voice clips, just enough to hear their voice in your head as you read the walls of text.
 

tiesto

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,499
Long Island, NY
I notice this happens in Trails games a lot too... everyone has to get their say in at every opportunity, and it drags down the flow of the game's cinemas.