As you know, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles It will premiere in the West on July 27. Well, some of you may be wondering why it took so long to receive this location after the games were originally released on Nintendo 3DS.
The two installments are back now on Nintendo Switch and Capcom’s director of localization, Janet Hsu, has confirmed why this is due. We leave you with the statements that he has shared with the Polygon medium:
“Authentic, but accessible”, that was my motto during this project, and keeping it was very difficult at times. However, it was also important to stay on track. Translating things too authentically can sometimes make the text inaccessible in some cases. This applies not only to Japanese cultural elements, but also to things like the use of darker words from the Victorian era or even hardcore British which, while authentic, would have been confusing to people unfamiliar with those words. and phrases. So while we stuck to writing Natural British English dialogue, we never did it in a way that would cause a player to get stuck or be unable to solve a puzzle due to a cultural or grammatical misunderstanding.
Authenticity also drove the way I decided that we would convey the thoughts and feelings of the main characters. The story and perspective of The Great Ace Attorney are strongly tied to the protagonist’s identity as a Japanese citizen, so I felt it was important to convey his and Susato’s immigrant experience where he appeared in the game. Based on my own experiences as an immigrant, first in the United States and then in Japan, I thought it was vital to maintain their reactions to each new discovery they made in Japanese.
Anyone who has traveled to another country can probably attest that it is natural for people to compare new concepts, objects and experiences with something more familiar. But how to do that without the player looking up what each word means, or Susato explaining to Ryunosuke something he should already know as a Japanese man? For example, Ryunosuke refers to some passenger flying balloons as “temari” in the Japanese version, as that is what their colorful designs and round shape reminded him of. In this case, we decided to keep “temari”, but we provided a definition following the word “handball”, which is a common practice in translated texts. In other situations, we worked to ensure that the Japanese object or concept could be understood through the jokes of the surrounding characters or just the context.
Another big hurdle has been the amount of programm ing / scripting involved with this particular title. The Great Ace Attorney really aimed to bring each character to life through animations and dynamic camera work. This led to animation changes in the middle of almost all lines of dialogue in some places. The game images are also different from the main Ace Attorney games in that there are connecting animations between each animation. Because we were unable to change or rearrange the character animations, we would first translate the game as naturally as possible and then adjust the translation as needed so that each animation could play out as intended without causing unwanted errors due to a the line was too short, for example.
In addition, the Japanese version was designed with great care to create a sense of speech through a custom scripting language that can dictate a wide range of elements, such as the display speed of each line, when and for how long they should last for pauses in text and sound effects, and even the speed at which animations should play for comic effect. So re-creating that “being read aloud” feeling and making sure the funny moment was the right one in the English version too was a monumental task.
And finally, due to the ongoing pandemic, it was a small miracle that we were able to record an English dub. But it all fell into place somehow, and I can only show my thanks and appreciation for everyone, especially our incredibly talented actors who worked so hard to make this happen.
What do you think of his words? We read you in the comments.