Well, you'll forgive me if I don't give you a point-by-point rundown, but in general:
- The diction of the characters was "altered" from a straight translation to make sure their personalities and actual speech patterns made sense in English. "Capitalism, Ho!" isn't in the original for example, but it perfectly captured Recette's wide-eyed exuberance and attitude once she embraced the idea of running an item shop. Similar adjustments were made to Tear, Louie, Charme and pretty much all the characters - the actual content of their lines isn't really different, but the diction won't be the same from a straight translation because we wanted to make sure the characters came off to English readers as they did to readers of the original Japanese.
- Japanese cultural terms have been replaced with English equivalents. The door at the end of the Hall of Trials is a good example - originally Tear almost calls it something out of Doraemon before catching herself in a bit of meta-humor. Since the overwhelming
majority of English-speakers have no idea who Doraemon even is
, we changed it to a reference to something we think a fair number of RPG players should be familiar with. :3 Similarly, the explanation of the time system used a sugoroku
metaphor to help explain it. Very few English readers would get this (and it felt a little weird that a Fantasy-French girl and her fairy were discussing a Japanese game), so we changed it to the pie metaphor.
- Some item names were altered for brevity and fitting in the interface elements. The "Scrap Plate", for example, is strictly the "'For-Now' Breastplate" in Japanese. This was a little prosaic (and didn't fit in the little bubble that pops up when you stand next to an item in the store), so looking at the item description we realized it was 'armor' really made out of scraps of material, so "Scrap Plate" was a perfect substitute. In the full version, there are also a couple items that skated just a liiiiiiiiittle too close to certain copyrights for us to be totally comfortable with them, so we had to change them out of necessity.
- The boss names are completely different, although hilariously this is with EGS' blessing
. We asked EGS about the various boss names at one point to see if we were missing possible cultural references and their response was "a whole lot of those names are just stuff we thought looked or sounded cool and foreign, but the original Japanese audience didn't really consider them memorable at all, so do whatever you want with them". So having been given carte blanche
with the bosses, we intend to run
with it in places. For the record, the mouse boss was originally a tangled pile of anime references from the 70s. In English... well, see if you can reason it out. :3
- Similarly, we altered the dungeon names slightly. The first dungeon is "Shiken Dungeon" in Japanese, which actually had an English subtitle in the original as "Dungeon of Examination". While... strictly
correct this sounded a little awkward, so we went with The Hall of Trials. Other dungeons were actually edited less and were simply made to flow a little better in English - so the "Way of Jade" became the Jade Way, the third dungeon (which isn't in the demo) became the Amber Garden, etc.
Now, I will say this: we did not
cut any scenes from the game. (Our contract with EGS expressly forbids this, in fact, without significant consultation with them.) The story you are reading in English hits all the same notes and character points as the Japanese script did. Nothing has changed on that front - Recette is still in charge of an item shop, Tear is still quietly despairing at what she's gotten herself into, Louie is still hilariously broke, etc. We haven't changed the story or characterizations significantly in any way, because what would be the point? We liked
what we saw in the original game. There's no need to change it.
In fact, the only line in the entire demo
that was "cut" was a single text box from an old man in a random town scene that contained only an "...", in order to improve the comic timing of the scene and to get "ellipsis-itis" under control. In fact, due to the fact that we're working directly with the script files, we actually have inserted
extra text boxes compared to the Japanese original in order to make sure there's enough room for certain lines!
So have no fear. While a few particulars might be different, we've been working hard
to make sure the English version is true to the original text while still being an enjoyable read to English speakers.
Edit: Robin reminded me of a little something about what EGS said re: boss names, so updated accordingly.