下手の横好き世界5 by William Van Hecke

Fans

I never stop being impressed by how dedicated fans of niche works can be when it comes to making those works more accessible to people.

Of course, the Mother fan site Starmen is the premier example of what devoted fans can do for English-speaking fans of Japanese games.

Gemini and Tom reverse-engineered and translated the entirety of Persona 2: Innocent Sin.

Asmodean has created hundreds of technical tools to fix, patch, and improve games in both languages. He has fixes for bugs in the NA version of Ar tonelico 2.

There’s also an anonymously-released patch floating around to restore the Japanese voices that were removed from that game.

And the people at A Reyvateil’s Melody are hard at work translating bits of Ar tonelico lore and are even planning to relocalize the game to supplant NISA’s unacceptable job.

The more I see, the more I think NISA is in bad shape and shouldn’t be trusted with such excellent games. The NA version of AT2, beyond bearing NISA’s routinely questionable writing style, has serious corrupted-text bugs and consistency problems. There’s a show-stopping bug in one of the final battles. And what I think is even worse than the crashing bug, an enormous chunk of the Japanese voice acting from the original game was removed from the localized version because NISA didn’t manage to record English equivalents for it (even after delaying the release).

So far there’s no official word from the company on any of these problems, and there isn’t even an AT2 section on their members-only forum. I’m relieved that I can play the original versions of GUST games and regretful for my friends who can’t.

I guess this post started as praise for passionate fans and ended up as a complaint about bad localizers.