Translation Notes – Crescent Pale Mist
I wrote most of this as a retrospective, so spoilers abound below. Nothing here will mean anything to you until after you’ve cleared story mode once or twice and know what the hell is going on, anyway.
Yunow is the only character in the entire game whose name does not have a romanization somewhere. After looking through all the game data, I can say that with certainty. I made her name a straight western phonetic spelling to fit with the rest of the characters.
In the tutorial, her name is written as the Japanized “Unou-san,” to reflect the change in spelling in the original script (hiragana “Unousan” as opposed to katakana “Yunou”).
Not much needs to be said about her, actually. She’s just the Stage 1 boss. In writing her dialog, I tried to convey the fact that she’s just a servant, fairly calm and reserved, but too sure of herself (she doesn’t figure out who Yunow is until the last difficulty level, I think). She also has an EPIC bone dragon familiar.
She shows up in the ending as a sequel hook, but since Grana Embrace (ClassiC’s next project) looks entirely unrelated to Crescent in all but the aesthetics of it, I’d say that storyline was dropped.
In the tutorial, her name is spelled “Bizetto-san”, in hiragana just like Yunow’s. V and B are interchangeable in Japanese, like L and R, or F and H, though V can be specified in katakana with an accented u ヴ kana.
Yunow’s rival, knight of the realm, and childhood? friend. I write it as childhood? here in the notes because the Japanese read “intimate one,” implying they’ve known each other for a while, though it was never explicitly stated. As a tangent, I’d like to make it known that many lines in the English script had to be fleshed out, as the Japanese script decided that the characters knew each other well enough to finish each other’s sentences, and therefore they could leave out the predicate wherever it suited them. It makes for interesting reading sometimes, but a lot of the time it made little sense in translation.
He bears the lance Brywteas (Jap: ブリュウティアス, buryuutiasu), which appears to be a made up name, probably pseudo-Norse. It didn’t affect anything, and since it shows up in the item list next to Brynhildr, I did my best to romanize without changing it to something more recognizable, like Gungnir, Gae Bulga, etc.
His name is a corrupted phonetic spelling of the French “soleil,” meaning “sun.”
Ah, Narju. Such a bitch. In the Japanese script, she talks with the mannerisms of the archetypal spoiled ojousama. In translating that, I converted all that to a western analogue, the Victorian-era high-society girl. Since they tended to be fairly well-read, I filled most of her lines with unnecessarily big words and overall pretension. I also translated her one instance of “nii-san,” rather than leaving it as is, if only because it would have been an anachronism in so thoroughly western-themed a game.
Kurow is an interesting character. In the dialogue, he referred to Yunow with the archaic second-person pronoun “onushi,” meaning roughly “my lord,” but I took the archaic aspect and ran with it, the result being a thick Elizabethan accent. I tried to keep the archaisms as accurate as possible while sticking to the translation, but I may have gone a little overboard in places (and a little under-board in others). Oh well. As it is there’ll be a 1.1 patch out eventually to fix any errors that completely slipped by me.
His name is a corrupted phonetic spelling of the Japanese “kuro,” meaning “black.”
Our main antagonist. Not much needs to be said about her except that she’s gone a little cuckoo being locked up in the castle for X number of years, courtesy of Yunow. Her translated lines are basically identical to the Japanese, if only because she speaks in a fairly plain way. The only part of the Japanese I wasn’t really able to capture was the odd emphasis she placed on certain words at some points, like “this” or “mine.” Not having italics to make up for the loss of Katakana really changes things.
At one point, I made a note here that a certain scene “revealed” Yunow to be royalty. That was based on an old, shoddy mistranslation from three years ago, which I never corrected because the scene (Vizet’s phase interlude) never appears in game. It was talking about how the gate (from the intro) could only be operated by the royal family. It was actually talking about a key passed down by the royal family (oddly worded to the newb me of years ago), which Soray implies Elshiria gave to Yunow when she escaped. Nevertheless, since I never re-checked that particular scene (though I did re-check every other scene in the game, don’t worry), and only touched-up the wording once out of habit, I’ve been delusional for some time. Maybe. The various implications are still scattered around the script elsewhere (how Kurow addresses Yunow, El’s death sequence), but there isn’t actually any solid proof anywhere.
I made her nickname “El” rather than “L” (as it was probably meant to be), because L doesn’t work as an affectionate diminutive of Elshiria in English, and it has certain other connotations that I won’t discuss here.
A strange and thoroughly androgynous figure. In game s/he look feminine, but in the credits storyboard s/he looks a bit more masculine. Earlier rough translations of mine referred to s/he as “he” in places, but I tweaked the lines to avoid any direct pronouns that would set anything in stone that wasn’t there. Let me know if I wasn’t as thorough as I thought.
Appears to be of no relation to Yunow and Elshiria (for semi-obvious reasons). The country was most likely named after him/her back when s/he visited the original sages, and the royal family assumed the name out of respect.
As I mentioned above in Soray’s section, in the Japanese script characters liked dropping their lines halfway. Gasyukal was by far the worst offender.
The original Japanese read 禁呪 (kinjyu), meaning roughly “Forbidden Spell.” While it makes a great proper noun in Japanese, in English it sounds fairly vague and flat. Also, any search for “Forbidden Spell” links to about a thousand Yu-Gi-Oh theme decks. Basically, it was the wrong word.
“Anathema” has multiple meanings. It can mean a curse (in both the swear-word and more magical sense), something despised or loathed, or something doomed to damnation in the biblical sense. In Latin it means “doomed offering,” which is also highly appropriate, as all attempted uses of it have been successful but accomplished nothing.
Story wise, I wanted to make sure the name for the “forbidden spell” had enough weight as to sound appealing to Kurow and the other Gasyukal Sages; tempting enough to cast aside everything for the sake of its completion. It is implied heavily that the actual casting of the spell involves mortal sacrifices, and Narju had to use a bunch of human sacrifices, Elshiria, and an amplifier to adapt it to her purposes. In short, it is a spell with far too high a cost for an effect the remaining sages of Gasyukal will never be able to use as intended.
Most skills in game were named in English, rather English written phonetically in katakana. That made things easy for the most part, except for one skill, ロウランヴェルド, rouranverudo, which comes out to something like Rowlenveld, which appears to be pseudo-German. I don’t speak German, so please, correct me if I’m wrong. The upgraded version bore the name Rowlenbanish, which mixed pseudo-German with recognizable English.
In the end (a few days before release), I went with Royal Blade for the original and Seraph Blade for the upgrade (take a look at it if you get the chance; you’ll understand) to keep them in line with the rest of the skills, which had names like Fear and Midnight Rip. Maybe I overstepped my authority on this one. Maybe not. I could have gotten away with it without anyone knowing, but I feel that any changes like that should be disclosed and justified.
The tutorial was very… interesting to work with. For one, the character names were spelled wrong. Where Mirror Moon certain other translators would simply disregard that difference and translate the names as Yunow-san and Vizet-san (and don’t get me started about how that ruined entire scenes in FSN), I thought it was important to capture that difference, nonsensical as it may be, because it’s something that would be immediately apparent to Japanese readers, kind of like italics. The result is that strange phonetic spelling. I tried.
The tutorial was also where localization as opposed to translation was in full effect. So many obscure expressions it made my head hurt. Suffice to say it’s about 70/30 on the original line versus carp I made up to cover my inadequacies. I tried to hang onto the WTF atmosphere as best I could, though. Kupopo…