Monday 23 September 2013

Why Guile's Theme Goes With Everything: Part 3

Welcome back for another installment of The SFII Interview.  While this may be steering away from my real interests, I made the decision to finish translating the interview - nobody likes to see a job half done.

I'm rather pleased I chose to try and complete the whole thing.  It was an eyeopener for me, and I definitely something about game music production.  It sounds like Abe had a pretty tough time due to the limitations of what he had to work with, but it certainly didn't prevent him and his partner creating some brilliant and memorable music.

From a couple of other interviews I've read, it seems like the tribulations Abe and Tanaka had to face were happening across the industry due to the lack of support for MIDI production.  For another view on game music production for old Nintendo systems, have a look at this interview with Keiji Yamagishi.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Why Guile's Theme Goes With Everything: Part 2

So I realised that the first part of the interview translation is not directly related to Guile.  Neither is this part.  Apologies for the misleading title but I like a nice SF meme.  This second part goes into detail about the name changes that occurred with (three of) the final four bosses, and is what I referenced way back in this post.  As far as I'm concerned, this is the interesting stuff!  There is also some background on Abe as he gives us a few tidbits on his formative years at Capcom, and Takano shows just how much of an SF nerd he really is.

Sunday 28 July 2013

Why Guile's Theme Goes With Everything: Part 1

Back in my second post, I mentioned that I'd consider translating that old interview with some of the Capcom staff.  Well, I decided to get stuck in and at least give it a go, and I now have a new found respect for translators and localisation staff everywhere!

As this is the very first attempt at translation for me, I don't think this is a perfect piece of work.  There were several sections, particularly in the second part (coming soon), that proved troublesome for various reasons.  For one thing, I think the text I translated is a word for word, largely unedited, transcript of the original interview and as such, even in Japanese, it doesn't flow particularly well.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Transformers, Culture in Disguise

Our existence and our routines blend together and are fundamentally one and the same; the vast majority of creatures on earth move in sync with the orbits and rotations of the astral bodies.  Of course, life is not an endless string of identical days and weeks, and it’s never long before something out of the ordinary happens. 

As much as routines are integral to our ways of life, humans often feel the need to purposefully break the monotony.  Every individual will do this to some extent, whether it be walking down a different street on one’s walk home, feeling the urge to jump on a plane and visit a far off land, or leaping off a cliff dressed like a giant rubber squirrel.

In the same way, stories will often follow one, or more, of a certain number of basic predetermined paths that have existed since storytelling began.  The twists and turns, the delusions and red herrings, the uncanny characters, intriguing subplots, mystical locations, and so on, that appear along the way are what make a story worth reading to the end.  The patterns that we can see in storytelling teach us about the patterns that appear in real life.  They almost set the guidelines for what we are supposed to be and the expectations for what we are supposed to become.  And they are set from an early age.

Tuesday 7 May 2013


In case you couldn’t tell, that was the voice of a twinkling little unignorable fairy.  The kind that tries to point you in the right direction and makes sure you don’t miss anything important.  The kind you want to smash into little fairy pieces just to see what would happen.  I can tell you exactly what would happen.

First, you have to select the right tool.  You might choose the hammer, but that’s big and clumsy and a bit annoying to control sometimes.  Instead you might go for the grappling hook because of its speed and range, even if it can be a bit unforgiving on accuracy.  Yeah, good old Grapply would be better.  Then you could mush the little fairy bitch against the wall in a gaudy golden splatter!

Monday 1 April 2013

So you like Dragonball, too? We are good friends! Part 1

So, you like Dragonball Z, huh?  Yeah!  Well, there’s a new DBZ film out in Japan right now and the gears of promotion are spinning ever more rapidly with every free toy that comes with the utterly unrelated product that you actually didn’t want in the first place but bought anyway.  That means this is the perfect time for this next post, which is actually the first in a series of posts I intend to write exclusively about DBZ.  Subsequent posts in the series will cover the differences in Goku’s character, his relationship with Vegeta and a little secret about Krillin that you won’t find in the American virgin, uh, I mean version!  Version.  Yes, you are a version.

This being somewhat an introductory post, I’ll touch on some of the obvious differences between Japanese and English versions, and something that wasn’t changed at all.  These differences might seem superficial at first, but they point to some of the potential sticking points that can be encountered with localization projects for very large, mixed audiences.  I’m going to assume that readers are somewhat familiar with the characters from the DBZ universe so I won’t be giving much by way of explanation as to who they are or their backgrounds.  If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume you also practice your kamehamehas in front of the mirror or in the living room.  Or the park.  Or the supermarket.  Or during board meetings.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Handlin' yo baggage!

Don’t you just hate baggage limits?  They are, however, a necessary evil.  Can you imagine a world without baggage limits?  Elephant trafficking would increase exponentially.  EXPONENTIALLY! Elephant populations would double overnight in developed nations.  OVERNIGHT!  And they would keep doubling every night and subsequent nights thereafter!  THIS IS WHAT EXPONENTIALLY MEANS!  Are you aware of the problems that would cause the already strained social security systems?  Oh, you are.  Sorry, I thought you were an idiot.

If weight limits were a bit less restrictive, I would have taken my beloved PS2 to Japan with me.  I could be playing all my fave games in the very land where they were conceived.  Happy happy joy joy!  At the time, I couldn’t even consider parting with my PS2, especially since I had just boosted my game collection with some smart Ebay purchases.  Sadly though, I had to say a teary farewell to ピーちゃん because apparently these things called “clothes” are actually “necessary” and we’re “expected” to “wear” them in “public places”.  I bought a ton of games for apparently no reason whatsoever.