After making a dramatic entrance, Michael-Christopher Koji Fox answered some player questions about lore and localization!
Read on for the official forum Q and A!
Special Guest: Localization Lead Michael-Christopher Koji Fox
Patch 3.2 – The Gears of Change
*The stream shows off concept art of Patch 3.2
The character featured in the art for Patch 3.2 is Minifilia. As the name of the patch, The Gears of Change, implies, there will be various changes in Patch 3.2 which are related to what happened to her, where she came from, how she is related to the mother crystal, and the path the scions will follow.
There are many meanings for this title.
How will Minfilia get involved in the main scenario?
What kinds of changes will take place for the people of Ishgard now that they have seen the dragons?
There are those that don’t wish for any change. You may see some opposition as well.
Also, the gears from the Patch title is related to Alexander as well.
In English, this is called the “Antitower.” This was a place where Sharlayans researched the mother crystal, and considering that Sharlayans are scholars, we came up with the name Antitower. However, in Japanese the word “anti” can be taken negatively, so this has been dropped by Oda from the Lore team, but instead we decided to keep the naming we had during development, the “reversed tower.”
It was hard coming up with the name for the boss inside this tower. A boss from a previous FF title can be found inside this tower, and we had to figure out how we’ll bring them together. This was because the previous title was made before the Localization team was created, and there wasn’t any uniformity in translation. The Localization team was created 15 years ago, and since then we have been trying to keep it uniform.
For example, Typhon comes from mythology but in previous FF title it was called Chupon. This is essentially wrong, but we didn’t know if we should go with Chupon to prioritize memories, or to change it to the official name. In FFXIV it’s named Typhon.
Lost City of Amdapor (Hard)
As we wanted to focus on “Stone, Sky, Sea,” I didn’t bring any info on the Lost City of Amdapor (Hard)…
Stone, Sky, Sea
Personally, when I think of a place to train, I imagine it to be a place high up in the mountains where you can overlook the clouds in the sky, so I named this “Stone, Sky, Sea.”
When the trial begins, the striking dummy will appear from the sky in a cutscene, so be sure to check it out.
Q: What kind of work does the localization team do? (Are the French and German versions based off of the English or the Japanese version?) Additionally, how long did it take to translate Patch 3.1 and Patch 3.2?
A: Simply put: we translate. However, there is a reason that we call it localization, and this is to translate it so it’s understood by a certain region. Our objective is to make it so westerns feel the same way about the game as Japanese people. While there have been times we failed translating, we learn from this failures and grow after listening to everyone’s feedback.
The translation team is located in the Square Enix office. They are fluent in Japanese, so they translate from Japanese. Everyone can also speak English perfectly, so we also translate from English. There are a lot of times we start based on the English, so there are times we translate based off the English as well.
In regards to the time it takes to translate, there is a huge amount of text for FFXIV, and we release patches globally at the same time, so it’s quite crazy. We receive text from not only the scenario team, but also various other teams, and we’re constantly working to perfect the text right up until the last minute. It’s constantly a fight against time. For the expansion, we translated roughly 15,000,000 words between eight people in 2.5 months. Part way through we were concerned we wouldn’t finish, so we had help from people of other project’s teams.
Q: There are a lot of interesting translations, such as “Ichiban” for the Kirin achievement, but how do you decide on these names when translating?
A: As a rule for naming, in order to not break the lore, for things that characters see in-game, we made sure the naming matches those things that are only available in Eorzea. On the other hand, for things that players see, our rule allows us to use homages in the naming. Achievements are things which players see, so there are many names that have homages. For example there’s a FATE called “Feared Guardian” in Japanese, but in English this is changed to “Smells Like Tree Spirit.”
Q: What purpose does the Garlean third eye serve?
A: The allows them to recognize the surroundings more than other races. For this reason, it is said that they specialize in handling airships and advanced arms.
Q: How are the names of enemy attacks decided?
A: In FFXIV, we work together with Oda from the Lore team for every name. We talk with each other to see what Oda would like the name to be, as well as English naming ideas from Micheal to localize.
Cerberus’s move “Hound Out Of Hell” in is called “Hell Charge” in Japanese. When localizing we make sure there are as little different between Japanese and English, and kept the main focus on the word “Hell.”
For Haukke Manor, in English, this is called “Haukke”; however, in Japanese it’s Haukketa…and this was my mistake.
Also like FATE names, there are those in which we use completely different naming from Japanese and English on purpose.
Q: I’ve heard that the tempered of Leviathan are called “Drowned.” Are there any other names given to those tempered by other primals?
A: Yes. In Japanese they are all called “tempered,” but in English there are differences. There is a reason for this. Internally we had used the word “believer,” but this is lacking in impact, so we used the coined term “tempered.”
However, when it comes to the English, “tempered” is a word related to fire, so having something like that relate to Leviathan felt off. The English names used for other primals are all different.
Q: Isn’t it about time for some more Hildibrand?
A: Hildi will return in Patch 3.2! As to who brings him back home… well, that’s a surprise!
Q: We’d love to hear more about the Au Ra. Were they born with their horns? What do other races think of them?
Their settlements are located in the steppes near Doma. These grassy plains are named after Azim, the tribe’s goddess of the sun.
The Twelve are only present in Eorzea. Azim worship is not directly related to the Twelve; however, they might have been related a long time ago.
While the Xaela are a nomadic group, the Raen stay in one area, but there are many refugees due to Garlean invasion. This is how they came to Eorzea.
-What do other races think of them?
There are a ton of adventurers, so there is not any discrimination; however, there are some who are wary of them.
By the way, there may just be other clans besides the Xaela and Raen…