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SourceCast #10 — Translation and Localization

SourceCast #10


Hello! We have a special SourceCast for you guys today. In this episode, we have two special guests — Jared of Avalanche Reviews and Brian Edward of BriHard. PushDustIn hosts as the three of us discuss various topics relating to translation and localization. No matter how you feel about this issue, special care was taken in order to respect all sides of this heated debate and explore the issue. Please be respectful of everyone that participated in this podcast, even if you disagree with them. The purpose of recording this was to have a discussion and explore the issues from different angles. You may disagree with what someone has said, and that’s okay. Please be respectful when posting comments. I hope you guys enjoy this podcast. The podcast can be played at the bottom of this post, or on iTunes.


Tomodachi Life’s gay marriage bug was fixed in the Western Release because it was actually a game breaking bug. More information can be found on Nintendo Life. Special thanks to fangzthewolf for the heads up!
Nintendo released an official explanation on why the sidequest system was changed in Bravely Second. More information can be found on Nintendo Life. Special thanks to BriHard for the heads up!


Jared of Avalanche Reviews
Twitter, YouTube
Jared started his YouTube channel in October, 2011. On his channel, Avalanche Reviews, Jared reviews games from the past and present. Jared also discusses a variety of gaming related topics on Avalanche Reviews, including topics about localization and censorship.

Relevant Videos by Avalanche Reviews:
DoA Xtreme 3 and Social Justice in Games: Talking Points – Jared discusses the DoA Xtreme 3 controversy, and the negative effect of social justice on gaming.
Localization vs. Censorship – Jared discusses why some cases of localization is not censorship.

Brian Edward of BriHard
Twitter, YouTube
Brian Edward started his YouTube channel on May 2015. Brian is an aspiring game developer. On his channel, BriHard, Brian discusses a variety of gaming topics, including topics about localization and censorship.

Relevant Videos by BriHard:
Why Cut Content is Localized – Brian discusses why all content may be localized.
The Cause of Localization – Brian discusses why localization occurs.

PushDustIn of Source Gaming
Twitter, YouTube
PushDustIn started Source Gaming a year and a half ago. Since then, he has organized a team to research, translate and discuss the Super Smash Bros. series. In addition, PushDustIn does tackle issues such as video game news reporting and localization within various articles.

Relevant Articles on Source Gaming:
Love of Translating – show’s how translations can vary.
Localization and Censorship – PushDustIn’s stance on why most localization is not censorship.

Media Mentioned in the Podcast:
Female Japanese Representative Refutes UN Suggestion to Ban Media Depicting Sexual Violence by NicheGamer.
Air Conditioning is Sexist — h3h3 reaction video by h3h3
Fire Emblem Fates: Info on the Soleil Controversy by Kantopia
Fire Emblem Fates: Soleil’s Localized Support Conversation (FULL) by Kantopia
5 Things that Goes into Translations by Source Gaming
Ryu, Roy and Lucas Join the Battle by Source Gaming
Do Not Expect a Ton of DLC Characters by Source Gaming
What does Midna Mean at the End of Twilight Princess by Source Gaming

In general, check out Kantopia for all things Fire Emblem! They do other translations as well (Lots of 4Koma!).

Topics and Timestamps:

A. The scale of translation (lunchbox -> obento scale). Starts at 0:00
The issues with translation/ representing other cultures)
B. How localization is currently done   Starts at 9:00
(Game companies are given an excel sheet of text that they translate
C. Are self-imposed changes, “censorship”?  Starts at 20:00
The localizer needs to be responsible for both the new audience, and the original creator. How much freedom should the localizer have? (Role of localizers)
D. Fire Emblem Fates  Starts at 42:42
Removal of “skinship”, Kana (child) dialogue, potion controversy.
E. Bravely Second localization controversy Starts at 55:35
(Sidewinder Class) Native American headdress to Cowboy, Models updated to have more clothing, reports of quests were changed to have only good ending.
E. Ending – Closing statements Starts at 1:23:35


Let us know what you think of this podcast in the comments below, or on Twitter! Special thanks to Brian and Jared for joining, and Gene Choe for audio editing. If you would like to support Source Gaming, please consider donating to our Patreon.

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  1. Fun podcast. I know we got some stuff wrong in regards to Bravely’s story changes, such as calling it a Neutral ending instead of a Good one, and the mention of a possible character death, but I think it’s still valid criticism outside of that. Of course Nintendo just released a statement on why these moments were changed and they make sense from a developer standpoint and I certainly wouldn’t call it censorship. It’s just Square trying to release a better quality product.

    BriHard (@BriHardGaming) on March 18 |
  2. Hey just a heads up since you brought up the Tomodachi Life gay marriage bug, it wasn’t removed because it was controversial but because it could lead to a game breaking bug, which was downplay by most media sites reporting on the issue:

    Hope this clears things up.

    fangzthewolf on March 18 |
    • OMFG!?!? O_o

      zoniken on March 18 |
  3. What? You guys hadn’t heard of Bakemonogatari!?!? How dare you! …jk lol
    Great Podcast guys!

    Zero on April 11 |