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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Yeah, I've seen footage of the Japanese version, and it certainly had a lot of English for a Japanese game.
It made sense on Super Mario Bros., but not in a game where text plays a big role.


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:31 pm 
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At least the townspeople dialog is in Japanese (Katakana).

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:03 pm 
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The Japanese seem to "stylize" things with English a lot. Maybe to look more appealing overseas?


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:26 pm 
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One practical reason: Japanese requires more tiles. Even with katakana alone, you're going to need about 50 or so tiles minimum. Compare this to English with its 26 letters. That said, the town dialogue is indeed in katakana, where I'm guessing they set aside more CHR RAM for text.

The biggest chunk of English text is probably the intro text, and it's not really essential to play the game. Not only that, the same information is probably in Japanese in the instruction manual.


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:23 pm 
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The answer fits in 2 words : American Imperialism.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 12:29 am 
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What's in English in this game apart from the intro, ending, and interface stuff (which is traditionally always in English in Japanese games, with only very few exceptions)?

It's pretty common for Japanese games to have English intro scenes, too (more common with text scrolls like the one in Zelda 2, than with actually narrated cutscenes a la Ninja Gaiden). When there's otherwise Japanese text in the game, I think that rules out practical technical reasons, but I think it's very likely an English intro comes across more "cool" and movie-like to a Japanese audience.
Even though their English normally isn't the best, English language movies are very popular over there. Same as where I live, foreign movies aren't dubbed there, but shown with subtitles in cinemas, so they hear the language a lot, and I recognize the tendency from my own culture, where English is pretty much the "movie and TV" language. I know for a fact that they went with English vocals and Japanese subtitles for the Super Metroid intro to make it feel like a movie.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:01 am 
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Nicole wrote:
One practical reason: Japanese requires more tiles. Even with katakana alone, you're going to need about 50 or so tiles minimum. Compare this to English with its 26 letters. That said, the town dialogue is indeed in katakana, where I'm guessing they set aside more CHR RAM for text.

The biggest chunk of English text is probably the intro text, and it's not really essential to play the game. Not only that, the same information is probably in Japanese in the instruction manual.


Japanese text takes less space in terms of text strings than English text to convey the same ideas, most of the time. But I never appreciated the fact that Japanese text characters require more graphics tile storage space than U.S. text characters. Kanji usually takes a 16x16 cell to display legibly, which is the equivalent of four U.S. letters. Later systems usually have a lot more memory and you usually see fewer instances of blocks of English text.

I know the Zelda 2 U.S. manual tells the story in a grammatically correct and perfectly intelligible manner, I assume the Zelda 2 Japanese story does the same for speakers of that language.

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:19 am 
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Even with only kana, Japanese still takes fewer characters than English to express the same idea.

The Japanese versions of Haunted: Halloween '85 and its sequel The Curse of Possum Hollow use kana. Their dialogue is shorter (in characters) than the corresponding English dialogue, freeing ROM space for the additional font. I had to slow down the text printing speed in both games to compensate.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
It's pretty common for Japanese games to have English […]

an English intro comes across more "cool" to a Japanese audience.
English is "trendy" to include, from what I'm told.


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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 5:33 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Even with only kana, Japanese still takes fewer characters than English to express the same idea.

Sorry to butt in here, but I have to add an asterisk (*) to this oft-mentioned fallacy.

The Japanese language tends to disregard concepts/grammatical features that are necessary in English. eg: singular/plural, continuous/perfect aspect, passive voice, conditional, and the clear "who does what to whom" sentences that we usually expect, and more.

Take a look at the classic phrase "Ouch! What do you do?" in Goonies II and wonder why it came out this way.

So, yeah, Japanese is shorter than English because it is not expressing the same idea. It is expressing a shorter & simplified idea, and expecting the reader/listener to fill in all the gaps under ideal circumstances, with the attendant comical mistranslation and misinterpretations

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Bregalad wrote:
The answer fits in 2 words : American Imperialism.

I'd be fine with that answer for any other country... :lol:

Image


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:32 am 
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Quote:
Kanji usually takes a 16x16 cell to display legibly

Ninja Gaiden games has 8x8 kanjis, although I don't know how legible they are since I don't read them ^^

Quote:
U.S. letters

Sorry but the 26 alphabet letters comes from Latin (somes were added later like W being a modified V and J being a modified I), not from the US which was founded long after the latin alphabet even in it's current form was created. If you wonder why I am angy at you for calling these "U.S. letters", see my first post in this thread.

Quote:
I'd be fine with that answer for any other country... :lol:

As you probably know, Japanese imperialism has been militarly defeated, thankfully. American Imperialism wasn't.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:10 am 
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tepples wrote:
The Japanese versions of Haunted: Halloween '85 and its sequel The Curse of Possum Hollow use kana.

Wow, when did this localization happen?


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 12:20 pm 
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JRoatch wrote:
Wow, when did this localization happen?

I'll try to remember to reply in the respective games' topics once we have more to say.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:51 am 
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The fact that English is all over the place in Japanese culture always seems to surprise native English speaking people, but no one else (because it's all over the place in our cultures too). Bergalad and Sumez got it right, though it's about culture imperialism I say (which is something Japan also are often "accused" for, what with anime and video games and the like, but they are still way behind US in that regard).

Great Hierophant wrote:
I know the Zelda 2 U.S. manual tells the story in a grammatically correct and perfectly intelligible manner, I assume the Zelda 2 Japanese story does the same for speakers of that language.

It does, and the English translation of it is very accurate too from what I can tell. Other than the fact that it changes temples to "palaces" and guardian deities to just "guardians".

ccovell wrote:
tepples wrote:
Even with only kana, Japanese still takes fewer characters than English to express the same idea.

Sorry to butt in here, but I have to add an asterisk (*) to this oft-mentioned fallacy.

The Japanese language tends to disregard concepts/grammatical features that are necessary in English. eg: singular/plural, continuous/perfect aspect, passive voice, conditional, and the clear "who does what to whom" sentences that we usually expect, and more.

Take a look at the classic phrase "Ouch! What do you do?" in Goonies II and wonder why it came out this way.

So, yeah, Japanese is shorter than English because it is not expressing the same idea. It is expressing a shorter & simplified idea, and expecting the reader/listener to fill in all the gaps under ideal circumstances, with the attendant comical mistranslation and misinterpretations

But besides the fact that Japanese sentences often can be kept short, I think that since kana have more characters and each character contains more sound than latin letters does, must play a part in making it shorter too. I mean you can express (very roughly) the same sounds with less characters. Now of course Japanese sometimes has quite long words, so I'm not sure how much it actually saves, and it can't be compared to kanji which of course do save a lot of space when long words can be written with just one or two characters.


Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
Kanji usually takes a 16x16 cell to display legibly

Ninja Gaiden games has 8x8 kanji, although I don't know how legible they are since I don't read them ^^

They are quite hard to read because 8x8 requires sacrificing many details in most kanji. Ninja Gaiden gets away by only using either less detailed kanji like 木 (tree) that doesn't suffer from the low resolution, or by using only very common kanji that are easy to recognize despite lots of details are missing. The brain kind of fills in all the missing details automatically. When I was a beginner student of Japanese, I had a very hard time reading 8x8 kanji, and because you can't see all the details exactly, I couldn't look them up in dictionaries either.


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