NIS America held a panel at PAX South to discuss their approach to localizing the recently announced The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, coming to PlayStation 4 in Fall 2019.
During the panel, the team revealed that Trails of Cold Steel III has 1,111,111 words in the game with over 2.5 million Japanese characters that they’ll need to translate and localize. This equates to 2.3x The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2.4x The Witcher III, and 1.02x Harry Potter series. To help them, the team at NISA has brought on board Ryan Thomson translator on Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2 and will handle the lore of the game, former XSEED localizer Brittany Avery as Localization producer and Freelance Editor, and Kris Knigge, will help with editing worked on Cold Steel 1 and 2.
The hosts also stated that the XSEED did an “amazing job” with the first two games and they will do their best to stick closely to the lore and world that they created with their localization. However, to dial it back, they also stated that no two translators reach the same place, but they’ve studied the original text and played the previous entries in the series to help them out.
The reason why this is such a big issue is that NISA’s localization of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was released with a poor localization that the publisher had to go back and re-localize. Coincidently, this is from a series that was also localized by XSEED. Fans have stood by XSEED’s high-quality localization, but NISA seems to want to do their best to win them over by bringing on team members who have worked on the series previously.
You can check out the screens from the panel below:
Author’s take: This is a huge game, it seems NISA is approaching it with care, but they said the same things about Ys VIII. However, the steps they are taking now are bigger than they ever have in the past.
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