Localization Team Member Speaks on Bringing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles West and A Few Differences Between Regions

Capcom is finally bringing The Great Ace Attorney west as a duel release titled The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, containing The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve. Both titles have yet to make it to western shores, but the Ace Attorney series has always had a strange relationship with western players.

There were a handful of liberties taken with the localization when bringing over Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney titles, for starters. The biggest being the setting change to an alternative Los Angeles as opposed to Japan. However, the series still received many fans and has been regarded as a fun and pun-filled detective adventure.

In an interview with Polygon, localization team member and the voice of Franziska von Karma, Janet Hsu, commented on what fans will notice in terms of regional differences, saying, “I will say though, one thing a greater familiarity with Japanese culture did help with is that it allowed us to add another layer of depth to the localization through the use of honorifics like “-san” without needing to explain what it means. In The Great Ace Attorney, we decided to have Ryunosuke and Susato speak in Japanese to each other in the privacy of their office but converse in English when they’re out and about in public. I felt strongly about this decision from the beginning.”

She added, “So as fluent English speakers, I felt they would make an effort to speak predominantly in English once they’d arrived in London, but allow themselves to speak in Japanese in private. The Japanese version of the game doesn’t make this distinction, since it would be somewhat awkward to do the same thing and take considerably more characters (and precious on-screen real estate) to write “Mister” in katakana than “-san,” but in the English version, we’ve gone with “-san” and “Mr.” and “Miss,” etc. as a way to distinguish when Ryunosuke and Susato are speaking to each other in Japanese versus English.”

When it comes to how she prepared for this task, she stated, “Back when I was working on the Japanese version of the second title, The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve, I had dreamed of localizing the duology into Victorian British English, as I wanted the game to feel like something of that era. To that end, I’d collected a number of dictionaries from the late 19th century, namely the OED from 1888 and a different Oxford dictionary from 1912. So perhaps this was more of a hurdle I created for myself. However, the Japanese is written in a sort of “faux-Meiji Era” style, so I felt it was my duty to at least bring an equally “faux-Victorian” flavor to the English localization.”

She also commented on how the older titles changed the setting from Japan to Los Angeles and if that present issues, “Not particularly. I don’t think that changing the setting has really created any issues that wouldn’t have been present in the course of localizing an Ace Attorney game. What I mean by that is, even if we had kept the setting as Japan, the dialogue would still have required some localization changes since the humor would still need to be conveyed, and the graphics would still have needed modifications for people to be able to solve the cases.”

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is set in the late 19th century during Japan’s Meiji Period and England’s Victorian era. Players will meet Ryunosike Naruhodo, a detective working to clear his client’s name in court. There are 10 cases for players to work through and many characters who will make that as challenging and fun, including Herlock Sholmes.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is coming to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on July 27, 2021.

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Azario Lopez

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