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Language and translation in FFXII

I think the localization team for XII deserves some sort of literary award--oh my GODS the language, the language in that game.

I'm wondering what they were working from, that they churned out lines like, "And so I sue for peace to stop short war and ease their suffering," or "Yet at a trice he goes bounding off for you!" for one of the bounty hunter thugs. Best of all, "Spare us your quiddities." 

Also, the Occuria. Generic godlike annoying beings are such a trope, but epic amounts of iambic tetrameter in a video game? Whoa.

We see your heart desires power,
and power most holy shall we grant.
Seek you the Sun-cryst, slumb'ring star.
In tower on distant shore it dreams.
The mother of all nethicite,
the source of its unending power.
The Dynast-King, his fallow shards,
coarse trinkets cut from Sun-cryst's light.
In times that are long passed away,
we thought to save this Ivalice...
and chose Raithwall the Dynast-King.
He took the sword and cut the Cryst.
Three Shards he took from its gilt grasp.
His words and deeds run through your veins.
The treaty held with kings of old
is but a mem'ry, cold and still.
With you we now shall treat anew,
to cut a run for hist'ry's flow.

And so on, and so forth. It's the gift that just keeps giving. Like Maechen, the exposition on a platter would've been insufferable, if they hadn't been spewing out these gloriously overdone lines.

Then there's Ondore's Revisionist History serving as the narrative bridge. Ondore and his "I was but a humble servant of Peace" memoirs, ha. The capital letters make it especially fun. His language style -- I haven't bothered to identify it (18th century?), and maybe it never existed in our world, but it's very effective.

So, here's the question. Was there any of this antiquarianism in the Japanese? Archaic speaking styles, poetic forms? Or did the English translation team just have a couple of frustrated literature majors running amok? 


Jul. 12th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
I have problems with the end of FFXII; there's some draggy bits, and there's one particular boss battle that annoys me simply because I dislike the graphics (to avoid spoilers, it's one of Squeenix's classic "now we must mutate the boss to make it more impressive" transformations, and I hate the effect). But it's still worth finishing.

FFXII feels flawed -- I think it was such a huge project, there are imperfections, things that may have looked good on the drawing board but didn't have the same pop as some of the earlier games in execution (then again, FFVIII did a lousy job of developing Esthar, just as XII doesn't have enough time to do Rozarria justice or it would be ten times longer). But it has much that is great and fun.

Ashe and Bash is very intriguing indeed.

I just wish the monsters had normal heads. DAMMIT SQUEENIX, I want my monsters to be pretty and sparkly while they're trying to kill me!

Edited at 2010-07-12 11:04 pm (UTC)
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