The Making of Awesome Video Game Memories: Dragon Quest X Review Part 17 – Version 5 Voiceover Scripting Underway and Massive Respect for Localization

Peperogora’s about to lay the smackdown! Now let’s read about more progress on the DQX Version 5 review!

Now that the first half of Version 5.5 has been released and done, I’ve already started scripting the voiceover segments for the DQX V5 review. I decided to start very early since the DQX V5 review is going to be the longest and most detailed of them all due to the method of how I had to write the summary and script. The Japanese sites I normally visit are lacking in DQX V5 information, so I had to translate it all myself.

My DQX V5 script is mostly written but won’t be done until the next part of 5.5 is released and done (probably in July or so). I don’t plan to film my segments until May since there are some costume pieces I want to get first and I had to budget for other things for April. There’s going to be much more voiceover in the DQX V5 review than any of the past parts, so I want to get the voiceovers in progress as soon as possible so I won’t have to worry about things until it’s too late.

The voiceovers for the past V1-4 reviews were short, but while scripting them, I learned ALOT of how localization teams have to work around the differences between the English and Japanese language. I developed a newfound respect for the localization teams of the Dragon Quest games because it’s not as simple as “just translate the dialogue”. Especially when voiceover, mouth flaps, and the structure of the English language are involved.

Here’s one example:

Original Line:

アンルシア (Anrushia):
お遊びの時間は おしまい! はいっ さようなら~! (O asobi no jikan wa oshimai! Haissayōnara ~!)

Ann Lucia:
Play time is over! Goodbye!

Seems like a perfect line, right? However, there are a ton of mouth flaps that the translated dialogue won’t fit. In fact, all of the Japanese voiceover that was implemented in DQX V5 doesn’t match the mouth flaps at all. I had to make several changes to fit the mouth flaps correctly in this example:

I had to ham up the lines a little like how the localization teams in the past DQ games did, but I think it works in the context of the scene and fits all the mouth flaps better.

More examples:

Because of the mouth flaps, I have to add extra dialogue for them to fit in English. I know DQVIII’s english voiceover didn’t perfectly match with the mouth flaps and it was much improved in DQXI, although not 100% perfect. The Japanese language tends to be more polite and direct to the point even though their sentence structure is more loose and free than English. People who played the Japanese version of DQXI were surprised and impressed how much more the localization added to the dialogue, almost making it feel like a brand new experience.

If you want some more info on DQ localization, I highly recommend listening to this Slime Time Podcast with Nob Ogasawara (aka Doug Dinsdale) who translated Torneko The Last Hope and several of the Dragon Warrior Gameboy games. He definitely goes into detail on how much has to get lost and added in translating the games into English.

I have to add more to every single line of dialogue in the DQX V5 review in order to match the mouth flaps, but I am doing my best to keep it close to the original dialogue where I did modify some of the lines in the V1-4 reviews for parody purposes. I do hope I can provide more depth to the dialogue in my review since the translation of the original Japanese dialogue is a bit too short and straightforward.

I do have several of the characters in DQX V5 cast, but I will most likely have to do an open casting call for some other characters I need, so stay tuned for that.

Like I said before, I *REALLY* respect what the localization teams have to go through to bring these games to English and if Square-Enix really needs someone to help with the localization of DQX if they ever decide to bring it here… well, they know who to contact. 🙂

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