Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oktoberfest Holiday Report

Greetings unsuspecting readers.

I am Jessica Chavez, an Editor at XSEED Games, and Siliconera foolishly granted me space on their site to ramble on about things marginally related to the products we put out. This is the blog that was posted on their nefarious site on Oct. 6, 2010. (My how time flies...)


If you can make it past this introduction, I promise you that you will find in-game secrets/localization-related chicanery, insider tell-alls of Oktoberfest and possibly some amusing doodles of our day-to-day struggles with office printer, DP-MCW210 B/W. I may even disclose what’s in the company mini-fridge, but I make no promises.


For the first post on this mini-blog I’d like to talk about dedication to the ‘craft’ and a recent pledge XSEED made to the fans. A few days ago, on our Twitter account, we declared:

“[Promise to the Fans] In order to bring RPG fans the most accurate tavern NPC dialogue possible, XSEED will be attending Oktoberfest. Steins in hand, we go the extra mile.” (@XSEEDGames)

We at XSEED are always looking for ways to improve our localization efforts, so for more accurate/faithful renderings of niche RPGs, for the fans, and for great justice, away we went…

We learned some useful tidbits from our completely non-scientific (and somewhat sacrificial, at least in terms of brain cells lost) research trip to Oktoberfest. Let me share with you our findings and how they may affect our future localizations of tavern NPC dialogue.

1. “Glug” and “Gulp,” the most commonly used drinking sounds, are in reality more like “Nnnghk” and “Gggghhgggghnnn…snork.” Expect to see these in our future games.

2. The most common phrases heard in a drinking setting were not, in fact, “Barkeep, another round!” or “*hic*,” but “Where did my bratwurst go?” and “Hey, I’m not done drinking your beer yet.”

3. Joyful declarations overheard at Oktoberfest that may soon make an appearance in an in-game tavern near you are, “I drank so fast it came out my nose!” and “This beer makes you look good!”

4. The sound of despair when someone knocks over your freshly purchased beer lies somewhere between a howl and a sob. (We’re still mulling over the exact spelling of such an utterance.)

5. In a nod to the ever-present depressed NPC sitting in a corner lost in his personal tragedies, a fellow editor at another company noted that his beer tasted of “Dirty, dirty shame.”

And in a wholly unrelated to localization observation…

6. Many members of Aksys games can be identified by their fashionable glasses, NISA always has a large contingent of beautiful women, and XSEED wins the spirit prize for having the most people willing to do the chicken dance.

So, what does this mean for our current games? Well, Ys: The Oath in Felghana’s already wrapped up, but I’ve been assured that NPC Randolph shall slur convincingly and meander verbally through other unpronounceable NPC names. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is still underway, however, so expect a couple of choice lines to sneak their way in, and if you know any of the game characters well, I’m sure you’ll guess who is referred to as “Booze-Sponge.”

Next time on XSEED’s mini-blog: I will answer any localization/game questions you may have and reveal what’s in the mini-fridge. Also, feel free to submit any ideas for what you want to see in the blog. If left to my own devices, I will probably continue to wax poetic about random office/Trails in the Sky stuff and you’ll have to wait ‘til Tom (our translator extraordinaire and Falcom fanboy) to hear some really juicy Ys game stuff.



Jessica Chavez is a localization expert with a predilection for exaggerated statements and wearing expressive boxes on her head. For two years she has been an Editor at XSEED Games and is personally responsible for insinuating that the Knight in Half-Minute Hero did something inappropriate with a duck.

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