Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

--- Diary Entry: 11/30/10 ---

I am alive. Mostly.

My eyes are bloodshot. They are ringed with dark smudges and seem to shine as if spritzed with a fine mist. My left hand spasms open and close, clutching blindly for a coffee that isn’t there. When darkness falls I am happy because then the light outside the curtains can no longer hurt my brain. I used to be an editor. I am now something that scares the homeless man who used to bother me on the bus.

--- Present Time: 02/08/11 ---

I am still alive, and to prove it, I have drafted a new blog entry. Whatever’s in my eyes, however, still makes “Flag-Hat Bob” hiss at me from a safe distance while on the Silverline Express bus.

The blog has been on hiatus for quite a while now because, well, there was The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky and it does to people much like what a duck will do to an unattended crouton. Previously known as Sora no Kiseki and personally referred to as "THAT game," Trails in the Sky (a.k.a. TitS) (ha ha) has been an all-consuming project for the last ~9 months. Many things happened in those 9 months, but I honestly don’t remember much after June because my survival mechanisms kicked in and helpfully blacked out the experience. I’m told I did finish editing the game, but also that I nominated the cat for the “Special Thanks” section of the credits and once ate several pennies off the counter.

Trails in the Sky... What can I say? It's long. It's so long that many companies have avoided localizing it for years (the body count has always been off-putting for some reason). Conflicting reports put the total game text at ~1.5 million Japanese characters, but all 'I' know for certain is that I worked from home 11-14hrs a day, 6 days/week, lost 7lbs, cut off 18inches of my hair and used the XSEED twitter account to further the cause of bacon on more than one occasion. In the end we had to employ a total of 3 translators, 1.25 editors (myself, and Tom had to jump in the last month to help me finish chapter 4) and one or two other helpful Sora no Kiseki experts that didn’t mind spontaneous Instant Messages asking about whether or not certain characters would be at home saying things like, “Lo! I am hoist with my own petard!” I believe all the translators survived mostly intact, and Tom reports cheerfully from my left as I type this that he sort of misses TitS and also thinks he has Stockholm Syndrome. Our manager, on the other hand, does this kind of thing all the time and just laughs at our weakness.

Anyway, aside from the verbal meanderings of an editor gone crispy in the brain, what does this mean for the game? Well, I'm happy to report that 1) we finished, 2) despite the overdoses of coffee, ingestion of small change and frayed nerves, it's in English and makes sense (probably),

and 3) there's a wealth of material to dole out as we wait for its impending release date. So, here you go! Enjoy, speculate and anticipate as more Trails in the Sky news slowly makes its way out onto the Internets. (More blogs, Q&As, screenshots and facetious tweets to come!)

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed our suffering even a little, please pre-order the game! Did I mention that it comes with a shiny replica Bracer Emblem? ^_-

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Pre-Order!

GameStop: Premium Edition

Amazon: Premium Edition

Premium Edition passionately red innards!


  1. Of course: Wow! Thanks for your work. I hope you got decent sleep, as lack of it is truly, truly horrible. You're great, and at least it wasn't a life or death situation. The amount of time you put in is staggering and the ultimate proof of the love you have.

  2. All the suffering and work that went into this game, 3/31 can't come soon enough.

  3. I am inspired by your hard work :) I'll buy three copies (tits for christmas for everyone!) ^_^

  4. Dammit Jess, you literally made me bust up laughing in the middle of a firefighting class as the teacher was talking about 9-11. Definitely will be laying low, growing a mustache, and speaking with some kind of offensive accent to try and disguise myself for the rest of the semester. Serves me right for choosing to finally read this blog post during class I suppose...

    I'll be getting quite a few copies of this one, glad to hear it's completed, and thanks for the all the very hard work and time you put into it. I've always said you guys put out the most quality localized games out of any company out there right now, and I'm sure TitS will continue the trend. My backlog of games to play is getting way out of hand, but I'm still really looking forward to making time for this one come March.

    You get a "break" after killing yourself finishing this, or is there going to be a (relatively) quick turnover for the next in line Legend of Heroes game?

  5. Dear Lord! That much work? So glad to here all you guys are ok! And thank you so much to all of you! I'm going to get the PE of Trails In The Sky release day for sure! I already have one of the first 3 Legend of Heroes games too. Plus I'll be getting Y's 1 & 2 psp next week as well.

    And yeah I know that all sounded really corny/etc. But I know how that is. My father used to work those kinda hours with two jobs once.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. @Kaseius - It was a cathartic joy to write as well. Glad you liked it.

    @charles surge - I'm getting decent sleep now. ^_^ Everybody worked really hard at XSEED on this game, and we're happy to finally get it out the door. Hope you enjoy our efforts!

    @Cybolt - The game has been seasoned with our tears. It will be delicious!

    @Epiphaniesarefun - TitS for all!

    @bassoonking - My post made you publicly embarrass yourself? YES! SCORE! P.S. Thanks for ordering the game and thanks for always commenting. I look forward to your responses every time a write a blog. :)

    @Tekara - That doesn't sound corny at all. I like to write these to give people a (hopefully) humorous look at what goes on behind the scenes. There's a lot of work that goes into these games, but we also really appreciate you guys supporting us the way you do. So thanks. Sincerely from everyone here at XSEED.

    @電波の世界 - "Miniscule" is a fairly commonly accepted spelling nowadays, though as a variant of "minuscule" you're right that it's less used. :P And...Day 1? AWESOME! Thanks!

  8. im speechless. i'll definitely buy the premium edition. ive been waiting 2+ years for this game to come out. and finally it's here.
    if i had a job i'd most likely buy Ys as well.
    odd jobs here i come.

  9. im speechless. i'll definitely buy the premium edition. ive been waiting 2+ years for this game to come out. and finally it's here.
    if i had a job i'd most likely buy Ys as well.
    odd jobs here i come.

  10. sounds like a lot of work!
    I had no idea the company was this small..I figured there was more staff :p

    I am more willing to grab the premium edition now ^_^...although, I admit, I should be wary of how I spend right now.....but, I will at least grab the regular edition.
    Also, how long do your games stay in print before they aren't reproduced any more? I can't find Silver Star Harmony in my EB Games stores anymore :(

  11. Wow!

    Besides that, all I have to say now is that I thank you guys for bringing all these games here and my wallet hates you. Hahaha!

    @Aoikita: I wonder that too since I've been keeping my eyes on Wild Arms games and Lunar.

  12. Really really really looking forward to this game. I've imported all the games from the Sora No Kiseki series, and am also playing through Zero No Kiseki as we speak. Keep up the good work, and know you make a lot of us really happy with bringing this game over to the US.

    I'm doing my best to spread the word about the game so it gets the attention it deserves! Already preordered my copy =3

  13. Jessica, do you consider yourself a successful translator? I mean, I'm always thinking here by my own that a task like this takes a huge amount of time and lotsa hours in front of a display wich, imho, can be hazardous to your health etc. The fact is that doin' what you guys do seems so cool and it must feel damn rewarding.
    Best regards and congrats -I hope :)- for this piece of art called Trails in the Sky.

  14. arcunum_ars > Your willingness to work odd jobs just to own all the Ys offerings is inspiring! When complete, your Ys collection will be GLORIOUS!

    Aoikita > We are VERY small. It's always weird for me to read on forums that XSEED is some huge corporate giant when my entire 'department' consists of me (editor), Tom (translator), Kenji (boss man) and my shiny plastic tachikoma model. :P Our small size also makes us really appreciate our fans willingness to support our products. Every sale is felt, and we know how tough things are right now for everyone. So, thanks. Thanks a lot from everyone here.

    As for your question... it just depends on how well they sell. There's an initial print run (of course) and if there's a high demand, we'll do more print runs. If there's not, then copies become very rare because stores don't order any more. They just keep a slowly dwindling supply. I'm pretty sure Lunar is still available on Amazon.ca, though.

    insaner2play > Ha ha! Your monies belong to us!

    Wings of Eternia > Thanks for pre-ordering! It makes such a big difference bc then stores request more copies if the pre-orders are high enough. And, word of mouth is our bread and butter, so we appreciate that too. ^_-

    Victor > Well, no. I wouldn't consider myself a successful translator at all... because I'm an editor! :) I'm the person who gets the rough translation and fixes weird sentences/shakes out typos/rewrites dialogue into more natural-sounding English and formats everything so that it actually fits into the windows. But, regardless, I still do spend hours upon hours sitting in front of a monitor frying my brain into cheese-wiz. Dems da breaks, but it's definitely rewarding when fans say they like the game or highlight bits of text they enjoyed/laughed at. Hearing that kind of stuff really makes it all worthwhile. I hope you find a few things in TitS to savor too. ^_^

  15. just wanted to say sweet TitS I pre ordered this game and can't wait I came across your blog after I ordered and can say it makes me happy to support a small operation like yours Thanks for the efforts!!
    P.S. I Just got My first Y's game do to your ability to localize so well THE OATH IN FELGHANA is turning out to be sick and hace not taken it out of my PSP. Now that I have this coming I will never get anything done around the house this spring LOL. hope my girlfriend dosen't leave me!

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  18. awesome work, XSEED :D

    already in last dungeon (the premium edition is awesome, btw. I put the bracer emblem in my shirts anywhere now :D)

    I did finish the JP ones too, but at that time I didn't understand any of the moonrunes there >.> And now, I perfectly understand what was the conversation in this game :D

    Really, really thanks for XSEED!

    ps: Now hunting for PE of YS I & II Chronicles, YS 7, and YS : Oath of Felghana!

    what to do.. what to do... mai monehhh!!

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