Mato Mailbag

I’ve been getting lots of interesting and helpful e-mails over the past few weeks from readers – and there are a few that I’d like to share. So here’s one I just got:

Subject: Your site is almost as big a time sink as TV Tropes…

To TomAto
Hey, I’ve been reading your site for the last couple of days and I really dig it. I love that you’ve finally taken the time to explain the intricacies of translation work to us non-Japanese speakers, especially where these earlier games were concerned. Earthbound was a real treat, and you’re obviously plowing your way through FFIV, but I was wondering if you had any plans past that. I’m not sure how you’d feel about continuing to work on SFC/SNES RPGs, and I’m sure you get a lot of requests for FFVI and Chrono Trigger (both of which I’d love to see), but I think the world is truly looking for a comparison of the Seiken Densetsu 2/Secret of Mana translation. I’ve always heard that it was notoriously truncated and finished in a very small amount of time and I’d love to see what got lost.

Also, do you have any sort of mailing list for when there are updates? Keep up the great work!

This is a common question I get, so here’s my reply:

Hey there!

Glad to hear you like the comparison stuff – I often wonder if it’s too picky and too almost-OCD-level nitpicky 😛 But I also feel like it’s a good way for people to REALLY understand what’s going on in game localizations besides the obvious stuff like “this sprite and this sprite are different”.

I think FFIV’s gonna take me a good while, but after that I haven’t decided what to do yet. I’ll probably put a poll up on the site – I’m thinking the next one might be a shorter game at least. I’d also love to do something that got localized into Japanese from English or something in that vein.

Right now I’m leaning to maybe Duck Tales, but I also really want to visit Contra sometime. What I’d also like to do at some point is visit one of my first fan translations to show how crappy translations look and read and explain why. And then after that do a comparison of the Mother 3 translation to show the difference between them.

There are honestly so many games I want to do though, so it’s all up in the air right now. I’d love to do a Secret of Mana one – it’s often requested and it was a game I loved as a kid. I haven’t really played it in about 15+ years so I’d probably miss tons of stuff and pull my hair out trying to make sure I see/check everything 😛

Anyway, I don’t really have a newsletter, but if you have an RSS reader you can follow or if you have Twitter you can follow me on there. I post about updates and such on there.

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