NIS America Answer Your Trinity Universe Questions (Part 2)

By Ishaan . April 29, 2010 . 4:47pm


In this exciting episode, Saber Ri…er, Nick talks about Trinity Universe’s localization and hints at a special edition for North America.


What NIS character would you want to put in a crossover? At least one reader wants Laharl.


NISA Localization Editor, Nick Doerr: Me? If I only had to choose ONE, it’d be Asagi. Sure, she’s a big ol’ joke of a cameo/hidden character, but how satisfying would it be to have her as a party member in a crossover? She doesn’t have to be the main character, but having her actually participate in a story instead of trying to squeeze into one would be refreshing to me.


Otherwise? Some characters from Soul Nomadn would be interesting. Gig might be a bit over-powered, though…


And while Laharl isn’t in Trinity Universe, one guy really reminds me of him…


You knew this was coming, Will Trinity Universe have English and Japanese voice-acting?


You bet. There’s no reason not to offer both, since it’s on Blu-ray!


Speaking of the dub, will it be a full dub or partial like Mana Khemia? (If so why?)


This is always a popular question and often the answer is vague. I’ll try to be a little less vague. Every localization project in every company comes with a budget. This is chopped up into segments and dispensed to different aspects of the localization effort. Voice acting gets a large chunk, but it’s almost impossible to match the Japanese dub in terms of volume. Trinity Universe is fully voiced in Japanese. That’s several tens of thousands of lines -– so while our dub is not “full,” it does contain voices for all major scenes and some select scenes the coordinator and I found particularly entertaining.



Is any of the content, including names, going to be changed for the US version?


I wouldn’t really know, but I did alter some of the romanizations the translator gave me. Rizerea became Rizelea because it sounds more natural in English. Makaron became Macaroon because, really, naming a cute girl after a cookie fits this game too perfectly. Viorate became Violet, not just because it sounds more like an actual girl’s name, but because that’s what I feel the romanization was trying to say. She asks people to call her Vio anyway, so in a sense, it’s the same difference. I do believe that’s it. Well, there’s one, but it’s kind of a spoiler -– even so, it’s not major and it’s not an official name.


This may be an opinion question, but how do you balance the differing opinions of fans. Some people don’t mind and probably enjoy a localized game, while another group wants a direct translation even with romanized names?


When I work on games, I don’t like Americanizing. That’s so SNES-era. That said, character limits (the amount of text allowed in a certain space) sometimes make leaving things “unlocalized” an impossibility. If, in the Japanese version, a graphic or box was made to allow up to 5 Kanji, this generally means you can only fit 10 alphanumeric characters. Anyone who’s taken Japanese can tell you -– a LOT can be described in 5 Kanji. Not much can be said in 10 letters/numbers. That’s just how it is sometimes.


I do like adding spice to my meals. I leave much of the dialogue the same that I am given, but if it can be worded a little more effectively, dramatically, or character-defining, then I alter it. If I have extra space, sometimes I’ll add a line. At points, I may change lines entirely because I feel I personally have a better idea or because I feel what’s funny in Japan may fall flat in the US and Europe. I always talk about such matters with the translator working on the project with me, so it’s not just me whipping out a red pen and making up my own storyline.



As for romanized named… no. Just no. Viorate is ugly. Veeo-rot? You’d want to call a cute alchemist girl something with ROT in its pronunciation? How cruel. Violet matches her personality much better and it evokes a sense of something that smells pleasant – flowers, instead of something rotten – like a corpse. I won’t change names entirely, though. Ever. You will never see “Kanata” become “Kevin” for anything I work on.


On the plus side, is there anything extra for the US?


Extra? Compared to Japan’s release? Hahaha, sure! The US gets English voice-acting and the English language in their version! We’re working on special stuff for a limited edition, too!


Fans are worried about the DLC and like Cross Edge, there’s a ton of files on Japan’s PlayStation Store. Can you comment on this?


Idea Factory has given us a new list of DLC for the US and European releases of Trinity Universe. It should make the fans happy, because that Japanese PS Store sure does have a whole ton… overkill, some may say.


Any chance of a deluxe package, maybe even at Rosenqueen?


To reiterate: We’re working on special stuff for a limited edition!


Thanks for the opportunity to speak about Trinity Universe, Spencer, Ishaan, and all Siliconera staff and readers!


A big thanks to Nick for squeezing this into his busy schedule! While he’s not busy drowning himself in work, he’s usually trying hard to reach out to people and communicate about the company’s games. For instance, he stuck his own neck out by contacting us for the fan Q&A!

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  • MisterNiwa

    Nice, thanks for that Q&A.

    Now… Is there someone who can convience me to buy this game? :S

  • Kris

    Once again, a million thanks to you for doing such an awesome job on these interviews, Nick. I can’t wait to see what the limited edition will be like!

    Also, thanks for not making Kanata into a Kevin :)

  • Hey Nick, do you know the voice actresses that makes etna’s and flonne’s voices? xD

    • doubleO7

      Assuming they use the same voice actors that Flonne and Etna had in Disgaea, Sandy Fox will voice Flonne and Michelle Ruff will voice Etna.

      • SeventhEvening

        That’s a major bummer. Amanda Winn-Lee was a much better Etna than Michelle Ruff.

        • mach

          It WASN’T Amanda Winn Lee though. I was at a con once and asked her to sign Disgaea, and she gave me this blank look and asked what game it was. Most people think the original Etna was actually Kim Mai Guest.

          • SeventhEvening

            Really? IMDB didn’t list Kim Mai Guest as the VA, so I thought it was Amanda Winn Lee. I stand corrected.

            Whoever was the original Etna was the best. She was better than the Japanese VA even. I can’t stand Michelle Ruff’s Etna voice.

          • TNA_Lewis

            *accidently liked your post*

            …funny, I didn’t like Kim Mai West as Etna. I loved Michelle Ruff.

  • Simon

    “You bet. There’s no reason not to offer both, since it’s on Blu-ray!” LOL this reminds me of FF13’s reason not to have both on the game.

    • mach

      Well, that was more legit, since they completely redid the lip sync to match the English VO. If they’d kept the Japanese in, it would have looked pretty weird whenever the characters opened their mouths (since the English voices were timed very differently in certain parts).

    • entrydenied

      FF13 had 31GB of prerended scenes and FMVs. If they included 2 tracks, this 31 GB will become 62 Gb and it won’t fit the 50Gb blu-ray.

  • asagi!!

  • Xeahnort

    I´m glad TU will have the original VA.

    Nice read, keep up the good work

  • ForeverFidelis

    “At least one reader wants Laharl.”


    I’m tickled that you actually made a reference to my question..

    I thought you guys were gonna ignore me :l

    That’s siliconera for ya.

    Never fail to please :D

    • Of course we remembered. Even though I don’t always respond, I read all of the comments. :)

  • Ereek

    Wow, overall this one was a good deal more interesting than the first.

    Thanks for choosing to ask my questions, and thanks to Nick for answering them. I really like these fan-powered interviews, they make you feel like the publisher is more “human” and less “distant.”

    Violet is a much nicer name than Viorate!

    Edit: Told you so!

  • Hours

    Thanks for setting up this interview Siliconera staff.

    I agree with changing Viorate to Violate, because it makes sense. But changing Makaron to Macaroon just so you can name a character after a cookie seems odd.

    Does this character make any references to cookies or wear baked good themed outfits? This seems like another Philomel to Jessica situation, you shouldn’t change a character’s name just so it sounds “cuter”, especially when there is no basis in the original name itself.

    And I’m confused on the DLC answer. Is the US version getting totally different DLC, or just a portion of the Japanese version’s DLC content?

    I’m still unsure about the game and NISA in general. I’d really like to trust them again, but I just can’t yet.

    • Ereek

      Are you one of those “all localization is evil” types?

      That isn’t a drastic name change like Philomel to Jessica. It’s a change of two letters to make it more localized.

      • SeventhEvening

        *shudder* Why’d you have to remind me of that?

        In all seriousness, I don’t understand why Philomel became Jessica or why the Sakura Wars V translation has such ridiculous dialog for Gemini. I just started playing it, but the translation seems quite far from what the VA is saying in her case. I love NISA for bringing such niche titles to the US, but I sometimes question their localization.

        At least it sounds like Trinity Universe is going to be good on that front. I hope Atelier Rorona gets translated next!

        • Ereek

          Oops clicked like on accident. Haha, that’s the second time in a week or so that I’ve done that.

          I believe Rorona is being worked on at the same time as TU, but with a different group/team. Nick just isn’t working on the title. If it’s as “literal” as Annie was, you should be fine with it. Annie was so literal that Ruby an Sapphire weren’t completely localized (Ryubi). That was actually the worst I could find in Annie though.

          • SeventhEvening

            Yeah, Annie might have been a bit too literal, haha. Although I’d rather things err on the literal side. As long as it doesn’t have game breaking bugs like Ar Tonelico 2 did, I’ll be alright. NISA had just announced Rorona several months ago, but they haven’t mentioned it at all since then. They’ve also announced and released several games since then, so I was unsure of what it’s status was.

            I’m fine with stuff like Ryubi is Ruby or Viorate being Violet because it’s still in line with the original meaning and it seems to be what the original artist intended. I’m even cool with Badman’s translation (or whatever it’s called now) because it maintained the same kind of atmosphere and meaning so that it could be understood by Americans. I just don’t like when the original feeling or meaning is damaged in translation. I was alright with Mana Khemia’s translation, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the name changes because of how nonsensical all of them were.

      • Hours

        No, I’m not one of those “all localization is evil” types. I would never get to play any games if I felt that way. I just like games to be localized properly.

        Makaron is not some crazy, unpronounceable name. If there is no basis in the character’s name for the change, it seems misguided. But I’m not outraged or anything, just puzzled.

        I’m more fastidious towards NISA’s games because of past issues, so I become wary when I read about changes that seem unnecessary.

        I want this game to do well and I hope that it sets new standards for future NISA games. But seeing is believing now, so I’ll have to wait and see.

        Side Note: My first post should say Violet, not Violate. XD

    • It’s a matter of theme, like all instances. Makaron sounds more robotic, which isn’t entirely inaccurate since she “intercepts” radio signals of some kind. This happens in, like, one small scene.

      Otherwise, she’s in an apron/semi-maid outfit and works in multiple shops where you can buy a variety of things. And her personality is warm, light, and fluffy. This is something you see far more often; therefore, it’s more fitting to give her a more representative alteration to what the players see the most.

      • Pichi

        I like changes like this. Its still close to the original name, and rolls well for a English speaker. This isn’t the change people should be angry about.

        • Ereek


  • 5 kanjis can tell a whole story, that’s real, Localizing Tales of games is an awful lot of trouble because of the Artes names, they just say a lot in japanese to fit on a perfect english translation :/ Localize and Translate are pretty difficult things

    • Well said.


      Flying swallow instant kill slash!!

  • Roses4Aria

    I’m looking forward to this more and more! Any hints of romance in this one, like with Yuto and Mikoto in Cross Edge? I know no one else probably cares, but I do like a little romance.

  • cmurph666

    I tried to pre-order the game at EB on Tuesday and they couldn’t find it in their system… :(

  • eliel

    cool can’t w8 till its out

  • Guest

    “You bet. There’s no reason not to offer both, since it’s on Blu-ray!”

    Seeing these words coming from someone who actually works in localization makes me nigh-tearful with happiness.

  • yukichan

    Are you going to bring mana khemia 2 to Europe? and youre going to release mana khemia 2 portable?

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