Radiant Historia Travels To The Past, Brings Us A Joke From The 80s

By Spencer . December 29, 2010 . 1:52pm

radianthistoria_screenshots_20Atlus’ upcoming Nintendo DS RPG Radiant Historia must have carried a joke back from the past in one of its time traveling trips. That line… is a lyric from "I Ran" by new wave group A Flock of Seagulls. I think that gives us an idea about the tone of the English localization.


Radiant Historia lets players travel through time using the White Chronicle (no relation to the PlayStation 3 series) and alter history. Your decisions change the timeline and of course what ending you see.


Hiroshi Konishi and Satoshi Takayashiki from the Radiata Stories team created the game’s concept. Mitsuru Hirata who worked on Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is the director.


Radiant Historia and its bundled soundtrack CD is slated for release on February 22.


radianthistoria_screenshots_16 radianthistoria_screenshots_17 radianthistoria_screenshots_18 radianthistoria_screenshots_13 radianthistoria_screenshots_15 radianthistoria_screenshots_19 radianthistoria_screenshots_14

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • Guest

    What does “Will O’ Wisp” mean? I seen that term before and it’s also the name of a Japanese visual novel game.

    And lol at the 80’s song reference, but I can already sense the sighing from a few that would probably want a direct translation

    • Phlo

      It’s a real-life natural phenomenon which looks like a glowing light at night and appears in marshes/swamps. People used to think they were ghosts or similar.

      • Hraesvelgr

        Used to think? They still do.

        • Phlo

          Allow me my tiny spot of optimism. :(

    • M’iau M’iaut

      I’d like to know the Japanese context. If it relates to something social from the same period in Japan, such would be a more than acceptable LOCALIZATION.

      • Just asking, but do you think someone would actually go look for the same NPC in both versions to find out?

      • I agree. Not to rain on the parade of the “AMERICA, MAKE IT BETTER” crowd, but I would prefer the localizations to remain fairly faithful to the source material as well. I am not opposed to some playing with the script here and there, but I purchased game X for a reason. If I wanted to play a game like Star Ocean and were bombarded with references to House or The Jeffersons, I’d be rather angry. Some things don’t translate well into English and I understand where some rewriting is needed, but when you totally remove the context of the original product you defeat the point of even playing it. Again, I am not against changes in localization just against those that veer so radically from the script you get The Revelations of Persona for the PS1.

        • satchidananda

          Come on, you’re being obtuse now. I don’t think anyone has suggested anything more than, as you put it, ‘playing with the script here and there’. The plot, setting etc should remain the same; characters should retain their core personality traits; references that might actually have meaning to the player (i.e., in the case of a popular franchise) left intact, but beyond that I think the translator(s) should be given a more or less free hand. Obviously this isn’t always going to result in a decent script. If the translator is a bore, then that’s probably going to be reflected in the final product. But I don’t think that that’s the explanation for most bad localisations (and let’s be honest, the standards aren’t high). I think it’s the opposite – translators are expected to stick rigidly to the original script, and this results in a dull, stilted localisation. That or most translators are just unimaginative and have bad English. Sometimes it’s hard to tell – when you come across a really clumsy bit of text in a game, is it a result of the latter, or is it simply the case that it’s been translated too literally?

          I also find that this obsession with remaining true to the source, down to the most ancillary details, seems to be specific to gamers. With literature, it’s the complete opposite. Bad press for translated novels, I usually find, boils down to the translator sticking too closely to the original text, resulting in an awkward read.

          • You just made my case for me with ” but beyond that I think the translator(s) should be given a more or less free hand.” Thank you for proving my point. Because your argument suggest giving some vague leeway with the script because as long as we know the “location names” it’s A-Ok. Hurr durr.

            How is a largely straight translation dull? Because honestly, from my perspective, it just sounds like “I am right because my enjoyment is what makes my POV fact”.

            Tell me how I am obsessing with the source material? Do you even know?

    • Simplest way to put it is that they’re the Irish/English equivalent of a hitodama. Other terms for the same thing is “spook-light” or “ghost-light.”

      Edit: About the NPC’s 80’s song reference, he could have referenced some old Japanese pop thing in his original dialogue.

    • onilink888

      Let them sigh all they want. I appreciate silly, little cracks like this in localizations. Perhaps it’s for the better, even. I mean, not everything can transition properly from Japanese to English.

      Anyway, I’d take this over a drab, direct translation any day. Gives the localization more personality if you ask me.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pop my Flock of Seagulls vinyl in my record player. :D

      • satchidananda

        I couldn’t agree more.

        Most of the translations which I’ve been impressed with have veered significantly from the original script. People complained about the liberties which Plus Alpha took with Dragon Quest VIII, and yet I can’t think of a single JRPG with a script that had half as much personality.

        There’s nothing more tedious than the usual chorus of pedants complaining that some obscure Japanese reference has been left out, or that their favourite character’s name has changed, or that the spell names – God forbid! – aren’t in Romaji.

        In any case, I think we’re in reasonably safe hands with Atlus.

        • Exkaiser

          I have to agree, Dragon Quest VIII’s localization was terrific. The script absolutely sang.

        • onilink888

          Have you ever played Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier? Atlus took the localization and absolutely ran with it. I’ve no doubt that Radiant Historia is in good hands.

          I’m just grateful that RH isn’t being handled by the likes of Ignition.

          • Dude, Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier is simply, what I believe to be, the most awesome DS RPG. That was my first Atlus game on the DS and I just no doubt loved it!! Simply stunning! I hope we do get the sequel.

          • satchidananda

            I haven’t no, I’m a bit behind!

        • Ladius

          Excuse me, but how is respecting the source material you are presumed to translate “tedious”?

          Of course a localization that borders on rewrite can be better than the original (especially since many jrpg scripts aren’t anything to write home about to begin with, in some cases a rewrite could actually help), but this really isn’t the point since people are buying the game for what it is, not for some localization company’s (often wannabe) witty adaptment. The whole characters’names change, for example, is absurd and arbitrary 99% of the times.

          Personally I have no problem with (sporadic) quirky punchlines or with a degree of liberty in titles which are openly humoristic, and I agree with you that most japanese jokes are best localized with new english ones than translated with a dull word-by-word approach (especially when the game is set in a fantasy world in which japanese cultural references are fairly out of place), but this line of thought can’t be extremised too much.

      • Wouldn’t these elements really only mean something to the people familiar with them though?

    • Will o’ the wisp is the fleeting trace of light over swamps at night. It symbolizes being misled.

    • ChaosPaladinFayt

      will o wisp………pokemon? =D

      • You’re going to need some Burn Heal for that.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Sounds like the name of some crispy thin cereal from the 1950s…

  • Draparde

    it’s funny. i couldent help but add “Knight” in between White Chronicle …. had to reread that xD

  • karasuKumo

    Love the artwork, I’ve got to get this :)

  • LynxAmali

    Looks like and sounds like a mix between Eternia Oddysey (SP?) and SMT. >_<
    Not that I'm complaining. I might pick it up. Hopefully, it doesn't use the Trigger buttons. Mine are jammed.

    • Exkaiser

      You mean Etrian Odyssey, the DS series?

      It really feels more like a new-age Chronotrigger, from what I’ve played.

  • Fonic

    I don’t mind a little quirkiness or left-field type stuff in translations so long as they don’t go overboard. Atlus always does a great job with localizations so I’m not worried.
    Anyway, greatly anticipating this game.

  • xNekux

    wasn’t that the opening for the Knights of the Zodiac dub?

  • Come on Atlus, show us you still have that rpg magic!

  • DDanny

    Gotta love games with multiple paths that actually alter the story, instead of you just getting a different ending 40 hours later.

    • Testsubject909

      Now marvel, as thousands upon thousands of gamers will continue to blast JRPG, stating the same drivel while ignoring any truly interesting JRPGs that have unique innovation or implementation of concepts from WRPGs that they absolutely adore, no matter how recent the game may be.

      • Branching paths came from WRPGS? Tactics Ogre, Ogre Battle, and other JRPGs have had a similar concept before many of the big WRPGs came out iirc.

        • He means that they’ll blast JRPGs for not having branching paths, while there actually are some out there that do such as this one and the ones you mentioned.

          • The words “from WRPGS” threw me off, but thanks for the clarification.

          • Guest

            Its not just branching paths the WRPG supporters lament the JRPGs on….its the “choose/create your own character” “multiple conversation choices” “non linear open world exploration”and “More mature/less androgynous look” that they hail WRPGS over JRPGS now for.

  • The character sprites look highly detailed and quite gorgeous for the DS. I love the attention to detail in the character models on the battle screens. This is looking to be one of the highlights in DS games for 2011 in America.

    • … Now this is an interesting change of heart…

      • Testsubject909

        He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

        Don’t know what triggers it though.

        • Nintendo. It was almost anything remotely related to Nintendo in the beginning. Lately he’s been bashing only some of Nintendo’s first party software, though.

        • neocatzon

          the people who used the account?

      • Haha, I remember how he said something alongs the line of “I can’t believe people still care about this game! The graphics look terrible!”. Before the game was even released in Japan.

  • PrinceHeir

    will be buying this along with 3DS :D

  • Testsubject909

    So. My money’s fading away quicker then I have immediately ready at-hand…

    And my day is not long enough for me to play these games fast enough either…

    And I struggle between my completionist side and my regular gamer side…

    And I also struggle between my mentality as a collector and a smart consumer…

    And I have no idea if this game will be sold out rapidly or not, meaning that I’m unsure if this should be on my “GET NAOW” list or not….


  • +1 for the #grandtheftauto distant reference

    I’d give them another +1 if “In the Air Tonight” by #PhilCollins gets an in-game reference/shoutout.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD9FevMw1_o

    I’ll just leave this here just in case people haven’t seen it yet.

  • Is that… A similar battle system to the one from Final Fantasy X *falls down on his knees* Praise the lord (or whatever mystic force you worship), this game just got even more awesome :D

    I too am also loving the The character sprites as well as the environment designs. Very good use of colours :D

  • I’m looking forward to this. Definite import if it doesn’t make it over here. :)

    I think it’s cute when they do song references like that – I loved it when a drunk NPC in Crimson Gem Saga started singing Crowded House songs to me! I assumed that they were doing it because there was some Korean equivalent song in the original version (and Japanese original in case of RH) but maybe it’s just inspired translators. XD

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos