I’ve been toying around with Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions again. After spending a considerable amount of time unlocking the three cameo characters, I was still excited to play the retranslated version. The experience different from the PS1 version I played many years ago and I love the new translation. The story in Final Fantasy Tactics has a stern undercurrent that wasn’t well represented with the hasty English version released on the Playstation. The new eloquent, pseudo-Shakespearean text fits the game much better than the memorable comedic one-liners found in the original localization.
Square-Enix also changed the terms to make them self-explanatory without prior Japanese knowledge. Take Nanten and Hokuten as an example. Instead of Romanized words the two groups have been translated to Order of the Northern Sky and Order of the Southern Sky respectively. Doesn’t that make much more sense?
Then there are the tweaks for the names of the abilities. Square-Enix wisely chose to use the traditional –ra –ga –ja system for spells instead of numbers for magic, excuse me magick. In Ivalice magic is spelled with an extra "k". The monk’s skills sound much better as Aurablast and Pummel than Wave Fist and Repeating Fist. The same goes for the Mysic (read: Oracle), which has much more eloquent skill names than Blind and Spell Absorb.
Probably the most controversial change is how Square-Enix altered the character's names. The much maligned Algus is now known as Argath Thadalfus and Delita Hyral is now Delita Heiral. I tend to think of these as minor because spelling aside, the characters are the same. The only slightly disappointing name change is how the rather useless “Rad” is now named “Ladd”. While Ladd is more fitting the Rad, the original name always struck me as humorous. I mean how many times do you meet a mercenary with the name Rad? Ladd makes him sound like the worthless squire that he is. Either way I always throw him out so I wasn’t bothered by it.
Overall, I give the translation a thumbs up. Not only does it draw players into the game more than the first draft it feels more in place with the consistent fantasy tone found in world of Ivalice.
Since it’s been out for a week now, I’m wondering what everyone else is thinking about it. Do you like the changes? If not what would you have done differently?