Another Tales of story is about to begin. Tales of Luminaria is the newest mobile entry in the series. While we’ve had some idea it was coming for a while, it’s about to appear everywhere on November 4, 2021. To help get a better idea of what to expect, Siliconera spoke with Localization Producer Sugi about Tales of Luminaria development, its characters, and how it compares to other mobile games.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: How long has Tales of Luminaria been in development? Trademarks were first filed in October 2020.
Sugi, Bandai Namco: The project has been in development for several years, much more than 1 or 2 years. This is a very big project.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Tales of Luminaria’s development?
Sugi: indeed that the COVID affected the project as it has many others; however, we were able to shift to work from home smoothly, so the impact was within expectations.
Likewise, how has the pandemic affected its localization? How has it impacted voice acting recording sessions for Tales of Luminaria characters?
Sugi: Like I mentioned above, the impact was within expectations. Funimation has been doing a great job on the voice recording. Voice recording has been done flexibly with studio recording and home recording, so that the localization is proceeding well.
How does Tales of Luminaria compare to past Tales of mobile games like Tales of Crestoria?
Sugi: Tales of Luminaria is a totally new story with new characters. It is not like crossover title which is based on previous series characters, like Crestoria, which means that you can easily enter the series with Luminaria even if you have never played any other entry in the Tales of series.
Already, the cast of characters in Tales of Luminaria seems quite large. What sorts of challenges did this present during the localization process?
Sugi: The number of characters itself is already a challenge , but what’s more, this is an ensemble drama which is interconnecting each episode elaborately. Keeping the tone & tension of the original meaning is what we have focused on doing carefully as the script has been localized to English.
Though we’ve already started to see hints at the size of the cast, there’s been an effort to single characters out in Tales of Luminaria trailers. How do you help set people apart during the localization process and make them stand out?
Sugi: Each of the characteres already stand out from each other, visually thanks to [Shun] Saeki-sensei’s character design and dramatically thanks to [Sekina] Aoi-sensei and the writing team’s amazing narrative. The characters all already have many unique characteristics, personalities and so on. When localizing, we have worked hard to retain their uniqueness across languages in the textual translation as well as the voice talent that was brought on–we want to make sure that we emphasize the diversity in the ensemble!
As this is a simultaneous worldwide release, how has that affected the localization process? How much input has that allowed you on the Tales of Luminaria characters and its creation?
Sugi It is indeed a simultaneous worldwide release, with every subsequent content update planned for simultaneous release as well. In addition to Japanese writing and recording, we have had to build in translation and English recording into our pipeline for content lock, so this has definitely added time to the process overall, but we have been able to work ahead sufficiently to ensure that it is successful.
Who are some of your favorite Tales of Luminaria characters so far?
Sugi: Every character is quite unique, so it is hard to tell what is my favorite. If you prefer a young, energetic story, you may like the Federation characters’ episodes. If you prefer a more mature, serious story, you may like the Empire characters’ episodes. If you prefer an adventurous story, you may like the Adventurer characters’ episode.
Tales of Luminaria will come to Android and Apple iOS devices on November 4, 2021. Pre-registration is open.
Editor’s Note: This review was lightly edited for clarity.