The first half of our Lunar: Silver Star Harmony interview focused on Game Arts. This piece is about the localization and how Xseed got Jenny Magallanes to reprise her role for the game’s theme song.
How does the new localization compare to the first one?
Jessica Chavez, Localization Lead: The new localization actually follows the first one pretty closely. We used the original script as the base for Silver Star Harmony and tweaked some minor points like the pop culture references, added back in some of the history, and smoothed over some plot points which were a bit vague in the first games. As a result, fans are going to recognize a lot of the dialogue and jokes and see some things they didn’t before.
Overall it was a real balancing act to update the text without losing what made it so special in the first place: the humor, but I think we have stuff in the game that’ll make it worthwhile for old fans and new ones alike.
What kind of pop culture jokes did you slip in?
We actually took some care to remove things that could be easily recognized as dated objects like the Tootsie Pop reference, the infamous Wheaties nod and any mention of ABBA, but we did add in some of our own stuff (while dancing around any trademark issues). A few less obvious ones were kept and others were reworded to avoid legal problems.
If you look close you might find some nods to the Hitchhiker’s Guide, Monty Python, Castlevania, some famous movies references…and maybe some serial killer quotes…
I hear you got the original singer back…
We did! We sent the office intern on a journey of manhood months ago and tasked him with finding Jenny (Stigile) Magallanes and carrying her back. He first came back with a giant Luna promotional from 1998 but eventually he got it right.
Actually, though, we can thank the fans for this one. As it turns out, one of her admirers from her work on the first games knew where to reach her and contacted her to tell her that we were doing the remake. This led to Jenny emailing us and us dancing a jig by the water cooler. We booked her and she made the trip to L.A. for recording.
Jenny has a powerful, amazing set of pipes and it was really sweet to see how much she cared about the fans and wanted to carry over the Lunar spirit for them. We were very happy to have her and as a result Lunar: Silver Star Harmony now has a nice connection to SSC (aside from the text) that’s instantly recognizable to followers of the series.
The toughest thing…
Well, the soundtrack was a no-brainer. The remastered music is one of the highlights of the game and really showcases just how comprehensive the upgrades in this remake are. Iwadare-san, the composer, was really excited that he’d have a chance to polish up the music and went all out when he was redoing the songs. Having his efforts packaged in a brand new drawing of Luna doesn’t hurt either.
We knew, of course, that the Limited Edition version of the game needed something else to make it special and this is where the tough part was.
What would be a cool addition to the game and is something that fans might be interested in? Eventually we settled on including the Bromide cards because they’re such a fun/strange item in the game. Having your own physical set of cards that you can collect in-game is kind of cool, too.
And since we had a whiteboard full of ideas let me list a few that didn’t get picked.
1) One minimally interactive inflatable companion- ESRB would have had a field day with that.
2) Secret Risqué book from Vane’s library – Joan Collins wasn’t available and nobody in the office wanted to write such a romantic and, uh, detailed, love story.
3) Make-up and cross-dressing kit, the Kyle edition – For use in battling the Vile Tribe and college theme parties.
4) Soap, rope included (because it would be a premium edition after all)