Is it possible that one fucking faggot from California and his company is responsible for this hideous practice of disrespecting the source material?
Victor Ireland co-founded Wrecking Designs in 1990, during a time when most English vidya translations were sub-par machine translations mixed with some poor salary man trying his best with what little English knowledge he gained in Japanese high school. They took the western gaming scene by storm with their translations that actually read like proper English. Little did vidya enthusiasts know back then, that this egomaniac faggot didn't just translate the Japanese games he brought over, he actually made them into his own.
So imagine this, you want to translate Japanese video games but the translators you hired aren't good enough so what do you do? Just make shit up and insert a bunch of shitty jokes everywhere and call it
From former Wrecking Designs translator Tim Trzepacz:
>The thing to remember is that Working Designs had really terrible translators until I came along. They were hiring some company out of San Francisco and the translators there didn’t really know English. They could translate the Japanese, but they didn’t really understand what the idiom was they were translating to. And everything was coming out of a spreadsheet so it wasn’t even in context. Japanese is a very context-sensitive language. So to a certain degree [Working Designs co-founder Victor Ireland] had no choice but to make things up as he went, because he had very little to go on. When I came in, I brought in two well-known fan-translators, C. Sue Shambaugh and Richard Kim, who ratcheted up the quality of the translations tremendously. Now things made sense! But by then Victor kinda already had his process down, he liked rewriting it and adding the comedy in.
To quote the faggot himself:
>Oh this script is really boring, let me put some funny stuff in here. So I would insert funny lines that really had nothing to do with what was going on. And that sort of evolved. I continued doing that, did more of it, and people generally liked it [because] they were seeing writing that they never saw in Japanese-localized or translated games, like ‘Holy crap, this is amazing’.
Here's one of the most famous examples of localization from Lunar 2 on the Sega CD:
>Girlie, if I were in the position to throw away cash on bums, you'd call me Clinton and I'd be president.
I can't find the Japanese line online and I don't feel like searching through the Japanese script, but I assure you it's probably not a shitty Clinton joke. If you want more examples of "localization" just check out these articles:
Wrecking Designs is also notorious for implementing various gameplay changes (which I'm glad most localizers didn't follow the example of) which they apparently did to combat people abusing store return systems, by beating games very quickly and then returning them to the store. This is mostly hearsay, so it could just be that Victor is a faggot that doesn't just want to rewrite "his games", he wants to redesign them as well. Anyhow, the commercial success of the localizations by Wrecking Designs influenced Japanese developers and vidya translators to follow suit and start localizing their games as well. This gave birth to glorious localizations like Persona 1 and the Ace Attorney series.
At the turn of the century localizations started petering out due to various forms of criticism against these types of botched translations (most likely because of the Internet becoming more available). Things went mostly okay until the great decline of 2007 when vidya became mainstream. Now most Japanese games brought over have some form of localization in them ranging from shitty meme jokes to cut content in the name of making things more "palatable for western audiences". We still get the occasional non localized Japanese games like the Legend of Heroes series, Nier Automata and Persona 5. Sadly it has also spread to animu after the death of fansubbing, with localized Crunchyroll memesubs dominating the subtitle market.
So what happened to Wrecking Designs and that faggot? Well Wrecking Designs died in 2006 and came back as Gaijinworks which hasn't really localized much except for Miami Law, Class of Heroes and Summon Night 5 & 6. Their glory days are long gone, but the damage they did to vidya still lingers to this day.
What do you think the future will bring us when it comes to vidya translations and the horrors of localizations?