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Final Fantasy XV team discussing localization issues internally following fan complaints By Erren Van Duine on October 14, 2015 at 9:52 PM

Following the release of Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae, one of the biggest talking points outside of game mechanics fans seemed to be talking about was its English localization. The subject is a fair one – after all, Final Fantasy localizations have seen their ups and downs over the years and people understandably would like to see things improve alongside ever increasing production values.

Over on the game’s official forums, these fans have since caught the attention of director Hajime Tabata – who has since responded to a fan discussing the drastic difference between Noctis and Ignis’ relationship in the Japanese and English versions of the game as well as the mechanic Cidney and her regional name change.

Your point about Ignis in the English language version is a valid one. Using the intricacies of language to make the experience more fun for players is fine, but if the character’s personality changes across languages and becomes someone else, the original intent is lost.

We’ve put a lot of care into making the unique character that is Ignis, and to ensure the character is communicated as intended, I’ve seated the Localization Lead, Dan Inoue, right by me in the development area.

As to your point about Cidney/Cindy, a minor name change may not have created issues in past FF games, but it does for FF XV. I think it has to do with the fact we are targeting a simultaneous global launch.

Rest assured that we’re discussing these issues internally and working out the best way to improve things, so I hope you can look forward to what you’ll see in the final product.

Final Fantasy XV is due out next year with a release date expected to be revealed around March 2016.

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  • Martian Wong

    It has been a while since I played the Episode Duscae. How is Ignis different between Japanese version and the English version?

  • Wazi the pa

    Just looking at the article image, I’m really curious if the game will have an easter egg of Ignis dancing like Michael Jackson at some point. I mean COME ON, those shiny gloves must have other means of existence, right? :3

  • Karysonson

    He treats Noctis more like a person of higher power rather than of a close friend.

  • Paul

    I’m fine with the Cidney/Cindy name, I just want to meet her old grandpappy!

  • In a game where you have names like “Ignis,” “Noctis,” “Prompto,” and “Gladiolus…” “Cidney” is the name they felt that needed to be changed? (Whaaaaat??) They shouldn’t change any names for any territory. It makes no sense. Imagine if FFXV consisted of Prince Norman and his close friends Ian, Paul, and Gary. :/

  • Pedrita

    In English version Ignis usually address Noctis with “Highness” while in Japanese version, sometime he address Noctis using” Omae” which is far from formal.

  • Josh Asher

    “Your point about Ignis in the English language version is a valid one. Using the intricacies of language to make the experience more fun for players is fine, but if the character’s personality changes across languages and becomes someone else, the original intent is lost.”

    Okay well, isn’t this actually a common issue for many localizations? Like FF XII for example, those two guys who translated it had to change many things and according to them, it actually made the game a lot better because in the Japanese version everyone sounded the same and the primer was like a dry biology textbook, as a couple of examples. And you can’t directly translate Japanese to English exactly as is, it leads to awkwardness and boredom apparently, so what’s the big deal Tabata? Sheesh

  • HalfLucan

    Japanese they say “Mate”
    English they say “Highness”

    For a Japanese person to call a prince “mate” means that they are on *really* good terms and the banter reflects that, but when they use “Highness” in English, you get the sense that Ignis is his butler.

  • stevenm281

    Cid is her father, not grandfather

  • Randy

    So… do they gonna change the VA for ignis or what? dont tell me they still want to put that stupid english accent…

  • tbh the only change I want is for Ignis to lose the dumb English accent

  • NotCarolKaye

    That detail about this really should’ve been in the article.

  • Randy

    I agree so damn hard

  • Tempest Ryuno

    They just call him by his nickname in the Japanese version, which is Noct. And yeah, I don’t understand why they chose to make Ignis call him “Highness”, when they grew up together and such.

  • Tempest Ryuno

    Oh God

  • HalfLucan

    Ignis refers to him as omae, it doesn’t literally mean “mate” (it means you) but its about equal in formality.

  • HalfLucan

    He sounds like an English person doing an impression of an English person.

  • Xervath

    I’m happy to hear the the dev team is listening and watching closely regarding fan-feedback.
    I agree that these kind of differences can make or break immersion. Especially if you get the English-voices subtitles, whilst playing with Japanese audio. You hear one thing (at least, I, for one, hear one thing) and I read the other. It’s a minor nuisance that, if confronted with repeatedly, can become a major nuisance.

    Again, happy to see that Tabata Inc. are so on-the-ball.

  • I’m not fine with Cindy. That felt vulgar when her dad is Cid. I don’t know why they name her Cindy when it could be Cidney.

  • “Look foward…”. Man I’m tired to hear this kinda thing.

  • stevenm281

    I never approved of name changes throught the series

    Aeris/Aerith
    Terra/Tina
    Cloud/Clad
    Cidney/Cindy

    I just don’t get it, there’s no reason to translate or change a name, her name is Cidney leave it at that.

  • Felipe Medeiros

    She is vulgar as well, so it fits

  • Mustardrice

    Aeris/Aerith was a mistranslation, they corrected that in subsequent releases and other FF7 Material in the west.

    Cloud isn’t “Clad” anywhere, he is Cloud in both Japan and the west, they just spell his name in Katakana in Japan which goes for all FF characters.

    Terra/Tina was an intentional change, that was more to do with the localizers saying that she as a character was named to have an exotic sounding name, to Japanese people Tina sounds exotic, but to westerners it’s a common name, so they changed her to Terra for the west as that is a more exotic sounding name, though there are also more name changes in FF6 like Strago/Stragus, Sabin/Mash.

    I agree it should have been left as Cidney in the first place.

  • daveguitar

    What is that?
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CRRqGefUcAAX3M0.jpg

    Will you be able to change clothes? xDDD

  • Outside of her appearance, I don’t see her as a vulgar one.

  • stevenm281

    those are merchandises to be sold to consumers, not in-game stuff.

  • stevenm281

    Cloud was named Clad in France, I played the PC version back in the days and it was translated to Clad.

  • Cael

    So what did he mean with that Cidney part? That they will change it back to Cidney or what?

  • stevenm281

    I didn’t get it either

  • Necromunkey

    In English, “Highness” could potentially be said in a way revealing closeness, as it could be used as a term of endearment (though, admittedly, primarily through chiding), and hence arguably equivalent to “omae” in effect dependent on context.

    I’m not sure if that was the intended usage of “highness” (though I suspect so), but the localization team would probably have to ace the banter between the two (and the rest of them for that mater) to really make “highness” an effective hypocorism.

  • Kaizokugami

    This is really important. I brought this up in a discussion on a forum once. That many times things are lost in translation; they can say one thing in Japanese but the original meaning of what was being said is then completely lost when translated.
    I got a lot of heat for it and got called a weeaboo, amongst other things, but it’s a real issue. That’s why I always take what’s being said in games with Japanese voices and English subtitles with a grain of salt.

    I’m really glad to see that they’re taking this so seriously though. It shows how dedicated they are to deliver a magnificent game to us. At the same time I hope they don’t listen *too* much to fan feedback. If they were to take it all to heart then they’d have to change things constantly and they’d never finish the game or worse.

  • PhoenixAutomatic

    This is similar to what happens to Souls games when they are localized for the western audience, there are many instances where the choice of words could determine an entire new plot so it’s good that SE are looking into this.

  • stevenm281

    I like his British accent, whats the fuss about it?

    The complaint is not about his accent but about his choice of words when speaking to Noctis.

  • stevenm281

    I, for one, love when Ignis say Highness, it shows how important Noctis is, even tho they’re friends, he still shows sign of being a close follower of his prince.

    It would sound wierd to hear him shout Mate, or something similar, in the same way he shouts Highness.

    What I don’t approve tho, is switching Cidney’s name for Cindy.

  • grapes9h5

    Very unclear what that comment is meant to mean.

  • D.3ND

    FFXV: If you don’t like Balthier VA then we like to have him back and yes he is “british”

  • Justice V

    Outside of anything I don’t see her as vulgar.

  • Justice V

    For me it was both. The accent was pretty bad, kiiiiiinda fit with the idea of the character but was not pulled off well at all. The translation of how he spoke was pretty bad too.

  • Momiji

    It’s a Japanese thing. They always say in anime and dramas too. It will never go away.

  • Momiji

    lol “Clad”, as if the french can’t pronounce “cloud”. They have just about the same phonetics as English so why not?