Final Fantasy VII's translation was weirder than we even realized

This goes way beyond a guy who are sick.

One of my favorite people on the whole wide internet, Tim Rogers, is currently running a fantasic video series over at Kotaku where he compares the original Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII with its English localization. I highly recommend it. Come for the trivia, stay for the incidental language lessons.

As Rogers is quick to point out, there are a lot of factors involved with localization, especially time. This is as true today as it was in 1997: compare Persona 5's rushed nonsense with Yakuza 0's complete fucking brilliance, and remember that these games were both localized by Atlus USA. The difference is that Yakuza 0 arrived in the U.S. two years after its initial release. The loc team certainly wasn't under the same kind of pressure for a quick turnaround that a flagship Atlus series demanded, and it shows.

Final Fantasy VII's localization is also definitely rushed. Some of its issues are legendary: Aerith's name getting spelled two different ways; the "this guy are sick" line; Cait Sith's ever-meandering accent. But what Tim Rogers's video series does a great job of highlighting is all the subtler ways the English localization stumbles, from missed double-entendres to some poor hard-working translator filling in the wrong cell on a spreadsheet. None of this is to rag on FFVII's localization team -- again, they were under extreme time constraints and a lot of pressure to deliver -- but it does emphasize just how tricky loc can be, and just how far off-base a translation can get with just one missed nuanced or context clue.

Below I've embedded my favorite video from the series to date, talking about the Wall Market sidequest. It's a little saucy! But if you like it, consider swinging on by Kotaku's Youtube channel and giving the whole playlist a look-see.