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Website / Legends of Localization

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Legends of Localization is a website created in 2012 by Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin, a translator with years of experience in the field. (Among many other things, he was the lead translator for the famous Mother 3 Fan Translation.) Stemming from an older feature he had made comparing the two languages EarthBound was officially released in, the site (run primarily by him and his wife Heidi/"Poe", with help from several other people) aims to examine the process of translation and localization in video games, as well as covering a variety of topics regarding Japanese culture and its interactions with the West.The site encompasses several features, including several short articles where readers submit questions about translations in specific games, a section devoted entirely to exceptionally poor translations, and a semi-regular series of livestreams (dubbed "Poemato CX", after Game Center CX). One of the most notable features are the comparisons, which focus on comparing a specific game's translation with its original version from start to finish (with occasional shifts to focus on related topics and/or alternative translations).


    open/close all folders 

    Games given individual, in-depth coverage 

In addition, Mato has also written several Legends of Localization books (available for purchase at Fangamer):

    List of books 
  • Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend Of Zelda I: An expanded version of the previously-mentioned full-scale comparison.
  • Legends of Localization Book 2: EarthBound: An expanded version of the previously-mentioned full-scale comparison.
  • This be book bad translation, video games!: A short book chronicling various bad translations in video games.
  • I'm Stuck in a Video Game: A translation of a children's book (originally written by Game Center CX producer & narrator Tsuyoshi Kan and illustrated by Nina Matsumoto) concerning a young girl getting sucked inside her favorite video game, where she must conquer all the levels and beat the end boss in order to escape. It also includes a post-script detailing the book's creation and localization (including an annotated look at the original Japanese version).
  • press start to translate: This is what happens when you let a computer translate a video game?: Another shorter book detailing Funky Fantasy IV, a Game Mod Mato made that replaces the original game's script with one that was Google Translated from the original Japanese. The end result is, of course, a Translation Train Wreck, and Mato elaborates on the reasoning behind many of the changes.
  • C'mon Nintendo, Give Us Mother 3 (upcoming): A history of the demand for a localization of MOTHER 3 (which, as of present, has not come to pass).
  • Legends of Localization Book 3: Super Mario Bros. (upcoming): An expanded version of the previously-mentioned full-scale comparison. Unlike the previous two installments, however, this book focuses more on the global impact of the franchise (as the game itself is largely unchanged in localization, barring Dub Name Changes).

Finally, there is also a "dev blog" where Poe and Mato post small updates and tidbits about the site, their projects, and odd translations they come across.


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