FE10: Radiant Dawn Localization: “Ike… father of Sothe’s children” [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts.

Today’s post is personal curiosity, and concerns an exchange from Chapter 1-4 (“A Distant Voice”) in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. (Seen above).

Let’s take a look!

For context, Sothe (in both localization and original script) has been speaking highly of Ike, who is technically considered the “enemy” in the sense that he freed Crimea from Daein and led them to the situation they are currently in. When Sothe recommends that Nailah and Rafiel seek Ike’s help in Crimea, Micaiah makes this comment:

Japanese Lit. Translation Official Localization
クリミア解放を果たした英雄アイク将軍 …  その人が率いるグレイル傭兵団 General Ike… [the] hero who helped liberate Crimea… [and] leader of the Greil Mercenaries… Right. Lord Ike, “hero” of the Crimean Liberation, leader of the Greil Mercenaries, and father of Sothe’s children…

Note that this segment happens at the very end of a lengthier conversation, as well as fades to black afterward. Also, the “leader of the Greil Mercenaries” line only exists in the Japanese “normal” script (and not “extended” script. Ironically the “extended” script is shorter here. For more information on what the heck I’m even talking about, please read this wonderful post by fellow blogger Amielleon!)

So we can see that Micaiah makes quite a biting comment in the localization toward Sothe’s respect for Ike. But what’s going on in the Japanese version?

Well, reading the literal translation would make one wonder why she’s just giving what seems to be a description of Ike and not much else. One thing to note to make sense of this is that in the wider conversation in Japanese, Ike isn’t actually named by Sothe until right before this point which is at the very end of the conversation. Before the chapter, the two keep referring to him as “that man” and “that person.” Then the chapter happens, and they end up in this conversation in the post battle dialogue.

So, in a way, the Japanese was building up to the reveal that they were in fact referring to Ike (the first time he would be mentioned in the game too).

In English, Sothe mentions Ike by name where he originally says “that person” in Japanese (or, more literally, “The man I fought under three years ago taught me this.”) This is done before the chapter dialogue so it wouldn’t matter having a steady reveal for the post dialogue.

As for why Micaiah is just saying his name with his title/role, it is likely just her thinking out loud. Sothe suggests the others seek help from Ike, and after hearing about him already, is simply repeating who he is (albeit in a resigned and reluctant way).

So how do they go from that to the end result in English? Well, in this case, her dialogue is likely taken as exasperation. Imagine reading it with a sigh where the ellipses are rather than an admonished gasp or monotone. You’ll then have the type of tone the localization settled on conveying.

But how do you better convey something like that with just naming his title an name? You would not want the audience to miss any venom that may lay behind the dialogue. Well, the easy answer is to use more blatant sarcasm.

So the localizers used a keyword like “Right” at the start, quotations over “hero” of the Crimean Liberation, and then of course the popular punchline, “…and father of Sothe’s children.” Players get a pretty clear idea of her opinions about Ike (and Sothe’s love for him) through this for sure! Of course, one could say that perhaps it made Micaiah more harsh toward him in English than she may have meant to come off even in Japanese. But, this game’s localization is no stranger to more major changes.

The original dialogue does explain why Sothe never replies to such a comment though, as it was meant to be end dialogue to the chapter. The original text shows she’s just mumbling thoughts out loud, rather than anything that would warrant a response (such as that blatant stab at Sothe’s love for him, who is standing right next to her). Of course she may be mumbling this in English too and so wouldn’t warrant a response.

It is also worth noting the localization is a one to one translation with the added line of “father of Sothe’s children” in there! Nothing was replaced to produce that line, which is a plus.

To answer the personal curiosity: Micaiah’s legendary line may not exist in Japanese, but it does help convey how she was likely feeling with the previous two lines.

In short:

The Japanese is a slow reveal of Ike’s name and role in the previous game. Micaiah speaks in a way that is likely repeating what she has heard (many times) from Sothe in a “thinking out loud” kind of way (but also with a hint of reluctant resignation). In English, the localization translated the lines across but then added more clear signs of biting sarcasm (“Right.” and “hero” as well as the “father of Sothe’s children.”) While the line itself is unique to the localization, the tone behind it certainly exists in the original to give enough precedent for it. The only drawback is that perhaps Micaiah comes off as more harsh toward Ike in the localization than intended.

References:

Infographic summary:

Below is an isolated table with direct comparison for reference, and a shareable infographic is at the end of this post.


So what do you think of the above dialogue? How would you have went about localizing it?

I hope to look into the broader conversation here later on, as Micaiah’s opinions toward Ike have always been a divisive part of her character among fans. Based on this, I’m curious to know if she is more (or less) hostile toward Ike or not. It may be interesting! But will take a little longer.

I will continue to look at fun differences between games. Any dialogue you’re interested in? Let me know in comments or via email!

If you like the comparison work I do (or any other translations I do), please feel free to support me by donating! I do this all on my valuable free time, and so every little donation really helps me out. : )

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13 thoughts on “FE10: Radiant Dawn Localization: “Ike… father of Sothe’s children” [JPN vs ENG]

  1. I always love fun little extra bits of personality localizers throw in. Considering that lcoalizations are basically a new draft of a script, it gives the translator the chance to add in said extra touches.

  2. Thanks for the translation! Ah so that joke is an add-in. I’ve played through the game so frequently that I’m used to that joke. XD

    • Same! It’ll be interesting whenever I get to compiling the extended script, as there are so many small changes that pretty much make for a whole new experience.

  3. This is one of the first time I’ve heard of examples from the extended script, which I know of but literally have never seen before. Do you know of any scripts online for it?

    Thank you for all your hard work!

    • Serenesforest.net has a rough translation of some of the extended script on its Game Script page:

      https://serenesforest.net/radiant-dawn/scripts/game-script/

      Though mainly just for the last chapters. I’ve been meaning to eventually run through the entire script to compile, but am short on time… for this particular article, I had to dig into the raw Japanese myself to take a look.

      Fellow blogger Amielleon has made a great post about the extended script here and goes into great detail about some things though! You may enjoy reading their article first:

      https://amielleon.dreamwidth.org/287417.html

      • Thanks for the link! Man, they sure put in a lot of effort into making two different, equally coherent scripts of the game.

        Which gets me thinking, if/when Intelligent systems remakes the Tellius games, do you think they shoudl release both as a single package? That way there’ll be no need to worry about people getting lost when PoR callbacks come up (though said callbacks are the price of entry when you play a sequel without the original).

        It’s not like FE hasn’t released mulitple games at the same time before. They technically released three games at once with Fates, if you got the special edition so you didn’t need to wait a few months to play Revelations.

        Either way, I’m pretty sure the reason NoA chose the ‘normal’ script to base the localization was due to time constraints. If RD does get remade, regardless of how its packaged, I’m pretty sure they’ll localize extended script.

        • You’re welcome! That would be pretty cool to do a double package, and while it’s true with Fates, those were games that happen at the same time rather than one after another. Not to mention the same engine/new game all at once. However, as you pointed out, if these were full on remakes, then it certainly is possible. They did have their respective minor but significant gameplay differences, so would be a matter of how much they want to preserve, too.

          Time constraints is one thing, but I agree with Amielleon on the other –you’d prioritize the simple script that exposes things for new players straightforwardly rather than people who may get lost in the lore. xD I would hope in any remake they localize the extended script though, yes! (It’d be a dream to work on it too!)

          • Yeah, IS has shown that their remakes are more than just ports–the team’ll want to add their own unique twist/style to the game. Even with Echoes, which was based off the Awakening engine (because that game is now the base of the entire franchise but that’s a tangent for another time), they updated the story to be more character focused and added some new stuff to Gaiden’s base formula.

            See, I’d argue that a simplified script is a bit patronizing to the audience, especially with a game with so many difficult, long lasting maps as RD. Seriously, my average time in my most recent playthrough, according to the game, was 45 minutes per map.

            So, remember how, for Fates, Birthright was aimed at newbies and Conquest was aimed at hardcore fans in both story and gameplay? I’d argue the same case for PoR and RD respectively. PoR’s plot can be simplified to be another iteration of the same plot of Sacred Stones, FE6, etc., “there was peace until suddenly evil country invades main character’s homeland. Main character then travels to other countries gaining alliles then takes his country back.” Yeah, I’m leaving out a lot of details, but the major beats are the same for PoR.

            RD’s plot is significantly more complicated, and so is it’s gameplay. I can understand the want to appeal to more people with the simplified script, but let me ask you this: how many people are going to be attracted by the simplified script but turned off by the complex gameplay?

            Honestly, given how much work it was to make these two scripts, I think having both would be ideal. But realistically, I’d prefer all the time and effort went into the extended script.

            • Indeed, I actually play these games more for story than gameplay! Radiant Dawn I’ve played through the most of all the FE games because I like its mix of both.

              Hmm whenever things are boiled down that way in terms of story, I’d say any game (even Radiant Dawn) would just become “another one of those stories.” As you said though a lot of details are skipped out for the sake of example, but it’s all the little things that give that same old story its charm and uniqueness for each game.

              As for how many people will be attracted by a simplified story –well still a fair number of people I’d say! We still bought and played RD with no knowledge of there even being such a script! And there are people who enjoy the game purely as a game and don’t really care much for the story. All sorts of players! Now if a majority of them actually cared in depth for a story that’d be…well another story. xD But I have a feeling there are plenty of people who are fine with nothing more than an excuse to go map to map as well. : ) (That is not my personal feelings of course, I love stories!)

              It’d be easier to transalte the whole extended script (or “full script” as Amielleon called it) and then cut it back from there rather than only translate the minimal script and then have to add things for sure!

              • Alright, so it seems I need to be more specific to get my point across. So, here goes.

                When I made my oversimplification of PoR’s plot, I did so because it follows a similar plot structure to Birthright, Sacred Stones, Shadow Dragon, etc. I like to refer to that plot structure as the ‘classic’ FE story. Yes, each game uses said plot structure in a different way, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re all made from the same mold.

                As for my second point, I don’t think there’s an official term for what I’m talking about, so I guess I’m gonna have to make one up lol. Ludonarrative synergy, I guess is the most accurate way to describe it. Basically, it’s when a game’s story and gameplay share the same kind of complexity and tone.

                For example, notice how a lot of tactical games, like FE or FF Tactics, have deep political stories? That’s because the tactical nature of the gameplay allows, and even calls for, a tactical story. If a player enjoys a tactical game, changes are they’ll enjoy a tactical story. And vise versa.

                A personal theory of mine is the TV Tropes name for Enjoy the Story; Skip the Game and Enjoy the Game; Skip the Story are the result of a lack of ludonarrative synergy, more often than not.

                So with that said, it makes a lot of sense to use a simplified script for the easiest game mode available. Of course, easy/JPnormal aren’t gonna make the maps any smaller or less complex in shape and strategy–the Dawn Brigade will always be left with only four good members, regardless of difficulty. So, I still think that the need for a simplified script is a bit patronizing. Especially since it’s a lot of work for relatively little gain.

                • Sorry about making you write all that out. It must be bothersome to do so! But I see what you mean after that, and that’s an interesting theory (I also like that word you made up xD It’s a good one!)

                  • I don’t mind writing all that out if it gets my point across, haha. If you understood, the effort was all worth it 🙂

                    Though, I’m not particularly satisified with the term I made up, as it’s not exactly accurate. See ludonarrative dissonance is a term used to describe when the gameplay and story are at odds with each other. Like when the story calls for urgency but the gameplay encourages wasting time doing anything but the story. see Breath of the Wild.

                    So, ludonarrative synergy would be the opposite of dissonance. However, what I’m describing is when the gameplay and story share similar genre appeal/complexity.

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