FE SoV: Valentia Accordion – Secrets of Thabes Labyrinth Translated

This post is part of my ongoing translations of the Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows of Valentia Memorial Book: Valentia Accordion project.

Please note these posts may contain spoilers for those who have not completed the game.

Today’s post features Thabes Labyrinth and lore surrounding The Creation. It expands greatly upon what was only touched slightly in the game. It was translated for the project by VincentASM of serenesforest.net!

You can find every scan/translation done on this book so far on the compilation post.

Enjoy!

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FE Echoes SOV Memorial Book: Valentia Accordion Scan/Translation Compilation Post

 

This post is a compilation of all my Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia – Memorial Book: Valentia Accordion related posts in one neat place. Each section you see below has an individual post, too, which may share translation notes and other tidbits not present on this post.

This will be just like the Tellius Recollection Volume One and Two projects.

Thanks to your donations, I managed to unbind the book. You will notice an increase in scan quality as a result!

This post will be updated every time some new scan or information of interest comes to light.

Assisting me on this project will be VincentASM of serenesforest.net as well as some guest translators! Their translations will be noted/credited! (See credits at the end!) Some other wonderful people are helping out with other things such as scan quality adjustment. Please be sure to thank them in the credits!

As you can imagine, the process of doing all this (scanning, editing, translating, etc) took a lot of free time, so…

Please consider donating! It helps fund future projects!

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Comic Anthology 4Koma Translations (All)

CURRENT STATUS: COMPLETE Page 16 (2/28)

Download them in bulk here!

Password: kantopia

Please try to link back to this page if you share it! While there is an imgur gallery, it’d be helpful if you linked back to this blog post too in some fashion. : )


<Original Post> Intro / Details:

I finally got a copy of the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Anthology. I didn’t originally intend on translating anything from it, but, I discovered there are actually 16 4koma strips! So I decided I’ll translate those as I couldn’t find anyone else who did. It’s a mini project compared to last time, but I just love translating 4koma. (I would have gotten this book sooner had I known it contained some…)

Like last time with Fire Emblem Awakening: 4Koma KingsFire Emblem Fates 4Koma Kings, and the Fire Emblem Fates: 4Koma & Character Book, I will be scanning, cleaning, translating, and uploading them all myself here. Each page has its own post, but this is the compilation post for all pages in one neat place.

I plan to release at least one page each day. So please check back often. The status bar above will tell you how far along I am.

Please support the original authors by buying a physical copy yourself! It makes for a fine addition to any Fire Emblem or manga collection, and does not cost much either. (International shipping is available).

I will not offer the raw scans on this site, but feel free to ask for them in email if interested!

As you can imagine, the process of having done all this myself (scanning, editing, translating, etc) took a lot of valuable free time, so if you’re feeling generous, then…

Please consider donating! It helps fund future projects!

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Hidari’s Commentary on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Nintendo Dream July 2017)


In addition to the large interview on Fire Emblem Echoes; Shadows of Valentia featured in Nintendo Dream’s July 2017 (released May 2017) issue, there was a section with Hidari (character designer) and his comments on some of the various aspects of character design of the game.

You can also learn more about the illustrator himself. There is also some concept art shown here and there.

This took me some time to scan, edit, and translate (not to mention buying the magazine), so if you’re feeling generous, please feel free to leave a donation!

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Enjoy!


The Gods Behind Character Creation

In this corner of the magazine, we ask questions to the artists who breathe life into the characters of the game! Today, Mr. Hidari, a character designer with a varied portfolio spreading across light novels, anime, and games appears! He is the designer behind Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (from here on, just Echoes).

Profile: Mr. Hidari

Freelance Illustrator. Illustrator behind novels like Usotsuki Mii-kun to Kowareta Maa-chan*, and anime like Fractale, Natsuiro Kiseki**, and Room Mate. He handled a wide range of character designs for three games in the Atelier Ayesha (Dusk) series.

*Lit: Lying Mii-kun and Broken Maa-chan
**Lit: A Summer-Colored Miracle

When did you start drawing illustrations?

I always liked drawing pictures since I was a kid. While my friends would draw people like Goku and Vegeta (*1), I would usually be drawing weapons, dungeons, logos, and other inorganic things.

I fell in love with manga in middle school. Through imitating other artists, I came to be able to draw people much more naturally, too.

I think the biggest turning point in terms of drawing people for me came with the advent of CG. From age 20 I was able to start coloring my pictures, and so began to pay more attention to all the intricacies of coloring.

Alm’s initial design. As it was a remake, I had to consider how much the character should resemble the original, and often sought consultation on the matter. His blue armor retained its regal air at first, but from these drafts one can see I was trying to decide whether to go on a “simple” design (based on the fact he was raised in a village), or one that was more “out of place (to the context). [-Hidari]

I draw illustrations with a Cintiq 24HD Wacom Tablet, and use the program Clipstudio. I didn’t really have to do anything too out of the ordinary for this game when it came to my drawing process, though I did have to remain aware of special metallic effects such as dents in the armor and all that. [-Hidari]

How did you come up with the various character poses?

The poses had to be something that could express the characters in a suitable way, but since there were quite a few characters, I had to come up with quite a variety of poses to avoid them becoming dull or repetitive.

In Awakening and Fates, the designer Mr. Yusuke Kozaki’s (*2) characters were shown from all sorts of angles, such as back view or sitting down. Seeing them drawn that way, I realized that he set a precedent that I too could get away with doing!

On other media I’ve worked on, I’m used to hearing, “Please make it front view [only]” or “We can’t see their waist if they’re sitting [so don’t do it.]”

What was your aim with Echoes?

Well, as a whole it was designed as a remake, so I sought to retain the air of a “good old fantasy” while also aiming to appeal and be acceptable to today’s players. I had to actively strive to maintain a balance between the two.

Regarding the clothes, there were already different types of established outfits for each class. So I arranged for each of the characters to wear clothes based on these designs. When it came to these designs, I carefully designed it as not to be too overly complex. Other games have such gorgeous or showy characters, and so their designs often call for being rather dense. Things like this have been drilled into my very nature, but since this was a remake, I tried not to add an excessive amount of accessories… despite that they still came out a little more complex than before.

When thinking of armor designs, I often reference familiar things as a motif. It’s hard to put in words exactly, but things like a [Japanese] sliding screen, a gutter, a steel rack or pillar, etc.

This illustration shows the main male and female character standing back-to-back, with the air of a “historic war tale.” It has been arranged in a way that the castle, troops, and dark clouds express how difficult of a journey lies ahead. After some discussion, it was chosen as the main illustration for the game. Though it’s not the most stylish composition, it has a lot of components crammed into one image like the original work from 25 years ago. [-Hidari]

What do you think is the most important part of making a character?

It’s a bit of a vague answer, but I would say “charm.” I personally don’t think I’m that good with enchantingly flashy designs, so I have to rely on gestures and facial expressions to bring out a character’s “charm” instead.

TN: The word he used was actually “艶” (tsuya), which means many things. Glossy, charm, youthful, feeling, etc. You get the idea.

Seven short questions directly to the Character God!

1 What was the first human [shaped] thing you drew?

The Decepticon logo from Transformers. (*3)

2 What other illustrators or manga artists do you lie?

Masters Jun Suemi (*4) and Hiroaki Samura (*5). Master Suemi influenced my coloring style, and Master Samura my drawing style.

3 What characters do you like?

In Echoes, I’d say the simple characters Gray and Robin. They are childhood friends now fighting a war together as comrades in arms with different degrees of confidence. The way Kliff contrasts with the two in his own growth is also great, I thought.

4 What’s your favorite game of all time?

There’s no way I can name just one!

5 What games have you been playing lately?

As I answer this question, Echoes has just been released, so I’m in the midst of playing that at the moment.

6 What if you were not in this line of work?

I’m not exactly sure, but I do have an interest in music. So if I was unable to live up to my dream [of being an illustrator], I’d probably be doing something in music.

7 Tell us something that has impressed you lately.

Glasses-free 3D on the 3DS screen! (I’m a little late, since I bought a 3DS just for Echoes).

*1: Characters that appear Akira Toriyama’s manga Dragonball. Goku is the main character.
*2: A manga artist, illustrator, and character designer with an extensive portfolio. He worked as character designer on games such as No More Heroes, and anime such as BBK/BRNK.
*3: Transforming robot toys from TOMY, which became a comic and animated show. Decepticon is the name of the group of antagonists.
*4: An illustrator. Did illustrations for the Guin Saga novel series, as well as the Wizardry series.
*5: A manga artist. Best known for Blade of the Immortal.


That ends Hidari’s segment! I hope you enjoyed and learned something new about the artist.

Is Hidari (the illustrator) a man or a woman? (Answer: He’s a man)

Last week, when I translated the long-awaited Dengeki Interview on Fire Emblem Echoes, I had referred to the character illustrator Hidari as a woman. I was going off of what I had believed and (thought) I had known from before so did not think much of it. When writing the translation, I still tried to look into their gender but could not really find any definitive proof either way (my go-to source, their main website, seems to have been down, and still is as of this writing), so erred on that side.

However, places like wikipedia already referred to him as a “he” and such, but heard some fans were still iffy about trusting that. But I am thankful someone came forward (politely) and pointed out a particular tweet (screen shot in case it goes down) from 2011 where he states he is a man.

Japanese is a language that does not often use gender references in its pronouns at all, which is one of many reasons for this complication in the first place. They do exist, but not often in formal settings, such as an interview.

That tweet the kind reader sent me was still silly in a way, as he uses the female pronoun (あたし) for “I” to say “Though I am a man” which was already a little strange (the rest of the tweet is about drawing female characters and getting the pose down requires some…research… which he makes share not to show anyone else).

But due to that pronoun and dated info, I wanted something more concrete before making this post. So when searching around on the Japanese side of the internet, I did find a picture from an interview with Famitsu (seen below):

The tagline on Famitsu reads: “Hidari (seen on the left)”

It is from the back mostly, but did state directly that is the same illustrator we have in mind, where as other pictures around did not give a definitive answer to that, so I felt this was the best one.

It still was not enough though, so I settled on a different method: I decided to message Hidari on twitter directly!

Here is what I asked (in Japanese, but translated for you):

Hello! My name is Kan. I am a translator.

I have one question for you today. You have a lot of fans in the USA, but some of them still say: “I’m not sure if Hidari is a boy or a girl!” As such, though it may be a bit of a rude question, which are you?

I apologize again for asking this type of question, and thank you so much in advance.

This sounds even more direct and rude in English, but rest assured in Japanese it was asked very politely. This was done on April 28th, and the longer time went on, the more I started to doubt I would ever get a reply. Why would they reply with the 25K followers anyway? For this random (and rather direct) question out of nowhere?

But this morning, to my surprise, in came a reply (screen shot for proof):

初めまして。 左です。 お返事が遅くなってごめんなさい。 私のファンがたくさん居ると聞いて嬉しいです! そして私は男です! 36歳です! 失礼ではないですよ。 ご丁寧にありがとうございます。

They even provided their own translation with it:

How do you do? It’s the left. I’m sorry that an answer is late. My fan hears that there are many and is happy! And I’m a man! 36 years old! It isn’t impolite. Thank you very much politely.

Or, the more accurate translation (by me):

Hello, I am Hidari. I apologize for the late reply.

It really makes me happy knowing I have a lot of fans [out there]!

To answer your question: I am a man! And 36 years old! It was not a rude question at all (but thank you for taking that into consideration).

And so there we have it, straight from the Hidari’s mouth (or, keyboard I suppose). I figure that is probably the best proof to have.

So in summary:

After being unable to find anything really definitive, I just asked them directly (about their gender), to which they straight up replied: A 36 year old man.

Hope that helps people avoid mistakes in the future!


If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know below! I hope this can be sourced in the future if any debate arises on this issue.

Here is a summary image:

 

Fire Emblem Echoes: Dengeki Developer Interview (April 2017)

I spent the last two days translating an interview about the newly released Fire Emblem Echoes. It was featured in the June 2017 issue of Dengeki Nintendo (released April 21st, 2017).

A big thanks to VincentASM on serenesforest.net for sending me the scans. Please link back if you use any part of the interview as I put a lot of time into it. The original scans of the interview are available only by request, as well as the Japanese transcript I (re)typed up.

Some important questions are addressed, such as where the title came from, why Gaiden, and other fun tidbits of other Fire Emblem games. Enjoy!


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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Famitsu Review Translated

I translated the entire Famitsu review for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valenta (Echoes: Another Hero King in Japan). It received an overall 37/40 rating from four reviewers. The break down was 9/9/10/9. I post a translated image, but the transcript can be found after for reference. It is from the April 13 2017 issue of Famitsu.

A big thank you to VincentASM of serenesforest for providing the review scan! Look forward to serenesforest’s own view on the review and other info gained before the game releases next week.

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