I just can’t shut up

So hey! That Dragon Quest IX thing. How about that, huh?

I think it’s interesting that Nintendo is more or less relegating its role in the game’s U.S. release to simply publishing and marketing it. All the main localization decisions are still being handled by Square Enix, including the text translation. But that’s OK, because as the limited screens Nintendo has released so far reveal, DQIX is being translated with the same goofy irreverence as the past few games. On the whole, I have to say that I really prefer corny alliteration to hokey faux-Shakespearean English.

It’s not shown in any of the screens so far, but with DQIX the localizers are also taking the opportunity to rename some old series standards. The Dharma Temple, for example, is now known as the Alltrades Abbey. I don’t know if the translators were motivated by the need to make the oblique religious references feel more western, or if their obsessive need for alliteration won over consistency with Dragon Quest VII‘s localization, or if they were just worried about getting things muddled with Lost. Powder-blue Volkswagen buses would be tragically anachronistic here.

Whatever the case, the dude who runs Alltrades Abbey is now named… Jack of Alltrades.

I’m gonna be disappointed if they don’t reprogram the Start button to play a rimshot clip.

41 thoughts on “I just can’t shut up

  1. …what’s the problem? THIS is exactly what you get in Dragon Quest, it’s part of it’s magic. Wasn’t it corny when Dr. Agon was the Zenithian King (a Dragon!)? Wasn’t it corny when Cash and Carrie were the millionaire twin siblings?

  2. i always liked the idea of the dharma temple, for what it represented in hinduism and buddhism. Dharma/Dharam is your duty and your calling in this life time, and it fit that there was a hard to find temple where you could pray to have your direction adjusted. very classy.

    jack of alltrades? sigh.

  3. They don’t do classy anymore. It’s not as “punchy.” This sort of stuff fundamentally alters the tone of the script when they take something that’s supposed to be serious and mystical and render it a bad pun. But I’ve said my piece, so I’ll show myself out.

  4. This dampens even my unbridled enthusiasm. As shivam says, Dharma Temple was just classy.

  5. However, three minutes later and I have already warmed up to Jack of Alltrades. I just can’t stay mad at you, DQ.

  6. yeah, not going to lie, these past two days have blown my frothing demande to an extreme.

  7. You know, I can get behind changing it from a Dharma Temple to an Abbey of sorts. DQ is, after all, a vaguely Western European setting. Yes, I say this in spite of the the concept art for vaguely Middle Eastern Magicians, vaguely Buddhist Clerics and Warrior Monks. (Except, ok, I would not be ok with changing it to Alltrades Abbey in Dragon Quest III since it’s actually supposed to be in India)

    I don’t think I’ll ever be sold on “Alltrades” though.

  8. Ehhh, I’d mind less if all or almost all of these were puns in the first place. Phoenix Wright I grin at since I’m under the impression the names were all Japanese puns (and partially because it can take some thinking to find the pun), and the same goes for Pokemon since it has the extra perk of making the names easier to remember, but looking at the lineup of names for, say, DQV a lot of those weren’t really puns or even Japanese, and having a familiar name like Dharma Temple retranslated to a cheap pun is especially jarring.

    With that said it’s mostly character and place names where this bugs me, particularly the significant ones. I don’t mind as much when it comes to messing around with the fluff text and names for the countless items you’d forget otherwise, I’m really liking those item descriptions I’m reading. Also, I’m not sure I can call Dharma Temple “serious” when they can teach you to be a clown or bunny girl.

  9. ON THE OTHER HAND, I wonder how much something like renaming Dharma Temple has to do with making gameplay functions more obvious. They want to make IX break out beyond Japan, and renaming the place you change your jobs to something that stands out and makes its function apparent may be part of that, especially with jobs being more meaningful (presumably) in IX than VI or VII.

  10. Oh, you and your rational musings. Get on with the kneejerk frothing, like the rest of the Internet.

  11. In other news, “Puff Puff” shall now be known as “Ramblin’ Rubdown”.

  12. Nah, “puff-puff” is already alliterative. And assonant! It’s perfect just the way it is.

  13. I’ve only played two DQ games (8 and 4 on the DS). To me, they’re about fun, not reverence. And bad puns are fun.

  14. Every crappy JRPG is filled with religious allusions. Dragon Quest is the only place to go for word play. If you want religious overtones and allusions go play some Shin Megami Tensei, which does that sort of thing better than anything else. I’d rather they stick with the fun and humorous tone in Dragon Quest than pointless symbolism.

  15. Alltrades Abbey — Goofy and fun

    Dharma Temple — Dour and Serious

    Abbey reminds me of the cute goth girl from NCIS. Dharma reminds me of Dharma and Greg.

    Alltrades Abbey wins, you guys.

  16. My only problem with this is (as seen in the lets play DQ3 thread), I’ve already got 1-3 translations of most things dragon quest related rolling around in my head. If they rename Bekill/Twinhits/Oomph again I think I’ll go a little mad…

  17. I was probably going to pick this up sooner or later anyways, but my extreme love for puns looks like its going to push this into the “much sooner” category.

  18. I dig how so much the humor in the translated DQ text is Corny Old Uncle Humor (TM), and how the localizers are keenly aware of just how Corny Old Uncle that stuff is and aren’t afraid to tease themselves about it. The end.

  19. Also note: the pic shows a deadly nightblade. I think it’s weak to fire and flying.

  20. “This sort of stuff fundamentally alters the tone of the script”

    Because you can totally comprehend the “tone” of the Japanese original.

  21. “Because you can totally comprehend the “tone” of the Japanese original.”

    Well, I can comprehend a damn large chunk of the “tone” of the Japanese original and like Shivam said, Dharma Temple has religious weight that will be lost. I’d rather there be a little less pun in my DQ. The Japanese originals have had plenty of humor and bad puns, but the recent American localizations have kicked it up by a exponent or two.

  22. What about the weird, near-inscrutable regional dialects they were so fond of in the DS port of DQIV? Are those still around?

  23. Puns? Yes please. I reserve the right to change my opinion after 50 hrs of play, though.

  24. OK, serious question- Did they see the error of their ways in the horrible nerfing of casino poker for the DS remakes? I’m compelled to savescum my way to the top prizes in every DQ casino but dear gods it takes an eternity when I can’t just high-low my way there with minimal resets.

  25. Given that my first introduction to the DQ universe was via Rocket Slime, I am totally down with the puns. Hooray.

  26. ecco6t9 – Yeah, we in Europe basically get the same translation as the US for any game, with occasional minor tweaks (but never tweaks to say, o->ou spellings or the like)

  27. You know aside from some of the puns being a bit, you know, “Ow” I see no problem with them. It will not effect my enjoyment of the game. I do however hope they keep the dialects to a bare minimum in this one. Those dialects were a bit rough to read in DQIV.

  28. “OK, serious question- Did they see the error of their ways in the horrible nerfing of casino poker for the DS remakes?”

    Well, they entirely removed casinos. I guess that’s a kind of extreme solution to the problem!

  29. You guys actually play casinos and stuff? I actively avoid that kind of thing in games, so I never really noticed any difference.

  30. “Uh, what? DQV’s Fortuna most certainly has a Casino.”

    I was referring to DQIX actually, which I believe he was asking about in the first place.

  31. Oh totally removing casinos is even better than de-nerfing. I would never bother if there weren’t some cool bits of equipment only obtainable with casino points, it’s an OCD thing, not a fun thing. Which is why it used to be cool how they had a casino game where you could just keep going double or nothing guessing whether the next card to be flipped was higher or lower than previous. It minimized how much time I had to waste in the stupid unfun casino. Then DQ4 DS went and took it out.

  32. I don’t mind the puns too much, it’s the dialects that get to me.

    Maybe I’ll track down a GBC and just replay DQ3.

  33. Humor is essential in any game that I plan on spending over 100 hours or so playing. The goofy accents and puns make the world a fun place to be while I stomp endless slimes. Everything they have shown so far makes me want to pull a Cartman and freeze myself till July 11th.

  34. That double-or-nothing card game was the only thing that made it worthwhile. The casino is just padding time without it. Relying on luck alone makes slot machines ungodly boring, but I convince myself that I need that equipment.

    I’m glad they’re removing casinos altogether. You either have to be extremely lucky, incredibly stubborn, or disappointed. A feature that is two thirds negative is probably not a good feature to include.

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