Imagine no religion

That sounds great, John, but then where are we going to lift our bestiaries from?

The Shin Megami Tensei series of RPGs has been gradually making headway in the West ever since Nocturne marked its local debut in 2004. (What? “Revelations“? Never heard of it.) Nocturne was only the second direct sequel in the series, but the brand’s various spin-offs outnumber the “real” games something like twenty to one. Amazingly, Atlus USA has seen those translated, too; albeit in notoriously scarce print runs, every offshoot from Devil Summoner to Avatar Tuner has been made available to a small audience appreciative of deep demonological gameplay and sterling localization.

Which is why it’s so weird that Megami Tensei Online: Imagine, one of the few exceptions, is being brought over not by Atlus but “Aeria Games & Entertainment,” a small-time MMO publisher that seems to get around Blizzard’s genre dominance by pushing a dozen of the things at a time. And while it’s cool that they’re bringing more Megaten out of Japan, their sense of syntactic grace compared to Atlus is, uh…somewhat lacking.

[[image:nn_080916_imagine_01.jpg:The motion of ”sexual harassment” suit:center:0]]
To a fan of the series, the text is especially catastrophic in its interpretation of standard terms like the Cathedral of Shadows (here spun out to the painfully literal “Heresy Mansion House”). For a more popular example, just picture a Final Fantasy game featuring “Shido” instead of Cid and “Magic Law Rock” instead of Magicite.

Aeria is apparently based in California, making their tenuous grasp on English even curiouser, but at least they posted a public plea for help shortly following the announcement. Even if they end up with zealous otaku working out of dictionaries, I don’t see how it could make things much worse.

10 thoughts on “Imagine no religion

  1. The Goumaden is only in Devil Summoner. The Jakyou no Yakata is the one in the main series games, which does mean Mansion of Heresy or whatever’s literal. Trade in your fake Megaten fan badge now, Kishi.

  2. The Gouma-Den is in multiple games, is the site of Demon fusion, and can translate (very weirdly) to Evil Demon Mansion Fun Time. I’m calling this an honest mistake.

  3. Oh lord, is it bad that I want to apply for that job to see if they’d accept me? “Still an undergraduate? Ah what the hell, why not?”

  4. I am of the opinion that Atlus couldn’t give two fucks about this game. It’s not even developed by their Japanese arm – Cave (!) did all of the dirty work.

  5. Hoooo boy… I was almost kind of almost looking forward to this game. But… how am I supposed to negotiate with demons if I can’t parse the dialog? Maybe they’ve finally found a way to make an MMO with no addictive properties?

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