Absolute Zero

December 22, 2008

Tales of Hearts Screenshot

Filed under: Games,Tales of Hearts,Translation — throughhim413 @ 6:58 pm
Tags: , ,


I’m sure many of you have seen this screenshot floating around by now. I know we did a really great job of hiding it, but yes, Kingcom and I made it.

First, let me apologize. Things kind of ended up going the opposite way of what I wanted. I had hoped that a screenshot like this might help drum up some support for an official English release of Tales of Hearts. Instead, it became some kind of weird viral marketing that not only gave the wrong impression, but probably disappointed a lot of people since it wasn’t official.

Second, let me state this clearly, WE ARE NOT WORKING ON A PROJECT TO TRANSLATE TALES OF HEARTS! We’re currently working on Tales of Innocence (among other projects) and it would be too difficult to manage all of these projects at once with just the two of us. Also, Tales of Hearts has literally just come out. We are strongly opposed to Day 0 translation projects. Those sorts of projects are irresponsible and can do serious harm to developers. That’s the last thing we want to do for a series that we love. Buy Tales of Hearts in Japanese. Beg Namdai to bring it over here. Don’t just pirate the game and pray for a fan translation, that’s not why we’re here. If you love the game, get the word out about it. That’s the best way to get the game in English.

Third, just because we are not working on a project now does not mean that we never will. The screenshot was real, the translation was real, and the work was real, but that’s as far as it goes for now. We are still hopeful for an official release and we do not want to do anything to hurt the chances of Hearts being released in English. When the companies fail to provide legitimate options for their fans, that’s when fan translators step up. However, it’s far too early to make that call.

Again, I apologize for any trouble this caused. We never intended to deceive anyone or pass our work off as an official translation. We wanted to get people to pay attention to Tales of Hearts and to ask for it in English. What we didn’t want was for people to ask Kingcom and I. So this kind of backfired…

Finally, I want to say one thing as a translator – if I translated this game, the default names would appear just as they do in this screenshot. Kohaku and Hisui are not just randomly selected names. They are meant to fall in with the many mineral references in the game and as such, they should be translated to maintain that reference. Kohaku is Amber. Hisui could be Jade, but in order to keep him unique within the series, I chose to go with Jadeite. I know there are many of you who disagree with these choices, but I will not change my position on this. However, Tales of Hearts does feature a naming option, so if you hate seeing Amber and Jadeite, you are free to change their names as you like. (Also, Kohak is the worst romanization I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine a responsible translator using a name that fails to capture the intended reference in both Japanese and English.)

That’s all I’ve got for now, but there will hopefully be an Innocence update coming soon. ^_^



  1. Well, I heard the rumor that Hearts will be the one Namco will translate (maybe because there were 2 series) but I’ll wait for it.

    Many of Tales series I played mostly in Japanese since they are not translated, so I had a bit difficulty to understand all of the story plot (if it’s just an everyday language I could though)

    Comment by Divinelight — December 22, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  2. I won’t deny that I am extremely disappointed by this, but I understand your point and admit it was for an admirable purpose. Don’t know what else I coud say, except what I’ve been saying over and over: I wish Bamco just ****ing realized how much of a loyal fanbase the Tales series has in the west, and brought Team Destiny games over instead of making us have to resort to means such as this. Here’s hoping they open their eyes and at least give us Hearts, as it’s too late for the other japan-only installments they skipped.

    Comment by Square711 — December 22, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

  3. When I posted this on Symphonic Heaven, I was trying to word it in a way where it wasn’t passed off as a official Namco-Bandai screenshot. Thankfully most didn’t take it as that, but I apologize for those who thought it was an real official screenshot.

    Comment by Wilhelm — December 22, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  4. […] UPDATE 2 – You can read a bit from the people that translated the screen right here […]

    Pingback by GoNintendo » Blog Archive » RUMOR - Tales of Hearts English screen - UPDATE- What are you waiting for? — December 22, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  5. Even if you aren’t translating it now, I’ll still protect you in the shower.

    You know, if we’re in prison.

    Comment by Phynx — December 23, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  6. Evil, cruel and evil. I love it! Atleast I knew it was too early for it to be real. Good job though. Hope that you are doing well with Innocence. Take your time with it though,

    Comment by Fabre — December 23, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

  7. Can you guys rip the battle sprites from ToH? I’d do it, but have no idea how to.

    Comment by Azu — December 23, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

  8. Well, I’m glad to hear you’re not overloading yourselves with another project. I agree wholeheartedly with you on Day 0 projects.

    You say it’s just the two of you. So that makes a hacker and a translator. Would I be correct in assuming there is no English editor? I’m not volunteering for the job because I simply don’t have the time and energy to put into it. (And least of all: spoilers suck.) But I have noticed at least two grammatical mistakes you’ve consistently made. There’s a third, but it’s from your ToP translation and you may have corrected that mistake since then. If you’re not terribly offended, I would like to point them out to you for future reference. However, I want your permission first. Other than those, your grammar is impeccable and I have no doubt that the Tales of Innocence translation will read spectacularly.

    Please feel free to contact me via the email address I’ve provided if you so wish. I’ve never used WordPress myself, but I assume you can see the email I entered even though it’s not published publicly.

    Comment by Kelocena — December 24, 2008 @ 2:14 am

  9. Anyway… Will you ever tell us what the other project is about?

    Comment by F3NRiR? — December 24, 2008 @ 7:02 am

  10. When I first saw this screenshot it kinda looked like the ToI screenshots so I wasn’t surprised to find out that it was a fake.

    Comment by Hatkhora — December 24, 2008 @ 8:01 am

  11. Kohaku and Hisui?

    Lookin’ kinda Tsukihime there Bandai-Namco.

    Comment by Anonymous — December 24, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

  12. aw shit i thought this was real..

    Comment by Calvint3hownage — December 27, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  13. Actually, that IS real. Just that they won’t work on it for now…
    I wish they could at least give us that one patch though, that would be helpful x.x…

    Comment by RyuReiatsu — December 30, 2008 @ 2:57 am

  14. There’s nothing worth providing a patch for at this point. The menu isn’t even fully translated. The work we did on it really wouldn’t help anyone.

    Comment by throughhim413 — December 30, 2008 @ 7:32 am

  15. I hope namco threws this onto american language..

    Comment by Fei Wong — January 1, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  16. Despite everything, it still looks professional enough to be legit. Maybe you should go work at Namdai or another company that imports Japanese games; you both seem good enough for it 😀

    Comment by Chex — January 5, 2009 @ 1:40 am

  17. hay th, just wondering about your opinion on a naming issue. it looks to me like shing was intended to be Xing, or “star” in chinese. (the “x” is pronounced basically like “sh”.) so the question is, if there were an official english release (complete with dubbing), what should his name be? Shing, Xing, Sing, Cing, Syng, something totally different that alludes to the star reference? … Aster (ugh)?

    Comment by Kaji — January 21, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

  18. er, i should say, i mentioned an official english release/dubbed game because dubbing into english gives you the freedom to change names as you please. if we were talking about a fan translation, i would recommend keeping all the names at least veiguely close to the voice acting, because hearing “Kohaku” and seeing “Amber” would feel kind of odd. same for, say, “Shing” and “Aster” 😛

    Comment by Kaji — January 21, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  19. Interesting. I didn’t bother looking into Shing’s name for the screenshot, but it certainly sounds like that was the intent. In an official release, I could really see it going either way. On one hand, the name is Chinese, so its meaning could be lost on a Japanese audience just as it could on an English-speaking one. However, on the other hand, it seems a bit irresponsible to leave it completely untranslated. When a name has a meaning, I assume there’s a reason behind it, so preserving that in translation would be best.

    As for what I would do in a fan translation, I’m not sure. I could really go either way. Hearts has a renaming option, so it really doesn’t matter, I guess. I would prefer to rename them, but I do understand the argument for mismatched audio/video. Of course, such mismatches occur all the time in anime and people seldom complain. A translation is by its very nature a derivative product. I believe it more important to preserve meaning than to worry about the audio. Ideally you can preserve both, but that isn’t always the case.

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 21, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

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