Absolute Zero

January 16, 2009

Say Hello To Lucas

Filed under: Games,Tales of Innocence,Translation — throughhim413 @ 2:47 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve decided to go with Lucas for the main character’s name in Tales of Innocence. I’m sure many will object, but I feel that this is the right decision from a localization standpoint.

As I’ve been working on Tales of Destiny over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing some thinking about how I translate now compared to how I want to translate. I realized that the only reason that I was keeping Luca as Luca was because I wanted to try and make people happy. I knew that some were already upset about choosing Luca over Ruca, so I didn’t want to make it worse by making another change. That wasn’t the right way of thinking. I realized that translating properly is far more important to me than pleasing people. Luca was a half-assed translation because I wasn’t bold enough to make what I knew was the right decision in the face of pressure.


The name Lucas has origins in many languages, thus why both Mother 3’s Lucas (リュカ) and Tales of Innocence’s Lucas (ルカ) can share a name with differing pronunciations but a single English localization. The strong romance language influences on Tales of Innocence’s names further illustrate this point. The French language, for example, has a habit of dropping final letter when spoken. The name is pronounced Luca, but written Lucas. What I am changing is not the pronounciation of the name, only the spelling.

I do not ask for you to understand my decision, I require you to accept it. I am rarely into totalitarian statements like that, but I no long have the patience to tolerate comments that I am making arbitrary translation decisions without a basis. I have done my research and spent plenty of time considering this change. I originally intended to wait for a localization of Radiant Mythology 2 before making this decision, but instead, I am making the choice that I think is right. This is my decision as a translator. If you disagree with my translations, find another project, another translator. I am not here to cater to whims, I am here to translate accurately (to the best of my ability). Both Kingcom and I want to provide a quality product that will read and play like real localized game. I know that there are many people who support us in that goal. If you do not support that objective and choose not to play our patch, I will consider that your loss, not mine.

Feel free to comment, but know that I am hesitant to leave the comments open on this post. You do not have to agree with me. You also do not have to use this patch. As I stated above, if you don’t like what I’m doing, you have the right to leave. No one will force you to play this translation. So that’s it. Sorry for this post being a bit of a downer. For the Ruca crowd, nothing has changed – the name is still not Ruca. However, I do apologize to those who had become used to Luca, it was my mistake. As always, the translation marches onward.



  1. I support the change. 🙂

    Comment by Wilhelm — January 16, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  2. I’ve got no problems 🙂 I just want to play it. Keep it up!

    Comment by nearserendy — January 16, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

  3. I support the change as well. Hell, you could’ve changed it to “Douglas” and that would still be OK with me. Can’t wait to play this game x)

    Comment by Teago — January 16, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  4. Hello Lucas.

    Comment by Phynx — January 16, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  5. Lucas is well welcomed, as any of your updates throughhim.
    I have been pressing F5 all these days with the hopes to see some new info, even if I know that the trnaslation is going smoothly, I am incredibly excited for this translation xD

    Comment by Natat — January 16, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  6. nice to meet you , Lucas 😀

    Comment by HeLL — January 16, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

  7. Honestly, I’d prefer the old spelling. Not a terribly big deal, though.

    What bothers me most is that there is already a Luke in the series, a problem that is remedied by neither Luca/Lucas.

    Comment by CJC — January 16, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  8. i doubt anybody getting angry over it spent as much time researching why “lucas” is wrong then you did researching why “lucas” is right.
    keep up the good work.

    Comment by shane — January 16, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

  9. Relax, it’s not for a name changed that we won’t play this great translation. Thanks for all and keep it up, you’re doing nice!

    Comment by Alizor — January 16, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  10. GREAT…Keep up the good work man. GODSPEED.

    Comment by winrehs — January 16, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

  11. Lucas!?!?! are you kidding me. Don’t you know that backwards that word spells ‘Sacul’? Can you really live with your decision knowing that?

    Comment by Papa Touched — January 16, 2009 @ 4:09 pm



    STUPID! 😛

    just kidding its nice of you to translate the game that I really wanna play no matter what the names >.>

    people should care as long as the story stays! at… least.. thats what I think.. and all I got to say… though its pointless O.o

    Comment by Rina — January 16, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  13. i don not understand why anybody cares about this? for me theres no difference either the is ruca luca or lucas, as long as its the same character the names are not important.

    Comment by Mivey — January 16, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  14. your so great!! i envy you!! I’ve been waiting for this to happen since i saw that this game wouldn’t come to the U.S. i hope you can fifnish this to the best of your abilities. keep up the excellent work!!

    Comment by sohrab — January 16, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

  15. fifnish was an error. i meant to say finish

    Comment by sohrab — January 16, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  16. P.S. i don’t care if you call him lucas as long as i play this game translated

    Comment by sohrab — January 16, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  17. I’m indifferent about this. Luca sounded like a girl but still was a unique name while if you just say Lucas people might think Mother 3 or various other lucas in games. But I don’t care much.

    Comment by Skitch — January 16, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  18. As you said, the ‘s’ is silent, so they’re basically pronouncing it the same way. Heck, it takes some getting used to (as many changes anywhere would), and I’m open-minded enough to be okay with that. I forget whether or not Tales of Innocence has renaming– *runs off to check* –Okay, it doesn’t seem to have it, but that’s okay (if it is there, I probably just can’t find it because my Japanese is so rusty it causes tetanus). In regards to Radiant Mythology 2, I wouldn’t be counting on it getting localised; Apparently Radiant Mythology 1 bombed really badly in sales, which doesn’t bode well for a potential localisation of RM2. :/ It’s a shame, because I’ve been really looking forward to RM2, especially since RM1 even got released in my country (Australia) against all odds.

    Comment by Yetika — January 16, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  19. Huh. I have to say what took me most by surprise here is that Lucas is Mother 3 is Ryuka in straight kana.
    Really, Ruca never really rolled off the tongue. I was thinking it should be Luca. Initially I’d ask “Why the s, though?,” but it makes sense with the french style. Gotta be sure to read the whole post.

    I’m really curious how they’ll localize it in RM2.

    Comment by MarkShark — January 16, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

  20. Doesn’t really matter, ruka and luca is pronounce the same way in japanese, but in english when you put the s at the end, it’s pronounce lucase. So to me it doesn’t really matter, I love your translation so far, so anyone that throws a fit, because of the name is an idiot, can’t wait for the translation.

    Comment by Sora — January 16, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  21. I didn’t like the change but hell if I’m gonna get angry or ignore this project just because of a small detail like this. I still support this translation and am grateful to it as much as I’ve always been. And I’m glad to see every comment so far has been positive.

    Comment by Square711 — January 16, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  22. I’m really happy about this translation of tales of innocence.
    I don’t really care about how the names are translated, the only thing that the names lucas will do to me, is making me think about the girl Lucca in chrono trigger.

    Comment by Destro — January 16, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

  23. I don`t quite get it… They pronunciate it like “ruca” or “rucasu”? I think that`s what actually define the way that it will be written… Well, i don`t know much of japanese, anyway XD

    I don`t have a problem with this particular change (my name is Lucas too XD), but even if I had, it wouldn`t be wise to complain, since you are doing us a favor of translating a great game. Keep up the good work! o/

    Comment by Funchal99 — January 16, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

  24. YAY update !
    Will support any changes that that you think are necessary.
    You seem to have the player in mind.

    Jap people have a different way of pronouncing names anyway, like Edward as I realised from watching full metal alchemist

    Comment by Fiction — January 16, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

  25. Seriously, what right do we have to what you decide to so with your project. We are not paying you, so whatever that you decide to do is fine by me. Besides most times when games get translated, i usually like when the devs try to make the names more appropriate without destroying their original meaning(if any). I do not suppose that you plan to do anything about “Inanna”? I really hate that name.

    Comment by lorddarkflare — January 16, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

  26. Wow, you’re being pretty strict. I love it 🙂 I think as long as you follow your philosophy of delivering the best quality in your work, any teeny tiny little details like this don’t matter AT ALL. Screw people who frown at you for being what you are and what you think is best. You’re doing a great job and you have my support all the way 🙂

    Comment by verboten999 — January 16, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  27. It’s great to have someone translate this game. Now the big question is ” WHEN” will they release it? Ooohh, I’m so excited about this. ^^

    Comment by winrehs — January 16, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  28. Heh, whatever choices you make are fine, just the sooner I get to play this game, the better :P. Eagerly awaiting this translation (especially since ToS2 disappointed me so much this xmas).

    Comment by Anonymous — January 16, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  29. It would’ve been far to Japanophiliac to keep it Ruka or Luka.
    This is how translations SHOULD be done, not that garbage like Naruto/Bleach. 😛

    Comment by Raqib12 — January 16, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  30. Actually, I can’t remember, but can you rename characters like you could in other Tales games? If that’s the case, then there’s even less point to people complaining about name changes.
    If not, go nuts. Everyone who thinks that names are still an issue should be grateful about the fact there’s even a translation being worked on.

    …As for my opinion, I don’t mind. Lucas is still Ruca in my mind and the Official Tales Channel, in the way that Stahn is Stan and Leon is Lion.

    Comment by Lyrrad — January 16, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  31. at first i was like “what”

    but then i realized lucas was actually a guy (luca sounds like a girl’s name so i assumed lucas was a girl..)

    yeah, totally, lucas sounds so much better as a male character name than luca or ruca

    rock on guys. keep up the good work!!

    Comment by funsohng — January 16, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  32. Just to clarify, Tales of Innocence doesn’t have a renaming option in it. If it did, I wouldn’t bother worrying about the names this much.

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 16, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  33. Lucas is fine, there are many games in which they change the names when the game is localized, and I think that those people that were complaining about the game are going to be the first to download the patch and they will forget those childish attitude towards the characters´ names.

    Keep going guys do you as you wish, it´s your translation and nobody can say anything against your decisions.
    Eagerly waiting for the patch.

    Comment by skatalite83 — January 17, 2009 @ 12:40 am

  34. I supported the change. I don’t mind if he’s Ruca, Luca or Lucas, as long the translation went along smoothly without trouble. Those who complain about it are just nitpick-y.

    Keep up the good work, guys!

    Comment by Pyra — January 17, 2009 @ 2:35 am

  35. I think that both Ruca and Lucas are better then Luca. And whichever one of those is best is just a matter of what it is you want to do. I totally see what you mean with a localiztion-integrity standpoint and therefore support the change.

    (and even if you kept Luca, that wouldn’t have bothered me too much ;))

    Comment by Michael — January 17, 2009 @ 3:28 am

  36. And oh yeah:


    Comment by Michael — January 17, 2009 @ 3:30 am

  37. Out of “the three”, I prefer Lucas! So it’s a welcomed change.

    Comment by Miraglyth — January 17, 2009 @ 5:21 am

  38. what?!?! luca was already bad enough, deviating from the proper nihongo when it should have been Ruka, but lucas?? what the HECK is THAT??? it’s not rukasu so it can’t beeee.

    err… i mean… veiguely surprising change, but what gets me more is that your fonts on the bottom screen (for the names and such) are still murked up. that on top of the grievous rukasu issue?? that’s it, i’m slashing your pay!!

    oh wait.

    Comment by Kaji — January 17, 2009 @ 8:09 am

  39. I preferred Luca simply because it was an actual Italian name, and it was kind of refreshing to see a normal Italian name in a videogame, as opposed to stuff like the overused Dante – and don’t even get me started about Spada.

    But if this is yur translation choice, I’ll still play it with much pleasure. 🙂

    It’s not like official Namco translators do a much better job – I still can’t get over the fact that they “translated” ARCHE’S NAME in the Italian GBA ToP. Ugh.

    Comment by MaximumTheMokona — January 17, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  40. The Italian origins of Luca is the one thing that still has me second-guessing myself on this decision. (Gemini shared his displeasure with the change as well.) Lucas is not 100% set in stone, none of the names are. Until this translation is released, I will continue to debate my own decisions. That’s part of what it means to work on a project of this length. I reserve the right to change anything should the need arise.

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 17, 2009 @ 10:46 am

  41. Both options are OK with me. Though your research is correct as well.
    I mean, if that really bothers some people they can just pretend the name is written as Luca/Ruca as opposed to Lucas and be done with it, I guess.

    Comment by Gray Fox — January 17, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  42. You don’t have to explain yourself! You’re the one making the desicions, we’re just lucky enough you let us play your translation!

    Comment by Crowmeister — January 17, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  43. Yeah Lucas.
    Everyone join me in Smash+Up+A spamming in a joyous fireworks display.

    Comment by Quik — January 17, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  44. You’ll get killed during the cooldown if you miss. Down A or Over A are really much safer. *Nods*

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 17, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  45. Hello Moto… Er… Bad, bad joke. No smiles for ya.

    Hello, Lucas. ^^

    Hey throughhim413… There is THIS much people who dislike your translation that make a point for you to stand up against it? Because whenever I look, is just “godspeed” or “good luck, awesome job”…

    Well, anyway, just let it go and keep you great job… Always remember: “all you can do is the best you can do”. 🙂

    Just a little off question: what are the chances that you get yourself involved in a translation of a “PSP Tales of” game? 😛

    Comment by Rafa Mestre — January 17, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  46. Well, the kind of people who argue for the romanized names aren’t really the type to post blog comments. I know it looks silly when all the comments here are so supportive, but there are many who feel strongly that I’m making huge mistakes with the names.

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 17, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  47. The only problem I have with “Lucas” is that the name is officially romanized as “Ruca”. But, reading your rationalization, it makes sense despite my dislike of it.

    Comment by Yuki Shiido — January 17, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  48. Lucas is an European name, descendent of Latin, in old times it was a name given only to important people, or people that had a certain mission to accomplish in life…
    Or something like that…
    Haven’t been in Latin classes for a while…

    Anyway, you shouldn’t care about what people think, it’s your work, so you do it the way you feel right about it… xP

    Comment by Skelletonike — January 17, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  49. Definitely do what you want; it is your project first and foremost with no compensation. I don’t know why people even care, you can change the name to whatever you want at any time in the game anyway..

    Comment by armaniboi — January 17, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  50. I completely agree that you’re translator and you’re the one that should decide how to adapt the names.
    That said, if you don’t mind I just want to give a bit of insight since italian is my first language. I do think that “Ruca” is just a crappy transliteration, and even if they write it like this in official material, well it’s not the first time that japanese mess up with R and L, like everyone knows XD.
    Luca though is a real italian name. Milda is not an italian surname that I know of but I guess it can sound italian enough. Several other names like Spada, Soldato, Coda are italian words too… I guess the ones that don’t sound italian sound spanish or so, hehe.
    And about the S being mute in french style, it does make sense but the equivalent of Lucas/Luca in french is Luc. So basically, I wouldn’t completely discard the theory of it being meant as the italian name “Luca”, I guess.
    Not like Lucas is bad in any way though! Just thought I’d write my thoughts about the matter and sorry about it if it annoys you.

    Comment by Elly — January 17, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  51. Thanks for the comment, Elly. Believe me, I’ve spent the last day second and third guessing myself because of the Italian influence. I’m going to talk things over with Gemini (he’s also Italian) tomorrow and get more insight into some of the other names. I translated the NPC file for Luca’s hometown today (Spada is from the same city). If the Italian influence on names in this city is as strong as I think it is, changing to Lucas could be a huge mistake… So, yeah… We might be saying goodbye to Lucas as soon as we said hello. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

    I’m closing comments on this post for now since things have suddenly gone up in the air again. Feel free to comment on other posts!

    Comment by throughhim413 — January 17, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

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