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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, '08, 4:06 am 
Hey there. Dunno if you heard, but somebody out there managed to snag over 1000 prototype builds of games that went through Sega of America's quality assurance and testing department in around 1994-1995. Among these were 5 early translations of Phantasy Star IV, each with various revisions and edits to the script. They are dated as follows:

- May 30, 1994
- Jun 8, 1994
- Aug 15, 1994
- Oct 27, 1994
- Nov 7, 1994

The entire game seems to have been 100% translated in the earliest of these 5 betas. Though the script is very rough, laden with errors, and seems to make very literal translations (instead of more normal-sounding English), it IS complete from start to finish. Considering that the US version didn't hit store shelves until February of 1995, I have to wonder what on Earth took them so long to get it released. It's not like they had much to do in order to finish it.

I needed a good reason to replay Phantasy Star IV again, and this Sega prototype nerd-splosion provided that very reason. I've spent the past few days working through the game and have decided to share with you several samples from the May 30 version. Marvel at what could have been!

May 30, 1994 Beta wrote:The long long war from ancient times was finally over.
The winner sacrificed the loser to the heavens.
Four bells tolled. Four torches were lit.
And the world continued for thousands of years...


The Algo solar system, bearing its existence in the heavenly skies...

In the past, within those stars in the system, a brilliant civilization flourished. The people devoted themselves completely to the pursuit of prosperity and pleasure.

But, in a series of disasters the planet's management system, 'Mother Brain,' was destroyed. The result was the destruction of the first planet, 'Parma' entire population. The advanced scientific civilization was lost and the lives of the people declined into poverty.

A thousand years has passed...

In time a renewed strength and determination emerged among the people to try to make prosperity take root again. Due to cruel circumstances that would not be allowed to happen quite that easily...


Final Version wrote:The long, long struggle of ancient times finally ended...
The victor sacrificed the vanquished to the heavens.
Four bells tolled. Four torches were lit.
And the world continued for thousands of years...


The Algo solar system, somewhere in space...

Once a brilliant civilization flourished here. The citizens devoted themselves to the art and the sciences, and life was prosperous and good.

Then a series of disasters struck. The system-wide management system, 'Mother Brain,' was destroyed. So was the first planet, Parma. Over 90% of the system's population died, and the advanced technological culture was lost.

Society declined, spiralling downward until at last only a few scattered groups even remembered there were once better times.

A thousand years passed.

At last, civilization is once more on the rise across the Algo system. People are once again turning to the thought of an easier life. Old knowledge is being rediscovered.

But just as things look brighter, beyond a threshold long thought closed, a dark and very ancient evil stirs...


Some characters keep their original Japanese names (Rudy, Hahn, Pike, Fal, Raja, Siam), others get close approximations or mistranslations (Ryre, Rena, Forn), and the rest are entirely different (Rein, Sela).

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Kyra is referred to by her Japanese name at least once though:

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Lots of random misspellings, Engrish, and general oddness:

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The Eight Stroke stuff is even weirder and more inconsistent:

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If you're happy and you know it:

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Hurf durf you guys are stupid heads:

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Strange vehicle names:

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Should be SPACEPORT:

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Should be ARTIFICIAL SATELLITE:

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This NPC literally says nothing.

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My personal favorite, Non Sequitur Raja:

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Res instead of Gires:

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More non-words and weird grammar issues:

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Lashiec:

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Daughter actually does keep the "Fo...rn..." line in the final version. I guess they missed this one when they were searching for all the instances of his name to replace:

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Le Roof is a lot bossier and kind of a dick in the first draft:

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I don't think Re-Faze worded this one the same in the final:

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The nature of the Profound Darkness's "dimension" is addressed entirely different in the first draft. The way it's phrased makes me think that this was one of the more difficult concepts in the game for the translators to explain:

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Some snippets from the ending:

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And finally, a class of enemies that was cut out from the final version:

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...Aaaaand I'm spent! One other thing I remembered but forgot to screencap was that all of the NA techs in the game (NARES, NAFOI, etc) are spelled as LA techs in this beta (LARES, LAFOI, etc). Weird.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, '08, 8:20 am 
Wow, what a translation. I think my favorite line was, "I will mock and kill him with these very hands!" :rofl: Lashiec was also amusing... :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, '08, 9:33 pm 
«like the smell of the ocean, the blue of the mountain» no wonder why Chaz didn't understand...
So... is "newman" the original classification for Rika?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 3:25 am 
The sick are patients! :D

This is interesting stuff. It's nice to know that Forn wasn't just a one shot problem in the translation, but that it was really Wren's name at one point. "Ryre" is just weird. They really had a hard time translating some of the story, it looks like.

That one screen makes me wonder, though. "It's an island in mid-air, just like Rykros or Air Castle!" It looks like something from the Kuran approach, but it's odd to see those names appearing that early.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 4:22 am 
That one is actually from their approach towards Rykros in the first place.

Wren/Forn was Foren in the original version. It just looks like they changed their minds as to which half of his name to use partway through the localization.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 4:33 am 
Two squared is the situation! XD


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 6:23 pm 
just something dumb but you notice how everyone always puts Wren up in the front.. Usually for me I keep Chaz first, Rika second, Rune third, Kyra fourth and Wren's dead last lol


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 6:38 pm 
Kaloes wrote:just something dumb but you notice how everyone always puts Wren up in the front.. Usually for me I keep Chaz first, Rika second, Rune third, Kyra fourth and Wren's dead last lol

I used to put Chaz in front (you know, being the main character and all) until I realized that enemies have a greater chance of attacking the person at the front of your party, and Wren can afford to take more hits in most circumstances (yay auto-regeneration).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, '08, 9:08 pm 
Sixfortyfive wrote:I used to put Chaz in front (you know, being the main character and all) until I realized that enemies have a greater chance of attacking the person at the front of your party, and Wren can afford to take more hits in most circumstances (yay auto-regeneration).


I always did that, as when I started playing the game, my brother pointed that out to me. So when I play the game, Alys is usually in front until that little section where you get Rune (since he's at level...17, I think?) the first time he joins you. Then I put Gryz in front when he joins, and he stays there until Demi joins, and once Wren joins, he's in front the rest of the game. Really makes the game easier, as it keeps the defensively weak people alive longer while the androids, with their high defense scores, high hit points, and self-regeneration, just take the damage like sponges. I'd say that when I play the game, Rika probably dies most frequently and she's usually in the middle. I think her defense should have been a little bit better.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 1, '08, 3:57 am 
I put them in order from tallest to shortest, forget the more prone to attack. Poor Demi Always last... XDDD


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