The Kuruma Ebi Speaks (plus Wallpapers!)

We worked on the translation in a couple of intense burst sessions last weekend, and we’ve spent most of our SGGG energy this week putting together responses for the interview. It should be the kind of long-term catchup (with comments on specific items and elements of the game) that people are curious about.

There’s a strange line spoken by the mechanical lobster found in the main foyer of Lab B. This is the lobster that Segagaga‘s director Tez Okano said had formerly planned as a Ferrari but later changed, as he explained in this 2008 interview with Edge Magazine:

Oh yes, I also had to change the red Ferrari which symbolized AM2 to… well, the only red thing that I could come up with was a shrimp! In Japanese, ‘car’ is ‘kuruma’, and there is a very popular shrimp, or ‘ebi’, that we eat here in Japan which is named ‘kuruma ebi’! It was too bad – I wanted so much to see that Ferrari flying!

That line, in our current draft, is: “Within the highest reality… lives freedom. FREEEEEEEEEEE!”

The all-caps cry is replicated verbatim from the original Japanese text. (I don’t know how I’d handle hearing a giant lobster screaming that at me from five feet away, frankly.) The phrasing’s supposed to be ambiguous, shifty, and even a little flaky in the sense that it takes its internal contortions more seriously than it should. We’re working to capture that sense without relying upon awkward and uncomfortable grammar.

The R&D Lab B area’s dev staff is broken up into three teams. Whereas they once made games with arms linked in harmony, they now much compete with each other to interpret the studio director’s will. The director delivers his edicts through the medium of this giant red lobster clutching a Dreamcast.

We’re using a variety of synonyms to describe the edicts themselves, the preferred ones among them being “revelations,” “boss’s will,” and sometimes “oracles.” The revelations are phrased enigmatically, so our translation of these edicts attempts to preserve the atmosphere of mysteriousness surrounding the commands.

Different characters refer to the commands at different times, and it’s more believable to describe a single phenomenon using a cluster of synonyms when different characters are speaking, giving the illusion of idiolects among disposable NPCs.

For those who like our new Segagaga Translation Blog banner, Jonathan has provided us with three desktop backgrounds based on the Segagaga cast.

Widescreen, 1280 X 768:

Standard, 1024 X 768:

And dual widescreen, 2560 X 768:

You can download the archive here. The archive includes MacOS compatible versions.

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6 Responses to The Kuruma Ebi Speaks (plus Wallpapers!)

  1. Anthony817 says:

    Glad to read up more about the translation. I really look forward to this translation as do others here. I’ll try to post in the forums I go to and let folks know you have a new entry on your site.

    Keep the updates coming and good luck team!

  2. Deathrow says:

    Can you estimate a release date already? The SEGA community is dying to play this game!!!

  3. Logan Halsey says:

    I was just thinking today about how I should have included a question about how you were going to handle the “Lobster = Ferarri” pun for an English-speaking audience in the interview! What a strange coincidence.

    -Logan (or Jonathan, as the email address would have had you believe)

  4. Centrale says:

    So does the lobster represent Yu Suzuki?

  5. David says:

    Way to go gentlemen!
    Looking forward to seeing this finished!

  6. wallpapers says:

    Loved teh dual screen wallpaper. Thanks!

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