The Tales series has a sort of love/hate relationship with fans in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Since 1995, the series has had 12 flagship games released, and only nine of those have been localized for the US. Considering the amount of dialog and the extensive voice acting in recent games, it’s not surprising that Namco would stop and consider before releasing the game in the US. The style of the games are decidedly anime, and they don’t quite have the same US popularity of the Final Fantasy series. However, the games are quite good, and those that play them – love them.
It’s frustrating to see a quarter of the games, then, not being localized for the US. The most recent game being denied to English-speaking gamers is Tales of Graces, which many call the best in the series. However, all hope is not lost.
The Tales of Graces Fan Translation project is underway, and they are planning on eventually releasing a patch for the game. This is one of those “when it’s done” situations, and the team are taking their time to make sure that the translation results in a polished experience for the end user. It’s amazing what fans can accomplish when they put their mind to it, and the translators on the site are working hard to get the patch ready. The project started in June, after E3, and according to status bars on the site itself, much of the initial translation is already done. However, everything still needs to go through a translation verification to ensure accuracy. They don’t want any, “All your base are belong to us” situations.
If all goes according to plan, the team is expecting to have the translation complete and an English patch released sometime this year.
In the Wii version of Graces, the team estimates there are 90,000 lines to be translated (the PS3 contains an extra 10 hours of content, which the team hasn’t really started yet). Basically, that’s any time text is on the screen, and a line can range from a single word to an entire paragraph. The translation team consists of five translators who have done the bulk of the translation, as well as about 10 others who help to contribute from time to time. The project is headed up by Colin Noga (coordinator), Aaron Lindsay (head coder), and Julia Pearse (head translator). Colin and Aaron have worked on a few other translation projects before now, but for many of the translators, this is their first time working on a project like this. They are volunteering their time because of their passion for the game, and a desire to allow everyone to be able to experience and enjoy it. They are also strongly anti-piracy, and do not wish to promote it whatsoever with this project. This will be a patch to the original game only, not a re-release of the game itself. The website even includes links to where you can legitimately buy the game.
Just today, the team has decided their next endeavor will be Tales of Vesperia for the PS3. Hopefully, this endeavor will continue, and we will be able to play these games in the US despite Namco refusing to release them here. If you’re interested in the project, head over to www.talesofgraces.com and check out their progress; you can even download a demo for the PS3. The team are also looking for more translators, with JLPT level 3 required and level 2 greatly preferred. If you think you can help, go ahead and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the team via the live chat on the website. You can also donate on the website as well.