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Revisiting Established Spell Names

Poll is Live!

A place for those working on the Shining Force III Translation Patch.

Please pick your choices for the two spell names. See first post for details.

Poll runs till Wed Oct 09 2019 12:38pm

Bolt
6
20%
Spark
9
30%
Desoul
5
17%
Soul Steal
10
33%
 
Total votes : 30

Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby legalize freedom » Fri May 03 2019 11:38am

This is a proposal we debated probably 10 years ago, but I believe it deserves to be re-considered.

There are two glaring spell names remaining from the original English release of SF3 that are departures from the rest of the series, that is the English localizations of SITD, SF1, SFCD and SF2.

Spark vs Bolt

Soul Steal vs Desoul

These are contradictions I hear about a lot and witness virtually every SF veteran calling them by their established series names. If memory serves, the primary reason we didn't change them back then was that STHA also used the newer version. There are several reasons why I don't believe this should be enough to sway the decision:

-SF3 didn't follow the convention set forth by SF1, SFCD, SF2; STHA didn't follow convention set forth by SITD
-There are other "mistakes" between SF3 and STHA such as Healing Drop vs Potion, Potion vs Elixir, Small Mithril vs Mithril Ore and Large Mithril vs Mithril Ingot
-SF3 should adhere more to SF1 and SF2 than STHA (which is certainly debatable)
-One day we may be able to correct all the issues with STHA too (fingers crossed)


Looking to the real differences between the spells in the different games brings me to a secondary reason why these weren't changed before. The Tornado spell (presumably a decendant of the Blast spell) had a unique animation that was ceratainly described by Tornado, so that one wasn't changing.

Bolt/Spark
These are the same from game to game and are better described by Bolt. I see no reason this shouldn't be changed to Bolt. The one letter shorter will help with some item descriptions that have had to be oddly shortened by a character or two.

Desoul/Soul Steal
In the older games, Desoul was simply a chance to insta-kill. If it failed (which it did quite often), it did nothing, so it wasn't as useful as it could have been. In SF3, Soul Steal does damage if it doesn't insta-kill. While this is a change, I would consider it a tweaking of an unpopular spell as opposed to a reason to change the name. Another point I've heard is that it doesn't steal health which is implied by the name. The flip side is the damage done could be considered stealing from them, just not leaching/recovering for the castor.


Thoughts?
Last edited by legalize freedom on Tue Jun 11 2019 12:39pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby sulfuroxp » Fri May 03 2019 12:01pm

Use the original names (Spark, Soul Steal, Hellblast, Antidote, Return, ...)
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby DiegoMM » Fri May 03 2019 1:55pm

Bolt and Desoul for me.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby RedArcher » Fri May 03 2019 4:11pm

DiegoMM wrote:Bolt and Desoul for me.


Same for me. Never ever got it why some spells were renamed in SF III.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Chinagonuk » Tue May 07 2019 8:23am

For me, my decision would depend on whether or not the Japanese SF3 had revised spell names from the Japanese SF1/SF2.

If this was the case, then the developers must have made a conscious decision to change the spell names. If not, then it’s just another mistake by the awful localisation team.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby legalize freedom » Tue May 07 2019 12:13pm

Chinagonuk wrote:For me, my decision would depend on whether or not the Japanese SF3 had revised spell names from the Japanese SF1/SF2.

If this was the case, then the developers must have made a conscious decision to change the spell names. If not, then it’s just another mistake by the awful localisation team.


That doesn't matter so much to me. I mean if it could have been a conscious decision or an awful mistake... that kind of tells me something. It could have been a conscious decision that either didn't receive enough consideration or it was just a plain poor decision.

What I am most concerned with is getting the right decision into the translation patch.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Rune » Tue May 07 2019 5:10pm

Doesn't the animation for soul steal look absolutely nothing like the old desoul animation? Sure the stha soul steal certainly matches the old desoul, but I don't think the SF3 soul steal does. I assume people think soul steal should replenish life only for the reason that it did so in SOTN.

I do prefer bolt to spark.


There is the simple question of what group of fans you want to prioritize with making, or not making, these changes.

Sure, matching older games is great and all, but clearly some choices were made in the old games just to save a few characters. That seems like a really lame tradition to uphold.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby legalize freedom » Tue May 07 2019 6:15pm

Rune wrote:Doesn't the animation for soul steal look absolutely nothing like the old desoul animation? Sure the stha soul steal certainly matches the old desoul, but I don't think the SF3 soul steal does. I assume people think soul steal should replenish life only for the reason that it did so in SOTN.

I do prefer bolt to spark.


There is the simple question of what group of fans you want to prioritize with making, or not making, these changes.

Sure, matching older games is great and all, but clearly some choices were made in the old games just to save a few characters. That seems like a really lame tradition to uphold.


The animations of either Soul Steal or Desoul qualify for either name, so I don't think there is a concern there. But you may be on to something with Soul Steal being added because of the ability to have a longer name. I hadn't considered that. It may or may not be true, but good point.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Swalchy » Tue May 07 2019 8:09pm

I prefer the STHA/SF3 localisation of the name-spells over the earlier games.

Granted quite a lot of weapon and item icons were transferred from STHA to SF3 with different names, however that's likely due to the fact that the support for the Sega Saturn was at its endgame when SF3 was being developed (never mind released), so it likely saved them quite a bit of time having to create new weapon and item icons.

Though I do agree that Bolt is better than Spark - not quite sure that I think of "sparks" when it comes to having something blasted by lightening...
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby knight0fdragon » Wed May 08 2019 4:05pm

Nothing stops us from having multiple builds exist... maybe if some developer got off his lazy ass, he could finally whip up the new program that he keeps lying to everybody about, making this process easier.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Rune » Wed May 08 2019 9:10pm

Wait... there's an option that makes everyone happy. I don't like this idea.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby DomingoRules! » Fri May 10 2019 2:25pm

I feel like it's important for spell names to stay the same as they've always been, and not even for the sake of the fans, but for the sake of the world in which they exist. If they're the same spells being cast, then the names tied to them would also be the same. I oftentimes feel that spell names are incorporated into a spell's incantation, and/or interwoven into the spell's very essence. Attributes that wouldn't change from region to region, otherwise the spell itself would also change. To me, it's not about appeasing the fans. It's about maintaining consistency within the world one has created.

The only exception is if, in a video game, text limitations were an issue from achieving the proper name in an older title, and then later ones were updated. However, unless I'm overlooking something, that excuse only really applies to Soul Steal and Antidote. If we're going off Shining in the Darkness as the standard, I believe the longest spell name in that was Egress, landing us at a 6-letter character limit. That would justify the shortening of some spells, such as Soul Steal to Desoul, and Antidote to Detox, but wouldn't justify changes made to spells such as Egress becoming Return (both the same number of letters), and Bolt becoming Spark (Spark being less than the aforementioned limit).

All that being said, the only spell I can think of that I would be on board to changing from its Genesis roots would be Desoul, because it does act differently. As said earlier in this thread, Soul Steal inflicts damage regardless of whether or not the target is instantly slain. That would suggest that Soul Steal and Desoul are, in fact, different spells within the Camelot franchise's world, with Soul Steal likely being derived from the basic principles of Desoul to be more efficient.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby knight0fdragon » Fri May 10 2019 4:10pm

The issue could also lie in how the game was translated. Perhaps Sega/Camelot now has better translators and UX designers than it did during the 16 bit generation. "Egress" is not a term many are familiar with, so from a UX standpoint, it may be offputting to new players. Same with Desoul and Detox. Bolt may have been swapped out to avoid confusion with cross bow bolts. One could argue that the new spell names is in correlation with the times being 1000s of years after the events of SF2.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Rune » Fri May 10 2019 7:41pm

DomingoRules! wrote:I feel like it's important for spell names to stay the same as they've always been, and not even for the sake of the fans, but for the sake of the world in which they exist. If they're the same spells being cast, then the names tied to them would also be the same. I oftentimes feel that spell names are incorporated into a spell's incantation, and/or interwoven into the spell's very essence. Attributes that wouldn't change from region to region, otherwise the spell itself would also change. To me, it's not about appeasing the fans. It's about maintaining consistency within the world one has created.


But how do you know they haven't changed slightly over the years and from continent to continent? How do you know some low level fire spell hasn't changed just a bit over a thousand years? In the shining universe, there's no mention of spells requiring an ancient and otherwise unused language, as some other games have done.

In fact, you do know there is some variance. Why do ninjas have slightly different magic from wizards? The spells are different in more than just name, but usually have the same animation.


And in terms of game lore... For most of the series, you are being read or told the tale of what happened. You are not there actually seeing how things were, you only have what someone else wrote down of what happened. Maybe some people wrote bolt, and some wrote spark.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby sulfuroxp » Fri May 10 2019 8:25pm

That's why you should use the original names, and not only for spell but Items, characters and locations too
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby Rune » Fri May 10 2019 8:34pm

This was me misreading stuff.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby knight0fdragon » Fri May 10 2019 11:43pm

He means original to the game it is in, not original as in from the first time it was introduced in the series.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby DomingoRules! » Sat May 11 2019 4:13am

Rune wrote:But how do you know they haven't changed slightly over the years and from continent to continent? How do you know some low level fire spell hasn't changed just a bit over a thousand years? In the shining universe, there's no mention of spells requiring an ancient and otherwise unused language, as some other games have done.

I definitely considered that, but stuck to my guns for the sake of making the point without contradicting myself. I just wanted to get my thoughts on the matter on the table, in case anybody cared to have that much thought put into the decision. Especially since neither side of the argument really has any evidence to support itself over the other, so it would ultimately come down to us to decide how to interpret that kind of information.
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby legalize freedom » Sat May 11 2019 12:48pm

What if I told you the original Sc2 and Sc3 matched the series convention (Bolt, Desoul)?

What if I told you the original Sc2 and Sc3 matched the official English release of Sc1 (Spark, Soul Steal)?

Would this make a difference in your opinion? Should it?
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Re: Revisiting Established Spell Names

Postby DomingoRules! » Sat May 11 2019 9:18pm

legalize freedom wrote:What if I told you the original Sc2 and Sc3 matched the series convention (Bolt, Desoul)?

What if I told you the original Sc2 and Sc3 matched the official English release of Sc1 (Spark, Soul Steal)?

Would this make a difference in your opinion? Should it?

I feel like that would depend on how the series convention is reflected between the Japanese and English versions of the pre-Saturn games as well. For example, if the original Japanese versions of the Genesis titles matched the English conventions we know, then so too would it be best to try to maintain that trueness in the Saturn releases as well. However, if the spell names were changed for localizing the Genesis titles, then the spell names in the Japanese Saturn titles should have no bearing on what we make them to be.

In other words: Were, or were not, the Genesis translations faithful with their spells?
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