Friday, April 29, 2011

Alyson Court Talks Mega Man X5 Guns N' Roses References

When Mega Man X5 was localized, its eight Maverick bosses were given alternate names based on the titles of members of rock band Guns N' Roses. This curious change has since gone down in history as one of the more famous alterations in game localizations, ensuing years worth of debate and speculation. Were the GnR names really necessary? Who, really, was responsible for the swap?

MMX5 translator Alyson Court, perhaps best known for her role as Resident Evil's Claire Redfield and star of The Big Comfy Couch, spent some time this evening reminiscing over her work on Mega Man X5 via Twitter, subsequently revealing the history and truth behind the game's infamous localization.

"Apparently the localization (text editing) I did for a Capcom game is *famous*. Er, make that infamous. Who knew?" [link]
"My then husband was responsible 4 text localization. He asked me 2 do it &, since he was a GnR fan, I changed the names 2b GnR references. " [link]
"I didn't know the game nor did I know how mad fans wld be that Id changed the characters' names. But yrs later ppl now like it!" [link]
"My ex-husband had his own company, GenAzea, which did localization for many Capcom games. I did a lot of that work." [link]
"...At first my hubby laughed & liked it [the GnR names]. Then when fans started complaining he got mad at me. I meant well." [link]
(do keep in mind that there's a 140 word limit on Twitter, so Alyson had to condense certain words)

 Alyson, however, defends the references. Her philosophy towards localization is to make the content palatable -- going so far as to reveal that the GnR references were all but fitting for a franchise with so many musical homages and tributes.

Capcom has had every chance to switch names back to their original "canonical" titles in future X5 ports.  However, to perhaps preserve the game's historic status, Mega Man X Collection and the PC version of X5 have retained Alyson's handiwork. Hey, that's OK in my book. I, for one, thought the nods were a nice little touch -- brought some life to the bosses.

You can read Alyson's complete recollection over at her official twitter account here. She's been responding to fans, too, so if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to shoot her a line!

Source: acourtroom

50 comments:

  1. Shows how little care Capcom always had with the series, especially in america.

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  2. Wow...talk about a mindfuck...

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  3. You know you fucked up big time when you have a Maverick named Duff McWhalen.

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  4. So the names didn't come from any love of GnR of Keiji Inafune or any Japanese Capcom Employee, but this woman's ex-husband? What kind of shit is that? While the names "fit" for the most part and kinda steered away from the norm, I much would have preferred say Spiral Pegasus over The Skiver or Burn Dinorex over Mattrex. Even so, the names do "fit" somehow and I usually just consider them subtitles or nicknames of the characters. =P

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  5. The Big Comfty Couch? THE BIG COMFY COUCH?!

    I LOVED That show when I was a kid!

    Love you, Alyson!

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  6. "Who made this silly translation?"

    *camera zoom*

    "Me? Whoops, guess I did. In that case, it's time for the Eight Sentence Excuse Bomb. Ready, Set, Go!"

    B3

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  7. Score one for Informed Ability for women's intelligence. Or at least writing skills.

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  8. @Rockman: It's twitter. You have to abbreviate. A lot.

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  9. Since they kept the original Maverick names in the manual, I didn't have much problem with the "Guns N' Roses" references...

    but I would expect better of a professional than to use numbers in place of "to" and "for" in writing like this. I would have written a response on something other than Twitter.

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  10. Big comfy couch. Totally watched that.

    Keeping my man card, thanks.

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  11. You know, I might not mind the GnR names, except that "Burn Dinorex" sounds too freaking awesome to have not been in the game. *shrugs*

    Ah well, in all honesty, the attack names bugged me more than the Maverick names (Zero's being changed around with several weird abbreviations).

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  12. "Anonymous said...
    Shows how little care Capcom always had with the series, especially in America."

    This is a story about the Mega Man's past. Capcom's translations have progressively improved over the years.

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  13. I'm sorry, but I want the actual names for the Mavericks. Not the Guns N Roses stuff. It's a nit pick thing, but all the other games had it right, let's just fix this mistake already.

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  14. Wow. i was expecting something a bit more... I dunno... interesting as to the change. Turns out it was just simply a whim for her then husband.

    Wow.

    But then again, considering X3 ripped a whole song off of them, its hilariously fitting.

    Now THAT is something Id like to hear more about.

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  15. LOL. It's nice to know Keiji Inafune wasn't lying to me about the names when I interviewed him @ E3 all those years ago. It's nice to finally place a name/face to the culprit. I'm actually still kinda mad about the boss names...I think its retarded that they weren't given more literal translations.

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  16. So I suppose all those still howling about the GnR names in X5 are also howling just as much for the restoration of the character names in Rockman series proper, right?

    I didn't see too much complaint about 9 and 10 still handing us "Protoman" and the like ...

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  17. Your friendly, neighborhood Major bedhead. (Is actually YFNM. Read comment.)April 30, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Fuuuuu...... claire is Loonette? I have one thing to say to this:

    Dear Capcom, please add Molly as DLC in RE6. I'll purchase whatever system it's on just for that.

    Sincerely, Your friendly neighborhood met.

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  18. Seriously? X5's bizarre emphasis on G'n'R references over actually getting names from previous games right was because the native English-speaking translator decided nobody would notice?

    FOUL. PLAY. If this had just been the result of Capcom Japan phoning in an awkward U.S. translation (that didn't even match the freaking manual!), that would've been one thing, but this is utter and complete crap.

    Alyson Court? You were in a position to turn X5 from merely an okay game into the fitting denouement Keiji Inafune envisioned by actually doing your damn job. Instead, you thought you'd be cute, and rather than getting an awesome translation written by a native English speaker that might have salvaged an otherwise dull entry, your "efforts" merely pushed the game further into mediocrity. Your actions are an affront to all translators everywhere, both professionals and hobbyists like myself.

    The saddest part? I didn't really care until I saw what you said. "lol I did a sucky job on purpose because nobody would've noticed one way or another." Some of us have followed the franchise from the beginning, dammit, and we'd appreciate it if you'd notice when they're talking about one of the bosses from the very first game. It's not the game - it's not the references - it's the principle. If you can't do a job you'll be proud of 10 years down the road because you don't think it's worth the trouble, then hand it off to someone who'll do the job you won't.

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  19. I always hated the fucking names, es-PECIALLY because I fucking hate guns and roses. But hey, thats just her fault for marrying a moron.

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  20. The X5 Mavericks could form a band called "Guns 'n Spike Rosereds", with Axle the Red as leader, Grizzly and Mattrex getting the "guns", Izzy and Dizzy taking care of the illumination, Adler the electric objects and instruments, Skiver gives an aerial show, and McWhalen gets a sea of Duff beer.

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  21. Well that's kind of annoying. Do the job right, doofuses.

    "Capcom has had every chance to switch names back to their original "canonical" titles in future X5 ports."

    It would be kind of awkward to destroy continuity by doing that.

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  22. Yea...huh....wow.....I really hate her, and I hate capcom usa

    «I didn't know the game nor did I know how mad fans wld be that Id changed the characters' names. But yrs later ppl now like it!»

    wow...

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  23. HOLY SHIT SHE WAS LOONETTE FROM THE BIG COMFY COUCH?!?!? THAT'S AMAZING!!!! :D

    I don't see why changing the boss names is such a big deal. If you don't like it, then just refer to them by their original names. As for me, I preferred most of the Japanese names. The only exceptions were Grizzly Slash and Duff McWhalen. I felt the former sounded better than "Crescent Grizzly" and it just didn't make sense to keep "Tidal Makoeen" when no one had a clue as to what the hell a Makoeen was.

    @Anonymous: Yes, because if there's one thing that we should totally use to judge how much or little someone cares about something, it's how the names are translated.

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  24. I fucking hate this cunt, and I fucking hate her shit-eating husband. Well, at least I can finally focus my hatred towards the pieces of shit directly responsible for ruining the boss names.

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  25. >Everyone's raging over a name change that's not officially done by Capcom just because they hate it

    This is why I hate the fanbase. If it's not perfect to their standards, they'll shitstorm over it.

    I feel disappointed.

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  26. I don't see why changing their names had 'ruined' the game like all of you claim it did.

    I mean, it's just name changes. Not like a big censor on something, or an entire overhaul in the engine or whatever.

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  27. @OKeijiDragon:''This is a story about the Mega Man's past. Capcom's translations have progressively improved over the years.''
    Oh, but have they really? Looking at StarForce and ZX, I beg to differ.

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  28. @TAG: If they don't give a shit about the translation and adaptation, then yes, it does show little care

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  29. I think people are overreacting about this. Big-time. That's all I have to say.

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  30. People act like X5 was suddenly unplayable due to the name changes. It doesn't matter, people.

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  31. I read the whole thing because she looked so pretty...

    You people are like children. The specifics of the names in X5 or any other single MM entry would not have made any significant impact to the series. Stop over-reacting, grow up.

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  32. Once again, I find myself agreeing with Krazy monkey. This is the fanbase overreacting over a minor issue: if anything deserves this kind of shitstorm, it SHOULD be X6's localization because THAT translation is beyond lazy.

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  33. I quite often see people commenting "people are overreacting, it's not a big deal" more often than the people that are supposedly overreacting. Seems it might be happening here.

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  34. I liked those changes, you guys are just overreacting, the names look good and fit in the game.

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  35. @Rock-X:

    Yeah, tell me about it. I've noticed quite a few grammar errors in that game, too. However, I found Sigma's dialogue hilarious. Lines like "THE BADDLE HAZ JUSD BEGUNN! JUST DIE, X! XXX! JUSDIE!" and "I'LLSHOWYOUWHATATERRORISALLABOUT! JUST DIE! ZERO! ZEEELLLOOOOO!" are instant classics.

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  36. this is nothing, at least x5 was playable. now megaman universe, THAT was worth talking shit about. good riddance to that pile of junk, i dont think i could have lasted a minute playing thru that

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  37. How is it not okay to say this is irritating? How is that overreacting?

    Not being allowed opinions is what makes me dislike some members of the fanbase. :P

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  38. I never played X5. But I've seen a Lets Play of it, and I have the Official Complete Works, and I have to say, I never cared for the English names.
    Upon finding out that the person responsible for the name changes did so because she thought it be cute/funny because her husband at the time was a GnR fan...makes it all the more irritating.

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  39. @Anonymous #17:

    While it feel that quite a few people overreacted, it was mainly Ryusui's post that I was referring to. He claims that the name changes, and only the name changes, ruined the entire game and made it "mediocre". Honestly, that's just nitpicking. That's no different from people complaining about Sonic having green eyes in Sonic 4.

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  40. Holy X! I´d like to bang her, and yeah her writing skills are beyond the unbelievable.

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  41. No mention that she's Canadian?

    You suck.

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  42. Big Comfy Couch tidbit just made my day.

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  43. Yeah, Ryusui's post was just plain wtf.

    I mean, I know people are entitled to their own opinions but what the fuck man. They're just names.

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  44. I don't liked the name changes, but you guys must admit that Alia IS more annoying than this. ;) At least in later games you don't need to stop every time to listen to something you already know:
    http://www.drneko.com/scanlation/rmseries/rmx/koma/x7/index.php?Result_Set=11

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  45. @Ryusui and the internet memes and catchphrases in the BOF2 retranslation were any better? eat shit asshole

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  46. Well, that explains it. (Wasn't bothered by the renames, just that the game and manual weren't consistent)

    Should've known that much of the inevitable bitchfest would be of the accusatory "Stupid Capcom is stupid and so is this person" varitey.

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  47. I HOPE THE ZOMBIES EAT YOU CLAIRE

    NERDRAGE

    RAAR

    /capslock

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  48. I swear, she looks so pretty in that photo, I coudln't be angry with her even if this WAS something worth being upset about...

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  49. Although the whole naming thing is a giant screwup on the account of the localization team, I think you should worry less about it. Just be glad they weren't named something like "Stupidgiantbluefish Retard" or "Bat-Thingy Goddamnit When Is My Freaking Coffeebreak".

    Pierman Walter

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  50. Really, I think the main issue is that it was unprofessional and inappropriate. While Ryusei may be overreacting a bit, they do have a point. This was an official localization, NOT a fan translation, and if you have no familiarity with what you're working on, maybe you shouldn't be handling it.

    While the names themselves don't bother me, the attitude she had for deliberately doing a poor job cause she assumed the fans wouldn't notice is a real slap in the face and really paints her in a bad light. I mean, yes, it's a sweet gesture, but either she or her husband (or both) should've had the foresight to see the ramifications it would bring.

    However, as some have pointed out, the truly awful translation falls on X6.

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