Please Note: The following material obviously spoils some of the story of Fire Emblem Fates. Please read responsibly at your own risk and don’t tell me I’m not made of ketchup.
Here’s the support conversation between Hinata and Orochi for the B level. (Original Japanese is included for reference and better transparency.)
Comments? Questions? Criticisms? Want to let me if I made a typo or if a better approach would work somewhere? Let me know in the comments below.
Orochi: Well, Hinata, here it is. The way that you can escape from the fate of the other day’s divination … / オロチ: さて、ヒナタ。先日の占い結果から逃れる方法じゃが…
Hinata: Yeah. You’ll forgive me if I’m not interested in not being able to get stronger! I’ll do anything! / ヒナタ: ああ。強くなれないなんて御免だからな。何でもやってやるぜ！
Translation notes: I think you know what Orochi is trying to do and nearly all of her conversations involve some sort of flippant trickery. In this way, she’s quite similar to Asama, but less overtly mean and more playful. Despite this, she’s not actually as pretentious as he is, but still does speak in a heightened tone with some more formal words and heavy imagery. Hinata on the other hand, is trying to be a little more polite than he usually is at the end to go with his, err, re-education, but I’m not sure if I managed to portray the small changes in the way he speaks. I do occasionally misspell some of his words to give him more of that guttersnipe/country style which suits his Japanese speech. It’s a balancing act.
It’s important to remember that Byakuya characters do live in a fictional Japan written by Japanese people and as such, sometimes you have to translate really more literal than you’d usually do so because there’s a Japanese concept that’s important to the conversation that you can’t just localize away. In this case, 察し (sasshi) is often not understood well in my discussions with other cultures. Every culture has their own conception of how to relate to others and they differ sometimes in subtle ways, sasshi is for Japan, the way of using cultural cues to guess what people want before they want it and react accordingly. You may think it’s just being considerate like any person would do, but this goes a lot farther into reaching into the collective common sense of the group, specifically in-groups and out-groups and how they relate in a hierarchy.
It is crucial to their character development that it’s kept in, because an interesting part of Orochi’s character is that she often tricks people into making themselves better versions of themselves. She does have a point, because Hinata is characterized as being selfish in the Japanese conception of being selfish, which is not thinking enough of others rather than a more simple idea of self-absorption. Of course Orochi is a playful trickster (which is presumably why she is named after a mythical snake) who enjoys manipulating people and Hinata is a sunny, nice, naive guy (which is probably why his name literally means “sunny place.”) When he says “lowly servant,” he’s referring to hard workers who labored under merchants and such, faithfully serving them, which really Hinata should be doing more of rather than tending to his own needs, but Orochi finds a way to make it work for her own advantage.
This is personally one of my favorite of the support conversation chains in the game and it’s a shame that Treehouse removed some of its cultural resonance because it’s a bit tricky to translate.
Got some ideas for making it better? Let me know in the comments below!
If you want to see how Nintendo changed it from consideration and societal cues to confidence, the Fire Emblem fans at Serene’s Forest have transcribed that here.
Changelog: None yet.
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