Ultimania translations

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3 years ago#1
Can anyone translate these interviews from the Ultimanias please? They contain lots of nifty information that the FFVIII English fanbase has never read anywhere else:


FFVIII Creator Interview 1 Graphics Team

FFVIII Creator Interview 2 Battle Team

FFVIII Creator Interview 3 Sound Team

FFVIII Creator Interview 4 Movie Team

FFVIII Creator Interview 5 Event Team

FFVIII Creator Interview 6

Ultimania website
Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania Staff Comments

^Almost all FF Ultimania interviews ever. Tons of exclusive info.
3 years ago#2
Are you absolutely sure none of those have been translated before over at that Lifestream website or somewhere else? I'd have thought someone would have done that by now.

Anyway, I have the Ultimania myself, and I've skimmed through most of those before. IIRC, there wasn't anything all that earth-shattering in them, but I guess there's a few interesting nuggets.

And that's quite the mountain of text, so I don't really want to commit to going through all of that just now, especially since I'm already doing translations for other people elsewhere (Xenosaga-related). But to contribute at least something, I'll do the first part from the last link (since it's easier to work with due to the copy-paste-able text). Disclaimer: I'm still learning and far from 100% fluent, so there might be the occasional error or misinterpretation here and there, but it's the best you're going to get until one of the real experts comes along. :P

Staff comments

Shou Yamashita [If I'm reading the name correctly, they can be a bit tricky]

When I first started working with them, the request I got from Digicube President (at the time) Suzuki and Chief Editor Kakinuki was to "think of a name for the publication that would have quite an impact". By taking the letters from the name of the ultimate magic in the "FF" series, Ultima, I came up with the name Ultimania (meaning "ultimate mania"). There was some worry that the term "mania" might give a one-sided impression, but "having a mania for something or other" was a popular phrase at the time. It also gave the image of a bent staff, so we decided to "go ahead with this!".

By the way, the names we didn't end up using...they're embarrassing, so I won't tell. (Laughs)
In any case, maybe this book can make a breakthrough and sell 2 million copies...all of you who purchased this book, thank you very much.

Maybe I'll do some more of it later, unless someone else decides to have a go at it.
Currently playing:
Baldur's Gate 2 (PC), Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
3 years ago#3
Thanks! Interesting... That would be for the Wikipedia FF articles mainly, and sadly the Lifestream community doesn't seem to have already translated these.
^Almost all FF Ultimania interviews ever. Tons of exclusive info.
3 years ago#4
I decided to have a go at the first interview, so I translated a little over half of it. I'll probably finish it up later sometime. By the way, are there any sites you recommend where this should be posted so more people will know it's translated and so won't have to do it all over again later? I guess there's a community for this kind of thing The Lifestream, anywhere else?

Oh, and would anyone be interested in screenshots of those easter eggs they're talking about? If so, I could always go dig them up.

And one more thing I forgot: do you want me to keep the Japanese suffixes (ie. -san, -shi, -kun, etc), or translate them into more "natural" English?

"There was a strong feeling that we had to surpass "VII""

FFVIII Creator Interview 1 - Graphics Team

The direction of "VIII"'s maps

Interviewer: What kind of direction were you aiming for with "FFVIII"'s map graphics, seen as a whole?

Naora: First, compared to our time working "VII", which took place in a very dark world, we wanted to convey a brighter feeling. While the last game was tied together by shadows, we paid close attention to the light this time around. Another thing is that on the last game, there were parts [of the game] where we felt we could safely place many parts on top of the maps, since we were now able to create a more detailed presentation.

This time, we worked hard on the design, which gave us the confidence to place large parts [on the maps]. Then there's how each country has its own particular feel. We also tried to give them that feel through things like the kind of paint seen in each town, or the kind of written characters used. Hmm, when it comes to map graphics, there's no turning back now, or...maybe we overdid it on the last game, we often talked about that in the beginning. In any case, there was a strong feeling that we had to surpass "VII" this time around.

Nakatani: Back in the "VII" days, the characters were rather small, don't you think? This time we wanted to try making them bigger from the beginning, so we wanted to make the backgrounds more realistic to match that, and had to figure out various ways [to do that].

Naora: As the characters' head and bodies grew longer, their faces became absurdly small when we zoomed out the camera to match. We also paid attention to things like making the area transition cuts bring about the right feeling. [A little unsure about this part, sorry]

Interviewer: Compared to "VII", you almost never end up in the situation of not knowing where your character is, right?

Takahashi: I was yelled at quite a bit for that on "VII", so I really worked hard to make it easy to understand for this game.

Interviewer: Regarding the maps, what kinds of new ideas did you include for this game?

In Balamb town and some maps in Deling City, we had the focus change as the character walked away from or towards the camera. It was kind of experimental, but we wanted to more of that sort of thing.

Interviewer: Did you run out of ideas for the map design itself as the process went on?

Naora: I usually just draw things depending on what I come up with on the spot, so I didn't really have any problems with running out of ideas. FOr example, I'd look at my iMac and think that those kinds of (transparent) skeleton parts might be nice, be told I'm being stupid by Takahashi and Nakatani, then decide to use those skeleton parts for Esthar, things like that. (Laughs)

Numerous secrets revealed for the first time

Interviewer: Now that I finally have the opportunity, I'd like to ask you to share them if there are any "secrets only you know" in any of the maps you were in charge of...(Laughs)
Currently playing:
Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
3 years ago#5
Takahashi: On the screen just before you escape from the D-District Prison, if you proceed inwards, there's a passage, right? The word "CAUTION" is written on the handrail on the right side, but on the inside of the handrail on the left side, "Takashin" is written in the same font. That's Shintaro Takai's (staff in charge of battle effects) nickname. The division head (Director Kitase) was pretty mad at me, but it somehow remains in the game anyway. (Laughs)

Nakatani: In Timber, there's a house with a TV in one of the rooms. When I had to make an image to put on that screen, I used things like a picture of my wife and a baseball scene, since I like baseball. I don't really understand how it works, but the images show up even on that round TV screen in the actual game. I was given a tentative OK from the planners to do that, but I the division head will probably get mad at me when he finds out. (Laughs)

Naora: It's the first time I'm hearing about this. (Laughs)

Kanzaki: Mine is in Ultimecia's castle. In the picture gallery there, there's a painting of a woman, so I thought I'd take the face of a woman I know and draw an enlarged version of it. While I was working on it, I was called to the division head's office and told to "do it properly", so I changed it. But there's still a small version of it remaining in the map, in its non-magnified state. I didn't change that. (Laughs)

Interviewer: You all managed to get on Mr. Kitase's bad side, didn't you? (Laughs)

Ikumori: No, I didn't put in anything that didn't live up to [our bosses'] expectations...I guess I wasn't playful enough. (Laughs)
I liked the warm, cozy feel of places like FH and Winhill, so I think I was just happy I got to focus on depicting that.

Interviewer: Mr. Naora, how about you?

Naora: No, I don't have any secrets for you, but there were some interesting ideas I didn't use...
I was in charge of all the Gardens, and early on we planned that all three of them, Balamb, Galbadia and Trabia Gardens, would combine into one. It'd be a "getter" transformation, where they'd be able to combine in any order. (Laughs) [Think I'm missing something here, maybe a reference to an anime or something?]
To an extent, we even made their silhouettes with this combination in mind. In the end, we stopped at Balamb and Galbadia Gardens each getting their own transformations, so I apologize for that. (Laughs) [A little unsure about the last part from "so", sorry about that]
Currently playing:
Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
3 years ago#6
So we almost got a Gardenzord? :P nice
Latest Video: Bike Chase (Chrono Trigger) [HD]
3 years ago#7
I finished the rest of the graphics team interview. And if anyone wants to see it, I think this is the Hitachi commercial they're talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHWXdcURHEE

Interviewer: How did you come up with the designs for the Gardens?

Naora: [The English word] "Garden" means "park", "garden", something like that. So I was thinking about what kind of nickname I should give the students living there, and since it's a garden and they were being raised there, I suggested the name "SeeD" (seed). And once I had [the concept of] a garden and seeds, I supposed the buildings there would be like big trees. Early on, I imagined something like in "This Tree, What Tree" (a huge tree made famous by Hitachi group commercials), but when I tried designing it, it ended up looking like a kagami mochi [a round rice cake]. (Laughs)

After that, I decided to change the silhouette a bit, and that's how the current design was born. For the Gardens, I wanted to really show that there were actual students living there, so I went so far as to include various small details.

Interviewer: I think the hardware is going to keep evolving in the near future, so what kind of changes do you see coming in the world of map graphics?

Nakatani: Right now, when we place objects on the map, we use a flashing light effect to help the player notice them. I think we'll still need to use visual aids like that, but I'd also like to try more things like having the camera follow important objects and other visual effects, that kind of "movie to map" [transition].

Ikumori: As the hardware becomes more advanced, I think the boundaries between movies, field and battles will go away. With the games we have today, I think most people just put down their controllers and watch when there's a movie sequence, but I'd like to try making a game where movies, maps and battles flow together so well that players will determinedly keep gripping their controllers [at all times].

Naora: Along with the evolution of the hardware, as the polycount count and our ability to show things improve, don't you think the kind of images we choose to depict will change too? Because of that, I've been thinking about whether we can find slightly different ways to do art lately. That's not just about moving to 3D, but also about slightly different ways to show our art. I think I might have found some hints [for how to do things] in that area now. No matter if we'll be able to turn them into reality or not, I look forward to the challenge of trying.

Big caption: "Early on, there were plans that the three Gardens would combine into one"

Staff profiles

Art Director
Yusuke Naora
Responsibilities: General art direction. He also assisted with concept art and the like.

Lead Field Designer
Yukio Nakatani
Responsibilities: Graphics for Balamb, Timber, Tomb of the Unknown King, Galbadian Missile Base, Esthar, etc.

Lead Field Designer
Kazuyuki Ikumori
Responsibilities: Graphics for FH, Winhill, Ragnarok, Ultimecia's Castle, etc.

Lead Field Designer
Kenzo Kanzaki
Responsibilities: Graphics for Balamb, Deling City, Centra Excavation Site, Lunar Base, etc.

Lead Field Designer
Tetsuya Takahashi
Responsibilities: Graphics for Fire Cavern, [Dollet] Radio Tower, Esthar City, etc.
Currently playing:
Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
3 years ago#8
Your efforts are much appreciated Gwendal :)

I may be alone in this but, is there any interview with Uematsu? this one is my favorite soundtrack of his, so I wouldn't mind hearing some words from him about it :) But only if it's not much effort, since I think it's not what others would be expecting to be translated :P
Latest Video: Bike Chase (Chrono Trigger) [HD]
3 years ago#9
ferdk16 posted...
Your efforts are much appreciated Gwendal :)

I may be alone in this but, is there any interview with Uematsu? this one is my favorite soundtrack of his, so I wouldn't mind hearing some words from him about it :) But only if it's not much effort, since I think it's not what others would be expecting to be translated :P

Thanks, glad you liked it. :)

And I see Uematsu is one of the three people in the Sound Team interview. I might as well do that one next, so I'll try to get started on it soon. Oh, and I don't think you'd be the only one to want to hear from him, since he's such a highly regarded game composer.
Currently playing:
Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
3 years ago#10
Okay, maybe it wasn't quite as soon as I said, but here's the first part of the sound team interview. :P
This one was a bit more tricky than the graphics interview. Hopefully I'm not too far off the mark on anything, but I know there are some people who post here occasionally who are much better at Japanese than me, so any corrections are more than welcome if you happen to look at this topic. I also decided to start with the staff profiles this time, since that makes a bit more sense.

Staff profiles

Nobuo Uematsu
Responsibilities: Composing all the background music for the game

Sound Programmer
Minoru Akao
Responsibilities: Creating the sound drivers (program) to play back the background music and sound effects

Sound Editor
Eiji Nakamura
Responsibilities: Creating all manner of sound effects

"I think there's a definite power in live music"

FFVIII Creator Interview 3 - Sound Team

An evolved sound

Interviewer: In making your second "FF" game for the Playstation, were there any evolutions on the sound front compared to the previous game?

Uematsu: Thanks to [Sound programmer Minoru] Akao's hard work, the sound quality improved, with an especially marked improvement for the sound effects. The sound effects we used for the movie sequences were also improved ten-fold.

Nakamura: For this game, we created the sound effects for the movie sequences and other parts in Dolby Digital (a three-dimensional sound format), which the Playstation could then play back in Dolby Sound. In this way, the player gets a quasi-3D experience. Even though they're in front of the speakers, the sound comes from the sides and from behind in various ways to create the best possible sound environment...but we'd like players to try using a headset too.

Interviewer: Moving on to the music itself, on the last game you said you felt the music that played along with the projected image parts [=FMV sequences?] was slightly subdued. Would you say this trend continues in "VIII" too?

Uematsu: Basically, yes. I heard comments here and there back in the "VII" days that the melodies were weaker compared to the games up to "VI", but there are still times when I wonder myself if the melody should stand out more or be more subdued, and I have to resort to trial and error. Also, if the whole production had been a movie, I feel that it'd have been okay for the music to fade more into the background, but as long as that isn't the case, I think the music should be present to a certain extent. But it could be that there's more emotion and that the music stands out more in "VIII" compared to "VII". And "Eyes On Me" was the first time we used live recording for the "FF" series.

Interviewer: Did you plan on using Faye Wong (a very popular female musician in Asia) for that song?

Uematsu: I didn't know anything about her apart from her name. We planned on including a song [with vocals] in this game and I composed the melody on its own early in the process. When we got to the point where we neded to find out who we'd hire to sing it for us, everyone on the staff sat down and listened to CDs from various singers. Celine Dion, Mariah Carrey, and so on. Among those, (Scenario writer) Nojima lost himself in Faye Wong's CD, and when I listened to it, it was the one that made the biggest impression, and we decided to go with this person.
Currently playing:
Grim Fandango (PC), Wild Arms 4 (PS2)
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