Getting Something Off My Chests

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Mento

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Edited By Mento  Moderator
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(The "something" in this case is "sass.")

This week I've been playing The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, the second part of the sixth game in the LoH series (JRPG chronologies can be fascinating things), and while the game is remarkable by several metrics the most revered aspect - at least over here - is just how snappy and fun the localized script can be. These games aren't short and are full of incidental dialogue and NPC chatter; what's more is that it has a vaguely open structure and characters will respond to certain situations differently depending on the order you've done them. For example, if you went to a destination for a side-quest before the main story directs you there, the game will acknowledge it with a line of dialogue in the way of something like "so hey, we're back here again." With all these additional modifiers to an already immense story and dialogue script, it's evident the localizers and translators spent an extraordinarily long time not only putting those words into English but working to retain the soul and humor of the original text.

The best non-spoilery encapsulation of just how high quality this localization is would either involve the pansexual libertine Olivier Lenheim, whose every line (and the responses from the other party members, especially protagonist Estelle) is golden, or a series-wide running joke where all the treasure chests contain additional messages if you try to open them again. I'm only on Chapter 3 of the game so far (out of eight, if the achievement tracker is anything to go by), yet I've managed to find at least forty of these chest messages that rank among some of my favorite lines in a video game.

(NB: I've organized them into categories and put them in spoiler blocks, because this is going to be a huge image dump otherwise.)

Sass

These chests, and most others, straight up don't give an eff. You already took all their shit; why should they feel the need to be polite?

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Mystery

Sometimes asking questions just leads to more questions.

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Meta

Nobody knows they're in a video game more than these fourth-wall breaking boxes.

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Sad

I wasn't ready for what these chests had to say about life and loss. If I could put back that mid-level healing consumable to cheer you up, I would.

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Reference

Reference humor is inescapable with many localizations, but at least these are funny.

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Cute!

Not all chest messages have to be mean and sardonic. Some are just delightful.

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Scary...

Other messages are terrifying to their core, however. Best to just keep walking. Don't make eye contact.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Glad you've discovered the joy of the chests in Trails. Those games are genuinely great. Could do without all the backtracking but it's really only a problem if you get caught up in side quests, which I just didn't care enough about to bother with them.

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cikame

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#2  Edited By cikame

This is one of those JRPG's i never finished and long to return to, and yes i also took screenshots of every chest i encountered along the way :P.
Edit: I didn't notice the SC, i played the first one.

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Genessee

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And Trails sinks its fangs deeper into another vic...happy player.

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DemiGodRaven

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Just going to add that the 'baby come back' chest listed in the Cute segment is a reference to The song 'Baby Come Back

which is a long time muzak staple for those of us who've spent time in retail.

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Efesell

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#5 Efesell  Online

Sadly this is a feature that does not survive into the Cold Steel saga, except in a very limited capacity. The only clear downgrade in my view.

On the plus side, the fine folks over at the Geofront patch for Zero sourced a bunch of quotes to add back in as a feature to their patch of that game.