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Localization Project For Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter Almost Got Cancelled

Trails in the Sky SC Logo

Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter (SC) released last week, which is great news for RPG fans! We’re currently working on a review for the game, and this got me thinking about what XSEED said about the problems they ran into for the localization of the game.

This very interesting post on Kotaku, talks about most of the problems they ran into during the localization for the game from Japanese to English. Things were so bad, the whole project almost got canceled! Click after the break to learn more about what happened.

Here are some of the great excepts from the original article:

It’s taken nearly half a decade for Second Chapter to come out in English, and those who have worked on localization of the game say it was a hellish undertaking. Given the size of the script—over three million Japanese characters—and the many obstacles the game faced on its route to U.S. shores, employees at the publisher XSEED saw it as their white whale. To describe SC’s localization as “challenging” would be like describing the Pacific Ocean as “damp.”


If only more people had bought it [First Chapter]. Perhaps because of the generic title or because the PSP was on its last legs in North America, FC was a retail flop. “It was actually quite a huge letdown based on how much work we put into it and how much work Falcom had put into it”

Trails in the Sky First Chapter had taken so much of their time and energy, and SC’s script was twice as big. After FC’s sluggish sales, how could they possibly justify tackling something double the size?

Soon, another major problem emerged—one that would be significantly more difficult to solve. As [an editor] went through the localization files, she started finding inconsistencies in terminology. Titles, items, and concepts had different names in SC script than they did in the first game, which was unacceptable to XSEED. The Trails series—or “Kiseki” in Japanese—is set in a large, consistent world with stories and characters that carry over from game to game. Maintaining that consistency was paramount for XSEED.

[An editor] estimates that the script clocked in at 716,401 words, which is roughly the size of 10 novels. For context: the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is 455,125 words.

I’m happy that they managed to fix all the problems they ran into, because I’m having fun with Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter. Be sure to stick around at for our review for the game!


Kotaku: The Curse of Kiseki: How One Of Japan’s Biggest RPGs Barely Made It To America
XSEED’s localization blog: Localization Blog #2 and Localization Blog #5