Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has unfinished translation because their QA is “too good”

Some interesting bit of information came in from the Atlus blog today about Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse’s localization, the game releases today for the Nintendo 3DS in North America. SMT IV: Apocalypse apparently has some unfinished translation in the final battle which might not be fixed soon if at all according to Atlus.

Images of the battle had been leaked on the Internet and fans were really worried about the localization, Atlus addressed everything in their blog.


Now this is nothing major and should not stop you from buying the game, however the reasoning they gave for it was amazing, according to Atlus their QA is “too good” at the game to notice that a part of the battle that was left untranslated:

As a bunch of people pointed out, an image circulated this weekend of our English build having some unlocalized Japanese text still in it. I’m not gonna link it here because it’s from the battle at the end of the game and could definitely spoil some details for people. Let that also serve as your warning before you go looking for it.

…Yep, it’s in there, along with one other instance of Japanese text. It’s an oversight on our part, and we’re deeply sorry about it. We’ve discussed internally about the possibility of correcting it, and while fixing it is not off the table yet, if it does happen, it won’t be in a timely manner.

But if the burning question you’ve got is “ATLUS! How did you let this happen?” Let me try to explain.

First, we’re human. This is important, so before you start writing that angry comment down below, please remember this point.

Second, and this is the funny part, it turns out our QA department is actually too good. The two instances of Japanese text left in the game happen during a boss battle near the end of the game. As you may know, SMTIV:A has partners that are permanently with you throughout the game, and you can select the partner based on what abilities they have that complement your play style. (No more worrying about a randomly chosen Walter casting Agi on demons that resist fire. WALTEERRRRRR!)

Anyhow, just like in SMTIV, partners can get attacked and knocked out. In this particular battle, partners will return after 3 turns, and the errant Japanese text only shows up if you get to a point where the boss gives you a dialogue option WHILE your partner is KO’d. Our testers, who have been with the company for quite awhile, and who are well-versed in all things SMT (I think a few of them also were QA for the original SMTIV) were so good, they never ran into the situation of having an unconscious partner during the fight, and henceforth the dialogue in question.

We never realized that there was a specific set of circumstances for the text to appear in-game, and so it never got localized. And unfortunately, it will still be in there by the time the game hits shelves tomorrow. BUT! As our QA testers and reviewers in the media have shown, it’s a relatively rare set of circumstances that will lead players to encounter the aberrant text, and hopefully won’t even be discovered by the vast majority of players. (Of course, now that I told you how to find it, you’re probably all going to go out and test it, aren’t you?)

So where do we go from here? Well, first – a sincere thank you to those who brought it to our attention. While it might be too late for SMTIVA, we’re now poring through the Persona 5 script and other active localization titles to check for any conditional text we may have missed. Second, we’re going to look into being able to fix it, but we don’t know if it’s feasible or if we even have a timetable for it, but as soon as we know something one way or the other, we’ll let you know.

So, bottom line, we’re truly regretful this bit of dialogue slipped through the cracks, and hope it doesn’t impact your gameplay at all!

So there you go folks, if you were worried about the images circulating on Twitter and other sites then don’t. The issue is very minor and should not hinder you experience in anyway.

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final gets first trailer, show off the game's characters

What did you think of the debacle? Did fans blow this all out of proportion? Let us know in the comments.

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
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