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My own try at translating "The Truth of 50 Years Ago"

#1 User is offline Windii 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:18 PM

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Good day everybody. I am sure most of you already know about the little text snippet from the Sonic Adventure 2 Perfect Guide called "The Truth of 50 Years Ago." It explained some behind-the-scenes stuff on the Biolizard and Project Shadow as a whole. I don't think it needs much introduction.

Well, a few months ago I actually came across the original Japanese text for that blurb that a certain individual was kind enough to share. I assumed that the currently available translation of the blurb on the Wiki more or less matches the original text, but as I started comparing the two I found that some sections were either incorrectly translated or flat-out missing.

Frustrated, I decided to give it a go and translate the entire thing myself. I rechecked my text several times to make sure that it's translated accurately with as little broken English going on as possible but of course my Japanese understanding and English vocabulary is not perfect, so if anybody has a better idea on how to handle certain parts of the text, I'm all ears.

I'm going to post my translation here under the spoiler tag but it's also available on my Pastebin page with the original Japanese text included. If my attempt succeeds at clearing things up or helping someone, that will make me very happy. Thanks guys.

Spoiler


#2 User is offline XCubed 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:48 PM

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The game that altered this historical context of the franchise. But we still don't know Sonic's origin. LOLWAT

#3 User is offline Sir_mihael 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 03:15 PM

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This is nice to see! I'll have to compare it later on!

On the topic of accurate translations, has anyone had a go at re-translating the Knuckles Chaotix Japanese manual story next? My glorious japanese isn't quite there yet, but I feel like the current translations look a bit iffy (then again, it could just be a confusingly written bit of text even natively...)

#4 User is offline big smile 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 04:04 PM

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Awesome work Windii.

Just in case anyone needs them, there's the original Japanese text for a lot of game manual stories on Sonic-Jam.org

#5 User is offline Casshern 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 05:03 PM

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Quote

there is no longer a way to confirm anywhere if the Shadow that was sealed at Prison Island was a replica by Gerald or the original Shadow that was ejected towards the surface and recovered...


I always liked this little ambiguity Sonic Team threw there. The most likely thing is that yeah it's the same Shadow, but it was interesting that even though Shadow knew his memories might be fake he still decided to stop the Ark from crashing.

#6 User is offline Windii 

Posted 15 October 2017 - 05:43 PM

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View PostSir_mihael, on 15 October 2017 - 03:15 PM, said:

This is nice to see! I'll have to compare it later on!

On the topic of accurate translations, has anyone had a go at re-translating the Knuckles Chaotix Japanese manual story next? My glorious japanese isn't quite there yet, but I feel like the current translations look a bit iffy (then again, it could just be a confusingly written bit of text even natively...)

View Postbig smile, on 15 October 2017 - 04:04 PM, said:

Awesome work Windii.

Just in case anyone needs them, there's the original Japanese text for a lot of game manual stories on Sonic-Jam.org

Thanks a lot, guys. Retranslating the Japanese manuals is something I have in plans as well. I've always felt they needed another translation pass, especially now that we have better resources for kanji recognition and dictionaries in this day and age. Those will probably be up on my Pastebin as well.

I should also add that if the manual scans are large enough, they should be sufficient for an OCR transcription (to save the trouble of typing all the text down manually and all that). I was wondering if someone could get higher quality scans of the Sonic CD manual. It's so far at the lowest quality of them all on the Wiki, which really sucks. If anyone still has it and can make large pretty scans, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

#7 User is offline HEDGESMFG 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM

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View PostCasshern, on 15 October 2017 - 05:03 PM, said:

Quote

there is no longer a way to confirm anywhere if the Shadow that was sealed at Prison Island was a replica by Gerald or the original Shadow that was ejected towards the surface and recovered...


I always liked this little ambiguity Sonic Team threw there. The most likely thing is that yeah it's the same Shadow, but it was interesting that even though Shadow knew his memories might be fake he still decided to stop the Ark from crashing.


It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

This doesn't really apply to game canon. It 'might' have applied to SA2, but Shadow the Hedgehog as a game more or less chose to override it and confirm that Shadow/Maria did meet.

Edit: also, funny thing is... according to that guide, project Shadow's immortality (in both the prototype and Shadow himself) is caused by chaos energy, meaning Shadow is pretty much an artificial/imperfect version of Super Sonic when you think about it. Lives forever due to regenerative energies, but can still be damaged. Maybe that's why they gave him Super Sonic's spikes ingame?
This post has been edited by HEDGESMFG: 17 October 2017 - 01:06 AM

#8 User is offline Pengi 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:28 PM

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Great work Windii! It's always good to see new/more accurate translations of this stuff.

View PostHEDGESMFG, on 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM, said:

It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

This doesn't really apply to game canon. It 'might' have applied to SA2, but Shadow the Hedgehog as a game more or less chose to override it and confirm that Shadow/Maria did meet.


I hate how the Shadow the Hedgehog game removed all the ambiguity and mystery from Shadow's backstory, and that it did so by shoehorning in incongruous elements (ALIENS?).

One of the clever things SA2 did (and it's especially reinforced in "The Truth of 50 Years Ago" above) was leave open the possibility that Sonic was the original Shadow created on the ARK and Shadow was a replica created on Prison Island. I wouldn't ever want that to be Sonic's officially confirmed origin, or for Sonic to be given an origin story at all, but I always liked the idea of Sega just leaving the puzzle pieces out there and open to interpretation.

#9 User is offline Casshern 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:29 PM

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View PostHEDGESMFG, on 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM, said:

View PostCasshern, on 15 October 2017 - 05:03 PM, said:

Quote

there is no longer a way to confirm anywhere if the Shadow that was sealed at Prison Island was a replica by Gerald or the original Shadow that was ejected towards the surface and recovered...


I always liked this little ambiguity Sonic Team threw there. The most likely thing is that yeah it's the same Shadow, but it was interesting that even though Shadow knew his memories might be fake he still decided to stop the Ark from crashing.


It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

This doesn't really apply to game canon. It 'might' have applied to SA2, but Shadow the Hedgehog as a game more or less chose to override it and confirm that Shadow/Maria did meet.

Edit: also, funny thing is... according to that guide, project Shadow's immortality (in both the prototype and Shadow himself) is caused by chaos energy, meaning Shadow is pretty much an artificial/imperfect version of Super Sonic when you think about it. Lives forever due to regenerative energies, but can still be damaged. Maybe that's why they gave him Super Sonic's spikes ingame?


I forgot about the Sonic X version! I do wonder if that's something the anime staff decided or if it was something planned by Sonic Team that was scrapped for the Black Arms origin.


View PostPengi, on 17 October 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

Great work Windii! It's always good to see new/more accurate translations of this stuff.

View PostHEDGESMFG, on 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM, said:

It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

This doesn't really apply to game canon. It 'might' have applied to SA2, but Shadow the Hedgehog as a game more or less chose to override it and confirm that Shadow/Maria did meet.


I hate how the Shadow the Hedgehog game removed all the ambiguity and mystery from Shadow's backstory, and that it did so by shoehorning in incongruous elements (ALIENS?).

One of the clever things SA2 did (and it's especially reinforced in "The Truth of 50 Years Ago" above) was leave open the possibility that Sonic was the original Shadow created on the ARK and Shadow was a replica created on Prison Island. I wouldn't ever want that to be Sonic's officially confirmed origin, or for Sonic to be given an origin story at all, but I always liked the idea of Sega just leaving the puzzle pieces out there and open to interpretation.


Ah,the Sonic being the ultimate life form theory! Haven't heard that one in a long time lol. But yeah, I think everyone eventually had that thought, especially after their dialogue during the space battle.

#10 User is offline Sir_mihael 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:25 PM

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View PostCasshern, on 17 October 2017 - 03:29 PM, said:

View PostPengi, on 17 October 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

One of the clever things SA2 did (and it's especially reinforced in "The Truth of 50 Years Ago" above) was leave open the possibility that Sonic was the original Shadow created on the ARK and Shadow was a replica created on Prison Island. I wouldn't ever want that to be Sonic's officially confirmed origin, or for Sonic to be given an origin story at all, but I always liked the idea of Sega just leaving the puzzle pieces out there and open to interpretation.


Ah,the Sonic being the ultimate life form theory! Haven't heard that one in a long time lol. But yeah, I think everyone eventually had that thought, especially after their dialogue during the space battle.

I was in love with this theory for a while. I tried to headcanon it for a long while that Eggman was always aware of Sonic being something that his grandfather had created, and that's what sparked their rivalry, but without his grandfather's Diary he had no solid information until SA2.

Kinda glad that whole theory went out of the window, although it's a shame we'll probably never see Sonic use Chaos Control again.
This post has been edited by Sir_mihael: 17 October 2017 - 05:26 PM

#11 User is offline DigitalDuck 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:38 PM

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If Sonic was created 50 years ago, why is his age given as 15?

#12 User is offline MykonosFan 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:40 PM

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I remember David the Lurker and I reading the existing translation months back and scratching our heads at certain things about it. It's great to see someone take another crack at translating this. Thanks for doing so.

#13 User is offline Windii 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:48 PM

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Thanks for all the comments, guys. I just wanted to add that I've also translated all three stories from SA2 a while back, including the recaps because I enjoy them. If you ever want to know how certain aspect of the story were handled in the original Japanese text (without the English localisation's weirdness), those are a good place to start.

View PostHEDGESMFG, on 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM, said:

It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

I actually rewatched the SA2 arc in Sonic X recently, and I found it interesting how a lot of the dialogue is basically taken from the original game word for word. I assume that's different for the dub, but I also haven't watched it in over 8 years now so I wouldn't know.

#14 User is offline JaxTH 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:43 PM

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View PostWindii, on 17 October 2017 - 07:48 PM, said:

If you ever want to know how certain aspect of the story were handled in the original Japanese text (without the English localisation's weirdness), those are a good place to start.

Too bad all the original English stuff is most likely lost.

#15 User is offline HEDGESMFG 

Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:16 PM

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View PostWindii, on 17 October 2017 - 07:48 PM, said:

Thanks for all the comments, guys. I just wanted to add that I've also translated all three stories from SA2 a while back, including the recaps because I enjoy them. If you ever want to know how certain aspect of the story were handled in the original Japanese text (without the English localisation's weirdness), those are a good place to start.

View PostHEDGESMFG, on 17 October 2017 - 01:03 AM, said:

It's even more interesting when you follow the Japanese Sonic X canon of this story, which all but confirms that Shadow's memories were never truly real (the soldier who shot Maria showed an account that was completely different from what SA2/the flashbacks showed), and that he apparently never even met Maria at all. He's effectively being motivated by an imaginary friend, and completely manipulated by the will of a madman, and it's pretty tragic.

I actually rewatched the SA2 arc in Sonic X recently, and I found it interesting how a lot of the dialogue is basically taken from the original game word for word. I assume that's different for the dub, but I also haven't watched it in over 8 years now so I wouldn't know.


Good timing, I've been watching your videos recently.

And yes, the Sonic being the Ultimate lifeform angle was something I fully expected to be expanded upon after SA2 in some form. While it wasn't exactly obvious 'how' this happened, the idea itself seemed too distinct to the plot to completely ignore. Shadow being like Sonic also seemed to coincidental to ignore at the time. Heck, we've still never quite gotten a proper explanation as to why he can use Chaos Control so effectively it even works with a 'fake' emerald.

I mean, in retrospect, it's obvious that the canon will never go down that direction, and many rightfully feel it'd be in bad taste to do this, just as they abandoned the "Shadow never met Maria" idea, but these were ripe points for speculation back then, and I'm clearly not the only one who wondered about it.

Of course, I agree that as an origin for Sonic it's too on the nose to be real, but I do wonder if they at least toyed with the idea for awhile before scrapping it. Maybe Sonic was in a stasis capsule before being "awakened" later? There are several directions they could have gone with the idea.

Other oddities that have never been answered similar to this, how did Eggman get from Earth to Sonic's world in the Sonic X canon? The show's dialogue outright says he was born on earth, with an entirely conversation being about this in episode 33. Again, not game canon at all, but yet another odd mystery that was never followed up on regarding this strange backstory. How old is Eggman even? At least 50 if he knew of his grandfather?
This post has been edited by HEDGESMFG: 17 October 2017 - 10:18 PM

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