Greetings everyone! Andrew Alfonso here once again, and this is the final, final, finaaaaaaaal blog about the localization of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. This is going to get pretty lengthy so let’s get right to it!
Just Hold On, We’re Going Home
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings back a lot of previous monsters that didn’t make an appearance in Monster Hunter Tri or Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, such as the Hermitaurs, Monoblos, Teostra and more. So it almost goes without saying that hunters would have to return to one of the main cities from the early Monster Hunter games, Dundorma. This gigantic city appeared in Monster Hunter 2 Dos (which unfortunately, was never localized) and then in Monster Hunter Freedom 2 in some background lore. Dundorma is governed by a giant Wyverian known as His Immenseness. The dude is biiiiig! Ironically, whenever I’ve played Monster Hunter with some of the ladies at work, they always comment on how cute he is. Maybe he’s cute in that teddy bear kind of way? I personally don’t see it, but to each their own, right?
Although this city appeared in previous games as Dondruma, the English localization team and I had a talk about the spelling of the name, because it’s obvious that the name is a Romanization of the Japanese, but it’s also kind of…not. The spelling makes the pronunciation very different from the original Japanese ( don-dru-ma versus don-dol-ma ), so after some discussion about it, we decided we needed to update the name to bring it more in line with the Japanese, hence the change to Dundorma.
I covered the Insect Glaive in one of my earlier localization blog posts, so today I’ll go over the other new weapon introduced in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and my personal favorite, the Charge Blade! This amazing weapon starts off as a traditional Sword & Shield combo, but the sword charges energy with every attack. When you have enough energy charged, you can store it into your shield. What do you do after that? Well, that’s easy! Combine your sword and shield into a giant freaking axe and unleash all that stored energy with each mighty swing!
The original Japanese name was Charge Axe, but we thought it’d be better to change that to better reflect the intended play style of the weapon. You’ll spend most of your time in sword and shield mode rather than axe mode, so we thought this was a change for the better.
Something that was interesting to us when we were localizing the game was the Magala class weapons and how they liberally used English for the weapon names. For example, the Insect Glaive is called Aim of Trick (ã‚¢ã‚¤ãƒ ofãƒˆãƒªãƒƒã‚¯) and one of the Long Swords is called The Law (THEãƒã‚¦). All of Gore Magala’s weapons use the “of” naming style, while Shagaru Magala’s weapons use the “the” style. These names were kind of tough to localize because while we can obviously just transliterate them into English, the naming was done to make them seem a little “off” (in Japanese we’d call this strangeness , iwakan , or é-å’Œæ„Ÿ), so we had to get that part down too. What we ended up doing was novel, but I’m assuming a major pain in the butt for the European localization. All of the “of” weapons were translated into German, while the “The” weapons were translated into French. Later on there are weapons related to the “new” Gore Magala that use a slash instead of an English word, so there we combined both the German and French into one name. There are your strange, but accurate weapon names!
All of the Magala weapon names are supposed to make you think they’re “off”
To give you an example of how the names turned out, here’s a list of the Magala Charge Blades you can forge in the game:
- ãƒ-ã‚©ãƒ¼ã‚¹ofãƒ-ã‚©ãƒ¼ãƒ«: Elendskraft (German)
- ãƒ-ã‚©ãƒ¼ã‚¹ofãƒ«ã‚¤ãƒ³: Leidenskraft (German)
- ãƒ-ã‚©ãƒ¼ã‚¹ofã‚«ã‚¿ã‚¹ãƒˆãƒ«: Unheilskraft (German)
- THEã‚µãƒ—ãƒ¬ãƒƒã‚·ãƒ§ãƒ³: L’Oppresseur (French)
- THEãƒ–ãƒ¼ã‚¹ãƒˆ: L’Essor (French)
- THEã‚»ã‚¤ãƒ´ã‚¡ãƒ¼: Le Salut (French)
- ãƒ–ãƒ¼ã‚¹ãƒˆorãƒ-ã‚©ãƒ¼ãƒ«: Elends/Essor (German/French)
Kind of groovy, eh? Hope that gives you some insight on how we came up with those weird names! Now, let’s talk monsters! Specifically some more end-game monsters!
As you might’ve seen, the Elder Dragon Kirin makes its return in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, but this time it brought along a dark, cold subspecies cousin to wreck stuff. Initially we came up with a bunch of traditional monikers based on the monster’s element of ice and its appearance, such as Frost and Boreal, but director Fujioka-san rejected all of our requests and asked us to come up with something more Asian in nature. His thinking was that Kirin is based on the Asian mythological creature of the same name, so the subspecies name should reflect that origin.
This is not the Oroshi we were thinking about
So we headed back to Castle Brainstorm and came up with one suggestion for Fujioka-san, and that was Oroshi Kirin. If you talk about Oroshi with your normal Japanese person, they’d probably think about oroshi daikon (grated radish) or oroshi shouga (grated ginger), but this Oroshi is referring to the Japanese kanji characteré¢ª, which is to describe a strong wind blowing down the slope of a mountain, particularly during the winter season. The Oroshi wind is featured prominently in Japanese folklore, so we thought it was a suitable name for this mystical creature.
THIS is the Oroshi we were thinking about.
The rare species of Tigrex makes its debut in the original Monster Hunter 4, and was one of the bigger surprises for people because it was not revealed in any trailer. I like surprises, but surprises that let loose eardrum-searing roars and toss exploding boulders at me, I can do without!
We had a few ideas for this rare species name which centered on searing heat. We thought names like Torrid Tigrex, Fiery Tigrex and Infernal Tigrex worked well to give the monster a name with impact and power. We also came up with Sinister Tigrex because the thing just looks evil with its red and black hide. Finally, we came up with Molten Tigrex, which required some explanation for Fujioka-san so he could fully understand why we liked it the most. We had an image of molten lava, whether it was flowing slowly or quickly, simply causing anything in its path to melt and disappear. It’s one of those unstoppable forces of nature that’s best avoided because it’s impossible to contain. This is how we proposed the name to Fujioka-san, and he liked how it sounded. Now say hello to your greatest nightmare, Molten Tigrex! You’ll learn to hate this name soon enough —trust me.
The final monster I’m introducing is one that doesn’t even show up in the game. Well, the name doesn’t, anyway. Much like Savage Deviljho, Raging Brachydios is a variant of the original species, so it doesn’t receive any special treatment as far as names go. All of the quests that feature Raging Brachydios only say Brachydios, but if you read the quest summaries carefully, you’ll see that the client infers that the Brachydios in question is a little bit different…a little bit more angry. Scratch that, this dude is hella angry!
And with that, the localization blogs for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate are done! But I do have one small surprise for everyone! Producer Natsuki Shiozawa, Director Kaname Fujioka, lead designer Yuya Tokuda and scenario writer Shino Okamura, all have something they want to say to fans overseas, so read their comments below!
Producer Natsuki Shiozawa
Hey Monster Hunter fans, I’m the producer of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Natsuki Shiozawa. While at work I focus on producing the MH titles while being the comedic foil to Ryozo Tsujimoto, executive producer of the Monster Hunter series.
I was also the producer of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, but to be honest, I’m very excited by the warm reception from the growing fanbase this time even compared to just a couple of years ago. Obviously we had a lot of responses and ideas from the fans at that time, but this time around there seems to be even more of you, which of course makes me super happy!
As a member of the dev team, we finished working on the game and it went on sale in Japan, but ever since the Japanese release I always thought, “making the game starts now.”
Until everyone gets their hands on the game, the game isn’t truly made. Only when all of you fans turn on your systems, play the game, fight some monsters and think, “this is amazing, I just want to do one more quest! I was so close!” that’s when we can say the game is truly made.
So everyone…this is not the time to be reading this blog! LOL
Whether you’re at home or outside, turn on your 3DS system and spend lots of time delving into Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate .
We want to hear all of your feedback! Even something simple like, “I played it and liked it”, would not only justify all the years of work we put into the game, but serve as motivation as we take our next steps forward.
Thank you to all the fans for waiting, and I honestly hope you enjoy the game!
Director Kaname Fujioka
Hey everyone, MH4U director Kaname Fujioka here! Finally, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the follow-up to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, is in your hands! Thanks for being so patient while we worked on the game. However, while you were waiting, the localization team was working right up to the last minute to deliver a great title, and I think that’s exactly what they did.
To welcome the release of the game, I was able to meet so many fans in both North America and Europe. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been out on a media tour, but the fans greeted me with warm, open arms and were super passionate about the game, much like our Japanese fans. The series is now in its tenth year thanks to all of the fan support, and to me it’s been an invaluable experience.
Monster Hunter was my directorial debut, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a title that is filled with memories of the past decade. You can travel across locales with unprecedented freedom, using the terrain to your advantage, and you’ll meet tons of monsters new and old. Fans of the series and of course gamers who haven’t played the previous games will be able to enjoy all the dynamic action that Monster Hunter has to offer. And for the first time ever in the series, we’re offering online and local multiplayer. We developed this game not only for the fans, but for all sorts of gamers, and we want you to enjoy this game even with friends you can’t meet face to face every day.
Even after the game’s release, we want to make great things happen with you, and I look forward to seeing you all again sometime soon! I hope we can bring all of the Monster Hunter fans together as one!
Lead Designer Yuya Tokuda
Thanks for reading the MH4U localization blogs, I’m lead designer Yuya Tokuda.
MH4U is finally out in all regions, and we appreciate your anticipation! I have the utmost confidence in the game we made. We created a game that has the most content in the entire series, with so many monsters and armor that you’ll never get tired of playing. We also have great end-game content in the form of Apex Monsters and Guild Quests that’ll satisfy even the most hardcore gamer, especially when you get those Guild Quests up to level 140! Let us know how your hunts turn out!
This time we also have a proper story mode along with tutorials for you to enjoy. Your Palicoes will help you out during these quests (I recommend to have five Palicoes with the Healing Forte), so even gamers who want to play at their own pace or are just diving into the world of Monster Hunter can play with ease. Of course, you can also go online to find some new hunting mates! The localization team really worked the game down to the finest detail, so it’ll be a much smoother playing experience for everyone.
We worked tirelessly on the game to ensure that you get the most enjoyment out of it (I didn’t even take any days off…) so please check out the game as soon as possible!
Scenario Writer Shino Okamura
Hi everyone, I’m Shino Okamura, and I worked on the scenario for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, dealing with the general story progression design and dialogue creation. In the past I worked on the dialogue and story for the Sengoku Basara games, and even before that I was the lead designer on Gregory Horror Show on the PS2. Oh, I also worked on Mega Man X8 as a designer. J I’m so happy that so many fans are getting into the Monster Hunter series, and of course, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate !
The theme of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is “adventure.” The story was written from the perspective of an adventure, meeting various people in each village you visit. In the story, the Caravan that keeps trucking along towards its final destination and all of the people that you encounter is but just one part of the adventure. Even after the game’s ending, you and the Caravan will continue onwards.
I hope that everyone plays the game and meets fellow hunters, fights enormous monsters, and enjoys the sense of freedom of a true adventurer when you go head off to explore uncharted lands!
Localization Director Andrew Alfonso
To everyone who’s been keeping up with not only this blog but the Monster Hunter series for all these years, I’d like to say thank you for all of your support and your comments. The franchise has made some huge strides over the past couple of years and it’s only going to get better for Western Monster Hunter fans from here on out. Even though my work on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is over, I’ll still be in the trenches, making sure that the Monster Hunter team fully understands your expectations and does their utmost to meet them.
Finally, thanks to the great people at 8-4, Binari Sonori and Enzyme Labs for all their work on the English and European localization, everyone at Capcom USA and Capcom Europe for their continued support. The launch of this game would never have been possible without everyone giving their 100% day in and day out.
Thanks for reading, and happy hunting!