Hey there everyone, I’m Andrew Alfonso, a Localization Project Manager/Director in Capcom Japan’s Global R&D department. To keep the self-intro short, I’ve been with Capcom for the past six years, working on everything from Mega Man Star Force to Devil May Cry 4 to most recently Super/Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken . After being one of the editors for the past two Monster Hunter titles (Freedom Unite and Monster Hunter 3), I decided to take on the role of localization lead for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. It also helped that I’m a pretty hardcore Monster Hunter fan; I’ve racked up over 200 hours on each game since Monster Hunter Freedom up until Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. I haven’t had too much time to dabble in MH3U so I’m only at HR 7, but I’m definitely going to grind it out during the holiday season!
We started the localization of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate earlier this year, and now that things are slowly starting to wrap up, I wanted to give everyone an inside look at the localization team’s contribution to the game.
One of the perks of working on a game like Monster Hunter is of course, coming up with cool names for the real stars of the show, the monsters. Counting the new subspecies and rare species, there were a whopping 20 new monsters to be named. It took a while to get them nailed down, but it was a really fun process! Here are just a few examples for this week!
The name Arzuros is a combination of two words: ” azure ” and Latin word ” ursus “, which means bear. Oddly enough, this was actually one of the easier names to decide on. We did throw around a few other ideas that utilized the same combination of words, such as Azursus and Azuros, but in the end we felt that Arzuros was the best fit for the monster.
Believe it or not, the localized name for “Urukususu” was one of the hardest names to decide. For the localized name we decided to base it off of the Greek word for hare, ” lagos “. The ” -mbi ” part was to give the name a unique, cute sound overall, ala “Bambi”.
Even though I’ve put 250 hours into MH Portable 3rd and nearly 200 hours into MH3U, I have to be honest and say that I sometimes forget this monster even exists, mainly because I haven’t fought it that many times.
That said, Volvidon was conceived by combining the word ” revolve ” and adding the dinosaur-like suffix ” -idon “. We didn’t go with “-odon” because that suffix means “tooth”, and because it’d sound way too much like “Volvo”, and it’s not cool to beat up on a car.
While “Volvidon” sounds vastly different from the monster’s Japanese name “Rangurotora”, we still feel that we captured the essence of the monster well.
Zinogre and Stygian Zinogre
Since the beginning of the series, every localized name has had to receive the official seal of approval from the director of the game in which the monster first appears. That said, the final decision to go with “Zinogre”, which is the official English spelling of the Japanese name, was made in the same way by the director of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, Yasunori Ichinose. The name had appeared on several pieces of merchandise – most notably t-shirts sold in Uniqlo – so he wanted to stick with that naming scheme for the localized version.
Being the diligent workers that we are, we did come up with an alternate localized name for the team. This name was Zeograth . This is a combination of Greek god Zeus with the word ” wrath “, which we felt matched up with the Japanese version well, considering Zeus is a ferocious god who attacks with lightning. While we didn’t get to use our proposed name, I’m not opposed to the name Zinogre! I actually think it sounds really cool, and as a bonus, if you pick up any cool Monster Hunter swag in Japan, people will instantly recognize the name!
Shifting gears a little, let’s talk subspecies. In the Japanese version, the subspecies of any monster is usually just labeled as a subspecies, but in the localized versions we wanted to make them a bit more unique. As fans of Monster Hunter are aware, we have used colors to differentiate subspecies from their garden variety brethren in the past, but with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, we wanted to take that up a notch and go with monikers that represented a color but also sounded cool to boot.
For the Zinogre subspecies, we initially proposed ” Scarlet Zinogre “, but the Japanese development team wanted to emphasize a different side of this vicious beast. They had imagined the Zinogre subspecies as having the presence and attitude of a hellhound a la Cerberus when they came up with its initial design, so we went back to the drawing board and came up with Stygian . As to be expected of a word related to the river Styx, it sounds as dark and treacherous as the monster itself. Having battled it numerous times myself in the Japanese version, I have to say that Stygian definitely fits!
For the European languages, Stygian Zinogre is translated as Zinogre stygien in French, Höllen-Zinogre in German, Zinogre stigeo in Italian, and Zinogre estigio in Spanish.
That’s it for my first official blog entry for Capcom! I hope you guys enjoyed this small inside look at how we bring you the games that you love, because I’ll be doing a couple more of these up until the official release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Please leave your comments or even post them on the official Monster Hunter forum and I’ll answer them as soon as I can!
Have a happy holiday season everyone!