Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: Localization & Tipping the Scales!

Feb 17, 2015
2015 Feb 17
Andrew Alfonso

Greetings everyone! Are you all hyped for the release of Mons …oh wait, the game is already out! WOOHOO! I hope everyone got their copy on time and spent the entire freaking weekend playing the heck out of the game. Had some crazy moments during your hunts? Liked some of the one-liners those odd Caravan peeps have? Let us know in the comments whenever you have the time!

So before we start talking about the final new village in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and some new monsters, I have to give you proper warning; if you haven’t progressed past Cheeko Sands and you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read the rest of this blog. Then again, if you’ve been reading all of these blogs, you’re probably well aware that spoilers abound everywhere!


Winds of Change

After a brief stay in Cheeko Sands, you and the caravan arrive at your final destination, the village known as Cathar. This windy, mountainside village is isolated from the rest of the known world due to its location. The residents of Cathar are all Wyvernian, including the amazing Maximeld XIV. Who’s that, you ask? He’s the latest successor in a long line of melding experts! Melding lets you combine talismans you own with certain Frenzy crystals to produce even better talismans. Give it a whirl once you get to Cathar!

 

 

In the Japanese version, Cathar is known as Shinato (シナト) but we decided to make the name change because we wanted players to immediately get the meaning of the name. Shinato originates from shinato no kaze (科戸ã®é¢¨), which is an alias for Shinatsuhiko and Shinatobe, the god and goddess of wind in Japanese mythology. Another meaning for shinato no kaze is “a wind that wipes away sin and filth,” in essence a purifying wind. And what better way to express purification than catharsis?


Seregios

The flagship monster for Monster Hunter 4G in Japan is a swift and dangerous wyvern capable of shooting out its own scales to wound hunters. It also has zero problems messing with full grown Rathians and Rathalos in their own habitat! Seregios is definitely a monster you do not want to take lightly…even if it does look like a pinecone. Don’t tell it that you think that though, it’ll get even angrier.

 

Naming a monster like Seregios is a big deal because it’s one of the main monsters in the game, and you don’t want to screw it up. At the very least you want to give a couple of solid ideas and hash things out with the director. Before we sat down with the director Fujioka-san and lead designer Tokuda-san, we were given a couple of keywords to hit when coming up with names. This included talons , legion , Rathalos’ rival, gold , scales , speed , dive bomb, and so on. The names that we came up with were

  • Seregios: a Romanization of the Japanese name. I chose an R instead of an L in the middle to make it look like serre (talon in French) and serrate.
  • Aurelos: a combination of aer (Latin for air), Regius (Latin for King) and a traditional Monster Hunter suffix, los. We were going for “the king of the skies to rival Rathalos” vibe with this one.
  • Ceralos: a combination of celertias (Latin for high speed) and Regius.
  • Aegios: a combination of aer and Legion, which the Japanese name also utilizes.
  • Aurthelos: a combination of Aur (Latin for gold), and a traditional Monster Hunter suffix, thalos. We were going for “the golden rival of Rathalos”.

We probably didn’t do the other suggestions any favors by adding the Romanization of the Japanese name into the list, but we all agreed that much like Gore Magala and Kecha Wacha before it, the name itself sounded good and is easy enough for more people to pronounce (although some people might end up pronouncing it “Sir Regios”…). We also liked how the original name had this sort of cutting sound to it compared to the ideas we came up with, so there weren’t any objections when Fujioka-san decided to stick with the original Japanese name.

 

Dalamadur

If you thought final bosses like the Mohrans and Lao-Shan Lung were big fish to fry, you haven’t seen anything yet! Dalamadur is a gigantic Elder Dragon that’s over 1,400 feet in length, and it’s so big it needs two freaking Target Camera icons on the Nintendo 3DS touch screen to fight! The area that Dalamadur inhabits is called Cragtip Spear…actually, I shouldn’t say that Dalamadur inhabits Cragtip Spear; it kind of uses it as a hammock to chill while it waits for hearts-full-of-courage-but-not-much-else hunters to climb to the top of the mountain. Oh, those poor, naïve hunters.

The Japanese name for this king of serpents, Dara Amadura (ダラ• アマデュラ) is quite a mouthful to say in English, but, more importantly, it’s long enough to cause problems during localization when we come up with material names and whatnot, so we tried to brainstorm some short but similar names. One thing we learned while studying up on Dalamadur’s Japanese name is that, despite being a gigantic serpent, its name had zero connection to a snake. The name was inspired by Magdala (Aramaic for great/tower) and the Babylonian word for armor. No, I have no idea how the Monster Hunter team found a resource to translate Babylonian into Japanese, but they’re a crafty bunch. I wouldn’t put it past them to find something that obscure.

Aside from the Romanized Dalamadur, we also came up with two totally new (and short!) names for this beast. The first one was Vashira, which was based on Vasuki, one of the King serpents in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The second one was Nadalah, which was a combination of Nahash (Hebrew for serpent) and Magdala from the original Japanese name. Oh yeah, we also came up with an alternate Romanized name, Amadulla, just in case. I personally liked Vashira the best because it’s short (easier to use for material names, etc.), has a serpent-like sound to it, and most of all, has some impact behind it. However, Director Fujioka-san wanted to stick with the Japanese version of the name, so we chose Dalamadur over Amadulla to keep it as close as possible to the original.

 

Shah Dalamadur

The new Dalamadur subspecies isn’t very different from the original species; instead of black scales it sports red ones, and it has a slightly paler look compared to the original’s blue hue. The combination of these visual changes plus the minor change to the monster’s kanji name was our starting point for the localized name. The original species’ kanji name is Jyaouryu (蛇王é¾), which literally translates to “snake king dragon,” whereas the subspecies’ kanji name is Jyateiryu (蛇å¸é¾), which means “snake emperor dragon.” The change is subtle but it was enough for us to work with. Like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’s Goldbeard Ceadeus, we aimed to give the monster a name that alluded to its red color but also represented power and royalty. Some names we kicked around were Tsar, Imperial and Deshret; all are related to the color red and with power or royalty.

 

 

However, the one that we were really hoping to get approved was Shah Dalamadur. We thought it had a certain exoticness that the other names we came up with didn’t, which made it the perfect name. Fujioka-san agreed with our assessment, and thus Shah Dalamadur was born!

That’s it for this time, and unfortunately my next blog will be the last one in this series. I’ll have a couple of surprises ready for everyone though, so make sure to check back next week!