Skip to main content
Found in Fanslation

Found in Fanslation

By Chris Hatala
Telling the story of the storytellers -- interviewing videogame fan translators who toil to translate foreign games into their native tongue.

Beginning with those who've contributed to the Phantasy Star and Lunar fandoms with their efforts, and eventually focusing on those who've translated some of gaming biggest titles.
Listen on
Where to listen
Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

E03: "Laquering Laconia" - Maxim & SMS Power's Phantasy Star 2.0 Retranslation Patch

Found in Fanslation

E07-1: "French Teddies & Puzzling Puns" - Sakura Wars Columns 2 EN Team (Burntends / Danthrax / Derek / Natsumi)
What's even more vintage-weird SEGA than a Japanese strategy-RPG + visual-novel period piece? How about that (Sakura Wars) mixed with its own proprietary puzzle game (Columns)? Much more than a Sakura Wars skin of a Columns game, Sakura Wars Columns 2 has tons of content (60-75% of a full-blown Sakura Wars title). All 12 selectable characters have a full, unique story script to play through, plus there's a variety of other modes, puzzles and bonus content. Thanks to a dedicated core team and a myriad of knowledgeable long-time fan-subbers, the English team went above and beyond the "normal" (and already exhausting) fan translation to bring you a wholly professional localization effort. Part 1 focuses on the translation/localization: -- Adding English not just to text boxes but to compressed images (English hogs so much space!) -- Creative solutions to localizing Japanese puns and wordplay -- How fan translators juggle completely different interpretations of the universe (including diverging official sources!) -- How an effective, diverse team makes fan translations better (and easier on everyone!) Staff (with @Twitter -- they'd love to hear from you!): Project Manager/Programming Lead: Derek (aka ateam) - @DerekPascarella Translation/Localization: Burntends - @burntends2 Danthrax - @Danbo_4 Natsume38 - @blaster_mania Found in Fanslation hosted by Chris Hatala "GhaleonUnlimited" (@Ghaleon), and as always, let me know what you think or what you'd like to hear more about! FiF Homepage & Phantasy Star IV retranslation project + PS resources
May 7, 2021
E06-2: "The Tale of Napple Tale" with EsperKnight and Cargodin - Technical & Creative Challenges of Translating a Crazy SEGA Gem
Part 2 -- Listen to Part 1 first, please! We had a ton of fun, so rather than cut a bunch, I made it 2 episodes! I hope you enjoy this, but more importantly, enjoy the game! :)
May 4, 2021
E06-1: "The Tale of Napple Tale" with EsperKnight and Cargodin - Technical & Creative Challenges of Translating a Crazy SEGA Gem
Part 1 or 2 -- Napple Tale is an amazing Dreamcast game full of literary references and a NiGHTS-esque, dreamlike realm. Working off and on for 6 years, Cargodin (translation) and EsperKnight (programming) -- both veterans of many successful fan-translation projects -- at last released an English-language patch for Napple. Filled with creative, mysterious characters (many of which are modeled after Alice in Wonderland and other Lewis C. Carroll books/characters), It's a unique Action RPG experience and a must-play for every SEGA retrogame fan. And it's thanks to them we're about to! We were having so much fun that instead of trimming down the episode to an hour, I split it into two.  Hope you enjoy it! -- Chris "GhaleonUnlimited" Hatala
April 27, 2021
E05: "Phrenchasy Star" with BGE - Talking translation choices with the fanslator of the Frech PSIV
BGE, creator of the French fan version of Phantasy Star IV, on why he loves Phantasy Star enough to take this on, and how he made it happen. Great insight on fan translations from a bilingual programmer! Part 1 of 3, covering: -How do you make someone speak "old timey" in French? -The things we do for our kids (e.g. translate an entire videogame) -How do you translate already-poorly-translated things into another language?  
August 24, 2020
E04: "Translating Treasures" - Rebecca Capowski Answers my Burning Questions about Phantasy Star, Lunar, and Japanese
Rebecca Capowski has contributed mightily to English-speaking fandom for Phantasy Star and Lunar (among other series) by translating and analyzing many Japanese texts from both these amazing (but limited) gaming universes. She is JLPT certified, credited as contributor to SEGA's Phantasy Star Online 2 English release, and she's got searing insight on the nature of Japanese-to-English translation.  If you ever learned some basic Japanese because of videogames, you'll enjoy her ProTips and perspective of gaming localizations. And she's a fabulous writer, which I probably don't do full justice too with my one-take reading of our email interview.
July 22, 2020
E03: "Laquering Laconia" - Maxim & SMS Power's Phantasy Star 2.0 Retranslation Patch
It's been 15 years since SMS Power release its last update to the Phantasy Star 1 (SEGA Master System) retranslation. Why a 2.0? A look into a comprehensive "fanslation" in 2020 -- decisions made, resources used, and quality-of-life updates.  -Updating an '80s JRPG for the modern videogamer -How a team can be transparent and invite fan-feedback into the localization process. -The difference between a "writer" and a "translator". -Using resources outside of the game text itself for a translation project I hope you enjoy this talk with Maxim (his real name) as he talks about his lifelong passion for Phantasy Star 1.  Apologies for the sound quality -- had mic problems before we went live (which are now fixed). More exciting fanslation news coming for Phantasy Star fans in future episodes!
May 26, 2020
E02: Squirrel - Decisions, decisions - Relocalizing & Editing Phantasy Star IV
Squirrel was the chief editor of the Phantasy Star Generation 4 relocalization, so we talk about the process, programming and choices we made throughout hundreds of hours of working on the project.
April 29, 2020
E01: Vivify93 - Inside the Phantasy Star Remake translations, plus PSIV hacks
I'm Chris Hatala, and like you probably, I love retrogaming. What started as a simple change in Phantasy Star IV romhacking became a project spanning hundreds of hours and attracting multiple collaborators, all working to make a game they love as great as the Japanese developers intended. Today I'm interesting a key contributor to Phantasy Star English fandom -- Josh, aka vivify93 -- who's also completed dozens of fanhacks for various RPGs. Join to learn why Phantasy Star is the coolest multi-game story in classic gaming, and also why normal people spend hundreds of hours of free time to mess with classic games.
March 24, 2020