Ultima Final Fantasy | The Ultimate Final Fantasy Podcast

This week, Kaleb prepares another Mythic Origins episode. Enjoy!

Mythic and Literature Origins of Rare Game from Final Fantasy XII


Aspidochelon- Likely derived from Aspidochelone, which according to medieval bestiaries is a huge sea creature that resembles a whale or turtle.


Dismas- May refer to Saint Dismas, who according to Christian belief was one of the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus. The other thief, Gestas, mocked Jesus for not saving them, Dismas was accepting of his punishment, and asked to be remembered in Heaven. In many traditions, Dismas is on Jesus’ left, which is why some depictions of the crucifixion depict his head tilted to the right, toward Dismas.


Arioch- Hebrew name that means fierce lion. It originally appears in the BOok of Genesis, being the name of the “King of Ellasar.”


Aeros- This one is pretty straightforward. Aero is a Greek prefix relating to air and flight.


Kris- The kris is a dagger from the Malayan archipelago. It is often made with a wavy blade, and is used for both spiritual means and as a weapon.


Ishteen- Means one in Ancient Assyro-Babylonian language. This is symbolic, due to this rare game only appearing once, as he is a Trophy Rare Game.


Chocobo- Chocobo derives from a Japanese Brand of Chocolate malt ball, Called ChocoBall. The mascot for the product is Kyoro-chan, a bird who says kweh…. WTF!!7


Anubys- Obviously derived from Anubis, the greek name for the Jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian Mythology.


Phyllo- Phyllo is greek for leaf. It is also the name of a greek pastry, which is made up of tissue thin layers.


Matriarch Bomb- Another obvious one. Matriarch denotes a social organization style in which the mother, or eldest female, heads the family and descent and relationship are determined through the female line. They are generally the most powerful in political positions also.



Vishno- Possibly derived from Vishnu, a popular Hindu god. He is venerated as the Supreme Being in the Vaishnava sect of Hin

Imdugud- Imdugud is a lesser divinity of Akkadian mythology. He is the son of the bird goddess Siris. In Mesopotamian Legend, it is known as a lion-headed bird and the sone of the sky god Anu. Also known as Anzu.

Tarasque- Derives from Christian Legend. Tarasque was a giant sea serpent with a turtle shell, lions head, and scorpion tail. This beast terrorized France. Saint Martha supposedly charmed the Tarasque into town, where the townspeople slaughtered it. The beast supposedly offered no resistance.


Grimalkin- An old or evil looking female cat. Scottish legend refers to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands. May be derived from the 1570 book Beware the Cat, by William Baldwin.


Nekhbet- Nekhbet was an early, predynastic local goddess. She was the patron of the city Nekheb. She was often depicted as a vulture, a creature that Egyptians thought only existed as females, having to adopt children. The preistesses of Nekhbet were called muu, meaning “mothers”, and wore robes of white vulture feathers.


Cultsworn Lich- Easy one. A lich is an undead creature. Often, this creature is a result of a transformation, such as a powerful person striving for eternal life. This is obtained by spells or rituals, allowing the individual to bind his intellect to his animated corpse, and achieve immortality.


Juggernaut- Unstoppable force. Derived from the Sanskrit, Jagannatha, meaning lord of the universe.


Kaiser- German title meaning Emperor. Derives from the name of Julius Caesar. Many languages use a descendant of the word Caesar to mean Emperor, such as the Russian Tsar.


Tower- This enemy is a derivation of Babil. It is eluded that this is meant to be the Tower of Babel. This is from a story in the book of Genesis. The story tells of how early humanity was living in one city, and begun to construct a great tower that would extend to the heavens so they could see God. God was pissed, and destroyed the tower, and confused their language. Thus forcing people to spread out among the Earth.


Luxollid- Derived from the Latin word lux, which means lite. It may use the Latin olim, meaning at another time. This may refer to the Gods of XII creating the creature a long time ago.


Rain Dancer- Obvious….


Apsara- A female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu or Buddhist mythology. Usually translated to nymphs.


And my favorite,


Midgardsormr- This name comes from Norse mythology, in which Midgardsormr, or “Jormungardr” was the middle child of Loki and a giantess named Angrobada. Odin threw it into the ocean that encircles Midgar (earth) and it grew large enough to reach around the world. It was foreseen that Midgardsormr would do battle with his arch nemesis Thor, on the day of Ragnarok. The sky would darken from the poison mist from Midgardsormr, and the battle would end with the death of them both. Thor will kill Midgardsormr, and then stagger nine steps before dying from its poison.




Direct download: UFF_62_RareGame_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

History of Square-Enix: Part 2 - From Power Lines to Programming


As Enix was formed from another company, so was square. The Square we know today was created out of an affiliate of a power company originally owned by the father of a young man named Masafumi Miyamoto. After Miyamoto graduated from Waseda University, he began developing computer games through his father’s company, then called Dan-Yu-Sha in 1983.


Miyamoto, much like his Enix counterpart, Yasuhiro Fukushima, was much more of a businessman than a programmer. But Miyamoto saw the rising electronic market in japan, and he wanted to make money out of it. Despite his purely financial motivations, Miyamoto figured he knew what it would take to make a good computer game.


Through his father’s company, he began hiring college graduates and creative types to help work on his games. During this time, it was pretty typical for a game to be made from scratch by one single programmer, but Miyamoto, hoping to save development time, hired many different people for different creative posts during game development.


He was especially concerned with making games that were more visually impressive than the other games on the market, so he had applicants do pixel art at part of their recruiting process. He was also sure to bring in programmers who could figure out how to make the games with such complex graphics, into something that the machines could handle.


Under Dan-Yu-Sha, the first games Miyamoto produced were called Death Trap, and its sequel, “Will”. “Will” was a big success, and sold 100 thousand copies. Following “Will”, Square ported another game called “Thexder” to the Nintendo Famicom, which came out before a string of unsuccessful Famicom games.


In 1986, as we said before, the Square we know and love was officially founded, and relocated from Yokohama to Tokyo to begin producing a Role-Playing game thought up by the Director of Planning at the company, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Highly influenced by Dragon Warrior, this Role-Playing game would be called DUN DUN DUN!!!! Final Fantasy.


There are a couple differing stories surrounding the title of Final Fantasy. The traditional story is that of a company in financial peril and one last ditch effort of a project to save them from utter failure.


The other story, (more likely the truth) as told by Sakaguchi, was that he had originally titled the game “Fighting Fantasy”, but that the titled had already been trademarked. In order to keep the pleasing sounding “FF” as the game’s shorthand, they came up with “Final Fantasy”.


For more history behind that game, refer back to Episode 1 of this podcast.


Anyway, the game was released and was a great commercial success, selling half a million copies and spawning the Final Fantasy series in 1987. Funnily enough, the first Final Fantasy game didn’t sell nearly as well as the first Dragon Quest.


And we’ll see in the later that there is a certain pattern to Square’s sales and Enix’s sales. You see, Square would sell well in Japan, but even better outside of Japan. Enix would bust the block in terms of Japanese sales, but never would break into the western market all that well.

Almost like marketing rivals, the first year a Final Fantasy was released, Enix’s project Dragon Quest 2, raised the bar with 2.4 million copies sold.

Direct download: UFF_EP61_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Kaleb and Joe talk over Episode VII of Final Fantasy Unlimited. Enjoy!

Direct download: Commentary_FFU7_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, we interview Daniel Burke of the Beacause Project. The Beacause Project is a long running re translation effort of Final Fantasy VII. Daniel discusses the biggest motivators behind the translation effort. He talks about all the lost moments in Final Fantasy VII. Daniel did more than discuss the simple grammatical and spelling errors of Final Fantasy VII.

Hi, guys!  Just had the interview and it was a lot of fun.  I'll respond to questions here that we didn't manage to talk about and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did :)


What were your first thoughts when playing FF7 the first time?

I had just had a Playstation bought for Christmas 1997 and had come from playing the Sega Megadrive games.  I was not prepared for the cinematic FMV opening of FF7 in the slightest.  It was way ahead of anything else I had ever seen.  The music, the sound, the graphics, the direction - everything.  I was awestruck.  Then the game started and it just kept getting better.  I'm actually getting warm feelings right now thinking about it, and this despite the hours I've already ploughed into the game.  The thing that irritated me (the only thing) were the random battles.  I wasn't used to that and it bugged me at first - so much so that I couldn't beat Gi Nattak in Cosmo Canyon because I had already escaped around 300 times by that point. I learned to get over my irritation of the random battles from that point on, though.  Funnily enough, years later I learned I could have just used that Elixir you can pick up beforehand, rather than go outside and level up.  Shame.  Although I'd only have gotten stuck again at Materia Keeper.

At some point, I realized that this was the greatest game I had ever played.  Imho, the game that has come closest in overall excellence since is Final Fantasy X (FF8-9 are great, as is Resident Evil II, MGS1, Sonic and Knuckles, Mario 3, Mario 64, Ocarina of Time...I better stop there, there are so many).    


What did you think of the final dungeon and final boss(es) of FF7?

Too easy and rather bizarrely (pun) shoehorned into the game.  But FFs have a habit of doing that with final bosses... Necron, anyone?  The music for the three bosses is great, and Sepher Sephiroth is awesome.  Even his intro is brilliant.  As for the final dungeon, it was brilliantly made and executed.  All the way down that chasm I had hairs standing on end.


What did you think of One Winged Angel the first time you heard it?

I wasn't ready for the choir, that was a surprise.  It's one of the greatest in game music history.  I personally put it second only to FF7's main theme. It's the genius of Uematsu. In the early days, I was also rather fanboyish, so I tried to add my own voice to it with my cousins', lmao.  I opened the disc holder on intro because I realized that the voice files might be being loaded at a later time.  I was right. But it doesn't help because instead of the orchestra voices, you get a weird droning tone instead.


-Has he ever seen the Spanish translation of this game?

If you mean the original one, no... but I don't know Spanish, so it wouldn't help.  Someone is using our translation to create a new Spanish translation, too. So that's cool!  I do recall that the Spanish version, and numerous others, used the English localization instead of the Japanese.  So it was a double whammy.  The French version is also terrible.  


- Phoenix Down vs Phoenix Tail, while i love most of the translations and while i am sure this one is based on sound reasoning, i can't help feel it is uneccesary. This is unlike Aerith to Aries which they later corrected in other games, Phoenix Down has always been translated as such even up to the newest releases. I would have just put this in the same group as the Moogles, something that while it may not be an exact translation but that has been more or less cemented as what that is.

It's a fair point, but there is a logical reason for the decision I made.  From the start, the plan was to localize it based entirely on the Japanese, using the original English localization, and other documentation, to do the best job we could.  I, and the translator, agreed that putting limits on what was  - and was not - acceptable would end up having a detrimental effect on the project.  At the end of the project, I added options to restore certain names because they had a rich history with the series.  These were a minority, but I think definitely a good idea.  You can change Last Elixir to Megalixir, Moguri to Moogle, and Phoenix Tail to Phoenix Down with the installer options. So no loss at all.  As for Aeris, even if someone didn't like Aerith, they could just rename her at the naming screen.


What was your most difficult text map to work on in ff7?

There are a few:

For language: Pagoda.  You'll see why in the interview.

For flow: The very first main scene with all the exposition ("No, Jessie he's not with Shin-Ra anymore", and so on).  
            The Aerith death scene was also very difficult to make flow right.  I'm still not 100% happy with it, but I think this is an original writing issue and not             my fault.

Script error: If you lose at Fort Condor during Huge Materia mission, you see a cutscene where all the villagers have died, and it was not localized properly at all.  I assume that because dying there was almost impossible, no tester saw the scene.  It needed reprogramming.

Ifalna scene at Icicle Lodge:  Flow here again, too, because the text was not in order in the map (this happened from time to time) and making all that exposition flow correctly and sound good was challenging.  It had probably 5-8 revisions.  It sounds great now, I'm happy to say!


Which character in ff7 was the easiest to work on?

Yuffie.  All the characters were originally localized quite well as far as 'feel' is concerned. Barrett was a bit over the top, though.  Yuffie was easiest because I have a friend who is just like her.  It was a breeze and really fun to localize that character.  One scene where the dialogue is completely nonsensical is the following:

“Are you waiting for {CLOUD}?”{NEW}
“He's flying right now, so you can't get him.”{NEW}
“Were you going to force me
into the submarine right now?”{NEW}
“Quit it!
If you want to go, then just leave me behind.”{NEW}
What're you talking about? I…”


Have you decided
where we're going yet?”{NEW}
“Come on,I can't take
much more of this.”{NEW}
“Hey,you're not thinking of
shovin' me in that crappy
sub,are you!?”{NEW}
“I won't go! Never!
Leave me here,
leave me here!”{NEW}
What am I saying?”

*note, I've made the game add spaces after commas.


Since you have accomplished your goal of ff7 was there a game in the past not including ff7 where the dialogue aggrivated you to almost the point of translating it?

No :P


Man I guess the remake of FF7 puts a bit of a downer on this guy work

Not at all. Although I'd be far happier if I was the director of the remake and could use our localization.  Or, at the least, use our localization.  But the remake is going to be very different and I think our work will still be relevant after it is released.  Once the hype dies down, I believe mass apathy will set in (you'll see why I think that from interview), and more people will want to play the original at that point - not less.  I've also learned how to program in assembly, localize, and lots of other skills from this project that made it worthwhile - even if everyone hated it or never played it.

Thanks everyone.  Let me know how you find the interview.


Oh, one other thing.  I didn't mention that other people contributed to the project.  Prince Lex helped with Scottish (being a Scot) and Covarr did a thorough grammar check.  He also helps me from time to time outside of the project :)  The pagoda scene absolutely needed Covarr's input to make sure we hadn't made mistakes with the older English.  So yeah, check the credits list too.  :) 

I also suggest waiting for R04, if you are planning on going through the game.  That will be the last main update to translation / menu.

Direct download: uff_60_danielburke_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe has prepared a special history episode. We delve into the origins of Enix. Strangely enough, they began as a real estate tabloid company, formed by Yasuhiro Fukushima. Fukushima is now one of the wealthiest Japanese men. Enix started their foray into video games when Fukushima spent some time in America. He noticed how popular computer games were, and decided to have a contest for building games.  Koichi Nakamura, one of the contest winners, would later be a key player behind the scenes of the Dragon Quest series. Enix also began as a publisher, rather than the commmon style of in house game design. Enix's third video game would put them on the map forever. Dragon Quest. Enjoy!

Direct download: uff_59_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST