By now you probably all realise that the Metal Gear files from our Agness Kaku interview are gone. Read on for an explanation, slightly odds tales about contacted by outside agencies, and also further insight from the lady herself. Plus some fresh translation material too.
The reason for the file removal was, basically, we woke up and they were gone. Konami's legal department in Japan hit our host/provider with a DMCA take-down notice, and they were removed on our behalf. There wasn't even a fight to put up, it just happened and we were forwarded some legal emails. I was tempted repost them, but they're pretty dull.
The best thing out of this though, is it was direct from KOJ's legal division, complete with awkward legal English. The news story was on 2chan and several Japanese blogs, so they obviously found about it and - I like to think - Kojima himself demanded the legal eagles take them down. If you didn't grab 'em, I'm afraid they're gone.
The other interesting thing is I was contacted by INTAC directly (as explained in the interview this was the agency Konami dealt with). They said they were trying to understand what happened and asked for information about my interviewee, and I told them straight: as a journalist I'm not required to divulge any information regarding my sources. I never got a reply. What was interesting was the wording of the email - not threatening, but really bizarre, as if those of us running HG101 were kids. The hilarious thing is, all of the questions that I had been asked, were pretty much already answered by the article itself.
I've also been chatting with Agness some more, which resulted in these interesting re-translations. For anyone who enjoyed the original interview, this should make a nice addendum.
My two cents: these examples perfectly highlight the importance of good localisation. The direct translation in blue is stilted, drier and without any kind of flavour. It's just dull. The green on the other hand conveys the characters personalities a lot better - especially Snake's wry cynicism. It's a no brainer really. If you're converting anything which involves heavy use of language, from one language to another, it's extremely important to give the localiser the freedom required to make it work. Some interesting feedback I've read regarding the interview is people bringing up some of Squaresoft's localisation work, and how they worked hand-in-hand with localisers every step of the way, and citing Alexander Smith as someone allowed the freedom to do the job right. It's a great shame that Konami never saw fit to do the same, since besides Agness Kaku and Jeremy Blaustein, I've heard other rumblings regarding how they operate.
I'm pasting Agness' email verbatim.
二年前のハドソン川…俺達は新型メタルギアが極秘裏に輸送されるという情報を掴んだ。今思えば…疑うべきだった。The Hudson River, two years ago... We got information that a new type of Metal Gear would be transported in top secret. Now that I think about it, we should have been suspicious.The Hudson River, two years ago... We had classified intelligence that a new type of Metal Gear was scheduled for transport. The whole thing stank, but our noses had been out in the cold too long...
This is Snake. Can you hear me? Otakon?
This is Snake. Do you read me, Otakon? Over.
Yes, I can hear you. It's me, Snake.
Loud and clear, Snake. Over.
You kept me waiting! I've arrived at the sneak point. The stealth camo broke from the landing impact.
S: Think I'd wait forever [the comment is directed to the player]? I'm at the infiltration point [SP for 'sneak point']. Over.
O: Everything going okay? Over.
S: The stealth camo's busted. Landing impact. Over.
We did use it pretty hard... I'm sorry, but grin and bear it. This isn't the military.
We did use the hell out of that thing. Sorry, but you're gonna have to deal. You're not in the military-industrial complex anymore, Dorothy.
Yeah. I don't plan to relying on this forever.
Right. I don't plan on relying on this gadget either way. Over.
But the private sector has good points, right? Your privacy is protected...
Hey, the private sector's not so bad, though, huh? Privacy guaranteed...
And you're not fed some strange drug.
I'm happy as long as no one slips a Mickey Finn in the morning glass of OJ.
This is about Naomi...?
You mean that thing with Naomi?
It's also nice that there's no nagging minder.
And I can't say I miss the chattering nanny.
Mei Lin, huh. I'll ask her another favor. The new weapon from NATICK.
Mei Lin's not so bad. That reminds me, I have to get in touch with her again about that new Natick flashware.
Diverting from the Army Soldier Systems Center. Give her a message. It'll come out sometime. Tell her she should stop soon.
Diverting toys from the SSCEN (U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center) again? Someone will find out, sooner or later. She's better off assuming it's sooner and quit while she's ahead. Tell her I said that.
Another thing, avoid fighting as much as possible, The goal is to collect evidence of new Metal Gear development and publicize it. It would be the best if you could escape without being discovered.
The mission objective is to make visual confirmation of the new Metal Gear being transported by that tanker and bring back photographic evidence. No destruction, please. Got it?
I know that. We're not terrorists.
Don't worry. I know the drill -- we're not terrorists.
That's right. We are an anti-Metal gear foundation "Philanthropy". We're registered with the U.N. as an NGO.
Very good. We're a 100% UN-recognized 'Opposition to Metal Gear' aka OMEGA*. Don't you forget that you're a part of an NGO and can chew granola with the best of them.
Well, we're certainly a radical presence among NGOs.
Recognized, but still fringe, Otakon.