Unicorn Overlord’s “Abhorrent” Localization Issues Ignite Debate

The localization of Unicorn Overlord has ignited debate online, with many upset at the current state of the game’s English translation. Read on to find out more.

Unicorn Overlord is set to be Vanillaware’s largest game to date. It gives players a big fantasy setting to explore while engaging in tactical JRPG combat. After releasing a generously lengthy demo, players got to try the game for themselves. However, many players have taken issue with the game’s questionable localization regarding its English translation. Some are so upset that they are posting their frustrations online, sparking a fierce debate.

Unicorn Overlord Has Bad Localization

Some vocal fans are unhappy with the state of Unicorn Overlord’s localization and English translation after getting their hands on the demo before the game’s official release on March 8. X (formerly Twitter) user Zakogdo initiated the debate and pointed out the game’s “abhorrent” localization in a series of enlightening posts on his account. You can check them out here:

Zakogdo lambasts the game’s localization and gives a comprehensive list of examples criticizing how the language in its menus and dialogue strays too far from the original and intended meaning. He compares dialogue from Japanese and English versions of Unicorn Overlord, pointing out the stark differences in their general feel and tone.

His main criticism is that the English version of Unicorn Overlord puts too much of an emphasis to overcomplicate and “fancify” the dialogue. For example, as a direct translation from Japanese, the character Alain says, “I can’t hide anything from you, huh.” The English version changes this to “I couldn’t pretend otherwise. You’d sniff out the lie before it scarce passed my lips”. Quite a difference!

Zakogdo continues his critique by suggesting that Unicorn Overlord’s English translation misses the original Japanese text’s subtleties, nuance, and meaning. He argues that it can entirely affect how some characters are meant to be perceived.

Fans Weigh In On Unicord Overlord Localization

This comprehensive analysis has ignited debate among fans. On the one hand, many agree with Zakogdo’s criticisms. They believe those carrying out localization and translation should not affect the game’s original vision. They also think the changes are so drastic that they completely change the meaning of the dialogue and characters.

On the other hand, others seem to like the changes made with the English translations. Some enjoy the “flowery” language and feel it fits the game’s general aesthetic and tone. Interestingly, Yasumi Matsuno, a developer of the brilliant JRPG Final Fantasy Tactics, also weighed in on the debate on X. He said that “some degree of alteration is unavoidable” and that a direct translation “may not convey the intended meaning accurately.” All seem to agree that localization changes are acceptable as long as the meaning and artistic integrity are left more or less alone.

Unicorn Overlord characters assembled

In any case, fans won’t have to wait long to hop into the game to judge for themselves when it releases on March 8. For more on Unicorn Overlord, be sure to head over to our Guide Hub here.