Grizzly Slash. Duff McWhalen. The Skiver. These were just three of the eight highly-unusual names which greeted fans when the Mega Man X series made its return to the PlayStation in 2001's Mega Man X5, and which contributed to plenty of subsequent controversy. Some were okay with the names, feeling that they fit the recurring music-themed names which have appeared throughout the franchise, not to mention some of Capcom's other works; others cursed Capcom for daring to tarnish the integrity of the X series, and all it stood for.
It has been ten years since Mega Man X5 was released, and in that time, no one really knew what exactly transpired or who was responsible for making the changes (though, as with many controversies, there was no shortage of theories). That is, until now.
One person has stepped forward, accepting claim/responsibility (depending on your take) for the localization behind Mega Man X5: Alyson Court, a Canadian actress who some might recognize from her role on the children's educational television show The Big Comfy Couch, or perhaps as the voice of Jubilee from the Fox Kids X-Men animated series by Saban. Fans of other Capcom properties-- Resident Evil, specifically-- will also recognize her as the voice of Claire Redfield.
Beyond acting, Court has also performed other jobs in entertainment, including motion capture and voice-over direction for Resident Evil Outbreak. And, as she has revealed via her Twitter, a bit of localization work for a certain video game publisher located in San Mateo, California.
Following are the notable tweets she made relating to the subject (and do bear in mind that Twitter carries a 140 character limit, thus making perfect English difficult sometimes):
- Apparently the localization (text editing) I did for a Capcom game is *famous*. Er, make that infamous. Who knew? #MegaManX5 #GunsNRoses
- My then husband was responsible 4 text localization. He asked me 2 do it &, since he was a GnR fan, I changed the names 2b GnR references.
- I didn't know the game nor did I know how mad fans wld be that Id changed the characters' names.But yrs later ppl now like it! #TimeForgives
- For localization with text editing u get files in rough English translation w/deets on number of characters/lines, etc & vague description.
- Most of the time I had no idea what was happening as there was no real information regarding game play or scene, so I had to wing it.
Responding to a tweet regarding how some felt displeased with the names, she told Protodude:
Pikathree noted that "From the sounds of it, you did the best you could with what you had & capcom USA always changes names," to which Court responded:
She tells OKeijiDragon the following:
As Protodude noted in his report upon these findings, Capcom has had multiple opportunities to change the names to something closer to their Japanese origin, if they so desired. "[T]o perhaps preserve the game's historic status, Mega Man X Collection and the PC version of X5 have retained Alyson's handiwork."
Of course, as those who own both Mega Man X Collection and the original versions of its games know, Capcom was in the process of changing some things in the titles, and seemingly put a halt to it. Perhaps the names in X5 would have been another in the list, had they continued?
What do you think? Has time healed all wounds, or do you think that the next time Capcom releases X5 (it's bound to happen, someday), they should attempt to re-localize it? Are there any other such translations you feel have improved the localization of a game, or perhaps worsened it? Talk about it in the comments below!