Oh, shut up and help me remodel the Fan translations page!
- Add more fanslations than the ones I've already written
- Add fanslations not into English.
This request can be discussed on the associated discussion page. Remove this notice upon completion.
- For the Final Fantasy Wiki's policy on fan translations, see Project:Translations Pages#Fan-translations.
A fan translation or fanslation is an unofficial patch of a video game that replaces the language the game was written in with another language. In the context of the Final Fantasy series, the most historically important fan translations were unofficial translations from Japanese to other languages, especially English, during the NES—SNES era of Final Fantasy, since Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and Final Fantasy V would not be released officially in English until many years later; in particular, the 2D version of Final Fantasy III only appeared officially in English as a Pixel Remaster in 2021. However, the importance of English-language fan translations has diminished in recent years, as Square Enix releases most modern Final Fantasy games in English concurrently to, or shortly after, the Japanese release.
Fan translations are usually meant to be played on an console emulator. One would need to obtain a ROM of the Japanese version of the game, and then apply the patch provided by the fan translators to the ROM. This would transform the ROM into a ROM of the game with the Japanese replaced by the fan translation, which can then be played using the emulator.
Notable fan translations
Fan translation group J2e released a version of Final Fantasy IV on July 3, 2001. At the time, English releases of Final Fantasy IV were all in the easier easytype version of the game, and had been censored in alignment with the policies of Nintendo of America. The goal of the J2e translation was to release an uncensored, uncut, hardtype version of Final Fantasy IV, and for many years, the J2e translation was considered by fans to be the most accurate translation of Final Fantasy IV. In spite of this, the J2e translation actually added profanity that wasn't in the original Japanese version of Final Fantasy IV, and parts of it were not even a translation, but rather an edit of the SNES English version of Final Fantasy IV.
Final Fantasy V was not released in English by Squaresoft on the SNES. This led to several individuals, most prominently high-schoolers "Myria" and Katsuyuki Ohmuro, to form a group called RPGe to make an unofficial translation of Final Fantasy V. Their translation was released in June 1998 to fan acclaim at the time, and critial acclaim even in recent years. For example, journalist Jason Schreier praised RPGe's translation as evidently superior to the Anthology translation of Final Fantasy V that Square Enix released the following year, which he called "a mess". Myria wrote, comparing her work to the Anthology release, that "a couple kids in high school over four months did a better job than Square. ... We were just laughing so hard."
RPGe's fan translation is of historical importance because it was one of the first projects of near-professional quality. In particular, such a project entailed reprogramming much of Final Fantasy V's text-engine to support a non-monospaced font, because while Japanese text is often written monospaced, most English fonts are not monospaced. Such a reprogramming entailed reverse-engineering of the assembly code that Final Fantasy V was written in. Translator Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin referred to this feat as "as if the team time traveled from the future to deliver the Final Fantasy V translation patch."
After Final Fantasy Type-0 was not released in English, a team known as Operation DOOMTRAIN, including a lead programmer named "SkyBladeCloud", announced a fan translation project, scheduled for release August 8, 2014. By 2012, however, Square Enix had nearly completed an English localization of Type-0. After negotiations between Square Enix's legal team and SkyBladeCloud, the latter released the unfinished translation on June 8, 2014, two days before Square Enix announced that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Type-0 would have English localizations. Shortly after, under legal pressure, Operation DOOMTRAIN pulled the patch from the internet.
- (n.d.) . Romhacking.net - Final Fantasy IV. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021.
- Mandelin, Clyde (2018, May 21). "Which Final Fantasy IV Translation Should You Play?". From Legends of Localization. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021.
- Schreier, Jason (2017, April 25). "How Three Kids With No Experience Beat Square And Translated Final Fantasy V Into English". From Kotaku. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021.
- Wright, Steven (2021, May 21). "The Untold Drama and History Behind Final Fantasy 5's Fan Translation". From IGN. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021.
- Schreier, Jason (2014, July 21). "Final Fantasy Fan Translation Has Become A Fiasco". From Kotaku. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021.