Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, which is known as SMT IV: Final in Japan, is coming stateside. The story happens concurrently as the one in 2013’s SMT IV, with a new protagonist playing his own role in post-apocalyptic Tokyo.
Following death at the hands of one of the many demons rampaging through the world, the hero is resurrected by the god Dagda. Players will need to choose the path of peace or anarchy.
Atlus explains how it goes about localizing names in a new blog post. Specifically, it was given the opportunity to tweak the name of this game for western audiences.
Usually, the subtitle has to accomplish three things: make sense, sound good, and look good on the box. First, there was the issue of length. Because of the way the logo appears in the game, we couldn’t make the subtitle too long. So that cut out things like “In the Shadow of Mikado” and other compound titles. Then we had another design issue: To highlight the duality of the chaos/law aspects of the game, the Japanese designers turned the “A” in “Final” to a mash-up of a peace and anarchy symbol. It’s a cool juxtaposition and a simple yet striking little addition to the logo. But that means we had to make sure there was an “A” in the subtitle too. Sure, “A” is a common vowel, but it’s still a restriction.
So just to recap where we are at this point, we had to find a cool-sounding, impactful name that’s not too long and has to have an “A” in it. Oh, and we have to be cognizant of potential trademark infringements (so much for Shin Megami Tensei IV: End War), and it can’t be objectionable (“holy war” was shot down before the person suggesting it finished speaking). The only positive is that once you have all the constraints in place, it’s easier to start narrowing down the direction. There were numerous email threads, meetings, two whiteboards defaced with indelible marker, but we finally came to agreement and thus, the world will receive Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse later this year.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse will be out this summer on 3DS. For more on the franchise, check out our review of SMT IV.