Regarding the Zelda Monolith Soft Recruitment

I debated whether or not to write this article because it’s not Xeno-related and it’s mostly speculation, but why not.

The recruitment page for the fantasy action project seems to have shifted into the Zelda project. I’ll try to outline my reasoning below.


If you look at the Wayback machine crawling of the fantasy action project recruitment page (and could read Japanese,) you’ll note that it says “New project begins!” at the very top. This is now gone in the current iteration of the fantasy action project page and says “Looking for developers experienced with action games!” instead. Furthermore, the job openings listed under the fantasy action project and the Zelda project are the exact same:


One part of it as an example. It’s all exactly the same.


I think you can guess two things from this. Either that the job openings for the Zelda project and fantasy action project are a “template” Monolith Soft uses when starting a new team, or that the fantasy action project shifted into a Zelda project at some point. Remember as I said above, that the “New project begins!” is now replaced with “Looking for developers experienced with action games!” Perhaps the fantasy action project never kicked off, and Nintendo proposed that they lend the Zelda IP to Monolith Soft to make a Zelda game? That’s my guess. Some people think it was Zelda from the start and they just wanted to hide it.

List of Xeno Related Interviews (and more!)

Over the years, Monolith Soft and its affiliates have taken part in numerous interviews. It can be quite hard to remember who said what and when during a discussion. The Xenogears/Xenosaga study guide is a great place to get some of the older interviews, but it is also far from complete and lacks anything post-Saga. Although there are many better ways of going about this, I don’t have the skill or resources to do it in such ways, so I have decided to write up an ever-expanding article of a list of interviews from over the years, divided by series, going in order from newest to oldest, and also having a brief description of some of the key points of the interview to refresh your memory without having to click and read everything. This is a very incomplete list, so bear with me as I update it constantly.

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Housekeeping About my Translations And This Blog

I’ve been asked the same question enough times to realize that I should probably codify my policies and thoughts about using/reposting my translations, and just other general things I should probably get out there. I’ll put all of this in the “About” article too.

The general rule of thumb is, you can use my translation anywhere, and for anything, but if you’re going to just repost the whole thing, I’d prefer (notice: not a demand) if I was credited or linked somewhere. If you’re just going to quote certain parts of it or something, then I don’t care. Credit would be nice, but it doesn’t matter. Falsely taking credit for something I wrote, is, of course, not acceptable. And although this seems unlikely, I don’t want anyone selling my translations in any form. I’ll use a Q&A format to be more clear about what exactly is and isn’t okay.


Q: Can I use your translation for ____(a website/video)?

A: Yes. I don’t care if it’s a commercial website/channel with ads, or a fansite/regular video. As long as you’re adhering to the general principle I outlined above, you’re good. Don’t even bother asking me. I’ll answer, but you’ll have just wasted time waiting for my response.

Q: Can I use one of your translations as part of a bigger project?

A: As long as you’re not selling it, I don’t see why not. A courtesy email through the contact tab would be nice, but I probably won’t care (or even notice). I don’t want to give unconditional support for it though so I may reach out to ask that I’d like if you took it down.

Q: Would/will you translate ____?

A: If it’s Xeno and I haven’t translated something, either 1.) I just didn’t know about it or hadn’t even thought about doing it, 2.) I’ve looked at it already and determined that there is not enough to warrant a translation, or there is already a sufficient translation out there on the web, or 3.) it’s in the works. I always welcome input, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to see something.

As for non-Xeno works, I’m not going to translate it. At least not for free, anyway. Not sure why anyone would want to pay me to translate, but I guess I’ll leave that option on the table.

Q: How do I know you’re qualified?

A: I’m a native speaker of both Japanese and English, and I’ve had some experience translating for a moderately sized fansite for a few years. I’ve also played all Xeno games in Japanese. Make of this what you will.

Q: Would you be willing to work with us?

A: Maybe? depends on what it is. Contact me.


I read all feedback I get through the contact tab, and I get notifications for it, so that’s the quickest way of getting a response from me. The point of the FAQ isn’t to preemptively shut down any feedback or inquiries that someone might have for me, it’s just to get the biggest and most common things out of the way so that you don’t have to wait for a response from me. Feel free to contact me!



Regarding Xenoblade 2 Alrest Records

The official artbook has been out for over a week now, and some of you may be wondering if the book contains any interesting information as these books usually have at least some snippets of new lore or explain some concept or idea in the game in more detail. So does Alrest Records have that? The short answer is no. The long answer is no, but it is an interesting book to read from the lens of game development. It’s actually not a very good book for figuring out who was responsible with designing what, as a lot of the artwork in the book doesn’t credit anyone. Some, such as Siren (done by an artist named I-IV), we already know from other sources who was responsible for it, yet the book doesn’t credit anyone for it. There’s no short story or interview as was customary until this book.


The one thing I will say specifically about the book is that the word “Zohar” appears twice. They’re used on one page to describe Malos’ core crystal, and on another page for Siren’s. I want to be very clear about how it’s used to not cause confusion, though: The word is used (probably) by the artist (if we were to assume the artists used the word, then Nomura and I-IV) simply as a way to point out the special core crystal designs. These rough drafts often have descriptions of things the artists want to call attention to, written in a very direct, business-like style, and “Zohar” being used is probably nothing more or less than that. However, I do think it’s interesting that they didn’t blacken out the text (as they did with Art of Mira) and this would be the first time the word has been used in an official capacity. Then again, everyone already knew the Conduit pretty much looked and acted like a/the Zohar, so I’m not sure this is really even significant. I think it’s interesting that more and more concepts and terminology from previous Xeno games are starting to pop up in Xenoblade, but I guess we’ll see if these references are just that, references, or we’ll be seeing something more involved in the future.

PAX Prime 2015 Slide Translation

Never-before-seen concept art was shown at Pax Prime 2015 for Xenoblade X as a way to promote the release of the game outside of Japan. At the time, what got most of the attention in and outside of Japan was the “devil L” concept art, as Art of Mira was not out yet, and this was the first time fans saw it. However, there is another slide in the presentation that is, to my knowledge, not in Art of Mira, nor the Japanese or overseas versions of the artbook that came with the bundles. The slide has pretty interesting information about Qlurians, which were hardly mentioned in the game but seem to be important somehow. Although I have no idea if any of this is still relevant for X or will be for any future games, I find it interesting that they didn’t even bother to include the concept art in Art of Mira, even if it meant blackening out the text, like other concept art in the book. I have no idea who the artist is, and I have no idea how much of the background is something the artist came up with versus how much of it was actually considered as part of the canon during development.


■Celica (Qlurian) Concept


  • Came from another planet
  • From Planet Qlu/Magi village
  • Looks like she’s around 20
  • Occupation: Skell Air Traffic Controller
  • Very similar appearance to the leader, Nielnail (Qlurians who succeed the maiden all have the same appearance genetically)
  • Celica’s home planet was the final destination for ancient earthlings who left Earth several tens of thousands of years ago. This is why Celica shares a similar appearance and has similar DNA structures.


  • Only a teeny bit different from humans?? body shape, hair, skin color
  • Maybe sort of like indigenous people, going with the “Planet was conquered” and “humans from tens of thousands of years ago” plotline?


Qlurian Character Diagram


Niel tribe (Maiden-like role)

←  →

                  ↓       ↓

Celica’s tribe   Moss’ tribe

Torna Sound Team Event Famitsu Summary

Below is a bullet-point summary of an article published on Famitsu that covers an event that took place in Tokyo where members of the sound team for Torna got together to talk about the music for the game. Famitsu also did an exclusive interview with Yasunori Mitsuda following the event, but there was nothing worth covering. Below I’ve picked out what I feel is important from the event and translated it. I plan to do this more often when there is newsworthy/noteworthy information to translate but not enough to warrant a full translation.

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Translation of Background Information on Siren Included in The Siren Model Kit

The Siren model kit that recently released includes a page, with Mui Mui showing the reader an “illegible (to him) ancient text” explaining Siren and earth pre-Klaus’ experiment, especially as it relates to the world tree (Bean Stalk). I have translated it below. Note that when I use orange text, it is to indicate that I am translating phrases/words that were also present verbatim in Xenogears, and not a willful interpretation that I have made on my part. All instances of “Conduit” have been changed to the Japanese name, “Gate”, to make more sense for this translation.

11/28: Added footnote for “Unified Government”

11/30: corrected instances of “Trinity Processors” to “Trinity Processor”. In addition, I changed “robotic device weapons” to “terminal interface weapons” after finding that the same phrase used to describe Artifices were also used to describe the weapons in Deus’ arsenal, such as Diabolos and Seraph Angels (called Aion in Japanese), among other things.

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More “Semantically Accurate” Lyric Translations for Xenoblade 2 Songs

Xenoblade 2 has a number of songs that have English lyrics. (As far as I can tell), all Xeno songs with English lyrics, with the exception of those composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, go through a process of Takahashi writing the original Japanese lyrics, and someone else translating it to English. In most cases, we have the original Japanese lyrics to compare with the actual English lyrics, and one with enough knowledge of both languages will realize that the English lyrics can be quite different from the Japanese lyrics. English, as a lingua franca, is often seen in Japan as “more authentic” than simply singing it in Japanese, and so the fact that a song is being sung in English is often more important than the actual content of the lyrics, much to the ire of many native English speakers in the west. Xenoblade 2’s songs, particularly “Drifting Soul”,  “Ever Come to an End/Shadow of The Lowlands”, and  “Our Eternal Land/We Are The Chosen Ones” are songs in which the English diverge quite a bit from the Japanese, although the end product is not borderline nonsensical like much of Xenoblade X’s soundtrack. They were all translated by a JPOP artist known as CastroSatoshi and a woman named LYSSA, both who seem to have at least some experience living in English speaking countries but not being native speakers. Interestingly, “One Last You” does not suffer from a divergence. The translations have been listed below.

Source for Japanese lyrics(found in the booklet that comes with the OST)

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Xenosaga Special Fanbook with DVD

The majority of this translation has been done by Gwendal and another unknown translator. All credit goes to them. The parts that I have added/changed will be indicated by green. It should be noted that I have removed images and the “Screenplay” section of this translation because I felt it added little value, and the translations were all fine as-is anyway. You can find that and more here.

The deep themes behind the subtitle

The great epic spanning from the creation of the universe to its end, “Xenosaga”. [This is the exact same sentence that was in the Dengeki interview for some reason]
The first episode is this work, “Episode I Der Wille zur Macht”. That subtitle is the theme [of the game] 
and based on Nietzsche’s words that humans are necessarily propelled to the Will to Power.

Everything the characters do—ruling the world, trying to escape from the aforementioned rule, oppressing other people, or healing them—is due to “the will to power”, and the reasons for their actions and the various things they’re able to do are depicted according to that. [I think, this sentence got a bit complicated, but that should be the gist of it]
Here, we’ll elaborate on those themes.

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