Cybernetical druids

Play games you localize

Most translators don’t play games they localize and this often results in funny cases. I’ll tell about one of them.

Might and Magic VII is a RPG in a fantasy world, where a group of adventurers struggles to earn some cash save their homeland from an unspeakable evil. The game features an enormous universe with a lot of quests, spells, secret places and monsters. The gameplay is long and challenging, and when you are close to the end, the plot goes wild.

To cut a long story short a beautiful fantasy setting turns out to be a cover for a grim sci-fy reality. The world turns out to be an artificial planetoid, the main villain turns out to be a cyborg and you find your team shooting blasters at goblins.

Russian translators didn’t pass the game till the end – they played the game somehow and then translated the text. One can only guess what they thought when reading about cyborgs and planetoids, but when you don’t see the game you make mistakes. And they made one.

A picture from

Look at this druid, protector of Nature and master of earth spells. Look at his green robe, his eyes full of green light and wild beasts surrounding him. What, you see no druid? Oh… That’s what you have when you don’t play the game you localize. Translators didn’t play that part. They saw “droids” in monster names text, they thought: “Hmm… it’s kinda mistype. Droids in a fantasy world? It’s druids perhaps!” And they translated droids as druids. Poor droids.

I play games I localize and I ask about ambiguous cases. That’s one of many reasons, why you should choose me for Russian translation.