Localization Stories: Snack World – Part 2, Spanish
August 17, 2020
Curious to know more about the localization of the Spanish version of the game? Then wait no more and keep on reading! ¡Buen provecho!
The Spanish team discussed out all the proper names together in long meetings over Skype a couple times a week. We’d share our ideas for each monster, location, character, etc. and vote our favourites, but sometimes we ended up coming up with entirely new ideas on the spot — and some real gems ended up on the cutting room floor, too, because they were either too risqué, or too local, or we simply had an even better idea in store. In any case, the end result really is the best ideas of the whole team combined, and we hope it shows! Here are a few of my personal favourites:
Scopeion → Telescorpio: This was one of the first monster names we came up with, as it appeared in the very first materials we got for familiarisation. It was one of those ideas that just felt right from the start — being basically a scorpion with a telescope attached, the pun pretty much made itself. We got lucky that it worked so well phonetically in Spanish.
Bullhorn → Ñutuba: We were stuck for a bit on this one, as the English pun simply didn’t work in Spanish. Eventually, we got our inspiration from the monster’s description, which describes him as “A famous YouTuba who’s always uploading amazing videos of himself”. We thought about simply adopting “youtuba” as the monster name, and that would’ve probably been fine — but then one of us (Alba) came up with “ñutuba” and we all instantly recognised it for the genius idea it was, so it got our unanimous vote. A stickler could argue that technically he’s a “trompa” rather than a “tuba”, but honestly? Never let such minutiae get in the way of a good name.
Crock ness monster → Monstruo de Fogo Ness: This one was a bit of a challenge too. The English name is obviously a callback to the Loch Ness monster, and we wanted to keep that reference, but attempting to work a translation of “crock” (or “crockpot”) into the name ruined all our attempts at making a decent joke. Eventually we decided to take the focus away from the crockpot and cast a wider net for cooking-related implements that could work in this context, and that’s how we came up with “fogones” — possibly the only word in the Spanish language that could be worked into a Loch Ness pun!
The monster has a Scottish accent in English, which we decided to render as Basque-inflected Spanish — a nod to the Basques’ reputation as gourmet eaters. It’s not the same, of course, but Spanish players seemed to love the characterisation!
Slashimi & Oni-Giri Slashimi → Aseshimi & Aseshimi Banzai: I chose this one because it is a good example of a monster progression, i.e. monsters that come in several, increasingly powerful versions. The challenge here isn’t just to come up with a good name for the first monster in the series, but also one that you can use as a base for the stronger versions, while making it clear to the player which version is weaker and which one is stronger. It’s a lot of things to juggle! For this one, bashing “asesino” and “sashimi” together gave us a great base name that perfectly matched the character. For its more powerful counterpart, we figured that “Oni-Giri” (a reference to both “oni”, a Japanese demon, and the “onigiri” rice balls eaten in Japan) was a great pun, but probably too obscure for our target audience, so we settled for “Banzai” — a battle cry that is instantly recognisable for Spanish players, and one that makes it clear this monster will stop at nothing to defeat our heroes!
Francisco Paredes Maldonado has been part of the localization industry for over 15 years, working both in-house, as a freelance translator and as a contractor to top-tier clients including Nintendo and Square Enix. He is proud to be part of the teams involved in the Spanish localization of Ni No Kuni, Dragon Quest XI and —of course— Snack World, among many other award-winning titles. When not busy conjuring up wacky names for monsters and fantasy locations, he can be found living a double life as a staff translator for Amnesty International — or butchering all-time classics at the nearest karaoke joint.