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If you’ve ever played one of the first Silent Hill installments, you’ll remember that strange combination of fear and excitement. They use disturbing imagery and extraordinarily ambiguous dialogues to create an atmosphere that exists halfway between reality and delirium.
This spin-off focuses on adventure and multiplayer action, and I was able to release that nasty side that every translator has tucked away in a corner of his or her mind.
Silent Hill is more than an imaginary place. It’s almost a cultural reference for a whole generation. So, as usually happens when you’re working on a franchise of this size, thorough research work was required.
In addition, I must say that in this case it was more of a privilege than a challenge. The translation process was carried out in parallel by professionals from around the world for several languages and markets. Our mission was to achieve consistency between the different international versions without sacrificing the nature of each localization.
Localization was particularly relevant in this game, as the content was targeted at adult gamers, with loads of slang and idioms (and the occasional insult here and there).
However, what I liked most about this project was that the texts were going to be dubbed in Spanish, so that shook up the rules of the game quite a bit.
Localization was particularly relevant in this game, as the content was targeted at adult gamers, with loads of slang and idioms (and the occasional insult here and there)
Silent Hill is renowned for the detailed description of items in the inventory
This assignment was really daunting, but not because of the quality of the original texts or the deadline.
I had a great time suffering as I spent night after night exploring the previous installments of Silent Hill, hunting for the origin of the references from Book of Memories.
Working on a team of excellent professionals allowed us to improve all the versions, as we were able to share ideas and solutions. The result is especially notable in the object and character names, which play a crucial role to ensure a good adaptation.
Given my strong background in audiovisual translation, I felt really comfortable translating texts that would subsequently be dubbed in Spanish, and I was even able to make a few suggestions.
It was a complex but genuinely fascinating process, especially when I got to test the game once it was launched and got to hear the sentences I’d translated, perfectly integrated in an action-packed adventure game with the unique Silent Hill stamp.
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