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Oops, Atlus Forgot to Translate a Few Lines in the New Shin Megami Tensei

Atlus apologizes and jokingly blames its QA team for being too good at the game.


The newest entry in the MegaTen series, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, releases today for 3DS in North America. Provided you play it enough, you might happen upon some Japanese text that Atlus forgot to localize.

An image recently circulated on Reddit (be wary, as the image has spoilers for a late-game boss battle) showing the apparent gaffe. This has now been confirmed by Atlus "along with one other instance of Japanese text." In a new blog post, it apologized for the mistake and explained how it happened and why its quality-assurance team didn't catch it.

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Now Playing: Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse - Fight to Survive Trailer

"First, we're human. This is important, so before you start writing that angry comment down below, please remember this point," Atlus's blog post said. "Second, and this is the funny part, it turns out our QA department is actually too good. The two instances of Japanese text left in the game happen during a boss battle near the end of the game. As you may know, SMTIV:A has partners that are permanently with you throughout the game, and you can select the partner based on what abilities they have that complement your play style."

Your partner can be knocked out, but this needs to happen at a specific point in order for this text to show up.

"In this particular battle, partners will return after three turns, and the errant Japanese text only shows up if you get to a point where the boss gives you a dialogue option WHILE your partner is KO'd," Atlus continued. "Our testers, who have been with the company for quite awhile, and who are well-versed in all things SMT (I think a few of them also were QA for the original SMTIV) were so good, they never ran into the situation of having an unconscious partner during the fight, and henceforth the dialogue in question.

"We never realized that there was a specific set of circumstances for the text to appear in-game, and so it never got localized."

With this having only been discovered earlier this week, it's too late to prevent it from showing up in the game that's now on store shelves (and the eShop). However, Atlus notes "it's a relatively rare set of circumstances that will lead players to encounter the aberrant text, and hopefully won't even be discovered by the vast majority of players."

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It goes on to say that it's exploring the possibility of fixing the error, but adds, "[W]e don't know if it's feasible or if we even have a timetable for it, but as soon as we know something one way or the other, we'll let you know." It also says it's looking at Persona 5 and other games it's working on the localization for "to check for any conditional text [it] may have missed."

"So, bottom line, we're truly regretful this bit of dialogue slipped through the cracks, and hope it doesn't impact your gameplay at all!" it concludes.

Apocalypse is not exactly a sequel to SMTIV, instead telling a sort of parallel story that doesn't require you to have played that game. For more, check out GameSpot's review.

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