Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V
December 6, 1992
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Attachment The translation group RPGe's 1998 English translation of Final Fantasy V is considered to be one of the most widely-played and influential fan translations in video game history. It gained this reputation because it released before Squaresoft's first official translation in Final Fantasy Anthology in late 1999, and despite RPGe primarily consisting of inexperienced teenagers, it was regarded as a better translation than the official one, leading many Western players to first experience the game through it.

The first translation attempts stemmed from widespread confusion over Squaresoft not releasing three FF games in the West: Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and FFV. Their decision to release Final Fantasy VII internationally under its original numbering after Final Fantasy VI was released in the West a few years earlier as the "third" game in the series also contributed to this.

The co-creator of RPGe, named Shadow, was inspired by an incomplete FFII translation by users Demi and Som2freak (the latter having later lent Shadow tools to work on FFV), and started translating FFV by making flashcards for which hex code corresponded to each Japanese and English character in the game's data. He promoted his efforts online using photoshopped FFV images and recruited other users, including the other co-creators of RPGe, translator David Timko, and a computer engineering major named Hooie who also asked Japanese instructors at his university to help translate some enemy names. RPGe's plan was to directly edit their English script into the text files of a ROM of the Japanese version. Their work was slow and tedious due to them having little experience with fan translations and being out of touch with fledgling emulation communities, leading to technical issues with their text and sprite editing software, and English characters being poorly displayed under conditions that were originally designed for larger Japanese characters. In addition, the group suffered from internal factionalism, and since Shadow promoted himself as the public face of the project, he found that he could not handle the attention and controversy that came from how seriously he took the project and RPGe itself, seeing the translation effort as a vital service to the Squaresoft fan community. After Demi wrote a lengthy post parodying him, Shadow "snapped" and left RPGe. The other founders of RPGe would also eventually step down, but other users would take over and start their own work.

A user named Myria, who had argued against RPGe's hex editing approach to no avail, split off from their efforts beforehand to work on a separate translation. Sharing similar setbacks to them, she gradually parsed through the code used to handle the text files, and edited it so it could recognize English characters of different sizes and fit more in a dialogue box. Som2freak helped translate the script for a time, but then left the project after bringing on a new editor, named harmony7, who started heavily revising Som2freak's translations to his chagrin despite several issues with it.

One of the most controversial aspects of the translation was the main character's name. Squaresoft's later English translation named him "Bartz", but RPGe's translation named him "Butz", which many joked sounds like "butts". Myria claimed that Butz was the most accurate translation based on documents and official merchandise using it "the way we'd written it" (for reference, the Romanized version of the Japanese name "バッツ" comes out as "Battsu"). However, Butz is used in real life as an actual German surname with a different pronunciation, the vowel being an "oe" sound like in the English words "put" and "good". Therefore, Bartz would make more sense to match up with the vowels in the Japanese name than Butz, and also fits better as a German first name since Bartz is a pet name for Bartholomäus (Bartholomew).

The bulk of Myria's technical work ended in October 1997, with harmony7 still working to revise the entire script until something unexpected happened. An early version of the fan translation mysteriously appeared on a Geocities website with others taking credit for it. This prompted RPGe to release their work up to that point as "v0.96" on October 17, 1997, with the final patch eventually being released in June 1998. The translation patch received acclaim for its technical aspects and near-professional writing quality, and influenced other players to become translators, including Clyde Mandelin who would later create the English fan translation of Mother 3. Squaresoft never contacted RPGe about the translation, and while their 1999 localization of the game was seen as inferior to RPGe's, Myria would later opine that Square Enix's 2006 localization in Final Fantasy V: Advance was better than theirs. Myria continued hacking and reverse-engineering games and eventually earned a job at an undisclosed major video game company.
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In the 11/92 issue of Famicom Tsuushin interview with game's composer Nobuo Uematsu, he was asked why he wrote the Black chocobo theme "Mambo de Chocobo" as a mambo song. He responded:

"Well, it was a samba (Samba de Chocobo) in FFIV. Originally I was imagining the Balinese kecak music for the chocobos. I sampled it over and over, but just couldn’t bring out that same kecak atmosphere. After that I had the idea of using a human vocal sample, and the mambo just fit. I’m not sure where the original idea for it came from though."
According to director/writer Hironobu Sakaguchi and writer Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy V marked the first time they worked together on a game. Kitase then commented about their working relationship during the game's development:

"Mr. Sakaguchi and I worked on [the game's] events in a relay, so when we would go to work, the first thing we'd do is check the data the other had put up to check the continuity. We'd see each other's work and think 'I'll make something even better!' in a sort of competition."
The game contains two unused and unfinished commands, most likely used for debug purposes.
"!Dummy01" allows the user to target themselves, but then does nothing.
"!Dummy02" enchants weapons in the same way as the "magic sword" fire spell.
The game contains 4 unused enemies in various states of completion:
• Big Boss (which uses the same graphics as the Nut Eater)
• Chimera
• Mellusion
• Neo Goblin
In an interview, Hironobu Sakaguchi alludes to Gilgamesh's early life. Gilgamesh grew up in a village where all men were warriors. The Genji equipment sets were ancient and precious sets of armor from that village, and were usually passed on to its best warriors when they proved their worth in battle. It is said that the centuries of "blood, sweat and dust" accumulated on the Genji equipment have made them extremely resistant.
According to the "Chocobo's FF Laboratory" feature published in V Jump in 1993, Faris Scherwiz/Spoiler:Sarisa Tycoon from Final Fantasy V was originally a female gambler named Eva Scherwil. The developers encountered difficulties in making her fit in the game's world and atmosphere, and changed her into a pirate. In a later issue of V Jump, the developers noted Setzer in Final Fantasy 6 evolved from this early Eva concept.
Attachment Exdeath's original Japanese name is (エクスデス, Ekusudesu) or Exodus. This is worth noting as it would appear that Exdeath made appearances prior to Dissidia. In Final Fantasy XII, there is an esper called Exodus both in the English and Japanese versions that seems to resemble the knight form of Exdeath. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, a Totema called Exodus resembles Exdeath's tree form.
Attachment Exdeath's tree form resembles the treasured Yggdrasil of Norse mythology, which is often referred to as the beam that supports the universe.
The reason the original Final Fantasy V was never released internationally was because, as translator Ted Woolsey stated in a 1994 interview, "it's just not accessible enough to the average gamer". Plans were made to release the game in 1995 as Final Fantasy Extreme, targeting it at "the more experienced gamers who loved the complex character building". For unknown reasons, however, Final Fantasy Extreme never materialized.

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