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Futing Among the Ranks

     Okay, it's getting kind of old now! There are currently four groups translating Square's NES Japanese Final Fantasy 3. That's at least three more than we need! I don't know how many people Square assigns to translating their games, but there must be at least 100 people in these various groups translating the same game. Not only this, but each group seems to be angry at all the other groups. No good reason, mind you, they're just all mad at each other!
     Neo Demiforce, authors of the newly-completed Final Fantasy 2 translation that's getting so much attention, have recently badmouthed both Akilla and Translation Corporation, which up until today were the only two groups translating FF3 besides Neo Demiforce itself. (Okay, it's not Neo Demiforce, but ND seems to be sponsoring this). Akilla is going out of their way to say that theirs is the best of the lot (which is debateable in of itself), and Translation Corportation's leader, Nightcrawler, has put coughakillacough at least three time on his website, if you know what I mean.
     Sure, I see this kind of contention in other places on the emulation community; when ZSNES came out there was quite a bit of it in the SNES arena (see my Past of SNES '9x article), but the FF3 translators seem to always be at each other's throats.
     Now, I don't know the cause for this. Demi, leader of Neo Demiforce, implies that Akilla has done something to "sabotage his group". Weither or not this is true can only be answered by Demi and Akilla, but if it is true (which I sort of doubt), then Akilla has a problem with Demi.
     Granted, the four groups (I haven't mentioned the newest since he hasn't done anything to make the others mad yet...) are competing--or are they? None of the translation groups make any money off of their work; there are not yet any non-freeware translations (let's not change this, please...). I understand that they are working at the same goal, and they aren't doing it together, and this implies competition, but why does it have to be such a stuggle within the ranks? Demi said he was mad at his parents for saying that "anything that doesn't pay an hourly wage is a waste of time". I disagree with that statement (or I wouldn't be on the Archaic Ruins staff), but I can still understand that some of the translation members can see this similar to a 9:00-5:00 job, and people who work for other "companies" as competitors. Archaic Ruins is, to a certain extent, competitors with websites such as EMU News Service and Zophar's Domain, and yet Zophar and Archaic Ruins have gone out of our way to promote each other's sites. I'm not saying the translation groups need to try to get players to use the other groups' patches, but I think the different translation groups do owe each other decency.
     Decency has been lost from the FF3 Translation Scene. With the exception of the newest translation group, each group is going out of their way to pull each other down, insult each other, hinder each other's work, and other mean acts which have no value to themselves, but seem to be all traced to a common source: envy.
     The translation groups are all working toward a common goal, but they're going very slowly, partially because they can't seem to find the time to translate because they spend so much time harassing the other translation groups and just trying to turn people off from their "competitors" and get them to try their own patch. Funny, I don't see Marat Fayzullin, author of interNES, trying to slander NESticle in anyway. His emulator may be second best, I don't know (I never tried it), but at least Marat has the decency to accept this. Now, I'm not insulting Marat at all; I think he's a very talanted programmer. With a bit more work on iNES, I think Marat could make an emulator that is easily equal to NESticle, especially considering the bad mapper support that NESticle is known for. Still, that would be a whole different article.
     Why can't the FF3 translation groups work together? Why can't they be decent with each other? Two words answer this question: envy and pride. If the translation groups could get past these two horrible barriers, we'd have ourselves four great translations of Square's wonderful game: Final Fantasy 3j.

Date: March 17, 1998
Author: Luke Sneeringer

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