MangaGamer released an English localisation of CIRCUS’s romance adventure game Da Capo today. The game is available as an 800MB download for 49.95 euros and requires activation, as usual. The quality of the English script has substantially increased since the days of Edelweiss, and strangely, the entire game has been ported to Buriko General Interpreter/Ethornell from CIRCUS’s own engine.
Da Capo is a romance game released by CIRCUS in 2002 and has spawned a giant franchise of games, anime, manga, and various other things. The story takes place on Hatsune Island, where the sakura bloom year round, and features Junichi Asakura, a high school student who can see other people’s dreams, as the protagonist. The game lets you decide through various choice points what Junichi does throughout the day, which in turn determine which girl’s path (out of seven possible) the story goes through. In Japan, CIRCUS also released a version called Da Capo Plus Communication, which was backported from the Playstation release and contains six more heroines in addition to the previous seven. MangaGamer has expressed an interest in bringing over Plus Communication if the first game did well.
When starting the game, the title caption indicates that they’ve ported the game from CIRCUS’s own engine to Buriko General Interpreter/Ethornell, a game engine used by game brands such as OVERDRIVE and Makura. This is kind of odd, but perhaps it was too hard to localise using CIRCUS’s original engine, which treated single-width spaces as special characters. After the game boots, it immediately goes into the opening movie, which is not translated, by the way. It would be nice to see a translation of the lyrics and character names in the movie. The game settings screens are all nicely done in English and do not feel out of place.
The translated script, at least in the first few minutes of gameplay, seems to be at least a lot higher quality than what we have seen previously with games such as Edelweiss. The English reads naturally for the most part and there are at most a typo or two every few hundred lines. Honorifics and various other Japanese expressions were left in, so Sakura calls Junichi “oniichan”, Nemu calls Junichi “niisan”, Moe calls Junichi “Asakura-kun” and Junichi refers to Moe as “Moe-sempai”. However, Suginami’s “Asakura-imouto” (朝倉妹) phrase has been translated into “Asakura’s sister”. Japanese onomatopoeia have been translated mostly literally, so Junichi at one point says “……Stretch!!” The quiz on March 2 has been mostly localised, as the original would make nearly no sense when translated into English.
However, there were a few weird things with the script. For example, in the beginning, one can distinctly hear Nemu calling Junichi “oniichan” in the audio, but these instances were all translated to “niisan” in the English script. When Moe asks Mako to pass the ponzu, that word was translated as “soy sauce,” which is not entirely accurate. The sentence “She replied with a smile. I love my sister so much” sounded very odd when I read it. Indeed, it should have been something along the lines of: “She replied with a smile, an action that would convert the 10 million people in the entire nation who love little sisters into fawning slaves.”
The other minor oddities include things like leaving out the “the” in “Planet of the Apes”, contracting “you have” into “you’ve” when the “have” isn’t acting as a helper verb, and using “whom” when “who” should’ve been used. However, despite these errors, the script overall doesn’t do a bad job of conveying the original Japanese script and certainly is much better than MangaGamer’s previous releases.