Part 16: (Kojima's Comments)Jonathan's (99% optional) pervertedness is never really explained in the game. One of the tidbits we do get about it is when Jonathan tries to steal that poster of Anna for himself, and Ed tells Anna, "He's been like this since he got here." All this behavior does "start" (become accessible) on the spaceplane after he gets out to space, so... is this Kojima saying something about space is responsible for this? Aha! There is a reason! Traces of some sort of... socioscientific commentary!
But then, during the dinner, when Anna asks why it would be a bad idea for her and Jonathan to go out (she does ask this, and you can see her gradually taking a liking to Jonathan in this scene), Ed says, "I've known him long enough. Easily the biggest pervert I've ever met. Poor guy just can't help himself."
So there's a contradiction. Maybe Kojima's saying space has exacerbated his pervertedness? Come to think of it, he did say once that he didn't allow Jonathan to act that way with Lorraine in order to preserve the mood of their reunion. I'll ask Kojima on Twitter what the intention for this whole aspect of the game was. Can't say I expect an answer (and I don't believe he's ever commented on the motivation), but it's worth a shot.
In the lead up to the patch's release, as a nod to Jonathan's behavior we considered suggesting that people donate to their favorite breast cancer organization, but we decided against it in the end. I think the reason was we didn't want people to feel in any way obligated to part with money in order to download the patch.
Using "arigato" instead of "thank you" isn't all that odd in English, a lot of people know what it means without even knowing it's Japanese, but that makes the response sound... off. Was this just a romanization of the hiragana that got overlooked or did you deliberately choose "arigato" without considering the response?
But would her response sound off if he had said "Thank you" instead? This was a conscious decision to reflect the spread of Japanese culture by hinting that "arigato" had become a common expression of thanks on the colony. So you could call this an adapted line.
Also, so far the translation has done a pretty good job of getting across Jonathan and company speaking as if they were different people, for example, I can't imagine Ed saying this but it fits Jon to a T. I was wondering how difficult it was to translate personality from Japanese to English?
The original Japanese there is "We're floating," which seemed very boring translated literally, so I tried to pepper the speech here and elsewhere by giving characters their own voice, which is the usual approach.
Every character in the Japanese Policenauts has his or her own way of speaking, but this comes through combinations of sentence structures (male/female, young/old, polite/informal, etc.) that can't be translated into English the way other words can. The lines have to be reexamined from an English standpoint. So to compensate, I tried to make Gates sound like an Englishman, Salvatore sound like an Italian-American, Redwood sound like... a very unusual guy, and so on. It's just a matter of getting into a character's head and saying, "How should this character sound speaking English?" This was easier with some characters than others. Dave, for instance, doesn't have much that differentiates him the way that Gates or Salvatore do, so I tried to give him a youthful vigor and wide-eyed innocence, which I think people can pick up on from his voice even if they don't know Japanese.
There are a few other touches I added that may not be as obvious, or might be misconstrued as mistakes. To highlight the fact that Jonathan isn't the sharpest tack (which Kojima commented on himself in an interview), you may notice that I had him always get certain constructions in English wrong. For example, he always gets "(person) and I/me" wrong, saying it as "me and (person)" instead. Some people thought that was a mistake, but it wasn't. Ed, on the other hand, always gets that stuff right.
Ed's house was designed in the image of the quintessential San Francisco house. Whenever I think of a buddy cop film, I think of guys racing up and down the hills of slanted streets in movies like Bullitt.
Anna's lack of culinary prowess is a reference to the woman in Hitchcock's Frenzy who likes to cook. Japanese culture (in this case its cuisine) is again misinterpreted, adding to the colony's unique culture. I also thought about what food would be like in the Space Age, with it needing the right nutritional balance to compensate for the effects of weightlessness.
Marc, like Dave, was born and raised on the colony. He's never left its womb, so to speak. He stays in his cage, watching old movies from Earth, which has given him certain desires and fears about its nature (trees, water, the wind, its smells, etc.), as well as a yearning for "true ground," not the artificial one on the colony. He wants to feel Earth for himself, instead of just seeing pictures of it or listening to its sounds.
[Some of Marc's character was probably inspired by Sean Connery's son in the movie "Outland." It's not a bad movie.]
The Garden party
We spent several days on the programming for one scene alone in the PC-98 version. It's the one where you see a view of Beyond Coast while riding the elevator in the Tokugawa Building. It didn't give us any problems in the Saturn version, but it was very problematic in the PC-98 version. After all, at the end of the day the PC-98 is a computer, not a games console.
For the scene in the Garden, we wanted to have a party going on when you arrive. The cops show up at this loud, extravagant event and end up ruining it. You see that in practically every buddy cop film. And because this is a space colony, it's a zero gravity party. What would that be like in real life? We thought about a number of things, like how they might not be drinking alcohol there because of the effects of alcohol in zero gravity, for instance.