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Steins;Gate 0 Coming to PS4 and PS Vita November 29

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Steins;Gate 0 Coming to PS4 and PS Vita November 29

If you can’t even save the one person you love, how can you save the whole of humanity? This is a question that really underpins Steins;Gate 0 and will resonate with Steins;Gate fans who saw mad scientist Okabe go back in time to save the girl he loves. The first time he tries, he fails. The second time, he succeeds. But what if there never was a second time? What if someone had stopped him from trying again?

Steins;Gate 0

Steins;Gate Zero follows the story of a world line where Okabe fails to save Kurisu, and is forced to live with the consequences of his choice to sacrifice her. Six months later, he’s a broken wreck, taking medication, rarely meeting his friends. His only goal in life: to continue Kurisu’s work.

But fate isn’t done with Okabe, when he discovers, early on, that Kurisu may not be as lost to him as he first thought…

Steins;Gate 0 is a much darker, more somber story than Steins;Gate. The original asked you to repeatedly make a choice about how much you were willing to sacrifice to save Mayuri. Zero is a story about living with the consequences of those choices, even if they’re not necessarily what you want.

Steins;Gate 0

There’s also a much bigger cast this time. I was a big fan of the original cast (I’ve had a small figure of Kurisu on my desk for the past 6 years!) so in my mind the new cast had a big hurdle to clear. I think that after finishing the translation, I like the new characters more than the old ones. My personal favourite is Maho. She is one of the most well-developed characters I’ve seen in years. Similar to Okabe in many ways, with a strong exterior personality that hides a heart that isn’t nearly as tough as she’d like it to be.

Like Okabe, her life was forever changed by her interactions with the genius named Kurisu Makise, and I loved the way she grows and changes throughout the story.

Over the last year I feel like I’ve really gotten to know the cast, like they’re a part of me. Localizing Steins;Gate 0 was a really big job — a 5 month project from the time we got the script to the turn-in date. We worked at it several hours a day, five days a week. The project came to us in the form of several massive spreadsheets, and we started at the beginning and worked our way to the end.

Steins;Gate 0

Steins;Gate 0Steins;Gate 0

From there, we gave it a second pass through to check for consistency issues and improve the general flow of the story. I’m not sure how many hours, all told, that it took, but it was a tremendous project, certainly comparable to the original in size.

Steins;Gate 0

It was also a challenge to work on. First, it’s a science-fiction game with very accurate science, which means there’s a lot to look up to make sure that we’re phrasing it right. I know I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia looking at articles on artificial intelligence, brain science, and different time travel theories!

Then of course, there’s the fact that it’s a very Japanese game, that’s written primarily for a specific Japanese audience who understand things that a western one might not. This was less of a problem than it might first seem for players of the original game, because Steins;Gate 0 is a lot more serious and has less of a focus on internet and otaku culture, and also because the game has a built-in dictionary to explain some of the more obscure concepts.

The biggest challenge, at least, one of the challenges that I spent the most time thinking about, was actually one that fans might not expect: localizing Mayuri’s dialogue. Mayuri is a very unusual character, and she speaks in a very unusual way. She acts a little spacey, but she’s not stupid or ditzy, and there’s a nuance in her speech that betrays a caring and an awareness that you might not see just by looking at a direct translation of the words themselves. Because she’s such a critical character, getting her personality right was a high priority for me.

Steins;Gate 0

Inevitably you come across things in the text that are tough to localize. It’s tempting to try to replace it with something similar that is culturally more filling — though we tried our best to avoid this wherever possible.

The game’s setting and culture are extremely important aspects of the story, and we would be doing a disservice to the fans if we tried to overly westernize it. Fans of the first game’s translation should find that the level of westernization is one they’re very comfortable with, and that most of the more culturally obscure ideas are handled the exact same way they remember.

For example, there’s one point in the game a specific Japanese word (Senpai, used to refer to an older girl at a school in this case) becomes important to the plot. Rather than trying to find a way to abstract this out and come up with an American equivalent, we left it in and added some very brief dialogue about what it meant, and what its usage meant to the characters.

Steins;Gate 0

That said, I wrote the Steins;Gate 0 translation with a general console/portable gaming audience in mind. I wanted it to be very accessible and readable, no matter how much the player might know about the setting of the game, and I’m confident that we succeeded.

One thing I’m often asked is how accessible it is to those who never played the original. I think missing out on this because you’ve not seen the anime or played the original is a mistake — the story really works on its own. The first Steins;Gate is now a seven year old game, and when the writers created Zero they were well aware that many players wouldn’t have beaten it. Steins;Gate 0 takes place in a world line where many of the events in the first game never happened, and it very quickly becomes its own story. While it’s a direct sequel, it assumes the player has no knowledge of most of what happened in the original, beyond the basic outlines of the plot.

I would say that if you’ve seen the anime, read the manga, or have even been immersed in the fandom long enough that you think you’d be interested in the title, you have everything you need to know to get the most out of Steins;Gate 0.

Steins;Gate 0 is a wonderful game, and I’ve seen many, many people say that they enjoy it more than the original. While it only requires a little bit of knowledge about the first game, it wraps up certain plot threads, and also answers what’s probably the biggest, most long-running mystery in the series.

If you’re at all interested in this series, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

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24 Comments

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  • a very well done website

  • Any chance PQube releases this on sellers other than VideoGamesPlus in Canada? With games being more expensive than ever over here because of the weak CAD, it really hurts when releases are made store-exclusive with no chance of sales ever happening and keeping the price artificially high. Amazon or anyone else would be a really big help. I don’t want to pass on S;G 0 but console gaming has become just too expensive in the last 2 years.

    • That stinks. I can remember a similar situation here in the U.S. when Gamestop had the exclusive rights to Tales of Heart R for Vita. I can’t believe that kind of practice helps sales. Although Amazon.ca doesn’t have it (other than pricey imports of the Japanese version), you should keep an eye on its pricing at Amazon.com. Prices can really fluctuate for games on Amazon. I noticed that Amazon will sometimes basically liquidate their stock of a relatively recent release if it’s not a best-seller. Then Amazon merchants buy up the copies and try to resale it back at five times the price they what paid for it.

    • Weird, since Video game plus have 1 store only in Canada.

    • Has it been confirmed that VideoGamesPlus in Canada will be the only one selling this? As an Amazon Prime member I can’t really justify paying full price AND high shipping costs since I live up north. If Amazon doesn’t get this in stock I might have to pass… :/

  • I preordered the Amadeus Edition a few months ago. So excited <3

  • Damn, same day as Final Fantasy XV!

    • I know right. This was once slated for September then they delay it twice and finally came up with Nov 29. Honestly thats a bad move on their part. because it’s 0 a game that just got recently announced Vs. 15 a game people have been waiting for 10 years. and because of the weight of 15 people aren’t really going to pay attention to Zero unless they’re not Final Fantasy fans.

  • That was an very interesting overview of the localisation progress. I enjoyed reading it and it makes me look forward to finally playing S;G 0. I preordered it months ago on Amazon, back when they had as a September release.

    I do translation work from Latin and Ancient Greek to English, so I admired the direction that Mr. Lensenmayer took. It can be quite the challenge to maintain cultural nuances, while at the same time not making the content seem too esoteric. I find the cultural differences to be a source of interest. It simply enriches the experiences.

    It’s too bad that us Westerners don’t get to experience S;G HD on PS4. I understand that the original Japanese release of Zero came with a code for S;G HD that they could redeem on the Japanese Playstation store. That would have seemed a small investment for a bigger payoff. That decision has nothing to do with the localisation team. But I was hoping to read that it might happen.

  • Loved the original on Vita last year and getting this day 1. I think it’s a smart move to not overly-Westernize the translations, as things like Japanese honorifics have no English translations. Plus, we all have internet, so we can easily google this stuff, which is much better than losing the nuances of trying to translate the things that simply don’t exist in English.

    • I think respecting the culture of the game, and the fans, is very, very critical for a game like this. The vast majority of players will be big fans of Steins;Gate, and so it was important to me to give them something that they would enjoy. In my mind, there were a different set of requirements for this than there would be for translating something like say, World of Final Fantasy. I don’t want to say it’s a “niche” audience, because honestly as game franchises go, Steins;Gate isn’t exactly a small one, but it’s an audience with different expectations than other gamers.

      I’m glad to hear you’re getting it on day 1, and I hope you enjoy the game a lot.

  • Yey! Pre order when ever it was listed on Amazon.

    Also when is root letter coming out in the us? I’ve seen two dates one is the nov. 1st which makes sense as it’s a Tuesday and nov. 10th which is a Thursday.

    • I am guessing that Nov 1.st is the digital version. Nov 10th is the physical edition release date.

      Happened with Criminal Girls 2 in NA.

    • Played Root Letter european version. Well I think it’s not as good as I expect. The mysteru is good enough but the story writer needs to learn much from other visual novel writers I think.

    • Just got an email from Amazon that the Release day delivery for root letter will be on the 10th a Thursday? Weird still excited to play it. I love visual novels and will have to chew through it before steins game cause I’m so excited for that.

      Also loved the translation direction of this series. I’m playing world of final fantasy which went a very different mainstream direction and it feels a little off sometimes.

  • Enjoyed, the first one. Thanks, for bringing it to the west. More Localized VN’s on the Vita is a good thing.

  • Will Steins;Gate 0 Amadeus Edition also release on November 29th? I remember heard things like it will come out at a later date due to “manufacture times.”

    Anyway, can’t freaking wait! So excited!

  • I wept my tears for reading this literally. Original steins gate was one of rare chance I wept tears during gameplay, yet choices who to sacrifice was so overwhelming.

    February 2016 when Zero comes out in Japan is all I wish to understand Japanese since I dont know when this masterpiece would be translated.

    Thank you for releasing this masterpiece, will be a treasured day one for sure.

    • So, same date with “should be masterpiece” RPG of the year. Well I should pass on everything else released on november to buy these two then

    • A lot of people say that the second game is even more dramatic than the first one, so if you were moved to tears by Steins;Gate 1 you’re in for quite an experience. Hope you like it!

  • Loved the Anime, loved the game even more than the anime haha, really looking forward to this darker chapter! Thanks for brining it to us on Vita.

  • Really cant wait to play Zero. But may i ask what happened to the Q&A with Mages we were promised last week ?

  • When will digital pre orders be available through the playstation store on ps4?

  • Honestly, I think the main reason sony supports indie devs in Japan is probably because they know Japanese ps4/vita/whatever devs can’t come up with anything better than an indie game. All Japanese devs do is releasing games that objectify Japanese women in general, as if most (if not all) women in Japan are dying for someone to touch them and when the game is not about that, it’s still about graphic novels, which is a shame for the only country that pretty much supports the existence of the handheld.
    If you support this kind of game, that’s your problem. And I find it great that sony rejected themselves out of the mobile gaming market – about time to leave it to the one brand that knows how to support their own device and don’t always try to push something to sell, be it a variation of a handheld to hook up to your TV that barely works with a limited library of games or a proprietary memory card.

    • I get the impression you aren’t a fan of Japanese games at all and have no idea what your talking about. Since most games that come out of Japan defined the games we know and love now. For some of their AAA games we have Zelda, Final Fantasy series, Metal Gear, Resident Evil to name a few. Furthermore steins gate in no way objectifies women and has some of the most complex female characters in gaming in general.

      Just saying know what your talking about before you go on a rant calling people bigots when you yourself know nothing about that your talking about.

    • Wow, what a load of xenophobic generalizations.

      I won’t deny that there exist Japanese games that objectify women, but why don’t you go post on an article for one of those games rather than on the sequel to one of the greatest science fiction stories in gaming?

      You act like Sony is funding these games, and that this somehow means less games that you’re interested in. Though obviously you have no idea what you’re talking about if you’re calling this an “indie game”.

      >If you support this kind of game, that’s your problem.
      A problem that I’m proud to have. I’m expecting Steins;Gate 0 to be my Game of the Year for 2016.

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