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Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

Plus, game’s localisation lead discusses the complexity of adapting the story to the west

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?

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

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.

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

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…
Releasing on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita on 25th November Steins;Gate 0 is a brand new story in the acclaimed Science Fiction Visual Novel franchise.

It’s 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.

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. Localising 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. 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 very, very big project, certainly comparable to the original, size-wise.

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailerJapanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

 
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 title that 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.

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

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.

Inevitably you come across things in the text that are tough to localise. 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.

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.

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer

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 Zero 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 know everything you need 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.

El Psy Kongroo!

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailerJapanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer
28 Comments
3 Author replies

So many VNs lately! Loving it! Hoping we get even more in 2017. Also, glad to see all those random “placeholder” release dates were actually true.
Cannot wait for next month! Had my Amadeus Edition pre-ordered since day 1 when Ricedigital announced it!

Forgot to ask, even though it might a long stretch, but is there any chance of Steins;Gate Avatars on PSN?

reggyx3clover 28 October, 2016 @ 16:18
2

Yay thank you very much, I’ll be sure to be picking this on my Vita. Can we expect more visual novel for the Vita? Preferably the Visual Novel from Otomate game please

3

Welcome to my Vita!

TU TU RU!

A world without Kurisu Makise is a world I don’t want to live in!

El Psy Kongroo..

Still, looking forward to seeing/going moe for Mayushii & company again. Need to order a couple of cases of Dr Pepper before launch.. Tuturu!

I thought the localisation/adaptation of the original was excellent. Tho I couldn’t compare it to the original language version, I thought it was one of the funniest most well written games I’ve played in years. So I’m looking forward to this new one, hopefully lives up to the first & the promises of this article.

stevilkenevil 28 October, 2016 @ 18:35
7

Yes; finally! Can’t wait for this :)

8

Nice.. it’s already pre-ordered. The first game was a really great game.

speaking about visual novels, I have never played one (even though I have played a lot of text heavy JRPGs) and I’m thinking of buying root letter for vita, for anyone that has played it, is it a good choice? especially since it will be technical my first reall VN (and before anyone suggest the first steins gate, I have watched the anime so I already know the story, the really really amazing story that is!)

Adam Lensenmayer 28 October, 2016 @ 21:20
9.1

I’ve never played Root Letter, but I will say this. There are dozens of visual novels made in Japan every month, and only the cream of the crop get translated to English. So if you’re looking at an English-language visual novel whose story appeals to you, it’s probably very well made, and you’ll probably like it a lot. .

Honestly, I would say buy Steins;Gate. I mean the first one for PS3/Vita, the story goes beyond the anime. That game really shows how amazing a VN can be. However if you do want a VN on PS4, Root Letter or Psycho-Pass would be your best bet. Otherwise there are Danganronpa which are VNs with minor RPG elements which are also fantastic VNs to start out with.

SatoshiOokami 29 October, 2016 @ 09:54
9.3

If you already know the anime story, then this is a good first VN. However… even though S;G anime is one of the best, maybe even the best VN adaptation ever made, VN still provides you with more info, so you should give the original S;G a shot as well.

And… then there’s Zero Escape trilogy. In my opinion, the best VN ever created. Like Rawanz mentioned, Danganronpa series is also a good opening. So, it depends on what you want to get and probably price since S;G0 is a new game while the other mentioned games are older.

Great to see another visual novel coming out and this one looks awesome.

Wooohooo!!!
I’m really excited about consuming a part of you!! :D
Seriously, can’t wait.

Adam Lensenmayer 29 October, 2016 @ 08:12
11.1

That’s kind of terrifying, but I’m glad you’re looking forward to the game!

ummagummachild 28 October, 2016 @ 21:32
12

I had to comment on this. Steins; Gate was the best story I have ever came across, like ever ever. I salute the person who wrote such complex and believable fictional story. Such an emotional journey it was. By the end of the game I was totally in love with all the main characters. I thank myself for making the decision to buy S;G and through this post I want to thank the devs for bringing this sequal. You guys cant even imagine how much this sequal means to me. Now, waiting for Nov 25.
El Psy Kongroo!

13

New to Steins Gate — where is it best to start, chronologically?

Adam Lensenmayer 29 October, 2016 @ 08:17
13.1

If you’re a total beginner to the series, I would recommend the first game, which is just called Steins;Gate. There’s also a highly popular anime that should be available on a bunch of streaming services these days, and I think there’s a manga as well.

If you’ve got any interest in visual novels, you can’t go wrong with the game. It’s probably the most famous of the last decade, and it’s amazingly well-written. If you want to get directly into the somewhat darker world of Steins;Gate 0, you could always just watch the anime and get it. There’s nothing you need to know that isn’t covered in the anime.

SatoshiOokami 29 October, 2016 @ 09:56
13.2

@Adam: While S;G is absolutely brilliant VN, I wouldn’t consider it the most famous =) Especially because it’s not been that long since it hit the western shores =D

14

I just wanted to say that I absolutely loved the original Steins;Gate, and I’m anxiously waiting to get to play this game, too. I’m so glad that you guys are handling the release with your localization practices you talked about in length in this post, so mad kudos to you. Keep up the great work!

Hi Adam, I have never commented on the blog before, but I just had to sign in for this. Steins;gate simply blew me away when I played it earlier this year. It was my first ever visual novel and I loved every second. when I heard of the existence of Steins;gate 0 I was so desperate for this to get localised because I just wanted to spend even more time in this world. Thank you so much for all your hard work to localise this for us. I completely understand that visual novels must be among the most challenging games to localise due to the sheer volume of text.

Steins;Gate has opened up a whole world to me and I couldn’t be more grateful. Needless to say, this has been on pre-order since it was announced and I’m so excited to play it. Thank you also for continuing to support the PSVita. Seriously, the number of games coming out on vita is amazing, and long may it continue!

16

I’m so looking forward to it. I have extremely fond memory of the first one. It’ll be at home on my vita :-)

Loved the original Steins;Gate! That game is so well written and loved the characters, i even have a Kurisu T-Shirt. I remember i was wearing that t-shirt when i was in Japan this year and people really liked it ^^! Well who doesn’t like her anyway?

This update can’t contain all the sugoii sugoiiiii

ManikwithaNine 31 October, 2016 @ 09:47
19

Could you localise fate stay night. It’s the only vn that I really want after watching the anime unlimited blade works.

20

Thank you very much! It will be awesome on Vita :) I really like anime and the first game

I know this will likely not get answered, but will this get a physical Australian release? Like Steins;Gate eventually did?

Or will we be forced to import?

Would love if the first one was released on ps4. Will this version be available with Japanese audio and English subs?

AlucardTepes_DE 21 November, 2016 @ 05:11
23

Probably the only game I’m hyped for. Really looking forward to it.

AlucardTepes_DE 21 November, 2016 @ 05:13
24

The 1st game, was probably the only game I ever cared enough to Platinate~ <3

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