Over the weekend, an image circulated this weekend of the English build of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse having some un-localized Japanese text still in it. As a result, the staff at Atlus addressed the leak with a post, saying they “asked our localization team about it, and they pored over the game’s text files looking to find out what happened”. However, there was no denial from Atlus. They said that “yep, it’s in there, along with one other instance of Japanese text. It’s an oversight on our part, and we’re deeply sorry about it. We’ve discussed internally about the possibility of correcting it, and while fixing it is not off the table yet, if it does happen, it won’t be in a timely manner”.
So, how did it happen? Atlus gave two reasons. Their first one was “we’re human”. The second reason was, as Atlus explained, “it turns out our QA department is actually too good. The two instances of Japanese text left in the game happen during a boss battle near the end of the game. As you may know, SMTIV:A has partners that are permanently with you throughout the game, and you can select the partner based on what abilities they have that complement your play style. Anyhow, just like in SMTIV, partners can get attacked and knocked out. In this particular battle, partners will return after 3 turns, and the errant Japanese text only shows up if you get to a point where the boss gives you a dialogue option WHILE your partner is KO’d. Our testers, who have been with the company for quite a while, and who are well-versed in all things SMT (I think a few of them also were QA for the original SMTIV) were so good, they never ran into the situation of having an unconscious partner during the fight, and henceforth the dialogue in question. We never realized that there was a specific set of circumstances for the text to appear in-game, and so it never got localized. And unfortunately, it will still be in there by the time the game hits shelves tomorrow. BUT! As our QA testers and reviewers in the media have shown, it’s a relatively rare set of circumstances that will lead players to encounter the aberrant text, and hopefully won’t even be discovered by the vast majority of players.”