Nightmare x Vampire Translator’s Corner #1

Today we have some commentary from the translator of Nightmare x Vampire, which will be available next week, we hope you enjoy!

Let’s get some initial praise for VNs in general! I think people have many different reasons for playing them, and the blend of drama, action, and visuals across the various game worlds will speak to a wide range of players; it is art after all! Now that that’s out of the way, we have to talk about nukige

They too span various settings and themes (fantasy, modern, dark, you name it), yet it’s a little hard to argue that they have the same multilayered, boundary-traversing appeal as story-driven erotic games, and I don’t think I need to elaborate why. Granted, we still play these games for the experience (not just the “nuki”), and at least as far as I’m concerned, nukige don’t deserve to have the text translations be done half-assed. Every game deserves to be approached with integrity on the part of the localization team, and I try hard to (as much as possible) not let myself slip into a mindset of “people are just jacking off to this anyway. I can write anything as long as it kind of makes sense”. I consider myself a professional for crying out loud! Although one thing about the H scenes in this game got me thinking of the best approach, and I’ll try and illustrate how I felt here.

Honestly, I find articulation in fictional sex scenes quite funny. Like in movies you’ll have a key person in a high-pressure court case reveal important details to a secretary he happens to be sleeping with. And visual novels are no different. The amount of articulation on the part of the female can be comical sometimes, literally describing everything that’s happening, all while somehow expressing how they feel about it. It’s of course for an excuse to keep the flow of female voiced lines flowing, but from a real-world perspective (although the premises are already far more outrageous than a real-world one), it’s just far too many words than a girl can muster while she’s in the moment, be it forced or consensual.

This game however doesn’t go overboard with the voiced female lines in the H scenes. It sticks to a lot of basic adjectives, feelings, and denial that they’re enjoying it; typical stuff, really. And sometimes to be honest, the original Japanese can be a bit repetitive. So my question I had in regard to my approach is, how vocal do I make the females in the sex scenes? Should I keep it somewhat believable (even if plain), which I felt the original Japanese to be? Or do I spice it up to a borderline outrageous level like we often see in sex-heavy VNs. And there’s the added element of many people understanding the Japanese voiced lines, so if I stray too far in the translation, there are bound to be people who disagree with certain decisions, or worst-case, write off the entire game due to what they feel is a poor or unfaithful translation. What to do?

Well, my eventual decision was to keep the female lines faithful to the original, maybe adding something in here and there to make the line slightly more coherent in English, as opposed to just moaning and uttering single adjectives. When there was opportunity with the original Japanese to make it a bit more sexy, I took the chance to do so (hint, hint, there are some times they find themselves enjoying it). On the other hand, the male lines are not voiced, so I felt I had more freedom to play with their words. The game is raunchy to begin with, so I took the liberty of making the male lines a bit extreme at times, maybe slightly beyond the original Japanese. I think people have different reasons for playing a game like this, and whether you want to despise the men doing these things to the girls, or associate with them in some way, making their comments notably gruff and vulgar was the way to go I think. Anyway, if you played the first two, you’re “bound” to enjoy this one!

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