The Localisation of "Final Fantasy VII": A Descriptive Analysis

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The contemporary society has perceived the development of the industry of video games in a short period of time. Factually, video games have evolved over the last decades with such strength that they have indeed been integrated in everyday life (Bernal-Merino, 2011: 16). More immersive than a book, more demanding than a film, video games are appealing to the five senses because of its selected music and animated scenes, specifics that play a crucial part in their growing popularity. In fact, their expansion is far from being over. Enterprises from all over the world perceive the economic potential video games possess and, as such, they attempt to expand their business worldwide. Extending the frontiers that video games are able to span entails new challenges, such as fitting for a culture entirely divergent from their original one. Thus, from a linguistic perspective, a new branch related to audiovisual translation (AVT) required to be born. Translation from a source language to a target language was no longer enough to satisfy the needs of a new culture. This dissertation attempts to shed some light on the existing clash between cultures and how linguistics expands its limits while researching the best direction to follow so the great majority of consumers see their own needs fulfilled. Once the essential background knowledge is settled, the principal characteristics observed are applied by means of analysing the characters’ speech from the game Final Fantasy VII (Square Soft, 1997), taking real examples from Japanese, English and Spanish to compare in an attempt to illustrate the adaptations suffered each game version from the original script and analyse the possible reasons why loss of meaning occurs.