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Attn: old Enix Forum regulars


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Hey folks,

This post is for anyone who frequented the old Enix Forums, pre-merger, back in the 1999-2003 era. We're talking The_Unknown_Gamer (aka Ignasia7), BobTheAlmighty, NecrosaroIII, tomgreenjbg, RadioheadMan, sdpwarrior, spSpiff and so many more folks. For anyone from the old forums that you're still in contact with, please pass this along.

I was able to get in touch with our old admin and former Enix of America localizer, Mr. Nob Ogasawara, and he's interested in joining us on Dragon's Den's Dragon Quest Slime Time podcast for an episode to talk about the forums and working for Enix, back in the day. Dwaine is guest hosting as my fellow old Enix Forum regular.

Now there was a pretty thorough interview posted by Austin from DQFM recently where he had contacted Nob and got a ton of information on his work at Enix. Our podcast isn't meaning to recreate anything printed in the article, because it's a really solid interview. What we're hoping to do is reminisce about the old times of being a Dragon Warrior fan on the forum, anticipating Dragon Warrior VII, the pain and loss of Dragon Warrior IV-PSX, and of course who could forget: R.A.D.: Robot Alchemic Drive?

Anyway, what I wanted to ask of you is if you have any questions or comments for Nob, please leave them here and we may read them to him on the podcast. This could be anything from unanswered questions about his time working at Enix, to even legit apologies for our conduct, or conduct we witnessed, back then. I know I'm already thinking of titling the episode "With Apologies to Nob." 🤣

Please review the Austin interview first, before posting, so we're not repeating questions that may have already been asked.

https://geektogeekmedia.com/geekery/dragonquestaustin/dragon-quest-translation-localization-interview-with-nob-ogasawara/

If you were not an old Enix Forum regular you can still leave a question or comment here, but since the subject will be the old forums, we'll be favoring reading questions or comments from the folks who were actual regulars of the old Enix Forums, back then. Again, if you're still in contact with any old Enix Forum regulars, please pass this along! Thanks!

-Liamland

@ignasia @Bob_the_Almighty @Dwaine @Megalosaro 

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Everytime I spoke to Nob on AIM, he was always fine with the general conduct.  I think it was the racist stuff that popped up for the few people who he had to ban that was a problem. I'm certainly not going to apologize for:

  • keeping track of users IP's to track certain nutty people, like that one dude who started with a "Z" who kept making new accounts, and kept posting utter nonsense like autism on steroids
  • attempting to date users (I had a thing with mo for awhile, though according to her, years later, it was all fun and games...I still saved those earlier conversations somewhere, and no, it was serious for her)
  • participating in the misadventures of mo (though I think I hurt her for ignoring her 2nd and 3rd topics)
  • creating multiple characters including some controversial names
  • getting into flame wars all the time...especially that, since if memory se rves, that's HOW I made friends, including with yourself Liam.
  • all the comments about female toons being hot, and things I wanted to do with them, along with every other red blooded young man on the forums, including the military drill sergeant, Zombie, but especially with Darian and Bob_the_Almighty (the trio of us were horrible, lol)
  • the greatness that was the Church of Ciba, and creating multiple characters, including the High Priest, and worshiping wenches, writing a literal recreation of the first 20 pages of the bible (yes, it was that nuts), and multiple
  • my most infamous creation...my hands, and all my topic molesting (yeah, I literally went into every topic, and gave it a rub down...at the time it was considered a blessing of sorts...I wish I were joking...teenage and young 20 year old men...aye yie yie, the hormones man...I can honestly say I haven't changed that much, just toned things down a bit, but inside, I'm still 20-something...much to my chagrin and I'm sure that of quite a few people)
  • the FF8 vs FF7 flame wars in which game was better
  • going after the GBC Dragon Warrior Monsters fanbase for daring to enter Enix General to flame us...oh, we (Darian, mo, and myself mostly) had fun roasting those upstarts!
  • bugging Nob about updates on Dragon Warrior VII, leading up to its release...like a lot
  • Enix for the " " <- put in a thing, and the insanity that ensued, leading to Enix for the Pizza Box, because who wouldn't want a pizza delivered with a small screen embedded into the box, with Dragon Warrior popping up...and now we CAN!
  • my writing wars with Scorp, in who could write a better story and lead in (I still remember in vivid detail all of my story ideas), though it was mostly critique and helping one another out
  • the battle with the neo nazi stormers who felt a need to lambast Zombie because he made it clear he was black...stupid as fudge move, as that guy was banned multiple times...not like Zombie needed help, being a military guy, he was happy to go balls deep in a verbal beatdown
  • flaming everyone who disagreed with me...ok, I argued with them, but back then it wasn't too different, as those disagreements generally spread to massive personal attacks (usually leading to friendships...yeah, different times back when snowflakes and safe spaces weren't a thing).
  • my super long posts...oh, you guys think I write essays now?  This is shorthand to how I used to be when I went to town (I used to have a 200+ wpm typing speed, and slept a LOT in college, so I was raring to go)
Edited by ignasia
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===

I guess if I had to ask Nob anything, mostly how life has been since Enix, and where he's gotten to since, what projects, anything life affirming?

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Thanks @ignasia. Yeah, by apologize I mean on behalf of all the annoying folks, anyone spewing anything racial or bigoted--not for anything we did. We may have thrown our hat into a flame war or two, but we were old enough to not get swept into the darker, hate-filled side of the forums. But nob had to deal with all of that, and I remember it weighing on him.

Edited by Liamland
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I posted a question to FB's Dragon Questers group, seeing if anyone remembered their time on the old Enix forums, but I haven't gotten many responses. The few who did respond didn't seem to remember much.

I'll include your questions, Ignasia. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Liamland said:

Thanks @ignasia. Yeah, by apologize I mean on behalf of all the annoying folks, anyone spewing anything racial or bigoted--not for anything we did. We may have thrown our hat into a flame war or two, but we were old enough to not get swept into the darker, hate-filled side of the forums. But nob had to deal with all of that, and I remember it weighing on him.

There was some wild stuff that happened.  Much of the craziness was from the 11~15 year olds.

I had a fallout back in 2016 with one of them, a guy who went by Samurai Jack at the time.  Though Cody was a bit of a pain, constantly chasing this one girl he had a friendship with (between the two of us) on the DW3 forums, I forget her forum name, but Sarah, who eventually even cut me off as it was a link to Cody (never took my advice to leave her be, kept pushing for a relationship).

I haven't spoken to Yankee (not sure if anyone remembers him at all), in awhile, but we both joined Ragnarok Online.  Then I joined his guild after I got him into the game, then left for a year.  Then we slowly drifted apart.  Sean is a pretty magnanimous guy though, but I guess it's difficult keeping in touch over a long distance, especially given my constant disappearances over the years...you know the ones Liam.

Then there was Kylarean, Darian's brother, the artful coder and artful dodger (he was like 28 at the time).

ShidoV2 died.  Unfortunately, and it wasn't pretty.  He developed brain cancer.  He was one of the older gents as well.   I think Ciba was 27, mo was 23, Shido was 30, Ky was 28, and Zombie was about 32.  There were a few other older individuals.  Shido became like my older brother, definitely tried to break my shell when it came to women, and he was a great teacher.  Best advice he ever gave (there is no level of girl a guy is limited to, all women have poop all over them, as no matter how beautiful, at some point they have to go to the bathroom and wipe poop off their butt...one of thousands of really god-tier advice, like never use a punchline, just introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation, if they're not interested, move on, but a woman will appreciate the consideration of her as a person...stuff like that).  I miss that guy a lot.  In a way he was kind of the replacement for a father and older brother all rolled into one.  At a certain point he dropped me as a friend...not sure why.  I think he felt everything was closing in on him, all his friends weren't really friends.  His last conversation before he dropped me was really sporadic and odd.  Like he wasn't sure what was going on with his life.  I hope he passed peacefully.  He can say he lived quite a few years past his expected death date (I think 8).

Darian I haven't seen since AIM shut down, and MSN erased my original friend list...yeah, they had it saved to my account, and one day, I logged in on a new computer after an update, after joining with Skype, and both my Skype and MSN lists were gone.  Couldn't get them back, the data was dumped.  That was a long ass list of people.  Nothing like my AIM list, but a lot of people, including some old friends from Phantasy Star Online, I met before Enix General, one of whom I think about now and again, Misgari.  She always called herself a harlequin.  Fantastic person...I definitely had a crush on her.

Bob is sporadic and harder to get in touch with these days.

MRHD sometimes posts on GameFAQs, under that same name, but that's rare, and the last time was for DQ9.

Scorp all but disappeared even prior to my leaving LiveJournal (quite a few of us moved to that spot...I think YOU joined us in that Liam, if memory serves, at least for a bit).  It just didn't last.

Darkone_RPG...the last time I spoke to him was when LiveJournal was a thing.  That guy was awesome, always brooding and contemplating suicide (thus, the name).

mo, the last time I talked to her (we had a bit of a fallout, as she became so embittered after awhile, and never wanted to do anything...actually talked about ending it, except for her twin sister, which would have been devastating, so I hope she's still alive).

I used to talk to Zylowolfsbane, who originally went as Demonsbane101 I think...anyway, he and I kind of drifted apart at some point a few years ago, and maybe a year ago he finally dropped me from Facebook.  Makes sense.  I hope he's doing well with his GF (that's a long ass story, but let's say a couple divided by distance, he worked up the money to move her out, and they've been inseparable since, though don't want to get married, or didn't for awhile).

I wonder what happened to Radioheadman.  AIM going out was a massive loss for most of the old Enix General people I kept in touch with.  Same with FHJay.  I wonder if he still plays DDR-type games since they've kind of gone bye-bye, or if he transitioned to other stuff.  The two of them were massive music lovers of completely opposite ends of the spectrum (guitar/rock/alternative vs electronica/dance).

Edited by ignasia
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I remember a bunch I used to chat with a lot.

spSpiff, who worked on one of the fan translations for DQV

BadMammaJamma

Duffman (from DWO)

tomgreenjbg - James was his name. We used to be friends on FB, but I don't think he's on the platform anymore

You're right, many of these were contacts I had on AIM, but even if we could sign on now would they even still be on?

It's kind of the downside of not using real names. You easily lose touch if the medium changes or sunsets.

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/06/26/aols-instant-messenger-back-aim-phoenix/736383002/

Unfortunately, the rights to AIM did not come with the account data, only the original software code, so all of our friend lists, and even our original accounts are long gone.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Aw man I wish I would have checked back sooner as I would have liked to participate (I'm a single parent of two daughters and I work full-time so I don't play games as much as I used to and don't visit as much as I used to).  I absolutely loved the old Enix forums.  To this day it remains my favorite time on the internet.  The wait for Dragon Warrior 7 was painful lol.  It was such a great time to see the Dragon Warrior brand revitalized in the West with the Game Boy Color remakes, the DQ Monsters titles getting released, and the anticipation for Dragon Warrior 7.

I would like to know what future plans Enix had for the series had Enix of America not closed and if the merger with Square had anything to do with that.  I would have loved to know if Dragon Quest 5 PS2 was in the planning stages at all.  It's still my favorite version of DQ 5 and it's a shame we never got that version (as well as DW 4 on the PS1 obviously).  It's such a shame that during the area of the Dragon Warrior revival in America we still missed out on so many games in the early 2000's.  DQ 4 PS1, DQ 5 PS2, the DQ Monsters 1 and 2 PS1 remake, DQM 3 on GBA...  I wonder if Enix and Square had remained separate if that would have changed.  I can understand DW 4 PS1 with Heartbeat taking their ball and going home after losing the DQ 8 contract but man I still want the DQM 1 and 2 PS1 remake.

One question that I would have liked to ask is what Nob's thoughts on the current translation method are.  I mean a lot of use grew up with spell names like Blaze and Inferno that are now names like Woosh and Crackle.  Not only that but the newer translations have a lot of puns, bad jokes, and the accents.  Those were awkward at first but it's been over a decade now (almost two at that).  In fact we've had the "new" spell names for basically as long as the original names prior to Square-Enix retranslating them.  I'd just like to hear an old translator's thoughts on the "new age" of Dragon Quest localizations.  I don't think we've ever had a bad Dragon Warrior/Quest localization (outside of things being censored as was common during the NES era) but I really have grown to love the modern translations.  The mobile/Switch versions of Dragon Quest 1-3 have glorious text as do the DQ 4-6 remakes on mobile and DS.  DQ 7 remake's translation was better than the PS1's in my opinion and DQ 8, 9, and 11 are all outstanding.  I'm sure Square-Enix has more resources at their disposal and likely a larger staff as well which I'm sure plays a lot into it.  Still I'm really fond of the GameBoy Color games and the quality of their localization. 

 

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Well, good news. We haven't done the interview yet, so thanks for the input!

I may be able to answer one thing. I don't think they knew about V at the time. VIII was in development, but V's developer, ArtePiazza was formed because of the Heart Beat split. That split was their own decision. It wasn't because of VIII.

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15 hours ago, Dwaine said:

Well, good news. We haven't done the interview yet, so thanks for the input!

I may be able to answer one thing. I don't think they knew about V at the time. VIII was in development, but V's developer, ArtePiazza was formed because of the Heart Beat split. That split was their own decision. It wasn't because of VIII.

Oh nice I didn't miss the boat then lol.

I don't know how much Enix of America would know about Dragon Quest 5 but I'm sure it had to be in some sort of planning I would imagine.  It launched in Japan in March 2004.  The Dragon Quest 4 PS1 remake was November 2001.  That's only a two and a half year gap.  I know we didn't get DW 4 PS1 because of issues beyond Enix of America's control but I always wondered if we would have gotten a Dragon Warrior 5 if Enix of America had remained it's own thing.  I mean it's something that we can't really answer so I guess it's pointless to ponder.  

At any rate I am looking forward to the interview.  Nob was always straight with us when he was a moderator and I always respected him for that.  He's good people in my book.

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DW was their flagship series, so I'm sure we would have. I'll have to go back and check some old stuff, but I don't recall off the top of my head if they knew much in regards to V. They did know about VIII. Most of the early games were coded by Chun Soft, headed by Koichi Nakamura who was a colleague of Horii's. They both entered the programming contest for Enix. One of the programmers that worked with them was Manabu Yamana. Yamana rose to eventually form Heartbeat. They took over coding with VI while Chun Soft pursued other interests - mostly Mystery Dungeon games. After VII they took a break and decided to go in different directions. Yamana formed Genius Sonroity. Genius Sonrority develops a bunch of Pokémon spin-offs, but they also developed DQ Swords. The art side turned into Arté Piazza and they developed V with Matrix Software doing the coding. (Matrix is sort of like TOSE, but on a smaller scale.) So both companies still work for Square Enix and are doing fairly well. Chun Soft has shifted from development to publishing.

V fell to the wayside a bit. Square Enix used VIII as a brand relaunch, but after that I'm sure localization was underway for the DS titles, which they really didn't even try to market V. That's one of the reasons why I'm glad the DQ games are on mobile, because folks can still experience the game and everyone's hard work wasn't for nothing.

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I am thankful for the mobile versions as well.  I have played DQ 1-6 and 8 at least two times each on my iPhone/iPad.  I would buy DQ 7 the second it even though I have my 3DS version.  It’s just convenient having them on my phone and not needing to bring a second device. 
 

I do wish DQ 1-3 had cloud saves though.  I typically play on my iPad at home because it’s more comfortable compared to my iPhone (a little cramped because of the forced portrait mode).  With 4-6 and 8 it’s easy to play on my phone away from the house and transfer the save to the iPad when I get home and vice-versa.  I’m actually in the middle of two DQ 2 games because I started one of my iPad first and then again on my iPhone because I was bored at work one day lol. 


I still wish the old Enix forums were kept alive but I understand the reason for nuking them.  All things considered the merger between Square and Enix was still a great call and having FF and DQ under the same roof still floors me.  It was getting bad for both companies because their stocks would always fall the years a mainline DQ or FF didn’t launch (not to mention the money Square lost on the movie).   It’s just too bad we never got a Chrono 3 after the merger lol.

 

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4 hours ago, Bob_the_Almighty said:

I still wish the old Enix forums were kept alive but I understand the reason for nuking them.  All things considered the merger between Square and Enix was still a great call and having FF and DQ under the same roof still floors me.

Even the Square Enix staff at the time said the guy who took over the Enix forums was "kind of an idiot."

Things are good now and that's because there are strong advocates for the series in every regional office. It took too long to get here, but I'm glad it's happening.

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