One of the most thrilling adventure games of all time TURNS 20 TODAY
BROKEN SWORD NEVER GETS OLD
It was late 1997 in Russia, and I was struggling with a pirate copy of Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, the game that was to change my life forever
The year is 2016. Video games have changed greatly in the last 20 years, we have all we need - broadband internet connection, pre-orders and DLCs, day-one patches, Kickstarter campaigns, and sometimes it's hard to imagine we had to cope with so many difficulties to get and play a game. But it was fun. Oh, the fun!
These were hard times in Russia during the nineties - if you survived the day, you might consider yourself a happy lad with a lolly on a stick. Video games were distant and pretty expensive to get. Luxurious goods, if you ask me. Personal computers were rare, pirates were in command of the market, and adventure games were in favor. And if you happened to get a game with Russian translation - you wanted it to work alright, because pirates had a tendency to crack a game for translation without thinking about the consequences. Localisation testers, as well as regular ones, were not available at the time - they all were in space, I think.
In Russia Broken Sword was known simply as "that game with a clown", and if you could crack that goat-puzzle you were the governor
In Russia Broken Sword was known simply as "that game with a clown", and if you could crack that goat-puzzle you were the governor. There was at least four different unofficial Russian translations of the game, even a fully-voiced one, which I proudly have in my possession. But my first Broken Sword experience was not that rewarding at all - more to say - it was nearly traumatizing. My first game CD ever was a pirate 5 in 1 Adventure Collection which contained Full Throttle, The DIG, Fable, The Neverhood, Space Quest 6, and Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars. All those all-time classics were somehow cut into pieces to fit on one disk - Full Throttle, for example, had no voice and sound, and you couldn't save your progress at all, all games had no cutscenes, and more to say, they crashed all the time. As you may remember, a PC version of Broken Sword had two CDs of joy packed with cutscenes, music and hours of gameplay. I had only one-sixth of gameplay - the game was constantly crashing when George arrived in Ireland, and that was all the fun I could get. Cutscenes and music were gone for good! I was seven, desperate and with no-one to ask for help. I played that chunk of a game over and over for months, trying to figure out what was wrong with it - I was unaware of the fact that it originally had two CDs - but I loved it even when it was in such a poor state. The goat-puzzle was yet to come.
The infamous Plantard, soon to be sacrificed for the sake of good adventure plot
In 2003, a Russian publishing company Mediahouse cooperated with Revolution Software and officially introduced Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars to the Russian audience with a full text translation and neat Cyrillic fonts. Broken Sword 2 came soon after. It was then when I got a fully working version of the game and finally completed it. Now I play it every year, if I have some free time. Mediahouse's version of Broken Sword translation still holds credit today - it has class, style, and that wry sense of humor we all love the game for. Sadly I can't say such things for a new translation by 1C-Softclub made specially for Broken Sword 1: Director's Cut. After close review and editing I say that the new version is nothing but a bleak shadow of its predecessor. Most of the context is lost in translation, many names rendered incorrectly and it gives this general vibe of laziness all over it. Classic games like Broken Sword didn't deserve to be handled in such a manner, to say more, ones who do things like that don't deserve the right to call themselves "professional translators". All of this applies to Broken Sword 2: Remastered, which got a new Russian translation form 1C-Softclub too. I still has no idea why they translated those games so poorly and honestly I just don't want to know.
Mediahouse's version of Broken Sword translation still holds credit today - it has class, style, and that wry sense of humor we all love the game for
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars holds many memories for me. It's a game of mystery, courage, love, and death. It was Broken Sword that taught me History was interesting and full of controversy. This game is the reason my History PhD defense is a month from now. And it's with the help of Charles Cecil I have my dream job - a video game translator career. In 2013 the man let me single-handedly translate Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse into Russian, and I'm deeply grateful for that. These were the most intense 100k words of my life. And when people see it in my resume and say, "Man, you worked with Cecil, you might be a pro!", I reply, "Oh, no, I'm just a dedicated fan."
Made on
Tilda