Sorry, but we’re all but afraid of what’s coming: Shadowgate Italian version! Exciting as this news might be for all the Italian gamers out there, you can’t imagine how great it feels to us. If life were a huge videogame, being contacted by Dave Marsh and having the chance to work on such a legendary game would undoubtedly be part of its achievement list.
In case you don’t know what Shadowgate is about, repent by reading the following synopsis: you play as Jair Cuthegar, a simple soldier who’s been led by powerful wizard Lakmir to Shadowgate, a mythic castle once home to the greatest wizards on earth, recently conquered and pillaged by Talimar the Black. You will have to go deeper and deeper into the castle, explore its darkest catacombs as well as its luxurious halls, defeat enemies the likes of dragons, wraiths and banshees in order to find out more about Talimar’s evil plans and stop him in time. Your only weapons will be a dirk, the priceless hints of Yorick – your boney companion – and, above all else, your cleverness, for your adventure will be replete with traps and riddles only a sharp mind could overcome.
As localizers, we found in Shadowgate a brand new challenge: the one about epic language. Being the story set in a world apart from our own which, however, recalls many of the paradigms of the middle age, the language used to describe the epic journey of a wannabe hero couldn’t be colloquial. Terms and titles such as Staff of Ages, Golden Thorn, Lakmir the Timeless and Circle of Twelve needed a both evocative and archaic translation, which was possible partly thanks to the incredible richness and variety of the Italian language. We did our best to manipulate language, just like an artisan modeling a vase, in order to convey an epic now-or-never atmosphere which would add to the beautiful drawings, immersive music and challenging plot that were already part of the game. We aimed at giving the Italian audience a high-quality product that crosses the boundary of a simple translation whose only goal is to make the original script barely understandable to non-English speakers. We aimed at creating a unique experience which will hopefully make you feel a bit privileged compared to all of your non-Italian friends. Oh, and don’t forget that Italian will probably be the first language to be added to the game: go brag about it with the rest of the world!
The Italian version of Shadowgate is currently being tested and will be released very soon.