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That Akkursed Seed Keeps Growing – Still More FFVIII Ultimania Translations

by January 4, 2010 11 comments


Continuing our series of translations from the FFVIII Ultimania, here are all the profiles for the game’s towns and countries. These translations are of pages 34 through 40 of the book.

The entry on Balamb was translated by hitoshura (though I changed his use of “force field” to “energy field” to match what I’d done previously with the G.F. section in the Keyword translations; likewise with “the world’s three greatest delicacies” to “3 Great Delicacies of the World”), while the rest were translated by me.

Note, by the way, that for this article, the pictures included at the beginning of each entry were deliberately selected to match those at the beginning of each entry from the Ultimania.

Be aware also that this still isn’t the end of our translation series for this Ultimania. Still to come are the profiles for all the characters (main characters and supporting cast). So, stay tuned!

Oh, and kudos to those who got the reference in the article’s title. Now, click on “Read the rest of this entry” below and enjoy!

Previously in this series:

Translations from the FFVIII Ultimania Keyword section – Part 1

Translations from the FFVIII Ultimania Keyword section – Part 2


BALAMB

History
An island nation with abundant natural environments and surrounded by a beautiful ocean. During a time of war it became independent from the Holy Dollet Empire, and has since remained calm, without any unnecessary interventions into other nations’ affairs. Even after the Balamb Garden was set up 12 years ago, there was no change to the national peace, and it has managed to maintain a moderate financial wealth as well. One of the nation’s characteristics is the design of many of its buildings, which is mainly based on curved lines with streamline patterning. In the interests of conserving the natural scenery, the houses in the town are kept to a uniform height.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Its warm and gentle climate makes it a pleasant environment to live all year round. From the edge of the island one can see the western continent dimly in the distance. The western continent, where the Galbadian territory expands out, and Balamb are connected by an undersea tunnel, and by using the transcontinental railroad running through it, travel between the two countries is simple. The harbour in the town not only serves as port for general ships, but also functions as a departure and arrival area for SeeD vessels. The Fire Cave located on the east side of the island is known as a dangerous area seething with molten lava, but as there is a G.F. energy field inside the cave, it is used by Garden students hoping to improve their combat abilities as a location for field training.
Lifestyle and Industry
With its refreshing atmosphere, the city in Balamb is a popular tourist destination, and the souvenirs sold at the shop in front of the train station is one of the providers of valuable tourism revenue for the city. The Balamb Fish caught in the coastal waters is a massive fish with bright turquoise scales, and thanks to its good taste is considered one of the 3 Great Delicacies of the World. However, because there is a similar breed of fish which can be poisonous, amateurs need to take care when cooking with it. The sea breeze common to all coastal towns means that the corrosion of metal is sped up, so at the garage of the rental car shop, painstaking maintenance is preformed on its vehicles.
Military
They have lived peacefully for a long time, and there does not appear to have been many situations demanding the use of an army. The existence of Balamb Garden and its SeeDs seems to give the citizens a sense of relief.

DOLLET

History
Once a large country called the Holy Dollet Empire, all that remains is a small dukedom. As its government, it has a parliament in place. Considered a trademark of its scenery is the radio tower on the mountain summit above, as few such tranceivers exist in the world; however, it has been derelict since the large-scale radio interference began 17 years ago. Because it has been abandoned for a long time, it would require extensive repair to use again. As well, there are many Anacondaurs and other monsters living in the area, making approach unwise.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Lying in the northeast region of the Galbadian continent, it is a very small territory. The residential areas and commercial district reside on a small peninsula, while the mountain is on the continent proper, accessed by a bridge. With the town accessible by both land and sea, it is quite convenient for incoming and outgoing traffic. Because the mountain range in the surrounding territory serves as a natural bulwark, foreign invasion is difficult. Due to Dollet’s warm climate and beautiful scenery, it enjoys healthy tourism from young men and women.
Lifestyle and Industry
The wealthy from various nations have high-class resorts set up here. For many shipowners, the enrichment of the harbor is a daily concern. Due to the decay of the town, restaurants and the like have seen sales fall.
Military
Though it holds a small-scale troop of infantry, they lack combat experience and could not cope with a sudden offensive surge. Due to a small military budget, the necessary funds to comission SeeD were raised by an extra tax on residents.


TIMBER

History
A city located in the southeast region of the continent. The name “Timber” was derived from the surrounding woods. Due to its abundance of natural resources, invading the area became a goal for Galbadia, and Timber became a territory of Galbadia through military subjugation. Prior to its occupation, those in the resistance were hunted down, and many citizens were slaughtered; consequently, there is a deep-seated hostility toward Galbadia rooted in the local consciousness. Many of its citizens have or presently belong to the resistance, but the thorough management of antigovernment entities has put the majority of that mechanism into dormancy.
Geography and Foreign Relations
With the control of Galbadia established, the development of the city has been able to progress, but the presence of woodland has decreased dramatically. Still, there are parts of the surrounding nature that remain enriched, such as Obel Lake to the north, with its praised mysterious waters. At its edges, the town possesses four stations used for the railroad; however, because the violent Galbadian soldiers have so disturbed the peace of the town, travellers generally don’t stay long. If an obedient attitude was taken with Galbadia, much more prosperity could be expected, but the citizens steadfastly continue to seek independence from the government order. For example, despite their declining activity and financial resources, the resistance has sought external aid in their quest for independence.
Lifestyle and Industry
For a long time, Timber’s mass media institution reflected local politcal ideology. The Timber Maniacs company located there is famous worldwide, and has formed the core of the publishing industry. With the gimmick of elegance found in its older buildings, an atmosphere of new and old blends in the city, with houses and stores having a look as though made of stone, while the TV station has a futuristic look. The mixture of Timber and Galbadia’s crests within the city allude to the complicated history of the town.
Military
During the time of its independence, Timber retained its own troops; following Galbadia’s occupation, however, that body was dissolved and Galbadia’s own soldiers presently serve as the peace-keeping force. In order to give its government a firmer presence, the Galbadia army has some of its own troops stationed in Timber.


GALBADIA

History
When the technologically superior nation of Esthar invaded the rest of the world during the Witch War, Galbadia was motivated to expand its territory and reinforce its armaments. Vinzer Deling was inaugurated as president at a relatively young age, and in less than 20 years expanded Galbadia into the large western force it is today. This remarkable development is the product of politics of fear, and the tragedies of Timber’s occupation, the imprison of political dissidents, and the loss of many lives — all under the pretense of progress. In addition to the possession of long-range missiles, Galbadia’s attempts to make contact with a witch have led to a feeling of unease spreading throughout each nation of the world.
Geography and Foreign Relations
The areas suitable for residence is little that of the range of Galbadia’s territory, as desert spreads out from the country’s center. Due to the constant clouds surrounding Deling City, there are only about 10 clear days out of a year. The president is the supreme power in the land, and demands much of his country while his approach to diplomacy is simply oppression; Galbadia Garden maintains a position of neutrality, but receives a lot of pressure as well.
Lifestyle and Industry
Many people pursue their lives in the capital, Deling City, which bears the presiden’ts name. In the center of the city and serving as its nexus is the Arc de Triomphe; from there, roads expand out into a ring around the city, and free passenger buses are constantly running as the primary means of transportation about town. Although it is a modern city, classical architecture is preferred, and there are a great many stone statues throughout. Although the development of industry and commerce has been remarkable, as evident by the crowds in the shopping district, everything ultimately belongs to the state.
Military
Reflecting the policies and power of the president, there is extreme cooperation amongst the military, and it conducts itself aggressively on both foreign and domestic soil. To that end, even regular troops in the military are highly trained for combat and able to use para-magic. Different uniforms are wore amongst soldiers according to rank and ability.
Winhill
Located in the hillsides of the southern part of the continent is this quiet village. It has few people due to its distance from Deling City. Pursuing the cultivation of flowers and quality manufacturing, the inhabitants lead peaceful lives. As some villagers have lost their lives after nursing dying soldiers back to health, the town’s elderly look at outsiders with great wariness.
Missile Base
A military facility south of Deling City. Despite radio waves currently being unavailable for use, launched missiles can still be guided with great accuracy. Recognition of the facility’s importance is weak among soldiers; inspections at the gate and inside are conducted out of obligatory habit.
D-District Prison
Constructed by imposing an abundance of taxes, it was built for the imprisonment of political dissidents. Endowed with the capacity to dive underground, it’s difficult to escape from; for those sent there, imprisonment and death are said to have the same meaning.


FISHERMAN’S HORIZON (F.H.)

History
This town originated with mechanics active during the time of Esthar’s development who were dissatisfied with developments taking place in that country and only had a desire to “make.” The name was coined by one of the men who played an essential role in establishing independence from Esthar, deriving it from the town’s ideal atmosphere; it’s typicallyed shortened to “F.H.” Many of those involved in the town’s construction have begun to reach older age, and, in recent times, it has seen the births of its first genuine native residents. Vestiges of the railroad station used to cross the sea to the east and west remain; station master was once considered the highest responsibility in the town.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Surrounded by the immense ocean, Galbadia is visible to the west and Esthar to the east. Due to the town’s small size, its population is also small, though those coming from the Galbadian continent wishing to enter Esthar have occasionally remained permanently. Some F.H. residents contributed to the completion of Balamb Garden and the others, providing their skills as a service far and wide.
Lifestyle and Industry
There is little fluctuation in the town’s warm climate, which reflects the town’s gentle, open atmosphere. The buildings were made from recycled material, and stores and homes have a simple look and lack finishing touches; energy needed for the town is provided by its windmills and mirror panels. Many residents pursue construction and repair as occupations, and have room to carry on peaceful lives.
Military
As the station master strongly loathes resolving problems through battle, the town has no army or weapons. Conclusions to disputes are reached almost exclusively by discussion.
[Translator’s note: “Station master” was translated as “mayor” in the English version of the game.]


ESTHAR

History
Known as “Silent Esthar” for the past 17 years due to the country’s utter lack of communication with foreign nations. Possessing the world’s greatest technology, it became a large nation, but become gradually more focused on military affairs, and eventually launched the Witch War, becoming the enemy of the world’s other nations. Following an internal movement to throw down its dictatorship, the former ruler was banished and a transition was made to the current republic system. With a president at the top of its political system, his many aides see to most administrative affairs, and the title has carries no significant meaning. Administrative officials within the country have sought to mitigate an extreme danger by sending it far away and constructing a highly expensive facility.  Full-time crews take turns spending half a year at the facility, maintaining constant vigilance over the threat.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Current state of affairs within the country are unknown — even the exact range of its territory, and whether anyone has verifiably entered or left. As there is no regular means of traffic into Esthar in place, and entry by air isn’t possible, crossing the Horizon Bridge is considered the most realistic method of entering the country. The prevailing opinion is that the information blackout was performed to prevent the leak of advanced technology that may again cause mayhem on the world stage. However, the president’s current workload and the complex process of presenting certain information to the public is said to be the real cause.
Lifestyle and Industry
The curved, translucent parts in the tall, orderly lined buildings gives Esthar City the appearance of a futuristic city. The streets and floors of buildings are kept so meticulously clean that the long robes serving as the national dress are guaranteed not to become dirty; also, travel around the city is facilitated by floating on plate lifters in the pipes throughout the city — and due to such high technology being utilized for traveling about the city, it is apparent that it has permeated to the daily level. In addition to those involved in the military and administrative affairs, there are those dedicated to the advancement of  technologoy, as well as the research of magic and mechanical engineering. Due partly to the introduction of computers in the buying and selling of commodities, the shopping mall area in the eastern part of the city doesn’t contain the crowds seen in foreign countries.
Military
Possessing a powerful army utilizing high-tech technology, Esthar’s military power exceeds that of the large country, Galbadia, in the west. Soldiers combat proficiency is enhanced by the suits they wear, and they wield tuning swords that have built-in shotguns. By means of advancement in the development of mechanized soldiers, it is anticipated that they will rise to the level of serving as the standard units, allowing citizens to be released from military service. The country once possessed the enormous device that can induce the Lunar Cry, but during the transition from dictatorship to republic, it was cast to the bottom of the sea. The former state of affairs in Esthar is largely unknown to its younger generation, who serve as much of the current army; there’s a common concern that they rely too much on the enhancement suits and that refinement of their natural strength is neglected.


CENTRA

History
Approximately 400 years ago, the nation that would leave behind the name of the Centra civilization came to be. Due to destruction caused by the Lunar Cry more than 100 years ago, it fell into ruin. People immigrating east and west from the Centra continent founded the nations called Esthar and the Holy Dollet Empire.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Possessing territory in every continent of the world, most was located in the south, with the center of Centra civilization and culture believed to have been toward the middle, where ancient ruins are. Their name is the Centra Ruins. Northwest of the ruins is an area of ocean where there was great damage caused by the Lunar Cry, having extreme effects on the surrounding coastline. In order to excavate a strange crystalline object believed to have fallen from the moon at the time of the Lunar Cry, Esthar troops were stationed here some ten-odd years ago. This would lead to Lunatic Pandora. In the present, almost no one visits Centra.
Lifestyle and Industry
As most of the land has been ruined, permanent settlers are few. Following the direct hit of the Lunar Cry, all survivors evacuated to the mobile shelters. It would appear that there was high industrial productivity prior to the downfall.
[Translator’s notes:
-This section has two blunders related to the timeline. “Approximately 400 years ago” should be “Approximately 4000 years ago,” as in the in-game tutorial’s “Centra Civilization” entry. Also, the same entry from the game identifies Centra being destroyed by the Lunar Cry only 80 years ago, as opposed to “more than 100 years ago”
-The “mobile shelters” the surviving people of Centra used to evacuate the continent were obviously the Gardens
-When this section says that the Esthar troops were stationed “here,” it literally means “here.” While it wasn’t entirely clear in-game, the Lunatic Pandora Excavation Site is located at the northern end of that gulf northwest of the Centra Ruins. A map on pg. 387 of the book identifies it as the area Laguna, Kiros and Ward infiltrated during the game’s second dream/flashback sequence
-This confirms for us that the Crystal Pillar fell from the moon to the planet at the time of the Lunar Cry which destroyed the Centra Civilization. Though that was always assumed by many players, I believe, this spells it outright]


TRABIA

History
The country on the northern continent. It has little land suited for residence, and many peaceful years have gone by without it being the target of foreign invasion. Trabia Crater, near the border of Esthar, is a site where the Lunar Cry once fell.
Geography and Foreign Relations
Due to the majority of the territory being covered in snow and much of it inaccessible because of many connected mountains, few people visit from overseas. Many of those who graduate from Trabia Garden become soldiers in the domestic army and officers who train soldiers.
Lifestyle and Industry
The pupils and personnel of Trabia Garden comprise most of the citizenry. Due to the few residences, the population is small. Due to the low temperatures and equally low yields of crops that result from them, there is much research into advanced agricultural methods. Reflecting their unique culture, inhabitants have a distinct Trabia dialect. On the northern island, the Shumi Tribe have their village, where they pursue a quiet lifestyle.
Military
In the event that war begins, all citizens are to be conscripted into a national army; Trabia Garden undergoes drills for such an occurrence. However, as the country is located in such a remote region, there has never been a need yet for a national army to be gathered for war.
Village of the Shumi Tribe
The Shumi Tribe and Moombas live in this village in northern Trabia. Due to the harsh climate, the ground surrounding the village at the surface level is covered with a dome. Via mining, the living space was created 323 meters below ground. Merchants dealing in certain stones sometimes visit.
[Translator’s note: This entry confirms what I think many of us had long suspected — that the Trabia Crater was caused by the Lunar Cry.]

11 comments

  1. Makoeyes987
    #1 Makoeyes987 4 January, 2010, 11:13

    Wow, this is some seriously interesting stuff. Thanks so much hito and SoS for your hard work translating this!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dark & Divine
    #2 Dark & Divine 4 January, 2010, 15:28

    Thanks guys! That was very interesting.

    Reply to this comment
  3. asd
    #3 asd 9 January, 2010, 13:07

    “The western continent, where the Galbadian territory expands out, and Balamb are connected by an undersea tunnel”

    Undersea tunnel?? I never found that.

    Reply to this comment
  4. asd
    #4 asd 9 January, 2010, 13:45

    Ah never mind. I remember now.
    The train to Timber.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Yankow
    #5 Yankow 27 January, 2010, 18:45

    “Due to the constant clouds surrounding Deling City, there are only about 10 clear days out of a year.”
    Really interesting, good luck guys and thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  6. ffviii
    #6 ffviii 11 July, 2010, 05:51

    hey 🙂
    thanks a lot!!
    but does anyone know what meaning the lunar cry has in the game and for its story??

    Reply to this comment
  7. re:ffvii
    #7 re:ffvii 22 July, 2010, 03:46

    The Lunar Cry is important because it destroyed the Centra (Contra? Don’t remember which) civilization. The survivors used what would ultimately become the GARDENS to move away from their old home and start afresh. Without the Lunar Cry the game probably wouldn’t have happened.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Mitsu
    #8 Mitsu 22 May, 2014, 03:23

    Am I to infer that Trabia’s population is only those that are inhabiting the Garden, or are there other “off screen” towns and cities? My one issue with this game, probably a technical issue, is that each population seems horribly small. Are there really so few humans outside of Esther and Galbadia? I find it hard that such small populations could feasibly continue to exist in such a manner. I guess it falls in line with the question of, “Do they eat the monsters, or do they just have “normal” livestock off screen?”

    Reply to this comment
  9. Monterosa
    #9 Monterosa 10 September, 2014, 11:59

    Mitsu, I believe there is no definitive answer to your question. In an early conceptual map of the game, there existed other cities which were not included in the final version. For the sake of believability, I imagine that although the world is a very small one, there is a considerable amount of detail left out (which we can fill in ourselves).

    Reply to this comment
  10. xpgno
    #10 xpgno 7 February, 2015, 18:40

    Can anyone clear this up?

    “Northwest of the ruins is an area of ocean where there was great damage caused by the Lunar Cry, having extreme effects on the surrounding coastline. In order to excavate a strange crystalline object believed to have fallen from the moon at the time of the Lunar Cry, Esthar troops were stationed here some ten-odd years ago. This would lead to Lunatic Pandora.”

    “Trabia Crater, near the border of Esthar, is a site where the Lunar Cry once fell.”

    So were there two Lunar Crys? It says clearly that the impact of the Lunar Cry caused the Trabia Crater, and the damage to the coastline “northwest of the ruins.” How could both of these have been caused by the Crystal Pillar? Unless there was an additional impact, perhaps caused by an extremely powerful discharge of magic or an extraordinarily powerful monster.

    Reply to this comment
    • LoveMurts
      LoveMurts 1 April, 2015, 17:00

      @xpgno I remember reading about Adel “testing” the Lunatic Pandora’s abilities after excavating the Crystal Pillar but there are no craters or signs of the Lunar Cry besides those in Centra and Trabia. Centra is accounted for, it’s stated that the Crystal Pillar fell there in the first recorded Lunar Cry 80 years ago. In-game Laguna glimpses the Lunatic Pandora from the Vienne Mountains, which means that it’s likely that the LP was floating over where the crater is in modern-day Trabia, possibly being tested by Adel. I think that explains the crater, and possibly the lack of towns in Trabia haha

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