…VOICE

bambooXZX's personal blog, mostly dedicated to song lyrics translation from Japanese to English.


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[Text Translation] ZX Tunes – Liner Notes

I was looking through my collection the other day and found some interesting stuff in the CD booklet of the Mega Man ZX soundtrack, ZX Tunes. I first started thinking about translating this kind of stuff a very long time ago, but it was far beyond reasonable effort to read, given my skill level at the time. Well, here we are almost a decade later, and I guess now is the time.

The booklet of ZX Tunes contains an introductory essay by Hidekuni Shida, a professional writer. As far as I can tell, he was not directly involved in the making of the game or its music; the essay reads like an opinion piece / ceremonial address, more than anything. That said, I thought there were some interesting ideas there.

Translation note: The author utilizes a motif based around the fact that the Japanese word 技術 (gijutsu) can mean both “technique” and “technology”; he actually uses those specific English words to highlight the distinction at times, so I’ve chosen to bold them for emphasis.

I’ve rendered the names of people in western style but kept some game titles in romaji rather than official translations, for Reasons. Just in case, the Family Computer (abbr. Famicom) was basically the earlier Japanese version of the NES, and Rockman is Mega Man’s original Japanese name. (Sorry, the translation overall might read a little bit roughly, but I hope you can bear with me.)

The booklet also contains comments by game staff members regarding the individual tracks and the visual design, which I’ll be covering in later posts. Hopefully, materials from ZXA Tunes and Gigamix will follow.

 

Liner Notes
by Hidekuni Shida

 

Game music is a time machine. When a melody you’ve heard before gets played, the memories naturally overflow. When a famous piece of game music rings out, at that moment, you remember that game. In what areas, with which characters, did we perform which actions… Together with the pleasant rhythms, our experiences of games of the past are recreated vividly within our brains.

I’m quite sure that if you’re fans of game music, all of you have this experience. For example, Gradius, Castlevania, Ninja Warriors, Xevious – even Super Mario Brothers has this. As those electronic sounds ring out, they recreate the game inside our brains. The excitement you felt while playing the game, the thrills you felt at the time – they come back to life along with the music. Why are our emotions so affected by this, I wonder? Could it be that there’s magic in game music!?

 

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Rockman ZX Advent – Mirai e Tsudzuku Kaze

III, Rockman ZX Advent ED, ZXA Tunes

Track notes by Ippo Yamada:

This time, we decided to make many vocal songs, and this was one of the several planned songs. This was originally produced for use in promotional video of the railroad stage, but it was finally included in the game for the credits. This CD contains a complete rerecorded version with full chorus.

Wind that Continues to the Future
words by Yuki Terakado
music by Ippo Yamada
arranged by III
vocals by Toru Itoga

The way you are who you are,
The way I am who I am…
Believe in everything that will change powerfully.

Without knowing
The whereabouts
Of your own body and soul,

Searching for
Repeating pulses
Isn’t necessarily the right answer.

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Rockman ZX Advent – Be One

III, ZXA Tunes

Track notes by Ippo Yamada:

When this track came along, we were asked to make a vocal version of it, so we went with an uptempo pop song. The composition wasn’t originally made for singing, so the melody has a wide pitch range. It’s a very difficult song, but CAO-san provided some very cool vocals. This song is Ashe’s theme, with the image of Ashe as “a clever and agile cat hunting her prey”. Her first design had her with long hair let down, but because of the pixel sprite and the transformation into Mega Man form, it blended in with her gray bodysuit, so she was given her current ponytail to move the hair away from the body.

Be One
words by Yuki Terakado
music by Ryo Kawakami
arranged by III
vocals by CAO

The future, spilling down into open palms…
If you only wish and never act, you’ll never know.
The motion of your legs is the key to finding the treasure chest,
Piercing through both the confusion and the vows deep within your chest.

At the end of the night that no one knows,
Into a pure white dream…

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Rockman ZX Advent – Go For It!

III, ZXA Tunes

Track notes by Ippo Yamada:

This is an image tune for ZX Advent. …Different main characters. When we first heard that, we (all of us, probably) just went, “Whaaa~!?” So, with that, starting again from zero, our sound concept this time was, “You’re in control of your future!” The mood is full of cheer, full of dreams, but in reality it was more like, so much to do and so little time, whoo boy, lots of worries, lots of emotion… *laughs* Do what you have to do! Go For It!!

Go For It!
words by Yuki Terakado
music by Ippo Yamada
arranged by III & DJ Takayoshi
vocals by Kaoru Akiyama

I don’t need any fake words; the door that should be opened is over there, always.
Break into a run, disregarding appearances. Collect absolute, unwavering thoughts in your heart!

A chemical formula, leaving behind pain in a sky that has lost its color.
A farewell kiss for the crescent moon that laughs uncontrollably, having forgotten how to believe.

   Everyone encounters it at some point, the melancholy that exists throughout this world.

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Rockman ZX Advent – hsun chiu wei lai

III, ZXA Tunes

Chinese song. The album booklet contains a Japanese translation, but the English translation I post here is based on the Chinese words themselves.

EDIT: Track notes by Ippo Yamada:

This is a vocal arrangement of the Legion HQ stage theme. With the idea of a future where the descendants of a diverse set of cultures all live together and mingle with each other, we tried making a song in the language that is thought to grow in use as time goes on, Chinese. In addition to Chinese, though, both lyrics and the vocalist selection fell within an uncharted zone for us. For example, we lowered the key of the backing track by one step the day before recording; we had a pretty hard time, low on both time and budget. I mean, we’ve known since long ago that sudden ideas don’t work out well… Still, we ended up making a pretty cool track, so I have no regrets.

Searching For the Future
words by M Akano
music by Ryo Kawakami
arranged by III
vocals by Sheng Zhiheng

Please tell me,
Where is this?
Please tell me,
Where should I go?

Still, I have no idea what to do.

I know
Where I am,
I know
What I should do,

But things go slowly, and I can’t begin.

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Rockman ZX – Innocence

III, Rockman ZX OP, ZX Tunes

Innocence
words by Yuki Terakado
music by Ippo Yamada
arranged by III
vocals by CAO

Entrusting my wish to these wings that can’t fly,
How many roads not on the map would I need to walk down
To be able to meet you?

If I have the dreams and hopes I carried in my arms,
Could I destroy the infinitely spreading doubt
To change something?

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