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There are numerous instances of cultural filtering applied in game translation, as might be evident in our examples cited so far. A particularly interesting example can be found in the translation of the North American (NA) version of Final Fantasy X (2001). This occurs in a scene in which the key female protagonist Yuna bids farewell to Tidus, another key character who is her love interest, realizing she will never see him again. In this highly dramatic moment, Yuna slightly bows to Tidus while saying ありがとう[thank you] to him. In the Japanese cultural context this seemingly common and simple word is perfectly appropriate and able to convey multiple layers of meaning behind the word's familiar surface. However, US translators considered that a literal translation would not work for NA culture; to the NA audience it would seem out of place that Yuna's last words to Tidus were a simple "thank you". In addition, the scene was a close-up of Yuna, so the translation had the additional requirement of lip-synch for voiceover, thus justifying the rendition "I love you" as the most appropriate choice. This decision was controversial amongst some followers of the series, because they believed it was too explicit and did not fit in with Yuna's characterization. However, from a functionalist perspective this strategy can be justified as it focuses on the TT function expected of the translation.The only difficulty is the varied target group made up both of die-hard fans of the FF franchise and less devoted gamers who simply wish to have fun playing the game. Alexander O. Smith (2001), who was one of the translators making this decision, argues that this solution served both the necessary cultural and technical (lip-synch) requirements. This example shows that translation challenges may not always readily be resolved by a translation brief or even the translator's understanding of the desired TT function.
As one might expect, not all culture-specific phenomena need adaptation as cultural filtering of the source content may antagonize the end players of a game who may be seeking an exotic feel by choosing to play foreign-made games. For example, the game Ökami (2006) set in ancient Japan, which tells the story of a Shinto goddess who takes the form of a white wolf trying to save the land from darkness, contains numerous Japanese cultural references. Such references were largely kept in the US version of the game and this title was a success in Western countries, winning several awards and selling 200,000 copies in North America in 2006 (Edge Online 2007). This example shows that games overtly referencing foreign cultural elements can also be successful internationally if their theme and gameplay experience are appealing and engaging for players from other cultures. The strategy required then is preservation of such cultural factors.