Alexander O. Smith
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Alexander O. Smith (born February 8, 1973) is a professional English/Japanese translator and author. While his output covers many areas such as adaptation of Japanese novels, manga, song lyrics, anime scripts and various academic works, he is best known for his software localizations of Japanese video games. He currently resides in Kamakura, Japan, where he operates his own contract localization business, Kajiya Productions, and is co-founder of a translation and publishing company, Bento Books.
Born in Vermont, Smith obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College/Keio University in 1995, and a Master of Arts degree in Classical Japanese Literature from Harvard University in 1998. He began working for video game designer Square Co. in the late 1990s, working as part of the localization team for several games, including Final Fantasy VIII, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Front Mission 3, and Parasite Eve 2. In 1999, he worked as the main English translator for Vagrant Story. Reviewers noted the high quality of the English script, in which Smith utilized various archaic English idioms and slang that distinguished the game from its straightforward Japanese counterpart. In addition to working as a translator for Square Enix, Smith has worked for Bowne Global Solutions (later acquired by Lionbridge), where he was contracted to work on several other video game localizations, including Bloody Roar 3, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
In addition to his work as a translator, Smith has also occasionally worked as a video game voice actor, usually in minor roles. In addition to providing English lyrics for the two songs "The Skies Above" and "Otherworld" on The Skies Above, the second album of the band The Black Mages, he performed the spoken intro to the song "Maybe I'm a Lion" on that album. He has served as the assistant voice director for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. He has also translated "Eternity" on the Blue Dragon Original Soundtrack, composed by Nobuo Uematsu.
|Winter Heat||1997||Sega Saturn||Cast & narration (with others)|
|Final Fantasy VIII||1999||PlayStation||Localization specialist (with Yutaka Sano, Ryosuke Taketomi and Maki Yamane)|
|Final Fantasy Anthology||2000||PlayStation||Translation support (with Sho Endo)|
|Chocobo's Dungeon 2||1999||PlayStation||Localization specialist (with Brian Bell, Yoshinobu Matsuo and Shigeto Matsushima)|
|Front Mission 3||2000||PlayStation||Localization specialist (with Sho Endo)|
|Vagrant Story||2000||PlayStation||Translator (with Amanda J. Katsurada)|
|Parasite Eve II||2000||PlayStation||Localization specialist (with Sho Endo)|
|Final Fantasy IX||2000||PlayStation||"Melodies of Life" English translation (with Kako Someya)|
|Final Fantasy X||2001||PlayStation 2||Localization specialist (with Aziz Hinoshita), "Otherworld" lyrics|
|Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter||2003||PlayStation 2||Translator (with Neil Ayerg)|
|Final Fantasy Tactics Advance||2003||Game Boy Advance||English translation|
|Fire Emblem||2003||Game Boy Advance||Localization (with Richard Amtower IV, Tim O'Leary and Scot Ritchey)|
|Final Fantasy X-2||2003||PlayStation 2||US recording producer|
|Star Ocean: Till the End of Time||2004||PlayStation 2||Translator (with Jason Franzman and Joel Sassone)|
|Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney||2005||Nintendo DS||Translator (with others)|
|Final Fantasy XII||2006||PlayStation 2||US recording producer, translator (with Joseph Reeder)|
|Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney||2008||Nintendo DS||Translation (with Nanica K. K.)|
|Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift||2008||Nintendo DS||English Translator (with Joseph Reeder)|
|Valkyria Chronicles||2008||PlayStation 3||English ADR writer|
|Gyromancer||2009||Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360||Editor|
|Vanquish||2010||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||English adaptation editing|
|Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together||2011||PlayStation Portable||English translator (with Joseph Reeder)|
|Guild01||2012||Nintendo 3DS||English translator for Crimson Shroud|
Manga and novels
- 10 Billion Days & 100 Billion Nights (novel, with Elye J. Alexander)
- All You Need Is Kill (novel)
- The Book of Heroes (novel)
- Brave Story (novel)
- Cowa! (manga)
- Dr. Slump (manga)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (novel) ongoing series of six, April 2007 (Japan)
- Guin Saga (novel)
- ICO: Castle in the Mist (novel)
- Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (manga)
- The Summer of the Ubume (novel) with Eyle J. Alexander
- Twelve Kingdoms (novel)
- The Devotion of Suspect X (novel)
- 2012 - Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino
- Smith, Alexander (2009-11-09). "GameSetInterview: 'Localization Tactics Advance - Kajiya Productions on Translating Final Fantasy'". GameSetWatch. Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- Kellams, JP (2010-10-25). "Narrative Design in Vanquish". PlatinumGames Blog. Platinum Games. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- "Kingly quest". The Star. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Kirchoff, H.J. (23 March 2011). "Rev. of 'The Devotion of Suspect X". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Stasio, Marilyn (25 February 2011). "Troubled Spirit". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Wolff, Carlo (7 February 2011). "Math and mystery in modern Japan". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Kajiya Productions
- Bento Books
- Alexander O. Smith's profile at MobyGames
- Alexander O. Smith at the Internet Movie Database
- Alexander O. Smith on Twitter
- Alexander O. Smith discography at MusicBrainz
- Localization Tactics: A Conversation with Alexander O. Smith