April 28, 2008

When does "Inspired by" become Plagiarism?

Here's a good example of how I hope to use "Random Debris" from now on.

There are only so may ways to arrange notes. Repetition is inevitable. So when I first played through the third episode of the Xenosaga franchise, one track in particular tickled that portion of my brain I mentioned previously that gives me (annoyingly selective) Rainman-like ability to remember a bit of music.

The track is called "Survive." Give it a listen.

Now, play this mp3 of track 17 from the Waterworld (1995) soundtrack.

You can only take "inspired by" so far. Hans Zimmer caught flak for his heavy-handed use of Holst's Planets when composing tracks for the Gladiator soundtrack (I've heard them both, and I'm much more on the side of the Holst foundation than the article's author). I like Yuki's music, but this sounds a bit suspicious.

Posted in Random Debris by: Will at 08:54 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 148 words, total size 1 kb.

1 What about the Big O theme that was lifted lock, stock, and barrel from Queen? ;p

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 29, 2008 09:34 AM (LMDdY)


The less I remember about the Big O, the better. I caught a couple of episodes on Toonami back in the day (which is why I've never seen the factory-installed OP/ED, until just now). It was enough to convince me I did not want to see anymore Batman with mecha.

Posted by: Will at April 29, 2008 11:39 AM (WnBa/)


Which version of the Big O's theme?  There was also one lifted from the old UFO series.

Have to actually finish the Xenosaga trilogy.  It's my favorite, which is why I have been spending too much time building up my characters rather than advancing the plot.


Posted by: cxt217 at May 13, 2008 04:57 PM (zM0D5)

4 Well this is the one I found immediately (and it does have that Queen sound).

Xenosaga is my favorite RPG series, with Xenogears taking top honors in the stand-alone category. It's a shame they had to truncate the plot of XS. There's plenty of room for a continuation. Unfortunately, Monolithsoft is now owned by Nintendo while the XS series is firmly in Namco-Bandai's grip.

I've been thinking of going back to work on my own translation of Perfect Works (I did a few pages for class projects back in in college). It is not light reading material and is a mother to translate.

Posted by: Will at May 13, 2008 08:06 PM (ZhN+Z)


Wow, you want to translate Perfect Works?  And you got a copy to do that from?  Wow.  I mean, just wow.  There were some other people doing it, back when the Zenosaga website was still up, but that effort seemed to have disappeared.

Last time I checked, though, Namco-Bandai was not platform specific (After all, they gave the world Idolm@ster for the XBox 360.).  And given Nintendo's history of letting subsidary development studios get bought out by other parties (Cough-Rare-Cough)...Well, we did get Xenosaga on the DS.  Since Xenosaga is my favorite video game series (Never played Xenogears though.), I still hold hope that we shall see something come from it again one day.

Funy thing you mentioned it, since over at AOD, there was a conversation on whether Yoko Kanno had done the same thing, or was simply a case where certain taste and styles produces similar results.


Posted by: cxt217 at May 13, 2008 09:32 PM (zM0D5)

6 I've had my copy of Perfect Works since about 1999/2000. Even at that point it was hard to get. What was supposed to be a 2-4 week ship turned into 3-6 months. I have a few of the translated PDF pages "int" put up on zenosaga.com. I'd like to do something similar, but I'd have to wreck my only copy to do it (and they're getting $200 for copies on amazon). It was a damned shame when he decided to shut the site down (of course I'd been through the same thing a few years prior when Dark Warlord shutdown xenogears.org.). There's a fairly complete history of things here.

Nintendo bought up Monolith specifically to make them RPGs (Batten Kaitos was one of the few on the Cube), but given the poor sales of the XS series, I don't see them making the effort to work out a deal with "Bamco" to re-ignite the series. Tetsuya Takahashi has now tried twice to tell this story, and both times he's run up a huge tab and taken too much time getting product on the shelf. He needs to just write a novel or three and get it over with. I just don't think he has what it takes to develop video games. And given the way Soraya Saga was treated by all parties involved, she certainly won't be getting involved again.

Posted by: Will at May 14, 2008 07:35 AM (ZhN+Z)


Shrug...Well, given the dearth of games available for the Wii, you would think something might be worked out.  In any case, that is water under the bridge now, and I have been waiting for both Gust and Tri-Ace to release their latest titles.  Tri-Ace, especially, since Star Ocean (The only reason why I would touch a PS3) and Valkyrie Profile have titles under development.  As an aside I thought it was Tri-Crescendo who developed Baten Kaitos?

Anyway, I would not be eager to rip apart the copies of the Japanese books I have either, given the scarcity value of some of them.  I think I might had read seen some of the translation you had for Zenosaga if I remember right.  Never really could understand them, even after they were translated, probably because I never did get into Xenogears.  Thanks.



Posted by: cxt217 at May 14, 2008 07:50 AM (zM0D5)


Wikipedia says both were involved, but I don't know how the work was split between them. Monolith's name has been the one I've always heard linked with the BK series.

I never submitted any of my translations to Zenosaga. Those PDFs were all done by them. I haven't looked at them in a while, but as I recall, they were only slightly better than Babelfish quality in places. It looked like they fed the text to a machine then cleaned up the output with mixed results. The book is also full of technical jargon that is really hard to translate. It took me a half-hour working with my Japanese instructor (who had little to no science background) to work out the differences between the three words (elevation, absolute altitude, and AGL) the Nelson dictionary translates simply as "altitude."

If you can find Xenogears for anything less than a small mint, get it. There is so much going on in XS that hearkens back to XG that I've always thought people without the extra background weren't getting the full experience.

Posted by: Will at May 14, 2008 08:36 AM (WnBa/)


Ah, that clears it up then.  I never did see more than a handful of scans on Zenosaga so I probably was not missing much.

Oddly enough, I have seen Xenogears, back when Gamestop/EB still carried PS1 games, at pretty good prices (~$20).  I was tempted to buy it the last time I saw a copy, but I was quite happy with Xenosaga by itself than trying to read too much into a backstory that even Monolith Soft commented had spiritual connections with the Xenosaga series. (Just to complete things - I have no opinion on Soraya Saga/Xenosaga situation.  Almost all the stuff I read seemed to be a lot of hysterics and not a lot of facts.)


Posted by: cxt217 at May 14, 2008 06:43 PM (zM0D5)

10 As few as he had done, they were easier in the eyes than raw text. But int quickly locked them away from the general public, limiting access to only those people who put in ridiculous amounts of time in the Z forums and whatnot. Can't say I liked the guy that much.

Posted by: Will at May 14, 2008 10:58 PM (ZhN+Z)


Oh, so that was it.  I always suspected something like that, but my interest in Xenosaga at the time was not that devoted.  Now it is much higher (As a quick assessment of the Xenosaga merchandise I own will report.), but that attitude always irked me a bit.

Just as well I was more into naval matters on newsgroups back then.  Either everyone could find out about a piece of information, the information was made-up and therefore non-relevant, or you would not be able to say anything about the information you knew because it was classified...


Posted by: cxt217 at May 15, 2008 09:28 PM (zM0D5)

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