Rune of Punishment/Condemnation Asymmetry

Questions about the locations mentioned in the series; and those about the backstory not seen in the games.
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Raww Le Klueze
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Rune of Punishment/Condemnation Asymmetry

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Ever noticed how the Rune of Condemnation in Suikoden V has spell names that are almost the same as the Rune of Punishment's? But not quite. As most know the Rune of Condemnation is a child of the Rune of Punishment and child runes tend to follow the format of the last 3 spells being the same as the parent rune's first 3 (the Soul Eater and Darkness runes partly break this rule for gameplay reasons).

So it should stand to reason that these two should share some spells, and at first glance they do as the tiers are:

Condemnation/Punishment

1/X Black Shiver
2/1 Endless Ordeal / Eternal Ordeal
3/2 Inevitable Blade / Double-Edged Sword
4/3 Dark Summoning / Voice of Death
X/4 Everlasting Mercy

And not only do these sort of sound the same, they basically do the same thing with some variance in the actual number for balancing but essentially do the same amount of damage to enemies and self, except Dark Summoning / Voice of Death which both have a good chance of instant death.

So clearly this must be a mistake by the translators, right? Seems obvious, spells do the same thing, sound the same, someone just didn't check the previous games carefully enough.

Appears not. The names have the same variance in Japanese. The wording is slightly different but evokes the same thing basically, the translation is pretty good in fact. "Dark Summoning" might be a bit off depending on how you want to interpret it, you could make a case for it being something like "Voice of Darkness" or along those line if you wanted more symmetry.

So that leaves the question, why? Why would Konami rename spells that do the same and are supposed to be from the same source anyway? Did they forget what the names were? I don't have an answer, I just found it interesting/strange.

Konami does have a history of slightly changing spell/rune names, but that's usually switching between hiragana/katakana/kanji so they always read the same, this is something else.

Also of note is that Suikoden V introduced the Equilibrium Rune which has no discernable difference from the Balance Rune that has been in some of the games before V, yet have very different names even in Japanese.

Maybe it's because the rune is somewhat unique as it can only be obtained from the Book of Condemnation and they wanted that to be reflected somehow?

Or maybe the makers of V just wanted to spiff things up with "better" or "more cool" names (subject to opinion) and continuity be damned...?
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Re: Rune of Punishment/Condemnation Asymmetry

Postby STARWIN » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:52 pm

Maybe the developers changed enough for them to not be consistent just out of habit.

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Re: Rune of Punishment/Condemnation Asymmetry

Postby Antimatzist » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:32 am

Suikoden V's Japanese team indeed made some strange decisions. I never really cared enough about the Rune of Condemnation to notice, since it's a pretty weak rune. Also, up to this day, I don't know wether Nikea's rune is the Boar Rune or a new one (the German version, e.g., translates it as Lion Rune, whereas the English "Lion Rune" was translated as Leo Rune.).

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Re: Rune of Punishment/Condemnation Asymmetry

Postby sticky-runes » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:24 pm

It comes from a BOOK which is cursed. All who try to translate its mysteries are doomed to scratch their heads forever over translation issues. :|

Joking aside, I always thought the whole incident with Alhazred and the Book of Condemnation had a very occultish theme to it. And the spells for the Condemnation rune have names which suit that sort of theme (black shiver.... dark summoning...)

Whereas S4 didn't have an occult feel to it. To me, Lazlo's struggle with the Rune of Punishment felt like we were witnessing the physical and emotional struggles that he and all the previous bearers have been through. There was also a feeling of hope about Lazlo's struggle because his friends agree to stand by him no matter how dangerous the rune is, and also when Lazlo meets Ted, another cursed rune bearer, you get to tell him that even though the rune has taken so much from you, you gain so much from it as well, such as the friendships that Lazlo forms and the gratitude of the people he is able to save by putting his own life at risk. And when you gather the 108 stars and achieve the Rune of Punishment's atonement phase, you're able to use its power without being harmed by it. Forgiving Snowe and reconciling with him means Lazlo is able to overcome that dark sh!t he has been through and live safely with his power in check.

The Condemnation rune doesn't come with any of that forgiveness or atonement stuff, it just contains the destructive properties of the Rune of Punishment. There's no healing spell.

There's also the part where Eurum opens the book and becomes trapped in a fantasy where he is surrounded by beautiful princesses and the book/rune is draining him. The Rune of Punishment didn't seduce you with sweet dreams, it caused you to experience the painful memories of its previous owners.

I'm not quite sure what I'm getting at here, but maybe the writers chose different spell names because the Condemnation rune only contains the ROP's dark and destructive properties and decided on names that sound darker and more ominous. It would be interesting if there is some sort of back story to the whole Book of Condemnation and how it came to being.


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