Translations of Ultima VIII
After many games that were either not translated, or translated a long time after the original release, Ultima VIII was one of the first Origin games to be released simultaneously in multiple languages.
The German translation
The game was fully translated by Electronic Arts to German, including all in-game voices and the Speech Pack as well. The name of the documentation was completely translated as well. The Chronicle of Pagan has the German title Die Chronik von Pagan.
The game was translated by two different people. While Kirsten Vaughan was responsible for translating the in-game text, Rolf D. Busch was responsible for the documentation. However, they clearly worked together, as there are no inconsistencies between two in terms of contents and style. The translation work is highly professional and no noticeable errors are found within the final product.
The voice actors were no professionals, but they nonetheless sound surprisingly good and fit into the scene, especially with the filters applied to the "higher beings". Rolf D. Busch himself voices the Guardian, and his voice actually fits very good into that role.
As with the French version, the CD-edition didn't use a new box. It instead used the normal Pentagram-box, only with a sticker applied to the lower right. Only the budget editions used a different box with flames only.
The French translation
The game was also fully translated to French by Electronic Arts.
Unlike Ultima VII, the translation of the game was done by Betty Peltier-Weber and the manual was done by Stephane Radoux. Weber had also worked on the french translation of Ultima VII. Interestingly while the original version of Ultima VIII used modern english, the translator choose to use "Old French" much like it was used in Ultima VII in order to give to the game a more medieval flavor. The concept was even put to the point of having the few actors record their lines in old french as well, whereas in Ultima VII the Guardian used modern french.
Peltier-Weber received a lot of praise for the quality of her translation in many reviews, some magazines even going as far as doing a full feature about the translation process of Ultima VIII.
The documentation was translated as well, and The Chronicle of Pagan has the French title Les Chroniques de Pagan. While the game box remained the same as the american release, the French CD version actually didn't get the specific box with the Avatar on the Guardian's Hand and kept the same Pentagram design as the floppy version.
The voices were all translated and dubbed as well, requiring players to either buy the french version of the speech pack or the CD release. Although Jean-Marc Chemla returned as the voice of the Guardian, none of the other voice actors were professionals. For instance, Khumash-Gor actor Jean-Pierre Demessant had landed the role after winning a contest in the French videogame magazine Joystick. This lead to mixed reaction from many reviews, some of which felt the acting sounded unprofessional.
The Spanish translation
The game was also fully translated to Spanish with the game manual renamed to La Crónica de Pagan.
The voice of the Guardian in this translation was the most similar one to the English version one.
A Japanese translation of the game was also created. While text and documentation were translated to Japanese, the voices remained in English.
The Taiwanese and Italian editions had the documentation translated, but the game itself remained in English.