The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem

Created by Edmund McMillen

Update: Preorders open again until March 31 or until we sell out again -- whichever comes first! After selling out on our initial preorders, we've since secured another small print run of Four Souls Requiem. Only pre-ordered copies of the game come with an exclusive 10th Anniversary Isaac card. Pre-order the retail version of The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem and the add-ons from the original Kickstarter campaign. All orders placed now will ship in Fall 2022. Please note that we are still finalizing the design of some of our products and there may be subtle differences between the items shown here and the final products. Credit card charges will appear as: Maestro Media

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Four Souls Demos at UKGE
21 days ago – Sat, Jun 04, 2022 at 04:39:35 AM

Hello Friends,

Maestro Media is heading to the UK Games Expo, June 3-5, where we’re partnering with Asmodee UK. We’ll have the first few 4 copies of Requiem available to view and demo! Let me be very clear, Requiem will not be for sale at UKGE, but the first printed copies of the English version were air freighted to the UK for a sneak peek!

We’ll also have banners and a photo op at the booth and we’ll be handing out goodies to people who demo. If you’re going to UKGE, make sure to stop by booth 1-1092 (the Asmodee Dedicated Gamers booth) and say hi and use #IsaacatUKGE to share the love on social!

Can't make the show? We're going to be sharing pictures all weekend on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the Maestro Media Discord.

Maestro Media will also be heading to GenCon in the U.S. this August. We don’t have a booth number just yet, but we’ll be there demoing those same Requiem Boxes (again, NOT FOR SALE), as well as Bridge Constructor: Breaking Point and Sugar Heist: Crib of Thieves in the Event Space. If you’re making plans to visit GenCon, make sure you carve out some time to come play games with us!

~The Maestro Team

Factory Photos & Motherly Love: A New Four Souls Challenge
30 days ago – Fri, May 27, 2022 at 01:26:10 AM

Hello Friends,

We mentioned in a previous update that we’re received the first run boxes of the game. We wanted to show off even more. The focus of these photos is the Big Boi Box, but includes a Requiem and Base Game box as well. This is also a Kickstarter copy of the game and includes some cards that are Kickstarter Exclusives and the Figure from the Guardian Angel Tier that is Kickstarter Exclusive.

In addition, the factory is beginning to package the accessories and add-ons and sent us a few pictures we wanted to share!

Bagged Beanies
A Flock of Figures

Finally, it’s a new month, and that means a new Four Souls Challenge: Motherly Love.

Isaaaaac! Life in their small house on a hill was simple, and Isaac was happy, but now Mom, fueled with the desire to serve her God and prove she loves Him above all else, has Isaac cornered! It looks like the end of the line for Isaac, but perhaps if your characters can work together, fighting Mom and gaining souls, an angel might be sent down from above to stop her hand just in time…

The new Challenge is available to download right now just below the NEWS section of the MaestroMedia.com homepage and will soon be migrating to its own page where it will live happily with last month's challenge: Resurrection Day.

With three different difficulty levels and the ability to play Solo, Co-Op and Competitively, there are hours of fun to be had, and you only need the BASE GAME to get playing! It has also been added as a setup option on the official TTS version of Four Souls. If you don't currently own the game or Tabletop Simulator, don't worry, all past Challenges will be available on our website for when you do.

Go download it now!

~The Maestro Team

Maestro Media + Funforge (French Translation)
about 2 months ago – Fri, Apr 29, 2022 at 03:12:55 AM

Hello Friends,

Maestro Support here, we have a special treat for fans today, a peak behind the curtain at the discussion and process involved with localizing the game in France, written by our friend at Funforge. I’ll let them introduce themselves, take it away!

Localizing a game like Four Souls is no small feat. From the outside, one might confuse localization with translation, or even think all we need to do is press the “translate” button, which is why we thought it interesting to shine a spotlight on the whole process.

First of all, an introduction: my name is Jérémie, I work as a subeditor at Funforge. We are a Paris-based company who localizes and distributes foreign games in French territories, and we also edit our own games. My job mostly consists in writing content for our games in both English and French, and translating content in these languages.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Everything stated here is in regard to our French localization process alone. I cannot speak for Maestro’s other localization partners.

1/ What is localization?

Localizing means adapting a foreign product for a specific audience. It is like translating, but with additional constraints, both technical and cultural. At Funforge, we have a team dedicated to the endeavor: someone to translate, someone to proofread, and two graphic designers to assemble the finished translated files for print. For instance, Maestro sent us a localization kit with all the necessary files, and we quickly got to work on the 950+ cards, the 4 different boxes, the rulebook, etc.

Usually, when localizing a game, the first step is to have a firm grasp on the rules. You need to understand everything your translation entails, and measure each word. I will provide examples below. Luckily for me, I was already a huge fan of the game!

My well-worn 1st edition Gold Box, with custom cards made by me & my friends.

I’ve been playing BOI since it was simply known as “The Binding of Isaac” on Steam, and my Switch has seen me neglect a shameful amount of games in favor of hundreds of hours spent on Afterbirth. I backed Requiem before knowing I was set to translate it. Being part of this community had made me well-aware of how much responsibility this task represented, and so I knew exactly which were my main issues when approaching it.

How to localize Four Souls?

To localize Four Souls for a French audience, understanding the rules is not enough – you need to understand BOI’s history in France. While I have no way to know the exact numbers, one look at French BOI content creators will tell you how much of an impact the game has had – and continues to have – in the land of the baguette. Edmund McMillen’s design was so efficient that the game didn’t even need to be localized to be a hit in Europe’s least Anglophone country.

This means a couple things: 1) the video game already has a lot of fans. 2) the fans are perfectly fine with the game being in English.

Which leads to the inevitable:
3) A big portion of us winced at the idea of seeing the game translated.

It’s hard to admit, but we French are not the most multilingual Europeans.

According to Eurostat, 40% of France speaks only French.

This means that, culturally speaking, English has an exotic factor. In France, English words have this aura of coolness, they are like incantations that would be broken by any attempt at altering them.

So, when asking ourselves whether to translate 100% of the game in French, or to leave some words intact in English, my inner BOI fan was fundamentally against the former. But after much debate, that’s what we went with!

BUT WHY ??

Excluding the factual stats shown in the graphic above, this is a board game. Board games, at their core, are made to be enjoyed by multiple people. Localizing this game means allowing it to be enjoyed by any French speaker, regardless of their English proficiency and knowledge of BOI. Someone who does not speak a word of English should be able to dive into the world of BOI Four Souls, and catch its many jokes and references. Locking such a big part of the game behind a language barrier would have meant that, to fully understand the game, French speakers wouldn’t have been able to truly “get” the game without assistance, which would have hindered the experience significantly.

Yes, this means that we’ve translated 99% of the card names. That remaining 1% is mostly made up of the few names that completely relied on the English language to deliver their reference or joke.

For example: Baba / Is you and Keke is you are references to the videogame Baba is You, which uses simple language bubbles to create logic puzzles. Translating this to French would be a misrepresentation of the video game and would mean losing all its meta meaning.

Same goes for Salad Fingers – translating his name would be missing the point of the reference. However, especially for Warp Zones, adapting these references meant that when there IS a French version of the source material, that translation must be maintained, e.g. Among Us’ crewmate and Slay the Spire’s Time-Eater.

Cards not finalized. Cards included in certain Kickstarter versions only, not in Pre-order

I knew that many backers have taken issue with the idea of translating card names since Maestro announced that the game would be localized, and I hope that my fellow French fans will become used to the French names. Since Four Souls is based on the BOI videogame, Maestro had added a file to the localization kit that contained the planned localized names for ALL Enemies & Items in the BOI videogame, which left us with only a small fraction of cards whose names needed an original translation.

Localizing a game also means that your translation needs to perfectly preserve the rules. In the context of Four Souls, this means that you need consistency between all effects. If two cards have the same use, then their ability should read the same. If there is a subtle difference between texts, then my job is to spot it, parse why that difference is there, and find a way to carry that difference into the French version. Usually this is a big issue that requires constant communication with game authors, but this wasn’t the case with this game. I could tell how good of a job Maestro & the Four Souls community had done at proofreading all these card effects, and was able to pinpoint each and every phrase I needed to maintain from one card to the next.

Cards not finalized

HOWEVER.

Translating from English to French presents a paramount problem: on average, English-speaking text gains 10-15% length once translated into French. This becomes a huge issue when rulebooks and cards are very text-heavy. Four Souls is very much guilty of this.

Cards not finalized

This means that a board game translation will never be as faithful an adaptation as we would want it to be. You need to make compromises, which often means sacrificing consistency for the sake of readability. For me, prior advanced knowledge of this game was key in helping me navigate the thin line between being concise and being linguistically consistent. For example, I knew we couldn’t add numbers as shorthand for longer words, because some abilities could affect all numbers printed in a card’s ability (Permanent marker & The Real Left Hand can turn a 1 into a 2, so we couldn’t abbreviate “première” (first) into “1e” (1st).

To end on a high note, I wanted to share previews of some of my favorite cards of each type 😊

Cards not finalized. Some cards included in certain Kickstarter versions only, not in Pre-order

And that’s the gist of it! I hope you all find this insight interesting.

Jérémie (AKA Belldrop)

Maestro Support again, I hope you enjoyed this incredibly insightful look into the localization process and I can’t thank Jérémie enough for writing this up and for all his hard work!

~The Maestro Team & Funforge

More Production Updates & Four Souls Challenges
2 months ago – Thu, Apr 21, 2022 at 12:41:22 AM

Hello Friends,

We mentioned in the last update that we’ve received the first run boxes of the game, over the next few weeks we’ll be showing off everything we’ve received! We’ll start with the classic, The Base Game Second Edition box, in all of its glory.

Four Souls Challenges

The fan support team has been working quietly to build a fun thank you to the fans for awhile. We invited some of these fans to playtest and help us improve and want to thank them as well, you know who you are! With their help, we're proud to announce the Four Souls Challenges. New, free, downloadable ways to play the game with existing cards designed to challenge even the best Four Souls players in Solitaire, Co-op, and sometimes Competitive mode.

The first Four Souls Challenge, RESURRECTION DAY, is available RIGHT NOW! Rag Man’s power grows - no longer content to simply bring himself back from the dead, he is now resurrecting an army of monsters to fight alongside him! To have any chance of defeating Rag Man once and for all, your characters will need to work together to weaken it by killing monsters and gaining souls, but it’s difficult when nothing stays dead! With three different difficulty levels and the ability to play Solo, Co-Op and Competitively, there are hours of fun to be had, and you only need the BASE GAME to get playing! It has also been added as a setup option on the official TTS version of Four Souls. If you don't currently own the game or Tabletop Simulator, don't worry, all past Challenges will be available on our website for when you do. Do you have what it takes to take on Rag Man's growing power and his horde of undead minions?

This, and future, FREE Challenges will be available to download at MaestroMedia.com as a thank you to our amazing fans. The Challenges will soon have their own home on the website so you find them all together in one place & make sure not to miss a single one. The first one is available right now on our homepage under the NEWS section (about halfway down the page).

Why are you still reading? Go download it now! Play by yourself! Play with friends! And most importantly - have fun!

Thank you for being an amazing community,

~The Maestro Team & Edmund McMillen

First Runs from Factory, Timeline, Translations
2 months ago – Sun, Apr 17, 2022 at 05:12:11 AM

Hello Friends,

It’s another momentous day in the journey of Requiem,  and one delayed by the lockdowns that have been affecting China. We received the first offset samples of the games. We now have in our possession, a full copy of The Game and it’s looking glorious. That also means the games can begin to be built! 

This really feels like the culmination of all our sleepless nights, weekly meetings with the factory at midnight, the ceaseless work from Edmund and the team to improve this game, its art, and really deliver something amazing to the fans. Seeing it come together now makes all of it worth it.

We’re another step closer to bringing the game to you!

English Language Timeline

Keep in mind that this is tentative as lockdowns in China continue to affect manufacturing speed, but our partners continue to work when they can, and meet with us from home. This is the timeline we’ve built together:

  • English versions will be complete in late July
  • With current shipping challenges, delivery to backers should happen in October/November

Translations

Pegasus Spiele, Funforge, Magic City/MS Ediziones, SD Games and ourselves have been in constant conversation to work through translations. We're working with the best partners we could ask for to help us bring this game to as many fans as possible all over the world. Translation is not easy, and keeping the spirit of the game and the text intact while ensuring the clarity of the game is daunting. Our partners continue to work hard on the cards, but we wanted to show the first glimpse at some non-finalized cards to you.

Cards Not Finalized

We're working through the timeline for delivery of the translated games now and will keep everyone updated as we know more.

We'll be back soon,

~The Maestro Team