Thanks to fans, Sacred and Terrible Air, a novel set in the same world as Disco Elysium, finally has its English translation
Disco Elysium was one of 2019's standout games thanks to its rich and often absurd narrative and brilliant worldbuilding, but years before the game's launch, its writer and lead designer Robert Kurvitz penned a novel set in the same world. Titled Sacred and Terrible Air, it was originally published in Estonian in 2013 and included art by Aleksander Rostov, who worked as a designer and art director on Disco Elysium.
As spotted by our friends at PC Gamer, the novel has now been fully translated into English for the first time. Fans have the choice of two versions, although neither is official. One comes from tequilla_sunset5, who's tried to ensure consistency between their translated version and Disco Elysium, changing some words and names to match how they appear in the game while also trying to retain as much of the novel's subtext and style as possible. It features illustrations by Rostov as well as a glossary, an epilogue, and a deleted scene previously shared on the blog of Disco Elysium developer ZA/UM. You can find it in both PDF and epub format here.
The second English translation of Sacred and Terrible Air comes courtesy of Group Ibex and is "a heavily edited version of a machine translation" that "went through several intensive rewrites" to bring it closer to the original. This one doesn't contain the glossary or illustrations but, like the aforementioned option, has the deleted content and epilogue.
According to Kurvitz, when released, Sacred and Terrible Air sold just 1,000 copies. Given the success Disco Elysium has enjoyed, if an official English version were to happen, it would likely prove very popular. Though, as he was forced out of ZA/UM in 2021 and is now suing the publisher, that doesn't look like it's going to come about anytime soon, if at all.
For more on this exceptional RPG, check out The making of Disco Elysium: How ZA/UM created one of the most original RPGs of the decade.