Lost in Translation – Vidjagame Apocalypse 330

Localization can be a touchy subject these days, but there was a time when it often meant turning a game into something completely different for foreign audiences. This week, we grab Greg Moore to talk about five classic games that changed completely during the move from Japan to the West, after which we’ll talk about Remnant: From The Ashes, Rad, Death Stranding’s Gamescom showing, and your favorite movies that influenced the game industry.

Question of the Week: What’s your favorite weird or bad translation in a video game?

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10 thoughts on “Lost in Translation – Vidjagame Apocalypse 330

  1. QotW: MAJOR ACE ATTORNEY SPOILERS ahead…but if you fail to convince DeKiller that Engarde blackmailed him at the climax, you get the bad ending, and good ol’ Capcom forgot to grammar check…and we end wih the ever so classic phrase “The miracle never happen.” It was of course fixed in re-releases.

  2. QOTW:

    This is a pretty easy one. Final Fantasy 5’s “Karl Boss” (Karlabos), “Y-Burn” (a wyvern), and “Soccer” (a squid, presumably “sucker”). Just another reason why you should never rely entirely on phonetic translations. Frankly, I would think a Final Fantasy localization team would be familiar with what a wyvern is, but the fact that they got it so hilariously wrong adds to the charm of the awful translation. Also, Faris’ real name being localized as “Salsa” instead of “Sarissa”.

  3. Qotw: Another Final Fantasy submission…Final Fantasy Tactic’s infamously bad translation. The most memorable being the blaze gun shooting ice and the glacier gun shooting fire.

  4. QOTW: My favorite thing that Japan has ever produced is undoubtedly katamari damacy which is rife with bizarre translation (such as a little girl saying that camcer is yummy). But i gotta go with a classic that TDar fans will remember and I think really deserves a play on the podcast:
    https://youtu.be/A2hZYD1s-xY
    PS. Shout out to Tyler Nagata

  5. Oh yeah, regarding the QOTW:

    There was this moment in the English version of Mega Man Legends where the lead bad guy, Teisel Bonne, is feeling bad about getting beaten yet again by MegaMan. His sister, Tron Bonne, says something to cheer him up, and he goes “…That’s IT! That’s the SPIRIT!” placing the emphasis on the words in such a way that it sounds like the actor had never heard the expression, “THAT’S the spirit!” like you know, when someone has a winning attitude. It was more like “Eureka! I’ve located the missing spirit, off in the middle distance!” It’s such a hard nuance to point out and the other MML fans I’ve mentioned it to unanimously treated me like a crazy person, but I submit that the actor had no idea what the line he was reading meant. Then he turned out to be a sex offender. Thanks for listening.

  6. QOTW: I have played through the PS2 shooter, Castle Shikigami 2, many times. It’s a very fun bullet hell game. I have no idea what the story is. The dialogue has translated into word salad. “I see a weapon. With feelings!!” “Slaves for fashion dislike bulges!” and “Its Idiot Power!!”

  7. I had two that immediately came to mind. Icould pick just one favorite, so at the risk of stepping on someone else’s answer, I’m going to have to give them both. The first is the NES game Pro Wrestling’s congratulatory “A winner is you” victory screen. The second is from Final Fantasy 4 (2 in the USA) with the Tellah’s hilarious insult “You spoony bard!”

  8. Heavy Rain, because it was clearly written in French and performed by Québécois actors making it the rare double translation. The game is good despite the translation mishaps. And has become immortalized in press x to Jason.

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