Mega Man V’s Ending Was a Bit Different in Japanese

A long while back, a Legends of Localization reader sent in a question about one of the old Game Boy Mega Man games:

Hi, I’ve been following LoL for a while, and I’m curious about something pertaining to Rockman World 5 (Mega Man V)’s ending.

I’ve read somewhere that apparently in the Japanese version, final boss Sunstar/Sungod willingly blows himself up after being moved by Mega Man’s speech. By contrast, the English version has him involuntarily blow up as a result of a damaged fusion reactor. For a Mega Man game, I find this to be a fascinating character change, and I’d like some confirmation on just how the Japanese ending goes.

Let’s take a look at the scene in question in both languages:

After Mega Man 3, all of my memories of the series blur together so I barely remember details anymore. I still want a Mega Man game based on the Captain N version though.After Mega Man 3, all of my memories of the series blur together so I barely remember details anymore. I still want a Mega Man game based on the Captain N version though.
Japanese Version (basic translation)English Version
…Are you okay?

Here, hold on to me.

We’ll get you repaired at Dr. Light’s laboratory.
Are you OK?

Here, grab my shoulder.

I’m sure you can be fixed at Dr. Light’s lab.
Rockman… Why… Why are you helping me?Megaman… Why? Why are you helping me?
Because we’re fellow robots, of course.Because we are both robots.
Rockman. We robots were created by humans to be tools of war.Yes. And we were both created to fight!
No!! You’re wrong, Sun God!

I’ve been fighting just now too, but I… I’ve been fighting to make the world peaceful!

And so that humans and robots can live in harmony…!
No, you’re wrong!

I only fight when I am forced to protect the world from those who would pit machines against man.

I believe humans and robots can live in peace!
I understand.

This peaceful world you speak of was unimaginable for my civilization, but with your help, maybe it CAN become a reality.

But, for that to happen, this fortress must be destroyed.

A powerful bomb has been planted inside me, and there’s little time until it explodes.

Now go!

I want my final act to be a helpful one, as the kind of robot you speak of.
Maybe…

But I will never know. My fusion reactor is going critical, and when it does, it will destroy this entire fortress.
…Sun God…Sunstar…
Go!! Quickly!Leave now!

In the original Japanese scene, the final boss comes to realize that perhaps it is possible for humans and robots to coexist peacefully, and that:

  • The hero is probably the only one who can do it
  • This fortress of evil robots must be destroyed

On top of this, the boss states that a bomb inside him has been activated, and although he probably has little choice to begin with, he decides to blow up the fortress along with himself in a final act of valor.

In the English scene, the script begins the same, but the final boss doesn’t seem convinced by the hero’s argument. He doesn’t realize that the hero can help humans and robots coexist peacefully, and he doesn’t clearly sacrifice himself for that goal. Instead, he simply tells the hero to run away before his energy source blows up.

So it seems that the rumor is true: the ending of the English version is different from the original Japanese version. Granted, it’s not a particularly heavy story, but there’s definitely a nice little character arc that was lost in translation. I don’t know if this scene has any connection to later games – I would assume not, but let me know if I’m wrong. In any case, hopefully this offers a little bit of insight into the ending for fans of the series!

22 Comments
  1. This was a self-contained story. Other extraterrestrial robots appear in Mega Man 8 (and also Shadow Man from Mega Man 3 is from another planet, apparently), but they are unrelated to these ones.

    I guess Tango the robot cat first appeared in this game, but aside from him nothing about this game carries over to later titles.

    Reply
  2. If I had to guess, they probably wanted to tone down the whole suicide for the greater good aspect. That’s a little heavy for a kid’s game.

    Of course, this wasn’t long before they punched up Megaman wanting to kill Wily in MM7 with no foundation in the original script, so who knows.

    Either way, that’s super neat! Never knew that about MMV. Thanks for posting this stuff, I love reading about these localization changes.

    Reply
    1. Yet the Japanese have no problem with their kids knowing about this stuff through games and TV shows. It’s a little disturbing that their children are so comfortable with the idea of death, but I understand it’s a cultural thing. They likely realize that once you die, you die and that’s all there is to it. No sense in dwelling on it and all, but it still seems unusual.

      As for MM7, Capcom USA did that because Mega Man X had already made headway with its more serious and darker storyline. Classic Mega Man seemed too cartoonish in comparison and they feared the game wouldn’t catch on with the edgier 90s kids of the time (which is true since most media were getting more action extreme at the time). To make Mega Man seem more appealing to these edgy teens, they had the Blue Bomber declare that he was going to end Wily’s life, which goes against everything Mega Man himself stands for. It’s ironic since declarations of death and killing others always got written around in video games since they were considered little more than kids’ toys back then, and they wanted to prevent the North American youth from thinking it was okay to kill or murder others because their favorite game heroes did it or said they had to do it for the sake of justice and peace.

      Reply
  3. In the Japanese version, Dr. Light is known as Dr. Right. This can be seen in Mega Man 9, where the boss doors have a R instead of a L.

    Reply
    1. Speaking of Megaman, in Megaman X2, there’s a rumor that the X-Hunter Serges, (who is Sagesse in the Japanese version) is a cyborg version of Dr. Wily in the Japanese version. Is this true?

      Reply
      1. I’m not familiar with the X series at all, so I wouldn’t know where to look to confirm/deny this info. If you can point me to some videos I might be able to check, though.

        Reply
      2. The most the japanese version of Z2 does is have Serges know that Zero was made by Wily, but there is no evidence that the actually was Wily. Also, the creators of the game refuse to comment on it one way or the other, as seen in the book Mega Man X: Complete Works.

        Reply
        1. Sorry, i meant to say X2, not Z2. Also, i’m basing that all off of information i read on the Mega Man Wiki and that Complete Works book (which is a great book that i would recommend buying, btw).

          Reply
      3. Bartolo Polkakitty

        More specifically, part of the X-Hunters’ theme was that they all had names that came from French and represented their strengths: Violen, the big brute, is an abbreviation of “violence”, meaning the same thing as in English, Agile, the fastest and most skillful one, is a word that’s pronounced differently in French (and the way his name is written in Japanese, アジール, suggests the French pronunciation,) but the spelling and meaning are the same, and Serges, the leader and strategist, was intended to be Sagesse, meaning “wisdom”.

        But apparently, the translators didn’t realize that the names were supposed to be coming from French rather than English (probably because Violen and Agile could just as easily have been based on the English words.) Those two were similar enough to equivalent words in English that they were still recognizable for what they were supposed to mean, but they didn’t pick up on what was going on with Sagesse. There was a similar mistake in X5, where “Signas” was actually supposed to be Cygnus (as in the constellation.)

        Reply
  4. So from what i understand, the bomb inside Sunstar was already activated before Mega Man’s moving speech, right? It seems like all his speech did was convince him not to blow up Mega Man along with himself and the building.

    Reply
  5. Surely NoA wouldn’t have allowed suicide talk in a game in that era.

    This was the same year FF6 came out, they still weren’t allowed to call the Holy element by its correct name. In comparison.

    Reply
    1. But didn’t Celes explicitly throw herself off a cliff in the World Of Ruin in a deliberate attempt to kill herself after having lost all hope, before discovering a dove carrying Locke’s bandanna?

      I mean if we’re talking FF6 and suicide, that was pretty blatantly kept in the US version.

      Reply
      1. Celes and her suicide scene was in fact changed in the US Super NES version. Visuals were the same, but her dialogue was instead about a “leap of faith” to “perk’em up”. Poor attempt at censorship, but still censorship.

        Reply
  6. I recall the text before the jump tried to obscure it; paraphrasing: “Those that were having trouble continuing on took a leap of faith from the top of the cliff. Perked them right up!”

    Reply
    1. Oops, that was meant to be a reply to ns’ comment above.

      Reply
    2. I realize that was censorship, but even as a kid I read it as gallows humor, not a literal claim.

      Reply
  7. This reminds me of the game’s opening claiming that “Dr. Wily’s fourth attempt at world domination has failed”. This obviously doesn’t mesh well with the previous four games using the bosses from the first five NES games. I’m sure the Japanese opening says “latest” instead of “fourth” or something.

    Reply
  8. When I read that Japanese translation, I don’t read it as him choosing to blow himself up. He simply says that there’s a bomb inside him, and that it won’t be long before it explodes. That feels to me like it was already in there, as a failsafe or whatnot, and was already activated.

    To me I read his ‘final helpful act’ being warning Mega Man rather than blowing himself up.

    Although, the ‘But, for that to happen, this fortress must be destroyed.’ part does make it seem more like ‘something will need to be done specifically to do this’ and not ‘it’s already going to happen’…Hmm…Maybe he’s choosing to blow himself up more somehow, or blow up in a more volatile location to cause a chain reaction or something? I don’t see how else he could choose to bring the fortress down with him.

    Reply
  9. Speaking of odd Capcom mistranslations, in Super Street Fighter 2, Cammy’s ending suggests that M. Bison was her lover. However, in Street Fighter Alpha 3, this was changed to her being his clone or something like that. What does he say in the Japanese version?
    Here’s a link to the endings:
    * English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auxaa620TBA

    * Japanese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8D9_rtKuFY

    Reply
    1. The relevant part Japanese version reads something like this.

      CAMMY
      “Bison, I have something to ask you.
      You know about my past… don’t you?”

      BISON
      “I’ll tell you. 3 years ago, you were a spy for my organization.”

      CAMMY
      “….!!”

      BISON
      “Surely, it seems you’ve lost your memories.”

      CAMMY
      “No way… you’re lying!!”

      BISON
      “I have no intention of coming with you. Leave.”

      Reply
  10. Mega Man V on the gameboy has not major direct impacts on the main storyline as far as I know.
    That being said, Mega Man Punch attack (or at least one version of it?) was created here because the Mega Buster wouldn’t work on the alien robots.
    Also, it does bring out alien robots not made from Earth which might be connected to Mega Man 8.
    And from what I have heard, Slash Man was based story-wise on one of the alien robots.

    Also, one of the CD data from Mega Man and Bass do starte that Sunstar is grouchy when he wakes up which is hilarious in the context of Mega Man V story. 😀
    Speaking of which, perhaps this is the only Mega Man game where Wily is not the final boss.

    Reply
  11. Well that’s interesting. I haven’t played Mega Man V yet, but I had no idea there were any script differences beyond renaming Sungod to Sunstar. I guess the nature of noble sacrifice was considered “too Japanese” at the time because Capcom USA probably believed an antagonist shouldn’t be expected to change their tune so quickly. Or maybe it’s just because death by bomb inside the body was too horrifying to utter in text, even for a robot’s death.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *