Q&A: Comedy Routines & More in Mario Party Advance

A while back we took a look at how Japanese rap was localized in Mario Party Advance. Today we’ll look at a few more Mario Party Advance things that NES Boy was curious about!

First up is a question about some comedy routines in the game:

While progressing through the Japanese version of the game, I came across the “Comedy Bomb” quest (in which you have to laugh at Dolphin’s stand-up comedy routine at the appropriate moments), and that got me wondering whether or not the stories Dolphin was telling were any different.

For reference, here’s what the scene looks like:

And here’s a comparison of the text, side-by-side:

Basic TranslationOfficial Localization
Hi, and thanks for coming! Enjoy my show.Hello, ladies and germs! Enjoy the show!
……So the other day, I bought a “portable phone”. The very newest kind.So, I bought myself the latest portable phone.
But suddenly it breaks. So I complained to the phone store guy…Right off the bat, the thing goes out on me!
…”How could this brand-new portable phone break?” I asked.So I went back to the dealer and complained.
And then the clerk said to me…And so the dealer, he says to me…
“Sir, this phone is very intricately built…“Sir, this phone is a precision instrument.”
…So you should NEVER carry it around with you.” he said.“You should never, EVER take it outside!”
……Yeah!! Dolphin, dolphin!…Yeah! Woo, Dolphin!

And here’s another comedy bit:

Basic TranslationOfficial Localization
……Believe it or not, I was really good at studying when I was a student.I don’t look it, but I was a great student.
One day, during a test, there was this girl with glasses in the seat next to me, crying.Anyway, there was this girl crying in class…
“Waah!! My eyes are bad so I can’t see the questions.” she said.She said “Boo-hoo! My eyes are so bad…”
“that I can’t read the chalkboard!”
So I promptly told her what the questions were. …But she didn’t stop crying at all.I read the questions to her, and she cried…
I was feeling confused when she said this…
…”Never mind the questions, give me the answers!” she said.“Forget the questions! Give me the answers!”
……Yeah!! Dolphin, dolphin!Woo, Dolphin! Go, Dolphin!
Well, let’s meet again sometime. Thank you! Thank you!You’ve been a great audience! Thank you!

So in both stories it sounds like the translation isn’t any different from the original text, minus a few missing details and slight rephrasings. I really like the flow of the localized text, it’s well-written AND fits within the very limited space allotted!

NES Boy’s next question is this:

Finally, I got what I want you to look into for Mario Party Advance the most! It’s bigger than the Kamek Krew’s dialogue and Dolphin’s stand-up comedy!

In Mario Party Advance, to unlock quests regarding Bowser, you need to complete a certain number of quests in general. If you complete 30 quests, you will unlock the Yellow Pipe leading to the Bowser Toy Shop, which sells Bowser’s favorite cartoon toys, but it only sells to Bowser himself. The Bowser Toy Shop is also home to the “Bowser’s Toys” quest, in which Bowser issues you a Cartoon Quiz to test your knowledge on Toad Force V (which has a series of quests associated with it), followed by a duel game called “Slammer”. Your reward for completing the quest is the “Screen Clean” Gaddget.

Anyway, while Bowser’s introducing the duel game, a very bizarre thing happens. Specifically, Koopa Kid appears to taunt the player, but Bowser actually finishes the sentence for him! That was obviously not part of the original Japanese version. In fact, Koopa Kid was actually making a short exclamation about the subject of what Bowser was talking about, as usual. This kind of thing is perfect to feature on Legends of Localization.

So here’s what this particular scene looks like too:

And here’s the text side-by-side:

Basic TranslationOfficial Localization
Bowser: …But I’m not backing down this time! I challenge you to a duel game!Bowser: I challenge you to a duel game!
Bowser: If you win the duel, the goods are yours!Bowser: You’ll get a Gaddget if you win.
Koopa Kid: Yours!Koopa Kid: That’s never going to happen, so you
Bowser: …But if you lose, you get no goods at all!Bowser: can kiss that Gaddget good-bye!
Koopa Kid: You’ll have to start all over again!Koopa Kid: In other words, you’ll have to try again!

In this case, Koopa Kid talks in a “tough, young, wannabe bully” style in Japanese, part of which involves repeating the end of a sentence spoken by someone in more authority. That’s what his first “Yours!” line is in the Japanese version here.

It looks like the translators or localizers weren’t aware of this – or maybe they missed the fact that Koopa Kid says this line and not normal Bowser – and just wrote one long line last over the two lines. It might’ve been possible to fix this with some control code changes, but I can’t say for sure since I’ve never looked at the game’s programming. Basically, it looks like it was an understandable oversight – the two portraits DO look pretty similar if you’re skimming through the scene quickly and paying more attention to the text than the portraits.

Lastly is this little bit from NES Boy:

BONUS: I’ve thrown in an extra comparison of part of the Cartoon Quiz that illustrates an unnecessary change made by the localization team.

This is pretty simple – in Japanese, the line says, “What English letter comes after ‘Kinokon’??” The choices are “K”, “V”, and “CD”.

And in the translation, this line is, “What letter is on Toad Force V’s forehead?” The choices are “X”, “V”, and “.COM”.

I’m not familiar with what Kinokon or Toad Force V are, I assume they’re a Power Rangers-esque group within the game, made up of Kinopio/Toad characters.

I’m going to assume the answer in both cases is “V”. If this is the case, then the answer is much more obvious in the localized version. The “.com” answer is pretty funny though!

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  1. Sorry, Mato, but I’m going to be “that guy” for a bit. That’s not Bowser Jr; it’s a Koopa Kid, a character type exclusive to the Mario Party series.

    It’s an understandable mistake, though. Considering Baby Bowser, Bowser Jr., the Koopalings (ALSO sometimes called “Koopa Kids”) and the fact that the Koopa Kids (as the one seen here) have gone by a few different names, I imagine it’s pretty nuts for someone who’s not a super hardcore Mario fan to look at.

          1. Baby Bowser is Baby Koopa, using the same katakana for “baby” as the rest of the baby characters.

            Bowser Jr. is simply Koopa Jr.

            The Koopalings are collectively called Kokuppa/Kokoopa, “ko” being a diminutive, and this was translated pretty literally as “Little Koopa” in SMB3. I think they were only called “Koopa Kids” in the cartoons.

            And actually, when the Koopalings were reintroduced for NSMB Wii, they were rechristened “Koopa’s minions”, and this name apparently carried over into Europe as well. There was actually a retcon regarding them no longer being Bowser’s actual kids, one of the few times any sort of Mario canon has ever really been acknowledged.

            The Mario Party Koopa Kids are apparently called Mini Koopas in Japan, though whether that’s achieved through katakana for “mini” or some other Japanese diminutive, I don’t know.

    1. Oh crap it’s that guy noooooooo

      Thanks for the info though – before posting this I actually did check super-quickly to see if Bowser Junior was even a real character’s name. It was, so I was like, “Okay, the name checks out.” I figured the e-mail called it “Koopa Kid” because it might’ve been one of those cases where a character has multiple names ala Bowser/King Koopa. But it looks like my gamble was a spectacular failure 😯

      1. Opinionated Vector Chimera

        Between translating, maintaining a number of websites, and many more things I probably don’t know, there’s very little time for typos. Right?

  2. As you pointed out numerous times, the Japanese language uses less lettering to say more. Gotta give our localizers credit for managing what they can.

    Off topic, could I possibly have your help with translating some song names for a Tiger Mask soundtrack?

    1. Sure, just send me an e-mail if there aren’t too many to look at. I’m notoriously slow at replying sometimes (for example, the e-mail for this update was sent in July I think), but I’ll try not to take too long 😛


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