Q&A: What are Some Games with Untranslated Credits?

A little while ago Ant Cooke sent me an e-mail about a game called Syd of Valis:

I just wanted to email you about the SD Valis, released as Syd of Valis in the US (unless you look at the title screen, which calls it Valis Syd. Whoops.) because it has a weird localization thing. After you beat the game, the entire credits roll is left untranslated in the US version! You can see it in this longplay, starting from the 23 minute mark- the final dialogue scene is in English, but once the credits start rolling, it’s been left untranslated.

As well as just bringing it to your attention, I was just wondering, have you ever seen any other examples of this sort of thing, i.e. the credits not getting translated? I believe the European version of Gunner’s Heaven (Rapid Reload) does it too, but beyond that, I can’t think of any.

This is definitely odd – the whole ending is in English, but then suddenly the credits are in Japanese!

Off the top of my head I can’t think of any other instances of this, aside from some fan projects I’ve worked on, like Time Zone for the Famicom:

I think the credits were stored in a weird format in the case of Time Zone, but I have no idea why the Valis credits would’ve been left in Japanese. Maybe nobody on the translation team bothered to play all the way through the game? Or maybe the translation project was a rush job to begin with?

Anyway, I’m almost certain there are other instances of games with untranslated credits out there – if you know of any, let me know in the comments!

Ant Cooke also asked this about the Valis ending:

Also, after the credits, Yuko says something that’s still left untranslated in the US version. Here’s an image of it- could you tell me what it says?

This is pretty simple, it’s basically something like “The End ♥”.

So, although I wasn’t very helpful in trying to think of other games with untranslated credits, hopefully some folks reading this can think of some!

Also, in the near future I’d like to do an article about games that have bits of untranslated text still in them. So if you know of any such games, let me know in the comments or contact me! And if you can get a screenshot or video of it, that’d help me a lot too!

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  1. A lot of Japanese games had English credits as well, despite the game itself being in Japanese. I recently played Super Drakkhen (a.k.a. Dragon View), which is one such example. That was annoying since I was really hoping to find out who the composers were, but all I got were romanized last names and first initials, which is totally useless…

  2. There’s pretty notable untranslated text in all of:
    Lufia 2
    Suikoden II
    Harvest Moon: FoMT
    Ar Tonelico 2
    Soul Hackers
    Devil Survivor
    Persona 3 (multiple versions)

    A lot can be found on TCRF.

    1. Was Lufia II’s text translated in the PAL version?
      That was published by Nintendo, so it seemed to have been better tested.

    2. I’ll never forget Suikoden 2’s gibberish moments, though at times it was random where it happened.

      I’m familiar with the AT2 moment: “Cloche-sama!” That was the only hiccup they left translation-wise and not a difficult one to figure out at all. I’m sure we all remember AT2’s real problem during localization.

      Persona 3 on the PS2 has one moment I always remember: the medicine shopkeeper.

      1. There were a lot of problems with AT2 that I’d consider translation/localization issues. Text that flowed out of boxes was common, formatting was often inconsistent, and there’s also the obvious broken attack name that crashed the game.

        1. Yup, AT2 was one hell of a mess. I can’t believe what a sloppy job NISA did with its localization. And yes, the translation was quite spotty in places, such as the part in Cloche’s Cosmosphere with Jean Ishikawa, turning her male when she is clearly a woman. O_o

          Not to mention, saying Leyka was the reason Croix’s parents were killed and the numerous unsubtle penis and boob jokes everywhere. Seriously, who was in charge of the script, a thirteen year old boy who just discovered the Internet?

      2. In Persona 3, there´s also a moment when you speak to Fuuka in the dormitory at night and she asks you something (I don´t remember the question), if you answer “Yes”, she will speak English normally, but if you answer “No” she will simply say そう…

        I recently played Persona 3 Portable and this line and the medicine shopkeeper one are still untranslated.

  3. The patch on RHDN is an updated version with the credits translated.
    At the time I made the original patch, I didn’t know ASM so I couldn’t figure out the text format (and also trace logging creates such big files that then my PC probably couldn’t handle more than a second’s worth).
    The text was stored kind of strange. It had a dictionary with each word/name in the credits, and then separately it would specify which of, I think up 4 “words” on screen at once.
    I recall I still had to abbreviate a few names because the print function allocated enough RAM for a total of 16, I think, characters per line.

  4. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES/SNES/GBA), Final Fantasy VII (PS1), and Okage: Shadow King (PS2) also have examples of untranslated text.

    Super Mario Bros. 3 has only a single example, and it is on the treasure ship that replaces a Hammer Bro. on the map. On the sail, it says 「宝」, which means “treasure”. But this example is documented on many Mario websites already. It has no credits at all.

    As for Final Fantasy VII, signs and displays in all major cities have Japanese text left untranslated much like in most anime. No message box text or otherwise procedurally-generated text was left untranslated, however (except in the Debug Room, where Japanese text is romanized for the English version). Its credits are in English.

    I’m currently in a playthrough of Okage: Shadow King for PlayStation 2, and already I found some Japanese kanji in a corrupt corporate executive’s room, but much of the game’s signs are in English, even though some of them are rendered using polygons rather than textures. I do not yet know if its credits are in English or Japanese.

    One last consideration: Game & Watch Gallery 3 for Game Boy Color. The hints that display before every game are in English and use English terms, but the cast of characters section of the credits use romanized Japanese, so Goombas are called “Kuribo”, spelled out in Latin letters.

  5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 for NES is an interesting case. The credits are almost entirely in English, with one exception. Near the end of the credits roll, there’s a message that says “DIRECTED BY” (in English), followed by the name “Kuuneruasobu” in untranslated hiragana. I feel like there were a few other NES games that similarly left at least one staff member’s name untranslated, possibly in other Konami games.


    1. Another game that just came to mind is Mega Man 7. While there’s nothing worth noting within the credits, there’s a boss in Wily’s castle who wields two large mallets that feature kanji characters inscribed upon them.

    2. That reminds me that a similar thing happened in the SNES port of Turtles in Time. Can’t remember what role the kanji name appeared under though, the role itself might have been left in Japanese.

    3. The only time I’ve ever seen くうねるあそぶ credited in another Konami game was in the NES Lone Ranger game, which was one of Konami’s many US-exclusive releases. Apparently it was some B team that Konami made up to work on NES games during the later years of its lifespan while their main teams were now focused on SNES games.

  6. While they don’t actually have credits, the early Mega Man Gameboy games weren’t touched in the localization process beyond a redrawing of the title screen. At the end of the games, you’re presented with a list of all the enemies from the game, complete with straight romanized names like “Kaminari Goro” and “kaettekita monkey”.

  7. I know one case where this happened in title screen of all places.

    Dragon Ball Z Super Butoden 1 for the Super Famicom was released in France with the title screen completely unaltered, either in the box case or in-game; the in-game text is still translated. At first I thought it was some unofficial fan-translation until I looked it up and yes, it was released there indeed. They simply referred to it as Dragon Ball Z in gaming magazines.

    Super Butoden 2 and 3 were released in France, but their title screens were indeed modified this time and replaced with new, ridiculous titles.

    Speaking of Time Zone, Panic Restaurent for the NES removed the credits in the officially localized versions… maybe a drastic way to avoid this issue?

    1. Oh, and forgot one other thing. Most of the games translated to European languages will leave the credits in English. Even Nintendo games do it from time to time.

  8. This technically isn’t in the game, but if you use a Game Shark with Digimon World 2, you can access some dummied-out attacks that have their text untranslated. For those unfamiliar with the game, whenever you use an attack, its name will display on-screen in large letters, so there’s at least two different sets of font involved. When you look at these attacks in the menu, they appear as garbled symbols or blank spaces, but when you use them in battle, Japanese text will display.

    Of the dummied-out attacks, I think the only one that was properly translated was an intended second attack for Omegamon (Omnimon in the English version), Garuru Cannon. The non-translated attacks include what seem to be a third intended move for Omegamon, Omega Heal, as well as second and third attacks for Baihumon and Diaboromon.


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