A reader named Luis recently asked a question about Final Fantasy IV that I’ve often wanted to look into but just never got around to it. Until now!
I sworn I remember this weird glitch or something. During the fight with Valvalis, let her use Ray and then go to item and pick any healing item and it’ll show “D” on the stone character. Why is it called “D” and what’s the original translation in the Japanese version? I found this oddity when I was a kid and never bother to ask anyone about it on GameFAQS until I played my Final Fantasy II again.
Since it’ll be quite a while until I get to this part in the game in my Final Fantasy IV comparison, I thought I’d take a quick peek ahead and solve this mystery!
So here are some screenshots of this status effect in action:
|Final Fantasy IV (Super Famicom)||Final Fantasy II (Super NES)|
So when you get first this slow petrification status ailment, Final Fantasy II lists the status as “D”. I never understood this, and I guess it’s been a big puzzle for lots of other fans as well. But looking at the Japanese version, the status ailment is listed as… nothing?
Yep, the “D” we all know and love is actually nothing in the original game!
If you let the status continue to worsen, eventually the English version will say “Petrify”. I thought this meant you had completely turned into stone and could no longer do anything, but it turns out that’s wrong! In the Japanese version, this status is called “Gradual petrification”. So that solves the mystery of why you can still do stuff for a little bit while in the “Petrify” state in the English release.
Lastly, once the petrification is complete, the English version calls it “Stone”. The Japanese version calls it “Stone” too.
So, basically, the gradual petrification ailment progresses like this:
Japanese: (nothing) » Gradual Petrification » Stone
English: D » Petrify » Stone
That still doesn’t quite answer what “D” means, though. I’d heard that this was supposed to slowly spell out a word as the status got worse and worse, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. So my guess is that the “D” is due to a simple bug introduced during the game’s localization. It seems like the kind of thing that would be easy to miss or overlook in QA testing too.
Still, if anyone out there in videoland has any ideas or insight, let me know!