Q&A: Why Is This Egg Tart Censored?

Darien sent in a quick question about a game I’d never really taken a look at before:

This one might be too weird, but I have to try. In the North American release of Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (both the PS3 and Vita versions), there’s an item called the Eggstreme Tart. The picture has obvious, drastic mosaic censorship on it, but nowhere in the description nor in the crafting scene is there even the faintest allusion to why it’s censored, and this in a game that goes out of its way to be risque.

Can you use your mighty powers to figure out what’s going on with this item? Was it censored in the Japanese? Is there any explanation in the text?

And here’s a look at the item in question:

Darien asked if the item is censored in the Japanese release too, so I did some quick searching and found that the answer is: yes, the Japanese item has a mosaic on it, too!

What’s the deal, then? Why would some simple item in the game need to get the mosaic treatment?

The answer is in the item description, so let’s take a look:

Japanese Version (basic translation)English Version
EgutartEggstreme Tart
A tart made of disgusting ingredients instead of egg. It’s so disgusting that enjoying its appearance isn’t recommended; instead, the correct way to eat it is to shut your eyes and shove it into your mouth.A tart cooked with extreme ingredients. It’s so extreme one shouldn’t look at it, and instead close one’s eyes while stuffing it into one’s mouth.
Of course, the texture and flavor are also so disgusting that it’s difficult to critique this.The texture and flavor are also extreme.

Ah, it makes much more sense in Japanese once I see the word play at work!

Here’s the deal: the item is called an “Egutart” in Japanese, which a Japanese player would first see as a misspelling of “Egg Tart”. But this “egu” actually comes from the slang word “egui”, meaning something like “disturbingly gross” or “disturbingly nasty”. So it’s a bit of a pun between the word for “egg” and the word for “gross”.

The developers decided to further play along with this idea by blurring out part of the item’s graphics. It’s meant to make you think, “Whoa, it must be REALLY gross if they have to cover stuff up!”

Because the word play doesn’t translate into English, the localizers had to come up with the closest equivalent possible. It looks like they decided use “eggstreme” and “extreme” word play throughout it all. It’s a great choice, but it does lose a tiny bit of the original meaning, which is why English-speaking players might’ve been confused.

Doing some more quick online searches, it seems the whole idea of, “Just what is in this item?!” becomes a theme for a short scene or two. And even Japanese gamers are really curious to know just what its “ingredients” are. So in that sense, players in all languages are on the same level about this item!

TL;DR

The image is censored in the Japanese version too. It’s meant to be an in-game joke. The item is meant to be super-disturbing and gross in Japanese, but a little bit of that is lost in translation into English.

Hopefully that helps answer the question somewhat! And if anyone can come up with a better localized name for this odd item, please share it in the comments!

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22 comments

  1. This is a great example of wordplay that has a PRETTY good fit in the target language, but still loses a bit in the translation despite that.

    I’m also amused that the original Japanese has to specifically point out “egg” (when referring back to “tamago”) in order to make the エッグ・エグい pun more obvious to the Japanese player.

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  2. And the worst part is that the mosaic is referenced by the in-game dialog too, as at one point the characters ask Earthes (the robot avatar for the player) if they can see the item, and the player is allowed to tell them they can’t fully see it due to the mosaic, surprising Ion (the robot’s maker) due to the fact she didn’t know it had such a functionality.

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    1. Ha, neat. I didn’t know about that; I’ve only ever done this scene with Delta and Casty, not with Ion and Earthes. The Delta and Casty scene doesn’t address the mosaic at all.

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  3. Big thanks as always! I never cease to be impressed at how efficiently you can solve these riddles; in trying to investigate it on my own, I didn’t even manage to get a coherent answer as to what the thing’s even called in Japanese. 😛

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  4. After closing the browser and coming back here a few hours later, it now looks fine. I have no idea what it crapped out on me earlier.

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  5. I think the problem is less the name than the description sticking to the original Japanese too much. Better translation to keep the spirit would be:

    “A tart made of eggstreme ingredients… eggstremely eggregious ones, that is. They’re so eggly that just looking at it hurts. Better to just close your eyes and shove it in your mouth. Not that it helps since it tastes eggxactly as bad as it looks.”

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  6. It’s worth noting that mosaic censors in Japan are used for way more than just covering naughty bits. It’s more of a “don’t look at this” filter.

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    1. Ar nosurge is far more in-line with Ar tonelico 2 than Ar tonelico 3, as most of its gameplay systems are pretty much lifted from AT2.

      That said, while AT3 was somewhat lackluster (particularly thanks to its unpolished battle system and the excess of fanservice), I still feel it had enough good points to bring a decent conclusion to Ar tonelico’s storyline. Just the emotional element brought by the final battle’s concept, and the songs that could be heard from right before entering final dungeon and up to the true ending theme made it a worthwhile journey to me.

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      1. Despite I finished Qoga long ago, I really didn’t like much about it ultimately, other than the English voices & dub script and one particular song that stood out more than all the tracks.

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  7. It occurred to me today, thinking about this… Eggman in Sonic is almost certainly a play on this same pun. He’s both egg-shaped and a very disgusting man.

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