Dragonsbrethren asked a question about Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia a long while back:
Hi again, I thought of a suggestion for one of your Legends of Localization posts: In Castlevania, Order of Ecclesia, Shanoa has a line that references Castlevania II when you first enter Dracula’s castle: “I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!”
I’m curious if this is something that the translator added, or if this is also a CV2 reference in the Japanese version.
So the question is if the Ecclesia line is a reference to the infamous text in the second Castlevania game, “The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night.”
And, if it is a reference, was it in the original Japanese version or was it just a little thing the localization team added in for long-time fans? Let’s find out!
First, here’s a look at the line in question in both versions:
|Japanese release||English release|
And here’s a side-by-side text comparison:
|Basic Translation||Official Localization|
|Why am I standing here? I’ve already lost everything. I already have nothing left.||Here I am… It’s all gone. …What little I had, anyway.|
|No, that’s right. There IS one thing left. Just one: my important mission.||No, that’s not true, there’s one thing left… …My mission.|
|That’s why I’m standing here. To fulfill my remaining mission to slay “Dracula”!||I’m the only one left who can end this. Hear me, [Dracula]!|
|Yes. Because I am a “sword that cleaves evil”.||I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!|
So, yep, it looks like the “horrible night” reference wasn’t in the original version; it was added in by the localizers as a little bonus reference.
The Japanese line doesn’t seem to be a reference to previous things; in fact, this specific line seems to be her catchphrase in Japanese! As such, it seems kind of odd that it would be removed from the script altogether like this. I haven’t played the game, so I don’t really know if this catchphrase gets used in other parts of the game. If so, leaving it out of this scene’s translation makes more sense, as it wouldn’t be missed as much. But it’s such a strange, deliberate phrase that it sounds like it plays an important role in her backstory or something. I guess I’ll have to defer any further commentary to folks who’ve actually played the game, though.
Anyway, hopefully that solves that little mystery! Even if it did end up creating a new one
On a side note, I’m kind of surprised by how many ellipses were added into the translation, given that the opposite is usually what happens. And the usage of [ and ] in place of Japanese-style quotes was definitely a unique, unusual choice!
UPDATE: After some quick talk with the English version’s editor, it sounds like the ellipses were likely added as part of her amnesiac/emotionless character. Which definitely makes sense now that I think about it. Having not played the game, I never considered that possibility.
It also sounds like the Japanese catchphrase was used only two or so times in the game’s script, so the reference was favored over the awkwardness of the original line. Probably unintentionally, Shanoa’s new line here eventually became her English catchphrase, as it sounds like it’s used in other games that feature her. So in a strange way, the reference that replaced her catchphrase became a catchphrase itself! Neat!
UPDATE 2: TNBi posted an old video of the game in the comments that gives an official, pre-release translation of her phrase as, “I shall become the sword that clears away evil.” rather than the Castlevania II line:
A similar blade quote wasn’t completely removed from the final game, though – at one point near the end of the game it’s revised to, “I am the blade to banish all evil.” It’s interesting to see how her phrase has changed and evolved throughout the localization process!