Usually on this site I find myself covering popular games – mostly Nintendo games at that – since that’s what readers usually ask about. But today I want to quickly highlight a really impressive piece of localization in a pretty obscure Nintendo DS game!
The other day, Freezair posted this in the comments of another article:
There’s also an obscure-but-great RPG (I know an awful lot of obscure-but-great RPGs) called Monster Racers for the DS that has a pretty excellent localization, and one particular moment in it stuck out as so sublime that I have no idea how it was translated, because it feels like it should’ve been in English all along!
That particular moment is in the name of one of the monsters in the game. It’s a wolf-like creature with a flower for a tail, which also happens to run everywhere backwards–it’s kind of a pushme-pullyou, and the “flower” is as much a head as the one that’s got teeth! The English name given to this creature is “Flowrwolf”–not only is it a flowery wolf, its a PALINDROME, reflecting the the two-headed nature of the creature, and it works beautiful in English!
I don’t know what better name you could give to a flowery wolf–indeed, it almost seems like it was BASED on that palindrome–so really, it took me by surprise how perfect its name was! Hmm…
Freezair provided a camera shot of this localized monster, but I was so amazed by it that I had to get actual screenshots from both games!
|Monster Racers (Japanese release)||Monster Racers (English release)|
Whoa! “Flowrwolf” is so perfect for this monster – it’s literally a wolf on one side and a flower on the other, and the name is a palindrome that works the same way 😯 In fact, had I not known this was a translation I would’ve assumed the monster was created BECAUSE of the Flowrwolf name!
…But, nope, the Japanese name is actually “Bush”. Yep. Bush.
So whoever was responsible for the localization of Monster Racers, I salute you for your amazing display of creativity!
BONUS CHALLENGE 1!
What other names ideas can YOU think of for this monster? Off the top of my head I can think of something like “Woof-flower” or “Blossomutt”, but of those are both INCREDIBLY terrible. If you can think of any better names, post them in the comments!
BONUS CHALLENGE 2!
I’m sure there are lots of other palindrome names in game localizations out there – how many can you think of? Share all the ones you can think of in the comments!