What’s up with River City Ransom and Barf?
This simple line ranks high on every list of famous video game quotes. But what was it originally in Japanese?
Digging up Castlevania II’s Graveyard Duck
Castlevania II is known for its odd translation, including a line about a graveyard duck. What did it originally say in Japanese?
A Look at Pokemon and Comfy Shorts
There's a famous kid in Pokemon who likes really, really likes shorts. But what does he say in Japanese?
A Look at Symphony of the Night’s “Miserable Pile of Secrets”
This game features one of the most famous video game quotes of all time. But what did it originally say in Japanese?
Did You Know? People Used to Marry Pokémon All the Time
Get that honeymoon trip booked - it's time to get hitched to some Japanese critters!
Memorize This – a Look at Axel from Kingdom Hearts
What was the original Japanese version of this fan-favorite catchphrase?
Colored Toads in New Super Mario Bros.
As the Super Mario Bros. series grows in new directions, it leaves players with all kinds of new questions.
The Origin of Final Fantasy’s “I Will Knock You All Down!”
Final Fantasy features one of the most famous game quotes from the NES era. But what did it originally say in Japanese?
How Dr. Robotnik Turns into Dr. Eggman
The iconic mad scientist got renamed in the English version of Sonic Adventure, but what about the Japanese version?
Does Lyn Talk Like a Country Gal in Japanese Fire Emblem?
People say this main Fire Emblem character talks like a sweet country gal in Japanese. Does she really?
I Had to Write a Final Fantasy Fanfic for Square
When I applied for a translation job at Square long ago, I didn't realize they'd ask me to write fan fiction!
Resident Evil’s “Jill Sandwich” in Japanese
How does this infamous & quotable scene unfold in the Japanese version of the game?
What’s up with The “I am Error” Guy in Zelda II?
Zelda II features one of the most famous game quotes of all time. But was it a mistranslation? What was it in Japanese?
Final Fantasy IV, Secret of Mana, and Chrono Trigger Had a Connection
My investigation into an old gaming rumor turned up an unexpected discovery.
Sex Changes in Animal Crossing?
Two effeminate characters were changed into full-blown female characters when localized into English.
Are You a Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President?
What did this army guy say in the Japanese version of Bad Dudes? What was Bad Dudes called in Japanese anyway?
Son of a Submariner! Kefka’s Famous Line in Detail
Final Fantasy VI features one of the series' most famous and iconic lines. But what did it originally say in Japanese?
Does Ocarina of Time Have Farting Cabbages?
French fans weigh in on the flatulent controversy.
What’s the Donkey Kong 64 Rap Like in Japanese?
The English version of Donkey Kong 64 features a rap about the game's characters. But what about the Japanese version?
Danganronpa Fan Translations
Danganronpa fans seem split between which version is better - the professional translation or the fan translation.
Super Mario Bros. 4 Is Super Mario World
The Mario games stopped getting numbered sequels in the 1990s, but there *was* one more after Super Mario Bros. 3.
Chun-Li: The Family Man
This is the perfect example of why game translators must keep all possible scenarios in mind at all times.
Why Is Yoshi Sometimes Called Yossy?
Yoshi's name often appears as "Yossy" in Japan. Have we been pronouncing his name wrong all this time?
Reader Feedback: Final Fantasy IV’s Fan Translation
I respond to an e-mail about my criticism of the old Final Fantasy IV fan translation.
What’s up with Mario Party Advance’s Kamek Krew?
The English version of Mario Party Advance features rapping turtles. What do they say in Japanese?
A Look at the Metroid Series’ Varia Suit
The Varia Suit is a key power-up throughout the Metroid series, but the name is actually a mistranslation.
A Very Quick Look at Japanese Shadowgate
Rumor has it that Japanese gamers consider Shadowgate one of the crappiest games ever. But why?
How to Pronounce Ryu’s Name
How do you pronounce Ryu's name? The question has baffled gamers around the world for decades.
MC Hammer in a Zelda Game? Vanilla Ice in a Japanese RPG?
Japanese games are full of pop culture references - you just have to know where to look.
How Does Frog Talk in the Japanese Version of Chrono Trigger?
This unusual character speaks in an unusual way in English, but what does he sound like in Japanese?
Is Toad Trolling Us All?
Is Toad one person or many people? Also, what other interesting Toad trivia is there?
Was Samus Called a He in Japanese Too?
Players around the world were surprised to learn Samus was a woman. Was it a surprise in Japan too?
What’s up with the Ending to Midnight Wanderers?
The English and Japanese endings are different in this Capcom game. What changed?
What Does Japan Think of Metroid: Other M?
This game is often derided by Western fans and critics, but what do Japanese players think of it?
What’s up with The “D” Status Ailment in Final Fantasy IV/II?
The letter "D" mysteriously appears in this classic game's translation. What's going on?
A Disco Reference in a Zelda Game?
This is an article from the 2010s about a game from the 1990s in a series from the 1980s that has a reference from the 1970s.
Japanese Ellipsis Usage and English Translation
Play any Japanese game and you'll probably find an avalanche of ellipses. What's the deal?
What Are Mega Man “Robot Masters” Called in Japan?
Dr. Wily's robots are famously known as "Robot Masters" in English. But what are they called in Japanese?
Super Metroid & English Games with Japanese Text Options
Super Metroid was ahead of the curve in many ways. What other games offered a Japanese language option?
Dr. Robotnik & Eggman Team Up?
Changing the name "Eggman" to "Robotnik" back in the 90s left the door open for this future surprise.
Tales of Vesperia, Raven’s Speech Style, and More
This "old man" stands out from the rest of the game's heroes. So how does he present himself in Japanese?
An Inside Look at Video Game Control Codes
Game translation involves more than just text. If you're not careful, you could end up with problems like these.
What Does That Street Fighter II Sign Say?
Street Fighter II takes place all over the world, so there are signs in many languages. What do they say?
What Do Those Monado Symbols Mean in Xenoblade?
All the Monado symbols have actual meanings in Japanese. So what do they stand for?
What’s the Deal with That Creepy Sonic CD Secret?
A hidden mode in Sonic CD features a spooky message written in Japanese. What does it say?
What Do Japanese Fans Call These Legendary Pokemon?
Raikou, Entei, and Suicune... Are they dogs, cats, or something else?
Thanatos and Tanatos in Kid Icarus: Uprising
"Tanatos" gets a name upgrade in the English version, but what happens in the Japanese version?
Pearl Fey’s Gravy Accident
An important clue in this mystery game involves gravy, but what was it originally in Japanese?
Japanese Retro Gaming Sites & Final Fantasy Opinions
Which Final Fantasy is the most popular in Japan? And what Japanese retro game sites are out there?
Final Fantasy II/IV’s Mysterious Equipment Message
This is the perfect example of an obscure line of text getting mishandled in translation.
Sabin’s Strange Line in Narshe
There's an odd line in Final Fantasy VI's original English translation. What did it originally say in Japanese?
Is Breath of Fire II’s Mt. Fubi a Reference to Mt. Fuji?
An early destination in Breath of Fire II has a name similar to Mt. Fuji. Is it an intentional reference?
Gilbert and Sexual Innuendo in Legend of Mana
This hunk makes people "hard" in the English version of Legend of Mana. But what about the Japanese release?
Pocky & Rocky & the Adversary Monster
This monster says something that sounds like a mistranslation. What did he originally say in Japanese?
What Does That Japanese Stuff in .hack//G.U. Mean?
The localizers left a lot of graphical text in Japanese. What does it all mean?
Learning Japanese & Becoming a Translator
If you've ever considered studying Japanese or translation, this information will be useful to know.
Link, Zelda Is Your…
What was Link's uncle trying to say in A Link to the Past? And what's with the weird names of those cane items?
What’s the Difference Between Seppuku and Harakiri?
There's a lot of confusion surrounding these Japanese loanwords. How do they differ, at all?
Let’s Look at the Kanji & Ice Cream in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
There's a bit of Japanese kanji in the localized versions of Animal Crossing. What do they mean?
What Does That Japanese Text in Akira Say?
There's a lot of decorative Japanese text in the Akira film. What does it all mean?
Is Picross a Big Deal in Japan?
Picross games have existed since the 1980s. How popular are they in Japan, though?
Comedy Routines & More in Mario Party Advance
Dialog-based comedy rarely translates well between languages. How did these comedy routines get localized?
Shanoa and the Castlevania II Reference
This is a great example of how one generation of a classic series paid homage to its roots.
What Is Japanese Satan’s Name in Ghosts ‘n Goblins?
The iconic final boss of Ghosts 'n Goblins wasn't always known as "Satan". What was his original name?
Final Fantasy Tactics Has Little Money
Why... is... this... line... so... absolutely... slow...?
Fan Translation: Does It Help or Hurt Getting Professional Work?
Here's a quick summary of my own experiences as a professional translator and a fan translator.
What Does That Tourist Lady say in Pokémon X/Y?
An NPC in the English game speaks in Japanese. What does she say? And what does she say in the Japanese game?
Ninja Turtle References in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance?
There's a Ninja Turtle reference in the English version, but what about the Japanese version?
Is Breath of Fire’s Massage Scene Really a Massage Scene?
This old man's text was censored in the English release, but in a surprising way.
Does Jane Talk About English in Japanese Kingdom Hearts?
Or does the Japanese version ask if you understand Japanese instead?
Super Paper Mario & Complaining on Message Boards
This super-nerd's quiz questions changed a bit during localization. What did he originally ask?
The Truth Behind the Secret Final Fantasy IV Frog
Talking frogs tie some of the Final Fantasy games together in a surprising way.
What Do Those Posters in Link’s Awakening Say?
Nintendo forgot to localize a couple shop signs in this classic game. What do they say?
Why Is Conversation Prohibited at the Well in Suikoden?
An example of how even the shortest of phrases can easily be mistranslated.
What Are Some Games with Untranslated Credits?
There's a surprising number of games with untranslated credits. Can you think of any?
What Does That Temple Text in the Ace Attorney Series Say?
This game features some decorative Japanese text that was left untranslated. What does it say?
Smell Ya Later, Pokémon!
What is the original Japanese version of this mainstay Pokemon catchphrase?
Super Mario World’s Radical Special Courses… in Japanese
What are Super Mario World's special courses called in Japanese? Are their names as gnarly as the English names?
How Was Banjo-Kazooie’s Rhyming Text Handled in Japanese?
Localizing this English game into Japanese couldn't have been easy, as we see in this intro scene.
What’s So Funny About This Line in Phantasy Star IV?
Why does something seem off about a single line in this translated scene?
Is This Kingdom Hearts Translation Completely Wrong?
Game translators face many unusual challenges, including incomplete sentences and dialogue lip-flaps.
What Does That Japanese Guy in Dead Rising 3 Say?
Did they forget to translate this Japanese guy's text? And what is he saying, anyway?
Do Mario & Friends Wear Goomba Corpses in Super Mario 3D World?
Fans argue about what this Goomba power-up suggests. Luckily, the Japanese devs have an answer.
Is Watt from Paper Mario a Boy or Girl?
Why does Nintendo call this character a "he" half of the time but a "she" at other times?
What Does That Weird Text in Ninja Games Mean?
Ninja games often feature a variety of decorative Japanese text. What does it mean?
Does Raiden Take a DOOMP in Japanese? And How Does George Talk?
How does this cyborg poop joke work in Japanese? And how do English dialects work in Japanese?
Did Professor Oak Forget His Own Grandson’s Name in Japanese?
Is this intelligent Pokemon professor as forgetful in Japanese as he is in English?
Why Does That Skeleton Man Cluck Like a Chicken in Final Fantasy V?
This hidden old man turns into a skeleton and clucks in English. But does he cluck in Japanese?
Does Japanese Mega Man Live in Monsteropolis?
Mega Man explores the world of Monsteropolis in English. But what about in Japanese?
What’s with These Pooper and Retard Lines in Corpse Party?
Were these crude, offensive lines added to the English translation? What are they in Japanese?
There’s a Localization Gem in This Generic Pokémon Clone
What would you call a dog with a flower for a butt? There's no better name than this!
When PETA, Super Mario, and Game Localization Collide
Can controversy be localized? And can controversial parodies be reverse-localized?
Why Japanese Gamers Laughed at Tomb Raider’s Translation
Early screenshots of a translation in action can affect a game's reception well before release.
Here’s What Being a Translator Is Like, Business-Wise
Pro translators have to do more than just translate - the business side of things is a challenge too.
What Is Sakurai Saying In This Old Smash Bros. Update?
The old Japanese Super Smash Bros. preview site featured content not shown in English.
Zelda’s Audio & Graphical Differences Live on in Famicom Remix
The Japanese version of this unusual Zelda "re-release" remains different from the English game.
Let’s Talk Aboot Those Dragon Quest IV Accents
Controversy surrounds the heavy English accents found in this Dragon Quest localization.
Is This Character in Pokémon X/Y Transgender?
Pokémon localizations are filled with interesting changes concerning gender roles and cultural values.
Is the Blitzball Kid in Final Fantasy X Really This Dumb?
This little kid doesn't seem very bright in English. But what about in Japanese?
Is Helen Keller Seriously in this Japanese Video Game?
This game features a surprising reference in English. But was it in the original Japanese game too?
Bionic Commando and the Nerd Word
Why does this enemy soldier talk like a high school jock? What does he say in Japanese?
How Did a Kangaroo Sneak into Tales of Phantasia?
This is a last-minute nightmare scenario for any modern game translation team.
These Fan Translations Became Official Translations
Some fan translations have made the legendary jump from unofficial project to official release.
Let’s Take a Peek at Zero Wing’s “All Your Base” Translation
This infamous video game intro feels very different in Japanese and English.
Legit Translation… or Clever Fire Emblem Advertisement?
This is a perfect example of how outside circumstances can influence a game's localization.
What’s up with the iOS/Android Final Fantasy Translations?
Why has this classic JRPG - and others like it - received such shabby translation work lately?
Was Princess Daisy Originally Princess Toadstool/Peach?
Mario's first Game Boy release left players with many questions, including one about this damsel in distress.
Does Japanese Disgaea Have a Horse Wiener?
Was this surprising line from the English translation in the original Japanese script?
Transformers for the Famicom – What Does the Ending Say?
This game's ending is written in Japanese... but with English letters. What does it say?
How Does Geno Introduce Himself in Super Mario RPG?
This character introduces himself in an odd way in English. But what does he say in Japanese?
Let’s Look at the Unlocalized Ninja Gaiden Prequel
There's a little-known Japanese-only prequel to the original Ninja Gaiden. What was the story about?
Is Syfa from Castlevania III Male or Female?
The English release of this Castlevania game left some details unclear. What about the Japanese version?
What Does This New Pokemon X/Y TCG Card Say?
Some Pokemon trading cards feature decorative Japanese text. What does this text say?
Killing “Weenies” in Last Blade 2?
Old SNK games are known for their peculiar translations. What was this line originally in Japanese?
What Does This Kanji Say in Kirby Squeak Squad?
There's some decorative Japanese text in this Kirby game. What does it say?
Is the Starbeans Cafe Guy Actually Sad or What?
This punk-haired coffee guy has an odd line in English. What does he say in Japanese?
The Wonderful 101’s Wonderful Untranslated Japanese
There's a good amount of decorative Japanese text in this game. What does it mean?
A Peek at Japanese Grand Theft Auto Localizations
How are modern, AAA English games localized into Japanese? Here are some specific examples.
Did Secret of Mana Reference Final Fantasy VII?
Did Square sneakily reference two Final Fantasy VII characters years before the game's release?
Final Fantasy VI and a Scrap of Paper
Banon has a somewhat secret line in Final Fantasy VI. What does he say in the Japanese version?
Ace Attorney Kanji and Japanese Typos
What does this decorative Japanese text say? And are these English typos based on Japanese typos?
Cave Story: Grasstown or Bushlands?
Cave Story fans seem split over which translation is better. This name is particularly controversial.
Munching On “Sweet Tacos” in Japanese
This classic SNK game features an unusual food combination. What was it originally in Japanese?
Is Lance from Pokémon Supposed to Be Sadistic?
Does this enemy leader really threaten to strangle you with dragons' tails?
Suikoden and the Googly-Goo Zombie
A great example of why context is vital to translators, and why insults don't always translate well.
What Does Japan Think of Little Mac in Smash Bros.?
Punch-Out was never quite a smash hit in Japan, so what was the response to Little Mac's Smash Bros. announcement?
What Do These Squiggles in Asura’s Wrath Say?
What happens when a Japanese game revolves around a mixture of foreign cultures and religions?
Is This Pokémon Couple as Suggestive in Japanese?
This lovey-dovey couple has an "interesting" Pokémon combination. Was it the same way in Japanese?
Why Do Japanese Games Have, Like, Double-Text?
Japanese writing sometimes has smaller writing on top of it. This explains what it is, and why it exists.
Do Zelda’s “Like Likes” Come From a Japanese Proverb?
These foes have an unusual name with an unusual origin, but some games give inconsistent reasons for the name.
Is Ridley from Metroid Really Native to Zebes?
Is this powerful foe really the source of all life on Planet Zebes? Or was there a mistranslation somewhere?
How Did Japanese Fans React to the Greninja Smash Bros. Update?
The announcement of this ninja character had Smash Bros. fans curious about fans in other countries.
Let’s Confirm the Origin of Fire in Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon series is known for its consistently awkward translations. This line marks the start of that legacy.
Did Natsume Misspell Its Own Name in Harvest Moon 64?
The Harvest Moon games are known for their poor translations, but surely they can't be *this* bad, right?
What Did Famitsu Think of American Super Mario Bros. 2?
This classic transformed several times before re-entering Japan in the 1990s. What did Japanese gamers think of it?
Did Castlevania II’s Endings Get Mixed Up?
This classic has three endings, but something seems off about them in English. What were they like in Japanese?
What Do Japanese Fans Think of the Super Mario Bros. Movie?
The Super Mario movie has a poor reputation in America and elsewhere. But what about in Japan?
What’s with the Dark Friar Attack in Illusion of Gaia?
Why is one of the special attacks called "Dark Friar"? Is it a mistranslation, or something else?
Does Japanese Final Fantasy X Feature the Macarena?
Does the world of Final Fantasy X really know about 1990s Earth music? Was it mentioned in the original Japanese script?
Why Are the Bishops in Elminage Touching Things?
Why is "YOU TOUCHED IT" a failure message in this game about dungeon crawling?
What Are Grilled Mormons Doing in Takeshi’s Challenge?
Is this Japanese restaurant really trying to cook religious believers? Or is it a mistranslation of some sort?
Is Her Name Palutena? Palthena? Parthena? Something Else?
This is a great example of why translating names between cultures, languages, and eras is a challenge.
Is That Written in Chinese or Japanese?
If you don't know Chinese or Japanese, these easy tips will help you differentiate the two!
Were the Bananas in Final Fantasy Legend II Actually Drugs?
This is a classic example of the type of content changes that Nintendo forced back in the 1990s.
Harvest Moon Lightening? Or Lightning?
Poor translations can become even more baffling when typos enter the picture.
Is Soul Blazer’s Prison Philosophical or Something?
An unusually worded line in the English translation leaves players confused. What did it originally say in Japanese?
Oh My Gabrino! What Does This Xenogears Line Say in Japanese?
A character in this sprawling JRPG shouts a very unique line in English. Is it the same in Japanese?
What Demonry Is This Virtual Hydlide Vampire Speaking?
This game features a very strange audio clip that seems to be in Japanese. What is it saying?
What Are These Japanese WarioWare Moves All About?
WarioWare's boxers, janitors, and bakers weren't in the original Japanese game. What did they replace, and why?
How Do You Save Lucca’s Mom in Chrono Trigger in Japanese?
This is a great example of how language differences can lead to unexpected gameplay changes.
Is Quina Called “S/he” in Japanese Too?
Pronouns are easily avoided in Japanese, but what happens when you translate pronoun-less text into English?
The Legend of the Mysterious Letter W
The letter W often appears in Japanese text for no apparent reason. What does it mean?
What Does This Cat’s Text Say in Paper Mario Sticker Star?
There's a bit of decorative Japanese text in this Paper Mario game. What does it mean?
Did Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Just Suddenly Reference Alain?
Are these anime-exclusive characters referenced in the Japanese games too, or did the game localizers change things?
What Are the Japanese Boxing Ring Aliases in Smash Bros. Wii U?
All the characters have silly boxer nicknames... and they're different in every version of the game!
The Shenmue Girl Who Looks Like a Cat
This girl gets angry when she's compared to a cat. But why does she get *this* upset?
Why Is This Egg Tart Censored?
Was this part of the game censored during the translation process? What was it originally in Japanese?
Is This Robot Really Supposed to Tickle Girls?
Something seems off about a certain line in this game's translation. What did it originally say in Japanese?
The Latest Zelda Game Is Such Doge
A recently localized Zelda game features an outdated Internet meme. What did the original Japanese line say?
Dragon Warrior IV’s Litter Joke
The English release of Dragon Warrior 4 features a forced pun. What was it originally in Japanese?
These ARE Supposed to Be Jokes, Right?
Japanese puns can be hard to localize... but the localizers really dropped the ball in this case.
What Do Japanese Fans Think of Cloud in Super Smash Bros.?
This is a great showcase of the kinds of assumptions gamers have about gamers in other countries.
What Do Japanese Zelda Fans Think of Linkle?
A surprising new Zelda character was unveiled recently. How did Japanese fans respond to the announcement?
Legends of Localization Book 1 is Now Out!
Legends of Localization has hit the big time - now you can cite me in all you essays and last-minute assignments!
What’s Written on This Nopon Monado in Xenoblade X?
There's a Monado-like item in this new Xenoblade game, but what does its symbol mean?
The Black Manta’s Anti-Drug Message
This ninja policeman shares a really cheesy anti-drug message. What did he originally say in Japanese?
Culex Is Quite Different in Japanese Super Mario RPG
There's a secret boss in Super Mario RPG with Final Fantasy connections. What is he like in Japanese?
Link’s Gender in Early Zelda Games
These are classic examples of how Japanese grammar and pronouns can have a profound effect on a translation.
Does Japanese Pokémon Reference Stand By Me?
This classic American movie is mentioned in early Pokémon localizations. Was it in the Japanese games too?
Did Project X Zone 2 Reference These Things in Japanese?
This crossover game references many games and companies. Were these references in the Japanese version too?
Is This “LIE” Also in Japanese Metal Gear Solid 2?
This game gets so crazy that you can't even trust individual words by the end. Was it the same way in Japanese?
What Does This Hidden Japanese Text in Link’s Awakening Say?
There's a set of silly, hidden lines in this classic game. But what did they originally say in Japanese?
How Is the Metal Gear Name Explained in Japanese?
A scene in Metal Gear Solid 3 explains the meaning of the iconic name, but does it make more sense in Japanese?
The Time Suikoden’s Script Went off the Rails
A party member suddenly spouts developer notes instead of dialogue. What happened?
The Exciting Ups and Painful Downs of Game Localization
Every professional starts from somewhere. This professional translator shares an early misstep in his career.
What Is This Mario & Luigi Sock Creature Named in Japanese?
This sock creature has a Japanese name in English, so what is its name in Japanese?
How Is This Resident Evil 5 Door Pun Handled in Japanese?
What does a sarcastic one-liner in English look like in Japanese?
Final Fantasy VI Beta Images (Early 1994)
This is a fascinating Japanese preview of Final Fantasy VI a few months before its release.
Why Does the Japanese Clash at Demonhead Script Mention Famicoms?
The Japanese script mentions Famicoms at one point, but why? And what does the English script say?
Japanese Coverage of American Video Games in 1992
We always hear news about Japanese gaming events, but here's a Japanese look at an American event.
What Did This Line About Gender Roles Say in Japanese?
This translated line seems out of place at first glance, so let's take a look at the full scene in question.
Early Japanese Previews of Zelda 64 and MOTHER 3
Here's some early info and high-quality screenshots from these Nintendo 64 games.
Tootsie Pops and M&M’s… in a Japanese RPG?
The English localization includes real-life pop culture jokes, but what were they originally in Japanese?
A Look at Untranslated Text in Video Game Localizations
Failing to translate everything is a common pitfall in game localization. These examples help explain why.
The Growing Pains of the Translation (and Professional) World
If you're hoping to learn a skill or start a career in any field, this is a helpful experience to learn from.
What Is Splatoon’s “Stay Fresh” Catchphrase in Japanese?
Splatoon's localization is overflowing with squid puns. How did this one work in Japanese?
Was This Line in Tales of the Abyss a Mistranslation?
Even a basic word like "new" can change dramatically in translation. This is a perfect real-life example.
What Do These Weird Lines in Goonies II Say in Japanese?
This NES classic has some interesting text that doesn't seem quite right. What did it originally say in Japanese?
How Items and Names Get Sorted in Japanese Games
The first Final Fantasy game organizes items in a weird order, but why? And how are words sorted in Japanese anyway?
Zero Wing Had 32 Weird Secret Endings in Japan
The infamous "All Your Base" game is jam-packed with secret Japanese endings. What do they say?
A New Way of Playing Japanese and English Games Side-By-Side
I worked some technical magic to play games in a weird new way. Here's how my prototype worked.
Behind the Scenes of the EarthBound Legends of Localization Book
I committed a chunk of my life to writing this giant book about localization. Here's what happened behind the scenes.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Live Japanese Script Viewer
This custom tool displays the Japanese script live as you play the English game. You can try it for yourself!
Check out This Worldwide Japanese-To-English Game Translation Contest
Game translation contests are a great way to build experience and résumés, and the game this time is superb!
Funky Fantasy IV: A Machine-Translated Video Game Experiment
I Google-Translated an entire video game one day. The results were so surprising that I even wrote a book about it!
Breath of Fire II (Super NES) Localization Review
This classic JRPG supposedly has one of the worst translations of all time. Is it really as bad as everyone says?
Tomato Adventure Fan Translation Patch & Tools
This quirky JRPG is the spiritual predecessor of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. It's never been translated... until now.
How One Fan Translation Team Turned Official
To some degree, most professional translators start out as hobbyists. Here's one such story.
Mega Man V’s Ending Was a Bit Different in Japanese
There usually isn't much story in Mega Man games, but this particular story received some changes.
Final Fantasy IX’s Famous “No Cloud, No Squall” Quote
This beloved quote references two past Final Fantasy heroes. But what does it say in Japanese?
A Look at Nintendo’s Recent Changes to Zelda 1
Nintendo has been quietly altering The Legend of Zelda for 30 years. Here's a look at the latest changes.
SLASH HERO Images (iOS)
This Japanese mobile game is a treasure trove of machine-translated nonsense.
What Do Japanese Fans Think of the CD-i Zelda Games?
These two Zelda games were never released in Japan. So do Japanese fans consider them holy grails?
Vroom in the night sky’s Translation (Nintendo Switch)
Bad translation is alive and well, even on the newest game consoles - and this game proves it.
Is This Snowy Translation Really Literal?
A line of dialogue includes a translator's note about literal translations. What *is* a "literal translation", anyway?
Going “Over 9000” in Street Fighter X Tekken’s Translation
This English scene features an ultra-popular Internet meme. But what did it originally say in Japanese?
That One Time Lakitu Started Throwing Pipes
This is a great example of how name mistranslations happen in game localizations, and what happens as a result.
See Behind the Scenes of Legends of Localization
There's now a second, more regularly updated Legends of Localization blog. Check it out for extra info & entertainment!
All Your Bad Translation Books Are Belong to Us!
I wrote this book about the history of bad video game translations and why bad translations happen.
Even Simple Jokes Are Tough to Translate
Jokes are almost always a challenge to translate between languages. Here are two specific examples.
Everyone's favorite green dinosaur has a slightly different name in Japan, as these pics demonstrate.
Breath of the Wild’s Ganon in English & Japanese
This is a good example of how a single translation can significantly effect an entire story.
Gunbarich’s Translation (Nintendo Switch)
This popular Japanese arcade game finally hit the Nintendo Switch, along with an awkward English translation.
Two New Books About Lovely Translations & Horrible Translations!
Actual quote from one of the books: "The enema is saying that you should not wear a basketball!"
Mega Man (Japanese / English) [FC/NES]
Screenshots, comparisons, and save files from both versions of the original Rockman/Megaman game.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Japanese / English) [SFC/SNES]
Over 1500 organized screenshots from the Japanese and English versions of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Japanese / English) [3DS]
Over 8000 crisp PNG screenshots, covering the full Japanese and English 3DS versions of the game.
EarthBound Beginnings (Japanese / English) [FC/NES]
Over 4000 screenshots + 36 save files, covering both the original Japanese release and the long-unreleased English version.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Japanese / English) [FDS/NES]
Over 1500 screenshots and 33 save states from the original Japanese FDS release and the English NES release. A side-by-side script PDF too.
EarthBound (Japanese / English) [SFC/SNES]
Over 13,000 screenshots + 100 save-states from the Super Famicom and Super NES versions of MOTHER 2/EarthBound.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Japanese) [Switch]
Over 13,000 screenshots from the Japanese Switch version of the game.
Xenoblade Chronicles (English) [Wii]
Over 100 hours of video footage from the English Wii version of the game.
Super Mario RPG (English w/ Japanese Text) [SNES]
Over 50 save files + 4000 screenshots of the English game with the Japanese text in a special sidebar.
MOTHER 1+2 (MOTHER 2 only) [GBA]
Over 50 save files and 5000 screenshots from the Japanese GBA port of MOTHER 2/EarthBound.
Final Fantasy IV (Japanese / English / Easy Type) [SFC/SNES]
Over 12,000 screenshots and 30 save files from the original Japanese, English, and Japanese "Easy Type" releases.
Final Fantasy IV (English) [GBA]
Over 3000 screenshots from the North American version of Final Fantasy IV's GBA port.
Final Fantasy IV (English) [PS1]
Nearly 3000 screenshots from the English PS1 re-translation of Final Fantasy IV.
Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal (Bootleg Translation) [GBC]
Over 500 screenshots and several save files from the early part of this bootleg English translation.
Tales of Phantasia (English) [GBA]
450+ screenshots and 9 save files from the English GBA release. One super-EXP .ips patch file included.
The Legend of Zelda (Multiple Versions)
Save files, photos, and over 1000 images from 10 different versions of the original Zelda game.
Mega Man II (Japanese / English) [FC/NES]
132 side-by-side screenshots and 14 save-states from the original Japanese and English versions of Mega Man II.
Mega Man III (Japanese / English) [FC/NES]
14 save-states and over 130 side-by-side images from the Japanese and English versions of Mega Man III.
Super Dunk Shot (Super Famicom)
This Japanese basketball game had crazy fake names for NBA teams and players.
Final Fantasy Browser Game w/ Auto-Translation
This official browser game was only released in Japanese - here's what happens when you auto-translate it.
Persona 5 (English) [PS4]
Approximately 200 strange, funny, or interesting screenshots from portions of the English PS4 game.
Legends of Localization Projects in 2018
New books, new software, new gadgets, and new discoveries are on the horizon.
Strange & Crude English in Download (PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16)
This Japanese game has a surprising amount of interesting and colorful English.
Japan’s Surprising Love of the Word “LABO”
Step foot in Japan and you'll find yourself surrounded by the word "Labo" written in English. What's the deal?