As we’ve seen before, Giygas is actually called “Gyiyg” in MOTHER 2. Gyiyg is pronounced like “Geeg”.
Now for some related trivia:
- In the unreleased EarthBound Zero prototype, his name was spelled “Giegue”, presumably because “Geeg” looks stupid:
- Though one person worked on both, EarthBound Zero and EarthBound had different translators and editors. This is probably why yet another name change was used in EarthBound.
- It’s clear from early previews of the game that the localizers had considered calling him “The Geek” for a while:
- If the English name is supposed to be anything like the Japanese name, the first syllable of “Giygas” is probably supposed to sound like “Gee” rather than “Guy”, despite what the horrible in-store promo video suggests:
When Pokey shows up before the final battle, he acts tough and talks about predictions and Giygas and such. Since this is important text, I’ll just post both versions here, though there isn’t too much of a difference:
|MOTHER 2 (literal)||EarthBound|
|Ness! Are you surprised? It’s me, Porky.||Are you surprised? It’s me, Pokey.|
|You know! Me, Porky, ally of the strong!||I assist only the strong and able! That’s Pokey.|
|Man, you look really pathetic now, you know that?||You guys look pathetic!|
|The “Apple of Wisdom” perfectly predicted that you guys would finally make it here.||The Apple of Enlightenment has already made a prediction.|
|But things won’t go the way the Apple of Wisdom says.||…But I won’t let what the Apple of Enlightenment predicted take place.|
|You’re going to be defeated, and Master Gyiyg will become even more powerful and even more terrifying.||You guys will be beaten by Giygas. Giygas will be stronger, a more powerful entity than any other!|
|Why, you ask? ‘Cause of me, of course! It was thanks to Master Gyiyg’s guidance that I, the great Porky, made it here.||Why? ‘Cause of me. I was led by Giygas, and now I’m here.|
|The Apple of Wisdom never predicted this.||The Apple of Enlightenment couldn’t predict this.|
|…Master Gyiyg – no, just plain ol’ Gyiyg – is the embodiment of evil… Or so it might seem, but that’s not the case.||Master Giygas… No, Giygas is no longer the wielder of Evil.|
|Gyiyg has become “evil” itself… Evil energy which not even he can control.||He has become the embodiment of Evil itself… which he cannot control on his own. He is the Evil Power.|
The important things to take away from this are:
- The “you guys look pathetic” line makes ever-so-slightly more sense in Japanese – he’s referring to the fact Ness and friends turned themselves into lame-looking robots. It’s clear in English too, but I think it might just come across as a regular insult if you’re scrolling through the text quickly.
- The line about how the Apple of Wisdom had predicted their arrival got messed up in translation. In EarthBound it just says that the Apple has made a prediction. I think it’s interesting that in MOTHER 2 Pokey will accept that the Apple predicted their arrival but is still super-confident that “oh, but it’s not gonna be right THIS time!”
- There’s a slight nuance difference between “the Apple couldn’t predict this” (EarthBound) and “the Apple never predicted this” (MOTHER 2). It doesn’t make too much of a difference though, except maybe for fans wanting to dig deep into the game’s story.
- In MOTHER 2, Pokey calls him “Master Gyiyg” until near the end of his speech, when he decides to ditch the honorific and just call him “Gyiyg”, which in Japanese culture is pretty serious business.In EarthBound, he calls him “Giygas” almost the entire time, except until the point where the “honorific ditching” happens, where he calls him “Master Giygas” once and then corrects himself. From a technical translation standpoint, this was a clumsy way to handle it.
- The capitalization of “Evil” here is interesting, as “Evil” or “Evil Power” capitalized like that is often how they wrote around the word “devil” or “demon” in earlier parts of the script. But this time the word used really is just “evil”, with no capitalization or anything else. So this “Evil” connection isn’t a real connection in the original game; Gyiyg isn’t the Mani-Mani statue or anything. It’s just a strange incorrect consistency introduced by the English writers.
- The English line “That’s Pokey.” always seemed weird to me.
- It’s very clear that the editors spent a lot of time on this text and all the text in the final battle. The amount of polish on it is nice, in general it flows really smoothly and Pokey’s taunts have real punch to them. I’m impressed by it.
Most of Pokey’s text in the battle is the same as the Japanese text with some extra polish. There are a couple things of note, though:
- There’s a common Japanese idiom that translates to “It’s a hundred years too early for you to…” Sometimes for fun some people will stick a different number in there; in this particular case in MOTHER 2, Pokey says, “It’s 80,000 years too early for you to stand up to Master Gyiyg!” I really don’t think this is indicative of anything, I think he’s just being snarky. But that’s just my opinion.For reference, in EarthBound he says, “Well, it is a gazillion years too early for you to oppose Giygas!”
Again, I think the EarthBound translation has it right and it’s just meant to be a funny big number.
- The machine that is supposedly concealing Giygas’ true form in MOTHER 2 is called the “Devil’s Machine”. In EarthBound, to avoid the religious reference, they call it… the “Devil’s Machine”??? What, they left that in? Wow, how strangely inconsistent – they made sure to scrub out every other little “devil” reference they could find in the game but left the biggest one in.
In EarthBound, after Pokey taunts you and tells Ness to use his “telepathy” to cry for help, he says to the party, “…you pathetically weak heroes of so-called justice!”
There’s nothing really wrong with this translation at all. It’s just that in MOTHER 2, the term he uses is a more unique insult (well, unique among the insults used in the MOTHER games), one that gets used only one time in MOTHER 1 and one time in MOTHER 3. In my translations of both games, I translated it as, “…you weakling, stinkling…” In all three games, the lines are used during important times; in MOTHER 1 it’s when you get Lloyd, and in MOTHER 3 it’s when you’re saving the Mr. Saturns.
So if I were to ever retranslate EarthBound (which I have no plans to) I’d probably change this to say something like, “…you weakling, stinkling so-called heroes of justice!” so that all three games would be consistent.
Having lost his mind, Giygas says some really strange things during this part of the fight. Some years ago, Itoi spoke in an interview about the things Giygas says. The problem is that people spread wrong information (whether on purpose or not) and it’s resulted in some really crazy stories. So here’s the deal, in super simple summary format:
In the mid-1950s, when Itoi was around five or so, he walked into the wrong movie theater at a cinema. Playing at the time was a Japanese movie called “The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty”. Being five, he mistook a lovemaking scene that eventually leads to a murder as something else – years later he thinks it was a rape scene, but it was not. Whatever the case, the combination of pleasure and pain was a tremendous emotional shock to young Itoi.
Decades later, when working on MOTHER 2, he wanted to bring across that same sort of shock. So he made Giygas say a combination of things about pleasure and pain to make players feel that same emotional disturbance. Given that Giygas is one of the most memorable enemies in video game history, I think Itoi’s approach worked 😛
There is a lot of incorrect info flying around about this stuff. Here are the facts:
- The movie Itoi saw was NOT a porno
- The scene Itoi saw was NOT a rape scene
- Itoi did NOT use dialogue from the movie for Giygas’ text
- Itoi did NOT use music from the movie
- Itoi did NOT use something from the movie to design Giygas’ appearance
I think what started lots of this false info is that the word “inspired by” means different things to different people. The text was not taken from the movie at all. Giygas’ form wasn’t taken from the movie at all. The only role the movie played was in teaching Itoi how to manipulate an audience’s emotional state.
If you’re interested, I bought the movie a while back and wrote up an article about the entire thing here.
I also made a video of the scene in question (it’s the part in the grass) and subtitled it, along with the end of the movie just ’cause:
A common complaint is that it’s not scary or traumatizing in any way. But remember that this was a five-year old Japanese kid in like 1955. Movies back then were nothing like today. Plus, everyone has a movie that scared the crap out of them as a kid, this is just Itoi’s 😛
Pray to God
In MOTHER 2, during part of Paula’s first prayer, she says something like, “Please, God, if you’re there…” or possibly even, “Please, God, if you’re real…”
In EarthBound, this religious reference got the smack-down and was trimmed to just, “Please…”
During one of the first few prayers, we see the Runaway Five in Summers. In MOTHER 2, the text says, “Nice of the Tonzura Brothers suddenly felt like someone was calling out to them…”
In EarthBound, it says, “Suddenly, one of the Runaway Five felt something stop him…”
Besides the slight translation mistake with the verb which is understandable, they dropped the Runaway Five member’s name from the translation.
Incidentally, the names of the Tonzura Brothers/Runaway Five is a sticky thing – it’s STILL not clear to fans who’s named what. For a long time, we thought “Lucky” and “Gorgeous” were the tall guy and the fat guy, respectively, but a bunch of contradictory stuff has made it a lot more confusing. I wrote up an article on EB Central here that explains more about it.
In this case though, they didn’t need to know which character “Nice” was, they could’ve just left the name in. I’m not sure why it was left out, maybe “Nice” just seems like too awkward of a name for English speakers.
In MOTHER 2, one of Paula’s prayers is followed by a cutscene that says, “Young women of Ranma woke from a dream in which Prince Poo died…”
In EarthBound, this reference to death was changed, “A young woman in Dalaam woke from a dream in which Prince Poo died…”
…Wait a minute, it wasn’t changed – the death reference is still in there! That’s so weird, because throughout the game they wrote around death and dying wherever possible. Again, it’s strange that the self-imposed censorship is suddenly ignored during the final battle…
For the final prayer, the name of the player gets displayed. In EarthBound, it’s simply the name you entered the last time. In MOTHER 2, it displays the kana version of your name that you entered back in Gumi/Tenda Village.
After defeating Giygas, in MOTHER 2 a box pops up that says, “Ness and his companions’ battle is over.”
In EarthBound, it says, “The war against Giygas is over…”
The English version sounds more natural for sure. I don’t know about the whole “war against Giygas” phrase they use a few times in EarthBound, though. I dunno, it never seemed like a war. A journey or an adventure or at most a mission, but I wouldn’t call EarthBound a story about a war, you know?
But that’s just being nitpicky for no good reason, so never mind my rambling.
This section of the EarthBound Legends of Localization book also includes:
- The Japanese and English names for the “Cave of the Past”, as it’s known in both the past and the present
- A different look at Giygas’ name and the intended pronunciation
- More looks at the various names Giygas has gone by in English
- A translated interview with Shigesato Itoi and MOTHER 2’s art director about Giygas, the origin and meaning of Giygas’ Japanese name, and the decisions behind how to portray Giygas in MOTHER 2
- A quick look at the time span Pokey references, and how absurdly large numbers are translated from English into Japanese
- More on Pokey’s “pathetically weak heroes of so-called justice” line
- A look at Giygas’ speech pattern and how one line is phrased slightly differently in EarthBound
- More details on the movie that partially inspired Giygas’ creepy dialogue
- A completely separate traumatic incident that also inspired some of Giygas’ bizarre dialogue
- Insight into Itoi’s game design choice to have the Pray command defeat Giygas
- A different look at the player’s name and how it relates to the final battle in both games
- Info on two weird gameplay tricks that are only possible on the Japanese GBA version of MOTHER 2
- Detailed information on the anti-piracy protection found in MOTHER 2 and EarthBound, and how even this received some localization – including relevant screenshots
- A feature on Super NES and Super Famicom video game piracy in the 1990s, including photos and a brief summary of the situation