Feed Your Face
In MOTHER 2, what this scuzzy guy says is slightly different from what he says in EarthBound. It mostly seems to be a case of the localizers adding in stuff out of nowhere. Judging from the fact that they used Master Belch on all the game’s advertising and even the box, it’s probably safe to assume that they really liked him and everything relating to him, or thought that the target demographic would especially like him and everything related to him. Which might be why they sort of “spiced up” stuff relating to him and the Fly Honey.
Or maybe the localizers were just like, “Hey, let’s spice up this random part of the game!”
Though this is being REALLY picky, here’s the MOTHER 2 and the EarthBound versions of what this guy says.
|MOTHER 2 (literal)||EarthBound|
|You seem to be an outsider, so I’ll fill you in.||I’m only telling you this because you look like you’re just passing through.|
|The truth is, I joined the monsters’ side and am working for them.||The truth is, I work for the monsters.|
|The humans seem like they’re gonna lose, don’t they? The best way to protect myself was to join the zombies’ side.||The humans seem to be losing, so I’m on the zombies’ side for my own protection.|
|Their big boss guy is having us gather up stuff called “Fly Honey”.||The zombies’ leader likes Fly Honey. He makes his followers collect it.|
|“Fly Honey” is honey gathered by flies. When bees gather it, it’s “bee honey”. When flies gather it, it’s “fly honey”.||You know–bees make bee honey and flies make Fly Honey.|
|Apparently, the monsters’ big boss guy is super strong because he eats the stuff.||The zombie leader is strong because he always eats peanut butter and Fly Honey sandwiches…|
|There’s a whole load of it gathered up inside that monster tent there, so we’re gonna go deliver it to him real soon now.||I got lots of Fly Honey stored in the tent to the south. I’ll deliver it to the zombie leader soon.|
Aside from the added sandwich reference, they removed the mention that the tent is a monster. Also, it seems odd to use “you look like you’re just passing through”, because obviously no one can enter or leave the town. Welcome to the land of more detailed translation analysis, AKA my day job 😛
You Stink, Honey
As mentioned before, the localizers seemed to enjoy spicing things up around this part of the game. Here’s another simple example — the description for Fly Honey.
|Japanese Version (literal)||English Version|
|Belch’s favorite food.||Belch’s most favorite food in the whole world.|
|It…. k-kind of stinks….||However… it smells REALLY, really nasty! We’re talkin’ major stinkage here!|
I’m guessing this is what gave the marketing team for EarthBound the idea to use the whole “smell” theme to promote the game. That’s just my hunch, though.
Now THIS Is A Zombie Paper
The MOTHER 2 version of the “Zombie Paper” item is basically the same, though the fact that the Zombie Paper is a machine isn’t explained in EarthBound. It’s hard to explain, but I think most people will understand — in Japanese, it’s not just the paper, it’s an attractor that gets stuff stuck. The attracting is done via electrical signals, and that’s what happens here, too.
I’ve never had to use them (thank god), but I guess the easiest way to explain is that the Zombie Paper is really more like a “roach motel” that uses electrical signals, and instead of attracting roaches, it attracts zombies, and the zombies get stuck on paper that’s right by the electrical signal device.
Not even sure if that makes sense. Oh well. Anyway, the only reason I’m listing this here is because of the ever-so-slight difference, and to list the fact that it’s a machine, not just some sticky paper.
What the zombies say after they’ve been caught differs ever so slightly between the game versions.
First, it’s surprising that they kept the word “death” in English. But the only reason they did it was to keep the “after my death” and “the rest of my life” joke intact.
Next, the localizers screwed up a joke and slightly changed this zombie’s disposition. In MOTHER 2, he says something like, “I’m ready to die now. Oh, wait, oops, I guess I’m technically already dead, huh?”
In EarthBound, it’s been altered to be less jokey and more spiteful: “I don’t care if I pass away… Ha!I’m dead already!”
The original also had the feeling of his embracing death, which maybe didn’t go over well with the localizers. But I think it’s more likely just a case of editing losing sight of the original.
This last zombie says something like, “You enemy of the zombies! You demon! You devil!” In EarthBound this was slightly changed to say, “You’re the enemy of all zombies! You monster!” The “You demon! You devil!” is kind of a common phrase, in some cases it almost seems humorous. Which is why “monster” is such a good translation for it. What’s more, the localizers were able to avoid the religious references. Bonus!
This section of the EarthBound Legends of Localization book also includes:
- Trivia about peanut butter in Japan
- A horrifying Japanese food pun, and EarthBound’s equivalent pun
- The Japanese name for “Zombie Paper” and a look at the real-life product it’s named after