How the “Over 9000” Meme Was Inserted into Street Fighter X Tekken’s Translation


A reader sent in a request to take a look at a certain scene from Street Fighter X Tekken. The reader included links to the Japanese scene and the English scene on YouTube, which was super helpful.

After looking through it, it seems the English text is a pretty straightforward rendition of the Japanese version except for one difference. For reference, the English scene goes like this:

Bryan: Hey, tin man. How tough are these guys?

JACK-X: Calculating the power levels of both fighters… calculations complete.

Starting analysis…

…Analysis complete.

Both fighters have been positively identified. Both fighters[sic] battle power levels are over 9000.

Both fighters are ranked as Level 3A.

Retrieving biographical data…

Bryan: Cancel data.

This mention of power levels being “over 9000” seems like a suspicious reference to this famous quote from the English dub of Dragon Ball Z, which is what I assume prompted this translation question in the first place:

The Japanese version of this scene has one change, though: the power level number.

Image 1

Translated, this line is something like:

Both fighters have an average overall combat level of 8782.55.

I did some checking, and this number of 8782.55 doesn’t seem to have any prior significance, nor does it seem to be a reference to anything else. In which case, it looks like the game’s localizers saw the opportunity to include a quick reference to the famous Dragon Ball Z quote that wasn’t present in the original but wasn’t far off from the original number.

Anyway, this is my first time seeing anything from this crossover game, so it’s possible I’m missing some information or context. If so, please let me know! Also, has this “over 9000” thing been referenced in any other games? I’m especially curious about that now.

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  1. RandoCalrissian

    Over 9000 was a change FUNimation made when dubbing the show into English, in Japanese Vegeta says Goku’s power level is 8000.

    1. Actually, it’s been there since the dub by the Ocean Group, which is where the most famous version of it comes from. Funimation kept it for their initial dub, but they put it back at 8000 for the dub of Dragon Ball Kai.
      …And then put 9000 back for the dub when it aired on Nicktoons Network. Which was pretty amazing.

      1. linkdude20002001

        No, that WAS Funimation. Ocean Productions (then known as The Ocean Group) was merely hired BY Funimation back in 1996. And it wasn’t an intentional change. It was just a mistranlation since they didn’t have the money to hire a translator till 2000 when they hired Steve “Daimao” Simmons to translate DBZ after he sent them an online petition he started. In the petition, he offered to translate the show for free, and even do all the subtitle timing himself, for the intent of convincing Funimation to put out a subtitled release of DBZ. Prior to this, tho, they used a HORRIBLE English translation that Toei made themselves for an English dub that aired in parts of Asia. That’s how we got most of the name changes too. Like Tien Shinhan instead of Tenshinhan, Master Roshi (Master Master) instead of Muten Roshi (Invincible Master), etc.

    2. Bartolo Polkakitty

      What a strange thing to change. I mean, it’s not as if the exact values of power levels are ever really important to the plot either way, but that couldn’t even have been a change they made so that the dub would fit the lip-flaps better, because “it’s over eight thousand” would have fit the same lip-flaps as “it’s over nine thousand”….

      I found this wiki page which shows how they translated those lines in all the different localized versions of Dragon Ball Z –! , and apparently the English and Hindi versions were originally the only ones that said 9000, but then when Dragon Ball Z Kai came out, they changed it back to 8000 in the English script, but changed it to 9000 in the Latin American Spanish version when it was 8000 before (though that change may have just been made as a reference to the meme.)

      Also, the Japanese line does specifically say “over 8000” as opposed to “exactly 8000” (八千以上だ!,) so I guess even the use of 8782.55 in the Japanese script for Street Fighter X Tekken could conceivably have been intended as an oblique reference to the scene from Dragon Ball Z.

      1. linkdude20002001

        It was a translation error. See my above post about that.

        The Hindi dub may have been based on Funimation’s dub, OR they based it on the same mistranslated material that caused the problem in Funimation’s dub.

        Funimation only changed it back to “8,000” for the home release’s dub. They actual did a separate take for a LOT of lines for TV. It was for censorship purposes, but they did throw in the occasional bone to fans of their English dub of DBZ.

        The Mexican Spanish dub is (to the rage of the Mexican fans) translated from Funimation’s censored English dub as apposed to the uncensored dub (or from Japanese like they did for DBZ). Thus they got “9,000”, and their rage burns.

        1. The Hindi dub was dubbed from the early episodes with the Ocean actors. It even had a version of “Rock the Dragon” with lyrics in Hindi.

      2. When localizing, it makes sense to change generic numbers like this to something that sounds good in the sentence. Nine sounds a little more exciting because of how it’s pronounced, you know?

        I also get the feeling Japanese sometimes uses eight as a generic large number when we’d use a factor of 10.

  2. The main instance I remember of the whole Over 9000 thing showing up in other games is in Pokemon X and Y. There’s a Psychic on Route 10 whose quote when he’s defeated is
    “Wow! You and your Pokemon’s power levels are incredible! They’re over 9000 for sure!”

    I don’t really remember any others off the top of my head, though…

  3. I know Zero the ninja boss in Anarchy Reigns says something about Jack’s (one of the two leads) power being Over 9000 while you’re beating up his minions. That whole segment is kinda wacky.

  4. A couple of examples I can name. It was referenced in Trinity Universe when one of the Prinnies says in response to Etna mentioning Suzaku’s demonic power level: “I thought you were going to say it was over 9000, dood.” This is only in the English dub naturally.

    Also, it accidentally ended up in the new Viz dub of Sailor Moon. It turned out to be a joke that Melvin/Umino’s new VA, Ben Diskin, was making about Ami’s IQ level during Ami’s intro scene in the first season. Unfortunately, he said it while they were recording his actual lines for that scene, and it was kept. XD

  5. There are a couple references in Phoenix Wright and the Edgeworth Investigations game i think. The character Sal Manella is the otaku internet meme spouting type and I feel like he dropped that line at least once.

    1. Yep, there is. Specifically, during the second case of Investigations, he has a cameo where he envisions a Steel Samurai movie, and during his crazed rambling about it, he does yell “IT’S OVER 9000!!!”

  6. Is the concept of a measurable, numerical “power level” a thing that predates Dragon Ball? It’s ubiquitous in modern video game culture, but is there an antecedent prior to that fateful day when Raditz brought hard mathematical proof that Goku was stronger than Piccolo?

    1. Could be. Toriyama mentions in an interview that he came up with power levels because he wanted a convenient way of showing that the villains were strong, then had the power levels be unreliable so it wouldn’t be boring. It makes sense for the origin to be a story need.

      Meanwhile, the scouter that detects the power level are based off targeting eyepieces from the anime Layzner.

      Actually, going with mecha anime, Char’s Zaku in Gundam was infamously described as being three times faster as a normal Zaku despite it just having an antenna and red paint. I guess that’s a numerical comparison too, even if it’s not a strength comparison.

    2. Kinnikuman had Chojin Strength Levels.

    3. It goes back as far as Astro Boy, where robots would have numerical horse power that tied into their strength. Kinnikuman was the first to use it in the more familiar sense, though. (hell, a LOT of shonen battle manga cliches come from Kinnikuman)

  7. Several Blazblue games have had achievements/trophies for performing a 10,000+ damage combo as Hakumen. Two of them were called “It’s over 10,000!” and “Over 9000?!” while another referenced Fist of the North Star with “You’re Already Dead”.

  8. Absent Silhouette Lexaeus from KH2 Final Mix anyone? That fight uses a power meter and yes, his power will go over 9000!

  9. Proof of Banda-Namco’s DBZ and Tekken crossover.

  10. I have a game for you to look into, but it might be a near-full-treatment kind of game.

    Because, you see, it’s Sonic Adventure. (DX, if you want.)

    Sonic Adventure has six playable characters, each with their own stories that weave in and out of each other. And when there’s dialogue involving two or more of these characters, interesting things happen. The equivalent dialogue is different, sometimes seemingly arbitrarily. It still tends to convey the same meaning, or something close, however.

    Things like:

    – When Sonic and Tails get up the stairs to the hill on which Tails’ workshop sits, Dr. Robotnik is there to greet them. In Sonic’s story, he gives a pseudo-jovial, “Well, if it isn’t Sonic!”; in Tails’ story, it’s a menacing “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Sonic and Tails.”

    – After Tails and Knuckles fight in Tails’ story, Robotnik says, “You are so easily tricked!” The other stories, including Knuckles’, he says something else… which is odd, because on board the Egg Carrier, Knuckles says “Now we’ll see who’s so easily tricked!”

    – Later, after the fight with Chaos 4, Sonic and Tails are going to chase the Egg Carrier in the Tornado. In Sonic and Tails’ stories, he says he has some “unfinished business” to take care of; in his own, he doesn’t phrase it like that… which is why it’s a little weird when, if you go to the hill and talk to Sonic, he asks something like “What happened to your ‘unfinished business’?”

    – After Sky Chase Act 2, they have to land on the Egg Carrier… but there’s a problem. What is it? Well… in Sonic’s story, there’s no landing gear in that mode… but in Tails’ story, he forgot to put in the landing gear!

    Kind of makes me wonder why they didn’t just reuse the same dialogue like they would later do in Sonic Adventure 2 when the Hero and Dark characters shared a cutscene.

    Of course, I’d be interested to see anything else interesting you find.

  11. Street Fighter X Tekken seemed to play pretty fast and loose with the localization, inserting a lot of pop culture and meme references that were more than likely not in the original Japanese version.

    Two examples I can think of off the top of my head is M. Bison’s (Vega in Japan) taunt. In the English dub he says “For me, it was Tuesday”, a call back to the live-action Street Fighter movie. Not sure what he’s saying in the Japanese version, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that.

    Another one is in the arcade mode. If you play through arcade mode as Sakura and Blanka, during one of the victory screens, Sakura appears to be singing a “copyright friendly” version of the Power Rangers theme song. The gag is that her rival battle is against Lars, who looks like a Super Sentai hero. Not sure what the dialogue is in the original Japanese version, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve riffing the Power Rangers theme.

    If you’re planning on digging into Street Figher X Tekken a little more, those would be the two examples I’d be curious to see.

  12. World of Warcraft has an achievement called “It’s over Nine Thousand!”

  13. The stuff Yoshimitsu says intrigues me. Everything he says gets translated in parentheses and his non-spoken dialogue is pretty much written like Yoda, and of course you can’t switch him into English either.

    **Apparently** he’s talking in very archaic Japanese with heavy use of untranslatable proverbs, with some reciting of the Heart Sutra in there too. A good comparison would be how his English-language Soul Calibur counterpart speaks in Old English (the only character to do so).