Darien asked me loooong, long ago about something from Legend of Mana, and I feel bad for taking months to get to this question, so it’s time to be free of this weight!
Here’s the question:
Quest 58 in Legend of Mana — Gilbert: School Amour — is about Gilbert the centaur falling in love with a medusa, and, in the English, makes multiple jokes revolving around the phrase “get hard,” culminating in the Cactus’ response “he got hard?” after the quest. Does all that play in the Japanese also, or was it invented in localisation?
Having never played Legend of Mana myself, this is all completely new stuff to me. So I looked at some Japanese fan sites and checked a number of videos to see what’s up with this scenario. Here are some Japanese and English screenshots for comparison:
|Japanese release||English release|
So, through videos and Japanese resources like this, it looks like the Japanese text uses the phrase 固くなる a lot too, which is essentially “to become hard” or “to become solid”. So, yeah, the Japanese script uses it a lot, and no, the localization didn’t make this up.
That said, compared to English, 固くなる isn’t that unusual of a phrase at all – it’s used in all sorts of everyday Japanese situations, and in the case of Japanese entertainment, instead of saying “so and so turned to stone” like we normally would in English, it’s very common to hear “so and so turned hard” in Japanese. Hopefully that makes sense.
So although I think the innuendo is there, it’s not quite as strong as it comes across in English, where the phrase “get hard” instantly has sexual connections. The localization’s phrasing of “gettin’ hard for you, baby” and such throughout this quest also ups the innuendo level a bit more, but both versions still achieve the same result of mixing petrification word play with sexual innuendo jokes.
Also, although I don’t have a picture of the cactus guy specifically mentioned in the question, he does indeed say the same thing in the Japanese version that he says in the English version.
I also can’t help but note that this Gilbert guy’s overly-romantic and overly-poetic personality has kind of changed in the English version in some parts. The first screenshots above are just a small example, where he’s sort of singing out of stupid love in Japanese, while in English he comes off as really horny, you know? I dunno, I’ve never played the game, so I’m probably missing something. If not, maybe it’ll be a subject for another day.
Anyway, there’s the answer to the Legend of Mana “gettin’ hard” question. Hopefully fans out there will find it enlightening and (INSERT YOUR OWN GETTING HARD JOKE HERE).