KingMike had a question about
Zelda III A Link to the Past that seems to be an often-asked question by Zelda fans:
I’m sure I’m not the only who played ALttP since they were a kid and always wondered what Link’s uncle was trying to say about Zelda in the opening.
For reference, here are some screenshots (and thanks for taking them for me!):
|Super Famicom version||Super NES version|
And here’s the text in full:
|Japanese text||Basic translation||Official translation|
|うう…。リンク、お前だけは まきこみたくなかった…||Uu… Link, you’re the one person I didn’t want to involve in this…||Unnh… Link, I didn’t want you involved in this…|
|家を出るなと言ったのに…||I told you not to leave the house, and yet…||I told you not to leave the house…|
|…T-take this sword and shield and go.|
|Take my sword and shield and listen.|
|Ｂボタンを押し続け 剣に力をためるのだ。||Hold the B Button to fill the sword with power.||You can focus power in the blade (hold the B Button).|
|そうすれば、ある一族だけに 伝わる秘剣が使えるはずだ…。||Do so, and you should be able to use the secret sword (technique) only passed down in a certain clan…||…Then release it using the secret technique handed down by our people…|
|リンクよ、お前ならできる…||Link. If anyone can do it, you can…||Link, you can do it!|
|ゼルダ姫を お救いするのだ。||Rescue Princess Zelda.||Save the Princess…|
|お、お前は、姫の … …。||Y-you are the princess’… …||Zelda is your… … …|
So it looks like the Japanese text ends on a bit of a cliffhanger too, except the sentence subjects have been switched – In Japanese, he says, “You are the princess’…” while in English he says the reverse with, “Zelda is your…” So the translation is sort of a backwards version of the original.
What he intended to say isn’t 100% clear in either version, but if I were playing this for the first time ever, my initial instinct says that he was planning to say, “You are the princess’ only hope.” in the Japanese version.
I have no idea what the English localization was trying to go for, and I suspect that the localization writers didn’t really know, either. It’s been a few years since I last played through the game in English – did the localization ever answer this mystery it started? I’m guessing probably not, if it’s something English-speaking fans are curious about. It’s interesting how just a simple subject swap can create such a big puzzle as this 😛
Actually, this makes me wonder how this line was handled in translations to other languages. Were they based on this English translation, or did they work from the Japanese text? If anyone knows, please share your insight in the comments!
I also couldn’t help but notice that the Japanese version says the special sword attack is passed down among a certain clan, while the English version says it’s “handed down by our people”. Off the top of my head I don’t know if that results in any significant differences in the backstory or series continuity or whatever, but I thought it was interesting enough to note.