What the Mario & Luigi Sock Creature Is Named in Japanese


A reader named TheGoomba98 sent in a small question about a character in Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story for the Nintendo DS:

In Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, there is a cutscene where one Sockop addresses another as “Kuribo”. Since this name is a reference to how the writer of SMB3’s manual didn’t get the memo about how Goombas are called Kuribo in Japanese, what was this Sockop called in Japanese?

I don’t know enough about this game to say much about why “Kuribo” is used here, but for those not in the know ”Kuribo” is the Japanese name for “Goomba”, but as TheGoomba98 mentions, Nintendo of America’s translators forgot about the name change on occasion:

It's neat how so many of us learned these Japanese names on accident long agoIt's neat how so many of us learned these Japanese names on accident long ago

Anyway, with that in mind, I took a look at the scene in question in both Japanese and in English:

Wow this game looks really cool, I've only played the first M&L game so now I'm interested in thisWow this game looks really cool, I've only played the first M&L game so now I'm interested in this

In this scene, these sock creature things have discovered Mario unconscious and are bickering over who gets to chow down on him. Here’s the text for this specific line side-by-side:

Japanese Version (basic translation)English Version
You already have a block for you to suck on, chu!You’re such a hog, Kuribo!

For reference, all these creatures end their Japanese sentences with a special “chu” sound that isn’t found in the English translation. Conversely, the English translation of this line contains a name that isn’t found in the Japanese script. So it looks like this one block-sucking creature remains nameless in the Japanese version of the game but is known as “Kuribo” in English. The name sticks for only one brief moment, though – it goes back to being nameless in the following battle.

Hopefully that helps answer the question. I haven’t played this entry in the Mario & Luigi series though, so if I’m missing some sort of context or information, let me know!

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  1. I’m guessing the localizers threw that in there because Luigi spending some time hopping around while stuck inside an unconscious Sockop (which can be seen in the pictures) would remind some players of “Kuribo’s Shoe”.

    1. It might as well be the case. A similar sitation can be found in one of the Mario Kart games where a bike is called Super Bowser. As in, they literally snuck in the international name of King Koopa there.

    2. Yeah, that’s my theory too. Although now that I think about it it would’ve made more sense for the block sock to call the Luigi sock “Kuribo”.

  2. I’ve noticed this mysterious “chu” a lot in the dialogue of “cutesy” characters in Japanese games. Does it have a particular meaning? Is it illustrative perhaps of cuteness?

    1. Logo’s answer is likely, but it’s also possibly because the creatures are known as “shokuchu” in Japanese.

      The “chu” in cutesy things is probably the same or similar to this: http://legendsoflocalization.com/is-watt-from-paper-mario-a-boy-or-girl/

  3. For the case of this, Chu is probably an onomatopoeia for sucking. As in “You already have a block to chuchu on. Just my guess, tho

  4. Wow, what a shocker! And here I was indeed hoping it would have something familiar to the international audiences there…

  5. Wow, I didn’t expect you to answer it this soon.

  6. I want that game, but it’s not on Virtual Console yet… ah well.

    Though while it’s on the mind, I actually had a question I wanted to ask you. I don’t have screenshots of either language, though, and I’m not sure where to find ’em (especially since it kind of takes multiple text boxes), so it can wait a bit.

  7. I find it interesting that to accommodate the size of the speech box, Luigi has to be repositioned. I guess this must be done for a lot of cutscenes.