JP asked this question quite a while back about Super Mario World, one of my all-time favorite games. Here’s the query:
I was watching a speed run of Super Mario World, and I noticed in the “Special World” (the world accessed by completing the Star Road), all of the names of the levels are typical 90’s American Surfer lingo (“tubular, mondo, outrageous”).
I was wondering what the level names are in the Japanese version.
So let’s take a look at them all side-by-side:
|Even the Mario Staff is Shocked Course||Way Cool|
|Even the Mario Staff is Shocked Course||Awesome|
So it looks like the Japanese names weren’t anything too radical or funky – they’re mostly ordinary-sounding names. What’s more, each special course name gets used twice in the Japanese version, which is a bit confusing. They don’t even have numbers, like “Fun Course 1” or “Fun Course 2”.
I also had a couple random thoughts when looking through these:
- It’s interesting that the Super Famicom logo was used in the English version of the game, or at least the American version of the game. I think the European logo might be the same as the Japanese logo, so maybe it wasn’t so out of place there. But I’m almost certain the American Super NES logo was something gray and black and a little different from this.
- I wonder why the localizers decided to use these slang terms in the first place. I don’t usually think of words like “gnarly” and “radical” when playing Mario games 😛
- I wonder what other similar slang words from the era could be used too. I think “So Bad” would’ve been a cool nod to the era and to The Wizard… but I wonder what other terms could’ve been used too. If you have any ideas, share them in the comments.
So there we go – The Japanese names are pretty basic and simple and get the job done… but the English version is totally wicked to the max.
A reader on Twitter named “ahdummy” asked a great follow-up question too: what does the “YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!” line at the end of the final special course say in Japanese?
Here’s a look at the original Japanese version:
And here’s the English version:
It looks like Nintendo’s localizers took the time to fix even this secret little thing by giving it proper grammar. It also means that people playing the English version can get a few more coins than Japanese players. Interesting!