The Infamous “Arche F***s Like a Tiger” Scene in Tales of Phantasia


Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom was a Japan-only release
In 2001, a ROM translation group named “DeJap” released a fan translation of Tales of Phantasia, a 1995 JRPG for the Super Famicom.

As one of the later games in the Super Famicom/Super NES era, Tales of Phantasia is incredibly impressive in terms of gameplay and in terms of technical wizardry – it even features a fully voiced, anime-style intro song!

Unfortunately, the game was never released for the Super NES, and it remained of of those unattainable Japanese holy grails for a long time. So it was naturally a huge deal when DeJap finally released a full English fan translation patch.

For clarification, back in the early 2000s, I translated the scripts for two games that DeJap did the reprogramming for: Bahamut Lagoon and Star Ocean. I wasn’t involved in this Tales of Phantasia project in any way, which began a year or two before I decided to become a translator.

I haven’t played this fan translation very much myself, but there’s one line in the translation that everyone seems to remember:

"Mint has that quiet elegance about her, but I bet Arche fucks like a tiger."

I’ve seen mixed reactions to this line over the years – some people love it, some people hate it, some feel it’s disrespectful to the original, and others are ambivalent. But the topic still comes up all the time today, 18 years later, so I figured it’s about time I experience this line too. So let’s take a look and compare!

As you might guess, this article could be a bit NSFW for some people. There’s nothing terrible, but I thought I’d say something just in case.

The Scene In Detail

For context, it’s helpful to see the full scene in action beforehand, so I’ve compiled three versions of this scene for reference:

So, at this point in Tales of Phantasia’s story, the heroes – Cless, Klarth, Mint, and Arche – need to get to Alvanista by ship. Nobody wants to sail that way, though, because of war stuff going on.

Talking to the Captain

When you first talk to this ship’s captain, he refuses help. That’s when Arche tries to charm him into agreeing:

Image 1Image 2
Japanese text (basic translation)DeJap fan translation
Arche: Say, Mr. Captain ❤ Could you do it for me, then? If you do, I’ll do something N-I-C-E for you later ❤Arche: If you do me a favor, I’ll do you a little favor down in the cargo hold. -wink-
Uhh, you’re just a kid.No! You’re just a child!

Arche takes offense at the captain’s response and shouts:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Ohh! How mean!!Arche: Hey! I’m SEVENTEEN! I’m NOT a CHILD!

On the Ship

The scene changes, and the four party members are now standing on the ship, looking out at the ocean:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: The ocean breeze feels wonderful!Arche: I love the ocean breeze!
Mint: Yes, it does.Mint: Ugh… I don’t feel so good…

The fan translation completely changes Mint’s line here, although I’m not sure why.

Next, Klarth asks Cless a personal question:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Klarth: Which one are you going for, Cless?Klarth: So, Cless… Which one are you after?
Cless: Huh? What do you mean?Cless: Huh? What are you talking about?
Klarth: I’m talking about Mint and Arche!Klarth: Between the two girls, which one do you like better?

Before Cless can answer, Klarth adds his own thoughts on the matter:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Klarth: Mint is prim-and-proper and has a nice calmness to her, but Arche is hard to turn down too.Klarth: Mint has that quiet elegance about her, but I bet Arche fucks like a tiger.

This line in the fan translation instantly became famous, and I still see screenshots and posts about it to this day. As we can see, the original Japanese text doesn’t have nearly the same level of crudeness.

Incidentally, the Japanese script underwent rewrites for later ports of Tales of Phantasia. As a result, this line about Arche also changed very slightly too:

We can see that these variations aren’t as crude as this fan translation either.

Anyway, this line about tigers is the main one everyone focuses on, but there’s actually more to look at. Here’s how the rest of this scene unfolds:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Cless: H-hold on! The thought’s never even crossed my mind yet…!Cless: Klarth! I can’t believe you just said that!
Klarth: Oh, you can’t fool me. Then I guess you won’t mind if I call dibs?Klarth: If I were to take one under the sheets, which one would you rather I took?
Cless: Klarth! Don’t you already have Mirald anyway?!Cless: Klarth, what about Miranda? You can’t go about taking young girls ‘under the sheets’!
Klarth: D-don’t be stupid! She’s just my assistant!Klarth: Miranda just helps me with my research!!
Cless: Oh, really, now?Cless: Are you sure that’s ALL she ‘helps’ you with?
Klarth: Okay, you got me, Cless. Good one.

As we can see, the fan translation punches things up here as well. It even adds a new line at the end that isn’t in the original text.

After this, Arche interrupts:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Hey, what are you guys talking about?Arche: Hey what are you talking about?
Klarth: N-nothing, nothing at all. It’s nothing to do with you two!Cless: Nothing.
Klarth: Just a little male bonding.
Arche: Aww, I wanna hear!Arche: Awe, come on! I wanna know!

Here, we can see that the fan translation includes more text changes, a line reassignment, and an entirely new line out of nowhere.

After this, the scene cuts back to some main story stuff, and the heroes meet a fellow adventurer named Meia.

Drinking Party

The heroes head into the ship to get some food. They decide to drink with Meia. As time goes on, some characters get really drunk, including Arche.

At one point, Cless notices how much Arche has had to drink:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Cless: (Is Arche going to be okay…?)Cless: Arche, haven’t you had enough?

Here we see that Cless’ internal thinking was replaced with actual dialogue. After seeing this, I remembered that the head of DeJap once mentioned that parts of the fan translation were based on the PlayStation script and not always the Super Famicom script. So I checked the PlayStation version of this scene, and yep, that’s precisely what happened here:

"Are you gonna be okay, Arche? 💦"

However, this seems to be the only thing that matches the PlayStation script – everything else seems to be an original DeJap creation.

Anyway, as the night wears on, Klarth and Meia get really drunk:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Meia: And then, after I stayed up the whole night working, it turned out to be completely pointless!Meia: …and so the bartender says ‘Hey! That’s not a DUCK!’
Klarth: Hahaha! That’s hilarious!!Klarth: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

The fan translation then inserts some more text not present in the original script:

Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Meia: Wait, hold on, I’ve got another one!
Klarth: No, come on! One more and…
Klarth: -giggle – I’ll…
Klarth: I’ll… -giggle-
Klarth: I’ll piss my pants!

Arche has had so much to drink that she’s dozed off. But she suddenly interrupts the conversation by talking in her sleep:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Haaah~~!!!!Arche: Uuuuuuuh!!! No, Cless, stop it! Ooh! That feels gooOOOd!
Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Oh, Cless. You mustn’t touch me there……Arche: …Mmmm.

Arche then falls back asleep, and Klarth and Meia discuss a bunch of story stuff. After a few minutes of this, Arche suddenly interrupts with some more sleep-talk:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Aeeee!!!Arche: Oh GOD, YEEEEEEES!!!!
Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Oh, Cless, you shouldn’t……Arche: YES!! Give it to me! Give it to me HARD!
Arche: Oh, Cless!! YEEEEeees!
Arche: -sigh-

In Japanese, these outbursts from Arche are intended to be lighthearted and funny – she’s having a flirty, sexy dream about Cless.

Normally, you’d expect an official translation on a Nintendo system to tone down any iffy stuff or sexual stuff like we see in this scene. Here we see that the fan translation did the exact opposite – her outbursts are now on very different level, almost like she’s straight out of a pornographic video. Her outbursts are also much longer in the fan translation and take more of the scene’s focus, as we can see above. The fan translators really wanted to sell that “tiger” idea.

Klarth and Meia decide to call it a night. Klarth tries to wake up Arche:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Klarth: Arche. You’ll catch a cold if you sleep out here.Klarth: Arche, get to bed! Lightweight lush…

This text change is followed by another one:

Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Arche: Cless, you dummy…Arche: Oh, Cless… You were WONderful…

Lastly, Klarth thinks to himself:

Image 1Image 2
Basic translationDeJap fan translation
Klarth: (What the heck kind of dream is she even having…?)Klarth: Should I tell Cless about this? Nah…

As we can see, the DeJap fan translation changes a lot of what’s said in this scene.

Other Translations

Tales of Phantasia has been ported many times to many different systems, but it’s only ever received two official English translations. The game has also received two other fan translations that I know of, both of them for the PlayStation release.

Official Translations

Tales of Phantasia received its first official English translation in 2006, when it was released for the Game Boy Advance. The GBA translation of this Arche scene stays pretty close to the original Japanese text throughout.

Here are some example screenshots:

Many of these Game Boy Advance lines closely match my own basic translations above. The only noteworthy thing is that Arche’s drinking was removed.

Tales of Phantasia also received an official translation in 2014, when it was released for iOS devices. Unfortunately, this version is no longer available, so I’m not sure how it handled this scene involving Arche. If anyone knows, please let me know!

Other Fan Translations

In 2007, Gemini and throughhim413 released a fan translation for the PlayStation port of Tales of Phantasia. Here are some example screenshots from this scene:

In 2012, Phantasian Productions released its own fan translation for the PlayStation port. Here are some screenshots from this Arche scene:

In both of these fan translations, these scenes follow the original Japanese text much more closely than the original DeJap fan translation.

Honestly, I’m not very familiar with any of the fan translations, so I don’t know what each team was aiming for. But from this one scene alone, I can tell that they each handled this infamous scene in their own unique way.

Final Thoughts

Even after all this time, I regularly see this scene from Tales of Phantasia mentioned in online discussions, so hopefully this short little comparison will be helpful for future reference.

The original DeJap fan translation clearly deviates from the original Japanese script in this scene, sometimes in surprising ways. I’m not much a fan of this style myself – it definitely feels more like adaptation than translation or localization. But everyone is different, and I know many gamers who do enjoy this style. Luckily, in the case of Tales of Phantasia, gamers have multiple options available to choose from.

Anyway, after looking at all these different versions of Tales of Phantasia, I’m now curious to see how the rest of the game was handled in translation. Maybe this calls for a Wanderbar playthrough of the game someday – that’d be fun I bet!

If you liked this article and are a Tales fan, check out my other Tales articles here. Or, if you just want to read about how other famous game quotes got translated, see here!

  1. Oh yeah, I should mention that I worked with the head of DeJap some time after this – he agreed to do the programming for Bahamut Lagoon for me if I did the translation work for Star Ocean for him. I did the fan translations for both games, so I can personally vouch that they stay very close to the original games’ scripts.

    1. So you’re responsible for that Wai Wai World translation that insults the player?

      1. No, I’ve never heard of the game. I only did Star Ocean and Bahamut Lagoon.

        1. I loved that the readme talked about the TL changes for Bahamut Lagoon

    2. Yeeeeeeah. I think you should put a disclaimer explaining your prior relationship with DeJap in the post itself, Tomato. I remember you writing blog posts for them way back when. I understand it’s the top comment, but that’s still proper etiquette to explain prior relationships within the post itself since not everyone reads the comments.

  2. While obviously you’re right that this would NEVER be how it was actually translated by professionals, at least in my divorced-from-context experience of reading these scenes side-by-side, I really think they did a pretty good job on taking dialogue that (while obviously intended to be comedic), didn’t have a whole lot of punch here and built it up to something that I think seems pretty genuinely funny. Maybe it plays better in Japanese, but at least this translation of the original text doesn’t really have that much energy to it, a little bland.

    1. I appreciate the effort to punch of the dialogue, but they want WAY too far into being edgy and lewd for the sake of it. The new dialogue actually takes me out of the game, because the over the top nature of the translation is so hamfisted. Like, we get it, many Japanese productions get toned down sex-wise when they come to the west, but there’s also something to be said for a *little* subtlety.

      I think you could write these scenes to convey their sexual nature and be interesting, while also not adding five lines to the script of a teenage girl creaming her pants at a bar. Dunno, maybe I’m just crazy.

      1. I agree. The DeJap translation is so explicit it just feels akward, like I’m taking a break from playing a 90`s JRPG in order to watch porn. It completely misses the point of the original scenes (which, as another comment points out, were supposed to evoke the kind of 90’s romantic anime shenanigans that would be considered broadly kid-friendly) and instead takes the subtle sexual themes present in the original and runs the fuck with it. It feels pretty ridiculous, like the kind of bad smutty fanfics I read when I was 13.

        Of course, when you imagine a bunch of fairly young fan-translators in the 90’s suddenly encountering references to a sex dream in a Nintendo game… I kinda understand why they went a bit crazy with it. I still wouldn’t recommend this translation to anyone who hadn’t played the game already.

        The duck line’s a bit funny though.

      2. It reminds me of those old Dragon Ball Z subs by AnimeLabs, the ones where Vegeta would call people faggots.

        1. The only thing that I know about the old DBZ subs was “No thanks to Miami Mike”

    2. Treehouse’s treatment of FE14, not to mention NISA in general, sadly make it impossible to say “NEVER”. Those two are only professional in the “gets primary income from” sense.

  3. It’s common to consider the intro song impressive because of the ROM space allocated to the digital samples but the real feat was accomplishing streaming audio, something which the SPC700 absolutely didn’t lend itself to.

    1. Not quite what we’d consider streaming audio today. It’s more well-timed uploads of new snippets, between the lines, replacing what starts out as a dog’s barking. Hence the “dog karaoke” effect you get when you dump it to an .spc file and there’s no game to provide new lyrics.

      There *is* a demo rom by Blargg that has a piece of CD-quality classical music. That’s much closer to streaming.

  4. Honestly, my first thought on seeing the DeJap translation was “how old were the people writing this?” There’s suggestive bits in the original, but the translation laser-focused on them. You can almost imagine that whoever was writing the script was either trying really hard to be adult or was just really full of hormones – but it’s not a good thing to make an assumption about.

    In a way, it feels like they’re from two different genres.

    Just going from these excerpts, the original script seems like stock romantic comedy anime stuff. Arche seems to talk in a fairly girlish, cutesy way, and when she tries to butter up the captain it’s playing cutesy instead of being sultry. The captain seems to be more unimpressed than anything, and Arche is upset because . With both Arche’s drinking scene and the male bonding with Klarth, there’s a bit of a “they’re dishonest with their feelings, isn’t that cute” thing going on. Klarth plays like he’s a womanizer when he’s actually got a love interest, Arche gets mad at Cless for a sexy dream that he didn’t get to see.

    The DeJap version comes across more like an eighties sex comedy or something like that. There’s no reading between the lines. Arche is horny so she propositions the captain and has orgasms in her sleep. Klarth is genuinely engaging in locker room talk.

  5. The PS1 translation of Dragon Quest VII, then known as Dragon Warrior VII, did a somewhat similar thing and inserted a line of its own invention of one the party members calling the Wind Spirit a slut.

    1. Lol, I remember that line.

  6. From what I remember reading, the GBA port of Phantasia was actually lambasted by fans upon release because they legit thought the DeJap translation was more accurate and that the GBA one was “typical Nintendo censorship” (or something along those lines). Painfully ironic, when you think about it.

    Looking back, I feel like the whole debacle that surrounded the localization of Phantasia GBA (kangaroos aside) could be looked back upon as a microcosm of the state of fan discussion about Japanese media between the late 90’s and early 2010’s and just what people expected at the time from the “original” versions of them. Granted, it was much before my time given that I was just 3 when DeJap’s Phantasia translation came out, but I did start to find out about what localization was in the waning days of both so-called “4Kids translations” and fansubs/fan-translations that added edginess for edge’s sake (including a popular fansub of the Kirby anime of all shows), so I at least know a bit of what that kind of fan environment was like.

    1. The fan community took a lot of cues from Working Designs in terms of zany rewrites; if Working Designs existed today, they would probably be called “fan fiction tier” in derogatory fashion. Another problem at the time was the group who had the complete opposite opinion: that translations should basically be romanji. There was definitely a demand for accurate fan translations with a reasonable localization effort applied, but there was little supply. The text that these projects put out basically absorbed the personalities of the people running them. Another issue is that a number of the translators were less versed in Japanese than they let on, so “overly literal” (or attempts to do so) and massive rewrites were probably more symptoms of that than an actual philosophical stance. In the end, what you could term “credible localization capital” effectively didn’t exist. Just about anything you pointed to you could identify significant issues, whether the translation/localization effort be professional or amateur.

    2. You had Final Fantasy VII, Ogre Battle 64 and other 32-bit JRPGs add gratuitous swearing just because they were not on a Nintendo console and were for cool edgy kids who wanted that raw uncut material. Not even Working Designs is innocent from feeding into that sentiment – some arguments they offered to defend their anti-rental gameplay changes to add 200% more grinding was that it was more “hardcore” and “for true gamers” this way. Some official translators were so drunk with that newly found freedom, only official rebukes from console cert, retailers or sometimes the normally hands-free original creatives, cooled them down.

      It didn’t help many retro games published by Nintendo in the same period (the 2000s) still got rid of alcoholic references (Tales of Phantasia, Chrono Trigger) or sexual references (puff-puff in most Dragon Quest games) even if it’s undeserved in this case right here.

      1. “Ogre Battle 64 … not on a Nintendo console”

        Uh, are you aware of why “64” is on the end of that title? Though I agree the base around that time was full of kids and younger adults with a skewed idea of what it meant to be “mature”, and trying to reconcile that idea with the stereotypes of “video games are for kids” and “video games are for geeks”.

        1. I could have worded that better, but I meant the NES and Super NES when Nintendo’s more draconian content guidelines for third parties were in full effect. Both Sega and Sony dunked on them pretty hard for that with marketing focusing on how “we allow content Nintendo wouldn’t”, so Nintendo reversed course.
          Ogre Battle 64 bled edge almost every other line, as everyone swears like a sailor for no discernible reason – so it was part of that “phase” (arguably Conker would count, had it been a localization and not a NA original)

          1. Edge and attitude were a general trend of the 90s and early 2000s, likely in response to the dominant conservative culture of the 1980s. Nintendo’s earlier censorship policies were likely influenced by this. The 90s in pro wrestling were known as the “attitude era” and it went through a similar transformation as video games. The 90s were also the era of Rated R movies. Most of today’s PG-13 summer blockbusters would have gone for the R rating back then.

    3. You have it right. I was in college around when both translations were released and I remember people slamming the official translation because of “censorship.” The tiger line was so obviously added in, it didn’t remotely match the tone of the game, that I was surprised people thought it was the actual game script. I guess people naively assumed that fan translators were giving them the “real” story, and not that they were translating the game as a hobby with unlimited creative license.

  7. I’m super curious to see what else DeJap did for their translation, but I must warn you not to tease me witha WanderBar stream series. :p

    1. Makes me wonder how they handled the unicorn scene where Arche can’t find it cause they need a virgin…

  8. Oof… I’d heard of this infamous line, but had no idea how utterly cringeworthy the whole thing was… o.o
    I’m not someone who usually minds translation punch-ups, but I’m no fan of crude humor like this…

    That said… I’ve been considering trying this game out some day, though, and… while I certainly wouldn’t touch the crude DeJap translation, I’m genuinely curious as to which of the two PSX translations is preferrable.

  9. Oh boy, I know one thing or two about this game.

    A boring primer on Tales of Phantasia – it was released in these versions:
    • Super Famicom original – different battle systems and spritework (from before the redesign by Kosuke Fushijima)

    • PS1 – uses the Tales of Eternia engine, many 3D graphics, and sprite redesigns for consistency. It was deemed too late for a localization. Some lines were expanded and scenes added, but took a different direction from the planned cut content (there are light novels for that)

    • GBA – a weird port of the PS1 version, but often uses some of the SNES version artwork or static prerendered 3D graphics. It has yet some new additions. It explains the atrocious performance, well besides it starting a Namco third party support initiative for Nintendo systems. NoA somehow published it BECAUSE they listened to fans (like localization wishlist polls some companies do) but its lukewarm reception ended that.

    • PSP, 1st version – a direct port of the PS1 version that fixes the awful sprites, ports GBA additions to a decent version and then some new features like full voice acting. English speaking audiences actually got this… as the now-delisted iOS exclusive free-to-play version that had some skits and save points stripped out, and horrible controls.

    • PSP, 2nd version – Included with a Narikiri Dungeon remake (the original canonically took place after ToP, and is a mediocre GB spinoff – play Star Ocean Blue Sphere instead). This one went through a vaseline mobile remake filter. It supposedly has some additions. Its most notable difference is the inclusion of a new Mary Sue character (hailing from Narikiri Dungeon) who’s a walking plot hole, and more aggravatingly isn’t reliable gameplay-wise for reasons obvious to whoever played that version. It’s exactly how Richard was added to Graces PS3 vs Wii, and Chalcedony to Hearts PSV vs DS. It’s not surprising to see why Namco used the first version for their iOS port.

    Each single version received rewrites in its Japanese version, first to make its writing less amateurish than Wolf Team’s humble beginnings, then to fit in more additions (Suzu, and the spoilery plot hole character from PSPv2).
    Nintendo’s localization has different, uncut text for this scene and a few GBA/PSPv1-exclusive hotspring scenes only in the European version, for some reason, and the Kangoroo thing was blown out of proportion. It’s actually LESS toned down than any version, including Namco’s mobile PSPv1 port in English.

    As for the English PSPv1/iOS variant, here’s the text for those scenes extracted. The Japanese version is lost, I’m afraid.

    Captain:”What can I do?”
    Arche:”Hey, Captain.”
    Arche:”Could you do me a favor?”
    Arche:”If you do, I’ll make it worth
    your while.”
    Captain:”Bah, how could a kid like you
    afford my services?”
    Arche:”Why, I’ll have you know…”
    Claus:”Captain, we’ll pay your price.
    Please, take us to Alvanista!”
    Captain:”Well… Fine.”
    Arche acquired the title:

    Arche:”I just love the sea breeze.”
    Mint:”You’re right.”
    Claus:”Hey, Cress. Which one are you
    Cress:”Huh? What do you mean?”
    Claus:”Mint and Arche, ”
    Claus:”Mint… She’s prim and proper.
    I like that in a girl.”
    Claus:”Arche on the other hand… She’s
    a little firebrand. It’s hard to turn
    your back on a girl like that!”
    Cress:”Now hold on a second!”
    Cress:”I-I… I’ve barely gotten to
    know them yet!”
    Claus:”Oh, come on…”
    Claus:”OK then… Shall I pick first?”
    Cress:”What about Milard!”
    Claus:”What are you talking about!?”
    Claus:”She’s just my assistant!”
    Cress:”Oh, really?”
    Arche:”Hey, guys. Whatcha talking
    Claus:”Oh nothing… Nothing at all.”
    Claus:”And it has nothing to do about
    you two.”
    Arche:”Oh come on, tell me!”

    Cress:(How long can they keep eating
    like this?)
    Two hours later…
    Cress:”Arche, you OK?”

    Arche:”We really
    Meia:”Anyway… You can’t tell
    anybody about this.”
    Meia:”Well…We should call it a
    Claus:”Arche. You’ll catch a cold if
    you sleep there all night.”
    Arche:”Cress, you dummy…”
    Claus:(What the heck is she dreaming
    Claus:”Guess I’ll have to carry her
    back. Heave ho…”
    Arche acquired the title:

  10. Tales of Phantasia would be a good game for Wonderbar. 5 separate translations AND dialog differences in the Japanese releases? The real question will be fitting everything on screen.

  11. Saying professionals would never translate like this doesn’t seem entirely right. This translation was released in 2001, back when professional anime dubbers would throw however many fucks and shits into their dub scripts as it’d take to get them that M rating they wanted for their “Fuck yeah, this is fucking mature adult cartoons for fucking mature mature adults like you. Fuck” advertisements.

    It was a different time.

    1. You’re right about that, though I think it was a bit more of an ’80s / ’90s thing. I remember localizations like the Devilman OVAs getting tons of swearing added to them because we NEED to emphasize that it’s TOTALLY NOT FOR KIDS, SO WE’RE GOING TO SAY “FUCK”.

    2. No offense, but if any of you want to prove you actually around during these “edgy times” it helps to actually know what you’re talking about, because it’s obvious you were either very young or not even born in 2001.

      By 2001 you already had dubs like Cowboy Bebop that raised the bar for English localizations in anime dubbing. Disney was already in the process of licensing and re-dubbing many Studio Ghibli films with Hollywood acting talent. Much of that gratuitous added swearing was a Manga Entertainment deal wherein they wanted the swearing to bump up the BBFC rating to 15 and up, as Manga were based in the UK and felt the added swearing in the already risque OVAs they were putting out would be great marketing, and for the time it was. By ’01, Manga were in financial free-fall, and you had companies like Bandai, Pioneer, and even ADV stepping up their game in anime localizations.

  12. I guess most people have already commented such things, but I think this is a SHOCKINGLY bad localization job because the sexuality seems so immature and over-the-top to the point where the game sounds like it’s a bad sex comedy parody of a JRPG. I feel like my intelligence is being insulted by this translation.

  13. There are a bunch of posts here about gratuitous swearing, and attributing that to bad fan translation and edgy ’90s dubs. I think that would be an interesting topic to go further into; I know there’s at least an article or two on this site that’s talked about swearing. Certainly amateur translators play into it, and you have things like swearing being added so that the localized version hits a certain target age rating. But there’s also that there are things in Japanese that are kind of like swearing in English, but not so easy that you can just map it out straightforwardly.

    As I understand it, Ashita no Joe was originally a work that caused some public outcry, in part because the main character referred to himself with an impolite “ore” even though it was a manga for boys around their early teens. That was in the mid-’60s, and by the ’70s or ’80s or so “ore” had become a stock pronoun for ultra-manly tough guy heroes in that same demographic. It’s hard to imagine now that it was ever controversial.

    Of course, in English, that could just get translated down to Joe Yabuki saying “I”. Doesn’t really seem to make in effect, does it?

    And then you get stuff that looks more like what we expect of swearing:

    ___め – That damned
    ちくしょう – Beast
    くそったれ – Shithead
    やつ – That guy
    おのれ – You…!
    ___やがれ – How dare you ___!
    くたばれ – Drop dead!
    ふざけんな – Don’t joke with me
    ___たら – Geez, ___

    They don’t map up exactly like that, but you get the idea; these words exist, so what do you do when you bump into them? How does it affect the overall tone of the work if you translate it one way or the other?

    There are some works like Dragonball where characters use these words all the time. You could map it out to no swearing or you could have them cuss all the time and you could probably argue that they’re both methods are more or less correct.

  14. Klarth is such a nonsense awful name/

    1. It was probably supposed to be Claus.

      1. But ‘Claus’ would be クラウス, クローズ, or クロース. Klarth is クラース.

        1. For what its worth, all official Japanese material consistently spells it Klarth. You can certainly disagree with that spelling, just like you can say that the summoner from Final Fantasy 4 is obviously meant to be named Lydia, and that “Rydia” is awful nonsense, but it IS what all the official stuff calls him.

          (tbh they were probably going for Klaas/Claas)

          1. This is just a guess, but I think it’s probably one of those things that are less weird in Japanese because they don’t say the “th” sound like we do, so it didn’t really matter to them if the name was spelled “Klarth” or “Klas” in the Latin alphabet.

            1. (I’m neither of the other anons here.) クラース (KURAASU) is the Dutch name Klaas written in Japanese, for what it’s worth, and is a very close approximation of the Dutch pronunciation of that name.

  15. A textbook example of spice up the subtitles, anyone?

    1. ThePolaroidOfPerfection

      So I searched that, and… look, I know it’s tough because a lot of kids interested in pop culture get raised up on that site nowadays, but TV Tropes has as its premise that every single thing that ever happens in any medium, and much of real life, is a “trope” that exists on a flat plane with countless almost completely unrelated fellow “examples”, including examples of “avoided” or “inverted” tropes where the person adding the “example” decides that somewhere the “trope” doesn’t appear is also an example of the “trope”.

      TV Tropes does not teach people a sound or productive approach to understanding stories.

      What you are describing is not a “trope”, but a number of discrete events in real-life attempts at translation. The page for that “trope” makes that clear with the “examples” it attempts to list. This falsely reified group of events doesn’t need a catchphrase to describe it, and it’s not best understood as a list of examples under the heading of a catchphrase.

      Another way to explain it is: you could tack your comment as written onto probably half or more of the years of articles on this site, and it would add no more to the conversation than it does here. It’s superfluous. It’s like deciding everything where the color red is mentioned is a _______, and replying to articles that mention the color red by saying they’re textbook examples of _______. Well, sure, because _______ is defined as a collection of those examples. It has no more content than that, the category has no purpose, and the discrete meaning of the examples is ignored.

      Beyond that, the main problem you will have with trying to think about the world with the language that TV Tropes gives you is that outside of the people who frequent that site, no one uses its terms. It’s not how writers think about stories, even common or cliche elements in stories.

      Instead, it’s a sort of obsessive-compulsive attempt to extrapolate from a small handful of useful terms when discussing fiction such as “Macguffin”, which need shorthand because it’s harder to explain what they are than what they are not. And even “Macguffin” is terribly overused nowadays in terribly imprecise ways, so much so that it’s probably better just to describe the fictional object you’re discussing.

      1. I understand of course. But then again, even my knowledge might have gaps. Gaps that TVTropes in fact can fill at points.

      2. TV Tropes isn’t so much tropes as “here are a list of things mentioned or not” by a story, told in an indulgent and self congratulatory manner. It’s not well presented or useful.

  16. Someone on that team probably watched too much naughty dirty anime from the 80s and couldn’t stop thinking of sex with anime style girls.

  17. ThePolaroidOfPerfection

    Good gravy… adding a new line to a video game’s dialog just to congratulate a character for being so clever as to say a line you wrote yourself.

  18. Clyde,

    I happened to look at this after looking over parts of your FF6 localization guide, and the first thing that jumped out at me was, when Arche is talking to the ship’s captain, she seems to refer to herself in the third person in Japanese. I remember you giving numerous examples of this when talking about Relm, and noting that it was a common thing for young female characters to do.

    The first thing I thought of was some sort of little girl appeal that Arche might trying to be giving off, almost akin to how Marilyn Monroe was simultaneously a sex symbol and used affectations in her voice to sound childlike. Is this a similar concept, or is there some other way it was meant to be interpreted?

  19. While I can understand why some might not like Dejap’s translation, I find some bizarre charm in its crude jokes.

  20. This conversation resurfaced a bit in late 2020 when Arche showed up in a collaboration event in the free-to-play Gacha game Another Eden, along with a bunch of other Tales of… series folks. She maintained a pretty forward attitude, with two standout lines of her ogling the king of the realm, who is across the room from her in the first thread here:

    While this isn’t at the level of DeJap’s looser interpretation, AE’s team definitely maintained a distinctively assertive writing style for her. It had some folks who hadn’t played the Tales games wishing she was featured more prominently ok the collab, too.

  21. I have a slightly different take on it – I actually hate having heterosexual scenes rammed down my throat in literally EVERY game I’ve played for most of my life. In RPGs I prefer to have none of that type of language so I can imagine the characters and romances the way I want, as honestly for gaymers we basically grew up with NOTHING in the 90s and 2000s and it’s still pretty slim pickings. So changing it to something fairly vulgar just didn’t work for me at all in this fanmade translation…

    1. …Perhaps you should not just make everything about you? And recognize that mass media like video games is not meant to placate *your* preferences?

    2. A valid point – the representation for different sorts of romances remains pretty badly skewed to the side of heterosexual pairings. FWIW, at least AE has several character interactions that pretty strongly indicate a wider variety of relationships among the cast… nothing stated clearly, but then again the protagonist is so dense that some sidequests have him go through literal wedding ceremonies only to wind up glad he could be so “supportive for his great friend”. It’s explicitly lampshaded to the point where some folks in the community are wondering if he’s aromantic for concrete plot reasons.

      At least there’s been growing representation elsewhere in the industry – from big AAA games like Mass Effect to smaller hits like Hades and the vast number of indie titles like Spirit Swap, character relationships aren’t as monotonous as they once were. Even younger kids’ ​shows are starting to be more casually inclusive – ATLA, Kipo, She-Ra… all with characters for whom it’s a characteristic but not their sole defining trait.

      Even as a mass-media-targeted cishet it’s refreshing to see more different experiences on offer. I hope you wind up finding more representation out there, too.

      1. @Dodder for the above comment.