How Triforce Heroes, Meme References, and Controversy Collided


The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes was recently released in many different regions for the 3DS. Only a few days later, a certain image started making the rounds on Twitter about the English translations:

Let's get some dancing babies and hamster dances and cheezburgers in next. Actually, something tells me some game out there's got a cheezburger reference

As we’ve seen before, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe often work on their own separate translations like this. So it’s no surprise that the text is different with Tri Force Heroes too.

Nintendo of America translationNintendo of Europe translation
Still, coming here has at least afforded me the rare chance to explore these ancient ruins.And that may be precisely why the ancient ruins I encountered had been left undisturbed for me to explore!
So ancient. Such ruin.

The European translation sounds like a solid, standard translation of a Japanese line. The American translation inserts an Internet in-joke called the “Doge meme”:

Thousands of years from now memes will be seen as ancient hieroglyphs of the technology eraThousands of years from now memes will be seen as ancient hieroglyphs of the technology era

Anyway, the response to this meme in the NOA localization has been interesting. Some gamers are frothing at the mouth out of anger, others argue it’s better than the dry line of the European version. Others scream at others for caring at all, while others just feel indifferent.

All this hubbub did get me wondering: what does the original Japanese line look like? Thanks to PushDustin I was able to get a pic of the Japanese version in action:

Thanks to everyone who hunted this down! I didn't want to pay $50 for the Japanese version just to check one line of text, you know?

I don’t know what the sentence before it is, but the Japanese text translates roughly into something like:

However, that’s precisely why I found the ancient legacy that was likely left behind.

Basically, there’s no meme in the original Japanese text, and the European localization is very close to the original intent while sounding better than a straight, raw translation like the above.

I’ve been seeing a lot of meme-style writing in American Nintendo games lately and I’ll admit it feels a bit childish… but then again these games probably aren’t being marketed to me anyway. Plus, it’s not as if silly, random references in Zelda games are exclusive to Nintendo of America:

Literally every translator I know who’s worked in the entertainment industry has included some sort of in-joke or reference into at least one project they’ve worked on. I don’t know why, it’s just something that we all seem to go through, like it’s a phase or something. The practice comes with all sorts of pros, cons, risks, and rewards, and more than anything it seems to be one of the most controversial things a localizer can choose to do. It’s an interesting phenomenon that I’ve been hoping to write about in further detail someday.

For now, if you can think of any especially infamous references to pop culture, memes, and the like in a video game, let me know in the comments so I can start putting something together for a future article!

If you enjoyed this, check out Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, my book dedicated to the very first Zelda translation and how it has affected every Zelda game since! (free preview PDF )
  1. “I’ve had enough of this shit NOA seriously I’m fucking pissed.”

    Meme haters are the best. It’s so amazing that they get salty over what amounts to a small joke. This ONE LINE has RUINED ALL OF THE GAME. I mean, the rest of the localization is amazing, in my opinion, and yeah this one line is a little dorky, but Nintendo IS dorky. I like the life it breathes into the script. I find straight translations boring and lifeless.

    1. I mean, you can bring life into a script without putting internet memes in it. (I’m not about to say the game is ruined over one meme though)

    2. I’m of the opinion that this is fine, as long as it fits appropriately into the situation. Inserting the doge meme here just seems inappropriate and made me facepalm.

    3. Go play a Working Design game then tell me the dialog has held up.

  2. It feels like it’s more of a big deal nowadays because of the lifespan of any given internet meme is about eight seconds. Memes come and go so quickly that it can be argued that using them will make your game age very quickly. And doge is a rather old meme to begin with…

    A lot of people perceive these things as simply trying too hard, especially since Nintendo has previously established an infamously groanworthy usage on memes on their social media channels in the past.

    1. Yeah, that’s the thing. By the time TriForce Heroes was released, Doge speak was already groanworthy and had lost its welcome. I don’t think it was very professional to include a reference like that.

      I don’t mind when localizers include references, as long as it fits and is funny.

      1. They should be bold and mix the tired jokes up.
        Such base, much belong, ha ha ha ha

  3. There are TONS of little pop culture in-jokes in the Phoenix Wright games! XD

  4. That reminds me of something I encountered in the German version of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.

    Roughly translated: “The Crucian Hipster Carp can be be found in the shadows of bushes all over Termina, especially in swamps (before it was cool).”

    I personally don’t mind these pop culture references and in-jokes that much as long as they somewhat fit the tone of the game or make sense even without the reference.

    1. Ha, amazing! Thanks for sharing! I really oughta learn some more languages so I can dive into other regions’ games too someday 😛

  5. I know the French version of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire apparently had a random reference to Twitch Plays Pokemon in Brawly’s pre-battle text.

    I do like when a localization does something like referencing fandom jokes or other stuff related to it, but general memes can be pretty jarringly out of place. Not to mention groan-inducing because they’re usually old by the time the game is out.

    1. What!? Do you have more information on that? I’ve got to see this!

      1. After introducing himself, he says: “J’ai découvert le secret de la vraie puissance en fixant un Nautile pendant des jours et des jours…” which translates to: “I discovered the secret behind true power by staring at a Helix fossil for days and days…”

        To be honest I didn’t even react to that line when I read it, it’s only after I saw people talking about it being a reference to TPP that I linked the two. It could be a coincidence but the line is completely different in English so… no clue about Japanese. If it is a reference it’s honestly subtle enough that it doesn’t take you out of the game or anything.

  6. My view on references in these sorts of things has always been that if you don’t get the reference, you shouldn’t be able to tell there’s even a reference there. Hide it, like an Easter egg. This one fails because the grammar in this meme sticks out like a sore thumb; even if you don’t know Doge, it seems out of place. I far prefer what FFIV did about those goons wrecking Cid’s ship up something awful. The line sounds perfectly ordinary if you don’t realize what it’s doing.

    1. Honestly, it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb to me, at least with only what’s shown here. I dunno, the meme actually looks pretty natural when used with “ancient” and “ruin” as they are. It just looks like he’s emphasizing how ancient the ruins are and a certain quality of the ruin in a terse manner. ( “They’re so ancient. Such mysterious ruin.”, etc. )

      Certainly, it’s not the most natural thing, but it’s not exactly jarring, either.

    2. I completely disagree. I would never have thought of the Doge meme had he not mentioned it. The grammar isn’t strange at all, and it makes more sense to be read literally than the sarcasm implied by the Doge meme.

      In fact, I came in to say that this was a great way of hiding the reference. I think you are spoiled by being overly saturated with meme, to the point that you can’t think of anything else.

  7. Nooo! It’s not a “farting cabbage”! It’s actually an “exploding cauliflower”! They look more like cauliflower than cabbage, and “chou-péteur” sounds like “chou-fleur”, which means cauliflower! Though “péteur” usually means “farting”, it can also mean “exploding” in some contexts! Plus, “Chou-Péteur” is such a cool sounding name!

    Back on the topic, it seems NoA tries to include a lot more memes than before, I don’t think it’s a bad thing in games like Splatoon, but it feels slightly out of place in this specific case, and I think many people are thinking the doge meme is old and not funny.

  8. nah, it’s perfectly fine to include memes, all in the name of “jokes” (which apparently include groaning). Looking forward to the new Fatal Frame- now with 200% more All Your Base and other such timely and modern maymays!

  9. I remember the script of the Gen 4 Pokemon games (Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum Versions) had lots of memes in the script (the “for massive damage” line made it into dialogue from a Galactic Grunt, for example). I heard somewhere that Nob Ogasawara learned all of those memes when he went incognito into the Something Awful forums. That’s one way I heard that story.

    1. I don’t remember anything like that in DPPt, but i do remember an Over 9000 joke in XY.

      1. There were a few of them, but they were considerably better integrated into the script than the Over 9000 line. Well, except for “My Pokemon is Fight,” but most people who weren’t on Something Awful themselves probably wouldn’t have any idea what that’s referencing.

  10. Very interesting comparison and I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion about this practice being childish. I think it’s a half-assed attempt at being funny at all costs by pandering to a certain fanbase, alienating other users.

    As an Italian who dabbles in translation from Japanese, I try to avoid this as much as I can, opting to deliver the meaning of the original in an interesting way, though I seldom put some shout-outs that are well known in my culture when appropriate.
    For example, a history otaku with a penchant for histrionics quoting a Lucio Battisti (one of the most important singer-songwriters in Italian pop music, known and loved among at least three generations) song using a verse that still makes sense in context is somewhat more believable than a scholar like a strabic Shiba inu, IMHO.

  11. I’m OK with references being added to games as long as they’re still funny on their own, or are worked in in a way that remains funny. After all, referential humor has been part of games for a LONG time, and as you’ve noted, even the original Japanese versions indulge in them! Is this reference funny on its own? Eh, hard to say. But I do honestly prefer translations that have been “punched up” a bit. What sounds good in Japanese does not necessarily so in English, and I appreciate translators taking the time to make dialogue sound more natural in the language it gets translated to. I’ll take readability over hardcore translation purity any day, so long as the important stuff is still intact (I.E., no plot points edited, but if you change a random NPC from talking blandly about the weather to making an offbeat reference to a novelty disco hit, that’s fine by me).

    1. It’s just as funny as the meme. It’s the same joke the meme uses.

  12. To be honest, the whole game /is/ pretty silly.

    I’d wager this is actually not exactly wrong or adding anything into the translation. Something that’s always mentioned in translation courses is that, if there’s a particular line with a joke/pun/funny effect and there’s no way to properly translate it, you can take that “joke” and move it around to another line where you CAN translate it. It’s not recommended and it’s not the usual practice, but this might have been the reason why this sudden doge meme appears if neither the original nor the other localization mention it. Maybe some lines before the American localization missed a joke and decided to move it there? It’s not completely unprofessional or unfaithful to the original.

    Anyway, those are my 2 cents!

  13. To be honest, I don’t mind these types of memes. More interesting than a direct translation, and they give the game a bit of character, which is always a plus. Reminds me a bit of the later Wario Land games, where the treasure descriptions had amusing asides and jokes about things rather than a serious description. Or much of the Mario & Luigi games (that series even has leet speak as a joke in the second title).

    1. What, “Partners in Time”? I don’t see leet speak in any of the M&L series titles.

      1. He’s referring to the “L33T Hamm3r Broz,” a pair of bosses from early in Partners in Time.

      2. Two words: Hammer Bros.

  14. Oh my, look at these little shrieking nerds trying to convince themselves that Treehouse isn’t the best localization team in the business.

    1. And look at this shrieking nerd trying to convince themselves that they are! Let’s replace some dialogue in a game with a bunch of periods, that’s a pretty good translation, really spices things up

  15. I hadn’t heard of this issue or would’ve looked into it too. Nice comparison though! I do not really have any sort of opinion on the matter, but when I translate things I seem to aim for the more literal approach than the interpretive (and adding things) approach. Nothing to complain about, but interesting to look at none the less. 🙂

  16. Senran Kagura, Shinovi Versus, I think, had “itadakimasu” translated as “rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub”, which was based on an /a/ meme.

    Of course, this sort of thing always sticks out like a sore thumb and is painful to see in any game’s script, especially when your meme involves butchering grammar to accomplish it.

    1. Neptunia Rebirth1 has the same, and it’s kinda a classic meme at this point, nothing wrong with it.

    2. Actually, it’s a Simpsons line! Fourth episode ever. It was Bart’s sarcastic way of saying grace before dinner, which many religious Westerners do, so that’s a perfect way of handling that line if it was said in the context of sarcasm.

      1. It’s both! “rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub” as a translation for itadakimasu was also an /a/ meme.

        Thanks of course to Bart Simpson and his copious meme skills.

  17. I don’t really have anything against using memes in games like this, but at the same time there should at least be some reason for its existence. In the example of Link’s Awakening, it’s when you get the Fire Rod so “burn baby burn” makes some sense in context while still being a funny reference. In this case, it’s a reference just for the sake of being a reference and nothing else, so I don’t really like it in this instance.


    The Pokemon fandom got really, really pissed over that specific line for some reason.

    1. Because it’s an absolutely needless shoehorned-in pop culture reference?

      1. Actually, it’s a pretty funny line. It’s so out of left field and pointless in context that it’s absurdly funny.

        In Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, there’s a little-known in joke, where a man says he’s writing a book called “My Pokemon is Fight!” It’s a reference to a book one of the writers of Something Awful wrote, “My Tank is Fight”, since the translator frequented the forums. Funny how the fandom couldn’t care less about that joke, right? After all, you’ve never heard anyone claim that line irrefutably destroyed Diamond & Pearl 😉

    2. Surely you can’t be serious?

      1. You’re waiting for someone to say “Don’t call me Shirley”, aren’t you? :p

        1. Pokemon actually did do that Airplane! joke in Black2/White2

  19. Looking at those two side-by-side screens at the top of the article, I honestly didn’t even realize what the problem was until you pointed it out below. I guess I just don’t follow a lot of memes (because i have at least half a brain :p ). That said, the line didn’t really seem all that bad in the english version at face value. Without knowing it was a reference to anything, it just looked like a guy who was enthusiastic about archaeology.

    1. Exactly. With maybe a dad joke thrown in.

  20. I guess I’m not wholly against references, but this is a pointless one imo.
    Maybe if a dog was saying it, or if it added anything new, but ancient ruins have nothing to do with a shiba inu and it’s just repeating words from the previous sentence.

  21. Heh, the people frothing at the bit about this would have their heads explode if they ever played an old Lunar game

    1. Working Design’s stuff actually gets regular use in discussions about this precisely because it’s a great example of how VERY quickly this kind of thing gets dated.

  22. References are only OK when they are subtle enough that it looks normal to anyone who doesn’t get it.

  23. Well, in Hyrule Warriors, there was that one line… I believe it went “Gorons for the victory! Huzzah!” For the win? Really, Gorons? XD Now yes, I laugh, when most would groan. And I admit I’m generally against memes cropping up like this. I think it’s just that, in this case, it matches the at times silly nature of the Gorons (I’m looking at you, Darunia, you ridiculous and awesome chieftain you X3), so it just makes me chuckle instead of annoyed.
    But I will say that I think there should be a distinction between pop culture references (MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, etc.) and just memes (things that are “funny” on the Internet for approximately five minutes). Pop culture references at least feel somewhat timeless; memes get dated in mere minutes. Okay, maybe not literally minutes, but they generally don’t last in humor value for any significant length of time, in my opinion.
    That’s my two cents.

  24. I’m definitely firmly on the anti-pop culture references side of the fence. Generally I find them jarring; it’s very difficult to involve myself in the fiction of the game if I’m being constantly wrenched out of it and back to what was popular nine months ago on 4chan. That said, I can occasionally appreciate them in a game that has a nonsensical attitude in the first place; the Mario & Luigi games, which were mentioned above, are a great example.

    As Poe mentioned earlier, the Ace Attorney games are frequently overburdened with pop culture rubbish; Ace Attorney 3 was nearly intolerable as a result. The long, long incidental dialogue (which can be triggered *repeatedly*) that terminates in the awful punch line “This is S.P.A.R.D.A.” was one hundred percent terrible at the time, and hasn’t improved with age.

    In this specific case, I was actually unfamiliar with the meme in question, and didn’t notice anything amiss about the way the character was speaking until it was explained. It seemed like a slightly odd speech pattern, but that’s hardly unusual; I never suspected it of being an internet meme.

    1. Yeah, Phoenix Wright 2 and 3 were done by a different localization team than the first and fourth games, and it really shows. It felt like they were trying too hard to capture the style of the pop culture reference heavy first game, but they weren’t nearly as good at it.

      1. Yeah, you’re not wrong. The original was smooth enough that often they felt entirely seamless; I’ll grant that much of it is likely down to my own ignorance toward a lot of pop culture (hence how I didn’t recognize the meme in this very post until it was explained), but I wasn’t bothered by them there particularly. They didn’t really trouble me badly in AA2 either; really, it was the hamfistedness of the third game and its “playoff beard” and “are you high” rubbish that put me off.

        While I’m shaking my fists cantankerously at Ace Attorney, I do want to give the series credit for pulling off an entirely different localization trope I hate: dialects. When localizers have all the characters in a game speak in different exaggerated dialects — q.v. the last ten years of Dragon Quest games — it drives me berserk. The Ace Attorney games, though, seem to use them well; this is in large part because they’re used only when they actually fit the character, and not just any old place to make characters sound different. The southern country gal dialect is a pretty solid fit for Lotta Hart, and Brooklyn gangster is so obvious for Furio Tigre that it would have seemed out of place if they *hadn’t* used it. So well done there, at least!

  25. I think the reference is not too out of place and is kinda poetic. It is however against the original intent and I also don’t see why 1 game needs 2 different English translations.

    1. The reason they do this is because Mario Party 8 had the word “spastic” in it, which is neutral in the US but very offensive in the UK.

      Ever since, they’ve had NoE do their own translation.

  26. My main issue with this is not that it’s not accurate or that the translators weren’t taking their job seriously, but that internet memes have very short lifecycles. It dates the game horribly to have flash-in-the-pan pop culture references thrown in, especially since these can be considered old or tired jokes before the game makes it to shelves.

  27. It seems a bit unprofessional. Shouldn’t they have an editor to ensure what makes it through to the final build, I don’t know, at least syntactically correct.

  28. I put a (small) reference to Planet of the Apes into Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits and it was edited out by the time the game was released. 🙁 There’s still a screenshot in the player’s guide, though!

    1. Oh well some people don’t appreciate references. That game was awesome though so thanks for working on it. Too bad End of Darkness Can’t say the same…

  29. Oh man, the old localization debate of “how much is too much?”… Putting in pop culture references when the source material doesn’t have anything like that is pretty taboo in my book. It’s disrespecting the spirit of the original script. Admittedly there are cases where that would probably be a good thing (such as an amazingly bland original script), but most of the time it’s not called for at all.

    NoA translations have gotten a lot less Ted-Woolsey-esque and a lot more Vic-Ireland-esque in recent years, I must say… Not a good trend at all…

  30. This “joke” is painful and makes me feel pretty justified in not buying this game. I don’t need someone’s brain-dead sense of humour shoved down my throat like this.

    1. A small meme in a book on a shelf that you have to go out of your way to find in the online Versus Mode room that’s only in the second half of one sentence justifies you not buying a game?

      Man, I don’t know if I’d ever buy games with that kind of standards.

      1. That’s how things get shoved down your throat, you know? You stick a meme in the corner and there it is, choking the player to death. Imagine!

        Oh no, such meme, so choke.

  31. I personally think that references and in-jokes are fine as long as A) the reference doesn’t change the emotional impact of the scene, B) the reference doesn’t “break character” for the character saying it, C) the reference is something at least somewhat appropriate to the setting and circumstances involved in the scene. Ideally, such jokes should be reserved for an instance where there was a joke in the Japanese version which wouldn’t translate well or at all into English.

    Personally, I think references to specific Internet memes should be avoided as much as possible, due to the short shelf-life of those kinds of jokes. As multiple people above mentioned, an Internet meme “fresh” at the time the localizers are doing their job might very well be old and stale by the time the game hits store shelves for actual sale. Even if the meme “survives” until the game hits store shelves, it might not last much longer.

  32. I really don’t see what the big deal is here. In this circumstance, yes it is a little weird to have a random old man character just randomly spout a meme, but so what? Nothing has been changed except for one throwaway line of dialog. Move on with your life people. ;P

  33. Whenever Gen 1 gets re-remade surely we’ll get a Helix shrine.
    (even though Helix is so 2014, this year it’s about Baba the dead Magikarp reincarnated as a time-traveling human girl, and Entei the TriHard 😀 )

  34. I write professionally every day, and I can attest that it gets boring. Throwing in little references, catch phrases, and puns is a way to brighten up my day. I suspect this is the reason the in-joke was added — to give the translator a smile — not necessarily some sort of obscure marketing grab. That said, these references often have more to do with the tastes of the writer than the audience, so a negative reaction to the choice can’t really be excused by saying “well, I was bored, and I thought it was funny.”

  35. I always prefer a translation that is as close to the original as possible, and only making original jokes when the original has a joke that would be lost in translation. And if possible, the joke should try to be the same feeling.

    I feel like you did this pretty well in MOTHER 3.

  36. I’ll admit, the line seems rather off. The book seemed fairly well written, until that random reference popped up. I will admit it breaks the immersion a bit. And this coming from someone who generally enjoys meme references. (With a heavy bias to older memes, out of personal nostalgia)

    To give an example of a reference that feels more in place, I would bring up Pokemon XY’s reference to ‘Over 9000!’. To explain, one random trainer comments upon his defeat, ‘Your Pokemon have incredible power levels. They’re over 9000 for sure!’ As others above have said, it feels more natural, as it doesn’t break the character of the guy saying it.

  37. Generally I have nothing against spicing up translations a bit to keep them smooth and entertainin where it fits, but… this one just doesn’t fit. At all. Pop culture references are tricky to begin with, since not everyone might understand them and they become dated after a while, but internet memes are even worse in this regard due to the incredibly short life cycle of them. Unfortunately, NoA seems to be determined to put in as many as possible lately, probably in attempt to appeal to the tumblr generation of players, and sometimes they completely miss being on point with them. Splatoon already had a little too much spiced up stuff for my taste, but at least it has no internet meme and tries to insert it into the world building…
    And as somebody who aims to be a translator at some point there is something else that concerns me: translations into other languages. I mean, NoA and NoE usually have different translation teams, but there are cases where games are being translated not with the Japanese, but the American script as a basis (for whatever reason), so when inserting a meme it might happen that it flies over the other translators’ heads and they translate it directly… and then get stupid things. For example, the US version of Fire Emblem: Awakening had Nintendo’s very own “My body is ready” meme in a support dialogue and OF COURSE the German version translated it directly (“Mein Körper ist bereit!”). While it worked in the context of the dialogue, knowing the origins of this line and then reading it directly translated makes the whole text more cringeworthy than it should be.
    In other words: spicing up translations is fine, but should be done with caution. And the doge meme was terrible to begin with, so inserting it in a space where it has absolutely nothing to do is… upping the terribleness by about a hundredfold.

  38. Well, we do know that Valve at least absolutely seems to loathe memes and thus stripped all of the cake references except one from Portal 2…

  39. It is very ancient. It IS in ruin. So what they are saying makes sense, whether you know the meme or not. Beyond that, it’s a game about using fashion to save fashion, basically, so it isn’t like it’s undercutting intended gravitas or something.

  40. Much cry, such overreaction.

  41. This is something I really ought to consider. As an aspiring novelist with practice in more fan-work type stories, making references comes largely second nature, but they tend to be more to video-game quotes.
    The plan for my own stories largely gravitates to having one character, an established gamer chick with an established insanity streak, make most, if not all, of them, and have two of the other characters (a Japanese-raised academic who rarely speaks English and a faux popular bitch) have no idea what she’s blabbing on about.

  42. Ooo, ooo, talk about the squid puns in Splatoon!

  43. I ran into one in a Harvest Moon game for the Wii. It was the game made before “Animal Parade”. When you meet the blacksmith or woodsman, not sure which, he introduces you to his dog. “This is Boss. He was born to run.” Makes me laugh every time. Also makes me wonder how many people actually get the joke.

  44. Good grief, who cares? Honestly, who cares about a dumb reference that the translators put in a game to elicit a chuckle? Are you people that self-entitled?

    It’s a dorky reference. So what? Move on with your lives and please quit going to tears over the tiniest things.

  45. Phantom Dusclops'92

    Talking about references like that, the Italian translation of Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire stuck here and there some references jokes in trainer names. Like the couple of Ace Trainers you fight around 2/3 in Victory Road named Conan and Lana after the main characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s “Future Boy Conan” for example.

    Also, I never did stuff such as fan translations, but since I read your Earthbound comparison, I want to do an Italian fan translation of that game where Franky’s line about him training for “a little bit of pro wrasslin'” haves him say “bresslinz”, that is how wrestling is called in the popular Italian blog “L’Antro Atomico del Dottor Manhattan” (The name translates “Doctor Manhattan’s Atomic Lair” BTW)

  46. Not that I hate memes, Doge is one of my faves lol, but come on …I don’t liked it… meme are cheap jokes and we don’t pay cheap for the games … If there wasn’t ajoke in first place why to add? depending the case is OK to make some puns, if it’s centred on the game universe it’s allright… but memes ….
    Idk if the thing was about a dog ….
    I’m working n some fan translations and I know that fell nice ” let’s add this here hshsh I’m a genius!” and some times ” we can make it better”… it’s stupid… really :\ It can not ruin all the game but I hav a bad feeling wen I get across these stuff … like “localizing food” or strange talk….

  47. Final Fantasy V Advance had quite a few of these kinds of references, which for the simple and lighthearted story of the game didn’t detract from anything. Off the top of my head, I know of nods to Reading Rainbow, Pokemon, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, and even Devo’s song “Whip It”.

    1. FFVA’s dub was light-hearted in general, though, at least when the plot wasn’t going to any dark places. References like that feel more natural when the game doesn’t take itself seriously.

  48. The funny thing is…So ancient, such ruin is actually just fancy english. So ancient can be used in the same way as So green, and such ruin is fancy english for “it’s very much in ruin.”

    So the meme-haters get super salty about fancy English. Seems legit.

    1. “so ancient” clashes with the preceding sentence, first of all. It’s awkward. Also, in context, “ruin” is a noun. You don’t say “such noun”. That’s not fancy English. That’s an ignorant person with no clue what fancy English is.

      1. ‘Also, in context, “ruin” is a noun. You don’t say “such noun”.’

        You absolutely can. “Such power!” and such. If “ruin” here is used as the general state of the area, which it absolutely can be, the string is one hundred percent grammatical. On the question of whether it’s fancy or not, I will withhold judgment.

        I admit I’m not too big on the doge meme myself and that line was a bit of a groaner, but once I unfocused my eyes and looked strictly at whether it was grammatical then I eased up on it a little. Not where my mind would go, but I’m willing to spot them that one. The Twitter overreactions are hilarious, though.

        1. Power isn’t a noun by the way. That’s using it as an adjective.

  49. Somewhat related: In the North American version of Etrian Odyssey Untold, Raquna (the party’s tank in story mode) sometimes says “Come at me!” when she uses Provoke. This is, IMO, a rather good use of memes; it feels natural (she’s trying to get enemies to, well, come at her instead of the rest of the party), doesn’t seem intrusive, and might not even be noticeable due to lacking the usual “bro” at the end.

  50. Ugh.. memes..
    I’m not hating on people who like them, I just don’t see the appeal in them. :/ *sigh*..

  51. Also [spoiler]…

    The game is set about a thousand years after the end of the world. Raquna is heavily implied to be a post-apocalyptic Canadian (she comes from Ontario, in the north; she uses our stereotypical “eh?”; her accent is roughly Canadian; she likes maple-flavoured ice cream; etc.). It’s entirely possible that the actual meme survived in-universe, and that she’s intentionally using it.

  52. I’ve heard some weren’t keen on Tales of Zestiria’s English localization relying on memes for some aspects. That Doge meme was also referenced in the game’s description for fashion items of the Shiba Inu Tail (“A gallant dog’s tail. So curl. Many Heroism. Wow.”) & the Shiba Inu Ears (“A gallant dog’s ears. Much soft. Very fluff.”). Wasn’t the only fashion item with meme references in its description since the Sunglasses’ one references another by telling you to “Deal with it”.

    While they aren’t the most bothersome for me, a lot of memes just wear out their welcome so quickly. Then again, with all the fighting games that I play, I feel like I still would end up asking where your curleh mustache is.

  53. Oh man, I remem(e)ber the big deal about this… Personally, I don’t really mind it? It might have felt a bit tacked-on and din’t make that much sense for the character (plus doge was never my favorite meme in the first place), but eh, it’s just one line, at most I would roll my eyes a bit and move on.

    As for references, I tend to really like the kind of reference that “feels natural” in the script/for the character ect. or that at least wouldn’t be TOO out-of-place for the situation. Someone who doesn’t get the reference might not even notice anything unusual, but for people who DO get it it’s this “aaaah, I see what you did there!” moment, like an extra bonus. And that also goes for memes (I sometimes appreciate a well-placed meme reference, actually) – I guess I just have a higher tolerance for them and get tired of them much slower, haha. (Though, many memes would certainly be harder to work into the script naturally, and stick out even more if they don’t “fit in”)

    …though, I gotta admit I DO often appreciate references (even memes) because I’m easily amused by “heh, they referenced that thing I like, nice”, but I see how others would get annoyed, and sometimes they do feel pretty forced. (Ubisoft’s “let’s pitch a meme” E3, anyone? Not a game, but still… that was terrible) Project X Zone 2 was sometimes a big game (pun intended) of “spot-the-reference”, with a bunch of shout-outs to various games, anime, and yes, memes (“Punch starfish, for great justice!”), and… I kinda loved it, especially being proud of recognizing the more obscure references. (Still amazed they had an Action 52/Cheetahmen shoutout, laughed so hard at that one!) Plus… Xiaomu, the character who makes most of the references is characterized as a silly otaku/geeky character, so at least it would make some sense for her to drop references left and right even when if obviously “sticks out”. Would certainly feel weirder coming from… well, most of the other cast. (And the game itself is a whole big ridiculous crossover, so it certainly was never going for anything “serious” in the first place.) I don’t know how many references were in the original – it certainly had some there already – but from what I’ve heard a bunch got added by the localization team.

    Anyway, in terms of localization… I would rather have a more liberal localization that “flows” and sounds better, than a hyper-literal translation that just ends up more “boring” and “dry” in the translated language than it was in the original. Even if it means having to endure a few annoying references here and there. Try to keep some of the original tone and intent, yeah, but feel free to spice it up a bit too if the literal translation just doesn’t work that well! Often, some of the most memorable game moments for me are amusing lines and dialogue… and some of those, as I’ve found out later, are products of localization.
    (And honestly, with examples like this, I generally get more of a feeling of the translator genuinely just being silly and having some fun rather than trying too hard to “appeal” or pander (which is an accusation I see sometimes), especially if it’s just a throwaway line or two.)

  54. Mars Adept Enten

    Oh, right. This meme. I originally read about this on TV Tropes and later heard it mentioned in a Let’s Play of Tri Force Heroes, and thought that this was a great example of a forced meme. It doesn’t fit contextually with the Zelda series at all. And the ‘Doge’ meme was stupid to begin with IMO. I personally don’t think that inserting this meme was necessary at all and I can understand why people would get upset over it. Granted, the other Zelda references are actually funny (to me, at least. Can’t speak for other folks) because they usually fit with the rest of the dialogue/text or are silly enough to make me laugh. This on the other hand, does NOT do either of those. If they had put an actual Zelda meme in, I probably would be okay with that, as it would ‘fit’ the series overall.

    tl;dr: I think NoA putting this meme in was stupid and a bad idea overall.

  55. It’s funny, coming at this from 2021.

    I didn’t immediately recognize the American version as a doge reference. I just thought “that’s a bit of silly wording, but it makes sense as a joke, I guess.” It just seemed like something that was silly on purpose, not any specific reference.

    And then I did get the reference, and, well… I can’t say doge is massively culturally relevant in 2021, but as I said, it still works with a lack of cultural relevance. It doesn’t take me out of it wondering what that was all about. I think I prefer the European version of the line, but the American version isn’t horrible or annoying from my 2021 perspective.

    Maybe when it was still a popular-but-overused meme this would’ve seemed more grating to me. But now? It’s mildly amusing, and not as distracting as it seems to have been for so many 2015 players.