This Be Bad Translation #07, Battle Rangers!


Battle Rangers, an arcade game known as Bloody Wolf in Japan, was translated into English and released internationally in the late 1980s. The translation was performed by a non-native English speaker, however, resulting in bizarre lines on par with the infamous “all your base are belong to us” quote.

Note that a separate North American release of the game (which retained the Bloody Wolf title) featured a completely different translation with very different text – in fact, sometimes text was removed entirely.

There were also several ports of the game to home consoles, some of which had poor translations of their own. Maybe we’ll look at them down the road!

Main Game

For a game with so little text, Battle Rangers is a treasure trove of amusing translation choices. Below are some highlights from the main script.

Final Battle

During the final battle, the final boss (cleverly named “Boss”) breaks the players’ weapons with a boomerang.

Ending (One-Player Game)

Although this ending features obvious English translation issues, subtler issues abound as well. The translation includes classic Japanese-to-English missteps – such as the ”don’t mind” line – and simple brain-fart mistakes like the president’s “me” at the end of one line and the start of the next.

Ending (Two-Player Game)

This ending features a large number of ellipses that I assume were inserted to keep the text box count the same as the one-player ending. This ending also fixes the president’s double “me” problem from the one-player ending.

If you liked this, check out This be book bad translation, video games!, my book dedicated to game translation disasters from the 1970s until today!
  1. Great stuff Mato! Thank you for posting this!

  2. “Heavens! How you’ve got here!”

    Isn’t that Heauens, not Heavens?

    1. Whoa, nice catch, I didn’t even see that before. Thanks!

  3. Why do they even have two different version of the president’s text when he’s saying the same thing? I assume there was probably only one person who translated this whole game, so you’d think they would just copy/paste the text rather than translate it differently the second time (assuming he says the same thing in both Japanese endings, anyway, but the text is so close I can’t imagine it was different).

    The only thing I can think is that whatever testing was done afterwards was only done in 2P, they noticed the mistake, but only updated the 2P version?

    What’s interesting is they fixed the double ‘me’ part, but also changed the ‘OK’ to ‘Can I’ which actually makes the sentence sound even more awkward (at least ‘Let me say one thing, OK’ could be passible).

  4. I guess “ultra-red glasses” is a cooler way to say he got… normal glasses.

    1. I have an old chemistry book (~1925) that refers to what we would call IR-light as Ultra-Red.

  5. Angel R. Rivera Santana

    Compare it to the Japanese script, the USA exclusive Bloody Wolf cabinet and the TurboGrafx translation

    1. Bloody Wolf (AC)’s translation seems more competent in terms of grammar, yet substantially drier.

      1. Angel R. Rivera Santana

        And that version also has a lotta cut out text…

        But the Turbografx keeps the entire script, while also improving on it

  6. I love how the one-player ending has the P2 character apologizing for missing the action. It is a fantastic little detail.

  7. Oh, man, this whole game/article is gold!
    “You stupid! You die!” must be one of the greatest lines in any game!

    Curious about the repeated use of the word “guys”, though… is there a specific Japanese word that more literally translates to “guys” as opposed to “men”? Or do translators just choose to say “guys” because they heard it on an American TV show, or something?
    Whatever the case may be, it probably explains “Eat this guys!” from Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. (Bit of context: This line is spoken by the very big, very evil overlord, with his dying breath! The tone is just a teensy bit too informal, I’d say!)

    1. Yeah, there are lots of word like yatsu/yatsura, koitsu,koitsura, soitsu/soitsura, and aitsu/aitsura that get used all the time in entertainment and get translated as “guys”. There’s also minna which occasionally gets translated as “guys”. Then there are all the million different ways of saying “you” which get translated as “guys” when pluralized.

      1. Thanks for clarifying- I didn’t expect that there would be so many ways to arrive at that one word in English.