You know how your brain just sort of fizzles out when you try to think about how many stars there are in the universe and stuff like that? At some point, it just becomes impossible for the human mind to grasp things at that scale.
Well, the same thing happens whenever I think about how many translation problems there are in the Super NES RPG Breath of Fire II. I even wrote a huge overview of the game’s translation issues, yet barely scratched the surface. Breath of Fire II is a miracle of bad translation.
However, Breath of Fire II is also one of those games with a “slow burn” bad translation, just like Twinkle Star Sprites and Harvest Moon. Basically, single problems might not seem too bad, but they come at such a quiet, steady pace that when you eventually look back on your experience with the game, the text nonsense is one of the first things to come to mind.
Without a doubt, Breath of Fire II deserves a spot on my all-time bad game translation list. So here are just a few examples of the game’s translation in action:
Again, individual screenshots don’t really do the game justice. But if you want to see more details about the game’s translation issues here, see my review here.
The crazy thing is that this translation is actually an improvement. A beta version of the game shows that the script had even more issues.
Incidentally, Capcom re-released Breath of Fire II for the Game Boy Advance many years later… but didn’t fix a single thing in the translation. The script was edited for the game’s Virtual Console release much later… but it only changed two lines that didn’t really need fixing. Brrrr!