What Those 2 Untranslated Posters Say in Link’s Awakening


In The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, there’s an item shop in the main town where you can buy stuff, which is pretty normal and all. But what’s unusual about this shop is that you can actually steal items from it! Doing so has consequences, though, so you gotta think before you do it.

Anyway, a reader by the name of Vince94 recently asked a question that’s related to this shop and stealing items from it:

One of the pictures the photographer in Link’s Awakening takes is when you steal from the Item Shop, and there are Japanese posters on the wall of the shop! I’ve always wondered what they say.

And here’s the image in question:

Zelda GTA make it happen

This is pretty simple! The left sign says something like:

Shoplifting prevention

And the right sign says:

Shoplifting is a crime

How strange that they didn’t translate these when releasing the game outside of Japan, though! I wonder how that happened. Maybe someone forgot about it and it slipped through the localization process somehow? As I recall, these photographs weren’t in the original release of the game, but were added into the later version you could play on the Game Boy Color. If so, maybe they just sort of copy-and-pasted the original translation into the game but forgot to translate the new content?

If anyone knows or has any suggestions, let me know in the comments!

Update: Vince94 has since made a small patch for this Zelda game that localizes these posters (and other things) into English! You can find it here!

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. Wow, all these years of playing Link’s Awakening and I never even noticed those signs on the wall in that photograph!

  2. Funny how the photographer mouse never shows up in this scene to even give the photo a name.

  3. I’ve always thought the owner of the Item Shop being asian, as a kid. My idea was based on his eyes (I couldn’t read at that time… and when I learned, I suddenly discovered with huge pain that the game wasn’t in my language, since I’m italian).
    I can’t remember any of his dialogues, but could it be the reason behind those graphics untranslated…?

  4. I know they had to do at least a little editing for the GBC release, because the hint tiles with their corresponding tile pieces in the dungeons were replaced with talking owl statues and stone beaks, and text referring to them was altered accordingly.

    1. Yeah, and the DX version also got some updates to the English script in addition to the new hint statues. They’re documented on TCRF, along with other localization stuff that applies to the original:


  5. I didn’t even realize that was Japanese, I thought it was the fictional Hylian language!

    One thing that always bugged me about this photo in the DX version of the game is there is NO alternative photo. In order to get a “complete” photo album, you HAVE to steal something from the shop and be forever labelled a THIEF (worse, better make sure that stealing from the shop is the last thing you ever do there, otherwise you will lose that perfect “no deaths” score). Really messed up…

    1. I never playes the DX verdion, but in the original it was possible to steal things from the shop and go back in without getting killed. You steal the thing and then reënter as normal, and the shopkeeper doed his “die thief” bit and fires the zap beam. Then, while your health is draining, save and quit. When you resume, it will have cleared the flag that causes the shopkeeper to murder you, but you never actually died, so your death counter stays at 0.

      As long as you’re willing to be a THIEF and a CHEATER, anyhow. 😉

      1. Apologies for one million typoes. Typed quickly on a mobile device, and I failed to spellcheck.

        1. Apology accepted. Besides, it made for a hilarious read.

      2. Unfortunately, the DX version fixes this particular glitch. It also means you can’t “steal” the bow by saving and quitting after paying but before most of your rupees have been deducted.

        It also fixes the “edge warp” glitch and the glitch that lets you get into some areas of one of the dungeons before you are able to, therefor getting you stuck because you used up one too many keys at the wrong point.

  6. Huh, I never noticed those before. I remember successfully taking items without paying, like the Yoshi Doll.

    1. Wasn’t the Yoshi Doll won in a mini-game, not the item shop?

      1. Oh yeah, I got the two mixed up. It’s been years. XD

  7. I’m 99% positive these types of image stills didn’t exist in the original Link’s Awakening. These were meant to be for the GB Printer, which only worked with the Link’s Awakening DX version, so I’m pretty sure they didn’t include any of them until the DX version. I grew up with the original one first, and don’t remember having seen any of those images until the DX version.

    1. That’s right, this is exclusive to the DX version (the only reason the photos are still black and white is because they are printed to a black and white printer).

  8. Found this picture from Link’s Awakening on the Zelda Wiki page: http://zeldawiki.org/images/4/45/Photo10.gif

    It has 大漁 written on the right side of the boat, which apparently is “Great Catch” according to their translation.

    1. Oh, cool, I probably never would’ve even noticed that!