What Does Edgar Say About Relm in Each Final Fantasy VI Translation?

30 Comments

There’s a short little scene in Final Fantasy VI that several readers have asked me about over the years. It’s when Edgar, who hits on every girl he sees in the game, meets Relm, a ten-year old girl.

Translations of this scene vary a bit from one version of Final Fantasy VI to the next, so readers have been curious about which one is the closest to the original text. So let’s take a look!

Original Japanese Scene

Image 1Image 2

A major story event has just occurred, and terrible things have happened. To end the scene on a lighter note, this little exchange happens between Edgar and Relm right after they meet:

Relm: What’s wrong, lover-boy?

Edgar: Say, how old are you?

Relm: Ten.

Because Edgar has tried to hit on almost every girl so far, players might expect him to do the same here. But he instead pauses for a second, after which Relm responds:

Relm: Weirdo. I’m going on ahead.

Relm leaves, and Edgar talks to himself:

Edgar: Yeah, that’d definitely be a crime… I better just forget about it.

Super NES Translation

Image 1Image 2

Relm: What’s wrong, lover boy?

Edgar: How old are you?

Relm: 10… Why?

Relm: I’m coming along, too.

Edgar: You’ve grown up entirely too fast! Lighten up, okay?!

We can see that Edgar’s final line was changed to avoid the iffy topic brought up in the original script.

Game Boy Advance Translation

Image 1Image 2

Relm: What’s wrong, lover-boy?

Edgar: …How old are you?

Relm: Ten… Why?

Relm: Weirdo. I’m going on ahead, okay?

Edgar: Not even a lady yet… Here’s hoping you’re still around in eight years, kid.

We can see that this new translation is much closer to the original script than the Super NES version. The part about being a criminal is also phrased in a slightly less direct way than the original Japanese script.

Mobile / PC Translation

HOLY GIYGAS I think this is the ugliest big-budget game I've ever seenHOLY GIYGAS I think this is the ugliest big-budget game I've ever seen

I haven’t played the mobile or PC versions of Final Fantasy VI, but based on this Let’s Play video it’s clear that this scene’s dialogue is identical to the dialogue in the GBA version.

Fan Translation

Image 1Image 2

One reader specifically asked about how the old fan translation of Final Fantasy VI handles this scene. Here’s how it unfolds:

Relm: What’s wrong, randy man?

Edgar: How old are you?

Relm: Ten.

Relm: Strange old man. Relm is coming, too.

Edgar: That’s just criminal…… Don’t even think of it.

The fan translation showcases some odd translation choices in this short scene, but the final line is clearly the most direct translation of all the ones we’ve seen so far.

Other Translations

There have been more releases of Final Fantasy VI than just these ones – the PlayStation version, the various Virtual Console versions, the Super NES Mini version, and probably others. I didn’t have an easy way to check these versions, but they’re likely identical to the Super NES translation. Still, as we’ve seen, it’s not 100% safe to assume re-releases are always identical.

Summary

From this short scene alone we can kind of see a broad history of game translation: the earliest translations tiptoe around content issues by rewriting stuff, more recent translations do retain the original issues while paying closer attention to intent, and old fan translations tend to be the most direct and erratic at the same time.

I’ve always wanted to do a deeper comparison of all the different translations of Final Fantasy VI, so I’ve been planning a series of live streams in which each version’s translation will automatically pop up on the side while I play through a single version of the game. Once I get everything set up I’ll announce it on the site and on my Twitter feed.


If you enjoyed this quick look at multiple translations of the same game, definitely check out my Final Fantasy IV translation overview - I compare like 10 different translations of the game!

30 Comments
  1. “Randy man”?! That just sounds weird.

    Reply
    1. That’s fan retranslations for you.

      Reply
      1. I’m always leery of fan translations, unless they are done by reputable groups, or at least have reputable translators involved. (A great example is Mother 3, which has Mato all over it.)

        Reply
    2. I’m guessing it was done by someone British.

      Reply
  2. This is an instance where the Woolsey translation is much, much better than the newer one. Dodging the iffy topic by having him give life advice was a great move. But my goodness, on GBA, Edgar sounds like Quagmire from Family Guy.

    Reply
    1. I think the FF3US translation, in general, is rather deft. Particularly with how Woolsey dodged around Nintendo America’s content policies while trying to retain the original spirit.
      Or original spirits, for that matter. Changing that one guy’s drink from sake to cider made sure the audience read it as a beverage instead of word salad(as audiences would’ve read it not as japanese beverage but in the sense of “for pete’s sake”), but even as a kid it did not escape my notice that hard cider is a thing.

      The Relm conversation is more a circumstance of VERY different societal standards.
      The original US localization deflects the issue with a quick rewrite, because there was NO WAY IN HELL Nintendo was going to approve that no matter how gently they tiptoed around it. The GBA one toes about as close to the original line as you can get in the west without stepping over a completely different kind of line.
      I’d argue that there’s merit in both approaches, though I prefer the FF3US version.

      But the most important thing is… poor Edgar. The one girl willing to give him the time of day.

      Reply
      1. Yeah, Woolsey did an incredible job even just in a vacuum, but then consider all the constraints he had to work within. Nintendo’s censorship, lack of access to the original script and authors, huge time pressure, memory limitations — it’s unreal.

        He’s also a really cool guy. He’s @ted_woolsey on Twitter — I was playing FF6 on virtual console some years back and got the idea that I should let him know I enjoyed his work, and he was very gracious.

        Reply
    2. It’s pretty refreshing, considering all the other instances where Woolsey made things more punchy and X-treme. I always thought Edgar was a creep, but if I handn’t played the Woolsey translation, he would have easily beaten Locke as my least favorite character.

      Reply
  3. I have no idea why Japan would even want a scene like this to exist in the first place. Steered a little close to pedo content there.

    Reply
    1. I don’t get that impression at all, and i’m surprised that so many people do.
      Like, isn’t the intention of his line to STOP himself and go “Yeah, that’s just wrong.”?

      I don’t get the negativity. He’s admitting it’s terrible and saying as much.
      Given how Japan has a long, long history of actually condoning and making a lot of justifications for lolicon fantasies, I think this sets a surprisingly GOOD precedence for Edgar.

      Reply
      1. The idea of hitting on a 10-year-old girl wouldn’t even enter the mind of someone who isn’t disgusting.

        Reply
      2. Maybe it’s just the fact that it brought up the subject in the first place is why this scene disgusts people. The sad fact is there are grown men and women who try to go after children (a rather disturbing case of six year old girl “idols” having middle-aged men for fans in Japan exists) and I think even joking about it isn’t funny. That’s just my opinion anyway.

        Reply
        1. Well, just being fans shouldn’t be put in the same category as the people perving out over them. I’m sure there are perfectly innocent adult male fans.

          Reply
  4. I’ve never played FF VI, is there any reason why Relm would be talking in third person like that in the fan translation (other than, well, that it’s a fan translation)? Does she talk like that elsewhere in the game?

    Also, about the stream, any ballpark estimate on when that might be? As I said, I haven’t played FF VI yet, and might like to play through it for myself before watching you guys play through it. I just wanna know if it’s something I should jump on right away or if I’ve got some time.

    Reply
    1. In Japanese, talking about yourself in third person is a kind of cutesy way to talk. The fan translators probably translated this too literally.

      Reply
      1. Yeah, it’s another one of those things that fan translators tend to cling to unnecessarily. I should probably make a page listing all these kinds of “fan translation fingerprints” someday.

        Reply
        1. CrouchingMouse

          Oh man, I’d love that. Besides being interesting in its own right, it might be a good way to see “what not to do” in a fan translation. I agonize over that all the time when I’m doing practice/fan stuff.

          Reply
        2. I would love to see that. It would make for a very good companion piece to this article on a similar topic: http://www.onepiecepodcast.com/2015/10/13/how-scanlations-ruin-your-one-piece-experience/

          Reply
        3. I know it was too literal now, of course, but back then I had this weird idea in my head that Japanese language quirks could be directly translated and still retain their meaning to the audience (neglecting to realize that it was only me that got it). As I’ve mentioned in another post in this thread, I’ve since corrected misconceptions like that and appreciate the necessity of a skilled localization over a direct translation.

          Reply
  5. I can’t help but feel the translators made the right choice here back in the day. Regardless of authenticity, pedophilia jokes are a hard sell in the US. I remember one game called Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, originally on the PSP and PC, which then got remade for the 3DS a few years down the line. It kept in 100% of the jokes about a middle-aged man hitting on the twelve-year-old protagonist, and pretty much everywhere I’ve seen the game mentioned has talked about how tasteless this is.

    I know Tales of Symphonia also had a sidequest wherein you had to have the party’s local lothario Zelos flirt with all the female NPCs–regardless of age. I don’t know what the Japanese version was like, but the English version kept most of his “flirting” with children at the level of “d’aww aren’t you a sweetheart” stuff.

    Reply
    1. I’m glad someone else has played Gurumin. Yes, that miner guy hitting on Parin was a little much. Parin kept telling the guy to piss off, but he couldn’t take a hit. It was honestly the only negative thing in the game I can recall because everything else about it is fun.

      Reply
      1. I know! It’s otherwise a perfect kid’s game: goofy story, lovably sassy hero, bright and colorful world. But that one insidious little running joke had to be a part of it and make us all feel uncomfortable.

        Reply
        1. One of my all-time best purchases for PSP is Gurumin. If they had just ditched that uncomfortable joke, I would rate it damn near perfect.

          Reply
  6. It’s funny because earlier in the game a very small girl who seems MUCH younger than Relm says “his highness said he’d marry me when I got older!” So even the SNES translation had no trouble with Edgar coming on to small children.
    Though the GBA translation revealed something even weirder. It’s been said that he “tried to hit on the high priestess”. You also meet a woman identified as “matron” in the SNES version and it’s implied she had a big hand in raising the twins after their mother died. But in the GBA version it’s revealed that she’s really said high priestess! He hit on his mother figure!

    Edgar you horndog how in the world do you have any blood left to go to your brain.

    Reply
    1. I walked away from those interactions with a different impression, personally. I read the kid claiming to be Edgar’s fiance as just Edgar humoring an overeager child, like when your fourth grade classmate says she’s gonna marry her favorite member of whatever boy band when she’s older. I believe there’s a later interaction that supports this, where if you come back and talk to her later with Edgar in your party, she says “Your highness, marry me, marry me!”

      As for the GBA version of the Relm interaction, I didn’t take it as “Edgar’s waiting for Relm to hit legal age,” I took it more as “Edgar laments the fact that such a young child is/will be joining them in battle, and hopes she makes it through all this alive.”

      But maybe that’s just me projecting my own morals on Edgar, since outside of these incidents he’s unambiguously intended to be an upstanding young man. I never noticed how rapey Setzer’s introduction was until later, either.

      Reply
      1. Plus Setzer is in the midst of committing a massive felony as well. What’s weird is that this aspect of his personality gets immediately dropped in favor of a death wish and recklessness.

        Reply
  7. Perpetually Late

    I prefer the SNES line for another reason, besides avoiding pedophile jokes.

    I got the impression that Edgar wasn’t much older than Relm at the time of the infamous coin toss. I had believed seeing her head off into battle reminded him of when he was that age and how he was forced to grow up. To me, Edgar seeing her retain her childlike demeanor in the face of this turmoil was a reminder that he had let himself get too carried away with being an adult. It was a small development for the young king, who had lived a life of responsibility, that he didn’t have to be serious (or faking “maturity” by flirting) and lose all wonder because of the trouble that’s going on all around them.

    Reply
  8. The thing with it being a crime sounds strange coming from a king… You know, a guy whose weird IS the law. The original script could’ve gotten that point across in a different way.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *