After I posted a recent article about MC Hammer and the Legend of Zelda, a reader named Adamant asked a follow-up question:
is the Disco Inferno reference in Link’s Awakening (when you get the fire rod) in the Japanese version as well, or was that added in the localization?
Specifically, the question is referring to the phrase, “Burn, baby, burn!” that appears when you get the Fire Rod in the English release:
If, by some chance, you’re not familiar with the Disco Inferno song, it repeats the phrase, “Burn, baby, burn” over and over:
So, did the Japanese version have this too? Let’s take a look!
|Legend of Zelda: The Dreaming Isle||The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening|
And here’s a look at the actual text for easy comparison:
|Japanese Text||Basic Translation||Official Translation|
|マジックロッドを てにいれた！||You got the Magic Rod!||You’ve got the Magic Rod!|
|もやせ！もやせ！やきつくせ！||Burn! Burn! Burn it all!||Now you can burn things! Burn it!|
|Burn, baby burn!|
After doing some double-checking, it looks like the Japanese line is just meant to be taken completely at face-value; it’s not a quote or anything.
And, as we can see, the English localization adds in the extra pop culture reference at the end.
To be honest, if I was translating this game from scratch and had no prior knowledge of stuff, the Japanese line probably would’ve inspired me to use “burn, baby, burn” too. Not because of any actual connection to the song, but simply because there are three short phrases in a row about burning. So I can kind of see how the localizers hit upon the idea of including the quote.
So, in the previous game, a pop culture reference in the original Japanese game was removed in the English version, but in this game, a pop culture reference was added into the English version that wasn’t in the Japanese version. I guess maybe there’s just something about these games that make Nintendo’s staff want to insert tiny references!