Project Octopath Traveler: How is Helgenish in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts. Last time, I looked at a scene from late in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

Today’s post comes from the coming game Project Octopath Traveler for Nintendo Switch. The game demo was released recently, and I was playing through it when I came across a scene I wanted to check.

The scene in question is at the start of Primrose’s path where she has to deal with the rather sleazy manager Helgenish. Considering some of the things he says, I wanted to see both versions.

So let’s take a look!


 

The only context needed is that Primrose is apparently a dancer in Helgenish’s servitude, as well as his favorite of the girls.

Japanese Literal Official Localization
Helgenish: ぐずぐずするな! 客が待ちくたびれてるぞ 前座ども行った、行ったたっぷりと稼いで来い!!

・・・出来の悪い猫どもめプリムロゼ、お前だけだ儂が頼りにしとるのは

Primrose: 身に余るお言葉ですわ支配人様

Helgenish:お前が舞台に立ってるからこの酒場は大きくなった だが、勘違いするなよ 誰のお陰かわかってるな?

Primrose: はい、感謝しています

Helgenish:無知な小娘に儂が一から教えてやったんだ

Primrose: ・・・・・・

Helgenish: *SLAP* ・・愛想笑いは、どうした?誰のお陰でいい暮らしができてると思ってる? いっぱしの踊子になるまで育ててやったのは・・・この儂だ いいか、恩を忘れるなよ?

Primrose: ・・・・・・・・・はい、支配人様

Helgenish: ふふ、それでいい・・・・・・儂は素直な猫が好きだ 舞台が終わったら いつものように儂の部屋においで やさしく、なでてやろう・・・

Helgenish: Quit dilly-dallying! The customers are gonna get tired of waiting! The opening act is starting, so get out there and earn your keep!

…Those useless cats. You’re the only reliable one that I can count on, Primrose.

Primrose: That’s more praise than I deserve, Mr. Manager Sir.

Helgenish: Ever since you appeared on stage, this tavern of mine has grown considerably. But don’t misunderstand me. You know who got you this far, right?

Primrose: Yes. I am forever thankful.

Helgenish: You were just a stupid little girl. I taught you everything you know.

Primrose: …

Helgenish: *Slap* What’s with that fake smile, huh? Did you forget who enabled you to live such a good life? Be grateful I raised you to be the wonderful dancer you are today!

Primrose: … Yes, Mr.Manager Sir.

Helgenish: Heh heh, good. I like an obedient cat. When the performance ends, I’ll be waiting in my room to pet you ever so gently –just like always~

Helgenish: Do I keep you women to titter here in the shadows? My customers are waiting for their entertainment! The opening act should be on that stage already. Now, get out there and earn your keep!

What a bunch of useless strays… But not you, Primrose… You are the only one I can rely on.

Primrose: You flatter me… Master.

Helgenish: Oh, hardly. Why, this tavern’s custom has increased tenfold since you stepped on our stage! But do not go forgetting yourself. It was I who groomed you for this role.

Primrose: And I will forever be grateful for that, Master.

Helgenish: You were an ignorant girl when I picked you up. Completely useless. I’ve taught you everything you know.

Primrose: …

Helgenish: *Slaps* What happened to your sweet little smile? Who puts a roof over your head, and food on your plate? Who bought the jewels that adorn your pretty neck? Who made you the most sought-after dancer in this dusty old town? It was me –all me. You owe me, kitten. And I’ll see that debt repaid.

Primrose: … Yes, Master…

Helgenish: Good then. Purr sweetly and I may give you a treat. Don’t dally when you’re done with your show. I will be waiting in my chamber. I’ll have you purr for me some more.

 

 

A quick note, in Japanese Primrose calls him (literally) “Sir Manager.” It is really redundant in English so “Master” was a good choice (goes well with the slave/cat style treatment too).

I didn’t really decorate the “literal” translation as much as I normally do this time simply to show it’s differences with the localization. As you can see, the gist of it is the same, meaning the localization changed little to no meaning. That means to show the things that did change, we have to gaze at nuance, which requires an awkward literal translation in some places.

You can see in the localization that Helgenish is a generally terrible person, built up to be the typical sleazy harem-owning type of guy. He is the same in Japanese, talking in a very masculine, dominating, and rough way.

In both you can see he refers to them as cats/kittens throughout the dialogue. He of course slaps Primrose in both, and invites her to his room after the stage, too.

A particular detail I liked that the localization did was emphasize his self centered-ness. In Japanese he uses the pronoun “washi” to refer to himself, which is basically a very snobby way of going about it in this context. You can see how in English he says “it was I” for instance in its place.

The differences come from a few small things. For one, in Japanese, she seems to have a forced smile on her after the line previously, where as in English the smile faded away. (Japanese he asks why she’s putting on a fake smile, in English he asks “what happened to the smile?”) That can still imply her usual smile became a fake one, it’s unclear! Either way results in her getting slapped.

After the slap, his English dialogue is much more colorful than the straightforward Japanese one. It’s a good way to emphasize just how much control this man has over her and wants her to be sure she knows it. In general, he talks more in English and has much more “colorful” dialogue, as is often the case in localization! Traits that are expressed with just a few inflections in Japanese often have to be emphasized in different ways for an English audience to get the same feeling a Japanese reader might. This often results in “punching up,” a term you may see me use a lot through these posts.

Lastly, the line in question regarding meeting him after the show. So, in English, he will “have her purr for him some more.” That can be taken in many different ways. In Japanese, he says “I’ll pet you (specifically word for an animal).” That can also be taken in many ways, but it is interesting that the Japanese focuses on the action (of petting) and the English on the result (purring). Both ways are reducing her to the level of an animal.

One notable difference however is in Japanese, he says “just like always,” implying this is a very much recurring thing he does with her. In English, it could be taken as the first time, or one of many times. It’s not as explicitly stated. So that was one interesting difference. Regardless, one time is sure to still be horrible enough considering his general treatment of Primrose and the other girls.

In short:

Helgenish is exactly the same. The localization conveys his cruelty and character rather well. The usual “punch-ups” to dialogue are to help emphasize character traits that are obvious to the Japanese readers through inflections and general tone that are hard to translate into English directly. As a result, he speaks a lot more in English. The only changes come from small nuances. Notable examples include getting slapped for a forced smile rather than her smile fading, as well as how her “post-show visit” would be “just like always” in Japanese, rather than the more vague one in English (in terms of how many times this happens). Both have the equal amount of innuendo, however.

References:

Infographic summary:

Below is a shareable infographic.


So what do you think of the above dialogue? Would you have done anything differently to emphasize those small nuances? Let me know below!

I will continue to look at fun differences between games. Any dialogue you’re interested in? Let me know in comments or via email.

If you like the comparison work I do (or any other translations I do), please feel free to support me by donating! I do this all on my valuable free time, and so every little donation really helps me out. : )

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FE9: Path of Radiance Localization: Schaeffer’s Death Quote [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts. Last time, I looked into a scene from the demo of the upcoming RPG Project Octopath Traveler.

Today’s post concerns Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Specifically, the boss of Chapter 22 (Solo). There are very minor spoilers, none to the overall story.

A reader said the following:

Can you translate the Japanese version of Schaeffer’s defeat quote in Chapter 22 of PoR? The English version is pretty (in)famous…

This should be interest, let’s take a look!

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-Back to Weekend Posting!-

Quick announcement:

As you can probably tell from the slow down in posts, the free time has run out, so I’ll likely resume weekend posting. That doesn’t mean I won’t post over the weekdays when able, but it won’t be a guarantee.

I do hope to continue weekend posting, however!

FE Awakening: The Most Unforgettable Birthday Translation [25th Anniversary Comiket Staff Book]

Today’s translation comes from the Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary Comiket Staff Book. It was a small book that featured notes and artworks from the game developers. I do not own this book, so all credit for the raw scans goes to an imgur gallery kindly uploaded by kingddd.

I am not translating these in any order, and simply by interest/request. I may get through the whole book eventually, but we will see! I’ve made a few other posts on it already (just search “comiket” in the top right search bar).

Nearly a year ago, a reader left a request to do pages 14 and 15 of the book, which feature a conversation from the Awakening cast (specifically, Severa, Lucina, Nah, and Kjelle). I thought it may be translated already, but upon searching I didn’t come across anyone who did…

It took awhile to translate since it’s essentially a bonus conversation as if it was in the game or the drama CD. I don’t think it’s been translated yet, so here it is. Sorry it took so long!


The Most Unforgettable Birthday

Severa: Come on you guys! Hurry up!

Nah: W-wait, Severa… you’re so fast…

Severa: We’re here! Nah, Lucina, Kjelle! This is the “Anna Megamart” –the number one place to shop in this town!

Lucina: My, what a fancy exterior.

Kjelle: Indeed. I’d say even Valm’s Fort Steiger pales in comparison.

Nah: But… why were you in such a rush to come here?

Severa: I made a promise to Kjelle awhile back. If we achieved peace, I’d take everyone shopping.

Kjelle: Now that the Fell Dragon has been defeated, she’s living up to that promise.

Nah: I see… but this doesn’t seem like “everyone.” We’re only four in total.

Severa: Uh…um…well yeah, that’s right…

Lucina: The others were rather busy, Nah. It’s unfortunate, but we should make the best of the situation and enjoy ourselves.

Nah: I guess it can’t be helped, huh? But I think we should buy something for everyone who didn’t come today. It just wouldn’t feel right if we only bought things for ourselves.

Severa: Uh…really?

Kjelle:  That’s—

Lucina: I think it’s fine, you two. It’s not like we don’t have the money.

Nah: Wow…! This place is huge…! All these accessories! All these clothes! And quite a few ornaments…

Kjelle: There are quite a few books here, too. Ah, isn’t this is a book on war tactics that Morgan was looking for?

Nah: Is it? Let’s buy that for Morgan then. Oh, here’s an interesting looking tome, too. Think it may come in handy for Laurent?

Severa: True, that Laurent does horde stuff like this. Ooh, look! A cute and delicate pink staff! That’s for Brady.

Kjelle: I wonder if he will take offense to the logic behind that “gift”… ah, well.

Severa: Inigo will look pretty cool with this chain accessory.

Lucina: It looks wonderful. I imagine it will look great strung across his waist while he dances.

Kjelle: What about Owain? I have no idea what he likes.

Severa: Well, things like swords are way too expensive… there’s probably some cheaper accessory here that he’d like. Here’s something that looks like it would be able to “keep his power in check” by design.

Kjelle: Right, that should work.

Nah: Wow… these earrings are so cute! They have green gems embedded in them… I think they would fit Noire rather well.

Severa: Those look great! Oh look, here’s a hairpiece that will be good for Cynthia, too.

Kjelle: It does look quite “heroic.” Just the way she likes it!

Severa: Who needs heroes when we have peace, though? Let’s get her something more feminine. Like…that one! It looks like something Sumia would wear.

Kjelle: Ah, that’s a good one, too. I think it’ll fit her really well.

Nah: Look at this! It’s a stuffed wyvern doll!

Lucina: That is rather unusual… but I suppose Jerome will like it.

Severa: Hmm… so there’s still Yarne to think about.

Lucina: How about this carrot shaped pillow? They seem to be on sale here.

Nah: Wow, there’s a bedding department here, too…

Kjelle: As expected of Anna. Quite the sales floor.

Sevena: With that, we got something for everyone! Now it’s time to buy things for us. There’s this black ribbon that caught my eye. It’ll go perfectly with my hair!

Lucina: For me…well I happened to see a doll that resembles my father that I am interested in…

Sevena: There’s a doll of Lord Chrom?! Why is something like that even being sold…?

Kjelle: It says: “The Hottest Craze in the Halidom!” …really? Ah, well. Anyway, this Ylissean dumbbell has caught my eye.

Severa: If by Ylissean dumbbell you mean that one that’s heavier than Ylisse itself, then you’re crazy!

Kjelle: Yes, that one. Though it wasn’t too hard to lift, so I think it’s perfect for me.

Lucina: Do you see anything that strikes your fancy, Nah?

Nah: Huh? Me?

Lucina: Yes, you have not chosen what you want after all. Please pick whatever you like.

Nah: I…I uh…I’m fine with not getting anything…

Lucina: What?

Severa: WHAT?!

Nah: W-well, just because you said you brought a lot of money along doesn’t mean we should just spend it all like that. We need to think about the future. So…I…I don’t need anything from here.

Severa: …Sigh… I mean we already bought things for everyone else, and you only bring that up now?

Nah: Y-yes…I guess…

Severa: You don’t even want this pretty flower ornament for your hair, then?

Nah: Ah…!! It’s…uh, I don’t need it, no…

Severa: Liar. Whatever. I’m getting this for you regardless of what you say! It’s my treat!

Nah: Wait, S-Severa! I truly feel I don’t need it…!

Lucina: Please wait a moment. Nah, do you know what day it is today?

Nah: Today…?

Lucina: Yes. March 29th. Nah…Today is your birthday, isn’t it?

Nah: Ah…!

Kjelle: What is this “ah!” nonsense? Did you really forget it was your own birthday? Now that’s something to “ah!” about!

Lucina: Well, it is partially our fault for not having expressed our congratulations sooner.

Nah: So that means… all this shopping was really…for me?

Kjelle: That’s right. The truth is we made the plan just a little while ago. That is, to take you out shopping and secretly get what you wanted most. I guess that didn’t last long, however. We really need to do a better job at this next time…

Nah: All this…for me…

Severa: Sorry to keep you all waiting! Was just paying off the ridiculous bill. Gods, we came out here to get Nah something and we end up buying stuff for everyone. Meh, whatever, I got what I wanted, so that alone makes it worth it.

Lucina: That’s right. Besides, I think its fine to go on a shopping spree every once in a while.

Kjelle: Severa buys useless things all the time anyway. This is at least a step up.

Severa: Time to get a refund on that dumbbell…

Kjelle: Hehe, sorry, sorry.

Severa: Anyway. Take this. It’s your birthday present. Happy Birthday, Nah!

Kjelle: Happy Birthday!

Lucina: Best wishes for your happiest day!

Nah: All of you… thank you so much! I…I’m so happy…

Severa: No problem. But, save those words for later on after the preparations are done!

Nah: Preparations…?

Kjelle: Why, for the party of course. The men are setting it up as we speak. Noire is baking the cake. Cynthia and Morgan will be putting on an interesting performance for it, too.

Severa: Don’t get your hopes up about that performance, though.

Lucina: Hahaha… I believe today’s cake is a “Double Black Bitter Landgraff.”

Severa: …what in the world is that?

Lucina: The cake’s name.

Kjelle: I think we can all guess who was in charge of naming it.

Nah: Hehehe. Whatever the cake is named, I’m all ready for it! Everyone has made me so happy… Ah, I guess I should put on this flower now, too!

Kjelle: Right now? You really are unpredictable at times, Nah. Here I thought you would be the type to treasure it and never wear it.

Nah: It may be because for once I just feel like letting myself go!

Severa: Good, that’s good! …There we go. Look at that. It really does fit you nicely!

Lucina: Let us return, then. We have kept the others waiting, after all.

Nah: Yes, let’s! …Everyone, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so, so much… I’ll never forget this day… Even when I become an adult, or when I become an old granny… no matter how many birthdays come and go… this will be the one I cherish forever and ever…

Happy Birthday Nah!


There we go! I took some liberties with the translation to express intent without things sounding awkward. If you wish for a super literal translation I can upload that later on. The most significant change I made is just Severa saying “time to return that dumbbell” rather than “you talk too much” which is what she said in Japanese. That was simply because the latter sounded awkward given the lines around it.

All the items mentioned in the conversation can be seen held by each character from the original pages below:

 

FE10: Radiant Dawn Localization: “Drowning in a pool of rancid butter” [JPN vs ENG]

 

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts. Last time, I looked at the “mustard of your doom” line from Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Today’s post however concerns an exchange from very late in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

As such, I’m putting in a spoiler warning for those who have yet to play this game! While I present this post in a spoiler free way, characters may be considered “walking spoilers” (it’s why no screen shot is provided).


So today we look at a line I’ve always been curious about myself, and one that some readers wanted to see too: That is, Sanaki’s “drowning in a pool of rancid butter” punishment she “decrees” to Sephiran.

Let’s take a look!

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Localization: “The Mustard of Doom” [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English versions. Last time, I looked into the “I was just about to walk my cat” line from Fire Emblem Fates.

Today’s post involves a line from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, requested by a reader:

“In light of the upcoming Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remake, why not compare one of its most famous quotes, the “mustard of doom”?”

I remember reading this quote somewhere, and I could’ve sworn Clyde Mandelin (of Legends of Localization) did so. But all I found was him referencing the line in this article of his. He was comparing other fun dialogue from the game, but not this one. I’m not sure if he did this one directly elsewhere. Either way, I looked into it!

Now, let’s take a look!

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FE Fates Localization: “I was about to walk my cat” [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between Fire Emblem games’ Japanese and English scripts. Last time, I looked at how Lukas from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is portrayed slightly differently in English

Today, I return to Fire Emblem Fates thanks to a reader on twitter:

“I was going through my Miiverse when I saw this and I was wondering if the cat was in the Japanese original or simply the localizers having fun. It’s from Revelation chapter 14.”

They provided a screen shot with it (seen above). It’s a brief side conversation with a villager upon visiting a home on the map.

Let’s take a look!

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