FE: Radiant Dawn: “What does that ‘Moldy Onions!’ guy say in Japanese?” [JPN vs ENG]

Awhile back I looked into a silly line from Path of Radiance which featured a soldier who had amused fans by saying “eat rock!”

A commenter wondered about another soldier line, this time from the sequel, Radiant Dawn.

I’m still wondering where they got “Mouldy onions!” from in Radiant Dawn. Like… Why…?

So I finally got around to taking a look!

Japanese English (Literal) English (Localization)
くそっ、どこへ行った Dammit, where’d they go?! Moldy onions! Where’d they go?!

*Note: The above Japanese line is from the basic game script The extended dialogue does not change it significantly, so is omitted.

Pretty straightforward, as you can see! The meanings are quite close, with one word simply changed.

In Japanese, the word “kuso!” (くそっ) is often used as a form of exasperation, like in English with curse words along the line of “dammit!” If you watch anime, you probably hear it a lot.

Of course depending on the context, intonation, etc. It can be anywhere from a tame “darn!” to the other extreme (“f***!”) In this case, the “dammit” is probably the most accurate given the situation.

In the end, they decided to go with “Moldy onions!” which I think is a great way to work around the problem entirely as to which degree of exasperation to work with. It can be taken as harshly or lightly as the reader figures, rather than leaving it to the localizer to have to work out. Probably a good approach in this case when considering the audience and ESRB/age ratings they have to adhere to.

Oddly, though, there are plenty of cases of other characters saying “Damn it!” in some fashion throughout the game.

For example:

Zelgius: Damn it! They’ve been captured!

Tibarn: Damn. Fine, I’ll carry you. Don’t get thrown off, kid. You better hang on tight.

Skrimir: We will return and regroup. It pains me, but we must. Damn it, Ranulf… He…got my leg.

Sothe: …Damn it.

Seeing the above, it is possible they interpreted kuso in that context to be some degrees higher in exasperation (perhaps more toward “sh*t!”) and so went with moldy onions, rather than damn which they had been using throughout the game.

Of course another possibility is separate translators who just interpreted things differently, as the rest of the above are from outside of Part 1 of the game, where this line is.

Or, really, they just wanted to make this guy silly like the “eat rock!” guy for no reason beyond (potentially ill-placed) amusement!

A lot of possibilities we may never know…

Well that does it for this brief comparison! I gained access to the Japanese text in both the Tellius games so hope to look into some other things in the future.

If you have any suggestions of what else to look into that you may be curious about, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Lastly, here is an infographic that summarizes this article.




5 thoughts on “FE: Radiant Dawn: “What does that ‘Moldy Onions!’ guy say in Japanese?” [JPN vs ENG]

  1. LOL, now that you reminded me of this, I now feel it doesn’t work out all that well…maybe they could’ve just kept the curse.

    BTW, still feel it’s weird Radiant Dawn was E10, while Path of Radiance was T, though I guess that’s apples and oranges. And also way too late to wonder about it.

    • Definitely just silliness in there! And yes, that is rather silly how that goes, considering Radiant Dawn has the “cutting” sounds rather than “smacking rubber” sounds that Path of Radiance did in the battle animations. So I wonder!

  2. FE10 is rated E10+ for everyone, so I can see why they had to change something and even something for the better, because that line, silly though it is, is great. It is a minimal change, but if there ever comes a day when they remake the Tellius duology? I see FE10 getting a buff up to the T Rating like what FE9 was.

    It might not hold a lot of water and its up in the air if it was a mistake or an accidental reveal on Nintendo’s part, but Heroes labeled Ike’s game to be, “Fire Emblem Echoes; Path of Radiance.”

    Ike has said (I believe it was only once?) “Damn it” before, but I can’t remember when and if it was from the extended script or not. It may have been if someone in the Greil Mercenaries died or a lot of units fell in battle. I’ll have to look into it.

    I do remember Sothe saying “Damn it,” to himself after he asked Yune if he could talk to Micaiah and Yune had she had the knee jerk reaction of, “Nope!”

    • It was definitely a mistake, as they had been using the same graphic to reveal Shadows of Valentia characters. So no, no Ike game just yet. Think it’ll be a while before we get it in the remake line, unless they (finally) release it on the Switch through their Virtual Console thing, or whatever Nintendo’s service will be.

    • Skrimir also said “Damn it” for when talking about how Ranulf got his leg back when telling him to retreat. A few others do too, just going through the script, so strange that this guy said this. I’ll add an edit to mention that too. xD

      I heard that was a mistake, as Walters pointed out, but I’d say a VC release in some fashion may happen.

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