Part of a series on game comparisons! Last time, we looked at a reference to the “over 9000” meme in Pokemon X&Y.
Today’s post is also a small one, and covers a reader request:
“There was a lot of buzz over how Sun & Moon references the infamous ‘IGN 7.8 too much water’ review, but I haven’t seen anything about what that was in Japanese. Look into it?”
The infamous “too much water” review in question was from IGN’s review of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. KnowYourMeme has a page on it with more details (image below is from them):
So let’s take a look at what the original was!
The following line occurs when taking water based pictures, and may be one of the comments that pops up.
(Super Literal) Translation (for reference)
(Likely Intent) Translation:
（・×・）＞ A swimmer’s wonnnderlannnd.
7.8/10 Too much water. ¯\_(´ー｀)_/¯
So there’s some differences as you can see. Namely, the original Japanese uses a similar system to what we saw before in Pokemon X & Y‘s Psychic Robert when he references “Over 9000.” Even non Japanese speakers/readers can see how in the original line above, there is a funny spacing between the characters. It is basically a way of emphasizing every syllable in a way that doesn’t exactly translate well in this circumstance (where as it would have worked with Psychic Robert).
The super literal shows that dragging out the word for “swimmer” (which also contains the word “swim” in Japanese as well, like English), is actually likely trying to emphasize the amount of water that appears in the picture. So the intent is to say swimmer, but point it out in the context of there being a lot of water. Hence, we get “a swimmer’s wonderland” as I translated above. Some words are dragged out to retain the syllable emphasis, though in my case I did not do it by syllable, but just by dragging out the sound.
And so the localization saw the emphasis was on the water, and decided to throw in a tongue-in-cheek reference to criticism that was thrown at the game that preceded this one. They’re sure their fans would have heard of this meme at some point, I suppose! It serves a double effect as being suitable for “netspeak” considering the picture feedback is meant to resemble social media anyway, so that works out rather well. It’s a meta instance where referencing a meme can actually work better to serve that feeling of social media, and at the same time being a double meta reference to the fact it was the previous Pokemon game that met with that infamous criticism.
Looking at other comments made by the same “user” in Japanese (going by the Drifloon emote being their “signature”), the English one is translated pretty accurately. So it is a case of where this one line specifically was changed to put in a fitting meme rather than translate it more directly. The end result meaning is the same: “too much water.” One is just a direct reference to a meme, and the other is only local to this context. The Japanese one is not a meme or a reference as far as I saw.
On a final note of that emote, it’s interesting to see how the emote itself changed, likely because the Japanese one uses some characters unique to the Japanese set (the eyes for instance). The Japanese one resembles Drifloon, while the localization is slightly different. The emote is used (in both versions) to distinguish that “user”‘s comments throughout the various pictures one takes. Interestingly, the eyes on the English one changes throughout, but the Japanese one remains with the same Drifloon face…
Fitting in a meta sense to both Pokemon and to the fact the picture feedback is meant to resemble social media, the localization found an opportunity to throw in the infamous “too much water” line. The original Japanese Drifloon-user emphasizes too much water by it being a place for swimmers, where as the English equivalent decided to go with a joke that many fans would recognize from the previous game. It was not a reference of any sort in the Japanese version.
How would you handle a line that revolves around syllable emphasis?
I will continue to look at fun differences between the versions of sorts of games when I get time! This reader actually had a few other things to look into (an entire list, actually), so expect to see some more from the 3DS Pokemon games in the future.
Any dialogue you’re interested in? Feel free to send in comments or via email!