Fire Emblem Heroes featured an update that includes new characters such as Dorcas, Lute, and Mia. You may recall Dorcas being the most surprising of these three to place high on the Fire Emblem Heroes popularity poll (Choose Your Legends) that took place some months ago.
It had been attributed to a particular meme involving a US commercial for the game he appears in, Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade on Game Boy Advance (and seventh installment in the series, first to come to the US).
Fans noticed very quickly that he in fact references this commercial directly (twice!) in his English dialogue in Fire Emblem Heroes, and I received multiple requests to look into what he says in Japanese instead.
So let’s take a look!
Here is the commercial in question:
For this post, I used the very helpful video below which was provided to me by a reader. It was uploaded by Xanek! (Thanks a lot for that, Xanek, super helpful!) You can hear Dorcas’s various lines at the very beginning. Xanek already added notes to which parts are references to the commercial, too.
So here are the two lines Dorcas says in English:
How’s my health? Well I had some bad mutton earlier but I feel fine otherwise!
Now in Japanese, for the first line he says:
How’s my health? Hmph, I’m alright.
And the second line doesn’t have an equivalent/doesn’t exist, meaning it is only in the localization itself!
From this we can deduce the localization was very much aware of the meme that likely boosted Dorcas’s popularity on the polls, and decided to reference it directly where they could. The Japanese question on how his own health is was what they saw as the perfect opportunity to slip in the “bad mutton” line. It still addresses his health and how he’s doing, just with the extra bit in there.
The “Trust nobody!” had no equivalent, however, and so the localization did have to add that in entirely on their own. The Japanese ends at the previous line (give me an order!) which is a 100% translation.
One potential issue with this line is, though minor, while it does reference the commercial, it doesn’t really fit with his character in a way. Fans of Dorcas and the game will be aware of this, and likely be aware it’s just referencing that silly commercial. But, Heroes is played by many fans who played many different games and may be unaware of FE7 and such. Would they perhaps think Dorcas is a particularly paranoid individual? Why would he just spout out “Trust nobody!” otherwise?
It seems trivial for those who know him or know the meme, but when you think about it from the perspective of someone who is unaware, every line counts in shaping a character in their eyes as there are so few lines to go off of in this game.
As such, perhaps the mutton was enough, and the “trust nobody” may have been a little forced on the localization part at the potential expense of the character. The mutton line fit well as the Japanese line was about health and his line came off as rather natural, compared to this one. (It didn’t really make sense for the game itself in that commercial, even…)
The Japanese do not reference the meme, as the lines that acknowledge the meme that boosted him so high on the polls are in the localization only. The mutton line was slipped into opportunistically to remain faithful to the Japanese while throwing in the meme reference, as it still addresses his health in character. The “trust nobody” line however was added entirely on its own. While this line may be fun for fans of Dorcas or those aware of the meme, it may give those unfamiliar with him a slightly different (and potentially misleading) idea of Dorcas’s character.
Now that was silly huh? I’ve actually wanted to look into a different Fire Emblem Heroes line involving Ike as well, so let’s see if I can find something to help with that.