Please note there may be some spoilers in for Path of Radiance!
Today’s post is a brief request from a reader on another page of this blog. It was a simple concern:
In the English version of Path of Radiance, when Ike tried to touch the medallion, he says his father “scolded him harshly”. Remembering your article about the Shiro slap scene, I became curious and checked the Japanese script. I don’t know Japanese, so I checked Google translate. I honestly don’t know what I expected to find, but I was shocked and horrified that it looked like the “harsh scolding” was originally a bad beating. Maybe I’m just in denial, but I know Google translate is not all that reliable, so I hope you can confirm it for me.
The “Shiro slap scene” they mention is in reference to this previous comparison about Fire Emblem Fates.
The short answer: Yes, Greil did strike Ike in some way in Japanese.
For details, let’s take a look at the dialogue!
The scene in question is in Chapter 19 of Path of Radiance (Entrusted). It occurs in the post-battle dialogue scenes before the end of the chapter.
For context, Volke is telling Ike about his father (Greil) and his history with Lehran’s Medallion. Here is a few lines of dialogue around the one in question. The full exchange can be read on serenesforest:
I’m finding all of this a little hard to believe. You said the medallion was “an object of great peril,” didn’t you? Then why would my father allow Mist to carry it around? That doesn’t make any sense.
It’s because she can carry it safely. Actually, she’s the only one who can. If you want proof, think back. Have you ever once touched it?
…No. I haven’t. A long time ago, I remember reaching out for it while Mist had it in her hand… My father scolded me harshly. After that, I assumed…it was my sister’s alone, and I never reached for it again.
Compared to other people, the balance within your sister is extremely strong. Your mother, it seems, was the same. That’s why they could bear it safely. The medallion is like a strong poison. It takes the worst aspects of a person and magnifies them a thousandfold. Greil touched it only once, and it drove him to complete madness.
The text in question is in red. Let’s look at the Japanese equivalent of that paragraph:
…I haven’t, no. A long time ago… I reached for it while Mist had it in her hand…my father…gave me a severe beating…after that, I just figured… that is not something I should ever touch…
From the literal translation, you can see that the localization is completely accurate, minus the line in red. The word Ike uses, 殴る (naguru) is a verb that means “to strike, hit, beat, or punch.” He uses it in passive voice, so would become “was struck/hit/beat/punched by my father.” While passive voice often does not need an actor, he mentions his father directly as the performer of the action (親父に oyaji ni). So the “scolding” was indeed a beating, or at least a hit.
As for “harsh,” that came from ひどく (hidoku), which means “cruel/harsh/severe/violent/etc.” It describes the beating/striking directly.
With the above, we know Greil gave Ike either a single severe blow, or a series of hits that ensured he would never try to touch the medallion again.
It should be noted that my translation says “severe beating” which may imply multiple hits, but it could have been a single, powerful hit. I point out this nuance simply for the record, as in English the word “beating” can mean a single or multiple hits.
So why the change?
Like with Shiro, parents striking children is likely a sensitive topic that the localization would prefer to avoid. While it may be more acceptable in one culture, it can be problematic in others, such as parts of the Western world. Perhaps there were ESRB concerns too, and, thinking as it is relatively inconsequential to change, they opted to go the path of least resistance. Greil either scolds, or beats, Ike to express the gravity of how dangerous that medallion is. There are not many references aside from this instance of Greil doing so, which may have made it purposefully jarring (in Japanese).
Ike holds unquestionable love and respect for his father despite the above in both languages, too, for those who are unaware of the context. That would imply it is, at the very least, not a regular scolding/beating purely out of abuse. It is probably why the single time we hear of it happening certainly left that much more of an impression as a result.
Yes, Ike was severely beaten (or at least, severely struck) by his father Greil for trying to touch that medallion. It was likely changed to avoid delving into what could be a sensitive topic, much like with Ryoma and Shiro in Fates. The end result is the same: Ike knew to never try to touch the medallion again after that.
A summary infographic for your reference!
Well that does it for this brief comparison!
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!