A follower on twitter asked the following:
That reminds me, I’m curious to know what Ridleys Japanese splash screen says. Whether the ‘too big’ in-joke is a thing there…
— Martyn (@martynstuff) 2018年6月25日
I took a quick look at it, and the results were as expected. It simply says 参戦 (san-sen), which means to “join” or “participate” in an event of sorts. It’s often used, but not limited to, fighting games. You see it used in Smash Bros a lot however!
I had recalled in response to the twitter user above is that the Japanese all across the board actually just had “Character Name 参戦,” leaving the localization to come up with colorful lines instead. But memory can be a fickle thing that can lead to misinformation, so those of you who know me also know I like to be very thorough, and so I went through all the trailers once again just to double check for all of you, and made this table:
|Villager||Villager comes to town!||むらびと参戦！！|
|Mega Man||Mega Man joins the battle!||ロックマン参戦！！|
|Wii Fit Trainer||Wii Fit Trainer weighs in!||Wii Fit トレーナ参戦！！|
|Rosalina & Luma||Rosalina & Luma launch into battle!||ロゼッタ＆チコ参戦！！|
|Little Mac||Little Mac punches in!||リトル・マック参戦！！|
|Charizard||Charizard fires it up!||リザードン参戦！！|
|Greninja||Greninja makes a splash!||ゲッコウガ参戦！！|
|Lincoln||Lincoln gets sworn in!||リンカーン参戦！！|
|Elijah Wood||Elijah Wood like to battle!||イライジャ・ウッド参戦！！|
|Ice-T*||Ice-T Pours it on!||NA|
|Pac-Man||Pac-Man hungers for battle!||パックマン参戦！！|
|Lucina||Lucina wakes her blade?!||ルキナ参戦！？|
|Robin||Robin brings the thunder!||ルフレ参戦！！|
|Shulk||Shulk foresees a fight!||シュルク参戦！！|
|Bowser Jr.||Bowser Jr. clowns the competition!||クッパJr.参戦！！|
|Duck Hunt||Duck Hunt takes aim!||ダックハント参戦！！|
|Mewtwo||Mewtwo Strikes Back!||ミュウツー参戦！！|
|Lucas||Lucas comes out of Nowhere!||リュカ参戦！！|
|Roy||Roy seals the deal!||ロイ参戦！！|
|Ryu||Here comes a new challenger! Ryu!||リュウ参戦！！|
|Cloud||Cloud storms into battle!||クラウド参戦！！|
|Corrin||Corrin chooses to smash!||カムイ参戦！！|
|Bayonetta||Bayonetta gets wicked!||ベヨネッタ参戦！！|
|Ridley||Ridley hits the big time!||リドリ参戦！！|
Some quick notes/pointers:
- Mega Man is the only character that actually had it translated to “joins the battle.” Perhaps they felt it worked just fine, or that particular translator did not decide to do anything colorful. Being one of the first trailers, perhaps there was reluctance, yet, Villager was shown before that with his own colorful tag.
- Sonic lacks a tag, perhaps due to being a returning character. Though the title of the video seems to be “Sonic Joins the Battle” which is also ソニック参戦 in Japanese. Straightforward enough!
- Ice-T was exclusive for the NoA version. In the NoJ one, it was Arino Kachou instead, a celebrity associated with video games. This was rightfully changed as he would likely be totally unknown to an NoA audience. I did not check, but I wonder if NoE had a third celebrity? Please let me know.
- Dark Pit lacks any tag for himself in both versions, and his trailer title is shared with Palutena’s so does not include him.
- Lucina is the only character where the Japanese is slightly different. She has a “?” added where the usual second “!” is in all the rest of the titles. This is reflected in the localization too.
- In Ryu’s trailer, where it says “I’m Looking / for a / Challenge”, the Japanese says, ” 俺より / 強いやつに / 会いに行く” (ore yori / tsuyoi yatsu ni / ai ni iku), which would mean “I’ve come to meet those stronger than me” (or, literally, “More than me / stronger guys / go to meet”).
So even if you do not speak Japanese, you can simply look at the characters 参戦 and how they appear straight down the Japanese column on the table above. You can even put it into Ctrl + F and highlight all instances.
As expected, the localization indeed spiced up many of the lines with either references to the characters and their source material or puns –which I’m sure is a touch that has been mostly well received. The Japanese side would have been “character joins the battle” all across the board, so perhaps they felt this would be a way to differentiate the characters with references/nods to their origins and fans.
Japanese is “CharacterName 参戦!! (joins the battle!!)” across the board. All the references and puns are solely creations of the localization. You can assume in the future that any title line in Japanese was likely 参戦.
How would you have gone about writing these lines? What sort of alternate titles for characters would you have come up with? Feel free to share!
Ideally I’d have provided a picture of every single character add on with subtitle, but I just lacked the time to do so. Does anyone know if there is a gallery out there that already has all the (actual) characters and their lines? My search was bogged down by all the fan made ones, so…