This is part of a series of comparing the Japanese and English versions of the game. Read more about that here! And feel free to leave a request or curiosity on the comments here or on that page.
This is the question a few people have asked me:
“How do the -son names (Bolson, Hudson, etc) work in Japanese?”
Well, let’s take a quick look! Quick context: There’s a group of characters with names that end in “-son” in the game as part of a side quest. I was curious about this one myself so was glad someone asked!
A reader sent me a question a few weeks ago that I had a chance to look into now.
Nintendo updated its Zelda website to include a profile of Ganon that refers to him as “Ganondorf Dragmire.” I heard this was also in A Link to the Past‘s game manual. Was there any mention of the name or some other surname in Japanese?
Zelda Legends thankfully had scanned copies of the manual for the game both in Japanese and English which I used in reference for this post. So let’s take a look:
The dialogue is highlighted in Japanese (left) and English (right).
In Japanese: He is simply ガノンドロフ and ガノン (Ganondorf and Ganon respectively). He has the title of an Evil King/King of Thieves/etc, but no mention of a surname of any sort.
The English above is straightforward, mentioning both Dragmire and Mandrag as other names.
So, no, the Japanese manual did not make a mention of this surname at all, and it is likely a localization creation that the site decided to stick with!
Comparisons are always fun! I hope this post can be used in reference for those who may not be aware of the lack of surname in Japanese.
Let me know if there’s anything you’d love to have looked into. Feel free to leave any comments below!
I just recently beat Breath of the Wild (not to 100% completion, though), and found myself curious about some of the dialogue I came across along the way.
The Switch is a region free system, and as such the language is easy to change between Japanese and English. So this got me thinking: why not take a look at what may have changed between games?
From location names, sidequest names, or dialogue anywhere in between, it may make for some fun articles!
I want my readers to give suggestions in the comments, on twitter, or by email, about some things for me to look into. We’ll have a lot of fun seeing what may have changed, or what may have remained the same. The game is largely untapped when it comes to comparisons due to being a recent release.
Personally, I am thinking about looking into what the Gerudo terminology is in Japanese for starters! But I welcome any and all reader comments/suggestions/requests. I recall seeing some puns and rhymes that only work in English in some areas, so that’s another curiosity to look into (that lady selling sand seals, for instance…)
As I have completed the game I do not mind suggestions that may contain spoilers, but for the sake of other readers who may not have completed the game yet, please mention if your post/suggestion will contain spoilers or not. : )
So, today, on my end, I look at a great example of localization found within Windwaker. The localization team behind the game managed to place a fitting cultural reference to an old story in an appropriately humorous moment in the game.