Today, I look at what I would say is an example of good localization found in the Legend of Zelda:Windwaker.
The player receives something called the “Complimentary ID” which results in a silly dialogue exchange where it is literally an item that has the shop keeper (Beedle) compliment the player –rather than offering any actual tangible goods to your purchases free of charge. A different kind of complimentary than what one may expect!
And that is where the question comes in: What was the ID’s name, and the scene like, in Japanese?
In short: It does revolve around “compliments” (or praise), but the localization team seized the opportunity to make this even more fun in the English language with a pun that was different, yet worked with the original Japanese intent.
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.
As such, I decided to spend today on a Zelda related comparison: the islands of Windwaker! We’ll take a look at how the localization team (for the North American version) tackled island names, and what they were originally in Japanese. I suggest some alternate names for them based on the literal translation, or on other factors of the island along with the translation, but by no means claim them to be superior to the official localization in anyway. It is purely for educational purposes, and is not intended to demean the hard work in anyway.