FE7 Localization: “You think you can stand up to Batta the Beast?” [JPN vs ENG]

Today’s short post comes from a reader on twitter:

Hi, I was wondering if you could take a look at a certain infamous line from FE7’s prologue boss in Japanese…

They linked the above image of the first boss that many western fans of FE had first run into –Batta the Beast!

So just what does he say in Japanese? It’s a straightforward case of colorful localization. Let’s take a look!

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FE9 Path of Radiance Localization: Was Greil’s “Harsh Scolding” a “Harsh Beating” in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

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!

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FE7 Localization: Was Hector and Eliwood’s A Support Mistranslated? Who cut their hand? [JPN vs ENG]

Today’s post comes from a thread on reddit which concerns Hector and Eliwood’s A support conversation. u/Dragoryu3000 posed a question:

Hold up, is Eliwood and Hector’s A-Support majorly mistranslated?

They pinged me in a thread and I looked into it. The issue revolves primarily around Erik Laus and vague wording in the translation being potentially misleading as to what occurred. You can read their thoughts and the rest of the thread in-depth on the thread before reading this post if you want to get a better idea of the issue, but I’ll try my best to explain it as we go along, too.

So let’s take a look!

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Fire Emblem Blazing Blade (FE7): A look at the Japanese commercial

As part of a request from a friend on twitter, I decided to look into the original Blazing Blade commercial. I translate what’s going on, an excerpt from an interview regarding the commercial, a design document, what song is playing, and some other fun tidbits.

So let’s take a look!


First, here is the commercial itself, starring former actress Maki Horikita.

And below is the translation. I try to go in order and specify what is said by the voice, and what is just text. The song is afterward. Please note the translation is also to express intent, and thus, is not completely literal.

出会い
Encounters….
仲間
Friends…
戦い
Battles…

(Voice) 仲間と一緒にどう戦うか・・・
How will you fight alongside your friends…?

成長
Growing Together…

喜び
Happy Moments…

強くなる
Becoming Stronger

(Voice) みんな、どんどん強くなる・・・
Everyone grows stronger and stronger…

別離
Partings

会えない
For the last time

(Voice) 失った仲間には、もう・・・会えない・・・
The friends who fall…we shall never see again…

(Girl): さようなら
Goodbye…

(Voice): ファイアーエムブレム烈火の剣
Fire Emblem. The Blazing Blade.

Next, the song lyrics. Title: “LIFE IS…~another story~” by Ken Hirai. Specifically, the chorus:

答えなど何処にもない
誰も教えてくれない
でも君を想うとこの胸は
何かを叫んでるそれだけは真実

There’s no answer anywhere
Nor will anyone tell me
But my heart shouts at the mere thought of you
That much is the truth I do know

Note the song cuts off before the final two characters 真実 (truth). This is the third paragraph of the song. The rest of the Japanese lyrics for the song can be found here.

The song in full (or a cover of it, anyway) can be seen below. The original you will probably have to purchase:

Next is a brief excerpt from a larger interview with Tohru Narihiro from the Making of Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary book (specifically page 277).

[On expanding appeal with FE7…]

The TV commercial for Binding Blade featured a song that was reminiscent of the Shadow Dragon commercial. However, the Blazing Blade commercial had a different kind of appeal with casting Horikita Maki along with Ken Hirai’s song playing.

Narihiro: Yes. That was one of many ways we sought to widen the gates [to make the game have more widespread appeal].

It was presented with this design document:

The above document has the same flow as the final product. The minor differences are the lack of “goodbye,” as well as a slightly different word used for “parting” (they wrote “separation” instead). Another subtle difference is that it seems Kent is the character dying instead of Heath in the commercial, a tidbit I point out just a silly point later. Also, the title seems to be “A girl’s murmurs.” The music is simply “Ken Hirai~” but not what song of his, either.

This article is mostly straightforward and a reference point, so I’ll summarize any thoughts/analysis/silly trivia in bullet point format this time around:

  • From the commercial, interview, and documents, one can see that the intention was to broaden the appeal of the game by using a known actress, popular song from 2003, and a change of style in presentation among other things.
  • Most notable is how the commercial is more emotional and focuses on meeting allies, growing with them, and eventual partings via mechanics like perma death. Compare this with previous commercials that are more opera-like with an operatic flare (links provided in the interview segment above).
  • “LIFE is…~another story~” is a romantic song (as the excerpt may have implied already) by the famed Ken Hirai, so was likely used for its popular appeal rather than its literal meaning. However, the themes of friendship and bonding share similar themes to love and longing, so it helped set the intended mood beyond it simply being a popular song in 2003. The song was not written for the game, but was actually the theme for a TV drama known as Black Jack Ni Yoroshiku.
  • The final commercial featured Heath as the ally that has fallen and is being “parted with,” rather than someone so looks more like Kent in the original document. The emotional music paired with her waving him off with a “goodbye” became a bit of a joke among the fanbase, with multiple fans citing this commercial as the reason why they voted for hm on an FE7 popularity poll. They felt that bad! It’s much like how Dorcas came to fame thanks to the US commercial making him a bit of a joke.
  • Speaking of the US commercial (linked above), you can see the difference in intended marketing between the two versions. The US commercial goes with “build an army, trust nobody” as its central theme, rather than the themes of “meetings, growing, bonding, partings” that the Japanese commercial aimed for. Considering it was the debut game for the US (and west) too, it’s an interesting approach!

I believe that’s all that really needs to be said for this commercial! I hope to cover the Japanese commercial for Sacred Stones down the line.

FE6/7: Complete Character Poll Results and Comment Translations (2004)

Over the past several weeks (and months), I took a look at an old character poll conducted around 2003-2004 for the Elibe games (FE7 Blazing Blade and FE6 Binding Blade) for Japanese players. The results for the top 30 characters of each game were published online with Japanese player comments. The rest of the results (and some more comments) were published in the Character Book. As such, the data presented here is consolidated between the two sources.

While this poll was of course known to fans for a long time, the Japanese comments were never translated in full (for good reason, there were quite a few). As such the objective of this post (and project) is to serve as a resource in both presenting the poll data all in one place as well as giving English-speaking fans some insight on what Japanese fans thought of these characters those years ago. It’s become one of my objective to help bring the fandoms together in some way, so this is a part of that.

Lastly, for the sake of comparison, I include data from the Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends character poll conducted in 2017, just so one can see how 13 years (and a Western audience) made a difference to where the characters ranked. You can see how characters stacked from the Elibe games in a FE6/7 specific analysis I did before, too. The same data will be used throughout the post.

Altogether this was 49 pages of data on word that I translated on my free time during the last few weeks, so if you’re feeling generous consider donating to help support me continue to build an archive of Fire Emblem (and other) resources here on this blog! (I’ll do it anyway regardless of the donations, of course!)

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Onward to the content!

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FE Heroes: “Do my best!” [JPN vs ENG]

She’s been saying this since FE7, actually!

Today’s post is a quick look at a line that has become a bit of a meme for the FEH community (especially on Nino from FE7/Blazing Blade).

Beyond Nino, many other characters say it. It’s actually based on an extremely common Japanese word, and this post is just to show you all the little variations in Japanese that all became (mostly) “do my best” in English.

So let’s take a fun look at this.

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FE9 Path of Radiance Localization: Marcia’s Colorful Language [JPN vs ENG]

This post is part of a series on reader requested (and personal curiosity) comparisons between various games’ Japanese and English scripts.

Today’s post concerns Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Specifically, Marcia’s dialogue! It’s partially a reader request, and partially personal curiosity.

A reader said the following:

Did Marcia call Makalov a “eunuch” in Japanese too?

Though the reader requested just this line, I looked into a few of her other colorful moments too –all with Makalov, of course.

So let’s take a look!

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