Friday, November 9, 2007

“Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer” - Castlevania 2 NES

As much as I love classic games, I sometimes wonder, if anyone ever proofread the translation in any of the games. There was so little text in many of the games; I cannot fathom how the publishers would not have at least dedicated some time to edit the translated text.

There are two prime examples of this that I can remember from playing the NES during my childhood. Metal Gear and Castlevania 2: Simons Quest. Even at 5 years old I knew the dialog made little sense.

Metal Gear was relatively the better of the two in the grammatical sense. I can only remember four errors in the dialog

The Guards saying: “I feel asleep"
Snake stating: “Uh – oh! The truck have started to move!”
And two of Big Boss's radio messages:
“First, attempt to contact missing our “Grey Fox,” then try to find the Metal Gear.”
“Now, locate the Grey Fox’s hidden cells, check the way! Over.”

Castlevania 2’s dialog made little or no sense. The game was very open ended and one of the few was to actually progress in the game without a strategy guide was to talk to Transylvanian villages whose English was obviously not their first language.

One clue a villager gave really stuck in my head:
“Get a silk bag from the graveyard duck to live longer”

I’ve always read this has if I needed to get a Silk Bag from a graveyard duck in order to live longer. But alas, there is no duck in Simons Quest, but there is a graveyard with a silk bag in it. That only leaves one explanation, the clue should read:

“Get a silk bag from the graveyard.” AND “Duck to live longer”

The second half of the clue should be interpreted as “Crouch to progress further.” This makes a reference to a part where you much crouch with a crystal to reveal a secret staircase to one of the many mansions in the game.

Then there’s always the “You now prossess Dracula’s rib.” Simons Quest doesn’t just have the wrong tense. It flat out just has the wrong words.

Speaking of errors: