10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations
The 10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations come from a time when Japanese companies translated their own games with the skill and accuracy of Babelfish. We now have dedicated localization teams whose entire job is to make sure this doesn’t happen again. It’s a shame because the 10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations gave us some of the most memorable lines of dialogue in gaming history.
Fatal Fury Special
Fighting games are decently well known for their mis-translations. The mis-translation of Ryu’s dragon punch into Shen-Long contributed to the creation of Gouken in Super Street Fighter IV. However, Fatal Fury Special is well known for being home to some of the most hilarious mis-translations out there. Insult your opponent by calling him a silly man! Make them run into your steel wall of niceness! This game was mis-translating quotes long before Terry Bogard was known for his mastery of the Engrish Rangrage, and that's why it's on our list of the 10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations.
Ghosts n’ Goblins
So you just completed your first run through of Ghosts n’ Goblins and what do you get? A mis-translated message saying that the room was an illusion devised devisut by Satan. So you go through the game all over again and what is your final reward? “Gongraturation! This story is Happy End! Thank You.” Countless deaths and hours of play time just for this one mis-translated quote. Motherfu....
If you thought Ghosts n’ Goblins’ Congraturation was bad, Ghostbusters’ Conglaturation is even worse. You have completed a great game. And prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes! A little self-aggrandizing there, aren’t you Ghostbusters? Also, I wasn’t entirely certain that Bill Murray was attempting to proove the justice of any culture.
You know, I’m not entirely sure why fans love this mis-translation so much. It’s a pretty standard mistake for early game translators. Heck, it’s a typo we see in our text messages on a daily basis. Nevertheless, this mis-translation from the original Metal Gear is still hilarious to stealth game fans. Perhaps we are just easily amused by not correct grammar does.
The Legend of Zelda II
You may have noticed that translating Rs and Ls from Japanese is a tricky business. Error, the name of this character from Zelda II, supposedly was meant to be translated as Erol. However, the simple reversal of Ls and Rs due to the sounds being essentially identical in the Japanese language lead to this character pronouncing himself as an in-game glitch. This mis-translation happens quite a bit actually. In fact, the Street Fighter character, Rolento, is theorized to be a screwed up translation of Laurent. You may also notice that another character, Bagu, is related to Error in the game. The two characters, Bagu, and the correctly spelled Erol, were supposed to be puns on the terms Bug and Error, programming terms, but only one character’s name was changed in the English version. To this day, opinions differ on whether the literal translation, or the changed translation of these two characters’ names is “correct.”
Double Dragon III
While Ls and Rs are legitimately confusing when translating from Japanese into English, Ls and Ms don’t share the same ambiguity. Misspelling Billy as Bimmy was just a straight up typo that never got fixed. This typo eventually went on to become an actual character in Double Dragon Neon, a screwed up muscular genetic clone of the original Billy Lee. Buff man Bimmy made it onto our list of the 10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations.
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV’s “spoony bard” mis-translation may be the most loved mis-translation of video game history. To this day, English translations of the game continue to insert that line of dialogue, no matter how modern the translation may be. That one line of dialogue has spawned t-shirts, image macros, and even the name of one internet personality. It’s the whole reason why the word “spoony” is in nerd vernacular today.
X-Men: The Arcade Game
Magneto’s lines in the original X-Men Arcade Game were hilarious for multiple reasons. First of all, they were voice acted, so someone actually had to speak these horrendous mis-translations with a straight face. Secondly, there were a ton of them! “Welcome to die!” “I am the master of magnet!” The voice actors in this one certainly weren’t X-Men fans.
Perhaps we remember these horrible translations so much because they always came at the end screen of our favorite games. In the NES days there wasn’t much text in games before you hit the ending. So getting there only to find that “A winner is you” is a bit of a disappointment. A hilarious disappointment but a disappointment nonetheless
Our #1 pick for the 10 Funniest Gaming Mistranslations? The infamous, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us." It was the internet meme that became memetic before memes were even a thing. We found this plastered on signs, bulletin boards, written in the sand and snow. It managed to get onto the news, into music videos, on t-shirts and more. This poorly translated video game intro is the one mis-translation that we will remember forever, as it was revealed to the public just as internet culture was blooming.