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Author Topic: engrish in old games  (Read 838 times)

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Offline xlibman

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engrish in old games
« on: July 01, 2016, 05:50:44 am »
So I was making a screenshot of Illusiat 12 earlier and I almost cringed at the intro, because back in 2005, this was the game I spent the most effort translating to English (the French version came out in 2002) and I thought I did a good job. But looking back 11 years later, I kinda lol'ed because the intro is literally butchered like in some memorable NES classics. Here is the intro:



-Black mage, it's time to name yourself.

-<character naming sequence>

-You have great power in you. The legendary limits are about to shatter, Monster are getting invincible... An unknown force is coming. You must destruct it but to do that... You need to break the universal limits. To help yourself you need to take the sword in the forest behind your house.

-<Character goes behind house and grabs the sword>

-You have the sword that will help you in the


Yes, the text literally cuts off there. I don't know if it's a line of code that was deleted by accident or a typo but I thought the whole thing put together years later was funny. It caught me off guard earlier when I played the game again because of how bad The Reign of Legends 2 translation is compared to this (but few people probably witness it since the game has severe loading time problems). The first bits of text literally looks like something you found in old Capcom classics like Ghost N Goblins. I'm starting to wonder if I actually misspelled Congratulations in one of my games now...



I wonder if you have memorable video game engrish you liked in particular (other than Zero Wings, since we all know that one)?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 05:54:55 am by DJ Omnimaga »


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Offline Juju

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Re: engrish in old games
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 06:03:21 am »
Looks like the narrator was about to die.

- You have the sword that will help you in the
- The...?
- ...
- Did the narrator died?
- ...
- Nooooooooooo! What is my life without a narrator? *sobs*
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Offline Travis

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Re: engrish in old games
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 02:57:59 am »
Haha, I know that Engrish can be funny at best and cringeworthy at worst, but I can't imagine what I'd feel if I knew that I had committed some of it myself. Then again, I guess it's sort of like how I read things I wrote years ago when I thought I was pretty good at writing and realize that it's not as good as I can write today, though to a lesser extent.

I kind of like the “You must destruct it” line for some reason, though, to tell the truth. :) I notice a lot of cases of what appears to be confusion with reflexive pronouns, which is interesting because I remember that when I took Spanish classes there was a lot of that we had to get used to in Spanish because English lacks much of it. I wouldn't be surprised if French is the same way.

I also find it interesting that when I was young, I actually didn't notice a lot of the Engrish in the classic NES games I played. In many cases, I actually assumed it was just some legitimate, archaic way of saying things in English used for mood or something like that. Technically, at that young age I was still learning English myself (as a native language, but I was still learning it) and had no knowledge of the fact that the games were usually written by non-native English speakers from Japan, nor was I aware of common English errors made by non-native speakers (as opposed to common native-speaker English errors, which were the ones that school English classes actually taught us about).
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Offline c4ooo

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Re: engrish in old games
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 05:24:26 pm »
My spelling was pretty bad for a long time, at least for half a year after joining omnimaga. The original Lazer I and some older versions of Laser II have plenty of mistakes. In fact, the whole name "lazer" is a misspelling of "laser" :P

Offline xlibman

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Re: engrish in old games
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 01:32:21 am »
@Travis for me it depends in which context the engrish was written. A lot of the posts I wrote from 2003 to 2009 were horribly written and even some 2010-11 material is of questionable quality. I didn't mind people critiquing it in my games at the time, though, unless they didn't take in account the fact it was not my native language, and I somehow had a good laugh when I came back to my old games years later and read the text. But parts of it is because of the popularity of Engrish in retro games and the memes, though. If some games I made became mainstream and popular, they would probably be subject to memes as a result of its Engrish, especially ROL2.


In some cases, though, I intentionally butchered the grammar in my games, though, as an attempt to fit the text into one screen or take less space.
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