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Japanese: all-katakana robot speech. English: Leet Lingo.
"You little hoochees!"
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A subset of Woolseyism; named for a video game translator, it's only natural that there'd be a whole lot of examples!

Genres with their own page:


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    Ace Attorney 
  • The characters in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series all had their names Americanized in the localization, but the writers took great care to retain the subtle wordplay and puns of the original. "Kamen Mask", for example, was translated as "Mask☆DeMasque", since "kamen" is Japanese for "mask". The English version's references to pop culture and Internet memes also easily replace similar jokes in the Japanese script while endearing the games to the fanbase.
  • The main character's name needs to be mentioned too. In Japanese, his surname is Naruhodō, a pun on the phrase "naruhodo", meaning "I see" (as in "I understand"). In the English version, his surname is Wright, which sounds like "right".
  • In a truly mind-bending example from the third-game, the Judge protests that he's "no spoony bard." This may be the first example of a recursive Woolseyism.
  • And many, many points for renaming the Big Bad of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth to something less Obviously Evil. Carnage Onred, for one: You couldn't get much more villainous without dressing like an Evil Overlord. In addition to not screaming "BAD GUY!" into a megaphone, his English name (Quercus Alba) has the advantage of furthering Theme Naming.
    • In the same case, a character meant to be a red herring was named Damian Hinji, which, while not AS on-the-nose as above, would definitely be read as similarly threatening and suspicious in Japanese. By renaming them Colias Palaeno their effectiveness as a red herring is actually increased by not overplaying their hand in the first act, while again adding to the Theme Naming.
  • In the third game, instructions given to Pearl Fey tell her to "gravely roast the master in the fires of Hades", which is basically asking to send Misty and Maya Fey to hell. The reader, a young child, obviously doesn't understand what this means, and so ends up throwing gravy from a roast dinner over a hanging scroll. In the Japanese version, the instructions said to "Give Misty Fey magnificent burial rites" in kanji. Pearl, not being able to read kanji that well, asks the others to translate for her and is told how they are read ("karei indou"), but not what they mean - so she interprets this as "Indian curry" and throws that over a hanging scroll. Both of which would end up looking like a sort of "brownish slob" obscuring the scroll's picture, thus having the scroll's brown slob obstruction explained believably in both versions.
  • In Dual Destinies, the culprit of episode one uses a bloody message left by the victim; which was actually said culprit's "ID number", to point to the defendant's guilt, by adding a few lines to it, to make it look like their name. The defendant in the English version is called Juniper Woods, and the message that the culprit changed to match their name was "L1001 5R" . In the Japanese version however, the defendant is called Shinobu Morizumi, and the message left was "511103 UR".
  • Blackquill is an interesting case, being localized a Japanese character into an American (or British, it's hard to tell) character that's really into the ronin/samurai gimmick.
    • While he calls almost nobody by their actual name in any scripts, in the original Japanese he calls the main cast by punny nicknames that make little sense in English. In the international versions, has the quirk of calling the main characters by their surname followed by "-dono" (an archaic honorific that is the equivalent of milord/milady), and nobody's sure if he's being sarcastic or notnote . Apollo even quips that he's been watching too many samurai flicks.
    • On the other hand, in the Japanese version, Blackquill simply calls Fulbright a rather disrespectful word for "old man", whereas he twists the detective's name into "Fool Bright" in the English version (the reverse of the above). This is a welcome pun on Bobby's name in addition to subtle foreshadowing to the fact that the person referred to as such fooled everybody into thinking he was 'Bright. Calling the Judge "your baldness" could be seen as this, too.
  • In the case "Reunion, and Turnabout", an important clue in the case is the position of the driver's and passenger's seats in an automobile. The clue is that the car in question is an overseas import, with the driver and passenger seats the reverse of what would normally be expected in that culture. The Japanese versionnote  is straightforward: The car is simply of American makenote . However, Americans frequently buy cars from Japanese manufacturers, and any Japanese car made for sale in America is constructed like an American-made car. As such, the car was changed to a British make note 
  • "Recipe For Turnabout" includes the character Victor Kudo, a kimono embroiderer who has severe trouble finding customers. In the original Japanese, it's because he lives in a time where kimono embroidery isn't in high demand, but in the English version, it's because even in the fictional, Japan-ified version of Los Angeles, there was never any real demand for kimono embroidery to begin with.

    Kirby 
  • In later Kirby games, a common trend is for each level to have an Alliterative Name; when the first letter of each level is put together, they spell a thematic word. For the most part, these are appropriately translated for each game, using words with similar meanings.
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, the levels spell the word "CROWNED". The Latin American Spanish level names spell "CORONAR" ("crowned"), the French level names spell "PARFAIT" ("perfect"), and the German level names spell "KROENEN" ("crown", with the O-umlaut substituted for "oe").
    • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the levels spell the word "FLOWER" (or "FLOWERED", if the final level is also included). The Spanish level names spell "FLORALES" ("floral"), the French level names spell "FLEURIE" ("blooming"), the German level names spell "BLÜHEND" ("blooming", this time using the U-umlaut in its alliteration), and the Italian level names spell "FIORENDO" ("blooming").
    • In Kirby: Planet Robobot, the areas spell the word "PROGRAM". The Spanish area names spell "PROCESO" ("process"), the Italian area names spell "SISTEMA" ("system"), and the German area names spell "ROBOBOT".
    • In Kirby Star Allies, the second area's stages spell the word "FRIENDS". The Spanish stage names spell "AMISTAD" ("friendship"), the French stage names spell "COPAINS" ("friends"), the Dutch stage names spell "STERREN" ("stars"), the Italian stage names spell "AMICONI" ("buddies") and the Chinese stage names spell "卡比與新星同盟/卡比与新星同盟" ("Kirby and Star Allies").
    • In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the level names spell out "NEW WORLD". In Spanish they spell "NUEVO MUNDO," and in Italian they spell "NUOVO MONDO," both of which are direct translations, and they use extra letters in the level names to make them work.
  • A standout example comes from a song title from Kirby: Triple Deluxe. The final boss's second phase has a theme called "Kyōka Suigetsu"note  in Japanese, which means "Madness Blooms and the Moon Reflected in the Water". It's based on a Japanese saying that refers to unattainable beauty. The song was initially translated on Miiverse as "Moonstruck Blossom". "Moonstruck" has several meanings: "glowing in the moonlight", "unable to think properly" (as in "lunacy"), and "hopelessly lovesick", which suits the boss at hand. The original soundtrack release and later games that feature this music track instead use the name "Fatal Blooms in Moonlight".
  • One of the bosses in Kirby: Planet Robobot is Meta Knight, who was converted into a cyborg soldier by the villains. In the Japanese and Korean versions, he had the fairly self-evident name "Meta Knight Borg"; the English, French, German, Italian and Spanish translations instead dub him "Mecha Knight". A later mass-produced model of Mecha Knight is called 強化量産メタナイトボーグ/강화 양산 메타 나이트 보그 (Reinforced Mass Production Model Meta Knight Borg), which is changed in English to the snappier "Stock Mecha Knight".

    The Legend of Zelda 
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
    • Ganondorf and Ganon's full names in the Manual, Ganondorf Dragmire and Mandrag Ganon, were actually added into the English translation: In the original Japanese version, he was identified simply as Ganondorf and Ganon.
    • In the game itself, the contents of the Book of Mudora were itself the result of Woolseyism (in the Japanese version, it was treated more like an instruction booklet than a book containing various lore).
  • In the English version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna's dialogue to Link right before she breaks the Mirror of Twilight is "Link, I...see you later." Some translations of the Japanese imply that the drifting "I..." wasn't in the original version. Considering that a lot of fans have interpreted the evocative statement to mean she was going to say or confess something very emotional and heartwarming (the most obvious being "I love you" or something similar), it can mildly alter a player's view of Midna and her relationship to Link. With or without the change, the scene is one of the most emotionally charged in the game, though. Also, in Japanese, Midna just says "bye" before breaking the mirror. In English, it's turned into a Meaningful Echo of her Catchphrase.
  • A good example comes from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. The name of the character who fixes the broken Tuni Nut (itself an example, having to be renamed from "Minomu Nut" to keep the whole palindrome theme of Symmetry Village going) is Repair, in Gratuitous English, in the Japanese version. This sounds pretty silly in English, so for the English version of the game his name was changed to Patch, which has the same meaning and is a legitimate English name to boot.
    • The Tokagejin ("Lizard Folk") were renamed the Tokay (like the gecko) in translation. They also originally had a Pokémon Speak Verbal Tic of "toka" in their speech, which was removed because Western audiences don't find it quite as endearing... but retained as a sound effect whenever they speak.
    • Another example is in the counterpart game Oracle of Seasons: the Uura ("Hidden") race and kingdom was renamed Subrosia, from the Latin sub rosa, referring to the archaic use of a rose to mark a secret society's meeting place. A secondary rename was given to a character from that race: the Uura Urara ("Beauty") was renamed to Rosa the Subrosian, preserving the pun of a hidden place and a pretty girl.
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    Mario 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In the games since 1991, the original 大魔王 クッパ Daimaō Kuppa ("great demon king Koopa") has been rendered Bowser in most Western localizations, while Kuppa or a variation on the name has been kept as Bowser's only name in Japanese and Korean. Whereas Kuppa is the Japanese word for 국밥 gukbap (a Korean soup with rice—Shigeru Miyamoto wanted specifically to name him after a Korean dish), the name Bowser (which doesn't really mean anything in common Englishnote ) has no real relation to kuppa or gukbap in sound or meaning.note  (Interestingly, Bowser's only name in Korean isn't the original Gukbap, but 쿠파 Kupa, a phonetic round-trip translation from Japanese.) Kuppa isn't abandoned though, as it has been refashioned as the name of the Koopa race and as Bowser's surname Koopa. Though Bowser is never used in Japanese, it has become unthinkable that Bowser's name in English should be anything less than Bowser, making this one of the most enduring (and endearing) Woolseyisms in video games. "Bowser" has been given a nod twice in the Japanese games: in Mario Kart Wii, one of the motorcycles, shaped like Bowser's head, is called the Super Bowser (changed to Bowser Bike or Flame Runner for other languages). In Mario Kart 8, the downloadable Bone Rattler is called the Bowser Trike in Japanese. And in a double-case of Woolseyism and Fridge Brilliance, the name Bowser and its association to motorbikes can be rendered in similar pronunciation to the Japanese term "Bōsōzoku", the name for rowdy gangs in Japan that are associated with, you guessed it, motorbikes.
    • Every name coined by English translators has been permanently retained in American Mario canon once Nintendo started paying more attention to what their Western branches were doing. The exception is Princess Toadstool, whose name was "Peach" in Yoshi's Safari, then changed back to "Toadstool" in Super Mario RPG. This may indicate either that the name change in Yoshi's Safari was simply a translation error (the game does feature new royal characters, so it's possible they thought "Princess Peach" was one of them), or that Ted Woolsey (yes, that one) simply was not aware of the "name change" when he worked on Mario RPG (and who could blame him, as obscure as Yoshi's Safari is compared to most other Mario games?). There were some other inconsistencies in Mario RPG's translation to suggest this (such as "The Big Boo" actually just being a regular Boo, or the direct translation of Yo'ster Isle instead of having it changed to Yoshi's Island like Super Mario World did). In every game released after Super Mario 64, she took the name "Peach" and stuck with it. (She signed her letter in Super Mario 64 formally as "Princess Toadstool" and familiarly as "Peach", finally laying the name issue to rest).
    • Changing the name of The Goomba from "Kuribo" is one of these as well. The Japanese "Kuribo" literally translates as "chestnut people", despite the fact that the Goombas are actually based appearance-wise on shiitake mushrooms - the name was most likely from someone misinterpreting their sprite and thinking they resembled chestnuts. "Goomba" is an alternative form of "goombah", a US derogatory slang term for someone of Italian descent, which fits with a game about an Italian plumber (even though there's nothing about the Goombas themselves to suggest that they're Italian). Interestingly, in Super Mario World, Goombas were redesigned to look more like chestnuts. In Japanese, they're called "Kuribon" and presented as a different "species" of Goombas; come Super Mario 3D World, the English translation preserves this by naming them "Galoombas".
    • Changing the name of the ghost enemies from Teresa to Boo. "Teresa" is a pun on the Japanese "tereru", meaning "shy", as well as an English name. The "shy" part references them turning invisible when you look at them. "Boo" is something you shout to scare people, preserving the shy/scared aspect of the enemies as an explanation for why they hide when looked at - and also how they approach when your back is turned, giving the impression that they're about to sneak up on you and shout "Boo!"
    • Birdo's infamously ambiguous gender identity is made more overt in the Super Mario Bros. 2 English manual. In both cases, the character is said to be a male who "thinks he's a girl," but only in the American version is their name made part of this identity. In the Japanese instructions, Birdo's name is given as "Catherine" and it says they'd rather be called "Cathy" — which is a perfectly normal nickname for someone named Catherine. In the English manual, however, their name is given as "Birdo," but "they'd rather be called 'Birdetta'" — which implies Birdo is a more masculine name. Birdo's gender identity premise was eventually phased out and today, Birdo is just canonically female. The transition was smoother in Japanese, however, given she'd always used a female name.
    • At the end of Super Mario Bros. 3's English translation, Princess Toadstool says "Thank you, but our princess is in another castle! ... Just kidding!", an obvious reference to Toad's infamous line from the first game. In the Japanese version and later ports of the game, she has a more serious, typical line. Nintendo of America also gave Koopalings names based on U.S. popular culture, though they weren't even named in Japanese until Super Mario World.note 
    • In Super Mario World, the text that appears after defeating a Koopa kid was heavily punched up by the translators, and gives some hints as to the Koopaling's personalities and hobbies. Originally, the flavor texts simply congratulated the player for defeating a Koopaling.
    • The infamous "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" level from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was renamed "Lustiges Sporen Drama" ("Funny Spore Drama") in the German version.
  • The Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games frequently use Woolseyisms to the point of tossing out large portions of the original script. (The Pianta Yakuza gang in The Thousand-Year Door becoming Goodfellas-style mobsters, for example.) Despite this (or perhaps because of it), the games have some of the best localizations out there.
    • As seen in the image above, the mind-controlled Hammer Brothers in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. In the Japanese version, they speak in katakananote , but speak in Leet Lingo in the English version. After you free them from spouting off phrases like "PREPARE 4 TOTAL PWNAGE. WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT!", one of them wonders who talks like that. This is also changed in the other versions. The Spanish script has them talking in Robo Speak, the Korean script has erratic spacing in their sentences, and the German script gives them a broken speech pattern. However, the French and Italian localizations borrowed the Net-speak of the English script.
    • Unsurprisingly, Super Mario RPG, the spiritual predecessor to the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series, was translated by Ted Woolsey himself, as that game was developed by the company he was working for at the time, Squaresoft.
    • Fawful from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga speaks in a way that deliberately spoofs poorly translated games. As he himself says, "I have fury!". In the Japanese version, he simply ends occasional words with a string of "rurururu" sounds, and also laughs in the same way.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story:
      • There is a character called Broque Monsieur (whose name is a pun on "block monster" and "croque monsieur", a type of French grilled sandwich) who speaks with a strong French accent and uses lots of Gratuitous French. In the Japanese version, his name was Brirock (a combination of "brick" and "rock") and he spoke Gratuitous English (with lines such as "Oh my dog! What's happen?")
      • The Japanese names of Hemogurobin, Enajī and Shinapun (Hemoglobin, Energy and a play on Shinapusu (Synapse) respectively) were changed to the much more clever-sounding Emoglobin, PEP and Napse.
      • Changing "Metakoro Byou" (literally "Very Rolling Disease") to "The Blorbs".
      • The area "Rump Patrol" in Bowser's body is called "Cul De Sac" in French, which is a somewhat rude pun: although "Cul De Sac" is a normal term that means "dead end", the word "cul" on its own is a vulgar word equivalent to "ass".
    • The parrot underneath Creepy Steeple in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door says "Good morning, good morning", "Good day, good day", and "Go away, go away!" in Japanese. In English, it says "Good day! Good day!", "Pretty bird! Pretty bird!", and "Shine get! Shine get!".
    • Super Paper Mario gives us "Thou art toast!" Considering the screen it's used for, this is probably a direct reference to the English translation of Dragon Quest I. Numerous other references to awkward moments in past Nintendo localizations turn up in the Sammer Guys' names and Fracktail's Robo Speak.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King has a great Spanish translation that often improves the jokes.
      • The Goombas who agree to team up with Mario at the start of the game have an extra joke in Spanish: "Today for me, tomorrow for me... I mean, for you."
      • The slogan for the Battle Lab is "Training Tough Toads Tirelessly." In Spanish, becomes "Todo Toad Tiene Talento," which means "Every Toad Has Talent." It has a similar meaning, while also retaining the alliteration.
      • When Mario tries to buy a fortune at Picnic Road but doesn't have enough money, the English version has a generic message. ("Aw, sorry. You don't have enough coins.") In the Spanish translation, the Toad says, "Bueno, la predicción para ti (mejor dicho, la constatación) es que... no tienes suficientes monedas."Translation  This actually adds a joke where there wasn't one in the English version.
      • One of the Toads in Overlook Tower is disappointed by a drawing of himself, demanding a new portrait. In the Spanish version, he specifies, from a different artist.
      • Another joke in Overlook Tower: when Mario rescues a certain Toad, he asks, "Do you think I can put "Mario saved me" on my résumé?" The Spanish version adds another line: "Does being rescued by Mario count as resume experience? Because I'm going to put it on!"
  • In the French version of Mario Kart 8, the Crazy 8 item was named "Grand 8" ("Great 8"), which is also a French expression to name a rollercoaster.
  • In Mario Party 9, one of Bowser's events is the "Reverse Minigame", where the aim is to come in last. The Italian version, it's instead called "!ocoiginiM!", which is "Minigioco" (the Italian for "minigame") spelt backwards, conveying the nature of the event in a much more clever and concise manner.
  • A whole lot of Nintendo games that enjoyed the honour of getting an official NOE translation into Russian, are subjects of this trope. Since 2011, when Nintendo Russia was officially established, many games on all then-current platforms from Wii to Switch were fully localised. Moreso, even objects from past games that were never localised themselves received a Russian name, often with a pun, when they appeared in multiple universe-spanning games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.
    • Fur Step Island from Bowser's Fury on Switch: this location was called Остров Тыгыдык (Ostrov Tygydyk). "Tygydyk" is a Russian web-originated onomatopoeia for a cat audibly stomping, often in the middle of the night, when such a sound is unwanted.
    • Super Mario Odyssey. Jaxi, which is a portmanteau of Jaguar and Taxi, is called Рыкарус (Rykarus). Ryk stands for "roar", as Jaxi appears as a large predatory (?) feline, and "Ikarus" is a brand of city and inter-city buses from Hungary, well-known and loved in Eastern Bloc countries.
    • Same game. Shiveria, which is an obvious portmanteau of Shiver and Siberia, was dubbed Озябск (Ozyabsk), somewhat keeping a pun on shivering (in Russian, Zyabnut' means not "to shiver" i.e to tremor, but rather "to start feeling uncomfortable from cold") and dropping Siberia.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash , Huey, whose name is a pun on the word Hue, was named Ведёркин (Vedyorkin), which stands for Bucket, with a Russian suffix -in added.
    • Luigi's Mansion. Professor E. Gadd, named after a medieval English surprise exclamation "Egad", is called Профессор П.У. Галкин (Professor P. U. Galkin).  Pugat' in Russian means "to scare someone".
    • Mario Kart 8/F-Zero. Big Blue, a DLC track, was called Синеморь (Sinemor'), or simply Blue Sea. This name has somewhat of a kid or a bedtime story undertone in Russian, which is perfectly justifiable since F-Zero games, which have a more serious tone than MK, were never localised.

    Mega Man 
  • Despite the terrible translations of Mega Man Battle Network 4 and 5, there were some gems in the first few games. In the first game, shopkeepers and at least one boss used basic AIM-speak. Many of the new names were also more obvious puns in English or simply more recognizable (the puns in the Japanese version are just as blatant). And at least one pun was made on the proper French pronunciation of a character's name (Eugene Chaud), which was more respect than MegaMan NT Warrior gave him (they pronounced it "Chodd").
  • A Woolseyism appears in the Mega Man Zero series with the name Dr. Weil. In Japanese, he is known as Dr. Vile, which is awfully close to the name of another character, so they changed it to Weil. If pronounced using German phoenetics, it would be heard as "vile." In addition, his name also referred to Dr. Ray Kurzweil, a futurist who, besides giving the idea of Singularity, also talked about cybernetics a lot. Considering what Dr. Weil turned out to be by Mega Man Zero 4 (as well as implied to be the case in Mega Man Zero 3), the name actually fits. Note that in the Japanese version of Mega Man X, Vile is called VAVA, making Dr. Vile not a violation of the One-Steve Limit.
  • The Mega Man X series has a Woolseyism in the naming of its antagonists as "Mavericks", as opposed to "Irregulars." "Maverick" is a fitting name, being synonymous with "nonconformist" and "irregular," referring to how the bosses and enemies in the series were rebelling against their programming and against society.
    • The names of the individual Mavericks were this for the longest time as well. Names like "Burnin' Noumander" and "Metamor Mothmeanos," though cool-sounding to a Japanese audience, sounded terrible to an English ear and became "Flame Mammoth" and "Morph Moth," respectively. Unfortunately, they had to take it too far in Mega Man X5 and give the Mavericks cringe-worthy Guns N' Roses names, where "Tidal Makkoeen" became "Duff McWhalen." Mega Man X Legacy Collection's decision to revert their names to be more in line with their original Japanese ones was even more contentious, as by that point a large subsection of the fanbase preferred the Guns N' Roses names because they were so goofy.
    • As mentioned before, Vile's original Japanese name was "VAVA", which was an adaptation of "Boba", whom VAVA's design resembled more than a little. The similarity was close enough that the English translation changed the name due to copyright concerns and, very likely, because to an English ear "VAVA" sounds like what a baby would babble when he wanted his bottle.
  • Mega Man 7 included a Woolseyism in its ending: When Mega Man defeated Dr. Wily, he mentions that he intends to kill Dr. Wily as he has had enough of his trying to beg for mercy and tricking him. Wily attempts to remind Mega Man that he is a robot and robots aren't supposed to kill humans. Mega Man then tells Wily that he's "more than a robot" and to prepare to die before Bass saves Dr. Wily. Actually, Mega Man saying that he was "more than a robot" was only in the English version. In the Japanese version, Mega Man went visibly silent after Wily's comment. It also as a result gave a What the Hell, Hero? moment for Mega Man to Western players, as it made it seem as though Mega Man was actually going to go through with killing Wily in cold blood, when in the original Japanese version, he had an internal debate as to whether he should kill Wily or not.
    • There's still a visual artifact of the original Japanese script remaining in the localization: During the conversation, Mega Man was charging his Mega Buster in front of Wily's face until Wily invokes the law of robotics. Notice how Mega Man drops his charge for no apparent reason when he tells Wily to prepare to die, which is quite inexplicable compared to him simultaneously going "..." and dropping his charge...

    Metal Gear 
  • The Fan Translation of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, while being of rather dubious quality, had a Czech speaker in the translation team. This meant they were able to turn Dr. Kio Marv's dialogue from Foreign Sounding Gibberish which was vaguely intelligible with some knowledge of Russian into completely new dialogue in real Czech, giving a Bilingual Bonus.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • Mei Ling, a character responsible for saving the game, would read out a Chinese proverb, and then read out the same characters with a coherent Japanese reading to relate to Snake's current situation. Since it was completely untranslatable, the localiser Jeremy Blaustein rewrote Mei Ling's dialogue from whole cloth, with the result that her sphere broadened—she now quoted Western literature and various thinkers as well as Chinese proverbs.
    • Another change was that of Psycho Mantis's dying words: "It feels very nostalgic." Since the nostalgia could only be explained by a thought process Hideo Kojima would have to explain in supplemental material which would be very unlikely to be released in the West, Blaustein changed it to the more internally consistent "It feels kind of nice," which gave the character a Psychopathic Manchild feel, making him more sympathetic. This change was reverted in the Video Game Remake, and even after explanation, few fans regarded it as an improvement.
    • Revolver Ocelot merely says "Hiding won't help you!" in the original script for Metal Gear Solid. He follows it up with the added line, "I understand the bullets, you see...I make them go where I want!" in reference to his uncanny talent with ricochets.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden and his girlfriend Rosemary recall that they went on their first date shortly after getting into an argument about which building in New York King Kong climbed up. In the original Japanese script, Raiden says that it was the Empire State Building, while Rosemary insists that it was the World Trade Center towers, leading Raiden to suggest that she's confusing King Kong with The Towering Inferno. The intended joke was that Kong climbed up the Empire State Building in the original 1933 film and the World Trade Center in the 1976 remake, meaning that both of them are right. Unfortunately, the game was completed just a few days before the 9/11 attacks, which forced the English translators to remove all references to the World Trade Center. So in the English version, Rosemary incorrectly remembers that Kong climbed up the Chrysler Building, and Raiden replies that the Chrysler Building was in Godzilla. This ended up making a bit more sense (since King Kong and Godzilla are both giant monster movies, while The Towering Inferno is a disaster movie), but it also subtly hints at the contrast between Raiden and Solid Snake as described by Hideo Kojima. According to Kojima, Snake is similar to King Kong, being a peaceful man who feels most at home in nature, and just wants to go home; Raiden is more akin to Godzilla, being a tormented man who was turned into a monster by science.
  • There's a Double Entendre one during the Kaz date in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which is a Gay Option with a character who's supposed to be a massive The Casanova towards women. When interrogating him in the Japanese version, he'll say something along the lines of "I'm not hiding anything!" — but in the English version, he says "No skeletons in my... closet." And because of the various real life products being removed for copyright issues in the North American versions, most of the model viewer descriptions were changed, with Narc Soda and the Les Enfants Terribles children making cameos as a result, and it also added in that curry was Kazuhira Miller's favorite dish, and it also referred to Drebin's drink in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (as they gave Pepsi Nex's replacement, zero-calorie soda, the design of Narc Soda).

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Examples by genre:

    Action-Adventure Games 
  • The name Castlevania itself is a Woolseyism; the series is called Akumajou Dracula (literally "Demon Castle Dracula") in Japanese (except for Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, and Lament of Innocence). Specific examples pertaining this series include:
    • An early, minor Woolseyism took place in the translation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, as the main character "Ralph C. Belmondo" became "Trevor Belmont." Curse of Darkness gives the impression that the Japanese adapted the name "Trevor" in the Japanese canon when one chooses to hear the Japanese voice track. In truth, he is still called Ralph in Japanese. They simply rerecorded the Japanese dialogue so that the Japanese actor says Trevor instead of Ralph (confusing, isn't it).
    • In the Sorrow games, native Japanese student "Souma Kurusu" became a foreign transfer student named "Soma Cruz."
    • Also from the Sorrow games, Hammer's hundreds of weapons is meant to be a reference to Musashibo Benkei. Since the latter is less famous outside of Japan and Japanophiles, the North American translation substitutes a running gag where everyone thinks Hammer is nuts for opening a weapons shop in Dracula's Castle. This accidentally creates a Brick Joke in Dawn of Sorrow when Yoko (on whom Hammer has a crush) opens an Item Crafting shop next to him.
    • "Johnny Morris" from Castlevania: Bloodlines had his name changed to the non-diminutive form "John Morris" in the English versions.
    • Many enemy names have this treatment in later Castlevania titles. For example: A skeleton enemy that kicks its own head around as an attack, introduced in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, is given the incredibly unimaginative name "Soccer Boy" in the original Japanese game, while in the English translation is instead cleverly called "Yorick."
    • One of the few aversions until later times was with the whip-using skeleton, whose Japanese name (Shimon) was a pun of Simon Belmont's first name. Its English name went from the "Blind Idiot" Translation of "Gates of Death" in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse to the much more suitable localization of "Hellmont" in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • Cave Story: It's probably too early to declare either of translation objectively better, but there is a vocal portion of the fanbase that prefers AGTP's Fan Translation over the more literal translation from Nicalis (which had Studio Pixel's approval) for the Wiiware and Steam versions. In particular, AGTP's translation of Balrog's Battle Cry ("Doryaa!") as "Huzzah!" gained memetic status; Nicalis' translation of the line as "Oh yeah!" (a reference to the Kool-Aid Man) drew cries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
  • Chantelise, contains the same translation style. One of the most noteworthy things they changed was the name of a character, who in Japanese was "Mirai", a Japanese word for "future." The name wound up being heavily symbolic since she had concocted a plan to break the Vicious Cycle of sacrifices and ultimately finish off the Big Bad, but only long after her own death, and it had originally even been the name of the climactic chapter, it wound up being changed to "Fortuna" and the chapter's name to "Fortuna Favors the Bold." They did not make this decision lightly.
  • Another in-universe example with Iji, where the scientists tried not to translate the names of Tasen and Komato weapons, but gave them names so that Iji could get the gist of them. It's not perfect, but it largely works. Sometimes, with weapons that don't have an Earth equivalent, they gave the guns menacing-sounding names; one of the BFGs, a fusion-powered coilgun that fires thousands of rounds per second, is called the "Velocithor".
  • The English translation patch of La-Mulana renames a few MSX ROMs (not the ones you download, the ones you collect in-game). Vampire Killer, which has officially been released under only one other name, Akumajou Dracula, gets renamed to Castlevania, Uranai Sensation gets renamed to Diviner Sensation, and Hai no Majutsushi gets renamed to Mahjong Wizard.
  • Through the magic of the Woolseyism, a decidedly average Famicom platformer titled Magic John became a hilarious sendup of '80s surfer dudes called Totally Rad. Check out all the gnarly differences, dude! Oddly enough, this example also involves a boring, generic John becoming a Totally Radical Jake.
  • At one point in Ōkami, you have to sneak into the Emperor's palace by using the Lucky Mallet to shrink yourself to Mouse World size. They translated the "Are you sure you want to do this?" warning as "Ready to get hammered?"
  • In the original Japanese version of Tail Concerto, the main races were referred to as Inuhito and Nekohito, literally meaning "Dog Person" and "Cat Person", which the English dub translated literally. Come Solatorobo, and the localization team ended up creating new terms "Caninu" and "Felineko" (PortManteau of "Canine-Inu" and "Feline-Neko") to use instead. CyberConnect2 ended up loving the new names so much that they adapted it to future Little Tail Bronx stories.

    Action Games 
  • The translations of later Dynasty Warriors games as well as the Samurai Warriors series give each character their own unique lines upon defeating enemy officers, whereas in Japanese they all simply shout variations of "Enemy Officer Defeated."
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Another example would be the English title of Xuanzang's event. The Japanese title was actually a reference to Coming to America explanation ; while many fans simply referred to it as Journey to the West, when it was localized, the event was given the name "Sanzang Coming to the West", keeping the reference and adding a multi-layered pun.
    • One TYPE-MOON related April Fool's joke involved bunch of idols, with one of them being a Lancer-themed band called YARIO, play on yari (spear) and Tokio. Since the joke was referenced in the first summer event, they instead translated the band name as Backspear Boys, keeping the joke while making it easier for native English speakers to catch the idea.
    • The second Halloween event parodying Ghosts 'n Goblins is originally named "The Great Pumpkin Village" in Japanese, whereas it had been named as "Ghouls and Pumpkins"note  in English servers. This reflects the reference game's Dub Name Change in the west as it is named "Demon World Village" in Japanese.
    • On a somewhat more-serious note, Emiya ALTER has been redrawn in some official materials, and the localizers confirmed they received permission to change the infamous line dubbing him "Detroit Emiya" ("Demiya" for short) before launch. This is due to the obvious Values Dissonance between a largely-Asian-homogenous culture and a country that actually has a sizable black minority and a history of racial tensions. Indeed, the name they actually went with, "Edgemiya", fits better, not only given his more cynical nature, but also given that Alter versions of Servants are seen as "edgy" versions of the regular ones, with this particular Alter having a very grimdark and edgy attitude about his work.
    • On a similar note, the Agartha script was given a slight overhaul by the localization team due to the initial backlash received when it first came out in JP. The team altered bits of the story that seemed to fetishize the more uncomfortable moments of the story by instead playing up the horror that would naturally occur from some of those moments. The story chapter is still divisive, but its generally agreed the changes make it less uncomfortable.
    • In a truly inspired bit of work, Osakabehime's cringeworthy otaku slang is rendered in the English version as equally cringeworthy fangirl Japanese, doubly funny or cringe since the person using it is herself a Japanese youkai and probably would not have come across it naturally. When she's trying to "put on an act" and pretend to be more regal than she actually is, this is also well-rendered as old-fashioned dialogue.
    • The localization team also does a fairly good job of accounting for the time differences between the JP and NA servers by altering dialogue to account for various elements that may have been new in JP, but are already out by that point in time. For example, during the "All The Statesmen" event, Siegfried shamelessly plugs the Fate/Apocrypha anime adaptation by mentioning where it can watched, since the event came out in JP during the shows run time. For NA however, the show had already been fully released and thus was available for viewing, so his dialogue was altered to allude to Netflix instead.
    • The localisation team has also advanced the events from two years from the Japanese server. This is a case of Reality Subtext as the date of the age of extinction was supposed to happen with the date the final chapter release in the game (December 22 2016 in Japan, December 22 2018 in America)
    • The literal translation for the natural timeline lost to the Lostbelts, "Pan-Human History," created a bit of confusion. Since "pan" means "all," why would the Lostbelts be excluded from what's basically called "All of Human History"? The localization makes this clearer by changing "Pan-Human History" into "Proper Human History." Similarly, the "Alien God" was localized as the "Foreign God," reinforcing its connection to the Foreigner class, adding a bit of thematic resonance to conversations about it, and making it sound grand and mysterious rather than matter-of-fact.
    • The original title for the Da Vinci Rerun Challenge Quest was Tokimeki Alter Memorial, a reference to the visual novel Tokimeki Memorial, which is famous in Japan. However, as the game is more obscure in the West, the localisation team changed it to... Doki Doki Alter Club. Not only is it a valid translation of the original title (Doki Doki and Tokimeki both translate to heart-pounding), it also becomes a reference to Doki Doki Literature Club!, another Visual Novel with a more... infamous reputation in the West. This leads on to Hilarious in Hindsight, however, as there are four Servants in the Challenge Quest which each have a counterpart with their Doki Doki Counterpart (Although Arjuna is harder to pair with Natsuki).
    • The Anastasia Lostbelt gave Billy the Kid a well-implemented classic Western drawl.
  • The "form" Wii Remote poses in WarioWare: Smooth Moves get changed into more familiar-sounding names, similar to what Nintendo also did with Elite Beat Agents. For example, the "Tengu" pose which involves holding the remote up to your nose is changed to "The Elephant". Since one of the first games using this pose involves helping an elephant gather apples, this works well. The pictures and dialogue during the narrator's speeches are changed accordingly.

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • Nana from Akiba's Trip had her nickname for the protagonist (her older brother) be changed from "Nii-Nii" in the original Japanese, to a Hurricane of Bro Puns (i.e. Brotagonist, Brobocop,) which to many western players endeared her to them even more than the generically cutesy onii-chan from the original Japanese.
  • The original Japanese script for Code of Princess was barebones, with characters going through the motions of jokes but really just mentioning cliches and piling on pop culture refs. Ali would get mad at how obnoxiously bad some lines were, but nobody actually bounced off each other's material. Most of the wit and even character nuance was inserted through the English translation, to the point that the script is significantly longer. The game also has more conventional localizations, replacing dated Japanese internet memes and extended references to NES era jRPGs with more recognizable Western equivalents and actual jokes. To give an idea, the original game never mentions bards and Allegro existed mostly to reference Dragon Quest III gadabouts. Considering the starting material and how it became less reliant on quick pop culture nods, Code of Princess might just be Atlus's most thoroughly justifiable and improved localization.
  • The NES version of Double Dragon III underwent a complete script rewrite from its Japanese Famicom counterpart. The MacGuffins of the game, the Rosetta Stones, were renamed into the Sacred Stones (since the real life Rosetta Stone was something else entirely) and the plot now involves saving Marian (err Marion) again, giving the Lee brothers some incentive for helping out Hiruko search for the Sacred Stones (as opposed to helping her out for the hell of it). Moreover, the sub-plot with Machine Gun Willy's brother Jim (the first stage's boss) as the new leader of the Black Warriors was left out completely, as it was quickly forgotten after the first stage, and the identity of Brett's murderer was changed into someone else (namely Hiruko). The identity of the final boss is changed from a revived Cleopatra to Queen Noiram, who is really Marion possessed by an evil spirit. Unfortunately, the localization team made no changes to the game's presentation and Marion is mysteriously absent after the final boss battle, even though the ending assures us she's fine. Here's a script comparison between the Famicom and NES versions.

    Casual Video Games 
  • Exponential Idle: The achievement for earning ee20000$ is called "Stonks" in the English version. The Polish version changes the name to another finance-related meme that'd be more familiar to them "O, pisiąt groszy!"

    Fighting Games 
  • The second Art of Fighting game had a very peculiar English translation. All of the endings were altered in some way, resulting often in comical twists that are more fun to watch/read than both the originals and the more faithful translations to other languages.
  • The English versions of BlazBlue are filled with references to memes. Considering the nature of BlazBlue, it's definitely for the better.
    Taokaka: "Get in mah belly!"
    Kokonoe: "I love the smell of explosions in the morning!"
    Jubei: "The 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi. You will never find a more Wretched Hive of scum and villainy."
    Arakune: That is relevent to my interests!
    • The titular BlazBlue MacGuffin is usually referred to as the less Engrish-y "Azure Grimoire" or "Blue Grimoire". Alternatively, Hazama's own unique "BlazBlue" (written in different kanji than usual) is referred to as the "Bleu Grimoire".
  • Aroduc, the translator of Duel Savior Destiny, noted various places in his translation where things either did not translate or were really lame jokes based on weird puns. Also, the literal translation of a few things were rather unimpressive considering the stature they were viewed with and thus got renamed. For example, the correct translation of Aether Relic is merely Summoned Weapon.
  • In the North American version of the SNES ports of Final Fight and Street Fighter Alpha 2, the character Sodom has his name changed to Katana. Considering that his character is a Japanophile, the As Long as It Sounds Foreign sword certainly seems more appropriate than the biblical reference. As well, in the same port of Final Fight, the metalhead thug Damnd has his name changed to Thrasher, which many fans felt was more appropriate. These changes were most likely made due to Nintendo of America's policies regarding religious references and offensive material in games, rather than any sort of desire to punch up the translation, however.
  • Guilty Gear
    • Guilty Gear Xrd features clever English dub translations for the stanzas in Slayer's haiku in his Instant-Kill Attack, all while maintaining the poetry's five-seven-five structure. Some of the more clever translations include:
    • "チャンピオン" (Champion) translated to "The King's Champion"
    • "エイリアン" (Alien) translated to "The truth is out there".
    • "お正月" (Japanese New Year) translated to "At home on New Year's".
    • A non-translation example, with the South Korean release of XX #Reload, which featured an entirely new soundtrack by native rock band N.EX.T. Despite Ishiwatari's original soundtrack being so beloved, many consider the N.EX.T soundtrack to be excellent in its own right. Special mention goes to Robo-Ky's theme: while in both the original and Korean soundtracks, it's just a distorted version of Ky's theme, the Korean version is considered to be an overall better track, while the original version is more headache-inducing to listen to for too long.
  • Injustice 2: At some point during the story mode, Harley Quinn derisively refers to Wonder Woman as "Wonder Bread". In the Brazilian dub, he calls her "Mara Maravilha", an real-life singer-turned-controversial-politician whose artistic name is similar to how Wonder Woman is called in Portuguese "Mulher Maravilha".
  • The French version of Mortal Kombat: Deception was retitled Mortal Kombat: Mystification because the word "deception" is spelled and sounds like the French word for "disappointment," which isn't a great PR move. On top of that, "mystification" is actually a perfectly good translation of "deception," so it works.
  • Soda Popinski from Punch-Out!! was "Vodka Drunkenski" originally, but was changed for the NES release to avoid controversy. Fans universally agree that not only does "Soda Popinski" roll off the tongue much easier, but a boxer who chugs soda to boost his strength fits in alongside the magical Indian, frigging Donkey Kong, and whatever the hell King Hippo is supposed to be far better than a mere drunk. Hilariously, despite this his former name provided a trope name all the same.
  • Woolseyisms could also be seen as the reason for the boss name shift in Street Fighter II (and the rest of the series). The names Balrog, Vega and M. Bison were shifted around (what with the whole "Mike Tyson might sue us!" mentality at the time) so that the boxer was named Balrog, the claw-wielder was named Vega, and the final boss/"dictator" became M. Bison. There is a subtle touch here: Vega the character is Spanish, and 'Vega' is a common Spanish surname.
  • The Newcomer trailers for the 3DS and Wii U iterations of Super Smash Bros. feature punny phrases for each characters introduced ("Little Mac Punches In!", "Palutena Alights!", and Robin Brings the Thunder!", to name a fewnote ), as opposed to simply "(insert name here) 参戦 joins the battle!" (only Mega Man's trailer has a splash with this phrase in both English and Japanese). This was repeated for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with Chrom and Dark Samus being the only ones getting a generic "Joins the Battle!" splash.

    Massive Multiplayer Online Games 

    Platform Games 
  • The box and manual of Adventure Island name the Distressed Damsel as Princess Leilani, but the A Winner Is You screen says "You have saved your lovely Tina". The second game's manual says that Tina is the Princess's sister.
  • In Ristar, one of the bosses was changed from a cat into a snowman thing. In Japan, a nekojita (猫舌, lit. cat tongue) is someone who can't eat hot or spicy foods. This would be lost on the average American, who wouldn't quite understand why a (blue, somewhat robotic) cat needs to be fed spicy stuff to be defeated, so they changed him into an ice creature to convey that same logic overseas.
  • In Shockman for the TurboGrafx-16, the dialogue calls both Arnold and Sonya the game title. Wouldn't the latter be "Shockgirl"?
  • Many American and European Sonic the Hedgehog fans still prefer "Robotnik" over the Japanese "Eggman", even after the name Eggman got transplanted into the Western continuity in Sonic Adventure. It doesn't help that the former was extremely well established prior to Sonic Adventure. So much so that as of Sonic Adventure 2, Robotnik is his official name worldwide (though he's still only referred to as Eggman).
    • In most games, he is now refered to as Dr. Eggman, but there are a few references here and there. In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Chronicles, he refers to himself as Dr. Robotnik, but gets the name Dr. Eggman from everyone else. Also in Sonic Adventure 2, while he's delivering his speech, the name Dr. Robotnik can be seen on the scrolling text on the screen along with Dr. Eggman. His grandfather and cousin were called Gerald Robotnik and Maria Robotnik, respectively, and his manufacturing company in Sonic Riders is Robotnik Corp. Due to all this, the bad doc is now known officially as Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, where Eggman is usually an insult used to illustrate how much respect the cast has for him.
      • Yuji Naka himself explained it all. Real name is Robotnik, pseudonym is Eggman.
    • Also in Sonic the Hedgehog, Fang the Sniper's name was toned down to Nack the Weasel in America and Europe. However, the North American and European versions of Sonic Gems Collection refers to him as Fang in all games that included him, and in Sonic Generations, there is a wanted poster of him that refers to him by both names.note 
    • A non-translation version with the western release of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, which included an entirely new soundtrack by members of the Sega Technical Institute. Nowadays, there's common arguments over which soundtrack is the superior one (the original sounding more upbeat and techno, while the western version is more atmospheric and even downright creepy and ominous at times,) so the 2011 Updated Re-release included the option to select either of them.

    Puzzle Games 
  • As the creator of Katamari Damacy decided to leave the project when Me and My Katamari was being made, the Japanese script was therefore very dry and empty. The American translator was given the task to ghost-write the script entirely from scratch, and did so brilliantly. The King's dialogue was full of obscure literary and cultural allusions and his campness was played up to new, hilarious heights.
  • Planet names in the European version of Meteos were heavily Woolseyised compared to their American counterparts (often straight transliterations from the Japanese planet names), giving them a more Greek or Latin feel. Example substitutions include "Gigantis" for "Yooj," "Aetheria" for "Brabbit" and "Insomnis" for "Dawndus."

    Rhythm Games 
  • A special case for Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan: an entire sequel, Elite Beat Agents, was made that transplanted the gameplay concepts to a setting (and soundtrack) that could be appreciated outside of Japan while still retaining the quirky appeal of the game that spawned it. Interestingly, the result was also a success in Japan.
  • As...colorful as the Rhythm Heaven series is, the minigames' original Japanese names are surprisingly straightforward. The English localization rectifies this by replacing them with puns and alliterations that describe the minigames or at least roll off the tongue better. For example, "Assembly" from the Nintendo DS title became "Built to Scale", referencing both the minigame's premise (building widgets in a factory) and the main audio cue (an ascending scale).
  • Not as much of a change, but the main character of Space Channel 5 is named "Ulala." It is the official pronunciation for the name "Urara," which is a common name in Japanese, but in English, most characters pronounce it as "Ooh-La-La"... which is often what people say about attractive women. Conveniently enough, that's quite a part of the game, too! Fridge Brilliance on the part of the developers?
    • The meaning of Urara is "beautiful girl." It might well be deliberate.

    Shooter 
  • In Gradius IV, the series' name is pronounced "grad-ius", but in V, it's pronounced "gray-dius", as most fans pronounce it. The title itself is a Japanization of "gladius".
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! had a card for Gradius, and was pronounced "Gray-dius" in the Anime.
    • Many sources refer to the Spider Tank boss (Shadow Gear) as "Club", a mistransliteration of "Crab" Doesn't look like a Giant Enemy Crab, though.
  • In the manual for Iron Tank, the boss tanks are called "Think Tanks." Maybe because they're autonomous robotic tanks? Or maybe it's just due to "Blind Idiot" Translation.
  • In Overwatch, one of Mei's taunt lines is "You have to let it go!". In the Italian version, amusingly, they got the reference and translated it as "All'alba sorgerò!"note , the title of the translated Italian version of "Let it Go". Also, the "A-Mei-zing!" line was adapted as "Mei-Zinga!".
  • Splatoon:
    • The games are absolutely filled with squid-based puns, and the American localization team managed to find a good replacement for near enough every one, and amped up the Totally Radical (for instance, the "On Fire" win streak rank on the British version became "SO HAWT!!"). But more so, they helped DJ Octavio get his Best Boss Ever reputation in the first game by replacing his fairly standard villain banter in the Japanese and European versions with borderline Jive Turkey speech patterns and puns about electronic music, of which he has a surprisingly large amount.
    • This continued in the sequel, though to less universal praise due to one of the major changes being that to Pearl and Marina's relationship. The original Japanese gives them a Sempai/Kōhai relationship wherein Marina openly idolizes the older Pearl and is nothing but respectful to her, even when the Inkling is acting a bit dim. Meanwhile, while Marina is still shown on occasion to hold Pearl in high regard, the English version has their on-camera dynamic as Vitriolic Best Buds, though the Octo Expansion shows that their friendship rarely goes beyond lighthearted teasing in their personal lives.
  • Syphon Filter: The manual spells Anton Girdeux's last name "Girdeaux".
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • In the French version of the short Meet the Soldier, the line "Unless it's a farm!" was translated as "Farms don't count!"
    • The K.G.B (Killing Gloves of Boxing) were renamed Kamarades Gants de Boxe (Komrade Boxing Gloves) in the French version, which not only preserves the original acronym but also throws in a Russian "Comrade" joke.
      • The Russian rename of the Killing Gloves of Boxing, "Кулаки Грозного Боксера", isn't one... but when translated literally back to English, you get "Fists of the Scary Boxer", which has the same acronym as The New Russia's domestic intelligence agency (commonly regarded as the KGB in all but name), the Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (Federal Security Service).
    • In the Spanish translation of TF2, Jarate (jar + karate) is called "Fraskungfu" ("frasco" is Spanish for "jar").
    • The Russian translation of TF2 makes The Heavy speak much more fluently than his usual stilted English, now that's he's speaking in his native language.
    • The Brazilian/Portuguese version usually tries to make a translation by the book, which usually results in weapons/items sounding rather lame, but when they can't translate they improvise geniously. Here are some examples:
      • The Big Kill is changed to "Revólver bom pra cachorro", which roughly translates to "Revolver good for dog". While it doesn't make sense in English, in portuguese it's a triple pun! The expression "bom pra cachorro" is a metaphor for saying something is really good, and a dog joke since Sam is a dog, it's also a reference to a Brazilian meme about a TV commercial narrator who overuses this metaphor. Even the description changes to read like one of his movie narrations!
      • The Cow Mangler 5000 was renamed to Avacalhador 5000, a mix of "avacalhar" (screw up/to annoy) and "vaca" (cow).
      • The Pain Train was renamed to "É pau, é prego" (it's stick, it's nail), a fitting name, a metaphor for fights and a reference to a Tom Jobim song.
      • Axtinguisher changes to "Queimachado", a mix with the words "queimar" (burn) and "machado" (axe).
      • The Memory Maker was renamed to "Filma-Dor", a pun of the words "Filma" (to film), "Dor" (pain), and "Filmadora" (camcorder).
      • They couldn't change the K.G.B. so they renamed Killing Gloves of Boxing to "Kríticos Garantidos no Boxe" (Kriticals Granted on Boxing), the change from C to K may seem forced but the name is perfect.
      • The Tide Turner was renamed to "Descobridor dos sete mares" (Seven sea's discoverer), which not only sounds awesome, but it's a reference to the brazilian singer Tim Maia.
      • The Deadliest Duckling was renamed to "Al Patino", a mix of the words "Pato" and Al Pacino, referencing The Godfather.
  • Working Designs's work with Thunder Force V involved taking the on-screen boss descriptions, which were already in Gratuitous English in the Japanese version, and rewriting them to read more smoothly. The boss of Stage 2, Iron Maiden, for instance:
    Japanese version: "It was dead, but alive at the same time."
    North American version: "Alive but dead, it fears nothing and decimates all." (Your ship's computer still reads the Japanese version text, however.)
  • The Fan Translations of the Touhou Project games toss a few out here and there. Most notably, in Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night's Extra Stage, a lot of wordplay is based on two Japanese terms meaning "liver" and "test of courage", which sound similar. The translation kept most of it by referring to the "test of courage" as "Trial of Guts".
    Marisa: "How I like a drink, alcoholic of course, after the light skirmish involving danmaku exchanges."
  • The Hungarian Fan Translation of Unreal Tournament is very liberal when it comes to taunts. Example:
    Original: "You like that?"
    Translation: "Guess the rubber doll doesn't shoot back, huh?!"

    Simulation Games 
  • This is present all over the place in Animal Crossing, due to Nintendo Treehouse's desire to make sure that an English-speaking player would have the same kind of experience as a Japanese-speaking person would if they were playing Animal Forest or Animal Forest +. This ended up working so well that Nintendo of Japan themselves were impressed enough to retranslate the game into Japanese and give it a Japan-only Updated Re-release as Animal Forest e+.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
    • Nook's (in)famous currency Bell is called Динь (Din'). Din' is a Russian onomatopoeia for a bell ringing.
  • The Brazilian translation of the LucasArts heaven/hell sim Afterlife (1996) is just as hilarious as the original, as well as translating well some English figures of speech. For instance, the Heaven reward "Humble Pie" becomes the local idiom "Bread Baked By The Devil", "St. Quentin Scareatino" is "Carandiruim", and the descriptions of Hell-enhancing structures made by an Ungrateful Bastard reference local things such as Coffin Joe and "a crowded camp in Ubatuba during a rainy holiday".
  • While it wasn't substantially rewritten, the French translation of Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII renamed many of the mission to witty wordplay and cultural references that were still relevant to the content of the missions themselves:
    • The opening level "Old Secrets" (framed as the protagonist reminiscing about the game's events at a modern day airshow) was renamed "Je me souviens..." ("I remember"), which is the national motto of Quebec.
    • The mission "Italian Nights Out" (involving bombing the Italian navy in the port of Taranto) was retitled to La Dolce Vita.
    • "Shadows of the Pyramid" was renamed "40 siècles nous contemplent" ("40 centuries look down upon us"), an allusion to a speech made by Napeoleon prior to a battle during the 1789 French invasion of Egypt.
    • "Grand Theft" (involving stealing a prototype bomber) was renamed to "L'art du vol", a Double Meaning as the word "vol" can mean both "flight" and "theft".
    • "Gladiator in the dark" (set over Vatican) was retitled to the Latin motto "Vae victis".
  • Cozy Grove has a part one character emphasizes the need for having friends with the line, "What if you get sick and need to crowdfund your appendectomy?!”. For the Spanish release, this line was replaced with a line about needing friends for moving a couch instead. This is because Spain has public healthcare, unlike the United States.
  • In-universe example with FreeSpace; when first-contact between Terrans and Vasudans leads to war, the Terrans classify Vasudan ships with an Egyptian theme. Later, after hostilities cool, the Vasudans decide that being compared to Ancient Egypt is flattering and officially adopt the Egyptian names for their gear as the proper-noun equivilents when translated. Some Vasudans even adopt Egyptian names for themselves, including the Emperor (who takes the name "Khonsu").

    Strategy Games 
  • The Advance Wars series has had a long history of doing this: For instance, the villain of the first two games was called "Herr Böse" — meaning "Mr. Evil/Angry/Nasty" in German — in the Japanese game. While undoubtedly exotic to the Japanese ear, it was slightly less impressive to the American/European markets and the villain was renamed "Sturm" (meaning "storm/tempest" in German) in the English script. Many of the other CO names were similarly reworked.
    • Of note are Grit and Sami, whose names were originally Billy and Domino respectively in Japanese, who were changed not only to sound more unique but also as a case of a Genius Bonus. Anyone from the military will recognize "GRIT" as the mnemonic for fire control orders which is used to issue firing orders to a squadron over a radionote , which is a rather fitting name for a sniper. Anyone familiar with history will recognize Sami as a reference to Sammy L. Davis, an infantry war hero of the Vietnam War and recipient of (among other awards) the Medal of Honor, which is well-fitting for a CO who specializes in infantry tactics.
    • The biggest difference between COs happened in Dual Strike. In Japanese, the main character is John, a no-nonsense do-gooder who's always wearing huge headphones for communication purposes. He's pretty heroic, but also pretty bland. The translation process turned him into Jake, a Totally Radical everyman who really likes his music and his hip young-people lingo, culminating in a scene where he gives a heartfelt motivational speech, then mutters "...word" at the end. Considering the tone of the rest of the game, this version of the character fits in much better with the rest of the cast. "Get the plates, 'cuz you just got served!" indeed.
    • The latest installment in the series was translated independently by Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe, creating two translations — the American Days of Ruin and the European Dark Conflict. While the European version is more true to the original Japanese script, including the names, the American one contained a good deal of woolseyisms, including making Lin into more of a Deadpan Snarker and giving Ax-Crazy Creepy Child Penny (Lili in Dark Conflict) some extremely hilarious dialogue involving her stuffed bear. And that's not even counting that whacked-out IDS agent in mission 24. In Dark Conflict, IDS Agent = Boring and Bland. In Days of Ruin: well, it can be summed up with "Screw this, I'm getting a parachute."
  • The Fire Emblem series has just as long of a history with this as Advance Wars, if not longer.
    • In general, the series has a habit of changing character names that sounded awkward when romanized (like Leyvan, Asseray, Bole, Lofa, Chap...) to better-sounding ones. (Raven, Artur, Boyd, Rolf and Brom, respectively) A full list can be found here.
    • Blazing Blade, being the first game officially released in English, started the trend. Among other things, Lyn's age was changed from 15 to 18 (which many players agree makes more sense) and The Great Offscreen War between dragons and humans went from being called the "Dragon - Human War" to "The Scouring".
    • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, if you've lost so many units that you don't have enough left to deploy for the next map, you'll be given generic units. In the British version, they have normal names. However, in the American version, some of their names are insulting puns directed at the player like Owend, Lucer, and Auffle. Some of them had numerically inspired names (Unil, Dua, Trim), and the rest had vaguely Roman sounding names, like Augustus, Antony, and Julius. Some of the names were also completely changed in translation to mixed reviews by the fandom. Maji and Saji to Cord and Bord is generally accepted, while Sheeda/Shiida is generally preferred to Caeda.
    • Genealogy of the Holy War and its midquel Thracia 776 named most of the major characters after figures in Celtic or Nordic mythology, which were rendered into Japanese. Many of these characters were made available as DLC in Awakening, and are usually given the original myth names. (Diadora, for example, returned to Deirdre). On the other hand, some of them got even weirder than they were before—Rackesis, which is probably from the Greek Lachesis, got turned into "Raquesis."
    • Another example from Genealogy (though this is from fan translations) is Sigurd's "You dastard!" line when Arvis betrays him at Bahara. Less knowledgeable players might have thought he was supposed to say "bastard," but the former is actually a real word (it's the root of the word "dastardly"), and in medieval cultures it meant pretty much the same thing that "bastard" means now, minus the paternity implications. Later games, like Awakening, alternate between the two as something of a Mythology Gag.
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Black Knight's survival replaces a Phlebotinum Breakdown Hand Wave with Ike being allowed to win for reasons that mesh well with the existing story. In the original, the Black Knight's warp powder malfunctions, teleporting only his spirit and leaving his body behind, meaning he was weakened in his fight with Ike, and he regains his true power when his spirit returns after the defeat. In the English version, during the climactic battle, Ike reveals that his father's sword arm was crippled years before (this detail always existed), a fact that the Black Knight didn't know. Since the Black Knight's true goal was to surpass his teacher (Ike's father, Greil), this revelation makes the Black Knight realize that his victory was hollow — he was fighting a weakened man, and never got to experience Greil's true ability. He allows Ike to win in the hope that Ike will someday become as powerful and skilled as his father, and become a substitute he can test his skills against.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
    • The game has a set of weapons that give their wielder a large bonus to accuracy and evasion while fighting an enemy who is using the same type of weapon. In the Japanese version, these weapons had fairly bland and repetitious-sounding names, e.g. "Axe-breaker axe." The english version instead named them "Superior" weapons, e.g. "Superior Axe", which works as both a description of their unique benefits and a description of the weapons' high stats.
  • Fire Emblem Fates:
    • The localization took some steps to tone down the blatant Story Branch Favoritism of the Japanese version in the localization. Originally the Japan-inspired Hoshido was always portrayed as in the right and the Europe-inspired Nohr as evil and warlike, and siding with Hoshido was presented as the morally-right choice while siding with Nohr had the protagonist constantly regretting their decision. The localization not only toned-down the Avatar's moments of angst on the Nohr route, but made the Hoshidan royals more flawed. Ryoma in particular becomes more of an Honor Before Reason Blood Knight in the localized version, as opposed to the Incorruptible Pure Pureness he was originally, while Camilla's Yandere and Villainous Incest traits on the Hoshido route were turned more into My Beloved Smother. The lyrics of the Birthright and Conquest-specific verses of the game's main theme were also modified to reflect this: the originally fully-optimistic Hoshido verse adds a line foreshadowing a major tragedy later in that route, while the originally pessimistic, Dark Is Evil Nohr verse was changed to lean more towards Good Is Not Soft.
    • The child characters usually have far more platonic supports and often end with them "Dating" rather than getting married.
    • Soleil's support conversations with a male Avatar were changed in the localized versions due to coming off as really creepy and weird, even in Japan. Soleil's primary quirk is that, although she can talk to men with no problems, she becomes extremely nervous to the point of losing consciousness around women. To try and remedy this, in the Japanese version, male Corrin slips a potion into her drink that causes her to see all men as women. This is treated as a good thing in-story. In the localized versions, Soliel instead has a very obvious preference for the ladies, and Corrin (consensually) blindfolds her to perform a visualization exercise, letting her imagine women as men. Additionally, most of Soliel's possible marriages were rewritten to her gently turning the guy down in favor of being Platonic Life-Partners instead; the only guys she can marry are a male Corrin (necessary, since she's one of Kana's potential mothers, and helped by the above change) and Forrest (a Wholesome Crossdresser).
    • Similar to Soleil's supports, Selena and Odin's supports in Japanese have her imply that Selena hypnotized Odin into loving her and didn't think to tell him until much later. The localized translation made it so that Selena confesses this to Odin, but Odin reveals that he knew it all along and went with it.
    • Peri's supports with Xander in the Japanese version deal with her insecurities over not using Keigo around him. Their B support has Xander instructing her in the proper use of "desu" and "masu", and Peri's extremely bad attempts at following his advice. This would be impossible to replicate in English, but the localization keeps the focus of the supports the same by changing keigo to just "formal language", and Peri's hilariously bad gratuitous use of "desu" in the B support was changed to hilariously bad Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.
    • Nohrian knight Benoit's name was changed to Benny, serving as both a variation on the original and avoiding the uncomfortable associations with the original name. The new name fits the character much better, sounding as cute and gentle as his personality to contrast his appearance.
    • Hisame was seen as a largely forgettable character, only really being the straight man to everybody else's funny-one act in some supports. One gag in the Japanese version is that he acts like an old man because he... pickles vegetables. This makes no sense unless one happens to be in the know, so Nintendo of America made it a little more palatable by making his love of pickles into an obsession, while still letting Hisame be his usual self with most people.
    • Azura's class is normally translated as something like Singer or Songstress. In the German translation, it becomes Skaldin, which was a female bard in medieval Germanic countries, which fits the Norse mythological themes attached to Nohr.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • Dorothea teases Edelgard about an opera being written about her life in their C Support. In the Japanese version, she just yells a few lines dramatically. In English, she actually sings, and her voice actress pulls off opera singing incredibly well. Edelgard still reacts with surprise, and this translates over - instead her surprise being that Dorothea actually did it, rather than what she was saying.
    • From the same game, Petra's manner of speech. Petra's initial quirk is that she is a princess from Brigid, and thus not too familiar with the language of Fódlan. In Japanese, she pauses as if to think of the appropriate word to finish a sentence. Unfortunately, this would be seen as annoying to an English audience, and could potentially cause a voice actor to be paid to say nothing. So, in order to get the point across, Petra is a Strange-Syntax Speaker and doesn't understand common English idioms and expressions.
    • Bernadetta's B support with Byleth reveals her father is the cause of her social issues and her shut in nature by forcing her to practice being a "quiet and subservient wife". In Japanese, this type of logic is essentially her being groomed to be a Yamato Nadeshiko, a traditional belief in how a perfect wife is supposed to be; quiet, submissive, etc. This makes Bernadetta's social issues make sense from a Japanese script by showing how her father was so traditionalist that he ended up abusing her. However, the Yamato Nadeshiko trope and type doesn't make sense from a western perspective and for many would not explain why Bernadetta behaves the way she does. Thus when the game was localized, an extra line was added that stated her father tied her up to a chair and left her alone for hours, which makes her abuse and personality make more sense, while still framing her father as being out of touch. In fact, this change was so well liked, that when it was removed without explanation in the patch that came with the second DLC pack, players were furious, as they felt it lessened the impact of the abuse.
  • Project × Zone 2 features Sheath, an American character whose dialogue in the Japanese version is peppered with Gratuitous English, and whose character design is such that it would be difficult to change her nationality (and thus the foreign language she uses). The English version instead plays with the Translation Convention, giving her broken and awkward speech to represent that, being American, she learned Japanese from Anime and video games and thus is terrible at it.
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, one of the original character, Giado Venerdi, was originally supposed to be Italian. When translating the game, Atlus took one look at his portrait, a dark-skinned man with dreadlocks, and took de obvious route, mon. Likewise, in the second game, when Lamia Loveless comes in, Atlus changed her stitch into Speech Impediment, because directly translating her messed up grammars in English would be really messy to the audience. It still works. And while Sanger's Mid-Season Upgrade is subject to endless debate due to the translated names of both the character and his mecha (both of which are more similar to the intended translation than what the fans call them), Atlus is immediately forgiven after the mid-chapter usage of the title card confuses the hell out of Vigagi. See it at around 4:30 here.
    Vigagi: What the hell was that? And what does "Episode 30" mean!?
    • The completed fan translation of the Original Generation remake on the PS2 gave Tenzan Nakajima a multitude of gamer lingo to emphasize his detattchment from reality.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
      • In the original Japanese, Toko Fukawa's split personality is called "Genocider Sho". When the game is localized, because Sho is a rather common Japanese name, it is changed into "Genocide Jack". But because it's also a butch name, she occasionally switches into "Genocide Jill".
      • Celestia's nickname, "Celes" Etymology , was changed into "Celeste", most probably because the characters rarely referred to Celes without a honorific (so she would be called Celes-san) in Japanese. She also has an obviously fake French accent and speaks in a monotone. This has the effect of making her Villainous Breakdown, which has her dropping the accent in a Freak Out more effective.
      • Some talents are altered in the English release because they're based on Japanese culture that Western audiences won't be immediately familiar with; for example, Junko is the Super High School Level Gyaru, while in the English version she's the Ultimate Fashionista, and Hifumi is the Super High School Level Doujin Writer, which is translated as Fanfic Creator.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: There's an example not in the game's dialog, but in its OST — the investigation Theme Music Power-Up went from "Ekoroshia"note  to "Kill Command", a Double-Meaning Title that carries a lot of Foreshadowing and Fridge Brilliance on an endgame twist. The track (which debuts on Chapter 5)'s title can be read as either "being commanded to kill" (the murderer was unaware of the result of her actions courtesy of a Batman Gambit by the victim himself) or "killing a command". This is a programming term that references the premature and sudden ending of a program. The song debuts in the chapter in which an AI is executed. Besides, given the later reveal that all of the game's events take place inside a VR simulation, the title fits every dead student to some point.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Kokichi Oma spends one of his Free Time Events essentially role-playing Seto Kaiba. The English version adds in references to the show's infamous English-dub memes like "the Shadow Realm" and "Heart of the Cards".
  • In Ever17, the dialogue options to pick one of the two protagonists are the same in original version, with the thing to differentiate being their pronoun of choice. This is not something that can be translated into English, so the dialogues are replaced with the characters' respective situations.
  • Jeremy Blaustein's localization of Snatcher tightened up some of the more egregious plotholes, and contained the most delicious Woolseyism ever — Neo Kobe Pizza. A comedy sequence in the game involved Gillian attempting to buy a dumpling-based food from a vendor, but Blaustein changed it to a dish consisting of a pizza dropped into soup. Fans, naturally, tried doing this with their own pizza, to universally tasty results. A recipe even got onto Kotaku.
  • The title of Virtue's Last Reward, is itself a Woolseyism. In Japanese, the title of the game is written in kana (which indicate only sound and not meaning), and thus can be read two ways: "Good People Die" and "I Want To Be a Good Person." The English title was thus changed to a combination of the idioms "virtue is its own reward" and "gone to his last reward." There were quite a bit within the game's text itself as well. The original Japanese release contained many Japanese pop-cultural references which would most likely be lost on Western players. The English version contains references to Monty Python, The Lord of the Rings, and even Tenacious D. These references all work within the context of the dialogue and make it really entertaining.

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