Follow TV Tropes


You No Take Candle / Video Games

Go To

  • Banjo-Kazooie: Both Mumbo Jumbo and Humba Wumba, in addition to a few side characters, in this series. Rather jarring in Wumba's case, being a heavily stereotypical Native American in a game released in 2000.
  • Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise: Mandrill from "Hole in One". The US version, Rhythm Heaven Fever, has a different translation in which Mandrill speaks more normally.
  • Bioshock: Dr. Suchong speaks this way, including referring to himself in the third person (Chinese languages tend to lack articles, but this is not a typical result in new English speakers). Dr. Tenenbaum, in contrast, has a Russian accent but her grammar is perfectly fine.
  • Advertisement:
  • Dragon Quest V: The official American DS release has Nimzo speak with a Cyrillic-looking font and poor grammar, giving the impression of a Russian speaking English imperfectly.
  • City of Heroes: The Trolls are a gang whose members take a drug that gives super-strength but mutates them into giving them their distinctive troll-like appearance; it also apparently causes their brains to degrade to the point they start speaking like this. Ironically, this is the only effect (well, that and rage issues) Superadine has on the brain. Trolls are still as intelligent as anyone else; it's just the language centers that are affected.
  • Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast:
    • Has a bartender who randomly adds unnecessary plurals to his speech ("You seek informations?" etc), leading to the infamous quip "Never trust a bartender with bad grammar." Amusingly, this isn't a species thing because he's a Chiss, the same as the supremely cultured Grand Admiral Thrawn, and in later Expanded Universe works, the Chiss have been depicted to be reasonably cultured and able to speak Basic well.
  • Dark Souls:
    • 'Snuggly' the crow squawks: "You, you! Give me, warm! Give me, soft!" - "No, no. That, no. That no warm, that no soft." The various invisible trading crows in later games speak similarly.
    • The Giant Blacksmith combines this with Ye Olde Butchered English, creating a rather unique style of speech. "Cometh soon!" "I hath shiny-shiny!"
    • In the sequel: "Gavlan wheel, Gavlan deal! Gavlan want soul! Many many soul! What you want? With Gavlan, you wheel! You deal!"
  • Destiny: The Fallen seem to have a lot of trouble with human languages; of the few that speak English, only the Spider does so fluently and regularly. Mithrax and Variks both speak this way, with Variks speaking stiff, rudimentary English, while Mithrax often struggles to form complete sentences without mixing in bits of Fallen language (e.g., he says "I will kell the mind-open Eliksini" when he means to say "I will recruit open-minded Fallen for our cause"). Variks can actually speak it pretty fluently, but he pretends he can't to make the Awoken think he's stupid.
  • Advertisement:
  • Diablo: "We strong! We kill all with big magic!" The poor little demon had obtained a tavern sign depicting a sun and naturally expected it to be magical.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online: Kobolds, Orcs, and other monstrous races vary in their eloquence. Sometimes this can be written off as different tribes having different levels of understanding of Common, but other times it's jarring when two members of the same group or even the same individual switches depending on which stock quote they use.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Throughout the series, Goblins are shown to speak this way when speaking in Tamriellic. Similarly, the goblin-like Rieklings of Solstheim speak this way as well, though some (such as the Riekling Chief in Skyrim's Dragonborn expansion) are capable of speaking more normally.
    • Scamps are the weakest and smallest known form of lesser Daedra, as well as the least intelligent of the sentient Daedra. Scamps who are able to speak Tamriellic tend to do so in this fashion, sometimes crossing over with Hulk Speak.
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: The barmaid speaks this way. It's surprisingly cute.
  • Fallout 3: Has the Super Mutants. Player characters with low Intelligence also talk this way.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • The add-on Dead Money has Dog/God, a Super Mutant with a split personality. The more bestial personality (Dog) speaks like this. The more cerebral personality (God) talks like a super villain.
    • The tribals in Honest Hearts also speak broken English like this.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In some translations of Final Fantasy II, Guy speaks this way.
    • In the American SNES version of Final Fantasy IV, the Dark Elf speaks like this, but speaks normally in other translations.
    • Final Fantasy IX features the Qu, large gluttonous humanoids indigenous to swamplands around the globe.
    • In Final Fantasy X, the Hypello are depicted as being incredibly lazy (they won't play blitzball despite being incredibly good swimmers because they can't be bothered) and speak like Jar Jar Binks with a mouth full of water.
      That's Imposhibible!
      Rides ze shoopuf?
      • Also exhibited with the Ronso. It's kind of hinted that this is merely a language barrier, since the Ronso Maester speaks perfectly eloquently, but Kimahri has spent at least ten years away from Mt. Gagazet and still hasn't learned a personal pronoun...
      • Brother, who speaks perfectly good Al Bhed and very poor English. Oddly enough, his younger sister Rikku and father Cid are both fluent English-speakers. Leads to a distinctly heartwarming moment when he tells the main character, before you leave to fight the final boss, "Rikku, you... guard." He improves drastically in the sequel, apparently because he wanted to talk to Yuna.
    • Final Fantasy XI: Has the majority of the beastmen use simpler forms of the humanoids' language, if at all. Goblins and Lamia are actually more fluent in the player's language, although for Goblins, being good at language is good for business. It's also subverted in that there's a very well-spoken Orc in Wings of The Goddess, as said Orc is actually a cursed Elvaan. Why is this text spoiler'd and not the earlier part? Because it's actually an aversion; the Orc is really a well-learned real Orc who puts this trope and the expectations of it to work in order to trick you into freeing him, and it's only until you meet him again in The Lost Woods that it's revealed you've been had.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is the series' first example of this trope with Athena. Thanks to side characters in this game having little to say, Athena's vocal quirks get comparatively little time in the spotlight, although they resurface in Fire Emblem Heroes. In Fire Emblem Awakening, Gregor be the suffering from bad case of this. In the English localization, that is. In the original Japanese, Grego (as he's known there) speaks in a somewhat rough-and-tumble manner befitting a globetrotting mercenary Oyaji, but is perfectly fluent in whatever the world's language is. Finally, Petra from Fire Emblem: Three Houses falls into this trope, tossing out present progressives and definite articles like it's nobody's business, although to her credit she improves over the Time Skip.
  • Geneforge:
    • This series by Spiderweb Software features a race of creations called Serviles, which are designed to be human-like enough to serve as a general slave race (menial workers, assistants in offices, blacksmiths, etc.) but are kept dumb enough to prevent independent thought and ultimately rebellion. One effect of this is that they speak in very simple English.
    • In the first game, serviles are abandoned on an island and develop their own cultures. Despite significant advances, two of the three factions deliberately continue to speak in simplified speech. The Obeyers, who do so because they know the Shapers wanted it, and the Takers, who hate the Shapers and would rather speak like Serviles than like Shapers. Only the Awakened, who believe in equality between Shapers and creations, speak proper English.
  • Genshin Impact: As a result of living in the wild with wolves for a long time and having extraordinarily little human interactions, Razor has difficulty speaking the human language coherently and speaks in simplified but stilted phrases. He notes in his profile that talking in general makes him tired.
    Razor: Talking makes me tired. Talking is... hard. But... I have to try.
  • Golf Story: The inhabitants of Lurker Valley are clearly well-versed in golf, but as befitting of the area's prehistoric motif, all have very simple grammar and Beige Prose.
  • A Hat in Time: The Mafia of Cooks talk this way, as part of being generally foreign.
  • Harvest Moon: Nina speaks this way in the first Harvest Moon along with being a Third-Person Person. This was dropped for Harvest Moon: Magical Melody.
  • Homeworld Cataclysm: The Beast starts by speaking in broken English, and has an...idiosyncratic method of speech when controlled by the player. However, as the campaign goes on and the Beast adapts and learns, it finally speaks to the captain as an equal.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • While proper English is almost always much-lauded, one well-known player character named Bashy often talks like this, which is then lampshaded in various in-game items. Still, his vocabulary is far superior to what it seems at first glance; as for his excuse for speaking like that, he claims it to be an artifact of his Prussian upbringing.
    • The goblin minions in the GameInformPowerDailyPro Dungeon talk like this, to which your character tries to protest "No, that's kobolds..."
  • The Legend of Dragoon: Kongol speaks this way, never using pronouns if he can avoid it. What makes the whole thing so strange is that Kongol was raised by humans, but his brother who only lived with others of his species speaks with a perfectly normal syntax.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
    • Yeta speaks like this, as does her husband Yeto. For instance, when she gets possessed and yells "NOT TAKE MIRROR!".
    • In the French version, both speak perfectly fluently... except when possessed.
  • Life of Black Tiger has many grammar errors.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: The natives on the island (known as Oho Oasis) where Mario and Luigi learn their hand powers speak simple sentences like "This fire temple. Thunder temple that way."
  • Mass Effect: Morlan, the salarian owner-operator of a shop on the Citadel, speaks like this, when no other salarian does. Since it disappears in a moment of high stress, it's possible he's putting it on for some reason.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The vorcha usually speak this way and combine this with No Indoor Voice. They're the only species met so far to do so. This is justified in that their average lifespan is twenty years, if they're lucky: such short lives leave little time for them to become well-educated. Shepard does meet one or two well-spoken vorcha throughout the game, and even those that don't have a great grasp of Basic are not necessarily stupid, as seen by the vorcha soldier speaking to a human soldier in the third game's Citadel DLC, who displays an impressive understanding of tactics and multiplayer mechanics.
      Vorcha Soldier: (on being told that melee attacks aren't useful in a firefight) Me kill with claws. Claws good!
      Human: Yeah, but this guy was trying to do it to a Banshee!
      Vorcha: Agh! Claws no good on Banshee! Stay back, use fire!
      (on disabling Reaper devices) [Cloaked] Infiltrator good for devices. Or Engineer with drone or decoy. Or me, because me no die!
      (on good defensive positions) Ramp bad! Enemies all around! No cover!
    • Salarian doctor Mordin Solus. Subversion of trope. Salarians have short lifespans. Fewer words means more time. Also speak very fast. Also avoids personal pronouns unless singing songs that require them due to guilt over involvement in genophage project; refers to self as "I" exactly once in normal dialogue, in dramatic moment.
  • Tornado Tonion has this manner of speech in Mega Man X7.
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • The chief of the Woolly Blue Hoodoos sometimes talks in poor grammar.
    • Big Chief Tiny Head speaks in primitive language, sometimes slipping into Tonto Talk or becoming a Third-Person Person.
    • A spider who helps you in one mission sometimes talks like this, although not all the time. Same goes for a firebug in the same mission.
    • Blinki is a creature who runs off electricity. When he needs charging, he falls asleep and when woken at one point, he says, "Need energy".
  • Neverwinter Nights:
    • The kobolds in this series. Actually, being Dungeons & Dragons Kobolds, they're as intelligent as a human, and have a developed, if exceptionally violent, culture. Their poor language stems from their typical genocidal hatred of anything except dragons and other kobolds; they consider Common beneath them and don't bother to learn to speak it properly. A sample line from Neverwinter Nights 2 (where orcs also speak a form of You No Take Candle):
    Deekin: Yes, Deekin very kobold, last Deekin look in mirror. Deekin not do that much; mirrors usually too high for Deekin.
    • The first game also has an Ogre Mage who has a sarcastic retort to a player character who observes that he's very well spoken for an ogre.
  • Pokémon:
  • Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal: This very poorly translated bootleg version of Pokemon Crystal, is practically made of this trope. Everyone in the game has appalling grammar.
  • Red Dead Redemption: Parodied. When Professor MacDougal (a Know-Nothing Know-It-All par excellence) introduces John Marston to his Native American assistant Nastas, he speaks You No Take Candle to the latter. Nastas, with an air of Never Heard That One Before, calmly points out that they taught English on the reservation and he's fluent. This doesn't stop MacDougal from treating him like a stupid child up to the point where Nastas is killed, and makes it really satisfying in Undead Nightmare when Zombie Nastas eats him.
  • Revolution: There is quite a bit of broken English in this game. The company FUN Labs is Romanian, so they might not have native English speakers on hand.
  • Rumble Roses: In the English language version, Aigle, the Mongolian girl, speaks like this.
  • Runescape: The Ogres speak a vaguely Jamaican accent, which is commented on multiple times. Some Ogres that have lived with humans speak grammatically correct, albeit short, sentences. They still use lots of slang, making some sentences almost unreadable. The goblins, though speak in a 'stupid' way with incorrect grammar. In an inversion of this trope, they are revealed to be very smart, but most tribes of goblins care more about warfare and physical strength than science, art, and intellectuality.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri:
    • The Planetmind speaks variously broken English, but is a vast planetary intelligence into which humanity may eventually merge.
    • This is a bit of an oversimplification; it turns out the Alien Kudzu is actually a vast neural network that self-organizes into a god-like mind, but in doing so destroys its necessary supporting organisms and dies back down, only to repeat the cycle in a series of tragedies. Humanity is able to break the cycle. So initially, Planet Mind is not very bright, but it just keeps growing...
  • Sunset Riders: The third boss, Dark Horse, who rides a dark horse covered in plate armor, introduces himself with, "You in big heap trouble!" When you defeat him, it turns into, "Me in big heap trouble!" The sixth boss, Chief Scalpem, talks like this, too; he shouts, "Me ready for powwow!" when you meet him, and "Me powwowed out!" when you take him out.
  • Team Fortress 2: Downplayed with the Heavy Weapons Guy, as he is actually very well-spoken in his native Russian. He even has a Ph.D in Russian Literature. In English, however:
    Heavy: It is good day to be giant man!
  • Thief: The Dark Project:
    • The Pagan faction speak like this:
    Pagan: I hearsy, I hearsy, and you should be afearsy (When you provoke them into searching for you.)
    Pagan 2: I be leaving a letter for that thiever, Garrett.
    Pagan 3: I be want to be deading him, not leavings him letters.
    Pagan 2: Me too. But Dyan saying hims might be beings useful to us.
    Pagan 3: Thinks you hes be reading it?
    • It is suggested that some of them are perfectly capable of speaking proper English, but choose to speak in that mangled way deliberately. It's certainly true of their god, The Trickster, who generally speaks the same way, but is perfectly erudite in his speech when posing as the nobleman Constantine.
  • Ultima:
    • Gargoyles in this series aren't excessive users of this trope, but have one very notable trait: they use "to be" for all forms of "to be".
    • To be thinking that an example to be needed to explain. To be of the mind that the effect to be lost by your description. To know that all sentences to be of a personal nature. To explain that at first only winged gargoyles to speak, but later all gargoyles to speak. To not know why this to be.
    • In other words, gargoyles have no subject phrases—only predicates—and they do not conjugate verbs. Also, every sentence is implied to be spoken of oneself.
    • Also, the passive voice is spoken in by Emps in Ultima VII.
    • In Ultima Underworld, The Stygian Abyss, the goblins are a perfect example for this (especially the Green Goblins except for their king). Try to trade with one of them and make an offer he rejects. The answer: "No, I no like!"
  • Vandal Hearts 2: Your hero will - after a Time Skip - pick up two faithful allies. One of them is a guy known as 'Vlad the Ox' who speaks like this, when not devolving all the way down to Hulk Speak. Naturally, everyone - including your other ally - assumes that he's simply Dumb Muscle... which he finds really annoying since, as he soon reveals, he is simply a forreigner who did not start learning the local language until a few years ago. In truth, he's both quite wise and clever. Mostly noteable due to this trope being directly adressed by him.
  • Warcraft:
    • In this video game series, the "primitive" language is actually named "Low Common" in Warcraft DnD - implicitly there's a "low" form of many other languages, as well. World of Warcraft actually subverts this at one point:
    Draz'Zilb: Why the puzzled stare, <name>? Expecting me to speak like an uncouth ruffian merely because I am an ogre?
    • Most of the time though, ogres are more like this:
    Ogre: What ecology mean? Me smash you!
    • One of the classic battle cries of kobolds is "You no take candle!". Incidentally, kobolds are one of very few races depicted as almost universally stupid. Later lampshaded/parodied by the mushroom-stealing ogres of Zangarmarsh, who sometimes shout "You no take mushroom!" Oddly, the phrase isn't echoed by the snobolds of Northrend.
      • This has become such a recognized line among the fanbase that the novel Stormrage has kobolds shouting this in a dream sequence, with another character responding "I-don't-want-your-damn-CANDLE!"
      • Also parodied in a later quest where you have to catch Kobolds with a net. One of the possible responses from the Kobolds is "You no take... me!"
      • For those who don't know, kobolds put burning candles on their heads presumably to function as a miner's light even when they aren't in a mine.
      • However, if you spend time around one of their above-ground lairs in Loch Modan, you can overhear a kobold practicing archery—and remarking on his accuracy in crystal-clear Common.
      • Since Cataclysm patch, alliance players can actually obtain a candle at Westfall. The quest is called "I TAKE Candle!" and it's given by the guy who invented that ingenious response. Also, the candle's description says "You took it."
    • Further subverted in a Northrend questline where the player learns the tongue of the local murlocs. Murlocs are always portrayed as not terribly bright and their gorloc cousins speak in pretty broken English, but in their own language, the murlocs are actually surprisingly erudite. (And there's even a gorloc who's learned better Common and speaks both perfectly and intelligently.)
      • "Before you say anything, do not assume me as foolish as most of the Gorlocs you've met. I've been into the world a bit, I've learned your language, and I'm not easily duped." The implication isn't that he thinks the other Gorlocs are foolish, but that you might think them foolish because of their not good speaking and funny acting. Their leader in particular can say quite philosophical things and catch and eat shiny bugs at same time.
    • An example is the wolvar (wolverine-people) of Northrend, who point out once or twice that there is no real reason for them to know Common/Orcish or how to write. For instance, on a "Wanted" notice board in Zul'Drak:
      Chief Rageclaw sorry for bad writing. First time use one of these things; plus, Chief Rageclaw is wolvar, not person.
      • That said, they're also consistently portrayed as not very intelligent creatures, all told. One of the Frenzyheart hunters who accompany you on quests in Schalozar Basin thinks he has to tell you that you aren't a wolvar. Their speech also delves into Hulk Speak territory; they know of gorlocs, but only refer to them as "big-tongues." Of course, the gorlocs call them "puppy-men."
    • Furbolgs (humanoid bears) are another interesting case as most of them are encountered as enemies apparently incapable of speech, but the few of them that are willing to talk to you all speak in a rather sophisticated manner.
      • Starting off as a Draenei gives you a possibility to take a quest line where you actually learn to read/understand Furbolg, for the duration of the quest. And then, in the same way dropping a proficiency makes you weaker, you forget you ever knew Furbolgish, and they only roar at you from then on.
      • In the case of the Furbolgs it's justified in that the ones you talk intelligently to are how all Furbolgs used to be, and the brutish, animalistic ones are those that had been driven mad by the invasion of the Burning Legion during Warcraft III
      • Many of the uncorrupted Furbolgs are allies to the Night Elves, who can speak coherently. Unfortunately, almost all of these specific Furbolgs are corrupted.
      • You later encounter the Timbermaw Furbolgs, whose slightly broken Common/Orcish (depending on which side you play) sounds rather more like lack of language fluency than lack of sophistication.
    • From Warcraft III itself, you have the trolls, at least in the French translation. With the notable exception of witch doctors, who talk sophisticatedly instead.
    • In Mists of Pandaria we meet the Virmen, rabbit-like creatures who are obsessed with vegetables in general and carrots in particular. "You no take carrot! You take turnip instead!"
    • There are also Hozen, Monkey-men who pepper in common with words they seem to have made up themselves, they're only unintelligible until you figure out what means what ("wikkets" means outsider, for example... and "ook" apparently means anything, but you can still guess). Justified by them only having a life expectancy of 20 years, well-learned Hozen are extremely rare, even if they're an elder. A few speak in more complete sentences, such as Tak-tak, a kite-glider pilot for the Horde, who transports Horde players to various locations for the Dominance Offensive quests and will comment on the questline's events during flight.
      • One hozen, Mokimo the Strong, speaks as eloquently as any human, tauren, or Pandaren, likely due to the fact that he's a member of the Golden Lotus, a group made up primarily of Pandaren.
    • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has "YOU NO TAKE CANDLE" as the Kobold Geomancer's battlecry.
      • The Kobolds & Catacombs expansion added an entire society of kobolds, all of which naturally talk like this. You find some pretty out-there kobolds, like kobold pirates, kobold bombers, and even a kobold king. Each of them play up their role while still using broken English.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: The entire Nopon race speaks like this. They are fond of this way of speaking, and say that the Nopon that try to speak more complexly and normally like the other races are just trying too hard to be cool. A sidequest in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 reveals that, at least in its world, this originated when a Nopon captain thousands of years ago decided to speak like this to enhance his Ridiculously Cute Critter image and con humans into giving him stuff, and the entire species evolved to speak this way naturally and never looked back.
  • The Chua of WildStar speak like this. They are extremely intelligent, but they just can't be bothered to speak like the other races. Time spent learning grammar is time better spent on research.
  • Played with in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. Hopalong Singh, the Chinese chef, can speak perfect English, but Mom pays him to Speekee Engrish instead because he'll sound more "authentic" that way. One of the Native Americans says he only uses Tonto Talk to make the tourists happy.
  • In an online game called Dora Care Baby Bears about Dora the Explorer looking after bears, the instructions are written like this. They even call pacifiers children's nipples.
    "Now we towelled the bear dry"
    "Dusted talcum powder would feeling dry and smooth"
    (when they're hungry) "My stomach cries cupboard"
    "I am feel itchy on my back. Please help my scratch!"
    "Now use shower washed the soap off"
  • There Is No Game is mainly in proper syntax, but sometimes falls into this.
    "No reason to use that icon as you were on the point of leaving...don't you?
    "You're thinking about how to lift that big box, don't you?"
    "How can I become a sales success with all that glitches?"


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: