There’s a funny image that’s been circling the internet ever since I gained access to the internet in the late 1990s of an American policeman surrounded by an absurd amount of fast food. There’s also Japanese text all over the place, like it’s a magazine cover or something. I always assumed the image was a fake, like “haha American cops are lazy and fat”. But it turns out, that magazine is real. And it’s incredible.
The magazine isn’t making fun of American cops at all. In fact, it’s a fanzine! This is Wild Mook issue #44, released in 1980. The Wild Mook magazine focuses on lots of different stuff, mostly military. I found issues on eBay about the US Navy, Japanese model airplanes, military combat suits from around the world, and weapons from the Imperial Japanese Army. But this police one is great. Take a look inside:
If you ever have the opportunity to buy this issue, get it! The magazine is very thick and every page is fascinating.
Continuing with scans from the January 1998 issue of the French gaming magazine Consoles, here’s a spread on Mario Artist. The short description of Mario Artist is that it’s an upgraded version of Mario Paint. But really, it was an ambitious project that would have been composed of 8 suites of creative fun, if the N64DD hadn’t crashed and burned. Unfortunately, Mario Artist never left Japan.
Featured in the article below are Picture Studio, Polygon Studio, and Talent Studio:
The other suite that got released was Communication Kit, where you could connect to the internet to share your creations. There were four other suites planned, but they were never released: Game Maker, Graphical Message Maker, Sound Maker, and Video Jockey Maker.
Thanks to a friend who’s obsessed with Mario Paint, I actually got to play Polygon Studio for a bit. I had no idea what I was doing.
Here’s a little blast from the past. In this February 1998 issue of UK magazine Computer and Video Games, I found an article about that Porygon episode of Pokemon that caused some kids in Japan to have seizures. We know now that it was caused by rapid flashes of red and blue lights from one of Pikachu’s attacks (read more here), but this article was written before they knew what sent so many kids to the hospital.
It’s interesting because Japanese TV networks started banning the show in response, and Tokyo TV threatened to cancel it outright if the cause wasn’t determined. Imagine a world where the Pokemon anime ended in the middle of its first season and never came back!
Here’s another article from the January 1998 issue of Consoles, a French gaming magazine. Looks like at Space World 1997, Paper Mario was announced as Mario RPG 2. And it looks like it was originally slated to be released on the N64DD!
It was a good thing they changed the name to Paper Mario, as I expect a lot of fans would have been upset that it wasn’t a direct sequel to Super Mario RPG by Square.
We recently picked up a copy of the January 1998 issue of the French gaming magazine called Consoles. It covers Space World 1997, and boyyyyyy there’s a lot of neat stuff in it! First I want to share this spread on Ocarina of Time, where you can see some beta screenshots of the game:
That house-looking building in the market town was later changed to the Happy Mask Shop, and I’m pretty sure that blonde Kokiri in the corner didn’t look like that in the finished game.
These screenshots are probably old news to hardcore Zelda fans, but it’s always really cool to find beta stuff in a tangible thing rather than on the internet. Can you spot any other differences in the screenshots above to the finished game?
I’ve been reading a lot of current Japanese gaming magazines for research purposes and I’ll probably share things here and there from them, but for today I wanted to share this new list of the top 20 RPGs of all time as ranked by Famitsu’s readers.
20. Witcher 3
19. Final Fantasy VIII
18. Final Fantasy IX
17. MOTHER 2
16. Final Fantasy VI
15. Dragon Quest IV
14. Persona 4 Golden
12. Final Fantasy X
10. Final Fantasy XV
9. Persona 3
8. NieR Replicant
7. Suikoden II
6. Dragon Quest V
5. Final Fantasy VII
4. NieR: Automata
3. Chrono Trigger
2. Dragon Quest III
1. Persona 5
With “all time ever” polls I’ve always wondered if the recentness of a popular game has some sort of sway on its ranking. It looks like I’m terrible at keeping up though, I still got 12 of these to play someday 😯
One thing we needed for our latest (currently unannounced) book was the earliest example of English appearing in Japanese media that we could find. I scoured auction sites looking for old Japanese magazines from the 1960s and 70s, and I found a few neat things. None of these examples ended up in the book, and it’d be a shame for these photos to go unseen.
The past few days/weeks have been filled with some interesting and unexpected things for me and Legends of Localization, so I thought I’d share of them! I’ve forgotten about half of them now, so here are just the ones I can remember:
That’s right – apparently I was mentioned and quoted in an academic journal called The Journal of Internationalisation and Localisation 😯 This was actually from many years ago too, so it’s surprising that I’ve only now heard about it. You can check it out here and you can find the stuff about me by searching for my name.
You know, sometimes when I think back on some of my projects, I just remember, “Oh, that’s the game where I had to translate poop jokes,” so it’s a pretty crazy feeling to be a quotable source for academic writing, heh.
I’m also in the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine! I swear, every time I see pictures of this magazine it makes me want to buy every issue ever. So it’s an honor to be within its pages! You can actually see a quick video preview of the issue here:
Haha, I just realized that the Japanese text next to “Key Figures” means that I’m an “important number” 😛
New Project in the Works
For the past many weeks I’ve been putting together a new project – a comparison of the latest Zelda game for the 3DS. Late last year I finally sat down to play through A Link Between Worlds and started thinking – since I’ve already taken a detailed look at the first Zelda game’s localization, it would be cool to look at the very latest game’s localization too to see how things have changed in all these years. So I’ve been doing just that, and it’s actually turning out to be a lot more fascinating than I expected!
Anyway, I don’t have a timeline for this project yet, but it’s coming along nicely. I originally wasn’t even going to mention it until it was ready, but the main reason is this: if you have any questions or suggestions for stuff I should look into, lemme know! I don’t want to miss anything if I can help it, since it won’t always be easy to go back and check things.
In fact, while playing through both versions of the game and gathering screenshots, I also decided to record video for future reference and to supplement any screenshots I miss. I also decided to start uploading them to YouTube, so if you’re interested in checking out videos of the Japanese and English version of A Link Between Worlds, I’ve started slowly posting them on my YouTube channel here!
When the time comes I’ll be adding these to the appropriate comparison pages too. Be sure to let me know if I’ve missed anything or if I should try not to miss certain things – as of writing this I’m about to get the Master Sword.
Final Fantasy IV
My Final Fantasy IV comparison section has turned into a huge monster over time! But my recent decision to try to do one update a month has made it a lot easier for me to handle, so I’ll probably keep doing it that way for a while. The next update is going to be the Tower of Zot… which means some serious stuff’s about to go down!
AVGN Section Stuff
The other week I posted a new section about Angry Video Game Nerd-related stuff, and it’s actually been one of the most-viewed section of the site since 😯 My aim is to do a new article every couple of weeks; the ones that don’t involve creating comparison videos are surprisingly quick for me to write up, so it’s pretty easy and fun. Next up will be Who Framed Roger Rabbit… ugh.
Xenoblade for Fun, Research, and Health!
Last year I played through Xenoblade, and after some initial frustration it went on to become one of my all-time favorite games. I spent about 150+ hours on it, and about half of those were actually while I was on my exercise bike. I actually mentioned this to some friends and they were like, “Holy crap that’s a great idea, I’m gonna do it too!”
Anyway, I wanted to get back in the swing of things, so I decided the other day to start a new game of Xenoblade. Then I realized, you know, maybe I should record my gameplay for future reference if I ever want to do a comparison project, or if I just want to do tiny mini-articles like this one. So I’ve started recording Xenoblade videos and uploading them too, in what I call a “Let’s Workout” 😛
It’s not especially exciting stuff to watch, but if you’re interested, it’s on my YouTube channel too. Eventually I hope to move on to the Japanese version and record it too, but that won’t be for a while I’m sure. But, again, if you have any suggestions on what I should look out for or what I should try not to miss, let me know!
(Just to be clear, I’m not announcing a Xenoblade comparison, but I’d love to do one someday, which is why I’m recording these videos.)
Man, I know there’s a lot more that I ought to mention, but I can’t remember it right now. But anyway, if you have any info or suggestions or whatever, please share them with me~
Also, after writing all this up, I’m amazed at how I rarely play games how they’re meant to be played anymore – I play them for research purposes and workouts now? Man, what a weirdo.