A Puzzle’s Difficulty Changes in Localization

So, Breath of the Wild is a great frickin’ game. I’ve been playing the English version, and Mato recently beat the Japanese version. The writing is superb, but I ran into a shrine puzzle at the beginning of the game that stumped me big time:

I found the shrine on Dueling Peaks. Since I was at the beginning of the game, I thought, “Cool, there must be another tall mountain on the other side of the world that looks like this one’s twin. I guess I’ll find it later.” Then I took a picture of the puzzle and left. It didn’t occur to me to check the other peak of Dueling Peaks. I had the shrine locator turned off, so I never got any beeping hints that one was nearby.

After Mato beat the game, I asked if he solved this shrine, and he said, “Yeah, it was easy. The other shrine is on the other peak.” “On Dueling Peaks?” I asked. Mato was confused. “Is that what they call it in English? It’s called Twin Peaks in Japanese.”

Twin Memories. Twin Peaks. Ohhhhhhhhh…..! Oh. It makes sense now! Perhaps I’m just a dum-dum, but I have a feeling that if they’d kept the Twin Peaks name, I would have made the Twin Memories connection a lot sooner (or at all!).

Did you run into trouble with any hints while you were playing the game?

17 thoughts on “A Puzzle’s Difficulty Changes in Localization”

  1. I think I made the connection right away, assuming ‘these peaks’ meant the dueling peaks themselves. But I also kind of expected both peaks to have a shrine as well, so when I went in the first one it was more of a ‘Oh, looks like they do both have one’ after I saw the puzzle.

    Man, I really need to get to finishing this game, I’ve just had too much else going on…

  2. Ooh this also left me confused when I encountered one of the two shrines. For me it was the fact that I accidently stumbled upon the other shrine while leaving the initial one I found! Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to figure out the solution. Interesting that they didn’t keep the name Twin Peaks, it fits rather well.

    1. There is one on “digital media” obviously for the TV show but I’m not certain if that term specifically includes video games. Another for “games” but it specifies it of the board game variety.

  3. A couple months ago I had an epiphany about the name Hateno Village (a pretty embarrassing one considering my long experience in Japanese should have made it obvious to me from the get-go):

    “Hateno”= hate no (“at the far reaches”)

    The epiphany was brought about by one of the loading screen hints that tells you about a specific “being at the far reaches of the continent”, but I had already met this being in Hateno Village, and that’s when I realized the Japanese version of the same loading screen probably used the phrase 果ての, making the clue easier for Japanese players to solve. I posted my theory on the Zelda subreddit:


    Someone in that thread even suggested I submit this to Mato so he could mention it or something on Legends of Localization, and I intended to, but I wanted to find the Japanese equivalent of the loading screen first to see if I was right. However, I never found the time to look through a bunch of Japanese gameplay videos, and cross my fingers and hope that a loading screen I’ve only gotten once in all my nearly 200 hours of gameplay is less rare in the Japanese version, so I never submitted it.

    1. I see はて used in far-flung location names often so I assume it was probably assumed that players would get the connection. Still, I went back and looked through my 13,000 screenshots to find the Japanese loading text about it… but I couldn’t find it. I remember seeing it at least once too, so maybe it’s just one of those super rare ones.

      Incidentally I think the island where you have to basically start all over from scratch is called Saihateno Island in Japanese, which makes the implied meaning even more clear.

      Oh, I just remembered another example: I think Frontier Village in Xenoblade was called Saihate Village in Japanese.

  4. Yeah, I solved that one without too much trouble. I had to write down the positions of all of the balls because my short-term memory is garbage, but the fact that there were two shrines on each peak seemed pretty obvious to me. I suppose it helped that I could see one shrine from the door of the other, though.

  5. I played it spanish (LA) because i don’t like Zelda’s English voice (didn’t like it in spanish either). I often changed the language back to english because there were hints to trials that were just easier in english. The one where the hero left his treasure in particular. In english, it clearly mentions a clock, while in spanish it talks about when he was 17.

    1. That’s interesting. The English wording for that one (assuming you’re talking about the quest called ‘The Hero’s Cache’) is actually ‘My cache is at 17 of 24. This rock will point to its retrieval.’

      I suppose the fact that the hint is given as ’17 of 24’ is a clear hint towards the time. I wonder also if the quest completion rate is a bit higher in the UK. Since the in-game clock uses 24-hour time in the UK, you might be a bit more prone to make the connection between ’17 of 24’ and ‘17:00’ as opposed to ‘5:00 p.m.’

  6. I found one of the shrines immediately after talking to everyone in Dueling Peaks stable, where there are loads of NPCs who are twins. I think someone there explicitly points that out, and draws a parallel between the dueling peaks and the twins, so I worked out that there’d be a twin shrine on the other peak pretty quickly.

    1. Ohhhhh that makes so much sense! I thought it was weird that they pointed out all the twins at that stable. To me it seemed like there was no reason for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *