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GBA Ports of SNES Games Are Disappointing

Back in like 2003 when Nintendo started releasing ports of NES and SNES games for the Game Boy Advance, I was really excited. Especially when my most favorite game was released: A Link to the Past. But when I played it, I was turned off by Link yelling every time he swung his sword. Not to mention the excruciating sound of phasing between the Light World and Dark World. I don’t think I bothered beating it on the GBA.

But now it’s time to Somaria% this game! Well, more than that – I’m also getting screenshots of all the text and creating many save states for future use.

O.G. San is on the prowl in Hyrule once again! But lordy lordy, I’d forgotten how strange the GBA version sounded. Some pieces of the Hyrule Castle song were simply missing, so it didn’t sound as important and intimidating as it did in the SNES version. And when I fell down that hole in the beginning, Link screamed :I

And the controls! The buttons are mapped strangely because the GBA has fewer buttons than the SNES controller. I had to complete remap them before I could comfortably play it. It’s also a bit easier – my magic bar filled up as soon as I got the Lantern, which doesn’t happen in the SNES version. And the enemies drop way more hearts.

Now that every popular Nintendo game is released over and over on whatever new digital service Nintendo happens to be running, it’s not exciting anymore. It’s exhausting. I pity the poor souls whose first experience with LttP was on the GBA.

A Link to the Past: Somaria%

Mato’s working on expanding the old article on the main site about the Cane of Somaria being renamed in the Japanese version of the GBA port of A Link to the Past (whoa, what a mouthful). I checked the WiiU VC and SFC Mini ports of the game over the weekend. As per the GameCats laws, I named the file “O.G. San” (but in hiragana cuz English letters wouldn’t fit):

Since I only needed to get to the Cane of Somaria and not worry about anything else, I ended up creating a pretty quick route that skips a lot of fat and goes straight for the meat:

  1. Get the Magic Powder (good for turning Fire Fairies/Bubbles into regular Fairies)
  2. Beat the Eastern Palace, get Pegasus Boots and run whenever possible
  3. Beat the Desert Palace, buy Zora Flippers
  4. Upgrade shield and boomerang behind the waterfall
  5. Get to the Dark World
  6. Get the hammer in the Dark Palace, use the Magic Mirror and leave without fighting the boss
  7. Upgrade Magic, rescue the bird from the statue
  8. Fly to Warp Point 1, get Ether Medallion
  9. Fly to Warp Point 7, beat Swamp Palace
  10. Fly to Warp Point 3, beat Blind’s Dungeon
  11. Rescue the frog and upgrade sword
  12. Fly to Warp Point 6, enter Misery Mire
  13. Get the boss key using this guide
  14. Use Magic Mirror to warp to the beginning of the dungeon, walk to big chest and get the Cane of Somaria

I haven’t timed myself, but I like to call this my Somaria% speedrun :]

Dragon Quest VIII Localization Dev Logs

While doing research yesterday, I found the localization development logs for Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on The Cutting Room Floor. The logs are fascinating because you can see the back-and-forth between the people working on the project. Here’s an example of the devs trying to come up with a good description for a weapon while keeping it within the 18 character limit:

//敵を眠らせる武器
// ALTJ, jul12: I don’t like this wording, but “A weapon that puts enemies to sleep” is way over the limit.
// ALTJ, jul20: This appears to refer to the dream blade.
// WILL, jul22: How about the more ambiguous, “a sleepy weapon”? Or is that too obscure? Or even “a boring weapon”!!!??? It might make people think!
// MORGAN, jul25: I really don’t like “sleeper”. I would prefer “a sedative sword”, “a tiring weapon”.
// ALTJ, jul27: Changed.
a tiring weapon

You can find the whole log over here! It’s pretty long, so I recommend reading it during some lunch breaks or something~

The Creation of the Legends of Localization Logo

Two and a half years ago when Mato, Tony, and I were working on our first book, Tony went through a long process to create a professional logo for us. Tony’s the designer of all the LoL books, and he also loooovvvves fonts and typefaces. Thanks to his hard work, we have a pretty iconic logo:

But how did Tony reach that final design? Scroll through these annotated screenshots for an inside look!

LoL Forces Us to Play in New Ways

Working on a new article for this week, Mato needed to verify something between the original SNES and SNES mini versions of Kirby Super Star. Not being very knowledgeable of Kirby games, Mato hooked things up so he could play both games side-by-side at the same time…

Showers of Localization

While in the shower last Thursday I suddenly decided that hey, maybe I should make a dedicated page for the bad translation galleries we have on the main site. So I moved things around and added a Zero Wing gallery at the start of the series, then tweeted out the new page link. I thought it’d be a popular series, but it seems I underestimated the power of bad translations:

I guess it makes a lot of sense though – we made our bad translation book largely to be an introduction to LoL as a whole, and the book immediately got super popular as soon as it was announced. In a way, this is the same deal, the bad translation galleries will hopefully entertain enough to introduce the LoL site to readers who never would’ve noticed it otherwise.

I accidentally skipped over gallery #6 so I’ll probably go back and fill it in with Breath of Fire 2 highlights. After that, there’s a lot of games that we could add to the bad translation series. Hopefully it’ll be a new, strong pillar for the site in the long run.

Jumping into Otome Games

With the surprising immediate success of our new Bad Translation Series yesterday, I wanted to quickly find more games we could throw up there. I remembered Alice in the Heart, an otome game (romance games aimed at girls) with one of the worst translations ever released. Unfortunately, that was a mobile game, and it’s no longer available to purchase anywhere, so in a sense it’s gone forever (one reason I dislike mobile games). So I went on a search to find other poorly-translated mobile otome games.

So far, my search has turned up nothing that comes remotely close to Alice in the Heart. At most, the games I found just need better editing. Here are some examples of my favorite mess-ups:


Yeah! Let’s post on hundreds of spider webs!


ehhhh… *insert doge meme parody here*


Besides the typo, I don’t like how the picture doesn’t match the description 🙁


hmmmmm……..

Setting Our Lasers to FOCUS Mode

February 1 marked the start of “Content Month” at Legends of Localization (although now we realize it’ll have to be 2 months or however long it ends up taking). That means we’re spending all our time researching and writing articles, putting together galleries, and compiling and organizing all the screenshots that our GameCats (game catalogers) have been taking. Getting this all done now will free up time and resources when it comes time to work on our next book later this year, because we can release the finished content little by little throughout the year.

Right now we’re making good process compiling ideas for everything, and we’re getting pretty excited with a lot of the stuff we’re digging up. I hope you enjoy what we have in store for you! Lots of neat things from games I’ve never heard of, even.

LoL: EarthBound Named Tofugu’s Best Japanese Learning Book of 2017

Well, this was a nice weekend surprise! Legends of Localization Book 2: EarthBound was chosen by Tofugu as the Best Japanese Learning Book of 2017 :O That’s really weird because we never meant to teach anyone Japanese with this book, haha. But Tofugu’s reason makes a lot of sense:

As we talked it out on the podcast, we realized that everything in this side-by-side analysis of the Japanese game Mother 2 and its English iteration, Earthbound, just had too much information on language, translation decisions, Japanese history and culture, as well as fantastic design. We couldn’t help it… it just wins. There’s something incredibly powerful about being able to see and understand the translation decisions that went into an entire game. And the game is focused more on conversations and puns than fighting, so it will really help your Japanese skills shoot into the stratosphere.

It’s a honor, thank you Tofugu! They wrote a big article on other Japanese learning resources like shows, websites, games, and more. Read the whole thing here!

Lufia & Estpolis Denki Cheat Codes

One of the LoL game cataloging dudes is starting on Lufia 1 and found some infinite HP/MP cheat codes for the English game. He needed the same codes but for the Japanese version, so I did some quick ROM debugging and figured out the equivalent cheat codes. So, if you’re playing Lufia or Estpolis Denki and want infinite HP & MP, here are the codes:

Lufia 1
8236-0F34 – infinite HP
823A-0FC4 – infinite MP

Estpolis Denki (エストポリス伝記 *独自の改造チートコード)
08E90FBD – infinite hp (HP減らない)
08E94EBD – infinite mp (MP減らない)

It’s times like this that I’m glad I know technical stuff on top of translator stuff!