Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coming Soon: Retro Game Super Translation Selection (English edition)

HG101 is happy to announce that we are publishing a localized version of Retro Game Super Translation Selection, a doujinshi that highlights various written localization changes in 8 and 16-bit games. It was written by Hanenashi Error, who translated and distributed our Sega Arcade Classics and Castlevania books into Japanese, and contribute to our 200 Best Games of All Time book. He is a professional English to Japanese translator for video games, and also runs a blog called Gaminglish that explains various memes and bits of English gaming culture to Japanese players.

I was excited to work on this book because it contains a lot of instances of localization changes that are unknown to most English speaking retro fans. It addresses some of the most famous issues (like the "I Am Error" quote from Zelda II) but there are also many instances from more obscure games that highlight the general attitude of translators of the time, often in funny ways. In some of the highlighted cases, the original Japanese line is plain while the English line adds in jokes; in others, it tries to take Japanese jokes and rewrite them in different ways. Some games included are Paladin's Quest, Secret of Mana, Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, Ignition Factor, Lunar: The Silver Star, Cosmic Fantasy II, Landstalker, Lufia II, Neutopia, Saturday Night Slam Masters, various Kunio-kun games, and many others.

Since it was also originally written for the Japanese audience, there are also a lot of interesting cultural insights that one normally wouldn't get from an American or native English speaker. In most cases, the book deals with Japanese-English translations, but there are a few English-Japanese as well (Brutal: Paws of Fury, Maniac Mansion, Shadowrun, Shadowgate, First Samurai).

We'll be putting up a fuller page on the site with more details soon, but in the meantime, you can check out the Japanese page to see some samples. The release date and price haven't been solidified yet since I'm still working on putting it together, but hopefully it shouldn't be more than a few months.


  1. Always intrigued by the differences between what can be passed in Eastern, but not Western games. Thanks for highlighting so many yourselves over the years.