Very Zelda. Such Meme. So North America.

Memes in NA’s Tri Force Heroes has fans divided

Very Zelda. Such Meme. So North America.

Very Zelda. Such Meme. So North America. Images are circling the internet shortly after the Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes release for 3DS. They feature some very meme-tastic translations by Nintendo of America.

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Oh, boy.

For those who didn’t know, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe tend to work separately on their translations. The result? Europe allegedly gets something thoughtful while North America gets some “dank memes”. 

Specifically, what we have here is the furry and adorable, yet undying Doge meme.

Very example. So Doge. Much sorry.

It can be funny, but is it okay? Many can agree that adding jokes and references is fine as long as it doesn’t deter from the original text’s intent. We don’t want memes to distract us from the storytelling.

If that’s the case, then let’s see how the NA translation measures up to the original intent:

As citizens of countries that don’t have Japanese as a dominant language, we should expect some rough translating. Especially since, linguistically, word order is different in Japanese grammar than in languages like English, Spanish, or French.

So what is the original Japanese text?

According to a rough translation from Legends of Localization, it says something along the lines of:

However, that’s precisely why I found the ancient legacy that was likely left behind.

This means the European version is technically the closest to the original text. At the very least, Nintendo of Europe’s translator(s) kept that dialogue close to the original purpose: talking about an opportunity in a lost ruin. No memes.

And while translations for regions tend to keep things local to the culture to ensure some things like humor translate well to other audiences (see LOZ: Link Between Worlds with its Hyrule and Lorule, or name translations in the Ace Attorney games), this meme seems to be an ad-lib by translators.

I can haz memes?

It’s an ad-lib that is definitely getting mixed responses. On one side, fans aren’t very impressed. 

These fans among others, find it childish, unnecessary, and stupid. The initial response is that it’s ridiculous to have a meme in a video game that messes with the translation. 

Meanwhile, other fans were on the fence…

And then there were the fans who seemed fine with it, defending its use…

Or simply responding with the meme itself in kind.

Many of the supporting fans, like @SystemsReady, above, find it’s not the first time that Nintendo has added memes or references to their games, and it won’t be the last time. Even in Japanese versions, there are M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice references that NoA removed.

So, do you think it’s funny? Childish? Stupid? Or is it all just an issue getting blown out of proportion because it’s a more modern-age meme made after the days that memes earned their name? Let us know in the comments.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is out now for 3DS.

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Andrea Koenig
Writer | Artist | Video Gamer | Designated Dad | Video Game Journalism Intern | Aspiring to do something with all of that.