Memes in NA's Tri Force Heroes has fans divided
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.
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.
@PI20XY The text in the first screen reads very awkwardly, while the second reads much more fluidly.— Arron (@OKeijiDragon) October 27, 2015
@PI20XY I guess it makes sense to try to appeal to a certain audience within a region... But, omg, out of place meme is out of place....— David Lin (@LordOshawott) October 27, 2015
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...
@MyNintendoNews I like it personally...has no place in a Zelda game but I got a little kick out of it when reading it— Jeffrey Perez (@Jscratch777) October 28, 2015
And then there were the fans who seemed fine with it, defending its use...
@MyNintendoNews seems like the translators can't have fun at their jobs... I like it. No biggie— Rey (@reipuerto) October 28, 2015
.@destructoid Meanwhile, every US Pokemon localization in the last decade has had at least one meme— spooky(SystemsReady) (@SystemsReady) October 28, 2015
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.
David FisherOctober 28, 2015, 10:28 amFeatured ColumnistAs long as these memes don't replace canonical content, I don't see the harm. Besides, Tri Force Heroes is one of the sillier Legend of Zelda titles. If the translators went and hammed up the entire game I wouldn't really mind. It would fit the cartoon style more, if anything.