EarthBound as a Cult Phenomenon
The MOTHER 3 fan translation’s been out a long time now, but every once in a while I think about how it could’ve been improved or handled better. One of those things is the decision to go with “Porky” instead of “Pokey”. At first I was worried it’d take a while for fans to get used to – was it that way for you?
For reference, here’s what I put in the readme about his name:
Pokey, a character from EarthBound, makes an appearance in this game. However, the translators for EarthBound were unsure of how to romanize his name and wound up naming him incorrectly. It’s clear from this game that Itoi intended his name to be spelled “Porky” all along. This left me with a problem: which name do I use? I mulled it over for maybe 8 months or so, and decided to go with how the creator intended it, rather than go with what was a mistake. Additionally, Nintendo of America also seems to take this stance, as he’s now referred to as Porky in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in many places. The name “Porky” also fits in with the big “pig” theme of this game. Leaving it as “Porky” also meant we didn’t have to go through the trouble of hacking a large number of compressed graphics.
I considered trying to add in a little line somewhere saying that maybe Pokey changed his name to Porky at some point, but that didn’t seem quite right. I decided I’d just cover the issue briefly in the translation notes. I hope this helps explain some of this issue. It’s one of those things where whatever choice you make, someone won’t be happy. It’s funny though, because between EarthBound Zero and EarthBound, the antagonist’s name changed from Giegue to Giygas, despite being the same character with the same spelling in Japanese. And now something similar has happened again.
So what do you think? Would you have preferred Pokey or Porky? Were you for one or the other at first but since changed your mind? As a translator, I’m curious to know since it’s so rare to be able to get any feedback at all.
Also, for fun, I’ve added a little poll to this post 😀
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62 Comments to Pokey or Porky?
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