Tips for Buying EarthBound

September 8th, 2012 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

Time for another mailbag entry!

Today’s comes from Brian, who asks:

Hey Mato,

I noticed you had taken a trivia-type question in regards to Escargo Express, so I thought I’d ask another I had always wondered about.

Is there any particular/known reason why the translators changed the octopus statue to the pencil statue? Is there some cultural reference that may be missing?

Thanks.

Based on things Shigesato Itoi has said (including this discussion), I’m led to believe that the octopus statue wasn’t an octopus statue for any particular reason – it was just a very strange way of blocking the player’s path. Blocking the player’s path in strange ways was a huge part of what Mother 2 was all about.

I’m guessing the localizers wanted it to make some some of logical sense for North American players, so they changed it to a pencil and a machine that erases pencils – a “Pencil Eraser”. It’s actually kind of a little bit of word play in its own way.

Anyway, that’s always been my take on the giant pencil statue, but if anyone has other thoughts or insight, please share!

And if you have any other questions for the mailbag, send them to me!

 

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16 Comments to Mailbag: The Octopus Statue


Apple Kid said on Sep. 8, 2012

I’m not against Nintendo censorship but this seems pretty stupid.

Pilcrow said on Sep. 8, 2012

I dunno, it doesn’t seem like too great a loss.

asdf said on Sep. 8, 2012

I think it’s an improvement, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do something like this for the sake of localization.

Mato said on Sep. 8, 2012

I personally see it as an improvement too. Before it was just goofy in a random way, in the localization it was still goofy and random but there was added humor in how it needs to be dealt with.

TheZunar123 said on Sep. 8, 2012

I think they changed it to a Pencil statue because they changed the Doll statue to an Eraser statue to try and keep the joke of the original statue and its eraser item intact, and naturally pencils and erasers go hand-in-hand. That’s just my opinion though.

Acedio said on Sep. 8, 2012

What are the jokes around the Octopus Eraser in Mother 2? Don’t take it into Takoyaki shop?

TheZunar123 said on Sep. 8, 2012

I was referring to the Doll Eraser, not the Octopus Eraser. In Japanese, eraser is “keshi” and doll is “kokeshi”, so the name of the Doll Eraser in Japanese is “kokeshikeshi”. Obviously it wouldn’t transfer over to the US, so they changed it to “Eraser Eraser”, which is not quite the same, but it was the best they could do.

Furball200x said on Sep. 8, 2012

But aren’t the pencil and eraser statues in the museum in Mother 3, or did Mato put them in?

Acedio said on Sep. 8, 2012

@TheZunar123 Interesting 🙂 I hadn’t seen your comment before posting mine, but I was asking about what the Pencil Shop joke was in M2.

Mato said on Sep. 8, 2012

Furball200x: We put that in, see here: http://mother3.fobby.net/or/

Earthbounder said on Sep. 8, 2012

If we got the pencil eraser then what did mother two get? An octopus eraser?

linkdude20002001 said on Sep. 9, 2012

Yes, that was the randomness of it. NoA changed it either because they deemed it too random or because they thought it would make the game better.

TheZunar123 said on Sep. 9, 2012

I still think they changed it to a pencil because they changed the doll to an eraser to keep the joke about its name, and naturally pencils and erasers go together. But it could be out of randomness, who knows.

Jason said on Sep. 9, 2012

Honestly, I prefer the pencil over the octopus. I mean, yeah, random humor is all good and all.. but a pencil eraser (which is not an eraser on a pencil, but in fact an eraser FOR pencils) just seems more amusing to me. But that’s just one person’s opinion!

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Sep. 10, 2012

I remember an interview or something along that, where Itoi joked about how the octopus eraser could actually erase octopuses–or some kind of octopus dish with a fancy Japanese name.

(Addendum: Of course, the only octopuses in the entire game are alien robots that jack your inventory. Maybe they also changed it to diminish confusion over whether the octopus eraser kills Octobots instantly, which it doesn’t.)

Captain Bozo said on Sep. 12, 2012

They changed it from an octopus simply so I could use it as my Theories mascot on Starmen.net.

Obviously.

Me and Itoi are long-time bros after all.


 

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