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August 24th, 2011 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

I just updated the MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound section again, this time with a page about the item names, which you can check out here. A few differences here and there, most of them are probably familiar to a lot of fans by now.

As I posted the page, I realized I should probably look through the descriptions sometime too, since we’ve seen that at least a couple items have pretty different descriptions between the two games. Getting all the Japanese item description text might be a pain though, so we’ll see.

It looks like what’s left of the entire project is:

  • Finish up the “battle stuff” section
  • Maybe look at item descriptions
  • Add a page for names
  • Add a tl;dr page for people who don’t care about the tiny nitpicking of the translation
  • Fix stuff/add details sent in by readers over the years to some pages

So there’ll be at least a few more of these comparison updates to come it looks like!


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23 Comments to MOTHER 2 vs. EarthBound: Items

Miles of SmashWiki said on Aug. 24, 2011

A few inconsequential questions:

Is the Brain Stone’s Japanese name, “Stone of Enlightenment”, similar to the Apple of Wisdom/Enlightenment’s name? Same question for “Box Lunch of Enlightenment”. Maybe the Apple was supposed to be from Dalaam?

Why is the HP-Sucker’s Japanese name missing? (I’m assuming typo or something.)

Mato said on Aug. 24, 2011

Oh, reload the page, I made a few fixes right after I made this post, that was one of the things I fixed.

The “Enlightenment” items have no connection to the apple at all, the Apple of Enlightenment is called the Apple of Wisdom in Mother 2.

Naito said on Aug. 24, 2011

Isn’t it Gojira Bat than Godzilla Bat? (I just like G’s japanese name than english.)

wekhter said on Aug. 24, 2011

Hello Mato! I’ve loved the Earthbound vs. Mother 2 section of your site for a long time now, and I’m really happy that there are so many updates recently. I only have the GBA re-release of Mother 2 and it’s the only version of the game I’ve played so it’s very fun to read about all the little translation differences I’m missing out on.

I just had a question that I was hoping you’d be able to clear up. I’m Thai so when I saw Porky’s mother’s name, Lardna, I laughed because I thought for sure she was named after the Thai/Chinese dish “Lard na” (also spelled Lad Na, Lard Nar, Rat Na, and about 50 billion other ways because Thai is tonal). It’s like seeing a character named Lo Mein. However, you say that Anburami is something like “greasy”. Can you tell if Lardna is meant to be a joke just because of the “Lard” part, or is it a joke because of being an actual food? I’m not sure how popular/known the dish is in Japan.

Mato said on Aug. 24, 2011

My instinct is that it’s based on the word “lard” more than anything else. I’ve never heard of the dish before, and there aren’t really any other characters named after dishes like that, so I’m guessing it’s just a plain old “lard” joke.

LakituAl said on Aug. 24, 2011

Well well, now that I know what Aonori is, I bet I’ll have a better time using that specific item (I almost always forget what parsley is supposed to taste like).

ben said on Aug. 24, 2011

I’ve played Earthbound a zillion times… what the hell is Video Relexant?

Mato said on Aug. 24, 2011

It’s an unused item that apparently does nothing. We had no idea why it was even called that until a few years ago when we dug up an interview where Itoi calls the backgrounds a “video drug”. So I’m assuming it was some item that let the developers test/mess with battle backgrounds.

Anonymous said on Aug. 24, 2011

A cherub’s a class of angel, so that’s sort of a religious reference itself.

I find it funny that Godzilla’s name-droppe=ed in the Japanese version. As far as I know, he’s been consistantly successful for his 50 year run there, whereas here he’s more known by proxy. Couldn’t Nintendo get sued?

Mato might be able to correct me on this, but I THINK “Ji” in Japanese is formed how “Zi” would be, and the Japanese R is similar to our L and R but not quite. Back when Godzilla was originally translated there weren’t the strict translation conventions we have now, so the name “Godzilla” isn’t REALLY as wrong as people would think now.

wekhter said on Aug. 24, 2011

Ok, thanks Mato. I’m never really sure if I get jokes in Mother correct since I think they usually go over my head, and I guess I was overcompensating for once. From looking it up, it seems the dish is called 「ラードナー」 in Japanese.

@Anonymous: I think Naito was just saying that since it’s the Japanese version of the game it would make sense to write the Japanese version of Godzilla’s name, not arguing about how the name should be “translated,” but I figure I can explain to you the ji/zi you’re getting at.

Japanese is a syllabary, so instead of having “letters” the characters are syllables. Most sets of characters can have a dakuten (little quotation mark looking thing) added to make it a harder consonant. So “SA” plus a dakuten becomes “ZA”, “SU” becomes “ZU”, “SE” becomes “ZE” and “SO” becomes “ZO”. The missing syllable you’d think would be “SI” but it’s pronounced as “SHI” in Japanese. “SHI” plus a dakuten is pronounced “JI”. However, because it’s hard to argue a right way to write in English a language that doesn’t use the roman alphabet, it’s acceptable to write them as “SI” and “ZI” for consistency. If you’re literally writing what the Japanese says both GOJIRA and GOZIRA would be acceptable descriptions of the characters used.

As an aside, consider translations from English to Japanese. This same “JI” character is used when writing the word radio (RAJIO) and virgin (BAAJIN). I don’t really think saying Godzilla over Gojira is any more wrong or right!

EnnuiKing said on Aug. 24, 2011

Were recurring items like the pendants and bottle rockets named the same thing consistently between Mother 1/2/3? I ask because the translations aren’t as consistent (H20 Pendant vs. Rain Pendant, Bottle Rockets vs. Pencil Rockets [although that’s a case of the item name needing to be changed to reflect the inventory graphic]).

Mato said on Aug. 24, 2011

Some items were, like the pencil rockets (though EarthBound changed those) but I don’t recall if the various bands and charms all have the same name.

LucasTizma said on Aug. 25, 2011

I must be the only idiot who didn’t realize, until just now, that Suporma was short for “Super Orange Machine”. I only realized that as a result if the MOTHER 2 item name.

Thank you, Mato-san. 🙂

FuzzyPicklez said on Aug. 25, 2011

The font is really, really big and weird. It’s awkward to read.

Mato said on Aug. 25, 2011

Looks like I closed the h2 tags wrong, so some browsers might’ve displayed it weird. I since fixed it, so check it out again.

Mato said on Aug. 25, 2011

I just added info about item descriptions to the items page, so check ’em out sometime.

Scapetti said on Aug. 26, 2011

I know you’ve said you don’t want to hack Earthbound but now that this is almost finished, I would really love to see a true Mother 2! Consistent with your Mother 1 and 3 translations. I want him to be named Porky dammit 🙁 and all the other inconsistencies!

And I want YOU to do it Mato… I don’t want people saying “oh but I prefer calling the towns by their original names” or whatever.. I want it done how YOU would do it. Consistent to Mother 3… I NEED IT!! :'(

Work backwards from Earthbound if that’s easier 🙂

Pak-Man said on Aug. 26, 2011

Hey was there ever an entry for that story you can read when you buy the house in Onett? I always wondered if it was the same story in Japan…

The Great Morgil said on Aug. 26, 2011

@Scapetti: I would love that, too. It’s just sad that the game is so tough to hack and Mato doesn’t want to even try. Maybe he could team up with someone, and they can handle the hacking part while he focuses on the translation part. Although i think i remember him once explaining why he wouldn’t/couldn’t even do that.

DJ 2Sang said on Aug. 26, 2011

I wanna see the Teddy Bear in the next Smash Bros game. It could be an awesome item.

alexcalibur said on Aug. 29, 2011

My younger brother is 13 and I know he checks your site pretty often :p
The funny this is I didn’t even introduce him to this site (I originally showed him the mother 3 translation when it was still ongoing), he just frequents it on his own.

Saturnome said on Aug. 29, 2011

Is there a japanese description for the Video Relaxant? Is there even an article on EarthBound Central about it?

Mato said on Aug. 29, 2011

In both games the description is basically, “What is this?!”

The item itself doesn’t do anything, at least we’re unable to get it to do anything.


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