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August 9th, 2012 | EarthBound, Uncommon Knowledge

A reader named Dan recently asked me this via e-mail, and I thought it was worth sharing here:

Hey Mato,

Just wondering about the creative delivery pun Escargo Express. Was that a localization gag or was it one that Itoi and company made in Japanese too?

In MOTHER 2, the company is called エスカルゴ運送, which translates very literally to “Escargot Transit” or “Escargot Shipping”, things along those lines. So from that view, the word play isn’t as strong as it is in English, but the whole idea of “Mach Pizza is super slow while Escargot Transit is super fast” thing is still very clear and obvious to Japanese players.

With that said, when the giant Mr. Saturn plushes were released a few years ago, they came in mock Escargo Express boxes. The interesting thing is that the text on the boxes was all in English, and wouldn’t you know it – they used the name “Escargot Express”:

It’s possible this was adapted from the English translation of the name, or maybe “Escargot Express” has always been the intended English name and this is just the first time we’re seeing it – kind of like what happened with the Pokey/Porky naming thing.

Personally, I really like the added pun the English translation has with “Escargo” 😛

I think it’d be neat to cover other little topics like this in this format, so if you have any questions about the MOTHER/EarthBound games (particularly the localizations) let me know and I’ll try to answer them in Q&A updates like this!


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11 Comments to Japanese Escargo Express

September said on Aug. 9, 2012

… Oh! I’m so slow, I never thought about the es*cargo* thing, just that it was escargo(t)!

Dan said on Aug. 9, 2012

Thanks so much Mato! I’m a Spanish-speaker and I’m often fascinated by localization choices when I watch things with subtitles or dubbed into Spanish so I love learning about this kind of thing.

It’s also neat to see where the English and Japanese feed into each other for future iterations.

@September I literally didn’t notice the cargo pun until I looked at my Fangamer Escargo Express bag that morning. Both the question and the joke came to me at that moment.

RandomGuardian said on Aug. 9, 2012

So wait? Ask you questions here in the comments or someplace else like email?

Mato said on Aug. 9, 2012

Either way, although e-mail/the contact form will be easier for me to keep track of stuff.

Adam said on Aug. 9, 2012

Besides the “cargo” in Escargo, I was always under the impression that the pun was in the fact that hand-delivered mail can also be referred to as “snail-mail” and that it was “express”… because, y’know, snails are ever so fast…

Ebisa said on Aug. 9, 2012

Actually “Escargots” is French for “snails”, so I kinda always the same thing as Adam.

Chewy said on Aug. 10, 2012

I’m glad I’m not the only one that missed the es-cargo pun. Between that and the snail-mail concept, man that is the most layered and awesome pun ever. I’m not a pun fan, but the ones in Earthbound are the BEST _<

NecrosaroIII said on Aug. 10, 2012

Escargo = Snails. Snails are known for being slow

Squid said on Aug. 12, 2012

Oh dear. The position of those 2 is…. suggestive >_>

flintsdoorknob said on Aug. 14, 2012




I can’t believe I never got that pun until now.

flintsdoorknob said on Aug. 14, 2012

it still works with Escargot, since the t is silent you say ‘cargo’ anyways.


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