The Japanese language and Call of Duty have never gotten along. But in the past, that's been simply due to translation mistakes. That might not be the case here. In the latest downloadable content for Black Ops II, the in-game Japanese is both strange and funny.
The downloadable content features four new multiplayer maps, including "Magma", which is set in the Japanese city, Kitakyushu.
The map isn't very realistic! Forget the flowing lava, there are a handful of truly odd things in the map, which are raising eyebrows and causing people to snicker on 2ch, Japan's largest web forum. Black Ops II is no stranger to odd Japanese lingo.
Most glaring is above. In Japan, "〒" is the symbol for the post office (it's also used to write zip codes). In Black Ops II, instead of "〒", the Magma map has "テ", which is the katakana symbol for "te". This is like using the letter "S" instead of the "$" symbol.
Bit of history: The "〒" symbol is well over a hundred years old. Originally, the post office symbol was going to be a "T" or "テ" (te). Both were short for the Teishinshou (逓信省), which controlled the post office until 1949 when it was dissolved. The now famous 〒 mark was selected instead.
In Black Ops II, it's unclear if this is an error or on purpose. As mentioned above, the map isn't exactly a realistic rendering of Japan! Yesterday, Kotaku contacted Activision about this discrepancy, but did not hear back before publication.
There are other oddities, too. For example, elsewhere in the same map, there is a sushi sign that reads, "Get 10 percent off if the volcano erupts!" The sign also adds that saying "te" can get you one plate of sushi free. So maybe "te" (テ) is a gag? Seems that way.
There are a few more in-game jokes, like the above sign that reads, "Hon-maguma" (本まぐま). It's a word play on "honmaguro" (本マグロ), or bluefin tuna belly. To extend the pun even further, "maguma" sounds somewhat like "maguro", which would tie into the sushi jokes. In Japanese, "maguma" (マグマ) means "magma", which is the map's name.
There are other odd signs dotted throughout the map, such as this one for a 600 km/h "Magma Superliner":
The poster's catchphrase might be odd to Japanese speakers. The way it's written (だから北九州、いこう or "Therefore, let's go to Kitakyushu") seems somewhat jarring to some online in Japan. Though, one commenter pointed out that it could be a parody of a domestic tourism campaign for Kyoto.
Many people in Japan seem amused by the Japanese in this Black Ops II map. Some think these are more Call of Duty translation mistakes. Others think these are parodies.
One commenter summed it up best: "The Japanese is strange, but funny."
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