Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse

Illustration for article titled Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse

A month ago, we brought you the news that Vroom in the Night Sky, one of the few Nintendo Switch games currently available, would be losing its highly questionable but ultimately adorable bad English translation and getting a rewrite. That rewrite is now here, and it’s... worse, somehow.

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Pro localizer Clyde Mandelin has been tracking the saga of Vroom at his website Legends of Localization, and has meticulously cataloged the differences between the original version of the game that launched in some regions on March 3, and the current version.

The rewrite has fixed a few lines (most notably, “Buyed!” has been changed to the much more correct “Sold Out!” in the game’s shop), but it’s hurt others, and it’s also introduced misspellings and formatting errors.

Here’s a scene from the original version:

Illustration for article titled Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse

A little unnatural, yes, but you sorta see what they’re getting at. It’s clearly a “well, whaddya expect” sort of wisecrack. Maybe you could rewrite this as:

A Girl: Jeez, there’s nothin’ but sand here!

Her Blob: Well, I mean... it is the desert.

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You know, just for example. I have also renamed the characters. If you don’t like that, maybe you could come up with a rewrite of your own. But anyway, here’s the “fixed” version:

Illustration for article titled Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse
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Besides the fact that the sentence capitalization is lost, there’s no joke anymore. Now it just reads like weird Twitter.

Let’s stay in the ol’ desert. Original:

Illustration for article titled Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse
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Again, you get what they’re going for, unnatural-sounding as it may be.

New version:

Illustration for article titled Developer Tries to Fix Switch Game's Bad Translation, Makes It Worse
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What the damn hell are you people talking about.

Vroom in the Night Sky had a bad translation, but somehow it all came out as almost good-bad, charming and silly in a way that matched the goofy tone of the game. Fixing the translation to proper English would have been understandable, but now it doesn’t have either. Tut.

Features Editor, Kotaku. Japanese curry aficionado. Author of the books Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life and Final Fantasy V from Boss Fight Books.

DISCUSSION

I’m laughing so hard at all of the translations. Clyde Mandelin is doing God’s work keeping track of all of this. Tut indeed.

After going to the site and looking at the new translations, I can’t help but wonder if they did it on purpose and plan on eventually adding a way to switch between both terrible translations...