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How The Legend of Zelda Changed For U.S. Shores

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Did you know that Pols, the rabbit-looking things in the original Legend of Zelda, are meant to be destroyed not with arrows but by talking into a microphone? And that the Japanese version of the Zelda board game was way better than the North American one?

Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, a new hardcover book that dives into the minutia behind the Japanese-to-English translations in the original NES classic, is full of interesting trivia like that. Penned by Clyde “Mato” Mandelin—the guy best known for translating Mother 3 to English—the book is beautifully designed and fun to read if you’re into Zelda at all. (They sent me a copy earlier this week.)


Mandelin also runs a fascinating website where he digs into the differences between the English and Japanese text in games like Final Fantasy IV. I highly recommend it.

The book, which goes for $29, is available via Fangamer. The folks behind it have shared an excerpt just for Kotaku, which you can read here: