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Nintendo Fixed a 30-Year-Old Zelda Typo For the NES Classic

Photo: VG Museum
Photo: VG Museum

An extraneous “N” inserted into the English translation of The Legend of Zelda in 1987 has finally been removed, and it only took 29 and a half years.


This actually happened a few months back, because it’s in the version of Zelda included on the NES Classic Edition. But I didn’t even notice until Clyde Mandelin, author of the book Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda, pointed it out on Twitter yesterday.


As Mandelin alludes to in the tweet, Nintendo has had multiple opportunities to delete this “N” over the decades, beginning with the re-release of Zelda in a collection for the GameCube. It actually did tweak the translation in spots for this version, but missed this one.

“Penninsula” stuck around for the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U Virtual Console versions, too. Finally, you can enjoy Zelda with the correct number of Ns, if you buy an NES Classic. Which is easier said than done, of course.

Note that even after deleting this stray character, the little old man’s line here still makes approximately zero sense. You encounter him in the game’s first dungeon, and what he’s trying to say is that to find the piece of the Triforce, you should head over to the end of the long hallway on the right side of the dungeon. (It’s not even a peninsula!)

And if you’re wondering what he says in Japanese, it’s a totally different hint: “You can’t use arrows if you run out of money.”

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.

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This is mostly unrelated, but I just got my Famicom Mini (because Chris pointed out that Amazon Japan was selling them to international addresses) and I did not realize that there are a bunch of Famicom Disk System games on it.

Like, it should have been obvious when I saw Zelda and Castlevania and whatever on the games list, but it’s really cool checking out the FDS versions of these games I know so well. (It’s also super friggin’ weird; I knew that the music was different, but nothing prepared me for the sound effect used for Link’s sword beam in the first Zelda or for when people talk to you in Adventure of Link.)

For anybody who is interested, I highly recommend the experience of ordering from Amazon Japan. I paid ~$65 and I got the package within a week of ordering it. The shipping box was pretty beaten up (it was opened for inspection when it came into the country and, uh... stomped on from the looks of it) but the actual Famicom box was in perfect shape. Next time I’m looking to import something (which isn’t very often) I’m gonna check Amazon Japan again.