As per most Nintendo games, Luigi’s Mansion 2 has been significantly changed when brought over to Europe. Names of missions, rooms and ghosts are different, descriptions and key terminology is different… and apparently they translated directly from the Japanese version rather than the North American one. So here’s a nice and hopefully interesting rundown of all the differences in translation between the NTSC and PAL versions of Luigi’s Mansion 2/Dark Moon.
Obviously, the game is called Luigi’s Mansion 2 in Europe and Japan and Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon in the USA. But that’s only the most… well known difference. There are quite a few others as this article will point out.
Above: Left is the European name/box, right is the US one.
The Pixelator is called the Pixelshifter in the European version. Possibly because of the other meaning of ‘pixelate’. Similarly, the ScareScraper is now called the ‘Thrill Tower’ in the UK version, although the other regions have their own names. Those are the following:
- Spanish: Torre de los Desafíos/Tower of Challenges
- French: Tour Hantée/Haunted Tower
- Dutch: Tumulttoren/Tumult Tower (Means uproar or disorder)
- German: Wirrwarrturm/Tangle Tower
- Italian: Torre del caos/Tower of Chaos
- Portugese: Torre dos Sustos/Tower of Scares
Poltergeist is now called ‘Boffin’ in the PAL version, with the stronger ones being called the ‘Boffin Elder’ and ‘Strong Boffin’ respectively.
Above: This guy is called a ‘Boffin’ in Europe.
The Shrewd Possessor is now called the Scornful Possessor. The others have the same names as in the US version.
Above: And this one is now the Scornful Possessor.
I have no idea whether the ScareScraper ghosts are named differently, since I don’t have all of them and I’m fairly sure no one else has them yet either. When a list is posted, then we can compare. I think the Creeper Launcher is called the Creeper Creator over here though.
Instead of being called the Level 2/3 Poltergust and Darklight, the upgrades are named the following in the European version:
- A-Pull Level 2
- Dark-Light level 2
- A-Pull level 3
- Dark-Light level 3
- Super Poltergust
Room Name Differences
There are also differences in room naming in each mansion. Very useful to know if you plan to use a walkthrough.
Front Yard is ‘Front Garden’ in the PAL version.
Mudroom is ‘Side Entrance’.
Guard Hall is ‘Guarded Corridor.
Mudroom Exterior is ‘Forgotten Garden’.
Common Hall is ‘Downstairs Corridor’.
Foyer is ‘Main Hall’
Master Hall is now ‘Upstairs Corridor’.
The entrance area is now called the ‘Towers Entrance’, no ‘Haunted’ in front of the name.
East Hall is now ‘East Hallway’. Not a big change.
The Rumpus Room is now named the ‘Play Room’ and the Family Room is now the ‘Family Area’.
West Hall is called the ‘West Hallway’.
And the Crows Nest is now the far less… interesting ‘Walkway’. This really confused me when using an FAQ before.
The Canyon Stairs are named called the ‘Ravine Stairs’.
The Service Elevator is obviously called the ‘Service Lift’ now. Should be fairly obvious given how people here rarely ever use the word ‘elevator’ in standard conversation.
In the basement, the Canyon Hall is now thee ‘Ravine Passage’ and the Canyon Narrows is now called the ‘Ravine Narrows’. Never got why this was changed, do people over here really use ravine more than canyon?
Clockmakers Chambers is now named the ‘Clockmakers Room’.
As you can see, there aren’t as many changes here. Personally, I was almost expecting them to change the ‘Drafting Office’, ‘Roundhouse’ and ‘Cargo Room’ to something else, but they didn’t.
The Terminal is now called the ‘Station’.
Prospectors Crossing is now named the far less ‘interesting’ ‘Prospectors Path’.
And the Drift Hall is now the ‘Drift Passage’.
The Skip Slope is the ‘Icy Slope’ in the PAL version.
The Deep Hall is now the ‘Deep Passage’. By now, I have to wonder what the Nintendo of Europe localisation team had against the word ‘hall’ since every single usage of it in the game so far has been replaced.
That’s all for changes to the Secret Mine. As you may have realised, most changes in room names seem to have occurred in Gloomy Manor due to the more… ‘house’ like style of the place and more traditional room naming.
The Dark Age Exhibit is now the ‘Dark Ages Exhibit’. Not sure why the US one used the singular naming given that medieval time period is called the ‘Dark Ages’, but it’s been changed in the PAL version. Maybe it’s common in US literature given how Wikipedia has a redirect for it.
Restrooms are called ‘Toilets’, no more explanation for this is really necessary.
Guard Tunnel (a room in the basement) is called ‘Guarded Tunnel’ again like in Gloomy Manor.
There aren’t many changes as far as mission names go, at least 90% of the UK ones are identical to the US ones. But there are still a couple of major changes:
B-5 Doggone Key is now ‘That Dog, the Key Hog’. Have to say I really prefer some of these UK names.
C-2 Underground Expedition is called ‘Underground Trek’ in the PAL version.
C-4 Play Catch is now called ‘Ghosty in the Middle’ in the PAL version, as reflected by Mario Wiki’s page description. This is to reflect a traditional kids game called ‘Piggy in the Middle’ in the UK and parts of Europe (Keep Away in the US apparently).
C-Boss Showtime is now called ‘Show Time’ with a gap between the two words.
E-4 Ambush Maneuver is now called ‘Ambush Manoeuvre’ to reflect European spelling.
F-1 A Nightmare to Remember is called ‘Shatter the Illusion’ in the UK version.
Ghost Description Differences
They like to tinker with things they shouldn’t and wield everyday objects as weapons. First, find a way to disarm them, then stun them with your flashlight when the time is right.
They like to tinker with things they shouldn’t and wield everyday objects as weapons. First, find a way to disarm them, then stun them with your torch when the time is right.
They might look like ruthless brutes, but these tender fellers have a heart of gold under normal circumstances. Just don’t let them give you a round of applause!
They might look like ruthless brutes, but these ghosts usually have a heart of gold. Right now, though, they ARE ruthless brutes, so watch out for shockwaves when they clap!
These ghosts are swift and cunning. They love to turn invisible an sneak up behind the targets of their pranks, so use the Dark-Light Device to catch them in the act!
These ghosts are swift and cunning. They love to turn invisible an sneak up behind the targets of their pranks, so use the Dark-Light Device to catch them out!
These gooey ghosts just love to cuddle, and they’ll never want to let you go. But after the Dark Moon broke apart, they forgot about the cuddling part. Watch out for them on floors and ceilings!
These gooey ghosts love to cuddle and hold you tight. But when the Dark Moon broke apart, they forgot about the cuddling part. Watch out for them above and below!
Their appetite is…ah…formidable. With stomachs that lack physical boundaries, they won’t hesitate to devour everything around them! Be wary of the puddles of…goo.
Their appetite is formidable, and given that their stomachs have no physical boundaries, they just devour everything around them! Be wary of the puddles of goo.
Above: The Slammer has a much better vault description in Europe.
Whoever strengthened these bullies by putting them into the crystals had only one thing in mind: creating ghosts strong enough to crush rocks into dust with a single blow.
Whoever put these bullies into crystals had only one thing in mind: creating ghosts strong enough to crush rocks to dust with a single blow.
Now that these ghosts have been augmented by the crystals, capturing them is even trickier. It’s best to wait until they show themselves to stun them.
Now that these ghosts have undergone crystal augumentation, capturing them is a real nightmare. It’s best to wait for an opening before trying to stun them.
This guy is trouble! He’s tougher and meaner than a normal sneaker, and all those marks on his body are bristling with power!
These guys really mean trouble! Tougher and meaner than normal Sneakers, and all those marks on their bodies bristle with power!
Above: As well as the name, the Boffin’s description is different in Europe too.
These big-headed know-it-alls have swollen brains (and egos) that afford them telekinetic power. Sadly, their sense of humour seems to be underdeveloped.
These big-headed know-it-alls have swollen brains (and egos) that afford them telekinetic power. Sadly, this seems come at the cost of a sense of a humour.
Above: The Three Sisters have different names and descriptions in Europe.
Sister Melinda (Lucinda in the US version)
The youngest of the fabled Three Sisters. Her hobbies include playing with her mirror and annoying her older sisters by pointing out their flaws.
The youngest of the fabled Three Sisters. Her hobbies include playing with her mirror and annoying her older sisters by pointing out their many flaws.
One of the fabled Three Sisters. According to her sister Herlinda, she’s the eldest of three. She is an expert on flowers and plants and loves gardening.
One of the fabled Three Sisters. According to her sister Herlinda, she’s the eldest. She is an expert on flowers and plants and loves gardening.
One of the fabled Three Sisters. According to her sister Belinda, she’s the eldest of three. Her hobbies include comparing herself to flowers and looking in the mirror.
One of the fabled Three Sisters. According to her sister Belinda, she’s the eldest. She thinks she’s prettier than a flower and spends all her time looking at herself in a mirror.
Ancient Poltergeist/Boffin Elder
No changes in description other than name.
No description changes
No description changes
No description changes
Above: This guy’s description’s been changed in translation too…
This possessor turned into a huge icy monster and tried to escape with the Dark Moon piece by tunnelling down through the Secret Mine. I thought Luigi was a goner for sure!
Assuming the form of a huge icy monster, this Possessor tunnelled down through the mine in an effort to scape with his Dark Moon piece. Luigi was lucky to survive the ordeal!
This ghost was able to possess multiple suits of armor at once. An impressive feat! I was slightly less impressed when he used those suits of armor to try to squish Luigi.
This ghost was able to possess multiple suits of armor at once. An impressive feat! I was less impressed when he used those suits of armour to try to squish Luigi.
Above: Isn’t the Polterpup cute? Has a different description in Europe too…
Normal section has no changes. But for the ScareScraper/Thrill Tower section…
Normally very playful and kind, the Polterpups started misbehaving after the Dark Moon shattered
Normally very playful and kind, these ghostly dogs only started misbehaving after the Dark Moon shattered.
ScareScraper Exclusive Ghost Differences
There are also some minor changes in descriptions and naming between the US and European versions in regards to the bosses fought in the ScareScraper, as well as the one or two normal enemies introduced. Here’s a list:
Big Polterpup/Big Polterpups
This pooch is big, so it might take more than one ghost hunter to keep him under control
These pooches are pretty big, and with that size comes strength. It might evn take a team of ghost trackers to keep one of these pups under control!
This ghost is the most cunning of the Poltergeists. He awaits ghost trackers who are both brave and smart enough to match his powers.
This cunning ghost is the most evolved of all the Boffins. He awaits ghost trackers who are both brave and smart enough to match his powers.
When he’s not hungry, he’s probably as gentle as a freshly picked flower. Too bad he has a bottomless stomach.
When he’s not hungry, he’s probably as gentle as a freshly picked flower. Too bad we’ll never know, though; this fellow has a bottomless stomach.
He may look like one of my favorite vegetables, but this ghost didn’t come from a creeping vine. More like a creepy vine, right?
Although his body looks like a big ol’ melon, the vertical stripes have a slimming effect.
There’s no denying that he looks creepy, but he’s actually a pretty interesting feller once you get to know him.
On first impression, you might think this fellow is creepy, but once you get to know him… you know for sure.
Mostly the same, although ‘gator’ was switched to ‘alligator’ to make it clearer. And for some reason, neither description used the word ‘underwater’ and hence split it into two or even three words!
Much like a real gator, he hides under water until someone steps a little too close.
Much like a real alligator, he hides under the water until someone steps a little too close.
Between you and me, his striped camouflage seems a bit unnecessary considering he can turn invisible whenever he wants.
You know, considering he can turn invisible whenever he wants, the striped camouflage seems a bit unnecessary.
Minor, but rumour is changed to the UK spelling. Also, note the Super Mario Bros 1 reference!
Rumor has it that this Greenie comes from the middle ages, where he was a knight searching for a kidnapped princess. Sadly, wherever he went, she always seemed to be in another castle.
Rumour has it that this Greenie comes from the middle ages, where he was a knight searching for a kidnapped princess. Sadly, wherever he went, she always seemed to be in another castle.
I imagine he would have chosen green instead of blue, but green flowers are surprisingly difficult to find. Go figure.
I imagine he would have chosen green instead of blue, but green flowers are surprisingly difficult to find. Who would’ve guessed?
That’s not a costume. He always dresses like that. Seriously.
He’s not in costume; he’s just really retro.
This one may have been changed to avoid annoying upper class British citizens with the old money reference. That’s my guess.
He tries to act like a roughneck, but he secretly loves argyle sweater-vests. I’m pretty sure he comes from old money.
He’s not bad, per se. He’s just… really mischievous
Scarab Nabber/Beetle Whisperer
Called the former in Europe, the latter in the US. Has a minor description change too.
This ghost isn’t exactly a people person. He gets downright grumpy when disturbed, and he won’t hesitate to “introduce” you to his beetle friends.
This ghost isn’t exactly a people person. He gets downright grumpy when disturbed, and he won’t hesitate to introduce you to his beetle friends.
Cold Catcher/Snug Thug
Different names and descriptions in each version. Called the former in the US, latter in Europe.
Even tough guys get chilly every now and then. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Slammers are mainly known for their strength, but this one’s got enough brains to know that when it’s cold, you need to wear a coat!
Seems to be renamed slightly between versions. Also, while it’s not a change, both versions have Professor E Gadd confused about the definition of irony.
Even though he’s both a zombie and a ghost, he has fun and enjoys life to the fullest.
Even though he’s half zombie and half ghost, he’s a whole load of fun.
Very, very minor change in description wording between versions.
The reason this fellow is so angry is because people keep thinking clown fish are actual clowns. They’ not. He’s got no sense of humor whatsoever. Didn’t laugh at any of my jokes.
The reason this fellow is so angry is because people keep thinking clown fish are actual clowns. They’ not. No sense of humour whatsoever. Didn’t laugh at any of my jokes.
Name slightly modified to make it clear he’s based on the US football sport rather than the British/international one. Description change too.
I’d stay out of his way unless you want to get tackled. He’s been MVP of the ghost football league for three consecutive years!
I’d stay out of his way unless you want to get tackled. Nothing like a bit of protective padding to bring out your boisterous side.
Freaker Sneaker/Sleek Sneaker
With two different names, no difference in descriptions.
The UK name is a pun based on the word ‘terrify’, the US one is just a description.
Same name, two very different descriptions. Name might be based on Dennis the Menace or that Simpsons episode.
Careful with this one! He’s been known to sneak onto tennis courts midmatch and cover the ball with ghostly goo!
Careful with this one! He’s been known to sneak onto tennis courts mid-match and give the ball a good whack himself.
Creeper Launcher/Creeper Creator
Known as the former in the US, latter in PAL regions. No description differences.
Yukata Ball/Spectral Sloth
I have no idea what ‘Yukata’ even means, so the European name of Spectral Sloth seems far better in general.
Again, former is US name, latter European/PAL one.
Instead of covering everything with goo, our stripey friend here prefers to splatter the walls and floors with honey. But be careful not to lick it! It’ll make your tongue go numb.
Instead of covering everything with goo, our stripey friend here prefers to splatter the walls and floors with delicious honey. But be careful not to lick it! It’ll make your tongue go numb.
Former is US name, latter European name. No description differences.
Soccer Ball/Ball Hog
Different names, different regions. I assume the change is because the former is a damn boring name, and because ‘ball hog’ is actually a description of an ‘annoying player’ in football rather than just the name of the ball (hence relevant to the other ghosts listed on the same page).
The European one drops the ‘scrambles’ pun and just goes descriptive with the name. The vault descriptions are identical in both regions though.
Minor description change.
His favorite thing to do is dip himself in mud and pretend it’s chocolate. It’s…odd, to say the least.
He likes to dip himself in mud and pretend its chocolate. It’s… odd, to say the least.
There are likely many others too, but I won’t know until both myself and at least one US player have all the ghosts and have written down their names and descriptions.
As well as a different name (based on different words for Ladybugs/Ladybirds since people in Europe and the US use different terms for the same animal), the description is new as well.
Sure, his name might have “lady” in it, but nothing could be further from the truth.
His name may have ‘bird’ in it, but don’t expect him to sing for you.
Most of these are kept the same in the UK version, but one or two have some pretty major changes…
The main one. The Boo called ‘Booger’ in the US has been changed to ‘Boouncer’ in the UK. Whether this is to avoid the content being classed as obscene or because the former is a word only rarely used in English is hard to tell. To go along with this, the description has also been changed.
I’m Booger! Why must you always pick on me?
I’m Boouncer! You think you can be in here? Naw, mate. Not with those shoes. Now, Clear Off!’
Same name and gimmick, slightly different description. Guess the translation team had a mathematician onboard who wanted to show off a bit.
I’m ParaBoola! A symmetrical open-plane curve formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to its side! I mean… BOO!
I’m ParaBoola! I’ve set my derivative to zero to be at my peak! I mean… BOO!
E Gadd Quote/Script Changes
Mission Intro Lines
Note: I only mention the lines that are actually changed between versions. As a a result of this, you’ll have to own the game to know the rest of the speeches, since any more would arguably go way beyond what’s legal.
Also, I you can’t see it in all cases (I’m not writing down every single place where merely the capitalisation is different), but Nintendo of America capitalise room names whereas Nintendo of Europe do not. As a result of this, here’s how a speech about the Clock Tower Gate would go in each version:
US: Check out the Clock Tower Gate Luigi!
PAL: Check out the clock tower gate Luigi!
Additionally, some other main changes are as follows. Nintendo of Europe uses ‘dungarees’ whereas Nintendo of Europe uses ‘overalls’ to refer to Luigi’s clothing. Don’t know why. And the European branch of Nintendo also refers to L and R seperately whereas Nintendo of America talks about them as one ‘thing’.
Nintendo of Europe also seems to refer to ‘Possessors’ as capitalised, whereas Nintendo of America doesn’t capitalise the word. Interesting.
Confront the Source
So button up those overalls real tight, and get ready for action, my boy!
Now, to get to the Cellar, you’ll need to take the elevator.
It’s pretty straightforward, but I’ll mark the Cellar on your map.
This key should open the elevator. Thought I imagne the elevator’s operating permit may be expired.
Oh well, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Heh…
Ready or not!
So button up those dungarees real tight and get ready for action, my boy!
Now, to get to the Cellar, you’ll need to take the lift.
It’s pretty straightforward, but I’ll mark the location on your map anyhoo.
This key should open the lift. You might have to jiggle it. That lift’s not been used in a while.
But it’s still in good working order… I’m sure. Heh…
Ready to roll?
A Job for a Plumber
And there’s only one way to fix this mess – restore the Dark Moon and place it back up in the sky
So the first thing on your to-do list will be to check the Hydro Generator.
And there’s only one way to fix this mess: restore the Dark Moon and place it back up in the sky.
So the first thing on your to-do list is to check the hydro generator.
Seems like Nintendo of Europe use the present tense while Nintendo of America use the future one. They also seem to use different symbols to break up sentences.
The Pinwheel Gate
Naturally, I was right, and after a little tinkering the Parascope produced better results.
Naturally, I was right. And after a little tinkering, the Parascope produced better results.
Take this wrench, and use it to attach the pinwheel vanes back to the gate.
Remember: lefty loosey, righty tighty
I get the feeling the Dark Moon piece is somewhere near the top.
Use this socket spanner to attach the pinwheel vanes back to the gate.
Remember: “left loosey, righty tightey”.
I’ve got a feeling the Dark Moon piece is somewhere near the top.
I think Nintendo messed up here. Remember, E Gadd said everything mentioned in the above set of lines, hence he doesn’t need speech marks to describe what he’s saying. Then again, I’m not exactly a grammar/linguistics expert.
That Boo is handing it over to that pinkish ghost!
Zoom in and out with L and R. Press B when you’re done inspecting the image!
Their power increases when they gang up, and they feed off each other’s evil energy.
That Boo is handing it over to that purple ghost!
Zoom in with R and out with L. Press B when you’re done inspecting the image!
Their power increases when they gang up, and they feed off each other’s mischievous energy.
Is someone at Nintendo of Europe offended by the word ‘evil’?
That Dog the Key Hog
The dog left behind a trail of spectral paw prints starting in the Courtyard!
Our little Polterpup left behind a trail of spectral paw prints starting in the courtyard!
This is… interesting. In the ghost container, Nintendo of Europe refers to Polterpups as ‘dogs’. Yet in the mission, they refer to them as ‘Polterpups’ and Nintendo of America (who previously referred to them as ‘Polterpups’ in the Vault), refers to them as ‘dogs’. Huh. Inconsistent translators.
The piece we’re looking for is located in the Tree House at the very top of the big tree!
The piece we’re looking for is located in the tree house at the top of the big tree!
A Timely Entrance
So it wasn’t surprising when the Parascope detected a Dark Moon piece inside the Old Clockworks!
Yep, this’ll be a snap! Slick as a whistle!
So it wasn’t surprising when the Parascope detected a Dark Moon piece in there!
Yep, this’ll be a snap!
‘slick as a whistle’ has been removed for being unknown to English gamers. Seems to be an American idiom.
The special compass revealed an alternate entrance to the underground!
Now, let’s talk about the missing parts of the Clock Tower Gate.
The special compass revealed an alternate entrance to the underground section!
Now, let’s talk about the clock tower gate’s missing parts.
The Parascope was able to find that Poltergeist that took the clock hands!
Its signal is different than other ghosts. I suspect that we may be dealing with an Ancient Poltergeist.
Very exciting stuff. Capturing an ancient ghost would make for groundbreaking research.
Ghosts tend to gain power over time, and this Poltergeist seems to be absolutely ancient.
The Parascope was able to find the Boffin that took the clock hands!
Its signal is different from other ghosts. I suspect we may be dealing with something ancient.
Very exciting stuff. Capturing an ancient ghost would make for some groundbreaking research.
Ghosts tend to gain power over time, and this poltergeist seems to be positively primeval.
Poltergeists are called Boffins in Europe, yet this one STILL refers to the Boffin Elder as a ‘poltergeist’. Oops, someone screwed up.
Ghosty in the Middle
Piece at Last
All right, Luigi. Ready to take a gander at that security-camera image?
It’s almost like there’s an evil presence ordering the possessors to guard the Dark Moon pieces.
Who… or what… could that source be?
It’s a good thing you have such deep pockets in those overalls! Heh heh!
All right, Luigi. Ready to take a gander at that image from the security system?
It’s almost like there’s a fiendish presence ordering the Possessors to guard the Dark Moon pieces.
Who… or what… is the culprit?
It’s a good thing you have such deep pockets in those dungarees of yours! Heh heh!
Apparently the minerals in the mountain -especially the crystals – have unusual properties
He’s probably in the Chalet, napping in front of the fireplace. I’ll pixelate you nearby.
In the meantime, I’ll keep scanning the area with the Parascope, looking for our Dark Moon piece.
Though the harsh weather will make it tough to find anything.
Apparently the minerals in the mountain – the crystals especially – have unusual properties
He’s probably in the chalet, having a nap by the fireplace. I’ll pixelshift you in somewhere nearby.
While you’re gone, I’ll keep scanning the area with the Parascope to see if I can locate our Dark Moon piece.
Though the harsh weather will make it tough to find anything…
Hit Rock Bottom
Hey, youngster! I’ve finished processing the security-camera image.
Did the Boos put them there? Why?
Luigi, I didn’t like at all what we saw in there.
Why are those Boos putting ghosts inside crystals? And who is commanding them?
Get to the bottom of the mine, and stop those Boos from doing… whatever it is they’re doing!
Hey, youngster! I’ve finished processing the security image.
Did the Boos put them in there? Why?
Luigi, I didn’t like what we saw in there one bit.
Why are those Boos putting ghosts inside crystals? And who is in charge?
Get to the bottom of the mine and stop those Boos from doing… whatever it is they’re doing!
Across the Chasm
The signal is coming from an unlikely place outside of the mine: the distant Workshop!
But the Workshop is on the other side of a big chasm, and the nearby Pixelator camera isn’t responding.
All you need to do is board it at the Terminal and ride it across the chasm.
The signal is coming from an unlikely place: outside the mine in a distant workshop!
But the workshop is on the other side of the big chasm, and the nearby Pixelshifter isn’t responding.
All you need to do is board it at the station and ride across the chasm.
Front Door Key
for me! You, on the other hand…
for me! For you, on the other hand…
See, the mansion contains exhibits full of artifacts from all over Evershade Valley and beyond!
They’re very valuable, so I sent a Toad curator to look after them.
You see, the mansion contains many artefacts and exhibits from Evershade Valley and beyond!
And they’re very valuable, so I sent a Toad curator to look after them.
Remember, where there’s a Dark Moon piece, there’s likely a possessor ghost guarding it!
Remember – where there’s a Dark Moon piece, there’s probably a Possessor guarding it!
Mission Victory Lines
Mid Mission Lines
[Coming in the far future]
There may be other differences too, but the amount of lines E Gadd and Luigi have in this game mean that trying to write down the contents of every single Dual Scream conversation would take months. And it’d mean I’d have to both play every single level again, and watch someone in the US play every single level again to boot.
Still, seems like Nintendo of Europe changed a surprising amount of wording when translating this title. Should be interesting to see whether they changed any gameplay mechanics or content too like they did with the original Luigi’s Mansion…
Many times when a game is being localised, various things are changed. The script is rewritten to make it understandable for a native audience (like with Fawful’s speech patterns in every Mario and Luigi game in history), bugs are fixed, unacceptable things are removed to avoid raising the age rating and quite a few other such aspects are altered.
Usually these don’t affect how the game plays or how the game’s concept works. But sometimes we get games that are massively changed in localisation, where huge chunks of the core design are radically altered and things edited to provide a very different experience to people in different countries. And that’s what this list is about, games which were radically changed in localisation. First though, a note:
No, I’m not listing the obvious games here. Everyone who knows anything about video games knows that Super Mario Bros 2 was technically a sprite edit of a Japanese game called Doki Doki Panic, and a significant other percentage know that Tetris Attack, Pokemon Puzzle League and numerous other games were actually attempts to rebrand Panel de Pon for a Western audience. But those are too obvious for this list.
So without further adeiu, here’s the list of Nintendo games that were radically changed during localisation.
1. Wario Blast become a crossover
If you were playing games back when the Game Boy was around, you may know of an obscure crossover game called Wario Blast Featuring Bomberman. Put simply, it was a Bomberman game where Wario was a playable character.
Above: Nintendo’s most bizarre and unknown crossover.
But did you know it’s not a crossover in Japan and the crossover stuff was added when it was released elsewhere? Yes, in Japan it was merely called Bomberman GB and didn’t feature Wario in any way, and the translation that added in the crossover elements actually changed quite a few major parts of the game in the process.
For one thing, there was originally a story sequence at the start of the game (that plays if you wait a few seconds on the title screen). This was removed entirely in Wario Blast.
There were also various sprite changes, even to the point the game’s border when played on the Super Game Boy changed. It really was one of the biggest changes made to a Nintendo game when localising it, to the point you could almost say it was like the Game Boy’s equivalent of Doki Doki Panic and its rebranding into Super Mario Bros 2.
2. Luigi’s Mansion had an overhauled Hidden Mansion
In the US and Japanese versions, the Hidden Mansion was a bit of a joke as a bonus for beating the game, with the only real differences being that the rooms were a tiny bit darker and a few minor other things were edited. In the European game though it was a whole different story.
No, now it was basically Luigi’s Mansion Master Quest. The whole mansion had a mirrored layout, the bosses had new attacks and strategies and many more difficult enemies were found in every room.
Above: Luigi even rides on the Poltergust as he takes down Boolossus!
But oh wait there’s more. Now you HAD to beat the Hidden Mansion for an A grade, making the whole thing no longer optional (they raised the requirements so there wasn’t enough money in the normal mansion to let you qualify). That must have been annoying for anyone trying to use a strategy guide, since almost all of those were written by someone who’s played either the US or Japanese version where the Hidden Mansion wasn’t as significantly changed.
For being the only Nintendo game to add a Master Quest mode in only a couple of regions, Luigi’s Mansion takes the second spot on the list.
3. Mario and Luigi was increased in difficulty
Generally, video game difficulty is one of those that things that’s quite commonly changed when a game is translated and released in different regions. Some titles like Mega Man 2 make it lower by adding a normal mode, some make it extremely difficult and sort of gimmicky like the aforementioned Hidden Mansion from the PAL version of Luigi’s Mansion.
But the Mario and Luigi series is something else entirely. Not only are the Japanese versions of the games very different, but the sheer amount of things that were changed to make the US versions more difficult is almost astounding. Here’s some differences in the difficulty level between each region’s versions of Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga and Mario and Luigi Partners in Time…
Things Changed in the Japanese Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga:
They actually give a hint in the intro to tell you when you can move, with a small D Pad icon popping up when Toad is controllable:
As well as instructions on how to choose what stat you want to upgrade upon level up. Did Nintendo really think their Japanese players were this darn stupid they needed to know how to move a cursor down a list of options?
And most interestingly, they added heart blocks to various places. What did these do? Heal Mario and Luigi entirely for free, with the blocks being usable an unlimited amount of times.
The stat changes were most interesting of all though. The gear was generally more effective in the Japanese version (with most stats being at least 2 points higher), but everything was ridiculously expensive to compensate. For example, just an ordinary pair of jeans in the Japanese game cost over TWO THOUSAND coins, where the equivalent cost in the US and Europe was just 200.
This was then completely flipped around in Partners in Time, where most items were considerably cheaper in the Japanese version. Guess AlphaDream realised players didn’t want to have to grind for hours on end to buy basic necessities.
Finally though, the bosses are much more reasonable in the Japanese version, to the point they have literally half the HP. Here are some comparisons:
[table id=13 /]
There are minor exceptions to this (like the Japanese version giving bosses automatic counter attacks that happen regardless of turn order and one or two bosses being harder), but generally the Japanese versions were way, way easier and less time consuming than the English ones.
Makes you feel kind of cheated, doesn’t it? All those hours spent on that final boss, and there people in Japan were being able to beat it in minutes thanks to a much lower amount of health!
4. We actually got the Pokemon Gen 1 remakes/sequels
Now this entry on the list is slightly confusing. Remember how the first two Pokemon games in Japan were called Pokemon Red and Green? Well in actual fact, we technically didn’t get those titles when we got Pokemon Red and Blue.
No, what we actually got was a strange merge of Pokemon Red and Green with their third version Pokemon Blue. Pokemon Blue (the Japanese one) was notable because it fixed various glitches, updated the graphics and changed quite a few things in game like traded Pokemon and levels and whatever else.
Above: Japanese Mew sprite and English Mew sprite.
Above: The first three are from Red and Green, last from Red and Blue. God these sprites looked weird.
It also explains some of those old urban legends about Pokegods and stuff, the text was somewhat screwed up. Or to be accurate, we had the script of Pokemon Blue but the in game trades from Pokemon Red and Green. That Raichu that went and evolved? It was only a Raichu in Red and Green, in Blue you were trading a Kadabra for a Graveller (which does evolve once you trade it).
Above: This sentence must have confused kids for years.
Basically, Pokemon Blue provided the engine, graphics and script and Pokemon Red and Green provided the list of Pokemon you could encounter and the version exclusives there were, causing all those weird differences and ‘mistakes’.
This was also the case with Pokemon Stadium. This time, we actually got the game known in Japan as Pokemon Stadium 2, since the original one was a really, really lacking game with no mini games, only about half the Pokemon avilable and a severe lack of features. Nintendo simply thought it was pointless to release such a basic game when a much better sequel was readily available and skipped it altogether.
Above: The pointless and lazily designed Pokemon Stadium game we never got.
Honestly, they were right. Releasing a Pokemon Stadium game where only half the Pokemon in the series could actually be used to battle? Releasing it without even a level 100 Prime Cup or many options whatsoever? That’s almost insulting. In fact, it was probably one of the laziest and most uninspired Nintendo titles in history, a lazy attempt to cash in on a craze knowing full well a proper game would be coming just months later. Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe made the right decision by not localising it.
So yes, the Pokemon games we got were rather different from the ones available in Japan. So much so the localisations might as well have been new games.
Well, that’s the full list, with four games that were radically changed during localisation in ways that few people would have suspected. Guess Super Mario Bros 2 and Tetris Attack weren’t the only Nintendo games they retooled entirely when they were localising them…