originals\ Mar 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

Resident Evil "Revelaitons" and other grievous video game errors


Developers and publishers take a lot of heat for their games. The list of complaints seems to grow every day: long load times, unresponsive controls, shoddy gameplay… typos? Japanese games were the butt of jokes in the ‘90s for their nonsensical English translations, but what’s Capcom’s excuse now? Initial batches of their recent Resident Evil: Revelations title for the 3DS contained a goof on the box spine: Revelations was spelled “Revelaitons.” Okay, who assigned Chris Redfield proofreader duties? Everyone knows he’s generously proportioned in brawns, but not so much in braiiinss.

Capcom evidently hasn’t learned from its mistake because the publisher’s new game, Asura’s Wrath, includes a typo on the back of the case: “Relentless action and near impossible chanllenges.” Dare I predict lay-offs in the copy editing department?

Video games have never been immune to spelling, grammar, and other embarrassing errors, with many not appearing on the box art, but in the game content itself. Below are five classic examples for your entertainment. Try not to judge too much.

Zero Wing (1991)

“All your base are belong to us” has become one of the most notorious phrases in video games, garnering attention as an Internet meme and encapsulating the poor quality of Japanese-to-English translations in the 1990s. The line was spoken by the villain Cats in the 1991 Sega Mega Drive version of the shooter Zero Wing, developed by Toaplan. It was part of one introductory cut-scene, several of which were added in with voiced dialogue to beef up the Mega Drive version. It’s possible that plan backfired.

Zero Wing contained other nutty one-liners, like "Somebody set up us the bomb" and "Take off every Zig for great justice." Regardless, the game conceived an innovative idea in video games at the time: the ability to use a tractor beam-like weapon to rein in enemy ships and either recommission them as shields or fire them back at other foes.

All your base are belong to us - Cats, Zero wing

Metal Gear (1987)

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series is known for its amazing attention to detail and the gratification players feel from experimenting with different gameplay components and environments. For better or worse, the reprogrammed NES port of Metal Gear adds to that memorable flavor with a few endearing quirks of its own.

The English localization gave birth to humorous and confusing dialogue such as the classic “I feel asleep!” (an impossible expression), “Contact missing our Grey Fox,” and “The truck have started to move!”. Other, less faulty changes to the original MSX2 version included a level design overhaul, music switch, and a Super Computer instead of the Metal Gear robot near the end.

Kojima himself has called the Famicom version “a more difficult game,” in some cases “too difficult." Many of the additional alterations do a disservice to the first Metal Gear release for the MSX2. Those curious about the differences can find the original included as a bonus in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection .

However, not even the European localization of the MSX original escaped free of errors. "Penetrate the enemy's Outer Heaven and destoroy the ultimate weapon Metal Gear” and "Mision! Gain access to the enemy's fortress, Outer Heaven” were two strange translations, along with the “Cigal” spelling of cigarettes. New-world military lingo, maybe?

I feel asleep - Metal Gear

The Legend of Zelda (1987)

The Legend of Zelda remains a fond memory for many gamers, for reasons including its sage advice. Link embarked on his debut adventure armed with guidance from an Old Man. “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!” he cried, handing the young hero a sword.

But perhaps that wise elder has turned senile in his old age because some of his advice doesn’t make a lick of sense. “"Let's play money making game" lacks both the necessary article and a hyphen, but the worse offender is “Eastmost penninsula is the secret.” The word peninsula only contains two letter n’s, not three. Or maybe we’ve all been fooled. Maybe Eastmost Penninsula is a proper noun, excusing any misspelling, and the Old Man has been laughing himself to tears in his cave.

Pfft, who are we kidding? Those Japanese!

Eastmost penninsula is the secret

Little Red Hood (1990)

One of the most unapologetic games for the NES came from the offices of Taiwanese developer Sachen and is considered one of the worst entries on the console. Internet sensation Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN for short), otherwise known as the foul-mouthed gamer James Rolfe, created a video that discussed the many frustrations of the game — including the anticlimactic ending.

Little Red Hood, which basically stars the famous fairy tale character Little Red Riding Hood, forces the player to labor through ten excruciating worlds only to meet an uneventful conclusion: "Oh!My dear little Red Hood! Thank you for your coming!"

Well now.

Oh!My dear little Red Hood!

Harvest Moon 64 (1999)

The only thing more embarrassing than misspelling the title of your game is getting your own name wrong. In 1999, Harvest Moon 64 came to the Nintendo 64 console, and with it a glaringly obvious mistake: Publisher Natsume had left out the “s” in their name, right on the opening title screen.

Worse, they coupled the error with “Push the START” directly above it. Welcome to the Harvest Moon!

The simulation series has routinely suffered these kinds of translating mistakes. Just scan this bunch of screenshots from Friends of Mineral Town to see for yourself.

Natume - Harvest Moon 64

Can you think of other grievous video game errors?

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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