Ghost of Tsushima's Japanese Menu Translations Are a Bit… Off

Ghost of Tsushima's Japanese Menu Translations Are a Bit… Off

The translated menu items are drawing puzzled stares.

Earlier today, the games media was allowed to confirm that they were reviewing Ghost of Tsushima, the upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive game from Sucker Punch Productions. Many of these confirmations came with a screenshot of the opening menu of the game. Japanese site Game Watch was one of the outlets to post the menu (via Gematsu), and those with knowledge of Japanese are pointing out that the translation seems a bit off.

In English, the menu options are Continue, Load Game, New Game, and Options. Sega associate localization producer Jon Riesenbach pointed out on Twitter that the menu options use non-standard translations in Japanese. These are the examples he gives of more standard translations in Japanese games:

  • Continue - ????
  • Load - ???
  • New Game - ???? or NEW GAME

The choices Sony Interactive Entertainment made are slightly off. The new game option in the Japanese title screen is "??????", which translates as "brand-new game", according to Kingdom Hearts 3 producer Adam "Gaijinhunter" Evanko. That's brand-new, as in a pristine, untouched copy of the game, rather than the concept of starting from the beginning. Steins;Gate and Gal Gun 2 localizer Anthony Israel joked that chosen option would refund the game and let you buy a new copy.

The load game option being "???????" (gemu wo rodo) instead of the simpler "??????" making some assume that perhaps the options were machine-translated. Even the continue game option isn't quite the right verb. The poor translations are leading folks to wonder about Ghost of Tsushima's Japanese localization. The game takes place in Japan and the developers at Sucker Punch were touting the Japanese voice track, despite the game being originally recorded in English.

Sucker Punch did say that it asked for help from Sony Japan Studio during the development of the game, but perhaps the menu localization slipped through the cracks. The game's standard English audio was recorded using Asian-American actors, but that situation doesn't alleviate or change any issues with the Japanese translation. In the meantime, it seems like Ghost of Tsushima, in addition to being one of the last major games on the PlayStation 4, is also looking to be the Assassin's Creed set in Japan that players have been asking for.

Ghost of Tsushima is launching on PS4 on July 17, 2020.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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