Inkopolis 101: Exploring Piranha Pit

Good morning class! How are my fresh kids and squids today? In today’s Inkopolis 101 lesson we’ll be looking at the innumerable goodies strewn throughout Piranha Pit! I love all the details here the developers added, some of them are really unexpected.

Piranha Pit is a mining quarry, and is called ショッツル鉱山 (Shottsuru Kouzan, lit. Shottsuru Mine) in Japanese. Please take out paper and number 2 pencils, and we’ll begin.

Continue reading “Inkopolis 101: Exploring Piranha Pit”

3 Seriously Japanese Scenes in Animal Crossing

Of all the Nintendo games that have made it over to the west, Animal Crossing is probably one of the most heavily localized titles I can think of. Which is funny, because no one complains about localization in Animal Crossing. 😛

Various holidays were changed or removed to compensate for cultural differences (like Japan’s Bean Throwing Festival, for example), and a Bell Shrine was replaced by the Wishing Well, among other things.

But despite all the changes made to make the game more familiar for us Westerners, they didn’t change everything! Here’s a rundown of my three most favorite Japanesey moments from Animal Crossing. Continue reading “3 Seriously Japanese Scenes in Animal Crossing”

The Surprising History of the Warp Pipe

The wildly famous Super Mario Bros. series is recognizable to dozens of cultures by its 1-Up Mushrooms, Goombas, and short Italian plumber. Another famous symbol synonymous with Super Mario is the green Warp Pipe that facilitate instantaneous travel between regions; but its history goes back quite a ways — long before video games were even invented! And it’s actually pretty fascinating.

We know them as Warp Pipes, but in Japanese they’re called 土管 (dokan), and they aren’t a Nintendo invention at all. Continue reading “The Surprising History of the Warp Pipe”

Inkopolis 101: Japanese Cultural References and You

Nintendo’s latest IP, Splatoon, is chock-full of Japanese cultural references. A lot of them have already been reported on — here’s a fun video by The Game Theorists on the topic, and an article by Japan Info — but it’s hard to find a comprehensive list, given how many there are. So I’m going to be daring and try to make one. *gulp* Continue reading “Inkopolis 101: Japanese Cultural References and You”

Ocarina of Time Manga: Lost in Translation (Part 1)

Back in 2008, Viz Media released the official English translation of the Ocarina of Time manga by Akira Himekawa (FINALLY). Before then, fans released their own translations online to bring the story to an eager audience.

I’m grateful that I can read Ocarina in English, of course. But so much can be lost in translation from the original Japanese! Since reading the manga in Japanese isn’t an option for everyone, I thought it’d be nice to share some of the missing nuance I especially enjoyed here. Continue reading “Ocarina of Time Manga: Lost in Translation (Part 1)”

Nintendo’s New Talking Moving LINE Stamps

Nintendo JP tweeted yesterday that their new Super Mario LINE stamps were available for purchase.

First of all, they’re totally adorable, but they’re also animated and have sounds. LINE is big business in Japan, so this use of their Intellectual Property is probably a smart move on Nintendo’s part. Continue reading “Nintendo’s New Talking Moving LINE Stamps”