4 Best Mistranslations in Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy isn't a video game series, it's a religion. And like all great religions there are some rather large issues of translating from the original language to a new one. It used to be a lot worse, as if the people tasked converting the Japanese dialogue to English didn't really have a grasp on either of those two tongues.

Sometimes it's just a hilarious omission, such as a boy in X that meant to say, "I'm gonna be a blitzball player when I grow up," but instead says, "I'm gonna be a blitzBALL when I grow up." That one even has its own Facebook. However, in IV the bard really was spoony. That was just three Japanese translators being weird.

Most of the time the missteps in language don't really add up to much, but sometimes they can change the whole meaning of characters and stories. These are the five that had the most impact.

Ex-Death's Name Should Have Been Exodus

Final Fantasy V took a very long time to make it to America, only appearing in the States as a part of the Playstation release Final Fantasy Anthologies in 1999 despite having debuted in Japan in 1992. Fan-translated bootlegs had already sprouted up by then, but the PS1 game was for all intents and purposes the first attempt at an official translation.

The final boss is Exdeath... he's a tree that that is also a dark knight that is also a collective of evil spirits. Just go with it. His name is a little silly for a being of such immense power, but it does make some sense. After all, it could be argued that he is composed of the ex-dead.

But the more likely explanation is that his name is supposed to be Exodus, which considering the series' preoccupation with Jewish mysticism and the Old Testament would be more typical. An esper based on him in XII was named Exodus in English, and their Japanese names are identical. As Exdeath is himself the tale of exiles finding a new home, dark parallels can be drawn between his existence and the leading of the Israelites out of Egypt by Moses.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner