This page is dedicated to TerraEarth Forums member Shiva Indis. Shiva has made proper translations for many segments in Illusion of Gaia. The following texts are copied from his own work.
The school that Will and his friends attend was originally a christian church. Where the location is introduced as a school in English, in Japanese it is a church. A cross on the wall was replaced with a partially obscured Virgin Mary-like statue in the later releases. The teacher is a priest in the Japanese (as he is clearly a bald-pated friar). He even leads Will in a prayer, though it is censored in the English version.
Oh, Will. Please recite with me. The world shines brightly
Was originally more like…
Come, Will. Pray with me. O God, may the world shine on
Erik’s mother (the woman with smoke billowing off of her) says that she is undergoing a treatment for aches and pains. In the original the treatment is specifically moxibustion – in which ground mugwort herb (known as moxa in this form) is burned on or near the body. Moxibustion is considered a complimentary treatment to acupuncture. Why traditional Asian medicine is being practiced in Western-themed South Cape is a mystery. (It’s probably nothing more than the staff thinking a burning woman would be funny.)
Grandpa Bill mentions that Grandma Lola was a singer. In the original version, he mentions that Lola worked as a singer at a bar.
Kara’s red text when the soldiers come for her is not indicative of her anger as I’ve seen some people suggest – it’s the remnants of a visual pun. (Though she is quite harsh in the English version.)
KARA: What do I care if you lose your head?
SOLDIER: Princess! Do you think I have nothing better to do than
chase you down? I must take you home. It’s the King’s orders!
Was originally completely different:
Kara: You must be mistaken. I’m a flower girl called
Soldier: Princess! Do you think we would be fooled by such a
bright red lie?!
In Japanese, ‘bright red lie’ is synonymous to ‘obvious lie’.
In the original, Grandma Lola’s cooking doesn’t have quite the gross-out factor that the English version has, and Will likes it less.
WILL: We sat down to a feast of snail pie… with whipped cream!
I only got one piece, but Grandpa Bill ate half the pie.
Will seems disappointed, but not so in the Japanese.
Will: In the end dinner was a meat pie with plenty of whipped
cream on top… I could only eat one slice, but Grandpa Bill
kept at it and ate three.
The conversation Will has with his father in Edward Castle contains perhaps the most unfortunate mistranslations in the game.
FLUTE: Starting now, you will encounter a terrible thing.
WILL: Do I have to…?
FLUTE: Pick up the stone your enemy left. The power of the
Crystal is contained there. That power will prove to be your
ally…. You must make a pilgrimage to the ruins of the
world to find the Mystic Statues. The closer you get to the
Crystal, the stronger the evil power will be… Will… No
time… Quickly… First to the Incan ruins…
The business about crystals? That was supposed to be the game’s first mention of the comet.
Flute: From here, you’ll end up facing some things that are
a little bit scary.
Will: Scary things…?
Flute: Pick up the stones that your enemies leave behind.
The power of the comet is contained in them. That power will
surely be of help to you… Then, go to the ruins across the
world and search of the dolls called Mystery Dolls. As the
comet draws nearer, the power of the monsters will grow…
Will… There’s no time… Quickly… First go to the Incan
It’s easy to see why Mystery Doll was changed, but it loses its significance as a Dragon Quest crossover without the name.
One line that always confused me occurs when Lilly offers to lead Will to the Moon Tribe Camp, and you choose ‘No’. Lilly responds:
If you make him mad, you’ll lose your life, so you’d better stop it.
The line was supposed to refer to the Moon Tribe, and should’ve been more like this:
You’re right. It’s said that you’ll lose your life if you anger them, so it
might be better to give up on it.
I think this has disseminated pretty widely now, but Riverson was originally Leviathan. Considering the Japanese rendering of leviathan, revaiasan, it’s not hard to see how this happened. Was it an intentional corruption of a Biblically-derived name? Was the translator just ignorant? I wish I knew…
There’s a little bit of programmer humor near the end of the raft sequence that was removed from the English version. (It’s not in the prototype either.) Kara jokes about Will’s hair having grown, and adds, ‘Yes, about 2 pixels longer’.
The translator consistently reverses the lines that Will narrates and lines that Will actually speaks in the final scenes of the raft sequence. When Will makes a wish on the red star, he doesn’t actually say it aloud. In the next scene, Will’s comments about Kara are narration in the English version:
Will: Kara doesn’t act like a spoiled princess now. If you told someone
she was one of the island girls, no one would doubt it.
Kara: It’s terrible! (In reference to the sharks that won’t show up for another few seconds.)
But something more like this would’ve been better:
Will: And you don’t seem as much like a princess either, Kara. If you said you
were a girl from an island somewhere, no one would be able to tell.
Kara: You’re terrible! (In reference to Will’s teasing.)
Later, after Kara talks about sunset and sunrise, Will says:
I wanted to say the same things to you, but somehow the words just
wouldn’t come out. I just nodded, saying nothing…
But again, it was supposed to have been narration, like this:
There should have been something I wanted to tell Kara, but for some reason,
the words wouldn’t come out. I just nodded, saying nothing…
In Freejia, the two back-alley men who say “A life lived honestly. A life of fun and laughter.” and “I don’t know who made this prediction, but it’s all a lie! I do this to forget.” are both drunks, and their dialogue was cut down to hide it.
Erik is routinely referred to as a ‘man’ in Freejia, despite being the most childish member of the party. In the Japanese, he is called a boy instead. That’s just sloppy translating.
There’s an awkward bit in Neil’s dialogue where the translator(s) gets ahead of him/herself:
NEIL: The ruins Will talked about are scattered over the world, but they have
something in common. Drawing a line among the ruins makes a shape that looks like the
constellation of Cygnus.
NEIL: That’s the Tower of Babel, where Will’s father got lost. It’s in the
middle of the ground painting of the big white bird.
A number of important clauses are either missing or misinterpreted, and it should be more like this:
Neil: The ruins are scattered all over the world, but they have one point of commonality.
When you connect all the ruins by drawing lines between them on a map, it forms a shape
like the constellation of Cygnus, the swan.
Kara: Did you say Cygnus?!
Neil: That’s right. And the Tower of Babel, where they say Will’s dad disappeared, is
located right in the center of the giant swan.
If anyone thought Neil’s use of the word ‘organic’ in his introduction scene was strange, the corresponding Japanese word (yuuki) has an interesting definition that I had never considered – “Possessing a close interrelation, like that of the body parts of a living thing. Comprised of many parts but sharing an intimate unity”. I found a similar English definition – “Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental”.
The middle part of the game seems to reference some occult theories, including one detailed in a book titled ‘Chariots of the Gods?’ which suggests that the Nazca lines were built as a landing strip for UFOs, which as we know is more or less the case in the game. The Sky Garden itself is probably based on the Hanging Gardens of Bablyon, what with the statues of winged bulls with human heads scattered about. In the 90s Japanese development teams often regarded their overseas releases as a chance to tidy up things they were dissatisfied with, and apparently with IoG they wanted to beef up the Babylonian theme by altering the sprite for the boss. It went from a rather humdrum giant bird in the Japanese release to the stone head of a Babylonian king that we know and love. Coolest looking boss in the game? Probably.
A lot of unpleasant things get glossed over in this translation, as was (and often still is) Nintendo’s habit. For example, when you defeat the Sky Garden boss:
You have defeated the,[sic] huge demon! Look! A Mystic Statue!!
Originally it was…
After defeating the giant bird, you find a Mystery Doll on it’s corpse!!
There’s an interesting change in the dialogue immediately after getting the 2nd Mystic Statue. The Japanese version uses terms that the player would know, but Will would be ignorant of, while the English version describes things from Will’s perspective. The English goes like this:
A strange noise fills the air around you. From out of nowhere, you hear Neil’s voice!
And the Japanese goes like this:
Neil’s voice rings out over a loudspeaker, along with the sound of a propeller!
In the English version of the sequence where Neil tries to break Will’s fall with his plane, there is a joke where Neil says, “Shoot!! I dropped a contact!!”. That’s not in the Japanese.
The fountain in the Ocean Palace is called the fountain of blood in Japanese, and the liquid in the fountain is a brownish-red color rather than the dark grey of the English version.
In Japanese, Rama is named Ra Mu – the same as the king of Mu in James Churchward’s series of occult histories about Mu. The Mu theory seems to be popular among Japanese occultists (probably because they like the idea that Japan is a remnant of the advanced Mu civilization).
The message from Seth in the undersea tunnel suffers from singular syndrome, and seems to suggest that Seth’s consciousness is somehow incorperated into Riverson, which is erroneous. There are multiple leviathans… er, Riversons. In English:
SETH: I was swallowed by Riverson… When I came to, the form of my body
had changed to Riverson’s. This Riverson is a creature who lives in the
ocean. I don’t know if it’s human or not. He said that evolution is being
affected by the light of a comet.
Or more properly:
Seth: I was swallowed by the leviathan… When I regained consciousness, my body
had changed into a leviathan. These leviathan creatures may be humans that live
in the ocean. I heard from my fellow leviathans that the light of a comet is
altering the evolution of living things.
The Angel Tribe is the Fallen Angel Tribe in the Japanese version, and Angel Village is Fallen Angel City (which is as close as I can come to explaining the ‘Dark Angel’ label on the Japanese overworld map).
When Lance asks Will what he should give Lilly for her birthday, the ‘language of flowers’ is mentioned in the Japanese version when you choose the “bouquet of flowers” option. In this sense, the language of flowers is a 17th-18th century European system which the Japanese have elaborated on, in which certain emotional values are assigned certain flowers. Lance says that the bouquet of rose buds that he decides upon means ‘confession of love’ in the language of flowers.
The dialogue of the Angel Tribe members in the dance hall is less bleak in the English version (it’s kind of hard to imagine, but it’s true).
Dancing man 1: People here love to dance.
Dancing woman 1: I dance to remember what it feels like to be human.
Dancing man 2: The picture on that wall was painted by Ishtar. But the
model in the painting was lost.
Dancing woman 2: We are expressionless, but Ishtar painted us with faces
overflowing with human kindness. After that, people wanted to be painted
Better translated, it would be:
Dancing man 1: This is one of the human pleasures, known as ‘dancing’.
Dancing woman 1: I want to feel close to human emotion, but despite dancing
like this every day, I feel nothing…
Dancing man 2: The pictures on the wall were painted by the artist, Ishtar.
However, those who model for his paintings go missing afterward…
Dancing woman 2: We are expressionless, but Ishtar depicted us with faces
overflowing with human kindness. After that, countless people wanted to be
painted, even though they didn’t know what would become of them.
The opponent in the Russian Glass game originally didn’t say ‘Shoot! I forgot my lucky kruk’s foot’, but rather, ‘Hmph, here comes another reckless fool’. He doesn’t yell ‘banzai’ either.
There was dialogue cut from Will’s examination of the poisoned glass, as well, which goes like this: “Hm? The drink in the glass appears to be stained with blood. Do I have the strength to imbibe this too?”
Such a mess was made of the dialogue for Ann, the girl in the Rolek mansion (Neil’s sister, perhaps?) that I’m not sure how to begin describing it.
ANN: A few days ago, a man wearing a cloak came around. He asked if anyone
named Kara had come to town. I shrank in with fear when I saw his cold
eyes. Should I tell Kara about it?
+If you must!
+No, please don’t!
If you choose ‘If you must!’
ANN: I don’t act like that Kara. She acts like some kind of princess. You
shouldn’t be so cruel, talking that way.
[If you choose 'No, please don't!']
ANN: Heh heh. I found a weakness. Ahh. I want an apple. Let’s go to the
[Bring her an apple.]
ANN: Thanks. I can’t eat any more.
Ann: A few days ago, a man wearing a blue-black cloak came through here, asking if
a girl called Kara had come to this city. Just looking at his ice-like eyes made
me cringe. I was thinking I’d tell Kara about this…
1) As you please!
2) I’m begging you, don’t tell!
Ann: That Kara girl acts like she’s well-to-do for some reason, and I can’t stand it.
If you say it’s alright, maybe I’ll pick on her, then.
Ann: Eheheh! I’ve got you by your weakness now! (sigh…) I would like an apple. Go
get me one from the marketplace!
[Get an apple.]
Ann: Thanks. I would like one more, though.
The woman in the Euro market who says “Heh heh. You’re probably too young for this.” was originally a liquor seller, who says, “This is liquor. You’re a bit young for this, lad.”
The argument between the old geniuses Rofsky and Erasquez went downhill fast when the translator somehow mistook ‘violinist’ for ‘violent’.
Rofsky: True genius is a violent thing! It sounds like a tempest!
Erasquez: You just dash off packs of lies!! Don’t brag!
It should have been more like:
Rofsky: Some genius violinist you are – your playing sounds like a natural
Erasquez: Hmph! What about you – you write nothing but lies, you third-rate
hack of a writer! Don’t shoot off your mouth to me!
The ‘teapot’ of Mt. Cress is supposed to be a tearpot, as mentioned by one of the merchants in the Euro market.
After the Moon Tribe spirits are revealed to be posing as Neil’s parents, Will says something bizarrely disparaging about Neil:
Will: I’m ashamed to hear you talk that way… I’ve never seen you like this before.
Originally this line was narration, like so:
Will: Hearing Neil talk that way made me hang my head in shame. I’d never seen him like
When Will regains consciousness after being taken prisoner by the natives, he says, ‘They seem to be very hungry’. Originally this line was narration, and Will says, “They seemed to be a cannibal tribe’ instead.
Later in that scene there is more cover-up of the cannibalism:
WILL: That’s right…. The servant boy said that in Freejia. There’s so
much famine in this country…
KARA: Those bones are the bodies of people who’ve starved to death.
ERIK: Oh, no! We’ll be next!!
In the original it was:
Will: I see… that’s what the slave boys said at the City of Flowers – that there was a food shortage in their homeland…
Kara: So the bones scattered around here are the remains of people that they used for food.
Erik: Waaah! They *are* going to eat us!!
Once the group is freed, some of Erik’s dialogue is rewritten because of cannibalism-related issues. In English, he says:
ERIK: This tribe is so small. They have lost so many to starvation.
Brothers, sisters… husbands, wives… How do they cope?
But the Japanese to totally different:
Erik: I thought cannibals were terrible people who ate people whenever they came across them. Eating members of your own kind in order to survive… human beings really are just animals…
The dead explorer’s journal in Ankor Wat is also edited for cannibalism:
Hunger had destroyed many people during the night. Even our friends. We saw the body of our comrades and ran into the jungle. That’s when we discovered Ankor Wat.
It was the village of a cannibal tribe! Glancing backwards at the bones of our comrades, the captain and I fled, wandering onwards through the jungle. That’s when we discovered Ankor Wat.
The dialogue of the first spirit in the Tower of Babel was extended in the English version. It says:
SPIRIT: The light released from the comet has a profound effect on the
growth of living things. When the star nears Earth’s orbit, all living
things experience a dramatic evolution…
But the Japanese dialogue only corresponds to the first sentence.
Curiously, the translation glosses over the fact that the comet itself has ill intent towards the Earth, and also contains censorship of religious themes.
SPIRIT: From ancient times comets have been called the spirits of stars,
but also the demon of stars. The one now nearing the Earth is a demon of
stars… The comet is the highest form of consciousness. The Earth will
evolve beyond imagination…
Since ancient times comets have been divine stars, but they have also been
called demonic stars. The one now nearing the Earth is a demonic star… It possesses
an advanced consciousness, and comes to bend Earth’s evolution to it’s own will…
This was just awkward, and since it has to do with the vampires, I didn’t want to just let it go.
KARA: There was talk that the vampire woman had come… They say that
her body is eternal… They say once the comet is gone, she’ll be able
to rest in peace.
Kara: Well, the vampire woman came and said that she wanted to talk to me… She said she has a body that cannot die for all eternity. And that she could rest in peace if only the comet was gone.
There are some blunders in the ending, but pretty minor for the most part.
KARA: It’s never seemed so beautiful. But it looks lonely shining in the
STRANGE VOICE: Yes. The world is awakened.
WILL’s MOTHER: The Earth. A mother with millions of children.
Kara: The Earth has been this beautiful all along. But it somehow seems lonely, shining alone in the darkness…
Mysterious voice: That’s right, the Earth is lonesome.
Wills’ mother: You see, the Earth is a mother with millions of children.
And here is some religious-based censorship:
WILL’S FATHER: How is it, you two? Looking at the world you live in from
KARA: It’s as if we’d become spirits…
Will’s father: How is it, you two? How do you feel, gazing at the world where you lived from the outside?
Kara: It’s as if we’ve become God…
This part is the kicker, though, and it makes me sad:
WILL’S MOTHER: Now you and Kara can become ordinary children again. Don’t
KARA: When we return to Earth, will we be separated?
WILL’S FATHER: Yes… The world is changing. Humanity and history have
started down a new path. You two thought nothing of it when you met each
other in South Cape. But when the Earth needed the Light and Dark Knights,
you met again unexpectedly.
Olman is heavily misinterpreted here – he should have been foreshadowing the last scene in the game.
Will’s Mother: Will, Kara, now you can go back to being ordinary children. You don’t have to suffer anymore.
Kara: When we return to Earth, will we be separated?
Will’s father: Yes… The world is changing, and all of humanity and history has started down a new path. Even if you meet on a street corner somewhere, you may not recognize one another. But when the Earth needs the Knights of Light and Darkness, you may meet again.
Finally, in Will’s monologue against the cityscape backdrop there was some text cut from the English version.
Will: The Earth’s look had changed, but, glowing in the sky, it was as beautiful as ever. Buildings replaced the forests, rivers became roads, but the villages held only smiling faces. But the Earth was the only one that looked sad. Tomorrow morning, Kara and I will start our new lives. The Tower of Babel stands tall, as if it knows the whole future of the Earth…
It was originally a bit longer, and a good bit more enigmatic.
Will: The Earth had changed her guise greatly, but dyed crimson, the world was as beautiful as ever. Even though forests became clusters of buildings and streams of traffic replaced rivers, the cities overflowed with peoples’ smiles. Yet the Earth was the only one alone, and she seemed lonesome. When we awake tomorrow morning, Kara and I will start our new lives. The Tower of Babel of 1993 stands tall, as if it knows the whole future of the Earth…