Fatal Fury 3

Hon Fu

Capcom already ripped off Bruce Lee as hard as possible, SNK had to rip off someone else.

SPECIAL NOTE: Hon Fu speaks in a way that involves a lot of slurring, slang, and other stuff, so I just copped (heh) out and paid Real Translator Upthorn to help me. He did all the dialog here, so big, big thanks!

Fighter title

Literal translation Official translation
Hong Kong's Unprecedented Detective Hong Kong's Toughest Flat

English manual scans from Rage Quitter 87. Thank you!*

"Flat" is old-timey slang for detective, so that checks. "Toughest" is a bit more generic...I feel like Hon Fu's Japanese title is more of a backhanded compliment and playing on his goofier aspects, while the English version is just straightforward.

Manual blurb

Literal translation Official translation
I came all the way over from Hong Kong jus' to nab that bastard, but damn, this Southtown place really is a hotspot. Everywhere I go there's all these scary guys around - it's a real pain. That Cheng didn't tell me anythin' 'bout any of this! Huh? Secret scrolls? What're those? Don't bother me with dumb crap! I'm after a mysterious figure from Hong Kong who slaughtered a whole warehouse of stevedores. Nobody gets away with that on my beat! I've tracked the perp here to Southtown on a tip from Commander Chin, the old guy who fought with the Bogards before. I'm tired, I've got jet lag, my head is killing me -- I hope I catch this guy fast. Maybe I'll get lucky and find those scrolls too!

The English didn't go as hard on trying to give Hon Fu an accent as I did.

It's also much more specific about who Hon Fu is after. It's just "that guy" in Japanese, but the English specifically ties back into the first prologue. It also more directly explains why Hon Fu is after Yamazaki.

Then it gets weird. "Chin" is a more literal romanization of Cheng's name in Japanese and we've seen it before, but it's odd they used it in the manual when it's correct in-game. There are a lot of romanizations like that, it feels like the terms weren't settled when the manual was written. Then Cheng also becomes a Hong Kong police chief?! This seems like a corruption charge waiting to happen. The English does specify that he "fought with the Bogards before", just in case you forgot about Cheng...especially after he changed his name and career.

Cheng is also more helpful in English - in Japanese, Hon Fu complains that Cheng didn't tell him enough, but in English he's in Southtown because of a tip.

And then for some reason Hon Fu's attitude on the scrolls is completely reversed. In Japanese, he's never heard of the scrolls and doesn't care - he just wants Yamazaki. In English, he has apparently heard of them and wants to find them, just not as much as he wants to find Yamazaki. There's no obvious translation mistake here, I think it was just changed. Weird.

Intro vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
Hong Kong PD? I haven't done anything wrong! Hong Kong police? You're wasting your time with me!

There's a slight difference in Bob's line; he's protesting his innocence either way, but he's not as direct about it in the official translation.

Win vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
A real strange shop. Real different from what Cheng said 'bout it! Let's take a look through your establishment, okay?

Meanwhile, Hon Fu goes from being vaguely suspicious to straight up trying to search through the Pao Pao Cafe for no particular reason. There's nothing even there, Hon Fu, what are you doing.

The official translation also drops the line about Cheng. Hon Fu mentions Cheng a lot on his route, which makes sense because they're supposed to be buddies. Cheng coming up here is also a neat little tie back to previous games, so it's a bit sad to lose it. (but when did Cheng go to the Pao Pao Cafe?)

Intro vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
A detective from Hong Kong? This here's America - the land of the free. You sleep walkin'? So?! Hong Kong police have no jurisdiction in the Land of the Free, copper!

Yes, he really says "the land of the free" in Japanese.

Franco in Japanese is mostly confused as to what Hon Fu is doing in Southtown, while he's more aggressive in English. The "So?!" at the beginning makes it sound like this is after Hon Fu started trying to interrogate him, which is an interesting trick. It also drops then "you sleep walkin'" bit, presumably for space reasons.

Win vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
Didn't ya used to be on TV? You were in those old monster flicks, right? Hey, weren't you in those old monster movies in the fabulous fifties?

Yep.

English specifies "the fabulous fifties" instead of just "old", presumably because A. it alliterates and B. the cliche of the US monster flick is that it's from the 50s.

"The fabulous fifties" as a phrase referring to the 1950s has been around for a long time, probably since the actual 50s, and would be pretty hard to track down to an original source.

Intro vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
I've heard about you from Cheng. Let me tell you, I'm gonna be the champion this time! Cheng told me all about you, Hon baby. Too bad you can't match my limitless charm!

This line gave both Upthorn and me trouble, mostly because of one bit: 三のセン. It means the third something, but セン/sen is incredibly vague and could mean any number of things from "bottle cap" to "thousand". Well, it's unlikely that Joe is saying that he's going to be champion of the third bottle cap, but it was really hard figuring out what it was supposed to be instead of what it probably wasn't. Upthorn figured it was probably 三の旋回 or "third time around", referring to this being the third game. I can't think of anything better, so here we are.

The official translation threw out that entirely and made a joke that will make sense when I explain the next line. Besides that, they also made the bit about Cheng having told Joe about Hon Fu a bit more jokey. "Hon baby" reminds me of "Terry baby" out of Geese.

Win vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
Champion? Don't'cha mean comedian? You're a superstar all right! Superstar fool!

The word Hon Fu uses in Japanese is 三枚目, which literally reads as "third piece of paper", but means "comedian, actor who plays comic roles". The official translation took that and had Joe set up for it with talking about his "limitless charm", and then had Hon Fu call him a "superstar fool" here. It's a bit obscure because Joe never actually calls himself a superstar so Hon Fu's joke comes out of nowhere, but, like many weird SNK lines, it makes sense once you figure out what they were going for in the first place.

Intro vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
I'm telling you this for your own good: Hurry up and go home. Take you badge and stick it! Go back to Hong Kong before I get angry and slap you silly!

Settle down, Mary.

Mary sounds like usual in Japanese: like a polite, professional young woman. She's considerably more aggressive in English.

Win vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
And what agency do ya work for? This whole town reeks! I think I'll spend a little bit longer here. How about some lunch together, okay?

And this is just completely different. Hon Fu, like Terry starts randomly hitting on Mary after their fight, but unlike Terry, his flirting didn't get canonized. Isn't it sad, Hon Fu?

Accident Intro

Literal translation Official translation
Hey, what are YOU doing in a place like this? Did you come here from Hong Kong after me? Long time, no see, Hon! You're a bit far from home, huh?
Talk about having too much free time... Let me give you some valuable advice: Keep your nose out of this mess or regret it.

English Yamazaki is inexplicably friendly and helpful here. Very strange. The Japanese is fairly straightforward, establishing that Hon Fu is in fact after Yamazaki and getting in a dig about him bothering to do that in the first place. Meanwhile the English drops all of that besides commenting on how far Hon Fu is from Hong Kong. Strange!

Also I'm pretty sure Chinese names don't work like that, part 2.

Accident Postfight

Literal translation Official translation
Yamazaki: Well, you've improved a bit, haven't you? But I don't have time to play a game of tag with you. Yamazaki: It's been a pleasure, Officer Fu. But I got places to see and things to do!
Hon Fu: Ack! Hey! Wait! Ow-ow-ow... I wrenched my back... Hon Fu: Aaah! Get your fanny back here, dragon spit! Oh, my back!
Hon Fu: Dangit! He got away again. But now I know he's in this town, I'll be ready. Hon Fu: Why that... Got away yet again! But I know where the loser went!

Yamazaki's English line is a bit different from his Japanese line: He doesn't say that Hon Fu has improved at all, and his excuse for leaving is a bit more short-term than in Japanese...or maybe that's just me? (also, isn't it "people to see, things to do", so you can parody it into "things to see, people to do"?)

"Dragon spit" is a heckuva insult. Haven't seen that one before at all.

There's another slight difference in Hon Fu's last line: he's just ready in Japanese, but in English he seems to have an idea of where Yamazaki went.

Intro vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
Your English is badly accented! Learn it over from the beginning! What? Yamazaki? Hey, speak English, fool! I can't hear a thing you're trying to say!

Another reminder that everyone's actually speaking English, even when they're speaking Japanese.

Since everyone's already speaking English in the English version, the official translation changes it so Mai's telling Hon Fu to speak English because she can't understand him. It also tries to contextualize things a little, making it sound like Hon Fu was asking Mai about Yamazaki before this line - it's somewhat similar to the Franco Bash line, and it's a cute idea here too.

Win vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
Nah, it's just yer hearing! Maybe you'll understand me better now, eh, toots?

Japanese Hon Fu denies that he needs to improve his English in any way, English Hon Fu thinks Mai will understand him better now...he's won the fight? Huh?

Inexplicable. Anyway, "toots" shows up across AoF2 and FF3 all over the place, so it'll be interesting to see if it makes it out of those two games.

Intro vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
What does the Hong Kong PD want with me? What do the Hong Kong fuzz need from me?

This is entirely differing ways to say "a Hong Kong cop".

"Fuzz" feels pretty slangy for Andy but that's the real SNK feel.

Win vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
Yer Andy, right? I know Cheng. Hey, you're Andy, aren't you? Cheng told me all about you! So, what's Mai really like?

This line is considerably expanded. In Japanese it's just establishing (again) that Hon Fu knows Cheng, meanwhile in English he doesn't just know Cheng, Cheng told him all about Andy for some reason. And he wants to know more about Mai, which, well, don't we all? It goes with the English version having a lot more focus on sex than the Japanese, which is kind of funny.

Intro vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
Who the heck are ya? I thought you were from Hong Kong, but yer just mocking me, huh? I don't believe this! Buzz off before I bust you for impersonating an officer!

This is considerably rewritten, but in a way that makes it better so you know. Japanese 2P Hon Fu thinks 1P is just from Hong Kong for whatever reason before it goes into a fairly standard mirror match taunt. English 2P Hon Fu, meanwhile, is threatening charges.

Win vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
Ya can't mimic my techniques though! The original always prevails!

This is also rewritten, but they're both pretty generic lines.

...it's hard to think of things to say about lines like this.

Intro vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
I have no time to waste dealing with police. Please withdraw. I have no time to waste time with cops!

English Sokaku is less formal, and doesn't have the explicit request for Hon Fu to just butt out. Pretty standard.

Win vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
Ain't these Japanese all so mysterious? These Japanese I always find quite mysterious.

This feels like an unedited translation to me. It's lacking that bit of flair you get from the editor, so it's probably what the translator got down quickly and then the editor skipped it for whatever reason.

Anyway there's a bit of difference between if Hon Fu is talking about himself finding Japanese people mysterious or not, but that's basically translator choice so...

Intro vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
You know Cheng, huh? So then you probably won't put up a decent fight, either. You know Cheng? I hope you're faster than that old geezer!

Damn, Terry. Rude.

There's a couple differences here - the Japanese has a fairly generic "won't put up a decent fight", while the English specifically says that Cheng is slow. There's also a slight nuance difference where in Japanese Terry is insulting Hon Fu as well as Cheng, but in English he's just insulting Cheng and doesn't have an opinion on Hon Fu yet. It's not an extreme rewrite or anything, but it's there.

Win vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
I'd heard ya was strong as an ogre, Terry, but ya ain't nothing to write home about. You fight like a demon, blonde one. I am most impressed. Put'er there!

Demon, ogre...it's oni all over again. To recap, oni are a kind of monster from Japanese folklore known for being strong and getting into fights. You can obviously handle this in a bunch of different ways - 'ogre' is a common translation now (as is leaving it untranslated), but in a bit of consistency, SNK went with 'demon' in Fatal Fury Special and here. Interesting. That the same people worked on the translation for both games is an easy guess, but this feels like another bit of evidence.

That aside...wow, there's a lot of major differences here. In Japanese Hon Fu has heard Terry is as strong as an ogre, but in English fighting like a demon is something he just learned from the previous match. The entire line changes from Hon Fu putting Terry down for not living up to his reputation to complimenting Terry on a good fight. That's a big rewrite, and I'm not sure where it came from.

...I usually don't like going with "maybe the official translator didn't understand the line", but this (and specifically the bit about Terry not living up to his reputation) is in a heavy accent and I can easily see a harried translator just writing down a best guess and assuming that the main character fought well.

Finally, there's a really weird tone mismatch in the line itself. "Blonde one" and "I am most impressed" are somewhat formal or even archaic, while "Put'er there!" is casual and modern. It's very jarring.

Intro vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
Hong Kong PD? I see. No officer in this city would speak like that to me. Hong Kong police? That explains it. Usually cops don't use that flippant tone with me.

The English is a bit more specific about how Hon Fu is annoying Geese, but it's a natural expansion of the Japanese line. This is pretty well done, really.

Win vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
Ain't ya the "incarnation of evil" Geese Howard? I picked up a pretty good souvenir! So, I captured the infamous Geese Howard! Promotion, here I come! Yes!

"Incarnation of evil" turns into "infamous", which could be trying to make it sound more natural or just space constraints. Either way, it works well.

It's interesting that in Japanese, Geese is a side benefit to Hon Fu - he's explicitly just a souvenir (because Hon Fu is actually after Yamazaki). English drops that entirely, with Hon Fu cheering over a potential promotion instead. (Hon Fu, buddy, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of jurisdiction problems with this plan) It makes Geese seem more important.

Intro vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
As persistent as ever. No way around it, say goodnight! You don't know when to give up, do you. Take a hike, Hon!

There's a bit of a difference between Yamazaki straight up saying he's going to knock Hon Fu out and just telling him to take a hike. A bit. One is a threat and the other is advice, I guess is the way to phrase it.

Otherwise this is basically the same.

Ending A

Literal translation Official translation
Ya...ya finally got me, copper... But...but in the end...you're the kind of guy who can only get this far... Well, the jig is up, huh. But you're still just a dumb cop, Hon Fu.

Kishi got the pics. Thank you.

Since only the first line of the ending is unique, I put the other parts over here.

This is translated by me, unlike everything else on the page. All mistakes are mine, like usual.

Yamazaki still admits he got caught in English, and I like "the jig is up". It's cute. "[D]umb cop" has a slight nuance difference from being only able to get this far, but it's closer than a lot of other Ending A lines.

It does end up sounding like Yamazaki's just insulting Hon Fu now he got caught, though, and not that the player wasn't good enough to make it to the real final boss[es].

Win vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
Hon Fu: Finally gotcha cuffed! But ya know, I get the feelin' this weren't you alone. Take me to 'em. Hon Fu: At last, I have you, Yamazaki. This time, I'll keep you in custody. Who's your boss, pal?
Yamazaki: Tsk! Yamazaki: Just go to Delta Park and stop picking on me all the time, you insensitive cop!
Chonshu: I never thought a cop from Hong Kong would get in our way here, of all places... Chonshu: The copper from Hong Kong here at last. Don't think you came to stop me.
Hon Fu: Wh-wh-wh-what...?! Hon Fu: Just what the...?
Hon Fu: Wh-wh-wh-where am-am-am I? Hon Fu: W-w-where am I?

There's a slight nuance difference between the Japanese and English where in Japanese Hon Fu is only just now figuring out that maybe Yamazaki has a boss, while it's just dropped in like he knew all along in English.

And then Yamazaki...tells Hon Fu to stop picking on him. Sure. Whatever. I'm used to this by now.

Chonshu line is pretty confused in English, which could be an overworked translator since it doesn't have the ring of being heavily edited. The Japanese is pretty straightforward, but the English makes it sound like Chonshu was expecting Hon Fu all along. Not...quite. I'm also not sure what's going on in the second sentence - it sounds like someone got confused between "don't think you can stop me" and something about how Hon Fu came from Hong Kong.

Hon Fu's lines after getting teleported are straight and there's nothing more to say about them.

Intro vs Chonshu

Literal translation Official translation
You must have a lot of free time if you came all the way from Hong Kong just to chase a punk like Yamazaki. You've come quite a long way. But you have Yamazaki, now. Go home and leave me.
Since you've accomplished your goal, I think it would be best if you not involve yourself with me further... Well, if you must know, I am Jin Chon Shu. That's all you need to know.
But you won't listen, will you? My name is Jin Chonshu. I'm searching for a certain item in this town. I, too, am looking for someone here, but it is not your concern.
With it, I could obtain a mightier power than I have now. If I find that person... Well, I'll be more powerful than you can possibly imagine!
It's unfortunate, but now you know I exist. Are you ready...? Whoops! Told you everything! Now I must kill you. Well, come this way, Hon Fu.

Sad that the English version drops Chonshu ragging Hon Fu about his copious amounts of free time, just like Yamazaki did earlier.

The word Chonshu uses when he's talking about what he's looking for can mean "person", but more usually means "item" or "object". The official translator made a guess and it was wrong, and I'm not sure what led them to pick person instead of item. We as readers know he means the scrolls, so the choice is fairly obvious, but it would be less so with a bunch of context-less strings. As it is, it sounds like English Chonshu is searching for Geese.

The last line feels like it was touched up by the editor in a way that the other lines do not. There's a noticeable shift in tone right around there. He's also a lot more explicit about killing Hon Fu in English than in Japanese.

Chonrei

Chonrei's intro is the same for everyone, so it's on a common page.

Ending B

Ending B is also the same for all characters, so it's on a common page too.

Ending C

Literal translation Official translation
The hero's blood flowing through the Jin family mutated into evil ambition over the course of ages and possessed the brothers' bodies. The blood of the Jins is the blood of death. It could only, in the end, conclude this way.
August 1st, 1995
Hon Fu defeats the Jin brothers, returning this town to days of peace.
Aug 1, 1995 - Hon Fu Smashes the Jin conspiracy to become Captain!
The Jin brothers regained their original souls, disposed of the secret scroll that had been passed down in their family, and returned home to China. The delusions of the Jins were just that. Immortality...the last refuge of corruption!

Kishi did the first and second lines, as usual. Sorry, not breaking format for this!

In Japanese, Hon Fu shares his ending with Mary, Bob, and Franco, but gets a unique ending in English. And it's a weird one, giving the Jins an entire conspiracy and promoting Hon Fu to captain for...some reason?

It's certainly very unique, and I don't think any other company would've added this many brand-new endings to their arcade games...but why.

Hon Fu's Ending

Literal translation Official translation
Whew...it's finally over. But now what should I go and do...? Whew! At last it's all over! I feel so empty, though! Oh, the tragic irony of victory!

It's the same feeling, but Hon Fu's ennui is made a lot more explicit in English. It's also considerably more excited with all those exclamation points, despite "the tragic irony of victory".

Still, overall Hon Fu ends up like Sokaku: he got off pretty light, all things considered.