Fatal Fury 3

Joe Higashi

Worryingly thick.

Fighter title

Literal translation Official translation
The Strongest Muay Thai Champion in History The Youthful Muetai Champ

English manual scans from Rage Quitter 87. Thank you!

It's close to the same title he had in Fatal Fury 2. "Pro" becomes "Champ", I'm assuming because the editor didn't have access to the right documents and took a guess. I'm not sure why they decided to reuse the old titles in English, but it does add a nice bit of continuity.

...but why only Joe, Andy, and Mai? Why not Terry?

Manual blurb

Literal translation Official translation
Of course I've been steadily winning victories in the Muay Thai circuit, but lately it's all felt so empty. That's when that Cheng guy told me something real interesting. Something about a conflict over the secret scrolls of the Jins that jumped from Hong Kong to Southtown...or something like that. Of course there's no question of a danger-loving hero like myself hanging back now! I've been hanging out with Chin Shin Zan in Hong Kong for awhile, polishing my kick boxing technique. Anyway, Chin told me about this grisly massacre in an abandoned warehouse involving some ancient scrolls. Rumour has it that these scrolls belonged to the dreaded Qin and hold a mysterious power; that's why I'm back here to get those scrolls and a few free drinks at the Pao Pao opening.

Like in Hon Fu's blurb, Cheng has his name literally romanized here despite it being correct in-game. It's little slip-ups like this that suggest that either the manual was done at a different time than the game...or that it was done by different people, which would suggest someone else had that SNK touch. Or the existance of an SNKglish localization bible, which is crazy enough that I want it to be true.

In English Cheng specifically tells Joe about a massacare at the warehouse, whereas he's more vague in Japanese. I also recall that in Japanese it's Ripper and Hopper who got beat up, and since they're not dead, that's why the Japanese never mentions it being a murder case. Because it's not.

Joe was also paying more attention in English, since he's pretty specific about what's going on and what his job here is. He's much more slipshod in Japanese. He's also just more into being a hero in Japanese, but in English he wants free drinks.

Intro vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
This rookie is Bob. His capoeira is the real thing! Call me...Bob. My fatal Cooperia fighting style will blow you away!

Same as Terry. Yeah, sorry Joe. Don't worry, he's not as bad off as Andy.

Win vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
Ain't there any better capoeira guys around? So that was the power of Cooperia? You'll excuse me for yawning.

Joe has a really distinctive speaking style in Japanese that basically boils down to an even rougher Terry, so I tried to get a little of that flavor across in my translations.

Anyway there's a slight difference here where Japanese Joe is specifically ragging on Bob not being good at capoeira and English Joe is making fun of...cooperia...as a whole. "Excuse me for yawning" stands out as being a pretty common and normal phrase that's used naturally here.

Intro vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
Good thing you showed up. Right now I'm raring for a fight and you're up! Nice timing! I've got an ungodly buildup of hormones and got to get rid of them!

Same as...Andy? Well okay then.

Win vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
Your face is striking enough on its own. Good lookin' guy. Good lookin' guys like you are always wimps, right?

My inadequacies as a translator come to the forefront again. The word Joe uses is "impact", and I'm not entirely sure on all the connotations. "Your face has enough impact on its own" sounds reasonable enough, but the material I found made me think "striking" was a better choice (and we actually say people have striking looks in English). It also keeps the joke comparison between Franco's face and his fists.

It looks like the official translator decided to translate "impact" as "good looking", which is understandable. But then they had to push that further because Joe is clearly talking shit here and so added the second sentence about good looking guys being wimps. That bit's not in the Japanese, but I can see how they got there.

Overall, a considerable departure, but I think I understand how they got there.

Intro vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
You! You're doing it again! What a stubborn guy! Can't you go somewhere else? Must I always be dogged by you and those silly shorts?

So the Japanese is vague about what 2P Joe's problem is, while the English says straight out it's because he thinks 1P Joe is following him around. It also features the continuation of the shorts joke from Fatal Fury Special. Nice to see some continuity in the translation!

Given the references to "again" this is probably what Japanese players were supposed to read in to the line, it's just spelled out for English language players. That's also a good move.

It's not a super exciting line, but I think it's a good job.

Win vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
Having you as an opponent is driving me nuts! Oh, you just steam my egg noodles some times, you silly Muetai maniac, you!

Kishi and I both took cracks at this and this was the best we could come up with. It's kind of a vague line. I guess the intent is that he's just as frustrated about having a doppelganger?

The official translators also didn't seem to know what to make of this and decided to go the silly route. It's, uh, certainly memorable. I'm not sure I'd actually call it made up...it's more punched into another dimension. On the other hand, what else were they going to do with that line?

Joe is in the game as the brash loud guy who keeps the energy up...

Intro vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
It's you! The perv I heard was running around naked! It was you! You were the guy who was running around my neighborhood in his undies!

The big difference here is that Japanese Mary just heard about Joe running around naked, English Mary saw(?) him in her neighborhood. The English also cleans up Joe's image a little by giving him some undies.

Either way, Joe's a flasher. You heard it here first.

Incidentally, Mary's side materials make it clear she doesn't live in Southtown. Apparently no one told the English translator/editor. I wonder how much background information they had...

Win vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
Who's a perv?! Go douse your head! What are you calling undies, toots. This is my formal wear, I'll have you know!

The English translation is considerably expanded, and features more Joe defending his sartorial choices. In Japanese he's just mad someone's calling him out on running around in his underwear.

Accident Intro

Literal translation Official translation
Piss off! Unless...you're the dumbass sniffing around for the secret scrolls? What's with all this fussin' about? Are you the king of fighters or just a girlie?
I ain't gonna let a snot-nosed brat like you get in my way! Okey, goldilocks! Get in my way and you're part of the bottom of the bay!

Same as Terry. SORRY JOE.

Accident Postfight

Literal translation Official translation
Yamazaki: Heheh...interestin'. So you're Joe Higashi? This's been real fun. Heheh... Yamazaki: Heh ,heh. Joe Higashi. This is a real treat.
Joe: W-wait up! Joe: Hold on there, tomodachi!
Joe: Whew...that sonovabitch! He knew about about the scrolls. I shoulda gotten the full story outta him! Joe: That joker! He knows about the scrolls! I'll have to get tough!

The first line is the same as Terry, except for switching out the names. Joe gets one over Andy, though, and has his own personal reaction to Yamazaki leaving early.

...no, I have no idea why they had him call Yamazaki "tomodachi" in English. I'm not sure weebs were a powerful enough force to have that make any sense in an arcade in 1995. It's not even slightly there in Japanese.

The last line is pretty much the same, which is kind of a problem since Yamazaki never mentioned the scrolls in English. Guess he mentioned them offscreen. There is a minor nuance difference in that Japanese Joe thinks he should've done something and English Joe is declaring he's going to do something.

Intro vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
Why'd everyone leave me behind? I'm strong too, you know. Not you too, Joe! I don't want to go back to Japan! I want action...and pizza!

...sure.

They're both basically the same line in intent, at least. Mai wants in on the action and goes after Joe for answers. The major difference is that Mai's justifying why they should take her along in Japanese, but in English she's just talking about what she wants.

I can get behind wanting some pizza.

Win vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
Well, I'm stronger. Don't worry about a thing, just go back to Japan. You saw you're action, Mai. Go home fast before Andy and Terry get on my case!

This is pretty different. Joe's still blowing Mai off, but the actual lines aren't the same at all. Japanese Joe gives a quick excuse and tells Mai to go back to Japan, no further explanation. English Joe adds that she should leave before Andy and Terry get on his case, which isn't in the Japanese...but does match up to Terry's Japanese route where Andy claims it was Terry's idea to not get Mai involved. So that's weird.

I'm sensing a few rounds of edits here...

Both lines do play off Mai's line pretty well in the correct language, which is nice. That's not always guaranteed in this game.

Intro vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
You made Mai cry, you know? I'm gonna make you pay for making Mai cry. You unfeeling monster, you!

Translation correction from dramata! Thank you!

holy shit it's the one time in the entire series Andy acts like a boyfriend

everyone take a picture

So anyway, English Andy is considerably toughened compared to Japanese Andy, but the idea is the same. More or less. Punched up instead of into another dimension, at very least.

I'll allow it.

Win vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
Well with how you fight, maybe Mai was right to worry! Go have Mai look at your wounds and take the first plane back to Japan!

Translated by Kishi and dramata! Thank you!

The Japanese doesn't really follow from the previous line all that well. Mai worrying over how Andy fights isn't directly stated, and the previous lines make it sound like she's not crying because of that anyway...it's very confusing.

Meanwhile the English is a lot more straightforward. Joe tells Andy and Mai to both leave after Andy gets patched up. Mai is only related in taking care of Andy. It makes a lot more sense for not trying to directly follow-up to anything.

How mysterious.

Intro vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
So you're Joe. Just like the rumours said, you're a real embarrassment to be around. You must be Joe. I knew by the color of your flashy underwear. Nice threads!

Hon Fu just straight insults Joe in Japanese, which is turned into a sarcastic compliment in English. Joe being the subject of rumours is cut as well, just like it was for Mary. Still, the basic idea is there, and I think it's kind of a cute line.

Only Joe Higashi gets to wear yellow underwear confirmed.

Win vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
Who's an embarrassment?! Aren't you the one shooting your mouth off right now?! Who's dress are you making fun of, pal? This guy in undies just kicked you silly!

Translated by Kishi! Thank you!

These both play off Hon Fu's line and more-or-less get the idea across. Joe's English line honestly kind of works better...even if it does have a grammar error.

Lines that are just straight shittalking tend to make the jump better than plot lines. Kind of obvious given what we know about SNK translations and all, but might as well say it.

Intro vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
It seems you too are searching for the secret scrolls. This is a sign of the shura. Fall prey the powers of darkness! It looks like your searching for the secret files, too. I hate competition, so die!

Same as Terry.

Win vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
The hell's up with you? What a freak. Geez! You're one ugly, disgusting dude. Take a shower pal! Peeee Uuuuu!

Well, that's punched up! Joe's line does need some punching up from my translation, and this sure is...a way to do it. The Japanese is more "creepy weirdo" than "smelly" (it's the same way people keep talking about Lee in AoF2), so not sure why they went with that choice for English.

We see the return of P.U., this time losing the dots and gaining some letters to show how Joe's elongating the sounds. So that's kind of neat.

Intro vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
Man, you really like fighting, don't you. Boy, you sure love to fight, huh, Joe? Okey, let's end this and move on!

Wow Terry, you want some more rocks to toss around that glass house you got?

So the first line is straight. The second line doesn't add much and I'm not sure why it's there. It does feature the return of the "okey" spelling previously seen being used by Yamazaki, for whatever that's worth.

Win vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
From now on, don't you dare stand out more than me! Well, terry, it looks like the neighborhood is in my trusty hands now. Later.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but Joe's Japanese line seems to call back to his intro against the Bogards back in Special. I'm not sure, but it seems likely. I translated with that in mind, anyway.

The English version drops the possible connection completely and just has Joe taking over the hero role. It's a departure, but it makes sense. How do you stand out? By being the hero. It also plays with Joe taking over the series like he kept talking about back in Special.

...maybe I'm reading too much into that one, though...

Intro vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
Hmhm, you're as energetic as ever. Young kinds like you are always a treat. Especially with the right sauce.

NOT the same as Terry! Go Joe!

Anyway, Japanese Geese is commenting on Joe's energy level, which is the other running gag with him. English Geese is a cannibal, which...yeah, believable. It's not really a translation of the Japanese line and I'm not sure how they got there, but I'm still happy Joe didn't have to share Terry's line.

It does suggest that it was Terry and Andy who fought Geese at the end of FF1 and Joe was off doing something else, but you know, I'm fine with that.

Win vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
Geese: Haha, to be undone by a meddling busybody like yourself... Geese: Heh, I still don't believe it. Beaten by this fool in underwear!
That's a fighting genius for you... Either way, it seems I underestimated you. You're the best, kid. I guess I underestimated you.
Really, it is to laugh... Hahahaha... Ahahahahahaha! So tell me one thing: Just where did you buy those shorts?
Joe: G...Geeeeeese! Joe: Geese!

Geese's first two lines aren't all that bad. And Geese's character voice for this bit is at least consistent across all three of the FF1 boys, even though it's a completely nuts choice considering how Geese talks in Japanese. I think all of these lines got some careful attention, for whatever that's worth.

I can't explain the last line, though. That's just the translator/editor's sense of humour again.

Joe's line is, in fact, same as Terry. Big surprise.

Cheng appears!

Literal translation Official translation
Cheng: Heeeey, Joe! Huge problem! It's a disaster! Cheng: Hey, Joe! Oh, it's just terrible! I don't...
Joe: That you, Cheng? Good timing! But did you say dis ass is a huge problem, you jerk?! Joe: Get a grip, gramps! My shorts don't look that bad!
Cheng: I said it's a disaster. Nevermind that, hurry! We need to go defeat Yamazaki. Cheng: Not that, bonehead! It's Yamazaki. You've gotta stop him!
There's no one who can beat him but you! Now, come on! You're my only hope. Now go, my demented little underwear warrior!

UNTRANSLATABLE PUNS AHOY

Okay, so the joke is that Cheng uses the word for big problem, taihen, which Joe hears as hentai, meaning pervert. This obviously doesn't translate in English at all.

I tried to replace it with disaster -> dis ass, while the official translator went with Joe reading a bit too much into what Cheng said. Neither is really right or wrong, and they both get the same idea across: Joe comically mishears Cheng in a way that references one of his running gags.

Cheng's lines also come across more or less okay, with the strange addition of calling Joe "my demented little underwear warrior". I, uh...don't know, but it sure is an image.

At the trainyard

Literal translation Official translation
Cheng: Tell me that's not Hon Fu wiped out over there. That fool, trying to do everything himself again... Cheng: Oh, the gods! That's Hon Fu! That crazy fool!
Joe: Cheng! Leave the asshole to me, hurry and take the blockhead to the hospital! Joe: Cheng. See Hon Fu gets to a hospital. I'm going after that Yamazaki clown!

Kishi did the translation of stuff that's the same as Terry's route.

So like Andy, Cheng and Joe's English lines are same as Terry while Joe's Japanese line is a more Joe-style version that gets the same idea across. It's really too bad Joe and Andy's lines got effectively cut in the English version, as it's a really nice touch that keeps the FF1 boys sounding distinct.

Intro vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
Joe Higashi... You're even more of an airhead than I thought. Joe Higashi. It's about time we met. This clown is going to show you his bag of tricks!

Joe even loses the unique line Yamazaki has for him! Rude!

Ending A

Literal translation Official translation
So, ya got me... But after this, there ain't no way someone of your level can win. Give it up... To be beaten by a ball-capped weeny like yourself! To die of shame! But next round...

Kishi got the pics. Thank you.

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

And this is same as Terry.

Win vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
Joe: If you're regretting making me mad, go ahead and regret it! Anyway, hand over the scrolls. Joe: It's all over. Now be a nice guy and hand over the scrolls! Or do I get tough?
Yamazaki: Ggh...hh... shit... Yamazaki: All right! If you want the scrolls, hustle over to Delta Island. If you dare!
Chonshu: Joe Higashi...heh. You're a funny guy. Chonshu: Joe Higashi. Love those pants, pal. Too bad I'm gonna make you choke on them!
Joe: Whoa! What? What? Joe: You talk a good fight, dwarf! Put your fists where you mouth is!
I don't know who you are, but you've got some nerve to threaten me. I ain't gonna let this go. After I'm through with you, you won't even make a good toothpick!

...Delta Island?

Full disclosure: I'm not entirely sure on Joe's first line here. The official translation just sort of gives up and focuses on the part where Joe demands the scrolls.

English Yamazaki is both bizarrely helpful and too punch-drunk to remember where the Jins are.

Everything after that is way, way punched up. English Chonshu adds a reference to the underwear running gag, while English Joe rants at someone he hasn't met yet. It's very strange in context. I'm guessing a combination of "it's funny" and "lack of context" produced this.

Intro vs Chonshu

Literal translation Official translation
Beating Yamazaki is no small feat. But after meeting me, you're going to wish you hadn't bothered. Wow, you sure knocked Yamazaki senseless. But he was weak. I am not.
My name is Jin Chonshu. The secret scrolls I'm searching for were written by my father 2200 years ago. Call me, Jin Chon Shu. Why? Cause that's my name, fool!
Since that time, I have been destined to return to life by possessing this body. Hand me the scrolls! At last, the world and immortality are mine!!!
Once I gather all three scrolls, I will be revived in a perfect body capable of ruling the entire world. Mine, after waiting in this body for 2,200 long years!
None of this concerns you, but you just had to stick your neck out... Come right this way, then... The world will be mine, except for Oshkosh. But first, to take care of you!

All translated by Kishi way back when.

All of this is the same as Terry.

Ending B

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

Chonrei

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

Ending C

There are enough similaries between the C endings I only put them in for characters with something interesting to say here. Joe isn't one of them. (SORRY JOE) Check out the common page.

Joe's Ending

Literal translation Official translation
After I, personally, got rid of that Geese bastard, that stupid brother of yours over there should wake up right quick! Hey, I crushed that Geese guy and the Jins! How about going out with me this time?

Not sure you should be insulting a girl's beloved brother if you want to go out with her, Joe.

Joe is being pretty self-aggrandizing here with the super arrogant kono ore-sama personal pronoun that basically translates to "the great me". I went with bragging about personally getting rid of Geese to try and get the feeling across.

Anyway, I think the idea is that Billy will wake up from being Geese's pawn. Good luck with that one!

In English Joe's still bragging about taking out Geese, but adds the Jins as a rider. It changes the line from being more focused on the Kane siblings issues to just general self-aggrandizement...which I guess isn't a bad tack to take with limited character space. He's also straight-up asking Lily for a date, which he's surprisingly not doing in Japanese. I guess the idea is that they're already on one? Also interesting: the idea that Joe has asked Lily out before and got turned down. That's not really in the Japanese either.