Fatal Fury 3

Sokaku Mochizuki

A theoretically cool character hampered by a dull design.

Fighter title

Literal translation Official translation
Scion of Shura Hunters Master of Death's Dark Arts

English manual scans from Rage Quitter 87. Thank you!

The official translation generally tried to avoid using shura, because it's a complex term and they didn't have time to explain it to arcade kids in the 90s. That said, they could've subbed in "demon" or similar and it wouldn't have been wrong. As it is, the translator/editor chose to emphizie Sokaku's fighting style and the dark powers he uses instead of that he hunts evil. So basically, they made up something new.

Manual blurb

Literal translation Official translation
The mission of my clan, the "Mochizuki of the Shadows", is to hunt down and destroy the sources of 'shura' in this world. And that which calls the strongest in the world, the secret scrolls of the Jin, is surely one of those sources. I will destroy the scrolls with my dark powers, without fail! But still, I may yet meet some of the Shiranui clan there, in Southtown... The Mochizukis, since time immemorial, have been commited to conflict throughout the world. Developers of the most powerful method of fighting, the Mochizuki school, we seek to extermine the Qin and seize their sacred scrolls. Only then can we conquor the world and seek our revenge on those goody-two-shoes Shiranui twerps. I believe one of them even resides in Southtown...

Once again, the official translation drops the idea that Sokaku hunts down and destroys evil. The manual blurb even goes far enough to make him sound like a villain! They changed Sokaku's motives from destroying the scrolls to seal their evil to wanting to use them to conqour the world, and more explicitly cast the Shiranui as the good guys and the Mochizuki as the baddies in their little rivalry. It's very odd, and I wonder what kids who read this thought when they saw Sokaku's ending.

It does add a bit of confusion with the idea that one of the Shiranui lives in Southtown. Neither Mai nor Andy actually live there, they just visit sometimes.

Intro vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
The secret scrolls of the Jin? Excuse me, this is the Pao Pao Cafe. Are you feeling all right? Jin's secret scrolls. This is the Pao Pao Cafe. Are you on something, pal?

This is just super cut down from the Japanese, which changes Bob from being polite at the weirdo who just charged into his store to being quite a bit more brusque. Character limits make fools of us all.

I do like "Are you on something, pal?" It's a bit rude, but it sounds right.

Win vs Bob

Literal translation Official translation
I'd hoped to find some clues by coming to this cafe, but it was not to be. Hmm. There is nothing of importance here. Time to go to the next battle!

Sokaku's reason for coming to the cafe is obscured in English, in return for adding a bit more bloodthirst. But it still sounds like he's searching for clues, which is correct.

Intro vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
What's with that weird get-up? Is it Halloween already? Oh, is today Halloween? Nice costume you have on there, pal. Here's a treat!

This is expanded in English, but it's all the same idea. It's a good expansion, too!

Win vs Franco

Literal translation Official translation
To judge by appearances is deadly. Don't judge a book by it's cover, Bash!

I deliberately didn't take the easy idiom here because I felt like it didn't quite fit Sokaku's feudal Japanese feel, but that's my own choice and is probably wrong. SNK went for the easy idiom and good for them. Adding Franco's name and an exclamation point does change how Sokaku feels - these first couple battles make him sound more excited and emotional in English.

Intro vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
Hm, you look kinda shady. But aren't the really powerful looking guys always actually super weak? You look tough, but I bet with one super Muetai kick, you're lunchmeat, buster.

This is the same basic idea, but the English sounds more like Joe is bragging about his strength, not saying that tough-looking guys are generally weak. Then again, with Joe, is there really a difference?

"You're lunchmeat" is an interesting turn of phrase. I feel like SNK generally sort of avoided "you're dead meat". I'll have to run a better analysis when I'm done...in a decade or so.

Win vs Joe

Literal translation Official translation
You thought you could defeat one of the Mochizuki with that pathetic Muay Thai? Muetai means nothing to the mighty Mochizuki clan!

Sokaku uses a lot of archaic terms in Japanese, so I tried to get that across in English by trying to make him sound archaic there too. The official translators/editor didn't really bother with that, so while the translations are the same in meaning, they're different in voice.

But I gave up on voice way back at the start of this project.

Intro vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
My grandfather was a descendant of Japanese warriors. Your techniques won't work on me. My ancestors were Japanese warriors. You're no match for me-even on a bad day!

Mary is more specific in Japanese - it's her grandfather that was of a line of Japanese warriors. It's a bit more distance than the the English version.

I'm not sure what "even on a bad day" is doing there. Is Mary having a bad day? That seems to be the implication.

Win vs Mary

Literal translation Official translation
It seems your grandfather did not know the dark powers of the Mochizuki style. Your ancestors never met up with the might Mochizukis!

Basically the same. Good consistency with the previous line. The fact that the Mochizuki have specifically dark powers is dropped in English, though, and Sokaku is extra-excited again.

Accident Intro

Literal translation Official translation
Heard yer nosing around for the Jin's secret scrolls. Better stop now if you know what's good for ya. I hear you're looking for the secret scolls. Give up before you end up with concrete boots!
Nobody wants you bummin' around here in that flashy get-up. Hurry up and get outta town! If you're going to continue, you had better change your clothes fast. Major sore thumb, pal!

Thanks to Kishi and dramata for both being better at Japanese than me.

The first line is pretty straight, with variability mostly being in how to handle Yamazaki's style of speaking. I went harder than the official translation for the most part, but "before you end up with concrete boots" is a pretty good way of getting the idea across while making Yamazaki sound like a gangster. I dig it.

The second line defeated me, partially because of Yamazaki's speaking style and partially because recognizing the passive form is my weakness. Kishi and dramata stepped in to help me out, and by our powers combined the second line was rendered into English. The word I specifically had trouble with was "loitering/bumming around", so it's interesting to me that it's dropped from the official English as well. Instead it concentrates on Yamazaki ragging on Sokaku's outfit, with a vague hint that he should go more undercover if he wants to not be found. It kind of makes sense like that, really.

Accident Postfight

Literal translation Official translation
Yamazaki: Was that Mochizuki style?! Remember this: Give up on gathering the secret scrolls. Yamazaki: Just forget about the scolls, Ninja boy. You can't win.
Sokaku: What? Stop! Get back here! Sokaku: Hey! Get your mangy weasel tail back here!
Sokaku: A stranger, but one who reeked of evil. In time I will have to seal his power as well. I smelled evil in that fiend. That or he needs a bath. I'm gonna crush him!

Kishi did the first like here too. Thanks!

Yamazaki no longer identifies Sokaku as a Mochizuki in English, instead calling him a ninja for some reason. Weird. He does still warn Sokaku to give up on the scrolls, though he's less specific about what Sokaku is trying to do here.

Sokaku also calls Yamazaki a weasel. I sense the editor had a theme. Sometimes you just get a really good translation and keep using it...or something.

The last line adds a joke that wasn't there in Japanese, and Sokaku is once again more excitable and bloodthirsty than he really is in Japanese.

Intro vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
That outfit... Could you be one of the Mochizuki? You look like a Mochizuki in that costume. Hey, you are a Mochizuki!

The English is more jokey, but it's the same basic idea.

The joke format is somewhat reminiscent of the old "I thought I saw a putty tat... I did saw a putty tat" format from Looney Tunes, which means it probably goes back to vaudeville. Thanks to fanboy for catching where this came from.

Win vs Mai

Literal translation Official translation
Long ago, the Mochizuki clan was consigned to the darkness. But now it seems to be the Shiranui's turn for darkness, and ours for light. For ages the Mochizukis have quelled evil. Now it's time for us to have the fun!

Huh. I can see how the Japanese got turned into the official English, but there's a lot of detail lost in the process. I think there's even an actual translation mistake in there - in Japanese, Sokaku says that the Mochizuki clan was buried in darkness, but the official translator seems to have read it as the Mochizuki clan burying darkness/evil. I can see how those would get mixed up, especially when Sokaku's entire thing is destroying evil. It's still a bit strange to see, though.

"Now it's time for us to have the fun!" sure is...a way of translating that, yeah.

Intro vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
As a user of the Shiranui ninja arts, and for the sake of the one who taught me, I cannot allow myself to lose to you! You can't defeat the power of Shiranui style fighting. Come on, fancy pants!

There are a few nuance changes here: Andy no longer wants to win for his master, is the big one, but there's also the difference between Sokaku being unable to defeat the Shiranui arts and Andy personally not wanting to lose.

"Come on, fancy pants!" is a hell of a thing to say.

Win vs Andy

Literal translation Official translation
Heh, heh... So even the Shiranui have fallen. Have they no choice but to rely on such lukewarm individuals...? Don't threaten me with the Shiranui name! I'll clean my teeth with that family!

Kishi got this one too.

This is pretty different. Japanese Sokaku is again gloating over the Shiranui falling, and tosses in a dig at Andy while he's there. Meanwhile English Sokaku is excited again, and focuses his digs on the Shiranui family, but says nothing about them having already fallen. Interesting.

Intro vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
Wh-whaaaaaaaaaat?! D-don't come any closer! I'm warning you! Okey, buster, don't come any closer or you're thousand-slice salami!

Hon Fu is definitely more scared of Sokaku in Japanese than in English. In English he's calm and threatening, in Japanese he's freaking out. Huh.

Win vs Hon Fu

Literal translation Official translation
You're not a very good cop, are you. And you call yourself a cop!

Burn.

This is just some slight differences in character voice. Very straight.

Intro vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
Heh... Have a good long taste of the true terror of the Mochizuki arts! You're about to taste the sting of the Mochizuki clan!

This mostly feels like phrasing differences. "Clan" isn't the usual word you'd use here, but it fits.

Win vs Sokaku

Literal translation Official translation
Heh...imitator, disappear along with your mimickry! There is a lot to be said for being your own person. Try it some time, you putz!

Well...

The intent is there. Somewhere.

Yeah, I'm not even sure what to say here. "Putz" appears here, a word we have previously only seen used in Art of Fighting 2 That's about it.

Intro vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
You sure got yourself a menacing aura, but...isn't that tiring? You sure have a terrifying presence, but don't you find your scowl leads to early aging?

These are just different ways of saying the same thing.

The specific "scowl leads to early aging" is that SNK magic.

Win vs Terry

Literal translation Official translation
Even the hero of Southtown is no more than an infant in the face of my dark power. Southtown's hero falls under the fierce feet of the tough Mochizuki macho men. A ooga!

That...is a way to translate that.

Okay no it isn't.

"Southtown's hero" is in there, that's good. There's some good alliteration in there. "Mochizuki macho men" is almost inspired.

...

I don't even know.

Intro vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
One of the Mochizukis, huh? How about you show me the dark power that seals shuras? The famous demon fighter, Mochizuki. See if you can use your powers on me!

There's a slight nuance difference in that Japanese Geese just recognizes Sokaku as a user of the Mochizuki arts, while in English he's saying that Sokaku himself is a famous demon fighter.

Here we see how the English translation handles the concept of shura again. As a review, the Japanese word shura can mean violence/carnage, but also refers to the Bhuddist demigods of war, the Ashura. The word can also refer to someone who is especially violent, or has given themselves over to a neverending battle. You may have seen this concept in other Japanese pop culture - for example, Fist of the North Star 2 has everyone off in the Land of Shura, or Disgaea will sometimes have the Land of Carnage, which is a localized version of the Land of Shura. Both are places filled with neverending violence, which means people that live there are shura.

Anyway, the official translation didn't have room for that so they just translated it as "demon" and called it a day. It's not entirely correct, but nothing is and you can't fit a lecture on Buddhist cosmology into your arcade game. "Demon" is honestly the best you're gonna get.

English Geese is also more directly taunting Sokaku.

Win vs Geese

Literal translation Official translation
My power grows when I face a shura... Geese, not only is your goose cooked, it's buttered, basted and broiled. Sayonara, toad!

See, Geese is a shura, because he's violent and corrupt.

This, of course, doesn't translate, so the official translators went with, uh...a bunch of Geese/goose jokes.

You know what, could be worse.

Intro vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
Oh-ho, it's the mysterious user of those so-called Mochizuki arts. Ya gotta learn to take friendly advice, pal. You should have listened to me earlier. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Yamazaki doesn't taunt Sokaku as directly in English, but he's still chiding Sokaku for not getting out while he could.

Ending A

Literal translation Official translation
Y-Yer that guy who uses "dark power" or whatever, right...? But just that level ain't enough to seal him... There's no way you'll win with your puny power against the demon Jins!

Kishi got the pics. Thank you.

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

The most accurate Ending A translation in the bunch. Congrats, Sokaku!

There is some stuff lost in translation, though. Yamazaki no longer recognizes Sokaku's dark power, and doesn't recognize that Sokaku wants to seal the Jins. English Yamazaki also specifies that the next opponents are Jins, when it's supposed to be something of a mystery at this point in the game. In general, it's a bit sloppy.

But the gameplay hint is there, and that's enough.

Win vs Yamazaki

Literal translation Official translation
Sokaku: Hm! There, I can finally feel it. Somewhere in this city is the successor to the Jins. Tell me where. Sokaku: Wow! That was a battle! Just like the old days! Now, the scrolls, Yamazaki!
Yamazaki: Gh... Yamazaki: Delta Park! There in Delta P,P,Park. But give it up, Mochizuki, you can't win!
Chonshu: Well, well. A practicioner of the Mochizuki arts, is it? Chonshu: Hey! If it isn't one of the famous Mochizukis.
Sokaku: W-what...? Sokaku: W-What in the name of Nervin the Ninja!
Sokaku: Nh..this is... Sokaku: Just where am I?

So as a reminder, Sokaku has just been wandering all over trying to find the secret scrolls this entire time, and finally, when fighting Yamazaki, he feels something related to them. This doesn't come across in English at all. Instead it's replaced with Sokaku talking about how much he enjoyed fighting Yamazaki. Huh. It does kind of follow up with Yamazaki also being a shura if you read too deep into it.

Yamazaki is again bizarrely helpful. This is the same line he uses against Geese in English and Japanese, suggesting to me that both lines are pointing to the same location in memory. You'd think they'd playtest Geese's route a bit harder than Sokaku's, though...

Chonshu recognizes a Mochizuki in English and Japanese. This is just translation choices.

I have absolutely no fucking idea where they got Nervin the Ninja from.

Intro vs Chonshu

Literal translation Official translation
I had no idea that there was a living successor to the Mochizuki arts. Oh, Mochizuki! Your family still lives on the face of this tired little planet.
So that idiotic clan who failed to realise that one who hunts shura will inevitably become a shura himself survived... Those who seek to stop evil themselves slide into evil. Good to have you in the club!
And that sorrowful blood was lured here by my power? Sadly, there is only room for one member, me!
But despite what you believe, your dark powers are not frightening. At least, not to one of the Jin... To the Jins, even your awesome powers amount to spitting against the wind!
Allow me to present you with proof of my words. Now, come... Experience our power! Relax. Your death will be a mercifully quick one!

This is generally pretty straight, just with differences in character voice between how I handle Chonshu and how SNK did.

The big difference is Chonshu making a point of how evil he is in the English version, which isn't there in the Japanese. We also see the translators using "evil" as a translation for shura here instead of the "demon" they previously used. I'm kind of surprised they didn't go directly for the "one who hunts monsters" line...character limits? (I actually went with that first, but then wanted to show off that Chonshu says shura here after that big lecture up-page)

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.
July 3rd, 1995
Sokaku Mochizuki defeats the Jin brothers, returning this town to days of peace.
Jul 3, 1995.
Sokaku Mochizuki rids the world of all its Jins!
The Jin brothers regained their original souls, gave the secret scrolls to Sokaku to dispose of, and returned home. With the Jins defeated, Mochizuki returns home with the secret scrolls.

Kishi did the first and second lines.

Sokaku has a special ending C that's unique to him. It's very similar to the Mary/Bob/Franco/Hon Fu ending, but specifies that the Jins gave the scrolls to Sokaku to get rid of instead of getting rid of them on their own.

The English is also unique, but misses a few things. For one thing, it still sounds like they're trying to say that the Jins died, even though that's still clearly not what happened. Instead it's Sokaku that returns home with the scrolls, and no mention is made of him disposing of them. Very strange.

Sokaku's Ending

Literal translation Official translation
A perfect body...so that's the kind of dream you have after sleeping for 2200 years... Only someone like Jin could think of such a sick, twisted dream.

Well, "dream" is the same. The English drops what the dream is and the amount of time that this has been going on, but adds in a specific reference to the Jin and has Sokaku rag on the dream for a bit...without saying what it is. I can see how they got from point A to point B, but some things got lost along the way.

In general, Sokaku seems to have gotten off fairly lightly in the FF3 translation arena.