Final Fantasy VII Script Comparison: Aeris’ Past

When they arrive at Aeris’ house, Elmyra tells the crew everything she knows about Aeris.
Again, 生き残り (ikinokori) here just means “survivor” and doesn’t necessarily imply “sole.” Elmyra would be working off whatever information Tseng gave her, and Tseng used ambiguous wording (at least in Japanese) when telling the crew about it before. So Elmyra’s wording here should reflect Tseng’s, leaving it open to interpretation whether or not there are more.

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「どうしてエアリスは
 神羅に習われるんだ?」
Cloud
“Why is Shinra after Aeris?”
エルミナ
「エアリスは古代種。
 古代種の生き残りなんだとさ」
Elmyra
“Aeris is an Ancient.
The sole survivor.”

Because Elmyra doesn’t technically specify “sole” in Japanese, Barret could assume that Elmyra is also a surviving Ancient or married an Ancient, but the なんだとさ (nandatosa) in her previous line means that she’s acting like that’s all second-hand information, which prompts him to question, “Shouldn’t you know? You’re her mother.”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「……なんだとさ、だって?
 あんた母親だろ?」
Barret
“…What did you say?
But, aren’t you her mother?”
Barret
“What did you say?
But, aren’t you her mother?”
エルミナ
「……本当の母親じゃないんだよ。
 あれは……そう、15年前…」
Elmyra
“…Not her real mother.
Oh…it must have been 15 years ago…”
Elmyra
“Not her real mother.
…it must have been 15 years ago…”

Elmyra then starts telling the crew about her past and how she met Aeris.
The English translation oddly switches between past and present tense. These two lines of present tense are supposed to be her describing her thought process in the past, and it may work in Japanese to flip between narration and reflection without warning, but English could probably use a “I thought to myself” or “I told myself” kind of descriptor to ease the transition and make the section feel more unified.
(Also, I believe this is the first reference we get to the war with Wutai.)

JapaneseEnglish
エルミナ
「……戦争中でね。
 わたしの夫は戦地に行ってた。
 ウータイという遠い国さ」
Elmyra
“…during the war.
My husband was sent to the front.
Some far away place called Wutai.”
「ある日、休暇で帰ってくるって
 てがみをもらったから
 わたしは駅までむかえにいったのさ」
“One day, I went to the station because
I got a letter saying
he was coming home on leave.”
夫は帰ってこなかった。My husband never came back.
夫の身になにかあったんだろうか?I wonder if something happened to him?
いや、休暇が取り消しになっただけかもしれない。No, I’m sure his leave was just canceled.
それからわたしは毎日駅へ行ったんだ。I went to the station everyday.

Elmyra goes on to describe how she adopted Aeris and how they eventually got a visit from Tseng.
Elmyra’s English line here is mistranslation which got distorted further in E PC. It should be “Of course I asked (him) what an Ancient was.” The verb 聞く (kiku) in Japanese can mean both “to listen/hear” and “to ask,” which is what caused confusion for the translator. Obviously she did just hear Tseng call Aeris an Ancient, but narratively it makes more sense for her to then ask Tseng what an Ancient is, since she wouldn’t have known back then.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ツォン
「エアリス、君は大切な子供なんだ。
 君は特別な血をひいている」
Tseng
“Aeris, you’re a very special child.
You are of special blood.”
「君の本当のお母さんの血。
 『古代種』の血だ」
“Your real mother was an ‘Ancient’.”
「もちろん聞いたよ。
 『古代種』って何だってね」
Elmyra
“Of course I heard it.
That she was an ‘Ancient’.”
Elmyra
“At that moment, I found out
she was an ‘Ancient’.”
ツォン
「古代種は至上の幸福が約束された土地へ
 我々を導いてくれるのです」
Tseng
“The Ancients will lead us to
a land of supreme happiness.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud says he’s amazed Aeris wasn’t caught before now.
Elmyra’s reply is roughly, “Shinra needed her cooperation, so they couldn’t use violent methods.” In other words, they needed her to work with them voluntarily.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「よく何年も神羅から
 逃げつづけることができたな」
Cloud
“It’s amazing how she’s avoided
the Shinra for all these years…”
エルミナ
「神羅はエアリスの協力が必要だったから
 手荒なマネはできなかったんだろうね」
Elmyra
“The Shinra needed her,
So I guess they wouldn’t harm her.”
Elmyra
“The Shinra need her,
so I guess they wouldn’t harm her.”
ティファ
「じゃあ、今回はどうして……」
Tifa
“But why now……”
Tifa
“But why now?
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Elmyra calls Barret out for leaving Marlene alone, and Barret explains he’s torn between Marlene and fighting for the Planet.
Elmyra’s reply in Japanese gives me more the impression that she understands, but she still doesn’t like it. (lit. “It’s not that I don’t understand, but…”)

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「おう! オレは戦うぜ!」
Barret
“So I’m gonna keep fightin’!”
バレット
「でも、マリンが心配だ。
 いつでもそばにいてやりたい」
Barret
“But, I’m worried ’bout Marlene.
I really just wanna be with her…always.”
Barret
“But inside I’m always thinkin’ of her.
I just wanna be with her…always.”
バレット
「な? グルグルまわっちまうんだ」
Barret
“See? I’m goin’ in circles, now.”
エルミナ
「……わからないでもないけどね。
 ま、とにかく2階で眠ってるから
 会っておやりよ」
Elmyra
“…I think I understand what you’re saying…
She’s upstairs asleep,
Why don’t you go and see her.”
Elmyra
“…I think I know what you mean.
She’s upstairs asleep.
Why don’t you go and see her?
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

The crew then decides to storm Shinra HQ.
Tifa’s basically saying here that she has to stay active, because if she sits around and does nothing, she’ll only dwell on her thoughts and end up in a downward spiral. Literally, “(I’d become) useless/hopeless” or something along those lines.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「神羅の本社にのりこむ。
 ……カクゴが必要だぞ」
Cloud
“We’re going right into Shinra Headquarters.
…You gotta be prepared for the worst.”
ティファ
「わかってるわ」
Tifa
“I know.”
ティファ
「それに今は思いきり身体を
 動かしたい気分なの」
Tifa
“Right now, I feel I have to
push myself to the limit.”
ティファ
「じっとしてると……なんか、ダメ」
Tifa
“If I stayed here…I’ll go crazy.”
Tifa
“If I stayed here…I‘d go crazy.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Back in Sector 6… The NPCs outside the weapon shop talk about how the owner is suspicious.
The English says he’s only gone to the plate cross section once, which doesn’t sound that weird. The Japanese implies that he’s been coming and going from there a lot, suggesting he’s up to something. (Lit. “(he) often leaves to go to the plate cross section”)

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「そうそう、それでですね
 武器屋のご主人
 降ってきた物を集めてたそうですよ」
“Right, right, you’re right.
The owner of the Weapons Shop
scavenged all the stuff that came
falling down.”
“Right, right, you’re right.
The owner of the Weapons Shop
scavenged all the stuff when it
came falling down.”
「まあ、そのせいでしょうかね。
 あのご主人、最近怪しいらしいですよ」
“Oh is that why?
He seems pretty suspicious
these days.”
「それって
 コルネオさんのお屋敷の横手の
 プレート断面へよく出かけてるって
 話ですよね?」
“Oh, you mean he went out to
the Plate cross section next
to the Don’s Mansion, right?”
「あら、よくご存知で!
 でも、何してるんでしょうねえ?」
“Oh, you know!
I wonder what he’s doing?”
「そうですよね
 気味が悪いですわねえ」
“Yeah!
It gives me the chills.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

If you go to the basement of Corneo’s mansion, you’ll find Kotch tied up. After he’s freed, he’ll explain what happened.
E PC cleans up the first line a little to make it clearer what the Shinra people said.
In the second line, “that’s it” is a rather literal/stock phrase translation of the Japanese and doesn’t make much sense in this context in English, or implies that that’s all Shinra did. He’s really saying that he hasn’t seen or heard from Corneo since then. In this context, それっきり (sorekkiri) means “since then”/”ending there.” The reader is expected to guess the following verb for themselves, gathering from the context that Kotch hasn’t seen the Don after that.
And finally, the translator probably missed the ら (ra) in the last line, which would make it “IF they come.” (When “ra” is added to the past tense of a verb, it becomes an “if/when” statement.) Lack of context also likely didn’t help. Kotch is realizing that he can’t hang around the mansion in case Shinra comes back to finish the job. Roughly, “If they come again…(I’m done for).”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「じつはあのあと、神羅の
 連中がドカドカやってきて
 『情報をリークした』だの
 『役立たず』だの……」
“You know what? After you left, some
Shinra guys forced themselves in
here saying things like ‘information
leaked’ and ‘good for nothing’.”
“You know what? After you left, some
Shinra guys forced themselves in
here saying someone ‘leaked information’
and we’re ‘good for nothings‘.”
「ドンはむりやりどこかへ
 つれていかれて、それっきり……
 オレもこんなザマさ」
“They took Don somewhere and that’s it……
I’m still here.”
“They took Don somewhere and that’s it
I’m still here.”
コッチ
「おっといけねえ!
 またあいつらがきたら……
 オレはいくぜ、アバヨ!」
Kotch
“Oops!
They’re here again…
I’m outta here! SEE ya”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

In the weapon shop…
Here’s another example of the lack of distinction between singular and plural in Japanese tripping up the translator. The shop owner is selling three batteries, and knows Cloud needs all three to get to the top. E PC fixes this.
Also, not that it particularly matters, but there’s an interesting difference here: the Japanese specifies there’s three batteries for 300 gil (total), whereas the English just says “100 each” without saying how many batteries there are.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「あんたも、上のプレートへ行くのか?
 このジンクバッテリーが必要になるぞ」
“You goin’ up to the plate?
You better have a Battery.”
“You goin’ up to the plate?
You better have batteries.”
クラウド
「ひろったものを売りつけるのか?」
Cloud
“You’re gonna sell me
something you just found?”
「お、よく知ってるな。
 修理してあるから、大丈夫さ」
“Hey, you knew?
But I repaired it,
so it’s all right.”
“Hey, you knew?
I repaired them,
so it’s all right.”
クラウド
「上のプレートへ登るのに
 どうしてバッテリーが必要なんだ?」
Cloud
“Why do I need a battery to
climb up to the plate?”
Cloud
“Why do I need batteries to
climb up to the plate?”
「登ってみりゃわかるよ。
 3つで300ギルだ。
 買うかい?」
“You’ll find out when you get there.
How ’bout 100 Gil for each?”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

The crew decides to climb up to the plate to get to Shinra HQ.
Yes, Barret is literally calling it “a golden shiny wire/thread of hope” in Japanese as well.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「それは無理な話だな。
 何百メートルあると思ってるんだ?」
Cloud
“There’s no way we can do this.
You know how far it goes up?”
バレット
「無理じゃねえ!
 見ろ! これは何に見える?」
Barret
“There IS a way!
Look! What’s that look like?”
クラウド
「何のへんてつもないワイヤーだ」
Cloud
“Just a normal wire.”
バレット
「そうかよ? オレには
 金色に輝く希望の糸に見えるぜ」
Barret
“Oh yeah? Well to me it looks
like a golden shiny wire of hope.”
ティファ
「そうね、エアリスを救うために
 残された道は、これだけだもんね」
“You’re right.
This is the only way
to save Aeris…”
クラウド
「よくわからないたとえだったが
 バレット、あんたの気持ちはわかった」
Cloud
“Ok, that was a bad analogy,
but, Barret,
I understand how you feel.”
Cloud
“OK, that was a bad analogy,
but, Barret,
I understand how you feel.”
クラウド
「行くぞ!」
Cloud
“Let’s go!”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud passes by some kids as he makes his way up.
By putting “Shinra” in quotes and spelling it phonetically instead of with the kanji characters, the Japanese implies that the kid doesn’t really know who or what Shinra is, just that he heard they’re the ones who did this.

JapaneseEnglish
「うわ~!
 すげ~、ヒサン……」
“Oh man!
This is horrible…”
「な、こえ~だろ?
 とうちゃんは「しんら」ってやつの
 しわざだっていってたよ」
“Hey, scary, huh?
Dad told me that
it’s the Shinra’s doing.”

Cloud has to jump onto a moving wire/bar to progress.
The use of “too close” may be a little vague in English. The Japanese is literally “before it reaches the point when it’s closest (to me).”

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「どうやら、あれに飛び移るしか
 ないようだな」
Cloud
“Looks like the only way is
to jump onto that bar.”
「あれが、いちばん近づく前に
 ジャンプすればよさそうだな。
 (Aでジャンプ)」
“Should make it if I
jump before it comes too close.
Press A to jump”

The crew eventually arrives at Shinra HQ…

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