Final Fantasy VII Script Comparison: Escaping Shinra HQ

Cloud rests for a bit and wakes up to find the cell door open and the guard dead.
The use of “others” plural is a bit odd here since only Red is with Barret, but without context the translator probably didn’t know exactly who else was in Barret’s cell. This is an instance of the Japanese actually specifically pluralizing something by adding たち (tachi), instead of leaving it vague as to whether it’s singular or plural. The problem is that the -tachi suffix is often attached to names in order to say “this person and anyone else with them.” But we don’t pluralize names that way in English, so this is often translated as “<name> and the others,” which works when it’s a larger group of people, but is awkward when there’s only one other person. With more context the translator could specify both names, but otherwise another strategy is to just drop the pluralization entirely (unless it’s narratively significant or something).

JapaneseEnglish
ティファ
「一体何があったのかしら……」
Tifa
“I wonder what happened…”
クラウド
「きっとここのカギを持っているはずだ……」
Cloud
“He should have the key on him…”
クラウド
「ほら、ティファはエアリスを。
 俺はバレットたちを助ける」
Cloud
“Come on, Tifa,
get Aeris.
I’ll go help Barret
and the others.”

Cloud and crew follow the trail.
Red is saying that whatever left the trail seemed to have some kind of specific goal /destination in mind (目的 ; mokuteki), and notices that it leads up.

JapaneseEnglish
レッドXIII
「何か目的に向かっているような……
 上に……?」
Red XIII
“It looks like it leads up…”

The president is found murdered, and Rufus arrives.
血も涙もない (chi mo namida mo nai ; lit. “no blood or tears”) is an idiomatic expression meaning “cold-blooded/heartless.” The English goes for a literal reading, which sort of gets the idea across, but doesn’t quite leave the same impression.

JapaneseEnglish
エアリス
「血も涙もない、そう聞いたこと、あるけど」
Aeris
“I’ve heard that no one’s ever
seen him bleed or cry.”

The crew goes outside to confront Rufus.
Rufus is actually commenting on Sephiroth being alive (Roughly, “So Sephiroth is alive after all.”), not on his presence in Shinra HQ. Tifa asked the same thing (“Sephiroth is alive?”) just minutes ago when they found Sephiroth’s sword. These lines emphasize that people assumed Sephiroth was dead for some reason we don’t yet know about.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ルーファウス
「そうか……
 やはりセフィロスは生きていたか。
 ……ところで」
Rufus
“So…
So Sephiroth was actually here.
…By the way.”
Rufus
“So…
So Sephiroth was actually here.
…By the way,
ルーファウス
「おまえたちはなんだ?」
Rufus
“Who are you guys?”
Rufus
“just who are you?”

Rufus then launches into a speech, declaring himself the new president of Shinra.
In the Japanese, Barret seems more incredulous that Rufus names himself president so quickly after his dad died, showing just how cold-hearted Rufus is. Roughly, “(You’re gonna name yourself) president immediately after your old man died?!”
E PC cleans up Rufus’ following line a bit to use the right terminology: “inauguration.”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ルーファウス
「さて、私はルーファウス
 この神羅カンパニーの社長だ」
Rufus
“Well, I’m Rufus.
The President of Shinra, Inc.”
バレット
「オヤジが死んだらさっそく社長か!」
Barret
“You only President, ’cause yer old man died!”
Barret
“You‘re only President ’cause yer old man died!”
ルーファウス
「そうだ、社長就任のあいさつでも
 聞かせてやろうか」
Rufus
“That’s right. I’ll let you hear my
new appointment speech.”
Rufus
Correct. I’ll let you hear my
inauguration speech.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Rufus rants about how his father controlled the world with money.
The English here makes it sound like Rufus is saying that that would take too much effort (which is also true and completely within his personality), but in Japanese he specifies that it costs too much money to keep that up. To be fair, though, he does specify that he doesn’t want to waste money on people in his very next line after that.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ルーファウス
「……オヤジは金の力で世界を
 支配しようとした。
 なるほどうまくいっていたようだ」
Rufus
“…Old man tried to control the world
with money.
It seems to have been working.”
Rufus
“…Father tried to control the world
with money,
and that worked for him.
ルーファウス
「民衆は神羅に保護されていると
 思っているからな」
Rufus
“The population thought that Shinra
would protect them.”
Rufus
“The people believed that Shinra
would protect them.”
ルーファウス
「神羅で働き、給料をもらい
 テロリストがあらわれれば
 神羅の軍隊が助けてくれる」
Rufus
“Work at Shinra, get your pay.
If a terrorist attacks,
the Shinra army will help you.”
Rufus
“Work at Shinra, get your pay.
If terrorists attack,
the Shinra army will help you.”
「一見完璧だ」“It looks perfect on the outside.”“It looked perfect on the outside.”
ルーファウス
「だが私のやりかたはちがう」
Rufus
“But, I do things differently.”
「私は世界を恐怖で支配する。
 オヤジのやりかたでは
 金がかかりすぎるからな」
“I’ll control the world with fear.
It takes too much to do it like my old man.”
“I’ll control the world with fear.
It‘s too much to do it like my old man.”
ルーファウス
「恐怖はほんの少しで人の心を支配する。
 おろかな民衆のために
 金を使う必要はない」
Rufus
“A little fear will control
the minds of the common people.
There’s no reason to waste
money on them.”
Rufus
“A little fear will control
the minds of the common people.
There’s no reason to waste
good money on them.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Rufus then ends his speech by declaring that he’s not like his father, a line that’s missing in English.
Tifa comes back with “Your love for speeches is the same though.” The translation phrases it as a general statement so that it makes sense on its own without seeing Rufus’ “I’m not like my father” line.

JapaneseEnglish
「私はオヤジとはちがうのだ」
ティファ
「演説好きなところはそっくりね」
Tifa
“He likes to make speeches
just like his father.”

Cloud tells everyone else to escape while he faces Rufus.
Another context error pops up here. The translator assumes Aeris is talking to Cloud, but really the party has just left Cloud. Aeris is saying that it looked like Cloud was deep in thought or brooding over something. Again, the relative vagueness of the Japanese is what’s causing the trip up, as the line is just “Cloud, thought hard.” It seems like the translator also missed the nuance of 思いつめる (omoitsumeru) meaning “to brood over (something), to worry too much (about),” and assumed it was a simple 思う (omou ; “to think”).

JapaneseEnglish
エアリス
「クラウド、なんか、思いつめてた」
Aeris
“Cloud…
I just thought of something.”

Back on the rooftop, Rufus asks Cloud why he wants to fight.
The English lumps both points of Cloud’s reply together, but the Japanese is roughly “You’re going to pursue Sephiroth so that you can get to the Promised Land.” Revealing that Shinra believes Sephiroth will lead them there.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ルーファウス
「なぜ私と戦うのだ?」
Rufus
“Why do you want to fight me?”
クラウド
「おまえは約束の地を求めて
 セフィロスを追う」
Cloud
“You seek the Promised Land
and Sephiroth.”
Cloud
“You want the Promised Land
and Sephiroth.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Rufus then replies with more of a rhetorical question, “(So that means) you know Sephiroth is an Ancient?”
The only way Cloud could have guessed that Shinra’s purpose for pursuing Sephiroth was to find the Promised Land is if Cloud knew that Sephiroth was also an Ancient and thus capable of leading them to the Promised Land.
This is why the question of whether Aeris is the “sole” surviving Ancient is significant.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ルーファウス
「ふむ、その通り」
Rufus
“Hm, exactly.”
Rufus
That’s right.
ルーファウス
「ん? おまえ、セフィロスが古代種だと
 知っているのか?」
Rufus
“Mm? Did you know
that Sephiroth is an Ancient?”
Rufus
“Did you know
that Sephiroth is an Ancient?”

Cloud vaguely states that various circumstances led him to this knowledge, hinting at his past. E PSX goes for a literal translation here, which sounds a little odd in English as it doesn’t quite serve as a reply to how he knows about Sephiroth. Or at least, feels a bit non-sequitur. Something like “I’ve been through a lot” might have been better in that regard? Or like, “I have my ways”?
In any case, this slight reference is removed in E PC in favor of making Cloud sound dismissive and reserved.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「……いろいろあってな。
 とにかく、おまえにもセフィロスにも
 約束の地はわたせない!」
Cloud
“…A lot has happened.
Anyway, I can’t let either you or Sephiroth
have the Promised Land!”
Cloud
“…Whatever,
I can’t let either you or Sephiroth
have the Promised Land!”
ルーファウス
「なるほど。
 友だちにはなれないようだな」
Rufus
“I see.
I guess this means we won’t become friends.”
Rufus
“I see.
I guess we won’t be allies.”

Barret and the others are stuck in the lobby, facing a hoard of soldiers.
面子 (mentsu) does generally mean “honor,” but in Mahjong it refers to the lineup of players and thus it can sometimes be used to mean “a group of people.” I feel like the latter is what’s meant here. Barret can’t bust through if he has to protect two other people.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「オレが先に行くぜ!」
Barret
“I’ll go on ahead!”
バレット
「チッ……!
 すっかりかこまれてやがる」
Barret
“*&^%(*…
surrounded, huh?”
Barret
“*&^%(*…
We’re surrounded!
「オレひとりならともかく
 このメンツじゃ……」
“If I was alone this wouldn’t be a thang but,
I gotta reputation to protect.”
“If I was alone this wouldn’t be a thing but,
I gotta reputation to protect.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Aeris tries to tell them to run, but Barret insists on protecting her.
In Japanese, Barret’s final line here hints more at his past, roughly “I can’t let them…let Shinra do whatever they want anymore.” It seems the English translation took 好き勝手 (sukikatte ; “do whatever one wants”) and interpreted that as “playtime.”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
エアリス
「……やっぱり、あなたたちだけ
 逃げて」
Aeris
“You all get out
while you can.”
「あの人たちがねらっているのは
 わたし。
 あなたたちだけなら……」
“It’s not you they’re after…
it’s me.”
バレット
「へッ、そうはいかねえな」
Barret
“Yeah, well that ain’t happenin’.”
「アンタはマリンを守るために
 ヤツらに捕まった。
 今度は、オレがアンタを守る番だ」
“You got caught up in this over Marlene.
Now, it’s my turn to watch out for you!”
“You got caught up in this over Marlene.
Now, it’s my turn to help you!”
バレット
「これ以上ヤツらの……神羅の
 好き勝手にはさせねえ」
Barret
“Ok, playtime’s over
for you jackasses…”
Barret
“OK, playtime’s over
jackasses…”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

They get ready to bust out of Shinra HQ. Barret keeps asking Tifa where Cloud is.
Tifa doesn’t really have to tell him later, because Barret is about to see where Cloud is in two seconds. So in that sense, E PC works better. The Japanese is roughly “(We’ll) talk later!”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「ティファ!
 クラウドは!?」
Barret
“Tifa!
Where’s Cloud?”
ティファ
「みんな、こっち!」
Tifa
“Everyone, over here!”
Tifa
“Everyone! Over here!”
バレット
「ええ!?
 どうしたんだよ?
 クラウドは?」
Barret
“Huh?
What’s up?
Where’s Cloud?”
ティファ
「話は後!
 いいから早く!!」
Tifa
“I’ll tell you later!
Hurry, Hurry!!”
Tifa
He’s coming!
Hurry, hurry!!”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

The crew escapes Shinra HQ and talks about what they’ll do next.
E PC tweaks Aeris’ line slightly here from “want” to “need.” The Japanese is literally, “Because there are things I want to know.”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「さて、どうするよ?」
Barret
“Well, what do we do now?”
クラウド
「セフィロスは生きている。
 俺は……あのときの決着を
 つけなくてはならない」
Cloud
“Sephiroth is alive.
I …I have to settle the score.”
Cloud
“Sephiroth is alive.
…I have to settle the score.”
バレット
「それが星を救うことになるんだな?」
Barret
“And that’ll save the Planet?”
Barret
Will that save the Planet?”
クラウド
「……おそらく、な」
Cloud
“…Seems like it.”
Cloud
“…It seems so.”
バレット
「おっし、オレは行くぜ!」
Barret
“Awright, I’m going!”
Barret
Then, I’m going!”
エアリス
「わたしも、行く。
 ……知りたいこと、あるから」
Aeris
“I’ll go too.
…I have things that I want to find out.”
Aeris
“I’ll go, too.
There are things I need to know.”
クラウド
「古代種のことか?」
Cloud
“About the Ancients?”
エアリス
「……いろいろ、たくさん」
Aeris
“……Many things.”
Aeris
Many things.”
ティファ
「さらばミッドガル、ね」
Tifa
“I guess this’s good bye, Midgar.”
Tifa
“I guess it’s goodbye, Midgar.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud can talk to the party before heading out into the world. Barret hopes that Marlene is safe since he told Elmyra to move to a safer place.
The English isn’t all that different here, but Aeris is saying it’s perfect timing because Elmyra was recently saying that she hated Midgar.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「エアリスのおふくろさんには
 安全な場所に移るようにって
 言っといたからマリンも安全だな」
Barret
“We told Aeris’s mom to go
somewhere safe, so Marlene should be
safe too.”
Barret
“We told Aeris’s mom to go
somewhere safe, so Marlene should be
safe, too.”
   そうだな
   さ~て、どうかな
   Yeah, she should be
   Hmm, I don’t know
(1)
エアリス
「もう、ミッドガルはイヤだって
 言ってた……ちょうど良かったかな」
(1)
Aeris
“She said she didn’t want to stay
in Midgar anymore.
…Maybe it’s for the best.”
(2)
エアリス
「やめてよ、クラウド!
 わたしだって心配なんだから」
(2)
Aeris
“Stop it, Cloud!
I’m worried too.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

As they get ready to leave, the girls declare Cloud the leader to Barret’s chagrin. Barret then suggests splitting into two parties.
E PC revises this line a bit, either to save some space or just to make it sound more natural.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「チッ…………わかったよ。
 ここから【北東にカームって町】があるんだ。
 何かあったらそこを集合場所にしよう」
Barret
“^#$^%……awright.
Go Northeast to a town
called Kalm.
If something happens,
we’ll meet up there.”
Barret
“^#$^%…alright.
Go Northeast to a town
called Kalm.
If something happens,
we’ll meet up there.”
バレット
「それにしたって野っ原を5人でゾロゾロ
 歩くなんて危なくてしょうがねえ。
 おまえ、パーティーを2組に分けてみろ」
Barret
“‘Sides, we can’t have 5 people
strolling down the fields.
It’s too dangerous.
Split us into 2 parties…”
Barret
“‘Sides, we can’t all be
strolling around out there.
It’s too dangerous.
Let’s split into two parties…”

And that concludes the Midgar portion of the original FF7! Thank you for following along. I hope you found it as enlightening as I did.
I plan to continue to examine more of FF7’s script as new chapters of Final Fantasy VII Remake are released, to keep the story fresh in mind. So keep an eye out for that!

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