Final Fantasy VII Script Comparison: Infiltrating Shinra HQ

The crew reaches Shinra HQ and is given the option to either bust through the front door or circle around back and take the stairs. We’ll be taking the stairs up this time. Barret is none too happy about this, so Tifa explains why taking the stairs is better.
Technically, they could still get to Aeris by busting in the front door. Tifa’s saying more that they’re doing this so that they can rescue Aeris safely / without incident (無事に ; buji ni).

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「おい……
 ホンキでこれ、上まで
 のぼるつもりか……?」
Barret
“Yo…
You really gonna take these
stairs all the way up?”
ティファ
「しょうがないでしょ。
 エアリスを
 無事に助けるためよ」
Tifa
“Well we’ve got to
get to Aeris
to help her somehow.”
バレット
「しかし、いくら
 見つかりにくいったって
 こいつは……」
Barret
“Talk about out of the way…”
Barret
Of all the out of the way…”
ティファ
「もう、ゴチャゴチャいわない!
 いくわよ!」
Tifa
“I don’t have time to argue with you!
I’m going!”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Barret starts laughing and says he has a newfound respect for Cloud, which puts Cloud off. Then Tifa laughs too.
Cloud’s response is a little more like “What? Not you too, Tifa…”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「……へへへ」
Barret
“…heh heh heh.”
クラウド
「なんだよ、気持ち悪いな」
Cloud
“Knock it off. You’re giving me the creeps.”
バレット
「あんたでも他人のために
 戦うことがあるんだな。
 見直したぜ」
Barret
“So even you will fight for someone else.
I had you figured wrong I guess.”
Barret
“So even you will fight for someone else.
Guess I figured you wrong.”
クラウド
「あんたに見直されても
 うれしくない」
Cloud
“Who cares what you figured!”
バレット
「いや、なんていうか……
 いろいろ悪かったな」
Barret
“I’m just sayin’
mebbe I was wrong…”
ティファ
「フフフ……」
Tifa
“heh heh heh……”
クラウド
「なんだよ。
 ティファまで……」
Cloud
“What’s that supposed
to mean, Tifa?”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Barret eventually loses it and says he’s going back.
The English emphasizes the time it would cost, whereas Japanese emphasizes the effort it would cost. Roughly, “And go down all the stairs you just climbed up?”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「もうイヤだ!
 オレはもどるぞ!」
Barret
“Damn, man!
I’ve had it! I’m going back!”
ティファ
「今までのぼったのと
 おなじだけ階段おりて?」
Tifa
“And take just as long going down as
you did coming up?”
Tifa
It’ll take just as long to go down as
it did to come up.
バレット
「…………」
Barret
“…………”
Barret
“…”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Tifa realizes something, screams, and tells the boys to go first.
Barret’s response in English doesn’t make much sense. With the visuals, we can infer that Tifa is concerned about the boys looking up her skirt. So Barret’s basically saying he wasn’t looking anywhere. Roughly, “Idiot! I didn’t mean to\I wasn’t trying to…” E PC changes the location of the ellipsis here, which actually seems to take it farther away from the original meaning, implying that Barret’s saying he didn’t mean to call her ignorant, instead of that he wasn’t trying to look up her skirt.
Tifa’s response is also a little non-sequitur in English. The Japanese is literally just “It’s okay, so…!” (いいから! ; ii kara!) which in this context is like “I don’t care (about your excuses), (just do it)!”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ティファ
「……?」
Tifa
“……?”
Tifa
?”
ティファ
「キャッ!!
 ヤダ、バレット!
 やっぱり先に行って!」
Tifa
“Yaah!
Barret!
You go first!”
バレット
「バ、バカ!
 オレはそんな
 つもりじゃ……」
Barret
“What’re ya ignorant?
I didn’t mean that…”
Barret
“What’re ya ignorant?
I didn’t mean that”
ティファ
「いいから!」
Tifa
“All right, all right!”
ティファ
「クラウドも!
 先に行って!!」
Tifa
“Cloud,
you go on ahead too!!”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

After reaching the top, if you move to use the elevator to go down, Barret stops you.
This line was cleaned up a bit in E PC.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
バレット
「おい、クラウド!」
Barret
“Hey Cloud!”
「ここまできといて
 また1階までもどるのか?」
   ああ
   いや……
“You come all this way, you thinkin’
of goin’ back down to the 1st floor?”
   Yeah
   No……
We come this far, and you‘re thinkin’
of goin’ back down to the 1st floor?”
   Yeah
   No
バレット
「おう、だよな!
 とっとと先を急ごうぜ!」
Barret
“Yeah, that’s right!
Let’s go on then!”
Barret
“Yeah, that’s right!
Let’s go on!
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud and crew climb up further and find a break area.
One NPC will tell you all about the elevator and keycard system. In Japanese she explains that you need to go up to the door and press the confirm button. This is left out in English, probably because the player will have already used an elevator by this point and should know this.
There are various lines missing in English throughout the game (like some of Barret’s lines that I touched on earlier in the project), most likely in order to save disc space. Back in the day, cartridges and CDs could only hold a very limited amount of data and games themselves would occupy the majority of this space, leaving little room for adding in a translation (because English tends to take up more space than Japanese). So they likely needed to cut down on some text in order to fit it on the CD. For more information on this particular hurdle of game localization past, see this interview with Ted Woolsey where he talks about having to majorly reduce Final Fantasy VI’s script to get it to fit on the cartridge.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「60階から上は、役員クラスの
 社員の多い特別フロア。
 カードキーがないと入ることも
 許可されないの」
“The higher ups in the company
use the floors above the 60th floor.
But you can’t get there without
a keycard.”
「カードキーがあれば
 階段もエレベーターも自由に
 使えるわ」
“Get a keycard and you can use
the elevators freely.”
「エレベーターはホラ、私の
 横にあるこのドアの前で
 Aを押すの。
 そうすると……」
「……っていう音がして
 ドアが開くから」
“…voila!
You hear that sound
and the door opens.”
“…voila!
Hear that sound
and the door will open.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

The woman goes on to say that Shinra would naturally have such an advanced security system, being the major company that it is.
The original translation is technically more correct here: the Japanese is saying that Shinra controls the distribution of energy/electricity throughout the world. Though they do also seem to effectively control everything else anyway, so E PC’s revision might be truer to the game world in that sense.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「まあミッドガル、いえ、今や
 世界のエネルギー流通を一手に
 ひきうける神羅カンパニーの
 本社としては、当然のセキュリティよね」
“It’s a security system worthy of
Shinra. After all, all the power
in Midgar and the world, for that
matter, is controlled by them.”
“It’s a security system worthy of
Shinra. After all, they control
everything
in Midgar and in the
world, for that matter.”
「あらやだ、長くなっちゃったわ。
 それじゃおたがい、お仕事
 がんばりましょうね♡」
“Oh, I have to go.
Gotta get back to work!”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Another NPC mistakes you for the building repair crew…for…some reason.
Anyway, he’s not saying that someone pushed the door open, but that it’s been left open and won’t close, allowing anyone to come and go regardless of whether they have the correct keycard. っぱなし (ppanashi) is a suffix in Japanese that indicates that something has been left a certain way and the situation is continuing on. For example, 立ちっぱなし (tachippanashi) is to be left in the state of standing. In this case, it’s the door that’s been left in the state of being open.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
「いや~、このビルも
 そろそろあちこちに
 ガタがきててなあ」
“You know, it looks
like this building is
starting to fall apart.”
“You know, this building
looks like it’s

starting to fall apart.”
「この階のドア
 開きっぱなしなんだ。
 早く直してくれよな」
“This door was just pushed open.
You ought to fix this right away.”
「あ、そうそう
 いちおう他の階も
 見回ってくれよ。
 これ、やるから」
“Oh yeah, and take a look
on the other floors too.
I’ll give you this.”
“Oh yeah, and take a look
on the other floors, too.
Here, take this.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

A higher floor contains a library that actually has a lot of little background details. Unfortunately, between space issues and the password puzzle, the English misses some nuances. For instance, this one implies that Mako has caused animals to suddenly evolve in extreme ways. Roughly, “Mako energy and the rapid evolution of creatures.”

(Do note that for this section I’m only guessing about which translations line up with which Japanese book titles, because these books are mostly randomized.)

JapaneseEnglish
 生物の爆発的進化と
   魔晄エネルギー
Mako energy and the rise in life forms

This isn’t an economic report, but a public safety report on the current status of anti-Shinra groups and how much of a threat they pose.

JapaneseEnglish
 ミッドガル治安白書
  反神羅勢力の現状
Economic report: anti-Shinra activities

Rather than space travel, this one seems to be talking about rocket engines and aircrafts that can fly between continents.

The second book here is the first time we hear of a failed space mission, which will become relevant later.

JapaneseEnglish
 神羅ロケットエンジンと
    大陸間航空機
Shinra rocket space travel
 大型飛行機械「ヨナイ79式」
    宇宙進出計画の失敗
Results of failed space mission “YA-79”

Again, this one implies that the animals/creatures around Midgar have undergone a sudden, drastic change. This is about an experiment involving them. Roughly, “Experimental data on animals that have suddenly mutated in the area around Midgar.”

JapaneseEnglish
 ミッドガル周辺に生息する
  突然変異生物実験データ
Data on experimental
animals living near Midgar

While the books are randomized in each game for the password puzzle, this one seems to be a constant. Rather than being a file “on” Gast, this may actually be a collection of his findings, considering that the second part seems to suggest that he’s the author. In Japanese, we also see that he wrote the book titled The Ancients in History. (Gast becomes an important character later on in the story.)

JapaneseEnglish
   ガストファイル
 生物博士ガスト・ファレミス
File on Dr. Gast, Biologist
  歴史の中の古代種
 生物博士ガスト・ファレミス
The Ancients in History

Rather than “ranks” this is “rules/regulations regarding the extended use of Mako weaponry.”
And the other book here is a little more like, “A study on the effects of high Mako levels in living creatures.”

Based on these two books, we can infer that high levels of Mako may have a negative effect on living beings.

JapaneseEnglish
 魔晄兵器の長期使用に
    関する特別規定
Ranks and extended use
of Mako weaponry
 生物体の高レベル魔晄による
     影響に対する調査
Report on high Mako levels
in living beings

This is a little more like “Plans for constructing a new city,” possibly referring to Neo-Midgar.
And this other book is a schedule for constructing more Mako reactors.

JapaneseEnglish
 新都市建設計画書New plans for urban planning
 魔晄炉建造工事
  都市部着工予定表
Reactor Construction Chart

Here we meet the deputy mayor of Midgar. The FF7 Ultimania Omega book reveals that his name is also supposed to be a pizza joke: Hut. (Such that we have “Domino” as the mayor and “Hut” as the deputy mayor.)
The translators may not have realized this (or thought “Hut” was too weird of a name), and went with “Hart” instead.
Technically, “Hart” would most likely be spelled ハート (ha-to, with an elongated vowel) in Japanese instead of ハット (hatto), but katakana words are notoriously difficult to parse, so honestly it’s fine.

JapaneseEnglish
ハット
「あ、これはどうも」
Hart
“How do you do?”

The deputy mayor begs Cloud not to tell President Shinra that the mayor helped him.
The English makes it sound like the two of them have already been causing trouble for Shinra, but in the Japanese he’s just saying that he doesn’t want Shinra to hassle him any more than they already are. Roughly, “I’ll pass on being bullied by Shinra any more than I already am.”

JapaneseE PSXE PC
ハット
「もしプレジデント神羅に
 会っても、わたくしのことは
 言わないでくださいよ」
Hart
“If you run into President Shinra
please don’t tell him about this.”
Hart
“If you run into President Shinra,
please don’t tell him about this.”
「これ以上神羅に
 イジメられるのは
 ゴメンですからね……」
“I can’t be a partner to
anymore trouble for Shinra.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud can find megaphone in one of the lockers here.
The translation is fine, but… Cloud, you’re a JRPG protagonist. You should know that you need to hang onto any and all random junk, on the off chance that it becomes super important later.
Incidentally, we see the super common phrase 仕方がない (shikata ga nai) here, or at least しょうがない (shou ga nai), its more casual variant. This is frequently translated as “it can’t be helped,” which, while being a legitimate English phrase, tends to quickly become repetitive and trite in Japanese-English translations. The English translation here goes with “won’t do any good” instead, which is a nice, natural way of phrasing it, especially in this context.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「何だこれ……メガホン?」
Cloud
“What is this……a Megaphone?”
Cloud
“What is thisa Megaphone?”
「こんなもの持っていっても
 しょうがないな」
“Hanging on to
this won’t do any good…”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

On another floor, there’s a model of the entire city of Midgar.
As an aside, I think some people mistake the broken part of the model as a representation of the recent destruction of Sector 7, but really it’s just showing that the Sector 6 plate is still under construction. You’d be forgiven for not remembering that, though, since this is the only time it’s ever mentioned.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「ミッドガル……
 魔晄エネルギーを吸い出し
 生きつづける都市の模型か……」
Cloud
“Midgar…born from Mako energy
which was sucked right out of the earth.
A model of the city…”
Cloud
“Midgar…a city born
from the earth’s Mako
.
A model of the city…”
「この建設中の6番街が
 完成したとき、神羅の
 野望も完全なものとなる」
“When construction of Sector 6
finishes, Shinra’s plan
will be complete.”
「その野望のために
 エアリスを……?」
“That must be why he took
Aeris…”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Up on floor 66, some NPCs talk about how proud they are to work at Shinra.
“It gives me the feeling” is a little too vague in English. The Japanese doesn’t specify what exactly gives him that feeling either, but the other NPC here talks about creating the future of Mako, so we can infer he’s talking about his work at Shinra / with Mako. Also, rather than it giving him the feeling of being alive, 生きがい (ikigai) is more like “a reason to live” or raison d’être, if you will. So it’s like his work is purposeful and fulfilling. Altogether, the line is roughly like “(Working here) gives me purpose. Like I’m moving the world with my own hands.”

JapaneseEnglish
「なんかこう、生きがいって
 ものを感じるよな。
 世界をこの手で動かしているっていう
 この感じ」
“It gives me the feeling that I AM alive.
The feeling of moving this world,
just with my hands.”

Next time Cloud and crew eavesdrop on a Shinra executive meeting, then make their way to where Aeris is being held captive…

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