Final Fantasy VII Script Comparison: Rescuing Aeris

Cloud and crew spy on the meeting of Shinra executives. Reeve talks about reconstructing Sector 7, but President Shinra stops him and says they’re focusing on Neo-Midgar now.
A singular vs. plural error pops up here. Reeve knows that Shinra’s been after Aeris specifically, so it should be singular “Ancient.” (Again, Japanese doesn’t (often) distinguish between singular and plural, so it’s up to the reader to infer based on context.)

JapaneseEnglish
リーブ
「また7番プレートの再建にかかる
 費用は……」
Reeve
“The estimated cost to rebuild Sector 7 is…”
プレジデント神羅
「再建はしない」
President Shinra
“We’re not rebuilding.”
リーブ
「は?」
Reeve
“What?”
プレジデント神羅
「7番プレートはこのまま放っておく」
President Shinra
“We’re leaving Sector 7 as it is.”
「そのかわりに
 ネオ・ミッドガル計画を再開する」
“And restarting the Neo-Midgar plan.”
リーブ
「……では、古代種が?」
Reeve
“…then the Ancients?”

Hojo walks in and talks about his plans to breed Aeris so that he’ll have a longer living specimen. President Shinra asks if it’ll hinder plans to find the Promised Land.
In Japanese, Hojo’s reply sounds more like a reassurance that he doesn’t intend for those plans to be hindered. Roughly, “That’s the plan/intention (for it not to hinder Shinra’s pursuit of the Promised Land).”
He goes on to say, “The mother is strong, but has weaknesses,” which is a pretty vague line. If we try filling in the blanks, he could be saying that mothers in general have specific weaknesses, implying that he’ll use Aeris’ future baby as leverage to compel her to take them to the Promised Land. Again, Japanese doesn’t distinguish between singular/plural here, so it could break down to: “mother(s) are strong…and have weaknesses.”

JapaneseEnglish
プレジデント神羅
「その検査にはどれくらいかかる?」
President Shinra
“How long will the research take?”
宝条
「ざっと、120年。
 我々が生きてるあいだは無理だろう。
 もちろんあのサンプルもな」
Hojo
“Probably 120 years.
It’s probably impossible to finish
in our lifetime.
Or in the lifetime of the specimen too,
for that matter.”
宝条
「だから古代種を繁殖させようと思うのだ。
 しかも、長命で実験に耐えうる
 強さも持たせることができる」
Hojo
“That’s why we’re thinking of breeding her.
Then we could create one that could withstand
our research for a long time.”
プレジデント神羅
「約束の地はどうなる?
 計画に支障はでないのか?」
President Shinra
“What about the Promised Land?
Won’t it hinder our plans?”
宝条
「……そのつもりだ。
 母は強く……そして弱みを持つ」
Hojo
“That’s what I need to plan.
The mother is strong…
and yet has her weaknesses.”

Cloud and crew follow Hojo, find and briefly discuss Jenova, then go up to save Aeris.
This exchange with Hojo is translated literally, losing a bit of the meaning. Hojo’s finally noticing that Cloud and the others aren’t Shinra employees, which should’ve been blatantly obvious. Barret calls him out on that (something like “That shoulda been obvious!” or “You mistook us for Shinra goons?!” might work). And then Hojo basically says that he doesn’t have time to pay attention to such frivolous details.

JapaneseEnglish
宝条
「エアリス?
 ああ、この娘の名前だったな。
 何か用か?」
Hojo
“Aeris?
Oh, is that her name?
What do you want?”
クラウド
「エアリスを返してもらおう」
Cloud
“We’re taking Aeris back.”
宝条
「…………部外者だな」
Hojo
“Outsiders……”
バレット
「最初に気づけよ」
Barret
“Shoulda noticed it earlier, you…”
宝条
「世の中にはどうでもいいことが
 多いのでな」
Hojo
“There’s so many frivolous things in this world.”

Barret shoots at the container, opening it up. Then the elevator starts moving.
The use of “this” is a little vague. Hojo’s referring to what’s coming on the elevator, but with Red XIII trying to rip Hojo’s face off seconds earlier, “this” could be mistaken as referring to him instead. The Japanese is roughly, “This time (it) isn’t such a half-baked one. (It’s) a very violent specimen!”

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「……エレベーターが動いている」
Cloud
“…The elevator is moving.”
宝条
「今度はこんなハンパな奴ではないぞ。
 もっと凶暴なサンプルだ!」
Hojo
“This is no ordinary specimen.
This is a very ferocious specimen!”

The crew beats the monster, and if you sent Tifa with Aeris, she says this when they come back.
The English is a rather literal take in the Japanese which is roughly just “She seems fine. In multiple meanings (of the word).” I’m not entirely sure what she’s getting at, but it may be playing on the use of 大丈夫 (daijoubu ; okay/that’s all right) to refuse people / offers, referencing how Red XIII was trying to mate with her. Red’s response backs this up a little, saying that he isn’t actually interested in mating with bipeds.

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「エアリス、だいじょうぶか?」
Cloud
“Aeris, you all right?”
ティファ
「だいじょうぶみたいよ。
 ……いろんな意味でね」
Tifa
“She seems all right,
…in many ways.”
レッドXIII
「……私にも選ぶ権利がある。
 ニ本足は好みじゃない」
Red XIII
“I have a right to choose, too.
I don’t like two-legged things.”

Barret asks what Red XIII is.
Red isn’t saying that’s “an informed question” but rather that it’s a fascinating /deep one (興味深い ; kyoumibukai), bordering on the philosophical.

JapaneseEnglish
バレット
「おまえ、なんだ?」
Barret
“What are you?”
レッドXIII
「興味深い問いだ。
 しかし、その問いは答え難いな。
 私は見てのとおり、こういう存在だ」
Red XIII
“An informed question. But difficult to answer.
I am what you see.”
レッドXIII
「……いろいろ質問もあるだろうが
 とりあえずここから出ようか。
 道案内くらいなら付きあってやる」
Red XIII
“…You must have many questions, but
first, let’s get out of here.
I’ll lead the way.”

The group splits up and heads to the elevators to leave the building. But after Cloud enters, so does Rude.
In Japanese, Cloud just says roughly: “A trap, huh.” The English translation goes with “Must be a trap,” but “Must’ve been a trap” might be more fitting in this context. It seems the implication is that the whole reason Cloud and crew were able to get this far is because Shinra set them up.

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「お、おい! 何だ?」
Cloud
“H, hey! What is it?”
ルード
「上を押してもらおうか?」
Rude
“Would you press ‘Up’ please?”
クラウド
「タークス?
 ワナ……か」
Cloud
“Turks?
Must be a trap…”

The crew is captured and taken up to see President Shinra.
If you leave Aeris out of your party, then only one person will join back up with the rest of the group here, making E PSX’s “you all” kind of weird. E PC fixes this to work in any situation. Game translators need to be aware of when a scene can play out in multiple ways so that they can adjust the text to fit every scenario.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
クラウド
「みんなもつかまったのか……
 …………?」
Cloud
“You all got caught, too?”
Cloud
“They got you, too?”
クラウド
「エアリスはどこだ!」
Cloud
“Where is Aeris!?”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

Cloud’s question prompts President Shinra to make a speech.
It’s kind of beating a dead horse at this point, but once again the Japanese does not specify that she’s the “last.” The people affiliated with Shinra remain vague on just how many Ancients exist yet.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
プレジデント神羅
「安全な場所にいる」
President Shinra
“In a safe place.”
プレジデント神羅
「あれは貴重な
 古代種の生き残りだからな」
President Shinra
“She’s the last
surviving Ancient…”
プレジデント神羅
「知らんのか?
 自らをセトラと呼び、数千年の昔に生き
 今は歴史の中に埋もれてしまった種族」
President Shinra
“Don’t you know?
They called themselves the Cetra, and lived
thousands of years ago.
Now they are just a forgotten page in history.”
President Shinra
“Don’t you know?
They called themselves the Cetra and lived
thousands of years ago.
Now they are just a forgotten page in history.”
レッドXIII
「セトラ……あの娘が
 セトラの生き残り?」
Red XIII
“Cetra…That girl,
is she a survivor of the Cetra?”
Red XIII
“Cetra…that girl
is a survivor of the Cetra?”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

President Shinra goes on to reveal his plan to find the Promised Land and exploit it.
Both translations get the President’s response to Barret wrong. He’s saying that the money-sucking (costly to build and maintain) Mako Reactors WON’T be necessary there because Mako will flow to the surface on its own. In fact, E PC ends up being even further off the mark than E PSX by both continuing to assert that Mako Reactors are necessary and also now describing them as “money-making” as opposed to being costly.

JapaneseE PSXE PC
レッドXIII
「約束の地?
 それは言い伝えではないか?」
Red XIII
“The Promised Land?
Isn’t that just a legend?”
プレジデント神羅
「だからといって放っておくには
 あまりにも魅力的だ」
President Shinra
“Even so, it’s just too appealing
to not to pursue.”
President Shinra
“Even so, it’s far too appealing
not to pursue.”
「約束の地は途方もなく豊かな土地と
 言われているからな」
“It’s been said the Promised Land is
very fertile.”
「……土地が豊かだということは」“…If the land is fertile…”
バレット
「魔晄エネルギーだな!」
Barret
“Then there’s gotta be Mako!”
Barret
then there’s gotta be Mako!”
プレジデント神羅
「そのとおり。
 そこでは金喰い虫の魔晄炉など
 必要ないのだ」
President Shinra
“Exactly.
That is why our money sucking
Mako Reactor is necessary.”
President Shinra
“Exactly.
That is why our money-making
Mako Reactor is necessary.”
「豊富な魔晄エネルギーが
 勝手に吹き出してくる」
“The abundant Mako will
just come out on its own.”
“The abundant Mako will
flow out on its own.”
E PC only noted when it differs from E PSX

The crew is hauled off to cells, and Cloud can listen in on the others’ conversations.
Barret is basically summing up everything we just learned. So rather than him talking about himself and saying “I only heard” or “I don’t know,” he’s being more general. Roughly, “But the Promised Land only comes up in legends and no one knows if it really exists.” And then his last line is a little more like, “That all sound about right?” Checking to make sure he’s got the facts straight.

JapaneseEnglish
バレット
「エアリスは古代種で
 古代種の本当の呼び名はセトラ」
Barret
“Aeris is an Ancient
and the real name of the Ancients is Cetra.”
「それで古代種は約束の地って場所を
 知っていて、神羅はその約束の地が
 欲しい、と」
“The Ancients know where the Promised Land is
and the Shinra is searching for that
Promised Land.”
バレット
「でも、約束の地ってのは
 言い伝えに出てくるだけで
 本当にあるのかどうかはわからねえ」
Barret
“I only heard stories ’bout
the Promised Land. I don’t know
if it really exists.”
バレット
「これでいいのか?」
Barret
“Is that right?”

If you listen in on Red, he mumbles “Grandpa” and Barret laughs at him. In Japanese he’s using a childish word for grandpa (akin to “grampy” or something), in contrast to how he sounded so mature and composed earlier, which is what causes Barret to make fun of him.

JapaneseEnglish
レッドXIII
「………………じっちゃん」
Red XIII
“…………Grandpa.”
バレット
「じっちゃん!? へへへへ
 じっちゃん、ねえ……へへへへ」
Barret
“Grandpa!? Ha, ha, ha……
Granpa, hmm……ha, ha, ha……”
レッドXIII
「なにがおかしい」
Red XIII
“What’s so funny?”
バレット
「いや、べつに……へへへ」
Barret
“Nothin’……ha, ha”

Aeris tells Cloud and Tifa everything she knows about the Ancients and the Promised Land.
Again we have a very literal translation with this last line here. What she’s trying to say is that she only knows the two quotes she mentioned, and isn’t sure what they’re supposed to mean.

JapaneseEnglish
エアリス
「わたし、知ってるのは……」
Aeris
“All I know is…”
『セトラの民、星より生まれ
 星と語り、星を開く』
“The Cetra were born from the Planet,
speak with the Planet, and unlock the Planet.”
「えっと……それから……」“And……then…”
『セトラの民、約束の地へ帰る。
 至上の幸福、星が与えし定めの地』
“The Cetra will return to the Promised Land.
A land that promises supreme happiness.”
ティファ
「……どういう意味?」
Tifa
“…What does that mean?”
エアリス
「言葉以上の意味、知らないの」
Aeris
“More than words……I don’t know.”

Cloud and Tifa then ask what it means to talk with the Planet.
Here we have another literal translation that confuses the meaning a bit. The way the English is worded makes it sound like Midgar is too noisy for her to hear the Planet, which isn’t quite what she’s saying. She means that when she listens to the Planet, it sounds like a group of people all talking at once, so it’s hard to make out exactly what’s being said.

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「……星と語り?」
Cloud
“…Speak with the Planet?”
ティファ
「星が何か言うの?」
Tifa
“Just what does the Planet say?”
エアリス
「人が大勢いて、ざわざわしてるかんじ。
 だから何を言ってるのか
 よくわからない」
Aeris
“It’s full of people and noisy.
That’s why I can’t make out
what they are saying.”

Cloud then asks if she can hear the Planet even now.
THIS is where she’s saying that she can’t hear the Planet in Midgar, not that it’s “not safe.” The Japanese is literally “Midgar is no good” (ダメ ; dame), but the implication is that the Planet can’t be heard anymore because all the Mako is being sucked up.

JapaneseEnglish
クラウド
「今も聞こえるのか?」
Cloud
“You hear it now?”
エアリス
「わたし、聞こえたのはスラムの教会だけ。
 ミッドガルはもうダメだって
 母さん……本当の母さんが言ってた」
Aeris
“I, I only heard it at the Church in the Slums.
Mother said that Midgar was no longer safe.
That is…my real mother.”

She then goes on to quote what her mother told her.
Because this is supposed to be a quote, it’s not that her mother predicted this would happen, as the English translation suggests, but that she told Aeris to leave Midgar someday and find her own Promised Land. Roughly, “Please escape from Midgar someday. Please speak with the Planet and find your Promised Land.”

JapaneseEnglish
エアリス
「いつかミッドガルから逃げなさい。
 星と話して、エアリスの約束の地
 見つけなさい」
Aeris
“Someday I’ll get out of Midgar…
Speak with the Planet
and find my Promised Land.”
「……母さんが言ってた」“…That’s what mom said.”

Aeris continues on…
The object of the sentence isn’t specified in Japanese here (lit. “I thought when I became an adult I’d stop hearing (it), but…”) so it’s unclear whether she’s referring to the Planet in general or her mother’s voice through the Planet. Though considering the fact that she never mentions hearing her mother’s voice through the Planet here (even though I’m pretty sure this is something she can do?), it might be better to interpret this as her saying that she thought she’d lose her ability to speak with the Planet entirely as she grew up.

JapaneseEnglish
「大人になったら聞こえなくなるんだと
 思ってたけど……」
“I thought I would stop hearing her
voice as I grew up, but…”

Cloud goes to sleep and wakes up to a shocking surprise…

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