When learning the Ballad of the Wind Fish from Marin on Switch, she says to never forget her (in both E and J) which is extra bittersweet if you wait to learn it until the end.
On GB/C, she just says to play it every once in a while so you don’t forget it. If you talk to her again afterwards, she’ll explain that it’s a song of awakening and wonders if the Wind Fish will grant her wish if/when he awakes. (This line doesn’t seem to appear on Switch.)
After opening up the Egg, the owl doesn’t say “The time has come!” in Japanese, but roughly just “Hoot! The Wind Fish is waiting inside the egg.” But it’s a nice addition in English to strengthen the mood. Also, the Japanese literally says to “enter the shell”.
Once again, the Wind Fish’s Egg is described as the “Sacred Egg” in Japanese.
The Nightmares make their motive sound more benign in Japanese, saying that they did all this “to establish order in the world” versus “to take over the world” in English.
In Japanese, they literally call themselves “gods,” while this was toned down to “masters” in English.
After they’re defeated, they say “It’ll disappear… It’ll be broken…” in Japanese, though English just uses “disappear”. Also, Japanese repeats “Our island…” but English goes with “Our world…” which honestly sounds more dramatic and better reflects their megalomania.
In Japanese, the owl says roughly “Well done in conquering the nightmare!” while English goes for “you have beaten all the Nightmares” since it’s been calling all the bosses “Nightmares.”
The owl corrects himself and says “Link-dono” in Japanese, a suffix that denotes respect. This is expressed in English by adding “the hero,” which is a nice touch.
The owl then goes on to say roughly “That wisdom, power, (and) courage are truly the mark of (the/a) hero!” English avoids repeating “hero” though, since it was used in the previous line.
In Japanese the owl clarifies that the Nightmares “sprouted from a rift in the dream.”
Then he says roughly, “That’s when the messenger of awakening, in other words, you, Link, came. I believed (in you). I believed you possessed a strong courage that would not lose to the nightmare(s).”
On E GB/C this was reduced to one sentence: “I trusted in your courage to turn back the Nightmares.” But the extra space on Switch allowed them to expand this a bit more in English.
In Japanese, the owl doesn’t mention anything about the Wind Fish waking, but instead says that he’s going to return to the Wind Fish now (since he’s part of his spirit).
The Wind Fish says roughly “Just how much time has passed since I fell asleep? At first…I dreamed of an egg… Eventually, an island appeared around the egg, and people and animals were born. A world was born.”
The English sums this up a little bit, but generally follows the Japanese.
The Wind Fish gets some Old English flair to make him sound all fancy / high and mighty. In Japanese, he just talks normally without any noticeable quirks.
In Japanese, the Wind Fish literally says “But the memory of this island will remain in the heart as reality.”
E GB/C translates this following line literally, “That memory must be the real dream world.” But E Switch revises it to make it clearer what he’s trying to say.
As he sends you off, he says roughly “Thanks, Link… The time has come! Let us awaken together! Now! Play! The song of awakening!”
English shortens this a bit but also has him refer specifically to the eight instruments.
And that marks the end of the game! The island fades, Link and the Wind Fish awake, and the credits roll…
Thanks to everyone who’s been following along! Link’s Awakening (GBC) was my first Zelda game and has always been special to me. It marks the first time I ever beat a final boss for myself (instead of watching my brother) and gave me the courage to try out other games.
I was so enamored by this ending that years later I’d still go back and beat it just to watch it again. After finishing it, I remember thinking “I wonder if there are any other games in this series?” Little did I know I had a gold mine of fun waiting for me.
Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed this little look at Link’s Awakening’s text! Once again, a huge thanks to all the people who helped translate this into English:
GB – English Script – Dan Owsen
GBC – English Script – Jim Wornell, Keiko Tamura, Tamaya Ito