Link’s Awakening Script Comparison: To Bottle Grotto
When the kids are freaking out, there’s a play on words in Japanese. そう なんだよ (sou nandayo) means “It’s true!” or “You know!”, but そうなん だよ (sounan dayo) means “It’s a disaster!” (Papahl also uses そうなん (sounan) to describe his impending accident.)
The order of info has been swapped around for Grandma Yahoo’s line in English, and info about the Moblins being from Tal Tal Heights has been added in the Switch version to help guide players.
The Japanese is roughly: “Yahoo! Wonder if those Moblins were from Tal Tal Heights? They’re horribly rowdy! I’m worried for BowWow.”
In Japanese Marin always abruptly switches topics to talk about singing (roughly: “Tarin’s at home sleeping! I’m going to sing a song!”), but the English gives more of a transition in between to make it sound more natural.
When getting the shovel, English has fun with “Now you can feel the joy of digging!” (J is just “Let’s dig holes!) This text technically existed in the GB/C version, but only displayed when getting the shovel from a treasure chest, which wasn’t possible. https://tcrf.net/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Link%27s_Awakening#Shovel_Chest…
In English Write says he pretty much sticks to himself, but in J he just says that he’s a nice guy whose hobby is writing letters. Also in J he’s a “Dr.” but in E he’s only “Mr.”
In Japanese, the owl statue roughly says: “Go to see the god’s egg. The god will respond to timbre (music).” (J uses 神 (kami) meaning “god/spirit” to refer to the Wind Fish.) The English is a little more abstract: “Music. The fish stirs in the egg. You are there…”
The old GB/C heavy object text makes a return when trying to lift rocks or skulls.
The owl statue is summed up very nicely here in English.
In Japanese it’s roughly: The wind fish is not a fish, and though it is called “wind” it is not a bird.
Upon rescuing BowWow the J text is a bit comedic, roughly: Upon closer inspection…yep, he’s definitely scary.
The crystal hint has been changed in both languages from “blue crystal” on GB/C to “shining crystal” on Switch. This is probably because the crystal changes colors when you hit it now, so “blue” doesn’t always accurately describe it.
On E GB/C, the owl hint only says “Stalfos” while on E Switch the descriptor “skeletal” is to clarify things for new players.
J calls the Pols Voice a “large-eared monster” and uses the Stalfos’s proper Japanese name ドクロナイト (dokuro naito = skull knight) which is clear enough as-is.
The genie’s speech in Japanese is somewhat archaic/samurai-like, with a bit of a fun twist, ending his sentences with でごじゃる (de gojaru), as opposed to the standard samurai/archaic でござる (de gozaru).
J GBC and J/E Switch have an extra hint (“Even the walls here look tougher than that dinky thing!”) to encourage the player to throw the bottle at the walls. It’s possible that there wasn’t enough space to add this on E GBC. (J/E GB didn’t have these lines at all.)
“You make me hopping mad!” is a nice creative way to translate ゆるさない (yurusanai) which literally means “I won’t forgive you!”
On E Switch, Crazy Tracy’s original E GB line “when you lose all heart!” is restored and works as a nice kind of pun. (E GBC changes it to “hearts”.)
In Japanese her name is literally “fickle/capricious/whimsical Tracy”.
Checking the chest in Tracy’s house shows the normal E GB/C check text, for whatever reason. In contrast the J Switch text is a new line that’s more similar to the other English translation, basically saying “Nothing’s out of place!”
For reference the other E Switch line was: “Link checked out the dresser. Yep! Everything checks out!”
And the Japanese for that line was: Linkはタンスを調べた ウーンなかなかいいタンスだ (Link checked the chest. It’s a pretty good chest.)
So basically it seems like the English for these lines has been switched around. Perhaps because the thing in Tracy’s house now looks more like a chest as opposed to a full dresser.
Next up is the lead up to dungeon three, with Richard and Kiki!