Cut and Paste Translation

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Sometimes when works are translated elsewhere, major changes are made to it, from the scripts to editing the footage. The usual reason is to make it more accessible to the audience for the localization, but avoiding Values Dissonance is also a common reason. Another reason is that syndication rules in the US require 65 episodes (until perhaps recently), and that is rare in other countries' shows save for Long Runners, so the best solution was cutting and pasting more than one series together to sell them as one series.

Common methods include:

Although edits are not always as devastating as many fans make them out to be, a Cut and Paste Translation will frequently impose extensive Adaptation Decay and Bowdlerization on a story. At its worst, the entire original script will simply be discarded and a completely new script created almost out of whole cloth. Never Say "Die" is a staple, along with Lull Destruction. One of the biggest reasons of why the Subbing Versus Dubbing debate is still raging.

Often fans consider the show to be cheapened by this. See Macekre for more on the opinion on cut-and-pasted anime. On the other hand, some people use such dubs as a Gateway Series, and the virulent fan reaction against the dubs may puzzle those not familiar with the original version, or even perhaps those that watched the dubs first.

The practice is rarer these days, but still around. Often it's just reduced to script changes, since heavy editing would increase the cost significantly (again, it just had to be done for syndication).

If the importers actually add new material to something when they import it, it's Importation Expansion.

Compare Woolseyism (changes are made for things that actually won't translate, and the changes are simply the most pragmatic), Gag Dub (script changes based on Rule of Funny), Difficulty by Region, Dolled-Up Installment.

Examples of Cut and Paste Translation are listed on these subpages:


Examples of Cut and Paste Translation include:

Card Games

  • Magic: The Gathering often changes card art and flavour for Chinese audiences, sometimes significantly, to avoid depicting skeletons.
    • Ironic, since the one with skin was a lot creepier...
      • This is due to Chinese laws prohibiting the display of bones to encourage positive behaviour in society or the like. World of Warcraft has its models altered for the Chinese servers (the exposed bones on the playable Undead faction are covered with skin) and has led to problems getting the latest expansion, primarily focused on defeating a giant army of Undead, past the censors.

Comic Books

  • Asterix was first translated into German by Rolf Kauka, who changed the Gauls into Germanics, naming them "Siggi und Barabbas" instead. When Nationality Confusion ensued in the book Asterix and the Goths (no, not those), Kauka made the Goths "Eastern Goths", depicting them as Communists from East Germany. The Macekre came to its end when he made The Dragon of The Golden Sickle (who kidnapped the sickle maker and sold overpriced golden sickles) speak with a Jewish accent. Goscinny was enraged after reading the re-translated comic and forbade Kauka further translations.
    • Asterix also underwent this in its first ever English translations for the UK market—where the Gauls were transformed into ancient Britons. Before the Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge albums, two separate children's magazines printed a few storylines where Asterix and Obelix were known as "Little Fred and Big Ed" and "Beric the Bold and the Son of Boadicea".

Films -- Animation

All the examples that were listed here are Anime movies, so they've been moved to the Anime and Manga page.

Films -- Live Action

  • Fritz Lang's Metropolis was Macekred originally on its American release, with the American distributor publicly priding themselves on having essentially chopped it up and rewritten it; leading to much of the film being lost for a century... It has now been found.
  • Quite a few of the Godzilla movies, beginning with inserting Raymond Burr into Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but contrary to popular belief, King Kong won in the Japanese and American versions of Godzilla vs. King Kong. The 1954 original is surprisingly excellent in its unadulterated, non-dubbed form. Godzilla 2000 received a Gag Dub from Tri-Star, as the original version was regarded to be slow-paced and dull.
  • Godfrey Ho was infamous for getting cheap, low-budget Hong Kong films, cutting them to ribbons, and inserting new footage featuring Caucasian actors for distribution in the West. Among his films are Ninja Thunderbolt, Clash of the Ninjas, Full Metal Ninja, and Zombie Vs. Ninja (notice a theme?). He's also done it at least once in the other direction, adding new footage using Asian actors to the Cynthia Rothrock vehicle Undefeatable to create the movie Bloody Mary Killer for distribution in China.
  • Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Steve Oedekerk's Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist are what happens when the Cut and Paste Translation is combined with the Gag Dub and played entirely for comedy.
  • Master with Cracked Fingers was a 1979 film cut together from different early Jackie Chan films, as a means to cash in on his rising fame. It primarily took footage from the little-seen 1973 film Little Tiger of Canton, but featured several newly-filmed scenes with a double playing Jackie's character (badly disguised with a blindfold).

Literature

  • The translation of The Bible directed by King James the 1st of England is the Ur Example. Instructions were given to the translators to make sure the translation supported the views of the Church of England.
    • Interestingly enough, many fundamentalist Christians claim that the King James version is the only true translation of The Bible, and all other translations have been Macekred by Satan himself. The movement is named King James Only and some advocates go Up to Eleven saying that the English King James is a new superior revelation that replaces the Bible in all languages, including the originals.
    • The King James Version wasn't Macekred enough, apparently. For instance, the original New Testament denounces malakoi. Malakos is Greek for "soft". Many Greeks saw luxury as "weakening", while spartan conditions made men strong, hence the word "spartan". It's denouncing the rich! The KJV translated it as "effeminate". 20th-century translations, being what they were, further Macekred "effeminate" into "homosexual", keeping with the psychiatric theories of the time. The Old Testament still denounces men who "lie with men as with women"; take what you will from that. Of course, many fundamentalists have no problem citing different Bibles to fit their political views, making for a literal Cut and Paste Translation.
    • There's also teetotaller translations which selectively translate the same word as either "wine" or "unfermented grape juice" depending on whether the context of the rest of the line is speaking of it as pleasurable or warning against the dangers of overindulging (where "overindulging" is, for these congregations, defined as "imbibing at all").
    • There is also research suggesting that translations of the Bible are almost perfect translations of extant copies of the Old Testament and a few New Testament passages such as what are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and these translations are actually within 90% accuracy from the originals.
      • This is odd research, considering there are no "New Testament passages" in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, a 90% accuracy rate means one-tenth of the work is inaccurate.
  • Matthew Ward's English translation of The Stranger (currently the most popular one in America) spends some time bashing Stuart Gilbert's (which before his was the only one available in America.) In the original French, and in Ward's version, the narrator begins as a Terse Talker in the vein of an Ernest Hemingway protagonist, then becomes oddly lyrical after going to jail. Gilbert essentially turns him British, and incidentally rewrites some of his odder comments to sound more conventional.
  • Used in-story in Ayn Rand's We The Living, where Kira and Leo go to see a movie called The Golden Octopus, which is a laughably censored American film with obviously different-looking Russian footage added at the beginning.
  • The one extant translation of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris into English was based on a French translation rather than the original Polish novel, and suffered accordingly. Lem, who was fluent in English, vocally disapproved of the double translation, but the rights to the novel belong to his Polish publisher and they have thus far had no interest in commissioning another.
  • This sort of thing happened even before animation itself: In the 19th century, the works of Jules Verne got altered drastically when translated into English, generally by utterly incompetent people who made basic mistakes and replaced all of the greatly-detailed (albeit outdated) science with even worse scientific and mathematical errors, and often cut out entire chapters. The most egregious example is quite possibly an early translation of Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is affectionately known as the "Hardwigg version" among people who care, after the Translation Name Change of The Professor. It changed the writing style of the novel completely.
  • The German translation of Terry Pratchett's Good Omens completely omits the homosexual content about Aziraphale: "gayer than a tree full of monkeys high on nitrous oxide" becomes "whimsical (verschmitzt) as a tree full of monkeys" which doesn't really make sense. Also, Shadwell's "Southern Pansy" becomes something else entirely. It's not really clear why, because neither are those lines likely to be offensive nor is German society extra sensitive about homosexuality.

Live-Action TV

  • Super Sentai to Power Rangers, with the battle footage spliced into entirely new stories. The first three seasons of the latter took three completely seperate seasons of the former and reworked it into one "mega-arc", and the later incarnations seem to only be superficially similar to their originals, with the motives of the characters and some story elements being completely changed. Of course, Power Rangers was never intended and doesn't claim to be a dub/reenactment of its Super Sentai parent, despite borrowing suits and battle footage.
  • VR Troopers was made from three different Metal Heroes series: Choujinki Metalder, Jikuu Senshi Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider. Somehow, having three shows to draw on didn't stop it from recycling plots.
  • When the Ultraman series Ultra Seven, was dubbed into English by Cinar for TBS, it received a bizarre Gag Dub that made it almost entirely incomprehensible. This version has since been almost entirely forgotten even by fans of the series.
  • To capitalise on the success of Power Rangers, Saban licensed Kamen Rider Black RX and turned it into "Saban's Masked Rider": a gay old Aesop-tastic romp starring a superhero alien learning about Earth culture with his adoptive American family. Later the editing got so shoddy that at times you could clearly see the original Japanese actors, or the fact that the footage they were splicing in was from two seperate movies (Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J) starring completely different heroes. Reportedly, Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori was so incensed by Saban's take that he swore never to license the franchise again.[2]
    • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight did much better,[3] even winning a Daytime Emmy for stunt choreography. Its ratings meant not enough of the intended demographic were watching to keep it alive. The last two episodes weren't even aired, though were made available on the website. Odds are, we aren't getting that second season. It, too, is dissimilar from its footage-sake, and it's best if you don't go in with a "Ryuki Dub" mentality (see Power Rangers in Space, Power Rangers RPM, above.) Interestingly, Dragon Knight became a Recursive Import and did quite well back in Japan.
  • This happened to Star Trek: The Original Series when it was dubbed into German. In the episode "Amok Time", in which Spock must return to his home planet to mate or else die, all sexual references were cut and the plot changed so that he was suffering from "space fever", making his battle to the death with Kirk a mere hallucination.
  • In one of several early, unsuccessful atempts to introduce Monty Python's Flying Circus to American audiences (unrelated to And Now For Something Completely Different), American network ABC bought some episodes from the John Cleese-less final season with the sole intention of cutting out separate sketches and inserting them as filler into a different show, called The Wide World of Comedy. This was done very clumsily, with rampant censorship, and the result was reportedly incomprehensible. The Pythons, who had in their contract a clause that their show would not be re-cut without their permission, used this as grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit against the BBC, who held the rights to series. The result was that all material produced by Pythons for the BBC became their intellectual property, which was unprecedented at the time.
  • The HBO broadcast of the Extras Christmas special did this with some jokes, cutting or replacing references to British celebrities who aren't known in America. It was mild but still silly, because the show in general is still full of Britishisms that don't necessarily translate. It also makes a scene about talking celebrity dolls very jarring. The original one has a Jade Goody doll that says a catchphrase and then the racist remark she made about Shilpa Shetty's name on Big Brother. The American version replaces it with a Kramer doll that does a Seinfeld quote followed by the part of Michael Richards's notorious onstage rant about the black members of his stand-up audience where he reminded the white people present them that in the past they could have lynched them—which is less Never Live It Down and more Dude, Not Funny.

Music

  • When released in America, the albums of The Beatles would experience two different approaches: (a) either the album would be released with the same (or a similar) name as the British release (such as With The Beatles becoming Meet The Beatles—kind of justified in this case, as the album was the first to be released in America), only with a few songs chopped off and / or rearranged, or (b) the songs would be grouped together to form a whole new album (such as Yesterday and Today, the one which originally generated controversy over the infamous "butcher cover" involving the group wearing white butcher's coats and surrounded by slabs of meat and chopped-up dolls parts). British releases tend to be considered 'canon', although the American release of Magical Mystery Tour has replaced the original British EP in both popularity and official-ness due to it also including some of their most popular singles of the time, including 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'Penny Lane' and 'Hello Goodbye'.
    • This also extends to almost every British rock group from the start of the British invasion to around 1967 or so. It stemmed from two factors. First, records released in Europe usually had around fourteen songs on them, while American records usually had only twelve. Second, songs that were released as singles in England were usually not put on albums, meaning that many of any given band's most popular songs were not available on their regular studio albums. This caused America companies to mix and match songs and albums so they could exhaust their catalog and make more money.
  • The Clash's first album from 1977 was released in the US in 1979. This happened after their second, Give Em Enough Rope had been released in the US in 1978, which was the first album of theirs to be released there. Probably as a result, their newer singles from 1979 were included on the new version of their first album, replacing some songs that were deemed controversial by the record company at the time. Although a lot of people like this version of the album, the Clash's change in production techniques makes the inclusion of a later track like "I Fought The Law" pretty noticeable.

Puppet Shows

  • This happened to Thunderbirds twice. First when it was run on FOX Kids with redubbed voices, rock music, and cuts to remove content deemed inappropriate for children and also to cram the plots into half-hour episodes, rendering most of them incomprehensible. After that bombed, the rights holder released another half-hour version, Turbocharged Thunderbirds, which further altered the original episodes to be taking place on the planet "Thunder World", redubbed the dialog yet again to add more "post-modern" jokes, had the Tracy family taking orders from a pair of live-action teenagers who called Jeff Tracy "Mr. T", and referred to the teenagers as Hackers who lived aboard Thunderbird 5, now dubbed "Hack Command". This version so enraged original creator Gerry Anderson that it was quickly pulled from syndication and supposedly destroyed at his request.
    • To give you an idea of how bad Turbocharged was, look up an episode on YouTube. If that alone isn't enough to convince you, read the comments under the videos — more than once, you'll see someone posting that this series made the 2004 live-action adaptation seem better by comparison. To give some perspective: Anderson called that one "the biggest load of crap [he'd] ever seen in [his] life", and on The Other Tropes Wiki the recap page for it was locked to prevent people putting a recap for it. That alone says something.[4]

Video Games

  • A rare positive example of this is Decap Attack, where a previously so-so Platform Game licensed from an obscure anime became one of the silliest, strangest and most bizarre games to hit the Sega Genesis.
    • Power Blade is a similar case: not only was Steve Treiber, the Mega Man-like player character of the original Japanese version, was swapped out for an Ahnold-type dude named Nova, the game was made both more playable and more complex.
  • Back in the early days of Atlus, they localised the cult hit Shin Megami Tensei: Persona as Revelations: Persona by scrubbing the script of any Japanese referents, redrawing the characters with different skin tones (including making one into a jive-talking black sidekick), and trying (inconsistently) to relocate the setting from Japan to a strange America full of Japanese landmarks. This gets confusing in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment when several characters from the first game make an appearance, retaining their American names (for continuity purposes) but looking a bit different (the hero in Persona had an earring in the Japanese version and looked Angstier, and when did Ellen dye her hair black?!). They also removed an entire ten-hour Bonus Dungeon for reasons unknown, though as part of it is translated, it's likely this was simply cut to speed up the localization process.
    • Atlus tried to make up for their blunders in the first game to some extent by pretending Nate/Kei never got a last name change, Guido Sardenia was an alias (as they couldn't rename him Takihisa due to the spoken cutscenes calling him Guido), so they broke even and established his original name was Guido Kandori, as well as few other minor changes to compensate. It's still a much messier Retcon that Nyarlathotep was manipulating things from the beginning, as his name was changed to Massacre for the US release.
    • The real strange part is that Atlus today is one of the most respected publishers in the West for its studious attention to detail and its respect for the titles it brings out. Obviously they learned their lesson, as the US release of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment made no attempt to hide the fact that the game was in Japan, and recently the PSP remake was released in the US, with better translation and the entire game translated.
  • In Japan, Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere was a fast-paced flight arcade game with highly competent teammates, a deeply involving, character-driven, completely non-linear storyline, featuring five young pilots caught in the middle of a struggle between two megacorporations, a guerrilla faction hell-bent on digitalizing everybody's minds, and a secret peacekeeping force where some dark monkey business is going on deep inside; all of that interspersed with beautiful, sleek anime cutscenes by Production I.G. When the game was released in the West, the editors somehow thought Western gamers were a bunch of hotheads who just want mindless, fast-paced action and slaughter (and weren't willing to risk the huge expense of translating a game that had underperformed at retail compared to the previous entry in the series), and everything that made the Japanese version stand out from the rest was horribly destroyed. The truly intelligent teammates were removed, making all your missions solo. The original plot was replaced with a bland, highly generic story about a peacekeeping force who just jumps in and ruins enemy stuff every time something bad happens. The anime cutscenes were replaced with text slideshows that just threw an Info Dump on what was going on. The entire "story tree" was replaced with a completely linear plot that just goes from point A to point B. Even Dision's quest for causing massive mayhem was Retconned with a computer AI that suddenly went haywire! For once, a case where They Changed It, Now It Sucks was true.
  • XS Games bought the rights to two unrelated Bullet Hell shooters, Gunbird and Shikigami no Shiro (Castle of Shikigami), and released them as Mobile Light Force 1 and 2, respectively. The original Japanese scripts were tossed out completely and replaced with an English script that made no sense, and the original covers were supplanted in favor of a Charlie's Angels-style cover that had absolutely nothing to do with the game. After great anguish from fans, XS Games brought over Castle Shikigami 2 uncut, though the translation was still filled with Engrish. The third game was brought over by a different publisher, Aksys Games.
  • Then there's the first Ranma ½ game, which was edited into Street Combat, changing the premise and removing all Japanese elements and renaming and redrawing all the characters completely differently.
  • Drakengard had almost all plot points pointing to incest removed, and everything related to pedophilia removed. Some other parts of the script were also gummed up and rendered incoherent, such as the scene leading in to the third ending.
  • Several Puyo Puyo games got this treatment, being reworked into games starring Dr. Robotnik on the Genesis/Megadrive or Kirby on the SNES. These cases weren't quite as bad, as they still turned out to be good games in their own right.
    • The Puyo Puyo franchise still lives on to this day under its original title, even after the demise of Compile, the company who created the series.
    • A similar thing happened to the Panel de Pon series, released in Japan with cute shoujo-style characters. It was released in the US, with characters from Yoshi's Island, as Tetris Attack, even though the games don't have anything to do with Tetris.
    • Perhaps the most well-known act of cramming mascots into ported oddities is the US version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which is a sprite hack (with other changes/improvements) of Doki Doki Panic. The proper Mario 2 epitomized Nintendo Hard—it eventually reached the US as "the Lost Levels".
      • On the plus side, either due to Miyamoto's involvement with the original Doki Doki Panic or the fact the title was later released in Japan, many of the monsters from Super Mario Bros. 2 have joined Mario's Rogues Gallery. Bob-ombs were in the immediately following game, Super Mario Bros 3. Yoshi's Island featured Shy Guys, and most Mario games since then have featured at least a few enemies who originated in Subcon. Furthermore, in Super Smash Bros.. Melee and Brawl, Princess Peach has a few abilities based on her appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2 namely her ability to throw vegetables and hover in midair.
      • 2 can best be summed up as a game that got a cut and paste translation, but ended up better than the actual sequel and Nintendo went Sure Why Not and made it canon.
  • The translators of Earnest Evans moved the year from 1925 to 1985, made Earnest Evans into Earnest Evans III, tore out the entire story, made Annet his mom instead of his girlfriend, and changed Al Capone into Brady Tressider. Of course, the game was reverse-ported from the Sega CD to the Sega Genesis cartridge, so a lot had to go.
  • Probotector for the Mega Drive, the European localization of Contra: Hard Corps not only replaced all of the humanoid characters with robots (much like the previous Probotector games for the Nintendo platforms), it also turned the plot of the game into a barely coherent mess, by replacing references to the enemy being an Earth-based terrorist organization with some nonsense about "Alien Rebels", as well as downplaying the role of Dr. Geo Mandrake so he was no longer a traitor.
  • For the American version of Streets of Rage 3, the main characters were recolored for the purpose of having "gender-neutral" colors, female enemies have more clothing, and the story is completely rewritten, changing the plot from one revolving around nuclear weapons to one about robotic duplicates of city officials.
  • There's a lot of Internet Backdraft related to Working Designs about whether or not their scripts fall under this or Woolseyism. They were notorious for slipping in an ungodly amount of pop culture references, as well as playing fast and loose with the dialogue in the games, which made keeping track of changes in the various Lunar ports difficult just because the player never knew whether a change was added for the new version or just added to the English version. On the other hand, this notoriety is also what made their games appealing. The Clinton joke in the original Lunar: Eternal Blue is legendary, to the point where many mourned its loss when the PS 1 version came out and they had updated it to something more relevant.
  • While otherwise a decent game, the poor translation effort put forth in Warsong, the Genesis version of Langrisser, is said to have contributed to its low sales and the prevention of any other game in the Langrisser series to be released outside Japan.
  • Nintendo of America's self-imposed decency guidelines scrubbed almost all references to religion, Nazis, sex, and gratuitous violence from the NES & SNES.
    • If you didn't beat it, you probably didn't know Bionic Commando was about stickin' it to Hitler.
    • EarthBound took a number of edits, but more notably so did its Japan-only NES predecessor Mother (AKA Earthbound Zero). Since the US port team fixed bugs and added features as they meddled, that officially unreleased translation / edit was used in Mother 1+2 for the GBA.
    • Oddly averted in Harvest Moon, which features an apparently unaltered church complete with pastor and gigantic gold cross.
  • Germany is infamous for its game edits. Nazi symbolism is verboten, so games like BloodRayne (set in Nazi Germany) get set in Ruritania with we-swear-they're-not-swastikas everywhere.
    • "They're just machines" is common there, too. The back page of the official guide to the N64's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter touted the PAL-version replacement of all the human mooks with robot soldiers as a feature.
    • One of the worst examples is the removal of Nimdok and his section in the PC game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. What makes this seriously stupid is that the game wasn't changed to not require his section to be completed to beat the game, making the game Unwinnable.
    • This German requirement has led to the international versions of many strategy games set in WW 2 using the imperial German flag and symbols instead of the Nazi ones, and replacing Hitler with a fictional character. This of course leads to Unfortunate Implications as it can appear to be historical revisionism and claiming the Nazis never existed.
  • The German releases of Command & Conquer changed everyone in the whole series into robots, but Generals was by far the worst in this regard:
    • Every face was cyborgified.
    • All voice samples were modified to make them sound more like robots.
    • Blood was changed to green.
    • The GLA suicide bomber was replaced by a bomb with wheels, which inexplicably starts talking once you put it into a car. Oops.
      • All this was parodied by AH Dot Com the Series, whose German mercenaries have a small army of "Cyborg Robots With Green Blood" who they called upon when required to fight for civilisations so squeamish they faint at the sight of real humans fighting.
  • While we're talking about German versions, the German version of Half Life not only changes all enemy soldiers to robots but also removed all blood and gore and made it so that instead of dying when shot, the science team would just calmly sit down while shaking their heads in disappointment before fading away.
  • Dynamite Headdy removed all dialogue except for the tutorial segments and the end of Scene 4 from the US version of the game. What was once an intentionally silly but coherent plot becomes an incomprehensible mess that's barely discernable past random action sequences because of this.
    • In the original Japanese version, if you enter the tutorial segments, you'd be asked if you want to practice, which is nice if you have second thoughts about doing it. In the US version, once you enter the room, there's no turning back. And you don't get any dialogue if you fail these attempts. At least they had the sense to change the ending in light of the dialogue removal: in the US version, Smiley rejoices upon seeing Heather, who turns to Headdy and glomps him. During the ending demo, Headdy sees Heather off with the rest of his friends. In the Japanese version, Smily pins himself to Headdy's face as Fingy looks on. In the ending demo, only Headdy's friends see Fingy off, as Headdy struggles to get Smily off his face.
  • The European and American versions of Magical Drop III removed a lot of things present in the Japanese version. The endless mode no longer has dan rankings, characters now use generic "I'm gonna beat you!"-style dialogue before each versus matchup, plot-related cutscenes have been removed, and characters no longer have individual voices—there's about three in the whole game (one in the American version), with each voice being shared by multiple characters.
  • How about Sonic CD? Sega of America delayed the US release by several months for the purpose of replacing 75% of the soundtrack, most likely due to Sampling issues as the Japanese sound track used a lot of 'em (Prime example if you don't believe that: Listen to the Japanese boss theme and then to "Work That Sucker To Death" by Xavier.). Even Spencer Nielsen, the composer working on behalf of Sega of America, sympathized with irate fans.
  • The Twinbee platformer spinoff Rainbow Bell Adventures was released in both Japan and Europe. The Japanese version featured an overworld map with many, many optional stages and potential paths to the end, and multiple endings depending on how much of the game you actually cleared before taking on the final boss. The European version stripped out all but one of the endings and made the game completely linear.
  • In Chrono Trigger, the legendary sword Granleon was renamed Masamune in the English translation. Although this doesn't seem like a very bad change (after all, Masamune is a pretty cool name and shows up as the name of a powerful sword in most Squaresoft games), but it does cause some problems.
    • In most Squaresoft games, the Masamune is either a katana or a sword that looks like a katana. However, the Masamune in Chrono Trigger is definitely not a katana. There are plenty of katanas in the game but the Masamune is not one of them.
    • The Masamune contains two brothers named Masa and Mune (or Gran and Leon in Japanese) who are Anthropomorphic Personifications of the swordsmith Melchior's hopes and dreams. Later on, you find out they have a sister named Doreen (Dream in Japan). By going to the right place, at the right time, with the right lead character, you can obtain an accessory that allows you to perform a Triple Tech that summons Masa and Mune... as well as their sister! The name of this attack is GrandDream since Doreen is helping her brothers with the attack (Gran + Dream instead of Gran + Leon). Unfortunately, when the Granleon is named the Masamune and Gran's name is Masa, the name of the tech sounds cool, but loses its meaning.
    • Since the Granleon is still called the Masamune in Chrono Cross, it causes problems there too. After you defeat a Bonus Boss who is being controlled by the now evil Masamune, Doreen shows up, and scolds her brothers. Then all three of them combine their powers to change the Masamune from a sword into a swallow (Serge's weapon type). In Japan, this weapon was called Grand Dream, once again signifying that the brothers are being joined by Doreen and also giving a nice shout out to a fairly obscure ability from the first game. In America, this weapon gets the cheese-tastic name Mastermune.
    • The DS remake of Chrono Trigger attempts to correct the Grand Dream attack issue. Unfortunately, it does so by renaming it Mastermune, which repairs the Shout-Out in Chrono Cross but still sounds incredibly cheesy.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, a level taking place in Hell was relocated to a desert island for fear of offending religious types. The European versions got to stay in Hell, though.
  • Pretty much any instruction manual written by Konami of America's localization staff during the NES era and most of the SNES era, which usually changed the plots of the games and renamed all the enemy characters with incredibly lame puns. The changes usually never affected the games themselves, as many games at the time were lacking in-game dialogue at the time and when they did, Konami would often forget to actually change the plot of the game, leading to various game to manual discrepancies.
    • The most infamous example would be the NES version of Metal Gear. The plot within the game itself was mostly kept unchanged, but the manual identified the antagonist as a "Colonel Vermon CaTaffy", a clear pastiche of Lybian socialist leader "Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi". Its obvious that the writer of the manual never actually finished the game.
      • Or simply didn't want to spoil it?
    • Snake's Revenge, the NES sequel to Metal Gear, is an ever odder case. The game was released only in America and Europe, so the English manual has no Japanese version to be compared with. Even then it still manages to be inconsistent with the game itself, as the manual identifies the villain as a middle east dictator named "Higharolla Kockmamia", another pastiche (this time of Ayatollah Khomeini; at least not Hideo Kojima), but the actual bad guy is revealed to be a cyborg version of Big Boss in the actual game. Additionally, the manual claims that Jennifer "X" (Snake's female contact within the enemy base) is "rumored to be related to Ginger from Gilligan's Island".
      • ... now that's a crossover I want to see.
    • When the first Game Boy Gradius game was translated in America, the plot of the game was changed from a "Aliens are attacking us!"-style blurb to ridiculous crap about chasing down a criminal called "King Nemesis". While the Gradius series was never plot-heavy in the first place, the manual of this game has to be seen to be believed.
      • In the SNES conversion of Gradius III, "bosses" became "Mayors", and several bosses got renamed:[5] QB2B, Monarch,[6] Ice Ice,[7] Grim,[8] among others. Worst of all, the Vic Viper gets renamed to the "M.A.X."
      • The American manual for Life Force identifies the planet-devouring being of Zelos as the child of a "Ma & Pa Deltoid", as well as switching the names of Intruder (the dragon) and Cruiser Tetran (the core ship with the four tentacles).
    • In addition to having the cut-scenes actually removed from the first NES game, the manuals of the early Contra games actually changed the plot for each game as well, placing them in the present instead of the future. The manual for the original Contra, which was actually set in the fictional Galuga islands near New Zealand, sets the game in South America instead, while the manual of Operation C, which was originally about Bill Rizer fighting against an unknown superpower in the Japanese version, was changed by identifying the antagonist as another alien invader named Black Viper. While Contra III kept the futuristic setting of the game, it changed the identities of the main characters from Bill and Lance into their descendants, "Jimbo" and "Sully". The enemy characters were also given sillier names such as "Jagger Froid" and the "Babalu Destructoid Mechanism". Oddly enough, the manuals for the European Probotector games had more accurate translations, changing the text only to take into account that the main characters were robots.
  • The Super NES port of Wolfenstein 3D was given the No Swastikas treatment, and the Big Bad was changed from Hitler to "Staatmeister".
    • A longstanding rumor claims that the creators of Wolfenstein were so offended by this, that they actually gave the game source code to Wisdom Tree, a company that produced Christian video games, who in turn made Super 3D Noah's Ark, the only unlicensed SNES game in existence. While not believed to be true - it's more likely that Wisdom Tree was a normal code licensee - the id software staff did seem to know that the game was going to be an unlicensed release, and were apparently okay with that, at the least.
  • The MMORPG Digimon Battle's text was pretty much translated using Google Translator. The website's just as bad.
  • Much to the ire of long-time fans of the series, Sega's Yakuza 3 was brought heavily under the cutting knife in an effort to excise elements that "would not resonate with Western audiences." This includes the removal of a string of quests involving the management of a hostess bar, elimination of such alarmingly Japanese games as shogi and mahjong, and the tossing aside of massage parlors, a number of optional missions, and a rather deep trivia game. Because many of these events have appeared in prior Yakuza games, the changes have led many to believe the game was unnecessarily cu
  • Dragon Quest IV's DS remake had the "party talk" feature removed from the US version. Before you dismiss this, this constituted enough of the game's dialogue that the US version's ROM is a full 18 megabytes smaller than the Japanese one.
    • Dragon Quest IV DS and onward also have a huge number of Dub Name Changes. Most are pointless, but harmless, but there are also several that ruin Mythology Gags and Continuity Nods to other games in the series, by using a completely different name from the previous releases that are being referenced.
  • The U.S. version of the NES game Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cut out two levels from the Japanese version and replaced them with copies of other stages, which makes the Japanese version better. "Kind of like eating a skunk versus eating a skunk with a little salt on it."
  • When Magical Doropie was translated as The Krion Conquest, the story stopped at the intro, beyond which all cutscenes were removed and the ending became A Winner Is You. This only made the game look even more like a ripoff of Mega Man than it already was.

Web Animation

Western Animation

  • Probably one of the best examples of this trope being successful is the British version of The Magic Roundabout, in which Eric Thompson ignored the original French scripts and wrote new ones based solely on the visuals, leading to the cult series that is known and loved today.
    • Doubtless puzzling Francophones who know only the forgettable original.
  • The Polish version of Futurama. Oh Lord. Professor Farnsworth is Fry's uncle in some episodes, most of the references are happily butchered, and the show is called Przygody Fry'a w kosmosie, that is "Fry's Adventures in Space". Not only that, but the TV station that picked it up was fined for showing the episodes at the time when children could see it. It allegedly showed "an unreal world full of violence".
  • From what Gaelic speakers have said, the Gaelic translation of Danger Mouse. For a start, in order to justify his Brought to You by The Letter "S" Chest Insignia, they gave him the rather uninspiring name of "Donnie Murdo".
    • In the same fashion, the italian dub of Underdog named the title character "Ughetto".
  • The Code Lyoko cartoon series managed to avert this in a major way (even with all the Fan Service). The "Subdigitals" CD release was not so lucky...
  • The Japanese dub of Beast Wars transformed it into a goofy comedy show with many characters' personalities becoming completely altered. Examples can be found on the Transformers wiki.
  • Yoohoo & Friends was originally a Korean cartoon about Ridiculously Cute Critters going on wacky adventures. The US version, created by David Feiss, threw in a subplot about the titular characters being Corrupt Corporate Executives who were turned into animals as punishment for their crimes against the environment. The contrast between the original footage and the new footage is very noticable and jarring.

Other

  • In many Brazilian dubs, there is an inversion of Bowdlerization: "root beer" is commonly mistranslated as "cerveja" ("beer"), so it's pretty weird to see kids drinking beer.
    • It happens in the Latin American Spanish dub of Dragon Ball, too.
  1. Mainly because Saban already did the "Rangers surfing the web" thing with VR Troopers.
  2. Which is why Dragon Knight, below, was made almost ten years after his death and its creators had to prove to Toei that they wouldn't repeat Saban's mistakes in order to get the license in the first place
  3. at least, with the adult Periphery Demographic that makes up the the western Kamen Rider fanbase
  4. It isn't locked on All The Tropes. If you really want to create a page for Turbocharged Thunderbirds, go for it... but refrain from complaining about shows you don't like, please.
  5. click hottips for original names
  6. Crystal Core
  7. Big Core mkII
  8. Derringer Core