The Funniest (And Worst) Engrish In Classic Japanese Video Games

Back in the day Japanese developers didn't have the budget or the control to make perfect Japanese-to-English translations... although probably no one really cared. They had to translate and export their games to the West as fast as possible.

So they can't be blamed for this really — but the results are too hilarious. We collected some of them below.

Bubble Bobble

Source: Bubble Bobble intro

Metal Gear

Source: The first few minutes of the game on the NES

Zero Wing

Source: Zero Wing intro

Ninja Gaiden

Source: Ninja Gaiden act 6 on the NES

Ikari Warriors

Source: Ikari Warriors ending on the NES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Source: TMNT (Arcade) ending

Crime City

Source: Crime City (Arcade) ending

Fatal Fury Special

Source: Terry Bogard in Fatal Fury Special on the NeoGeo

Aero Fighters 3

Source: Aero Fighters 3 (Arcade) endings

Super Chase

Source: Super Chase (Arcade) stage endings


Source: X-Men Arcade

No text on the last one, but it's probably known by everyone. If not, check the source for some laughter. And of course, your submit picks are welcome with support that is visual.


    Not actually "Engrish" as such, but in Illusion of Time/Illusion of Gaia on the SNES, whenever you picked up a herb (which was a healing item), the game popped up the text "You found an herb!".

    Being Australian, and being used to pronouncing the 'h' in herb, I had just assumed this was a typo or at worst, just something lost in translation. It wasn't until I was older and discovered Americans don't pronounce the 'h' in the word herb (they say "erb") that I realised it was simply an American translation (even for Illusion of Time, which is what it was called in PAL).

    Strangely I can't find a screenshot of that particular phrase, but anyone who has played it will know what I'm talking about.

      Inappropriate use of 'a' and 'an' bugs me. So many of our uni documents have such errors.

        Where do you stand with "hour"? Is it "half an hour" or "half a hour"?

        These are the things that keep me up at night...

          An hour. Because we don't pronounce the h (maybe you do?). I'd get upset if it was 'an half'.

          You can have an understanding of an urgent need for an umbrella when you encounter an unfortunate downpour, but never an unicorn to carry you to sunnier climes.

          Proof that Unicorns are magical.
          Or that they don't exist.

          ...One of those.

            The use of the word "an" is phonetic, not based on the letter. Generally speaking if a word SOUNDS like it begins with a vowel (even if it begins with a consonant) we use "an". If it SOUNDS like it begins with a consonant (even if it begins with a vowel), we use "a".

            So in words like "hour", where the 'h' is silent, it sounds like "our" so we say "an hour". With a word like "half", we pronounce the 'h' so we say "a half".

            "Umbrella" and "unicorn" fall into the same category. We pronounce the 'u' in "umbrella" as its normal "uh" sound, so we say "an umbrella". However the 'u' in "unicorn" is pronounced with a "yoo" sound, so we say "a unicorn".

            Last edited 03/02/13 9:04 pm

              Ummm, yeah. I know all that. I was just trying to make a joke. :/

              I probably should have used some emoticons or something to make that more clear.

                I knew you were joking, I probably should have made it more clear that I wasn't replying to the joke specifically but was just emphasising my earlier point, just using your example as an...uhh...example.

      I was playing through fire emblem on the wii today and noticed them say "an herb" !

    This is a pretty weak list, where is "Get you the hot bullets of shotgun to die!"?

    Hahaha, at the time I was really young playing the TMNT game at the time and couldn't read very well, so I never noticed the bad English at the time. Now it's so bleeding obvious.

    resident evil voice acting was always top notch

      This is _exactly_ why the Resident Evil series went downhill. It lost all camp.

    You are arrested on terrorism of using explosive devices !!

    This is a present from me to you:

    “I am Error.” – Zelda II: The Adventures of Link

    "A winner is you!" - Pro Wrestling

    “Shine Get!” – Super Mario Sunshine

      They really should have kept it as SHINE GET! for the English release.

    you forgot "A winner is you" from pro wrestling on the NES.

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