Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Pretty Darn Different In Japanese

I played a lot Xenoblade Chronicles 2 before its release. I had to wait until after its release to download the Japanese voiceover DLC. Using the in-game cutscene viewer, I rewatched every cutscene I’d seen so far in the game, in Japanese this time. I made a video cataloguing some of the little differences I noticed in the first two chapters.

If you’ve seen my Final Fantasy 7 video series, you know that I love little differences between localised games and their originals. I made a similar video for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which, unlike Final Fantasy 7, has voice acting, so you don’t have to suffer through me reading the lines out loud.

A lot has changed since 1997, when a lone human individual translated the entirety of Final Fantasy 7 in a few weeks. I found a lot of stuff different in the English localisation of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’m not saying any of it is bad, just that it’s interesting.

I’ve divided the video into four sections. For your convenience, here are some timestamps.

0:00: A brief introduction and a word on “Solidsnakeism”.

1:29: “Religion Scrubbing”, in which we discuss numerous spiritual references that the English script blatantly obscures.

4:16: “Name Polishing”, in which we examine the original Japanese names of some of the many characters whose names were changed in the English localisation. (This section contains a lengthy interlude on ancient Chinese astrological symbolism.)

7:06: “Punch Buffing”, in which we discuss a few of the places where the English version is punchier than the Japanese. (Nia is a bit meaner in English.)

10:08: “Punchwashing”, a word I made up a long time ago to describe jokes that localisation waters down. There’s a particularly racy one in here.

In closing, I am enjoying this game a lot. It’s huge and I like the battle system. That’s not me being sarcastic. I mean that. Please stop tweeting your hate at me (I’m @108, by the way).


  • This isn’t to say it’s badly localized though: the opposite, in a lot of cases. The one thing that sticks out is the name changes, some of which seem very arbitrary.

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