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Apr 25, 2021

Dubbing Differences: Disney's Hercules

Welcome to a new series, Dubbing Differences, where I watch classic films in Portuguese and highlight their most interesting and funny differences in translation. It's fascinating to me how much effort it must take to find translated lines that get the idea across, that are spoken in more or less the same period of time on screen, that are voiced by actors who have reasonably similar vocal timbre to the originals, and to go the extra mile that fit the lip syncing of the character pretty close. And don't even get me started on translating entire songs that rhyme... Those deserve much more attention than these smaller articles.

Dubbing Differences:
Disney's Hercules

  • The Muse Thalia says “Múscules” instead of “Hunkules,” a play on the word “muscles.”
  • The Muses sing “Foi o que passou,” meaning “That’s what happened,” instead of “That’s the gospel truth.”
  • Hades: “I haven’t been this speechless since I choked on some ambrosia.”
  • Pain is named “Agony.”
  • Instead of “Mr. High-and-Mighty, Mr. Hey-You-Get-Off-My-Cloud,” Hades says “The Big Tasty of Olympus, the King of Greek Cocada.” The “King of Dark Cocada” is a saying in Brazil meaning someone who’s full of themself; in this case, he replaces dark (“preta”) with Greek (“grega”)—a fascinating instance of both wordplay and Greek reference.
  • All instances of “Oh my goodness,” or similar phrases are replaced with “Oh my gods.”
  • Market boy: “We already have nine, and we want to keep it an even number.” I think this was purely to keep the lipsyncing closer to the original.
  • Market boys: “Maybe we should call him Chatoles,” which basically plays off the word “annoying” instead of “jerk,” but it’s not even close to the word “Hercules,” so it’s a big stretch.
  • Urn salesman: “Keep that aberration away from here!”
  • Hercules, when he pulls Phil’s door off its hinges: “I didn't mean to do that” instead of “Sorry.”
  • The various “rules” that Phil teaches Hercules have their numbers changed, probably to fit with lipsyncing more, since they’re arbitrary anyway.
  • Phil, to Meg when they first meet: “And by the way, princess, I’m real too!”
  • Phil: “You can make mistakes in the minor decathlons, but this is for real!”
  • Hercules: “He lost, didn’t he?” instead of “I beat him, didn’t I?”
  • Meg’s nickname for Hercules is Big Boy instead of Wonder Boy.
  • Instead of “Herc,” people call Hercules “H” (pronounced ah-GAH) for short.
  • Pain: “Remember a few years ago, all the girls were named Joanna and the boys were all Marco?”
  • Guy in Thebes after Hercules says what they need is a hero: “Yeah? Know someone?
  • Instead of “You’re really choked up about this, aren’t you?” Meg says “You like this? I’m shocked.”
  • Instead of saying he has a fur wedgie, Phil says “Que bode,” which is an idiom that literally means “What a goat,” but figuratively means “How embarrassing.” This is a super clever joke given that he’s a goatlike satyr.
  • Pain, in child form: “Balacubaco! You’re strong, mister!”
  • All the Greek jokes (e.g., "chariot-chaser") and most idioms are replaced with non-idioms. For example, instead of saying "Somebody call IX-I-I!" Panic in child form just says "Somebody call the Theban emergency services!"
  • A lot of grunts and yells are taken out and not replaced, and the silence makes things awkward and undramatic in those scenes.
  • The songs are all very different, but here are some particularly interesting changes:
    • From “Slapped his face on every vase / on every vahse!” to “I decorated vases and they rocked! / I think that’s vulgar!
    • “Won’t Say I’m in Love” is instead “I Won’t Say It’s Passion
    • "A Star Is Born" is instead "Shined in the Sky"
  • Meg: “Everybody in Greece thinks you’re the greatest thing since they invented rice pilaf.”
  • Meg: “No trick knees? No ruptured discs?” replaced with “No spinal pains? No hernia?”
  • Phil, urging Hercules to get on Pegasus and move: “Mount! Mount mount mount!
  • Phil: “I thought you were going to be the best of champions, not the best of goofballs.” The wordplay of champ and chump is replaced with campiões and bobalhões.
  • The ice, tornado, and magma titans don’t speak. They just roar, or don’t say anything at all.

Apr 13, 2021

Hero Forge Final Quest Heroes

What can I say? Ever since Hero Forge got color, it's been exploding in utility for recreation. Below are the heroes of my JRPG, Final Quest, which I'm tempted to see if I can get back into working on at some point. It has some good potential. I also realized I've never really done a deep dive into this game's mechanics before, so I thought I'd give you some more information on each of the characters and how they work while I'm at it. I wish the game development was farther along so I could give more details.

Name: Prince Roland
Class: Warrior
Special Stat: Fervor - Increases effectiveness of status-inducing and buffing abilities.
Leader Bonus: After each attack, other party members gain a small amount of hit points.
SP Stat: Rage - Roland starts each combat at 0 SP, but each time Roland attacks, he gains 10 SP, which can be used for his Warfare abilities.

Roland is the silent protagonist of the group and the crown prince of Graycrown. He hopes to become a hero worthy of his title in any way that he can.



Name: Victus
Class: Paladin

Victus is the chief paladin and captain of the Graycrown army, and everything Roland could ever hope to become some day. Unfortunately, after a long adventure basically babysitting Roland, he lost his temper and killed a target he was supposed to capture alive, and was thrown into the dungeon until further notice.


Name: Dace
Class: Rogue
Special Stat: Dexterity - Increases poison damage and damage-over-time effects like bleeding and poisoning.
Leader Bonus: Dace can attempt to pick locked doors and chests. He is also half-Dirk, so he can spot invisible Dirks hiding anywhere.
SP Stat: Energy - Dace has a fixed amount of SP that does not increase with level. He can expend it on Roguery abilities, and I'm not sure if I programmed this yet, but the higher your SP is, the likelier you are to have critical combos. He can regain SP by using the combat ability "Bide."

Dace is a half-human half-Dirk rogue from Dirkennshire. Each of his normal attacks has a chance of chaining to a combo attack, which in turn has a smaller chance of comboing, up to 3 levels of damage.


Name: Solmyr
Class: Wizard
Special Stat: Magic - Increases spell damage and effectiveness.
Leader Bonus: Scattered throughout the game are blue runes scrawled on walls. Solmyr can copy the spells down and learn them as new abilities.
SP Stat: Mana - Solmyr's mana pool and maximum mana increase with level, and are spent on his spells. It can be regained with mana potions.

Solmyr is a magus from a mage guild. He's a classic magic-using JRPG character who can equip different types of "cantrips" that deal simple amounts of elemental damage, and he learns spells by purchasing them or copying them off of runic writings rather than by experience.



Name: Zandalis "Zane" the Mad
Class: Necromancer
Special Stat: Magic
Leader Bonus: Zane can see ghosts and speak with them.
SP Stat: Mana - Same as Solmyr, but he has an ability where he can drain his own life energy to increase his mana.

Zane is an insane practitioner of black magic who was imprisoned in the Graycrown dungeons. When the party needs information on how to travel to the Realm of the Dead, they have no choice but to free Zane and call on his abilities. In general, he's a glass cannon. His abilities are more powerful than Solmyr's steady, balanced ones, but they come with terrible prices, like his allies' health and expensive spell components.


Name: Archibald "Archie" the Devout
Class: Priest
Special Stat: Faith - Same as magic
Leader Bonus: ?
SP Stat: Mana - Same as Solmyr.

Archie is the comic relief character of the party and a potent healer. Although he can equip some weapons, his main purpose is to equip Ankhs, which allow him to quickly heal small amounts to party members in need each turn in lieu of attacking. Eventually, he'll be able to equip a pink, purified Death's Scythe that can resurrect fallen allies with no cost.

Name: ???
Class: Ranger
Special Stat: ?
Leader Bonus: Can detect secrets on the world map
SP Stat: Accuracy - Not fleshed out yet, but I'm thinking every arrow shot he takes costs at least a little SP, and the accuracy of his shots is based on the current amount. Non-arrow abilities regenerate a little accuracy.

The Ranger is a mysterious character without a name (the player decides it for him) called upon to help them hunt something, probably. He'll have a wide variety of arrow attacks geared toward defeating specific types of monsters.



Name: Nick
Class: Alchemist
Special Stat: ?
Leader Bonus: Every potion anyone in the party consumes during combat heals a small amount, regardless of its primary purpose.
SP Stat: Potency - Haven't tested it yet, but my theory is that his SP stat determines the power of his potion abilities, and that the potency goes down after each one he does. He'll have an ability called "Distill" that spends a turn resetting his SP.

Nick is of an order of alchemists that operate a massive factory that produces healing potions for many different video games. The experimental nature of his potions makes his attacks vary widely in damage, but maybe if I can get the Potency mechanic to work it'll narrow them down and make them more consistent, while getting more and more random every time. He even has an ability where he can throw a random potion at anyone—ally or enemy, and who knows whether it'll help or hinder them?


Name: Rax
Class: Druid?
Special Stat: ?
Leader Bonus: ?
SP Stat: ?

Rax is a wild man who needs no weapons because he can rapidly turn into a bear and claw his enemies. He wasn't in my notes, so I don't know much else about him, and in fact I may have just put his graphic in the game because the changing into a bear mechanic would look funny in combat.

Apr 11, 2021

Relic Short Story: The Castle on the Hill

My mom recently found an old box of memories, and I was really surprised to find them. The box had been packed away in some corner of our last couple houses, and unlike my existing tablets and things that I had organized and review out of nostalgia every few years, I hadn't laid eyes on any of these documents and drawings for decades. Among them was this short story, dated June 2001, that I must have written as a creative writing assignment. I'm fairly impressed. For a story written by a 12-year-old, it's not half-bad. At least compared to some of my other jokes of attempts at creative prose.

The Castle on the Hill

I was born and raised in a small village in southern Britain. I seldom left my hamlet because my mother feared that outside the house was dangerous. When I reached the age of seventeen, I was allowed to leave the place so long as I carried a dagger with me.

One day as I wandered around the town exploring, I noticed a broken-down castle on top of an extremely steep-looking cliff overlooking the town. Nobody seemed to notice it because, well, it was kind of far away—ten miles maybe, and all the peasants were real busy.

I walked over to one of the merchants and started to ask, “Sir, do you notice that—”

“Hello, lad,” the man cut me off. “Would you like to buy a nice, big bag o’ haggis?” He held up a slimy sheep-stomach bag.

“No thanks,” I said quickly (I never liked haggis that much).

I then walked over to a scullery maid who was busy selling milk, cheese, and butter. “Excuse me, ma’am, do you see that castle up—”

“Hello!” She cut me off too. “Would you like some cheese, milk, or butter?”

“Well, I…” What could I say? I love cheese! “…alright.” I bought a small chunk of cheese for a very reasonable price (four shillings) and sat on a bench to eat.

“Who lives there, I wonder? Is it a dangerous climb up the cliff?” I thought deeply. Then I knew what I must do. “I’ll go and scale it,” I thought. “Yeah…”

*   *   *

A couple of days later, I finally had all the supplies I needed to go to the castle: flint, a torch, cheese, rope, sword, more cheese, a wound-tending kit, and cheese.

“Tonight,” I thought, “will be the day…”

Of course, my worrywart mother would never have let me go to some strange, dark castle on top of a hill, but I was older now, and I knew that anything was possible.

I snuck out that night towards the castle. It took me the rest of the night to even get through to the hill. I never imagined the terrain on the way there would be so rocky. I tripped like, eighty times, and every second it seemed that another bramble vine was in my way. Fortunately, I had my trusty dagger with me, so the brambles weren’t that bad.

It took forever, but at long last, I found myself in front of the hill. I looked up… way, way up, and almost threw up.

The top of the hill had to be at least a hundred meters straight up. Absolutely no handholds or footholds. Just absolutely up! My rope would never reach that ledge!

However, I hadn’t just walked and tripped for ten miles for nothing. I would not give up. I looked at the situation. How could I get up? My question was answered when I heard the wyvern.

I didn’t notice the sound at first. It was sort of like a whine a venom wasp would make, but really low and deep. Then it started to sweep upward till it was an unbearable roar. The roar was absolutely terrifying, but not as terrifying as the wyvern itself.

I saw it. A great, sickly-green flying lizard with vast, uneven bat wings, horns, and a spearlike tail. The worst part, though, was its eyes. Br-r-r-r-r! Those huge, red orbs glistening like evil rubies in its skull.
I was so scared I had to swallow five or six times to even breathe. My first thought was RUN!! My second was STAND YOUR GROUND!! I don’t know why I obeyed the second thought, but I did. The wyvern started to swoop, and for a split second I thought “It’s the key—the key to getting up!”

The speed on earth slowed down for some reason. I could see the wyvern diving towards me, its eyes glowing like beacons. I saw my hand rising up, up towards the wyvern’s leg. Then the speed returned to normal and something very peculiar happened: I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and I felt something I was clinging onto—something hard and clammy. I felt wind on my face. Then I realized that the wyvern was carrying me. I had grabbed its foot!

I looked down and saw a rock. As I went higher, the rock got smaller—so small that it finally disappeared altogether. That’s when I saw some grass—yellowish-brown, prickly grass. I suddenly realized that I was looking at the top side of the cliff! I jumped—I had made it!

…Well, not quite.

*  *  *

When I regained consciousness, I noticed that my body was aching and my lip was bleeding. I took a swab from the wound-tending kit (now quite dented) and rubbed my lip. “Well,” I thought, “at least I made it.

Indeed, I had made it. The castle loomed over me. “Great Scott,” I breathed. The castle was blad with lichen and vines snaking up the sides of it. Suddenly, I had a discouraging thought. “What if this isn’t worth it? What if there’s a wyvern nest in there? What if the place is desolate?”

I decided I didn’t care what was in it. I just needed to know. I walked up to the door and knocked.

I almost jumped at what I’d heard. It sounded like thousands of glass flasks shattering. The door creaked open and I found myself face-to-face with a fairly old man—sixty, maybe seventy years old. He wore spectacles and had a grayish goatee. His eyes were wide with fright.

“H-how did y-you get i-i-in?!” he stammered.

“Who are you?” I asked.

He took a deep breath and said, “My name is Dr. Tim. My golems call me ‘Master.’”

“What is a golem?” I asked.

“A golem,” he said, “is like a living statue made of natural materials that has no feelings, hopes, desires, memories, dislikes, or opinions. I am a proud builder of golems. But, oh dear, where are my manners? Do come in.”

I went in and explored the place. I saw “golems” everywhere, all made of different materials: stone, glass, rock, chalk, iron, gold, silver, wood, brass, diamond… It seemed that the varieties would never end. I had a hard time believing that they had no feelings, though in the back of my mind I believed it, because they always obeyed Dr. Tim.

“How about some tea?” Dr. Tim asked after a brief tour of the castle.

“Okay.” I remembered losing all of that cheese in the crash and was now quite hungry.

We had tea and chatted a while about the golems. Suddenly, I noticed something really strange: one of the golems was talking to another. “Er… Tim, sir…” I started to say.

“They really are nice. I have no worries with those dopes working all the time, and…” he yakked away.

Sir.” My protests were getting impatient.

“…Of course, lately, a few have been acting up, refusing to do what I want them to, so of course I destroyed them with—”

SIR! Your golems are planning something!” I snapped.

“What?” He looked confused.

“LOOK!” I pointed to the golems. There was now a small group of seven or eight golems. The big marble one seemed to be telling them something. Then they all looked at Dr. Tim and started marching in unison towards him.

“S-stop! Stop, I say! G-get away from me!” Tim was now looking quite frightened at the golems.
Despite his protests, the golems advanced towards him menacingly. “S-s-stop! STOP!!” He screamed at the golems, but more were joining the group and were reaching out their strong arms.

By now, Tim was shrieking with fear, threatening them with destruction of something called a Volt Altar. But suddenly the golems were upon him, cuffing him with their fists. I shielded my eyes from the scene. Tim was getting bruised very badly by them.

Suddenly, the marble golem spoke: “We are ver-ry ti-red of wor-king for you, ‘Mas-ter.’ Pre-pare to be des-troyed.”

Tim started yelling to me, “Activate the—OW!—Volt Altar! OUCH! Set the volt cap—OW! —acity to OOF! …A hundred! Go quickly, boy! It’s—OWWY! —downstairs!” He died shortly after that last word. I felt sorry, but I had to do what he said.

I ran downstairs where there was a large round sunken platform in the center of the room with a switch box next to it. I looked down the numbers on the switch box and looked for “100.” I found it, pulled the switch, and an explosion ignited.

The explosion was gigantic, with blue sparks every which-way. When the smoke cleared, I found myself in the middle of a big room full of golden nuggets, wood chips, pebbles, and other hunks of materials. “These must be the golems’ bodies,” I thought. I waded through the wreck upstairs where I found the body of Dr. Tim. I decided to take it home and bury it. It only seemed proper.

I’m not exactly sure how I got down to the ground. I jumped off the edge and, after a moment, I was back on the ground! I buried Dr. Tim and promised my mom never to leave the village and was grounded for life. I’m not exactly sure what I was grounded from, because back then we didn’t have computers… Then again, how did I type this anyway? Well, that’s my story.

The End.