Tuesday, November 8, 2011

French Cuisine, Via Japan, Via a Video Game

Here is a villain.

I mean, just try to imagine any instance where this guy is not a villain. Go head. Try.

He may not mean much to you, this Waluigi-looking dastard, but he’s the big bad of an eight-bit video game called Panic Restaurant, wherein the ingredients and instruments of an industrial kitchen turn evil in the way that things in video game universes inexplicably do. WHen I played the game, the guy’s name was Ohdove, and I always wondered why someone thought that was a serviceable name for an evil chef. Now I know. According to the Wikipedia page for Panic Restaurant — I was feeling bored and nostalgic, okay? — the guy’s name is supposed to be Hors D’Oeuvre, but the process of taking a French word, rendering it in Japanese and then translating it into English made that completely unrecognizable. Now I know.

A small thing, I’ll admit, but I never get tired of finding out that clunky or meaningless-seeming names from old video games were, in fact, supposed to mean something, and that translation and re-translation obscures meaning but also makes something new.

And that may be the most profound thing I will ever write about Panic Restaurant.

Names and games, previously:

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