Breath of the Wild localization potentially changes major story detail
It's all in the details
If you haven't played or beaten the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Wii U or Switch, there are MAJOR SPOILERS below that may potentially ruin the game's story.
Spoilers Begin now:
Unlike previous entries in the Zelda franchise, where players follow a quest that essentially lays out the story for them, Breath of Wild has players track down lost memories, that when pieced together, tell the story of Link and the heroes that fought Calamity Ganon alongside him.
Upon fighting Calamity Ganon, Zelda will speak to players, when Ganon changes form into a large, Warthog/pig with horns. Depending on whether or not you're playing the game in English or Japanese, the finality of this encounter may differ.
According to Legends of Localization, in English, Zelda tells players:
"He has given up on reincarnation and assumed his pure, enraged form."
This basically means, rather than protect himself from truly dying, he's given up on that plan and has become his pure form, in order to kill Link. This means, that if Link were to kill him, Ganon would die, permanently. As in, the cycle of his reincarnation will be over.
However, in Japanese, the same line goes like this:
"This form was born from his obsessive refusal to give up on revival..."
This is a whole different meaning, in Japanese, it's believed that the form Ganon takes after being beaten in the castle, is just another form he has manifested and even if beaten, he could find another way to reincarnate himself and come back at a later time.
It's clear that this bit of translation could confuse players who are playing the English version, to them, it appears that Ganon is for all intents and purposes, dead. Whereas the Japanese audience knows that like always, Ganon could find another way to return.
To muddy up the waters, even more, there is another line that is just as confusing.
"Although Ganon is gone, for now, there is still so much more for us to do."
That's the English line that Zelda speaks after Link defeats Ganon, which is odd, that she would say, "Gone for now," when she just said he has given up on reincarnation for this pure form. It's the opposite in Japanese, where she says, "the threat of Calamity is gone."
So as you can see it's sort of a back and forth for both languages. In one line we here Ganon is gone, but he could be back and yet, Ganon could be back, but is now gone. Translations can really be a tricky thing to deal with, especially in games with such a strong narrative.