Memes & added references in game localizations


I’d like to make a single big article that’s basically a big gallery of memes & references added into localized games. I’ve got a couple in a folder already but I realized I don’t have many documented. So if you know of any and/or can provide screenshots, post in here!

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I can grab you some of the ones from FFV later. I screenshotted my way through it this year for the four job fiesta (because trying to organize last year’s was going to be a big pain). I’ll still need a bit of time to organize, but it should be a boatload easier.


Ah, I went too quick to catch it in screenshot form, but I just went through a Heart-to-Heart in Xenoblade 2 called “What’s in a Name?”, and they dropped the classic “It’s only a flesh wound” reference in the text when I called Zeke’s title goofy.


“This is SPARDA” was the most painful moment in a game utterly overfull of memes and pop culture jokes. To redeem the whole enterprise, though, Ace Attorney 6 did the greatest pop culture reference of all time:


As for the previous AA shot, I take it fan translation stuff is fair game, then? I’m on it. Here are a few more from the same game:

From Project X-Zone 2:






PXZ2 is actually like one large, non-specific pop culture joke. Sadly, it’s hard to get any screens I don’t already have, what with Miiverse no longer a thing. :-/

I’ll have to dig out my PS TV and harvest some of my Ar Nosurge Plus screenshots. There are definitely several in there.


This is something Mato & I were discussing today: What’s the difference between a reference and a meme? I looked up “meme” in the dictionary and got: " an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture"

With that in mind, would the “I like shorts” line in Pokemon be considered a meme? Especially when it appears in Last Window as “I like suits. They’re comfy and easy to wear” ? It’s definitely a reference, though. Has it graduated to a meme?


I would say a meme is something that gets repeated a lot while a reference is more focused and singular. “You spoony bard” is a meme, but “your goons wrecked them something awful” is a reference.


When Lufia 2 was remade as an Ys Seven knockoff, Lexis was redesigned to be as much like Back to the Future’s Doc Brown as to make no difference:


There are also numerous Back to the Future references is Xenoblade X, but with the Miiverse closure I may have trouble documenting them.


There are quite a few achievements in Danganronpa V3 that have memey names - including “Just According to Ronpa”, " Reach Out and Touch Wraith", “Bond. True Bond.”, “So What’s Wrong with Taking the Back Streets?”, " You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Go", and “You Need to Diversify Yo Bonds”. However, I’m not sure if they are equally memey in Japanese - the names definitely fit the Danganronpa style since the game itself has some self-referential/fourth-wall-breaking stuff (and one character who is constantly making references to games & anime).


I think references in achievements are really common. My speculation is that since they are already a form of meta gaming where immersion isn’t really a big factor, references to other works are more close at hand?

As for ingame references I encountered this in Yakuza 0 recently

It felt to me like I had heard that line before, and my limited research pointed me towards the movie Stay Alive (2006). I haven’t seen the movie and the line from the trailer isn’t exactly the same (it’s “If you die in the game, you die for real”).

The line is referenced on a Game Grumps wiki so maybe it got misremembered there and then moved into the public hive mind?

It is also further built upon in this xkcd comic strip:



I figured that Yakuza 0 line was a reference to Nightmare on Elm Street - “If you die in your dream, you die for real”. Being a game set in the 80s, I think that makes sense (and the localizers are all around my age, maybe a lil older).


Ooh, that also makes sense. I’ve never really watched the Nightmare on Elm Street-movies. I’m 34 years old, but I really didn’t like scary stuff as a kid.


I’m pretty sure all of that stuff really stems back to an old wives’ tale where if you die in your dreams you die in real life.



h.s shared this screenshot with me from Rune Factory 4, and we’re both pretty sure that it must have been a reference added in by the localization team. Apparently the weapon descriptions in this series are all full of this kind of thing.


Here’s Final Fantasy 15 paying homage to Final Fantasy 6:

And to The Legend of Zelda:

And to The Lord of the Rings:

And, hilariously, to Nissin Cup Noodles:

Added bonus: the comedy ship name from Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness:


I’m pretty sure the cup noodles thing falls more under ‘blatant advertising’ then ‘references.’


I think this counts?


Welp, time for my huge FFV reference dump:

Hiding them so it isn't too freakin huge

Kermit the Frog

Possible Luke Cage reference? Or has this just become a phrase now?

Girl’s best friend

Ancient Mutant Ninja Turtle

Reading Rainbow

Power Rangers



Possible superman reference?

Looks like Gilgamesh is blasting off again!


(looks like they might’ve gotten a tad blurry from upscaling, the originals are crisp pngs, though, I just thought they looked kinda small on the page at original res)

Alright, there it is. If anyone knows of any more from FFV let me know, I probably have a screen shot of it and just wasn’t aware it was a reference.


Oh mah goodness. Are those from the official localization? D:


Yup, all from the GBA version.


:scream: :scream: :scream: