Have you ever wondered what was going through Capcom's heads during the Hippopotamus scenario in the original Mega Man Legends? Wonder no more because the story behind Legends 1's most memorable gag is revealed in today's Kinako report:
Kinako: For those who don't know, "Hippopotamus" is one of the answers you can select when the junk shop owner asks you your name in the first Legends game. If you tell him your name is Hippopotamus, he believes you right off the bat, and will keep calling you that throughout the entire game! One of the more striking quirks around town, could it be that this, too, was the work of you, sir?"
Kurosawa: I do believe it was! I still vividly remember putting that in the game myself, but it was such a long time ago that I suppose my memory might be playing tricks on me. Anyway, about that hippo gag. Normally, it's the kind of gag where you'd have the NPC (non-player character) call you "Hippopotamus" once and then he would make you tell the truth: "No more jokes, tell me your real name." Either that or you'd place the gag somewhere that you wouldn't be visiting repeatedly like you do with the Junk Store. So it's still something of a mystery to me as to how we got away with putting the gag in the game that way.
I do seem to recall them asking me during the bug check if it was some kind of weird glitch.
Also, the truth is that this was sort of an homage to a certain other work of which I was a fan. I changed things around a little bit, and was originally going to make it a little bit of an edgier joke, so that one of the answers you could choose was "Sumatopoppih". The joke is that the Japanese word for "hippopotamus" is "kaba", which is "baka" when spelled backwards. Baka in Japanese means something along the lines of "idiot".
So it wasn't something entirely random after all! All these years I thought the Hippopotamus option was some sort of mistranslation for a legitimate name. In all honesty, I've never chosen "Mega Man" as my name, always Hippopotamus. It's a habit that stemmed all the way back to my first playthrough back when I was a kid. It's funny, cute, even. Gotta love the Legends' teams sense of humor.
There's a little more to the story, so head on down to the Devroom and read up!
"the Japanese word for "hippopotamus" is "kaba", which is "baka" when spelled backwards"ReplyDelete
umm...no its not, as you can clearly see, "baka" spelled backwards is "akab", not "kaba"
Anon that's because you're think in a different language. In Japanese, Chinese, and Korean there are certain characters that make up words. In this case 'BA' is treated as a single character (or a single 'letter'), as is 'KA'. So Baka backwards would be Kaba.ReplyDelete
Japanese words are written in different characters, from the top of my head I believe they are called Kanji. One kanji represents, most of the time, two 'normal' letters. So there is one kanji for 'sa', one for 'da', and so on.
This would mean Kaba is divided in Ka and Ba, and when turned around (in kanji form) it would form Baka.
Kanji are ideographs. Each symbol represents a thing or idea. What the game uses to spell "hippopotamus" or "baka" is Katakana or Hiragina. These are symbols that represent syllables and are used to write or pronounce things without kanji. They are often used when you are limited to a small character set(letters).ReplyDelete
PS: Kudos to Anonymous for trying to correct a Japanese person on how Japanese works.
Oh man, I remember cracking up about this back in the day! Between that and kicking that scotty dog, MML had a great reputation in my mind. Interesting to know there was meaning behind the quirkyness! XDReplyDelete
So what does "Sumatopoppih?" Is that Hippo?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but "sumatopoppih" is "hippopotamus" backwards...
I remember staring at the screen in confusion when I watched a playthrough for this part. One of my favorite parts in the game, most definitely.
@Anon: Well, I guess somewhat, lol, though it was late when I wrote that!ReplyDelete
Anyway, I also liked the Wily reference in the game and the fact that, of all things, he ran a boat store. :P
That's strange, about "kaba" and "baka", because I've actually played the Japanese version. The name options were Rock (ロック) and Hippopotamus (ヒッポポタムス). That is, they used the English word in the Japanese version.ReplyDelete
@Cleveland Rock: Yes, the baka thing was what he originally had in mind, not what ended up in the game :)ReplyDelete