Although #PokeNOM may have officially ended, I still had one more Pokémon entry for you all. In my defense however, the onset of cooler weather and spooky decorations is actually the perfect backdrop for this recipe!
Described as its “hidden specialty,” the Old Gateau is very appropriately found while exploring the creepy and definitely haunted Old Chateau outside of Eterna Forest. While I’m pretty conspicuous when it comes to my love of wordplay, there’s actually much more to this pun on second glance.
As many of you may know, gateau (pronounced: geh-toe) is a french word that means “cake.” However, the image above certainly doesn’t resemble any kind of cake I know of, and that’s because it’s not really a cake at all! This type of inconsistency is found quite often in video games (and their foods!) that are brought to Western audiences, and is a product of the localization process. Localization is the means by which something is adapted to suit different audiences or markets, usually across cultural and linguistic barriers.
Most of the video games I cover in the blog were originally written and programmed in Japanese. Obviously the games are translated so that English speakers such as myself can understand them, but the process doesn’t end there. Many times in games as well as TV shows and movies there will be cultural references or word play that simply would not make sense to a nonnative viewer and thus must be “localized.”
In the case of the Old Gateau, the connection to the Old Chateau makes sense, but these names were completely different in the Japanese version of the game. In the original, the Old Chateau is called もりのようかん (Forest Manor) and the Old Gateau is もりのヨウカン (Forest Yōkan.) Both of these words are pronounced “mori no yōkan” in Japanese and therefore a different, yet equally clever play on words can be understood.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!? you may be typing in all caps. Well, it means that in the original version of the game, the item in question was never a cake to begin with! Instead, it’s in fact a popular Japanese confection called Yōkan. It’s actually a snap to make, so why not give the recipe below a try!
(By the way, if you find this stuff stuff interesting like I do, definitely check out my friend Tomato’s website Legends of Localization to see all sorts of neat facts and trivia!)
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