Mega Man X5 Translator Speaks
April 30, 2011
Capcom's Mega Man X series fell apart in its later years, but the cracks first started to show in 2001's Mega Man X5 for the Sony PlayStation and PC. For reasons that have baffled most everyone in the gaming community, the people responsible for translating the Japanese game into English chose to replace the names of the boss Mavericks with allusions to members of the band Guns N' Roses. The usual Maverick naming convention that gave us such memorable names as Flame Mammoth and Bubble Crab was dropped and instead turned characters such as Burn Dinorex and Spiral Pegasus into the localized Mattrex and The Skiver respectively. How did this happen? You'll have to ask Alyson Court, as she's the one that thought it would be fun to mix things up for this sequel. She's come clean recently about where the new names originated.
"Apparently the localization (text editing) I did for a Capcom game is *famous*. Er, make that infamous. Who knew? My then-husband was responsible for text localization. He asked me to do it, and since he was a Guns N' Roses fan, I changed the names to be Guns N' Roses references. I didn't know the game nor did I know how mad fans would be that I'd changed the characters' names. But years later people now like it! My ex-husband had his own company, GenAzea, which did localization for many Capcom games. I did a lot of that work. At first my hubby laughed & liked it [the Guns N' Roses names]. Then when fans started complaining, he got mad at me. I meant well."
Personally, I'd always hoped that a re-release of the game would fix the Maverick names. I'll be bluntly honest here: I think the Guns N' Roses names are stupid. I don't usually slap such a loaded word on an opinion without explaining it, but I can't think of a better way to describe my feelings on this matter. Names like "The Skiver" don't fit anywhere into what one expects of a Mega Man X title. It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to Mega Man characters, one shouldn't mess with the naming convention behind the bosses. Imagine if someone had decided to be cute when making Mega Man 3 and localize Snake Man and Shadow Man into Commander Cobra and Shadow Storm because he or she was a G.I. Joe fan. I can hear the hypothetical angry letters hitting mailboxes already. I don't think harshly of Court for her role in this, but I do believe that it's important not to muck around with a franchise's traditional style.