What Are “Lady Boners” Doing In Etrian Odyssey IV?

By Ishaan . December 17, 2012 . 9:45am

The ESRB have published their rating for Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. The game has received a T (Teen) rating with content descriptors like Mild Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes. Here’s the rating summary:


This is a role-playing game in which players control a group of fighters that explore fantastical labyrinths. Players engage in turn-based combat against a variety of fantasy creatures (e.g., large insects, slime creatures, sorcerers), selecting moves from a menu-based set of options. Attack moves are accompanied by light effects, bashing sounds, and hit point values. One labyrinth contains a hallway and a door that is stained with blood; a bear is also depicted with red stains on its fur and claws. A few female characters are depicted wearing bikini/low-cut tops that expose deep cleavage; one line of suggestive dialogue states, ‘I gotta lady boner harder dan steel for dat stuff!’ The words “bastard,” “damn,” and “hell” appear in dialogue.


Lady…boner…? Sounds like Atlus USA had their fun localizing the game. We’ll get to see their work come February 26th, which is when Etrian Odyssey IV reaches North America.

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  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    lol’d so hard at this, and I’m at work. Oh man, that was close.

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      Same here. It sucks that random outbursts of laughter are looked down upon in the work place. Especially at such humorous dialogue as this.

  • shuyai

    “I gotta lady boner harder dan steel for dat stuff!”

    what da fick does that even mean? XD

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      Oh, you know exactly what that means.

      •3- ~~~<3

    • There is a person called Lady boner. And the person speaking apparently says he got her super horny . I guess that means her hips are gyrating from side to side and if she feels what he feels then I guess they better put the stuff up real high.

      • sd28

        i think your trying way to hard as that joke was a little stiff

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Lady Boners? hahahah I love you Altus

  • Go2hell66

    i’m trying to put that line in context
    but i got nothing…

  • Guest

    isn’t that a reference to E3 where some lady from Ubisoft or something kept saying this phrase, as if it was part of normal speech?

    • I have heard this phrase in colloquial use long before E3 2012

      Not that it’s exactly COMMON, but

  • kmantle

    “…Sounds like Atlus USA had their fun localizing the game…”
    Well, it wouldn’t be Atlus if they weren’t having fun with that

  • Akuosa

    I get it’s amusing seeing what’s esentially a, let’s call it, “internet expresion” in other media… but is this really so much of a deal? o_ò

    • alixraen


  • But still no lady boners in sight for Europe…

  • Pre-ordered.

  • doubletaco

    They must have hired that woman from the Ubisoft E3 press conference to do the editing.

  • Barrylocke89

    That’s ok ESRB, we all have a lady boner for Atlus here too…even the the men.

    • omeganeko

      Still not quite sure what a lady boner is but i agree with this comment.

  • ragingmerifes

    Lady boners? Must buy.

  • $24431191

    Am I the only one who likes more literal translations? I understand that Japanese doesn’t convert perfectly into English, but I still wish they wouldn’t take so many liberties with it. I’m curious to hear what the actual line is in Japanese. Unless it actually does translate to “lady boners” then that’s a different story.

    • Yes, you are the only one. I’d rather my video game dialogue be fun and personable than a slavish computer-translated simulacrum of the Japanese script. This isn’t the freaking Bible; hell, it’s not even Neon Genesis Evangelion. A little levity in the translation for the sake of an entertaining script is more than welcome.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Let’s keep things a little less personal here. I doubt the poster is the only one with such a concern. Translation vs. localization arguments have been going on since the anime and gaming markets started and Atlus has in fact seen criticism in the past for localizations taking too much of the intent or flavor away.

        • puchinri

          Out of curiosity, can I have an example (maybe a more recent one) where Atlus was called out on this? I’ve only heard the drama CDs (and very little of the game) of P4 in Japanese, so I haven’t had much experience with original JP audio of Atlus titles, especially compared to the dubs.

      • $24431191

        When exactly did I say I wanted a “slavish computer-translated simulacrum of the Japanese script”? I understand that they have to take some liberties but “lady boners” isn’t the best choice of words in my opinion. It’s not a huge deal but I just don’t like when translators overdo it.

        • I love little touches like this that remind me that the game I’m playing was translated by a person – possibly even a person with a sense of humor – rather than a cold mechanical translation-bot.

          On a more serious note, the fact of the matter is that more often than not, Japanese dialogue just doesn’t tend to translate into English very will in a way that doesn’t sound awkward and mechanical, so a verbally skilled translator capable of subtly altering form while preserving tone and meaning can be hugely beneficial to a translation. And of course, given that this is not exactly a serious literary work, or even a particularly story-driven game, I can’t see why translators shouldn’t be given some liberty to have fun with the dialogue – since fun, after all, is the goal.

          • $24431191

            Okay let’s just leave it at that then. I think your misunderstanding me and it’s not really a big deal anyways.

          • In what way am I misunderstanding you?

          • Shane Guidaboni

            You said you wanted a more literal translation. In other words, you want a by-the-book translation, which could be very boring. I love stuff like this. It’s what made companies like Working Designs so lovable in the first place.

          • $24431191

            No, I never said it had to be by the book. I understand that Japanese has words with ambiguous meanings and different sentence structures. I know they have to make it so sentences flow smoothly and all that. What I’m against is when translators get too playful with their words and the sentence loses it’s original intent. I think most people here are misunderstanding me and think that I want “cold computer” translations. I guess I wasn’t clear enough in my first post. This goes for a lot of games, not just this one. Also I usually do enjoy Atlus’s translations. This is just a minor annoyance which apparently leads to people writing walls of text trying to explain stuff I already know… which leads to me writing a wall of text myself.

          • No, I think we understand you just fine. You want a more literal translation. The thing is, more literal Japanese-to-English translations – even when they are not, like, Babelfish translations – tend to read in a way that sounds very stilted and awkward in English, completely unlike how any native speaker actually talks. That’s not really a desirable thing, in my opinion. This kind of thing is all over the place in fan-translations, even one that are grammatically correct and technically “accurate”. It helps ghettoize stuff like anime and manga, making it offputting and inaccessible to people outside the otaku community, and beyond that it just makes for a much less entertaining experience than a script handled by someone skilled enough as both a writer and a translator to preserve the meaning and intent of the original work while making it more smooth and palatable and personable for an English-speaking audience.

            And if you think these responses are walls of text, you must not spend time on many forums.

          • $24431191

            Just never mind man.

          • but native speakers DO speak like this: “I gotta lady boner harder dan steel for dat stuff!”? I’m sure some do; they’re not friends of mine lol. I understand what Nightsever is getting at and kinda agree

          • Well, it’s a colloquial vulgarity that would be recognizable to native speakers, and a patois caricaturing what could be one of several real-life English dialects. So, yeah. It’s comic-book dialogue (duh) but compared to the vague pronouns and overuse of passive voice found in literal-minded translations, native speakers definitely do talk like that.

          • Jagger

            No, I don’t know anyone who uses “lady boner” in real life. And frankly, it sounds way more unnatural to a great majority of native English speakers than any possible literal translation might sound like.

            No one is complaining about the script being “literal”, but saying stuff like “lady boner” is going overboard. Hell, some native English speakers might confuse that for something completely different.. Why couldn’t they use a term more widely known to native English speakers, like “horny” for example?

            There’s nothing wrong with taking creative liberties, but in most cases, these creative liberties are necessary when translating between languages to make more sense to native speakers. That’s perfectly understandable. But when those creative liberties go overboard, completely changing the original intent of the script, then there’s something seriously wrong with that.

          • Neko Kawaii

            Not sure if I’m right but I do think what Night meant was that if the original japanese dialogue was “You’re all fools!” and the english translation changed the fool part to something else, then thats fine. Although he doesn’t like it if they change that line to something completely different from what it originally was like “Yall are all fuuukin bitchaz, lulz lady bonerz” since the japanese probably wouldn’t have actually added that. You prefer completely different dialogue, I prefer something fun but close to the original japanese script.

          • puchinri

            This I especially agree with. When my boyfriend and I were playing through Disgaea 4, the dissonance between what was heard and read on the screen was surreal and almost horrific (especially given some of the very intentional word choice).

            It went beyond just translating to changing entire intent, as well as what felt to be a tad OOC for quite a few characters. I like if there’s fun in translations, but I think things should be kept as close to the original as possible, and really, it should also match the tone of the game (and particular scene/situation).

    • I mean, unless Etrian Odyssey has some profound subtext that’s being horribly altered by this sort of translation, in which case I’d love to hear about it.

    • puchinri

      No, not at all. As humorous as that was, I definitely appreciate when they can get things as close to literal as possible.

      Another reason I like options for dual audio, is because the context/non-literal translation can be the dub, while the literal translation can be used for subs. (Like how Funi used to do it, don’t know if they still do.)

      • I agree that with anime this is the ideal solution for the translation vs. localization conundrum. Unfortunately with video games having two different translations is not really feasible, for obvious reasons, so they kind of have to go with one or the other.

        • puchinri

          No, they don’t. Heh. NISA is also a good example. They have dub and sub options, correct? They especially could be try something similar to this.

          • Adriaan den Ouden

            In all likelihood that would require two versions of the game. It’s not the same as overlaying a sub or swapping out audio like in a movie or anime. The text in entrenched in the game’s code. It wouldn’t work.

          • puchinri

            The subs are, you mean? Because that doesn’t make sense either as a reason against. They just do a literal sub, and when they add the dub option, they do not make it literal.

            So pretty much, they do what they do now, and just make the subs literal. [Why would the subs already be in the game’s code? Also, movies and anime also have soft and hard subs (and dubs, I believe?), so there are options for everything either way.]

          • Zeik56

            Dubs are pretty much always identical to the translated text in games. I can’t think of any game where they use a different more literal translation for the Japanese VO. NISA isn’t any different.

          • puchinri

            I know, I’m just saying that it doesn’t have to be that way, and for companies that do have dual audio options, it may be worthwhile to employ (to satisfy both crowds further).

            Also, I can’t say if this still goes on in anime or not, since I don’t have any newer DVDs I can think of, but it was (is?) a smart way of doing things.

          • Zeik56

            I think it’s incredibly idealistic to believe that could ever happen in anything with any notable amount of text. Localizations are very long processes, can you imagine if they had to translate a 30+ hour RPG twice to satisfy two different crowds? Dual-audio alone is still a rarity.

          • puchinri

            To be honest, I think once you do the literal translation (because you have to start there anyway, right?), why not just edit the script for the dub? Isn’t that basically what their process should already entail? Because if not, that’s more telling and there is a fault in how the localization works.

          • Zeik56

            There’s a difference between doing a rough literal translation to start and doing a full literal translation that you have to encode into the game alongside the localized version.

            Just the mere fact that they would have to encode two different scripts into the game, an option that obviously wouldn’t exist in the original, would be a time consuming process that few companies would be willing to go through to appease the handful of people that even would care. Adding subs to anime is very different from adding translated text into a video game.

          • puchinri

            What? How so? I understand going back and fixing up mistakes, but there shouldn’t be a rough and a full version? Maybe my Japanese has gotten rusty, but I feel it’s straightforward enough that anyone actively working on translating something has their “full” version once they’ve (properly) translated the work.

            Why would they need to encode two different scripts? My suggestion was doing what has been done before: use the dub for the non-literal version (which means no subtitles, just the dub/voice lines) and the subs for the literal version.

            Where is the difference in what would happen in the process? Technically, they could just add their “rough” translation as the literal and then the Americanized version that is generally the dub would be kept as such.

            Out of curiosity, how does the rough and literal version of the translation change between each other? Do you say that out of experience, or from something you have seen/heard?

          • Zeik56

            Even a literal translation requires more than just a single pass, unless of course you don’t care if the dialogue is completely stilted and barely makes sense. I can’t imagine anyone wants a 100% literal translation of Japanese text, there has to be at least some reworking to make it flow properly in English.

            And of course they need to encode two different scripts. How do you think the game is going to recognize which one it’s suppose to use? And it also has to know where to go to retrieve the proper script. You can’t just slap two scripts into the game and expect it to know what to do, especially if the game was originally designed to use only one script. If you’re adding new features into a game you have to program them in.

          • puchinri

            I’m sure it takes a little, but that certainly depends on what the text/dialogue was before.

            What do you mean by scripts though? Are you implying using an Americanized/context dub as well as the literal translation for subs? Or are you talking about the actual coding/script that goes into general programming? Because if you mean the latter, again, not a problem really.

            This goes back to before. If they’re already doing dual audio, it doesn’t matter. It just means they put the script/coding of the dub in how they normally would, and use the literal translation for the sub instead of the dub version. I can’t see how the text would literally interfere with what comes up, if so, how would they still be able to even keep JP audio and have subs at all?

      • Zeik56

        The reason Atlus USA is such a good localizer is that they stay close to the source material while adding their own touches of personality and creativity.

        Honestly there’s little worse than a flat literal translation. Even if the text isn’t stilted and awkward it’s often just boring.

        • puchinri

          I like Atlus, but I think they at times take liberties, but it certainly depends on the work. As far as a game company goes with localization (translation, specifically), I appreciate what they do a lot.

          At the same time, I wouldn’t say all literal translations are flat (that says something about the original text/Japanese wording if so) or that literal doesn’t have to have some switching around to keep the same intent and close to the same wording, but be adapted to fit each character as far as English goes (as compared to, switching most of the translation around to fit an entire mindset or mood).

          Let me give an example :

          Back to (older) Funi, when I bought and watched YYH and they did the context-dub, literal-sub, the dub version was a lot of fun to watch it. It was zany and hilarious! But you know what? The literal subs also turned out to be a lot of fun! And it also did more for the characters. Given the dub was what aired and what most fans saw, I could see how many considered Kuwabara a downright idiot in all ways. But in the original, Japanese version, he was bumbling and humorous, but by no means an idiot (he spoke quite intellectually at times, even with his silly voice). Funimation did a great job with a literal translation that was fun, because the original dialogue was fun and meaningful. It didn’t need to be changed.

    • almostautumn

      Ever play Fatal Frame 4 english patch? That’s what the team behind it did; literal translation, and boy is it a bore. Thing is, the Japanese language has a far more assumptive creative element to it, and play-on-words is a really common thing also that is especially apparent in humor. This is not translatable to english, or at least it wouldn’t be understood.
      I like Atlus localizations and think they do a killer job. I get what you’re saying and I’ve had that concern also, but I don’t believe that localization teams are so unskilled as to disrupt the content of games unless it is demanded so by the higher-ups/publisher. It’s only the game content (Mugen souls :() that I think is what needs be questioned, because when things get torn off from one region to the next— there’s a problem brewing.

    • Not sure where would be best to reply (not that this is likely to be seen), but XSEED’s release of Corpse Party had spots of obvious liberties. I know old Speed Racer and Godzilla jokes hang around of a length difference between voices and subtitles, but when it’s noticeable in a game (especially as CP doesn’t have an English cast), I’m led to wonder what that line flatly reads as. Wanna say I’ve run into this elsewhere recently (Occult Academy?), but it’s definitely a curiosity.

      Thankfully, Atlas, NISA, and XSEED are really on the ball for what they DO churn out, so what’s present is of high enough quality to stand on its own. I could just look to fan translations to get a gist of what these lines would have otherwise been.

  • Altus must have had some fun with this. “I gotta lady boner…” is now the quote of the day.

  • Ultima-X

    …*sigh* why?

  • And so Atlus takes one step further in realizing the full marketing potential of the fangirl demographic.

    • puchinri

      Finally, right~?

  • puchinri

    I love that quote. Thank you for that, Atlus. (Only made better if someone uber proper-looking says it.)

  • Pockystix

    I read lady boner and immediately thought of Futa

    oh, Japan

  • Yuriangels

    hummmmmmmmmm, i getting a lady boners just look at her

  • DanijoEX

    Hm…not what I would expect from Etrian Odyssey…

    Now that I think about it…the third one had something like that. Of course, I don’t want to know anything about the word , “lady boner”.

  • Pichi

    This is why I love Atlus’ translations. Definitely makes the dialogue much more memorable and stand out from the norm.

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