Running Video Game Kanji Deciphering Thread

I can see this is going to be a recurring theme, so I’m just going to create this one thread for CRAZY video game kanji, that I’m requesting help in identifying!


There’s actually a similar thread that’s been around for a while:

Some video game text has appeared there before. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you’d prefer to use that one or not, and I’m curious to see what you’ve run into. :slight_smile:


First one:

…and this is a twofer:

1.「さらに」の後、what the なんて is that thing?!?
2. And after 「サーベル山」、何を見ているか?!

looks to me like 奥 and 脈 respectively


I saw that and in my 一覧 through, didn’t notice Video Games. I am thinking, “I’m going to be spamming a LOT of these, and I don’t want to dilute the wines and fancy scripts people are focusing on there, so I’ll make a thread just for ビデオ.”

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There was the stylised title of some video game series a while back, I think, but

I had a feeling this was your concern. I just figured I should point it out just in case you hadn’t seen it. Nothing wrong with creating another thread though.

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I would maybe recommend just getting used to lookups by component in a dictionary app, since these don’t feel all that stylized to me… but on the other hand I guess just asking people here might actually be quicker and it’s not like I mind personally!


@LionKimbro You could also try a handwriting input method. (I don’t know if they exist for Japanese, because I’ve never tried looking, but I think it’s likely.) I quite enjoy helping to identify kanji though, so it’s not an issue for me either.

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I bet somewhere you might also be able to find the original FF6 script itself and ctrl-F when you’re unsure about a part. (but again, asking here is fine too)


I look up Kanji a lot, and I feel pretty good at it. That’s always my first effort. But I wasn’t able to figure them out here.

For 奥, not knowing the final result, and only looking at the pixels, I first tried ハ, which didn’t turn anything similar looking, and then 囗, which also did not turn up. (Via Jisho radical search.)

For 山脈- which- I know what it is now, and I still don’t see it…!!, I tried going off 月, probably looked over 脈, and then probably just totally skipped over it— “There’s no way that’s what they meant to depict! I was expecting something more like a mirror of of 飛 or something.

Now seeing what 山奥 and 山脈 mean, I see it makes sense. But I don’t think I would have identified these without your help.

Thanks everybody for your patience and willingness.

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I’ve experienced this same problem a lot playing Trails in the Sky. The pixels just don’t have enough room to add small strokes or leave gaps in the appropriate places, so if you’ve never seen the kanji before and are just looking it up by radicals, you’ll sometimes guess the wrong ones. The tofu radical (or the axe radical on Jisho) looks almost unrecognizable here.

I want to add a +1 to the suggestion of finding a game script online! If you keep reading from the game and only reference the script when you reeeeally can’t find something, it’ll save you a lot of time and headache, and it’ll still help build that recognition because you’ll start to notice the patterns that go into pixelation. :smiley:

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In a similar vein, I’ve played 二ノ国 on the DS, and it’s got furigana, but it’s written so titchy that it barely resembles hiragana at all.


I have two posts that are related to this:

The second one was harder because it wasn’t just a pixelization issue.

Funnily enough, I never had any issues with figuring out Kanji on FF6. 聖剣伝説, though, gave me fits.

If you want a good overview of the entire game text, I found this site extremely helpful:


That’s a cool example! By the way, while I’m sure you have no trouble reading such kanji anymore, just a fun fact: here’s how 必 used to look:

So it was quite common to write it almost like an X in older scripts, which is probably part of why it looks that way in certain modern scripts. Also, etymologically, it’s not related to 心 at all, even though it looks that way now.

PS: It’s also one of the kanji with the most possible stroke orders. I try to use the traditional one because you can find it in old calligraphy samples, but there are many other common possibilities:


Man, I thought for sure gamefaqs would have one. There must not be a demand for it since most English speakers would have played it as FF3 back in the 90s

(UGH I hate that they changed the numbering for western releases. I had a friend back then who found an FF3J ROM and thought he had stumbled onto a conspiracy because FF3U is actually FF6J)

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That’s so cool. I never knew that region could affect the accepted stroke order.


I think you’ll be pretty happy that I share this with you. Do you know Clyde Mandelin? He translated Mother 3 and is a professional translator. Anyway, he coded a tool which lets you use dictionaries while playing games. You can hover a word and a pop will tell you what it means. It’s free but unfortunately not well known. Since you’re playing Final Fantasy 6, I think this will be right up your alley.

It’s called the ‘Wanderbar’:


You don’t have to have the translation displayed if you don’t want to but at least you’ll have the dictionary:



It’s more common than you think. I personally find that compared to standard Chinese stroke order (and even then, I’m not sure if what I learnt was mainland China stroke order or stroke order from another Chinese-speaking territory, but I’d imagine it was mainland stroke order since I learnt simplified characters first), Japanese stroke order tends to prefer the stroke order that’s used in 行書 (semi-cursive) in Chinese even if the kanji is being written in 楷書 (standard script).

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I tee-heed upon immediately recognizing the Kanji and understanding the sentence.



Yay, other people currently playing FF6. I haven’t had too much trouble with the kanji, but this one I had to do a double take :sweat_smile:. Third kanji of the word just looks so sad.