[The script text referenced throughout is from the Chrono Trigger Retranslation Project via the Chrono Compendium, completed in script form on March 30, 2007. This fan translation, thanks to KWhazit, creates "a clearer portrayal of Chrono Trigger as intended by its Japanese creators," that forgoes, "Nintendo of America's censorship standards," and overrides the video game's inability to hold all of the original text when translated to English. Please note that blue text is used to highlight specific Japanese characters and differentiate the North American Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) localization script.]
As far as sexual censorship is concerned, Chrono Trigger in Japan was more open about sexual matters and was, in a sense, more sex-positive. When compared to this tolerant view, the North American localization appears to be more anxious, in large part, due to the sensitivity of the topic among the general populace. Following in suit, Nintendo of America tailored its game content guidelines to match this consensus, creating especially heavy rules concerning sexual themes. Because of these differences, Japanese sexuality was never fully articulated in the English script to North American audiences with certain phrases, items, characters, and scenarios being altered or removed in their entirety.

In particular, Ayla and Flea are the most sexualized characters featured throughout the adventure, indicating this through their appearance, language, gestures, and provocative thoughts pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. What is fascinating however, is that Flea’s depiction as a transgender character was deemed fine by Nintendo of America’s censorship standards:
カエル「ゆだんするな! こいつが空魔士マヨネー! ただの女ではない。

Kaeru: Don't get careless! This one's the Void Mage Mayonnay! She's not just any woman.

Frog: Keep your guard up! This is no ordinary woman! Meet Flea, the magician!

マヨネー「ムキーッ! ど~せ、あたいは男ヨ!

Mayonnay: Urrrrgh! Hey, I AM a guy after all!

FLEA: What the...?! Hey, I'm a GUY!


Marle: A guy, this girl!?

Marle: THAT is a GUY?!

ルッカ「ゲ! 男なの、アンタ!?

Lucca: Geh! A guy, YOU!?

Lucca: Say what?! That's a guy?!


Robo: I CAN think nothing BUT that the appearance is obviously female...

Robo: But its exterior is that of a female...

Mayonnay assumes a provocative pose and blows kisses.


Mayonnay: *giggle*, but male, female, either way, the strong are beauuutiful.

FLEA: Male...female...what's the difference? Power is beautiful, and I've got the power!

As a result, Flea’s flexible gender identity is preserved in his appearance and “girly” gestures (especially with the “blowing a kiss” sprite animation). On the other hand, Flea’s feminine style of Japanese, his “giggle,” his usage of the 「~」 tilde and 「ー」 long vowel marks (characteristic of 「可愛い」 kawaii, “cute” speech patterns), as well as the heart icons speckled throughout his speech are lost when translation to English transpired (see SNES Character Names and Personalities):
マヨネ「はい! あたいを、よんだ?

Mayonnay: Here! You called for me?

FLEA: You sent for me?

マヨネ「あ~ら、これはみなさんおひさしぶりネ。 しつこいコは、オネサンキライ なのヨネ

Mayonnay: Oh my, look who we have here. It sure has been a while. Big sis does not like stubborn little boys and girls.

FLEA: Long time no see. You know, I REALLY don't like you.

Flea’s English translation also forgoes the mention of “big sis” displayed up above, and once you defeat him in battle, Flea drops the “Flea Vest” or “Mayonnay’s Bra” an obvious censor enforced by Nintendo of America. This is very similar to the item that increases Ayla’s “Charm” or “Flirt” power (with “Flirt” being from the Japanese script). This equippable garment is either called the “Charm Top” or the “Captivating Bra,” once more removing explicitly sexual terminology with child-friendly words. This nonsexual jargon is also noticeable when referring to Spekkio’s description of Ayla:
スペッキオ「こ、こりゃセクシーなネーちゃん! けど、ネーちゃん、魔法のあった時代以前の生まれだな。 ダイナマイツだが、魔法ムリ。

Spekkio: Th-this's one sexy babe! But babe, you were born before an era that had magic. You're dynamite, but magic's a no-go.

SPEKKIO: All right! Sweetheart! Unfortunately, you were born before magic existed! But you seem to have other skills that will get you by.

Here, Ayla is labeled as a sexy babe (using the Japanese honorific 「ちゃん」 chan), while also being compared to 「ダイナマイ」 dynamite. When examining the English script, these qualities are either removed or de-emphasized with nonsexual equivalents, like “sweetheart.” Besides these discrepancies, Ayla’s bisexual comment, which leads into a witty scene, is mitigated in quite the same manner:
エイラ「エイラ いう。 エイラ 強い男 好き。 だから エイラ クロ 好き。

Ayla: Called Ayla. Ayla like strong men. So Ayla like Cro.

Ayla: Me Ayla. Ayla like strong people. So Ayla like Crono!


Marle: G-get away from her, Crono!

Marle: Get away from her, Crono!


Lucca: You've been found worthy of being Ayla's, Crono...

Lucca: I think she likes you, Crono...

エイラ「お前達も 強い。 エイラ 強い者 好き。 男でも 女でも。

Ayla: Yous strong too. Ayla like strong people. Man, woman, not matter.

Ayla: You strong too. Ayla respect strong people. Men and women.


Marle: Oh, is THAT how it is?

Marle: Oh, brother...


Lucca: I d-don't swing that way!

Lucca: Where have they been keeping her?

In another instance involving Ayla, her exchange with Marle is also altered, leaving out mentions of breastfeeding:
エイラ「おう すだつ! エイラにもそれ わかる! プテランもすだつ。 時たてば すだつ! マールも すだつか? それすごい!

Ayla: Oh, leave nest! Ayla understand that too! Pteran leave nest too. Time pass, leave nest! Marle leave nest too? That great!

Ayla: Ayla know about leaving nest! Time pass, grow big, leave nest! Ayla leave nest! Dactyl leave nest too. Marle leave too? Big change!

エイラ「すだつ! ねねする! 子供うむ! おっぱいやる! そしてまだ 子がすだつ!

Ayla: Leave nest! Make baby! Bear kids! Give boobs! Then kids leave nest again!

Ayla: Leave nest! Have baby! Baby grow big! Leave nest too!

エイラ「オマエ だいじょぶか? おっぱいないな……。

Ayla: You be okay? No have boobs...

Ayla: Sure you ready leave nest? Not too big yet.

In staying true to Ayla’s speech patterns, Ayla uses the crude phrase 「おっぱいやる」 which literally means "breasts" plus a verb meaning "do" or "give". The reference of breasts, even in the nonsexual context of providing breast milk to a child, is deemed inappropriate, ultimately diminishing Ayla’s admirable honesty and compassion towards others.

By avoiding the exact meaning of this exchange and others mentioned, these censorships influenced portions of the English Chrono Trigger script, in the end creating different scenarios. Although Flea’s transgender nature was preserved (to some extent), the full articulation of Japanese sexual culture to North American gaming communities was not possible due to enforcement of standards that forbade the inclusion of “sexually suggestive or explicit content.”

This page has paths:

This page references: