“Final Fantasy IV – Advance”: Let’s Play #1

“Let’s Play” is a yet another attempt on my behalf to actually learn Japanese. Through game.

On this category, I’m playing the old-time classics and try to read and understand the script as I go.

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The first game for this column is “Final Fantasy IV – Advance” for Game Boy Advance. There’s no particular reason of picking the game and the platform other than just convenience.

I’m playing the game on Mac, thus, the not so glorious image quality. But I think it is more than enough to serve the purpose.

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Alright, the first barrage of Japanese texts of this game.


  • 天駆ける. Verb. Literally, “run the sky.” Often used to indicate Gods, or other holy beings that “walk the sky.”
  • 船. Noun. “Ship.”
  • 天駆ける船 then is a verb-noun construction where the verb modifies the noun that follows it. Here, the “walk the sky” verb modifies the “ship” noun and gives a translation of “ships that walk the sky.” We’re going to see a lot of these verb-noun constructions along the way.
  • 飛空艇. Noun. “Airship.” Kanjis for this compound are, とび “fly,” そら “sky,” and てい “small boat.”
  • 人々. Noun. “People.”
  • の. Particle. Often, but definitely not its only meaning, this particle functions as a possessive. For example, わたしほん “my book,” かれ意見いけん“his opinion,” etc.
  • 長年. Noun. “Long years.” Kanjis for this compound are, なが “long,” and ねん “year.”
  • の. Particle.
  • 夢. Noun. “Dream.”
  • 長年の夢 is also a noun expression that means, “long-cherised dream.”
  • 人々の長年の夢 then could be translated to “long-cherised dream of mankind with の particle after 人々 taking a function of English’s “of.”
  • の. Particle.
  • 実現. Noun. “Realisation.” Kanjis for this compound are, じつ “reality,” and げん “present; existing.”
  • は. Particle. Indicates a topic marker, marks everything that comes before it as a topic. Similar function with “is” in “this car is,” “the boy who wears the green shirt is,” etc.
  • In this example, は marks 人々の長年の夢の実現 “realisation of long-cherised dream of mankind” as a topic. Quite obvious then that this sentence is not finished just yet.

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  • 同時に. Adverb. “At the same time.” Kanjis for this compound are どう “same,” and “time.”
  • 邪悪な. Na-adjective. “Evil; Wicked.” Kanjis for this compound are じゃ “wicked,” and あく “evil.” The な makes this noun as an adjective which modifies the noun word that follows it.
  • 欲望. Noun. “Desire.” Kanjis for this compound are よく “longing; passion,” and ぼう “ambition; hope; desire.”
  • So here, 邪悪な modifies 欲望 to become “wicked desires.”
  • を. Particle. Marks the previous word as a direct object. In this case, the marked word is 邪悪な欲望.
  • 満たす. Verb. “To fulfil.”
  • 手段. Noun. “Means.” Kanjis for this compound are 手 “hand” and 段 “(flight of) steps.”
  • 満たす手段 then is a verb-noun construction that translates into “means that fulfil.”
  • に. Particle. I personally hated this particle as I think it is the hardest particle to grasp. The easiest way for me to remember this particle’s function is to visualise it as an “into” and the movement that comes with it. For example, in 先生に上げます, I would imagine 上げます as a movement that goes into 先生. And since 先生に上げます translates into “giving something to the teacher,” it made some sense for such visualisation. Of course, it may not work as well to other function of this versatile particle.
  • も. Particle. This particle is usually, but not always, giving the sense of English’s “too.”
  • なり得た. This word could be seen as a separate なり “becomes” and 得た “gave.” The whole word could be translated simply to “probable” as well though.
  • 満たす手段にもなり得た could then be translated to, “(that there’s) also means that fulfil (it), possible.”
  • This 満たす手段にもなり得た then acted on the previous direct object (邪悪な欲望), and modified by the adverb at the beginning (同時に) and finally, explains the topic from the previous part (人々の長年の夢の実現).
  • The final sentence then, translates into, “The realisation of long-cherised dream of mankind is at the same time, also becomes a mean to fulfil wicked desires.” Pretty close with the context.

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  • 飛空艇. Noun. We’ve seen this before above.
  • 団. Suffix meaning “group,” “gang,” “company,” or the similar.
  • 赤い翼. Was put inside brackets, so obviously indicates a name. Literally translates into “red wings.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 赤い翼 as a direct object.
  • 擁する. Verb. “Embrace; Hug; Have.” In the context of army, as this game implies, “lead; command.”
  • 飛空艇団「赤い翼」を擁する then translates into “Command an army of airships, ‘Red Wings’.”
  • 世界. Noun. “The World.” It’s hard to forget this kanji because its frequent use.
  • 最強. Noun. “Strongest.” 最 is a prefix kanji to indicate “most,” and 強, stand on its own mean “strong.” Thus, “strongest.”
  • の. Particle.
  • 軍事国家. Noun. “Military state.” Consists of two independent nouns, 軍事 “military,” and 国家 “state; nation.”
  • バロン. Noun. “Baron.”
  • The whole 世界最強の軍事国家バロン then becomes a complex noun that translates into, “the strongest military nation of the world, Baron.”
  • And as the previous part of this sentence is a verb (する), the whole sentence is then a verb-noun construct that translates into, “the strongest military nation of the world, Baron that command an army of airships, ‘Red Wings’.”

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