What Does The Frog Say?

Does it say “Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding”? No, that’s what the fox says, apparently. The frog mostly says things that nobody can understand. But at least the subtitles are there to clarify things, so we can definitively answer this question. What does the frog say when she meets the Mandalorian? She speaks frog.

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Fear the Wonky Subtitles

So as I’ve mentioned before, ever since, in his old age, Dennis the Vizsla took to noisily exhorting the humans to go to bed already in the evenings, we’ve been watching television with the subtitles on. In addition to helping with sometimes unclear dialog, subtitles can be humorous, grammatically horrifying, or subtly (or not-so-subtly) different from the actual spoken dialog.

Then there’s this, from Fear the Walking Dead:

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Closed Captionses

As I’ve mentioned several times before, back when Dennis the Vizsla had become a noisy-little-old-man-loudly-complaining-that-it’s-bedtime dog, we got in the habit of running videos with the closed-captioning turned on. Sometimes the closed-captioning has typos. Sometimes the typos are pretty amusing. And sometimes they may reveal something about the program you’re watching …

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The Subtitle Rebellion

So I’ve mentioned a few times that during the last year or two of Dennis’s life, when he got in the habit of complaining loudly in the evenings that he thought it was time for everyone to go to bed*, we humans got in the habit of watching television with the subtitles on, so as not to have to keep pausing and going back to catch missed dialog. Running with the subtitles on also has the occasional side effect of injecting a little bit of extra amusement value, such as describing characters’ speech as “French-like gibberish” or saying things that seem prima facie ridiculous such as “goo snarling“. But then, sometimes, you get cases where the characters say one thing but the subtitles say something completely different and you say to yourself, that can’t possibly be a mistake. To wit:

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Odds & Ends from This & That

So this week I have a bit of a smorgasbord from our viewing over the last few months: Things that are not long enough to become their own “Not a Review” but that I found amusing at the time. Because, really, this blog is mostly a series of posts about things that amuse me. Mostly.

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It’s the Wild Wild West … of Grammar

I’ve posted previously about how we started watching television with the subtitles on during Dennis the Vizsla’s later years, when he got in the habit of barking and carrying on in the evening because he thought we should all go to bed. Sometimes these subtitles can be amusing, making a comedic scene funnier; sometimes they can sort of puncture the drama a little.

Then there’s this:

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Subtitles

Over the past several years, after Dennis the Vizsla Dog became a little old man dog, he got in the habit of being noisy in the evenings, loudly complaining via barks and whines that he wanted everyone to stop watching television and go to bed at, oh, 8pm* or so. To an extent, this could be managed with things like the Treat & Train or simply by the occasional tossing of treats (which Hipster Chaplin thought was wonderful, because he was faster than Dennis at that point, with a better nose). Another way this was managed: Putting on subtitles for everything we watched. Because if you can’t listen, you can always read.

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Game-In-Progress Review: Siren

So I just started playing “Siren” again. This is a survival horror game for the PS2, but with a twist: Instead of mowing down armies of zombies or whatever, you mostly have to sneak around and avoid getting noticed, because if you do, you get killed really fast. (This probably makes it much more like what would really happen if in fact one found oneself in a landscape dominated by ghouls and monsters. See also “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead“.) Don’t get me wrong — I love the “Silent Hill” series, for instance. But after the first play-through of Silent Hill 3, once I got my hands on what amounted to a light saber, I was hacking even the most fearsome creatures into Jack Link’s beef jerky. That doesn’t happen in “Siren”. EVER.

What does happen is something called “sightjacking”, where you have the ability to tune into the vision of the monsters that are stalking you, allowing you to  see what they see. I can assure you, it’s quite unnerving to sightjack some axe-wielding zombie thing (called “Shibito” in Siren) and realize that it’s looking at the back of your head. The game is quite difficult, even on the early levels, as there are very few clues to help you out, the map doesn’t show you where the hell you are on it (which is sadly typical of real-world maps, but almost unheard of in video game maps), and there always seems to be at least one Shibito sitting in a tower with a rifle just waiting to go all Charles Whitman on you as soon as you pop your head up from behind that fern you’re cowering under. Still, I’m having fun with it so far.

One interesting thing about this game is that all the characters look like they wandered in from a Godzilla movie (no, the real ones, not the one with Matthew Broderick), but they talk like they just got off the boat from Liverpool. I’m not sure who decided to dub Japanese characters with British accents, but the effect is, um, interesting, and more than a little jarring. I’d rather have seen subtitles, but maybe that’s just me.

“Siren” is not a new game. I got it for Christmas in 2005 and am just getting around to playing it now. So it’s not state-of-the-art, but if you like a game to freak you out, you could do worse than to dig this one out of the cutout bin. My preliminary rating is that this game would not put my wife to sleep at all, because she would be afraid that some Shibito might come up behind her and whack her with a shovel.