Send in the clowns...

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jay_are
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Send in the clowns...

Postby jay_are » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:49 pm

So I have a friend who I made him play Lunar SSSC (PS1), he didn't finish the game.
However, he also couldn't get over Ghaleon's line; "Send in the clowns..."

I didn't understand why. This is one of JRPG's most epic moments, but he just felt put off by this! It has come to the point where he made it a meme joke whenever we talk, every time he hates something.
For example, he happens to hate Final Fantasy XV's hype recently, and every time he hears people talk about Final Fantasy XV excessively, he will say "WTF send in the clowns!" :mrgreen:

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Alunissage
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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Alunissage » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:40 am

A lot of lines that are pop refs of one sort or another will tend to stick out at odd times. Lighter, optional NPC conversations are one thing, big dramatic moments with sudden lines that jolt the player out of the scene are another. (There are many reasons why I dislike Zophar's line "Tell me, was it good for you?" right after he curses Lucia; this is one of them.)

I'm not sure anything WD wrote is as jarring as American Express logos in FFXV, though. Well, I exaggerate a bit; there are plenty of things that make me cringe. But jeez. I can find Cup (O') Noodles funny and sort of ignore Coleman and Vivienne Westwood most of the time, but Amex? Really?

Also, Ghaleon's mouth really is weird in that particular screenshot.

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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Temzin » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:27 am

I...I'm not sure if your friend understands what that phrase is meant to be. If he's using it when there are things he doesn't like, it sounds almost like he thinks Ghaleon's dubbed line is cool enough to stand in as a threat against the things he doesn't like ("it's my glorious, festive entrance as Magic Emperor, send in the clowns alongside to celebrate my dominance").

In WD's defense, the original line, like a lot of SSS, gave far too much away: "[maniacal laugher] Oh, then the time has finally come...the time to once again bestow a god upon this world!"

You can rest peacefully knowing that your friend is a philistine who doesn't even get why he doesn't like a particular scene, let alone have the ability to enjoy one of the great set pieces of 32-bit RPG-dom.

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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Kizyr » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:43 am

Ugh, y'know, this is one thing I've done a near-180 on (..160 perhaps) since I was young. I used to not care about the pop-culture references and thought that folks were giving WD to hard a time for adding them in. That and it never really ruined my immersion.

Now though? ...they're really jarring... and have lost nearly all their humor value... Doesn't ruin my immersion, but it does elicit a negative groan every time.

...also I'm a little bugged that they replaced a line about the earliest Dragonmaster of Lunar with a line about killing Barney... KF

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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Alunissage » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:40 am

Yeah, when I first played TSS the funniest line to me was the book in Damon's library that said "Video games will eventually rot the minds of all they enslave." But fourth-wall-breaking is a little stale now. On the other hand, I still find Kung-Fu Mauri with the action grip, or whatever it was, somewhat amusing, because of the idea of making action figures of the "four heroes" of the time. And some references went past me so they didn't bother me too much. In general, phrases that didn't include actual names of things/people (Mr. E Bay, Tootsie Pops, Shannen Doherty...) and sort of fit into the setting were OK with me, e.g., Kyle saying "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" of Jessica. And it was something like 15 years after playing the games that I heard the song that "Welcome to the dungeon..." is based on. The guard making a rhyme out of the situation of having an out-of-control tyrant tossing people into jail kind of seemed like the sort of thing someone would say to avoid screaming.

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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Imperial Knight » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:42 pm

It's funny the things you remember. For whatever reason I had a memory of Vic defending that specific line on USENET. A little bit of searching brought up this.

Post #1 defending the line

Post #2 defending the line

Disclaimer: I am posting these to illustrate Vic's opinion on the lines, not my own.

Alunissage wrote:Yeah, when I first played TSS the funniest line to me was the book in Damon's library that said "Video games will eventually rot the minds of all they enslave." But fourth-wall-breaking is a little stale now. On the other hand, I still find Kung-Fu Mauri with the action grip, or whatever it was, somewhat amusing, because of the idea of making action figures of the "four heroes" of the time. And some references went past me so they didn't bother me too much. In general, phrases that didn't include actual names of things/people (Mr. E Bay, Tootsie Pops, Shannen Doherty...) and sort of fit into the setting were OK with me, e.g., Kyle saying "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" of Jessica. And it was something like 15 years after playing the games that I heard the song that "Welcome to the dungeon..." is based on. The guard making a rhyme out of the situation of having an out-of-control tyrant tossing people into jail kind of seemed like the sort of thing someone would say to avoid screaming.


This is pretty much my position. A character using a line that references some bit of pop culture? Fine. A character explicitly mentioning the William Shatner album? Jarring. I would say the goal should be for the line to still make sense in the context of the game assuming the player is not familiar with the material being referenced. My impression was that WD generally got better about this as time went on. I don't recall objecting to very many lines in either Arc the Lad or Growlanser. I haven't played anything published by Gaijinworks, so I can't really comment on how their localizations compare.

Likewise, I haven't played FFXV, but what I've seen of the product placement really seems like it would detract from the experience. If the game were set on Earth that would be one thing, but characters in a fictional universe paying with American Express? Doesn't really draw me into the game world.

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Alunissage
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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby Alunissage » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:16 pm

FFXV's product placement is mainly visual -- a store window has the Amex logo on it, and the folding chairs in the camps say Coleman. Vivienne Westwood is specifically named as the designer of a garment and as having a store (and that might be a little obscure to a lot of players). The glaring exception is Cup Noodles, which has an entire sidequest built around it. The protagonist's VA said that there was a lot of eye-rolling when they recorded the dialogue for that.

I don't recall anything in particular in Arc Collection or Growlanser II (still haven't played III!), at least not in the final games. It's been a LONG time now, though.

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jay_are
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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby jay_are » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:48 am

Imperial Knight wrote:It's funny the things you remember. For whatever reason I had a memory of Vic defending that specific line on USENET. A little bit of searching brought up this.

Post #1 defending the line

Post #2 defending the line

Disclaimer: I am posting these to illustrate Vic's opinion on the lines, not my own.


Thanks so much for this!!
Really appreciate it. I had no idea at first that it could be referencing a song even to this day if not for my friend being bugged by it and me researching...
It does sound like Ghaleon means to say that the fun is about to begin.

I grew up so disconnected from the mainstream, that probably the only references I realized were from the real world on my first playthrough were the Clinton line in EB and the "How many licks" thing in SSSC. Today I find it fascinating to see what people were into back when Lunar was made, however, would I be saying the same thing if Lunar was made again with today's pop culture? ... Maybe not.

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Re: Send in the clowns...

Postby AkagisWhiteComet » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:33 pm

I believed I knew what Ghaleon was speaking of when he uttered the phrase, but out of most all the pop culture references the LUNAR series makes this one is quite possibly not only the one that will be lost to time but also quite possibly immediately mis-interpreted even at the time of it's inception into the game.

"Send in the clowns" is a circus term utilized to distract. As circus performances are live & dynamic events, things are bound to proceed incorrectly or not as planned. When this happens, literally clowns are sent into the area to distract the crowd. It's understandable if people wouldn't understand or know of the term, as you can go to a circus performance and nothing of extreme concern will go wrong. Another thing to consider is that individuals of Victor Ireland's age likely attended the circus much more than most anyone born in the 80s or 90s did. By that time, many have only went to a circus say once in their life - if at all. The circus wasn't as much as a regional thing to see like state fairs and such as it once was; possibly many will never see a circus again with the big Ringling Brothers circus ceasing to exist next month.

It's also a fitting term as this is right when you begin the actual "main quest" of sorts against the Magic Emperor and begin to seriously work to become a Dragon Master; you have to deal with "distractions" that Ghaleon sends.


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