In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the story’s a little obfuscated than usual. Players have to piece together the history of this new Hyrule themselves. This is different towards the end of the game, when players learn more about the game’s major antagonist, Calamity Ganon.
Warning: Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild follow.
As it turns out, the English translation of the game changes one major detail about Calamity Ganon: whether or not it will resurrect after being defeated.
Legends of Localization breaks down the difference between the English and Japanese versions of a line late in the game. In the English version of the game, Zelda says:
“He has given up on reincarnation and assumed his pure, enraged form.”
However, the original Japanese script has her say:
“This form was born from his obsessive refusal to give up on revival…”
Japanese-to-English translations often have a lot of leeway in how they express certain lines, and Nintendo is famous for their well-realized localizations. However, this change alters the context under which you fight Calamity Ganon. In English, it’s assumed that this is literally Ganon’s final form, and that killing him would end the cycle of rebirth forever. In Japanese, however, this form is just one of many, and even if Link and Zelda finish this fight, he could still find a way to revive himself. This makes the game’s finale a bit more bittersweet, since this fight won’t end the cycle.
Interestingly, another pair of lines further confuses things. After Ganon is slain, Zelda says:
“Although Ganon is gone for now, there is still so much more for us to do.”
In Japanese, she says “the threat of Calamity is gone,” according the Legends of Localization. The English “for now” doesn’t line up with the idea of Ganon giving up on being revived. This is a curious detail to alter, though it’s likely more due to confusion than an intentional change.