With E3 hype ready I thought today’s #frenchfriday post could deal with all the Nintendo Characters who are french and well this is actually difficult to research, especially when localization has made some non-french characters french like Dupree in Paper Mario so I went the easy route and only cataloged the ones who are most definitely French.
We Begin with Twintelle from Arms who shook the internet after her original design was revealed and finally that first Nintendo Switch original franchise had an interesting character. She’s a movie star and likes her coffee and well boxing.
I didn’t even realize she was French until I played the game and in all her victory scenes she clearly speaks French in easy sentences to understand and just makes you fall in love with her all over again once you got over her umm… other assets.
We continue with Glass Joe who is Nintendo’s first French character and playing to the stereotype that he’s weak and gives up easily. The term Glass Joe has become a synonym of someone who will lose no matter what and apparently his only win was never witnessed by anyone and he’s lost every single other match.
Here you can check out his dialog from the Punch-Out Wii game and he actually uses far more complex structures and phrases than Twintelle but that doesn’t make him the better boxer. Clearly from Punch-Out games on the NES, SNES, Wii and Arcade he’s made his country proud and gotten many to think about learning French.
It’s funny how both Twintelle and Glass Joe are the only confirmed French speaking characters in their games and that they’re both boxers. There was another game Teleroboxer on the Virtual Boy with a character named Chery Freneal and her machine Prin, while not confirmed French I always figured she was for some reason and the first sentence in this paragraph is my sole evidence that she is.
We’re now moving on to Pokemon which while it doesn’t exist in the “real” world as the above franchises but the Pokemon world is clearly inspired by the real world and its locations and France has been no different. We clearly have Generation 6’s X Y games taking place in the France inspired Kalos region as we can see this Eiffel Tower knock off in the above screenshot.
From there we get Professor Sycamore who is named after a common French tree and his look is extremely French. While there are many characters in the game that speak a word or two in French the one who uses them the most is Sycamore which is why he’s featured here. Not only that but his theme is also inspired by French music so random NPC won’t make it in since it would be every character in that region otherwise.
However I will mention two previous characters who spoke with French phrases in games prior to X and Y. Both are Gym Leaders and Coordinators, the first appearing in Pokemon Emerald was Juan who is meant to be French but was changed to a more Spanish sounding name in localization but he makes it in since that was his original intention. The other is Fantina from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl who also uses french phrases in the game.
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