Boken (long o) means "adventure" - and although there's a lot of it in NES games, only a few titles actually contain the word. Yes, it's our favorite:

Takahashi meijin no boken jima (Master Takahashi's Adventure Island)! Although
it was never exactly the funnest game in the world, it did spawn 3 NES sequels (number four was Japan-only), and spawns on other consoles.

Wai world of kana

Now that you've learned the three basic words of cheezo Famicom game titles, you might be interested in learning the Japanese writing system (although this is admittedly a bit too much effort just so you can read Takahashi meijin no boken jima). The writing system is a bit complicated - besides using Chinese characters, there are two alphabets; one (hiragana) for Japanese words, and another (katakana) that's like italics - it's used for emphasis, to spell out words of foreign origin, sound effects, etc.

The katakana alphabet looks something like this:

See, I told you it's too much effort! Thpbbbt!

The only reason that I bring it up is that lots of games have English titles - but don't actually write it in English; they use katakana to spell it out. However, since there're sounds in English that aren't in the Japanese alphabet, the result may not necessarily sound the same. This is why you get such controversies as whether one of the robots' names in Mega Man 2 is "Crashman" or "Clashman". Since Japanese doesn't really have an "L" sound, it's no real difference.


You have successfully graduated from Japanese For Lamers with high honors! Print out this web page and write your name on it so everyone will know what a cool dude you are!

If you think you've mastered game titles and wanna learn the rest of Japanese, simply order the second part of the course, Japanese for Stupid People, coming in several hundred years. See you then!

Other special features
Back to start