Zero Wing is an arcade game from Toaplan, noted for poorly translated subtitles that spawned an internet meme.
This is a full transcript of the introduction sequence. Original Japanese text and a more accurate translation are provided for reference. The game's introduction sequence is the source of the widespread Internet phenomenon "All your base are belong to us".
The bluntness of the famous mistranslation is in stark contrast to CATS' cool, caustic irony in the original text. The difference is especially vivid in the line corresponding to "All your base are belong to us." In the original line, CATS uses a form of Japanese grammar that is rude to the listeners but respectful towards the Federation army, insinuating that the Federation was treacherously co-opted into betraying the bases.
|Original Japanese script (Hepburn romanization)||Broken English translation||More accurate English translation|
|西暦2101年 (Seireki nisen-hyakuichi-nen)||In A.D. 2101||In A.D. 2101,|
|戦いは始まった。(Tatakai wa hajimatta.)||War was beginning.||War has begun.|
|艦長：一体どうしたと言んだ [sic]？ (Kanchō: Ittai dōshita to yūnda?)||Captain: What happen?||Captain: How could this have happened?|
|機関士：何者かによって、爆発物が仕掛けられたようです。(Kikanshi: Nanimono ka niyotte, bakuhatsu-butsu ga shikakerareta yō desu.)||Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.||Engineer: It seems someone had planted explosives.|
|通信士：艦長！通信が入りました！ (Tsūshinshi: Kanchō! Tsūshin ga hairimashita!)||Operator: We get signal.||Communications operator: Captain! We are receiving a signal!|
|艦長：なにっ？ (Kanchō: Nani?)||Captain: What !||Captain: What?!|
|通信士：メインスクリーンにビジョンが来ます。 (Tsūshinshi: Meinsukurīn ni bijon ga kimasu.)||Operator: Main screen turn on.||Communications operator: Incoming visual on the main screen.|
|艦長：お-お前は！！ (Kanchō: O-omae wa!!)||Captain: It's you !!||Captain: Y-you!!|
|CATS：おいそがしそうだね、諸君。 (CATS: Oisogashi sō da nē, shokun.)||CATS: How are you gentlemen !!||CATS: You seem busy, gentlemen.|
|CATS：連邦政府軍のご協力により、君達の基地は、全てCATSがいただいた。 (CATS: Renpō-seifu-gun no go-kyōryoku niyori, kimitachi no kichi wa, subete CATS ga itadaita.)||CATS: All your base are belong to us.||CATS: With the cooperation of the Federation Government forces, CATS has taken all of your bases.|
|CATS：君達の艦も、そろそろ終わりだろう。 (CATS: Kimi tachi no kan mo, sorosoro owari darō.)||CATS: You are on the way to destruction.||CATS: I guess it will soon be the end for your ship, too.|
|艦長：ば-ばかなっ・・・！ (Kanchō: Ba-baka nā...!)||Captain: What you say !!||Captain: Impossible...!|
|CATS：君達のご協力には感謝する。せいぜい残り少ない命を、大切にしたまえ・・・・ (CATS: Kimitachi no go-kyōryoku ni wa kansha suru. Seizei nokorisukunai inochi o, taisetsu ni shitamae...)||CATS: You have no chance to survive make your time.||CATS: I would like to thank you for your cooperation. Treasure what little remains of your lives...|
|CATS：ハッハッハッハッハッ ・・・ (CATS: Hahhahhahhahha...)||CATS: Ha ha ha ha ....||CATS: Ha ha ha ha ha...|
|通信士：艦長・・・・ (Tsūshinshi: Kanchō...)||Operator: Captain !!||Communications operator: Captain...|
|艦長：ZIG全機に発進命令！！ (Kanchō: ZIG zenki ni hasshin-meirei!!)||Captain: Take off every 'ZIG'!!||Captain: Issue an immediate takeoff order for all ZIG units!!|
|艦長：もう彼らに託すしかない・・・ (Kanchō: Mō karera ni takusu shika nai...)||Captain: You know what you doing.||Captain: Leaving it to them is all we can do...|
|艦長：たのむぞ。ZIG！！ (Kanchō: Tanomu zo. ZIG!!)||Captain: Move 'ZIG'.||Captain: We're counting on you, ZIG fighters!!|
|艦長：我々の未来に希望を・・・ (Kanchō: Wareware no mirai ni kibō o...)||Captain: (...)For great justice.||Captain: Restore hope to our future...|
|Broken English translation||More accurate English translation|
|A.D.2111||As of A.D. 2111,|
|All bases of CATS Were
|CATS has been defeated.|
|It seems to be peaceful.||Peace seems to have been restored,|
|but it is incorrect.||but the war has not ended yet.|
|CATS is still alive.
ZIG-01 must fight
against CATS again.
|CATS still exists. ZIG-01 must continue to fight the war against CATS,|
|And down with them
|and they must be completely destroyed.|
|Good luck.||Let us hope for ZIG-01's success. Good luck.|
- Jeffrey Benner, "When Gamer Humor Attacks", Wired, 23 February 2001; article about the meme.
- A website to edit the videos.