Breath of Fire II is a game about questioning God. And then killing God, because what he has to say isn’t really inspiring or life-affirming. It was quite a shocking game for me to play, because it was my first experience with JRPGs’ well-worn “Let’s Kill God” trope. That was not a theme that showed up in SNES games before the advent of the ESRB (and the subsequent loosening of Nintendo’s censorship).

Breath of Fire II’s plot revolves around the Church of St Eva driving out the old gods, primarily the Dragon God and smaller local deities. As you can imagine, this generates some thought-provoking dialogue between the game’s heroes and the ministers of St Eva.


Or it would if Breath of Fire II’s translation wasn’t as stunted as a fire dragon’s reproductive organ on a cold day.

In this scene, Rand’s mother goes missing after “volunteering” to donate her family farm to St Eva’s Church. Rand, knowing his mother, says that’s a load of wyvern droppings. I want to say the confrontation would be more interesting without the effed-up translation, but I think that’s a lie. Breath of Fire II’s translation makes zero sense, but it’s never, ever uninteresting. 

(On second thought, this conversation between Ray and Rand is kind of adorable – even brilliant. All the strife and pain and war caused by the world’s religions can be summed up by two people pushing each other in a dirt yard while yelling, “MY God’s not dumb! YOUR God is dumb!”)