Friday, February 11, 2011

What in the hell does 'Engacho!' mean, anyway?

I posed that question on Twitter recently, and received just one response. Apparently, "engacho" means "hitches" or "pegs" in Spanish. That doesn't make much sense given the game's content and (what little I know of its) story, so I'm guessing something was lost in translation when the folks at publisher NAC Geographic Products Inc. chose Engacho! as a title.

Another possibility: They weren't thinking of Spanish when they decided to call their game Engacho! or they simply made up the word.

Regarding the former, the always reliable (ha!) Google suggested this word--えんがちょ--when I asked it to translate "engacho" from Japanese to English. It certainly sounds like the Google lady is saying "engacho," doesn't it? (Click on the link above and then "listen.") Also, Google's translation of えんがちょ is "for example I is wicked," which, while hilariously stilted, fits the game's theme fairly well.

Why am I running off at the mouth in regards to this rather disgusting--but still loads of fun--little puzzler? Well, I bought it recently, that's why. I can only play it on my computer (using an emulator) at the moment, as I don't yet own a Japanese PS1 or PS2, so I can't tell you too much about it--I hate playing games on my computer--but I can share a few photos of it.

For starters, here's the game's colorfully gross cover:

And here's the actual game disc, which I consider to be both cute and creative (the face is of the game's protagonist):

Oh, and remove the disc from its transparent tray and this is what you see:

(In case you're wondering: Yes, I'm completely incapable of taking a straight-on photo of a game.)

I'll share scans of the game's front and back covers when I review Engacho! as part of "The Great Gaymathon." In the meantime, check out this post for (a bit) more information.


Viewtiful_Justin said...

Straight-on photos are boring. Keep on keepin' on!

Bryan Ochalla said...

They're nice sometimes, I think. I especially like taking straight-on photos of import games sitting atop the packaging in which they arrived. Most of the time, though, an odd angle is more interesting :)

Linnea said...

Just by the cover I can tell that I MUST play this. :D

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yay! A Convert! :) It really is a unique and fun (and challenging) little game, so if you get it I think you'll like it.

Sean said...

Interesting mystery about what "Engacho" means.

I don't think it is a Spanish word. If it was, it would be spelled in katakana (used for foreign loan words), but this is written in hiragana (used for strictly Japanese words).

My trusty Japanese dictionary has no entry even remotely close to "Engacho" in it. So I am stumped. It might be some sort of slang that I don't know. Kids these days...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Sean!

Well, that *is* weird! I wonder if it is some sort of slang or, like I suggested in the post, a made-up word?

Regardless, thanks for trying to help solve the mystery :)

Anonymous said...

Engacho is a charm that Japanese children use to ward against bad luck. One child makes a circle with his/her two index fingers and thumbs, while the others cuts the circle with a light karate chop. This can seen in action in the anime Spirited Away. Sen steps on a leech like slug that has been controlling the dragon, Haku. Kamaji the 6armed herbalist in charge of the bath waters says "engacho sen engacho!!". Sen makes the circle, and Kamaji chops the circle saying"kitta", which means "it's cut."

In the subtitles it is translated as "gross Sen, totally gross". And Kitta is translated as "gross out".

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

to clarify, as in the Spirited away example, it is more of a ward against...something like "cooties". Like if your friend stepped in dog poo. You might say, Engacho! Kitta while cutting his circle, so that he is freed from the heebee jeebee "contamination."

Something that was popular many years ago. I don't think that it is used so much today.

So in summary: "a ward against spiritual contamination brought about by touching something gross"

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, thank you so much for the help, anonymous! That's very interesting -- and definitely sounds spot-on in terms of its use with this game, since the game seems to be about a scared little boy whose father throws him into situations where he may encounter gross creatures in order to toughen him up.