We Were So Wrong About the Villager’s Japanese Chant…

When Smash 4 3DS came out in Japan, there was huge controversy in the West over one character’s crowd chant — the Villager. This is because people initially believed (including myself) that the crowd was actually saying “Nana! Popo! Nana! Popo!” which are the names of the Ice Climbers, a beloved veteran, who didn’t make it into the final version. GameXplain even did a video covering this “Easter egg”.

The video has over 340,00 views. The original video that found this has over 50,000 views. It’s even listed on The Cutting Room Floor wiki (I’ll remove it as soon as I finish writing this) as cut content for the 3DS.

Crabman on the Smashboards forum asked if there was any leftovers from Brawl– like the Japanese 3DS Villager chant. I decided to check my personal version of Smash 4 Wii U with no music and sound effects to see if it made it into this version too. This is because a different chant would prove that it was a mistake in the 3DS version. But it is still there–  it’s because this is the Villager’s actual Japanese chant. There’s a huge misconception on what is actually being said.

The audience chant is actually:

村の 町長!
mura no chouchou

It took me a couple of times to get Nana! Popo! out of my head, and really listen to it. This is because of psychoacoustics. Watch this Pop Fiction episode about Tokaka’s Song for more information about psychoacoustics.

See my crappy video below for proof:

Which translates to: The Village’s Mayor. I’m guessing they used male and female voices to show the wide support the Villager has.

The Data Dumps do suggest that the Ice Climbers were worked on. More so than the Rhythm Heaven Rep, who was probably dropped near the beginning of development. Stay tune for my own personal thoughts on the Smash 4 development.

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  1. Two problems.

    1. Why would be the chant spoken by two tone? Yes there are male and female version of Murabito, but why split the phrase in such a weird way?

    2. Speaking of the phrase, why would it be in this way anyway? Why couldn’t it have been a normal “Murabito” like how everyone else were chanted as? The unnecessity of naming adds suspicion to this theory. Aside from the question of why a villager would be called the mayor, since I don’t know anything about the game, but this doesn’t make sense to me.

    “Hearing” the phrase as something else, will just take from how one would perceive the sound as, how you make shape out of a clip, and how others influence you to think as. This kind of Audio Illusion is what would happen when such a blurry sound is given, and just by giving you some kind of visual movement of mouth, or some subtitles, you can easily think it in that way. So this is not quite a good conclusion, considering these suspicious points and how inconclusive the soundtrack is.

    1. 1. It’s split to show the Villagers wide support.
      2. The Villager is the “Mayor” in the latest Animal Crossing game, New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. Hence, his support chant is a reference. Chants sometimes have references in them. Captain Falcon’s Brawl chant was also Male and Female with the females saying “Captain” and the males saying “Falcon”.

      I’ve asked multiple Japanese people and they all concluded the same thing (without telling them what I thought it was).

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