Shout outs to the first recommendation for 101 that is available on Nintendo Switch. This would be my second playthrough of Mark of Ninja, and it have been more than 5 years since I first beat this game. As the time of this post, I have cleared the first of 3 “Boss fights”(Which are more like set piece puzzles.). Played the game along side Hitman 2 feels particularly surreal, given their similarities. Like rewarding players with more score points when stealth manoeuvre is pulled properly. Not to mention “Silent Assassin”, though this one is significantly harder to get in Hitman while one just have to get what is essentially QTE right in Mark of Ninja.
This post is not necessarily about the game itself. In this game, player plays as a tattooed Ninja of the Hisomu Ninja clan. And this post is mainly about this clan name.
In this writer’s(Who majored in Japanese at college, had a bachelor degree on it and cleared N1 test.) humble opinion(After some research), “Hisomu” came from the Japanese verb 「潜む」, mainly means doing something using stealth, quiet and careful in order to be unnoticeable, like a Ninja one might add. The other meaning of “hisomu” in the dictionary is closer to the adjectives “insidious”(If you want to be describe unseen flaw.) or “potential”(If you sense something good remain unseen.). It would have stopped here if I’m a native speaker of Japanese or English, but I’m Chinese, so here is where the plot thickens.
The kanji「潜」read as “hiso” here has a counterpart in Chines language. The Chinese character “潜”, read as “qian” plays a big part in the stealth action video game genre. Not only does it mean “stealth” within certain context on it own, it also appears as the first character in the official translation of THE stealth action series, Metal Gear Solid(Well, I certainly have enough beef with it to say that my feeling is mixed on this one. But it’s beloved by millions and Metal Gear did start the genre). 《潜龙谍影》(qian long die ying), roughly translated back into English as “Shadow of Hidden Dragons and Spies”, was printed on the PC version of Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance when it was released in China with bad localization. Then a magazine titled 《游戏机实用技术》(you xi ji shi yong ji shu. They call themselves “Ultra Console Game”. And before you ask, yes, they were already around during the so-called decade long console ban in Mainland, China.) just ran with it. It would sound like the title of a generic espionage thriller to any Chinese who has seen enough spy movies. Especially the “谍影”, “spies’ shadow” part, whenever I saw it I just went “Oh, those fuckers ain’t ever trying”. One of the example would be the Borune series, “谍影重重” （die ying chong chong, roughly means “Layers of Spies’ Shadow”）1 to 5 would mean the movies titled the Bourne Identity, the Bourne Supremacy, the Bourne Ultimatum, the Bourne Legacy and Jason Bourne respectively. On the other hand “潜龙”, “hidden dragons” is the relatively more interesting part. It can be referred to snakes in Chinese and given that playable protagonists in those game all have been code named “Snake” at one point or another, this is a proper translation from that perspective.
Looks like I made the first motherload post in the tread. Thank you for reading everything above.