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Thanks To Santa Claus, Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons Had Multiple Versions Released

Localization is a long and arduous process, and it can be difficult to get it quite right. When translating a game for a new audience in a different country, much more than just the spoken/written language has to change. References to foreign customs and pop culture also often get altered when a game is brought from one region to another. This can sometimes result in some weird mistranslations, like when Ryu's victory cheer in "Street Fighter 2" had US audiences convinced the game featured a secret fighter named Shen Long. Even the "Zelda" series has fallen victim to some unfortunate localization, with the first two games being particularly full of typos.

But not every localization change in the series has been made to translate Japanese customs for the english-speaking world. Sometimes there have even been minor differences between various english-language versions of the game. In the case of one character in "The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons," a reference to a beloved holiday figure was outright removed from European editions of the game. Here's what the reference was, as well as why it might have been censored in Link's journey through Holodrum.

Santa's existence raises too many questions about Holodrum

The reference comes from a character with the appropriate name of Holly, whose home can only be accessed during the Winter by taking a running jump from the room and into the chimney. Leaping down the chimney at Holly's house will startle her, at which point she shouts, "Winter sets in all of a sudden, then down my chimney comes... You're not Santa! You don't scare me!" Naturally, this leads her to give Link a shovel and demand that he clean up the walkway in front of her home. In return, Link gets to hang onto the shovel, which comes in handy more than one might think in a fantasy title.

A harmless joke, right? Well, the team in charge of localizing the game for European markets apparently didn't think so. According to rumor, the localization team figured that if the game referenced a Christmas staple like Old Saint Nick through dialogue, it raised a lot of questions about religions and holidays in Link's reality. The idea of Christmas being celebrated in this magical land, complete with its own mystical deities, opened up a whole theological can of worms that the team just didn't want to consider.

To side-step these lofty questions, the European version of "Oracle of Seasons" instead sees Holly calling out Link for not being a chimney sweep! Not only that, but a nearby sign bidding Santa welcome to the area was likewise edited to simply advertise for a chimney sweeping job.