Japanese Lesson from Games: 難攻不落

Fire Emblem Three Houses - Nankou Furaku
ima ya ano yousai wa nankoufuraku da

Japanese: 難攻不落

Hiragana: なんこうふらく

Romaji: nankou furaku

Literal Meaning: Difficult to attack, won’t fall.

The entire sentence here is 今やあの要塞は難攻不落だ。

要塞 (ようさい) means fortress.

今や well, 今 (いま) means now. The extra particle や is for emphasis, and a smaller nuance that I won’t get into here.

So here Claude is saying, “Now that fortress is impenetrable.” Tough to attack, impossible to topple.

Initial searches for this term online mostly resulted in websites explaining what the term means… I did find this Japanese manga that has the term right in the title though. It’s called 難攻不落の魔王城へようこそ and it’s on

Fire Emblem Three Houses is FILLED with advanced Japanese phrases and vocabulary. The game is entirely voiced, and you can replay any dialog you want as long as you don’t leave the dialog sequence. The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Fire Emblem, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Look forward to more. This game is the gift that keeps on giving.

Nintendo Switch Setup Tip – Opt out of Google Analytics

By default the Nintendo Switch eShop shares your data with Google Analytics. If you don’t want to feed your activity to “Big Data” you can change your settings with a few easy steps.

On your Switch go to the eShop.

Select your profile icon that is on the top right.

In your profile section you’ll see Available Funds and whatnot. From there, scroll all the way down to the bottom and you will see the Google Analytics Preferences.

Just click the Button that says Change, and on the next screen select the Radio Button that says “Don’t Share.”

That’s it! Note, if you are also on the Japanese eShop, the option is there too.

Here’s some other news on the same topic:

PSA: By Default, Nintendo Now Collects Data Through Google Analytics On Switch eShop (North America) [Nintendo Life]


Japanese Lesson from Games: 損切り

The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Octopath Traveler, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Here’s my latest grab!

Octopath Traveler - Songiri
songiri tte yatsu yo. shitteru yone?

Kanji: 損切り

Hiragana: そんぎり

Romaji: songiri

English: To cut your losses.

Teresa scolds, 「損切りってやつよ、知ってるよね?」songiri tte yatsu yo. shitteru yone? This phrase means, “It’s about cutting your loses, you know that right?”

They key phrase itself should be somewhat easy to internalize, even though I don’t think I had heard it before seeing it in this game. The first character means 損 (そん) “loss.” 損する is the verb form and literally means to “lose” in the sense of profit and loss, not to lose a competition (負ける) and not in the sense of misplacing and object (なくす). The second character means “cut,” so the characters point to the “cut loss” meaning directly.

The grammar immediately following is very informal, as is the entire speech bubble. Our hero says, 損切りってやつよ.

ってやつ is a very informal way of saying ということ. She’s saying, that she’s talking about the thing called “cutting your losses.” She then follows by saying, 知ってるよね, you know that right? It should be a snarky tone, translated something like… “It’s called ‘cutting your losses.’ You have heard of that concept… right?” So sassy!

I tweeted this as well! Check my Twitter account @Japannewbie for more occasional Japanese language tidbits from games.

Japanese Lesson from Games: たまげた

The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Octopath Traveler, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Here’s my latest grab!

Octopath Traveler Screenshot - Tamageta
tamageta… koitsu wa shourai, oomono ni naru zo

Kanji: 魂消た (The kanji doesn’t seem to be that commonly used, and it wasn’t in the game.)

Hiragana: たまげた

Romaji: tamageta

English: To be astonished, startled.

I don’t think I had learned the phrase たまげた before… It’s funny. I like it. The Kanji doesn’t seem to be commonly used, but it literally means that your spirit vanished or disappeared.

The Japanese website GOGEN explains that the expression has been around since the Meiji Era and means to have such a surprising experience that your spirit disappears. It also says that now there is also another expression, 魂切る (tamagiru), which currently has the same meaning, but wasn’t always that way.

I tweeted this as well! Check my Twitter account @Japannewbie for more occasional Japanese language tidbits from games.


Japanese Lesson from Games: 取捨選択

The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Octopath Traveler, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Here’s my latest grab!

Octopath Traveler Screenshot - Decision to accept or reject
jinsei wa shusha sentaku no renzoku da

Kanji: 取捨選択

Hiragana: しゅしゃせんたく

Romaji: Shusha Sentaku

English: Choices. Decision to accept or reject.

Rough literal translation: Life is a continuous string of decisions on what to accept and what to reject. I suspect the actual in game translation is something like, “Life is nothing but a series of choices…”

The phrase that I didn’t know until encountering it in this game is 取捨選択 shusha sentaku. This is one of those phrases where if you know the individual characters, you can pretty much guess the meaning of the phrase.

The first character 取 means “to take,” and the second character 捨 means to “throw away” and is common in the verb 捨てる. The next two characters make up a common vocabulary of 選択 which means to chose, make a selection, or choice.

All together 取捨選択 means to make a decision as to whether to accept or reject something.

I tweeted this as well! Check my Twitter account @Japannewbie for more occasional Japanese language tidbits from games.

How-to Transfer Nintendo Switch data to a larger microSD Card on MacOSX – It can be a Nightmare!

My Nintendo Switch microSD card filled up and I needed to move to a larger card. This would all be so much easier in Windows (see Nintendo’s official guidance). But I have Macs.

This method worked for me when moving data from a 128 GB microSD card to a 256 GB microSD card on Nintendo Switch Firmware 10.2 0.

Get the Old microSD Card Out of your Switch

Power off your Nintendo Switch. Not sleep, power it off.

Remove the microSD card. (The microSD card is located under the kickstand on the standard Nintendo Switch.)

Copy the contents of your old microSD card onto your Mac

Insert the microSD card into your Mac using whatever means works for you.

Launch the Terminal App and enter the following commands. A description of what the commands do follows.

mkdir ~/Desktop/MyOldSwitchMicroSDCard
cp -r /Volumes/Untitled/Nintendo ~/Desktop/MyOldSwitchMicroSDCard

The mkdir command is Make Directory, and it will create a directory on your desktop called MyOldSwitchMicroSDCard. You can change this directory name to whatever you want.

The cp -r command is Copy Recursively. This will copy everything from the Nintendo directory and its subdirectories on the old SD card, which by default mounts as /Volumes/Untitled/, to the MyOldSwitchMicroSDCard directory on your desktop.

Depending on the amount of data to be transferred and the speed of your gear this cp command may take hours to complete. Sit tight.

Setup the New microSD Card
You can perform this step while copying the old microSD card to your Mac.

Here’s how to format a microSD card with your Switch.
Ensure your Switch is powered off.
Insert the microSD card into your Switch.
Power on your Switch.
Select “Settings” form the home screen.
Select “System” from the settings menu.
Select Formatting Options.
Select Format microSD Card. Be careful to chose the right option here!

This will wipe the microSD card and make it ready for use in the Nintendo Switch.

Now that your new microSD card is ready, it’s time to copy the content from your old microSD card on to it.

Copy the contents of your old microSD card from the Desktop onto your New microSD Card

Launch the Terminal App and enter the following commands to copy the content from your Desktop back to the microSD card.

cp -r ~/Desktop/MyOldSwitchMicroSDCard/Nintendo/* /Volumes/Untitled/Nintendo

Eject the card.

Put it in the new switch. Cross your fingers.

Press power.

After going through these steps, I noticed that all my games and save data seemed to be in tact. However, I was missing a bunch of photos and videos from the Album. No!!!! Not my Monster Hunter Ultimate kills screens and beautiful Zelda Breath of the Wild selfies!

To get the Album back, I tried running the the following commands from the reddit post in the Terminal App .

    sudo chflags -R arch /Volumes/Untitled/
    sudo chflags -R noarch /Volumes/Untitled/Nintendo/
    sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/Untitled/
    sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/Untitled/
    dot_clean -m /Volumes/Untitled/

Not all of the commands executed successfully.

The first command failed with “.Spotlight-V100: Operation not permitted”.

The second command ran cleanly with no feedback.

The third command ran and returned with feedback finally saying “Indexing disabled.”

The fourth command also returned “Indexing disabled.” The final command failed saying, “Failed trying to change dir to .Spotlight-V100 Bad Pathname: Operation not permitted.

After running these commands, I could see everything I remember from my Album, however, now none of my non-cartridge games would launch. I would get an error message telling me to return Home and to try launching again.

Reading around I learned that one of the issues with Mac and Nintendo is that the Nintendo Switch does not play nicely with hidden directories and files that MacOS tends to put in its file structures. The hidden directories and files always have a dot at the beginning of the name. Like “.Spotlight-V100”.

Browsing the microSD card with Finder, and then hitting the Command+Shift+. keys together shows any hidden folders or files. Sure enough, I could now see the .Spotlight-V100 folder that was mentioned in the error messages above. I deleted that and emptied the recycle bin.

I reinserted the memory card into the Nintendo Switch, and now everything finally seems to be working!

Good luck! If you can avoid it, just do this on a Windows machine. I have also heard that if you don’t care about your Album contents, it may just be easier to swap memory cards and download everything again from the Nintendo eShop.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope it goes smoothly and that it doesn’t cost you much game time!

These tutorials were helpful! – How to transfer SD card data using MacOSX. mentions using Command+Shift+. to show hidden files in Finder.

MacWorld on what those hidden folders are all about.


Octopath Traveler Final Boss – Galdera

(This article contains mild Octopath Traveler spoilers including images of the true final boss, and tips to defeat him.)

The true final boss in Octopath Traveler will not be easy for the casual, or even mildly fanatic, gamer. In fact, if you find it easy, you’re truly something and I am in awe at your gaming skillz.

It took me about 42 million tries to win, and I have bene playing turn-based RPGs since the original Final Fantasy on the NES. You don’t have to fight this hidden true final boss. If you can suppress your desire to do all there is to do in this game — just quit! Save your sanity! However, if you’re like me and just can’t stop, then I hope these tips help.

Galdera Wins
Galdera Wins! (Again!)

Thankfully, Octopath Traveler has such an interesting job and ability system that I didn’t mind the countless party reconfigurations and trial and error (and… OK… internet research…) that it took to finally win. I’m normally not a completionist… but I 100 percented this game. My tips on how to survive the final fight may not be optimal, but they worked for me.

Galdera Phase 2
Smashing that disgusting eye is not enough… Galdera phase 2!

Don’t Leave Home Without these Passive Skills
Saving Grace / 回復限界突破
BP Eater / BPイーター
Divine Aura / 天使の加減
Fortitude / 火事場の馬鹿力
Surpassing Power / ダメージ限界突破
Second Serving / おかわり
Patience / ラストアクト
Eye for an Eye / 反撃

Saving Grace allows your characters to be healed beyond their limits and have up to 9,999 HP. Everybody needs this. When a party member goes down revive them with an Olive of Life and they will pop back up with 9999 HP ready to go!

BP Eater will make your boosted BP attacks do extra damage. By extra I mean thousands of points of extra damage. Give this to whoever you plan to have use their divine skills to dish it out. For me, this was my Warmaster (Haaint), Thief (Therion), and Fighter (Olberic). I probably should have also given it to my Sorcerer, but I mainly used their magic for multiple hits to “break” the boss.

Divine Aura will give you a 25% chance to take no damage from an enemy’s attack. Since the boss is going to hit you a million times spread across four characters, that 1 in 4 chance will add up — no matter how unlucky you are in real life. Give it to as many characters as you can.

Fortitude will allow you deal more damage the lower your HP gets. If you can manage to line up your Warmaster with 1 HP, full BP, BP Eater, Fortitude, and Surpassing Power, you’re going to deal a ton of damage. This was my key to consistently defeating Galdera phase 1.

Surpassing Power allows you to deal more than 9999 damage. It should be paired with BP Eater like peanut butter and jelly, and you should put it on any character you expect to be dishing out heavy damage.

Second Serving will cause your character to attack twice 50% of the time when performing a regular attack. This should be on your characters that have the Double Hatchet. (There are two Double Hatchets to be found in the game.) If your BP is maxed out and you unleash with the Double Hatchet and Second Serving, there is a chance you’ll hit the enemy something like 12 times! Break that armor!

Patience will allow your character to act again at the end of the turn 25% of the time. Bonus round! Put this on as many characters as possible. You can use that extra turn to slip in that final attack to break, or to do housekeeping things like apply BP or SP potions.

Eye for an Eye let’s you counter attack when damaged by a physical attack 50% of the time, and pairs well with your characters that have the Double Hatchet. Sometimes those unplanned extra hits can trigger a “break” and get you out of a pinch.

See the Fandom Octopath Traveler page for a full list of all the support skills.

Take the Time, Set it Up
If you can get your WarMaster down to 1 HP, full BP, the Fortitude passive skill, and the enemy is broken, and you have reduced the enemies armor, then you’ve set yourself up for a big hit. All this may seem like chasing a unicorn, but getting the setup right will be the difference between a 10,000 damage attack and a 40,000 damage attack. Most of the time you’ll be able to get some mix or resemblance of this set up. Work for it, even if it means defending sometimes to delay your attackers turn until the time is right.

Break him with FIRE!
Break him with FIRE!!!

Attack when Broken for Maximum Damage
When possible, save your big divine skill attacks for when the boss is broken. You’ll do much more damage than when they are not broken.

Double Hatchet
The double hatchet hits twice with each attack. This is useful for quickly breaking enemies. The eye on phase 1 is weak to axe. Considering giving the Eye for an Eye ability and the Second Serving ability to the characters who have this equipped for some extra damage.

How should I split up my party?
This is the set up that worked for me, but there can be many variations. Notes on effective passive skills are at the beginning of this article.

Galdera Phase 1:
Main Strategy: Massive Area DamageReflective Veil to survive Galdera’s lightning attack

In this phase you need to destroy all of the souls at once to expose the eye, and then focus on keeping the eye broken as long as possible while dealing as much damage as possible. In this phase the boss has 500,000 hit points, versus only 150,000 in phase 2.

It will take a while to wear him down. If you unleash a big attack and one of those souls happens to survive, and god forbid if one regenerates, be sure to wear the healthy one down so you can finally wreck them all at the same time. The eyeball can unleash a lightning attack that will hit all of your characters at the same time. If you have a chance, apply Reflective Veil to bounce that crap back.

This is how I set up my party and what their main roles were:

H’aanit / Warmaster: Used the Warmaster’s divine skill to wreck everything.

Alfyn / Warrior: Used Double Tomahawk to break the eye. Used his concoctions to give everyone BP — this is hugely important. Used warrior divine skill to dish mega targeted damage to a single soul in case one got out of sync.

Ophelia / Thief: Used the thief divine skill for dealing damage to all of the souls simultaneously. Using cleric’s divine skill on the sorcerer was useful for repeating her magic to increase hits to make her breaks even more effective. Thief’s Armor Corrosive was also helpful, but the Full Enfeeblement NPC from Noblecourt duplicates that.

Primrose / Scholar: Her job was mainly buffing allies by boosting physical and magic attack power. The scholar’s magic was useful to help break. She also brought the NPC named Ogen who can heal your entire party for 9999 HP. Bring him!

Galdera Phase 2:
Main Strategy: Just destroy everything and survive. The parts do not regenerate. Damage! Deal Damage! Survive to fight another day!

Therion / Cleric: His thief divine skill is powerful if you build him for speed. When you need, heal the party up and cast reflective veil.

Olberic / Allpoc: Fighting and healing. Nothing fancy. I gave him the Double Tomahawk to help break.

Cyrus / Runelord: Positive status effects can get canceled during this fight, but if you can slip in a hit with a rune boost every now and then it will help. Second Serving and rune magic go well together.

Teresa / Sorcerer: Magic to break! BP Passer to give Therion the juice he needs to use his divine skill.

That’s all I got! Good luck! If you need to level up near the end of the game you can do so in the Forest of Purgation.

Geesh that fight was rough… Might be fun though. Give it a shot!


Japanese Lesson from Games: The Strength You Find in an Emergency

The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Octopath Traveler, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Here’s my latest grab!

Octopath Traveler - Kajibano BakaJikara
Kajibano Bakajikara – The burst of strength you get when in a tight spot

Japanese: 火事場の馬鹿力 

Hiragana: かじばのばかぢから

Romaji: kajiba no baka jikara

So first off, type 馬鹿力 you should type “bakadikara” if you’re typing in romaji. This is written with ぢ, not じ, the pronunciation of ぢ and じ are essentially the same.

My super literal yet fun translation of 火事場の馬鹿力 is, the ridiculously stupid strength you get when you are in the middle of a fire. A good way to translate it might be, an adrenaline rush, or a person’s fight or flight response. Great phrase isn’t it?

The description under this ability says that the character that has this equipped will deal an increasing amount of damage the lower their HP falls. I love the fun name of the ability matches the in game effect. When you’re on your last legs you’ll find that extra burst of strength and deal out more damage than you’ve ever dealt before. It also seems that this ability is a pretty good one for this game, allowing your characters to deal ridiculous amounts of damage.

They localized 火事場の馬鹿力 to “fortitude” in the English version. Not nearly as interesting in my opinion, but kudos to localizers, that’s not an easy job! They are not only limited by differences in language, but by screen real estate and character limitations as well.

Check my Twitter account @Japannewbie for more occasional Japanese language tidbits from games.

Into the Breach for Nintendo Switch

Into the Breach for Nintendo Switch is great. If you’re like me and enjoy turn-based games, retro graphics, and sci-fi themes, then you’ll probably love Into the Breach. Yes, this game came out years ago, but my backlog is waist deep so this is where I’m at and this is what you get.

Into the Breach - Switch Version

At the beginning of the game you’ll select a team of three mechs with unique weapons and a unique pilot. You’ll then begin by selecting missions in which you’ll need to survive a preset number of rounds while completing objectives like preventing key infrastructure from being destroyed and/or defending a city from a violent alien infestation. Along the way you may find and purchase new weapons and upgrades to outfit your mechs, your pilots will level up, and you’ll find new pilots who will give your mechs stat boosts or new abilities. After each set of missions (which are grouped on islands) you’ll have an opportunity to spend credits to buy gear or repair the power grid, which is basically your life gauge. After setting your mechs up again you’ll head to the next area to select another mission. Once you have completed a minimum number of islands you can challenge the final mission. When you die, you’ll be able to select one of your pilots to survive and join you on your next run, stats in tact. It’s not easy.

Into the Breach - Switch Version
Select which mission you want to attempt.

Some call Into the Breach a roguelike game. I hesitate to use that term, because it invites debates about what a roguelike really is, maybe this is a roguelite rather than a roguelike. I don’t know what the proper term is, but the aspect about this game that persists across gaming sessions is that you’ll unlock new mechs, and you’ll be able to save one pilot after each game so that he can start with you next time around. You can save him because… time travel. I joke, but actually the time travel element of this story works pretty well.

Into the Breach is done by the same designers who did FTL (Faster Than Light). I loved FTL. If you’ve played FTL I’m sure you loved it too. If you haven’t played it, look it up and check it out. This game does not resemble FTL at all if you ask me, but it’s just as good!

Into the Breach - Switch Version
Water rushes in from the top right of this map each turn, destroying landscape and any non-flying units in its wake.
Assign pilots and configure and power your mech’s weapons.

Why this game is great for me, a working dad:

  • Turn-based. Take a turn, change a diaper, dive back in.
  • One battle can be finished in 10 minutes or less.
  • Waiting a day or two between battles doesn’t diminish the experience.
  • It’s really a puzzle that will make you feel smart when you solve it.
  • There are so many achievements and team combinations that gives the game high replayability. Also, it’s hard.

I’m no pro gamer, but here’s some tips that might help you survive.

  • Block new Vek from surfacing whenever you can. You only take one damage when you do, and they’re much harder to kill once they have reached the surface!
  • The Swap Mech is surprisingly useful. Swap enemies into water. Upgrade the range to move your own units just a few squares closer so they can get the job done.
  • The Storm Generator coupled with weapons that create smoke can be devastating. I won my first normal difficultly run largely because I was able to generate tons of damage-dealing attack-nullifying clouds of smoke. The Jet Mech also played a key role.
Into the Breach - Switch Version

Verdict: If you like turn-based strategy games that can be played in short gaming sessions I’m certain sure you’ll love Into the Breach. Yes, it’s a port of an old game, but if you missed it the first time around like I did, I recommend Into the Breach without hesitation! And it’s inexpensive!

Other Reviews:

Into the Breach - Switch Version
Failure! You can’t win them all…

Japanese Lesson from Games: Use them with your chin (?!)

The Nintendo Switch is region free, and many (not all) games, including Octopath Traveler, have the full Japanese text and audio available in the U.S. release of the game. No need to import from Japan! This is an amazing resource for gamers who are learning Japanese. Here’s my latest grab!

ago de tsukau kurai no
ago de tsukau kurai no ooakindo ni natteru ze!

The phrase I want to highlight in this post is あごで使う and it literally means, “to use (someone) by the chin.” Pretty hard to understand this phrase from the words alone!

The character on the right in this scene is Teresa, a merchant. Before this point in the game she met this merchant boy and they had gotten into a selling war… and more. No spoilers, but Teresa comes out on top.

Later, the merchant boy on the left is saying to Teresa that when they finally meet again, he will have improved his craft so much that he will be the one calling the shots and telling Teresa what to do.

Japanese: 顎で使う

Hiragana: あごでつかう

Romaji: ago de tsukau

ago de tsukawarerunoha docchi kashirane
ago de tsukawareru no ha docchi kashira ne

She’s confident and responds, hrm… I wonder which of us will be the one to be calling the shots… You’ll notice the passive form of the verb “to use” as tsukawareru. The “kashira” at the end is the sentence ending particle, usually feminine, to express a question, often to one’s self. More on kashira here on Tae Kim’s Guide.

Check my Twitter account @Japannewbie for more occasional Japanese language tidbits from games.