Guadia Quest has failed me

One of the greatest mysteries in gaming is the bizarre bit of villager dialogue in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest that exhorts you to find a “graveyard duck” in order to acquire a silk bag. What the heck does it mean? Many have theorized, few have provided concrete answers.

Maybe there really was supposed to be a duck in a cemetery. Or maybe you’re supposed to walk around squatting until some random grave disgorges a pouch sown from the finest sow’s ear. Or maybe Castlevania II was programmed and translated by confused people who hate us all.

Whatever the case, I’ve yet to encounter any combination of “graveyard” and “daffy waterfowl” whatsoever in my years of gaming — until yesterday as I played Guadia Quest, the RPG component of Retro Game Challenge, when I saw this:

Needless to say, I was thrilled! At long last, one of gaming’s most naggingly unresolved missions would at last be satisfied. But it was not to be — no matter how many times I talked to this duck, he never parted with any sort of commodity, let alone the one I was seeking. Unfulfilled, my search continues.

24 thoughts on “Guadia Quest has failed me

  1. Apparently, although there ARE erroneous clues, this famous one was just a missing period between two unrelated clues:

    DUCK TO LIVE LONGER. (ie: to avoid being hit)

  2. So how is the rest of the game, ya jerk? Retro Challenge sounds like a game that exists almost solely to be reviewed by Jeremy Parish.

  3. Yes, yes, that’s certainly one THEORY. But who knows! Simon’s Quest’s dialogue is a milligram short of being a drug trip.

    Mudron, have you been reading the Retronauts blog? We’ve been writing about the game all week.

  4. I’ve been ducking since 1845, thus I have been living since then. Never have come across any bags, silk or otherwise, though.

  5. Oh crap, that’s right – I haven’t been up on my online reading this week, but I feel doubly stupid since Kat mentioned the week-long Retro Challenge writeup during the most recent Rebel FM podcast. This is me both inserting my foot into my mouth AND clicking over to the 1up Retro Blog…*now*.

  6. Now I’m really curious as to how this joke got into Retro Game Challenge. Why would the Japanese game designers put a duck in the graveyard if they had never seen that translation quirk? Maybe I’ll go ask the RGC blog guy…

  7. Hm. You sure this isn’t some sort of strange precursor to linked content? Say, you have to take an NES with Castlevaia II, get to that NPC, swap the carts, and then talk to the duck?

  8. @mrbuu82: Maybe because someone told them?

    Japanese can generally read English well (there is a mandatory three years of English study there) and it would be easy to explain the error and likewise easy for the developers upon re-reading the original text to understand the humorous mistake.

  9. @rupan777: Fair enough, but the game was not expected to be ported to the U.S. until XSEED asked. I’m sure some Japanese folks have seen the English translations, but I cannot imagine them remembering it to the extent U.S. fans would. It just seems odd to put an American video game-oriented joke into a Japanese video game-oriented game.

  10. The reference might have gotten into RGC because it’s in the Japanese version of Simon’s Quest, too. Word for word, the original text is essentially the same; most importantly, the word “ahiru,” meaning the quack-quack duck, is used. Nothing to do with lowering your profile.

  11. It’s an allusion to the song “Disco Duck” because, you know, disco is dead.

  12. Oh, by they did you fulfill all the requirements to unlock the quest? I played the Japanese version and the duck actually talks to you.

  13. I hope that with Tomm Hulett as the producer of the Simon Quest II remake (the one he’s secretly working on with the Contra 4 team… shhh!), a graveyard duck will indeed be included in the game. Just kidding! We all know Tomm’s far too busy with the new Rocket Knight Adventure game to work on a Castlevania II remake.

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