All your base are belong to us

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"All your base are belong to us" (often shortened to "All Your Base" or simply AYB) is an " Engrish" phrase that sparked an Internet phenomenon in 2001 and 2002. The text is taken from the opening cut scene of the English version of the 1989 Japanese video game Zero Wing by Toaplan. Its brief but intense popularity derived in part from its poor translation into English and partly from its near-accidental adoption by a core group of Internet humorists. While the wildfire has died down, "All Your Base" is still a well-known reference among gamers and programmers.

Transcripts and translations


The cut scene transcript goes as follows:

Narrator: In A.D. 2101, war was beginning.
Captain: What happen ?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.
(spoken in the Flash animation as Someone set up us the bomb)
Operator: We get signal.
Captain: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on.
Captain: It's you !!
CATS: How are you gentlemen !!
CATS: All your base are belong to us.
CATS: You are on the way to destruction.
Captain: What you say !!
CATS: You have no chance to survive make your time.
CATS: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
(spoken in the Flash animation as Ha Ha Ha)
Operator: Captain !! *
Captain: Take off every 'Zig' !!
Captain: You know what you doing.
Captain: Move 'Zig'.
Captain: For great justice.
* This line and those following it are not in some animated GIF/Flash versions seen on the Internet. They may also be included within the song lyrics of the animated Flash movie.

Original Japanese text

The bluntness of the famous mistranslation is in stark contrast to CATS's cool, caustic irony in the original text. The difference is especially vivid in the line corresponding to "All your base are belong to us." In the original line, CATS uses a form of Japanese grammar that is rude to the listeners but respectful towards the Federation army. Since the Federation army was presumably an ally of the Captain, this usage is particularly offensive but might be sarcastic. It suggests that the Federation army was treacherously co-opted into betraying the bases.

It also appears from the original text that CATS may be the name of an organization, not just of the particular cyborg villain appearing on the screen (as is the popular interpretation among English speakers.)

Please note: You may need to have Japanese character sets installed on your computer for proper display.


Literal translation

AD 2101
War began.
(Explosion goes off)
Captain: What on earth is wrong, you say?!
Engineer: It seems that someone has laid down explosives.
Communication operator: Captain! A signal has come in!
Captain: What!?
Communication operator: A vision comes on the main screen.
Captain: Y-You!
CATS: You seem busy, gentlemen.
CATS: In cooperation with the Federal Government forces, CATS has taken over every last one of your bases.
CATS: I guess it will soon be the end of your ship as well, huh.
Captain: Y-You fool! ["How could you..."]...!
CATS: Thank you for your cooperation.
CATS: Take care in these few remaining moments of your life.
CATS: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha...
Communication operator: Captain....
Captain: All ZIG aircraft, take off!!
Captain: We cannot but trust in them...
Captain: Hope for our future...
Captain: is in your hands. ZIG!!

Alternative "free text" translation

The following is a "free text" translation of the original Japanese. It is not intended to translate the exact wording of the original, but rather an attempt to capture the spirit and tone which the author intended.

A.D. 2101—The war has begun.
Captain: What was that?!
Chief Engineer: Somebody set off a bomb!
Operator: Captain! We have an incoming transmission!
Captain: What? Who?
Operator: Activating Holoviewer...
Captain: You! You're...
CATS (with sarcasm): You seem to be preoccupied, gentlemen.
CATS: With the kind cooperation of the Federation forces, we [CATS] are now in control of Earth! (some suggest the intent was that the entire empire was taken over)
CATS: Your ship, too, will soon meet its end.
Captain: What do you mean?
CATS: We thank you for your kind cooperation.
CATS: Make the most of these last moments of your lives.
CATS: Ha ha ha ha ha...
Operator: Captain...
Captain: Give the launch order to all ZIG fighters!
Operator: Captain! Do you know what you are doing?
Captain: Yes, we can only depend on them now.
Captain: Our hope for the future...
Captain: It's in your hands, ZIG fighters!

Arcade ending

Though the arcade version of Zero Wing did not have the famous "Engrish" introduction, it did provide more unintentional comedy upon completion of the game:

Congratulation !!
All bases of CATS were
It seems to be peaceful.
but it is incorrect.
CATS is still alive.
ZIG-01 must fight
against CATS again.
and down with them
completely ! Good luck.

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