If my reply were a work of fiction written in one language, and you wanted to adapt it to another, then sure, it’d be fair game for localization.
But since what I’m writing is not fiction, and not in a different language than one you are writing in, it does not fall under material that would benefit from localization.
I don’t think you actually expect me to lay out every change that has taken place in every game.
I’m also sure you know that I, not affiliated with Nintendo and also with no access or communication to any of its developers, can’t possibly definitely state what any individual had in mind at a given time.
But if I’m going to suppose, in Japanese Harold is a name that’s obviously foreign. It’s not a name you’d pass over the same as home-grown name that you’re used to hearing. Thus it has some weight to it.
In English Harold is a rather standard name, with nothing remarkable behind it.
Arthur obviously has some weight to it as a name of legend, and this weight is probably understood by the majority of speakers.
The shortening of names you listed is easy, they’re a mouthful for native English speakers not familiar with Japanese, and even look unwieldy in English, while not so in Japanese.
It’s interesting you bring up architecture and donuts. The original author obviously intended for the characters to be surrounded by familiar things compared to their readers.
Does it produce unintentionally humorous results as a consequence sometimes? Yes.
But Brock was never meant to be eating a foreign food that your average English speaker has never eaten. He was supposed to be eating an everyday food item that the viewer also is very familiar with, that was the author’s original intent. In some ways, you would be violating it even more had you retained a 1-to-1 translation.
It’s not just English localizations that this happens.
A lost is lot going from English to Japanese as well. Deadpool is missing a lot of references in its Japanese script, for example.
Even a straight 1-to-1 translation would be violating the original content, as the grammar would not sync up with English grammar.
So your next step is re-arranging it into correct English grammar. But re-arranging it changes the very structure of how the information is delivered as per the original creator’s intent.
But then again, the author intended for the dialogue to be grammatically sound when presented to the viewer.
The original author also intended for the work to be received in the surrounding cultural and societal background the viewer is assumed to be coming from, much as they are assumed to speak japanese..
So how much do you change and how much do you retain?
That’s the part where subjectivity comes in, and the line you draw is in a different place than NoA draws it, which is fine, but again, doesn’t make NoA’s localizations “garbage.”
They just don’t align with your subjective preferences, which again is fine.