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Pokémon Red and Blue/Translation Errors

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This is a sub-page of Pokémon Red and Blue.

The various iterations of Pokémon Red and Blue have had some content either mistranslated or just changed slightly.

Lost/Changed in Translation


In Pallet Town, interacting with the television in the player's home will bring a message stating "There's a movie on TV. Four boys are walking on railroad tracks", which is a reference to the 1986 movie Stand by Me. This message remains unchanged in all versions of the games except the French localization, where the TV instead says "An animated show! A little boy with a monkey's tail.", a reference to the character Son Gokû from the anime Dragon Ball.

Drunk NPC

Early on in the game, an old man lying on the floor will block the exit to Viridian City until the player delivers Oak's Parcel. Once that is done, interacting with the NPC will have him exclaim that he feels much better now that he drank some coffee. However, in the original Japanese releases, that man is instead passed out drunk on the ground, and after the Parcel is delivered he will literally comment on how drunk he was.

Hiker Dialogue

On Route 10, one of the Hikers, upon defeat, will start chuckling before excusing himself and claiming "hay-fever" was the reason behind it. However, in the original Japanese releases the man is instead laughing maniacally, which he claims is the result of some wild mushrooms he ate earlier. A similar change was later made in Diamond and Pearl.

Tamer Dialogue

One of the Tamers in Koga's gym, before the fight, explains how he is studying the ways of the ninja with Koga, and how ninjas have a long history of using animals. This message remains unchanged in all versions of the games except the French localization, where this trainer instead exclaims "I want to be a ninja and jump from tree to tree. Like on TV. Like X-HOG the space pig!", a reference to "Space Sheriff Gavan", known in France as "X-Or".

Lost Cameos

In Fuchsia City, two NPCs called Erik and Sara can be found looking for each other because of a misunderstanding. These characters are actually called "Kōji" and "Atsuko" respectively in the Japanese versions, in reference to Game Freak staff members Kōji Nishino and Atsuko Nishida. Moreover, the localized versions not only removed this reference, but they also made the two characters a couple, which isn't the case in the Japanese versions.

Bike Shop

The bike shop in Cerulean City has the name 「ミラクルサイクル」 (Miracle Cycle) in the Japanese versions, but this title is nowhere to be seen in any of the localized versions beside the French one, where the bike shop is known as "Cycles à Gogo".

Buddhist Altars

The figures found in various houses in Celadon City are Buddhist altars (or "butsudan") in the Japanese versions. Obviously conflicting Nintendo of America's policy on religious imagery, their description were changed in the localized games to make reference of them being "Diglett sculptures". A similar change was made to Gold, Silver and Crystal; meanwhile, FireRed and LeafGreen removed these objects in every version.

Silph Co's Foreign Branch

In the original Japanese versions, a Scientist on the sixth floor of Silph Co. refers to a supposed branch of the company found in "Ponaya Tunguska" (「ポナヤツングスカ」), a possible reference to the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Russia, the area most affected by the Tunguska event. In the English versions, this NPC instead refers to the branch as being in the real-life city of Tiksi, also set in Russia.

As later revealed by Nob Ogasawara, the game's translator, he decided to change the branch's location because of the name's length, preferring instead the much shorter "Tiksi".

Pokémon Mansion Diaries

In the original Japanese versions, the diary entries in the Cinnabar Mansion imply that one person was involved in the discovery and cloning of Mew as well as the subsequent creation of Mewtwo, as evidenced by the use of 「わたし」 (watashi), which means "I". Nowhere in the Japanese dialogue is 「わたしたち」 (watashi-tachi), or "we". In the English Red and Blue, all the diary entries except the July 5 one use "we" instead.

It's possible this was changed to tie in with Pokémon: The First Movie, which had already come out in Japan by the time of the games' international release and depicts the above events as being the result of a team.

Chief Trainer Class

The Japanese name of the unused "Chief" Trainer class is 「シルフのチーフ」, or "Silph's Chief", implying that the player was originally meant to battle Silph Co.'s president. He is also mentioned by an NPC in the Safari Zone in the Japanese Red and Green, as well as the Japanese version of Blue.

Removed References

In the German Rot und Blau, the "Guyana, South America" line in the July 5 Cinnabar Mansion diary entry was changed to "Dschungel tief im Niemandsland.", which translates to "Jungle, deep in no man's land." Despite this, the reference to the Silph Co. branch in Tiksi still remains.

The French Rouge et Bleu also removed references to real life locations, with "Guyana, South America" being replaced with "Jungle X" and the Scientist mentioning the Silph Co. branch in Tiksi instead mentions it as being located in "Trifouilli", a fake town name meant to evoke the idea of it being set in a small rural setting (which is also showcased by the NPC complaining about it being set "in the middle of nowhere!"). Interestingly though, the French version did add an unintentional reference to Russia, with the first Psychic in Saffron City's gym telling the player that "Tu va en baver comme un russe.", which makes reference to Russia.

(Source: tekcoR)

Translation Errors


Pokemon RBGY-USA-Jynx trade.png Pokemon RBGY-USA-Jynx trade2.png Pokemon RBGY-USA-Raichu trade.png Pokemon RBGY-USA-Raichu trade2.png

These lines of dialogue are used by two NPCs, one in Cerulean City, and the other in Cinnabar Island's Pokémon Lab, after the player does in-game trades with them. These odd messages are the result of swapping one Pokémon's name in favor of another, not taking into account whether or not it actually makes gameplay-wise, as it is impossible to evolve a Poliwhirl via trading, or a Raichu, at all.

As it turns out, the Japanese version of Blue involved trading a Haunter for a Machoke in Cerulean City, and a Kadabra for a Graveler on Cinnabar Island. In regular gameplay, all of these Pokémon evolve when traded. However, the international Red and Blue reverted the trades to the ones from the Japanese Red and Green, but forgot to grab the corresponding post-trade string. Indeed, in-game trade NPCs draw from a given set of dialogue, and in Red and Green, the two aforementioned NPCs originally said "The <POKéMON> I traded you, has it grown stronger?".

The Red and Green string served as the basis for the updated translation from FireRed and LeafGreen, which fixed the post-trade error.

TM Acronym

Pokemon RBGY-French-TM49.png

The "Technical Machine" (TM) acronym was localized as "Capsule Technique" (CT) for Rouge et Bleu, though one instance of TM slipped by unnoticed. Indeed, if the player exchanges a Lemonade for CT49 in the Rooftop Square of the Celadon Dept. Store, the little girl will tell the player "TM49... TRIPLATTAQUE!"

(Source: PRAMA-Initiative)

"¡El malvado (POKéMON) atacó!"


In the English versions, encountering a Pokémon with a fishing rod displays the message "The hooked <POKéMON> attacked!". However, in the Spanish versions, the text was incorrectly translated as "¡El malvado <POKéMON> atacó!", where "malvado" translates to "wicked" or "mean". This oddity makes more sense when taking into account that an early version of the Pokémon Tower Ghost encounter string, which is found right before the fished Pokémon encounter string, originally stated "A mean <POKéMON> appeared!". It's thus likely the Spanish translators were given an outdated/incorrect base script, which wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.


Pokédex Entries

Italian Squirtle Entry

Squirtle's English Pokédex entry reads "After birth, its back swells and hardens into a shell. Powerfully sprays foam from its mouth." The Italian version mistakenly translates "shell" as "conchiglia" (seashell), rather than the correct "guscio".

Spanish Entries

In the Spanish versions, each Pokédex entry is systematically missing a period at the end, a mistake which also made its way into the Spanish versions of Pokémon Yellow.