I watched an old episode of DidYouKnowGaming earlier (excellent video game trivia channel), and among them they mentioned a tidbit about the Old Man in Viridian City and what he is actually saying in Japanese. I won’t ruin what it is for you to see for yourself if you’re not already aware!
I found it amusing, but got curious to look up the exact dialogue. I figured some Pokémon fans were aware of it already, but couldn’t actually find anyone who wrote the full (albeit short) dialogue out to show those who were curious like me. So, I thought to do something in the style akin to the great website Legends of Localization and compare them side by side.
As usual, this is all done on my free time, and takes awhile. It can be a lot of work, but I do hope you enjoy! I am unemployed… so please consider donating if you like the work I do. : ) It certainly helps me keep going!
Check it out below!
For when you first encounter him (before you pick up the parcel for Professor Oak):
|Uugh…! Hic…hold it right there!
Lissen to what I hafta say!
Don’ go, I said!
|I absolutely forbid you from
going through here!
This is private property!
If you talk to the girl next to him…
こんな ところで ねちゃって
|Good grief, Grandpa!
Sleeping here of all places!
It can’t be helped…
We have to wait until he sobers up…
Don’t be so mean!
I’m so sorry.
He hasn’t had his coffee yet.
<Note> The below dialogue is from the original GameBoy version, yet the screen shot is from the remakes. While a bit more dialogue is added in the GBA remakes, the opening lines/meanings are the same:
Looks like I was pretty drunk!
My head hurts…
Are you in a hurry…?
|Ahh, I’ve had my coffee now and
I feel great!
Sure you can go through!
Are you in a hurry?
This leads to the tutorial depending on player choice, but is the end of that important dialogue comparison! So… rather than being a passive-aggressive protector of his property, he was…well, passed out drunk. The more you know!
It was probably changed for obvious reasons regarding the target demographic of the game.
Funny enough, the girl no longer comments on anything related to the man after he sobers up, so there was nothing of interest there.
Hope you enjoyed this little translational tidbit! If you have any curiosities regarding what one may have said in Japanese versus what they said localized (and wonderful Legends of Localization did not already write about it) then feel free to contact me! It will also make my life a lot easier if you can provide comparison (English and original Japanese) with it!
Lastly, here is a bonus of the original GB version’s dialogue when he sobers up: