In the original Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, there is a hot springs in Lavaridge Town. Players could go and soak in the steamy water with some old ladies. Lavaridge Town returns in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. So does the bathing. The grannies, it seems, do not.
Picture: Picture: ayuta0513/Twitter
Hot springs are called “onsen” (温泉) in Japanese. The vast majority of hot springs are divided into baths for men and women, and when you bathe, you bathe naked. Families, friends, and colleagues go to hot springs together. This is incredibly normal in Japan as this kind of nudity is generally no big whoop. Onsen are seen as a place to relax and the springs are said to have health benefits.
But in the original Ruby and Sapphire, the bathing was mixed in that male trainers could take a dip with the grannies, and there were old dudes standing around. Looking at Japan’s hot springs culture, we can understand that the bathing ladies are actually naked, even if we do not see them naked. While mixed bathing was actually outlawed in the late 19th century in Japan, back in 2002, when the game was first released, that didn’t seem to be a concern.
But now on Twitter, people are reporting that the grannies are gone:
That’s a shame and makes the onsen seem so lonely. But, from the looks of it, at least you can ride your bicycle into the hot springs!
Online in Japan, some commenters are saying this happened because of the mixed bathing, that the old ladies have apparently been cut. Or perhaps the better graphics are to blame? Or maybe, as one Twitter user suggests, they’re still in Pokémon X/Y‘s Kalos region? Others say it’s because the grandmas are now bathing somewhere else: Heaven.