There’s Pokémon Crystal, the third game in the second generation of Pokémon games. And then there’s Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, the bootleg version of the game with mistranslations. There’s a difference.
Pokémon diehards have probably heard of Vietnamese Crystal, but for those of you that haven’t, it’s worth checking out. According to Bulbanews, back in the early 2000’s, a bootleg version of Pokémon Crystal was made by an unknown party. Curiously, even though the cartridges allegedly originally circulated in Vietnam, the pirates translated the Japanese game into (sometimes nonsensical) English, not Vietnamese.
Nobody really knew about this version of the game until Let’s Players like DeliciousCinnamon got their hands on the game. Since then, many of the things that appear in the game went on to become memes in the Pokémon community. And when you look at some of the things that appear in the game, the fact the game became infamous isn’t surprising.
When you start the game, these are your gender choices: boy, or that one character from Invader Zim:
Then the game welcomes you to… Elf’s world?
This is an ongoing thing in the Vietnamese version of the game. Elf, elfs, elves. The game is obsessed with elves, for whatever reason. My theory is that they were trying to translate “pocket monster”, because, really, that’s what elfs are.
This is the first thing the professor says to you.
So demanding! Who do you think you are?
Elf monster then introduces you to Pokémon…
Very crucial information to understanding Pokémon.
Professor, um, Elf, tells you that the Pokémon world is full of mysteries and then sends you on your way. Once in the game, your mum stops you to tell you word of the good elfs:
Thankfully, she gives you something to deal with this dangerous elf world.
She warns you not to assume things about this elf gear.
It only gets more amazing from here. Really, you should watch the original Let’s Play that made this Pokémon bootleg famous: it’s excellent.
But, in case you need more convincing, here are some more choice screenshots: