Are You a Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President?

An often-referenced line from back in the NES days is from the side-scrolling beat-em-up, Bad Dudes:

The president has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?

I thought I’d take a look at the Japanese version today and see what it originally said, and here we are:

And here’s a side-by-side comparison of the text for reference:

Japanese textLiteral translationOfficial translation
きんきゅうしれい!!Emergency order!!
だいとうりょうが しょうたいふめいのてき ドラゴンNINJAにさらわれた。The president has been abducted by an enemy known only as Dragon Ninja.The president has been kidnapped by ninjas.
しきゅうだいとうりょうをすくいだしてくれ。Rescue the president ASAP.Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?
たのんだぞ!!We’re counting on you!!

As you can see, there’s no talk of being “bad” or any mention of “dude” at all. I actually really like the localization though – it really adds to the cheesiness of the game! The original takes itself more seriously, which is okay, but if ninjas are kidnapping the president then it’s a pretty cheesy situation to begin with 😛

Incidentally, the Japanese version of the game is called “Dragon Ninja” as opposed to the English release of “Bad Dudes”:

Of course, these were actually arcade games originally, so I assume the original versions have similar localization changes. I don’t think I played the arcade version very much back in the day though, so it’s not as memorable to me. I do remember wanting to rent the NES game specifically because there was a cheat code that gave you a ton of lives and I had a hankering for a good action game that I could breeze through. Still, maybe I’ll look into the arcade version in a future update!

If you have any lines in games or whatever else that you’d like me to take a look at sometime, let me know in the comments or contact me!

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  1. I think the line in the Arcade version is “Ninjas have rescued President Ronnie. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue Ronnie?”, which totally dates such a timeless classic (eugh) as Bad Dudes. I’ll give it a look at some point and see if the text is different. D:

    1. The NES version omits the references to “Ronnie” – not just his name, but the likeness was changed to that of then-current President George Bush! Both Presidents however offer the titular Bad Dudes to go out for a hamburger upon completing the game.

  2. I almost guarantee that if this game didn’t have a localization like this, it would have faded into obscurity as just another NES beat’em up. Major props to whoever wrote the script!


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