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
ใใ‚“ใใ‚…ใ†ใ—ใ‚Œใ„๏ผ๏ผEmergency order!!
ใ ใ„ใจใ†ใ‚Šใ‚‡ใ†ใŒใ€€ใ—ใ‚‡ใ†ใŸใ„ใตใ‚ใ„ใฎใฆใใ€€ใƒ‰ใƒฉใ‚ดใƒณ๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผฎ๏ผช๏ผกใซใ•ใ‚‰ใ‚ใ‚ŒใŸใ€‚The president has been abducted by an enemy known only as Dragon Ninja.The president has been kidnapped by ninjas.
ใ—ใใ‚…ใ†ใ ใ„ใจใ†ใ‚Šใ‚‡ใ†ใ‚’ใ™ใใ„ใ ใ—ใฆใใ‚Œใ€‚Rescue the president ASAP.Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?
ใŸใฎใ‚“ใ ใž๏ผ๏ผ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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 youโ€™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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