I’ve actually had the good fortune to never have played this game! I remember seeing it in magazines sometimes but it just looked so unappealing, and watching the Nerd’s video pretty much cemented that sentiment for me almost two decades later. I gotta admit that the telephone number thing was a pretty clever idea – AND it probably provided some useful marketing info for the developer – but it definitely didn’t need to be included in the game. I hear it’s some sort of sex line these days? If so, that’s hilarious!
Japanese Roger Rabbit
So, curious to know if and how this game was localized in Japan, I did some quick research… and learned that there WAS a Roger Rabbit game for the Japanese Famicom Disk System! Cool! I mean, ack!
But, wait. Something doesn’t look quite right…
That’s right, the Japanese Roger Rabbit game is actually what we know as Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle!
So it looks like Japanese players didn’t get to experience the terror of our Toontown. It’s a shame – I would’ve LOVED to see how the phone number thing and the quiz jokes/puns would’ve been handled. It would’ve been fascinating for sure.
Anyway, since there isn’t a Japanese version of this LJN-published game, there sadly isn’t a whole lot more to say or compare. So let’s look at a few other related topics instead!
The first question that pops into my head is: “Was the Roger Rabbit movie even released in Japan?” I mean, if there’s a game with him in it, it would make sense, right?
Info was kind of scarce – I kept running into Japanese pages about the NES game and Japanese posts about the Nerd’s review of the game – but I was finally able to find out some info on the movie’s Japanese release! It looks like it premiered in Japan in December of 1988, not long after the American release:
And it seems like it had some decent promotion back in the day:
So that answers my personal question of whether or not the movie was even released in Japan. I dunno how popular it was, but maybe that’s something I’ll look at again later on, since I think the Nerd reviews Roger Rabbit in more detail in a later episode!
While watching the Nerd’s Roger Rabbit video, my first instinct as a translator was to think, “I wonder how the Japanese subtitles handle some of the puns and jokes that appear in the game.”
For instance, there’s the scene where the Nerd explains that the answer to the question, “What animal can you never trust?” is “A cheetah.” How might this have been localized by the fans who subtitled this AVGN episode into Japanese? The answer is… that it WASN’T localized, it’s just translated literally:
The pun doesn’t work in Japanese, though, so this joke might’ve gone over the heads of some Japanese viewers. It looks like it’s briefly brought up in the comments of the video, at least.
At one point in the episode, the Nerd says something like, “Imagine if in real life, if I walked into a liquor store and I wanted Rolling Rock, and all they had there was Budweiser just sitting on a box next to the counter.”
Since I assume these might not be well-known beer brands in Japan, I was curious to see how it was translated:
It looks like it wasn’t translated around or localized – it was written as “Rollin’ Rock” in English (which doesn’t seem to be the proper spelling) and as バドワイザー (Budweiser) in Japanese. This usage of English and Japanese suggests to me that Budweiser probably does have a decent enough presence in Japan, and when I looked into it, that does seem to be the case:
Actually, while looking up Japanese Budweiser I came across another unexpected find – they got Hooters restaurants in Japan too?
Anyway, oops, let’s get back on track!
Japanese Responses to this Episode
Since this game was never released in Japan it’s interesting to see Japanese gamers’ reactions to it. Here’s just a small look at some of the Japanese comments:
Licensed games never bode well
Thx for the translation
Trusty ol’ LJN
I love the movie
If you add an A to LJN it almost seems to fit with AVGN
It’s LJN the shit-makin’ machine
The movie was good, but this…
Uh oh it’s the rainbow of death
He and rabbits never seem to get along
I love the AVGN
Acclaim owned LJN back in the day, and they had lots of weird games too
Oh this isn’t the same as our Kemco-made game
THAT’S the character you play as?!
These earlier episodes are so much more low-key
He didn’t show himself much in these early era ones, huh?
What is Rabbit doing?!
Calm down, Rabbit!
“Cheater” = someone who cheats
Actually, I seem to recall a TV show called “I Am A Cheater” or something
Longest Password in History
This is funny in a way
Japan has some games with much longer passwords, actually
AND it mixes numbers and letters???
(The phone number part begins here)
Oh, there was something like this on the Famicom too! Tokimeki High School, I think it was
This would be traumatizing as a kid
Miyamoto in the background!
Jessica’s mature – she dodges all of the Nerd’s abuse like it’s nothing
She’s a pretty sexy character
His little skits are the best!
Threatening phone call
Just how much of a grudge does he have??!
His 20 years of anger exploded!
His early era rants are kind of scary
He’s got a good rhythm in this video
Man, the movie it was based on was so good too
“Rollin’ Rock” is the beer he drinks when he’s on-camera
Apparently you can’t get Rollin’ Rock in Japan anymore
“What were they thinking?” became his phrase, I wonder if this is where it started?
Ah yes, a corner store where you can buy dynamite lol
In some places it’s common, like in mining towns in Peru and stuff
What kind of explosion was that?
That sounded like a whistle!
That was on par with Space Invader sound effects
Oh yeah, Doc was in this!
Yeah, Christopher Lloyd!
That gun is more useless than the torch in Ghosts n Goblins
Nailed to the cross?!
Even though there wasn’t a Japanese equivalent to this LJN Roger Rabbit game, it turned out to be a pretty fun and interesting topic to delve into. I learned some new stuff, and it was really cool to see how Japanese fans responded to just these three or so minutes of video of the game.
Actually, if I remember right, the Nerd revisits Roger Rabbit much later on and goes into more detail about the game. I’m not sure what more there is for me to say about the game, but I’m sure I’ll find plenty of new stuff to talk about when the time comes!
Next up, though, is one of my favorite Nerd episodes – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES! There’s so much to say and research and write… all of which will be more fun than playing the game itself, I’m certain 😛