Mr. Abomasnow sent in an e-mail about an old NES game I hadn’t thought about in years: Wrath of the Black Manta.
I’d love to see a text comparison between the NES and FC versions as a lot was altered, graphics included.
Though I come here with a specific question I hope you can answer: […] there’s an exchange between the player character and a kid. He starts to talk about drugs and then goes on about how “drugs are bad. They’re a dead end.”.
Is this an anti-drug message that was smuggled into the game or is he that philosophical in the Japanese one?
Mr. Abomasnow also sent in videos of the scene in question (thanks!), so here are the translated scenes side-by-side in text form:
|Ninja Cop Saizou (Famicom)||Wrath of the Black Manta (NES)|
|Japanese Version (basic translation)||English Version|
|Kid: You saved me, mister! I wonder why they kidnapped me, though… My family isn’t especially rich or anything. Maybe they made a mistake…||Kid: Geez, thanks for letting me out. Why did they kidnap me? My family isn’t rich or anything.|
|Ninja: Hmm, I’m not sure. I don’t have much information to go on yet. Do you know of a kid named Sasuke?||Ninja: It seems to be drug related. You don’t use drugs, do you?|
|Kid: Nope!||Kid: No, I don’t.|
|Ninja: Oh, okay, then. This place is dangerous. Hurry and get out of here.||Ninja: Good. Don’t let anyone get you started on drugs They’re a dead end.|
Wow, that’s some incredibly different text! I wonder who decided to insert the anti-drug text and why – surely there was some sort of conversation or meeting that sparked the decision. I’d love to get in touch with anyone who worked at Taito at the time!
Anyway, if you’d like to see both versions of the above scene in action, I put together a video of them here. Share the drug message with your friends!
Actually, seeing how different the English game is from the Japanese game REALLY makes me want to do a fuller comparison of the two someday. It would also be a good reason for me to finally play through the whole game, and from what I’ve read there’s a lot of interesting material I could dig into!