On Twitter, a reader named Maxime asked about a peculiar Pokémon battle in Pokémon HeartGold / SoulSilver:
— Maxime Lebled (@MaxOfS2D) March 5, 2014
For reference, the image in question was basically this:
For context, this is a lovey-dovey couple that you encounter on Route 47. And, as you might notice, their Pokémon combination seems a bit… symbolic.
Anyway, after doing some quick searching and hacking, I jumped to this part in the Japanese game and checked it out:
So, nope, this wasn’t the localizers having fun – it was in the original game! I think I’d actually be shocked if the localizers had done this; if anything, I would’ve expected them to change it ever-so-slightly somehow, based on past findings such as this and this 😛
For further reference, here’s what one of these characters says before battle:
Eda: My heart’s feelings for my boyfriend are as wide and deep as the ocean.
And in Japanese:
Umi: I want to always wrap my boyfriend with a wide, deep, and big heart!
I’ve heard that a Japanese Game Freak interview once mentioned that they like to include things in games that kids won’t notice but will come to understand once they do grow up. I haven’t looked into seeing if this interview or mention really happened, but this sort of playfulness isn’t uncommon in Japanese entertainment – here’s Ted Woolsey talking about this in relation to Final Fantasy IV a few decades ago, in fact:
This also does remind me a lot of Shigesato Itoi’s approach with certain aspects of MOTHER 3. I don’t know a whole lot about Pokémon, though, so take all of this however you want!