A reader recently asked about an old NES game I hadn’t thought about in years: Wrath of the Black Manta.
At one point in the game, the main character – who’s a ninja – tells a kid about drugs and how drugs are bad.
|Ninja Cop Saizō (Famicom)||Wrath of the Black Manta (NES)|
So, was this anti-drug message secretly added into the game, or does the original Japanese game feature an anti-drug ninja too?
Let’s take a look at the scene side-by-side:
|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, those are some serious changes! If you’d like to see both versions of the above scene in action, I put together a video of them here:
I wonder who decided to insert this 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!