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Pokémon Pearl Was a Little Different in Taiwan

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

As gamers, we all have shared experiences. When I say certain game titles, say, Pokémon Pearl, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Right? Not exactly.

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According to Twitter user and Taiwan native @Taiwanjin, “Reminiscing on Pokémon Pearl with a Japanese friend didn’t quite jive, because for some reason, things in the the Taiwanese version I played were different.”

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
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[Photo: Taiwanjin]

Hrm.

The first hint should be that the official versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released on the Nintendo DS. Taiwanjin played Pokémon Pearl on the Game Boy Advance.

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan

[Photo: Taiwanjin]

So yes, this Twitter user grew up playing a faux version—which, I guess, is somewhat understandable because Nintendo didn’t release an official, localized version of the game in Taiwan or mainland China, for that matter.

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In the past, Pokémon knock-offs like these were fairly common, resulting in some interesting titles. Check out the Pokémon Jade:

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
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[Photo: Taiwanjin]

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
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[Photo: Taiwanjin]

Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
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Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
Illustration for article titled iPokémon Pearl/i Was a Little Different in Taiwan
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To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

pain-in-the-sass
Super-Giant-Frobot

I love the attitude of Chinese pirates/hackers sometimes - I really do :)

I mean, firstly, it’s just such a huge contrast to see such a cottage industry pop up in the same countries that can also make Moonlight Blade, Mercury, Monster Hunter Online or handle outsourcing for games like Uncharted and Final Fantasy XV. That’s wild to me.

But secondly, I love the fact that for gamers in more rural areas who are still using old systems, they have people putting out something to play. Even - especially - if it’s this kind of janky, bizarre work, lol. There’s so many people in so many countries who are either without the means to upgrade or just perfectly happy with their Famicoms and Sega Master Systems and Game Boy Colors still, they SHOULD have something to play?

It baffles me that companies don’t release development resources/materials for hardware they sunset, forcing homebrewers and pirates to... I don’t even know. “Reverse Engineer”? “Cobble together”? Just brute force their way through understanding this stuff, y’know? It’s astounding to me that companies like Watermelon can still put out Genesis or SNES games nowadays without access to proper resources. And they’re a legit operation. I can’t imagine who makes stuff like this Pokemon hack. But I kinda love it.

So much weird, entertaining stuff comes from that scene. Never change, guys :D