Pocket Monsters Crystal Version
Pkmnvcrystal.jpg
Cartridge label.
Hack of Pocket Monsters / Pokemon Crystal
Original developer Game Freak / Nintendo
Console Game Boy Color

Pocket Monsters Crystal Version (popularly known as "Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal") is a bootlegged version of Pokémon Crystal which achieved quite the status among Pokémon fans due to its poorly translated script turning every bit of text into mainly nonsensical and unintentionally humorous Engrish.

Translation Quirks[edit | edit source]

This game has some oddities in its story thanks to its poor translation, such as referencing that Professor Elm and Professor Oak is the same person. Some items, moves and trainer class names have not been translated and instead are left blank; while many others seem to refer to something completely different, for instance the item "OLD ROD" is called "CLOTHBAG" and the Pokémon move "WATER GUN" is called "FLAME". However many of these wrong names are actually reasonable translations of other existing items/moves/trainers from the game, which probably indicates a mistake in indexing at some point, causing all the names after that point to be shifted up or down by one.

In battle, some moves have a nonsensical suffix attached to them. This is due to a function in the Japanese release that appends the proper grammatical suffix to move names when used in battle. This causes, for example, using the move LICK (translated to "AGAIN") to print "AGAIN AH". Pokémon moves aren't the only victims to this kind of quirks, as Pokémon names are also subject to the 5 letter limit of the Japanese version rather than the 10 letter limit of international versions.

As expected, profanity is also quite common in this version of the game, the F-word for example appearing quite frequently as it is used in the message that appears when you collect items (which in terms can give results such as "DRUG BAG   FUCK!").

Examples of Poor Translation[edit | edit source]

In the Xiaojin Broadcasting Tower (aka Goldenrod Radio Tower) quiz you need to answer a series of questions correctly, which is made almost impossible by the poor translation:

  • Question 1: IS IT THE MONSTER COMING ONLY IN THE MORNING THAT EXISITS?
  • Question 2: CAN YOU BUY IT IN SHUDONG'S STORE?
  • Question 3: MAY THE SECRET MACHINE BE NOT CONSULTED?
  • Question 4: IS IT HEYADUO THAT CAN CONTROL THE BIRD MONSTER AND THE GYMNASIUM LEADER OF MUQIANG TOWN?
  • Question 5: IS IT A PORTRAIT ON THE COIN OF THE GAME STORE IN XIAOJIN TOWN?

Answers are, in order, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, and No.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

The game crashes 95% of the time when trying to take part in the "National Park Bug Catching Contest" north of Goldenrod City between Route 35 and 36, however saved data is not affected by this crash. Initiating the Bug Catching Contest dialogue with the other guard does not trigger this glitch. Occasionally players will be able to get through the guards dialogue but often one of three things will happen:

  • The game will hang and does not recover.
  • The game soft resets and thinks it is being used in a monochrome Game Boy and gives a poorly translated version of the normal statement "This Game Pak is designed for Game Boy Color Only".
  • The game will restart and the sprites will be stuck.

Judging by the text string just before the crash it seems that the text is overflowing and causing the game to crash when the text box is filled with junk characters. This is, however, not surprising as it is assumed the translation was done by copying all the game's text out of the game, ran through a computer translator and dumped back without care for size of the text being put back in and data leaking into the text strings.

Other things that can cause the game to crash are interaction with the POINTUP, CUREINGI, and DRINKIN items (Elixir, Burn Heal, and Calcium); the use of the moves MIXING and CLIP (Rest and Spike Cannon), speaking to the Super Nerd closest to the Goldenrod Tunnel's north stairs after defeating him; and entering the Goldenrod City Pokémon Center.

Cartridge Hardware[edit | edit source]

Pkmnvcrystalinside.jpg

The cartridge itself has the silk screen "28f800" which is a 1MByte flash ROM and saves correctly however it does not support the "Real Time Clock". The game never notices that its time is not running and is thought that the ROM has been customized more beyond its initial translation to ignore the fact the clock is not running correctly.

As with most pirate and unlicensed Game Boy cartridges, its battery is not the standard CR1616 employed commonly in licensed battery backed save games, but instead a CR2032 - a far more common 3V battery. It is also not soldered to the motherboard in the same way and is instead held in place with a cage system from which the CR2032 can be easily replaced by sliding the battery out of the top.

Screenshots[edit | edit source]

Links[edit | edit source]

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