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Can we catch ‘em all?

2,095 bytes removed, 23:29, 5 November 2014
Reverted edits by 8bitbecca (talk) to last revision by SnorlaxMonster
type=op-columneditorial |
picture=Prof_Carolina.png |
caption= |
weekday=WednesdayTuesday |
day=528 |
month=1110 |
year=2014 |
time=1401:1110:3101 |
discusstype=nonebmgf |
discusslink=170139 |
sourcetype=exclusive |
sourcename=8bitbecca |
sourcelink=User:8bitbecca |
user=Rebecca Hernandez-Gerber8bitbecca |
userlink=User:8bitbecca |
tagline=Versions, remakes, and media archaeology in Generation IPokémon |
blurb=In the secondfirst of seven articles, Pokémon Professor and Archaeologist Becca takes you on a journey into Generationthe Iworld of core series games through the lens of media archaeology and media specificity. }}
'''“Tajiri“''Pokémon'' hadis asomething novelyou idea:do, tonot utilizejust thesomething tsushinyou kebururead [Gameor Boywatch Linkor Cable] for ‘communication’ instead – for exchanges between players in which the objective would be to barter with, rather than eliminate, an opponent by training monstersconsume.”'''
- Anne Allison, ''Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination''
TwentyDavid yearsBuckingham ago,and manyJulian players first encountered a video game through its advertisement campaign. NintendoSefton-Green, in particular, was notorious for tightly controlling advertisement through censorship of unwelcome critiques in Japanese gaming magazines. This control went even farther in the United States, where the company-run {{bp|NintendoPikachu’s PowerGlobal Adventure|’’Nintendo Power’’}}''Pikachu’s essentiallyGlobal functionedAdventure: asThe aRise subscriptionand advertisingFall campaign. As a result, marketing controlled how players understood their games. Nowhere is this more obvious than in {{bp|Generation I|Generation I core seriesof titlesPokémon''}}.'''
Before[[File:Prof_Carolina.png|thumb|Professor applying media archaeology methodologies to these versions, it is helpful to look at Nintendo’s advertised descriptions of versions.Carolina]]
[[File:GenIOfficialVersionTreeWe are being studied.png That is a simple fact. {{bp|thumb|GenerationPokémon}} 1and Officialits Versionfan Tree]]base have been discussed in everything from seminal works on convergence culture to understanding children’s media consumption. Throughout media studies, various groups have studied Pokémon fans to grasp how our base has adapted to the large amount of data found within the franchise. Yet in the nearly twenty years of being studied, fans have rarely done the opposite and used media studies tools for their own benefit.
AccordingIn tomany Nintendoways, PokémaniaPokémon beganfans withhave thean Japaneseadvantage releaseover ofmany {{bp|Pokémonother Redfan andgroups. GreenOur Versions|''Pocketfranchise Monsters:focuses Red'' and ''Green''}} foron the {{bp|Gameinfinite Boy}}power inof 1996knowledge. AWe minordon’t revision,just collect {{bp|Pokémon; Bluewe Versioncollect Pokémon (Japanese)|''Pocket Monsters: Bluedata''}},. was released later in the same year asLike a gift to loyalliving {{bp|CoroCoro ComicPokédex}}, subscribers.each Redone andof Blueus weresoaks translatedup intoas much knowledge as we Englishcan, withand nowhen otherthat changesknowledge madebecomes totoo themuch gamesfor themselvesone person, andwe releasedturn into thecommunal Unitedstorage States in 1998such as {{bp|Pokémon Red and Blue Versions|''Pokémon Red'' and ''Blue''Bulbapedia}}. SomeTo advertisementsbe noteda thePokémon existencefan ofis ato secretbe thirdimmersed versionin knowna asculture Greenthat inrequires Japandiscipline, butstudy, and littleteamwork to notry informationand wasbe releasedthe onvery that titlebest. OnceThat successfulwe inhave theso Unitedmuch States,fun anotherwhile yeargathering passedthat beforeknowledge French,only Italian,proves Spanish,the resilience and Germanabilities translationsthis offranchise thehas games were released into Europeoffer.
TheSo popularitylet’s ofturn the animetables seriesa throughoutbit theand worlduse happilyone surprisedmedia Nintendo,studies which decidedtheory to treathelp itsus fansin duringour thestruggle: longmedia wait until {{bp|Generation II}}archaeology. Therefore,This {{bp|Pokémonfield Yellow|''Pocketattempts Monsters:to Pikachu''}}understand wasmedia releasedthrough inits Japantechnology inrather 1998.than Renamedits {{bp|Pokémoncontent, Yellow|''Pokémonor Yellow:rather Specialto Pikachuprocess Edition''}},content it was released inthrough the Unitedlens Statesof in''media 1999 followed by Europe in 2000specificity''. AllFor ofexample, theselet’s internationalsay versionswe werewanted marketedto as exact translations ofstudy the originalNorth JapaneseAmerican titles.release Though these versions were all compatible with the newof {{bp|GamePokémon BoyRed Color}},and theyBlue were notVersions|''Pokémon designed for that systemRed''}}.
Players soon discovered that Nintendo’s statements did not mesh with reality. In Japan, players noticed that {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|''Pocket Monsters[[File: Blue''}} was a significant departure from the previous versionsRed_EN_boxart. Graphics received a major overhaul, and a number of glitches were neutralized. Players with access to both the Japanese and North American titles discerned that the international localizations resembled {{bpjpg|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|''Pocket Monsters: Blue''}} more than {{bpthumb|Pokémon Red andVersion Green Versions|''Pocket Monsters: Red'' and ''Green''}}.boxart]]
InTraditional additionmedia studies, or game studies in particular, might tell us to theselook at the video game itself. That could include studying the audiovisual content alterationsof the game, its plot or story, game mechanics such as battle, or the significance of trade in a majorcultural technicalcontext. changeThose wasare discoveredall aftervery comparingfine {{bp|Pokémonpoints Yellow|''Pocketof Monsters:study. Pikachu''}}Unfortunately, they are also very limited. How can we study why the audiovisuals looked and {{bp|Pokémonsounded Yellow|''Pokémonas Yellow:they Specialdid Pikachuif Edition''}}we acrossdon’t platforms.consider Japanesethe playerslimitations usingof athe {{bp|Game Boy Color}}? couldCan selectwe onetruly ofunderstand severalbattle colorif palettewe options,don’t indicatingtake the game wasa builtpeek primarilyat forhow {{bp|GamePokémon data structures Boyin Generation I|data structures}} andinfluence nota itsPokémon’s colorstrength? successor.How Incan contrast,we internationalstudy versionstrade defaulted toin a single,vacuum richerwithout colorconsidering palette,the indicatinghardware dependencies of a {{bp|GameLink Boy ColorCable}}? title.If Thesewe indicationsonly werecare reinforced by comparingabout the versionsgame, onemulation thewould {{bp|Superbe Gameclose Boy}}.enough Theto Japanesea versionvideo containedgame noso specialas featuresto onexamine the deviceexperience, but internationalwe versionsare accessednot just studying a varietygame. ofWe specialare bordersstudying a media object that exists in a very specific technological framework. ThisThrough maythe notuse appearof media significantarchaeology, butwe studyinglook technicalat limitationsthe giveswhole apicture clue:rather onlythan {{bp|Gameone Boypart, Color}}and gameswe containedgain bordersa onricher thegrasp {{bp|Superof Gamewhat Boy}}that picture is.
HowOne canmajor aadvantage playerto makemedia sensearchaeology ofas thisa confusion?process Whyof arestudy Nintendo’sis statementsthat nonsenseit whengives us a comparedchance to look at one of the obviousmore infuriating or challenging (depending on how you look at it) realityaspects of {{bp|core series}} Pokémon games: versions?. ForOn the surface, versions don’t appear too complicated, seeing as the series generally follows a moresimilar release model. honestEach breakdown{{bp|generation}} of versionscore series games begins with a pair of games, wegenerally mustidentical lookother atthan a few alterations, followed by a third solitary version with additional tweaks. Sometimes, a paired set of remakes from a previous generation is released, as well. There are exceptions such as {{bp|Generation V}}. For most of the sourcefranchise’s history, games have been released first in {{bp|Pokémon in Japan|Japan}}, followed by {{bp|Pokémon in South Korea|South Korea}} (when included), moving to {{bp|Pokémon in the United States|North America}}, and finally in {{bp|Pokémon in France|France}}, {{bp|Pokémon in Italy|Italy}}, {{bp|Pokémon in Germany|Germany}}, and executable{{bp|Pokémon codein itselfSpain|Spain}}.
[[File:GenIUnofficialVersionTreeIn reality, the connections between versions are much more complicated, and media archaeology gives us the tools to understand alterations to the code itself.png This gives fans the ability to understand the games in entirely new ways, and nowhere is this more apparent than in remakes. If we took {{bp|thumbGame Freak}} and {{bp|GenerationNintendo}} Iat Unofficialface Versionvalue, Tree]]we might assume that {{bp|Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions|''Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen''}} are remakes of {{bp|Pokémon Red and Green Versions|''Pocket Monsters Red and Green''}}. By using media archaeology and digging into the code, we discover that the remakes are actually remakes of {{bp|Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions|''Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire''}} with the older audiovisual content painted on top of the newer game engine. Media archaeology gives us the tools to peek under the mainframe of versions and remakes and truly grasp why they work.
The diagram to the right demonstrates the actual connections between versions from a media specific, code-based examination[[File:Confusion_status_III.png|thumb|Confusion Media archaeology is critical to make sense ofin the differencesGeneration betweenIII this diagram and the previous, official diagram of versions taken from Nintendo]]
{{bp|SatoshiYou Tajiri}}might releasedask ayourself, superiorwho setcares ofabout gamesall withthese theconnections originalwhen Pocketwe Monsterscan titles,spend butour hetime hand-codedplaying thosePokémon? gamesSurprisingly, overas fans we can learn a periodlot offrom sixthese sorts of yearsexaminations. ThisBy limitationhaving a better grasp of resourcesversion resultedconnections, inwe wellcan exploit inter-knowngenerational {{bp|glitch|glitchestrade}}. Themore purposeeasily, ofensuring we are able to {{bp|PokémonGotta BlueCatch Version‘em (Japanese)All|''Pocketcatch Monsters:‘em Blue''all}}. wasBy notlooking aat minordata aestheticstructures revisioninfluenced butby insteadplatform aspecificity, much-neededwe overhaulcan oftake problematicadvantage source code, neutralizingof {{bp|glitchGlitch|glitches}}. Whatto isbuild soa impressivemore aboutpowerful thisteam versionof isPokémon thatand suchdefeat anour overhaulenemies hadin tobattle. bePerhaps invisible;most more preciselyimportantly, theseas structuralfans changeswe appearcan minimaltruly comprehend Pokémon not as {{bp|Game Freak}} or {{bp|Nintendo}} want us to playerscomprehend them, but radicallyinstead alteredon theour structureown terms. We can control our knowledge of thethese game’sgames codein underneathways thewe surface.never could before.
I propose that we take a journey together. In this series of articles, I will examine each generation of Pokémon {{bp|core series}} versions. Examining data structures, system requirements, {{bp|trade|trade restrictions}}, and localization will give us a deeper view into Pokémon. In particular, we’ll focus heavily on remakes. Finally, we can use what we’ve learned to think about how the upcoming {{bp|remake|remakes}} might turn out, and how future {{bp|core series}} franchise games might be organized with the upcoming release of the New Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo considered the release of the Pocket Monsters franchise in North America to be a problematic endeavor. Stories of the company’s reluctance to send the games overseas are well known. HowSo, then,what coulddo Nintendoyou knowingly release glitchy games to an audience they felt expected better of their productssay? Revision was needed, and it appeared under the guise of {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|''Pocket Monsters: Blue''}}. Using media archaeology as a framework, it is possible to dig into the code. Comparing code across titles demonstrates that {{bp|Pokémon Red and Blue Versions|''Pokémon Red'' and ''Blue''}} were heavily derived from {{bp|Pokémon Blue Version (Japanese)|''Pocket Monsters: Blue''}}. Game engine, script, and audiovisual content were all ripped from the less-problematic version, with only {{bp|version-exclusive Pokémon}} lists surviving from {{bp|Pokémon Red and Green Versions|''Pocket Monsters: Red'' and ''Green''}}. It is these ideal English-language versions that were translated for other international audiences, ensuring the best-quality product available outside Japan.
What,“You then,teach of the confusion surrounding {{bp|Pokémon Yellow|''Pocket Monsters: Pikachu''}}? Once again, glimpsing at the code itself is key. The title is not a version of previous Japanese titles but instead derived from what was considered to be the most stable set of games: {{bp|Pokémon Redme and BlueI’ll Versions|''Pokémonteach Red'' and ''Blue''}}you. Hidden objects in the code taken from the international releases confirm the connection. However, what remains especially confusing is the data discovered by accessing the game across platforms. Why would Nintendo release a more colorful version to international audiences but neglect their own?
By the time this version was in the process of translation, the {{bp|Game Boy}} was at the end of its lifecycle in the United States and an incentive was needed to purchase the newest mobile platform. As such, all international versions were slightly altered so that they are actually {{bp|Game Boy Color}} games rather than {{bp|Game Boy}}, giving children an excuse to hassle their parents into buying the newest system. What remains a mystery is unknown why Nintendo chose to continue marketing the version as a {{bp|Game Boy}} game. There are some questions that require a wider societal context than mere media archaeology. It is possible the company did not wish to confuse international audiences about platform compatibility or anger its Japanese audience by giving an enhanced product to non-Japanese audience. In the end, only speculation is possible.
You may have noticed this article does not discuss {{bp|Pokémon data structure in Generation I|data structures}} or {{bp|trade}}. Such factors are best discussed in the context of inter-generational trade beginning in {{bp|Generation II}}. What is most significant about this generation is that it lays the base for how Nintendo communicated Game Freak’s products to their fans. Reality within code and reality within advertising are not the same, and if players do not consider media specific ideologies, the truth is quickly obscured.