The original interview could be found here.
Lavender Town Red
This song is labeled as “hidoi” in the coding, which is the Romanization of “ひどい”(meaning ‘horrible’ or cruel’), only can be heard in the very early Japanese release of Pocket Monsters Red. It is not in the Green version’s coding at all. Suspecting that Green would sell less, Satoshi Taijiri told the music coders to only put this song in the Red version.
“It was only added in the game to be an annoyance, that’s all,” Satoshi said in an interview. “I didn’t mean for it to…do what it did.” he continued nervously.
When asked what the exact purpose of the song was, he stated: “Before the two games were released, we figured that Red version would sell more, because children prefer the color Red over Green. I never understood why. Red is a violent, angry color. It is the color of blood, why would anyone like that color? Green is much more peaceful. It is the color of leaves, grass, and certain bugs.”
He shook his head and laughed. “I’m sorry for ranting. Anyways, we wanted the games to sell equally, or at least as close as possible. We put ‘hidoi’ in Red to annoy the evi…” he stuttered, quickly correcting himself. “…to annoy the children that bought this version. The annoying song would become word of mouth, you see?” he smiled nervously. “The children would go to their school friends and say ‘Do not buy the Red version, it get’s kind of annoying later on!’” Satoshi said with a laugh.
He then looked serious. “Did I mention that I don’t like Red?” was the last thing heard on the interview recording before the tape ran out.
In a separate interview with Ken Sugimori, the art director for the Pocket Monsters game, he was also inquired about the “hidoi” music.
“I just designed characters and monsters, that is all. I know nothing about the music you speak of, I’m sorry to say.” He said calmly.
“Why were red and green chosen as the colors for the games?” the interviewer could be heard faintly.
Ken Sugimori laughed a little. “Actually, did you know they weren’t originally supposed to be Pocket Monsters Red and Green? It was in fact meant to be one game only, and it was going to be Pocket Monsters Stripes. A little odd, I know, but Satoshi loves stripes for some reason. It was later decided that the game would sell more if there were two separate copies with some differences in them, and that if it were named after colors.”
He then started to speak a bit nervously. “Well, we left it up to Satoshi to pick the colors. He said he would only pick one and let the staff pick the other. He said one version would be green. The rest of the staff voted for red.” Ken then could be heard coughing. “Excuse me. Anyways, the staff wanted red to be the second color. Satoshi was…not happy to say the least with the staff’s choice. He was furious. He just doesn’t like red, I guess. I felt so guilty because my vote was the tie breaker between blue and red.” He started mumbling, and then changed the subject slightly. “Though, this is why there was also a blue version released later on.”
A childhood friend of Satoshi Taijiri’s, who wished to remain anonymous, said the following.
“I’ve been a long time friend of Satoshi. We have known each other since around the age of 7 or 8. He offered to let me work on his dream game and I jumped at the opportunity to do so. I only worked on the game briefly though before leaving the staff, due to Satoshi’s over-reacting over the choice to make the second game red. I had told the staff while voting to not choose red, but the staff did not listen as I refused to give a reason why to not choose this particular color. However, there is a reason, a horrible reason, as to why he hates the color red.”
“As a child, Satoshi was a bit odd and a bit behind the other children in school. He would always be made fun of. I felt bad for him so this is why I let him be my friend at first, but later on when we learned that we liked to collect insects, this is when we became very close.”
“As we got a little bit older, I became less interested in insect collecting, but Satoshi was more interested in it than ever. He was almost obsessed with bugs, I would say. The bullying got even worse for him. In fact, there was a makeshift ‘gang’ of bullies in the school named the Rocket Reds. They took pleasure in tormenting my dear friend. Calling him names, pushing him around, the typical childhood bully stuff.”
“One day he had come to school with a small bowl full of water. He walked up to me and showed off a half-grown tadpole he had caught. ‘I’m going to name it Nyorozo! Do you think that is a good name?’ I agreed with him, it was a great name. ‘I hope it grows up into a frog.’ Was the last thing he said before the Rocket Red’s gang leader, Sakaki, pushed the bowl out of his hand.’
“The bowl, being made of glass, instantly smashed into pieces when it hit the ground. Satoshi cut himself on the broken glass as he desperately tried to pick up Nyorozo from the ground. Sakaki pushed him out of the way and stomped on the tadpole, instantly killing it.”
“Sakaki laughed cruelly and wiped the blood and guts off of his shoe on the ground. ‘Little Satoshi, you’re always playing with stupid bugs and frogs. What do you think this is, some kind of make-believe monster world and you’re their masters? Grow up already!’ he said before walking off.”
“His hands and the ground were covered in red blood. He sat there on the ground for a while, shaking. He wasn’t crying, he made no noises for a while. He eventually stood up and muttered to himself ‘YUCK! Shouldn’t have looked.”