Hey You, Pikachu's Mic Sends Player's Voice Through Hell Dimension

Thanks to a voice recording, players of the old game Hey You, Pikachu can finally hear what their voice sounded like to their digital buddy, and it does not sound good. Originally released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, Hey You, Pikachu focused on the unique mechanic of an actual microphone that players could use to communicate with Pikachu. The Pokémon mascot would, usually, understand some words and phrases spoken into the microphone. But this did not always go smoothly.

Every new Pokémon title has had some kind of brand new mechanic; Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield had Dynamax and Gigantamax, while Pokémon X & Pokémon Y introduced mega evolution. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Pokémon Let's Go Eevee even had a controller for the Nintendo Switch that looked like a Pokéball. These mechanics, however they might function within the games, do manage to make each entry stand out from each other a little more. Hey You, Pikachu’s microphone attachment might not have been the best, but it did still manage to make the game memorable two decades after its release. Thanks to more modern technology though, players can finally understand why Pikachu might have only listened to them about half the time.

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In a post on Resetera yesterday, user Maya Fey detailed their experience investigating how different microphones would affect the quality of Hey You, Pikachu. Maya Fey posted a recording of their voice as it sounds with the Nintendo 64 microphone, or Voice Recognition Unit (VRU). As some other users pointed out, it sounds a lot like a ghost or a demon from hell; the word Pikachu is only barely recognizable in the cloud of distorted audio.

Maya Fey went on to explain that they tried the same thing with a $400 microphone, an Electro-Voice RE20, which is the audio industry standard. With the much higher quality microphone, the interaction was smoother than ever, with hardly a syllable missed. Having obtained this new information, it makes total sense that Pikachu had any trouble responding to the voice from the underworld. Many older Pokémon games are generally harder than the newer ones, but this is a rather unique variation of difficulty imposed by outdated technology.

While it’s certainly no shock that the expensive microphone ended up working out much better than the microphone that came with Hey, You Pikachu back in the 90s, it’s still interesting to finally hear what Pikachu was hearing back then. It’s a shame when the disconnect between a player and a game comes from the technology of the time. Perhaps Hey You, Pikachu deserves a remaster on a more modern Nintendo system like the Nintendo Switch. Considering the success of the recent Nintendo 64 remake, New Pokémon Snap, there is a chance it might be on Nintendo’s to-do list.

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Source: Maya Fey/Resetera


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