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Video Game / Hey You, Pikachu!

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Where are we off to today, Pikachu?

Hey You, Pikachu! is a virtual pet Pokémon game developed by Ambrella (their debut title) for the Nintendo 64. It was released in December 1998 in Japan and October 2000 in North America.

One day, Professor Oak asks you to help him test the PokéHelper, a device that translates human speech into a form that Pokémon can directly understand. After using this on a wild Pikachu near Viridian Forest, it follows you home and wants to befriend you. Thus start your adventures, where you use your voice to guide Pikachu as he wanders around and plays with his Pokémon friends.

The game makes use of the Voice Recognition Unit or VRU, a peripheral that picks up your voice and translates it into commands for Pikachu to follow. Most of the gameplay requires the VRU in some way, as you're mostly an observer to Pikachu's antics and have very little direct control over it.

While no direct sequels were made with with the microphone mechanic, the game was succeeded by the similar Pokémon Channel and PokéPark Wii simulation games.

This game exhibits examples of:

  • An Interior Designer Is You: Stuff you collect in the levels can be brought back home into the room and back garden. The player doesn't really decide what goes where, but you can play with Pikachu using them.
  • A Boy and His X: The core of the game is the player learning about the bonds between people and Pokemon, exemplified by their relationship with Pikachu. When it's finally time to let Pikachu go, it refuses to leave and stays with the player.
  • Animal Talk: You need the Poké Helper (or the megaphone) to communicate with Pikachu, though he can talk to other Pokémon regardless of species.
  • Banana Peel: Pikachu can slip on these in Piñata Party, or anytime he's careless after eating a banana.
  • Berserk Button: Pikachu hates being called a rat.
  • Console Cameo:
    • A Nintendo 64 can be found in the bedroom.
    • In the Japanese version, it seems to be able to use Super Famicom cartridges.
  • Cultural Translation:
    • The cupcake that Pikachu steals from you was originally an onigiri.
    • Piñata Party was originally a watermelon-splitting game with similar rules called suikawari.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Averted. You befriend Pikachu without battles or Poké Balls.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Pikachu again. Especially annoying when he grabs the megaphone out of your hands and eats it only to wince with a disgusted "Pii-yuck!". He has so little knowledge of what's edible that it's amazing he can survive in the wild.
  • Fake Difficulty: It can be an ordeal to complete basic tasks in the game because the voice recognition just won't understand you or because Pikachu just does whatever. One of the most frustrating examples is trying to buy something from Abra's shop, where often times Pikachu will just pick something else out regardless of what you try telling him to get, and then you can only visit Abra's shop once in a day, so if Pikachu buys the wrong item, you'll need to wait until the next day before you can get another chance at buying that Lucky Hook.
  • Fishing Minigame: And you can win posters to hang on your wall if you do well enough!
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of Bulbasaur's cooking ingredients. To be specific, the game told you three ingredients necessary for the recipe. The Guide Dang It!? There were always FOUR ingredients, but the game would never tell you that. On the plus side, the fourth can be anything edible, but some go better in some recipes than others, making for another Guide Dang It!.
    • Another moment of this is unlocking Cobalt Island for the treasure hunting activity. The game never tells you that, in order to unlock Cobalt Island, you (or rather Pikachu) have to break open the piñata three times! If Pikachu fails to break it open even once, you have to start all over (since the game only allows you three chances per visit). The piñata mission is already regarded to be the most annoying mechanic to complete due to the awkward hitbox of the piñata itself. Because of this, there are those that mentioned that they didn't even know Cobalt Island existed to play on.
  • Hammerspace: Where Pikachu gets his pad of paper and drawing utensils.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Hitting you with a thunderbolt is Pikachu's way of playing tag.
  • Hypocrite: Professor Oak's order to release Pikachu in the end seems odd considering his goals involve people building friendships with Pokémon.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: Some of the uses for the megaphone make perfect sense. You can use it to call Pikachu when he steals the Poké Helper, call lost Poliwag over to you, or scare away the Haunter. On the other hand, you can also use its speech bubbles to... knock fruit out of trees?note .
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including turning corn on the cob into popcorn — complete with a bag.
  • Market-Based Title: The Japanese version of the game is called "Pikachu genkidechū", literally meaning "Pikachu Is Fine-achu".
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ash's outfit from the anime can be found hanging on a coat rack in the bedroom. Pikachu uses the hat to cover his eyes in Piñata Party.
    • The player's mother looks just like Ash's mom, Delia.
    • Who's That Pokémon is a Mini-Game that can be played in the bedroom. And one particularly ambiguous silhouette may turn out to be Jigglypuff seen from above.
    • The ending appears to be a homage to the anime episode "Pikachu's Goodbye"
  • Nintendo Hard: The piñata game is extremely hard to win, especially the variation that has multiple rounds.
  • No Name Given:
    • The user is only ever spoken to in second person.
    • You can't name the Pikachu, so you have to refer to him by his species.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The game's title; it was the only game in the franchise without the prefix "Poké" in its name until Pokkén Tournamentnote  and Detective Pikachu.
  • Pattern-Coded Eggs: A Togepi egg, white with red and blue triangles, can be found and hatched while completing the Pokémon Picnic missions.
  • Pun-Based Title: The game's Japanese title translates to literally "Pikachu Is Fine-achu".
  • Rainbow Speak: Words Pikachu understands are in red. The word "Pikachu" itself is yellow.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: What most players don't realize is that Pikachu will only react to words that are marked in red. It doesn't necessarily make the game easier, but it helps streamline the experience tremendously.
  • Regional Bonus: Popcorn is only obtainable in the U.S. version. This is because the Japanese version has eggplants instead of corn.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pikachu — and if you tell him so, he blushes, making himself even more adorable.
  • Shaking the Rump: Pikachu sometimes does this to the Caterpie he's babysitting for no real reason, presumably to amuse them.
  • Shout-Out: The final mission has the player following Pikachu inside a cardboard box.
  • Sugar Bowl: The game takes place in an idyllic forest full of cheerful, frolicking Pokémon.
  • Universal Translator: The Poké Helper seems to be one, at least in terms of human to Pikachu.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Giving Pikachu compliments, getting Bulbasaur's picnic ingredients right, buying fun stuff at the shop...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can bully the poor little guy by encouraging him to eat garbage, yelling in his ears with a megaphone, and calling him "electric rat".
    • There's a graphics glitch where you can make it look like a sword is going through Pikachu.
    • During the mission where you babysit for Butterfree, you can wait for the Caterpie to get hungry and just let them suffer.
    • You can yell extremely vulgar things at Pikachu... through a megaphone.