Wherein we learn that the economical mechanisms of RPG worlds concerning the trading, breeding and fighting of mutant animals seldom makes for logical pondering and that some clerks are more humble than others  - and that the good writer of this blog is probably procrastinating with the more meaningful posts.

Whilst rummaging through my older documents, mainly transcriptions from various games in order to research a project, I found some old notes that I written in terms of a key difference - if a seemingly unnoticeable one - in terms of how polite the shop-clerks are in the PokeMarts in the first generation of games (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow) versus that of the second generation of games (Gold, Silver and Crystal).

Without further ado:

Generation I's clerk goes, upon the player talking to him:


Osagashi mono desuka?

Are you looking for something (in particular), sir/madam?"

Osagashimono itself is an honorific form of the noun sagashimono, normally written in kanji and kana as 捜し物 with the meaning "ware" or "thing sold at a shop," but literally "thing that is sought [for]".

Generation II's clerk is much more concise:

おかいもの ですね!

Okaimono desune!

We have wares, sir/madam!"

Less syllabic is okaimono, the honorific form of kaimono (買物, purchased goods, lit. "bought thing"). Whether or not osagashimono or okaimono is more regular/common that the other depends, but I have seen okaimono far more times than the former.

Upon entering the buy-screen, you are greeting with two choices, to buy or to sell, whereof the first will lead you to an item list for goods to purchase, whereupon the clerk will ask you:

ゆっくり ごらんになって ください
Yukkuri goran ni natte kudasai
"If you would please browse our wares, sir/madam"

Whereof goran is the sonkeigo ("reverential language") form of miru ("to see"), that is "the gentleman/madam sees" which here is fitted into an even more polite o/go~ninaru construction which is the common way of making sonkeigo verbs, thus goranninaru means "the gentleman/madam is looking/seeing", but it is also coupled with the polite auxiliary verb kudasai thus forming a respectful request.

Generation II Clerk skips this altogether due to the new features of the game and simply - after you have selected your chosen item - will ask you:

いくつ おかいあげになりますか
Ikutsu okaiage ni narimasuka
"How many of this ware is the gentleman/madam considering buying?"

As with goran ni naru from above, okaiage ni naru is the extra-formal sonkeigo form of kaiageru ("to purchase"). The clerk is extremely reverential in both cases of Generation I and II.

Skipping ahead, when you wish to sell a ware of your own to the Clerk, he goes:

Generation I:
どれを うっていただけますか?
Dore wo utte itadakimasuka?
"Which ware does the gentleman/madam wish to sell?"

Generation II:
いくつ うりますか?
Ikutsu urimasuka?
"How many will you be selling?"

A huge notable difference here, itadaku ("to humbly receive") here giving the sense of "receiving the sold ware [from the player]" to add a nuance of kenjougo ("humble speech") to the request, by adding it to the combinatory form utte from uru ("to sell"). Whereas Generation II drops this and plainly gives the verb in its polite form urimasu, thus skipping the whole kenjougo aspect.

One would think!

Upon accepting to sell the ware, or rather to get money back on it, though we do not know for sure the economical situation of imaginary RPG worlds, the Clerk replies - as in this example where the ware in question Generation I is a "Monster Ball", a trap to capture the mutants and in the case of Generation II a "Potion" - since the writer at this hour had nary the mental athleticism to go through the hoops of acquiring a Monster Ball to sell:

Generation I:
それでしたら 100円で

Soredeshitara 100 en de
Ohikitori itashimashou

"Then will be 100 yen that we shall most humbly be returning to you, gentleman/madam."

Generation II:
150円 で
ひきとらせて いただきます

150 en de
Hikitorasete itadakimasu

"We will now be returning you most humbly your 150 yen, gentleman/madam."

Returneth the itadaku to Generation II, but Generation I is well ahead with the humble itashimashou ("I/We shall humbly be doing") thus proving that the Clerk of the first generation of games is well-versed in the matters of the customer is always right.

Now for the last stretch (or notable aspect of the Clerks' competition to surpass each other in oleaginously meeting the Player's every need):

Upon exiting either buying or selling screens the Clerks go:

Generation I:
そのほかに わたくしどもで
おちからに なれることは?

Sono hoka ni watakushidomo de
Ochikara ni nareru koto wa?

"Is there anything else that we humble lot could offer the gentleman/madam in terms of help?"

Generation II:

その ほかに わたしどもで
なにか おちからに なれることは?

Sono hoka ni watashidomo de
Nani ka ochikara ni nareru koto wa?

"Otherwise, whatever other matter is that that we humbly may be able to help the gentleman/madam with?"

Nearly the same sentences, but! There are two decisive differences! With one being even more pivotal than the other, namely 1) A pointless addition of nanika ("anything else") to Generation II's message and 2) That Generation II couldn't bother with using watakushi in watakushidomo ("we humble lot") and instead used watashidomo, that is "watashi", a pronoun normally okay in regular politeness, but not in this case of the Clash of the Clerks, where they are supposed to doing their damnest in getting the Player's beneficience. Alas, Generation II Clerk slips and Generation I Clerk stands the supreme victor of decorous customer-relations.

I may very well have wasted your time trying to enliven this article, but surely there must be an underground world of Fight Club in terms of out-polite'ing the other clerk and standing as the champion of ousting the other.