I found this sentence in a game manual:


Unfortunately I don’t understand why there is 「が」 used between the two color names. The sentence clearly means that this red candy appears every 16th time instead of a green or a blue one. Because of that I’d expect 「か」 instead.

My guess would be that this is just a typo and there should really be 「か」. It wouldn’t be the first typo in this book. However I don’t feel proficient enough to be sure.

Is the 「が」 a mistake, where 「か」 should have been used, or does it really mean or (or something else) here?

Page scan – red candy


Page scan – green and blue candy

I added the description of the two candies references in the red one’s description. Now it should be clear, that these two (blue and green) types of candy do not appear every 16th time, but on a different occasion.


The blue candy appears when player shoots a certain amount of bubbles. The green one appears when player pops a certain amount of bubbles.

Because of that I’d expect that the red candy would appear when either a blue or a green candy should appear for the 16th time.


3 Answers 3


guys! I am a Japanese living in Tokyo.

I totally agree with the idea that this is a typo. But it might be fair to say that the proofreader of this manual overlooked. It is quite confusing because the existent sentence literally makes sense.


= Once every 16 times, a green one will appear in replace of a blue one.

But this description doesn't refer to a red one, which is strange. Maybe the correct one is like this (The hypothesis of Glutexo is completely right I think.)


= Once every 16 times, (a red one) will appear in replace of blue or green one.

This completely makes sense when it comes with an image of a red candy ball. The proofreader made mistake not because he looked over a typo but he didn't understand the system of the game. And things like this frequently happen due to a feature of Japnese grammar, which we can omit the subject word. (ex. there was not a word of "red one", right?)

BTW, I found an interest on this game itself, what is the name of the game? And who published? I am a candy lover writing a blog Japanese Candy SAMURAI. And I would like to know about this game of candy!

  • Hey, thanks for the profound answer! It‘s pretty old game called Bubble Bobble by Taito. The candies and other food items appear as bonus items giving points and special powers. The game itself is however not candy-themed.
    – Glutexo
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 8:55
  • Wow, what an old one! This was published in 1986? It is elder than me...Hahaha. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 8:57
  • 1
    Your site already down? Bummer ^^;.
    – Wappenull
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 9:34

I think the が is a typo of か... since:

"Once in 16 times, the Red Candy appears instead of a Green or Blue Candy.
The Red Candy will have the combined power of a Green Candy and a Blue Candy."

would make much more sense to me.

  • 1
    I agree on the typo hypothesis. It is explained under what conditions the green and the blue candies appear separately. Then it would not make sense that they have another explanation on when a green would appear (that isn't coherent with the first), and also, in that case there would be no explanation on how the red candy appears. Or could there be a dialect where が is used as か?
    – a20
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 6:34

In this context, the が does not mean "or" but is the subject marker particle が. so every 16th time, グリーンがブルーのかわりに出現 means that green goes in place of blue.

  • But why would this appear in the description of a red candy and not in the description of the blue one? These two descriptions are on the same page and these candies appear on different occasions.
    – Glutexo
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 19:31
  • Hard to say without the rest of the instructions.... Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 20:37
  • 1
    @chargerstriker: It means that green appears in place of blue, not the other way around. Maybe you just mistyped.
    – istrasci
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 21:30
  • thanks - good catch. I've changed my answer Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 23:10
  • @chargerstriker I uploaded another piece of the instructions that show the conditions for the blue and green candy. They say that blue candy appears when some bubbles are shot, and that green candy appears when some bubbles are popped. That makes me think that the red candy appears instead of both of those two.
    – Glutexo
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 5:46

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