Good old game censorship, eh? Always there to protect us from things we're too stupid to deal with as fully-functioning adults. What would we do without it? Probably try to think and stuff. Ugh.
But not all cuts to game content work as intended. Sometimes, either due to over-zealous censor's scissors, blissful naivite, or just good old-fashioned idiocy, the editing process becomes so ludicrous as to be hilarious, either by its methods or by its results. Here are some of our favourite examples.
When developing the original Final Fight, Capcom ran into a problem. It had designed a female enemy character called Poison, but wisdom was that western audiences wouldn’t accept the practice of hitting women for entertainment.
But then, in an endearing bout of naïve genius, Capcom hit upon a solution. “We’ll just make her a universally acceptable transvestite instead!” Oh, how Capcom was pleased with its wily ways. Weirdly though, when it came to the SNES translation, Nintendo took one look at Capcom’s genius literary dexterity and immediately ordered that Poison be replaced with an overtly male sprite. And they'd tried so hard...
The Edam-tastic live action intro to the Japanese version of Resident Evil was a schlocky goregasm, featuring gore-soaked men, gore bursting out of dogs, and plain old gory screens full of gore explosions for gore’s sake with no actual visible source of the gore. A lot of it was cut out of the western versions.
One consideration though. The following entire game revolved around little more than gorily shooting the heads off zombies. You know, with like, gore and stuff.
Drunk on life
Above: Worse that meth
To protect the kids from the horrors of alcohol, in a completely plausible fashion, the western version of Chrono Trigger removed all references to booze, even if the dialogue around them remained. The edits were totally believable, because as we all know, people in the real world stumble around, fall over, vomit in taxis, inappropriately proposition female friends and fall into bed with pants full of piss because of sugar-rushed soda-highs all the time.
The European version of the Mega Drive’s Castlevania: Bloodlines was renamed Castlevania: New Generation, in order to minimise the references to blood. In a game about vampires.
Above: Makes less sense than Ivy's anatomy
The Korean version of Soul Calibur removed Mitsurugi. Apparently this is because Japanese invasions of the land of StarCraft in the 1500s made traditional samurai imagery unpopular. The replacement for Mitsurugi’s character model? A 16th Century Englishman nobleman called Arthur. Who bizarrely fought with a katana. And dressed like a samurai, But hey, at least he wasn’t Japanese.
Taking it out, then putting it back in
Xenosaga: Episode III had all visible blood in its cutscenes digitally removed for the western translation, even though the scenes themselves remained otherwise identical. Thus, areas that should be bloodbaths are spotlessly clean, characters are stabbed without a drop of claret spilled (but make splattery noises anyway), and best of all, at one point a child innocently tries to save a dying character by ‘putting the blood back in’. Blood that isn’t even there. So not only is a child watching someone die, said child is also a nightmarishly hallucinating schizophrenic. Nice one, censors.
In the German version of Half-Life, not only are all the enemy marines turned into robots (begging the question of how the Combine eventually managed to invade if we have an army of Terminators ready to go), but all NPC death animations are replaced by said murderised character merely sitting down with their head in their hands.
Remember, guns don’t kill people. They just make them moderately depressed.