Lately, I've been thinking about the minor differences in games. You know, mostly between Japanese versions and worldwide releases. They can be anywhere between easily overlooked to utterly minblowing, so I've decided to share my favorite ones. Keep in mind they are not specific to regional differences.
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Larson's house as a frightening secret in the Japanese version. The chalk outline of a Toad, accompanied by dried blood lies on the floor sets quite the graphic mood for a Mario game. If anyone has pictures, please let me know.
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, at the Starbeans cafe, there were to be multiple cameo appearances of other Nintendo characters, including Link, Olimar, Samus, Wario, and an Excitebike racer. These were presumeably removed because of how it glorified caffeine.
In Super Mario RPG, Bowser's victory animation was changed as well, as in the Japanese version, he makes an obscene gesture meaning "Up yours!"
The Legend of Zelda series in particular is a gold-mine of censorship. Her are a select few:
In Ocarina of Time, it is notable that an Islamic Chant in the Fire Temple was removed, because of Nintendo of America's distaste for religious references in video games.
Similarly, In a Link to the Past, the Eastern Palace originally had a tile similar to the Star of David, the Hylian language was visually similar to hieroglyphics.
The Skull Kids have black faces and large lips. Their faces were later changed because it had similarities to blackface, a technique used to poke fun at the African-American community. This is very similar to the censorship of the Pokemon Jynx. For the release of the Majora's Mask, however, their mouths were replaced by beaks and they had straw-like skin, completely covering up the situation.
The German version of Link's Awakening also has some rather strange stuff. Enemies called Buzzblobs and by sprinkling magical powder on them, they will say unusual lines, including "Not without a condom." Another example is that the hippo character has exposed breasts.
The Pokemon series also had its fair share of censorship, mostly revolving around character sprites. In addition, the TV show also had plenty of problems.
Characters in Gold and Silver had their sprites, such as the sage no longer praying and the Beauties no longer winking. Similarly, in Diamond and Pearl, Swimmers had their briefs changed to trunks.
Alongside the aforementioned Jynx scandal, other Pokemon sprites were problematic. Some examples include:
- In Diamond and Pearl, Registeel's sprite was changed for European releases because it used the Hitler salute.
In Red, Blue, and Yellow, there is a man in Viridian City blocking your path. His daughter states he hasn't had his morning coffee and can't get up, but in the Japanese version, he's supposedly drunk.
More events occurred in the anime. Examples include:
-The Jynx occurrence in an episode called "Holiday Hi-jinks" led to the episode being cancelled.
- An episode called "Beauty and a Beach" featured a disturbing segment where Team Rocket's James tries to win a beauty contest with inflatable breast-thingies. It is also notable that the episode shows sexual interest in Misty wearing a bikini.
- A special episode called "The Legend of Dratini" was censored due to the Safari Zone owner pointing guns at Ash and friends, alongside Meowth sporting an appearence disturbingly similar to Hitler.
-The most famous case was the notorious "Electric Soldier Porygon". One segment had horrifying strobe lights which sent hundreds of children to the hospital causing seizures. Due to this, the episode was never shown again and never left Japan.
Other issues include similarities to a Japanese tsunami and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The game Earthbound also had a lot of censorship by Nintendo of America, including:
- Bars were changed to Cafes.
- Oddly, the window options have a minor difference. While not exactly censored, the options are changed to flavors, i.e. Mint becoming Mint Flavor.
- When Pokey knocks on the door, the Japanese version shows a speech bubble that says "Don" whereas the American text bubble says "!". "Don" is a form of Japanese onomatopoeia to represent knocking.
- Pokey's parents were originally more, well, abusive. When he gets in trouble for arriving home late, in the Japanese version, he gets a spanking, signified by "Oh, my butt hurts." while in other versions, it says his dad banned him from eating desserts for the rest of the decade.
-When Lardna freaks out over a housefly, the Japanese version has her say "Eeeek! A pesky toilet fly! Die and go to Hell!" This was changed to "I'll smash its guts out!"
- In Japan, the pencil-shaped pencil you are tasked with destroying is actually an octopus statue.
- In Ness' dream, in the Japanese version, he is fully naked.
That's about it. Until next time!