Nothing to see here... for the greater good
Censorship is just one of those things that annoys most of us gamers, although it still happens today especially in places like Germany and Australia the whole business of cutting things out dates right back to Nintendo and the Snes years.
Here Jamalais will show you some of the examples that makes his head hurt because it quite literally in some cases does not make any sense at all.
Give em hell Jam.......... We promise we use the 'Bleep' machine either!
Alex Kidd (Sega Megadrive)
For those of you that have played it you will remember the infamous rock, paper scissors mini game. If you lose you get hit by an anvil and scuttle off screen. Did you know in the original Japanese cut of the game Alex Kidd was stripped down to his undies.
For some reason North America and Europe thought this was inappropriate for audiences, which is odd because squashing Alex Kidd with an anvil certainly comes across as more violent than a harmless nudity reference.
Ninja Gaiden (NES)
We all know the hilarious story about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being changed to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK because apparently the term 'ninja,' was deemed too violent for UK audiences at least for characters that were supposed to be good.
This wasn't the only time ninjas were censored in the UK. Ninja Gaiden on the NES was changed to Shadow Warriors. So they noticed that but their back was clearly turned when 'the Ninja,' was released on the Sega Master System, Ninja Gaiden was also released with its proper name on the Master system as well.
This is just one of the classic early examples of Nintendo and their zero tolerance for offensive material for the west, although not made by them their strict policy was adhered to by everyone who wanted to release games on their system. Also as a country the UK simply didnt allow any Ninja references at all no matter the circumstances, silly goverment.
A lot of people are aware this was released as Castlevania the New Generation in Europe as opposed to Castlevania Bloodlines. Apparently Bloodlines was deemed too violent a name. The opening title screen doesn’t show a red background with blood dripping from the title, instead a blue background and no blood.
This was not the only cut however, in the opening level a corpse being nibbled at by a crow was cut from the first scene in the first level as well as hanging corpses in room later in the level.
It seems odd these were cut but the majority of the gore was kept intact in the game. Also its rumoured the character with the spear Eric originally had a death animation where he got impaled by his own spear, this was cut from both North American and European releases.
Silent Hill 2 (Playstation 2)
This one’s quite a pet peeve for me. Since the censorship here spoils a main part of the games ending. For some reason the BBFC thought a certain scene was too violent for audiences which is bizarre since the game has several graphic and gruesome images throughout the game which are far worse than the censored scene in question. Luckily however, this was later remedied in the director’s cut version and the scene was left unchanged.
On a video tape you see James choke out his wife with a pillow. In the censored version you really only see James attempt this for a split second, to the extent it’s hard to know what’s going on in the scene. It’s crazy this was censored since this was a mercy killing, it was deemed too violent to show that but ok to kill grannies in GTA3, well done BBFC.
Jamalais Final Thoughts...
There are many more instances of censorship in games such as the huge changes to the Resident Evil intro for the Playstation which saw Chris smoking removed and a longer dog attacking sequence cut short. also Left For dead being so heavily cut in Australia that it's almost rendered unplayable.
Censoring some games whilst allowing much worse content to go un-edited simply makes no sense, it sends out a signal that gamers need protecting or that we may just go out and repeat what we see in videgames in the real world, something that offends me to the core.
Nintendo in most ways started this all off in the late 80's however the mainstream press and goverments have not helped at all. Ultimately if parents will buy their kids games not suited to them then we won't ever get rid of this problem, however for 99% of gamers we don't need protecting at all we are much wiser than people give us credit for.