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  • The Witcher was fairly heavily censored in North America (to the point of having its own, less graphic sex cards) until the Director's Cut patch was released.
  • Whenever a game is denied sale in Australia due to lacking a rating (due to it being "too much for MA" and the people in charge of giving higher ratings to videogames being more than a little clueless), this will inevitably occur. The most famous is Fallout 3, where morphine became "Med-X", because we really have to protect Australian kids from getting mixed up in a hospital grade narcotic that is nowhere near as readily available as its illegal counterparts.
    • Team Fortress 2's Soldier lampshades this through some of his Domination lines for the (Australian) Sniper:
Cquote1.svg

 Soldier: Aww, am I too VIOLENT for ya, cupcake?!

Soldier: Your country did not prepare you for the level of violence you will meet on my battlefield!

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    • And now we have a new winner: Left 4 Dead 2. Infected couldn't be set on fire, thus making incendiary rounds useless, a lot of the gore was removed, the appearances of Riot uncommon infected were almost non-existent, and nearly all zombies disappeared before they even hit the ground. Yes, even stuff that was in the previous game was censored. Australian review show 'Good Game' took the mickey out of it in one of their finest moments
    • The same applies for Germany. It's not unusual that games are Bowdlerised as a preventative measure, as it's legally tricky to do it after the original release got "indexed". (Although it has been pulled off at least once, but required a name change in addition to the actual Bowdlerization.)
    • The Japanese release of Fallout 3 made it impossible to nuke Megaton for obvious reasons
    • On the subject of Fallout, let's not forget the UK releases of first two Fallout games, in which the the attackable and killable children found in towns were removed for very understandable reasons.
      • Except that they weren't actually removed, they were just made invisible; which wouldn't have mattered were it not for the fact that the children in one town were all pickpockets, so items would mysteriously disappear from players' inventories for no apparent reason.
  • South Park pinball (yes, it's not a video game but close...) had a "safe" version. Featuring the Super Fart Bumpers becoming the Super Pop Bumpers, "They killed Kenny -- rats!" and others.
  • World of Warcraft's Chinese version. To the point where Chinese censorship often delays new content far longer than it should, much to the irritation of fans everywhere.
    • Especially with content involving death. Quite problematic, considering Wrath of the Lich King's premise was basically a Zombie Apocalypse. The playable undead have all the exposed bones covered by badly colored flesh—you can see exactly where the original model had holes in the flesh. The skeletons left behind when a dead character resurrects are replaced by neat, tidy graves in the Chinese version.
    • And let's not even talk about Mists of Pandaria. Pandas are kind of a mascot for China, and putting them in situations where they might be hurt—or even worse, look villainous—is, err... Unpopular. To put it mildly.
  • The Final Fantasy games that appeared on Nintendo's consoles. Hell, early NOA was pretty vicious overall about this stuff, up until about the N64 era.
    • In the original Japanese version of Final Fantasy IV, Tellah just swears at Edward while he's pummeling him.
    • Judeo-Christian references were forbidden in the US localization of Final Fantasy IV for Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The White Magic spell "Holy" was renamed to "White", the Tower of Prayers in Mysidia was renamed to Tower of Wishes, and Rosa's "Pray" ability was removed entirely.
    • References to death were inconsistently censored. Early in the game, Rosa, sick with sand fever, was "kept from falling down" at the desert village.
    • References to Cid and Yang dying after their Heroic Sacrifices are removed. It makes Rydia's protest to Edge not to throw away his life so easily like Cid and Yang did less poignant even if the two are later revealed to be alive.
      • Later Final Fantasies continued to face a few editorial axes to stay within the T rating. Notably, FFVII was localized with Cid and Barret's Cluster F Bombs bleeped over.
  • Final Fantasy VI, like FFIV, had references to alcohol and religion completely censored. Pubs were changed to Cafes, and Holy was translated as Pearl. They also covered up some scantily clad female sprites - Chardanook's woman form had much more censorship steam, Goddess and Siren were edited so that the cloth wraps they wore were less revealing, and the random enemy Critic had her swimsuit enlarged.
    • Final Fantasy VI Advance, however, was noticeable for apparently not being bowdlerised at all. They replaced all the previously removed references to alcohol, sex, and death. The only thing removed was a scene where Celes was repeatedly punched by a prison guard. It was removed from the Japanese version due to being Too Soon after a murder case in Japan, and they just didn't bother restoring it in the overseas version. Ironically, the punching scene was present in the heavily censored SNES version.
    • There's also the line about Edgar "waiting eight years" for Relm. Emphasis ours, because he couldn't just say "wait until you grow older". Apparently the USA Age of Consent applies to pseudo-Medieval Europe now.
    • In the SNES and Play Station versions, Locke threatens to rip the lungs out of a man who calls him a thief. In the GBA version, he simply tells the guy to shut up, because the "rip your lungs out" was never in the original Japanese version.
    • Which finds its way into Kingdom Hearts as the American name for King Mickey's signature spell. With the much lessened level of censorship these days, especially on the Sony side of things, it's more likely a reference to Final Fantasy VI than a strict case of bowdlerization.
    • That would be the FFVI localisation of the Holy spell, which first appeared under the name "Pearl" - censorship issues forced it to be renamed, Pearl was selected as the name because the spell looks like a bunch of exploding pearls. In Kingdom Hearts, it releases, well, shiny pearls. Holy also exists, and varies with the game, as does another version called "Faith".
  • One of the jobs for the One-Gender Race in Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 was called Bastard in Japan. This job was localized as Ravager; probably because it's not worth the risk arguing with the Media Watchdog or Moral Guardians.
  • A particularly noticeable Bowdlerisation comes from Germany in the form of Carmageddon, a GTA-esque car game. Originally the protagonist could run people over, but the game makers replaced the people with zombies. According to the execs this was still not enough, so they replaced the zombies with robots. (This is one of the few examples of Bowdlerization making something cooler, in an insane way.)
    • The N64 version of Carmageddon replaced humans with zombies, and changed the blood color from red to green.
  • A similar Bowdlerization occurred in the PAL version of God of War: in the other versions of the game, Kratos must at one point, drag a helpless man in a cage up a slope and use him as a human sacrifice to open a door, with him screaming in protest all the way through. In the PAL version, he's replaced by an ordinary zombie enemy.
  • Guitar Hero and Rock Band are not above editing songs to remove the cussing. If the song has a radio edit, they use that, if not, they cut the word out. The bridge of Down With The Sickness is rendered almost incomprehensible.
    • Of particular note is Band Hero, which in its attempt to become more family friendly, censors the word "whiskey" from Don MacLean's "American Pie" (though this has the silver lining of being able to sub in whichever 2-syllable fluid the singer wishes.)
  • Korea discourages positive portrayals of Samurai (on account of the various invasions and all). This affected the release of some versions of Soul Calibur, which replaced Mitsurugi with a katana-wielding knight named Arthur (with no relation whatsoever to King Arthur). He later returned as an unlockable bonus character in Soul Calibur III, using a katana style distinct from Mitsurugi's.
    • This is also apparently the reason Hayate, a character from Street Fighter EX, only appeared in a single game; eventually his Super Moves were given to Garuda as a Meteor Move.
  • Kingdom Hearts II has several localization censorings—for example, recreating the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean where Will threatens to kill himself. In the film (and the game's Japanese version) he holds his pistol to his head, while in the American version, he doesn't even raise it from his side. And the Hydra from Hercules? Its already relatively family-friendly green blood was changed to black/purple vapor (A change that was later kept for the Japan-exclusive Final Mix version). Proof that not even Disney's own source material is safe from Disney.
    • On a smaller scale, Xigbar's sniping sequence was altered so that the cross-hairs looked less like... cross-hairs...
      • Ironically enough, the cross-hairs are left on the Nintendo Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the DS.
  • The violence present in Twisted Metal Black's storyline—eye gouging, throat-slitting, brain splattering, and the like—was so extreme, that for the PAL version, the entire story for every single character was removed. Yep, every last word.
  • In a rare occurrence of material being censored in its native country, the original Japanese version of Resident Evil 4 removed all decapitation deaths, instead changing them to have the faces mutilated much like the aftermath of a Novistador's acid attack.
    • Similarly, in the Gamecube remake of the first game, the Hunter's One-Hit Kill Deadly Lunge no longer decapitates the protagonist.
    • Resident Evil 4 also had a single enemy who unexpectedly pops out of a large oven to rush the player while on fire. This guy didn't make it into the German version, probably due to unspeakable things the Nazis did.
      • Oven Man was only the most famous example. The German version of Resident Evil 4 was so badly censored that German gamers largely refused to buy it, importing versions from other countries.
    • Censorship of decapitation is somewhat common in Japanese releases. Among others, decapitations aren't possible in the Japanese versions of Ninja Gaiden for the X Box.
    • Additionally, at least in the American release of Resident Evil 4, Ashley exclaims "What's going on?" when being trapped against a wall during the game. However, in the demonstration video played when left idle at the menu, the same scene is shown, with the dialogue being "Oh my God! What's going on?"
    • Both localizations of Resident Evil Code Veronica lack decapitation animations, although you still hear the sound of a head exploding when you get a headshot.
  • The PC adventure-slash-RPG game Superhero League of Hoboken has an interesting example of Bowdlerization being used in-game as a puzzle solution. One mission part-way through the game involves finding out why a neighboring superhero league has suddenly gone "missing"; it turns out that this particular league—comprised entirely of men—has become so enthralled by a crate full of pornographic magazines that they refuse to do their jobs. The solution? Zap the magazines with a Bowdlerizing ray gun that instantly changes the magazines into much less offensive (or interesting) material. In an extension of the gag, none of your male party members are willing to pull the trigger—the only person who'll actually do it is your team's sole (at the time) female member.
  • Arguably Dynasty Warriors... then again, with the what-the-hell,-heroes moments in the original material, it may be a good thing.
    • Liu Bei still retains some moments...you can't have Yi Ling at all or the subsequent failure without painting him as a stubborn hotheaded bull.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was named as such in English because of Nintendo of America's aversion to even the most tenuous of religious themes; what the translated title should have been was Triforce of the Gods.
    • One game later, in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, they changed cross-shaped grave markers into "RIP" rounded-block gravestones. Also, one of the quest items was changed from a mermaid's bra into her necklace, which explains why you never see any part of her except her head...
    • Additionally, diving underwater near the mermaid will cause her to swim her away from you. While she doesn't say anything in the English version, if you try doing this in the original Japanese version, the mermaid will call Link a pervert.
    • Also, the Hippo in Animal Village was originally a nude model (with visible breasts) with a towel which she pulls up when Link enters the studio. She screams when you talk to her, which explains why she's sitting on the ground facing away from Link.
    • The original release of Ocarina of Time had Ganondorf cough up blood after you beat him and mortally wound him. The blood was turned green in later-produced cartridges. The vocal track in the Fire Temple was excised as it was a Muslim chant, and the Gerudo symbol of the star-and-crescent was replaced with... who-knows-what-to-call-it, again for its association with Islam. This had the tragic effect of making the Mirror Shield now butt-ugly. (Notably The Wind Waker includes the WTF-symbol as a Continuity Nod, rather than the crescent.)
    • They still got crap past the radar with the WTF Symbol. It's a pair of boobs.
  • The much-hyped, gorgeous-looking PS3 game Little Big Planet had one Toumani Diabaté song, "Tapha Niang," excised completely by Sony, replacing with something more generic, a mere four days before its launch date, pushing back the release two weeks so that whole new, bowdlerised discs could be distributed all over again, so that those without online access to patches might not be offended. The issue was two passages from the Koran having been set to music in the song, which is a major controversy in Islam.
  • The Area 1 boss of Super Aleste greets you with "Welcome to Hell!" In Space Megaforce, the North American version of the game, this got changed to "Welcome to the underworld!"
  • Another example of removal of religious references: The American version of Duck Tales had the crosses on the gravestones in Transylvania replaced with "RIP".
  • The English localisation of La Pucelle removed every single crucifix/cross from the game. Considering that the plot was based around an church of demon-hunting battle nuns, that's a hell of a lot of crucifixes. The company in charge of the localisation released a statement explaining their reasoning: namely, that they were a very new and very small publisher that simply could not afford their game to be crucified by the Moral Guardians, so they preemptively gave every concession they could to 'good taste'.
    • There were also other edits, such as removing the cigarette from Croix (but keeping his victory animation where he takes a smoke from his invisible cigarette).
    • The American version's box was also subject to censorship. Instead of the original artwork of Prier standing front and center, the American cover appears to be some kind of fanart piece she's kind of off in the corner while the other characters take prominence. This is a pretty blatant attempt to distract attention away from the fact that she has rather large breasts and thighs.
  • Let's not forget about the legendary worst ending of Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories and how the audio for the US version is butchered.
  • Shadow Warrior's UK release had the shrunken weapon replaced with darts. 3D Realms made a patch available online that would patch the game back to the original form. Regardless of which version of the game you have, the graphics for the dart weapon are actually present, even if they're not used because the game isn't the modified version.
  • While all other media from Left 4 Dead (including the game cover) features a hand with its thumb ripped off, said thumb is present, folded, on the French poster ads.
    • Similar censorship occurred in Germany, although there the game had two covers, an outer one with the "folded" finger and the actual inner cover with the ripped-off finger.
    • In the UK, the cover for Left 4 Dead 2 had the hand reversed, to avoid the two fingered salute
  • There was a long-standing rumor that Barinten was a bit more explicit about having raped Rafa in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy Tactics, but it was Bowdlerized for the US release. Technically, this is true; he was a bit more explicit—in the Japanese script, during the scene on the Rooftop of Riovanes Castle he refers to her as "Dear, sweet Rafa," which, given what he's saying, has rather obvious connotations... but the rumors that either she or he said it in so many words are false.
  • For a good idea of what basically every US game on the NES or SNES had to go through to get published, see The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion
    • Ironically, while the NES version removed nude statues and references to sex, it retained the ability for the player character to blow up a live hamster in a microwave.
  • SaGa 2's own script was edited enough (albeit no where nearly as bad as its predecessor), with two parts being the most glaring examples: after the protagonist defeats Dunatis in Apollo's World, he/she/it finds his/her/its father with ally Lynn's mother, coming to the conclusion that he abandoned his/her/its mother all those years ago to have an affair. The English version makes it seem that the protagonist gets angry for no apparent reason. The second biggest edit was changing the smuggled opium in Edo to bananas (which actually gets a lampshade.
  • MMORPG example: When Global Maple Story got Showa, all the guns were replaced with robot-like attacks or energy blasts, and the swords were replaced with toy hammers. All the enemies were also shown transforming into monsters upon death. Fairly large changes, considering that only two maps contained monsters not unique to Showa.
  • In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, The Joker's fatality move is (to widespread dismay from American players) less violent in the US than elsewhere. In a pre-release version of the game shown to game journalists, Joker's Fatality went as such: he pulls out a gun and fires it, only for that gun to be a fake gun with a "BANG!" flag; after laughing like a madman and the opponent relaxes like they've been let off the hook, Joker pulls out another gun and shoots his opponent in the head. The Fatality itself was left intact in the American release version of the game, except for one small detail: when Joker does the killshot, the camera zooms in to only show him, not showing the opponent getting a lead lobotomy. A similar Fatality done by Deathstroke is also censored in the same manner in the American version of the game. The European version of the game features both Fatalities in their uncut form.
    • In fact, it could be argued that the game itself is a Bowdlerisation of the Mortal Kombat franchise: in order to secure DC's approval in regards to the usage of the license, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe had to be rated "Teen" and none of the DC characters known for refusing to kill could have Fatalities. This led Midway Games to give the heroic DC characters "Heroic Brutalities," which only incapacitates the person on the receiving end of said move. Additionally, while the Mortal Kombat characters and the DC villains in the game could pull off Fatalities, the Fatalities were nowhere near as violent, gory, or—worst of all—creative as past MK games.
      • This eventually proved to be the factor that hindered sales most of all. By going for a T rating and hoping to get in the good graces of teenagers's parents, they displeased both young players who found it to be a dilution of past MK gore and the Moral Guardians who still went after its violence just like they did very other iteration in the series. This game can serve as an example that by trying to please everyone, you often end up pleasing no one.
    • Speaking of Mortal Kombat, the SNES MK1, the blood was replaced with gray sweat.
      • The SNES game did have a lasting legacy - and a surprising one. Sub-Zero's decapitation Fatality was replaced with one where he grabbed the opponent, froze them solid, and smashed them into pieces against the ground. This became a standard Fatality for Sub-Zero in all games afterward, even being referenced in the movie. The only difference is that in later games, the pieces are much bloodier.
    • Ironically, Warner Bros. (who is the parent company of DC), would acquire Midway Chicago and the Mortal Kombat franchise as part of the 2009-2010 liquidation of Midway, and then they proceeded to top themselves.
      • Even better, Midway brought back Joker's Fatality Mortal Kombat 9, completely uncut, as one of Shang Tsung's Fatalities (the only change being that he transforms into a generic Monster Clown beforehand).
  • Castlevania Bloodlines was renamed Castlevania: The New Generation in Europe to remove a reference to blood. It's also notably less gory and violent than any other version—including changing a dripping blood hazard into dripping water that still somehow hurts you—it didn't make a lot of sense for blood, but it makes even less sense for water.
    • Castlevania III Draculas Curse in the US was censored to remove any nudity (the Medusa boss of the ghost shop was made into a male, and the statues in Dracula's Castle were clothed), however, it escaped religious censorship as did Simon's Quest. (Castlevania III even opens up with Trevor praying in front of a cross) however, the SNES games were not so lucky, one big example being Richter's Crash for the boomerang/cross: in the Japan only Rondo of Blood, Richter summons a giant crucifix that sweeps up across the screen repeatedly, whereas in Castlevania: Dracula X, he simply calls a bunch of boomerangs that fly randomly around the screen.
    • In the first Castlevania 1986, "Holy Water" was renamed "Firebomb" and the Boomerang's shape was changed to look less like a crucifix. Simon's Quest got some crap past the radar, though.
  • The SNES port of Flashback renamed Death Tower to Cyber Tower.
  • In the Japanese version of Persona 2, the Zombie Junkie is the reanimated corpse of a druggie who died of drug overdose. In the official translation of Eternal Punishment, he is a "junk food junkie turned zombie."
    • In the PSP remake of Persona 2 Innocent Sin, Hitler was changed to The Fuhrer and given Sunglasses and a coat to cover the Nazi uniform, The Last Battalion (see: Nazis) changed to The Imperial Army, and all Swastikas removed and replaced with the Iron Cross. Note that this is the Japanese version, which was even advertised to be uncensored. It is unknown if they'll change it back in the US release, as it's entirely possible Index Holdings was simply aiming to get as close to the All Ages rating the Persona games generally have (which didn't exist when the original release was out) that they could, while the US releases generally get M ratings anyway.
      • Which it was, fortunately.
  • Kato & Ken: a toilet humor-filled Turbo Grafx 16 game featuring two Japanese comedians, featuring fart attacks, crapping birds, urinating on walls, taking a dump in the bushes, etc., was Macekred into JJ and Jeff for the US. The other character no longer pisses on walls or craps in bushes, the fart attack was replaced with spray paint/pepper spray, although there were still the dog/bird turds and a few other things.
  • Half-Life was extensively censored for release in Germany, with all human opponents (Marines, etc.) being turned into robots and NPC "die" animation being changed to them simply sitting down and holding their head in their hands.
  • The SNES version of Final Fight was particularly wrecked for its international version. Two enemies, Damnd and Sodom were renamed "Thrasher" and "Katana", the line, "Oh my god!" is changed to "Oh my car!", references to alcohol were removed (the "bar" from Round 3 became a "club", while "Beers" and "Whiskeys" became "Root Beers" and "Vitamin Es"), and the two transgendered enemies Poison and Roxy were replaced by Billy and Sid. When Street Fighter Alpha 2 was released on the SNES, Sodom remained "Katana" to maintain continuity. The GBA version of Final Fight, though mostly uncut, still has Billy and Sid.
    • The Japanese arcade version of Final Fight also featured a scene in the intro showing Jessica in her underwear on Haggar's TV monitor, which was removed from the international releases. The SNES port (both, Japanese and international releases) redrew the scene so that it shows Jessica wearing her red dress instead. The Sega CD version alternates between the two, showing Jessica in her underwear in the Japanese version and in her red dress in the international versions.
    • The overseas version of the Sega CD port was also censored like the SNES, except Roxy and Poison were still kept, they simply wore more modest clothing.
  • Hilariously inverted with Garou: Mark of the Wolves, in which the character known as Marco Rodriguez in the Japanese version got renamed to Khushnood Butt for the U.S. release.
  • In the US version of Ray Crisis, the Flaming Sword-wielding Humongous Mecha boss's name was changed from Sem-Slut to Sem-Strut. Obviously, to get an E rating.
  • The N64 port of Duke Nukem 3D was done when Nintendo was just emerging from the Video Game Censorship Ghetto, so much of its "adult content" was axed. The porn shop was turned into a gun shop, the strip club was replaced with a Duke Burger joint, the captured babes were no longer topless (and had to be saved instead of being killed), and the prison chapel was removed. It still had the somewhat Stripperific females and gratuitous violence, garnering it an M rating.
  • The GBA port of Doom and Doom 2 had the blood changed to green to maintain a T rating and the Nazi references in the secret levels were replaced, presumably to avoid being banned in Germany. Some things sneaked through, however, such as the status face and blood already existing on Former Sergeants and mostly affects blood the monsters shed. Of course, the Cacodemon isn't censored as it has blue blood and the Baron of Hell and Hell Knight already have green blood.
  • The Game Boy Color ports of the first two Grand Theft Auto games were heavily censored to cater for the handheld's target audience (which is perhaps mostly composed of 8 to 12-year olds or something along the lines of that), removing all references to profanity and gore. Grand Theft Auto Advance later averted this, as the game was released for the Game Boy Advance complete with all that you can expect from a typical GTA series game.
  • The Turbo Grafx 16 port of Splatterhouse (which was also released on the Wii's Virtual Console) was Bowdlerised, but not as badly as people might think. While a fair amount of the violent content remained intact (some of it was toned down—but that can partially be blamed on hardware limitations), there was some censorship, most notably in Level 4. The boss of the level in the arcade version is a possessed upside-down cross, surrounded by severed heads, and following its defeat, Rick moves further into the chapel where it resides and kneels before an altar with a crucifix in hand, while a hymnal theme plays and light shines into the chapel; in the console version, the cross is changed to a demonic-looking skull, and the altar is removed from the post-fight scene (though the hymnal and lighting effects inexplicably remain).
    • The mobile device release of Splatterhouse will replace all demons with aliens to make it more family-friendly.
  • The SNES release of Chrono Trigger removed ALL references to alcohol—including alcohol drunk by legal adults. In the DS release, they were back.
    • The hilarious thing being, both platforms are from the family-friendly company Nintendo.
    • There was a line that went along the lines of "But Toma, you have drunk too much soda today! You must have too much sugar in your body!"
  • The PSP port of To Heart 2 is proof (NSFW ads) that not even facial expressions are safe from Bowdlerisation. And other, more sensical stuff ripe for this trope.
    • As pointed out in the comments, the intended non-naughty facial expression may imply something much worse.
  • In Test Drive 5, the song "Anarchy" by KMFDM had the line "fuck me like a whore" changed to a repeat of "knock me to the floor". In another version of the song, the two lines were replaced with "Save me from myself... let me burn in hell".
  • The early console installments of the Contra series in Europe and Australia were released under the title of Probotector, replacing the original human characters with robotic counterparts: thus the original heroes of Bill Rizer and Lance Bean became the robots RC011 and RD008, while the cast of Contra: Hard Corps were replaced by other robots with the generic names of CX1-4 (except for Browny, who was already a robot in the original version, but was still renamed). This was mainly due to a censorship law in Germany that forbade the depiction of human characters killing each other with guns, which affected the rest of the PAL region.
  • Inverted with Super Double Dragon: a sign in Mission 6 which says "Beer" in the international version was changed to "Books" in the Japanese version. This may be an unintentional example, since Super Double Dragon was released incomplete and the Japanese version, Return of Double Dragon, uses a more completed (but still unfinished) master build.
  • Very sadly, the Dept Heaven series has fallen prey to this in Atlus' translation. In Riviera the Promised Land, main character Ein's Crowning Moment of Awesome speech decrying the villain was heavily toned down (the original Japanese version carried strong atheist—or as some would say, "anti-organized religion"—undertones) and is considered by many to make the scene very weak and Narm-filled. In Yggdra Union, one of the main antagonists is Flanderized heavily to make him appear less sympathetic to the player, and there were a few lines changed or added for no apparent reason. Knights in The Nightmare is more of a Cut and Paste Translation than anything else, as the translated text is often inconsistent with prior translations or abandons stylistic speech patterns, depriving characters of their individuality. We're not even going into the arbitrary name changes, as that's highly touchy territory.
    • One must wonder, though, how much of this is to blame on Atlus giving the series to their B-team. It's usually pretty apparent when the company puts real effort into their localizations.
    • Even more pathetically, Riviera actually Bowdlerised itself once—in order to keep the game's rating at CERO-A, Sting was forced to remove the bath scenes from the PSP remake. The "special edition" rerelease of the remake put them back in, but clad all the girls in bathing suits—they were going swimming, not getting naked! The fandom (and even the Fan Dumb) found this hilarious, as CGs are still included of the girls panicking when Ein arrives, leading to the meme "OH NOES! EIN SAW MY CLEAVAGE!" It's actually even more funny when you think that it is a remake from a Nintendo platform to a Sony platform.
  • Breath of Fire IV was hit with this particularly severely (even compared to the rest of the Breath of Fire games, almost all of which have either suffered some bowdlerising, dodgy translation, or both). The PS 1 international versions had a bit of fanservice (in essence, an onsen scene involving Nina and Ursula) and a scene involving Ursula proving her womanhood via exposure (which were not so important to the plot) cut entirely—as well as a third, very plot-important scene where Fou-lu decapitates Emperor Soniel. International versions just fade to black at the latter scene and people are left wondering just what the hell happened.
    • The redaction of the latter scene is particularly puzzling as the scene where Fou-lu actually offs Soniel is only depicted by black-on-red "washi screen" Gory Discretion Shot—very common to keep games in the equivalent of a PG rating as well as to get around Australian "blood bans"—and which would be considered quite safe for inclusion in Playstation games of the period. Yes, you're reading this right—this may well be the only known case where a previously censored scene was itself completely cut in international adaptations.
      • And in the recently-completed adaptation of "Breath of Fire IV" being published by Comic Blade Avarus there is a bit of a Take Your Censorship And Shove It response to both the (relatively mild) original Japanese bowdlerisation and the (completely censored) international PS 1 and Windows versions; the "graphic novelisation" is, shall we say, considerably bloodier and explicit in the depiction of that scene. (Of note, the two scenes that could be seen as being at Ursula's expense aren't included at all in the manga.)
  • Family Project had an English translation done by JAST. A number of scenes involving Matsuri were censored, with underwear digitally added in any scene that involved her being remotely nude at all. It didn't help that the customers who pre-ordered this were never warned of the censorship; in fact, JAST marketed the game as FULLY UNCENSORED.
  • Let's not forget the first Resident Evil. The intro FMV in the Japanese version had gore with bloody corpses and death animations. The Western releases were recut and used alternate footage. The PC version and some PAL releases of Director's Cut contain the original FMV.
  • Earthbound suffered from many edits. For example:
    • In Mother 2 (the Japanese version), Porky was spanked by his father for running off at night as the game's sound effect indicates.
    • All alcohol, religion, and death references were removed.
    • Ness was naked wearing a hat in Magicant. In the US version, he wore pajamas like in the game's beginning.
  • The NES version of The Immortal had the gratuitous death animations toned down.
  • The House of the Dead is banned outright in Germany. This affected Sega Superstars Tennis which features an HOTD-themed court and minigames—because it would have been too expensive to release a Germany-only version without this content, the HOTD elements are renamed "Curien Mansion" in all territories.
  • In the Super NES version of Art of Fighting, the Super Death Blow (which is actually a literal translation of the term "Chou Hissatsu Waza", the common Japanese term for super moves) became the "Super Fire Blow". The ability to expose King's bra was removed as well.
    • Oddly enough, the Super Famicom version of Ryuko no Ken 2 (Art of Fighting 2) also removed the ability to undress King and Yuri, even though that version only came out in Japan.
    • Speaking of Neo Geo to SNES ports, World Heroes turning the "Death Match" to the "Fatal Match."
  • All Xenosaga games suffered various levels of censorship to assure the game a T-Rating in the US. The most extreme case was in Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach zarathustra, in which all blood was digitally erased for the American release (odd, since the other games got away with some blood). This led to a specially nonsensical scene—a certain character is "trying to put the blood back" in another character's body... but her hands are completely clean.
    • Ironically, Episode I seemed to have enough blood to put it in the M zone within the first few hours.
  • Akatsuki Blitzkampf was altered for the arcade version: the blood from being slashed by Fritz or shot by Anonym was replaced with yellow... stuff... and the "Sieg Heil" that pops up in the background during Elektrosoldat's level 3 super was replaced with "Blitzbombe".
  • The SNES port of Wolfenstein 3D had all Nazi symbols removed, Hitler changed to "the Staatmeister", and the dogs replaced with giant rats. The Mac version kept all the Nazi symbols, but changed Hitler to a generic blonde dude.
  • The Pokémon games have been getting steadily more extreme about this. In Gen III's Gen I remakes, for example, the Gamblers became "Gamers" (and thus spouted such gems as "I'm a rambling, gaming dude"). In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Gamblers returned but were renamed P.I.s in the English translation due to their clothes coincidentally resembling that of a detective. This is, however, despite the fact that they're clearly shown flipping a coin and their dialog contains gambling and probability references because the translation staff didn't bother changing the sprite and dialog to match the name change.[1]
    • The Gen II remakes are even more ridiculous about censorship. Sticking with recent European gambling laws, the slot machines have been completely replaced by a Minesweeper clone (outside of Japan, anyway). Admittedly, though, said minesweeper clone actually ended up being more positively received than the original slot machine format.
    • Keep in mind your chief method of making money is to battle other trainers, implicitly betting half your liquid assets on your own victory. But that's totally okay as long as there are no casinos with nickel slots, or Arceus forbid coins you can outright buy.
    • Voltorb Flip being a Darkhorse is arguable. Although it's useful for getting the Game Breaker Dratini in Goldenrod, it's an unbelievably large pain in the ass to get the T Ms for Ice Beam, Flamethrower (admittedly, this could be replaced for buying Fire Blast at the Goldenrod department store because of its modest accuracy. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the other two), and Thunderbolt - all of which are very useful moves in competitive battling or even the Battle Frontier. This troper has seen many a player become frustrated and giving up on these moves, opting to just go for the slightly more powerful, yet far worse accuracy versions.
    • Colosseum has the sidekick's shirt no longer show her navel and her skirt is no longer shorter than Dawn's).
    • Remember that line in Gen IV's ancient Sinnoh legends about how humans and Pokémon once "ate together at the same table?" In the original Japanese, they married.
    • Gen I had a possessed woman in Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower telling you to "Give... me... your... soul...". Come the remake, she says to "Give... me... your... all...". Making this funnier and weirder is that another woman, in both versions, says "Give... me... blood..." Remember, blood is fine, but anything remotely religious is wrong!
    • The Dirty Old Man staring through the window of Erika's Gym commenting that the Gym is full of women had the line changed to "strong trainers" in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
    • The infamous 'Juggler' in both Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Gold and Silver, who lost his "dropped my balls" line in the remakes.
    • 'Firebreather Dick' in Gold/Silver, who was renamed Firebreather Richard in the Heart Gold and Soul Silver remake.
  • The NES and "US Set 1" arcade versions of Legendary Wings had the Stripperific Michelle Hart and Kevin Walker replaced by two generic guys with golden mechanical wings, as opposed to angelic feathered wings.
  • Rare example of a game being censored in it's own country: in the original PC version of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, there are shots of a red blood splatter on screen occasionally. When the time came for the Play Station 2 remake, the color of the blood was censored into blue/dark colors (due to the Japanese rating system undergoing a change at the time, this was done to avoid an 18+ rating.). The blood is red again in the DS remakes.
  • Drakengard was slammed pretty heavily by this. In the Japanese release, the main character's sister was incestuously in love with him, the supporting character Leonard was a pedophile, and another supporting character Arioch was an insane infertile child murderer. In the Amercian release, the only thing kept out of that was that Arioch is batty.
  • In In the Groove, two of the Marathon Courses were originally titled "Drunk" and "Pure Hell"; these were later changed to "Drift" and "Breaking Point".
    • A few songs had their lyrics edited for the home version, with lyrics from other lines dubbed over the offending lines. These edits were not very well done, for example the line "Lying naked on the floor" from "Torn" now sounds like "Lying chained by a whore".
  • Strider arcade version: "You will never defeat the Lord!" In the home versions, "lord" was changed to "master".
  • In the N64 version of Quake, in accordance with Nintendo's censorship of religious references, the death message "You Visit the Volcano God" (death by lava) became "You Visit the Volcano Maker". Other religious references such as crucifixes were also removed.
  • Metroid Prime 3 - In the original release of the game, "damn" is used in one scene as an expletive. Evidently No A complained, because in the Metroid Prime Trilogy rerelease the same character shouts "No!" instead.
  • No More Heroes involves quite a bit of blood when an enemy or 6 die in the American version. The Japanese version replaces blood with black dust, and the European version got the same thing. However, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle had blood in both the American and European versions. This is because Japan is less tolerant of excessive blood in video games.
  • The music for the Madden NFL games is real life songs with titles that can be related to the game of football. However, some of these songs have lyrics that wouldn't be acceptable in E rated games such as Madden, so they end up with references to "non-friendly" things cut out. The worst would be the Atreyu song on the 2007 version, which is so butchered that there are, at points, several second blots where the music completely cuts out.
  • Pick out a Fire Emblem game. Any Fire Emblem game. Chances are the Ho Yay, Les Yay, or Brother-Sister Incest implications in various support conversations have been toned down during translation.
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  "Alvis! YOU DASTARD!"

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    • That line is frm a fan translation, and thus a fandom in-joke. Besides, "dastard" is an old insult meaning "coward" and it fits with the ambientation of the games, just not with this specific line's context.
  • Because of the unfortunate timing of its release (9/11 unfortunate), Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty had several scenes from the game removed, such as Vamp explicitly stating that his and Dead Cell's intentions of using the hydrogen bomb are actually quite different than Solidus: specifically, they planned to nuke NYC itself rather than simply cause an EMP wave over Wall Street (the latter of which was Solidus's plan), Liquid Ocelot stating that he set Arsenal Gear's course to Manhattan, the actual crash sequence for Arsenal Gear, Raiden cutting the American Flag and having it drop on Solidus's corpse after he is defeated, and a news report mentioning the Statue of Liberty's new resting place at Ellis Island.
  • The original versions of "Fever for the Flava" and "Goin' Down On It" by Hot Action Cop had extremely naughty lyrics, so they were heavily censored when they appeared in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. Surprisingly, the clean versions were actually better than the dirty versions.
  • Dance Dance Revolution: "After The Game of Love", due to its Intercourse with You lyrics, was made an instrumental in the US series. Same with "Injection of Love".
  • Parodied in Elite Beat Agents, where the "Survivor" stage acts like a Bowdlerised zombie game. It features zombies who merely look like strangly-sick people, who transfer it to others via kissing, and who're literally cured by being shot... with peanuts!
  • The Gran Turismo 4 remix of "Getting Away with Murder" by Papa Roach had the word "murder" removed and the title changed to simply "Getting Away".
  • The American and European versions of Faxanadu altered all the religious references.
  • Mega Man Powered Up featured a Robot Master named Oil Man, who normally looks like this. When the game was released in Europe and America, he got changed into this. Archie Comics took a different direction in depicting Oil Man by retaining his color scheme, but having his lips covered by his scarf.
  • FIFA 11 as a very bizarre editing on the songs in the game. They remove the line "when you and I were down on the floor" in "Rules Don't Stop" by We Are Scientists, which I can understand, but they remove the word "corpse" in "Flash Delirium" by MGMT. In Charlotte Gainsbourg's "Trick Pony", they remove the word "rum" in the line. "train, train/come and go/rum cocoa" and make it "train cocoa". Another odd edit is the words "under" and "from below" in "Snowflake" by Malachai, which don't even make sense in context.
  • The US version of Bionic Commando had No Swastikas, among other minor censorships, but the cutscene of Master D (Hitler)'s head asploding somehow sneaked through.
  • The german version of most Command and Conquer games replaced all infantry units with cyborgs (mostly limited to changing the voices and unit names), with a few exceptions (such as Tanya, who appears in the FMVs). Generals got the worst treatment, altering most voiceclips to sound robotic and all human faces getting edited to make them look like, well, robots. The suicide bomber unit also got replaced by a bomb on wheels (which suddenly gets a voice when entering a civilian vehicle, as that ability was obviously overlooked.
  • In the torture scene in the Japanese release of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, Strangelove uses the electric rods to tickle Big Boss rather than electrocute him. Also, the dialogue is different, and Big Boss is laughing rather than screaming. This is due to the fact that the Japanese version was meant to appeal more to children as well as older gamers (in Japan, PSP is a system targeted toward all ages, unlike the US and UK, in which it is mostly targeted toward teens and adults). View the bowdlerized cutscene here.
  • The Updated Rerelease of Conkers Bad Fur Day, Conker Live and Reloaded was heavily censored for some unfathomable reason. The foul language was half the reason the game was appealing. However, upon finishing the game, you do get the option to hear the swears uncensored.
  • The US version of the MMORPG TERA censored the Elin models. Compare the differences here.
  • With Exile, many items that were drugs in the original XZR II were already censored in the Japanese console versions. However, the Turbo Grafx 16 translation by Working Designs also obscured the religious themes, at NEC's insistence: Christians, for instance, became "Klispins."
  • The German release of Team Fortress Classic replaces all classes with a generic robot model, making it incredibly hard to tell who's on your team and who's on the opposing team.
    • The German release of Team Fortress 2 has the original models intact, but all gore has been replaced with the "Silly Gibs" mod, which causes the characters to turn into toys, mechanical objects, food, and other items upon being blown up. In the German language Meet The Team shorts, they explode into just the mechanical parts, blood is now entirely oil black and the spines seen protruding from the necks of the disembodied heads in Meet The Soldier are now screws, implying they're all robots!
      • Man, Germany seems to have an unhealthy obsession with replacing people with robots.
  • The original UK release of Mario Party 8 had the word "spastic" in it (a word considered offensive in the UK). All copies had to be recalled and then Nintendo released a new print that edited the word to "erratic".
  • The Sega Saturn port of House of the Dead changed all blood to green. However, bloody marks that appear on-screen upon being hit are still red.
  • Inverted with the first Super Street Fighter II - the secret character Gouki, meaning "proud demon", was renamed for the US version, with a more extreme term that wouldn't see much use in Japanese media - Akuma.
  1. The same games actually did change sprites -- male swimmers in Gen IV wear trunks in the international releases (which they ended up doing worldwide in Pokémon Black and White) instead of the speedos they had in the Japanese versions and older games, likely because the low resolution combined with their pose unintentionally made the speedo kind of hard to see in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum and for consistency with those games in the case of HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Registeel's sprite was changed in the European releases as well a all versions of Platinum because the graphics designer gave it a pose that unfortunately resembled a Nazi salute.