Hilariously stupid game censorship

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.

Poisonous trannies

Above: Man

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...

Gore-free zombies

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.

Bloody censors

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.


English samurai

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.

Dejected corpses

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.


  • IceBlueKirby - March 17, 2010 4:33 a.m.

    I can imagine the conversation between Capcom and NOA: NOA: In order for us to put Final Fight on SNES, you'll need to take out the women. Cap: What women? NOA: The ones with pink hair, short shorts- Cap: Oh! They're not women. NOA: They look like women. Cap: No, transvestites. NOA: ..........
  • soren7550 - March 14, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    How about Guitar Hero Nine Billion where they censored 'Killer Queen' (can't say "Blow your mind") and 'American Pie' (god forbid someone hears "Whiskey and rye.") (don't remember if they were in the same GH.)
  • TheBoz - March 12, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    It's like the stupid censorship on this website. They will not show a female nipples and will cover them up (We are talking covering up a nipple on the bloody internet in this day and age!!!!!!) BUT pixellated images of penises and testicles are fine (There was an article on exposed male genitals in games). Sounds pretty gay to me!!!I have to laugh at the final fight, it isn't ok to hit a woman BUT it is ok to smack men in the face with crowbars, it is ok slash men with swords and shoot men with guns. Censors have never made sense, they really haven't. I still laugh that at 16 you can legally have sex BUT you have to be 18 to watch it on screen. You can legally have sex at 16 BUT it is illegal to kill someone yet censors look harder on sex in games and films than say blowing someone's head off. "CUCKOO" springs to mind!!!
  • philipshaw - March 11, 2010 3:15 p.m.

    Didn't know about any of these
  • speno93 - March 11, 2010 7:40 a.m.

    lol ,gordon freeman has the same powers as Mavin the paranoid Android pretty much. The Combine weren't defeated ,they were just too damn depressed by Freeman. Good article GR
  • Cyberninja - March 10, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    i wish i could see that scene with the child and the blood thats not there
  • Vagrant - March 10, 2010 6:50 p.m.

    I saw some clips of the Xenosaga stuff, and that just looked bizarre. Why are you cupping your hands?! There's nothing there! Surprised there wasn't more about the bizarre censorship of religion as well as alcohol in the SNES days.
  • Ded - March 10, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    I played a Soul Calibur arcade machine in Florida once, and it had Arthur instead of Mitsurugi O.o
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - March 10, 2010 3:05 p.m.

    I love German censorship especially what they did to L4D and TF2
  • EnragedTortoise1 - March 10, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    Lol, censorship is funny. I read about a case in which Nintendo sent Ducktales back for "objectionable content" because it had crosses for graves in a certain level.
  • Hurricrane - March 10, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    Wow. Who decided to not even make Arthur's weapon some sort of broadsword? DId that not cross anyone's mind or did they just think "meh, who'll care? They only play Starcraft."

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