Nintendo: Banned in the USA

Let’s point fingers! Ever wonder why games are still treated like a child’s medium? Well, part of that responsibility rests on the shoulders of Nintendo of America and the censorship it exhibited during the dominant period of the NES, Game Boy and SNES.

From the medium’s inception, Japan seemed to have no qualms in dealing with themes no heavier than those found in movies and TV, such violence and sexuality. However, NoA maintained strict rules and took great efforts stateside to keep games sterile and sanitized, as if intended for airings on Saturday mornings. Plenty of developers have come forward to bitch since the Big N vacated the throne, but we’ve taken that one step further and gathered visual evidence of all the naughtiness Nintendo of America never wanted you to see.


Final Fantasy III (Final Fantasy VI)


A Siren from Final Fantasy VI was forced to put on some pants for the third US iteration.

Duke Nukem 3D


Duke Nukem wasn’t just great, kids! It was once very controversial… Although you wouldn’t know it if you only played the N64 version of Duke Nukem 3D. The interactive strip club was replaced with a Duke Burger and adult book stores were transformed into family-friendly gun boutiques.

Out of This World

Above: Sealed Cracks 

Another World/Out of this World developer, Eric Chahi ran into difficulty porting his game over to SNES, claiming Nintendo of America found the final level’s introductory bath house scene, “too erotic, apparently. The crack of the naked aliens' bottoms was reduced by 3 pixels...” I knew there was a reason we weren’t aroused!

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

To avoid trouble with the Medusa, Konami quite disturbingly gave the mythical baddie a manlier chest build, thus simultaneously defeating the purpose of her inclusion in the first place, as well as making the topless legend ten times more disturbing!

And although the 15th century statues fit the Transylvanian motif perfectly, they didn’t fall in line with NoA’s puritanical vision of Western gaming. So, like Lady Justice in an Alabama courthouse, some poor asshole had to digitally dress the artwork to hide those disgusting mammaries.

Super Castlevania IV

Did Konami think they’d actually be able to sneak a tit by Nintendo on a more powerful console?! 16-bit equals twice the nipple, you silly geese! The audacity… put a top on that tramp!

Earthbound (Mother 2)

In Magicant zone you’ll wander around the cheery recesses of Ness’s mind. So, to make it all the more dreamlike, Japanese gamers did so in the buff. So as not to offend the seven people who played Earthbound in the states with pixelated dingus, Ness is more tastefully clad in a pair of adorable jammy-jams. 


Final Fight

So Final Fight’s Poison and Roxy have the distinction of being gaming’s first transvestites… but that’s probably a bit of a failed cop out on Capcom’s part. Here’s how we think it went down:

NINTENDO: Uh, hey… you can’t have Guy beating up women in the street.
CAPCOM: So we can’t punch women?
NINTENDO: Kind of in poor taste, don’t you think?
CAPCOM: Well… what if I told you they weren’t actually “women” in the strictest sense?
NINTENDO: Come again?
CAPCOM: You see, Poison and Roxy are actually transvestites!
NINTENDO:  Seriously…

CAPCOM: Uh, yep! As such, it’s technically no different than hitting a man. Plus, we’re really close to deadline here and-
CAPCOM: Fine! They’re now Billy and Sid… dicks.

Dragon Warrior

Oh, the legendary puff-puff. Appearing in various forms throughout the Dragon Quest series, a “pafu pafu” or “powder-puff massage” roughly translates to a “happy ending,” or even a good ol’ fashion motorboating! Click here to read more on the matter. Either way, you’re essentially visiting a prostitute for a health boost and Enix played coy with the act even in the uncensored Japanese versions.

Above: Use your imagination, kids 

The reference was either watered down or removed completely in the American, as we can see by the Lady of the Evening’s disappearance in the NES version of Dragon Warrior above. However, the Game Boy remake was a little less subtle on the matter.


  • Videogamer555 - September 2, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Nintendo missed some things that "needed" censoring according to their strict standards. Some of which are in their OWN GAMES (like Zelda games and Kid Icarus)! You'd think they'd know the content of their own games well enough to know where the things that would "need" censoring (prior to shipping to the US) would be. But it seems they missed some things. Things Nintendo did NOT censor in their US game releases are: Princess Ruto in Zelda Ocarina of Time is fully naked in all versions of the game (1.0,1.1,1.2,gamecube, and probably virtual console as well). Crosses are present on all of the tomb stones in the grave yard in the NES Legend of Zelda game (and probably also on the Virtual Console version of the game). Crosses are present on both the normal and the large shield in the NES Legend of Zelda game (and probably also on the Virtual Console version of the game). In the game Kid Icarus for NES, in the final level (the sky level with Pit flying and using light arrows). There are several topless woman statues who look like the famous Venus De Milo statue. I'm guessing these weren't removed in the virtual console version either, but I could be wrong.
  • alex-mento - June 21, 2012 5:49 a.m.

    Lets point fingers!! Mhmm *FAGS* Hm Cough cough* Douches*
  • axelgarcia1 - November 1, 2009 5:09 a.m.

    lol good article
  • taylorte10 - August 25, 2009 11:07 p.m.

    it should be banned from the us
  • alex-mento - June 21, 2012 5:54 a.m.

  • doomdoomdoom - August 20, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    Fuck Nintendo Fuck Mario Fuck Metroid Fuck the Wii And go fuck wii owners that like Mario And Fuck Street Fighter 4 This is a message from The Wii Sucks Dick Corps.
  • CharLes14 - July 31, 2009 1:28 a.m.

    i always hated nintendo. SUCKS TO BE THEM! hehehe.
  • caboose4400 - July 30, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    this is why i dont play nintendo games that much except for mario cuz nintendo only belives in family fun and non hurtful games they rarely have violant games and how can one censor MK.....thats just not COOL!!!!
  • secretsearcher - July 29, 2009 8:20 p.m.

    wow. I typed random letters for the second half of my reCaptcha and it still worked.
  • secretsearcher - July 29, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    I think that Nintendo should of censored some of the nudity and stuff, but changing "Oh my God" to "Oh my car" is just ridiculous.
  • DeathbyFira - July 27, 2009 11:55 p.m.

    to think that now they are trying to make more aduilt games now and to think they cut all this good crap out lol
  • doomdude - July 27, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    who needs nintindo anyway *turns off DS* i mean they dont allow nudity screw them *turns off SNES, WII, GameCube*
  • zeetlock - July 25, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    I don't think if I were playing those games (one from japan one from america) I wouldn't notice the differences that much maybe if I was looking for them (except for green blood in Zelda:OoT)
  • EndOfEternity - July 25, 2009 3:40 a.m.

    I hate censoring!!!So,unnecessary.
  • charley235 - July 24, 2009 4:18 a.m.

    i love this article, very creative
  • TheWebSwinger - July 24, 2009 2:16 a.m.

    Wait, Brett didn't write this? I'm shocked. Anyways, amazing article, ChrisBrett. And congrats on the Digg prominence.
  • AndyGiff93 - July 23, 2009 10:56 p.m.

    Wow some of those things are just pathetic. Cool article though, enjoyed reading it
  • Brutel - July 23, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    YES... I went back into my collection of N64 games and found out I'm lucky enough to own an uncensored Zelda: OoT with red blood O.o
  • maiden666 - July 23, 2009 8:41 p.m.

    dude there is a youtube video bout banjo kazooie and it shows stuff like that and worse its called banjo kazooie rated E ?
  • Csheroe - July 23, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    Sweet article. I knew about castlevania. I didn't know about the cross though.

Showing 1-20 of 102 comments

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