CERO and Palutena’s Censorship

Translation Palutena Alt

CORRECTION: The change appeared in 1.0.6, not 1.0.1 as previously reported. Palutena has unused garments under her dress. The current “shorts model” appeared in 1.0.6.

While skimming through Masahiro Sakurai’s other recent release, Thoughts about Making the Video Games 2, PushDustIn noticed one of the “Looking Back” sections in which Sakurai made some interesting comments about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and CERO (Japan’s ratings board). Here is the full excerpt, translated by your resident devotee of the Goddess of Light, Masked Man. Please note: the links were added to the original text and are not part of the original article. 

Edit: While the original column is from 2012, the ‘Looking Back’ part was published as part of Sakurai’s Famitsu collection. The column information is for reference, and for those who wish to check our translations.

PalutenaSkirt

PalutenaSkirtv1.06JP

 

 

 

(Original/ Western)                                                (Japanese version from 1.0.6)

(Renders provided by RandomTalkingBush)


The Meaning Behind Mutilation

Vol. 393 – January 26th, 2012

Looking Back:

Interviewer: As I understand it, CERO gave [Kid Icarus: Uprising] a B rating because of the sequence where Hydra’s heads get chopped off. I have to say, though, I couldn’t believe that of all things was the deciding factor.

Sakurai: It’s pretty strange, I know.

Interviewer: Seems a little oversensitive to me.

Sakurai: One of the first things they say in overseas ratings reviews is “no guns”—that I can understand. But in Japan, they immediately ask “could you show us all the female characters upside-down?”

Interviewer: Well, that’s, uh… Are they checking for panty shots?

Sakurai: Precisely. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U almost didn’t make its scheduled release date because of ratings issues. We had to revise Palutena and Wonder Pink’s models over and over again.

Interviewer: All because you might be able to see up their skirts? Seriously?

Sakurai: We had Palutena wearing shorts and made the inside of Wonder Pink’s skirt too dark to see anything. Nevertheless, CERO told us the designs were “sexually provocative.” They were being ridiculous and frankly quite juvenile.

Interviewer: Some players take great sport in finding that sort of suggestive material even where it doesn’t exist—they see what they want to see. In that sense, it seems like an exercise in futility for ratings boards to determine what is and isn’t “sexual.”

Sakurai: Underwear is just a piece of fabric. If you’re more worried about something trivial like whether you can see some cloth than whether a game includes firearms, you clearly ought to get your priorities in order.

Interviewer: Wakame-chan [from “Sazae-san”] always has her underwear showing. What rating would CERO give to “Sazae-san”?

Sakurai: Probably a B. (laughs)

Interviewer: And it sounds like that won’t change any time soon.


After reading this over, PushDustIn contacted RandomTalkingBush on Twitter, and discovered that there was updated files for Wonder Pink’s trophy and Palutena in the Japanese version. Here’s what RandomTalkingBush found, and what he had to say:

  • The changes are only present in the Japanese version.
  • They darkened Palutena’s shorts and skirt to decrease visibility. They also extended the length of her shorts and added a little fabric to her skirt.
  • The team only adjusted the VBN files for Wonder Pink’s trophy, which only affect “effect planes” (no render currently available).

PalutenaShortsPalutenaShortsv1.06JP

 

 

 

(Original/ Western)                                                (Japanese version from 1.0.6)

(Renders provided by RandomTalkingBush)

Masked Man

The Smash and Mother series make me very happy. POtEntial!
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11 comments

  1. “One of the first things they say in overseas ratings reviews is ‘no guns’—that I can understand. But in Japan, they immediately ask ‘could you show us all the female characters upside-down?'”

    I couldn’t help but laugh at that comment. Gotta love cultural differences.

  2. Sakurai: Underwear is just a piece of fabric. If you’re more worried about something trivial like whether you can see some cloth than whether a game includes firearms, you clearly ought to get your priorities in order.

    OOOOOOH Daddy Sakurai just being as based as it gets with that real talk

    So surprised they censored the game in japan more than the west but I guess they did it specifically for the rating because they wanted to keep it low and not because they wanted or got pressured , that’s the difference between censorship here and there

    Maybe it’s also why they removed some trophies of the game like Tharja

    1. Pretty sure Tharja was the only trophy removed, IIRC, and it was speculated because of the ratings systems (since it was in the ESRB leak and then taken out afterward.)

      From a business perspective, it makes sense to keep the rating on a game like Smash Bros. low… the lower the rating, the wider audience one has.

        1. In this case, I’m sure Nintendo values being able to advertise in more places. A trophy of a secondary Fire Emblem character certainly isn’t worth the trouble. Glad they managed to keep the main Wonderful Ones together though.

        2. Call of Duty + 12-year olds = a) irresponsible / uncaring parents that aren’t paying attention to what they’re buying for their kids or b) people at retailers who aren’t doing their job properly.

          I never did understand the appeal of CoD, but I digress… let the 12-year olds have it. 😛

  3. Brawl was also rated CERO A even though it had Peach’s bloomers and Snake’s guns. I’m guessing CERO started becoming much more strict in between 2008 and 2014. This probably explains why they blacked out Peach under her dress, removed the Tharja trophy, and didn’t bring back Snake, though that last one is a stretch.

  4. Such a shame they censor the wii-U games in Nintendo of America, looks like its time to stop playing Nintendo and move onto the mature machines that don’t censor their games like xbox one and ps4.

  5. It’s about time we all collectively start doing something about people who think this is okay. But we won’t. Especially in Japan where questioning authority is unthinkable.

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