Salida dear readers,
my name is Jim aka "OpiumHerz" and as some of you may already guess by that nickname: I am german. With the blog series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " I want to simply give you a little insight in videogame censorship, which is still pretty much alive and kicking here in Germany (but I won't restrict myself to Germany exclusively).I'll try to post entries at least all two weeks or so. Feel free to comment for suggestions, corrections or critique.
This episode is about: Contra
... or as we europeans knew it: PROBOTECTOR
This is one of the more famous censorships, but it is a perfect object to show the censorship zeitgeist of back then. I mentioned it before, but back in the days human enemies alone were a problem. So were enemies that resembled humans. Thus we often fought aliens or cyborgs, with green or black blood (if there was blood, at all), to show that they were not humans we are killing on screen. Having humanoid or human like enemies was reason enough to get a game actually indexed back then. This has changed over time, but I remember it being named as one of the main reasons for getting Goldeneye on the N64 indexed. So Konami removed the enemies from their famous Contra series and changed the titles of the games. So let's have a little list.
Along with the name change, there was some sprite change. I'll just show some examples so you get the drift here.
A screenshot from Contra
A screenshot from Super C
A screenshot from Operation C
A screenshot from Contra: Hard Corps
(they didn't change the fourth character, which was a robot anway, but renamed it to CX-4, since all the other characters were renamed CX-1 to -3):
A screenshot from Contra III: The Alien Wars
And finally a screenshot from Contra: The Alien Wars
They had no problems with the mechanical enemies or the alien ones, but humans were a total no go. As you can see from Contra III
, they even had a problem with the humanoid heroes and so they were changed too. The gameplay was 100% the same as the uncensored versions. The characters moved and steered exactly the same way. They just looked different. Oh and every game had a changed cover too. You can just google them up with typing in the changed name.
This went on until 1999. Contra for the N64, called Contra Spirits 64
, was the first one not to be renamed and censored. But then again, C64 didn't come out. The next entry in the series was 2002's Shin Contra
aka Contra: Shattered Soldier
. But ever since then no Contra game was renamed Probotector