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: Command & Conquer
Usually RTS games are not subject of censorship. Because usually they don't contain much gore. It would be too much to call the C&C games gory in any way. However, they have a rich history of censorship. Mostly this is because of a rule that I mentioned earlier. See, back in the days it was enough for a game to get indexed, when you were killing humans or human like enemies. C&C was, besides having human enemies, also somewhat realistic, when opposed to the fatansy set Warcraft series. So it came as no real surprise that multiple entries in the series were censored.
In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn
the change was simple: remove humans. The troops you commanded and fought were robots! Blood was painted black, death screams were replaced with sounds that resemble... well... a robot being destroyed. Imagine someone would squish a can of Coke all the time. Of course the translation changed several names, so we had for example "farmbots". And civilians that died in a cutscene were marked as "destroyed", which is a bit macabre.
Besides that, some video sequences got censored. In one video sequence a corpse was removed, instead of seeing someone getting shot on camera we see just interference - you get the idea. Even the cover was zoomed, so we don't see the gun.
As for the sequel Command & Conquer: Red Alert
, it was pretty much the same deal. We didn't have soldiers, but Cyborgs, Androids and alike that were bleeding black oil and didn't scream when dying.
And again, some videos got censored. Instead of seeing a "Mission failed" cutscene where we see a dead sniper, we got another cutscene from another point of the game. Instead of seeing soldiers fighting, we have tanks in battle and instead of seeing a firing squad, we get the start symbol sequence with the Sowiet-logo in it again. It replaced many videos, in fact. Even the famous Stalin quote "If you kill one, it's a tragedy. But if you kill 10 millions, it's a statistic" got canned.
But at least our cover is uncensored.
Then came Command & Conquer 3: Operation Tiberian Sun
. And of couse we had robots instead of humans again and censored video cutscenes. Although it was really moderatre this time. Only three cutscenes were censored.
1. when the NOD execute a traiter you don't see the execution, but some CGI soldiers standing around and looking bored.
2. when a GDI soldier gets run over by a vehicle the cutscene blacks out too early.
3. there is a sequence where you see a NOD soldier shoot and blood splatters on the GDI logo. Again the cutscene blacks out too early so you don't see the blood splatter.
Command & Conquer 64
was a port of the first game, so it was censored in pretty much the same way. However, there are differences. Civilians are really Civilians this time and not "farmbots". However, they still bleed black and don't scream when dying.
Some things in the intro were changed, but it's mysterious as to why, since there was no real censorship done. Of course there were some changes referencing soldiers that were "robotized" too. But that was it for the port.
Picture of a dead civilian.
Command & Conquer: Generals
left a bad taste in people's mouth. It was grounded in reality and of course that couldn't go well for the german version. So instead of China we had the "Asian Pact", instead of the GBA we had the "IGB" and isntead of the USA we had the "Western Alliance" as playable fractions. A whole lot of terms ingame were changed to. For example: "Washington" became "Headquarter". Soldiers and tanks, the whole lower part of the cover, were removed too.
Civilians were removed completly. As was the intro (which's text I used in a school paper, by the way). Again, some soldiers were "botified" so they looked like robots on the pictures and the usual changes were done here. Also the context to reality was removed more and more. The mission "Iraq Operation: Final Justice" was changed to "Zone: Desertsimulation - Battle of the machines".
The most well known change happened for the GBA. They had a suicide bomber as a unit. We? Well, we had a barrel on wheels someone strapped dynamite to.
Also a whole GBA mission got canned. In said mission you have to rob a UN convoi for money. The ending videos for all three campaigns, which just show some random game scenes and the flag of the fraction afterwards, were removed too.
As for Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour
, the intro wasn't removed, but changed this time. You may guess in what way.
All the censorship I mentioned for General are were kept here, so I won't mention them again.
Besides that the general pictures were changed and completly botified. Just as an example:
Then there was one more change. In the credits you see a human soldier in the background while the text is rolling. In the german version the background is just black.
Last but not least there is Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
. Now this game was relatively new, so human enemies were not a problem anymore. Yet, one unit was censored. The so called "Fanatic", resembling the terrorist unit from Generals, blew himself up. He was turned into the Sprengmeister (german for blaster, a person who blows up buildings for his job). He runs at the target in the german version, places his explosives and then runs away into safety.
Also the nuclear weapons were turned in "Aurora"-weapons which was quite stupid, since the nuclear symbol was still in the german version.
But besides that, that one was completly uncensored. The often dreaded Command & Conquer: Renegade
was released uncensored over here, by the way. The game goes for Command & Conquer 4