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OpiumHerz avatar 9:57 AM on 11.11.2013
The worst thing about censorship is ███████ - 023 - The Legend Of Zelda

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: The Legend Of Zelda

So I talked abot one little Zelda censorship before already. In "Various Games #2" (Episode 21) I mentioned that the book item, which was the Bible in the original, was called "Book Of Magic" in the US version. That fell right into the usual censorship of any religious stuff back in the day and stuff like that was fairly common in any adventure or RPG. However, there are indeed more censorship considering the Zelda franchise.

One censorship that is better know is found in the N64 classic Ocarina Of Time. There are actually three versions of this one. The first one is, logically, Version 1.0. The two others, of course, are 1.1. and 1.2. So the first release that shipped hat v1.0 on them and are the only completly uncensored ones. Version 1.0 can be ONLY found on the golden modules, thus making the collectibles even more valuable. Every grey cartridge should contain the censored version of the game. Also any ports should be censored too.

The censorship though is really minimal. When Ganon gets the final strike you can actually see bloods platter. From v1.1 on the game has green blood instead of red.




Also there was another change for any version after the N64 release (so the original v1.2 still contained it, but any port of the game doesn't anymore): the Gerudo symbol, a crescent moon with a star, was changed. Most likely this happened, again, for religious releases.




And of course the music for the Fire Temple was changed. While the rumor that was done because it resembled an islamic prayer is still around, GameTrailer found in their PopFiction series out that this was actually not true.
Interestingly enough: the source code of all three versions goes back to a date BEFORE the intial release! This means all these changes were done before the game hit shelves. While Nintendo didn't comment on this, it can be assumed all the changes were already planned, but v1.0 couldn't be changed anymore for some reason.


Then there was the Gameboy spinoff Link's Awakening. Now the US version was censored, but since the censorship I talk about here is also in place in the DX re-release, I'll just include it. While the initial german release was completly uncensored, the DX re-release got the scissors.
The first hit was taken to the Buzz Blobs. When you hit those enemies with the magical powder, you can actually talk to them. In the US version the enemy sprouts one of four pretty mindless phrases which were kept identical in both versions. The german version however...

Original:
NEVER WITHOUT CONDOM!
Gimme your juice, I'll give you mine...
"Any worries or problems?"
"!STOP THE WAR! GIVE PEACE A CHANCE"

I think you can see how three of those four lines could be seen critical. How they even made it past the german QA is unknown. For the DX version all of the lines were changed to:

"You are strange!"
"Who looks under water will find some things."
"Little devils give lifting force."
"Hey! Have you visited Geierwally (that's the german name for the witch -OpiumHerz) already?"





A censorship that hit the us version first was a quest where you are supposed to bring a mermaid her bikini because she lost it. The us version turned that into a pearl necklace (thank god there is NO pun hidden there at all). The german version also made a some raunchy comments. When you found the bikini top it said "Wow! Drool..." and when the mermaid asked you go give the top back, you didn't have the option to choose "No" but instead "Drool" again.




Also, when you dived next to her while not having the item she made an angry comment ("Hey! Quit that you hoodlum!"). In the censored version that would make no sense, since she isn't bare breasted. So instead she says "I looked here already".

The last changed was done in the animal village where the crocodile painter Schule is painting a hippo. In the original version she was nude and quickly hid under a towel when you entered the hut. You could see the naked hippo for a moment though (but of course there was nothing to actually see).




In the uncensored version she is simply just naked. Wait, what? Yeah. In the DX version the hippo is sitting on the floor. Since all the other animals are practically naked too and she isn't hiding anymore, it's implied that it's just normal. Although the text was changed so it's not implied anymore that the hippo is naked. She actually mentions in the censored version that she has to sit still so the painter can work properly.




Last but not least: Zelda 3 - A Link To The Past! The best Zelda game (no discussions) was censored too. All the changes were done by NOA to remove any religious context.
First off: the title was changed. The japanese original translated to "The Triforce Of The Gods".

All of the censorship that happened in the game was due to religious reasons.
In the eastern palace there was a hexagon which was replaced.




When you use the book to read Hylian it actually shows the language. In the japanese version that language is made up from egypt hieroglyphs: the vulture, the waves and the Ankh. Since these symbols can carry religious meaning they were changed to totally garbled stuff that only slightly resembles the original signs.




And one last thing: the priest in the churche was changed into a sage (although he still resides in what is clearly a church).



All in all the Zelda games are still very well playable in their censored versions. But if you really want to experience them uncensored you better poslish your japanese or get into the world of ROM hacking.

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