Nintendo’s upcoming JRPG, Bravely Second, is going to get another dose of censorship for its Western releases. This comes after the original, Bravely Default, also had its costumes censored in its North American release.
Censorship comes in a lot of forms. Sometimes it’s fairly straightforward, with minor changes here and there, whilst other times it goes a lot deeper. Some people might even argue these changes aren’t censorship at all. It can depend on your point of view, but these changes rarely come without controversy. We might be in for more, as next up on the Nintendo chopping block – Bravely Second: End Layer.
Nintendo fans may remember the original title, Bravely Default. The game was very well received by players and critics alike, with large amounts of praise being given to the game’s story in particular. Bravely Default began with no plans for a Western release, but through fan input and some well timed leaks, eventually one was announced in April 2013.
Like many recent Nintendo titles however, the game was censored. The ages of the main characters were increased (from 15 to 18), and the female characters had their costumes altered to make them less revealing. In some places it was rather lazy and only served to ruin the outfit, such as the addition of a leotard underneath belts (why wear the belts at all then?), but it didn’t detract too much from the game.
Censorship itself is a tough game to play though, and it seems as of late that the censors are becoming emboldened. What may have been subtle changes a few years ago has morphed into pages and pages worth of changes. Just look at Fire Emblem Fates.Bravely Second looks like it will be a victim of this, with a recent video by Censored Gaming giving us the details.
For one, as in Bravely Default, the costumes are the most obvious change. The female classes again are the most hurt in all this, with changes being made to make them less revealing. Additional pieces of fabric, zippers, or changes to the length of clothing have all been added to the Western version of the game. It seems quite over-the-top to censor these outfits on chibi characters in particular, but that’s the climate for you.
A modder was also able to dig into the game’s files, revealing a laundry list of changes between the Japanese and Western releases. This ranges from arbitrary things like a “crotch shadow” being removed, to the addition of a bra or removal of a see-through piece of fabric. For the most part, it’s all fairly petty and inconsequential, but localizers have to justify their pay somehow, right?
Finally, and most strangely of all – the art book is also censored. The Deluxe Edition of Bravely Second comes with a 250-page art book, which is now in the hands of some European players. The book, titled “Design Works The Art of Bravely 2013-2015”, showcases concept art and general developer artwork. It seems as though this has also been tampered with however, with the outright removal of some images.
On one page in particular, three images have been completely removed, and one altered. These images contained red strands, used to bind the character, and are likely symbolic of the “red string of fate” in Asian culture. The final remaining image has been edited to remove the string completely, meaning it’s no longer the developer’s own artwork, but a botched version.
You can check out the changes in the images of this article, and you’ll also find Censored Gaming’s overview on what’s different below. Bravely Second has already released in Europe and Australia, with the American release expected on the 15th of April.
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