Why Was Dragon Quest VIII Censored On 3DS?
Whilst the game is still not out in the West, to the surprise of some, the Japanese 3DS version of the RPG classic, Dragon Quest VIII, was found to have edited various graphical elements of the game in a manner that closely resembles censorship. In other words, these changes have toned down a few potentially objectionable parts of the games, such as revealing outfits, and fans wondered why this was. Censored Gaming recently made a video providing a full comparison of the alterations made to Jessica’s outfits in the 3DS version. A total of 5 of her costumes received changes, with the majority of these lengthening skirts or covering up her chest. There was one exception to this however, where one of the outfits actually seems to have got a bit *more* revealing. The Bunny Girl attire now shows Jessica’s stomach, breaking the assumed rule of the changes being just to do with trying to “tone things down”.
One suggestion for why this particular edit was made, though, is that there was perhaps some legal concerns over the similarity to the Playboy bunny, although, this has in no way been verified. Apart from the Bunny Girl outfit, all of the other changes *do* seem to be covering up just potentially ‘problematic’ parts of her body. It’s not just Jessica either, another character had a bit of a redesign for the 3DS version. The new playable character, Red, appeared in the previous versions of Dragon Quest VIII as a NPC, but with one strange difference in her appearance. As you can see here, the 3DS version on the right has given her shorts rather than the very revealing clothes she wore in all of the other releases of the game. Nothing has been confirmed specifically for Dragon Quest VIII, but it is extremely likely that these edits were made due to rating related reasons. In a video about Dragon Quest X, the devs mentioned that they were unable to include a design similar to some of the ones in the eighth game, as it alone would cause the game to be bumped up in rating by Japan’s rating system.
Important to keep in mind is that Dragon Quest VIII has been given the lowest rating possible in Japan, and that, over the years, the rating system has got stricter in the way it handles these things. For example, the stricter stance is the reason why there has been multiple changes made to the Japanese version, and only the Japanese version, of the Wii U’s Super Smash Bros. http://sourcegaming.info/2016/06/04/censorjpnwiiu/ It’s not just sexual content either, there’s been an alteration to a cutscene showing Marcello tangled in vines and then stabbing himself in the arm to get free. In the 3DS release, they for some reason use a magic attack on the vines instead. Perhaps here the violence was seen as too extreme. There was another change to a cutscene and this one is much harder to explain. The scene which shows David being humiliated and made to eat dog food by his master is extremely different in the new release. As you can see here, David is now treated much nicer and no longer eats the dog food.
Instead, he simply places the bowl down and then gets intimidated by the dog. It’s true that he was treated much worse in the original version, but it’s a big possibility here that this was nothing about the age rating and just something the game’s director wanted to change up a little for the new release. It would be extremely interesting to be able to speak to the team about these changes and hear what they have to say. In regards to the English release, it is of course not yet confirmed that these changes will definitely be made here as well, but it seems unlikely that this is something that would be different overseas, considering the devs haven’t made any comments at all about these things.
Dragon Quest VIII 3DS has been out in Japan for over a year now and will be finally coming to North America and Europe January 20th. Censored Gaming will be sure to keep an eye out for any changes being made during the localisation process, but, considering the recently released Dragon Quest VII 3DS remained faithful to the Japanese, it’s a strong possibility that this will be true with the eighth game too. Until next time, thank you for watching.
As found on Youtube