Fallout 3 Edited For Japan

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Fallout 3 Edited For Japan


The Japanese version of Bethesda's hit RPG Fallout 3 [http://fallout.bethsoft.com] has apparently been edited to remove material "inappropriate" for a videogame in that country.

Along with the usual localization tweaking, Bethesda [http://www.bethsoft.com] has announced that two notable changes have been made to the post-nuclear RPG in Japan. First, the Mr. Burke character has been removed from the game entirely, along with the quest to detonate the nuclear bomb in the town of Megaton, and second, the name of a weapon has been changed as it was inappropriate for the Japanese market. The weapon in question isn't actually named, but the obvious choice would be the Fat Man, a handheld tactical nuclear weapon.

I shouldn't have to explain why this might be a bit of a sticky issue in Japan, but for the benefit of those who slept through history class, Fat Man was the code name for one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the closing days of the Second World War. Fat Man devastated the city of Nagasaki, killing between 60,000 and 80,000 people and leaving countless more ravaged by fallout and radiation. To this day, Japan remains the only nation in the history of the world to suffer the brunt of a nuclear attack.

According to Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5082637/bethesda-censors-fallout-3-for-japan], however, the reaction to the changes among Japanese gamers seems to be "largely disappointment." Perhaps those old scars aren't as sensitive as we might think? Fallout 3 goes on sale in Japan in December.


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Baby Tea

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Sep 18, 2008
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Wow. I mean, I can understand why they'd want that part changed...but that takes out a whole quest, really. Now 'Power of the Atom' is just a 'disarm' quest, which takes an explosives skill of 25 and 2 minutes. That's an easy 20 gamerpoints, eh?
 

Fanboy

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Oct 20, 2008
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I can sort of understand the Fat Man thing, and that's very minor, but taking out Mr. Burke? That's just ridiculous. It's a choice, and if the player actually chooses to blow up megaton I don't think they are too sensitive about it. Simply having the option shouldn't be offensive to anyone.
 

Jursa

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Oct 11, 2008
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I don't think it's as much Japan as the ones who censor the stuff. I very highly doubt the new generation really cares about what happens in a game as long as it doesn't happen in real life again. It might be for the best too, when I blew up megaton it screwed up a BIG portion of the game. The changes are so insignificant that there's nothing to be too sad about anyway.
 

DeathQuaker

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Oct 29, 2008
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I'm curious how they might alter that quest (i.e., can you get to TenPenny Tower at all in the Japanese version?).

It's interesting... all the individual violence and drugs and sexual references in the game, and other areas are getting offended because of THOSE things, but this is the first I've heard of someone saying, "You nuke a town. Isn't that harsh?" --and why AREN'T other people concerned about that aspect of the game? Just being rhetorical here, not attacking anyone. It's just interesting to see where different folks' sensitivities are.

Obviously, there is no question as to why Japan would be concerned.
 

Eagle Est1986

That One Guy
Nov 21, 2007
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Hmmm... I guess it never really occured to me that Japan would be sensitive about certain things in a videogame. It makes sense, I just can't get my head around it because we usually get Japanese games censored here, not the other way around.
 

JakubK666

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Jan 1, 2008
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This is the first case in which I see censorship completely justified. I'm sorry, but for Japanese the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an equivalent of Holocaust.

Putting it into American/European perspective, would you like to see Holocaust featured in a video game in a such a drastic way Fallout 3 tackles Nuclear Bombs?
 

Galletea

Inexplicably Awesome
Sep 27, 2008
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Censorship is not a good thing for whatever reason. The game still sticks with the 'nukes are bad' image ultimately so i don't see the problem
 

mokes310

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Oct 13, 2008
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Understandable, and I'm not quite sure that it's full-fledged censorship. This seems more like Bethesda is sensative to something that might still be a sore-spot for the Japanese people.

My questions is this though...After the generation of people who actually lived through those times passes on, do you think it'll still be a sensative subject???
 

Dapper Ninja

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Aug 13, 2008
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This sounds somewhat understandable, but I was suprised that there's a such thing as "inappropriate content" for video games in Japan. You know, the Japan that makes all those hentai tentacle rape games? Yeah, that Japan.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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Fanboy said:
I can sort of understand the Fat Man thing, and that's very minor, but taking out Mr. Burke? That's just ridiculous. It's a choice, and if the player actually chooses to blow up megaton I don't think they are too sensitive about it. Simply having the option shouldn't be offensive to anyone.
Depends, does Fox News have a Japanese division?

Fair enough on these cuts.
 

ThaBenMan

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Mar 6, 2008
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If the whole issue of nuclear war and the aftermath is so sensitive in Japan, then Fallout 3 shouldn't even be released there. Just cutting out the bits they did doesn't really make sense when the whole world of the game is still a nuclear wasteland.
 

lumenadducere

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May 19, 2008
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I understand the reasoning behind the changes, but I'd think that most of the people playing FO3 wouldn't mind considering the nature of the setting. Though obviously the board concerning ratings in Japan thinks otherwise.
 

GyroCaptain

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Jan 7, 2008
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JakubK666 said:
This is the first case in which I see censorship completely justified. I'm sorry, but for Japanese the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an equivalent of Holocaust.

Putting it into American/European perspective, would you like to see Holocaust featured in a video game in a such a drastic way Fallout 3 tackles Nuclear Bombs?
Oh come on, the numbers don't even remotely equate. Gas was a tool of choice in the Holocaust and starvation was omnipresent, but the people descended from survivors never led to either of those aspects being touchy in terms of Israeli censorship that I'm aware. Gas was a touchy topic after WWI (being a German horror weapon that killed thousands) among veterans too, but that didn't stop reference in popular fiction.

In fact, Fallout 3 features emaciated people and gassing/burning as well. Regardless, you kill 50 people, tops, in Megaton if you screw yourself over that way, so I would assume that scale should be considered somewhere. The mini-nukes are still in the game and it's still a game revolving around nuclear gallows humor, so picking and choosing one SPECIFIC nuclear explosion seems flakey and incredibly arbitrary.

I mean, the check-me-out-I'm-a-mass-of-radiation-burns ghouls are pretty damn graphic in their own way. I was aware Japan reacted oddly regarding mushroom clouds, but the mini-nukes throw up a bit of one too, not to mention the oft-disregarded fact that big conventional explosives also look like that.
 

GyroCaptain

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Jan 7, 2008
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DeathQuaker said:
I'm curious how they might alter that quest (i.e., can you get to TenPenny Tower at all in the Japanese version?).

It's interesting... all the individual violence and drugs and sexual references in the game, and other areas are getting offended because of THOSE things, but this is the first I've heard of someone saying, "You nuke a town. Isn't that harsh?" --and why AREN'T other people concerned about that aspect of the game? Just being rhetorical here, not attacking anyone. It's just interesting to see where different folks' sensitivities are.

Obviously, there is no question as to why Japan would be concerned.
I recognize you from the Order of the Stick forums, I lurk there a lot. Yes, nuking a town is rather good as a thing to get peevish about when contrasted with "OMG, the game SAID morphine! That's bad!" All the same, balking at nuclear mischief would run counter to the "I can't believe it's not AO!" buttery goodness that makes up the game at large. That is to say, one can wander into a village of kids and open fire, decapitate people with railroad spikes, spend nights with a hooker, make land mines out of lunchboxes, slip grenades into pockets, or sell people into slavery. That the US doesn't have separate age ratings for Fallout 3 and the astoundingly blase violence in Halo 3 beggars the imagination.
 

Novajam

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Apr 26, 2008
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I can understand why they've removed it. I don't entirely agree with it (We cannot escape history, after all) but that's Japan's business.
 
Dec 1, 2007
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JakubK666 said:
I'm sorry, but for Japanese the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an equivalent of Holocaust.
Only they where barbaric with POWs, instigated the war, and the bombings seemed the best way to end the war with the fewest deaths (again, the deaths on both sides instigated by the Japanese)

JakubK666 said:
Putting it into American/European perspective, would you like to see Holocaust featured in a video game in a such a drastic way Fallout 3 tackles Nuclear Bombs?
Little known fact: the Jews had done nothing to the Germans. There was no reason for their extermination; it even likely hurt the German war effort.

One of the reasons the Holocaust was so supremely fucked up.
 

Doug

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Apr 23, 2008
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Meh, I think its apart of this whole Japanese denial thing. They don't want to remember the war at all, nor acknowledge there abuse of POW's, civilians (including so-called 'Comfort women' - i.e. sex slaves), and so forth.

I'm not saying the USA was right to nuke'm, but they still want to pretend it never happened. Or more accurately, the higher ups and older ones do:
http://edition.cnn.com/books/news/9905/25/nanking.salon/
http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/02/japan-still-in-denial-about-comfort-women/
http://centurychina.com/wiihist/japdeny/index.html

This whole censorship thing is apart of this - if Japanese kids come face to face with an in-game nuke, they might begin to look into it, into world war 2, and into the conduct of the Japanese in that war.

Frankly, I'm annoyied.