Release: May 04, 2014 - Author: DarkChojin - Translator: DaxRider123
"Fasten your seatbelts. It's gonna be a bumpy ride."
Even though probably everyone knows the story about the problematic development of Duke Nukem Forever, we still insist on a short historical excursion:
The development of Duke Nukem Forever began in December 1996. The game was finally released in June 2011 - roughly 15 years (!) later. How can something like this happen? Well, on the one hand 3D Realms seemed to think that due to the fact that they financed the projet themselves they would have all the development time they wanted. On the other hand, chief designer George Broussard had unrealistic demands. He wanted to create a game that was ahead of its time, especially in terms of technical aspects. As a result, the graphics engine was changed numerous times (the numbers of the official sources contradict themselves). Every switch of the engine meant that the team almost had to start over. Also, dozens of features that Broussard took from other games at the time were supposed to be included in the game, despite the fact that the engine they used at the time might not have been able to provide for the feature. At one point one thing that was bound to happen actually happened: due to a lack of funding, the development at 3D Realms had to be cancelled. Luckily (?) enough, the Gearbox studios (of Borderlands fame) revealed to be gigantic Duke Nukem fans and wanted to clean up the mess that was left behind by 3D realms by finishing the game with the help of Triptych Games, a developing studio that was founded just for this game.
"I've got balls of fail..."
Everyone knew that Duke Nukem Forever was never going to match the high expectations of the fans that gathered over 15 years of developing the game. When it was released, the game looked as if the development stopped somewhere between 2007 and 2009 - and it played exactly like this. Thanks to a disastrous average Metascore of 51/100 across all systems and a smaller scandal in the United States of prudish America, Duke Nukem Forever was frequently found on the pole position of "Worst Game of 2011"-lists.
The Japanese Version
"Take your tentacles back to Japan, you freak!"
Concrete, final informaion about the censorship of the Japanese Version of Duke Nukem Forever was nowhere to be found. Thus, we took it into our own hands to take a look at this "exotic" Version. The most well-known censorship is probably the replacement of two risqué items in the level "Duke Nukem's Titty City". However, the Japanese Version actually includes much more censorship. Not only sexual content but also some violence (at least against human beings) was taken out.
This is a comparison between the censored Japanese Version and the uncensored International Version (in this case the UK Version).
The cover of the Japanese Version is - along with most other international releases - different from the US Version's. While Duke in the US Version grins because of being touched by the woman behind him, he just looks tough on the Japanese Cover, just as if he was not enjoying it. Maybe he is just angry that he lost his cigar.
The Japanese Version in general uses a different in-game font. Also, the temperature declaration was changed from °F (Fahrenheit) to °C (Celsius) in several sequences. However, this alteration does not interfere with the gameplay.
While the international console version was patched twice, the producers apparently abandoned all hope for the Japanese Version pretty quickly due to the bad sales figures of Duke Nukem Forever. The Japanese Version was never patched and thus misses out on several useful bugfixes and optimizations as well as all the DLC support.
An interesting fact for all "trophy hunters" out there: the trophies of the International and the Japanese Version are listed separately. Thus, if you want to you can upgrade your trophy balance a little.
Okay, now we can finally get to the main part of the report.
In general, all human characters in the Japanese Version stay "in one piece", thus there is no more mutilation or dismemberment. This also includes the corpses that are just lying around for decoration. While the uncensored versions show corpses that miss out on a limb here and there, all extremities stay where they belong in the Japanese Version. Even the textures that represent the damage were covered up. Also, all severed heads were deleted. Since this is the case for the entire game, we do not include images for all corpses of the game, since this would become redundant pretty quickly. Instead, here is a short "best of":
In the uncensored version you can use the Freeze Ray to freeze human remains and then smash them into pieces. In the Japanese Version, this is no longer possible. The frozen corpses instead just slide over the floor.
A similar thing happens with explosions. While the uncensored version lets the player dismember corpses with explosions, the Japanese Version instead lets them "ragdoll" around:
Level 2: "Damn! It's Late..."
The dildo inside the locker room was deleted in the Japanese Version.
Level 5: "The Lady Killer"
All statues of women now lack nipples. This goes for all upcoming female statues of the game (again, due to redundancy we just show you a few pictures of this). The images were zoomed for a better overview.
Level 7: "The Duke Dome"
During a scripted sequence, a builder is thrown into rotating blades by an Assault Commander. In the uncensored version you see some splatter effects. In the Japanese Version, the worker stays in one piece, however, he still dies.
Level 8: "The Hive"
The Dead Space easter egg was also altered. While you in the uncensored version see Isaac Clarke's head lying next to his body, it was placed back to where it belongs in the Japanese Version. Also, all bloody textures were taken away from "Isaac's" neck. One could get the impression that one of the EDF soldiers simply wore a "Dead Space" mask.
In the uncensored version, all captured women are topless. In the Japanese Version, crusted Alien slime covers up everything. Also, the player is able to blow the women to pieces with an explosions (which leads to for example the head flying off). In the Japanese Version, they simply disappear after an explosion.
The probably most controversially discussed aspect of Duke Nukem Forever - the "Wall Boobs" - were also edited for the Japanese Version. The nipples were retouched.
(Later in the game, the Wall Boobs can be seen again with the same censorship. We don't think that it is necessary to include another image.)
Level 9: "Queen Bitch"
In the Japanese Version, all nipples of the Alien Queen's breasts were retouched.
Level 10: "Duke Nukem's Titty City"
Now, here is the most prominent censorship of Duke Nukem Forever's Japanese Version.
In the uncensored version, Duke is supposed to bring the stripper some popcord, a dildo and a condom. In the censored Version, he is instead supposed to bring her popcorn, a Duke Nukem action figure (!) and a worker's helmet (!).
This scensorship is also represented in the dialog:
DUKE: "... huh? I must be dreaming. Kickass!"
STRIPPER: "Hey there, boss-man. How about we play a game? I'll be the boss and YOU can take orders. Heh... what do you say? There'll be a lap dance... and caaake."
DUKE: "Okay baby, I can dig that role-play shit. YOU tell ME what to do!"
STRIPPER: "Okay then! Well first I'm kind of hungry, so I need something to nibble on. And then, I need something naughty to play with. And then, well, a girl has to play it safe, even with you, Duke."
DUKE: "Am I dreaming? Now this is great."
STRIPPER: "Hey, Duke. Wanna play a fun game? I'll be your boss, and you'll take orders from me. What do you think? Your reward will be a sexy dance and sweet cake."
DUKE: "Okay, baby. I'll play your game. Tell me what you want me to do."
STRIPPER: "In that case, first, I'm hungry. Bring me something I can snack on. And I'll also want a sexy figure that looks like a certain someone. And if you can get me a helmet, I'll do some kinky role-playing for you."
All items can still be found on the same spot as in the uncensored version, however, switched with the "new" items, as you can see on the following images:
Most women in this level walk around topless. However, in the Japanese Version they have stickers on their nipples.
A similar thing happened to the wall decoration:
Subsequently, both the packaging as well as the content of the porn video in Duke's office were censored. To be honest, it is hardly noticeable since the Video itself is very pixelated and fast-paced. For the sake of clarity we zoomed the images.
Level 13: "The Mighty Foot"
The topless women at the beach whom you can stare at with binoculars all have stickers on their nipples. Since all details are hardly visible even in the game itself, it does not really make sense to include pictures of it. We still tried though:
If you play around on the computer for a while, you will in the uncensored version see a screensaver of a topless woman. In the Japanese Version she wears clothes.
(Later in the game you will run into such computers with the identical censorship again. Thus, this will not be illustrated again.)
Somebody left a titty-magazine in the church of the abandoned Western city. The Japanese Version lacks some details.
(Later in the game you will run into such magazines with the identical censorship again. Thus, this will not be illustrated again.)
Level 18: "The Forkstop"
Another magazine cover was censored for the Japanese Version. The nipples were entirely retouched (they even took care of the one that was mostly covered up anyways):
Level 22: "Blowin' the Dam"
Even the Borderlands easter egg was altered: For the Japanese Version they edited out the head of the bandit psycho. Thus you only see his mask lying around. In order to see everything a little better, we brightened the screenshots up.
Level 23: "Final Battle"
At the beginning of the level, the Cycloid Emperor squashes the US president and his bodyguards. In the uncensored version you see blood and body parts flying around. In the censored version, however, there is no blood and the people do not get suqashed. Instead, they "ragdoll" around and fall to the ground.
Bonus: Concept Arts
After playing through the game for the first time, you will see that some bonus material gets unlocked. Some of the concept art was censored for the Japanese Version.
The Multiplayer Mode
... could not be tested out since it appears as if no one in Japan seems to play Duke Nukem Forever online anymore. If there is ever going to be an online match, we will update this report as soon as possible.
Every now and again, the censorship was done sloppily. Here are a few examples:
There are several levels where you see corpses lying next to their severed limbs. Since you can not cut any limbs off of people in the Japanese Version, one should normally have edited out all of them. However, this was not the case which leads to situations like this:
Level 1: "Duke Lives"
This is sort of an addition to the previous example:
In the lobby you can see an EDF soldier with a severed leg. Blood constantly splashes out of the stump and if you get too close to the guy, the field of vision will get messy, too. In the Japanese Version, the leg is still in its place, however, blood coems out of the knee regardless of the alteration. It seems as if he hit against a wall quite hard...
Level 10: "Duke Nukem's Titty City"
Even though the Japanese censors were quite precise when it came to evil nipples in "their" game, they - for whatever reason - did not seem to notice a quite noticeable part of this leves (images solely originate from the Japanese Version):
Level 21: "The Clarifier"
Even the Japanese Version includes damage textures on the body of the guy who comes darting at you on a mobile platform and who subsequently has a bad accident (images solely originate from the Japanese Version):
Level 22: "Blowin' the Dam"
In the Japanese Version they forgot to retouch the damage textures on one of the corpses (images solely originate from the Japanese Version):
Also, at the place where you in the uncensored version just see a severed limb, you in the Japanese Version now for whatever reason see an entire corpse: