Wednesday, November 25, 2015

MOS: Nintendo butt

(It occurred to me after writing this that "8-bit butt" would probably be a funnier title, but what ever.)

River City Ransom was revolutionary in its success at combining fighting, stat management and shopping into one whirlwind of a game. Something that stuns me about the game now, however, is what a good job American Technos did localizing it for the West. Japanese signage was translated or changed altogether. A multitude of purchasable items that would make sense in Japan but not so much overseas were reimagined. Even the character graphics were overhauled to change the game from a Japanese story of rival rockabilly hooligans from various high schools to a Warriors-like gang drama.

One such change resulted in a quaint neighborhood sento (public bath) being changed to a "health club," presumably to prevent Western audiences from saying, "Public bath? WTF?" All the same, however, patronizing that establishment results in the same shot of Alex/Kunio's pixelated posterior as he towels off.

Kids playing this in 1989 never got tired of laughing at Alex's butt.

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