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This Is How Nintendo Censored Earthbound's American Version

Although there are plenty of games on Nintendo consoles you probably shouldn't play in front of your parents, the company has a history of removing controversial content, especially for its international releases. One classic example is a major Nintendo game that became a huge hit years after it launched.


Earthbound is an underrated RPG classic on the Super Nintendo that's a must-have for SNES collectors. Over the years, it has gained an incredibly strong following in the west due in no small part to Ness' inclusion in Super Smash Bros. It has also seen quite a bit of censorship in its journey from Japan to the U.S. 

What could have been so offensive in Mother 2 that it needed to be censored as it became localized as Earthbound? If you only played a U.S. copy of the game and are asking yourself that very question, this is how Nintendo censored Earthbound's American version.

The controversial content in Mother 2 that was cut in Earthbound

YouTuber Rinry presented a simplified list of what Nintendo of America deemed inappropriate, including nudity, death, religious references, and "immoral hijinks." Surprisingly enough, Mother 2 checked a number of these boxes, which had to be erased for the U.S. localization of Earthbound.


Obviously, any reference to drugs and alcohol had to go. As such, bars became cafes, alcoholic beverages became coffee, and drug stores were simply called "shops." In an effort to keep Earthbound completely sober, a piece of dialogue was changed from "I was drunk, so I accidentally knocked on the wall instead of the bathroom door" to "I was in the middle of a caffeine buzz and I had to get to the bathroom fast..."

In the Japanese version, Ness had an opportunity to go streaking. Of course, Nintendo of America threw some PJs on him. An instance of corporal punishment was softened with a more abstract sound effect and altered dialogue. Originally, members of Happy Happyism had "HH" emblazoned on their hoods, however, the letters were removed to distance these characters from any associations to the KKK.


While American audiences got the censored version, gamers in Europe received an unedited port.