The issue of rating

The previous article has got lots of comments more than we expected.
We just wanted to explain the differences of religious beliefs betweenJapan and overseas.

We actually self-regulated to get a desirable rating result at one time.

Because we don’t have enough funds and time to take rating inspection many times.

When the sister dives in to the needles is like this.
I think red is okay, but green is also nice-looking.

Now that we’ve got such zealous comments, we should be ready not to compromise expression.

So, here is the last question about rating.

Which is your liking, left or right one?


  1. ravenscourge says

    Given the game’s feel, and having so many religiously inspired images throughout, I have to say I would prefer the statue on the right, although the matter is extremely trivial to me. I too, like another stated, find censorship offensive, but I also understand the base of the situation. I look at it as, any child taken to any museum will find statues not only depicting breasts, but also genitalia, which as a poster above me mentioned, is much more offensive here in the USA. I do however find both statues to be elegant and acceptable.

  2. I would find it hilarious if someone was offended by the nude statue. AS several others have noted, the backlash against the varient of the statues would be minimal at worst. Go with what you think is right, though in my personal opinion, keep it true to the original, go with the one on the right.

  3. John Lee says

    Although I think the covered version is very well done (it doesn’t look out-of-place, like FFVI or similar games which have been altered), I think the version on the right still has the right feel; after all, partially bare statues are socially considered much more authentically ancient than the beclothed one.

  4. FanZ26 says

    I think the left one looks more elegant in addition to being less controversial. I think the topless version is unnecessary and would distract more than it would add.

  5. Tara Spencington says

    The statue on the right should stay, it looks better and more accurate to ancient ruins. No young children will be playing this game anyways, it’s more like the Castlevania series, which as someone already mentioned, frequently has nude statues in it now.

    Also, the spikes look better with red blood instead of green. It’s not the 80s/early 90s, they don’t censor things like that anymore 😛 Besides, the red blood is more atmospheric (speaking as a Silent Hill fangirl)

    As most posters have already said, just stay true to the original game you were trying to create, and keep in mind that most of the people who will be buying your game are teens and adults, and not young children.

    If you REALLY want to be safe though, just include like an optional censored “child safe” mode or something, and still keep the full uncensored version for adults and teens.

  6. Jon A says

    I find censorship offensive.
    Both statues look nice. I prefer the statue on the right. Regardless of which statue you choose to include in the game, I will buy La Mulana.
    Thank you for such a fun and challenging game!

  7. If anyone important tells you to censor, tell them to grow up. Your target audience clearly has.

  8. CurlyBrace says

    I’m a single mother with a son right now, and while I don’t want my child to see pornography and such, he will sooner or later come across breasts, so why not in a video game? 🙂

  9. TheMaverickk says

    This is the first time I chime in, I missed the intense debate brought up in the last post.

    I think the picture on the right should be the picture in the game. There are a few reasons for this decision. The first is that if it is the Game Developers (you guys working hard to bring to life this game) honest preference and choice in the art style. I personally am an artist, I create art and see art on a regular basis. Video games to me is an art form, and if a developer/game director has a specific vision of the end product, then they shouldn’t compromise it at the cost of offending someone.

    Mind you if you guys are just trying to be accommodating and understanding of more conservative view points to make the game more accessible to a wider audience, then I also understand that stance. It’s a tough call to make since it is also a game, and well games should be able to be played by all ages.

    In defense of the image shown though, it may be a nude model… but then again it’s a STATUE of a nude model, and not an actual depiction of a nude person. Throughout history there have been many statues just like the one you have created for the ruins of La-Mulana. So having this statue showing it’s full breasts really stands to reflect an ancient time period. People don’t generally consider art and history to be offensive, and no art museum would cover up it’s nude images or statues for fear of damaging the youth. It’s historical, and it’s part of human history. So I don’t see any wrong in it… it’s not as though it’s a character who is nude, or a figure is being violated or insulted or displaying something so graphic and negative.

    I’m a Christian and consider myself to be fairly conservative, but I’m not offended by a pixelated nude statue, and I don’t think people should be offended. Hopefully this helps in your decision, I’d just like to see that those working on La-Mulana make sure to be satisfied with their final product.

  10. Korcas says

    Thing to consider is, Nigoro. With a game like La Mulana, and the challenges it throws at players with all the puzzles and extremely abstract thinking, there really is no way anyone on the E+ rating scale would be able to beat it anyway.

    The game deserves the T rating, will get a T rating, and should have a T rating. If someone lower than T wants to play it, they likely will either way. After all, ESRB is only a measure of self control, nothing else.

  11. Considering Castlevania’s repeated depiction of both bare-breasted statues and statues with male genitals (which is considered much more taboo in the United States) with pretty much no backlash I would say that no censorship of the statue is necessary. You could always make a Duke Nukem style Kidsafe Mode which censors a few things if you want to play it safe, but overall I think that it won’t be necessary.

    I like both of them equally well, though, and don’t think that it would be an obvious censorship. I would only say that I like the one on the right better because it seems more consistent with real-world statues and because it would be more consistent with the original game (which is good).

    Keep up the good work, guys!

  12. Either version of the statue is fine. They both look very good, and neither would look out of place in the game. I am glad that even when you are considering censorship, the changes you would make are subtle and do not detract from the themes and style of the original game.

  13. sfried says

    The right one! The RIGHT ONE!

    It’s just a statue. It’s just like seeing the statue of David by Michelangelo.

  14. Wii Consoles have a setting in the system options that block or alter games that parents may find “Inappropriate.”

    I hate how we live in a child’s land.

  15. As someone who has worked on the inside I know how touchy the ESRB can be.
    So I can understand the worry about things like this.

    That being said, it is unfair to both the author of the game, the fans of the game and all the new people who will play it to censor it or change it from what it was. Yes this is more then likely going to get you a T rating but to be fair, with this game, I don’t an E or E+10 was was going to happen.

    If you change the statue I’ll be sad. If you change the color of the blood or edit/tone-down the story or religious I don’t think I’ll be buying this game or telling others about it.

    Please, please, please give us the game as it should be.


  16. Ouroboros says

    To carry on from the last comment about a family version, if the problem of censorship is such an issue, then why not have a toggle switch on the options menu? So then people who think red blood and topless statues are a bit too risque can toggle to green blood and covered statues.

    Sorry if this sounds stupid in any way, just thought I’d throw the idea out.

  17. anonymous says

    Red Blood. Right Statue is just fine. Perhaps make an easter egg at the last minute with the statues, if it comes down to it.

    If families or timider players want to play a cleaner version, perhaps have an option for no blood/family version (Like the xbox360 family settings method, or just as a personal selection through options in the game).

    I think Oblivion staff (“Maik the Liar”) say it best: “We love children, but we don’t want children ruining our fun.” (I probably misquoted this, feel free to correct me.) 🙂

  18. If I as an European get a censored game, I simply won’t purchase it. I’ve never purchased a game that was censored in my region.

    I don’t care what you release in the US (people there are afraid of their own naked bodies for some wierd reason, even though it’s the land of porn).

  19. Optimus Metroidprime says

    Definitely go with the nude statue on the right. Goddesses would not bother with clothing, that is a human concern. Plus a lot of the Greek god/goddess statues were depicted as nude.

    As for the other, human blood is red, so I’d go with red.

  20. The “T” rating that this game is best suited for is much more lenient than it used to be. I don’t think either element will push it too much. These days you have to really try to get the “M” rating. You would have to liberally apply coarse language, litres of blood in every direction, sexual encounters, etc.

  21. Definitely red blood, don’t mess this up with green! and the right goddess statue is the way to go, it looks better and I don’t see how anyone could have a problem with a statue.

  22. Stuffgamer1 says

    I agree with O_B: Red blood and the original statue, though the latter matters relatively little.

  23. As some have said, the maidens are human, so it should be red, because blood is red. It’s not overly graphic or anything so the red shouldn’t get too high a rating.

    As for the statues, I’m good with either if it came down to it, but I prefer the original (right) if possible, just because I favor the original artistic decisions.

  24. Really, there are two ways of going with the general censorship idea. The first is to avoid censoring anything at all, or at most, subtly toning down a few of the more controversial elements. The other way I see is to parody the mass censorship which occurred in the late 1980s and 1990s by censoring even the most slightly controversial element in the most horribly obvious way, in hopes of causing humor.

  25. dragon7x2k says

    This looks good enough, it’s not like in the original where it looks like they are exploding when they fall.

  26. As someone who likes to play games with his kids, I’m really excited to play the WiiWare version of La-Mulana with them. I think that they will really enjoy this game. My son, a nine year old, has been playing Castlevania games for a couple of years now and I have let him play them because I feel that the depiction of blood and nudity is very minor and not going to turn my son into some sort of sex-crazed murderer, because I take the time to monitor what my kids play and explain things that they see and how it isn’t real.

    As far as La-Mulana is concerned, I don’t think that pixelated breasts without nipples (something that can be frequently seen in DS and GBA Castlevanias) are going to cause an uproar and a Mature rating. Additionally, the blood is definitely important to the scene in the Confusion Gate and is described as such in one of the tablets. If you concerned about the rating, you may want to tone down the amount of blood spray that occurs in that scene. However, I feel that the original amount of blood spray in the scene would only earn a Teen rating anyway due to it being considered “animated blood” and “cartoon violence”. This is comparable to the blood sprays in any of the Castlevanias.

  27. The red blood shouldn’t be an issue really.

    And about the statue again…although from a personal stand point I chose the left, if you really want to keep true to the original, go with the right one.

    That’s a hardly offensive exposure, so you wouldn’t need to worry about it, and it would make the old fans happy.

    In short, just go with red blood and right statue.

  28. MGassailant says

    I lived in Europe for quite a while, and I say that the statue should be either one, but I prefer the right one cause it kinda reminds me of Greece and all. Besides it’s only a statue so it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t have a clothing over it.

    I think the blood should be kept, and colored red, because in America, I’ve seen far worse bloody scenes in games. Also, isn’t this game suppose to be targeted at teens and up? I doubt a young kid (rated E) would figure out some of the more complicated puzzles in the game. -_-“

  29. As far as the statues go, the right one is better. I don’t really give about this “looking more like a goddess” thing. The poses the statues have are like Greek paintings of gods, or most paintings in the Renaissance era. It’s like a portrayal of untouchable elegance and power. Aside from that, there’s not alot of detail on the statue’s breast, and… It’s just a statue. A work of art.

    The one with the scarf makes the theme of Goddess Tower look different. Seriously. I mean, it would work if the tower looked like a heavenly place but it’s not. It’s dark and and it’s structured with ancient devices. It’s mysterious and not divine. That’s at least my impression of Goddess Tower.

    As for the pit… Unless you are making those nuns goblins or aliens, leave it red.

  30. Right one is better. Left one looks ‘bland’, more stationary.

  31. I’d say go with red blood and the right statue. The game is going to get a Teen rating anyway, and neither of those things should effect that.

    Red blood is plentiful in Teen rated games, and I’ve seen plenty of nude statues, so no need to worry about that.

    Stay true to your original vision and avoid censorship. Good luck.

  32. I just had a thought:

    What if you keep the spikes red, but remove the blood spurt from the actual death? Just have the maidens die when they hit the spikes, and don’t have them bleed.

    Now, that sounds like a bad idea in words, but picture it in your head.

  33. I’d like to elaborate a little more on some of the themes that La Mulana has. There’s stuff such as sleeping inside of a womb, devil summoning, a fetus, demons from hell, poo flinging camels, and getting a woman statue pregnant by bringing it into a room with giant sperm flying around in it. There’s also a number of monsters depicted nude in the original that would just make no sense if clothes were put on them, like Tiamat, Baphomet, and Mother’s final form. That would probably make it a T rated game based on sexual references alone. The blood picture doesn’t seem to make much sense of red blood isn’t oozing below the spikes and dripping onto Shu. Why would blood suddenly change color in the middle of a sacrifice makes no sense. In all honesty, I just want it all to stay the same as it was originally.

  34. Nicholas says

    Don’t pull a Castlevania on us, just go with what you want. No need to censor it over fear of critics. No one cares about boobs anyways as long as it lacks tits… for whatever reason.

  35. The right one – the Venus de Milo is not T-rated after all, and the lightning effect is really, really nice. You are representing classical art, not pornography, after all. I think shadow is enough… we really don’t see more on the right one than we see on the left one.

    As for the blood, I would go red – Castlevania is a good comparison. And it’s just a natural fact, we bleed red – kids know that – you’ll teach them nothing new.

  36. Ouroboros says

    If only this once, I’ll chip in with my opinion.

    For the sacrificial pit, at the very least have the spikes red, you at least need to signify that it is a sacrificial pit and that sacrifices are being thrown in there and killed. Although it would be more effective to keep the dripping blood red, I would understand a colour change to green or something (you could handwave it as a alteration caused by the device above Shu) if only to play it safe, though like the comments have said, I doubt it would be that big a deal, especially considering how non-violent the rest of the game is (and hence why that particular scene is harrowing to some), and also the fact that censorship really isn’t as bad as it used to be in the past. Bottom line, keep it all red, but if changes need to be made, at the very least keep the spikes red.

    As for the statues, I understand the arguments against showing nudity by some, but if you look at the one on the right, that is already somewhat censored (the fact that you can’t see the nipples for one). Saying that though, personally I prefer the one on the left, like somebody else has said, it stands out more like a deity that the other version. Though I see no major problems with the right (then again they are exposed, and that might just be enough to cause controversy), my vote’s for the left.

    To sum up:
    – Keep blood red, or at the very least, keep the spikes red.
    – Go with the left model.

    Hope that helps!

  37. Ben Hurr says

    I say keep the topless version of the statue and the blood, the US really isn’t THAT prudish these days.

    It’d only be worth changing if the difference was between getting an E rating or a M/A rating.

  38. naramura says

    Is it good in this?
    I can read everyone’s comment and I am happy.
    Such an opinion doesn’t understand if it doesn’t actually hear it.

    The goddess image was divided in opinion.
    I think that I use both.

  39. I think you should leave the blood in.

    I also believe the statue on the right most resembles the Greek aesthetic being captured here. Greek Statues of goddesses tend to either have one breast exposed or only the bottom half is covered. The statue on the left loses the aesthetic in my opinion. I’ve never seen a greek statue that has cloth draped in that fashion.

    As for the rating in general those clamoring for an E haven’t played enough of the game to know that would require the game to be gutted content wise. Without an extensive rewrite and huge changes it’s impossible for the game to get anything below a T for Teen. Just the maidens falling down the pit of Shu will prevent a E by itself.

    Can’t help but think you are using this one statue as an example for all the nudity in the game. Please just leave it in there are things that would look very strange if you put clothes on it such as Baphomet. I don’t think you should compromise the game’s vision just to get a lower rating.

  40. MaskPerson says

    Eh, I never seen game get higher rating for naked statues. I mean, look at every game with naked statues!!!(aka, as long statue hasn’t nipples, it doesn’t matter.)

  41. SolBadguyZ says

    Well, I’ve seen games released before with statues of uncovered breasts without getting mature ratings for it. The right one seems more greek to me, so I’ll go with that one. For a game like this, with it’s old school style graphics, I sincerely doubt many could take the game for over sexualization, and really, tiny sprites diving to their doom barely sends too much of a violent image.

  42. anonymous says

    i was always against any kind of censorship, so i vote for red blood and the right statue.

    the statue doesn’t even have any detail there, so censoring it would be probably similar to censoring the actual statues, pointless.

  43. It’s understandable that these changes need to be made. The original uncensored images do not offend me, but might they offend someone else. Nintendo USA has a history of requiring these changes, but it was more in the Famicom era. They are more lax about these things now, but you have to answer to the ratings boards (which can affect sales). Without censoring, cultural differences are clear in the rating of the PS2 game “Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne” where it recived a CERO: A, ESRB: M, and a PEGI: 12+. This means that in Japan kids can play, in USA only adults can play, and in Europe a teenager could play. In the US, the rating was more about religion and nudity, in Europe nudity is less of a problem. For a small WiiWare title, they can’t afford to exclude part of their audience, so censoring is a necessity. As long as gameplay isn’t affected, I understand the changes required to get this game to market.

  44. MaskPerson says

    Actually, there are statue of goddesses without so called ‘modesty’, so I would vote right one, just for lulz.

  45. I didn’t think of this as an important question, but It seems to make a difference…
    First of all I’m for red blood and for unclothed/right goddess statue, BUT if I think if this little something of nudity is a real issue, I’m fine with the other one, It looks good too.
    But green blood? Never! The maidens are supposed to be dieing, there has to be blood, otherwise it’s something totally different like enemies made of slime, not maidens!
    If anyone has a problem with a little blood in a game, he/she shouldn’t play it. The Confusion Gate really NEEDS this otherwise the whole creepy atmosphere will go down the drain.
    This one isn’t really about the color it’s about question of using blood or some kind goo… And I’m all for the blood.
    Regardless of your decision I will buy this game for sure, its just about keeping your fans happy and let them have the real La-Mulana! 😉
    I think I made my point.
    And I’m sure you will find the right way, whatever it is.

    Good luck on further development!
    Nobodi 🙂

  46. What, is she wearing a scarf and no shirt in the left one? Use the right one, prudes be damned.

  47. I say keep the blood red like it was in the original. I don’t think the blood spray in the original was that massive. Plus since Shu absorbed it, it made him that much more menacing as a midboss. All I care for is that there aren’t any regional differences in content. The English version should get the same stuff that the Japanese version does. The original Goddess statue was topless, but without any nipples I don’t think it’ll hurt the rating that much.

  48. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stick with red blood. PLEASE. PLEEEEASE. They aren’t aliens or mutants, they are humans!

    Also, while the exposed statue looks nice, I agree with above comments. The statue with the cloth makes it look more like a goddess, more like a deity.

  49. Red spikes. Kids might think they bleed green if the spikes are green. As far as the statue it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for a wider audience and that one little thing may give it M rating then cover her up.

  50. Dominic White says

    The Castlevania games have never had problems in the west, even with all the blood, topless creatures, statues and religious figures. Go with the right statue, and whatever else you can think of having to compromise with.

    The last time a Castlevania game got edited for ratings was back in the NES era, when they were so afraid of offending people that ‘holy water’ became ‘firebombs’ and the cross became a boomerang. It was very stupid.

    As a rule of thumb, just look at the DS castlevania games and use that as a guide as to what’s okay.

    Cmon, you guys don’t have to compromise here. Nobody else does, these days.

  51. dragon7x2k says

    I really didn’t get distracted by the statues in the original version but I guess it would be better to choose the left option, with the naked statue the rating would be above E of course, probably T like some Game Boy Advance Castlevania games which also contained some blood, but I really think La-Mulana shouldn’t be limited by the age of the player.

  52. DarrenForest says

    I agree with the left. As for blood, people are being sacrificed so I think red is the way to go. But if you want it to be green, maybe change the color of the spikes to reflect it, like using copper spikes? Whichever choice, it’d be a nice touch to make the colors distinguishable from each other

  53. Anonymous52555 says

    The Blood should be Red. I would prefer the right one, it is more closely related to the original game, but I wouldn’t be too upset if you chose the left one for obvious reasons.

    I’m real exited about the wiiware release, I can’t wait for it to be released.

  54. cbsadiecat says

    For the sacrificial pit, I’d stick with using red blood. If you’re still concerned about that, then just try not to make things too bloody when the maidens hit the spikes. I just don’t think green blood will work as well in that scenario–it would just look like someone spilled pea soup into the pit. Besides, censored violence is so mid 90’s!

    As for the goddess statues, either one would work in my opinion–although the one on the right would be a more faithful adaption from the original game.

  55. madamluna says

    I actually prefer the one on the left. Like the first commenter said, I think it looks more “goddess-like.” Consider that in classical Greek sculpture, for a long time men were routinely portrayed nude while women were usually covered up.

  56. For the first one I think red blood would look better because when I played the original La-Mulana, I thought they were ghosts until I saw the blood.

    And for the second one it’s hard to say what one is better because when you think of the Mother as the origin of all, you also think of fertility and the things that go with it. So I prefer the right statue.

  57. MrZeebub says

    I say the right one. I would rather stay as true to the original design as possible.

  58. I agree, the left does look better and more goddess-like.
    To me, the added lighting on the cloth looks like it actually balanced out the lighting on the statue overall (the face and upper body look brighter at least).

  59. Right one. I loved how they suddenly appeared on the original, striking and godlike in a greek way. Plus, the effect of the light on her torso is totally lost on the left one. The left one is generic at best, and knowing the original it will be considered forever as the tasteless work of a modern day Braghettone.

  60. MrUnimport says

    I actually prefer the left-hand version more, from an aesthetic viewpoint. It just looks better and more goddess-like.

  61. I was wondering how you guys were goint to tackle the sacrificial maidens in the Confusion Gate. I’d guess that if there weren’t *too* much blood when they meet their demise, it might not be so bad… (and anything but red would look weird… I mean you guys couldn’t do translucent ‘sweat’ as kind of a nod to the first Mortal Kombat (SNES/Super Famicom – which didn’t have any of the blood or original finishing moves in it) could you?

    As for the statue, I think ‘better safe than sorry’ and go with the one on the left.

    I hear it might be the home stretch for this game, OMG I’m so excited for it to finally come out!!

  62. I think red on the spikes looks more natural, since red is the color of blood. It is a sacrificial pit, and people are dying. Unless they aren’t human, I think red is the only sensible color. If you’re going to have maidens sacrificing themselves, and you want to make it clear that many have died, go for blood red.

    As for the statue, both are well-done. But the left looks more like a “goddess”. I guess the cloth kind of gives a sense of “modesty”, which gods usually are attributed with. The uncovered one doesn’t seem distasteful, but it seems less like a deity to me.

    As a disclaimer, I am not exactly religious. But I believe that most people of faith would not be offended by these design decisions.