During our previous article on horror/mystery/puzzle visual novel Tokyo Dark: Remembrance, we noticed some changes in promotional shots compared to the original Tokyo Dark. With the fear of censorship in the minds of most fans of Japanese games, we decided to dig deeper into our own mini-mystery.
We looked over both to compare and contrast, and you can find both below (the original being the former and Remembrance being the latter):
In Remembrance, the neon-signs of the strip club no longer show underwear (instead being a silhouette), and signs that previously showed women in skimpy clothing have been replaced with more artistic and stylized posters.
The game’s publisher is Unties, with Mebius providing additional development support. Unties was set up by Sony Music Entertainment in October 2017, separate from the Sony Computer Entertainment and PlayStation brands.
We reached out to developer Cherry Mochi, and explained how our community was passionate about instances of censorship; especially when they feel the decision was made by outside factors instead of the developer’s own wishes. We asked them the following questions:
- “What will the game’s expected age rating be (if any) compared to the original Tokyo Dark?
- Will any scenes involving sexual content, violent content, or scenes some may deem offensive be altered in a way that the scene becomes more or less sexual/violent/etc. ?”
A representative replied to our inquiry. Here is their unedited reply, along with images provided:
“There are no changes to the text in the English language version of the game (aside from the added content and basic grammar & editing corrections etc.) All story content remains identical to the original and the same Dark DARK situations occur.
Tokyo Dark was rated PEGI 18
Tokyo Dark: Remembrance is rated PEGI 18. ESBR T, CERO C
There are art changes, such as the ones you’ve pointed out. These generally are minor changes that improve and refine the assets we created for the original game, take for example the two attached images of The Butterfly Club, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a great improvement!
Throughout Tokyo Dark: Remembrance you’ll see we have worked incredibly hard to increase the quality of the art.
Some changes had to be made to release Tokyo Dark: Remembrance in Japan.
The Japanese and International builds of the game have been separated and have minor differences in content.
We are confident that players will be very happy with the artistic changes we have made for this new console release! With updated art, new content and endings it’s a great opportunity for both new players and those who have already walked in Detective Ito’s shoes to once again step into The Dark.”
Editor’s Note: The former image is of Tokyo Dark, while the latter is of Tokyo Dark: Remembrance
In the above images, we see The Butterfly Club looks a lot classier in Remembrance, albeit falling on hard times. While the former almost looks like it was never much to begin with, the later looks like it was quite the place in its heyday, before recent years have caused the owner to neglect even cracks in the wall.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) had begun to censor games in Japan due to new policies around October 2018. SIE’s Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita later stated in December 2018 the company was aiming to meet “global standards” in regards to sexual content. However on April 26th of this year Sony Japan stated there were no blanket policies in place, with games evaluated internally on a case by case basis.
Could the changes to the night-club’s exterior be a similar attempt at making the location fit their lore better? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Tokyo Dark is available now on Windows PC (via Steam). Tokyo Dark: Remembrance will launch November 7th on Nintendo Switch, and 2019 on PlayStation 4.