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The secret origin of 'Hangry' and other localization surprises

November 21, 2017 1 min read

In the past few years we've seen an outpouring of kids and young adults with a newfound rage over how games are localized. I feel their pain, but I also think that they don't know how good they actually have it. If you don't like how a game was localized, chances are extremely high that you can either see all of the original version of the game on YouTube, or better yet, download it and play it yourself. In the era of high-speed internet, true censorship is all but dead, at least in a practical sense. In principal, the forces that drive censorship (fear of offending others, attempts to control the direction that our culture evolves, etc.) are all alive and well, but when it comes right down to it, you just can't hold information back anymore. 

There's also the fact that most of the localization changes that upset people today are small potatoes compared to what we used to have to put up with. Capcom has removed entire characters from their fighting games at least twice during their localization process. The sixth stage of  UmJammer Lammy had its lyrics, graphics, and cut scenes changed so that all references to the Hell environment were replaced with a random island. We never even got this Pingu game with its dedicated "NOOT NOOT" button. These kinds of injustices were just accepted back then, as there was no high-speed internet to gather around with other like-minded citizens for commiseration. 

The secret origin of 'Hangry' and other localization surprises screenshot