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Paper Mario: TTYD Censored Dialogue Changes

Updated: Apr 30

Nintendo has long been known for its meticulous approach to content creation and localization, but its latest remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has drawn sharp criticism for its changes to the original dialogue.

The remake’s alterations have sparked a heated debate among fans and critics alike, particularly concerning a scene in which Mario and Goombella face a trio of antagonistic Goombas.

Thx to CGMagazine for the footage and TotalMK for the screenshots.

Below: Paper Mario: TTYD (2004) on the left and Paper Mario: TTYD (2024) on the right.

Paper Mario: TTYD draws sharp criticism for dialogue changes
Paper Mario: TTYD draws sharp criticism for dialogue changes

The Controversial Scene

In the 2004 GameCube version, Mario and Goombella encounter three rough Goombas in the seedy Rogueport underground. The Goombas crudely cat-call Goombella, to which she sharply rebuffs them. The exchange not only serves to establish the antagonistic nature of the Goombas, but also illustrates Goombella's assertive personality, highlighting a dynamic where a female character directly addresses inappropriate behavior... Which is now lost, completely changing the dynamic of her character... but... WHY?

The scene's censorship in the remake has raised concerns over Nintendo's creative direction. Critics argue that the removal of the original dialogue dilutes the game's nuanced portrayal of Goombella's character, replacing an authentic depiction of her assertiveness with a tamer, less confrontational script.

The New Dialogue

In the 2024 remake, the Goombas' dialogue focuses instead on Mario and his team's intrusion into their territory. This shift in narrative, which trades harassment for territorial disputes, completely blows my mind. It's a HUGE deviation from the original storyline, sanitizing the original content, and detracting from Goombella’s strong role in the scene.

Cultural Implications

The change has broader cultural implications, with some fans criticizing it as a step backward for female empowerment. The initial scene presented Goombella as a character capable of defending herself against harassment, an aspect that many saw as a positive portrayal of women in gaming. The alteration, however, shifts the focus away from this confrontation, emphasizing instead a generic territorial dispute, which critics see as less meaningful.

Industry Context

Nintendo’s decision with these 'localization' choices has sparked discussions about the balance between preserving original content and adapting games for modern audiences. Critics argue that the change is indicative of a broader trend in the industry, where remakes and adaptations are tailored to meet perceived societal expectations. This has led some to decry what they see as the industry's increasing focus on conforming to new norms at the expense of artistic integrity.

The censorship of the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remake has once again (I swear, it never ends!) ignited debates on the nature of game localization and narrative integrity. This is just one area that has been discovered to be different early on with review copies out there. Who knows what else Nintendo changed? While Nintendo's decision may reflect changing societal norms, it has also drawn criticism for diluting the depth of its characters and storylines. As the remake's release approaches, fans and critics will continue to grapple with its implications for the gaming industry, cultural narratives, and female representation in media.


1 comentario

The solution is simple: Don't buy neutered, overpriced remakes. The OGs more than stand the test of time and you don't give scumbag companies like Nintendo your hard-earned cash.

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