It isn’t often that a game trailer debuts that specifically warns about big spoilers in the video title, but that’s the case with Bandai Namco’s latest English Tales of Berseria preview. Not only does it contain a story-related spoiler, but the scene in question also happens to contain a significant alteration from the original Japanese version.
You can see the footage below, but be wary of it if you want to go in completely blind. Otherwise, watch on and continue reading after it for details on the alteration and Bandai Namco’s official statement.
The death depicted in the promo plays a major role in the character motivation that drives the rest of the story, so it’s pretty important. For a comparison between the two scenes, RPG Site posted a handy side-by-side image. The Japanese cut is on the left and the English version is on the right. Note that the localization opted to cut away from this key moment to avoid the depiction of violence against a young child. According to Bandai Namco this is the only alteration in the entire game, and it was done in order to keep its current 16 rating intact.
Here’s the full statement Bandai Namco made on Facebook:
Dear Tales of Community,
We read about your concerns regarding some changes between the Japanese and the Western versions of Tales of Berseria, the next game from the Tales Of series to be released on January 27th 2017 on Playstation 4 and PC.
In the western game footage released on December 8th (https://youtu.be/TLbdbwjtxZ8), you discovered a scene that has been reworked compared to the original Japanese game.
As a company, Bandai Namco Entertainment has to follow the regional regulations regarding video games content to allow the games to be released with appropriate rating. The violence depicted in the original Japanese scene in Tales of Berseria would not allow us to keep our current 16 rating. A major change in our rating wouldn’t have allowed to share the game with as many fans as we’d like and it would have prevented us many opportunities to show the game on social networks, websites and even during events. Therefore, instead of deleting the sequence, we decided to rework a portion of the scene to keep its importance in the story. We’ve ensured its impact in the story is the same. Even if the exact actions are different, their consequences are exactly the same: the defining moment changing Velvet’s Story and opposing her to Arthur Collbrande, the moment it becomes a tale of emotions versus reason. We made this modification out of necessity, be sure of that.
You may have read in an interview that we had promised not to censor the game in the West. The statement applied only to the Velvet’s outfit at the time, and we did our best to keep the game as close to the Japanese version as possible.
This is the only scene which has been altered from the Japanese version of the game. Everything else is exactly the same as the Japanese version including costume designs which you will be able to see for yourself once we release the demo on January 10th.
Via RPG Site