Censorship of Obsidian's role-playing game South Park: Stick of Truth resulted in select scenes being replaced with an image of a crying koala, according to classification documents Polygon obtained.
The Australian classification handed the game the refused classification rating twice. According to the first refused classification report, dated Sept. 19, the board took exception to an interactive animated sequence titled "Alien Probing." The report states that adult characters' voices and comments in the scene hint that they are "sedated or deeply asleep" with "no indication of explicit or implicit consent is viewed in the sequence."
The report also points out that the playable character, a minor, is also subjected to an anal probe. The Australian Classification Board refused the game classification because the anal probe scene was interactive, featured a minor and included apparatus that "visually resemble penises."
The game was also refused classification because it featured a "very high in impact" interactive scene set in an abortion clinic, which involved controlling a wire and a vacuum device on a female NPC.
The game's second submission included modified versions of the offending scenes. While the board acknowledged in its second refused classification report, dated Nov. 7, that the game is based on the South Park series' "satirical tone, intent and context," that "limited modifications" have been made to the original game. The board also noted that the game's anal interactive scene "visually depicts implied sexual violence involving a child character and adult characters" must be completed to continue on with the game.
According to the board, the game's second submission still exceeded "what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification" due to its "visually depicted, implied sexual violence.'
To get around Australia's classification restrictions, Obsidian removed the interactive probing scene, replacing it with text describing the probing scene's actions overtop an image of a crying koala emblazoned with the word "CENSORED." A Ubisoft spokesperson confirmed with Polygon that a total of three minigames were removed from the game in order to meet the board's requirements.
"No full sequences have been removed from the game, only small sections amounting to less than five minutes of game play," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Three mini games have been removed. These modifications in no way detract from the narrative of the game, meaning the player will still enjoy an authentic South Park experience."
The edited title was resubmitted and approved for sale in the region under the R18+ classification on Nov. 21. Throughout all of the documents filed with the board, South Park: The Stick of Truth was submitted under the moniker "Codename," which the publisher changed following the RPG's approval.
Ubisoft announced in October that the game is slated to launch March 4, 2014, a shift from its December 2013 launch date. It was originally scheduled to be released in the second half of 2012 prior to the collapse of its first publisher THQ.
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