Today it came to my attention that Ms. Pac-Man’s sprite was altered for Pac-Land’s re-release. Due to a copyright dispute she’s no longer Ms. Pac-Man, but in fact a new character.
Situations like these have happened in the past and will keep happening in the future, so I thought it’d be an interesting topic to discuss.
Also, let’s share some examples!
One game that immediately comes to mind is The Revenge of Shinobi. It’s notorious for being constantly revised, even way back when it made the jump from Japan to Western territories. Here’s a good summary of all the changes: The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis) - The Cutting Room Floor
Just reading about the reason why this was changed. Quite the mess! Bad AtGames.
I’m going through my Arcade Archives and Sega Ages titles right now and there are quite a few games that have been altered:
Bomb Jack - licensed music is replaced by new arrangements of tunes from Mighty Bomb Jack.
Listen to the differences here: Bomb Jack (Arcade) - The Cutting Room Floor
Crime Fighters 2 (also known as Vendetta) - the dry humping enemy characters are removed (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence).
Frogger - licensed music is replaced by different tunes.
Out Run - the player’s car is altered so it no longer resembles a Ferrari.
Shinobi - the Spider-Man lookalike’s colours are different and the Marilyn Monroe posters are replaced by Altered Beast posters.
Super Hang-On - the billboards that featured real brand names are replaced by billboards that reference Sega titles.
There’s something about Red Cross symbols being removed from Nintendo VC games.
It really was the Wild West in what developers got away with including in their games back then.
It was pretty odd seeing green crosses on the medkits in the re-released classic Doom games, but I got used to it after a while.