Seemingly not compliant with Nintendo's content guidelines

Video game concept

Some games were inexplicably approved by Nintendo despite having content that they demanded be removed from other games.


The first video game about Seemingly not compliant with Nintendo's content guidelines was released on March 18, 1986.

Nintendo, Jaleco and Capcom has published most of these games

Nintendo of America's priority is to deliver high quality video game entertainment for our customers. When those customers are children, parental involvement in their game playing is recommended. Nintendo is concerned that our products do not contain material that society as a whole deems unacceptable.

Consequently, since 1988 we have consistently tested the content of all games developed for Nintendo systems against our evolving game standards. As our business has matured, we have adapted our guidelines to meet the concerns of the members of our target age group and their parents. Although we realize that definitions of social, cultural and political views are highly subjective, we will continue to provide consumers with entertainment that reflects the acceptable norms of society.

The following Game Content Guidelines are presented for assistance in the development of authorized game paks (i.e., both Nintendo and licensee game paks) by defining the type of content and themes inconsistent with Nintendo's corporate and marketing philosophy. Although exceptions may be made to preserve the content of a game, Nintendo will not approve games for the NES, Game Boy or Super NES systems (i.e., audio-visual work, packaging, and instruction manuals) which:

• include sexually suggestive or explicit content including rape and/or nudity; (1)

• contain language or depiction which specifically denigrates members of either sex; (2)

• depict random, gratuitous, and/or excessive violence; (3)

• depict graphic illustration of death; (4)

• depict domestic violence and/or abuse; (5)

• depict excessive force in a sports game beyond what is inherent in actual contact sports; (6)

• reflect ethnic, religious, nationalistic, or sexual stereotypes of language; this includes symbols that are related to any type of racial, religious, nationalistic, or ethnic group, such as crosses, pentagrams, God, Gods (Roman mythological gods are acceptable), Satan, hell, Buddha; (7)

• use profanity or obscenity in any form or incorporate language or gestures that could be offensive by prevailing public standards and tastes; (8)

• incorporate or encourage the use of illegal drugs, smoking materials, and/or alcohol (Nintendo does not allow a beer or cigarette ad to be placed on an arena, stadium or playing field wall, or fence in a sports game); (9)

• include subliminal political messages or overt political statements (10)
Work in Progress

Nintendo had strict content guidelines for content of games that the licensed for play on their NES, Gameboy, Super Nintendo, Virtual Boy, and Nintendo 64. Yet they occasionally, and inexplicably, would approve the same content in one game that was forced out of many others. This tag is for highlighting games that were published with the forbidden content. Only games and content published before Nintendo's announcement of repealing their guidelines are to be considered. Turns out their was an official document stating the guidlines, but so far developers say they never saw it when Nintendo censored them. Also, this document claims such censorship was began in 1988, but developers were forced to remove content beginning much earlier.

Nintendo's actual guidelines were apparently never written down, thus they could be made up or changed on the spot. The only reliable way to determine them is to look at what was removed from previous games. This unwritten policy differed per region. For instance, games for Japan prohibited nudity and sexuality but little else. But the guidelines for game publishing in the USA and Europe additionally prohibited profanity, sexism, slurs, blood, graphic violence, domestic violence, drugs, political messages, and religious symbols. The exact definition of these was only know to Nintendo and was sometimes blatantly discriminatory. For instance, religious symbols from a wide variety of religions, faiths, and cults were often approved. But Christian crosses, churches, and associated content were high on the list of censored content. Other times they were just inexplicable. Maniac Mansion could not have 'nude' statues of the Greek art style, even with the nipple bumps removed; but Taboo was allowed to have both rear and frontal nude human flesh including clearly seen nipples. Sometime during the days of the N64, Nintendo claimed to discontinue disapproving games based on content and instead leave the decision to consumers to decide based on ESRB and similar ratings. But, they have continued to force content to be changed or removed and do not allow A-O games in North America. The guidelines seem to have changed rather then eliminated.

What follows is lists of content that violates the guidelines as stated by Nintendo or known from content proven to have been removed from games or only appeared in unlicensed games. Please reply to this post with further suggestions to add. Do not expand the spoiler tags if there could be anything in them that you do not want to read (profanity).
domestic violence (family on family members violence)
graphic violence
dismemberment/body parts
blood splatter
people crushed

sexual poses
sexual innuendo


religious rituals
Buddhist symbols
Christian churches
Christian crosses

hidden text


NES 43
Famicom Disk System 2
GB 1

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