Video Game Tuesday: That Berseria Scene

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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Hey all I’m back, and I’ve got the promised discussion that I talked about in my Berseria review. It’s all about That Berseria Scene.

That Scene?: So I mentioned in my Berseria Review that I was really unhappy about the fact that Bandai Namco decided to change a scene’s imagery, a scene that is incredibly pivotal to the entire game, by changing it slightly. It has a major impact on the story and what they did was a huge disservice to every person who played the game in the West.

What was changed?: So in the very first scene in the game, in the opening cutscene, after seeing Velvet and Laphi running from a Daemon Bandit after hiding in a hollowed tree, we see someone’s silhoutte, who we later learn is Laphi, impaled by a crisscross of light. Originally it was a straight up sword impaling Laphi leaving absolutely no doubt that Laphi was dead. But changing it to a crisscross of light can imply that he really wasn’t dead, just severely wounded. ┬áThat crisscross effect is a staple in pretty much any animation ever, and while it often indicates a large damaging effect it’s not always fatal. A sword thrust through someone’s abdomen is pretty fatal, except in the case where said person is immediately treated. As we learn in the plot, Laphi never got that treatment so if we had seen the original scene we would have assumed with high confidence that Laphi was dead, for good, absolutely never coming back at all.

Okay so what?: Well he did come back, it turns out that Laphi became Innominat’s vessel (also known as Kanonushi in the original Japanese). So when he reappears, and it shocks everyone, it doesn’t have the same impact for the Western viewers as it did for the people who played the unaltered Japanese release of the game. Everything matters when telling a story and even tiny alterations like what happened in Berseria make impacts, and this one was a huge impact. It devalued the impact of that major plot twist immensely and frankly I’m disappointed that Bandai Namco chose to alter that scene. It was a disservice to everyone. I hope in the future it won’t ever happen again.

That’s it for this Video Game Tuesday. I’ll be doing posts every other day for the near future (probably a month or so.)

 

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