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DJ Boy!
by: Dr. Boogie

As you've seen before in past articles like Shinobi vs. Spider-Man, games from Japan sometimes have to undergo some fairly significant changes before they can be released stateside. Sometimes, you look at what was changed compared to how it was originally and wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of changing it for the US release. In some cases, though, the reason for the change is all too apparent. You see, when I was a kid, I once rented a Genesis game called DJ Boy...

Layin' down a hot track from DJ Boy!

It was a port of the arcade game by the same name, and despite the title, you don't mess around with turntables or play music on the radio. Radios were involved, however, thanks to one of the questionable changes in the game. Originally, the plot of the game was that your girlfriend had been kidnapped by a roller-skating gang of thugs. For some reason, the plot was changed for the US release, and now you're just trying to get your boombox back from the neighborhood toughs. Surely they didn't think that American audiences were too soft to deal with a kidnapping scenario, as Final Fight had been released the previous year.

Of course, this was just a minor, though somewhat confusing, change. What really caught my eye was the first boss in the US version:

Way beyond thunderdome.

A fat woman with oddly pink-ish skin. There was something odd about her, and it wasn't the fact that she came on the scene with a midget riding on her shoulder like Master Blaster. No, there was something altogether unusual about her appearance, and I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew what it was. I loaded up the Japanese version of the game...

He's being attacked by the yacht club.

Right away, I noticed that the first stage had been changed from a marina to a ratty, downtown kind of setting for the US release. Why the change, I asked? Furthermore, why did they decide to replace the Japanese billboards with something a little more... risqué?

We have to draw the line somewhere.

Oh, but kidnapping is out of the question. Sure, that makes sense. That threw me for a bit of a loop, but of course, I was there for one reason and for one reason only: to find out if my suspicions about the strange-looking boss of the first level were right. So I went a little further in, and what did I see?

Hattie McDaniel?

Yep, there it is. In the Japanese version, the first boss is not a sunburned Italian-looking woman, but rather she is "Big Mama," an obese stereotypical black woman not unlike Mammy Two-Shoes from the old Tom & Jerry cartoons (except that she wore shoes). Oh geez, I thought to myself, this is bad. How could this possible get any worse/better? This is how:

Tastefully done.

Originally, she attacked the DJ Boy by breaking some serious wind. In the US version, she merely flings donuts at you. Or pies. It's hard to make out what the projectiles are supposed to be. Sadly, fart attacks in general would be marginalized right up until the release of Boogerman, and even then, they had to be called "frrt" attacks. Those attacks, however, did have a somewhat believable farting sound that went with them, as opposed to the explosion they use for Big Mama's attack.

At least she wore underwear.

This actually was included in the US version. Go figure.

Oh you crazy Japanese game developers and your offensive racial caricatures. Black people don't have the ability to create clouds of deadly flatus when threatened. Plus, they've even been known to wear shoes every now and then. You guys really need to update your stereotypes. Just come to the US and watch some network television. You're sure to find some newer stereotypes, assuming you can find any black people on TV at all.

An understatement.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
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*** You too can play DJ Boy! ***


Note: to play this game you'll need a Sega Genesis emulator.

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