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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance (NES)/Regional Differences

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This is a sub-page of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance (NES).

Censorship

Due to the cultural/business differences between Nintendo of Japan and Nintendo of America at the time, the North American release saw several instances of censorship and more family-friendly alterations of scenarios.

Meat Storeroom

Japan US
Pool of Radiance JPN(NES)-Glitch 1.png Pool of Radiance USA(NES)-Glitch 1.png

In the NA version, there is an inconspicuous meat storage room in Valjevo Castle you can go into, which one of your party members will comment on after returning to the main screen. In the Japanese version, everything is explained in one box of text, and the programmers forgot to program the game not to scroll back up to the first-person view when viewing the second message. The Japanese version's message translates to something much more sinister...

In-Game Romaji English

にくを てんじょうから つるしてある。
ランパート「にくの そうこか。ん? こ これは!?
なんと ぶらさがっているのは にんげんの にくだ!


肉を天井から吊るしてある。
ランパート「肉の倉庫化。ん?こ これは!?
なんとぶら下がっているのは人間の肉だ!」


Meat is hanging from the ceiling.
Rampart "This is a meat warehouse. Hm? Wh-what's this!?
The meat that is hanging is human flesh!

References to Religion and Death

Many religious and death references were also removed for the NA version due to NoA wanting to avoid them to avoid controversies. Namely, the spell Bless has been renamed to Empower, and in-game "cutscenes" will refer to people as "expired" rather than dead.

This censorship is inconsistent however, as damaging enemies past 0 will have the game say, "And (enemy name here) is dying." Also, shrines are still called shrines, and there are still clear signs of religious figures in-game, possibly due to said figures being fictional.

Startup Screen

Japan US
Pool of Radiance - Title 1 - Japan.png Pool of Radiance - Title 1 - USA.png
  • The Japanese version has a rounded border around the text, which was removed for the North American release.
  • "LICENSED BY NINTENDO OF AMERICA INC." was (unusually) put on top of all the text. As a result, the rest of the text had to be shifted downwards.
  • "PONYCANYON" in the Japanese version was changed to be two words in the North American version, "PONY CANYON".
  • The Japanese version allows the player to press a button to access the main menu right away. In the North American version, the player must wait a few seconds before starting.

Title Screen

Japan US
Pool of Radiance - Title 2 - Japan.png Pool of Radiance - Title 2 - USA.png

Similar to Hillsfar, the Japanese version calls itself a "Computer Product", and the US version calls itself a "Video Game".

Character Names

Similar to other platforms, the game has a few pre-generated characters to choose from. The characters' names are different between regions, rather than being translated; Gwydion is Rampart (ランパート), Felgar is Ganglion (ガングリオン), and Goldleaf is Aspect (アスペクト).

Japan US
Pool of Radiance - FC - Party View.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Party View.png

All the characters in the US version retain the same stats from the Japanese version with the exception of Goldleaf/Aspect, who has a THAC0 of 21 in Japan, and a THAC0 20 in the US.

Kobold Cave Boss Battle

Hmmm...
To do:
List the enemies from both versions.

The three-wave boss battle was made easier in the NA version. Curiously, it seems to be the only part of the game where the difficulty was changed.

Staff Roll

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
Specifically: Get images for the other differences.
Japan US
Pool of Radiance - FC - Staff Roll 07.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Staff Roll 07.png
Pool of Radiance - FC - Staff Roll 09.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Staff Roll 09.png
Pool of Radiance - FC - Staff Roll 11.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Staff Roll 11.png
Pool of Radiance - FC - Staff Roll 14.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Staff Roll 14.png
Pool of Radiance - FC - Staff Roll 15.png Pool of Radiance - NES - Staff Roll 15.png
  • The Japanese version has staff names written in hiragana. This reveals the full names of some of the developers; Y. Sakaguchi is Yoshiaki Sakaguchi, T. Watanabe is Takatsugu Watanabe, M. Hirashima is Masayuki Hirashima, H. Furuhashi is Hideyuki Furuhashi, and H. Tadokoro is Hironari Tadokoro.
  • The word BY in the Japanese version has been changed to lowercase letters in the US version.
  • The SSI Developers credit comes before the Pony Canyon copyright in the Japanese version. In the US version, the SSI Developers screen comes after the Pony Canyon copyright. Also, the names of the SSI Developers has been changed from all caps in the Japanese version to uppercase and lowercase letters in the US version.

Game Over

Hmmm...
To do:
Screenshots

The Japanese version says GAME OVER, while the US version says Game is over.

Packaging Screenshots

The screenshots on the back box of the Japanese version use the pre-generated characters plus two other characters: Dunant (デュナン) and Briareos (ブリアレオス). The North American version's screenshots also use the pre-generated characters, but also use two extra characters with different names; Margot and Eiko. Margot Blattmann and Eiko Nagata were both staff of the game's publisher FCI, and these characters are most likely named after them.