Tokyotoon’s Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart, better known in English speaking parts as The Princess, The Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart, can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to censorship. The game was heavily censored on PS4, the R18+ version was obviously not released on Switch, and discussion about the censored version on Steam has apparently run afoul of its very own brand of censorship, too.
For those of you who don’t know, the Steam version of Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart is based on the Switch version of the game, which means it doesn’t contain any of the ero content from the H-version of the title that came out years before on PC in Japan. The Steam version also contains 17 new CG sequences, along with a new “Mewsings” scene. However, this still wasn’t enough to sate the interest of fans, who dearly wanted the original R18+ version on Steam.
So what did fans do? They talked about it on the forums… just until Fruitbat made it where they couldn’t talk about it on the forums.
As noted by Twitter user Hiecchi – who was banned from the Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart forums – the threads discussing the censorship were either deleted or merged into a big thread, and then that thread was locked.
What is the best way to push your sale numbers for your censored game?
Censoring the discussion about it…
All threads for NoraNeko are closed after they merged many together
I hope so much that the game was not only a flop but also that the 18+ fan patch will not work on steam pic.twitter.com/A5ULThQ6n2
— Hiecchi (@Hi3cchi) July 9, 2019
If you attempt to visit the original large thread from back in February, earlier this year, titled “Is there going to be an 18+ patch for this?”… it’s now locked.
The second thread that was started in the middle of June during the game’s release, was also locked after about six pages, with the developer attempting to curb the discussion about the censorship-heavy alterations to the game.
However, after about an hour, the Fruitbat developer reneged on the censorship and opened the thread back up, warning to “play nice” and “stay on topic”.
The problem here is that the developers informed the community that due to licensing issues they don’t have access to the full H-version of the game. When gamers asked if it would be possible to gain access to an R18+ patch, the suggestion was shot down because the Steam version apparently runs on a different engine.
So basically the Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart on Steam is a gimped, all-ages version without any of the spicy content from the Japanese PC version. So far no official patches are made available either.
On the upside, the community has taken it upon themselves to fix what was supposed to be unfixable. They’ve already released an 18+ restoration patch for some of the existing CGs, and others are currently still toiling away at an English version patch for the original Japanese version of the game with all of the H-scenes.
It’s unfortunate that this poor game has undergone so much censorship and has become a contentious point for visual novel fans who just want to play the uncut, uncensored version of the game on Steam. Instead, they’re caught in a multifaceted censorship battle over The Princess, The Stary Cat, and Matters of the Heart.
[Update:] Fruitbat’s representative responded to the article, stating that Hiecchi has been “baiting a ban”, so he was issued a one-week ban from the Steam community for The Princess, The STray Cat, and Matters of the Heart. In an e-mail, the representative explained…
“This “hiencchi” user has been baiting a ban for weeks now with negative and derailing comments in every thread, incorrect statements/accusations and talk of modding the game and other publishers. As we’re in charge of moderating the English-speaking Steam forums, we’ve issued multiple warnings to him specifically for derailing topics, and have repeatedly argued against the publisher’s wishes to ban him outright, as it’s something we don’t see as a light measure.
“But as the warnings haven’t had the desired effect, he was issued a -1 week- ban, without deleting his post history (as I deemed that it still contributes some valuable information in several topics).”
It was noted that Hiecchi’s comment history wasn’t removed, and is still intact, as evident with the posting history.
Hiecchi did make note of the seven day ban via a tweet, but did acknowledge that the thread was opened up again on the Steam forums, allowing people to discuss the censorship/R18+ patch/etc.
Apparently Fruitbait Factory banned me from the NoraNeko threads (like many other ppl too)
They banned me soon after i tweeted how they closed any censorship thread
Whatever, at least they opened the thread again pic.twitter.com/VTesNkOcCW
— Hiecchi (@Hi3cchi) July 9, 2019
The Fruitbat Factory rep also noted that they aren’t deleting threads but are merging them into one if they’re making topics that are duplicate.
It’s unfortunate so much controversy surrounds such a niche game.
(Thanks for the news tip Hiecchi)