This article discusses some minor plot points that happen in South Park: The Stick of Truth. I don’t really consider them spoilers, but if you are a spoiler-phobe who is interested in playing the game, I suggest you stop reading now.
My friend who works at a game store told me that the physical retail versions of South Park: The Stick of Truth have been banned for sale in Singapore. This should come as no surprise. Unless you have a cable subscription, and know which cable channel to purchase (Comedy Central), the TV show has never been aired here on national television. I find the game’s banning to be very strange however, because the digital copy of Stick of Truth can still be purchased on Steam here (although it’s the censored Australian version).
When I first watched South Park aeons ago, I immediately understood what the creators were trying to do: they were making a cartoon with vulgar language and insane characters in order to poke fun at politics, current affairs, pop culture, and social trends. This is a show that was unafraid to be shocking and disgusting for the sake of entertainment. Can you name any other show that has a singing piece of poop that lives in the sewers spreading Christmas joy? Or how about the sex change operation of Mr Garrison, where actual split second footage of real-life vasectomies were being shown on screen?
The anal probing scene, which was one of the censored scenes and a major point of contention on the Internet, is actually pretty tame compared to what happens later in the game. At the end of Day 2, you become a shrunken midget and walk in on your parents’ bedroom while they are having sex. A boss fight ensues, as you and your opponent make your way to the bed itself, with your mother’s ominous boobs hanging at the top of the screen. Your opponent uses an attack that forces you to dodge a swinging pendulum-scrotum.
I was slightly unsettled by the bedroom boss fight, but to be honest, it’s still pretty tame by Hot Coffee standards. The game does not give you a clear view of your parents (they are slightly blurred out in the distance with a depth-of-field effect), and apart from the boobies, no private parts were shown. The truly disgusting part of the game which left me quite disturbed, was the abortion clinic scene.
I like children, and I want to have children in the future. So you can imagine my reluctance at being forced to kill the Nazi zombie fetuses that invade the clinic later. I was not directly offended, but it was still enough to send chills racing down my spine.
Would the game be weaker if these scenes were censored? I have no idea, because after playing the uncensored version, I cannot fathom the possibility of replaying the game with those parts censored out. I can understand why the game had to be censored in certain parts of the world — some people are easily offended and have different sensibilities based on religion and/or upbringing. South Park is the type of show that you will either like, or absolutely hate with disgust.
But what I don’t understand is why the physical game has been banned here in Singapore. The digital copy on Steam is still available for purchase (but censored; there’s a way to get the uncensored version though which I will not discuss here). You can easily create a US PSN account, purchase a US PSN card, and buy the uncensored digital version of Stick of Truth for PS3. It’s not difficult at all to buy games digitally here.
I guess it’s a testament to the show’s legacy that even until today, 17 years after the series debuted, South Park is still as controversial and polarising as before, regardless of the medium it is in.
Remember, never fart on someone’s balls.