Before the '90s, video games could include whatever content they wanted. The only company that cared about age appropriate content was Nintendo, which was notoriously strict about censorship. This changed with the release of Mortal Kombat and Night Trap, which forced the creation of the ESRB rating system. Video games now receive age ratings on their boxes, in the same way that movies do.
There are some video game developers who seek to defy the ESRB. They hide graphic nudity within their games, in the hopes that some wily fans will one day discover them. These hidden pieces of content have the capacity to force a game's age rating to be raised after release, which can cost the publisher thousands of dollars to issue a recall.
We are here today to look into the dirty secrets that were hidden by video game developers.
15 Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV had one of the most tumultuous development cycles of any video game ever made. It started out as a PlayStation 3 game that was loosely connected to the world of Final Fantasy XIII.
The original title of the game was Final Fantasy Versus XIII and was first announced in 2006. It took over a decade of work and a complete overhaul of the story and setting before we finally saw the release of the game now known as Final Fantasy XV.
It is only natural that a game with such a long development would have unused content within its files. Indeed, a large part of the map went totally unused in the final version.
When fans finally managed to crack the game's files open, they discovered some interesting things among the character models. There are naked models for Gentiana (during the sequence when she transforms into Shiva, which is viewed from the back within the game) and Carmen Claustra, which is surprising, considering that she is an older woman.
The Gentiana nudity at least makes sense, as she has a transformation sequence in the game, but Carmen? There must be some pervy people working at Square Enix.
14 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night received a Sega Saturn port in Japan, which added new features, such as more areas and the ability to play as Maria. This port has been criticized for being technically inferior to the PlayStation version of the game in every way.
It seems that Japanese kids who got bored one day and put their copy of Symphony of the Night into a PC were in for a surprise. If you go through the files on the disc, then you will find a folder full of images.
One of these includes a topless picture of the Succubus enemy, which can be found among several pieces of concept art for the game. The Sega Saturn port of Symphony of the Night never left Japan, so we don't know if these images would have been retained for the English version of the game.
One of the last projects Phil Hartman worked on before his death was a PlayStation action shooter called Blasto. Hartman voiced the titular character, who was a space adventurer. Blasto needs to save a group of space babes that have been kidnapped by an alien invader.
Blasto was one of those early games that tried to pass off crude 3D models of women as sex objects. This was partly how the original Tomb Raider was promoted, though it all looks laughable now. Blasto allowed the player to gawk at the rescued space babes and their triangular breasts.
Fans have gone through the files of Blasto and discovered more illicit material hidden within the game. There are pornographic images within the game's files for seemingly no reason. They wouldn't have been allowed to appear anywhere in the game, so why do they exist?
12 Saga Frontier
Saga Frontier was an RPG produced by Squaresoft for the original PlayStation. It is notorious for being unfinished, with numerous plotlines going nowhere and having stories without resolution.
Saga Frontier ends in the middle of the battle against the end boss because the development time was so rushed. The creators of the game have given an artistic reason for this, but the actual answer is that the game was just unfinished. Saga Frontier is a lot like Xenogears in this regard.
One of the biggest unfinished quests involves Asellus and White Rose's escape from Facinaturu. They would have originally have used the sentient flame pit to escape. This would have burnt all of their clothes off and left them naked in the snow.
Nude sprites for Asellus and White Rose exist within the game's files, though they cannot be accessed through normal gameplay. The nudity may have been the reason that this scene was changed.
11 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was forced to have its rating bumped up from Mature to AO (Adults Only) when it was discovered that there was a sex minigame programmed into the game. This minigame was called "Hot Coffee," and it would have depicted CJ having sex with the women he can date in the game.
It seems that Bethesda never learned from Rockstar's mistakes, as the same thing happened with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The game launched with a Teen rating, after it had been thoroughly examined by the ESRB.
Fans were planning to create a topless skin for Oblivion when they discovered that Bethesda beat them to it. The original version of Oblivion had topless character models for the female characters already programmed into the game, which fans easily unlocked. The ESRB found out about this and forced Bethesda to issue a recall of the game and sell it with a new Mature rating.
10 Final Fantasy XIII
One of the most sexualized characters in Final Fantasy XIII is Oerba Dia Vanille. She runs around the game world in a skimpy outfit while most of her sound effects are squeals of delight. Vanille's l'Cie brand also happened to be placed on the top of her thigh, so that other characters could creepily lift up her skirt to reveal it.
The fan service doesn't stop there, as it is heavily implied that she is in a romantic relationship with Fang, who is a female friend of hers. This is a remnant from an earlier part of Final Fantasy XIII's development when Fang was planned to be a man.
The developers of Final Fantasy XIII were creeping on Vanille behind closed doors as well. Vanille transforms herself into crystal near the end of Final Fantasy XIII, which involves her shedding her clothes. Square Enix created a nude model for Vanille specifically for this sequence, despite the fact that you aren't supposed to see anything explicit in the game.
9 No More Heroes 2
The second game in the No More Heroes series allowed you to play as multiple characters throughout the story. Along with Travis Touchdown, you were able to control Henry during a dream sequence and Shinobu for two of the missions in the game.
Shinobu is a character from the first No More Heroes, who believes that Travis murdered her father. Travis defeats her in battle and spares her life. She returns for the final battle and saves Travis' life. Shinobu then comes back in the sequel, where she has fallen in love with Travis and takes out two high-ranking assassins for him.
You need to go to the bathroom in order to save your game in No More Heroes. Travis is shown using the toilet, while Shinobu is seen taking a shower. It is possible to use Shinobu's nude showering sprite outside of the save sequence by using a glitch.
8 Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
The Angry Video Game Nerd has been reviewing awful video games for over a decade now. He has become one of the most influential YouTube personalities of all time, so much so that he received his own video game adaptation.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was released in 2013. You get to play as the Nerd in a brutally difficult platforming game, as he makes his way through some of the worst titles he's reviewed. The Nerd would go on to review this game on his show.
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures does contain nudity, but it is pixellated and blocky. This is a reference to an Atari game he reviewed, called Beat 'Em and Eat 'Em. The level that contains the nudity originally had more realistic sprites for the naked woman, though the developers changed it as they felt it was too creepy. These can easily be seen by hacking the game.
7 Golgo 13: Top Secret
The oldest manga series that is still in publication is Golgo 13, which has been running since 1968. This extended lifespan has allowed it to become the fourth best-selling manga series of all time, behind Naruto, Dragon Ball, and One Piece. Golgo 13 is about a spy/assassin, who is kind of like the Japanese version of James Bond.
Despite its success, Golgo 13 is relatively unknown outside of Japan. Only a few of the Golgo 13 movies ever received English dubs. There was a Golgo 13 video game for the NES that saw an international release, called Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode.
At one point in Top Secret Episode, Golgo's female contact offers herself to him. We don't see what happens in the English language version of the game, but in the original Japanese version, she strips down to her underwear. These graphics can still be found in the English version of the game.
Kirikou and the Sorceress is an animated film that was successful throughout Europe. It was based on ancient African myths and culture. The movie was released in Europe in 1998, though the copious amounts of nudity (which were treated in a non-sexual way) kept the movie from being released in America until 2002.
The movie spawned several sequels in Europe, though it never found much of an audience in English language territories. Kirikou and the Sorceress would go on to win numerous animation awards across the world.
The movie also received a video game adaptation on the Game Boy, called Kirikou. The most interesting thing about Kirikou is that there is a hidden picture inside the files of the game. This picture shows a naked Kirikou balancing between a woman's breasts, while they both smoke a joint. There are also numerous pictures of anime characters hidden within the files of the game.
5 Rings Of Power
Naughty Dog are closely associated with the PlayStation. They have produced some amazing video game franchises for Sony, such as Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. Naughty Dog were developing games long before the PlayStation appeared, which meant that they produced games for the Apple II, Atari, Amiga, the 3DO, and the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
The only Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game produced by Naughty Dog was an isometric RPG called Rings of Power. This game wasn't well-received at the time, and it is only remembered for one particular Easter egg.
When you load Rings of Power you will see the Naughty Dog logo, which includes a blonde woman. If you input a code, then the woman will be shown topless. That's right, Naughty Dog snuck topless nudity into a 16-bit Sega game.
Rings of Power was released three years before the ESRB rating board was established. If they had tried sneaking this Easter egg past the ESRB, then the hammer would have fallen hard on Naughty Dog and they would have been forced to remove it.
4 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Visual novels were once considered to be a niche genre outside of Japan. The genre has recently exploded in popularity on Steam, which has led to a significant increase in the amount of visual novels being made. There are also several popular visual novel series on Sony consoles, which was spearheaded by the Danganronpa series.
The Danganronpa games are based on a premise that involves a group of teenagers being trapped together by a Jigsaw-like opponent who promises them freedom if they can work out who the murderer in their midst is.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair uses the same premise as the first game, except it is set on a tropical island. There is a scene in the game where Mahiru and Hiyoko take a shower together. The nudity is usually covered by a graphical overlay that depicts steam. However, the developers actually created a nude sprite for Mahiru, which normally cannot be seen in regular gameplay.
Daikatana was one of the biggest commercial failures in video game history. John Romero went from working on the Doom and Quake series to promoting one of the worst video games ever made. Daikatana was a total mess in every sense of the word. It was filled with glitches and had suicidally stupid A.I. companions who pretty much made the game unplayable.
The ancient Greek levels of Daikatana featured harpy enemies. These wore tiny pieces of armor to cover their modesty. If you manage to get hold of an earlier version of the game, then you can see that the Harpy enemies were originally going to be topless.
These are based on the concept art for the game. Daikatana received funding for a Nintendo 64 port, which was likely a contributing factor in censoring the harpy. There is also the fact that it probably featured topless woman running around solely for the purpose of bumping up its rating, as was the case with games like Giants: Citizen Kabuto.
2 The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening takes place within the mind of Link, who is trapped out on the open water after his raft is destroyed by a storm. It seems that Link has some really weird dreams, as they include things like Mario villains, an evil version of Kirby, and some furry porn.
In Link's Awakening, the player can visit the Animal Village, which is home to several anthropomorphic beasts who help Link on his quest. One of the houses that Link can visit is an artist's studio, which is owned by an alligator named Schule Donavitch. When you enter the studio, you will find Schule painting a portrait of a nude model. As it is the Animal Village, the nude model in question is a hippo.
The original Japanese version of Link's Awakening gave the Hippo Model a pair of breasts, which she covers with a blanket when you enter the studio. Her sprite was changed in the English language version of the game so that her body was made featureless.
1 Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy X-2 was the first game in the series to feature a fully female cast. This might seem like a progressive idea until you find out that the game was chock full of fan service. Final Fantasy X-2 was so bad in this regard that they tied it into the game mechanics.
The Gun Mage job had the "Scan Lv.3" ability which required one hundred AP points to unlock. So what does Scan Lv.3 do exactly? It allows you to target your party members so that you can zoom in on their character models and look up their skirts.
The developers of Final Fantasy X-2 created nude character models for all three of the main characters, though they lack detail and look like Barbie dolls. The reason these exist is that they are used as part of the Garment Grid transformation sequence.
In Final Fantasy X-2, you use items called Garment Grids to switch jobs in the middle of battle. This involves a Sailor Moon-style transformation sequence. The game shows both of the outfits from the two jobs switching over the nude models.
Can you think of any other video games that secretly contain characters who bare it all? Tell us in the comment section!