The recently released remake of the classic Telltale adventure game Sam & Max Save the World has had several jokes censored from its original release, with developer Skunkape games explaining that these edits were made as they were “uncomfortable including [the jokes] in a game in 2020.”
Created by Steve Purcell and first debuting in the titular 1987 comic book series Sam & Max Freelance Police, Sam and Max are an anthropomorphic team of private investigators who operate, albeit carelessly and dangerously, in New York City.
Though the pair appeared in numerous comic books throughout their long careers, they did not rise to widespread popularity until the 1993 release of Sam & Max Hit the Road, a LucasArts-developed adventure game that saw the two traveling through America in search of bigfoot.
However, developmental issues surrounding the franchise led the detectives to disappear from the realm of video games for nearly 12 years, before Purcell transferred the rights for Sam & Max from LucasArts to Telltale, resulting in the development and eventual release of the critically acclaimed Sam & Max Save the World.
Released episodically between 2006 and 2007, Sam & Max Save the World saw the cartoon detectives take on a series of new cases as they investigate a rash of strange hypnotisms occurring across the world.
On November 9th Skunkape games, founded by Telltale co-founder Dan Connors and named in reference to the Sam & Max character General Skun-ka’pe, announced that they would be releasing a remaster of Sam & Max Save the World, as the original game’s assets had become too outdated to simply rerelease.
Given the adult and cynical nature of the game’s humor, some fans met the announcement of the game’s remastering with caution, but were initially assured by Skunkape that the only changes coming to the game would be “to the camerawork and comedic timing.”
Tom S. Fox stated, “On the one hand, they promise that all the jokes will be as we remember them – but then they immediately contradict this by saying that they may be even better than we remember them, implying that they tinkered with them. So what is it now? Will the dialogue be the same or not?”
Fox then added, “I’m hesitant about preording the game until I get a clear answer.”
Development team member Fov would attempt to clarify stating, “Changes to the camerawork and comedic timing mean that some of the jokes land better than they did originally.
“Collectively the improvements and added polish make for a better overall experience, so when you replay the game you may come away from it feeling like it’s an even better/funnier game now than you remember it being,” Fov added.
In response to the topic’s original poster, who asked “So the lines remain untouched?”, the developer enthusiastically replied “Yes!”
However, as fans quickly discovered following the remaster’s December 2nd release, a number of jokes had been subject to editing, as documented by users on the /r/kotakuinaction subreddit.
These altered jokes included one comparing the shaven-from-the-head down rats known as Skinbodies to skinheads:
Oh no, the Skinbodies are like Skinheads, but ten times worse!
Oh no, the Skinbodies are like those horrible hairless cats, but ten times worse!
A reference to the French as “cowards”:
You may call me, Jean-Francois Sissypants, the cowardly French anarchist.
You may call me, Jean-Francois Bonde-A-Part, the new wave French anarchist.
And a dig at the tendency for some male internet users to portray themselves as young girls on the internet:
It’s ’cause everyone on the internet has to pick an avatar, like a dwarf or an orc or an hot young fifteen-year- old girl curious about the adult world and willing to experiment.
It’s cause everyone on the internet has to pick an avatar, like a dwarf or an orc or a troll… But we’ve got enough trolls.
Users in the thread also reported that entire pieces of dialogue, particularly two conversations in which Sam & Max poke fun at how the ghost of Bosco’s mother cloned her son’s body and essentially gave it a sex-change in order to provide herself with a suitable vessel with which to return to life, were changed.
1-“Why the sex change”
Sam: Mind telling us how you came to be a woman?
Max: Did you use lasers, or just do it the old-fashioned way?
Bosco: Are you sassin’ me? Boy I’ll whup your behind so hard you won’t be able to see straight!
Max: But I don’t see out of my behind.
Bosco: You will after I get through with you!
2- “How’s life as a woman?”
Sam: So how are those BoscoTech breasts holdin’ up?
Bosco: Oh, these are all natural, honey.
Max: I’m not gonna lie, I like ’em bosomy.
Bosco: Oh, Max, you take after your father.
Max: Okay, you just crossed the line, pal!
Sam: Easy Max, theoretically, we have even more disturbed people to worry about right now.
As fans began to voice their disappointment and frustrations towards being lied to, Skunkape addressed the edits in an update to the official Sam & Max Save The World FAQ, admitting to players in a newly added entry that “we did make small tweaks to a few jokes that we were uncomfortable including in a game in 2020.”
“These don’t change the game experience and we feel strongly that it was the right thing to do,” argued Skunkape. “Unless you go looking for them, you probably won’t even notice.”
Despite fielding numerous inquiries from fans on Twitter, as of writing, Skunkape games has not publicly commented on the backlash surrounding their alterations.
However, the studio has promised that they will “be making the full original releases available to people who want to play the original games.”
What do you make of these edits? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!