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[[quoteright:348:[[VideoGame/KirbyAirRide http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kirby_Air_Ride_2_1379.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:348:American Kirby is definitely [[StopHavingFunGuys in it to win it]].]]

-> ''Being happy is sometimes rather pleasant, really. Japanese developers understand this mysterious truth, but while they keep trying to export their eternally sunny characters to us, we just keep transforming them into gloomy, moody tough guys.''
-->--"[[http://www.gamesradar.com/f/why-japanese-box-art-is-better/a-20080729123833874037 Why Japanese Boxart is Better]]," [=GamesRadar=]
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For whatever reason, when a Japanese game is released Stateside, there's a tendency to make the box art, or even the character models, a little more ''hardcore''. Maybe it's as simple as adding AngryEyebrows, or maybe the character's model is completely redone. This is often done to characters who are supposed to be cute in the first place. Sometimes it goes the other way, too: an American character may be made cuter for the Japanese release.

This has to do with ValuesDissonance. Japanese culture in general is [[{{UsefulNotes/Kawaisa}} very accepting of cuteness]] pretty much anyplace, and will take it in stride. American culture, on the other hand, often views cuteness as a sign of [[AnimationAgeGhetto childishness and immaturity]], and thus has a strong aversion to it in any media that's not explicitly kid-oriented. "Cutesy" is a loaded term synonymous with "wussy" or "kiddie" to most Americans, who often feel that, if a game or movie is to be taken seriously, then it must have a serious, or at least adult, tone. This attitude goes so far as to color American perceptions of Japanese culture; some historians have occasionally (and controversially) attempted to link ''kawaisa'' to the national humiliation endured by Japan in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and the nation's resulting 180° turn from [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan a warrior culture]] to a pacifistic one. And speaking of color: in modern Japan, pink is a value-neutral color. There are pink gas stations. In the US, pink is associated with pre-pubescent girls. So expect a toning-down of any ostentatiously pink cover images.

And in an extra bonus, [[TakeAThirdOption if ever the game is brought out to Europe]], expect the artwork cover to be more artistic than usual, [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible whether it takes the buyer to figure out the artwork or not]].

Essentially the opposite of {{Bowdleris|e}}ing and a subtrope of CulturalTranslation. It's also [[TropesAreNotBad not always a bad thing, mind you]]; if the game itself isn't particularly cutesy-poo, then giving it cute box art is just weird. It can also mean that a game with cute art direction may hide [[SurpriseDifficulty a heart of blackened steel]] underneath that gamers might miss out on. On the other hand, if you're thinking about buying a game whose main character is [[Franchise/{{Kirby}} an adorable pink puffball]] [[SugarBowl surrounded by sparkles and rainbows]], then whether or not he's smiling on the cover [[TropeNamer honestly shouldn't be a deal-breaker]] (though it's no bad thing if you're wondering why he [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness isn't smiling]]).

[[http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/29/5664122/why-does-kirby-always-look-angry-in-the-west Devs explain the phenomenon.]]

''Administrivia/WeblinksAreNotExamples! Please include a description of the cover art in your description.''
----
!!Video Game Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Kirby]]
* The TropeNamer here is ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}''. [[http://www.n-sider.com/contentview.php?contentid=407 The box art for many of his games]] have had angry eyebrows added to the main character to make an 8-inch-high pink puffball seem more aggressive (side by side comparison of several [[http://macromeme.com/dog/kirby-america-awesome.html here]].) This strange practice is joked on originally in [[http://angryamericankirby.ytmnd.com/ this]] Website/{{YTMND}} and subsequently in [[http://www.brawlinthefamily.com/?p=288 this]] ''Webcomic/BrawlInTheFamily'' strip. It seems to have calmed for the time being with the release of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros. Brawl'', ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar Ultra'', and more recently, ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'', whose boxarts have Kirby actually looking happy for a change, but it seems to be creeping up again no thanks to ''VideoGame/KirbyMassAttack'''s cover (though to be fair, roughly half the Kirbys on ''Mass Attack''[='s=] cover still retain their cute/curious expressions and most of the "hardcore" ones are already attacking something). It's back in full force with ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand''.
** In Europe, it depends if the localisation team wants to use the Japanese or American version as a basis. It seems that Europeans are expected to be able to stand happy Kirby.
** A ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand2'' commercial aired in the US turned Kirby, Rick, Kine, and Coo into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqVVG4FCq7w scowling tough guys (or, you know, as tough as an 8-inch high puffball and his similarly-sized friends can be) roughhousing some Hell's Angels]]. As well, compare the commercials for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU6cHCkWqy8 Kirby's Dream Land]]'' and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL1okxuvGRQ Kirby's Adventure]]'', to say nothing of [[http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=3&cId=3152506 the magazine ad for]] ''[[http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=3&cId=3152506 Kirby's Avalanche]]'' and ''[[http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=3&cId=3152506 Kirby's Dream Course]]'' (scroll down the page). "He used to be such a good boy." The box art for ''Kirby's Dream Land 2'' avoided this by having the same exact art as the Japanese box, in all its cutesy happiness.
** It also showed up in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar''; not so much the box art as the in-game dialogue, and not so much Kirby as Meta Knight. In ''Revenge of Meta Knight'', what used to be an AntiHero with uncertain motives, as usual, was given several rewritten lines of dialogue to make him sound less like he was trying to do a good thing for Dream Land and more like he was trying to be the next [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]]. He even got "PrepareToDie!" as a line, replacing the fairly innocent "Now we duel!", explicitly ignoring Nintendo's policy at the time. The best part is that the changes were kept (besides "Prepare to die!", which became "Come meet your [[NeverSayDie doom]]!") when the script was rewritten for ''Super Star Ultra''.
** ''Kirby's Avalanche'' shows Kirby as a {{Jerkass}} who acts mean to his friends and acts sarcastic, saying things like "Oh, I'm so scared" and the like. Needless to say, the game was an installment of the ineffably cute ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'' series [[DolledUpInstallment rebranded for an American audience]].
** On the ([[FanWork unofficial]]) extreme end of the scale, there is ''WebVideo/ThereWillBeBrawl''[='s=] version of Kirby...
** ''Magazine/NintendoPower'' lampshaded this phenomenon in the May 2011 issue's highlight on Kirby, saying he puts on his "angry eyes" for the boxart. As did IGN, when they launched a new feature comparing different box arts. [[http://ds.ign.com/articles/119/1192766p1.html Kirby went first]] specifically thanks to the series' use of the trope.
** Even the ''title'' of 2011's DS game seems to carry on in this tradition; known as ''Gather! Kirby'' in Japan, its English title is ''VideoGame/KirbyMassAttack''. And to top it off, on the American boxart, nearly half of the Kirbies have angry faces... ''but the other half doesn't.'' This makes it... jarring, to say the least.
** ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'' swings the pendulum right back around and [[http://wii.ign.com/articles/119/1193309p1.html gives him angry eyes again]]. Contrast [[http://www.famitsu.com/news/201109/images/00050121/oW46AxTddQaobbc9KREq9bx19p147sQO.jpg the Japanese boxart]].
** For once, this is averted in ''VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe''. He's as equally annoyed on the Japanese box art as he was on the earlier game's American ones. [[http://nintendo3dsdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/BZ6_gftCEAAsSd8.jpg See said box art here]].
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4hbM1iig_E TV commercial]] on the other hand, has ominous chanting in the background while Kirby basically kills everything in sight. It's honestly kind of hilarious.
** Played for laughs in [[http://www.retrogamingaus.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Kirbys-Avalanche-and-Ghost-Trap.jpg This advertisement]] for Kirby's Dream Course and Kirby's Avalanche. This one portray's Kirby as a hardened criminal, complete with a mean face and a five o' clock shadow.
** Completely averted with ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS]]'', where on both American box covers, Kirby is the only one who ISN'T determined to beat some fool down.
* [[http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100910041815/kirby/en/images/thumb/b/b8/Hoshi_no_kaabii.PNG/200px-Hoshi_no_kaabii.PNG Surprisingly, one of the promo artworks of the Kirby of the Stars anime]], also known as ''Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa'', shows a hardcore Kirby.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Action-Adventure Games]]
* Compare the Japanese and American box art for the obscure Game Boy port of ''Milon's Secret Castle''.
* The box art for ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}} 2: Among Thieves'' is [[http://www.examiner.com/video-game-news-in-national/japanese-box-art-for-uncharted-2 operating on this]]. The Japanese version resembles an ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' movie poster.
* “Kakefu’s Jump Heaven and Speed Hell”, which is known as “Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs”in North America.
-->'''WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd:''' Is that Kid Kool? What happened? He looks nothing like the guy on the cover. Now that’s what you would call cool. Shaking his fist at a wizard. A dragon humping his leg. I love how the North American packaging changed that derpy-looking Japanese kid into a badass to deceive people and increase sales.
* The Japanese ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' cover has [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/6/9/9/960699_125933_front.jpg Raiden in a fighting stance while holding his sword]]. The English version instead has [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/6/9/9/960699_125778_front.jpg Raiden cutting a cyborg in two]]. This affects the actual game too where the Japanese version had cyborgs bleed white blood (which had an in-universe reason from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'') while other regions have cyborgs bleed red.
** In the Japanese trailer for ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', Big Boss says: "Kept you waiting, huh?" with a smile on his face. However, [[http://i.imgur.com/PE21wo5.jpg in the US version, he doesn't smile at all]].
* ''VideoGame/TotallyRad'' is one of the most extreme examples. The translators [[{{Woolseyism}} changed most of the dialog]] and even its ''name'' from the original (which was called ''Magic John'', [[IThoughtItMeant a reasonable change]]). And of course plunked in two completely different main characters in place of the originals. [[http://www.flammie.net/vse/things/rad/ The result]] is a send-up of '80s surfer dude culture in place of a fairly forgettable platformer.
** Not surprisingly, ''Magic John''/''Totally Rad'' was published by Creator/{{Jaleco}}, a company famous for having its game's characters and plot being almost completely altered for American release. A good example being ''Saiyuuki World 2'', a game based loosely on ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' (and sequel to a [[DolledUpInstallment dolled-up]] ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand'') which became the Native American themed ''Whomp 'Em''.
** ''Taro's Quest'', an unreleased and unfinished localization of Jaleco's ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' clone ''Jajamaru Ninpou Chou'', had major changes to the graphics, redrawing the character portraits to be less SuperDeformed and outright replacing some of the more goofy-looking monsters.
* The first Super Famicom ''VideoGame/GanbareGoemon'' game was translated and brought over as ''Legend of the Mystical Ninja'', and [[{{Macekre}} funky character renaming aside]] (Kid Ying and Dr. Yang), the [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/goemon/goemon1sfc.jpg box art]] was suitably [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/goemon/mysticalninjasnesa.jpg "Americanized"]].
* Most ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' box arts invoke this, going back to the first game. US releases often either discard the generally colorful artwork of the Japanese and occasionally European versions in favor of the game's logo on a (usually) sepia background. The American box art does lean towards the yellow end of the color spectrum. Particular examples include:
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks''. In Japan and Europe, the box to Link's latest DS adventure features him and ghost Zelda happy riding their train (the train being the game's big innovation, after all) while in America, Zelda is possessing a Phantom and Link is doing his best to look like a sword-brandishing tough guy. [[http://pressthebuttons.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83452033569e20120a62ab5b1970b-pi Which kind of clashes with the art style.]]
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass''. Japan and Europe got a colourful spread of Link and Linebeck sailing about, the US art had them in moodier poses with a brown-shaded Phantom Ship as the backdrop.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime 3D'': The Japanese and European box arts feature a beautiful and colorful rendition of Link crossing Hyrule Field, while the American one features a Link striking a cool pose on Epona with a generic golden background.[[http://www.zeldauniverse.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Compare-boxart.png]]
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker HD'' follows suit; art-wise it's identical to the Japanese box art, but the color palette is much different, [[http://gengame.net/2013/08/the-wind-waker-hds-north-american-box-art-is-a-little-different/ having everything and everyone except Link rendered in shades of yellow.]] Japanese players got [[http://img.gamefaqs.net/box/9/0/8/12908_front.jpg an ensemble picture]], [[http://img.gamefaqs.net/box/9/0/9/12909_front.jpg Western players got a sepia-toned Link and King of Red Lions sailing]].
* ''VideoGame/{{ICO}}'''s [[http://www.sirlin.net/storage/articles/ico-jp-cover-1.jpg Japanese cover]] did a good job of capturing the overall feel of the game - quiet, isolated, beautiful, and above all artistic. The [[http://www.porkrind.org/reviews/ico.jpg American cover]] and gives it the look of an uninspired throwaway game, while making Ico himself look gritty, aggressive and as being straight from the UncannyValley - something he most definitely is not. This happened because the artistic Japanese cover wasn't finished by the time of the American release date, but the resulting American cover was infamous enough that it actually gained a short set of comments from head development staff in an interview on the [=PS3=] re-release.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'''s [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2007/08/mw-boxartp-3-nwf.jpg Japanese box art]] is actually more intense than its [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/MetroidPrimebox.jpg/250px-MetroidPrimebox.jpg English artwork]], with Samus running in front of an explosion instead of standing in an empty hallway. ''Metroid Prime 3: Corruption'' also reversed the usual trend by being more action-packed, since the Japanese artwork [[FloatingHeadSyndrome crams most of the game's major characters behind Samus]].
* The cover art for ''VideoGame/EVOSearchForEden'' is a {{subversion}}. First, take a look at the [[http://www.videogameden.com/sfc/cover/evo.jpg Super Famicom cover art]]--it's [[{{Kawaiiko}} considerably cutesy]], featuring a cartoony dinosaur facing off against a giant bee while an anime-style Gaia (matching her in-game appearance) [[FloatingHeadSyndrome watches over them in the background]]. Meanwhile, the SNES version's cover is [[http://ocremix.org/files/images/games/snes/5/e-v-o-search-for-eden-snes-cover-front-76900.jpg more like a painting for a fantasy novel]]--featuring a progression of animals representing all life on Earth throughout the geologic record, starting from the Precambrian all the way to the modern age, while two dinosaurs throw down right in front of Earth, which is prominently featured in the background.\\
\\
So, where's the subversion? It turns out that the SNES cover art is ''actually'' the same cover art from the earlier [[PC98 PC-9801]] game, ''[[http://imageshack.us/f/5/shinkaron.png/ 4.6 Billion Year Story: The Theory of Evolution]]''. This is the original ''E.V.O'', made by the same developers, and the version on the Super Famicom and SNES is actually a loose port!
%% The PC-98 picture is actually from the OST, but suitably large enough cover scans from the actual game package are rare as heck. If someone can find a bigger picture of this, please switch them out: http://www.videogameden.com/sfc/extra/evo08.jpg
* The American box art of ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' has Travis Touchdown holding his beam katana with an aggressive look. The European and Japanese box art has Travis standing in the streets of Santa Destroy with a smile on his face and an arm around Sylvia's waist.
** Considering the American version of the game also had the blood the game was originally intended to have, while others didn't, this might be reversed.
** Inverted with ''No More Heroes 2''. All covers are intense, though the Japanese cover (especially the Hopper edition cover) is '''[[UpToEleven even more hardcore]]''' compared to the US/EU/AU one.
* ''Manga/OnePiece Unlimited Cruise 1: The Treasure Beneath The Waves'' got a reworking for the European release. [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090223063106/onepiece/images/3/36/OP_UC_EP_1.png Here is the original Japanese boxart]]. For comparison, [[http://www.manga-news.com/public/images/jeuxvideo/jaquette-one-piece-unlimited-cruise-1-le-tresor-sous-les-flots-wii-.jpg here is the European boxart]]. Averted for ''Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening of a Hero'', where the original Japanese boxart was used for both versions.
* The first ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'' game has the reversed version of this (being cutened up), mainly with a DreamworksFace. Just take a look at the [[http://www.darkspyro.net/spyrothedragon/images/cover_us_large.jpg American]] / [[http://www.darkspyro.net/spyrothedragon/images/cover_eu_large.jpg European]] versions, then take a look at the [[http://www.darkspyro.net/spyrothedragon/images/cover_jp_large.jpg Japanese]] version (where he seems to have lost his claws).
** The second game had that too. Compare the covers for the [[http://www.darkspyro.net/glimmer/images/cover_us_large.jpg US version]], [[http://www.darkspyro.net/glimmer/images/cover_eu_large.jpg European version]] and the [[http://www.darkspyro.net/glimmer/images/cover_jp_large.jpg Japanese version]].
** In the Japanese version of the game, the titular character is voiced by a woman with a much higher pitched, child-like voice compared to the TotallyRadical teenage one he had in the American version, complete with cutesy little noises nearly every time he jumps.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} and Obelix XXL'' is a bit "American Kirby" compared to the source material, with the titular characters more aggressive than usual (with a good reason though, since the premise is the burning of their village and the capture of all their friends); however, while the [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/asterix/asterix_files/asterix-xxl-gc-cover-a.jpg European cover]] shows their faces drawn similarly to the comic book, the [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/asterix/asterix_files/asterix-xxl-ps2-cover-a.jpg American cover]] is a render of their in-game selves, ready to fight. And, as you can notice, the game is called ''Asterix and Obelix '''Kick Buttix''''' in the US!
* ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' got the reverse of this: Compare the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b6/Jak_and_Daxter_-_The_Precursor_Legacy_Coverart.png original American cover]] with the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/516509-jak-and-daxter-the-precursor-legacy/images/box-21928 Japanese port]]. Curiously, the American cover fits with the [[DarkerAndEdgier tone of the rest of the series]], but not with the happy original.
* The Japanese cover art for ''[[DynastyWarriors Dynasty Warriors 7]]'' was very minimalist, with simply the game's logo on a gold background. One can't blame Koei for wanting to spruce it up a bit. But they may have gone [[http://media2.shopto.net/boxart/PS3DY05.jpg a bit too far]].
** Averted for ''Dynasty Warriors 8''. Both [[http://koei.wikia.com/wiki/File:DW8_JP_Cover.jpg Japanese]] and [[http://koei.wikia.com/wiki/File:DW8_US_Cover.jpg US/EU]] covers features a screaming Zhao Yun about to kill somebody.
* ''{{Solatorobo}}'': While all covers are taken from official game art, the [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sruLyAW7i1Q/TaWuwcSk6HI/AAAAAAAAGvs/6AV9v5MsNYY/s1600/Solatorobo_red_the_hunter_cover.jpg Japanese cover]] is definitely more happy-looking than the [[http://images.nintendolife.com/games/ds/solatorobo_red_the_hunter/cover_large.jpg European]] and [[http://mybestcollections.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/NDS-5846-Solatorobo-Red.the_.Hunter-us.jpg American]] ones.
* Inverted in the PlayStation2 game called ''Dogs Life''. The PAL and American covers are rather fitting for the game; showcases the villains, protagonist, and the dogs you can control all in the style used for cutscenes. The Japanese cover is just Jake running through a farm that vaguely resembles the Clarksville levels; and a stylistic version of him anyway.
* In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7detDcmMKY the first English trailer]] for ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', Pit's voice gets even deeper than the English ''Brawl'' voice variant, mainly because his voice [[TheOtherDarrin has changed]].
** Now that the box art is revealed, this trope is in play again. While both the [[http://bzzz.3dsbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/tumblr_lxrdqeJKpZ1qzp9we.jpg Japanese]] and [[http://bzzz.3dsbuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/tumblr_lxrdqeJKpZ1qzp9we2.jpg North American box]] art show Pit with a furrowed brow, the NA version removed all traces of pink and gave him an angry frown instead of the open mouth smile.
* The Japanese box art for ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' is merely a shot of her from the back, holding one of her guns. The American box art, on the other hand, shows her in a badass fighting pose.
** This even occurred for the advertising. Japanese advertising showed a hot Asian woman cosplaying as Bayonetta, combined with gameplay footage, all of which was set to the happy and cutesy-sounding "Something Missing" by [=MiChi=]. The American commercials showed gameplay footage accompanied by "In For the Kill" by La Roux. Then, the European advertising (which was just a magazine ad) is just a close-up of her leg, with a caption reading, "Being bad never felt so good".
* [[http://images.wikia.com/lollipopchainsaw/images/9/97/Lollipop_Chainsaw_Box_Art_PS3_%28Premium_Edition%29_Japan.jpg The Japanese box art for]] ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw'' depicts Juliet and Nick laying down on a bed, with lollipops scattered all around them. [[http://images.wikia.com/lollipopchainsaw/images/4/4e/Lollipop_Chainsaw_Box_Art_PS3_USA.jpg The American/European box art]] depicts Juliet standing in front of a dark background, holding a lollipop in one hand and her chainsaw in the other hand, and looking all badass, while a zombie can be faintly seen coming out of a locker in the background.
* ''Ninja Taro'' had a chibi ninja and princess surrounded by lots of colourful enemies on the [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/jajamaru/ninjakungb.jpg Japanese cover]], but the [[http://i.ebayimg.com/07/!!e!T6wgBmM~$(KGrHqF,!lUEz+uJlu1zBNP2jT2v+Q~~_32.JPG?set_id=89040003C1 American cover]] opted for a more realistic art style and a muted colour palette, displaying a couple of ninja, (presumably) the princess, and a castle off to the side.
* Wonderboy In Monster Land. The Japanese [[http://timewarpgamer.com/images/sms/wonder_boy_in_monsterland/super_wonderboy_box_jp.jpg version]] has a cute looking knight trying to hide himself from the monsters that are attacking him. With such a box art, you would believe that they would try to remove the cuteness of the character when localizing the game to America. But during the making of the American [[http://timewarpgamer.com/images/sms/wonder_boy_in_monsterland/wonder_boy_monsterland_box_us.jpg box art]] they decided that the guy should keep it's cuteness while fighting another knight. The result can best be described as "disturbing".
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Action Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/GodHand'', the Japanese box art is quite simple; a flaming fist striking down from the top left over a white background. The European version is slightly more hardcore, featuring a fist punching a guy in the face. The American cover is the same, except the fist is punching the guy THROUGH the face.
* In ''[[VideoGame/RyuGaGotoku Yakuza 4]]'', the PAL collector's edition sheath has the tagline "Do Something Terrible Today". Anybody who plays a Yakuza game for about ten minutes knows that they are essentially [[RatedMForManly a manual about how to be manly]], which includes being a good (if sometimes rough) person.
* There is a variant cover for ''VideoGame/GunstarHeroes'' is pretty much the same as the original release (right down to the poses), only all the characters are more realistically drawn, rather than the same style as the game itself.
* Game Freak's action puzzle game ''Quinty'' was released in America as ''MendelPalace'' and... well, just [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/image/587446.html look]].
* The cover artwork of ''Demon Sword'' (the U.S. version of ''Fudō Myō-ō Den'', a Famicom spinoff to ''Legend of Kage'') depicts the protagonist as a long-haired BarbarianHero instead of the Japanese swordsman actually featured in the game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}'' for the TurboGrafx16--compare [[http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/5966/bomberjapan.jpg this]] to [[http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/9449/bomberman0wq.jpg this]].
* ''Mass Destruction'' is a game where you drive a tank and blow things up. The Japanese cover depicts a tree in a park. Compare the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/saturn/574582-mass-destruction/images/box-80280 original American cover]] with the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/saturn/574582-mass-destruction/images/box-14319 Japanese release]].
* ''[[ChoroQ Seek And Destroy]]'''s American cover is far more hard core than the cover of any Japanese game from the entire series. Compare [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/583311-seek-and-destroy/images/box-25343 these]] [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/583311-seek-and-destroy/images/box-46631 two]]. [[CoversAlwaysLie There's no US army in that game...]]
* The Japanese box cover art for ''[[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/7/563917_4523_front.jpg Jack Bros.]]'' for Virtual Boy shows cutesy little Jack Bros. and fairies in a maze. The [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/7/563917_54846_front.jpg U.S. box cover art]], on the other hand... is kinda scarier and just... plain... freaky.
* ''VideoGame/BrainDead13'''s [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/2/196812_41819_front.jpg original box cover art]] shows Fritz unloading a wide range of weapons under his trenchcoat, just like in all other console versions. When the game became localized for Japanese releases in October 1996, it is averted when the box art for the PlayStation version remains the same as in the American release, but inverted when the [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/2/196812_14924_front.jpg Japanese Sega Saturn version box art]] is very different, in that it adds [[RedHeadedHero Red-Headed]] IdiotHero Lance Galahad right next to Fritz, who looks ready to slice him with a {{chainsaw|Good}} while our hero is struggling to stay alive, indicating that Japanese Fritz ''is'' hardcore!
* As a Japanese game in the early '90s, ''VideoGame/TimeGal'' had to have this happen to it. While the [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080513181161/sega/images/thumb/3/3f/Time_gal.jpg/280px-Time_gal.jpg Japanese cover]] depicts the titular character more or less how she appears in the game, the [[http://gamesdbase.com/Media/SYSTEM/Sega_CD/Box/big/Time_Gal_-_1992_-_Renovation_Products.jpg European/American cover]]... well, doesn't. The EU/NA cover is also a lot more comic book-y in art style than the Japanese cover's {{Animesque}} art style.
* Inverted with ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', surprisingly. True, the American cover has Asura trying to smash your face in, but the Japanese version has six-armed Vajra Asura screaming in rage at you with his arms raised instead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Adventure Games]]
* ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'''s [[http://www.digitalbattle.com/2010/01/14/heavy-rain-box-art-shows-the-difference-between-us-and-europe/ European and American box art.]] The European version simply shows the origami bird figure, while the American box art shows the main cast standing behind the origami bird, with Madison Paige standing in the foreground (wearing a [[{{Fanservice}} revealing tank top]] that she wore in only one part of the game) and Scott Shelby [[CoolGuns wielding a pistol]]. The [[http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/13/bf/11af9f1e23069eadb0febe11a779ef13.jpg Japanese box art]] was simply an ominous sighting of a seemingly drowned man. The Japanese version isn't as mysterious as the European version, but it is significantly more solemn than the American version and more effectively conveys the seriousness of the game's subject matter than the American version does.
* In Japan, the cover of the first ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' game is the same as the rest (including in North America, starting with the second game): [[http://www.ncsxshop.com/images/products/large/0606/gyakuten_saiban.jpg Four portraits of the main characters in a row.]] In the US though, the first ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' game's cover is a picture of [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Phoenix_Wright_-_Ace_Attorney_Coverart.png Phoenix pointing angrily]], with Maya standing behind him and [[EvilOverlooker Edgeworth evilly overlooking them]]. As mentioned above, however, the series started using the "four portraits in a row" format with the second game, ''Justice for All'' (see [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/da/Justice_for_all.jpg this image]] from TheOtherWiki), and every game released there since has done the same.
** And the European one is Phoenix standing in front of a white background, looking serious. Same trope, blander cover. At least later games retained the Japanese covers too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Beat Em Ups]]
* ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'' is a textbook example. Contrast the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/Downtown_Nekketsu_Monogatari_game_cover.jpg Japanese box art]], in which everyone looks more or less [[SuperDeformed like they do]] in the actual game, with the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/46/River_City_Ransom-front.jpg American box art]]. Of course, even in the Japanese version, the heroes of that game, as well as every other game in the ''VideoGame/KunioKun'' series, are indisputably hardcore. For the Japanese, "cute" and "hardcore" are [[BadassAdorable not mutually exclusive]].
* The American cover of ''Robo Army'' is, ahem, more "hardcore" than the Japanese original.
* ''[[VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time]]''. [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/tmntbeatemups/Turtles%20in%20Time%20SNES%20Japanese%20Box%20Art.jpg The Japanese version]] used stock promotional art from the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 '80s cartoon]]. The American version? As per Konami of America's standards at the time, [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/tmntbeatemups/Turtles%20in%20Time%20SNES%20American%20Box%20Art.jpg incredibly hardcore]] and more like [[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage the original comic]]. (See also: ''SunsetRiders'', most of the ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' games, and ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' ''III'' and ''IV''.)
** Both versions of the game allowed you to switch between two different palettes for the turtles: the bright and colourful "Animation" ("Anime" in the Japanese version) palette, that made them look like their 80s cartoon incarnations, and the darker, pupil-less "Comic" palette, which made them look somewhat closer to the original comic designs. However, the "Animation"/"Anime" palette is used as the default in both versions.
** The American (at least) boxart for the NES ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' platformer also follows this trope, giving all four turtles red masks a la the comic book series.
* The American cover art of ''VideoGame/GuardianHeroes'' replaced the original anime-style depictions of the six main characters with a fantasy novel-like illustration of Han fighting against the Undead Knight, [[CoversAlwaysLie even though he was one of the heroes in the game]]. The European version used the original Japanese art, but replaced the two heroines, Serena and Nicole, with Zur the magician and Macho the bodybuilder, who aren't even main characters, turning the European cover into a complete sausage fest for no reason ([[http://www.kidfenris.com/guardheroescover.html see for yourself]]).
* ''VideoGame/DynamiteDux'' is a cutesy game about colorful ducks beating up other animals and strange bosses through several weird worlds. [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/dynamitedux/dynamitedux-amiga.jpg The Amiga box art]] shows the two protagonists smirking and beating up a few enemies while AtopAMountainOfCorpses.
* The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110510182140/capcomdatabase/images/b/b0/GodHandJapan.png Japanese box art]] for ''VideoGame/GodHand'' features nothing more than a burning fist. The [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6e/God_Hand.jpg box art used everywhere else]] features a guy getting punched in the face.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fighting Games]]
* Compared to [[http://360.kombo.com/images/content/boxart/blazblue_360_box.jpg whatever North Americans got]], [[http://www.gamesetwatch.com/100112-blazblue-2.jpg the boxart]] of the European ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' seems to suggest a Noel ThirdPersonShooter spinoff rather than a FightingGame, among things. The fact that the iconic title is merely featured as a background element with more emphasis put on a title written in a generic font doesn't help.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' had 2 different covers for all their installments which got ported over the Pacific, most notably the Isuka installment: The [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/919961-guilty-gear-isuka/images/box-96904 Japanese version]] has a visibly flushed A.B.A. between Ky Kiske (behind) and Sol Badguy (front), who are meanwhile completely ignoring her as they are engaged in a staring contest with each other (homoerotically charged full of FoeRomanceSubtext). The [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/919961-guilty-gear-isuka/images/box-57948 American version]] on the other hand, was a rather generic image of Sol wielding his Fireseal sword in the style of a bazooka with the hilt pointed at you.
* Pit's (from ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'') English voice in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' sounds noticeably older then his original Japanese voice. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWYQx0SvVOI#t=2m36s Video comparison.]]
** As for the actual cover art for the game, Kirby's facial expression was left alone in the U.S. version (contrary to the name of the trope) -- the [[http://www.ssbwiki.com/File:SSBB-cover-japan.jpg bright, partly cloudy blue skies]] were [[http://www.ssbwiki.com/File:SSBB_Cover.jpg removed]], on the other hand.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: First-Person Shooter]]
* The American box art for ''Creator/TomClancy's GhostRecon'' has soldiers in camouflage pointing guns and jumping out of helicopters (you know stuff you will be doing in the game). The Japanese box art has a painting of them relaxing in front of a pink sunset while they wait for extraction.
* In ''{{Elebits}}'', the box art for the US audience is much more actiony that the other ones. Not only does the front of the boxart get a complete remake such that disorder can be shown, the back is also changed slightly: the back of the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/wii/image/933005.html?box=80232 English European box]] art has three screenshots labeled "Seek!", "Find!" and "Catch!" The same three images on the back of the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/wii/image/933005.html?box=75563 US box art]] are labeled "Hide!", "Seek!" and "Destroy!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball Games]]
* ''VideoGame/RevengeOfTheGator'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy. In Japan, the 'gators in the cover are happy and smiling, and look a bit cartoony. The ones in the Western releases are gruffy, serious and drawn more realistically. Coincidentally, it's made by HAL Laboratory, like Kirby.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Platformers]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Ristar}}'' originally only had angry eyebrows for boss fights; in the American version, they're present ''all the time''. The enemies, too, look mean instead of neutral in the American release.
** Ristar's European/American release contains a downright [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming heart-warming]] inversion. While the Japanese version closed with a fairly cool scene of the villain, Greedy, and his henchmen picking themselves up on some barren world after their defeat, the English versions close with 'DAD!' and an image of Ristar throwing himself into the arms of his rescued father.
* ''Blinx''. [[http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a390/Go-Wire/Renders/blinx120302_big.png Japanese Blinx]] looks like a sweet little anthro kitty cat; [[http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a390/Go-Wire/Renders/art01.png American Blinx]] looks [[CatsAreMean downright mean]].
** To the point where [[SlasherSmile he looks like he's about to rip you limb from limb]] when he's [[http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/image/blinx_guide.jpg trying to look helpful and friendly]].
* ''Inverted'' with the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' box art. In Japan, everybody but Toad is scowling, engaged in some act of violence, or both. America gets a picture of Mario clutching a vegetable, with a big ol' smile on his face. The Japanese version was titled ''Super Mario USA'', so the use of this trope may have been a deliberate attempt to invoke an American feel.
** At the same time, Super Mario USA's boxart is very similar to Doki Doki Panic's boxart, which was the game it mimicked.
* Namco briefly considered giving ''VideoGame/{{Klonoa}}'' a rather drastic makeover for the U.S. release of the Wii remake of his first game. While not exactly "hard", the new look was significantly less cute, looking like a generic anthropomorphic cat, or like a wingless bat. Most bizarrely, however, they gave him "normal" anthro cat ears, despite Klonoa's droopy, almost hand-like ears having an actual gameplay role. And they took away his Pac-Man cap. Bad Namco! Fortunately, the game was released with Klonoa's original look intact- surprisingly enough, because the ''U.S.'' fanbase demanded he remain cute. ''Who says Japanese Klonoa Isn't Hardcore?''
** That's because he didn't look hardcore enough on the US ''[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f5/Klonoa2.jpg Lunatea's Veil]]'' box art (compare [[http://www.ncsx.com/www/ncs031901/Friday/klonoa_2_front.jpg this]]), even with the angry eyebrows.
* For an example of becoming cuter in Japan, look no further than ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank''. Here's a [[http://i25.tinypic.com/10rodts.jpg side by side comparison]] from ''RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime''. (Japan left, everywhere else on the right.)
** He isn't known as [[BigOlEyebrows 'Groucho' Ratchet]] [[http://i22.tinypic.com/3589vll.jpg for nothing]]. The BigOlEyebrows in his Japanese incarnation supposedly came about because initial market research showed the Japanese kids ''loved'' 'em.
** [[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002 The first game]] had [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060222065938/ratchet/images/thumb/b/b6/RaCbox.jpg/250px-RaCbox.jpg American cover]] intact when localized for [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090426173246/ratchet/images/thumb/c/c8/Ratchet_%26_Clank_Japan.jpg/216px-Ratchet_%26_Clank_Japan.jpg Japan]]. From ''RatchetAndClankGoingCommando'' on, however, the American cover has remained [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20071125040138/ratchet/images/thumb/4/4e/Going_Commando_box.jpg/250px-Going_Commando_box.jpg stereotypically tough]], while the Japanese version has gotten [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080913081520/ratchet/images/thumb/f/fd/Japanese_GC_Cover.jpg/200px-Japanese_GC_Cover.jpg absurdly happy]].
** Ratchet could in fact be seen as an [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of this trope: his depiction on Japanese covers often have him and Clank much more in character, while the American and European covers would make him appear rather angry. This is especially true of Clank, who appears rather devious in art for the original game when his character was anything but.
* ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' is another American game where the main character was "cutened" up for the Japanese release. He even got a funky dance created by the Japanese that was carried back into the American versions. Some have speculated that this design change combined with Radical Entertainment's major character redesigns that would make such things look awkward is what's making Radical's ''Crash'' games [[NoExportForYou a no-go for the Japanese.]]
* VideoGame/MegaManClassic:
** An important thing to note is that the American boxart for the first Mega Man was commissioned on very short notice, and the only direction the artist had was a brief description of the game's premise over the phone, which led to the image that looks like it belongs on a 80s sci-fi novel cover. For comparison purposes, [[http://media.strategywiki.org/images/thumb/3/30/Rockman_FC_box.jpg/250px-Rockman_FC_box.jpg here]] is the cover of the Japanese release. [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.nintendowiifanboy.com/media/2008/09/boxart-mm1-eu.jpg The European edition]] does a bit better, though it's still a drastic departure from the actual game. The second game's box, while still bad, [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563442-mega-man-2/images/box-29031 at least has Mega Man correctly colored, and a few recognizable characters, more or less on par with the European version.]]
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManZX Advent'', the cover is actually poked fun at. One of the missions in the game involves getting a data disk for a kid who wants one that has something with "a hero" on it. In the end of this "talk to the people who SHOULD have one" quest, you find out that the said kid has the only data disk with anything close to "a hero" on it, which is the American boxart of the original ''Mega Man''. The kid openly calls it weird, and not very heroic at all. You then get the disk yourself, and the ingame description says that the character depicted on it "resembles a colorful coal miner instead of a hero".
** [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563443-mega-man-3/images/box-59155 European]] ''Mega Man 3'' is an odd one: the robots are illustrated accurately, but Wily is beyond hardcore.
** ''Mega Man 4'' and ''Mega Man 5'' both had very similar artwork in the European and US releases, the only differences were that Mega Man's face in the US version was very [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/4/4/4/563444_29033_front.jpg strange]] and [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/4/4/4/587444_39664_front.jpg "Manish"]] while the European ones [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/4/4/4/563444_59407_front.jpg have]] a more [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/4/4/4/587444_59408_front.jpg accurately]] designed face.
** The US producers of ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'' and ''10'' in keeping with their {{Retraux}} graphics style, had [[http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/891/891767/mega-man-9-20080717020802013.jpg throwback]] [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coverlargeh_7068.jpg boxart]] made to please the fans.
** ''VideoGame/MegaMan7's'' ending, where Mega Man contemplates [[JustShootHim ending Dr. Wily's schemes once and for all.]] When Dr. Wily points out [[ThreeLawsCompliant robot law prevents him from taking a human life]], Mega Man simply stands there while Wily escapes. Unless we're in America, in which case he blurts the infamous "I am more than just a robot! Die Wily!!!" line...[[VillainExitStageLeft and hesitates anyway.]]
** On a similar note, the promotional artwork for [[WesternAnimation/MegaMan the cartoon]] depicts Mega Man as ready to tear someone's spine out (or at least punch their lights out), and made him far more ripped than he was in the series proper.
** Terrible Boxart Mega Man is so (in)famous that this is the version Capcom chooses to cameo in [[CapcomVersusWhatever Street Fighter Versus Tekken]].
* An old {{NES}} game, ''Power Blade'' (originally ''Power Blazer'' in Japan) is an interesting early example. Read the article about it [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/powerblade/powerblade.htm here.]]
* ''VideoGame/AlisiaDragoon'' features a [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/genesis/image/586021.html?box=3311 pretty cover]] in Japan, while the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/genesis/image/586021.html?box=88170 Western boxart]] is... well, cool-looking but [[ContemptibleCover rather contemptible]].
* The original boxart for ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' gave us a fairly confident looking Sonic with a tasty palette of colors surrounding him. The US boxart gave him a chubbier redesign with mohawk-like quills (said quill style was also carried over to the [=DiC=] cartoons), the art has him posing for a 'tude expression, and they sprayed him with a coat of airbrush. Even the original members of Sonic Team said they [[CreatorBacklash despised this Americanized Sonic design]] - there were especially baffled as to why the American branch of the company decided he needed the redux in the first place, considering Sonic was designed to appeal to Western audiences right from the start. (Sonic's Western redesign has tellingly appeared in-game precisely once, on the title screen of the Europe-only Master System release of ''Sonic Chaos'', and nowhere else.)
** [[BigBad Dr. Eggman/Robotnik's]] classic design looked like a [[http://eggmanempire.sonicworld.net/downloads/images/official/classic/Eggman01_32.png happy spherical fellow]] in the Japanese games. The American games made him a [[http://eggmanempire.sonicworld.net/downloads/images/official/soa/Spinball_eggman.png constantly scowling spherical fellow with... no eyes.]] This isn't even taking into account the weird cartoon-based design they switched to for some of the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gamegear/image/586810.html?box=83258 later boxart.]] The differences are probably best illustrated through the ''SonicShorts Volume 5'' segment in which Dr. Robotnik from the American [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM Saturday morning Sonic cartoon]] discovers Dr. Eggman from the Japanese ''Anime/SonicX''.
** The EU covers went in and out with both the Japanese and American styles. Interestingly cases such as ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogChaos'' actually used Japanese promo artwork not related the region's original cover.
** The ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' boss music and game over music go from being upbeat in the Japanese version to downright frightening in the American version.
* ''VideoGame/DynamiteHeaddy''. The biggest changes are that [[RecurringBoss Trouble Bruin]] is brown instead of purple, and a giant doll becomes a mech. The boss in Headdy Wonderland was completely redesigned for Western audiences. [[spoiler: Originally it was a Geisha that upon defeat becomes demonic with sharp-as-hell claws. The Western release got a robot and the claws were not as sharp.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Tempo}}'' was a game about an adorable cartoon cricket that makes music. The US box art tried to make the main character look like a photo-realistic mutant cricket man in the vein of the ''ComicBook/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Mirage}}'', rippling with muscles and using kung-fu.
* ''RocketKnightAdventures'', released by Konami for the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive. Similar to the Kirby examples, the American boxart gives Sparkster a look of grim determination, in contrast to the smiling FunnyAnimal knight the other regions got. It's interesting that the front artwork is almost identical on all other aspects, and that the EU version used the Japanese and not the American art.
** This change is in fact a rare example that became the definitive characterization, as even the Japanese promotional artwork (and even the in game sprite art) for the sequel ''Sparkster'' depicts the title character with a serious scowl (even if his original wackier demeanor [[TheComicallySerious blatantly reappears from time to time]] in game).
** Then came the PSN/XBLA reboot, developed in the UK. In this one, Sparkster fights wolves instead of pigs, in order to make him feel more badass.
* The American version of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'' redrew Eric Lecarde's face to look manlier and less [[{{Bishonen}} pretty boy-like]] ([[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/games/cvbforeign.html see for yourself]]). The European version, ''Castlevania: The New Generation'', reverted Eric back to his original design, reusing the artwork of the Japanese box. The weirdest part of all this? '''Eric's American redesign was made canon!''' Look at the supplemental artwork for ''Portrait Of Ruin''.
** Strangely inverted in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Lament of Innocence]]'''s cover. The [[http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/File:Castlevania_LoI.JPG US cover]] shows Leon Belmont looking upward, probably in prayer, while the [[http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/File:Castlevania_Lament_of_Innocence_Japan_cover.jpg Japanese]] and [[http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/File:Castlevania_Lament_of_Innocence_Europe_cover.jpg European covers]] show him in an action pose (And note how the European cover's done in CG, while the other two retain Ayami Kojima's famed artwork)
* Comparing ''VideoGame/PanicRestaurant'''s box art [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/image/587505.html?box=2696 Japan]], [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/image/587505.html?box=59517 Europe]] and [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/image/587505.html?box=81043 United States]] pretty much defines this trope, too. The in-game graphics were also altered in a comparatively minor way. The Japanese version of the game had a cute young brown-haired chef in the title role. For the international release, he was switched out for a different, older, white-haired character resembling Chef Boyardee.
* We all know ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', right? Well, we bet you've never seen him like [[http://www.platypuscomix.net/interactive/fiercekong.jpg this]].
** The [[http://wiki.eretro.nl/index.php/Image:ColecoVision_Donkey_Kong_box1.jpg Colecovision cover]] on the other hand was looking fairly decent.
* The NES version of ''VideoGame/ABoyAndHisBlob'' and its UsefulNotes/GameBoy sequel had a small overhaul with the Boy's design, title screen and box art in Japan to make it look cuter.
* ''VideoGame/ChameleonTwist'' was a charming, adorable game starring Davy, a chameleon transformed into a bubble-headed long-tongued chibi alien, and his friends. Its boxart is an interesting variation on this trope: (The American boxart shows Davy gobbling up foes with a cheery grin, while the PAL version shows him gobbling up foes with a look of death in his eyes. ''Chameleon Twist 2'', of course, played this trope straight for America and Europe-- while Japanese buyers got the same adorable bubble-headed aliens as before, the American and European versions swapped the colors of Davy and his friend Jack (the localizers might have thought green was a better "default color" for a lizard) and turned all four characters into grotesque anthropomorphized lizards with semi-realistic heads. Also compare the US and EU boxart to see yet another cheerful-wrathful dichotomy.
* [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/19/BoinicCommandoRearmed2_boxart.png The box art]] for ''VideoGame/BionicCommando Rearmed 2'' seems to be a deliberate aversion of this trope, as the image of Spencer (with goofy smile and PornStache looking like he's about to give the viewer a hug) on the game's front cover can only be described as jarringly happy-go-lucky. Especially funny ([[CerebusSyndrome until you beat the game]]) when you compare it to the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/86/Bionic_Commando.jpg cover art]] to the 2009 game which ''Rearmed 2'' is a direct prequel to, which featured a goth-ified Spencer [[Webcomic/PennyArcade smouldering with generic rage]].
* [[http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2008/07/rumors_cave_story_on_wiiware.html This]] ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' mockup cover parodies this trend. The [[http://i2.minus.com/iEPd6JbNByhC1.jpg Japanese cover]] for ''[[UpdatedRerelease Cave Story 3D]]'' features a colorful spread that complements the game's art style, while the [[http://nintendoartwork.com/gallery/cave-story-3d/cave-story-3d-boxart-ntsc.jpg American one]] changes the art style to a rougher form and has Quote giving a DeathGlare to something just out of sight. The American box art also puts more emphasis on Quote's... giant head?
* The [[http://www.smspower.org/Scans/CaptainSilver-SMS-JP-Front Japanese]] and [[http://www.smspower.org/Scans/CaptainSilver-SMS-EU-NoR European cover art]] of ''VideoGame/CaptainSilver'' for the MasterSystem shows rather cartoon-like renditions of the game's protagonist and a few of the villains fighting on a pirate ship. The [[http://www.smspower.org/Scans/CaptainSilver-SMS-US-Front American cover art]] shows a similar scene, only the protagonist is drawn more realistically and he's fighting the final boss ([[AntagonistTitle the titular Captain Silver]]) one-on-one.
* Not even Creator/{{Disney}} games were immune to this. The Genesis/Megadrive title ''VideoGame/{{Quackshot}}'' features a dynamic shot of a scowling Donald Duck baring his gun with a evil looking Pete plotting in the background. The Japanese cover features Donald and his nephews smiling at you with Pete throwing a comical tantrum behind them. Granted [[GrumpyBear Donald]] [[HairTriggerTemper being Donald]] the Western cover might be considered more in-character.
** The same goes for ''VideoGame/TheLuckyDimeCaper''. The US got a cover in which a courageous Donald is about to crush a bear with a hammer. The japanese cover for the Game Gear version has him looking all happy, having somehow shrunked Magica De Spell.
* In some of the ''VideoGame/{{Bonk}}'' games, Bonk's second powerup form was changed. In the japanese verison he showed his love of [[TrademarkFavoriteFood meat]] by turning into a doe-eyed version of himself who attacked with hearts. In the US version he was changed into a scowling form with a scar rather similar to the page image. Though his third form was hardcore in both versions.
* Creator/DataEast USA gave ''Kaiketsu Yanchamaru'' a TotallyRadical makeover, turning it into ''VideoGame/KidNikiRadicalNinja''. Kid Niki was given spiky hair in-game, and the NES version got [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/kidniki/kidniki.jpg a totally hardcore cover]] (by contrast, the [[http://www.retrogame-shop.com/shop/images/kaiketsu.jpg Famicom]] cover is downright cartoonish).
* An example that seemingly has nothing to do with America: Namco's ''Legend of Valkyrie'' series is rarely seen outside of Japan, but one of the side games, ''Sandra's Great Adventure'', was released in Europe under the name ''Whirlo''. As part of the localization, the main character's in-game sprite was changed to give him angry eyes.
* ''VideoGame/KabukiQuantumFighter'' is an odd example: while the American cover is indeed a bit darker than the Japanese one, it's the Japanese version of the game that has more realistic-looking character portraits, perhaps because it was released in Japan as a DistantSequel to the JidaiGeki film ''Zipang''.
* A rare case of ''European'' hardcore is ''M.C. Kids'' ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.C._Kids Wikipedia]]), whose European boxart turned the kids into cool teens.
* The arcade platformer ''VideoGame/{{Athena}}''. In the [[http://hardcoregaming101.net/athena/arcade-flyerj.jpg Japanese cover]], Athena is a cute anime chick wearing just a bikini. In the [[http://hardcoregaming101.net/tracing/athenaa.jpg American cover]], she was turned into a She-Hulk-like muscular woman, apparently traced off bodybuilder Lisa Lyon. Wearing just a bikini.
* '''[[http://www.kidfenris.com/astyanaxcover.html Inverted]]''' with ''VideoGame/{{Astyanax}}''. The muscle dude brandishing a torch and shield in the Japanese cover for the Famicom version was replaced on the American NES cover with a pretty-boy warrior, albeit trying to stab a dragon.
** On that note, one of Magazine/NintendoPower's in-house artists did a much better job on making an accurate illustration based on the game while still producing a quality piece. [[http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/227/astyanaxnp.jpg See for yourself]].
* [[http://www.kidfenris.com/valis3cover.html Happened twice]] with ''VideoGame/{{Valis}} III''. The {{TurboGrafx|16}}-CD version got a rather creepy-looking cover with a too old model posing as Yuko. The SegaGenesis cover instead drew a ridiculously punk-looking Yuko on the cover [[SeanConneryIsGoingToShootYou trying to stab you]].
* The North American NES version of ''VideoGame/TheNewZealandStory'', retitled ''Kiwi Kraze: A Bird-Brained Adventure'', had a creature on the cover looking more like a real bird than the WaddlingHead seen in the game, with a bear wearing CoolShades aiming an arrow straight at it.
* ''VideoGame/KeithCourageInAlphaZones'': [[http://www.vintagecomputing.com/wp-content/images/retroscan/kk_page_1_large.jpg Keith Courage on the American cover]] looks much manlier than [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2008/03/watarukeith.jpg Wataru on the Japanese cover]]. At least both are wearing the same costume.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoPB-ONk3hw Japanese commercial]] for SuperPrincessPeach is a short and sweet montage that shows Princess Peach's emotion-based powers to a catchy song. The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bhb6wXYSOY American one]] shows a group of princess soldiers going through boot camp while heavy military fanfare plays in the background, and the emotions are instead touted as being "elements" that must be mastered. Of course, the only one they actually show is the one that involves anger and fire.
** This game's western-region boxart is a mild example, in which the only part that differs from the Japanese cover (aside from the logo, and Peach's face taking up three-fourths of the box for some reason) is what's in the bubbles surrounding Peach. [[http://www.mariowiki.com/images/thumb/d/dd/Superpeach.jpg/120px-Superpeach.jpg America and Europe]] gets a bubble featuring [[DistressedDude Mario all tied up,]] staring angrily at the Hammer Bro. leader, while [[http://www.mariowiki.com/images/thumb/d/d5/Super_Princess_Peach_boxart.jpg/120px-Super_Princess_Peach_boxart.jpg Japan]] gets four bubbles featuring each of Peach's emotion-based abilities..
* European example: The [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/79/Kao_the_Kangaroo_Round_2_Coverart.png original box art]] for ''Kao the Kangaroo Round 2'' shows Kao jumping along, raising his boxing glove high in the air while avoiding a fish. For the U.S. release, however, the game developers made him into a scary-looking kangaroo wearing an army hat and a dog tag on his neck and aiming a bullet cannon with giant monster bullets flying around, as if to show his foes that ''[[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/5/2/8/926528_73724_front.jpg Kao means business]]!''
* The SuperCassetteVision version of ''VideoGame/{{Miner 2049er}}'', while released in Japan with the U.S. cover art, redrew Bounty Bob's sprite as a cuter-looking [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair blue-haired]] kid.
* The Nintendo DS game Mister Slime has the protagonist look cute on the Australian and European box art, but the American box art gives Slimey an angry face.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Puzzle Games]]
* ''[[VideoGame/BubbleBobble Super Puzzle Bobble / Super Bust-A-Move]]'''s American boxarts: The ''Super Bust-A-Move'' ([=PS2=]) cover shows a baby from the pits of the UncannyValley blowing blood-red bubbles, while the SegaSaturn boxart of ''Bust-A-Move 2'' decided to treat us to the oh-so-kid-friendly image of a disembodied head of a bald guy trapped in a bubble, with ''[[EyeScream matchsticks shoved into his eyelids.]]''. What does any of that have to do with cutesy dragons solving puzzles?
** This happened with a good few titles in the series until later games, which omitted the cute little dinosaur/dragon mascots in favor of dynamically angled shots of detonating bubbles in a space age style background.
* ''Baku Baku Animal'' is a falling blocks puzzler game starring cutesy animals. Nothing could possibly makes it looks hardcore but that didn't stop whoever did the American cover from trying.
* This happened to the rather obscure NES puzzle game ''Palamedes''. The game is basically a MatchThreeGame with dice. The music is cheery, the graphics are cutesy; all player sprites are tiny, sugary little SD characters. There's absolutely nothing weird or bizarre or {{Gonk}} in this game. ''So where the hell did'' '''''[[http://www.mythrilmoth.net/misc/Palamedes.jpg THIS]]''''' ''come from?!''
* ''Videogame/{{Godzilla}}'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy came out in the U.S. with [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/74/Godzilla_Game_Boy.jpg this]] cover, showing Godzilla like he looks in the movies and, with the intro screens, misleading people into expecting it to be a thrilling action game. Actually, the game, known as ''Gojira-kun'' in Japan, is a PuzzlePlatformer with cutesy SuperDeformed kaiju, looking more like [[http://www.otakaraou.com/data/otakaraou/product/gb/202.jpg the picture on the Japanese cartridge]].
** WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd lampshaded this during his review of this and other ''Godzilla'' games.
* ''Puzzle Boy'' was the first game published by Creator/{{Atlus}} in Japan, where it had [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/gameboy/585783-kwirk/images/box-20100 a perfectly sensible cover]]. Creator/{{Acclaim}} released it internationally as ''Kwirk'', and slapped something frighteningly TotallyRadical [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/gameboy/585783-kwirk/images/box-46682 on the cover]] instead. Averted with the sequel, released in the U.S. by Atlus as ''Amazing Tater''.
* Not exactly "hardcore", but ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage'' suffered a case of "European Layton is [[FilmNoir Noir]]". While the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/936050-professor-layton-and-the-curious-village/images/box-80937 Japanese]] and [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/936050-professor-layton-and-the-curious-village/images/box-93127 American]] covers of the game call attention to both the puzzle-solving aspect of it and its colorful characters, the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/936050-professor-layton-and-the-curious-village/images/box-111355 European]] cover is completely dedicated to puzzle-solving and mystery, with the characters pretty much completely absent. This was allegedly a decision by Nintendo of Europe, who believed that emphasizing those aspects of the game would boost sales. Later covers still follow a similar "model", but are just edited versions of the original covers instead of radical redesigns.
* Interestingly, while most of Yoshi's dialogue in ''Tetris Attack'' is a fairly straight translation of Lip's dialogue in ''Panel de Pon'', his attitude in one area of the game was changed. Yoshi gets impatient and yells at you if you stick around for too long at the "Congratulations!" screen you get at the end of Easy mode, while Lip is friendly and polite the entire time.
* A less severe example [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/2/4/1/587241_49865_front.jpg from the NES release of]] ''Dr. Mario''. Mario himself looks fine, but the viruses are drawn much more grotesquely than [[UglyCute their in-game sprites]]. ([[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/2/4/1/587241_2893_front.jpg The Japanese box art]], for comparison.)
* The Japanese Super Famicom puzzle game ''[[http://31.media.tumblr.com/8b299edc48fc1c170ca7c472c2063918/tumblr_mi2mthvyFQ1qd4q8ao1_1280.jpg Keeper]]'' featured {{Cartoon Creature}}s in a fantasy world. The [[{{Vaporware}} unreleased American version]] ''[[http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g155/sahagin/cyberslider.jpg CyberSlider]]'' would have had them replaced by robots in a factory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roguelike]]
* The NintendoDS version of ''ShirenTheWanderer''. The original Japanese cover art (by former Capcom illustrator Akiman) is very nice, the Western one, well... Shiren looks like he's going to slit your throat or something. And what they did to poor [[WeaselMascot Koppa]] and [[CuteBruiser Oryu]] is ''just wrong''. Bad, bad Sega!
* ''VideoGame/AzureDreams'' for the PlayStation had 2 different covers: The [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/azuredreams/azuredreamsj.jpg Japanese version]] was cute and emphasized the dating-sim/harem-romance aspects of the game (featuring all the girls in the game you can eventually get, plus your kid sister and your sidekick), while the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Azure_Dreams_Coverart.png American version]] was scenic and emphasized the treasure-hunting/dungeon-crawling aspects of the game (the hero gazing at his hometown from a mountain cliff).
** The European version's manual has the Japanese cover though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real-Time Strategy]]
* ''{{Pikmin}}'' has two covers. The Japanese image contains Pikmin just hanging out on a branch. The North-American and European cover image contains a battle. The same thing happened with the sequel, though Canada and Europe had a different, also peaceful cover.
* ''TheSettlers'' European cover shows a cartoonish RTS city builder while the American Cover shows a rather stern looking lord in managing his kingdom/army [[http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b214/gyrobot/1267035563970.png Comparisons here]]. Upon further inspection, the American cover of the settler usually just features the armor clad knight on the cover while the other shows the other professions being as prominent. The subsequent one features a slightly more colorful boxart [[http://gamediv.com/Games/151/Main%20image.jpg seen here]]
* The PSP version of ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}}'' exhibits this trope. The Japanese box art depicts a bunch of happy Lemmings in a happy, bright environment. The European box art shows a crowd of Lemmings smiling at you. The American box art depicts a more active scene, and has a slightly duller color scheme compared to the other boxes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role-Playing Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Breath of Fire|I}}'' is a major example of this. Compare the [[http://images.wikia.com/bof/images/5/5d/BofFJapan.png Japanese box art]] with the [[http://images.wikia.com/bof/images/5/57/BOF1boxartt.jpg American version]], featuring JimLee-esque cover art in which Ryu became a Conan impersonator even though he is clearly depicted as a pretty-average built teenager in-game and Nina looked like a man.
* WorkingDesigns was known for averting this, always keeping the Japanese box art during a time when this trope was at its strongest. With one bizarre exception... CosmicFantasy 2. Compare [[http://www.pcengine.co.uk/Images-Covers/COVER-Cosmic_Fantasy2.jpg the Japanese box art]] with the very much played straight [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d1/Cosmic_Fantasy_2_Cover.jpg North American box art]].
* On the ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' packaging in Japan, there were images of all the playable characters in the game. In the US version, it had Frog, Crono, and Marle fighting Heckran, the scene captured while the party was using the Arc Impulse/Frost Arc Triple Tech. (The NintendoDS UpdatedRerelease gave a ShoutOut to this artwork by allowing players to replicate this in the form of having battles with [[PaletteSwap Heckran-like]] enemies on a snowy mountain in a bonus dungeon.)
* The box art of the early ''Dragon Warrior'' games for the NES was very different from the Japanese ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' box arts.
** Nintendo and SquareEnix are at it again with ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX''. In the Japanese box art, there's a group of four happy-go-lucky children in a market. The [[http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/133/dqixus.jpg North American box art]] contains four older-looking warriors, three sporting AngryEyebrows, ready for battle.
* ''GuardiansCrusade''. The [[http://rpgfan.com/pics/guardians-crusade/box-japfront.jpg Japanese box art]] is more colorful and rather whimsical in looks: showing Knight and Baby doing various activities you can do in the game, all the while looking dang adorable. The back cover is [[http://rpgfan.com/pics/guardians-crusade/box-japback.jpg even more cuter]]. The [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9e/Guardian%27sCrusadeCover.jpg American version]] is more generic in comparison. The game came out about a year and a half after ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', during that dark period when American game companies thought that {{RPG}}s that weren't dark and existential wouldn't sell.
* When ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' was being localized for America, a significant portion of people at Nintendo thought that the characters were [[ItWillNeverCatchOn too cute to sell well]], and tried to get all of the Pokémon redone for the states as muscle-bound humanoid Pro-Wrestling monsters. In other words, they wanted to turn Pikachu into {{Kinnikuman}}.
** Compare the [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Yellow_EN_boxart.jpg American box art]] for ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokémon Yellow]]'' to the [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:Yellow_JP_boxart.png Japanese box art]] for ''Pocket Monsters Pikachu''. It is remarkably similar to the depiction of Kirby from Japan to America.
** Some of the move names were made hardcore, though. "Tail Wag" was translated to the more badass sounding "Tail Whip" and "Cry" to "Growl", which confused many when in later generations those two moves were classified as "cute" moves and were described as endearing.
* ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant'''s Xbox 360 artwork depicted the young, typical ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''-style androgynous male protagonist. The PC version, marketed to Western gamers, had a picture of an older, more badass antagonist, and a more energetic color scheme.
* ''DigitalDevilSaga: Avatar Tuner'' arguably ''benefited'' from this phenomenon. The original box art for the two games depicted Serph/Varna and Sera/Varnani in static poses more reminiscent of action figures in a blister pack; the U.S. versions depict the exact same characters, but in more active poses. (Assuming, of course, you reverse the cover insert for the second game; the display box art depicts the entire cast in a battle scene, arguably embracing this trope in its entirety.) Though it's not like the game needed to be made any more hardcore, seeing as how it has plenty of demonic cannibalization anyway.
** While we're on the subject of ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'', just compare the original [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/megaten/jackbrosj.jpg Japanese cover]] of LighterAndSofter spinoff ''Jack Bros.'' with [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/megaten/jackbros.jpg this... thing]].
* Hardly uncommon in ''[[Franchise/TalesSeries Tales]]'' localizations:
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'' (or ''[[WritingAroundTrademarks Tales of Destiny II]]'') originally had [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/image/526350.html?box=53165 a smiling group shot]], which was replaced by [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/image/526350.html?box=40641 a scene of Farah and Reid ready to battle]]. The absence of everyone else is... intriguing.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' originally had [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/929343-tales-of-the-abyss/images/box-69064 a more peaceful, friendly group shot]], while the American cover image has [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/929343-tales-of-the-abyss/images/box-69034 everybody except the girls fighting, and Luke ready to slice the player's head in half]]. [[AvertedTrope On the other hand]], the Nintendo3DS UpdatedRerelease [[http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/box/5/4/1/609541_204538_front.jpg sticks with the Japanese version's box art]] on both sides of the Pacific, as well as in the PAL countries, which got the game for the first time.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' has, in the original version, [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/gamecube/image/561316.html?box=22525 another smiling group shot]]. In the US, [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/gamecube/image/561316.html?box=22524 another fight scene]].
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', the same - [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/wii/image/942210.html?box=93562 Japanese cover]], [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/wii/image/942210.html?box=99493 American cover]]. The [[http://wii.gaming-universe.de/screens/boxart_eur_tales-of-symphonia-dawn-of-the-new-world-big.jpg European cover]], however, goes for a simple group shot. The US went right into the trap: Emil's eyes turn red in battles and he takes on a different personality, [[spoiler:except near the end of the game, after he banishes that other personality from his body and finally becomes Ratatosk himself]].
** Averted from ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfGraces Tales of Graces f]]'' onward, the west has received the same covers as the Japanese versions.
* ''VideoGame/ResonanceOfFate'' has [[http://www.ps3trophies.org/images/trophies/400/cover.jpg peaceful box art]] with the [[ThreeAmigos three protagonists]] looking upon a tower in its original Japanese release ''End of Eternity''. The [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c3/Resonance_of_Fate_Cover_Art.jpg US box art]] is shown to have them on various action poses with [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou their guns to the viewer]].
* In ''VideoGame/FragileDreamsFarewellRuinsOfTheMoon'' for the Wii, the English voices are closer to the age of the characters, around 14/15, while the Japanese voices make the characters sound younger. In addition, the box art, which was reversible in the American version, showed a vicious looking Seto holding a golf club on the American side, while the Japanese box art shows Seto and Ren holding hands over a watery background.
** In America, ''Fragile Dreams'' was marketed as a post-apocalyptic action-adventure game, rather than the more quietly emotional RPG it actually is; hence the box art. [[DeconstructedTrope This was ultimately a mistake, as it caused the game to miss its target audience]].
* ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}'' is quite possibly the ultimate logical conclusion of this trope, to where it not only deals with cover art but the actual game. To explain: ''[=NieR=]'' is the name of two parallel-developed, SquareEnix-published games, ''[=NieR=] Gestalt'' (Xbox 360) and ''[=NieR=] Replicant'' (PS3). In ''Gestalt'', the eponymous protagonist is a hulking, white-haired middle-aged man searching for a cure to the Black Scrawl virus, which is ailing his daughter, Yonah. In ''Replicant'', the eponymous protagonist is a young boy who is searching for a cure to the Black Scrawl virus, which is ailing his little sister, Yonah. In case you haven't caught on yet, this is literally the only difference between the two versions. The American branch of Square Enix actually paid to develop an entirely separate version of the game where the only difference is the design of the protagonist. The official reason behind the two versions is that they believed the game would not sell well in the west if the protagonist was young and pretty, rather than grizzled and muscle-bound. While ''Replicant'' was the original idea, in Japan both versions of the game are available, and overseas only ''Gestalt'' was released (entitled simply ''NIER'').
** On the flip side, this is why the young, pretty Vaan was added to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. The original protagonist was supposed to be Basch. This is why Vaan has nearly no character development.
** The even bigger shocker is that, ultimately, it seems as if this decision ''paid off''; when polled, American fans almost always say they prefer "Gestalt Nier" to "Replicant Nier".
* The ''WildArms'' series usually either retains the original cover art or replaces it by something that, while different, keeps the tone. Exceptions can be found in the first title ([[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/199299-wild-arms/images/box-14330 J]]; [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/199299-wild-arms/images/box-43279 U]]) and ''VideoGame/WildArms5'' ([[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/931326-wild-arms-5/images/box-72769 J]]; [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/931326-wild-arms-5/images/box-72466 U]]).
* The indie/doujin game ''ProtectMeKnight'' does this on their web page. [[http://www.ancient.co.jp/~game/mamotte_knight/index.html The Japanese page]] depicts a bunch of cute characters in a more PuniPlush[=/=]{{Bishonen}} style while [[http://www.ancient.co.jp/~game/mamotte_knight/en.html the English page]] depicts something more muscular, epic, and violent. This may have been intentional LampshadeHanging on the dev team's part.
* ''ShadowHearts: From the New World'''s [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/926703-shadow-hearts-from-the-new-world/images/box-63273 Japanese cover]] is actually pretty happy, which actually matches the LighterAndSofter nature of the game when compared to its predecessors (it's also the only of the game's covers that goes for a hand-drawn illustration instead of CGI). The [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/926703-shadow-hearts-from-the-new-world/images/box-70386 American cover]] chose instead to showcase a much more tragic/aggressive scene, complete with strong red background to emphasize edginess. The [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/926703-shadow-hearts-from-the-new-world/images/box-86080 European cover]] is a middle ground -- more hardcore than the Japanese cover, but quite less than the American one.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' had an intricate design in the Japanese and European versions while in the US release, everything was removed except for the logo. Interestingly, this is a reversal of the usual trend for new entries. Typically, the Japanese and European cover art for any one main instalment will consist almost entirely of the logo against a clean white background, while the American cover art will move the logo to a corner to focus on a rendering of one or more of the central cast.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' character art in an old edition of Nintendo Power. Compare [[http://i42.tinypic.com/6eloab.jpg Amano's original Cecil design]] with the [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/7/7c/Cecil2.jpg Nintendo Power artwork]]. Strangely enough, the Nintendo Power artwork was drawn by a Japanese artist.
** Take a guess which is the Japanese artwork and which is the American [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/9/9b/Ceodore_US_vs_JP.jpg one]]
* ''EternalEyes'' is a powerful contender for the most misleading use of this trope ever. Japanese cover screams "a JRPG", and a EasternRPG it is. The US cover... what the...
* Anyone seen the Suikoden boxart? Yeesh, there are still debates over who is supposed to be depicted on that cover, because it's clearly not anyone present in the game. The only part of that cover that's in the game is the 3 headed skull monster in the bottom right corner! The icing on the cake? The image on the Japanese cover is used on the US version's instruction manual, so gamers got a nice moment of surprise before they even started up the game for the first time. Future installments in the series thankfully ditched this artwork in favor of the Japanese art.
* Narrowly averted with the European release of ''VideoGame/AgarestSenki''. Take [[http://zepy.momotato.com/img/0908/nicecover.jpg this comparison]]: right is the final result, left is WhatCouldHaveBeen.
* ''BlueDragon'' has this. The [[http://rpgsite.net/images/boxart/43_ja_360.jpg japanese box art (available on the manual)]] makes Shu & the titular dragon look kind of silly. The [[http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3509/645291-bluedragon_na_super.jpg american box art]], on the other hand, makes both look positively badass.
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has a minor example: the Japanese boxart was just blank red with the logo, whereas the English boxart instead depicts a Final Starman towering imposingly over Ness on a psychadelic background. Also, the English release material made and used modified versions of Ness and Paula's clay-model artwork to make them look more realistically proportioned, less cutesy, and in Ness's case more TotallyRadical (strangely, neither Jeff nor Poo were modified the same way).
* ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'' plays this straight for almost every one of its games. Compare the artwork for original game, where the Japanese artwork just has several monsters posing while the American one has a fight going on. Compare the idealistic Japanese fourth game cover to the intense American version.
** In Monster Rancher 3, it's done IN GAME. In the Japanese version, the assistant, Fleria, is a [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120513030022/monsterrancher/images/7/76/Youngfleria.gif little girl]]. Western fans complained about the design making the game look "kiddie", so in response, Fleria was [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120513025245/monsterrancher/images/d/d7/Fleria.gif turned into an adult]] in the American version, complete with new portraits.
* ''[[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/robotrek/robotrek.htm Robotrek]]'' is a textbook example. The U.S. cover art depicts a [[StarWars Death Star]]-like station ominously floating in space, while the Japanese original (titled ''Slapstick'') depicts several characters in cheerful anime style which more closely reflects what's actually in the game.
* ''DarkSouls'' has a calmer scene in the [[http://cdn.dualshockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/darksouls_ps3_boxart_japan.jpg Japanese]] art, with a character resting at a bonfire, while the [[http://www.gameranx.com/img/11-Sep/2f24a831-s.jpg American]] art is a silhouette of a man walking, with blue fire effects and hostile looking knights all around.
* The ''PhantasyStar'' series has always had awful, awful box art for the western releases, but they went all out for the fourth game. They hired renowned fantasy artist ''Boris effing Vallejo'' to re-do the cover for the European and American editions of the game, which turned Rune into a 40-something kung-fu movie villain, Rika into a brunette elf with an 80's secretary haircut, and Chaz into Hans from ''Film/DieHard''.
* While still decent representations of the game's plot, the box covers of the first two ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' games are ''much'' busier in their international releases than their Japanese counterparts, which take the minimalistic route. Interestingly, ''Bowser's Inside Story'' and ''Dream Team'' use the Japanese boxart for all regions.
* Inverted with ''Dungeon Maker 2'' in which the American Cover emphasizes the dungeon creation aspect, and the Japanese cover shows a dynamic battle with the first boss.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' got hit with it too. To wit: the [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IFViFwzoLL4/UHUD19CFKpI/AAAAAAAAGes/cHMezttTeik/s1600/PaperMario_SuperSeal_3DS_coverart_Japan.jpg Japanese cover featuring a happy Mario]] and [[http://www.mariowiki.com/images/thumb/a/a6/Paper_mario_sticker_star_box-art.png/250px-Paper_mario_sticker_star_box-art.png the more... proactive Mario in the American one.]] No AngryEyebrows, though.
** The European/Australian boxarts have the same one as Japan, so America gets an exclusive boxart of Mario bashing a Goomba with his hammer.
* ''[[Franchise/DiGimon Digimon]]'': Digimon games in Japan tend to have two flavors of covers: cute ones and badass ones. Naturally, Bandai tends to keep the latter in North American and European releases, but as for the former...well, they get badassified, with stronger Digimon, strikier collor choices, etc. The ''DigimonWorld'' series is a good example: [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/913684-digimon-world/images/box-13881 The Japanese cover]] has a nice handdrawn illustration of the main character happily hanging around the many Digimon (some of their creepiness notwithstanding), while the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/913684-digimon-world/images/box-93760 American cover]] depicts a defiant [=MetalGreymon=]. [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/437339-digimon-world-2/images/box-18597 The second game]] is an even better example: while definetly a little edgier, it still has a very smily human in the center. For the [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/437339-digimon-world-2/images/box-43897 US version]], they got [=VeeDramon=], the big beast stationed at the corner of the Japanese cover and gave him the entire cover. And finally, for ''Digimon World DS'': [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/928689-digimon-world-ds/images/box-67930 a very cute group shot]] in the Japanese cover, replaced by a still-cute but more battle inclined group shot in [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/928689-digimon-world-ds/images/box-80270 the US cover.]]
* Another inversion, courtesy of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'' (released in the US first). The American and European box arts depict a knight, presumably the main character, standing on a rock while holding his sword aloft in a dramatic pose. The Japanese box has the same scene, except the knight is now SuperDeformed.
* For ''VideoGame/AWitchsTale'', the Japanese box art has Liddell looking mischievous and more on the adorable side of her BadassAdorable persona while the American art leans more towards the badass side.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Ups]]
* ''Castle of Shikigami'', a bullet-hell game for the PS2 in Japan, is a game about various people teaming up to defeat the villain and save the day by flying through the air and shooting things with various types of laser-like projectiles, and featured cute anime characters on the box art. In ''America'', the game is called ''Mobile Light Force'' and the cover features three leather-clad, gun-toting, large-breasted Charlie's-Angels-esque babes running around and outright lying about the content of the game. ''Castle of Shikigami 2'' did not suffer this treatment, however, it DID suffer from being ''completely'' un-localized despite being translated and voice-acted, with some scenes not being translated or voice-acted in English at all and left with Japanese text and/or dialogue. Despite this, they're not bad games.
* ''Insector X'' is normally a CuteEmUp where you play as a boy or girl killing giant cartoonish bugs. The American and European versions of the Genesis port have a more realistic style and made the [[NinjaZombiePirateRobot cyborg bugs even more mechanical.]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Simulation Games]]
* There isn't much you can do to make peaceful series like ''HarvestMoon'' "hardcore" however many of the early western covers are more normal than the TastesLikeDiabetes Japanese ones. A noticeable exception is the European boxart for the first game: Compare the Japanese art, with its cute animals and bright colors]] to the darker and more realistic looking PAL cover. Notice how [[CoversAlwaysLie Pete isn't wearing the right hat]] and the game [[http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2008/02/11/harvestmoonsnes.jpg looks like this]].
* The game ''Princess On Ice'' isn't so much "hardcore" as hideously ugly in the US version, even going so far as to replace the cute in-game models with the "girls" on [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/princess-on-ice.jpg their cover]].
** Aksys learned their lesson afterward and released ''Rockin' Pretty'', which uses the same characters, [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/image/954317.html with the artwork untouched.]]
* In ''Videogame/StyleSavvy'', the biggest offender isn't the American cover, but the European one. The Japanese cover features [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9wtti2aXQ1rtobu5o1_500.jpg a young girl with a cute, pink background]]. The American cover [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9wtti2aXQ1rtobu5o2_1280.jpg changed the girl and the background]] to apply it to CulturalTranslation, but the European cover [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9wtti2aXQ1rtobu5o3_1280.jpg used a luxurious background and replaced the girl for a gigantic shoe]], supposedly to appeal it to older audiences. Subverted in ''Trendsetters'', where [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/fd5887f07e83d678030ef72fac460447/tumblr_mkpejqy1e01rtobu5o2_1280.jpg the American cover]] is more similar to the [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/21f06782e2c170b461f9bf5801bd43bc/tumblr_mkpejqy1e01rtobu5o1_1280.jpg Japanese one]], and [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/f2504a72cd8bba2f0c0967211025a6e3/tumblr_mkpejqy1e01rtobu5o3_1280.jpg the European cover used a similar cover to the first game but featuring a girl]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stealth-Based Games]]
* Two sets of promo character renders were made for ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Metal Gear Solid 3D]]'' - one for Japan, and one for America. The Japanese renders show Big Boss and The Boss standing unarmed, with Big Boss looking a little naive but also tough and sexy, and The Boss looking noble and idealistic but also muscular and strong. The American renders show them both scowling and in [[AssKickingPose Ass Kicking Poses]], brandishing knives. And they are both dressed in less revealing clothes, and The Boss has her AbsoluteCleavage done up, because America considers {{Fanservice}} [[DoubleStandard less innocuous than violence]].
* Compare the US/UK cover of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' to the Japanese one. The Japanese cover has a yellow background and depicts Big Boss and other soldiers in battle stances, with tanks and choppers faintly seen in the background. The US/UK cover on the other hand, is in black-and-white, Big Boss has a more mean and tough facial expression, and an explosion can be seen in the background.
* VideoGame/{{Tenchu}}: The Japanese covers of the series tend to favor dynamic renderings (and even illustrations, [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/198911-tenchu-stealth-assassins/images/box-11192 as in the first game]]) of the main characters "posing". That contrasts with the American covers' preference for [[http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/198911-tenchu-stealth-assassins/images/box-50512 threatening close-ups of (usually) one character, alongside the series' trademark (and very hardcore) tagline]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Survival Horror]]
* Bucking the trend, when ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' was released in Japan, Ashley's JigglePhysics from the US version were removed. [[http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/56936.html Here's a comparison.]]
** And the chainsaw decapitation was censored out.
** Compare the box art for the first Resident Evil game from the [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060629170303/residentevil/images/9/9b/Slps00222.jpg Japanese version]] to the [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060330133113/residentevil/images/2/2b/Resident_evil_cover.jpg American and PAL versions.]]
* [[http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kw03i8aShm1qzqgkn.jpg Here's]] the Japanese boxart for ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'', which shows you exactly what to expect. [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c5/Deadly_Premonition_cover_art.jpg This]] is what was decided on for localization for some bizarre reason.
* ''FatalFrame'''s original cover has the main character lying serenely on the floor. The American edition? FloatingHeadSyndrome. The European cover decided to go the middle route. And this is more or less repeated for the Xbox special edition except Europe followed the North American one.
** Miku's actual in-game model in the first game was altered to look slightly older and less schoolgirl-y [[http://www.cameraslens.com/fatalframewiki/index.php5?title=Miku%27s_Character_Design for the US release.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis'', Regina's character model in CG artwork was modified. In the Japanese version, she had small lips and big anime-style eyes. In the western version, she was given smaller eyes and fuller lips.
** Both this and the ''Fatal Frame'' touch-up are to accommodate the very different concepts of sexiness that Americans and the Japanese generally hold (yup, cute can also be considered sexy in Japan).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Turn-Based Strategy]]
* The American versions of the main ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' games experience this, abandoning the colorful SuperDeformed TeamShot the JP boxarts use (Which also includes most of the generic character classes, and sometimes even TheCameo and/or BigBad), in favor of an image that makes the game seem darker and more serious than it really is ([[MoodWhiplash Most of the time, at least]]).
* Something akin to this trope occurred in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics: The War of the Lions'', where Barrington's dialogue with Rafa on the Rooftop of Riovanes Castle was "punched up" to make it even ''more'' creepy and blatantly sexual. The original PSX version's translation instead ''very slightly'' [[{{Bowdlerization}} downplayed that aspect.]]
[[/folder]]

!!Non-Video Game Examples:

[[folder:Anime]]
* ''Anime/AstroBoy'' is known to be very cute and innocent. But when the 2003 anime was brought to America, most of the advertisement focused on the action scenes and his super hero side. The dubbing gave him a harsher and more snarky attitude as well. It also cut out most of Astro's cute child-like moments. To say nothing of the DVD boxset cover which is just his face looking absurdly angry.
* Even when it became DarkerAndEdgier, the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' franchise has always had a humorous, whimsical tone, summed up nicely by ''Anime/DragonBallZ'''s CrazyAwesome Japanese theme tune, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqwaJRq81Xg Cha-La Head Cha-La]]". Its North American opening themes, on the other hand, have ranged from "[[http://youtu.be/2c8FzDm4Gbo Rock The Dragon]]" to… [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O27PUI1veBg well, this]]. Later English-language releases have either kept or translated the Japanese themes.
** When CNX (Creator/CartoonNetwork UK's short-lived attempt at attracting the 15-35 male demographic) got the rights to show the original ''Manga/DragonBall'', the [[TheOceanGroup Canadian-dubbed]] episodes they acquired featured [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVrVTinOsBw a cheerful kid-focused opening theme]]. Fearing ridicule from their target audience, a new opening with more action-packed scenes from the show was thrown together, complete with KungFoley and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBkVLTHy_2c a remixed theme]]. (Though the Canadian themes were accidentally shown on occasion.)
** The French dub (And the many other dubs that translated from it) inverted this trope by giving ''Z'' a happier OP about Gohan. Also a case of MoodWhiplash.
** In a variation, the European Spanish dub of ''Cha-La Head-Cha-La'' keeps the music but changes the comedy lyrics to standard "We'll beat up the villains" fare, which is more this trope.
* Nelvana's infamous {{Macekre}} English dub of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', while not exactly "hardcore," considerably downplayed the {{Shojo}} cuteness of the original, essentially trying to change it into {{Shonen}} (even changing the show's name to just ''Cardcaptors'', presumably to downplay the fact that the main character is a girl, and cutting out the first seven episodes, which take place before Sakura's male rival Syaoran is introduced). The original opening theme was replaced with a more histrionic rock song, Sakura and her friends sounded more like teenagers than elementary schoolers, and perhaps most egregiously of all, Kero was given a TotallyRadical dudebro voice and his characterization was changed to be more like a comedic foil sidekick akin to Mushu from ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''. As a result, the English dub had a completely different feel from the Japanese original, and anyone who's seen the latter would be able to spot the dub's attempts to turn the show into something quite different from what it was originally.
* A similar thing was done for the American Fox Kids edit of the Ocean dub of ''VisionOfEscaflowne'': the entire first episode was removed (and then reedited as flashbacks in later episodes, abridged) since it was deemed "too romantic" and unfitting for an action anime block. The soundtrack was also edited to become more hardcore: some pieces were replaced by others, and original music was composed to fill in the silence (this was ''seriously'' striking, as Fox/Saban's orchestral pieces were very stylistically different from YokoKanno's). This version only lasted ten(ish) episodes -- some claim that it was due to plot content that could not be edited out without extensive redubbing (illegitimate children, for example), others say the ratings were simply bad. Canada simply aired the dub unedited.
* Some of the dub voices in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia''. Most notably is Russia, who had a higher-pitched, cuter, somewhat happier voice in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5uWmMImOf0 Japanese]] version, and a deeper, gruffer voice in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoeCZf9zc1A&feature=relmfu English dub]]. It's left up to the watchers to determine whether this was done to better fit the [[HuskyRusskie stereotype]] or to defuse some of the [[CuteAndPsycho horror]].
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' was released as 6 two-episode boxsets in Japan, with [[http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Madoka_Magica_Products#Blu-Ray_Discs different boxarts for each.]] Three of the boxarts show characters looking happy and/or cute, two are relatively neutral, and one has a very dark and angsty mood to it. The U.S. release was 3 four-episode boxsets, and used three of the existing boxart pictures. [[ForegoneConclusion To the surprise of no one]], they chose the two neutral ones (the first and last) and the angsty one (number four). [[spoiler:This may be somewhat justified given the nature of the series, but still...]]
* The DVD cover art for ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is very much pink and fluffy in Japan; the American [=DVDs=] feature much darker, ominously-edited images. ADV admitted that it was a marketing strategy -- maybe some buyers would be too embarassed to take a pink-and-happy anime called "Princess Tutu" off a store shelf, thus the covers. And, of course, it's not completely ''unfitting'' for the series.
* Here's the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Iu-M_uX_ULw Japanese trailer]] for ''RinneNoLagrange'', which is reasonably close to the sorta-serious but mostly lighthearted tone of the show. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-PPSkZoAXU8 English dub trailer]] replaces the cheery music with dark instrumental rock, mostly removes the female voices (you know, the protagonists?) in favor of a Don [=LaFontaine=]-style narrator, and generally makes the whole show look serious enough to induce loads of {{narm}}.
* ''{{Sankarea}}''. '''Japanese Cover''': Cute, smiling teenage girl with long, dark hair, wearing a blue sundress. '''American Cover''': Teenage girl wearing a tattered school uniform, still smiling (but it's more of a PsychoticSmirk), not to mention it's ADarkAndStormyNight and the girl happens to have a bloody, gaping wound where her stomach should be. Judging by what ''Sankarea'' is actually about, the Japanese cover could be accused of CoversAlwaysLie. Rea (the girl on the cover) is indeed cute, but she's also '''[[TheUndead undead]]'''. [[http://funnymama.com/post/145330 Watch.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* American edition of GraphicNovel ''{{Marzi}}'' looks like [[http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/comics/?cm=20192 this]], while the original looks like [[http://www.komiks.gildia.pl/komiksy/marzi/1,okladka this]].
* This is more a case of Modern DCComics Is Hardcore, but check out [[http://www.dccomics.com/dccomics/comics/?cm=9971 the cover]] of a recent trade paperback they put out. Now [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Superboy_Vol_1_76 take]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Superman_Vol_1_138 a]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_Vol_1_127 look]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Detective_Comics_Vol_1_339 at]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Hawkman_Vol_1_16 some]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Wonder_Woman_Vol_1_170 of]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Strange_Adventures_Vol_1_201 the]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Shazam_Vol_1_9 original]] [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Detective_Comics_Vol_1_482 covers...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The ''{{Redwall}}'' series has produced a lot of covers over the years, ranging from cartoonish to realistic, from gritty and abstract to epic and clear-drawn. Although every country's publications had their own different variations of all ends of the scale, there are some pretty standard levels for their home country (which may not least be due to the artists themselves):
** Original British covers are realistic and colourfully traditional. [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070305185353/redwall/images/e/e2/UKsalahc.jpg Here]] and [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100822163904/redwall/images/1/1f/Marlfox.jpg here]].
** American Covers are similarly colourful but almost always more epic, playing this trope completely straight ([[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090107071359/redwall/images/d/d4/MTWHardcover.jpg here]] and [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060211193954/redwall/images/d/d1/PearlsOfLutraFirebird.jpg here]]). But their chapter illustrations are either rather humurous, cartoonish and abstract ([[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20051015005927/redwall/images/c/c7/Mattimeo.jpg here]]) or beautifully copperplated faux-medieval illustration([[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080229101223/redwall/images/1/11/Samkim2.PNG here]]).
** French covers are sometimes kept in pseudo-3d-rendering, both gritty and abstract (perhaps even downright disturbing). [[UncannyValley Just look at those rotoscopes of humans with animal heads]] ([[http://redwall.wikia.com/wiki/File:Mf-france-vol1.jpg here]] and [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081013043918/redwall/images/e/ea/FrenchSalamandastronVol4.gif here]]).
** Russian Covers are traditional, epically detailed in both physique and attire. ([[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090518033604/redwall/images/3/33/Ruslp.jpg here]] and ([[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080303014311/redwall/images/b/b0/Russianrthc.jpg here)]]
** Israeli Covers are... interestingly cartoonish, but certainly light-hearted ([[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110319140234/redwall/images/f/f5/Hebrewredwall.jpg here]] and [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110319142123/redwall/images/c/c2/Redwisraelchar1.jpg here]]).
** German covers stay usually on par with the British ones ([[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060105082731/redwall/images/4/4f/Matti-german.jpg like here]]), but have quite some... unnerving exceptions ([[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060106055125/redwall/images/f/f9/GermanMossflower2.jpg here]] and [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080422054506/redwall/images/3/37/Redwallaudio1995.jpg here]]) that can head both into lighthearted crayon and gritty absurd territory. UncannyValley ahead.
* More like "Russian ''[[Literature/WarriorCats Warriors]]'' is Hardcore". Compare [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120326232020/warriors/images/c/c7/OS-4.jpg this]] to [[http://images.wikia.com/warriors/images/c/c9/OS-4-RU.jpg this]]. There's a lot more where that came from: The title translation is also subject to this having been translated as ''Raging Storm'' rather then ''Rising Storm''. Also, the French title for ''Fire and Ice'' roughly means ''In Fire and In Blood''.
** Inverted with the Japanese covers. The Japanese [[http://i25.tinypic.com/v75dls.jpg cover]] for ''The Darkest Hour'', which is probably the most carnage-tastic book in the series, is of [[CoversAlwaysLie two fluffy kitties smiling]].
* To ensure that it sells with the mainstream crowd, Yen Press [[ExecutiveMeddling was told by distributors]] that (the first volume) American ''SpiceAndWolf'' is [[ContemptibleCover Trashy]] and Realistic. It didn't go well, so the original art was used from the second volume onwards.
* The ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall' quartet has [[http://tamorapierce.wikia.com/wiki/The_Protector_of_the_Small_covers different covers]] in the US and the UK from book 2 on. American [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080615175435/tamorapierce/images/thumb/7/79/Squire.jpg/102px-Squire.jpg Squire]] has Keladry of Mindelan holding a baby griffin and looking at the viewer with a faint smile; [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100109210651/tamorapierce/images/thumb/2/22/Squire_uk_paperback.jpg/123px-Squire_uk_paperback.jpg in the UK]] she's looking at it and smiling more broadly. US [[http://tamorapierce.wikia.com/wiki/File:Lady_Knight.jpg Lady Knight]] has her staring at us with a hostile expression; in the UK she [[http://tamorapierce.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ladyknightuk.jpg looks to the side]] and seems more hopeful. Notably, although three books out of the quartet have different artwork, they all feature the same subject, just interpreted differently.
* Peter Grant is way macho in the [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_f50VvY-dR9k/TTFXfCPOleI/AAAAAAAAAU0/8SuxsbjJmo0/s1600/9780345524256.jpg US cover]] of ''Literature/MidnightRiot'' / ''Literature/RiversOfLondon'' compared to the restrained 'arty' look of the [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f50VvY-dR9k/TSl06w6CaTI/AAAAAAAAAUc/7STCe6nzULE/s1600/riverscover_.jpg British cover]]. Also note that Peter Grant, who in the books is described as a slender mixed race young man who by his own admission looks more North African, has metamorphosed into a ScaryBlackMan. And as a UsefulNotes/{{British Copper|s}}, he'd better have signed for that gun.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The original cover art for Japanese DoomMetal band Boris' album ''Smile'' is [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Borissmile.jpg cute]]. The American release's cover is [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/09/Boris-smileus.jpg edgy]].
* An inversion occurred when WithinTemptation's album ''The Unforgiving'' made it to Japan...and the gothed-up Sharon [=DenAdel=] cover was replaced by one with a busty, {{Moe}} {{Meganekko}} schoolgirl waggling her finger at the buyer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* For the international release of ''Pinball/{{Indianapolis 500}}'', some European games had the playfield and cabinet colors changed to use more primary colors to make the game more manly and appealing in certain distributors' countries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* The Videogame/BreathOfFire example mentioned above also happens in ''ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' as the result of a curse. CommanderBadass (himself forcibly [[{{Bishounen}} bishified]] by the [[TetsuyaNomura Nomura Syndrome]]) asks why people can't be content to like people how they are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Most paintings by the infamous Handre de Jager from Website/SomethingAwful mercilessly parody this trope. The artist himself stated that his initial inspiration was the aforementioned original American boxart for ''VideoGame/MegaMan1''. Handre's works can be found [[http://www.handredejager.com/still.php?catNum=12 on his website]] (Not safe for work). Be warned, they're disgusting and scary.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The WesternAnimation/MegaMan cartoon had Mega Man, Roll and Proto Man look more like teenagers and gave the Robot Masters a more muscular look. This also had an unusual effect on [[VideoGame/MegaManX X]], who looked like an adult and acted much more violently than he did in the games.
* Inverted for ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'''s debut in Japan. In order to turn it into a prequel to the [[Film/{{Transformers}} live-action movies]] ([[LyingCreator or so we thought]]), among other things, a new logo looking almost exactly like the film logos was comissioned, [[http://www.tv-aichi.co.jp/TF-animated/ which practically clashes with the show's cartoony art style]]. And to think that Japan once played this straight with ''{{Transformers}}'' by {{gag dub}}bing the edgy ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''... (Though there might be a reason as to the shift in attitude --- see the ''Transformers'' films' entries on GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff).
** Just to be clear, this is not the first time that Japan has made Americans very confused about the continuity choices the Japanese side makes.
** ''WeseternAnimation/TransformersPrime'''s Japanese dub takes a page from their localization of the ''Beast'' shows by turning what was originally a mostly somber-toned, serious action show full of (at times needlessly) dark scenes into another quirky robot cartoon, with scary villains becoming comedic and the moody instrumental theme-music being replaced with an upbeat pop song.
* [[http://aaronb.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/the-secret-of-kells-poster.jpg The French publicity posters]] for ''TheSecretOfKells'' is much more action-oriented (having the two main characters surrounded by black, angry dogs while holding up the eye of Crom like it's magical) than the subtle, reserved [[http://blog.80millionmoviesfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/watch-the-secret-of-kells.jpg posters]] the rest of the world got (a small face gently smiling, most hidden by leaves).
* ''ObanStarRacers'' had a mixed french/japanese J-pop opening theme in France, Great Britain & Japan. The US got a generic rock song called "Never say Never" ([[IThoughtItMeant No, not]] [[Music/JustinBieber that one]])
* Humorously, ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' gets slapped with this for its Japanese release. Its international title refers to the VillainProtagonist, a burly pseudo-animalistic guy. Its Japanese title? "Sugar Rush", named for one of the {{Fictional Video Game}}s visited in the film - which happens to TastesLikeDiabetes.
* ''{{Disney/Frozen}}'' inverts this. It's the international marketing that portrays the movie as hardcore, while the domestic marketing made it look like a lighthearted romp in the vein of ''{{WesternAnimation/Shrek}}''.
* Inverted with ''Disney/BigHero6'', where the American trailers mostly showed the comedic scenes, while the Japanese trailers included the darker parts not included in the U.S. version.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* Back in the 80s Japan got some special ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' toys which were supposed to be even cuter than the normal ones, called [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdfAoE9__g&feature=player_embedded Osharena Pony]].
* The artists who design Polish FilmPosters are famous for adding a bit of edginess, even if the original poster was already a bit edgy. Check out the poster for Creator/AlfredHitchcock's Film/{{Vertigo}} as [[http://www.vinmag.com/online/media/gbu0/prodlg/AP750-vertigo-hitchcock-cieslewicz-polish-movie-poster-1963.jpg as it appeared in Poland]] compared to [[http://www.cinemasterpieces.com/92010a/vertigonov10.jpg the original.]]
** This was during the times Poland was under communist regime - most of the times, the artists making these posters were not even given a vague sense of what the movie was about.
* This one is more of a coincidence, but notice back when there were two "Noah's Ark" amusement park attractions left (only the American one is still running), compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RwpEZmdEFU this]] (Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK) to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2mcsYG6-tc this]] (Kennywood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA).
** It should be noted though that the video of the Kennywood version of the ride was taken after a DarkerAndEdgier remodel. On the other hand, you should see it on Halloween.
* Even toddler toys are subjected to this. In mid-2012, [=VTech=] released a [[http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007646QZQ/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00 rocking horse toy in the UK]]. When the toy was finally released in the US a few months later, [[http://www.amazon.com/VTech-Sit-to-Race-Smart-Wheels-Ride-On/dp/B007XVYQR2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352862812&sr=8-1&keywords=vtech+ride-on the horse was changed into a motorcycle]]!
* When boys and men are trying to impress girls and women, in Japan and Europe, males usually try to attract females by being "pretty". In America, males usually try to attract females by being "macho".
* In Europe, the ''Toys/LEGODinoAttack'' toyline (called ''Dino2010'' in this market) focused on a specialized action team trying to contain mutant dinosaurs with all sorts of traps in a jungle setting. The sets' American versions replaced the capturing gear with ridiculous weaponry designed to kill and harm, and the setting was also changed to an apocalyptic, ruined city. This caused a great uproar within the LEGO community at the time, not only because the dual setline gave off the impression that the company thought the US is only interested in violence, but also because it went straight against their oft-praised (and nowadays much more loosened-up) anti-violence policy.
* The TV commercials for the [[DisneyThemeParks Disney]] attraction, Splash Mountain, when it first opened, are an interesting display of contrast. Check out the commercial for the ride at [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXT4CU_Sjuw Tokyo Disneyland]] (opened in 1992), compared to the commercial for the same ride at [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chvu_L8_RpM Disneyland]] (opened in 1989). Both emphasize the huge climatic drop (and both play "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"), but the Tokyo commercial just sounds and feels more ''happy'', whereas the Anaheim commercial has, to quote [[Franchise/TheHauntedMansion another Disney attraction]], an aura of foreboding.
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