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Playing With: American Kirby Is Hardcore
Basic Trope: In one release, a game has a cute cover, while in a localization it is given a different, tougher one.
  • Straight: The Adventure of Lanra, an Affectionate Parody of Super NES RPGs, the Japanese versision has Lanra holding a flower while the American version has her holding a gun.
  • Exaggerated: In Japan, The Adventure of Lanra cover has the protagonist frolicking through a field of cherry blossoms with her pet Mon, while in America Lanra is bloodily cutting a monster in half with a chainsaw.
  • Downplayed: The only difference between the American cover and the Japanese cover is that the Japanese version is that, Japanese Lanra was a big smile, and America Lanra is given some angry eyebrows and a frown.
  • Justified: The artist didn't know that it's a parody of RPGs, and instead gives it an American cover which plays it straight.
  • Inverted:
    • The Japanese cover shows Lanra wearing a skin-tight, Stripperiffic high-tech dress with blue-tinted Cyberpunk-ish backdrop, but the American cover is a cute photo of a very large floppy disk, which turns out to be the MacGuffin of the RPG called the MacGuffin Disc.
    • The Japanese cover shows a tough Lanra, while the American cover shows her cute.
  • Subverted: The American cover for The Adventures of Lanra looks serious at first glance, but when you look closer you see certain details, such as the fact that the monster Lanra's fighting is actually a giant gummi bear, the use of a pogo stick as a melee weapon, and the ninjas watching the fight and eating popcorn, that make it obvious that it's a parody of such covers.
  • Double Subverted: ... But the company knows that people like bad art, so they have fake bad art on the flip side of the cover.
  • Parodied: Bob's favorite RPG, The Adventure of Lanra, is given an American release. Instead of a cover that shows it's an Affectionate Parody of RPGs that runs on Rule of Cute, it makes the game look like a gory, realistic RPG with a busty, Stripperiffic protagonist.
  • Zig Zagged: The Japanese version of The Adventure of Lanra has a cute cover, while the American version has a tougher one. However, when the game is released as a special edition, the American version uses the original Japanese artwork. The cover of The Remake in Japan, on the other hand, switches to the American cover...
  • Averted: The cover is the same in both America and Japan.
  • Enforced: "Cute doesn't sell in America. Make the cover Darker and Edgier."
  • Lampshaded: Bob shows his friends the cute Japanese art, and they think it is too cutesy.
  • Invoked: The executives at Zony thought the game wouldn't sell well in America if it had a cutesy cover, so it is given a new, "hardcore" one.
  • Exploited: Meanwhile in Japan: "Put angry eyebrows on it! Americans dig that!"
  • Defied: The cover is kept the same when it is given an American release.
  • Discussed: "I don't remember the cover looking like this in the Japanese screenshot."
  • Conversed: "Why are the covers of Lanra's game so different between the Japanese and American versions?"
  • Deconstructed: The misleading cover causes The Adventure of Lanra to sell poorly in America.
  • Reconstructed: ... But it becomes a Cult Classic amongst gamers who know the cover doesn't fit the game, or even because of the cover.

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