Australia Has Banned Another Video Game

Australia Has Banned Another Video Game
Image: Supplied

Australia’s restrictive guidelines have struck down another video game. This time, it’s Mary Skelter Finale that’s fallen afoul of our laws.

An anime dungeon crawler RPG that’s rated M for mature overseas, Mary Skelter Finale received a refused classification rating from the Classification Board this week. Originally due for release later this spring on PS4 and the Switch, the classification rating notes that this game was submitted directly to the Classification Board, so it wasn’t an automated ban through the IARC process.

Here’s the formal reasons for the ban:

refused classification
Image: Classification Board

The deployment of both clauses 1(a) and 1(b) here mean we can probably expect two things: an anime character undoubtedly got naked at some point in the dungeon, and we know the Board isn’t particularly fond of the “I’m a 500 year old dragon”-type defences for anime characters.

The 1(a) clause is a bit harder to parse without having the full decision report. (I’m chasing up the Classification Board for it, although they’ve advised that it can’t be released without the developer’s consent.) The original Mary Skelter games are set in an underground jail, where humans are captured and tortured by various creatures who act as the jail’s wardens.

The games also have creatures called Nightmares, which are almost like Resident Evil‘s Mr. X in that they constantly chase the player down and perpetually regenerate. The whole adventure is basically about searching through the jail (read: dungeon) looking for new allies, dodging the Nightmare until it gets bored, and progressing through the levels.

It’s well rated on Steam, where the reviews also note that it’s fairly provocative. “Jiggly T&A dungeon-crawler,” one review says, while others note that older titles are heavy on the fan service.

But whatever the official reasoning is, don’t expect to see Mary Skelter Finale on PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch in Australia. Both storefronts require that all games receive a formal classification before listing, and the RC rating means they won’t be sold digitally on those platforms. (RC ratings also prevent retailers from selling physical copies.) Valve, who are based out of Seattle, don’t care quite as much about removing RC titles these days. Mary Skelter Finale isn’t scheduled to get a PC port at this stage, and I imagine that’s a call that will be made after the game’s release this spring.

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