That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.
The moment you have any advice for me for challenging a parent over their chosen method to rear their children, I would like to hear how you did that and did not get raked over the hottest coals imaginable by that parent. You think Squaresoft wanted to make art. They did not. They wanted to sell games that were reasonably arty.
"Sell games" in this case comes without the condition of whom the games were being sold to. I tend to think of Squaresoft of the early-to-mid 90's (the time when FF6 was localized for the USA by Ted Woolsey) to have been taking an "all-ages" approach.
Better than trying to hem and haw about it (once a line is in the game and read, there's not any way to remove it from the player's mind, after all), is to play it SAFE. Get the game accessible to as many people as possible. Trust that those who are perceptive enough about what's happening will understand the underlying emotional context of the scene, and give the prudish enough of a way to "explain away" the implications to a child they wish to shelter. There. Nice and safe and fairly respectful to the original vision of the game.
What would have made me feel the way you do would have been two things they could have done:
1. Remove the Solitary Island Scene altogether and simply start Celes on the shore near Albrook in the World of Ruin. This would have been unacceptable, and a paltry way to start the WoR. Undue censorship.
2. Alter the Solitary Island Scene to the point where Celes has a happy time and finds the meaning of her existence. One way to do that quickly in a visual way would have been to change the scene so that she does not jump from the cliff. Undue censorship.
I feel what they had Woolsey do (simply change the text to be more vague about suicide) was a fair compromise. I didn't quite understand what I was watching as a child, but the music (and Celes' tears as she fell) informed my perception of what was going on to where I got a little hint of what was going on. I think they did an ok job.
Now, as for you, Herr Kaio...
Well that's easy to do, just don't play such games! That's certainly a better approach than supporting devs censoring stuff just because it happens to align with what you prefer. The decision should be made by the consumer, not by the publisher or even worse, the distribution platform.
Your counter-argument is strong and fairly well thought-out, but it has presumed much of what I was arguing that was not in fact included in my argument. You are implying that I was making a statement about where the responsibility for determining the proper content for a localization should lie; I was not. I feel it does, by default, lie with the company that must pay for any litigation that results from the consumption of the product. That is what the law states, and fair or unfair, that seems to be the best way to go about it.
My statement was, in fact "The publisher has the right to determine the localization's content," not "The publisher ought to have the right to determine the localization's content," key words being "ought to." Now, Kaio, you ought not to put words like that into my mouth
Out of courtesy and respect for you, I checked back over the points I made. It does not look like I said they "ought to" or "ought not to" have the right to censor their games, anywhere in my discourse in the thread. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly accept that, but I checked what I wrote, and it doesn't look to me like I said that anywhere? The fact that I do believe it does not mean I said it before you made your counter-argument; however, I will, out of courtesy, acknowledge that you "guessed right;" I do believe it ought to lie with the publisher, yes. They're the ones who can get sued by overzealous Christian nutjobs who don't like overt sexuality in their kid's entertainment, they get to decide how to legally cover their butt.
So, on to your next point.
Not playing the games that offend me because of their overt sexuality is exactly what I do, and I wasn't implying that others ought to do any different. You are "preaching to the choir," as it were. I said in a previous post, my first long one on the subject, in fact, that people ought to vote with their dollars. First thing I said, I think. But you have also, in the same breath, posited that my viewpoint (or someone else's you think I've aligned with?) was that I support devs censoring stuff, because it happens to align with what I prefer. It sounds like you've done what's called "making a Straw Man." You're making my viewpoint out to be a "Scarecrow" that it was not intended as, which you are then cutting down easily, as any Scarecrow can be.
My viewpoint is that localization censorship isn't a high enough priority for devs for any complaint about it to be heard; they simply don't get the time it would take during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. They don't get authority during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. And their most devoted fans are a small percentage of the game buying public. The math is against them.
Calling a dev out on censorship is unwarranted; they have many other things their bosses are yelling at them about and their bosses refuse to negotiate with them about the censorship. Company policy in a publicly traded company is decided by Stockholder Committee vote; those people tell the CEO that they've voted to adopt a policy, the CEO executes the policy and sees to it the employees are trained to follow it. The employees follow the policy they are trained to follow, and instruct their subordinates to do the same.
On to your final point, Kaio, that the decision about what content is appropriate to consume should lie with the consumer, not the publisher or distributor, is not a bad idea on paper, but try executing it in a mass market free enterprise global economy, why don't you?
You would have to basically show all your cards to the consumer up front before they have made their purchase. Say what's in the game, and how appropriate it is to the consumer's needs. You would need some kind of system to quickly, conveniently, and easily tell a potential consumer what material in the game they might find objectionable, and let them decide whether the purchase is appropriate for them or not.
This is called a "ratings system," and there is one, and it's used, and I have worked at electronics retailers recently. They do train their employees about it. However the policy is executed after the training has taken place, the training is not equivocal about the existence or necessity of the ratings system, at least.
Not a perfect system by any measure, but better than just censoring the shite out of everything by default, or just putting out whatever you want and not telling anyone what's gonna happen as a result.
Compromise is the cornerstone of any kind of social issue. Black and white, simple answers do not function for complicated questions, and intercultural exchange is always complicated.
This is the Spooniest Bard, signing off. Have a very Spoony Christmas, all!