'Wolfenstein 3D' was one of the most influential first person shooters of all time, but developers ID Software had a hard time getting the game to pass by Nintendo's censors.
A clip from the upcoming documentary 'First Person Shooter', which features interviews with 45 game developers who helped shape the genre, sees the developers of the hit game discuss the hoops Nintendo made them jump through.
"We knew we would have to get rid of some of the Nazi paraphernalia due to the fact that they wanted to sell the game in Germany," programmer Becky Heineman recalls.
"But the most notable thing was that we had German Shepherds in the original version of Wolfenstein 3D come ahead and bite you, and Nintendo's censors were like, 'You can't shoot dogs," so we had to change them to rats."
This change wasn't enough to fully satisfy the Nintendo censor board, however.
Nintendo argued that when the rats attacked the hero BJ Blazkowicz, their mouths appeared to be bleeding, and Id Software retorted by saying the red smudge was actually the rat's tongue.
However, this defence failed to convince Nintendo.
"So we had to remove the tongues from the rats because it reminded Nintendo of blood," Heineman says. "The censors made our lives miserable. So we had to do several versions before Nintendo said, 'Okay, you can ship this.'
ID Software endured a frustrating development process, with the external programmer they hired forgetting to work on the project.
The SNES port of the game was eventually released in 1994 to poor reviews, and isn't as well-remembered as other versions of the game.
Reviewers at the time pointed out that the control system wasn't well-suited to the SNES, and the Nintendo-mandated censorship took subtracted from the impact of the game.
The 'Wolfenstein' series has rebounded since, with Swedish developer MachineGames' take on the famous series garnering significant critical acclaim.
2014's 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' was one of the best-reviewed games of the year and received major credit for offering a fresh spin on the genre, while 2017's 'Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus' taking home the gong for Best Action Game at The Game Awards.