Last week, publisher Spike Chunsoft announced plans to cancel the Steam port of the Science Adventure visual novel Chaos;Head Noah due to Valve’s censorship regulations. For those unaware, this is an enhanced version of the first entry in the franchise, and no version of this title has seen an official Western release across its myriad of console ports. Still, while it will finally grace the West on Nintendo Switch, its cancellation on Steam is wholly unjustified and deserves as many eyes on it as realistically possible.
Dedicated fan group Operation Hidden Hand, known for being significant contributors in making Robotics;Notes Elite and its direct sequel DaSH get localized, has started a new movement with the ultimate goal being to unban Chaos;Head Noah from the Steam storefront.
The effective reasons for why this ban is unjustified are as follows:
- Chaos;Head Noah has already been rated by ESRB and PEGI and is releasing for Nintendo Switch with no issue. Several retailers will even be carrying the title, so there is no reason why Steam should be an outlier.
- Several other entries in the Science Adventure franchise; those being Steins;Gate, Steins;Gate 0, Steins;Gate Linear Bounded Phenogram, Steins;Gate My Darling’s Embrace, Robotics;Notes Elite, Robotics;Notes DaSH, and even Chaos;Child are all available on Steam.
- Valve has allowed games of similar content on its platform and has an undeniable bias against the visual novel medium.
- Countless inappropriate games containing offensive content and presentation are available on the Steam storefront. There is drastic inconsistency in what Valve validates as reasonable for their platform, thereby causing irreparable, unnecessary harm to numerous developers and publishers.
For those yearning to make their voices heard, there are currently three steps one can perform:
- Sign the Change.org petition.
- Tweet with the hashtags #SaveChaosHead and #SaveSciADV.
- Spread this news via word of mouth. Letting others know of this unjust ban with the reasons above can be genuinely significant as they contribute to illustrating Valve’s inadequate judgment. You can also inform others of this game’s ban by emphasizing its connectivity to Steins;Gate, which may grab their attention due to that title’s far greater worldwide cultural presence.
The campaign has further phases and plans down the line to amplify traction, so those steps are not the sole actions Operation Hidden Hand will be taking.
Operation Hidden Hand, its collaborators, and many other fans are well aware that is all an uphill battle. Such efforts may be fruitless as attempting to change Valve’s stance on this matter is a borderline pipe dream due to their previous instances of banning not being accompanied by any additional responses. However, when considering how Chaos;Head Noah is arguably the highest profile visual novel Steam has banned and that traction is steadily growing, I believe this fan goal is at least plausible.
On a personal note, Chaos;Head is one of the most impactful visual novels I’ve ever experienced. I even previously discussed why it is my favorite visual novel of all time. And for the Science Adventure community, this unwarranted ban is indescribably cruel and agonizing. Chaos;Head Noah has long been yearned for in the West, so when such a vast, accessible market rids its presence, it’s only natural that we’d do all we can to right that wrong.
Even if you’re not a Science Adventure fan yourself, I hope with all my heart that you’ll at least consider lending your voice to this matter since we’ll need as many people as possible to counteract Valve’s ludicrous actions.
If you’d like more information regarding this fan campaign, you can follow the Twitter accounts of Operation Hidden Hand, alongside its well-respected collaborators, Committee of Zero, and Kiri Kiri Basara.
For those curious about other cases regarding Steam unfairly banning visual novels, we wrote an extensive article detailing those occurrences and how harmful they are.
- Check out our beginner’s guide to the Science Adventure series.
- Anonymous;Code Western Release Announcement
- The Origins You Never Knew About Steins;Gate Protagonist Okabe Rintaro: Chaos;Gate
- The Steins;Gate Sequel You Never Heard Of: Steins;Gate: Variant Space Octet
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Ouroboros Designer Worked On Chaos;Head
- Robotics;Notes Manga Coming West 2023 via Udon Entertainment
- Robotics;Notes 10-Year Anniversary Illustration & Celebratory Main Theme Arrangement
Chaos;Head Noah / Chaos;Child Double Pack is releasing for Nintendo Switch in the West on October 7, 2022.
Chaos;Head Noah / Chaos;Child Double Pack is a physical release of the collection that includes both games, a Steelbook, and the lingerie DLC. Regarding this, the official website states that the fictitious waifu, Seira Orgel, will not adorn her lingerie costume DLC for the North American and European releases.
Chaos:Head Noah can be seen as the director’s cut version of the original Chaos;Head which was a PC-only release in Japan. Noah added character routes and released for several consoles in Japan. Unfortunately, no edition of Chaos;Head has ever received an official localization.
Chaos;Child is a visual novel taking place 6 years after Chaos;Head Noah, focusing on a new group of protagonists. This title did receive an official English localization from publisher PQube on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and by publisher Spike Chunsoft on PC via Steam.
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