Nintendo Removes Controversial Scene From English Version Of Fire Emblem Fates

Nintendo Removes Controversial Scene From English Version Of Fire Emblem Fates

When Fire Emblem Fates launched in Japan last year, there was controversy over a scene that was perceived as homophobic. Nintendo says that part won't be in the English version. The aforementioned scene sees the player character (you) use a "magic powder" to make Soleil, a woman who's into women, like men. Or rather, it causes her to see men as women. In the game, it's apparently proposed as a solution to Soleil's lack of composure around women she's attracted to. She tells the player character that she wants to be a "strong and cool woman". The solution — spiking her drink and, in essence, making her attracted to men — came off as unsettlingly similar to practices like gay conversion therapy.

In a statement received by Kotaku (first reported by Nintendo World Report), Nintendo confirmed that they're changing that part of the game's English localisation:

In the version of the game that ships in the U.S. and Europe, there is no expression which might be considered as gay conversion or drugging that occurs between characters.

They did not clarify what — if anything — will take the scene's place, or if the player character (male or female) will still be able to romance Soleil.

It's worth noting that Fire Emblem Fates will have same-sex romance/marriage options. Thing is, the game is launching with multiple versions — Birthright and Conquest — and you'll only be able to get male/male romance in one version and female/female in the other. What fun.


Comments

    They did not clarify what — if anything — will take the scene’s place

    Player character unfurls a black flag and hurls her off of a high story building instead.

    I think Soleil's sexuality is pretty bizarre in the first place. Doing stuff like spiking drinks and reversing her perception of gender is even more bizarre. I'm not particularly offended either way. I do think it is disingenuous of Nintendo to make the change to the international version but not patching the Japanese version. It shows that Nintendo is worried more about its image than about the underlying issues people are complaining about.

      Your definition of Nintendo could safely apply to every single corporate entity that has it's own internal PR/Marketing department. Capitalism at work when corporations adhere to the standards set by their customers. A company has nothing to gain by taking the lead aside from alienating a portion of their client base.

        Precisely. I'm not singling out Nintendo by any means. There have just been a number of recent examples where Nintendo has altered games in response to enraged howls of a minority of Western commentators whilst leaving the Japanese version unaltered. I'm sure other companies do similar things.

          Localisation of products to different regions means a lot more than just translating things. For better or for worse it means changing the product itself a little bit for the new region. Walmart is giant in America, but it fails elsewhere because it's format isn't well received in other countries. DisneyLand in France was forced to change what they expected from their employees because it was threatening to cripple the park, and Steam was forced to change the way they operate in Australia a little bit because it ran foul of our laws.

          It's not hypocritical, it's just the way the world works. When you create a product for international markets, trying to find one product that's successful for all cultures is very rarely successful. The key is to finding out how close you can stick to your original product while still making it work in other regions

    Yeah... I'm not sure the game is sending a message about anything (assuming basic understanding of media and narrative conventions) pertaining to homophobia. But it does pose a completely naive and ignorant solution to a problem - which is not in itself homophobic but ignorant (assuming basic understanding of dictionary conventions) and does undermine homosexuality as a legitimate human trait.

    The cut is good, not so much for the offense but for the way it's just stupid. I'd rather not get distracted by some uninformed reprogramming storyline when I'm playing a game.

      The way the scene actually plays out:
      - Soliel finds it hard to concentrate properly when she's around pretty girls. They make her nervous. This is not an issue of her sexuality - she is not homosexual. She does not have any romantic options with any female characters in the game. Her issue is that other girls find her attractive, and she flirts with them (an acquired behavior from her father) and sometimes they respond. This is a bog-standard anime trope, as an aside.
      - She approaches the player character and asks for his assistance, because she's worried this is a liability in battle.
      - He *secretly* (and this is the only bit that could be controversial IMO) slips a magic powder into her drink at some point
      - The magic powder makes her perceive all the male characters she hangs around with as women. She realizes this and is able to interact with them normally like she always does.
      - Her issue with getting distracted around pretty girls disappears as a result. She appreciates the fact that the player character helped her.
      - During the process, she realized she has feelings for the main character which were not related to the magic, but rather something she always felt but hadn't realized before.

      It's not 'drugging the gay away' since she wasn't in the first place, and if anything the fact she realizes her feelings when interacting with the main character when he looks like a girl, then that feeling persists beyond that could just as easily be interpreted as meaning that gender is irrelevant. Honestly if instead of powder in a drink it was just a magic spell I'm not sure anyone would have blinked an eye.

        Soliel finds it hard to concentrate properly when she's around pretty girls

        Her and me both!

        Thanks for that. So it's not like MC is drugging her in order to get into her pants or to change her sexuality. At most you could say it is a 'magical' version of Xanax or something that will just relax her mind so she can get past the distractions.

        The magic powder makes her perceive all the male characters she hangs around with as women. She realizes this and is able to interact with them normally like she always does.

        Wow, this is the exact opposite of what the article suggested happened in the game.

          IIRC it flips her perception of both genders. The opposite wouldn't make sense - the reason that people got their knickers in a twist is that you could interpret her realizing her feelings for the (male) main character when he appears like a girl, then when it wears off she still feels the same way and has thus been 'degayed with drugs' somehow. I can see how you'd get to that conclusion but it's a stretch.

          She *does* act like she's at least bisexual, but I think it was a hamfisted callout to her father. Awakening & Fates spoilers: Lazward is actually Inigo, the son of Olivia. He was super shy but Olivia encouraged him to talk to girls a lot and now he flirts with every girl he sees, and that seems to have rubbed of on his daughter.

        This clarifies a lot and, in agreement with other comments, actually runs contrary to the impression I got from the article.

    You should definitely read the link to Ashcraft's post.

    I'd imagine the best way to think about this is the way you'd explain it to a layperson. Someone who didn't know about different Nintendo offices and or relationship bonuses and regionalisation in video games.

    I'm not sure it's feasible to do so in a succinct way, without adding at least a bit of your own interpretation to it.

    I don't know how to feel about this. More information is required. Are they removing the ability to achieve S-Rank with Soleil, hindering potential stat boosts for that pairing? Are they just changing their interaction dialogue, which potentially alters the character's mindset entirely like Henry in Awakening?

      As a developer I'm going to speculate they chose the easiest solution to implement, so I'm betting they changed the dialogue slightly.

    Presumably nothing will change. That scene was mistranslated and then the internet went flying into a huge panic. Since there was never any 'drugging' or 'gay conversion' in there in the first place, there should be nothing to remove.

      See you say that, but I am sure that SOMEONE on the internet will find a way to be offended.

        sad isnt it, that this is what a advancements in technology and social networking has caused.
        a bunch of hyper sensitive people (it took my ages to write the word people, coz i was gonna write slurs in its place, but didnt want to offend anyone - FFS)

    this bullshit is getting worse. its not homophobic and nor was it intended to be, and seeing its part of a character story/development, who gives a fuck what they do. its not setting a stance for any political/gender/sexual agenda on behalf of anyone other that particular character.

    I'm betting that they'll avoid the so-called 'homophobic scene' by simply making her straight, awkward around men (excepting your male PC if so) and then have her willingly take the drug (or spell) to now see men as women, thus curing her awkwardness. (Then the drug/spell will wear off before romancing your male PC, so there's still no homosexuality to infer).

      She already was straight, she gets nervous around girls because they find *her* attractive.

    Thing is, the game is launching with multiple versions — Birthright and Conquest — and you’ll only be able to get male/male romance in one version and female/female in the other

    Uhh... wut? Is that the only difference between the games?

    Real talk though: If that's the case, which version is going to be more popular?

      The games have completely different storylines. It's a conflict between two kingdoms, and the player character is royalty from one of them that is abducted as a child and raised by the other side. Early on you side with one kingdom or the other, so the characters to interact with and the plot and everything is different. Which side you side with is fixed depending on which version of the game you get. There's also third DLC scenario where you side with neither, and the special LE version of the game has all three scenarios on the same cart so you actually make a choice which path you go down instead of having it made for you. Apparently each scenario is roughly the same size as Fire Emblem Awakening was.

      That's the reason behind the male/male or female/female thing - both sides of the conflict have one (and only one) homosexual romance option. Both character that offer that option are bisexual - the only same-sex partner they can pair with is the player avatar, all their other romantic supports are heterosexual. Baby steps.

        Aha! That makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up. Baby steps as you say!

        Could you tell me which side features what LGBT character? I've seen Rhajat, and I assume that she's the LGBT character for the Hoshido side. But how about the Nohr?

    It seems like it will just ensure the wording won't infer that any drugging or conversion takes place, at least against her will.nd from what many have said, it would merely be an accurate translation of the original.

    There was no controversy to begin with, just a bunch of dumb Tumblr warriors who used google translate and mistranslated scans before the game was even out in Japan (hint: character in question isn't even homosexual to begin with). Naturally, this being a Grayson article didn't bother with researching the actual game or the scene in question and angled it towards the miscarriage of social justice.

    Thank god Nintendo wasn't in charge of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3.

    Eh. I was expecting this, but you don't drug her to turn her straight. You drug her so that she perceives men as women (what a trip) and she ends up falling in love with you when she's around you and you look/sound like a woman to her. When the drug wears off she finds she is still in love with you even though you're a male.

    Still weird as hell, but I find the fact that her love for the MC ends up transcending gender to be sweet in a weird way. It is still a sketchy weird situation, with the MC choosing as odd way to try to help her with her gender issues and shit, but it wasn't actually turning her straight.

    Still of course it would be removed due to outcry not over the reality of the scene, but people who didn't know what the scene actually was and screamed that she was drugged to be turned straight. Don't think that is healthy for free speech when you can force a company or individual to edit their work due to what you thought their work depicted when it didn't actually depict that.

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