Yesterday, it was revealed that the Western release of Fire Emblem: Fates would change a controversial scene from the Asian release. In the game, one of the characters – a bisexual lady who fawns and feints over “cute girls” – has her drink spiked with a powder that sees her attracted to, and fall in love with a man. For many, this scene caused controversy for two reason; it’s just a step away from date rape, and also suggests that homosexuality is a thing to be cured.
I wholly understand why Nintendo might want that changed. Naturally, there have been cries of censorship, and accusation of leftist politics from gamers who want things left as they are. In a statement to Siliconera, Nintendo’s clarified why they’ve made the changes.
“When we localize a game we do so in order to make it appropriate for that particular territory. All our choices were made from that point of view.”
The last Fire Emblem, the excellent Awakening didn’t feature same-sex relationships at all, as the marriage mechanic was essentially a vehicle for creating in-game children. This time, it’s a bit different.
“In the Conquest edition a male main character created by the gamer can pair up with another male character (Niles) which ultimately leads to marriage. Similarly, in the Birthright edition, a female main character created by the gamer can pair up with and eventually marry another female character (Rhajat). Like married couples of the opposite gender, these same-sex couples enjoy the stat boosts that come with marriage, which means when they are paired up in battle they are stronger than when they are apart or paired up with another character.”
“In the third edition, Revelation, that will be released as DLC in the eShop on March 10, a same-sex marriage is possible regardless of the sex of your main character, as both Niles and Rhajat can be encountered in this edition.”
I applaud Nintendo for tailoring games to suit different audiences, and I think the extricated “gay conversion” storyline is a bit rubbish anyway. Besides that, it’s ten minutes in a game that will provide countless hours of enjoyment, so I don’t really understand the fuss over its removal in the first place.