Nintendo has responded to concerns over a controversial scene in Fire Emblem Fates, and says that changes have been made in the localized version of the game.
The scene in its most basic terms involves the drugging of a female party member without her consent, and the implication that because her being attracted to women is a problem for her (she faints upon seeing cute girls) she should be “cured.” After being slipped the potion, she goes on to become a marriage opportunity for the male protagonist, but notably not the female protagonist.
It is, of course, more convoluted than that. Suffice it to say, in the months since the controversy came to light, I haven’t seen any defense of the storyline that hasn’t led me to back away with my hands up and an eyebrow raised. Luckily, the scene has been altered in localization, though we don’t yet know what the changes are.
Nintendo’s statement is as follows:
“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.
Making changes is not unusual when we localize games, and we have indeed made changes in these games. 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.
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.”
Fire Emblem Fates will be available in North America February 19.