Nintendo has issued a statement further addressing the removal of a scene from Fire Emblem Fates that referred to gay conversions and drugging, saying the changes were necessary to “make it appropriate for [Western territories.]”
The publisher previously confirmed that the version of the game that ships in the US and Europe has “no expression which might be considered as gay conversion or drugging that occurs between characters.”
A follow-up statement explaining the decision to remove the scene was issued to Siliconera.
“Making changes is not unusual when we localize games, and we have indeed made changes in these games,” it said. “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.”
Fire Emblem Fates allows players to develop bonds between characters, which–once strong enough–can lead to the characters getting married and having children. Soleil, a female character, is attracted to other females but is nervous around them.
If a bond with a male protagonist is developed, he spikes her drink with a magic powder that reverses the gender of all character in her eyes. This is supposed to help her feel more comfortable around women, but is not consensual. Soleil can then fall in love with the female version of the protagonist, but when the magic reverses and reveals him to be a man she continues to love him–essentially altering her sexual preference.
Nintendo hasn’t explained how this aspect of the game has been changed.
The follow-up statement goes on to emphasizes that it will still be possible to have same-sex relationships in the game.
“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).”
It continues: “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 launches on February 19 and there will be two separate $40 versions of the game. Birthright and Conquest each with their own complete story exploring the two sides of the conflict. Purchasing one allows you to buy a $20 digital version of the other.
A third version called Revelation will be released after its launch as DLC. It will contain both stories in one.