Nintendo announces that a certain scene is being censored for the upcoming release of Fire Emblem Fates, finding it inappropriate for western audiences.
In the latest attempt to convert a game in order to make it more approachable or politically correct for western audiences, Nintendo has confirmed that changes are being made to Fire Emblem Fates.
According to a statement issued by Nintendo to Polygon, the edited scene in question has to do with a character who is attracted to the same gender in Fire Emblem Fates. While it’s not the first time that a same-sex relationship has occurred in the Fire Emblem series, it’s the matter in which that this one is handled. Nintendo had this to say:
“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.”
The scene in question involves the male playable character putting a ‘magic powder’ in the drink of Soleil, a female party member. Soleil struggles to maintain her composure when she’s around attractive women, so the male protagonist uses the powder so that she sees all women as men. Of course, this can ultimately result in Soleil falling in love with the male protagonist (who she initially sees as female), which may be where the controversy stems from. While it was apparently considered harmless for the Japanese release, Nintendo has deemed the scene unacceptable for the western world.
Considering the real-world controversies that have stemmed from unwanted sexual advances and drugged drinks, it’s no surprise that Nintendo of America chose to axe this plot device. While they weren’t specific in how it’s been changed, presumably they’ve modified it so that the relationship can still take place, but with Soleil’s full consent.
In any case, it’s hardly the first time that Nintendo and other developers have decided that they needed to censor games before their western releases. Nintendo of America has repeatedly removed religious references, sexual comments, and skimpy clothing from games like Xenoblade Chronicles X and even Pokemon. Other games have been censored for certain territories, like removing extreme violence from Counter-Strike before its release in Germany, or censoring South Park: The Stick of Truth for all of Europe.
Censoring video games has been happening as far back as the NES, though most gamers didn’t know that their games were being altered back then. These days, however, word spreads quickly when these changes are made, and fans are often angry that they aren’t getting the full experience. At the very least, the ease of sharing game footage means it’s now easy for gamers to find video clips that show what they’ve been missing.
Fire Emblem Fates releases on February 19th for the Nintendo 3DS.