Nintendo has confirmed that they will be censoring content from their UK and US release of Fire Emblem: Fates, an RPG for the Nintendo 3DS.
In Fire Emblem: Fates the player character can form a bond with other game characters, and even form romantic relationships. However, in the Japanese version of the game players are able to enter into a romantic relationship with a lesbian character named Soleil, despite the player character being male.
In the Japanese version of the game players can chose to secretly slip a magic powder into Soleil’s drink. If they do so Soleil, who is described as being shy approaching women, will then see men as women and women as men. The game’s protagonist is then able to romance Soleil. Once the magic wears off Soleil says that she loves the main character, despite the fact that he is male, and even goes so far as wanting to marry him.
Despite the game being released in Japan Nintendo have chosen to remove the plot line from their western release. In a statement to Nintendo World Report a Nintendo representative said ‘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 decision to remove these aspects of the game have likely come following various members of the public pointing out that the plot line closely resembles both gay conversion and date rape drugging. Whilst the game itself does not contain explicit date rape or corrective rape, the actions of the player character closely resemble them enough that people felt the need to highlight the issue.
As to be expected, reactions to the news have been mixed, with some gamers praising the decision to remove the questionable content, whilst others have been decrying the decision as being ‘censorship gone too far’.