Nintendo Issues Statement In Response To Fire Emblem Fates Controversy

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

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fireemblemfatesscreen

Nintendo has issued a statement in response to the censorship controversy surrounding Fire Emblem Fates. They were asked by Siliconera about whether the game would have any “controversial dialogue” that was present in the Japanese version altered for the Western release. Nintendo responded by saying that the localised version for both territories will not contain any content that can be interpreted as gay conversion or drugging other characters.

However, Nintendo also issued the following statement to Siliconera.

“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.”

Note that this statement doesn’t go into detail as to what localisation changes have been made. Therefore, fans will have to wait for the finished product to be released so that the changes Nintendo made come to light.

Fire Emblem Fates is the latest in Intelligent System’s fantasy RPG series. It is scheduled to release on February 19th in NA and in PAL territories on an unannounced date.

About Joseph Puntschart

A university student who loves niche games and desires for them to be more fairly represented in the world. Favourite games include Persona 4 Golden, Super Mario Galaxy, Kingdom Hearts II and IA/VT Colorful. Hopes that one day a Japanese publisher will take the risk and make a Yaoi ecchi game. Think Valkyrie Drive with guys and you're on the right lines.




  • darkgamer001

    “Making changes is not unusual when we localize games”
    Believe me Nintendo, you do not need to remind anyone about your track record in “localization”…..aka censorship. Let’s call a spade a spade shall we?

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      You have zero knowledge about what was changed. Literally. Zero. Not everything is “censorship”. That word is thrown around as loosely and idiotically as “ironic” these days. Sheesh.

      Not all changes are censorship. If they were, by this definition, literally EVERY game that is translated and brought to the U.S. would be considered censored, by any company, not just Nintendo. So how about you all start throwing this attitude at the other companies?

    • darkgamer001

      I will throw it at any company that pulls these stunts off thank you very much.
      I’m sorry my definition of censorship does not match your definition of censorship. How dare I have a differing opinion…..tut tut

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      What stunt have they pulled? In this instance specifically?

      I’m not saying you’re not free to have your own definitions, I’m just saying that you need to wait and see if it’s actually censorship. Everybody moans about Nintendo making changes, but I guarantee you, there are pleeeeenty of other companies that are just as guilty, it just goes unnoticed.

    • darkgamer001

      If it goes unnoticed that’s not a good thing and it needs to be exposed.
      But by that logic, if we say this company shouldn’t get criticized because this other company gets off lightly, then everyone would just be silent and let all companies steamroll all over us.
      I know what you’re getting at mate – Nintendo gets more flak than any other gaming company out there. And you know what? I agree, 100%. But they don’t make it easy on themselves do they.

      As for what stunt they have pulled, it’s as I said….removing content, tantamount to censorship imho. A lot of us want the localization process to be as unobtrusive as possible. For 3 games in a row now, this was not the case.

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      What content was removed? Where do they specifically say that this scene was removed from the game? That comment can be interpreted to mean that the scene in question doesn’t contain those issues or topics to begin with, so nothing is being changed.

      And that’s not the logic I was trying to employ. I’m trying to say that people have Nintendo under a microscope, and maybe they should start putting other companies under it as well.

    • darkgamer001

      As I said, I agree with putting all companies under the same level of scrutiny. 100%. I hate double standards of any sort, so there you go…

      But at the end of the day this is a Nintendo article and a Nintendo game. We can’t just say…”but hey other companies do it and no one cares”…and stop there. But I agree with mentioning it, for what it’s worth.

      Now as for changes….I mean, they’re referencing changes in their past games for crying out loud. If that’s not in anticipation of changes here, then I will gladly and humbly eat my own words here.

      I really, really hope you’re right, but sadly I cannot come to that conclusion judging from the statement and their past track record (that they seem to be parading here, ironically)

    • Vanadise

      Well, there was that time yesterday when they 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.”: http://operationrainfall.com/2016/01/21/nintendo-admits-they-censored-fire-emblem-fates-scenes-to-avoid-controversy/

      Now, the “gay conversion” panic that a lot of people are up in arms about is due to a bad fan translation; the character in question was never a lesbian in the first place. On the other hand, the scene undeniably involves one character putting a powder in another character’s drink to alter their perception. If you consider that to be “drugging,” then Nintendo seems to be indicating that they’re going to remove it.

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      Ooooor, as I was trying to say, it could be taken to mean that they don’t view it as any sort of gay conversion or drugging. They don’t see that scene as including drugging, so nothing was changed. It may be as is.

      There are different ways to interpret that statement, and not all of them end in censorship.

    • Christopher Carlsen

      Jesus Christ kid. I don’t really care either way if a petting game makes it into a game or not, but censorship is censorship. Your handle is clearly ironic, you enjoy arguing one way or the other about details in games, you don’t just want to enjoy them. They also screwed up plenty of conversations, removed possible romances and meme fished. Not to mention the crappy humor Nintendo localization tend to have. It’s perfectly fine for people to be upset by this sort of thing. You might want to fully look into someone before you pretend you’re some sort of expert on a subject.

    • Lynn Kitty

      Apparently people want date rape drugs in their games lol. Poor sods

    • Vanadise

      Why is it that, instead of trying to make an argument why it’s ok to censor something because you find it morally distasteful, you instead insult people by making assumptions about them?

    • Lynn Kitty

      Assumptions? They put a ‘powder’ into a person’s drink without them knowing and it makes them pretty much swap their perception of genders. If I REALLY need to explain how that’s wrong then I don’t think I should bother wasting the time, because fyi, it’s not a ‘bad fan translation’, it’s something that the japanese public had a bit of a problem with it too when the game came out.

    • Vanadise

      No, your assumption is that people who are opposed to censorship must want “date rape drugs” in their games. To be fair, I’m not sure how you’re interpreting changing somebody’s perception of gender as rape.

      You don’t need to explain how giving somebody a drug without their knowledge is wrong; you need to explain why it’s ok to censor what the original author wrote. Simply because “it’s wrong” is not a valid reason, unless you’re advocating for the censorship of everything you think is immoral from any media.

    • Christopher Carlsen

      Getting a SJW vibe from Lynn, that should explain everything.

    • Christopher Carlsen

      You act as if they are real people. Lynn, you can’t possible be that mentally challenged.

    • Lynn Kitty

      lol, only mentally challenged person says something weeks after the conversation is over.

    • Vanadise

      No, not all changes are censorship. But changes that are due to moral, political, or military motivations are censorship.

      The concern here is that a scene is being altered because, essentially, drugging somebody without their consent is bad, and that is very much a moral reason. So, we still need to wait and see what the scene is actually like before calling it censorship, but Nintendo hasn’t had a great track record in that regard.

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      I will (mostly) agree with you there. But there is no evidence that this scene is being altered. So, I think people need to maybe just cool it a bit and wait and see what happens.

      Just because a company has had a record one way or the other doesn’t mean that jumping to conclusions and playing the “censorship” card is the way to go.

    • Ari

      Exactly. People should be patient and see how it plays out. If they really have that much of an issue with it already, then they can protest it with their wallets.

    • deadeye

      Some changes are expected and oftentimes unavoidable when localizing.

      However, when something is in the original version of the game and not in the localized version, or was significantly altered…well, it might not be censorship, but it would be a bad localization.

      And then you have things like changing entire characters personalities for no reason, like Henry in Awakening. Again, might not censorship, but still bad localization.

      There are cases of actual censorship though like Xenoblade Chronicles X. It’s not significant, but it’s annoying and unnecessary.

      Things don’t need to be made “appropriate” for other audiences. The only time changes should come up in a localization is when there’s a joke, wordplay, reference, etc. that wouldn’t make sense to westerners. NoA seriously has one of the worst localization teams. All of their localized games have the same writing style. They want all of their games to be “clean” and “family friendly”. They want this like super universal audience and they don’t care how much they have to water things down to get there. I say they’re sterile. You end up “over-localizing” it, which just pushes away the people that are interested in the first place.

      Seriously, their localizations remind me of old 4kids anime dubs. Like insinuating something that looks suspiciously like a rice ball is actually a jelly doughnut. It’s like they want to try to remove any evidence that it was made in Japan.

    • Paychi

      True not every game is censored but many are. But Awakening was and Fates is confirmed to be. Nintendo just literally said “We are changing the game so as not to offend people in the region.” That’s exactly what censorship is, changing the original product to avoid controversy. 8-4 and Nintendo do this often.

      The drugging of the character to cause gender confusion is a bit strange. I get that it’s originally supposed to be a comical scenario(?) or something silly and it doesn’t offend me in the slightest, but I can understand the change. However, generally Nintendo and their dogs at 8-4 are likely to censor the bathing suit stuff again, and that kind of shit is fucking pathetic.

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      This is gonna sound incredibly bitchy, and I’m sorry for that, but can you please tell me where Nintendo literally said that? Because literally means just that – literally. I don’t see where they said they made changes to that effect.

      The statement they made is (unfortunately) rather ambiguous to me. Saying that it does not contain content is VERY different than saying it was removed. The former could very well mean that they don’t believe the game contains those scenes or content, so no change was necessary.

      Sure, they said they’ve made some changes, but for all we know, it could be idioms that didn’t translate well and a piece of food or something. I think it’s dangerous to jump the gun. Sure, maybe a company has a history of doing things that could be considered “censorship”. Doesn’t mean that everything they do is censorship. In this instance, I think it’s critical that we wait and see if anything was removed or not. As far as I can tell, there is ZERO proof of that.

    • Paychi

      Ain’t gonna teach how to read. Friend.

    • IJustWantToEnjoyGames

      I’d just like to know what you’re reading that I’m not. What lines specifically in that statement from Nintendo or this article am I reading incorrectly?

    • Firion Hope

      Right not all changed are censorship but nintendo has a huge track record of actual censorship including the prequel of this game that was more tame than this one. And they’ve been on a roll doing this kind of thing lately so I’d be absolutely shocked if there wasn’t any.

      I will say the way articles phrased it as if it was a for sure thing that it’d be removed was wrong though.

    • PanurgeJr

      It’s not censorship when it’s the decision of the people who are funding the project of what content to provide.

    • darkgamer001

      That’s a very, very limited idea of what censorship is
      People are being denied the original artistic vision of the original developers because of a few people at NoE and NoA making arbitrary decisions for the rest of us.
      If you want to play around with semantics and not call that censorship, that’s your call
      But as I said, I have no interest in playing these word games, and call a spade a spade. Besides, definitions aren’t even set in stone anyway

  • Mr0303

    So it is confirmed then – they removed the scene out of fear. This says more about the cultural climate in the West than anything else.

    One thing left to say:

  • TranslateDontLocalize

    Localization in general is dumb. Just translate the game straight through. We do not need a team of “localizers” to change something to make the country understand what is happening. That is why the internet, gooogle, and other information sources exist.

    Translation should be 1:1 as close as possible. Localization needs to stop in general.

    • Guest

      So Sumia should’ve been making bento boxes for Chrom instead of pies, despite Awakening’s setting being more in tune with Europe than Japan. That’s what you’re saying, right?

    • Ari

      If Nintendo straight translated and left the original product alone, then the games would not sell as well as they have. Nintendo is a business that wants to make money and tailoring products to specific regions to increase sales is how it is done.

    • MusouTensei

      Yes, if Shantae can have Bento boxes, why not an actual made in japan game? The setting is a pure fantasy, just because it looks like medival europe doesn’t mean it has to completely behave like it, it’s still a game made by japanese people for a japanese audience, there are more than enough western made titles that appeal mostly to westerners, no need to alter japanese titles to those tastes as that is not why I buy japanese titles.
      Also never forget
      http://images.yuku.com.s3.amazonaws.com/image/png/8fb360145b366cd58020b632970f62ac3aec9992_r.png

    • Guest

      Except until recently, Fire Emblem has mostly been based on medieval fantasy tropes and settings, where anything oriental is usually just considered a token. Hell, Sacae was about the only thing remotely eastern about the FE universe for a while, and even then that was more influenced by Mongolian culture than Japan. In the case of Awakeining, if it was Say’ri making bento for everyone instead of Sumia then I wouldn’t call that example out specifically. But for a European analog to serve up kotetsu instead of roasts is just culture clash. It’s like those chuckleheads that want to be a ninja when they play D&D.

    • Guest

      Also, yes the game was made for Japanese audiences. I will concede that. But last I checked, North America isn’t in Japan.

    • MusouTensei

      Like I said, completely fantasy, everything goes really and that’s for the actual creators to decide.

    • TranslateDontLocalize

      Yep. If I dont know what a bento box is *gasp* Ill go look it up. This primarily a game from japanese culture first. Just like Metal Gear, which takes place in America and Russia mostly, the translation was near 1:1. Completely different game but the Japanese quirks and inuendos stay.

    • Guest

      That’s a little cherry-picked. Most instances in Metal Gear involve the particular characters being otakus of some sort; Otacon and Para-Medic have traits that revolve around their love of Japanese culture. Last I checked, Sumia wasn’t an otaku in-universe.

      And I don’t know about you, but if I have to stop and google something every ten seconds to understand what’s going on when I’m playing a game, watching a movie, reading a book, etc, then it’s just immersion-breaking. If I have to consistently do that in order to fully enjoy a story of any kind, then I may as well just read an encyclopedia for fun instead.

    • TranslateDontLocalize

      So all the posters of idol girl Paz hanging on Motherbase in MGSV broke immersion too i guess and the soldiers talking about D-Dog’s soft paws? Also focusing on Bento boxes as being the thing that breaks immersion is cherry-picked as hell too.

      I can live with changing a bento box to a pie. I can live with food, a.k.a nothing that impacts the story, character interactions, development, or overall mood from the original. But if you downright change something because its making the moral police uneasy then I have a problem. Also I’m sure we have all seen the picture of Zelda going “such ruins”. Memes are not culture, they are just fucking stupid.

      To hit closer to home, remember Henry? His entire character went from being a maniac to being an edgy little kid teenager.

  • Razorfall

    They specifically mentioned names here, yet Soleil is not mentioned in that response. So I wonder if she’s been removed as a choice altogether.

  • MusouTensei

    So that’s the new excuse, yes? It’s not censorship, it’s localization guys! Fuck outta here Nintendo.
    Look, I can understand some localization, like renaming things that can’t really be translated because they are made up japanese words or something that just doesn’t has a english word for (like Pokemons for example), but changing entire lines of text, removing certain clothes/features or even more IS NOT OKAY!

    If I think something you call localization is censorship, I will treat it as such and not give you my money, simple.

    • Guest

      “Changing a name is fine, but altering a line of text where someone is slipped a mickey is bad”

      Okay then.

    • TranslateDontLocalize

      Maybe you aren’t mature enough to deal with a serious theme. It’s okay, we all grow up at some point.

    • Ari

      “think something you call localization is censorship, I will treat it as such and not give you my money, simple.”
      Then why all the complaining if you’re not going to purchase it to begin with? You not buying it is the best form of protest. Your doing the opposite of what Nintendo wants which is to sell you that game.

    • MusouTensei

      “Drugging someone is bad but murdering countless enemies with a variety of weapons is fine”

      Okay then.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      Isn’t the killing in these games in war/defense? That’s generally not considered murder.

    • MusouTensei

      Grand Theft Auto.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      How is that relevant? Besides, you probably can drug people in GTA (I don’t play them, so I’m not sure).

    • MusouTensei

      You were implying that you only kill soldiers in war games, when ther are plenty of games where you can kill hundreds of innocent citizen if you want to. Imo that’s worse than drugging a single person, which doesn’t even happen in FE.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      No, I was saying that in Fire Emblem games, you only kill soldiers (well, monsters and thieves too). Obviously that’s not true of games in general.

    • Lynn Kitty

      People buy Fire Emblem because it IS a war strategy game. It always has been. I don’t remember gay conversion or date rape powders being a part of strategy. XD

    • MusouTensei

      It’s more than just a war game, always has been, it tries to make the characters likable so you feel bad when they die. If it would be just another storyless war game no one would give a damn about it.
      Besides that there is no date rape nor gay conversation, but even if, so what? It’s a fictional story not based in reality, why do you people have such a problem to distinguish fiction and reality, like normal people who aren’t brainwashed do?

    • PanurgeJr

      It’s not censorship when it’s the decision of the people funding the project of what content to provide.

    • MusouTensei

      Yes it is, fuck off with your apologeptic excuses.
      Removing content to avoid offended whiners is censorship, plain and simple, and I will not support it.

    • PanurgeJr

      I was not making excuses; I was providing a definition. That you went straight for an obscene, insulting attack, however, demonstrates that such a distinction or its implications will be lost on you.

    • MusouTensei

      You people only accept definitions when it fits your narratives.
      Fuck off is not an insulting attack you oversensitive faggot (that on the other hand was), it’s a command your german overlord gives you.

    • Funny thing is you’re coming across as awfully whiny with your ranting.

    • MusouTensei

      I whine because of restrictions that are forced on me, they whine because muh tumblr feels, my whining is superior in any way, shape and form.

    • PanurgeJr

      So you’re telling me you’re a Nazi. Got it. It explains a lot: the utter lack of intelligence, the abject ignorance, the rage that I possessed understanding and spoke it rather than silently accepting your mistaken notions, and the fixation on censorship, which your ideology does not fight but fights to do. Well, I fight back.

      Also, please continue to insult me. It will confirm that my way of thinking is correct.

    • MusouTensei

      Ich werde dich mit Sauerkraut beschmeißen und dir Kartoffeln in die Schuhe stopfen bis du schwarz wirst du Fugenhobel Spasemacken

    • Neckto

      Your German is, so-so. Arzt, hilf dir selber!

    • Neckto

      This was totally wrong, @MusouTensei:disqus needs psychiatric help.

    • Ari

      Then don’t buy it.

    • MusouTensei

      Oh, I won’t, I’m going to buy Senran Kagura Estival Versus, Megadimension Neptunia, GalGun Double Peace, Personal 5 and Trails of Cold Steel insted, by companies that actually value artistic freedom and don’t succumb to unecessary censorship just to appease people who don’t even play videogames.

    • SullenSamurai

      Sure it is. It’s legally permissible, but it’s still censorship.

      If a privately-owned newspaper refuses to run a pertinent story because it deals with a topic administration finds distasteful, it’s still censorship. If the United States government forces you to stop (peacefully) protesting a legal policy because they run the country you occupy, it’s still censorship (illegal too, in that case; doesn’t necessarily stop them from trying). If Nintendo of America chooses to remove or change something they personally find distasteful in a game they intend to sell to an audience and literally seek zero input from said audience, it’s still censorship.

      Regardless of how you feel about it, if the Soleil support conversations were altered, it’s censorship. Assuming said decision was made, it wasn’t a decision any of us participated in making; it was imposed upon us, by an authority figure, on grounds of morality or personal taste. It’s pretty cut and dry.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      By that logic, just holding your tongue is censorship. If I chose not to make this comment, that would be censorship, because I, as the authority over what I say (just as Nintendo is the authority over what’s in their own game) chose to keep you from seeing it without your input. That, of course, is ridiculous, but it is in line with your way of thinking.

    • SullenSamurai

      If you chose not to comment because you were afraid of potential backlash from me or others, then I suppose it would be censorship — self-censorship, specifically.

      Now if you chose not to comment because you didn’t feel like it, then yeah, that wouldn’t be censorship at all. That would be a purely internal choice in a scenario that does not require outside participation. I don’t have to read what you write in order for you to write it, and vice versa; your words are free for you to produce as they are for me to read. Now if I were paying you to offer your opinion and you chose not to offer it, even if it was just because you didn’t feel like it, then I suppose even that would be (or at least could be called) censorship.

      The specific problem here is that Nintendo of America (may have) made a purely internal choice in a scenario that thrives off of if not necessitates outside participation: the selling of a product. If that product was changed against the wishes of the potential consumers without even the opportunity for their input, that’s a problem; furthermore, if the product was changed on moralistic grounds, it’s censorship. It’s not unlawful for them to do so — just unwise.

      Either you’re trying to strawman me really hard, you haven’t come to terms with the nebulous and multi-faceted definition(s) of “censorship”, or there’s simply a fundamental disconnect in your line of reasoning. Help me figure this out.

  • Thomas

    So we get no explanation on how they are going to handle it? Great.

    • Ari

      No one is entitled to an explanation about it. It is what it is and that will be known after the game releases.

    • Thomas

      Well you know something, we really do need an explanation on how they are going to alter the scene in some way. Otherwise we are in the dark.

    • Ari

      Get the game when It comes out or wait for someone who buys it to whine about it. Nintendo has no need to explain themselves any further. Controversy is good for sales.

    • Thomas

      I’d rather waste my money on Johnny Test merchandise than buy two versions of the same game and waste more money on the DLC. NoA should at least give us some info on what their changing, otherwise their just going to fuck it up like with Tri-Force Heroes. #downwithNoA

    • Ari

      You don’t have to buy both. If you just want to experience one side of their war, just buy one. They can be purchased separately.

  • RpgNostalgia

    I really dislike changes made during localization.