Born this way: Nintendo cuts Fire Emblem Fates' controversial "gay conversion drugging"

fire emblem fates gay conversaion therapy scene removed
Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
Nintendo has changed a side story in the North American and European versions of Fire Emblem Fates, removing parts of a sequence where a heterosexual male character drugs a homosexual female character and convinces her to change her sexual orientation, according to a recent report.

A mechanic in recent entries of the Fire Emblem series has allowed players to build relationships between pairs of characters by having the fight in close proximity to each other, which accrues gameplay bonuses and leads to new dialogue. In Fire Emblem: Awakening, certain characters could culminate in marriage and creating children, who would later join your army. Nintendo announced last year that Fire Emblem Fates would be the first game in the series to feature same-sex marriages.

fireemblemfates
Soleil from Fire Emblem Fates

The dialogue that will be altered occurs when characters seek to pair Soleil, a homosexual female character, with the male version of the protagonist. In the Japanese version of the sequence, Soleil reveals that she has trouble speaking to women. When their relationship is “high” enough,
the male protagonist slips a drug into Soleil’s drink, which makes men appear to be women and women like men. Once she’s taken the pill, the player can initiate a conversation where Soleil proposes to the protagonist and confesses that she fell in love with him under the influence of the drug, but still loves him without it.

“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 publisher told Nintendo World Report. Nintendo has not specified how the sequence will be re-written for North American audiences.

According to Eurogamer, some fans took offense to the scene when the Japanese version of the game was released in June, 2015. Some fans did not like notion that the game’s protagonist would drug a woman’s drink, others were specifically offended the inclusion of a sequence where a homosexual character has been forcibly made heterosexual, uncomfortably recalling “gay conversion therapies” advocated by some fundamentalist Christian groups.

Fire Emblem Fates will be released in North America February 19.

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