Nintendo Addresses Gay And Drugging Controversy In Fire Emblem

Nintendo has come under fire about a conversation in Fire Emblem Fates that was blasted throughout certain social communities and eventually found its way into gaming media. The company issued a response to assuage some of the controversy and put to rest some of the concerns that came up based on some posts made by fans on social media.

Tiny Cartridge did a write-up on the event, pointing to the quote from a Nintendo representative who told Polygon the following regarding Fire Emblem Fates on the Nintendo 3DS....

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.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.

The issue originally started last year in the summer with a Tumblr blog post claiming that the latest Fire Emblem had a gay conversion segment where a character was drugged to see males as females and females as males. Certain media websites found the post and reiterated the information.

During that time, the game was not fully translated in English since it had just come out in Japan at the end of June. However, a few fan translations were partially available and posted up in a pastebin -- which is where the Tumblr blog got its information from -- but it was later found that some of those fan translations were inaccurate and translation communities like Serenes Forest are vetting heavily on their end to make sure they provide a translation as close to the original as possible.

Since the information was not fact-checked by the media, it became a controversy for Nintendo throughout the latter half of 2015. Misinformation about the event spread far and wide throughout various gaming communities. YouTuber BriHard did a video explaining how the wildfire moved swiftly through social media due to the echo from media outlets, causing a stir based on a mistranslation.

On July 3 last year Niche Gamer did a recap of the event and provided a proper depiction of the controversial segment thanks to Gaijin Hunter. It turns out that the scenario wasn't quite what the media depicted it as, but the outrage generated by the media had built up too much momentum and there was no slowing it down.

An identical situation recently occurred with the game Survival Island 3, where social media activists caught wind of a crude promo image for the game and formed a petition claiming that it was a racist murder simulator. It turns out that the game is a basic survival sim set in Australia that's a knockoff between Rust and Minecraft. However, due to a lack of fact-checking and the misinformation spread through media, Survival Island 3 was banned from Google Play and the iTunes app store.

In this particular case, we don't know exactly if Nintendo has removed any of the segments involving the conversation that the media labeled as “gay conversion” or if they completely altered the character to remove any romance options at all. We'll find out once Fire Emblem Fates launches in North America next month on February 19 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.