WARNING: This Article Could Piss You Off!

WARNING: This Article Could Piss You Off!

For starters, there are minor spoilers in regard to a specific relationship sub-plot in Fire Emblem Fates. Also I’ll be discussing how homosexuality is portrayed in the game and the topic has made a mess of comments sections all over the web, so let’s try to be civil here. Lastly, and what might be the most infuriating, I’m calling for everyone to get off of his or her own high horse and consult their common sense before taking a stance one way or another. Moving on!

Nintendo has made headlines again for removing content from a game that it deems may come across as distasteful or offensive in the west. This time the game is Fire Emblem Fates, and the content in question is a particular sub-plot that unfolds between the male protagonist and a female character named Soleil who happens to be attracted primarily to women. In the following paragraphs I’m going to offer you three summaries. I’m going to give you the “too long didn’t read” (tl;dr) versions of the incident in question as it happens in the game, and the two reasons why people seem to be getting offended by it. I’ll follow up with my own take on it. For anyone interested, a full translation of the goings on between Soleil and the male protagonist can be found here , and that is what I’m drawing from.

TL;DR – What happened…

Soleil has a weakness for cute girls that causes her to lose control of herself and faint. Apparently on the way back from a battle she passed out due to the presence of a beautiful town-woman, your hero-man noticed and thought she was injured. They talk about it, and Soleil wishes it wasn’t such a big problem. In order to assist Soleil in overcoming her attraction-induced disorientation, he slips a magic powder into her drink that causes her to see men as women, and women as men. That way hero-man, appearing to Soleil as a woman, can help her practice being in close proximity and conversing with beautiful women without fainting. Through their practice sessions Soleil eventually falls in love with the hero and discovers that she even loves him as a man.

TL;DR – Some people are pissed because…

By only reading sensationalist headlines or specially worded summaries of what happens in these scenes, some are interpreting this as some kind of “gay correction;” assuming that the hero, by any means necessary, forced Soleil into a state where she’d realize her love for a man and snap out of her same-sex attraction.

WARNING: This Article Could Piss You Off!

TL;DR – Others are offended because…

Instead of acknowledging that the protagonist and Soleil are friends who are helping each other, there are many who want to zero in on the fact that the protag put something into a woman’s drink without her knowing it. Many, many headlines are addressing the scene where the protag “drugs” a woman.

Not very long; should read – My take…

Take a deep breath, let it out, and chill the f%#k out. Not everything is as dark and outrageous as you think it is. Remember in Harry Potter when Harry slips a luck potion into Ron’s drink to help him overcome a lack of confidence on the Quidditch field? No one accused JK Rowling of condoning drugging our friends because of that scene in the book or the movie. That’s exactly what’s going on here, we’re just being hyper-sensitive because it involves a sexually dynamic romance. People are reacting as though the hero slipped a date rape drug into Soleil’s drink, and that’s just not the case; there was no victim here, both interact with each other as peers and equals; one helping another with a problem which she expressed with a clear longing to overcome. We have zero indication that the protag gives Soleil the powder to make her love him. It just so happens that they fall in love in the process. You know you call that?

Good storytelling. It’s unexpected, it’s ironic, and it’s romantic. Do you honestly think that the writers and developers were trying to sneak in some kind of depiction of “gay curing” with malicious or political motives? Personally, I think you have to travel down a long, slippery slope of paranoia and projection to arrive at that conclusion, but I’ll let you all decide for yourselves. The way I see it, someone totally free and confident in his or her sexuality would not only take that little story in their stride, but would be amused and entertained by the twist of romance at the end. Both versions of the game will include a same-sex relationship opportunity (a lesbian opportunity in Birthright and a gay opportunity in Conquest ). This particular character ended up being surprised by love in a way that transcended her assumed preferences; and why should that make us so angry? It’s a charming and quirky testament to the power of love, and I believe it should have remained in the game.

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