Fire Emblem Fates E3 2015
A still from the E3 2015 trailer for Fire Emblem Fates. Nintendo

Update: It has been brought to our attention that the character of Soleil is in fact bisexual. We have updated the headline of this story and the mention that she is a lesbian in the original text below. We believe the plot-line remains very suspect however and stand by our story.

The original headline read: "Fire Emblem Fates homophobia: Gay character in Nintendo 3DS RPG is drugged to turn her 'straight'"

Original Story: Despite being the first Nintendo game to allow same-sex marriage, one sub-plot in 3DS role playing game Fire Emblem Fates is pretty homophobic. It includes a character who defines her attraction to women as a "weakness" and who is essentially drugged by another character to trick her mind into believing he is a woman.

In Fire Emblem Fates players take on the role of Kamui, who can be male or female, in a tactical turn-based game in which battles are fought with a cast of characters you get to know and forge relationships with in between skirmishes.

According to Tumblr user Andrea-Ritsu, who is playing the Japanese version of the game and has translated the scenes in question, there is a bisexual character called Soleil, who can only be romanced by a male protagonist via some very questionable means.

In the translated dialogue the character says: "My weakness is, cute girls... Around the type that I like, I end up fainting if I even get near them. It's not very impressive." She also says that this is preventing her from becoming a "strong, cool woman".

Constantly fainting around people you find attractive would be a problem, but the insinuation is of course worrying, and it only gets worse. Later on the male Kamui reveals he has effectively drugged Soleil without her consent to help her overcome the problem.

"I managed to get my hands on a kind of magic powder," he says. "I'm really sorry, but a little while ago, I poured some of it into your drink. The person who drinks that powder... somehow becomes able to see other people as the gender opposite what they actually are.

"After what you said, I wanted to resolve your concerns, so I thought it over a little. And it led me to a conclusion. Seeing me as a girl, you can use me to overcome your issues. From now on I'll get closer to you until you can tolerate being around me without fainting."

It gets stranger. The powder doesn't help Soleil, but they continue to use it. Kamui meets Soleil then tells her to look toward the sky, leading to this dialogue exchange...

Kamui: Your smile is like the sun. I want to look at that smile beside me... forever.

Soleil: Kamui... what's wrong? Did you hit your head?

Kamui: T-That's not it! I'm quite serious! ... Soleil. I want you to have this.

Soleil: This is... a ring?

Kamui: Yes. I called you here today to ask you to marry me.

Soleil: ... Marry...? Eeh!? EEEEEEHHHHHH!?

Kamui: I made this ring shaped like the sun in order to match you, Soleil... I would be happy if you would accept it.

Soleil: ............. I'm sorry!

Kamui: ... I see...

Soleil: Ah, not like that! That wasn't a refusal just now... that was me apologising for asking if you hit your head despite trying so hard to confess.

Kamui: Ah, was that it? You surprised me.

Soleil: My reply is... of course it's okay. There's no other man that could make my heart tighten like this. I've loved you since the day I saw you as a girl.

Kamui: Uh. Since the day you saw me as a girl? You couldn't possibly mean... that you fell in love with the female me!?

Soleil: Yep!

Kamui: Oh God...

Soleil: But it's okay. Right now, I also love the male Kamui. I mean, when I drank that magic powder, I saw countless people as women... but the only one to make my heart throb was you, Kamui. Even now... my heart is beating fast. ... Hey, want to try touching my chest?

Kamui: Waaaaah! No, no! That's not happening!!

Soleil: Eh, why not?

Kamui: Why... because before marriage, I can't thoughtlessly touch a woman's body. I understand your feelings... but please treasure yourself more.

Soleil: Okay... I get it.

Kamui: Good girl. Thank you for accepting my proposal. I'll definitely make you happy. On that note... you can't flirt with other guys, okay? Though I don't think I have to worry about that with you.

Soleil: Ehehe... Okay. I won't cheat. From now on until forever, I belong only to Kamui!

The Tumblr user followed up her initial post with another posting images proving the translated conversion above took place. A Japanese-speaking colleague has confirmed the translation. The images are below.

Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates

This is all problematic for a litany of reasons. First we have the female character defining her attraction to women as a weakness, which regardless of characterisation is a concerning view for the developers telling this story to take. Then there's the magic powder added to Soleil's drink without her consent, which has clear connotations and finally the exchange relating to their engagement at the end of the dialogue entry above.

Fire Emblem Fates is being developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD, and will be published by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on 25 June, with localised versions of the game set for release in Europe and the US next year.

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