Fire Emblem may be one of Nintendo's most popular tactical role-playing games in recent history, but backlash to a subplot in the franchise's latest entry has prompted the video game maker to edit the game ahead of its Western release.
In Fire Emblem Fates, players are able to customize their character's gender and appearance as well as their sexual identities. Players are able to form romantic relationships with nearly any character in the game regardless of their gender.
Progressive as that level of customization and openness may be, one particular game mechanic focused on same-sex relationships is drawing criticism for is resemblance to spiking a person's drink and gay conversion therapy.
If a player chooses to be male, at some point in the game they encounter Soleil, a lesbian character who's presents as a potential love interest. Should the player want to pursue Soleil romantically, they're given he chance to use a magical potion on her that makes her see men as women and women as men.
The game's plot frames the potion-use as a way to help Soleil overcome her anxiety around other women, but the optics of the story make it difficult to see the potion as anything but a drug being used to coerce a woman into a relationship (and sexuality) she doesn't want.
"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," a Nintendo representative told Nintendo World Report.
Currently, Nintendo has no plans to modify the Japanese version of the game and it has not explained exactly how Fire Emblem Fates will be altered for U.S. and European markets.