According to Nintendo World Report, Nintendo has decided to change controversial dialogue:
“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 e-mailed us this morning.
You can read the rest of the summary and news on the above article. This has, of course, rekindled some talk surrounding Fire Emblem Fates’ Soleil. I have been doing translations and such for this game from pre-release all the way to post-release, so I figure I best talk about this too, mostly in an informative way.
UPDATE: The officially localized conversation can be found here.
What I want to talk about in today’s post is where exactly that all started, what was misinterpreted, etc. It’s odd how this all became an issue in the first place, but it seems it did enough for Nintendo to have to directly comment on it… and subsequently alter it to avoid any such controversy.
The post has some spoilers pertaining to her character, but will not spoil the overall game.
Who is Soleil?
To answer that, I’ll provide this page. The translated profile text is exactly the same as found in game, and gives you an idea of her appearance as well:
For an extended profile, I provide the character profile translation straight from the game:
Title: The Girl Lover
Starting Class: Mercenary
Personal Skill: Loves Women (When user is the lead unit, if their support unit is female, damage +2 and damage received -2)
Recruitment: S Rank Lazward. Do the resulting sidequest. (Nohr)
Birthday: August 31st
Voice Actor: Eri Suzuki
Sub Profile: Lazward’s daughter. Has a cheerful and energetic personality. Though she is not too shy, she can get anxious about her surroundings.
Museum Profile: Lazward’s daughter who was raised in the secluded regions. Her father is very dear to her, and she wishes to protect him. She is cheerful and energetic, and has incredible reflexes. Though she is a girl herself, she is fond of other cute girls, and unabashedly flirts with them. She is the worst singer in the army.
Epilogue (N): One day she suddenly took off on a journey. Though she was said to have formed a Mercenary Group and had trained extra hard to be a dancer along the way, the truth is unknown. This is the result of women claiming to have interacted with Soleil along the way, so some gossip was likely mixed into it.
Epilogue (S): Soleil married and kept her stout-heart and cheerfulness in the face of any adversity. Her husband also helped her ease up to her surroundings.
Death Quote: “Ahaha…how lame…say… are these tears…? Even though… I wanted to smile…to the end…”
<Epilogue S refers to when she marries any other character. She can only marry other male characters.>
You can get more of an idea of what she’s like by reading a summary of her recruitment chapter here.
Is she lesbian/bisexual?
Well, it depends how you define that in this case. I see a lot of arguments against her being lesbian, as she cannot actually marry/become romantically involved with any other female character. The game has a support system that ends in marriage at an “S” rank, of which she has none with other female characters. She can marry any other male of her generation though.
So is she bisexual then? Maybe. The issue is, and what people argue, is that she may flirt with cute girls and be attracted to them (and flirts with her own mother…), but that this does not make her bisexual either, as it does not mean romantically involved, or something along those lines. It comes back to the lack of S ranks again, therefore making it non-canon in some fashion. I’m not quite sure why flirting with and being attracted to cute girls but marrying men is ruled out of bisexuality, but I am not here to talk about that.
All I wanted to say on the subject is, looking at the profile above (from title to even her personal skill) they really emphasize this quirk of hers which is her attraction to other girls. Her profile even goes out of its way to say: “Though she is a girl herself, she is fond of other cute girls, and unabashedly flirts with them.” (女でありながら可愛い女の子が好きで、好みの子は恥ずかしげもなく口説く). So regardless of what she is, she still has a fondness to other girls in some way. Her character is built around the quirk.
Another point to note is her father Laslow/Lazward is a big time flirt, and always has been. She does love her father very, very much and does as much as she can to please him. The flirtatious habit on other women may have come from here too. So some say she does to impress him rather than actually being serious about it. But that second part is just conjecture. We do know for sure she does love her father though!
The game does have two bisexual characters (going by supports), being Rhajat/Shara and Niles/Zero. However, it is rather limited. Their bisexuality only extends to when it is the main character (Corrin/Kamui), and to nobody else. If Corrin/Kamui is female, then Shara, also a girl, can marry her and only her as a female option. The same applies to Zero if Corrin/Kamui is male. Nobody else. So I guess it is rather limited. Regardless, Soleil lacks this option at all. They will not produce children as a result (as expected), so perhaps mechanically it was limited to just a few to encourage the mix and matching to get child characters. (Though, oddly, considering the second generation do not produce children aside from with the main character… you think they may consider making Soleil have the S rank with other women anyway. But that is just a personal thought!)
There are other characters that have gender-related quirks. Forrest/Foleo, for instance, is a boy who adores dressing in women’s clothing. He is still attracted to girls, but enjoys doing so all the same. Nina/Eponine meanwhile is a girl who fantasizes over her male teammates being in relationships with one another, for instance. All three are second generation characters, and these small quirks of theirs are most likely portrayed for the sake of leading to humorous situations among them. It is pretty easy to find all sorts of these characters all over Japanese media. Perhaps not as prominent in Fire Emblem (and so, a Nintendo franchise), but they certainly exist.
What was the controversy?
The article I presented at the start summarizes it, but it basically revolves around her support conversation with male Corrin/Kamui. You can read it at the exact link/translation (not mine) that was used right here. I will be referring to this specific translation below. An important thing to note is the translation is accurate for the most part. People pointed at it saying it was mistranslated, when really it was more misinterpreted.
In the C support, Soleil just explains how she wants to be a strong woman but her weakness is cute girls (specifically those that are her type). Corrin/Kamui is surprised that it bothers her so much, and so comes the controversial part in the B support.
Soleil: ……. … Y-You… who are you again?
Kamui: It’s me. Kamui.
Soleil: E-Ehhhhhh!? B-But… those eyes, they could only belong to a girl!?
Kamui: Seems it was a great success.
Soleil: Success… uh… I have no clue what you’re talking about…
Kamui: Right now you’re seeing me as a girl. Isn’t that right?
Soleil: Y-Yes. Completely.
She is clearly disoriented. Kamui then goes on to explain:
Kamui: I managed to get my hands on a kind of magic powder… 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!
Here is the “date rape” issue that was brought up. It is not an inaccurate translation, here is the original Japanese:
He really did put a magic powder into her drink without her knowledge/consent.
Soleil: H-Huh!? So I can see you as a girl!!?
Kamui: Yes. 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.
I guess you could argue it was for a good cause, and, likely was the intention behind it. Kamui throughout the entire game is your typical hero sort who does the odd methods to try and help people. What constitutes as “date rape” for one in his head was likely…well, an ends to help his friend. The sort of naïve approach is (regrettably) what makes his entire character. You can see below the after result was rather innocent:
Soleil: E-Ehhhh!? I-I’m glad you feel that way but… I have a very specific type… and besides, I mean, you’re Kamui…
Kamui: Please move closer to me. Look deeeeep into my eyes.
Soleil: …….. … Huh!? W-What… this feeling, it’s… kind of uncomfortable… but I’m also getting a little… excited… … Hey, Kamui. Could you try saying my name…
Soleil: … C-Can you do it in a higher voice? F-For… realism’s sake…
Kamui: … Understood. Soleil.
Kamui: Thank you for saving our city! You were so strong and cool!
Kamui: How was that? I tried to be like that girl from the town…
Soleil: It was superb. I was on the brink of fainting.
Kamui: Then let’s use this method as a special training. Let’s do it again at once.
Soleil: Yeah. Please do… but before that, can we take a little break?
Kamui: Of course.
Soleil: Yes! Then while the magic powder is still in effect, I think I’ll go take a peek at the other male soldiers in the army! Alright! I wonder what kinds of cute girls that ugly lot will become!
Kamui: Eeeh!? P-Please wait, Soleil! You aren’t supposed to use it like that! Soleil——!!
From appeasing Soleil (at her request), and then her running off to enjoy the benefits while Kamui is left behind (and pleading her not to misuse the potion)… it really is clear it was just meant to be a way to cure her fainting and not her attraction to women.
Then on to the A support. It turns out that training doesn’t really work out for them. She still faints around cute girls. In the end, this is their resolution:
Soleil: No, it’s not that hard. Obviously our special training didn’t bring out the results we wanted, but… you tried your hardest for me, Kamui. That makes me really happy. So, this smile isn’t forced. It’s a real one.
Kamui: Is that so? In that case I’m happy too. Soleil, you’re my precious friend. From this day on if you have any problems, I want to offer my strength to you.
Soleil: Really? Thanks! Then let’s continue our special training once more. The girl version of Kamui is of course very appealing but… whether or not you’re using the magic powder, it’s fun being with you Kamui!
Kamui: Thank you. Then from now on let’s think up more ways to train you.
Soleil: Yeah. I’m looking forward to it!
That’s all. Friends. Even if it didn’t work, it’s the thought that counts sort of thing. I feel like the “A support” gets skipped a lot of the time in all this. A major note for those who are unaware: An “S support” is a unique support that you can only have one of per play through. An “A support” is the maximum you can get otherwise. As such, you can consider S the “optional” one, or else it would simply end at A. In this above case, the drug and resulting silliness just resulted in a closer bonding as friends. But it’s the B to S support that got the second part of the controversy running:
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 apologizing 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.
So when you jump from B to S, it looks like, well, Kamui drugged her and is now proposing to her. When bits and pieces were taken from this dialogue combined with the next section:
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!?
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?
So… suddenly it was taken like “girls don’t matter anymore! I’ll go with you, Kamui!” Or something like that.
Then, the last lines:
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!
I guess this rubbed people the wrong way on top of all that. “Good girl” and all that. He still reinforces the flirting with other girls (considering flirting with other guys won’t be a problem)… so not sure where that went on the radar.
Anyway, the point is, when you go from B to S and start picking apart above lines without the context and full conversation, then it may seem like not only did he slip something into her drink, but the end result was he “cured her homosexuality and got the girl in the end.” Happy ending!
The translation I provided in the link had very little issues. Yet video game sites trying to clear up the controversy went all up in clearing up and tackling the translation and not the proper context, character, implications, and well pretty much everything else. It was not the translation, it was the people who interpreted it without a context or knowledge of the characters and the game. Hearsay and misinterpretation is a terrible game of telephone.
Of course, one can argue that perhaps if the translation worded things better, it could have avoided being misinterpreted. But that would not change the main concept, events, and overall meaning of the dialogue.
If anyone is interested in the original Japanese, I have the text from the game’s own text dump if you wish to take a look at it for yourself. But I assure you, you will not find too many issues there.
Another note is that, in general, “S supports” for a lot of the characters are pretty odd/ridiculous in both this game and the previous one, Awakening. I feel it is an inevitable result of trying to make everyone able to marry the opposite gender. Some trivial reason or another will have to be brought up to make them able to marry, so “S supports” are (in personal opinion) sometimes the worst of the group. If you just stop at A, you avoid half the controversy with this one, for instance.
Of course, many people agree the support in general, beyond whatever controversy it caused, was just not that great in the first place.
So how did it spread? Who did it?
I heard people were blaming someone on tumblr for this, but in actuality, well, as far as gaming news websites go, it started with a tweet from someone who happens to be a friend of mine. There was light talk over on SerenesForest (a Fire Emblem fandom center) about this topic, but nothing beyond the realms of those forums. So, Ashley (my friend) made a sarcastic joke tweet about how some people were taking it:
(See the tweet here. Note she links to the same pastebin page I linked to).
Of course, true sarcasm goes unlabeled (and hence “Poe’s Law” comes into effect), and so… people started re-tweeting this like crazy. (I feel partially responsible, as I was hoping people would have taken it as the joke it was meant to be, or else I would have tried to clear it up sooner). Eventually a journalist over on Destructoid ran the article, and it exploded from there… the worst part is the lack of research that went in, and her continued trolling/”running with it” (that is, knowing full well that wasn’t the case but being unable to resist messing with a journalist). She said she could “vouch” for the translation (which she can, being fluent in Japanese), but that’s all it took for the journalist to post it. No looking into the context beyond what was presented, or only picking and choosing whatever best fit the “Fire Emblem has a ‘cure the gay’ conversation.” It really was quite saddening to see.
Anyway then other websites tried jumping on it, then regretted it, and even more websites had to jump in to provide their own translation, when really, in the end, it was just how people can really take things out of proportion rather than what was presented. Here is an archived post of example “damage control”, for instance.
And, lastly, here is a summary that was presented to Ashley on twitter of the whole debacle:
Yes, I understand the issues people have. Do not slip something into anyone’s drink, ever, especially without consent. Do not try to “cure” them as if homosexuality is an illness. Except this second one never happened.
Soleil seems to have a “flirt with women” quirk, it reflects in her support conversations and overall game text. The conversation was Corrin/Kamui (the naïve) helping her out in a way he best knew how to. There was no real devious intention behind it, and she seemed okay with it. The end result, in the (forced) S conversation, is one that comes about simply as an excuse to pair them together. It wasn’t exactly the intention behind the “drugging” in the B support, nor was it entirely the end result of said drugging.
It was not the translation. It was misinterpretation of the translation.
It is for the reasons above that Nintendo seems to be altering the dialogue, or removing it entirely, in a way that cannot be misinterpreted in ways they may not want it to be. It’s amazing to think how a joke tweet over what some people were saying about a mere support conversation blew all the way up to the localization level… but if it avoids needless controversy, then so be it.
Of course, the new issue arising is now the issue of censorship in gaming… which is unfortunate. There will always be an issue! But that is not really my business to discuss, as I just wished to present the information as it was (and a few of my own thoughts on it).
I look forward to seeing what they did with Soleil’s conversation in the upcoming game. If anyone manages to get their hands on the English dialogue before I do, then please pass it along. I would love to compare them!
Feel free to ask if you need any more clarification below. The post is a little all over the place, so if I missed something, or you wanted to know more, then please let me know.
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i love soleil! but i hate gay marriage…so is soleil gay? or not?
yes. she’s gay. her exact orientation isn’t clear. but she likes women
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That isn’t sarcasm, your friend is just a pro-censorship bitch. Thanks for forcing Nintendo’s hand, losers.
xD It was definitely a situation that defines “Poe’s Law” and taken too far thanks to her not bothering to correct any journalists. It doesn’t mean what she did was right, but she doesn’t care much for censorship.
Right? There was nothing at all about her statement that would imply sarcasm or any reason for anyone to think so. The author just doesn’t want his friend to get blamed for her role in starting all of this.
I don’t mind her getting blamed for it, I’m actually more surprised that she wasn’t blamed too much for it actually. If I didn’t want her to get blamed I wouldn’t have brought up the facts she tweeted that at all, as somehow it went pretty unnoticed (even with the journalist using her as a source) xD She’s the type who doesn’t believe in the “/s” style sarcasm, as it defeats the purpose, but obviously causes controversy as a result when taken seriously (which it was).
I don’t expect people to know much about her, nor do I expect them to look at her previous posts/replies/profile description that should imply she’s talking nonsense, since that’d be unfair for the average twitter user. I would, however, expect a gaming journalist to verify a (relative) “nobody” making an outrageous claim, which didn’t happen in this case, and so led to this post that may have gotten a few retweets getting much more exposure.
Late to the party, but from what i’ve read basically it was that one guys “joke” that got soleils entire s class dialogue screwed up?
So I heard there was some tumblr user who is often blamed, but as far as I know Ashley was the one who made a joke about it being a “cure the homosexual” joke that the journalists picked up on… the translation was not inaccurate, just the interpretation/mess from that joke was instead, I guess.
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This may cause some disagreement, but I think there’s a real bit of culture shock here. An explanation…
Soleil is a gag character basically revolving around “romantic same-sex friendships”. These relationships are, in short, intimate in every way EXCEPT sexual. A quick look at romantic friendships on the net shows that it was once a thing in Western countries until the mid 19th century. Japan took this concept up and used it as a social device for young girls to basically “experiment” with romantic interactions in a non-sexual way.
I think the confusion here lies in the fact that these relationships are seen as specifically an adolescent thing. These differ from adult relationships in various ways; for instance, adults (even married ones) aren’t expected to show public displays of affection, whereas adolescents are. Girls experimenting in this way are not determined straight or gay, because these relationships aren’t sexual.
Now, conservative Japanese have in the past argued that women in same sex relationships are just women who refuse to grow up. However, awareness for same sex relationships has grown recently, and polls have shown 53~59% support for same sex marriage/recognition (varies per poll). Growing recognition shows that many in Japan do see a difference between the adolescent same-sex romantic friendship, and an adult relationship between same-sex persons that can lead to marriage.
Compare Soleil’s interactions with girls to Shara’s S-level support with F!Kamui. The latter is CLEARLY treated with more maturity than the former (their S-support makes it clear that being homosexual and married is NOT a problem). Looking at Soleil, one of the first things we see her do after flirting with a townswoman is brag to her father, basically saying “did you see? did you see?” Furthermore, one of the first things in Soleil’s C-support with her dad is “I picked up 5 girls today!” Soleil, in comparison, is shown in a very immature manner.
I’m making the guess here that Soleil is explicitly not marriageable to other female characters explicitly because it could lead to the negative stereotype that women in same-sex relationships are just being immature. A similar example would be an effeminate man MUST be gay by virtue of being effeminate.
So yes, Soleil is a simple gag character revolving around a common Japanese trope, but even that trope has a history and context to it that makes Soleil being marriageable to women a little troublesome. IS kind of put themselves in a bind here due to this, but in no way was Soleil meant to be an anti-homosexual symbol of any sort.
Finally (I promise!), these is such as thing as different forms of “ethics”. From what I can tell, Americans generally prefer a more individualist ethics where the personal boundary and individual determination is treated as more important than the act in question itself. Thus, many find (understandably) Kamui’s actions of sneaking a potion into Soleil’s drink unethical. However, there are many who would simply argue that the intent and outcome is more important (so-called consequentialist). There are many other forms of ethics… I’m not going to argue one is better than the other, simply that there are other people who can be very good people, but simply act under different assumed ethics. IMO, Kamui shouldn’t be judged so harshly in this light.
I don’t mind that Nintendo is adjusting the dialogue to fit Western tastes if the spirit of the text is the same, but I’m a little sad this discussion was necessary in the first place.
Thank you for the very informative and in-depth comment. I do not really see anything to disagree with. : )
I keep hearing about “romantic friendships” and this trope, but have not been able to find the Japanese name for it, if there is one. I cannot immediately think of any examples in media I saw to cross check it either (though, perhaps should now see if it is mentioned on some Japanese profile of hers somewhere). I was unaware of them both before the controversy back in July… Does the definition of their relationship and sexual orientation revolve purely around sexual attraction? Just curious if that is really the determinant factor.
That is a nice point. I did not read the S support for Shara and Female Kamui, but I am glad to hear it was less of a “joke” than what one sees during these ones. I recall Nintendo had already confirmed its same-sex marriages for the game even before this controversy, so I suppose that is yet another thing that got overlooked for the sake of fueling some sort of needless uproar.
This one feels like a lose-lose, if she is not marriageable, the issue is why not. If she is, the issue is negative stereotypes for that gag character. Heck, the fact its a gag in the first place I think already cause so many issues…as you said, IS put themselves in a bind, but probably meant no harm.
No worries, I really don’t mind long comments. xD Indeed, ethics and the differences of culture/mindsets may play a role, but I think beyond that it may just be depending on whether one believes in the end-justifies-the-means or not, or something else.
In the end, I too am sad that all this really blew up instead of being buried back in July, or the fact it even became a thing in July…
In Japan, the general term is “Class S relationships” – you can look it up on Wikipedia for more info. It’s generally not mentioned or displayed in shounen media (and if it is, it’s usually for yuri fanservice), but it’s more common in shoujo media. I’m told that in shoujo manga, drama might be played up if the girls in such a relationship start blurring the lines between adolescent and adult relationships, and the lines between straight/bi/gay (I’m not really an expert on shoujo manga, so take that as you will).
Even though Soleil’s more a gag character, it’s still kinda important to understand the context regarding her. She’s basically a female version of her dad, who himself is an excessive flirt, though he fails almost always. What makes these characters more interesting is when their maturity finally shines through – if you read the A support between Soleil and her dad, it’s actually really sweet, and Soleil shows and surprising amount of maturity here (not saying her other supports are equal quality).
In general, Fire Emblem has often had characters who are simple tropes on the surface, but are expanded upon in supports (though not all FE games had supports, and not all characters had developed supports). Looking back, I personally think the C-A supports of Awakening/Fates are more or less same quality on average as earlier games. It’s just the S supports that are more questionable, though people bring those up more.
Looking through M!Kamui’s supports, it’s pretty clear he’s just socially naive. He’s actually pretty clever, and insightful on some more abstract concepts, but he’s even naive around Felicia, who he’s known for a long time (and it’s hilarious). His honesty makes up for any mishaps, hence his skill “Mysterious Charm”.
Honestly, this really is sadly overblown.
Ah, that was it. Class-S Relationships. I was trying to remember what term people were using back in July. I want to look into the S-kankei and see if anything about FE comes up. Thanks! It makes sense it would not appear in shounen, and seinen may be a little too varied or out of the school setting to really express it, so shoujo makes sense.
I recall the A support between her dad and her, and indeed I see your point. In fact, it seems for this one too the A is the support that is skipped, so I guess people need to look at A’s some more. xD
Indeed, since FE6, I’ve seen the supports come and go. Quality varies, not just in Awakening but across all the games, you have your good and your bad. The S supports are often the ones that are lackluster as a lot of them revolve on arbitrarily putting two people together for any possible reason. xD
That final point about Male Kamui in general is one major point this post was making. You don’t even need supports to see that, you simply go through the main story (especially in Nohr…) and you grow to understand this quite quicky. xD
Yes, it is quite overblown. Thank you again for your thoughtful post, and for pointing out Class-S Relationships!
I agree with you for the most part but surely they could have, like with her father, added a sense of growth and maturity to a relationship with another girl, giving her a little more character development, and avoiding the issue of having a girl who flirts with girls throughout the whole game for some reason marring a guy. But also I only read Shoujo Ai sooo.. maybe im a bit biased in wanting representation.
I heard the other day about the red herring that was censorship and the implications the “contoversy” about this support imply.
You’re spot in the dangers of today’s publications being quick to break news without doing their own research first. Misinformation is worse than no information any day of the week.
I think Nintendo took the high road on this one changing the text of Solei’s support for the North American version. While obviously Nintendo of America was forced to announce the change because of The Internet Uproar, I think they would have changed it anyway because of the “date drug” aspect of it.
Let’s be honest, Solei’s perceived sexual orientation is irrelivant to the discussion. It’s just another red herring in my book on that note to distract from the root issue Nintendo is addressing in the localization: The main character knowingly drugs someone and owns up to it from the start. Taking the A Support into account, we know the drugging ultimately doesnt work.
I think this is one “issue” the gaming community can be clearly blamed for. Alot of noise over nothing in my book.
I agree, I always call it a “needless controversy” for this reason. I have a feeling Nintendo would have changed it (like the face-touching) regardless as you said, but had to address it publicly specifically due to the uproar that shouldn’t have happened in the first place…xD
Thank you for your comment : )
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Even if there she was drugged and there was gay drugging in the game I fail to see the problem. It’s a work of fiction that, well depicts a fictional story. A story that contains murder, torture, incest and other themes that everyone with common sense would agree are inexcusable in reality, but ok as narrative plot devices.
But for some reason the line has to be drawn at the alleged issues in this article, because murder is ok, but messing with someones sexuality isn’t? What kind of double standard is this? Also I see this attempt of limitation of free speech through misdirection and an instigated faux outcry with much concern.
It’s a great irony on many things these days, from games to elsewhere I’m sure. Thinking about it too much may just cause frustration, so it may be best not to. xD
Because there is a large percentage of humans who genuinely think changing someone sexuality forcefully is ok, verses murder which through most media and most people is seen as wrong. Thus if as a game you reinforce something like that that is still in a state of being accepted it sends a poor message. Especially if that same main character can enter a gay marriage, making them try and change a sexuality is odd.
Thing is this is like the magic love potion trope which is among the oldest and most well known of fantasy tropes. Hell its a cliche. Except its not even on the level of that because all it does is change their appearance (eg its the plot to Shallow Hal, I sure didn’t hear anyone complain about him not knowing he was hypnotized). It’s only because of the misrepresentation that people could bandwagon so hard.
And its all more or less thanks to Jed. Lets just say I’ve had the misfortune of knowing him, if his half assed excuse for an “apology” on the FE article doesn’t show what kind of person he is just look through the stuff hes posted. Man has an agenda and he wants clicks (since he gets paid per click) he could care less about anything else. Frustrating as someone who likes the series and wants it to do well.
It’s kind of funny, people saying she flirts with girls ergo is gay but got converted and etc. makes zero sense. If they were really anti gay they wouldn’t of thrown in the couple of options to do so in the first place. Someone being flirtatious without actually being gay is both a trope (as you mention) and something that isn’t unheard of irl. They’re just putting the character into their own box so to speak.
Anyway I would’ve expected them to change the lines even before all this, Awakening and the series in general has shown anything its that they have no problems changing lines for no reason, let alone if there is a reason like this one (which isn’t to say I agree with it, I don’t). I’m just extremely thankful for the fanslation.
Yep, magic as a means to some sort of end is nothing new as we know, and indeed, the intent wasn’t to fall in love or anything, so everything is as you said. “Bandwagon” I suppose is an appropriate way to refer to the mob mentality that came about.
I do not know him personally, nor do I read Destructoid much, but I hear things here and there. I suppose if there is monetary incentive then it would really not matter if misinformation is spread so long as it brings the clicks in.
Of course, understanding something does not mean one must agree with it or whatever. I do like having a fanslation, or looking at the original, to compare it to the localization and explore why something may have been done as it was. : ) So I appreciate it a lot too!
Thank you for your comment. : )
thanks for the response! Felt good to write down my feelings in long form.
You’re welcome, I appreciate the time some people take to write comments here, it leads to nice discussion. : )
Thanks for clearing some of this up. I’d been hearing a lot of back and forth on the matter so it was good to get a little more perspective — especially from someone who understands why people like myself got pretty irritated at the supports.
Even with context, to be honest, the idea of slipping something in someone’s drink without consent makes me uncomfortable. I understand that it was with the best intention in mind, and it was not to “cure the gay”, but it’s still not something anybody should be okay with. I’m glad that the US and EU versions will be changing this, regardless of context.
My main problem is that it feels like by not allowing Soleil to S-Support ANY females, they are poking fun at something that should not be a joke. I understand that the fact that she flirts with girls was likely not meant to be taken seriously, but that in itself is what bothers me. While it’s a common trope in Japan, it is still in my mind in poor taste. I experience difficulties very often in everyday life for being bisexual myself. Many people expect me to “pick a side” or that the fact that I like girls is, just as you said, a “quirk”. It’s not to be taken seriously and it’s treated like a joke, like Soleil’s attraction to girls seems to be.
Even if it turns out that she’s only trying to emulate her father and holds no actual attraction to girls, I’ll still be uncomfortable. Someone’s sexual orientation is not a joke, and it really shouldn’t be treated like such; especially in somewhat influential media. I appreciate the fact that they’ve added same sex marriage, but even those options are extremely limited. The characters that are able to marry your same sex Kamui are not even available in both games, as far as I’m aware. Which… well, irks me. Why bother making the option at that point, you know?
That being said, I appreciated the article immensely. Very well written, and very unbiased and understanding. Thank you for writing this, and sorry for my rambling :p Everything else aside, I’m still looking forward to the game (less than a month away!), and will definitely be checking out more of this blog! Have a good afternoon/evening 🙂
You’re welcome. Thank you for reading!
Yes indeed, many agree that the concept of slipping something into the drink in general is terrible, so I just wanted to address the fact people were assuming he didn’t slip anything in there and thought it was a translation error. Nothing will change that, unfortunately. xD But that should make it a lesser controversy, I hope, and more of a questionable writing choice (and one that Nintendo has decided to change as a result, makes sense).
It is unfortunate you deal with that sort of thing in reality, and that would make it a more sensitive subject to you too. Me and many others agree that Soleil lacking any S support is rather strange in the first place considering she may have been a better choice than Shara/Rhajat… but for whatever reason made her only able to go as she does. The “joke” does fall short of being funny and more into tasteless, that has been established quite often. Some of the archetypes too become tiresome rather than unique.
Yes, I discuss it with others that when Nintendo says “same-sex marriage” they mean a very limited version, and only same-sex toward you, and nobody else. So it falls under blatant player appeasement at that point rather than a natural thing for that character to do, you know?
No problem, I wrote it in hopes that it would help clarify things in an unbiased manner (people often point to me as an unbiased source for this game, it seems xD). I don’t mind rambling, it makes for good discussion, and thank you for keeping it civil even though you had issue with some of the content of the game. We have our opinions but that does not mean we will hate each other.
I look forward to seeing how the game changes through the language barrier too! I hope to hear from you again in the future, and thank you for writing an in-depth comment. Please spread the word to anyone else who may be confused to this issue regarding Soleil.
Well, for starters I think its a step forward for Nintendo to even start including this kind of theme in their games. We all know how much of a conservative company Nintendo is, specially because we are talking about a japanese company. What worries me is that all this controversy will make them just play it way too safe again with the stuff they do from now on to once again just avoid being in the line of fire ever again.
That is one of the many worrisome possibilities that can come as a result. I could see them tackling the themes well if they really wanted to, but unfortunately, as it is, they will probably tend to avoid it in the future.
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I didn’t know this was a thing, but now that I know this much about Solei and I identify with her so much! I love how it they do it just right girls can be so pretty (even though I don’t take that much care in my appearance)
And sometimes I would love to say to girls how pretty they are with (I’m sorry but I don’t know how this is called in English) a Piropo.
And sometimes I get scared thinking that I might be called a lesbian and just close off all my opportunities with the boys.
And if someone is thinking we’ll maybe because you feel this attraction to cure girls you are a lesbian, but I can confirm that I am not I do feel an attraction to the opposite sex. (I don’t think I’m bi either)
So no, people like to assume stuff based upon little info and that’s just wrong.
Thanks for clarifying this up, and let’s wait and see what the localization changes and hope it’s nothing to bad 🙂
(ps. I also don’t flirt with girls because I’m too shy…)
Don’t worry about that, nobody’s here to judge you or anything. : ) Yes, it was unfortunately a thing, but I hope one that can be kpet under control this time. Hmm, a Piropo? In what language is that? I would love to look into it, I do love to learn about things that get lost in translation! I’m glad you found someone to relate to, that may make them better for you.
You’re welcome, spread the word if you can to help clear up any mess before it happens. Thank you for your comment!
I’d translate “piropo” as “catcall” because of the similarity but I often feel a “piropo” doesn’t have the same negative connotations. So maybe “compliment”? It still seems to fall short of the intent, but it’s nicer.
Also, saludos! Siempre es una buena sorpresa encontrar a alguien usando el español :3
Ah, I see! I sort of understand the meaning you mean then, indeed I do not think there is an equivalent word without the negative connotations to it. : ) Spanish is fun! I took classes ages ago, but barely remember anything. xD
Thanks for the context. For what it’s worth the way I read Soleil is that she was never intended to be (serious) gay / bi, but to be read as a -yuri fangirl-. Which has its own problems but has become somewhat of a standard Anime trope, especially when it comes to high school comedy series. To make it even more apparent look at her conversation with Eponine who’s your standard yaoi fangirl and it reads just like what you’d find on a blogging website.
Really, I just hate that characters get broken down into quirks in their supports because a lot of the Fates characters are actually… really good. I liked this game a lot more than Awakening, even if I thought the plot was only so-so. So I hope the telephone game Soleil controversy doesn’t ruin the experience for some new fans.
Thank you for your comment. That would be another way to interpret it. I have not really seen many shows of the high school comedy genre, but I had heard from others she fits an archetype that often appears in such.
It is a shame that the supports get broken down into quirks like that indeed. I would rather they have some development or expanded background perhaps with that quirk as a side thing that comes now and then, but not the central focus of it. It risks becoming tiresome and repetitive otherwise…
I too enjoyed everything about Fates over Awakening as well, and agree while the plots (which I wrote a ton of summaries on so would know) may be so-so, it’s a better step at least (personally speaking).
I hope the game of telephone does not overstay its welcome (as it has already), and so made this post to try to quell it in some fashion this time while I can. xD
Hmm… Without that support conversation, what can we make of Soleil?
I mean, Fire Emblem cast has always been based around archetypes, both old and new ones (now we know there won’t be another like Soleil and may be Eponine), but the “Gotta sup ’em all” and the marriage system does wreck havoc on the character development. Why should they try that hard to separate characters from each other?
I wonder how could they made good ones like Azura’s supports, to comically boring like Camilla and Hinoka support.
Thank you for your comment.
That’s a good question. The game certainly has newer archetypes (in terms of that the series has not had before, instead of from archetypes in general), so I cannot place a parallel character type to Soleil and Eponine from the older games.
Yes, I’m not denying the older games lacked archetypes at all, but as you also mentioned, more the forced support conversations starts to drain from the characters themselves. I also feel the newer games have stories based around the archetypes rather than archetypes that fit into the story…xD
I assume it has to do with the character’s importance to the story. Theoretically they would have the more interesting supports on top of what we see of them. Where as before we would (generally) have better supports for the characters you don’t see as much of in the story, right? Though this certainly does not apply all the time at all. Considering Camilla and Hinoka are important (though I heard that Hinoka may have been an afterthought, unfortunately, but have yet to verify that).
Thanks for the thorough post about Soleil. I learned a few things I didn’t know yet, and it was helpful when trying to explain all this controversy to a few friends.
Regarding the discussion about archetypes and quirks, I think people are overly harsh when judging the characters. Many times, with so many support conversations, people focus too much on the bad ones or on said quirks and totally ignore the convos where we see other sides of the characters (or fail to read between lines). Also, I think not every support has to be a life-shattering revelation about them. Yes, those are important, but in a game with such a huge cast, just seeing them interacting in day-to-day events is cool too, and it’s what actually brings life and made them so endearing to many people who had never touched a FE game before Awakening.
I have been replaying the whole franchise during 2015, and I only see massive improvements (with their up and downs, obviously) in Awakening and especially Fates in the characters department. It has been really eye-opening seeing how dry the great majority of characters and supports are in comparison (where applicable) in previous FEs. And not just the barebone supports of FE6. I was really surprised while replaying the Tellius duology and how idealized I had some characters, that, while not bad, they aren’t as good as I remembered.
Now, I completelly agree on the problems of the everyone-can-marry-everyone thing. Many S-supports follow the same structure:
-Male:”Hello, we met not long ago. Here, take this ring.”
-Female: “lol ok.”
It’s really boring, but pretty much inevitable when the characters don’t have much in common. I guess this is one aspect where they decided gameplay takes priority over the narrative. Personally, I’d prefer less marriage options and better developed, but I can see where other people would prefer the variety and gameplay advantages.
Lastly, and slightly related to this, I strongly disagree regarding some characters that were mentioned before.
I find Azura incredibly boring, both her and her supports, and marred with some traits that create a really negative image of her, and I believe her relatively low position in the official popularity poll, considering she is a main character (and main females ALWAYS win in this kind of popularity polls, #5 IS low), was due to this, whereas Lucina completelly dominated it.
On the other hand, I find the Camilla ones really fun and endearing (the pop polls seemingly agree, again). Also, maybe it’s just me, but I find the Camilla/Corrin S-support as one of the best, if not the overall best. Unlike the usual S structure that I mentioned above, in this one the characters have a background together, there is a refusal/conflict, an emotional breakdown, talk of feelings, and above all, no friggin’ rings outta nowhere. Basically, it’s the very least one would expect from actual romance. Also, the female taking the initiative is refreshing, and very in-character in this case.
But you know, >opinions, and all that. Not everyone likes the same things ^^.
Aaand, that’s all. Thanks again for the summary of the whole Soleil drama, and special thanks for your translations.
You’re welcome! Thank you for your long, thoughtful comment.
Yes, some support conversations from previous games too didn’t really have much going for them (though would often lead somewhere). They do not have to be revelations at all, though that does help build a character. Day-to-day lives can show sides of a character too. I think what people feel is it may be “wasted time” in the sense that while they are talking about pies (for instance), they could be talking about something deeper. The player only has so much time with a character, so they like to know more about them, and may not be content with a slice of life sort of thing instead, if that makes sense.
(The above is not to disagree with you, it is simply what I think may upset some people : ) )
Indeed, it would be ignorant to also ignore how dry some of the older supports were for games, especially in FE6 where I feel like it was more experimental. I am glad we agree on some of the S-supports and being forced… for the sake of gameplay. For Fates, the A+ Supports had me hopeful. I thought they would be for characters who would not be marriage compatible, but still closer than an A support. That would make for another situation where we could enjoy the characters, possibly learn more about them, but not as an excuse to tie the knot, you know? Turned out that wasn’t really the case. xD
I only read a few of Azura/Aqua’s supports, so cannot really comment either way. That is a good point regarding popularity, though. I feel like Aqua was hurt by how she’s rather ill explained without all three play throughs, so the more barriers you add to understanding a character, the more frustrated/less of a liking someone may take to them. Sure, it may give them more “screen-time”, but only if the player is patient enough. You understand all you need to know about Camilla via Nohr alone, and even Hoshido will give you a similar sense, rather than Aqua’s cryptic nature… if that makes sense?
I’ve been wanting to look through all the supports but haven’t had the time, but as a way to see which one fit what you mention above (about a more realistic romance) and compare them to the not so much just as a trivia run. It is good to hear some exist though! (I haven’t read that one myself, but may take a look now).
Again, thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful post. : ) And please help spread the word to anyone else who needs clarifying.
Thanks for the reply! I tend to digress and my posts end up longer than intended xD.
I see your point on how those supports may upset some people. From my perspective, always in comparison with previous entries, and considering we now have voiced characters, multiple lines and quotes for nearly every action, plus all the MyCastle shenanigans, I think there is no shortage of character-driven content for everyone. But yeah, it’s certainly a valid concern. It’s just I prefer to look on the bright side of things.
(For the record, I dislike the pie support convos from Awakening too! xD)
Good point on the A+ supports. If they keep a similar system in future instalments (and considering sales/popularity, it’s a fair assumption), I hope they expand on this because it has potential.
Anyway, really looking forward to the official localization. I think the questionable parts in Corrin/Soleil support can be easily edited without compromising in the slightest the overall theme of the conversations. Plus, I think Treehouse’s writing does an outstanding job adding life to their localizations while keeping the spirit of the original script.
Just a few weeks left!
No problem, I do that too. I don’t mind when others do as it makes for more discussion. : )
Totally fine to look on the bright side of things (in fact, I encourage it). I am glad you can see both sides of the arguments and see some of the valid points, too. Often people assume when you can understand the other’s point of view it means you agree with it, which isn’t the case at all. xD
Yeah… those Pie supports became the running joke huh? xD
Do you know if Treehouse is localizating it this time? I was under the impression it was 8-4 LTD (a private localization company, they did Shadow Dragon and Awakening), but maybe it is Treehouse. I’m not sure myself, as it’s hard to find information on things like that… 8-4 has had a few issues, but yes they do indeed make it flow very well overall in English.
Yep! A few weeks for players in the west to finally be able to play it. I wonder if they will start trying to release it closer to the Japanese release next time?
As far as I know, it was 100% confirmed that Treehouse was doing the localization internally this time. In fact, one of their writers, Audrey Drake, said it during Treehouse Live @ E3 (she was showing the game and mentioned that she was working on the Nohr side, among other things iirc).
Even in Awakening, despite not doing the work in-house, I think Treehouse supervised 8-4 (they are in really good terms and have collaborated in other projects, like Xenoblade X), so I expect Fates to remain consistent with previous terminology. Rhajat is proof! xD
And regarding release dates, they are improving. Awakening took 10 months since the japanese release, and Fates is going to take 8, which isn’t that bad considering there are 3 campaigns this time.
Oh okay. She was the one who used to work for IGN, right? That should be interesting then, as they have not done an FE game for awhile, so hopefully they manage to do things without a few of the mishaps that 8-4 was known for (even then, those weren’t exactly mishaps, more like odd choices here and there).
Yep! Three campaigns and a lot of dialogue from MyCastle and such. Pretty good for 8 months. Back in the day it would always take ages from Japanese to English release (and sometimes never come, like FE12…), so I guess FE fans are just used to it. xD
Absolutely fantastic article that really boiled things down and made sense of everything. The support line was… questionable and absolutely crossed a line, in my opinion, but it was blown so incredibly out of proportion.
The support was awkwardly written and the S support sucks, Kamui spiking her drink was completely unacceptable, but it was a far cry from queer erasure and borderline rape.
In my opinion, I’m rather disappointed they went so hog wild with the dating sim aspect. A lot of otherwise interesting characters were kinda gimped due to need to be able to marry everyone from the opposite gender. Soliel herself is an example. It’s like they designed her as a really obvious lesbian, before back pedaling when they realized she needs to be able to marry dudes and not women, because I guess they hit their quota or something.
Thank you for the kind comment, indeed it was blown way out of proportion by misinterpretation of the facts.
I completely agree. I always felt that the need to support everyone and be able to marry everyone took a lot away from the supports. Some characters that make little sense to be together are suddenly bonded together over the most trivial of things. I know there are those that enjoy that, and I really have no issue with them if I do, but that is how I feel on the matter.
xD Yes indeed, it seemed like they based Soleil around the quirk of liking other women, but then realized as an afterthought that Shara has met the same sex quota, so we’ll turn her right around. As I wrote above, it would have made a bit more sense with Soleil, or maybe they just could have made both instead of one or the other. It was really strange to me.
Thanks for commenting. : )
Reblogged this on Video Game Journals.
It’s been awhile since I’ve thought about this issue, but my take-away of this controversy was this:
The main issue isn’t that Kamui himself intended to do some sort of date rape scenario or that he intended to do some sort of gay conversion therapy because he simply didn’t intend to do either of those things. Rather, the *writers* of this scenario made some really questionable decisions in two of the four scenes. Having read some of Soliel’s other scenarios as well as what you mentioned in this post about the quality of other scenarios, the issue extends beyond Soliel’s scenes. My criticism is more that all the scenarios seemed inconsistent in characterizing certain characters, as well as a lack of foresight that these scenarios could be seen as questionable writing at best and problematic at worst. Soliel’s scenario with Kamui here just encapsulating a couple aspects of this.
I do not disagree that the language of those opposed to this scene was somewhat hyperbolic but I nonetheless was in favor of this scenario being changed in the localization. After all, it’s nothing new for these sorts of things to be changed in Fire Emblem localizations for bettor or worse. I saw a few voices reflect what I have said, and people that were harassed for being a bit hyperbolic clarified their positions to something akin to what I said as well. However, the side of the conversation depicted here that did insinuate that these scenes was a case of date rape/gay conversion was much more vocal about it.
I will say that I do enjoy seeing the ways that games can change in the localization process and I do have some fondness for some of the things taken out. However, I also recognize that these sorts of things may not always appeal to a Western audience and me holding onto it may more or less be a luxury.
Thank you for your insightful post.
Yes, this is one thing I should cover and may edit into the post. Beyond the in-game context, the fact something was even written with this sort of thing (as a likely attempt at humor, no less) may be another cause of controversy in the west where they may not have thought there would be any. The quality is indeed rather low for some, especially S ranks where certain characters simply were mashed together for no reason beyond symmetrical game mechanics.
Indeed, just because one wishes for the scenario to have been changed does not mean they were flaring up about the controversy as some people were! That’s understandable, and many people who were more moderate about their views agreed they wanted the same things changed.
Me too! A lot of my interests have to do with looking at differences, and I plan to compare how Soleil’s eventual scene plays out in comparison for this one.
Thank you for the great comment!
I don’t think he was trying to cure her I think maybe he was trying to get her to understand people are people and not their gender. Although the good girl part did bother me. I believe in you fall in love with the person not gender so may just be me…
I think that’s a fine way to take it, no worries. : ) I meant to say if they’re curing anything, that’s what they’re curing, not homosexuality. xD
Although this makes me curious of her female conversations. Is she one of the children? I can’t wait until February 19th!!!
She is one of the children, yep! I saw Gamestop was having more sales on the limited edition. Did you get yourself one?
No last I heard they had to cancel some of the special edition preorders , so I just preordered both games. I wanted to be able to try the paths several times =D
That’s a real shame… well that’s good that you’ll still get in on the fun that way : )
I can’t wait!!