This is another post in my ongoing Fire Emblem Fates localization comparison posts! I discuss anything from major to minor changes here as I play through the game.
Today, I look at an in-depth post made by my friend Marie on this issue. The bulk of the comparison is done on her page (with screenshots and such too!), so please, go check it out! This is a scene from Paralogue 7 (available in Birthright and Revelation). There are minor plot spoilers to that quest, so please be wary as you go forward.
Please note that this post is purely informative and may share some opinion, but this does not mean the change is necessarily good or bad. A change is just a change that is being looked into, and you can be the judge of whether you like it or not!
It is all just for fun and curiosity for me. : )
So first, please read Marie’s in-depth post on the matter here.
I focus on one specific part of it below, but it is good to have context. Always, always have context! Basically, Ryouma/Ryoma is scolding his son Shiro/Shinonome for disobeying his order (to not leave the Deeprealms), but he does so anyway. Marie covers some minor differences (such as how Shiro knows his father is important, just not how important, compared to the Japanese one that is totally oblivious), among other things. I will let you read those all there.
The one I wanted to cover is a slightly more major change to the events that follow.
First, a look at the Japanese version of the event. Below is a quote directly from Marie’s blog (and her translation, too, though I added a note or two in italics).
Ryoma: “Shinonome [Shiro], grit your teeth [‘brace yourself’].”
(Slapping sound effect.)
Ryoma: “What the hell do you think you’re doing… Stop this rash behaviour! It’s OK now since I came… What would happen to the Kingdom of Byakuya [Hoshido] if something happened to you!?”
Shiro: “The Kingdom of Byakuya?”
Shiro: “It can’t be… Am I really…”
Ryoma: “…That’s right. I am a prince of the Kingdom of Byakuya, and you are my son. In other words… That means you are are the person who will one day become the king of the Kingdom of Byakuya.”
Shiro gets slapped for his rash behavior, and told that he is in fact of royal blood, which he was totally oblivious to before. Now, let’s take a look at the English one:
Ryoma: Shiro, you have disobeyed me for the last time. And you will show me respect –or I will show you how I deal with utter fools.
Shiro: How can you call me that?!
Ryoma: I didn’t raise you to be this irresponsible.
Shiro: Dad, want a reality check? You didn’t raise me at all.
This is what is in place of the Japanese slap scene above. The conversation goes on to confirm what Shiro suspected (about being royalty), rather than being a total shock to him. You can read the rest of the conversation on Marie’s blog.
So, the major change here is the slap being erased entirely, in sound and context. However, one can see from the localization how it is implied he may slap him later (“or I will show you how i deal with utter fools.”) But, it can also be taken to mean he can do many other things (such as put him on time out, I suppose…) So it is left more open-ended. After all the implication is only there for those who knew he slapped him in Japanese only, rather than the first thing someone would think of otherwise.
Physical punishment (like slapping) is a pretty controversial issue, especially in some parts of the Western world. By removing it and replacing it with a more thorough and well-reasoned-out scolding, NOA was probably trying to avoid controversy and keep fans from speculating over the possibility of Ryoma being an abusive parent.
I agree, it would probably cause more of a ruckus in the West than it would in Japan (hence why it remained). Coming from an Asian culture myself, I didn’t think much of this scene at all, it was a pretty natural scolding. The fact it’s followed up by a scolding that revolves around watching out for Shiro (and hence being upset) also softens it to more of an authoritative parenting style rather than just a totally abusive style.
Perhaps that may have been lost on a general western audience with a different cultural mindset. In that sense, NoA likely just wanted to avoid an overblown controversy on the thing entirely.
Of course, it may just lead to new issues on content censorship among the fanbase and gamers in general. But that is not the focus of this post!
The less controversial change is why they made Shiro/Shinonome more aware of his lineage to not have as strong as a surprise when the truth is revealed to him, as opposed to being totally oblivious. It makes a difference to his character for sure!
I’m going through Revelation now, but will be making posts about changes on the Birthright path that I have backlogged, among other changes (a few death quotes, class names, etc), so please stay tuned!
I highly encourage anyone who likes looking at comparisons to check out Marie’s blog. She’s been making nice posts about Fire Emblem Fates, but also covers other games !
What do you think of the change from a slap to a scolding with implications? What about to Shiro/Shinonome’s awareness of his royalty?