Very recently, the latest game in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem Fates, was released in the US. While Fire Emblem games haven’t traditionally been too popular and instead had a pretty niche playerbase, the previous game in the title, Fire Emblem Awakening, brought the series to a more mainstream gaming audience. This latest title has taken fire from gamers who are claiming that they have found that the experience portrayed in the Japanese version of the game has been dramatically altered and neutered during the localisation process before the release of the game.
Looking through some of the gamers complaints, it’s hard to deny that they believe that they have been deliberately mislead when it has come to the contents of the game. In the Japanese version of the title, there are a plethora of features that have been removed. Some of examples of these include a head-patting minigame, removed costumes that wouldn’t be out of place in a real-life scenario, and bizarrely, the complete rewrite of characters entire personalities. This is not including what looks like altered dialogue with the kind of blatant meme-spewing that you would expect from a 14 year old that thinks that they’re edgy because they found 4chan for the first time in their lives.
The first thing that it seems gamers are particularly upset about is the removal of the petting minigame. In Japan, petting a person on the head is a sign of familiarity and a kind of show of fondness between people. In Fire Emblem Fates, this minigame is used to build up relationship points between the player character and their party members. However, for some reason, in the US version of the game, this minigame has been removed. We can only really make suppositions on why it would have been removed, our bet is that it somehow makes women subservient to men, even though you can also use the petting minigame on male characters. See this video for the comparison between the US version of the game and the JP version. As an aside, I really like that they left the heart in there. It’s like they couldn’t work out how to get rid of it.
The next issue that seems to stick out is the blatant re-writing of the character Elfie. This blatant re-writing of the character has changed her from a soft-spoken girl, which works in contrast to her bulky and masculine build, to pretty much a character that seems to reflect her masculine build in personality. For gamers, this change in personality is completely bizarre, and well, why wouldn’t it be? Take a listen to her new lines.
Effie, of course, wasn’t the only character to have completely butchered room dialogue. The character, Pieri, also has some “top-quality” dialogue.
As we’ve previously covered, an entire plot point has been removed from Fire Emblem Fates’ English version involving a “date rape” scenario, which actually really wasn’t a date rape scenario at all. It was removed because it’s problematic, probably.
A fan has also compiled a whole imgur album of issues with the games translation. Some of these lines look like they were written by a five-year old. Or by someone with absolutely no respect for the original work and for the medium that they work within. My favourite line is the one about the “pungent pickle”. You do not make this up.
There is a 4chan group of fans that are presently dumping the games files to try and make a more faithful fan-translation. What they claim to have found within the dump is that there is close to 2000 missing files. One poster claims that most of them are to do with the missing petting-minigame, which we mentioned above. Below is the image presented to us of the game dump. A Tumblr user has made a blog post containing the entries of a particular character, Zero, and their skinship dialogue (as an aside, their tumblr blog is a pretty good read on what was changed). The English adaptation has something like 12 lines of dialogue while the Japanese has at least triple that amount.
Lastly, it has been said that Nintendo have removed certain costumes from the T for Teen rated game. These costumes are, well, swimming costumes I would suppose is the best term. Items like two piece swimsuits and some of the more risque-looking items (assuming you’re a prude) have been removed from the game, or otherwise have been moved from their original method of being obtained by the player. Nintendo Everything wrote an article on this. Note: The below image is from what looks like a fan-translation compared to the version released by Nintendo.
Much like any disgruntled gamer these days, those upset at the changes are mostly taking their complaints to Twitter and blogs. However, some are taking it a step further by importing Japanese versions of the game and sending receipts to Nintendo Japan explaining why they wont be buying the English adaptations of the game, hoping to achieve some kind of top-down restructuring of the companies translation policies.
Best-Buy canceling pre-orders on Fire Emblem, strangely has Ebay listings – http://archive.is/BOwy4
Pieri room lines changed – https://soundcloud.com/agicobot/pieriperi-english-my-room-lines
Images – http://imgur.com/a/Imgtu
4chan Archive – http://archive.is/TpPFQ#selection-18779.0-18779.132