In a fantastic change of tune from Nintendo, they have confirmed that same-sex marriage will be available in the 3DS title Fire Emblem Fates.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Nintendo and their stance on LGBT representation in their games, they have come under fire previously for their game Tomodachi Life. Tomodachi Life is a ‘life simulator’ in which you can personalise a Mii and engage in both friendships and relationships. However, the option to engage in same-sex relationships was not present and Nintendo had no intention of adding them.
At the time, they said: “The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan. The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.”
So, you can now see why the inclusion of same-sex marriage in Fire Emblem Fates is even more of a big deal. More options for the player is always important, but such a move from a company like Nintendo is even bigger. Some of you might be wondering, why did they change their mind? Nintendo had this to say, regarding the inclusion of same-sex marriage in Fire Emblem Fates.
“We believe that our gameplay experiences should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate and, at the same time, we will always design the game specifications of each title by considering a variety of factors, such as the game’s scenario and the nature of the gameplay. In the end of course, the game should be fun to play. We feel that Fire Emblem Fates is indeed enjoyable to play and we hope fans like the game.”
The way they have executed this is a little odd, but it does give options for same-sex marriage no matter the chosen sex of your character. Nintendo explained how this works in another statement, saying: “Fire Emblem Fates comes in two different versions, called the Conquest and Birthright editions. In the U.S., Conquest and Birthright will both be sold separately, as is already the case in Japan. For those who have purchased either the Conquest or Birthright edition, a third edition will be made available as downloadable content at a later stage. Details on how the three storylines will be made available in other regions will be announced at a later date.”
“In the Conquest edition of the game, there is a male character that the game’s player may have his/her male main character marry after they bond in battle. Similarly, the Birthright edition features a female character that a female main character may marry after bonding in battle. Both of the aforementioned characters can be encountered in the third edition of the game.”
So to break it down, if you wish to have a relationship between two male characters, you need to get the Conquest edition, or the third edition of the game, which is yet to be released. For a relationship between two female characters, you need to get the Birthright edition or the third edition of the game.
Regardless of that, this is a fantastic piece of news. While this doesn’t overwrite their previous actions with Tomodachi Life, this is still a great and positive step from Nintendo.
Fire Emblem Fates is due out in the US and Europe in 2016 on the Nintendo 3DS.