The Faux Outrage Over Fire Emblem Fate’s Supposed ‘Homophobia’

By Patrick Toworfe – 3rd July 2015
The Faux Outrage Over Fire Emblem Fate’s Supposed ‘Homophobia’

UPDATE & DISCLAIMER: It has come to my attention that the details surrounding this issue are both nuanced and complex. The imgur post I linked to might have had some translation errors and/or some stretching of the truth. A conversation on Twitter with a concerned user led me to re-evaluate the content of this article. I still stand by my message and I still ultimately believe that outrage culture and sensationalism should have no place in honest media journalism. However, I must recant and apologize that this article was written in haste. I am no professional, nor did I have all the facts within this issue. I wanted to do good, but I went in half-cocked, into an issue that is a vortex of Japanese tropes, mis-translation and questionable material. I advise my readers to do the best research they can on this issue and make up their own minds from there. Consider my writing with that in mind. My original article is below.

Game journalism, you make me laugh. Yet again, certain opportunists attempt to capitalize on ignorance to sell a story. Manufacturing outrage out of thin air. Well that ends now.

You might not be aware of this, but Fire Emblem Fates is an upcoming 3DS Nintendo game, which will feature a lesbian character by the name of Soleil. This character has the endearing flaw of swooning over the female cast of Fire Emblem, to the comedic point of it interfering with battles. So as the main character, you’re tasked with helping her with this issue; using magic (conveniently) to make her perceive women as men, so she doesn’t swoon over them. It’s silly, it’s absurd, and it’s a damn video game. So no harm right? Well…


Source: IB Times

Terrific. I should note that, this game is not even out yet in the US. And people are only going by translations of the Japanese versions. Which leads me to this post.

An important message for Nintendo fans

A detailed and informative overview of this whole mess that explains thus:

  1. The character Soleil is bisexual, not even strictly lesbian. And surprise, there’s more to her character than sexuality.
  2. The ‘curing her gay away’ is not true, because it’s actually a comical plot about making her not swoon over girls in battle. Using magic. Not ‘drugs’.
  3. The character is still bi at the end, but is now more focused, thanking the main character for helping her.

It’s worth explaining that a lot of exaggerated tropes in Japanese fiction involve someone, male or female, being so infatuated with who they’re attracted to that they can’t think straight. So in true comedy fashion, some plot device is used to make them less lovestruck and more focused. This is commonly used for straight male characters, and in some occasions female ones. So are we to take this outrage to mean that we can’t do this for bi/lesbian characters?

Allow me to be blunt. This is the crux of the issue. People cry ‘diversity’ this, ‘representation’ that, but when they get it, they just have more to moan and lie about. Everyone strung up Ubisoft for their ‘exclusion’ of female characters from Assassin’s Creed Unity, and yet then turn around and say they’re ‘pandering’ for adding female characters in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Games are lambasted for not including female, gay, or ethnic characters, but when they do include it they are still ripped apart, this time for ‘not doing it right’.

Tell me this, readers: how will minority characters EVER be equal in a fictional context if they are exempt from experiencing what their straight male counterparts experience? Is this Fire Emblem side quest about solving Soleil’s problem with swooning both silly and awkward? Yes. But is it an intentionally homophobic gesture designed by the game devs because they think gayness can be ‘cured’? Not a definitive. Choosing to be offended by this is down to your discretion, but to jump to conclusions is just plain ignorant.

The point is this: no matter what you think about sexuality, or race, or gender, people in this world are different and deserve these differences to be reflected in entertainment. You don’t need to agree with it or even accept it, but understand that people have a right to these things. What that means is treating people like equals and accepting the equal treatment of characters in a fictional context. Continuing to treat women, ethnic, gay, disabled characters in fiction delicately, as if they need the special attention, is counterproductive at best and bigoted at worst.

Faux outrages like this against Fire Emblem Fates are a symptom of a larger problem. But that is something I’ll leave to you, the reader, to decide how to feel about. Do the research, do NOT buy into the media creep. Fire Emblem Fates is a game about more than just sexuality or gender or any of that nonsense. If we want things like gender or sexuality in a game normalized, then let’s normalize it. Stop treating it like it’s profound or it deserves special attention. And certainly not lie about it for clicks. That’s the bottom line.

Dedicated gamer, member of the Fighting Game Community and sometimes a hobby photographer. Follow me @JusticeSoulTuna

  • FactChecker

    But the character isn’t being treated as an equal. It’s done against her will. That’s why people say “drugged.” She didn’t want it, and it’s forced on her without consent. I’m not gonna cry date rape, but this is like slipping laxative into your buddy’s coffee at the very least. Maybe no one exactly gets hurts, but its fucked up to say the least.

    The “Faux” news thing was obviously clickbait, and this site’s, um, “blogger” fell for it, passed it on, and couldn’t even bother doing his homework for a proper rebuttal.

    I guess thanks for having an opinion, but really, maybe this site needs some actual journalists, or at least stricter hiring rules. It feels like every time I think this site will pick up, this shit comes back and I leave for another few weeks. If I wanted to read bloggers, I’d read Destructoid.

    • Jarod Frye

      Actually, She actually ask him to help her by any means nessesary. Here’s the entire dialogue from Claude Smith, Japanese Translator at Nichegamer. (Who specializes in well…Niche Games.)

      Soleil: Ah, there you are. Kamuo-san!

      Kamui: Soleil. You came!

      Soleil: What’s up? You called me out here and I don’t see anything here.

      Kamui: Ah, but there is something. Look up at the sky.

      Soleil: The sky? Oh . . .

      Kamui: On this side you can best how big the sun is.

      Soleil: Wow, this is really pretty!

      Kamui: Yes. It’s like looking at you.

      Soleil: Hmm?

      Kamui: Your smiling face is like the sun. I want to be next to that face, always looking at it.

      Soleil: What is it, Kamuo-san? Did you hit your head really hard?

      Kamui: No! I was being totally serious! . . . Soleiyu, I have something I want you to accept.

      Soleil: This is a ring.

      Kamui: That’s right. Today, I called you here to propose to you.

      Soleil: Marriage? Whaaaa!?

      Kamui: I tried to find one that would suit you, modeled after the sun. I’d be glad if you accepted this.

      Soleil: (pauses) I’m sorry!

      Kamui: Oh.

      Soleil: Wait, that’s not it! I wasn’t going to refuse. You went to all the trouble of confessing. I was apologizing for asking if you hit your head.

      Kamui: Ah, is that all. You had me surprised.

      Soleil: Of course my answer is “okay”! There’s no other man who can make my heart race like this. From the day I saw you as a woman, I always liked you.

      Kamui: Oh, from the day you saw me as a woman. What if that hadn’t happened . . . you fell in love with the female me!?

      Soleil: Right!

      Kamui: Right, she says.

      Soleil: But that’s okay. Right now I totally love the male Kamuo-san. Because from the time I drank that magic powder, I was seeing people as girls. And from that time, the only one who made my heart race was you, Kamuo-san. Even now, my heart is beating. Hey, want to touch my chest and see?

      Kamui: Whoa! That’s not good!

      Soleil: Why not?

      Kamui: We’re not even a couple yet, I can’t be recklessly pawing a lady’s body. I understand how you feel . . . and you need to take good care of yourself.

      Soleil: All right, I got it.

      Kamui: That’s it. Thank you for accepting my marriage proposal. I’ll definitely make you happy. And in return, don’t fool around with other men. Although I probably don’t have to worry about that with you.

      Soleil: (laughs) I won’t fool around. From now on, the only one for me is Kamuo-san. (spoken) Thank you! And I love you very much! This is the first time I’ve felt this way other than with women. This is a little embarrassing.

      (scene ends)

      [TL Note: And that was the scene. When we look at the entire content instead of cherry-picking, we see it’s a rather harmless and cute moment in a fantasy game. Her agency wasn’t reduced, and she could have refused his proposal at any time]

      So there you have it – this is clearly not a case of a character being drugged up and forced to have sex with the opposite sex, in an effort to “convert” them (which actually happens in conversion camps here in the United States).

      It’s utterly disgraceful to see blogs, let alone other websites, report on this dialogue and story arc in the way they have. I hope this serves as a reminder that we should wait until we have the actual dialogue on hand, upon which, we’ll do the evaluation.

      • FactChecker

        Sorry, that’s not the right scene. That’s the marriage proposal. Here’s the “drugging,” plain as daylight:

        Soleil/Mamui B PCM3:
        Kamui: Soleil.
        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.
        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!

        • M Hollingsworth


          And Niche Gamer has even updated their article, removing the “asking for help” and “by any means” after it was pointed out that it was not in the translation THEY THEMSELVES posted.

          Hilarious to say “check the translation” only to have the translation directly contradict the points.

          Also, as I pointed out in another comment (still pending at the moment) the entire imgur this article used as its source was a bunch of lies.

          (Wait, this comment got approved immediately? Why is my other comment still pending approval then.)

    • Mr0303

      For somebody called FactChecker, you really didn’t check any of the facts. After a proper translation it is shown that Soleil request the protagonist to help her with her inability to fight with or against cute girls. He does so by casting a spell so that she sees all girls as men and thus overcomes her problem. So the consent was given when she requested help in the first place.

      Since I can’t post links for some reason check the nichegamer’s translation of the dialogue provided by Jarod Frye.

      What the second part of your post shows is that you didn’t even read this article. The author fully realizes that the Faux’ piece was a click bait (and I quote: “And certainly not lie about it for clicks.”) along with quite a few others, but the point of this is to expose the absolutely overblown outrage culture fully based on false moral panic and pathological altruism.

    • #GermaGerd

      FactChecker, please get the facts straight.

  • As I’ve been saying to other people, only real issue I had with all of this was that Soleil isn’t an S-support option for F.Kamui. I mean considering she’s also interested in girls and full out says to M. Kamui that she would have a thing for a female version of him, it would have been a no brainer to actually make her S-support compatible for F.Kamui. Like hell, it would have been better to include one of each gender for both sides (Zero and Soleil for those who choose Nohr, Shara and whoever for those who choose Hoshido) instead of Nintendo turning this into a cash cow method with them literally going about it in their reveal “If Male players want to marry Zero then they would have to buy Black or the 3rd path, visa-versa for Shara” That just screams “We really just want to make money off of this.” There doesn’t need to be a political correctness about this kind of stuff since Japan has different viewpoints on LGBT-stuff than other places in the world. But what I just said would have been the “Fairer” option to people rather than the “Forced” option. (Weird, I was totally okay with Zero and Shara being the only options until I found out that Soleil was also bi….that kind of killed things for me).

    P.S Despite that, I actually I thought this whole drama thing was overblown and people really gone crazy over it. Like they really needed to take a chill pill and try to be objective about it instead of just blindly believing people and going “Nintendo is homophobic!” No they’re not homophobic, though could they have actually thought things out better, yes.

    • Patrick Toworfe

      Great comment. Nice to hear deeper insights into the game too.