Fire Emblem Fates
|Name:||Fire Emblem Fates|
|Date(s):||June 25, 2015 (Japanese release date)|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Site, Official Japanese Site, Wikipedia article|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Fire Emblem Fates is the 14th instalment overall in the Fire Emblem series. Fates was released in three versions, each following a different storyline centred around the same characters: Birthright, Conquest and Revelation.
The overarching story follows the protagonist, a customizable Avatar created by the player, as they are unwillingly drawn into a war between the Kingdoms of Hoshido (their birthplace) and Nohr (their adopted home), and must choose which side to support. In Revelation, the Avatar rallies both sides against the true mastermind behind the war.
Fates was the first Fire Emblem title to give the player same-sex marriage options; their female Avatar could marry a girl named Rhajat, and their male Avatar could marry a man named Niles.
The game was hyped almost immediately, reactions ranging from negative to positive concerning everything from the characters to the story to the mechanics. The new Hoshidan classes were highly anticipated, and fans were excited to learn the gender barrier regarding classes had been broken; the game introduced female axefighters, as well as male troubadours and pegasus knights. Fans also quickly fell in love with the royal siblings, particularly Elise, Sakura, Leo, and Xander. The game also introduced maids and butlers as a playable class.
The game also introduced the Partner and Friendship Seal system, which allowed married couples or characters who achieved an A+ support to swap classes with one another. An Avatar who reached a vanilla A support with any unit would also be able to change to their class. This system can be used to gain the most optimal skills for units and their children.
Due to the nature of the support system, there are no canon pairings. The "pick and choose" nature of the supports leads to vast shipping wars, with all sides often becoming defensive of their preferred pairing and wanting to see it as the "true canon." Some popular ships include:
- Male Avatar/Niles
- Female Avatar/Azura
Like Awakening before it, Fates allowed the player to marry units to one another to produce children. However, the child mechanic was somewhat rushed; whereas Awakening used time travel to justify being able to recruit child units, Fates simply created pocket dimensions known as the Deeprealms where couples left their children during the war for their own protection. While the downside of this was addressed in the support conversations between the children and their parents, it angered many fans. Some even went further than disliking the clumsy handling and took it personally on a character level, accusing the parent units of being neglectful and abusive, while others tried to justify how the Deeprealms could be salvaged from a story perspective.
Common Tropes and Fanon in Fanworks
- Accusation Fic - a few stories that lay into main character Corrin for their actions during the Conquest route, feeling the immense guilt they felt over taking a hard route to peace wasn't enough punishment for them.
Fire Emblem Fates was released in Japan on June 25, 2015 and worldwide on February 19, 2016. In the time between its worldwide release many controversies sprang up surrounding the localization of the game. The localization is generally despised for changing character names, toning down certain themes in supports or story dialogue, and changing certain aspects of characters.
Accusations of Homophobia
A support conversation between the male avatar and Soleil came under fire soon after the game was released in Japan. The conversation was translated and submitted to Pastebin where the fandom picked up on it. In the support, Soleil asks for the male avatar's help in preventing her from getting distracted when fighting cute girls on the battlefield. The male avatar agrees to her and puts a magic powder in her drink without her knowing that lets her see men as women, and women as men.
The scene was first accused of being homophobic and likened to gay conversion therapy on July 2, 2015 in a post on Tumblr that quickly gained over 10k notes and was soon after picked up by media outlets. This sparked many debates within the fandom on how the interoperate the scene as well as the character Soleil, with some agreeing that she was coded as a lesbian and "tricking" her into a romance with the male avatar is homophobic, while others noted that culture around liking "cute girls" is different in Japan and Soleil was never intended to be interoperated as gay.
In January, 2016 a month before Fates worldwide release Nintendo released a statement confirming that any implications of gay conversion or drugging would not be included. The localization changed the conversation to show the male avatar having Soleil wear a blindfold and asks for her to imagine him as a girl instead of using a magic potion in her drink. This change was generally favoured by the fandom though some still disagreed with what they believed to be censorship of the original games intention.
The Petting Mechanic
The Japanese version of Fates had a mechanic allowing the player to pet the faces of any characters who visited their private quarters. This feature was removed from the localization, due to the possibility of Western players finding it unsavory, dividing the fanbase: some were happy, seeing the mechanic as creepy, too close to nonconsensual touching, and pedophilia due to some of the characters being quite young. Other fans were outraged, some on principle (the belief that games should never be changed for localization) and some due to the loss of certain dialogue you would obtain through the face-petting.
Incest Controversy and Dana Rune Callout
The game allows the player character to marry their Nohrian adoptive siblings as well as their Hoshidan siblings, whom they find out via supports that they're not actually blood related to. This sparked disgust among fans, particularly newer players who were unfamiliar with the Fire Emblem franchise's history of incest references and subtext.
Dana Rune, the creator of the game The Arcana, drew for the Diplomatic Relations zine which shipped the Avatar with their older brother figures Xander and Ryoma. The discovery of this led to massive callouts on Tumblr and attempts to end her career by angry antis accusing her of "making bank off of incest."
- Invisible Kingdom
- FATES: Ties that Bind, Ties that Break
- Count On You
- Fire Emblem: Ambrosia
- Diplomatic Relations
- Struck to Cinders
- Fire Emblem: If | Fire Emblem: Fates tag on AO3
- Fire Emblem Fates stories on fanfiction.net
- Fire Emblem Fates Localization Controversy on Know Your Meme
- Fire Emblem Fates on Wikipedia
- Explaining the Deeprealms
- A New Degree of Homophobia in Fire Emblem Fates
- Fire Emblem Fates Dabbles in Drugging Women to Make Them Like You, Gay Conversion Therapy
- Why Some People Are Calling Fire Emblem Fates 'Homophobic'
- Fire Emblem: Fates Changes Controversial Support Conversation in Western Regions
- Someone posted Soleil's English Support Conversation.
- Initial callout post