Going in dry

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, a crossover RPG by Atlus and Nintendo, will be censored in the West. This will include cut content, reworked characters and altered clothing.

Localization teams have certainly been on a roll this year. It almost seems like they’re trying to outdo one another, seeing who can anger the most people throughout the year. Not to be overshadowed by the recent whirlwind surrounding Blizzard, Nintendo has once again edged out the competition.

Whether you’re a fan of Nintendo or not, the company has been having a hard time listening to its fans. While they’ve always been a family company, Nintendo of America has consistently been in the news for their stance on censorship. Within the past year they’ve racked up a laundry list of censored titles; Fire Emblem Fates, Bravely Second, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Fatal Frame – to name a few.

We can add another game to that ever growing list now, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Back in December last year, we wrote a piece on the upcoming RPG, which came about as initial reports of censorship surfaced. In a trailer for the game, it was noticed by fans that Kiria’s outfit had been altered to cover up more skin. At the time, we weren’t sure how much censorship to expect, but as of this week that’s changed.

At PAX East, which took place this weekend, Nintendo allowed visitors to try Tokyo Mirage Sessions for the first time. It looks as though Nintendo has gone further than what was first discovered, and will be implementing further changes to the game.

Firstly, and similarly to Bravely Second, Nintendo will be changing the ages of some characters. This will impact at least three characters, and will likely affect a fourth, Eleonora. This is possibly due to the perception of our cultures, which are viewed as having a deep problem with the portrayal of under-18s.

Nintendo will also be forcing more costume changes. While, again, we don’t know the full extent of this, an image was snapped at PAX East showing the alterations made to female characters. While subtle, the character has been given shorts instead of what appears to be panties. This is likely to impact other characters as well, such as the existing change to Tsubasa’s outfit (above), but it’s hard to say just how many at this time.

Similarly to Fire Emblem Fates, Nintendo may have also cut a sizeable chunk from the game. It has not been confirmed so far, though some users have been able to dig up pricing for the DLC, which suggests it is indeed missing.

Another chunk that has been altered is the dungeon in chapter 2. During the course of play, you’ll be tasked with chasing down someone who enjoys taking gravure photos. In the Japanese version of the game, the girls in the photos are shown wearing bikinis and more revealing outfits, whilst in the Western release, they have been fully clothed.

This is a particularly jarring change, especially for those who appreciate Japanese culture, as gravure idols generally do model in swimsuits. Gravure is often seen as provocative and the girls chosen for their attractiveness, so this sort of defeats the point. Take a look for yourself here.

Interestingly, the changes tie in with a recent post made on the imageboard, 4chan. In the post (seen here), a tripcode user lists what will be changing in the Tokyo Mirage Sessions localization. So far we can check most of that off the list, including that last sentence. Nintendo recently released a statement on the matter, which seems to tie in with the idea that Atlus are being supervised.

“Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was localized by Atlus in a way that is consistent with the localization work they do on games they publish. It was a priority to ensure the game feels familiar and appeals to long-time Atlus fans. Any changes made to the in-game content were due to varying requirements and regulations in the many different territories Nintendo distributes its products.”

It’s unlikely that these changes were made due to any regulations, as the Teen rating does, in fact, allow for “suggestive themes”. Of course, this cannot be proven, but it’s just something to keep in mind. It looks as though this is simply another game that’s fallen victim to Nintendo’s ire for the West, so we should only expect more changes from here.

Check out the video below by Censored Gaming for an overview of the situation, or check out this thread for up-to-date discussion on the matter. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is due out for the Wii U in North America and Europe on June 24th, 2016.

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