Lick twice for service

After Intelligent Systems’ tactics RPG Fire Emblem Engage was censored in Nintendo of America’s English release, fans partially re-translated the game.

Fire Emblem Engage is a tactical RPG developed by Intelligent Systems, and the 17th installment in the long-running franchise. The series distinguishes itself in the TRPG genre by putting great emphasis on character development and interaction. Many of the Fire Emblem games provide optional cutscenes for a staggering number of playable characters interacting with one another in their daily lives. This way, they can each portray their personalities in various scenarios. These interactions between the vast cast members frequently include romantic scenes.

In the case of Fire Emblem Engage, said scenes were heavily altered in the English-language version of the game, published by Nintendo of America. Many players were displeased by the changes, arguing that in certain cases they altered the personalities of the game’s characters, providing a different experience from the game’s original writing. A common example is the depiction of Goldmary in the Japanese version, who's heavily conscious of her looks and actively trying to appeal to men. In the English version, she's concerned with proper etiquette and hygiene.

Moreover, the English release met issues with the general quality of language, including typos and illogical dialogue, even in voiced lines. In one of their scenes, merchant Anne requests that the heroine Framme refer to her as “Lady Anna” to be less rather than more formal. We can see examples of these issues in screenshots posted on the varis forum, in this case by users Styner and Ene.

To address these and other concerns, a team of modders from the varis forum website decided to partially re-translate the game, providing a way for English-speaking players to experience the original story.

Due to the severity of Fire Emblem Engage’s censorship, the mod is still a work in progress. However, the mod published by cris1010 already contains a huge number of changes. These include:

  • All S-support scenes.
  • All S-wakeup scenes.
  • A number of support scenes from character’s Goldmary and Framme.
  • Tiki Divine Paralogue.
  • Dialogue lines from Chapter 4’s Battle.
  • Lucina’s emblem supports with Goldmary and Framme.
  • Fixes to typos.

Additionally, the mod fully retranslates all supports of characters Anna, Rosado, and Louis. These are some of the most excessively changed characters in the English localization:

  • Anna is a merchant who, in the Japanese version, may develop romantic feelings for the protagonist. However, she acknowledges being too young for the time being. In the English version, her dialogue was deromanticized.
  • Rosado originally comes from a village where men tend to be born with feminine physiology, while women often look handsome, making it impossible to discern gender at a glance. The English localization instead paints him as gender non-conforming, focusing on self-identification rather than physical characteristics.
  • Louis is a voyeur who enjoys watching women go about their lives. In the English version, his interest was changed to more generic "people watching." It’s unknown if the change was meant to desexualize his interests, or was an effect of the general removal of gendered dialogue in the English localization. This change also causes Louis to no longer acknowledge Rosado as feminine in the English version, praising his energetic personality instead.

Once again, we can find example of this censorship in screenshots posted by Ene:

The team is currently working on expanding the mod with dialogue translations for paired endings, as well as many other scenes. You can download the mod from the varis forum. Discussions between users feature many more examples of censorship present within the game, which the mod aims to address.

The file was previously available on popular modding sites Loverslab and Game’s Banana, where it was eventually banned by the staff. In both cases, moderators expressed worry over some character’s age being inappropriate for romantic portrayal.

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