Video game giant Nintendo announced it will be removing a controversial “drugging” / “gay conversion” scene from the game Fire Emblem: Fates when it is released in North America and Europe, according to Nintendo World Report.
The Nintendo 3DS RPG adventure was released in Japan last year and features a lesbian character named Soleil, who has a hard time talking with other women because she is shy. In order to help her overcome her discomfort, a male character spikes her drink with a “magic powder” that causes her to see women as men, and men as women. When the drug wears off, Soleil falls in love the man who drugs her, having earlier believed he was a woman.
The scene came under fire from gamers who interpreted the scene as a distasteful depiction of so-called gay conversion therapy and pointed out the irresponsible parallels with date rape inherent in a storyline where one of the characters has her drink drugged to help her loosen up in the romance department.
However, Nintendo has reassured fans the scene will not be a part of the game when it is released in the United States and Europe.
“In the version of the game that ships in the U.S. and Europe, there is no expression which might be considered as gay conversion or drugging that occurs between characters.” a Nintendo representative told Nintendo World News.
Details of how Nintendo plans to alter the story, if at all, are not yet available.
Nintendo, also experienced backlash over its handling of LGBT characters in 2013 when the company released a patch to fix a bug in the Japanese version of the game Tomodachi Collection: New Life that allowed male Mii characters to marry, as same-sex couplings were not allowed in the game.