So that Kotaku article on FE:F miiight not be accurate, and here’s why.

I’ve never made one of these before, so if It comes off as a mess I really apologize, but I really recommend giving this a read as I have provided numerous photos of the japanese version of Fire Emblem Fates in comparison to what we’ve seen of the western version as evidence on why that article is wrong. Click the read more (Since the post is pretty long!) to see what I mean, putting this together took time :)

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This Bloodborne comic is too cool for still images
Do the pics change with high insight?, Bloodborne comic. The hunt is a wonderful, terrible thing. A sentiment perfectly captured in this gorgeous, lightly animated Bloodborne webcomic, The Master o...
By Nic Rowen

The latest comic written by myself and drawn by @nick-foo made its way to Destructoid’s front page, and Kotaku too! 

This is quite a milestone, and I want to give huge thanks to everyone who keeps up with the comic and shares it!

There is still facetouching in FE14

All of the articles i’ve read lead back to Kotaku and there has been no evidence of an interview. Now if you did your research, in Nohr (Conquest) you cannot repeat battles so there is no way to get your supports up besides facetouching, and compare the english website to the japan one and the japan one says the exact same thing. They wouldnt make this announcement this close to realease. Thank you for your time.

Whoa whoa whoa....wait
  • I saw some people talking on Facebook and comparing to that what I've already read before
  • The only site that is credited as the source for the story about the petting game being removed from "Fire Emblem-Fates"
  • .....was Kotaku
  • There's no other originating source other than Kotaku
  • and nobody as far as I've seen has any confirmation on the censorship of the mini game despite the news of it swirling about for 3 days
  • Did they make it all up for clicks?
Fire Emblem Fates Localization Troubles, a PSA.

Yesterday, western Fire Emblem fans on the internet went into a bit of a fervor when Kotaku reported that the upcoming localization of Fire Emblem Fates would be removing the “Skinship” mini-game from the western release. This was hot on the heels of a previous report that said Fates would also be removing a controversial scene from the North American (and I assume the European) release.

People seem pretty evenly split on the issue here. Of course there are the legion of Fire Emblem fans, like myself, who are upset about these edits being made to cater to a more culturally sensitive western audience. And then there’s the crowd of people who look at these changes, turn up their noses, and make some sort of comment along the lines of: “Who cares that they changed this? It was dumb anyway.”

It’s true. Going through my Twitter feed over the past couple months(!) even I’ve noticed people who have a similar attitude towards these localization changes. And in most cases, I’m willing to concede and just stand by my beliefs, which goes something like: “Don’t edit this stuff, I want the original content. Even if some people find it offensive.”. That’s basically how it was for me with Xenoblade Chronicles X last month. 

I played 170 hours of Xenoblade X, and just recently finished up that game. But I didn’t buy it. I rented it from GameFly for almost two whole months. That way I wasn’t pirating it (not that I’d know where to start with a Wii U game), but I also wasn’t buying the game outright. Simply because I didn’t agree with the localization choices surrounding that game. But in the end, they were pretty insignificant, and it just became a matter of principle for me.

Back to Fire Emblem though. The first change that was made surrounds a series of support conversations with a character named Soleil. Who for all intents and purposes seems to be a gay woman. The scene in question received quite a bit of backlash, as early as sometime in the middle of last year when the game came out in Japan. Basically people were upset because it appeared as if the scene depicted drugging, “gay conversion”, and some would go as far as to say rape.

I’m not really here to talk about this particular scene. As I haven’t actually played the game myself, nor do I know Japanese, that I would be able to tell you firsthand that “Yo, you guys got it all wrong.” But as was the case back then, many people had cited that, “Hey, some people might have gotten this scene all wrong.”

It’s obviously part of a larger discussion, one that I’m not prepared to have at this time. But it’s easy to see where, out of context, something like that could be taken in a very wrong way that would unsettle some people. For my money, I would have rather they left the scene in there. Regardless of if it was truly malicious or not, I’m a firm believer that fiction shouldn’t be afraid to depict something that some people might find uncomfortable. But hey, that’s me - you can think what you want.

Getting back to the larger conversation here - The Skinships. If you weren’t aware, the Skinship mini-game in Fire Emblem if (Fates) was a game that you could “play” with your party members. Wikipedia cites that the term Skinship was a pseudo-English Japanese word that was originally coined to describe intimacy between a mother and child. But was then later adapted to be used as a way to describe bonding through physical contact, ala holding hands, hugging, and other forms of affection. So in Fire Emblem, these Skinship mini-games would have your player character inviting someone from your army to your room and then you would proceed to “pet” them on the 3DS touchscreen.

Here you can see an example of it, but needless to say, it’s kind of a silly little mini-game that was built to cater to a certain subset of the Fire Emblem fanbase. On the one hand I can see where most of the naysayers are coming from when they see a feature like this got cut. After all it doesn’t seem that important to the overall game. And honestly, that aspect of it isn’t really. But I’ll still address why I think it’s disappointing that they took it out later.

More importantly! And this is the main reason why I’ve written all this, is that some people don’t seem to understand the impact of removing this feature in its entirety has on the game. You see, the Skinship was a really important part of the romance aspect of the game. An aspect of the game that became very popular with the previous Fire Emblem game, Awakening. And was further realized here through such sub-systems as Skinships. I know what you’re thinking though: “Doesn’t that just mean you don’t get to rub your waifu, you sick pervert?” But no! There’s more to it than that.

You can ask people who’ve played the Japanese release of the game how important the Skinships are. Aside from that doofy little mini-game, you also got a lot of really important dialogue with your party members that you don’t see anywhere else in the game. Furthermore, this dialogue was all completely voiced in the original Japanese release of Fates. Again, I can’t speak from experience (yet) but from the little I’ve seen of these Skinship scenes personally, as well as testimony from players – these scenes are pretty substantial in the bonding between your characters.

So you have to ask yourself at this point. “Hm, there’s over two dozen characters in this game. And you can interact with almost every one of them. And each one of these characters has different Skinship scenes. And they’re all fully voiced, and provide a deeper understanding of the characters, and their relationship with you. Is that an insignificant amount of content to cut out of a game?” And hopefully at that point you realize “Oh, it’s more than just the stupid rubbing mini-game.”

Now, my other point about this is more of an aside. But I’m going to attempt to justify the “petting”, while simultaneously reinforcing how important these Skinship scenes might be to some people. Firstly, I think it’s kind of funny that Nintendo was alright with Pokemon Amie, but this was a step too far. In Pokemon Amie you could basically do the same thing of petting your Pokemon. But that also included all the humanoid Pokemon like Gallade and Gardeviour. Hey man, I have essentially jerked off a Machamp at some point in that game, because you can totally rub his crotch. Furiously. At least in the Fire Emblem’s Skinships you’re restricted to above the neckline.

Furthermore there was a sense of novelty to those Skinships. Intimacy isn’t exactly the most common thing in games, and rarely is it handled well. I’m not going to go out of my way and argue that running a stylus across a touchscreen of an anime character’s face is the peak representation of physical contact, but it was kind of an interesting idea at least. I won’t try to argue that point too much, because I think it’s just a losing battle, but keep in mind that it was an innovative thing that (hopefully) tried to convey the physical relationship real people have.

If you know anything about Fire Emblem Awakening, you’ll know that it became very popular with an entirely new audience than previous games in the series. It was basically at the point where Nintendo was like “Okay, look. These things aren’t really selling anymore. So we’re going to try this one more time. Just throw everything you’ve got at it. If it doesn’t work, we sink this ship.” And hey, guess what? It worked.

Now you can look at Awakening and see a lot of things it did right. It streamlined a bunch of mechanics from the series. They made the game more accessible by emphasizing the inclusion of the casual mode which turned off the permadeath feature (though this feature was also available in the Japan only remake of Mystery of The Emblem for the DS.) They brought in some of the more successful elements from previous games: like the marriage and children system. They did all these things, and it really helped.

But you know what? I think a larger reason still was the way that the game catered to another niche audience. Support Conversations weren’t anything new for Fire Emblem, but thanks to strong writing, and localization – the characters were all memorable. And people fell in love with them. All sorts of people too. People like to call Fire Emblem Awakening “Waifu Wars.” but there’s just as much of a case to be made for the female audience as well. Awakening has Otome-like properties to it. In some ways the dating aspect is just as, if not more important than swinging your swords around.

And I get it. There’s a purity to Fire Emblem that a lot of newer fans haven’t quite grasped. It’s an extremely rich, and rewarding strategy RPG series. I know, I’ve been a fan since Fire Emblem 7 was released in North America. And as of my writing this I’ve played all but two games in the series to completion. Awakening isn’t even my favorite Fire Emblem game, I prefer the Radiant games. But none of that matters, because you can have a chip on your shoulder about what Intelligent Systems did to this series. And by what they did, I mean, they completely salvaged it from total annihilation.

So yeah, for a lot of people, the chance to get more intimate with your “husbando” or “waifu” is a big draw. It is a big deal. And by sitting there and saying things like “I don’t understand why people are upset about this. It’s dumb, and it’s not very important.” That’s just you being ignorant. Sure, you can have your opinion. It’s not important to you, fine. But it is for a lot of people.

And hey, as I’ve said, even if you don’t get into the nitty-gritty of shipping characters together, the Skinship system still provided a wealth of additional dialogue for these characters. So while we can debate over the nature of the Soleil stuff, at least that is a localization change. This is ripping out large swaths of this game completely. And that’s just not cool however you want to look at it.

In closing. I guess I should say that none of this is “final” per say. The fact of the matter is, some people aren’t even entirely convinced the Kotaku report is accurate. Some people are holding on to the belief that Grayson is either wrong, or just, I don’t know… lying? I think that’s just people being delusional. What I will put more stock into is speculations from some, such as Serenes Forest where they surmise that these support conversations might not be entirely lost to us. And while I would still be sad to lose the ability to caress Camilla’s face, I would at least be thankful for the fact that not all this content was cut from the game.

So there you have my take on this little hot topic. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide where you land on it. But hopefully I’ve been a little more informative about why people actually care about this stuff. Thank you for reading.

Let me explain something here

Now, I understand that FE fans everywhere are getting their respective undies in a wad here about this whole “petting censorship” fiasco that’s going on, but let’s take a deep breath and think on this a moment.

There’s an article on Kotaku stating that the Western release of Fates http://kotaku.com/the-english-version-of-fire-emblem-fates-wont-have-the-1755121353
Kotaku’s not really the first place I’d go for news. After this debacle a few months ago: http://www.gamezone.com/originals/opinion-no-kotaku-you-weren-t-blacklisted-for-speaking-the-truth-jxh2

That being said, is it really not striking people as odd that such a popular part of the game would suddenly have mentioned of being removed less than a month before it’s release? Not only that, but even in footage of game play by Nintendo still shows the icon of the “My room” where the petting takes place. Not mention, if you’re reading other articles, they’re all pretty much citing Kotaku or other articles that are citing Kotaku… which is rather odd.

Either way, I won’t take this information at face value and if it’s actually true, I’d imagine NOA would’ve had something to say about it (and would’ve probably done so MONTHS ago)

Tl;Dr take what Kotaku is saying with a grain of salt. Don’t believe the first thing you see kiddos, just take a step back, breathe, and do some research.


This… this is gold holy crap.

Popular YouTubers Stop Trying To Trademark 'React,' Apologize
Last week The Fine Brothers drew mass internet hate after they announced they wanted to let other YouTubers monetize and license its “React” format shows. Tonight, they’re taking all of it back.
By Patricia Hernandez

The official apology letter from Benny and Rafi:

We’re here to apologize.
We realize we built a system that could easily be used for wrong. We are fixing that. The reality that trademarks like these could be used to theoretically give companies (including ours) the power to police and control online video is a valid concern, and though we can assert our intentions are pure, there’s no way to prove them.
We have decided to do the following:
1. Rescind all of our “React” trademarks and applications.*
2. Discontinue the React World program.
3. Release all past Content ID claims.**
The concerns people have about React World are understandable, and that people see a link between that and our past video takedowns, but those were mistakes from an earlier time. It makes perfect sense for people to distrust our motives here, but we are confident that our actions will speak louder than these words moving forward.
This has been a hard week. Our plan is to keep making great content with the help of our amazing staff. Thank you for your time and for hearing us out.
Benny and Rafi Fine
*This includes “React,” “Kids React,” “Elders React,” “Lyric Breakdown,” etc. Please note: It takes a while for the databases to update, but the necessary paperwork has been filed.
**Content ID is YouTube’s copyright system that automatically flags content that looks like or sounds like copyrighted content. This mostly flags videos that are direct re-uploads of our videos (which is what the system is built for), but if you know of a video that has been claimed or removed incorrectly, please email us with “false claim” in the subject line.

While I still think that they are just doing damage control right now, I’m glad to see that the biggest concerns have been addressed and they are cancelling their trademarks and React World.

Only time will tell if they actually learned anything from this.