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Dragons And Flying Horses Okay In Fire Emblem Game, Just Not Gay Marriage

Fire Emblem, a fantasy role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems, released its 11th iteration in Japan earlier this year and is slated to hit U.S. stores in 2013.  

While plenty of new features have been added, several old ones have returned, including the opportunity for players to get married—an option that was removed from the game in 1995. Getting hitched in Fire Emblem results in stat bonuses and children—as long as the pairing is heterosexual. 

Explicit same-sex romance in video games is a fairly recent phenomenon but homoerotic dialogue and storylines have been around for quite some time, including in Fire Emblem. From suspiciously campy villains to intimate conversations between male “friends,” Intelligent Systems has probably bruised their eyelids with all the winking they’ve been doing.

Which makes it all the more irritating that after 18 years of Fire Emblem without marriage, early reports indicate Intelligent Systems has revived the feature as if the world hasn’t changed since 1995. Some gamers have already registered their dismay—and, in some cases, bewilderment, that same-sex characters can’t wed:

On NeoGAF, BigJiantRobut commented how female characters Lyn and Florina “were pretty much engaged anyway.” Meanwhile, a poster on Nintendo3DSBlog made it clear he was voting with his wallet: “If a game offers marriage options and leaves another group out of the equation then, yes, I am not paying money for it. Try walking a few steps in my boots and you will be enlightened.”

You could argue that same-sex unions would be anachronistic given the game’s medieval setting—but the flying horses and pet dragons kind of undermine that theory.

You could argue that Japan isn’t one of the 11 countries that recognize marriage equality, but Fire Emblem is about as far removed from modern real-world Japan as Game of Thrones is from, say, Germany.

You might even argue that LGBT gamers are reading things into Fire Emblem that just aren’t there. But you’d have to ignore dialogue like this conversation between two male characters. (See image at bottom.)

Perhaps next time Intelligent Systems will live up to its name and, instead of just having same-sex characters talk  about how they can’t live without each other (wink wink), it’ll just let them get married and be done with it.

Images: Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword Japanese Site and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn NA site 

By:           T.J. Grabowy
On:           Jul 30, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
  • 5 Comments
    • Daez
      Daez

      I think you REALLY have to stretch it to make that dialogue into a “same sex” conversation. As far as gay marriage in the video game. It is a video game. Sure, I would love to see gay marriage in it, but I do not expect it. I am rather pleased when it does happen, and I was rather pleased with Bioware for introducing some amazing gay/bisexual characters in their games, but it has no bearing on rather I play a video game or not.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vklortho
      vklortho

      I remember playing the Temple of Elemental Evil for PC and them having gay marriage (well the option and only for one NPC) and this was back in 2003 in the US.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Temple_of_Elemental_Evil_%28video_game%29#Controversy

      Jul 30, 2012 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • crash_sublime
      crash_sublime

      Come play Everquest. The game is thirteen years old and same sex marriage has ALWAYS been part of the game.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • milomilo
      milomilo

      who cares. it’s just a videogame, a japanese one at that. same sex marriage is not a “hot topic” over there for them to include it as in mass effect

      Jul 31, 2012 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • T.J Grabowy
      T.J Grabowy

      @crash_sublime: I try to avoid MMOs nowadays. I get addicted too easily.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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