Region-lock: Fire Emblem if and Fire Emblem Fates


Japanese box art of Fire Emblem if White Night Kingdom and Black Knight Kingdom.

Fire Emblem Fates (AKA Fire Emblem if in Japan) is a strategy role playing game made for the 3DS. There are two versions of the game which give vastly different experiences from each other. Fire Emblem Birthright (AKA Fire Emblem if White Night Kingdom in Japan) and Fire Emblem Conquest (AKA Fire Emblem if Black Night Kingdom in Japan). 

There are four regional versions of Fire Emblem Fates:

  • Japan
  • US
  • Europe/PAL
  • South Korea

The ratings for each version of Fire Emblem Fates are as follows:

  • Japan/CERO C (Age 15+)
  • US/ESRB T (Age 13+)
  • Europe/PEGI 12 (Age 12+)
  • South Korea/GRAC 12 (Age 12+)

The release dates for each version are:

  • Japan: June 25th 2015
  • US: February 19th 2016
  • Europe/PAL: May 21st 2016
  • South Korea: September 8th 2016

The US and European versions of Fire Emblem Fates share the exact same translation as each other. The English translation of the game was done by Nintendo Treehouse who are in charge of English, French and Spanish localisations for Nintendo games. The only difference between these two versions is the region code. This makes them only playable on their respective region. The English (US/Europe) versions of the game have multiple differences from their Japanese counterpart. Interestingly enough, the South Korean version of the game, both Birthright and Conquest were put into the same cartridge. It should be noted that the game was originally made in Japan by Intelligent Systems, a second party developer for Nintendo.

Major differences:

Removal of petting mini-game:

The main difference between the Japanese and English versions of Fire Emblem Fates is the removal of the petting system. In the Japanese version, there’s a feature where the player is able to pet one of the playable characters through the use of the touch screen. This feature allowed players to strengthen the bond between the player character’s avatar (Generally known as either Corrin or Kamui) and other playable characters.

As seen in the video above, the petting feature is similar to Pokemon’s amie feature. The only remnants of this feature that are left are when you marry a character. Once the player character’s avatar and another character reach an S rank relationship in the English version, the player is able to wake up their significant other by tapping their face via the touch screen or blowing into the 3DS mic.

Nintendo or Nintendo Treehouse have yet to release an official statement as to why they removed this feature from the game. However fans speculate that it could’ve been seen as somewhat strange to a foreign audience. In Japan, head patting is very normal between teenagers. It can be a simple sign of fondness towards a person. Generally it’s common between Senpai/先輩 (Upper class student) and Kouhai/後輩 (Lower class student)

Interactions between characters:

While the core gameplay of Fire Emblem Fates remains consistent between all versions, interactions between multiple characters have changed between the Japanese and English version. To put this into perspective, Fire Emblem is a series that has a huge cast of characters. Fire Emblem Fates has the largest playable roster in the series with roughly 70 playable characters. All of which can interact with each other and even get into relationships with each other. Aside from the main and side story quests in the game, a large majority of characterization is done through conversations between characters in the down time between battles. Safe to say, it plays a major part in the game. The following video is a conversation between Saizou and Belka, left is the English version and on the right is the Japanese version (With a translation):

Not every conversation between characters is altered to this degree but there is enough to give a different experience when playing either the Japanese or English version. Here is another example:

With the way translation of the conversations has been done, it in turn changes the personality and characteristics of characters. One significant example of this is the interaction between the Corrin/Kamui and Soleil. To give a brief explanation, here’s an image of Soleil and her profile:


Profile of Soleil from Fire Emblem if 4koma Comic & Character Guide Book (Translation and scan provided by Kantopia)

To keep the post succinct, I’ll only take key points in the conversation between Corrin/Kamui and Soleil to explain the controversy.

Soleil loves cute girls to the point where if she sees one or gets near one on the battlefield, she will faint. To aid Soleil with her issue, Corrin/Kamui puts a magic powder in Soleil’s drink without her knowing or consent. This magic powder allowed Soleil to see Corrin/Kamui as a female. The original Japanese text reads:


The English translation is:

“I managed to get my hands on a kind of magic powder… I’m really sorry, but a little while ago, I poured some of it into your drink. The person who drinks that powder… somehow becomes able to see other people as the gender opposite what they actually are!”

Meanwhile in the English version of the game, the conversation went into a completely different route. Below is a snippet of the conversation in the English version of the game.


If you would like to read the entire conversation in the Japanese version, the transcript (translated into English) for it is here. Also if you would like to read the transcript for the English version it is here.

That about does it for major differences between the Japanese and English versions of Fire Emblem Fates.



4 thoughts on “Region-lock: Fire Emblem if and Fire Emblem Fates

  1. You can check some other posts on my site about differences for Fire Emblem Fates, another major change would be Izana’s character which I did a few in depth posts on too. : ) Thanks for the interesting summary article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Region-Lock: Nintendo | Sanjihan

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