Fire Emblem games place heavy import on personal and party relationships just as much as the warfronts, and the newest title continues the tradition. In what will be sure to excite fans of the series who enjoy having their preferences reflected in gameplay, Nintendo of America confirmed to US Gamer that the upcoming addition to the tactical RPG franchise Fire Emblem: Three Houses will offer same-sex relationship and romance paths during the course of the game.
Nintendo told US Gamer that for “select characters,” same-sex pairings are an option, but didn’t go into any specifics as a caution against accidental spoilers. US Gamer shared that in their own time with the game, their female Byleth character seems to have a mutual interest in Edelgard, the female leader of the Black Eagles.
US Gamer also shared a massive leak on plot elements of Three Houses, which among other things detailed same-sex relationship possibilities. According to the leak, there were more opportunities for female same-sex relationships than there were for male pairs over the course of Three Houses.
More information will of course be available after the game releases and fans of the franchise have had time to play though its massive storyline. According to Screen Rant, Game Director Toshiyuki Kasukihara stated that Fire Emblem: Three Houses will require over 200 hours of play to complete.
Nintendo showcased Fire Emblem: Three Houses and covered gameplay details for about 30 minutes during a Nintendo Treehouse Live on June 12th. The video of the stream is available below.
During their Treehouse Live stream, Nintendo shared that while there would be romantic partnerships in Three Houses, these relationships wouldn’t result in children. The game’s romantic relationships can only start after the player character is moved forward in time five years, to avoid uncomfortable situations between teachers and students in the military academy setting.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses offering wider player choices in romantic situations is a bright move, but it’s not the first time something like this has appeared in the Fire Emblem series. Fire Emblem Fates launched in Japan in 2015 and the West in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS and featured the option of same-sex marriage for the player character. The addition of these choices for Fire Emblem came after Nintendo received some criticism for excluding same-sex options for 3DS title Tomodachi Life.
“We believe that our gameplay experiences should reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate and, at the same time, we will always design the game specifications of each title by considering a variety of factors, such as the game’s scenario and the nature of the game play,” Nintendo said in a statement to Polygon on Fire Emblem Fates in 2015.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the fifteenth installment of the tactical JRPG franchise Fire Emblem, and will make its way to the Nintendo Switch on July 26th, 2019.