Fire Emblem Fates will ship stateside without its original Japanese audio, Nintendo has confirmed to Polygon. When they launch, all three versions of the Nintendo 3DS game (Birthright, Conquest and Revelation) will have English voice acting only.
We first discovered the lack of dual audio during our livestream of Fire Emblem Fates' earliest chapters. Although not all previous Western Fire Emblem releases offered varying language options, Fates' immediate predecessor Fire Emblem: Awakening did include Japanese audio.
In Awakening, the Extras menu available on the title screen included an additional voice language option.
This differs from Fates' Extras window, which lacks such a menu.
Viewers of our livestream first noted the difference in the menu options, vehemently expressing their disapproval in the chat window.
When asked to clarify why the company did not include dual audio in Fire Emblem Fates' overseas debut — or whether it might be introduced later on as downloadable content — Nintendo declined to comment further.
The company has made several changes to the localized Fates, which launches on Feb. 19. Nintendo confirmed that a scene in which the player character seemingly "drugs" a team member would not be included in the Western version of the game. Various encounters involving petting the faces of other characters — referred to by the fanbase as "skinship" — have also been altered; while players will still see the original animations from those scenes, the actual touching has been completely removed.
Players will still be able to improve their relationships with teammates through these scenes and other conversations throughout the game. To see some of those in action, check out our video from the Birthright edition below.