Soleil is one of the 2nd-generation child units the player can recruit to their army once her father, Laslow, has an S-rank with another female unit in your army.
Soleil’s character development and support conversations in the game have evoked much controversy, such as her support conversations in the original Japanese text of the game with Male Kamui/Corrin (the protagonist). A transcript of the original text is linked here. In it, Soleil, who is known for having crushes on girls, asks the protagonist for help focusing on her work as a mercenary. The protagonist over the course of their relationship slips a magic powder into her drink, causing her to see people as the opposite gender they are, and in their final support conversation, proposes to her. She accepts and says that she loved seeing the protagonist as a girl but she has begun to love him as a boy as well.
Many have taken this to be a problematic portrayal of date-rape and gay conversion therapy, causing the localization team to actually change the in-game support conversations between Soleil and the male protagonist. In the English localization, the male protagonist instead helps Soleil practice not getting as excited around girls by consensually blindfolding her. The transcript of the English localization text can be found here.
This change in text of the situation with Soleil was met with praise as fans appreciated the localization team’s effort with ensuring that this was a consensual process for Soleil. However, it also seems that various parts of her support conversations were altered with other possible male romance options. In all of Soleil’s Japanese S-Rank Support Conversations (generally support conversations that end in romance or marriage of some sort), she ends up becoming lovers with the male characters or marrying them. In the English localization, she only falls in love with Forrest (another 2nd-generation child unit, known to often dress in women’s clothing) and the male protagonist, Kamui/Corrin. She also tends to flirt/hit on other 2nd-generation female child units in her same-sex support conversations (with the exception of her in-game conversations with Nina, as they both fantacize about same-sex romance). In a few of the Japanese translations, she seems a bit more aggressive and suggestive in her pursuit of her fellow 2nd-generation female child units than in the English translations. Here is an example from a support conversation with Sophie where they negotiate the outcomes of a deal:
- Sophie: Guh. You really hit where it hurts don’t you…by the way what happens when I win?
- Soleil: How about I’ll do anything you ask me to?
- Sophie: That sounds good. What if I lose?
- Soleil: The same, you do whatever I tell you to do.
- Sophie……….I have a bad feeling about this.
- Soleil: I won’t do anything weird to a good friend of mine. Or could it be that you’re scared?
- Sophie: Uh, th-that won’t be necessary. Fine, just you then. What happens if I win?
- Soleil: I will never call you a flower again.
- Sophie: Sounds good. And if I lose?
- Soleil: Then you’ll change your name to Flower.
- Sophie: No way, Soleil.
- Soleil: Oh, all right. You have to emblazon a tiny flower on your armor.
Outside of support conversations, the character is described as “The Girl Lover” in 4koma’s official artwork of the game (pictured below) and also described with the text, “though she is a girl herself, she is fond of other cute girls, and unabashedly flirts with them”. The game also gives each unit in your army a Personal Skill, and Soleil’s is called Sisterhood (English version)/Girl Lover (Japanese version), a skill that says “If Soleil is the lead unit in an Attack Stance or Guard Stance with a female as her supporting unit, she will deal 2 additional damage and receive 2 less damage.” (found here)
During the Paralogue she is recruited in, in-game text from her father talking with a comrade of his suggests that she is bisexual.
- Silas: Hmm, Laslow, did your daughter just ask that girl out to gaze at the stars?
- Laslow: Why, yes! She’s got good taste. In women as well as men—got a problem with that?
It is unclear what Soleil’s exact sexuality is as Japanese text more strongly supports her being bisexual, while both the Japanese and English text support her having a preference towards women. Some fans have argued that she is not bisexual or a lesbian because she is unable to marry/romance any female units in the game, however, all of the in-game text supports otherwise.
LGBTQ references in this game series:
Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (2003): Florina and Lyndis; Lucius and Raven
Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones (2004): Joshua and Gerik
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005): Ike and Soren; Jill and Mist
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007): Heather; Jill and Mist; Kyza; Ranulf
Fire Emblem Awakening (2012): Same-Sex Relationship Hack
Fire Emblem Fates (2015): Forrest; Nina; Romance options; Soleil
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017): Leon
- Ashcraft, B. (2015, July 08). Why Some People Are Calling Fire Emblem Fates ‘Homophobic’. Retrieved from https://kotaku.com/why-some-people-are-calling-fire-emblem-fates-homophobi-1715602826
- Bonds, C. (2016, January 20). Fire Emblem: Fates Changes Controversial Support Conversation in Western Regions – News. Retrieved from http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/41814/fire-emblem-fates-changes-controversial-support-conversation-in-western-regions
- Bright Smile. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Bright_Smile
- Leoppi. (n.d.). Sophie Soleil C-A Support. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://pastebin.com/Q60pSnTs
- Sisterhood. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Sisterhood
- Soleil. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Soleil
- Soleil/Mamui Supports. (2015, June 30). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://pastebin.com/bgQC0yEa
- Soleil/Supports. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/Soleil/Supports
- Whitaker, J. (2015, July 02). Consent and gay conversion issues in Fire Emblem Fates. Retrieved from https://www.destructoid.com/consent-and-gay-conversion-issues-in-fire-emblem-fates-295164.phtml
- Xkan. (2015, December 26). FE Fates: 4Koma Comic & Character Guidebook (Page 138-139) Translation – Soleil. Retrieved from https://kantopia.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/fe-fates-4koma-comic-character-guidebook-page-138-139-translation-soleil/
- Xkan. (2016, February 17). Fire Emblem Fates: Soleil’s Localized Support Conversation (FULL). Retrieved from https://kantopia.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/fire-emblem-fates-soleils-localized-support-conversation-full/