Despite previous hopes inspired by a seemingly optimistic reading review, the English-language Nintendo Switch release of 13: Sentinels: Aegis Rim has kept a controversial localization change which gender-swapped a character to “non-binary”.
This change, first discovered by players when the game’s original PlayStation 4 release made its way West in 2020, centers around one of the 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’s supporting male characters, Tsukasa Okino.
The creator of the game’s eponymous Sentinel technology and a skilled pilot all his own, Okino suddenly finds himself hurled into the year 1944 following a battle against the Deimos, a race of alien Kaiju intent on destroying the Earth.
Finding himself with the opportunity to influence the events of the future to prevent the Deimos’ invasion all together, Okino assumes the female identity of Kiriko Doujima in order to conduct his timeline-altering Sentinel research undetected by his enemies.
Eventually, Okino is met by one of the game’s thirteen protagonists, Hijiyama Yakatoshi, who eventually questions him on the reason behind his decision to crossdress.
In the English localization, Okino wrly teases Yakatoshi, “Because I know you like it,” before confessing, “Let’s say some binaries work for me, and others don’t. This lets me hide the fact that I’m even alive.”
Meanwhile, in the original Japanese, Okino more accurately explains, “This is more convenient for me. It lets me keep it a secret that I’m alive.”
This identity change was further reinforced in the English localization during a later conversation between the two wherein Takatoshi asks Okino if he has feelings for a man.
In the Japanese version, Okino responds, “What are you saying? I’m a guy I obviously wouldn’t [like him]…”, while in English, he instead questions, “You think I like him just ’cause he’s a guy?”
Going by the original script, Okino’s cross-dressing could be interpreted as nothing more than a means-to-an-end to achieve his goals, with the researcher ultimately still seeing himself as a man.
Yet, thanks to the changes made to the game’s English localization, Okino’s choice of disguise is presented to Western audiences as a ‘lucky coincidence’ resulting from the character’s non-binary identity.
While these weren’t the only changes made to 13: Sentinel: Aegis Rim’s localization, they have gone on to become the most discussed.
Following widespread disappointment at Atlus’ edits, fan hopes that the Nintendo Switch version of 13 Sentinel: Aegis Rim would be more accurately translated were first sparked on April 5th, when in their review of the port, RPG Site noted that “Atlus’ localization team has also gone back and fixed a couple of odd and mistranslated lines from the original PS4 version’s English dub.”
Unfortunately, it appears that the localization changes made to the PS4 version of the game have been carried over to its Switch release.
The first scene can be seen in tact at 1:07:06 in the below commentary-free playthrough of the game, courtesy of YouTuber Yamatufa Gaming.
What do you think? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.